Is It True That If You Don’t USE It, You LOSE It?

If there was one movement that I wish I learned when I was younger it would be the squat. What an athletic movement this is! The ability to bend the knees and hips at the same time while stabilizing the midline is not as easy as some people may think and asking high school athletes to perform one will surprise you. Some people think that squatting is bad for them because they have knee/low back/hip pain, but shying away from movements will only assure that you will continue to regress.

When I broke my hand (spiral fracture of the 4th metacarpal), my wrist was casted in neutral for 4 weeks. When the cast was taken off my spiral fracture had healed and was in no pain. My wrist, on the other hand, was VERY stiff and it hurt to move in all directions (especially in flexion and extension). Had I not had taken the time to rehab, strength train, work on mobility, my wrist would still be at a deficit. Our bodies are kind of awesome. The human body will adapt to whatever stresses on which they are put, Wolfe’s Law. This means that if you were to turn your head only to the left for even 4 weeks, you will lose range of motion going to the right. How does this happen?

The tissues all adapt! The ligaments will shorten, the muscles will be strengthened for turning left and weakened turning right, the joint capsule will physically be more willing to turn left rather than right, and should you turn to the right, you will feel pain. This is why people have rounded shoulders, forward heads, and the INABILITY TO SQUAT!

If you do not go through a full range of motion you are doing yourself a disservice. The squat it a full range of motion, but it is also ridiculously functional. It requires hip, knee, and ankle mobility, spinal stability, shoulder stability, and balance. If any of these are a weakness, it will show in the attempt of a squat. Two takeaways here, 1) frequently perform full range of motion activities (not just stretching, but actual functional movements), and 2) learn how to squat and address any issue that may be limiting your range of motion. 

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Fairfield, Connecticut 06824