The Six Pillars of an unbreakable body are six areas of the body that, when built to have enough mobility, control, and strength, for what that person needs, they become stronger, more durable, more capable, more resistant to aches and pains, and are more adaptable.
I developed this framework as I worked with clients in my gym each day in part as a way to help take the complex conversation of body stuff and break it down into an easy-to-remember framework that the person can use to know how to train themselves.
And that is indeed what happened as more of my clients used the Six Pillars framework… For instance, my triathletes, who move through seasons where they’re running more, or swimming more, or biking more, started to understand how to adapt their strength, mobility, and recovery, work based on which of their Pillars was seeing a lot of action versus which ones were not.
They also started to recognize that nothing in the body is isolated – that having strong feet can influence the strength of your glutes and vice versa, that having a strong torso can influence how good (or not) your posture muscles feel and function, and so on.
Here’s a brief overview of the Six Pillars of an unbreakable body. (And I do mean brief, each of these areas of the body deserve so much more discussion and understanding, but the point of this blog is simply to give a basic overview of some of the influence each Pillar has.) For more detailed discussion on each Pillar, please visit my Youtube page HERE to watch my 30-60 minute talks on the Six Pillars.
When your feet aren’t strong enough for what you need, that means the muscles of your feet are weak, which means other tissues will have to compensate to help do the jobs the foot muscles should be doing.
When your feet are strong enough for what you need, you’ll be less likely to develop aches from overuse or misuse. You’ll be more likely to be efficient and powerful with everything you’re doing while on your feet – standing, walking, running, pushing, pulling, bracing, and sports-ing.
When your hips aren’t mobile enough for what you need, you won’t be able to flex, extend, or rotate your femur in the hip joint easily, and you’ll need to compensate elsewhere – the low back is a common compensator for missing hip motion – in your body to achieve that.
When your hips are mobile enough for what you need, you’ll have many degrees of freedom in how you move, which grants you more ranges of motion you can move through safely, easily, and effectively.
When your glutes aren’t strong enough for what you need, you’ll impact not only your strength for fitness pursuits, but even the strength for seemingly simple things like maintaining a stable pelvis when you walk.
When your glutes are strong enough for what you need, you can generate more power and keep more stacked and aligned positioning of your pelvis, torso, and legs.
When your torso isn’t strong enough for what you need, not only may your breathing, pelvic floor control, and ability to brace (as when lifting an object) be compromised, but your strength in your limbs can be affected too.
When your torso is strong enough for what you need, you can navigate a variety of body positions with ease, generate power for times when you’ll need to give effort, and have adequate endurance for sustaining certain positions for an extended period of time.
When your shoulders aren’t mobile enough for what you need, you won’t be able to flex, extend, or rotate your humerus in the glenohumeral joint easily, and you’ll need to compensate elsewhere (the pec, upper trap, and neck muscles are just a few of the common compensators for missing shoulder motion )in your body to achieve that.
When your shoulders are mobile enough for what you need, you’ll have many degrees of freedom in how you move, which grants you more ranges of motion you can move through safely, easily, and effectively.
When your posture muscles aren’t strong enough for what you need, you’ll have a more difficult time maintaining a stacked and aligned stance from your top of your head down to your feet, and you may have a very limited range of positions you can move your body through with ease.
When your posture muscles are strong enough for what you need, everything from how good of a breath you can take to how at ease your neck muscles feel, to how your feet feel with your bodyweight stacked over the center of your mass instead of forward or backward from center, may be positively impacted.