I was training for my next triathlon when it happened. I fell off my bike, breaking my collar bone and tearing up my knee. Healing a bruised ego was manageable, but building my fitness again felt overwhelming. The road to recovery meant I had to sort through the mountain of physical pain, but I was determined.
I couldn’t move my right arm, and walking was almost impossible from the injury sustained to my knee: a torn MCL & ACL ligaments and torn meniscus. Every day, I made it my job to heal my pain through movement and exercise. Three months later I was pain free.
What I didn’t understand at the time is that just because pain goes away does not mean you are healthy. There are steps to building fitness, and if you skip steps you risk getting injured and sent back to the beginning process. I had gotten stuck in a cycle of injury from my racing, and I wanted to end that cycle.
It wasn’t until I met a CrossFit coach (ok, who is now my husband… which makes me sound biased but maybe I’m just a lucky gal…) that I learned these steps in building a healthy and strong body. And I’m going to share those secrets with you right now.
THE FITNESS PYRAMID: Elements of Fitness
Building your level of health and fitness is the road to being pain free. Fitness has 4 main building blocks, which I call “The Fitness Pyramid.” These elements will lead to well-rounded fitness that bullet-proof your body from injury while allowing you to realize your fitness potential.
- The foundation of this fitness pyramid is Mobility. You must be able to passively move your joints through their full ROM.
- The 2nd step is Stability: that is the active ability to CONTROL your joints through their full range of motion.
- The 3rd step is Strength Training. Each stage builds upon the last, and in this stage your body is now ready to resist movements with strength training. Generally, you can build full-body strength by pushing and pulling with the upper and lower body.
- The peak of this pyramid is Skill. This is the ability to actualize your fitness potential, by using your athleticism to play sports or some other skilled movement.
HOW TO BREAK THE CYCLE OF PAIN
The problem arises when people aim to build their fitness through only Skill work. How many people do you know that play sports as their workout? But then end up in a cycle of injury? A sprained ankle while playing basketball can seem like just “part of the game” until you realize that it happens every season and maybe you’ve been doing this fitness thing wrong.
Currently, using strength training is becoming increasingly more popular with Doctors in America. Deadlifts (with proper form) are being prescribed to patients with low back pain. Pull-ups can fix upper back pain AND poor posture.
Remember that to see results, it takes Time and Consistency.