“We'll have you squatting to the ground in no time,” they said. It was February 2009.

Today, it is February 2016. Seven years have passed and I have never squatted so that my big ass touches the ground. That's “no good time” to me.

The person that I speak about here was one of my teachers for a number of years in a series of methods that I diligently threw myself into learning given a few remarkable experiences I had with it a few years back.

I'd had an issue that had began as wrist pain and over the course of almost a year had rendered my right arm almost useless. One of my teachers, during my very first ever meeting with them, helped me resolve this in around two minutes.

A while later, I had severe knee pain for quite some time that a number of highly qualified people could do nothing to help me with. It was gone after an hour with one of these teachers.

When they said I'd be able to loosen my tight ass to the point I'd be able to squat to the ground easily, I wasn't going to doubt them. Until after years of work using their methods, I was still no closer in getting to the floor. I was told in vague terms that I had something wrong with me. It was nothing to do about the inefficacy of the methods they were teaching. I could go into a bizarre series of side stories here but it would be a huge digression from the point of this piece.

Breaking a movement strategy and building a new one are largely different things, just as breaking and building generally are different processes.

I know an old-school carpenter who specialises in hand carvings. It takes him a long time to craft a piece of wood into an intricately decorated object for daily use. But it wouldn't take me long to break one of his creations. I could destroy one of his pieces to the point where you wouldn't know it was once a work of art in just a matter of seconds.

These people I trained with either didn't understand this distinction or understood that their methods couldn't bring me what I wanted but sold me them anyway.

One of the reasons why a painful movement strategy can SOMETIMES be dismantled much more quickly than a new one can be established is because it is based a lot around neuromuscular control and timing. The hardware involved (muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints) has previously had the capacity to safely perform the movements required of them and once the movement strategy contribution towards the pain has been diverted from the hardware is in a good condition to resume its previous function.

For movements that have never been done before (or haven't been done for decades), even if a better movement strategy can be created the hardware not necessarily in condition to be used safely in the new pattern. For example, I create a better squatting pattern in myself which allows me to go authentically deeper with good integrity but even a bodyweight squat may provide too much load as a starting point through which to build and consolidate this new pattern.

Building new patterns can require the same methods that are used to break unuseful patterns but alone these methods are not enough. This requires careful active use made progressively more challenging over a longer term.

Don't get suckered into thinking that a quick fix and a new build are the same thing like I did. I can tell you now that if you do, all the time, energy and money you spend on methods like these won't mean squat.

 

Arton “Ass still not to grass” Baleci
Float Sting – Sports Performance and Rehabilitation

 

 

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