Or as I like to call it, Activation Station (it has a better ring to it, right?)
If you tell me to hold a plank (top of a push-up) for as long as I can, I will start with ridiculously solid form (seriously, you know I’m anal about form). As the muscles fatigue from my oh-so-serious form, my ego kicks in. If I’m not careful and completely honest with myself, before I know it my shoulder blades are hugging my ears and I’m using my body in all the ways I shouldn’t be. Sound familiar?
Our ability to maintain intense awareness, alignment, and activation can only last so long. Once it goes, watch out for the ego that will want to step in. It’s up to US to know when this moment is. And that’s not easy to do! Your ego is one tough Mother Hubbard.
I have a confession: I push myself physically to what should be my well-aligned edge, and then BOOM, the ego slams down the door to declare “I’m taking over, there’s no quitting in my house”. BOOM. I once believed that the sacrifice of quality was okay, that it was more important to be the last one standing. Yet apparently we forgot to discuss the “manner” in which one is standing. Meaning: what are we actually activating and / or using when we’re holding a pose? What is the quality of our alignment? Do we have the insight or awareness to acknowledge what our form should be? These are tough Mother Hubbard questions.
Let’s talk biomechanics. Once we bring awareness to the movement and placement of our body (three cheers for proprioception), we can better activate these areas to encourage further muscular balance, improving performance.
While there is certainly a time and place to yodel for my ego and push through the pain, I’ve learned that this is not a healthy habit for daily use.
Questions of the Day:
1) Where in my life do I let my ego take over? How does it influence me?
2) When I am going through a movement or exercise, do I know what the muscle focus is, as well as the role of the rest of my body?
Hint: The whole body is involved in everything that we do. Being that you own your body, it’s your responsibility to figure out how.
3) What muscle areas SHOULD I be activating right now and what muscle areas am I ACTUALLY activating right now?
4) What are my “tendencies”? Where am I compensating?
Don’t know? Ask!