Gray Cook: Movement and Environment

Gray Cook describes the interplay between movement and environment and stresses why it must be scaled correctly for authentic development.

Excerpted from Gray Cook & Greg Rose Three Principles You Can Apply to Any Movement

Nobody talks about how far their kid can ride with training wheels. Do you know how many people can’t wait to tell me how much they can squat with a heel lift? That’s not a squat. That’s a squat with a competitive advantage. Tell me how fast you can ride a bike downhill. It’s the same difference.

We use a lot of training wheels in corrective exercise but the object of corrective exercise is not to increase your capacity. It’s to improve your competency so I have no problem scaling an activity. If you’re going heavy on squats and you still need a heel lift, maybe you should be doing more deadlifts. Maybe you should be doing more ankle mobility.

Maybe you should figure out if front squats will get you the same thing. But you say “I can’t lift as much.” Unless you’re competing in the squat, that’s not the point of doing squats. It’s to develop a better, more resilient lower body and integrate that with the trunk above it.

Your movement is how you interact with your environment. Your volumes come in once your movement is competent. Let me say that again.

Movement is how you first interact with your environment.

If that is not correct and you can’t draw feedback from that, you’re going to develop in a path that’s not really authentic.

If I’m going to professionally step between you and your environment, if I’m going to take over your rehabilitation, your training, your sport skill, then I’ve got to make myself better than the natural exposure you’re going to get just by practicing on your own.

I’ve got to distinguish myself and say a self-development path is fine. The reason you’re with me is to basically manage risk, be as safe as you can in this endeavor and not have a bunch of unnecessary tangents. I’m going to hold you to an objective measuring stick and let you know when we’re making a difference and when we’re not.


Gray Cook & Greg Rose: Three Principles of Movement

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