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Functional Strength and Fitness

What I’m reading lately:

  • The Naked Warrior by Pavel Tsatsouline.
  • Pavel Tsatsouline is well known in the strength and fitness world as ‘The Father of the Kettlebell’ and for essentially being responsible for bringing the kettlebell to North America.

What I’m learning/reinforcing:

  • A person should be able to keep themselves physically strong and fit without access to a gym. This is possible through variations of simple bodyweight-only exercises.
  • A person should consider looking at their exercise regime not necessarily as a ‘workout’ that requires a person to sweat, grunt, and beat themselves up, but rather as ‘A practice of movement’ in which a person focuses on good technique, bodily control, and coordination while gradually improving their skills.
  • The strongest people in the world have mastered the ability to create muscular tension throughout their bodies and this is a skill that anyone can learn and master.
  • Grip strength is incredibly important to develop and is a limiting factor for upper body strength. In other words, the stronger your grip is, the stronger your capacity for work is. Grip strength also has a huge inverse correlation with all-cause mortality (the stronger your grip is, the less likely you are to die from ANY cause)

How this relates to spinal health, chiropractic and overall health:

  • In Pavel’s opinion (and in mine), strength is the cornerstone of physical fitness. In other words, you need to have it before you can work safely on other aspects of fitness.
  • Improving your strength doesn’t necessarily require a huge time commitment- just a commitment to learning how to do it.
  • Many of my patient’s issues are related to a lack of strength, particularly in the spine. Conversely, the people with the healthiest, most resilient spines are those that are committed to working on and maintaining their strength in some way. As a result they tend to need less of my help less often. This is why I devote at least 3 days a week to working on maintaining and building my own strength through weight training and bodyweight exercises.





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