Over the past few weeks, since visiting Philosofit, I have become more aware of how my body operates. Like most people, we run around everyday, going about our daily business, rarely (or never) stopping to think think “am I doing this movement correctly, am I using the right muscles to lift this or push that?” Functional movement is the actions we take to function, to go about our daily lives, regardless of what that entails. I’ve learned the importance of performing functional movement properly. And, I’ve learned the consequences when we don’t…
Philosofit (Lumber Lane, East Hampton) was founded by Ari Weller, Movement Specialist and distinguished private fitness trainer. The goal at Philosofit is to help everyone, from professional athletes, to aging adults, wounded vets, and fitness enthusiasts such as myself. The premise of Philosfit is building a solid movement base for any kind of person, any kind of training, any kind of injury. It doesn’t matter how fit or good we look, if movement causes pain, we must re-evaluate. That’s what Philosfit is for. “We know more now than we ever have about the human body. This is a good place to be,” Ari reassured me. And then he showed me how this is true by running me through the Philosofit experience, breaking down how parts of the body work, and how parts of my own body are experiencing movement, right or wrong.
Since Ari wants to be more than prepared for anyone that walks in the door, their Movement Specialists must be trained in NKT (Neurokinetic Therapy) and one of the following additional specialties; Functional Strength Training, Pilates, Gyrotonic, Ki-Hara Resistance Stretching, and Heart Rate Variability. The facility is full of different fitness tools to truly be able to aid any client and any issue.
Each and every relationship at Philosofit begins with a Functional Movement Screening; (FMS) a 7-task performance test to identify weakness, inbalance, and pain associated with movement. Sadly, I scored pretty low on the FMS…but the results showed exactly where I needed to focus. Once Ari had identified my areas of weakness, competency, and most important, pain, he showed me some exercises to do before and after working out everyday to release the body parts that are tightened from compensating and to fire up the parts that are used to taking a backseat.
I used to think that our bodies are just supposed to know what to use, when, and how. Well, that’s not necessarily the case and repetitive misuse can cause long-term damage, intense pain, and ongoing frustration. I kind of thought I wasn’t dealt the best cards in terms of running, to blame it on “bad knees.” Again, not necessarily the case either. When I asked Ari if the issues he sees daily, such as my “bad knees,” is due to muscles, bones, genetics, or what, he noted that it doesn’t really matter. The method focuses on relieving pain by correcting movement, regardless of where the issue stems from, the solution has proven successful for a large spectrum of incompetence.
It’s about re-training the brain and the body, securing the correct movement basics, and then pushing the body. Philosofit’s technique always comes down to quality over quantity. Ari noted that it takes 3,000 correct movements for the brain to store the action, but it takes only 300 incorrect movements to relearn bad habits. Take running, or even walking, for example. It takes only 300 dysfunctional steps to secure bad habits; however, it takes 3,000 consistent, correct movements before the brain acknowledges and stores the functional movement.
It takes a lot of dedication to relearn the basics, but it can make a colossal difference. I preach the importance of a strong mind-body connection. I know if I’m going to preach it, I’ve got to practice it. After visiting Philosofit for an initial screening, I really had to evaluate myself (check myself before I wreck myself, or at least, make some changes so I don’t wreck myself even more.) I had to learn to walk before I could run, and consciously remember to take each stride one at a time, or else I’d revert to old habits and compensations. In doing so, I’ve become more aware of my own mobility patterns, strengths, and weaknesses.
Why are my hamstrings so tight? Why is my core so weak (I do abs!) Why do I feel like I’m not gaining the benefits of lunges? Ari was able to explain where I’m lacking and more importantly, why. Now I know that other muscles were compensating for the muscles that should have been working, the muscles that allow my hamstrings to stretch, my core to activate, and lunges to be effective. I’m starting to notice that when I’m struggling at the gym or experiencing pain in day to day tasks, I back it up and make sure I’ve got the basics down.
It takes time and dedication, but with the help of Philosofit, we can identify the problem, rebuild a solid base of movement, and then work towards where we want to be. Whether that’s better posture and less back pain, gaining muscle, increasing our race time, or perfecting down dog, it’s always going to resort to quality over quantity.
One Healthy Breakdown: Maybe you can teach an old (or older) dog new tricks.