Imagine your boss approaches your department with a new task. Roles get delegated to the strength of all employees to accomplish this task quickly and effectively. Now let us imagine that one of your co-workers is unreliable, lazy, gets off task easily, takes long breaks, shows up late, leaves early, calls out sick, etc. The boss is still expecting this job to get done, so you and other co-workers start to pick up the slack. The boss only sees that the task was done and was completed on time.
Now a new job is brought to the department, and because the boss was unaware of the lack of support from this one employee, the cycle continues. This will continue to happen over and over until the boss is made aware of the situation or when the rest of the employees start under-performing from being overworked and burnt out. We now have a big problem because the next job will either be done without focus or not done at all.
This is precisely what happens when our bodies compensate for weakness or inhibition. Certain muscle groups get recruited to pick up the slack for muscles not doing their job. Overtime, this leads to the overworked muscle groups fatiguing quickly because they structurally were not built for the task or they become unresponsive from the inability to recover adequately between tasks. Eventually, this will lead to pain, tension, or injury because your body will not be able to meet the demands of a certain movement.
Why is this so important?
Well let’s go back to the boss/employee analogy. If we imagine these smaller tasks led to a bigger goal, and you have employees quitting half way through, your big goal is not met. For you this might be a strength goal, weight goal, injury prevention, etc., and will most likely be hitting plateaus asking yourself why. The common approach is to work harder and push through it, which is the exact opposite of what needs to be done to continue progressing. Sometimes the best way to promote change is to apply the brakes, not slam on the gas.
Key Points to address:
Ensure movement patterns are trained appropriately before adding load or speed
Identify weakness or imbalances and build your foundation
Do not perform movements under compensation
If you must sacrifice form, find a modification and address your limitation.
Work smarter, not harder
Where do you want to be in your 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s?