I am an avid follower of other professionals in the fitness industry. Many of them share so much truly valuable information, especially for their peers that can interpret what they are talking about and then utilise it effectively. Through my time spent looking at what others are doing, reading and researching and testing and refining I have developed 3 exercises to create physical longevity.
As I have got older this physical longevity has become much more of a concern for me. When I see people with sore knees, backs, necks, shoulders and tight hips and very commonly Piriformis syndrome these are signs that they are either not doing enough or any “prehab” in the gym or, well, not even going to the gym.
How many times I have posted about the lack of understanding of what we need to be doing in gyms I couldn’t tell you. I have posted more than 50 times to date and I am guessing more than half would reference this issue. Folks there are things we must go to a gym and do or at least use some type of resistance at home or in a park to develop and maintain certain human function – it’s a physical reality.
In gyms the biggest challenge is people “know how to use the machines” so figure they, “know what they are doing” which I can assure you 95 times out of hundred they do not. This includes the big buff strong guys and girls that strut around looking like they’ve just walked off the set of Muscle Mania all the way to the guy that follows the preprogrammed fat-burn treadmill setting, thinking he’s burning fat – hint: he probably is not.
But again I have posted numerously about these issues.
The strutting around, posturing into mirrors, grunting and hissing while lifting stuff, the dropping of weights at the end of a set, the yelling (“MAN I AM GOOOOOOD” – I have heard this), all of it is “look at me” even though the guilty parties probably don’t realise this.
Gyms are where you work on your body in a way that will benefit you physiologically which if done correctly can lead to long term health gains. Done incorrectly it can lead to long term health problems! A gym is a place of body repair, maintenance, strengthening and conditioning that some people misinterpret to being somewhere to tick a box on their daily schedule, or to do stuff they think will aid them in some way physically but simply cannot accurately define what this is. Or it could even be a place to show off and find a girlfriend/boyfriend.
In car parlance the gym is the workshop not the showroom!
For me personally I want to play tennis, run occasionally with friends, play golf now and then and especially play and referee touch football. I also want to sleep comfortably, wake up ready for the new day and have no aches and pains. And I certainly do not want to be making regular visits to the doctor with this complaint or that.
My mindset to the gym is a little different to many I guess. The gym is not the end game. The gym is where I go to create resilience and build strength, power, speed and agility so that the frequency and enjoyment of my sports is maximised. I also want to maximise the quality of my lifestyle something many simply take for granted – until it’s too late.
Ok so here are my personal problem areas and the weekly things I do to not only take care of them but to rebuild and bulletproof them. I have 2 knees that I have torn menisci in 3 times, I have a long standing (lazy) Piriformis which is a deep lying muscle within the gluteal group and finally I injured my back in my 20’s and have (very) long term bruising/scar tissue in my quadratus lumborum (QL).
All of these contribute variously to low back pain (much less frequent in the past 5 years since I truly began educating myself), groin tightness (almost gone) and knee pain which I am glad to say is no longer present at any time.
Prior to using the following 3 exercises I had pain reasonably frequently post-training, especially heavy deadlifts and squats and also when sitting for long periods especially on flights.
So there you have the 3 exercises I use for physical longevity. I practice these weekly and do 10-15 reps at weights of about 25% of my bodyweight. Starting out just use a small weight and build up and I recommend you use a dumbbell for all 3 exercises.