The idea behind the Indestructible Body is about building your body to the point of being injury proof. Not only will these exercises and drills help you to prevent future injuries, but the same methods are used to rehab old and often times chronic injuries.
What derails more people from working out than any other thing? Definitely at the top of the list is injuries.
Everything is going along fine, until one day, something happens. For many people this shuts down what they’re doing. While there are ways to work around an injury, there is no doubt that any injury can set you back.
When you’re pursuing a goal, as long as you’re making progress, and can avoid any sort of injury, you should be able to continually get better. Smart training is required, and part of that smart training is in preparing your body properly for what you do.
If you have an injury it can make you feel like an incomplete person. Certain injuries are definitely worse than others. Anyone that has ever tweaked their back knows just how debilitating that can be. When it is hard to move, like walking or getting up out of bed, its very tough to think about athletic training.
Therefore, we need to do the right things to help us become indestructible. This series is broken up into a number of areas of the body:
- Indestructible Elbows, Wrists and Fingers
- Indestructible Shoulders
- Indestructible Spine and Neck
- Indestructible Hips and Knees
- Indestructible Ankles and Feet
A certain course can be used just where you need work, or you can alternate through all the courses over time, to build up the “indestructibility” throughout your body.
The Principles of Indestructibility
To be indestructible you’ll need a number of things:
- A normal full mobility in the joint
- Strength throughout a complete range of motion
- Some balance in strength and flexibility in all directions
- The more strength the better
- Up, down and across the body
Let’s discuss each one of these points in turn.
A normal full mobility in the joint
Mobility is the ability to move the joint through its full range of motion. If you can’t go through a full range of motion, you already have restrictions in your movement which must be opened up. The reason this is necessary is because if you lack range in motion it means your body is going to compensate as necessary in another area of the body. This means that other muscles and joints can take on work they’re not designed to do.
Some people can go beyond a normal range of motion, and are hyper mobile. Hyper-mobility can be useful in certain situations, but the potential for more injury is there as well, because the joint isn’t supported as well by the connective tissue.
With an injury your range of motion is typically restricted, thus getting the injury moving is very important. While there is a time and a place for immobilizing, you often want to do this far less than is generally done. Because if you don’t move something you lose the ability to do it. This can lead to worse problems than the injury itself.
Strength throughout a complete range of motion
As in some of the cases above, injuries occurred when you’re taken into a range of motion you weren’t ready for like with a heavy weight pulling you, a ballistic exercise, or an impact. And its not just the range of motion, but the fact that you don’t have the required strength in that range of motion. If you do, then you won’t be injured.
For this reason, for becoming indestructible, we want to focus not just on strength, but strength in the weak points of range of motion. This can even include placing odd stress on the body in ways that certain physical trainers say you should avoid completely. For instance a rounded back twisted to the side. For the “spine experts” this is a big no-no. But since you want to be strong in that position and thus injury proof, you’ll need to train it, of course only in a smart manner.
This means loading joints in a manner they’re not meant to be loaded. This also means training for strength especially at the end ranges of motion.
Some balance in strength and flexibility in all directions
If you flex a joint and train strength in that position, it is almost always a good idea to extend the joint and do the same. You may need different exercises to do this. It may be completely different loads. But both should be trained. The only exception to this is if you’re trained one thing so much, that it is best to neglect it, while you train the opposite for a period of time as you seek to gain back some balance.
The more strength the better
Here is the failing of much rehab work. It’s not done in a progressive manner. You’re told to do your 3 sets of 10 and then you’re done. The next time it’s the same thing. But to become indestructible you need to go beyond just rehabbing an area. You need to continue the training in a progressive manner, so that you gain strength beyond the normal. Basically, the stronger you are, especially in those end ranges of motion and outside the normal use ranges, the less likely anything can come and hurt you.
Of course this must be balanced with reason. There are places where the risks outweigh the rewards. Doing a cross legged squat with 315 lbs. on your back is probably not the best idea no matter how strong you are. But how far you take it is ultimately up to you. The truth is if you could safely build up to your body handling that, I don’t think even a car would take your knees out!
Up, down and across the body
As previously mentioned the body will compensate. Thus a pain in your elbow could be from a problem in the wrist. A pain in your shoulder could be because of the opposite ankle or hip. There are a few things to look at as far as “connections” are concerned.
- The body works as an X, therefore problems in the left lower body translate to the right upper body, typically.
- The wrists correspond to the ankles
- The elbows correspond to the knees
- The hips correspond to the shoulders.
- The pelvic corresponds to the cervical spine (neck).
- The lumbar (low back) corresponds to the thoracic (mid back).
- It is always good to work a problem area at least one joint above and below it i.e. if there’s an elbow problem, work the wrist and shoulder.
There’s also a Master Principle which rules these are. Find out what it is inside here.