Reclaiming Your Athletic Foundation

adult athleticism - how to get started being an adult athleteAt Relentless our primary adult training specialty is working with men and women who used to be athletes before life got in the way and now is tired of riding a desk and wants to get back in the shape they were in (or better) during their playing days.  Sound familiar?

Sure, you might have been some time spent in the gym since the sports days, but I bet it’s often not particularly athletic and doesn’t prepare you for real, athletic-type movement.  Don’t be another one of those guys who “goes to the gym”, but gets wrecked when he tries to do a weekend warrior type activity like an adventure race, pick-up basketball, or something like that.

If you’ve been out of exercise for a while or been doing nothing but “bro-style”, bodybuilding-type training with isolation exercises and machines then jumping right back into an athletic-based program can be a little much for a lot of people.  The tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissue probably isn’t used to the type of strain that athletic-type movement is focused on.  Your stabilizing muscles probably aren’t operating at peak efficiency, either.  Oh, and let’s not even get into all of the tight spots you’ve got.  Does that sound about right?

This isn’t just what I see in clients when they walk through our door, I’m speaking from personal experience here, too!  I remember when I went back to playing field as an adult after doing nothing but lifting for a few years.  Sure, I was big and strong, but that endurance, flexibility, and quick feet that I’d always “just had” had snuck out the back door on me!  I learned the hard way that it was hard to just jump right back in and I want to make sure that doesn’t happen to you or any of our other clients.

Rather than just charge on into athletic movement, let’s look at what needs to be shored up a bit before we do.  Here’s the key areas we focus on to bring you back up to speed.

We’re going to dig into each of these with their own post over the next few weeks, but for now here’s the things we focus on when a new athlete starts the Relentless programs:

Areas that need to mobilize:
-Upper back and shoulders
-Thoracic Spine (T-Spine) -> the middle of your back that is supposed to be flexible

Areas that need to stabilize:
-Midsection (“Core”)
-Lower Back
-Shoulders (Yep, most people need mobility AND stability in their shoulders)

Areas that need to strengthen (other than EVERYWHERE!):
-Upper Back
-Wrists and elbows
-Shoulders (See a pattern here?)

Wow, that seems like a whole lot of technical stuff, right?

Well, it can be, if someone wants to make it hard.  However, I’m here to simplify things for you and get you kicking ass in the shortest and least-stressful way possible.

The way we start our in-person clients on the path to taking care of all of the stuff above?

We simply start with teaching them the Relentless Dynamic Warm-up.  This warm-up gets all of our athletes going in the gym (with a few modifications for those who have an existing injury) every day, and accomplishes a few different things for them:

-It warms up the joints, ligaments, and muscles to help reduce the risk of injury.
-It fires up the nervous and cardiovascular systems and gets the body ready for activity.
-It provides a mental and physical ritual to get the mind right and say “I’m here to train”.
-It teaches, develops, and practices the primary athletic movements:  Squatting, Lunging, Hinging, Pushing, Twisting, etc.

If you’re looking to make the transition from just “lifting” to reclaiming the athleticism you used to have and know you want again?

Start by beginning your workout with the Relentless Dynamic Warm-up.

One set each:
10x 4-Point Squats
10x Lunge and Pull
5x Reverse Lunges
10-15 seconds rolling your wrists, elbows, and shoulders
5x Push-up Walkouts to a T on each side
30 seconds Planche Position
10 Bridges
20 Lateral Hops
20 Seal Jumps
10 Squat Jumps

And then on into your normal workout!

Over the next few posts I’m going to get deeper into developing your body to be athletic again.  Don’t miss out!  Make sure you sign up on the right so I can notify you of when they come out as well as provide more great tips on training, nutrition, and mindset.

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