During the NASM Optima 2017 conference, I attended a workout and lesson one morning presented and ran by the creator of the low impact and high intensity bodyweight workout known as ZUU. The creator and founder based the moves on animal style movements and were done pretty much on all fours. Nathan, the creator of ZUU, challenged each of us fitness professionals with his workout.
He told us that he was a traditional weight lifter in the past and that traditional weight lifting steals your range of motion. This is because your muscles become more tight from lifting heavy weights in limited ranges of motion, and not using your joints and muscles to their full potential. Nathan said from when we learn to crawl we are taught that it is a build up to being able to walk, and we forget the movements we first learned; thinking they are “childish” or “foolish” for us to do. But through ZUU, he has taught many that incorporating movement like this is essential for our own strength, power, and mindset. Which is why I am delving more into ZUU and going through it’s certification course and also reclaiming movement that I have lost.
Example of Zuu
When I was Younger
When I was in my late teens and early twenties, before I left my home island, I dabbled in Parkour. For those that do not know Parkour is the act of moving from points “a” to “b” using the obstacles in your path to the most efficiency.
Example of Parkour
This is the style I am most used to, because of the flow of movement.
Granted there are more skilled examples out there that incorporate more gymnastic feats, and flips.
I fell in love with parkour, because it reminded me of when I was a kid, and how my granny would force me to get out of the house, and I’d explore the forest beside our house, climbing trees, jumping from rock to rock, over streams. Granted I did not do it with as much effort, because I was a heftier child. But that feeling of being free as a child was regained to me when I dabbled in Parkour.
Side note, around that same time I also dabbled in Capoeira; Brazilian martial arts, for its movement, and it was new and I wanted to try it out.
Example of Capoeira
As you can see there is are similar qualities to each of these styles. All of which I LOVE
Freedom Through Mobility
I have always loved movement. And with going into more traditional weight lifting myself, I have found myself lacking a range of motion. This is in part due to me injuring myself after a Spartan Race while in Venice beach. This injury prevented me and crippled my mind in a way where I told myself “I can’t do certain things because of re-injury” and “I can’t risk doing something because it will directly affect my livelihood.”
With learning the basics of ZUU, my range of motion in my injured shoulder has surpassed what I was doing in Physical Therapy, and my strength in my shoulders is returning; Which for anyone regaining what you lost is an amazing feeling. What is something you have lost? How would you feel once you regain it? That is how I feel.
So, like I mentioned in a previous blog post titled 3 Tips to Getting Started – JUST MOVE. Take your time learning and ease yourself into movements that were once second nature. Reclaim that range of motion you lost from weight lifting, sitting all day, and reclaim that mindset of fun and freedom that comes when you are able to move.
Who can name the original speaker of the quote that the quote I have at the top is a take on it?