A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
When it comes to any physical activity like any kind of sports training, exercise or physical work you are only as strong as your tendons and ligaments allow you to be. You are only as strong as your core strength allows you to be. You are only as strong as your flexibility allows you to be.
Think of it. You must have heard this phrase countless number of times and guess what? Yes, it is true! Imagine a very strong chain made of titanium with only one link made of silk.
What happens when you apply forces pulling on each end of this chain?
Yes, you got it right, it will snap of course.
Because that one silky link is neither strong nor flexible enough to withstand those pulling forces.
Now you are really getting the point.
Very similar rule applies to your own body although there is one great difference. There will be a few more planes of movement for your body to cope with. It will be pulling, pushing, swinging, bending, squatting, jumping, twisting and most likely doing few of those moves at the same time.
Even if your muscles are strong you need a little more than that to actually be strong.
You need those tendons and ligaments to be strong and flexible and you need your core to be strong as well so they all working together can give you the support you do need while moving in so many planes while exercising or working physically. So to speak in everyday life.
How do you build that overall strength in each link of your chain (body)?
Multiple strategies are available. One I do believe in is a combination of weight training, calisthenics and stretching, or even better yoga.
Of course all structured in a well periodized training plan.
Actually combination of calisthenics workout with real yoga practice (NOT talking about those “yoga based” gym programs!) is a fantastic way to give you amazing results in overall performance.
Let’s see how this happens.
Calisthenics training engages your core at all times. It also makes multiple groups of your muscles work together which in turn improves greatly intermuscular coordination. This simply means that your muscles become accustomed to working together and become more efficient working as a team. That alone is one of the things your strength depends on.
Yoga, like any other body weight practice, does similar thing for your body plus allows you to increase flexibility to.
Not to mention that mental health will benefit from doing yoga to a great extend allowing you in turn build strength beyond the physical level.
If you follow well-designed (periodized) training plan and include calisthenics routines and yoga practice into it you will grow some serious strength within your body. And your mind.
The plan should be based on principles of periodization to allow you build strength foundation gradually and making it possible for the body to adapt to increments in loads and training intensities. That is achieved through improved: neuromuscular coordination, joints flexibility, tendons and ligaments strength and core strength. The body grows stronger and injury is less likely to occur.
Periodization of training plan also allows both progress and adequate recovery. In terms of any exercise regimen NO progress is possible without adequate recovery.
If you are a self- disciplined person and you know how to work hard you also apply same rule to resting.
I’m not talking about being lazy and finding excuses “not to do it”, I’m talking about understanding that your body needs to recover- needs time to rest, sleep well and it does certainly needs you to feed it well. We will look deeper into a proper nutrition in a separate post, click here if you want to find out what are the basic rules.
One of the myriad benefits of yoga practice is you learn self-discipline.
You learn there is a time to be strong and there is a time to let go and just relax or be softer.
You understand that rest is good for your body. It is essential for you in order to heal and grow stronger.
Keep all that in mind and remember this is your training!
There is only one way you can walk your life. It is your way.