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7 Elements Of Pillar Strength And Functional Movement

7 Elements Of Pillar Strength And Functional Movement

  1. What is pillar strength?
  2. Are you functionally strong?  
  3. Are you interested in learning how to develop pillar strength and function? 
  4. Do you feel that your workouts lack in helping you to perform and to be resistant to injury? 

If you answered yes to any of the questions here  above then you’re in the right place. Today’s article will outline a simple and effective explanation to help you build stable and powerful pillar strength along with the function to withstand most any physical task.

Pillar Strength Essentials

Coach Brandon performing farmer's walks with a pair of dumbbellsSo you might be thinking Brandon what do you mean by pillar strength? In short, your pillar, or core is basically comprised of your trunk. Imagine your body consisting of your arms, legs, and trunk…now thinking about that remove all the limbs and what is left is your pillar, or core. The function of your pillar is to help you to generate power from the center of your body moving outward towards your extremities being your limbs, or segments.  

This is significant because your pillar is supposed to function in order to stabilize and protect your spine during movement.  Because of this it is essential for you to train your body in a way that you can produce force and quality of movement while maintaining stability throughout your pillar. As you know movement is about function and your body is designed to move in varying planes of motion.

Since we know this it’s also a good idea to program and apply strength movements that are involved in helping you to better execute more real life skills and functional movements such as lifts, kicks, knees, sprints, and jumps. Having a strong pillar provides many benefits to all us whether we compete in sports or not. Having a strong pillar that can stabilize your body in unstable environments is essential for life. 

If there is a lack of this strength then the effectiveness of performing certain fight skills, lifts, and other real life movements can be compromised. A lack of functional core strength will bleed your body of power. Additionally if you are deficient in certain foundational movements that enhance pillar stabilization and function then you’re going to suffer in terms of performance and fitness and you could even be more susceptible to injury. 

You must also be capable of performing more dynamic strength movements while also demonstrating pillar stabilization to protect your spine during flexion, extension, and rotation. Additionally it’s also important for you to possess the ability to properly activate your pillar, or core center to create tension to also be capable of anti-pattern movement…or resisting the urge to rotate, or twist. 

After all, if you can’t do this during normal movement then what’s the point? Because of this I’m a big believer in programming exercises that incorporate all 7 foundational human movements. The point here is that you’re only capable of performing 7 foundational movements, or combinations of these movements. Because of this I can assure you that any sound strength and conditioning program will incorporate these movements and variations of them into the programming of a sound training session. 

7 Elements Of Pillar Strength With Movement

When looking at basic human function you must be proficient in all 7 foundational human movements. This is crucial if you’re looking to enhance functional pillar strength for fighting, sport competition, and life. These are…

  1. Squat
  2. Lunge
  3. Push
  4. Pull
  5. Twist
  6. Bend
  7. Gait

As a general rule of thumb I am personally a big believer in executing big core lifts that involve multi-joint movements. Multi-joint movement basically involves what it sounds like. Multi-joint movement involves exercises and movements that incorporate more than one joint which in turn involves more than muscle group. 

This just involves principled programming. With the application of these movements into your strength and conditioning program you’re going be a more optimally functional for any real life demand whether it involves hoisting your couch up a flight of stairs, or being able to perform on the field, or in the ring come game time. 

The Takeaway In Closing

In closing if you’re looking to significantly improve your physical prowess for fighting, sport, and life you’ve got to be proficient in the 7 foundational human movements. Program these regularly into your strength and conditioning plan and progress with variations of these movements in order to optimize your fitness and performance. 

Are you currently utilizing all 7 of these elements of pillar strength? 

Are you more proficient with some movements more than others?

Please post up in the comments here below and share.

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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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