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I’ve had a few conversations recently about core strength and its role in keeping your back in a safer position while you’re lifting. And trust me when I say this… we can ALL use a stronger core. Core strength and grip strength help EVERYTHING else.

Now I’m not going to say that all back issues are a result of a weak core, because that’s not true – but knowing to stabilize effectively and having the oblique/ab/back strength to maintain that stable position… you can’t go wrong there, regardless of what the back issue is.

After one of these discussions, it occurred to me that physical training is like a conversation with your body. You’re developing a relationship with your body, and like in any relationship, communication is key. 

If you overdo it on a particular workout and are super sore the next day – that’s a form of communication. 

If your knee hurts after running, or you tweak your back lifting firewood, or your neck is tight after a day spent travelling – those are all data points that mean something about your position, your body’s capacity/strength/endurance/mobility, your level of movement, stress level, hydration, nutrition, and sleep status.

Listening to that feedback and making appropriate adjustments – this is where experience (both your own and that of your coaches) comes into play. We’re all on our own health and fitness journeys, but staying in touch with what your body is telling you is key. The challenging part is figuring out the difference between discomfort (a normal part of training that can be pushed through) and pain (a sign of existing or imminent injury that means you should modify what you are doing). 

On the flip side of that, you can also take note of what seems to be more effective for your body, and what is less effective.

So the question is… how tuned in are you to what your body is telling you? Is your relationship open and communicative, or do you have your fingers in your ears while you’re saying “La la la la… I can’t hear you”?

And unlike many relationships… there is no divorce option. You’ve got your body for the rest of your life, so you have no option but to figure things out!

– Colin