Don’t be a “little off” in the New Year…Asymmetries and how they affect us

Happy New Year Crossfitters!!!  We are going to start 2014 off with a short but important topic just to warm you up for the coming new year.  I hope you have all had a great holiday season with your families and were able to join us at the annual CFR Christmas Party!!  It was great seeing everyone out there dressed up and looking good:-).  Now let’s get down to business…

One of the great limiters of our movement efficiency is asymmetry in the body.  By this I mean a difference in one side when compared to the other.  This difference could be strength, range of motion or flexibility and any one of them can interfere with good form and movement.  We all have a preferred side and a natural inclination to use one side of our bodies over the other.  We write right or left handed, carry our purses or backpacks on one side or another and we have a preferred side to swing a golf club or bat from.  This works well with most of life and generally is not something that we even think about or find limits us in any appreciable way.  However asymmetries can cause serious limitations and can the precursor into an injury.   The larger an asymmetry the bigger the risk. Check out this quick video of Gray Cook talking about asymmetries and how it can affect us as athletes.–Of note here Gray actually trained with Michelle Wie by focusing stability and strength to the opposite side of her swing.  By merely working her non dominant side she was able to significantly increase the power of her natural swing and go on the win the LPGA.

http://youtu.be/kRtXJwbe67o

 

So where’s that threshold of some crossbody difference is ok and some more in the worrisome category??

– Well for one ..that’s what the trainers are for, to pick up on bad patterning and call it to your attention.  One of the wonderful things about crossfit is you have another set of eyes watching your form through a movement and corrections can be made as we go. Pay attention to cues from the trainers and ask questions if you need clarification.

-Pay attention to any big differences from one side to the other.. Do you get to the bottom of a squat and notice your weight is almost exclusively on one leg instead of evenly distributed??

-As in the video.. are you a runner or endurance athlete and notice you are so quad dominant that you can’t get back in the heels, use the hamstrings and get into a good back or overhead squat??

-Shoulder injury that seriously limits movement in one arm but not the other??

All these are issues of asymmetry and need to be addressed. Some of the ways to deal with this is by strengthening up opposite weaker muscles, introducing better movement patterns and lastly improving mobility and range of motion.  The stretching and mobility warm ups we do are targeted to help with some of these issues and more classes and extra work will be coming as well.  If you have a specific issue.. talk with a coach, there are lots of things we can give you to work on or let you know if you should be referred to someone for further evaluation.  Remember it’s better to prevent an injury than rehab one :-).

In the meantime here an assignment and it’s perfect in it’s timing with all the snow we have out there!!  When your shoveling those driveways try working both sides of the body when your throwing .. If you normally always shovel to the right..try to do half of it to the left.  Introduce it slowly and remember any pain or pinching stop.  You’d be surprised how quickly the non dominant side initially can get worn out!!

Happy Woding!!!  Get those goals for 2014 listed and handed in– The Open is right around the corner!!

Coach Tina-

 

 

 

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