Weekly musings, 2/7/17: the sum of the parts

Weekly musings, 2/5/17
I have two clients. One is a 75 year old who plays golf and hikes regularly; the other is a 40 year movement teacher. The 75 year old wants the mobility to rotate for his golf swing; the 40 year old wants the strength to do a pull-up. 

Outwardly, these two goals look very different, One requires flexibility training and reducing rigidity. The other requires strength and improving stability. Yet my approach is the same. I break the movements down. For the golfer, we work on moving the neck, shoulders, spine, and hips. Gently at first, moving in ways that are familiar, and gradually working into more complex ranges of motion, monitoring for fatigue or loss of focus. The second client reaches the arms, uses controlled movement to understand the upward rotation of the scapula and the connection between the ribs and the pelvis, before we integrate into a position that resembles, vaguely, a pull-up on the back. Always monitoring, always watching. 

Two people, decades apart, but still the training is similar. Dissect the movement, find the stickiest part, and try to coax a little more ease, a little more strength, in a non-threatening manner.

It is often said that the whole is only as strong as the sum of its parts. This is true for the physical training of the human body, except the parts are a little more complex. The coach or trainer takes into account injuries, stress, recovery, and mindset in addition to the actual physical components. Only then can goals be reached and abilities realized.