“First move well, then move often,” is a quote that rings true for us each day here at DeWitt Physical Therapy and CrossFit UP (thanks Grey Cook!). In both the therapy and training worlds, as movement has taken center stage over isolated testing and strengthening, prioritizing movement has been the key to unlocking function and setting the foundation for higher level performance following this construct. What we do in PT and in our warm ups falls under the skill acquisition phase, or the “move well” portion, and the “move often” includes the trial workouts in PT or the regular workouts in our CrossFit UP programming.
Think about it this way: if we want to move better and maintain or improve upon it, we have to do it regularly. This is true for any skill we want to see progress in, from learning a new language to perfecting our double-unders. If we gain mobility in the anterior hips then you just go back to sitting all day, do you think it is going to stick? If I un-glue my shoulders to achieve a proper overhead lockout then don’t utilize it will I keep it? Of course not! Fully realized and actualized mobility, strength and performance requires identifying limitations, focused time on correctives and dedicated, regular training to maintain and progress towards the desired or optimal level. The details matter, which is where good PT/coaching comes in.
So now that we’ve determined that yes, you should move well, then move often, I’m going to ask that we start to move with purpose. A friend of mine who happens to be an amazing coach and athlete says “every rep is a change to get better.” This resonated with me, and as we’re always trying to be more efficient with our time and effort towards anything we do in life, why not make every rep count in our training or warmup? Let’s think about this aside from “exercise,” and more about what each movement is doing for us. Am I learning something? Am I re-enforcing a proper movement pattern? Am I maintaining tissue length or segmental stability? Am I improving? Am I challenged? If we’re moving with purpose, then the answer to all of these questions should be “yes.” And I do mean EACH question is applicable to ANY exercise or movement corrections as there is a lot going on beneath the surface of a proper corrective.
Whatever our fitness quest may be, from “bigger, stronger, faster” to “look better on the beach,” let’s make this our mantra: “Move well, move often, and move with purpose.”