With some things in life we want to bring things together.
For example, any time there is a special occasion we invite our closest friends and family for a wedding, a reunion or maybe for the big game. (go Canucks go!)
And sometimes too with finances we want to consolidate loans. And we may want to set up joint accounts for a couple. Or we may direct extra funds at one specific source of debt.
In training as well there are times when we want to bring things together.
But this isn’t that time.
Instead I want to talk to you about creating separation and why that’s important.
Reason #1 Separation is Important – We Will Have a Better Stride
Imagine kids going outside to play at recess. They bust through the school doors as though they’ve been freed from incarceration. Their arms swing from cheek to check (backside to face) and their little legs reach forward for as much ground as they can pull under themselves.
And if you had to define how they looked it would look:
Contrast this with how many adults look when they step out for a run.
The arm swing is definitely not from cheek to cheek. Usually the arms are folded up at the chest like a T-Rex from Jurassic Park.
And the legs? Well this is minimal separation of the legs going on. And this changes the mechanics of our running stride. And puts more strain on our joints.
What do adults look like when they run?
Or as Joan Rivers put it:
The first time I see a jogger smiling, I’ll consider it.
– Joan Rivers
Reason #2 Separation is Important – More Core Activity
For each of the following pay attention to the activity of your core and abdominals.
Stand with a slumped posture. Now reach your hands up over head. Now reach as high as possible. Now interlock your fingers and press them to the ceiling or sky.
Did you notice that the longer your spine was the more core activation you had?
And a better functioning core allows for better movement, fewer injuries and an easier time performing skilled tasks.
Reason #3 Separation is Important – Improved Sports Performance
Imagine the reach of your core as being represented by a band around the torso. If you had a weak poor functioning core this might be like a belt around your waist.
Or if you had a strong, stable core this might be represented as a large hula hoop around your waist.
And if you had developed your core in all planes and directions we can think of this as being represented by a large bubble that extends in all directions. (hello Bubble Boy!)
If you train your limbs for great separation you will extend the boundaries of this bubble so that you will be stable in a large sphere around the body.
And this allows you to extend past your opponent and make great game-changing plays.
How to apply this to your training?
Whenever you are doing a unilateral (one limb at a time) drill or exercise look to separate the two limbs as much as possible.
If you are doing a standing alternating row or press with some tubing reach the non-working hand as far as you can away from the working hand.
Or if you are doing step ups on a bench make sure to finish by driving the moving knee as high as possible while pressing the opposite heel hard into the bench.
You get the idea?
Because as we age we tend to lose our range of motion. And we tend to shorten our stride. And the sphere representing our core shrinks back.
Remember this tip during your training to off-set these effects and get the most out of your workouts.
Chris okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’