Our bodies adapt to the demands placed upon them. Called training specificity, we will improve the qualities needed to perform an activity/exercise by simply doing that activity/exercise. We adapt and we get better at that activity. However, adaption comes at a price. A great example are young athletes. With early, regular, structured training, many kids are excelling at younger and younger ages. In what Malcolm Gladwell calls the 10,000-hour rule, kids will become expertly skilled by logging in thousands of hours of purposeful practice. By the time they are 18 or 20 years of age, they have hit the 10,000 hours and they are expertly skilled. They go onto excel at the highest level in their chosen sport.
The price of adaptation, though, is becoming more and more evident. Young kids are experiencing repetitive stress injuries at a rate higher than ever. It is now common to hear about an 11-year old with stress fractures and a 14-year old undergoing Tommy John (elbow reconstructive surgery) for elbow ligament tears. More devastating is the fact that these injuries continue to cause issues later in life. The biggest risk factor for a specific injury is a history of that injury.
deadlift), but we must understand the consequences of adapting to those exercises. I prefer my client to be athletic versus simply adapted to a certain exercise. Endurance athletes are a prime example. Crossfit calls these athletes "fringe athletes" because they have developed certain characteristics/movement patterns/strength/energy systems that allow them to perform their given sport efficiently. If they try something different, they don't fair as well. They have also lost certain characteristics because of the specific nature of their training. If a minimum level of fundamental movement patterns/strength/mobility is not maintained then risk of injury goes up. You can have too much of a good thing.
Reach and Rotate exercise is rarely seen (but valuable for most of us).
We need to strive for developing "adaptable" bodies versus "adapted" bodies. This is a point often emphasized by Vern Gambetta. We may want to be a better runner , golfer, or baseball player, but we can't ignore the basics. Fundamental movement patterns need to be developed (or maintained) while adding specific movement patterns on top. Without this foundation of basic movement patterns we put ourselves at risk of becoming "adapted" and the positive and negative consequences that go along with being "adapted" to specific movement patterns.