Sunday, April 25, 2010

The 25-Foot Free Throw and What's Missing In Fitness

The free throw line is 15 feet away from the rim. The NBA three-point line is 23 feet and nine inches away. So why would I practice shooting a 25-foot free throw?

Because it highlights any deficiency in body awareness, movement efficiency, coordination, or collectively what we call our technique. It would be expected that my technique would change in order to shoot the ball from a further distance. But, that is exactly the problem. I don't want to change my technique ever. I want it to be fluid, consistent, and unconscious. I shouldn't change my technique ever. Every shot, whether it is from three feet or 20 feet should look the same.

How does this relate to fitness training?

To often, our focus is external and not internal. We focus on moving the weight or not falling off the treadmill without considering how we are doing it. Analogous to the free throw, our technique and our mechanics should always look the same and not be dependent on the external environment. Though, this rarely happens.

Body awareness is the missing element in modern fitness training. Our focus shifts to the object and whatever output is desired, ignoring how our bodies move. We should always focus on how our body is moving. Ideally, we will move as efficient as possible. Adding an implement, such as a barbell or a kettlebell, will not change our technique if we are mindful of what we are doing. In fact, every rep, every stride, should appear fluid and effortless. If not, you have some work to do.

No comments: