by Matt Wiggins – MMAWeekly.com
I bet you’re wondering about that title, huh?
For the past few days, it seems like I’ve been in a cartoon
– that or someplace that plays a lot of football. Why? Because I’m
surrounded by hunchbacks.
Let me back up a couple steps…
Two days ago, I got that call from the school that no parent
wants – your child has been injured in an accident. We’re not sure what
is the matter with him and you need to come get him as soon as possible.
When I showed up at the middle school to pick up my younger
stepson (he’s 12), I was told that he was outside during physical education
class and had been unexpectedly pushed down from behind pretty hard. He put
his hands out to break his fall and jacked up his right wrist and elbow pretty
bad. It was swollen like I don’t know what. His right forearm looked like a
drumstick on a Thanksgiving Day turkey.
Needless to say, I’ve spent a lot of time in doctor’s
offices since then. He and I have been to the hospital emergency room, an
orthopedist, to another hospital for a CAT scan and have at least one more trip
back to the orthopedist to make.
Since, as is the case in most doctors’ offices, we’ve spent
more time waiting than actually being treated, I’ve seen a lot of other injured
or sick folks. And I’m seeing a few trends that kind of disturb me.
Now, you might be wondering, "What’s all this got to do
with MMA training, Wiggy?" You see, the thing is that…well…er…ok,
you got me – it’s got nothing to do with MMA training. But I know that
not necessarily everybody that reads MMAWeekly is an active fighter. A lot
more people watch the NFL than play football. The same goes with MMA. I know
there are a ton of fans (i.e. – people who don’t fight) that read MMAWeekly.
You’re the folks I want to listen up here – the ones who might not be as
physically active as the regular fighters who read my columns.
Back to the doctors’ offices…
Although I’ve seen people of all ages in these offices the
past couple days, the majority have been older folks (60+ years of age). And while
some of the middle age and younger folks might be dealing with injury as well,
the older folks have a definite trait that you see all too often –
I never noticed this before I moved to North Carolina about
10 years ago to go to college. But many of the older folks out here have
hunchbacks. What’s a hunchback? Just what it says – they have a giant
arch in their back, just like the guy from the cartoon.
In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, imagine this:
say a tall person had a desk job for A LOT of years. He was hunched over a
computer or typewriter, but had to constantly look up at a screen or paper.
The shoulders are greatly rounded forward, there is a giant arch behind the
neck, and the person almost has to look up just to see forward. In fact, think
of how a vulture looks sitting on its perch. It’s kind of the same thing. (I
don’t mean these folks are vultures – they just kind of look that way.
Don’t send me any hate mail. ;-) I’ve seen it get so bad, that an old lady I
saw once had to lean on a cane just to keep from toppling forward.
I’ve seen quite a few older folks with this since I’ve been
in North Carolina. But I’ve seen an abnormal amount of them the past few days.
And the thing that surprised me was that not only was I seeing quite a few
people with hunchbacks, I was also seeing folks that were younger with them.
In fact, over the past three days, I’ve probably seen four or five people in
their thirties with a hunchback.
Now, I know that injury or spinal issues can cause this and
I don’t want to make light of that. However, I would venture to say that most
of it is simple poor posture caused by weak muscles.
Another thing I’ve seen is older folks with terrible
mobility. Folks that have a hard time standing up out of a chair, getting into
or out of a car or even walking. Again, I know that many folks I may have seen
in recent days may have had an injury or some sort of debilitating disease.
But this is getting to be more commonplace in public as well (which constitutes
a more non-specific or general sample of the population).
Now, I might be wrong here, but I can’t help but think that
much of this is brought on by years of an under-active lifestyle. When these
folks were younger, everyday life may have kept them active enough to keep in
shape and to keep their bodies strong and flexible. However, as they got
older, they got more sedentary, their muscles atrophied, their bodies weakened
and everything just snowballed.
The thing that worries me is that I see younger and younger
people with these sorts of problems. I can see it some if a 70-year-old
grandmother is having some health problems. But when you see a guy who looks
to be no older than 35 with a hunchback, and having trouble standing up out of a
chair in a hospital waiting room, then something has to change.
And I won’t even get into folks being overweight…
Like I said before – not everybody who reads MMAWeekly
is an active fighter. You that are, you’re plenty active right now –
keep it up. This is to the more inactive readers. Get off your keister. Get
active. Move. Play. Get stronger. Get conditioned. Become more flexible.
A simple strength and conditioning program will do all this and more. The
programs available at my site will get you into phenomenal shape – fast
– and, if you keep them up, they’ll keep you that way for the rest of
Before you start complaining about how hard it’s going to
be, let me say one thing… shut up. I don’t want to hear your excuses. The
longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be. And like the saying goes,
nothing worth having is easy. You don’t have to be Randy Couture, in his 40s
and still kicking ass on guys half his age. But that doesn’t mean you can get
away with being Jabba the Hut, either…
Don’t be one of those guys who need a walker just to keep
upright by the time he’s in his late 50s. Get on a good exercise plan and keep
yourself healthy. The healthier you get, the longer you’ll live, the better
you’ll feel and the happier you’ll be.
The first MMA event I ever saw was a tape of UFC 8 just days
after it happened. There have been over 60 UFCs since then. I remember the
giant fiasco that was the UFC’s 10th anniversary show at UFC 50. I don’t know
about you, but I want to see what happens at the UFC’s 50th anniversary show.
And I ain’t gonna hobble with a walker to the doctors’ office to talk about it,
Hard, Rest Hard, Play Hard.
"Wiggy" Wiggins is a strength coach and author living in Cameron, NC.
Having trained 15+ years, Wiggy is a strength moderator at mma.tv, columnist
for MMA Weekly, and an avid fan of Mixed Martial Arts Training. His
site, Working Class Fitness.com,
is dedicated to designing low-tech, high-result workout programs for "regular
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