Updated: Mar 25
THINK ADAPTION for movement ability and strength gains.
Have you heard the “buzz” word ADAPTION from fitness professionals or strength coaches before?
In the fitness and strength training world, this word gets used a lot, but the mainstream population is usually not used to hearing this word in the context of working out, strength training, exercising, etc.
It is a great word. It fits. It gives a description and understanding of the process. I looked in the Thesaurus for alternative words that have a similar meaning to ADAPTION. I found accommodation, modification, adjustment, alteration, conversion, revision, re-shaping, and re-modelling.
As fitness and strength coaches, we are not “making you stronger”, we are setting the stage for your body to make adaptions. The human body, like every other living organism, is designed with the drive and the ability to survive. To survive we have to continually adapt to our ever-changing environment and human condition of the time (like our job or our sport).
Our bodies are amazing when it comes to being able to change, accommodate, modify, adjust, make alterations, conversions, revisions, re-shape, re-model; ADAPT.
John Tooby, anthropologist and a founder of the field of Evolutionary Psychology said “Individuals are best thought of as adaptation-executers rather than as fitness-maximizers.”
That’s what we are going to do, execute or orchestrate adaptions. To reach your optimal or maximal mobility and fitness, you will become an ”adaption-executer”. You will stimulate or coax adaptions to happen in your joints and tissues rather than “force” your body to move better.
Adaption is something your body will do willingly and surprisingly quickly if you set the stage for that adaptation to happen. No matter what age you are, your body has the potential and will to adapt.
When it comes to adapting for optimal mobility there are several types of body tissues that play a major role:
MUSCLE (skeletal muscle) usually comes to mind first. Muscles are bundles of fibrous tissues that have the ability to contract to move the body or stabilize body postures. They are force producers. Muscles contract and relax; shorten and lengthen to produce movement. Muscles are very vascular (lots of blood flow), receiving nutrients through the body’s circulatory system. Strong healthy muscles correlate to strong mobility.
CONNECTIVE TISSUE also plays a significant role in mobility. Tendons connect muscle to bone and ligaments connect bone to bone. They both play a role in absorbing and controlling forces produced by muscles. Unfortunately, the health and strength of connective tissues is not priorized in most exercise programs. Strong healthy tendons and ligaments correlate with strong mobility.
Another type of connective tissue that has a significant effect on mobility is FASCIA. Fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spider’s web or a knitted sweater. It is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone nerve, artery and vein, as well as all of our internal organs. Visualize your body parts as contained in a multidimensional web of fascia.
It is actually the one structure that exists from head to toe without interruption. Trauma, inflammatory responses and/or surgical procedures create fascial (myofascial) restrictions, as does not moving or moving in limited ranges of motion. Dehydration of the fascia also causes restrictions.
Fascia has “memory” and gets deposited based on movement patterns, giving support to the structures involved in that movement pattern. However, fascia can be restrictive rather than supportive if the body tries to change movement patterns, often causing pain or areas of tension.
If the fascial web gets warped, shortened, or twisted, the bones, muscles, and organs contained in that web will be affected. People with pain and/or limitations in mobility may be having “fixable” fascial problems that often go misdiagnosed and untreated.
Specially designed mobility fitness programming will promote the healthy adaption of these body tissues to enable strong free movement.
To learn more about this please reach out!
Thank you for reading,