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This Isn’t A Workout! How To Get Better Health & Fitness

myofascial workout

My biggest apprehension with discussing our Myofascial Integrated Movement (MIM) programs is that people get confused as to where they fit into a workout program. The best part is that there is SO much flexibility in how one uses programs. It will do so much to help qualities like better mobility, balance, stability, improving aches/pains, and even facilitate recovery. However, what I wanted to discuss in this blog was can it be a workout too?

At first glance MIM doesn’t look like it could be a useful workout. I get it, before I started using practices that MIM is based upon (more to come about that), I wouldn’t have thought such training could be a workout. Now, before I explain how MIM absolutely CAN be a workout, let me say that if your goal is to deadlift 600 pounds, run a 4-minute mile, compete in a bodybuilding contest, or the like, you probably can not just do MIM.

Trust me, I think what we teach in creating great functional training workouts with our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training is VERY important for not only achieving goals in how people want to look, but in their overall health as well. So, I would not try to sell you on doing JUST MIM in most cases. However, there are very useful ways to see MIM as a great workout program.

myofascial integrated movement

Facilitate Recovery

Most people think that all the changes in their body they get from exercise occurs from the training they perform. In actuality, A LOT of your results stem from your ability to recover from your training. Do too much or too little in your training and you will find that those results don’t really come even though you may think you are doing the right stuff.

How does MIM help with workout recovery and making sure that you can reap greater benefits from your other workouts? Right off the bat we know that mind-body practices (which MIM definitely fits) help lower stress levels in the body. Exercise, as good as it is, is stress and that is why too much stress (even with exercise) can be detrimental to our body and of course our results. Practicing MIM can help recovery from training and allow one to train more consistently. Both great important in achieving our goals.

Mind-body practices are also very useful in improving Heart Rate Variability (HRV), which is basically a measure of the health of our nervous system. Poor has been correlated with issues like increased cardiovascular issues. That is why a lot of people in fitness are interested in HRV because if you have a poor HRV usually people are advised not to train, or at least not to train very hard. MIM type training though can help bring about better HRV scores which means our nervous system, not just our muscles, are ready to train at more consistent rates.

For those that are wondering, such practices have been shown to be equally as effective as cardiovascular exercise (like jogging) for improving HRV (you can read HERE)

vagus nerve

The above graphic shows how the more relaxed movements, deep breathing, and flowing nature of MIM can help HRV improve.

There are many more ways that MIM helps workout recovery, but a last one I want to discuss is the ability to help reduce muscle tightness and trigger points in the body. A combination of deep breathing (which calms the nervous system which also changes the biochemistry in the body to a more positive state), dynamic stretching movements (which help keep connective tissue like fascia in a better state), and spiraling movements throughout the body (which help “ring out” a lot of the tissues that become more impacted by trigger points), allows us to really keep our mobility, reduce soreness, improve the efficiency in which we move, and develop movement skills that will help us perform better in our workout.

Health Benefits Like Better Cardiovascular Health & Fitness

I’ll admit, if you looked at a lot of the movements in a vacuum it would seem insane that MIM could offer the same, if not sometimes better, health benefits than more popular forms of training like jogging. You are moving too slow to really have such results right? That is what I would have thought. However, even researchers are surprised how practices similar to MIM have the ability to produce such results.

A VERY new study (Feb. of 2024) published in the well respected Journal Of American Medical Association, found that tai chi actually improved blood pressure in people that were pre-hypertension better than aerobic exercise like jogging. “This randomized clinical trial found that 12 months of Tai Chi significantly decreased office SBP in patients with prehypertension by 2.40 mm Hg more than aerobic exercise. Furthermore, the Tai Chi group showed a greater reduction in 24-hour (−2.16 mm Hg) and nighttime (−4.08 mm Hg) ambulatory SBP than the aerobic exercise group.” (you can read the whole thing HERE)

Not only is this great for programs like MIM that have a strong tai chi influence, but the fact that many people who’s bodies can’t go running and do such aerobic work, or find it terribly boring so they aren’t consistent, can find the benefits in other practices.

Another study (you can read HERE) found tai chi offered the same cardiorespiratory benefits as running. The only difference in the markers of cardio health was in Vo2MAX. There may be a few reasons for that, one being the Vo2MAX is measured in a running task, so specificity might have something to do with that. However, again, overall that is impressive as most people wouldn’t see such a workout as a way to compete with aerobic training like running or jogging. Not to mention, we get all the cardio benefits while also improving our mobility, stability, strength, and balance.

I will tell you how you set-up your program for such benefits does matter. I don’t want you to discourage you to follow our programs as designed as they do build up, but if you had a goal like improving your cardiovascular fitness, then you might want to see MIM workout like the one I show below. You do have to possess proficiency in these movements and that takes practice, as well as using some of our other drills to accomplish this. Once you do, it is really cool how your world of what a workout is and can do for you opens up BIG time!

Don’t miss this week saving 30% on our NEW Myofascial Integrated Movement program with over 100 workouts and 9 months of training HERE with code “mim30”