Having multiple strategies allows us to gain access to a wider range of movement patterns, rather than utilizing one or two strategies for many tasks.
If you were to pick a pen up from the floor, your first instinct would most likely be to bend over and grab it.
Well, you could also squat down, lunge to one knee, or hip hinge down to name a few other ways.
In a simple task such as that, we should be able to utilize any of these strategies in order to maintain a healthier range of movement options.
We run into trouble when we use that same bending over pattern for picking up anything below our knees. It makes you get stuck in one movement behavior that will carry over automatically if we never learn another way.
If you were deadlifting, hinging at the hips would be the best strategy for picking up heavy objects from he ground. Bending over to grab it like the pen is a recipe for disaster on your back.
You can transfer this example to other movement tasks. bending, twisting, jumping, running, etc.
We might not be able to access certain ranges of motion due to the lack of learning movements or underutilizing or full capabilities. This brings us to use the same strategy for tasks that would be deemed inappropriate or inefficient. You will get the job done, but at a cost.
Using one strategy for everything is like racing on a car track . You go in the same circle over and over again, eventually only wearing out one part of the tire.
Some individuals may extend or arch their lower backs whenever they lift something or get ready to.
This can be useful for moving something really heavy, but if the situation does not call for maximum power, we should be able to get the job done a different way.
It's like having a car in 5th gear all the time when we need to do something in only 1st gear.
Why grind out something when we don't need to?
As stated before, having more than one way to do something is your best way of doing it.
You can see how getting stuck in one pattern will just wear you out like a car tire.
Start observing how you do your movements and see if you can find a different way to break up the pattern, and eventually open up your movement options. This way when you do certain tasks, your body will choose the best strategy at the right time to minimize risk, without you having to think about it.
Still not sure if you can spot how to fix your strategies.?
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Dr. Peter Dionisopoulos is the owner and founder of Dynamic Performance & Rehab. He has worked with many high-level athletes and military personnel, but his true passion is to help active adults maintain their lifestyle by providing information and potential solutions to their aches and pains so they can continue with the activities they love.