'I used to lift that...'
'I represented my country at...',
At 30 something are you starting to sound like that old timer at the gym who useda, coulda, shoulda? He or she is the one who usually starts a conversation with one of the above and finishes it with 'but then I bust my (insert any bodypart - usually knees, back or shoulder)'.
There are many of us out there and for most of us the reason for our dodgy body parts has nothing to do with accidents or aging. It has everything to do with neglect. By the time the majority of us hit our 30's a lifetime of poor habits has resulted in our once powerful body starting to resemble this Ferrari Koko.
Most of us have spent too much time focused on training, working and partying and too little time spent on resting, recovery and general maintenance (especially of the hip and shoulder girdles). This attitude to our bodies has the same effect as you would expect if you bought a brand new car and drove it daily, stopping only to fill it with petrol. Eventually it will break.
Rest and recovery should be an easy fix. But what about general maintenance? Consider this: our body has been designed to be used in a million million different ways - it needed to in order to survive. But ever since you started school (if you grew up in the relatively affluent West) your movement variety has been becoming increasingly restricted - to the point that the majority of people have learned faulty hip and shoulder mechanics, which when corrected now feel 'strange' or 'wrong'.
In our practise the majority of folks that we see have hip and shoulder girdles that are improperly stabilised and mobilised. This is because they have been relatively immobile (including all the 'I represented my county / country / world / universe' old timers out there) compared to humans living and surviving in the pre-industrial era. Consequently their bodies have tended to use secondary muscles to perform the vital roles of stabilising and mobilising their upper and lower bodies. And this is simply because, over their lifetimes, they have suffered from a relatively inadequate variety of movement.
At the hip these secondary muscles tend to be the hip flexors and erector spinae, and at the shoulders these tend to be the upper traps and pectorals. Unsurprisingly we have shorthand terms for folks with these issues: flexor dominant and trap dominant. PLEASE NOTE: there are other muscles involved in these mechanical faults we are using our shorthand here because it helps to make the point.
In both cases a little time regularly spent on mobility, strengthening and relearning proper motor control can all but eliminate the majority of long term chronic issues caused by this dominance. We have a shorthand also for the goals of this maintenance: glute dominant and lat dominant. Each of these relate to the major muscle group that we help people to focus on using whenever they are using either their hip or shoulder girdles.
With consistent maintenance, even an old Ferrari Koko can be a super car longer than its younger rivals.