Regress To Make Progress

Sometimes you have to take a step back to take two forward.

When you think of the gym what comes to mind? For many people, the gym signifies progress. Everyone who trains is chasing progress. But what if I told you one of the simplest ways to make significant strength gains is to regress your movement? Adding regressions to your workouts will allow you to clean up your technique and build positional strength along the way.

WHY SHOULD I USE REGRESSIONS?

First off, it is important to define what a regression consists of. A regression can be defined as a return to a former or less developed state. How does this definition relate to the human body? Well as you perform a movement, you will find there are portions within your range of motion that are strong and portions that have less than adequate ability.

Why would we focus on training a less developed state? Well, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If we want to make real progress in the gym, we must make it a point to focus on the area we are least adept at. It is the aspect within your movement that is holding you back from success. Find it and simplify down. 

THE STICKING POINT

By breaking down a movement into more manageable parts, we can improve on the areas that most need our attention. THese areas are often known as “sticking points” within your movement. If you come across a portion of your movement that requires more effort, you have found your sticking point. Spend a little more time than usual training that portion of the movement and watch the gains roll in.

SOLIDIFY THE FOUNDATION

Not only do regressions help you improve on areas of weakness, but regressions also help solidify areas of strength. You can use regressed movements to maintain the solid foundation of strength and mobility you built over time. Continue to refine your technique and make progress long after those initial gains have past. You are never too seasoned to get back to the basics. Master your foundation and return to it often.

KEY EXAMPLES

Complex Movement: Bag Slinger Lunge Flow

If we wanted to improve our technique on this flow, how could we take this complex movement and break it down into smaller sections? By breaking the movement down into smaller more manageable parts, we can refine our technique and move more efficiently when we put the flow back together.

Staggered Bag Slinger

By removing the lunge out of the equation, we limit the thought required to complete the movement properly. This allows the individual to focus on getting proper rotation of the mace across their body, as well as achieving full hip extension in the upright position.

Half Kneeling Uppercut Press

If we were having trouble with the uppercut press portion, we could whittle down to one the movement to allow for more attention to be placed on improving that aspect of the flow. The Half Kneeling Uppercut Press allows the individual to get closer to the ground, taking gravity out of the equation, while still allowing them to maintain a split stance alignment throughout the movement. This regression simplifies the movement and allows the individual to put their focus towards improving the portion of movement most in need of refinement.

IN CLOSING

Build a strong resilient body by regressing your movement. Regressed movements yield great benefits by bringing attention to the area that needs the most work and limiting the demand elsewhere. While progression in the gym is always the goal, sometimes you need to take a step back to take two steps forward.