Breaking Through the Plateau, 1

Have you hit a wall in your training? Have you become bored with your workout? Are you no longer seeing results? This “Breaking Through the Plateau” series will explore common reasons for not attaining and maximizing your fitness potential.

The first topic we will cover is not what you are (or are not) doing, but what you can’t do.

It is perfectly normal to have limitations. All of us have developed physical restrictions over our lifetime which hinder our progress. Some are obvious, and others you don't know exist. These physical limitations include:

  • Muscle imbalances
  • Movement dysfunctions
  • Weak muscles
  • Tight muscles

Causes of these restrictions can include:

  • Repetitive exercises
  • Lack of certain exercises
  • Improper progressions of exercises
  • Injuries
  • Improper form and technique

Over time, these restrictions will cause our body to operate inefficiently and ineffectively. This limits our potential for improvement because our muscles are not able to produce the same amount of work, nor will they be able to operate together in synergy because one muscle's deficiency will cause an entire muscle group of muscles to be deficient. At the very least, your potential will not be met. At the very worse, injury will occur. The good news is, there are many ways in which we can adapt and improve upon these constraints.

Ways to overcome your restrictions

  • Flexibility
    Most of us already know where we are tight. This is a good place to start. Adding flexibility and mobility exercises into your workout for those most obvious areas of tightness will certainly help.
  • Corrective Strengthening
    Just as we know where we are tight, we also know where we are weak. Adding targeted exercises that help strengthen weak areas will help.
  • Seek Out a Professional
    The most obvious tight and weak muscles are generally just the tip of the iceberg. Many movement dysfunctions are below the surface and usually only trained professionals can identify them. One of Mettler's certified personal trainers can help pinpoint those areas through a functional assessment. Following an assessment is the development of specific, corrective exercise strategies for those needs. As you work through your corrective exercises, your dysfunctions will begin to disappear and you will find you are able to exercise at a whole different level—with less pain and effort!

Read Part 2 to learn about the next hinderance to you breaking the plateau—lack of knowledge.

Have a question? Ask an expert.

Also in this series:
Breaking Through the Plateau, 2
Breaking Through the Plateau, 3