When you speak differently than everyone else, it can take time to really see change occur. In teaching DVRT for the past 15 years it has been interesting to see how strength training has been slowly changing. We were definitely the “crazy ones” for years, but now as people understand movement more and more, we are seeing the world of strength training and how we approach change!
Probably the biggest way we see the idea of strength training changing slowly and I do mean slowly, is getting out of JUST training up and down. When you present people with the idea that in life and sport we move in 3 planes of motion it makes sense that our strength training should do the same. I think the issue arises when people just don’t know what that means, or how to use tin their strength training programs. Here are some easy strategies that can really be game changers!
Learn To Resist
One of the most key aspects of functional training is to learn to resist unwanted movement. In most simple terms, Dr. Brandon Marcello has offered the best definition of what stability training should represent.
That means learning to resist lateral motion or rotation are keys in becoming real world strong. So you want to look like your movement isn’t being impacted by the forces acting on your body.
Above is an advanced example from Paige Fleischmann, resisting lateral motion and rotation. Learning to integrate the entire chains of the body, especially from the foot and grip, we get more muscles trained and they learn to work smarter!
DVRT UK Master, Greg Perlaki, shows what makes the MAX lunge so powerful in that we move up and down and have to resist the lateral and rotational forces as the Ultimate Sandbag try to pull our body out of alignment.
Even with familiar strength training exercises like squats we can use these concepts. Greg shows the Shoulder position that in of itself, is like a moving side plank. Combining the Shoulder position with the Sprinter Stance amplifies the need to resist lateral motion, but also brings in our need to resist rotation!
When people say they train for life, the odd side is they don’t use lateral strength training. Why is moving side to side so important? As spine expert, Dr. Stuart McGill, explains….
“Consider a 340 pound NFL lineman, who is strength trained in the weight room on Olympic lifts and power cleans. His coaches believe he is well trained. Yet the athlete has back pain that limits training. Measuring his cutting speed – the ability to take 5 fast strides forward, plant a foot and cut to the right reveals his great weakness and strength imbalance. The pelvis drops on the swing leg side and the spine bends laterally. He reports a twinge of pain. All of his strength training has been performed with two legs on the ground. All of the pulls, lifts and presses never trained the core in 3-dimensions. The weak link is limiting his performance and causing stress and pain….His pelvis and spine produce appropriate proximal stiffness (proximal to the hip joint) so that more velocity of all of the muscles that cross the hip joint works on the distal side of the joint resulting in faster leg speed. Further, the spine does not bend, the stress concentration at the joint is eliminated and the pain is gone. This example demonstrates that the hip muscles were limited by a weaker lateral core.”
This type of deadlift Cory Cripe demonstrates really shows resisting lateral and rotational forces while…..
The most classic form of moving laterally is a lateral lunge. As Larisa Lotz shows we can increase the stress on the body resisting movement by adding a band trying to pull us off to the side. However there are far more ways to move in the frontal plane.
Lateral crawling is a highly underrated core and upper body training drills. Doing so with our ARES sled attached allows us to increase the challenge of the drill not by adding more load, but more of a need to resist movement!
Cory shows how we can progress to power based movements that are almost NEVER used in frontal plane training!
We can combine hinging and lunging into a great lateral complex for the lower body, but what about the upper body?
You can see how Cory progresses from foundations to more complex and sophisticated movements. You will see in the research by Dr. McGill, when we change our body position even on the same movement, we can stimulate different muscles!
This is A LOT, I know! I wanted to show you so much because there is such a bigger world of strength training than most ever touch or think about. It is a shame because it is not only a way to have more variety , but break plateaus and get to your fitness goals in time you wouldn’t think was possible. That is why we are so passionate about functional fitness.
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