Mobility, Strength and Goldilocks
Posted on Jun 25, 2014 5:00:00 PM
Mobility, Strength and Goldilocks

I am fortunate to spend time working with collegiate, professional and military teams integrating TRX Training into their programs. One of the highlights from 2012 to present has been being a part of the Marine Corps’ MCCS SemperFit High Intensity Tactical Training (HITT) program. It has been a great opportunity to showcase TRX as not only gear but a true training company. We were involved in designing and delivering a four day multi-domain course including FMS, TRX, Kettlebell, Sandbags, heavy ropes, medballs and Olympic lifting.

TRX Training continues to gain acceptance as an industry standard in fitness programs for top coaches, trainers, athletes and clients. The consistent question we get is “How and where do we put in Suspension Training and Rip Training?” The answer is pretty obvious when we demonstrate how mobility flows into strength and then into power using TRX gear and programming.  Using TRX as a stand-alone tool, or integrated into traditional strength training protocols, continues to evolve into a “need to have” and not simply a “nice to have.” Put in TRX when you want to improve mobility during the warm-up or cool down and when you want to lock in functional strength during the workout.

Athletes and clients of all types recognize that true “functional strength” – the ability to demonstrate muscular force in daily, work, recreation and sport activities – must be built upon a foundation of good mobility. If you are restricted in your ability to move well, adding load will only compound your compensations. Often the game changing “a-ha” moments come when athletes or clients demonstrate a high level of mobility, motor control and strength simultaneously.

These types of moves have been termed “self-limiting” exercises. Grey Cook was the first person I came across describing the “what-how-why” of self-limiting exercises. Basically, your ability to complete the task is dependent on the combined attributes of mobility, stability and strength. The Turkish Get Up with a kettlebell is one example of a self-limiting exercise. The ST and the RT are great tools for creating similar self-limiting exercises. The TRX Hinge Single Arm is a great example of a ST self-limited exercise, as are lunging and stepping patterns with the Rip held vertically. Practicing at your appropriate level of progression will result in better movement, functional strength, endurance and calories burned.

One of the most interesting and effective applications of these “loaded mobility” exercises is how they enhance the learning curve and performance of more traditional strength training exercises. Strength coaches, trainers and everyday fitness enthusiasts are putting TRX mobility, activation and self-limiting moves into sequences, circuits and sessions with great success.

Keep an eye out for self-limiting exercises to continue to gain acceptance and become a staple of most workouts and programs. You will definitely see them coming from TRX Training where our goal is to make you “move better.”

However, be on the lookout for the typical overreaching of some people to take a good thing to extremes. Avoid this path and instead strive for a Goldilocks approach to incorporating self-limiting TRX exercises into programming--not too much, not too little. Find that “just right” sweet spot. TRX Training provides a systematic approach for identifying how to set the standards for good movement and then change the conditions to help you reach your goals no matter what they are.


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