Welcome to our weekend roundup, Three of the Best! Every Saturday, we'll post up Breaking Muscle's top three articles of the week. These pieces have caught your attention throughout the last seven days. So here they are in one place for you to consume, digest, and enjoy.

 

female squat

[Photo courtesy of Stephanie Ring]

 

#1 - Master the Fundamentals: Functional Flexibility

By Stephanie Ring

 

Functional flexibility and natural range of motion are the foundations of optimal performance in most athletic activities. Being able to move our bodies in the way they were intended, without restriction, creates efficient movement. For an athlete, this leads to bigger lifts, higher jumps, and increased speed. For everyone else, it means reduced lower back pain, better posture, and improved circulation.

 

As we age and sit for longer periods of time, muscle imbalances and tightness develop. These cause changes in our movement patterns, which can affect our performance. We can prevent these types of restrictions, but it takes time, energy, discipline, and an understanding of why the body moves the way it does.

 

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#2 - Fuel to Be Strong: Nutrition for Strength Athletes

By Kyle Hunt

 

Let’s face it: most of the quality nutrition information comes out of the bodybuilding community and is aimed at bodybuilders. And that makes sense. Nutrition plays a huge role in improving body composition. But as a strength athlete, you don’t need to eat for aesthetics.

 

It doesn’t matter how effective your training program is, or even how good your genetics are, nutrition is important. If you want to be as strong as possible, you need to get your nutrition dialed in. There is no room for error in your quest to be the best.

 

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#3 - The Dark Side of Fitspiration

By Nicole Crawford

 

It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and you feel like grabbing a donut to tide you over until dinner. On your way out the door, you find your co-workers oohing and ahhing over the latest Instagram post of some ripped guy doing an exercise stunt that defies all reason and human physical capacity. Everyone in the office is stunned at his prowess.

 

Suddenly that donut thing seems like a bad plan. Maybe you’ll drop into the gym instead. Or maybe you’ll eat three donuts and wallow because you’ll never be that fit. Regardless, I think most of us will agree these images have an impact on our mental processes and self-image. That’s why we call it “fitspiration.”

 

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