General Versus Specific Conditioning

Forums Library Knowledge Base General Versus Specific Conditioning

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    Admin Mediterra
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    Our goal is to be able to do our athletic activity in such a way that our bodies get safer and stronger and more capable over the years, rather than break down with stress and injury.

    All specialized sports tap into some or all of the fundamental human movements. We need to be capable and strong in these movements in order to build off of them into greater athletic performance.

    It is a common mistake for new participants to a sport, especially those without a previous build up of athletic fitness in another sport, to rush into specialized training for this new sport before their bodies have a good foundation for general movement patterns which all sports tap into. Without this general strength and conditioning in place new athletes greatly increase their risk of injury.

    General conditioning for the general range of human movements needs to come before specialized conditioning for the specific range of movements involved in the sport.

    To engage in the range of normal daily activities, the human body needs to be mobile, strong and stable for these fundamental movements:

    • Pulling – pulling something toward your body (or pulling the body toward something)
    • Pushing – pushing something away from the body (or your body away from something)
    • Squatting – upright, as if to pick up a heavy object from the ground
    • Lunging – a long step forward and then lowering down
    • Hinging – bending over to touch the ground
    • Rotating – holding an object and turning the torso
    • Anti-rotation – moving the hips or shoulders while torso resists turning
    • Walking

    A thorough general conditioning program is going to touch each of these movements, identify weak spots and help you even out and strengthen these areas. 

    A targeted general conditioning program may choose just some of these to work on, because they are foused on movements or parts of the body that are related to the movements your specific sport activities will use, or that will be stressed more than usual by these specific activities.

    In each of these movements you want to be:

    mobile – all active body parts able to move freely through the full range of the movement

    stable – holding balance while moving, with certain parts of the body able to hold their supporting position while going through the motion, especially under loading

    strong – able to handle the full weight of your own body, at least, and to handle more loading than that, which life and sport often require

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