7 steps to get back your athletic fluidity – and never lose it again

Adam FriedmanGeneral

Adam Friedman Advanced Athletics Athlete For Life Ice Skater Exercise

In sports, the greatest athletes make the most incredible feats look effortless.

It’s the gracefulness of their actions and reactions that appears as a free-flow of energy.

That is fluidity.

It’s what all athletes should strive for. And that means you.

If instead of fluid, you’ve been feeling stiffer, slower, and “softer,” both in the gym and come playtime…read on.

To get your fluidity back, and keep it, you’re going to adopt the proven approach that I use for myself and in my programs.

It’s based on a daily and weekly structure of prehab (prevention). And it consists of practicing exercises that promote a free-flow of energy in your body.

Follow these 7-steps back to fluidity:

  1.  Diaphragmatic Breathing. Improper breathing mechanics can create unnecessary stiffness in the body that limits your performance. Practicing controlled diaphragmatic breathing, employing a diverse set of methods, has immense benefits. I recommend The Breathing Class, Box Breathing, Buteyko, and the Wim Hof styles.
  2. Self-Myofascial Release. Applying this self-massage technique can help to relax the soft-tissue in your body, wherever it’s needed. Your muscles and fascia (connective tissue) often lose their effectiveness when you overuse them. This overuse can be due to repetitive movement, compensation, an over-excited nervous system, or all of the above.
  3. Mindful Posture. It’s where your movement begins and ends. Correct posture allows energy to flow. Whereas incorrect posture is a trap for energy in your body. Avoiding sitting for lengthy periods and maintaining awareness of your posture are critical to success.
  4. Joint-by-Joint Mobility. Seek to correct any restricted joints with isolated mobility exercises. This is with the aim to gain strength and control over the optimal range of motion of your joints. As a result, your joints will function as they should to promote energy flow in larger movement patterns.
  5. Refine Fundamental Movement. This consists of the squat, hip-hinge (i.e. deadlift), lunge, pushing, and pulling. Mastery of these movement patterns is the precursor to building strength.
  6. Build Core Strength. Being able to stabilize your spine and pelvis at the right times and in a variety of positions is the goal. This provides the foundation to promoting fluidity.
  7. Play Often. Use it or lose it. Get out there and perform activities that you love because they make you feel athletic. Use those opportunities to practice moving with fluidity.

Each of these steps is interdependent and together will help you reconnect to your body.

Then, you can move with a combination of mobility, strength, power, speed, and quickness. It’s action and reaction at its peak.

The outcome is fluidity. And that is the hallmark of athleticism.

Stay fluid,

Adam