Nervous System Training

Fitness Friday – nervous system training.

So much of fitness is aesthetics based – fixated on how one looks or competitive based – how much you can lift or run. But what’s often forgotten is that exercise is not only training muscle (in strength, endurance, flexibility) but the nervous system as well – muscle recruitment patterns, posture, balance, proprioception, kinesthetic awareness, etc.

This is important for a number of reasons.

1) The nervous system is incredibly plastic and a quick learner – we can change impairments like faulty balance fairly quickly

2) Form matters. Once you start failing because of fatigue, stop. Otherwise you risk training your brain and body in faulty postures/form.

3) Don’t forget to change up your workout -base of support (ex single leg stance), support surface (ex Bosu), grip type and width, etc – variability to challenge the nervous system

4) Transfer of training – try to mimic the activity you’re training for in your workouts for maximal carryover and better time management. If your goal is ninja gym monkey bar play – train in pull ups (closed kinetic chain) over lat pull down machines (open kinetic chain plus minimal core challenge)

5) Injury – did you know that when one limb is injured (in a cast for example), exercising the uninvolved side can provide strength carry over to the injured side?  (of course, get clearance from your medical provider first). Ex:

6) The quality of fitness professional matters (PT and CHEK practitioner here).

What motivates your fitness journey? How do you train your nervous system or account for it in your workouts?

Aesthetics and competition don’t motivate me, personally #allbodiesaregoodbodies But how I feel in my body does, and I love playing with movement – instability boards, agility movement, different grips, stances – it is all a version of creativity to me. Working out first thing in the morning keeps me motivated: It helps set the tone of my day – relaxed but invigorated, makes me feel accomplished, and manages my stress.

Wishing you all time and access for #movementmedicine

#fitnessfriday #physicaltherapy #functionalexercise



Written by Dr. Allison Mitch, copyright protected, please cite accordingly.  Originally posted to social media on 11/6/20.    Image is from Pexels.  Interested in working with me?, email me at

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