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Lesson 4 from: FAST CLASS: Achieve Ultimate Human Performance

Ben Greenfield

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Lesson Info

4. Mobility

Next Lesson: Balance

Lesson Info


So mobility and by the way there was a fantastic creativelive course on mobility taught by kelly Starrett, author of the book becoming a supple leopard and we're going to kind of go over mobility a little bit. But I would highly recommend if you want to geek out on mobility. Big time check out his course. So some of the ways that you can improve mobility or your body's ability to move through its desired range of motion. The first would be stretching. Um Now there's kind of three different ways that you can technically stretch a muscle. Number one is static stretching. There's no evidence that static stretching is going to decrease your risk of injury. There's no evidence that static stretching is going to help you to perform better. And in most cases it actually decreases strength, power and speed. If you do static stretching prior to a weight training workout or a run or anything else for which you want to have high performance. There's two forms of uh assisted stretching that I like...

. One is called P. N. F. Stretching. It stands for appropriate receptive neuromuscular facilitation. If you need to increase range of motion in a joint in which you don't have enough range of motion. This can be really helpful. Um Can I get a volunteer to come up here and I'll show you appropriate except of neuromuscular facilitation or piano stretching. Let's do it real quick. Just lie on your back down here on the ground. Um And let's let's bring you about right right here. So let's say that we want to get barris more flexible in his hamstring. Well what will happen is if I have him contract his hamstring. Really really hard for a brief period of time. It will become more pliable after he contracts it. So I can stretch him up to a certain point and kind of watch his other hip to make sure it doesn't come off the ground. So I know I'm actually stretching his hamstring here and about right here. I start to get resistance and then you contract against me for about six seconds. Really hard. So it takes about six seconds to kind of override that stretch reflex and then relax and he now moves through a greater range of motion. Okay this is called P. N. F. Stretching but there is another form of stretching called resistance resistance stretching. Derek Tory's everybody remember territories the phenom, the Olympic swimmer. She was like a plus year old lady who who raced I think it was like 2008 Olympics. Um She has this form of stretching called resistance stretching. And what resistance stretching is is you actually will move a body through range of motion like yola. You'll sit on the ground or in a standing position and you'll move your body through this range of motion like in this direction and then stretch it back out and it works with a partner as well. But she's got this entire DVD it's called resisted stretching or resistant stretching and it's a really really great way to learn how to move your body through an increased range of motion. You'll be like sweating by the time you finish this resisted stretching workout. But it works really, really well at improving mobility and improving flexibility and also working yourself out at the same time. So it's a fantastic one for like swimmers who need shoulder mobility and that type of thing, what's called resisted stretching and it's based on similar concepts is that P. And F stretching your overriding muscles reflex and then stretching it through a range of motion. Dynamic stretching does increase range of motion and it does reduce risk of injury. So like those lunges and leg swings and arm swings and things like that, that's what you should actually be doing before before any type of competitive activity. So I blew my mind when the lights of the Super Bowl Dome went off. You guys remember that in the Super Bowl, how the lights went off and you looked out on the field and all these coaches had their players out doing static stretching. One of the worst things that could have done for their teams and it's still kind of this old school philosophy that you just get down and stretch the hamstrings and you do this one and you do this one. But the fact is that those people should have been doing like riding the bike, dynamic leg swings, arm swings, lunges, hops, skips, jumps, things like that. That's the stuff that you use pre activity and during activity to really maintain proper amounts of mobility and then resisted stretching. And that's best because it's tough. You can do it as part of a workout. Um and like I mentioned that resistance stretching DVD is really good. I have that as a resource that Ben grimm told fitness dot com slash creative Live um stretching 20 minutes a day um for five times a week is useless for improving flexibility. If you really, really need to uh need to improve flexibility, you need 4 to 6 hours a week for 2 to 3 months, then one hour a week for maintenance. So basically what I'm saying is that if you really truly are immobile in your muscles, you have to like take up a yoga practice. If you really seriously want to improve flexibility significantly, it takes it takes some training. So the next way that you can increase mobility is based off of this idea of the cumulative injury cycle. And what happens is that when, for example, we sit for long periods of time, our hip flexors get very tight and they get very weak and they continue to get tighter and weaker. The more that we sit and when they're tighten their week and we start to move around, there's more friction, there's more pressure and there's more tension. The friction, the pressure and the tension can create inflammation and it can also create decreased circulation or swelling in an area where we get decreased circulation or swelling in an area, we get muscle fibers that ad he's to one another and we get decreased mobility and what's called our fascia. We also can from this inflammation, get acute inflammation that results in an injury. So this is where Strategy number two for mobility comes in and that is deep tissue. So it doesn't how matter how much stretching you do, if what are called fashionable adhesions exist, your entire muscles are surrounded by this sheath called fascia and fashion tends to become and he's that tends to become cross linked either through doing something like sitting for long periods of time or moving the wrong way, etcetera. But if we don't work out fashionable adhesions than none of the stretching in the world is gonna save us. There's a ton of different ways to work out fashion adhesions. Me sitting on that kettle bell was an example. I keep a golf ball underneath my desk and when I am doing any amount of sitting or if I'm standing and I have one leg free, I actually roll the golf ball. Now I work in bare feet, but I rolled the golf ball up and down my my feet to improve the mobility in the fascia and in the ligaments of my foot. There's also a company called rumble roller that makes not only this device which can be used to dig into your shoulders. For example, let's say I want to free up my shoulder prior to a swim, I can literally get into this position, find the area in my armpit that tends to be notoriously tight and just about everybody right there and I can work through this range of motion, basically freeing up the fashion and the soft tissue right in that section, that tends to be immobile before I go for a swim, lacrosse ball works really well for this. Also you can even tape two of them together to make basically a roller for your low back that you can roll up and down your low back. And this company rumble roller, they make a foam roller that's covered in ridges that's really, really firm and hard and works well for rolling out your quads, your hamstrings, your calves, your shoulders, your back. So I personally do to full body foam rolling sessions one every week. Okay, the last thing is traction, Remember how I was talking about the inversion table and how I use an inversion table, um a few times a week. Now an inversion table or inverting is a great way to, as I mentioned when I was talking about it recovered from a run, like inverting one minute for every mile that you run, it's also really good way to get blood flow and lymph fluid circulating through your body. Um if you tend to get constipated, it can actually do a really good job of helping to get rid of that. Owning an inversion table is really good for that. Inversion table puts traction on your back, so it helps you to kind of fight against gravity and pull muscles apart or pull joints apart, which is basically what traction does. A lot of times you get fluid accumulation and adhesions in certain joints, like your hip joints and the joints in your back and the joints in your shoulder and by applying traction or basically pulling two joints apart, you can actually get rid of a lot of that. They make these big bands called monster bands or their Rogue Fitness is the company where I got mine and I meant to bring it, I didn't, but you can attach one end of the band to a stationary object and for example, if I wanted to traction my hip, I could attach the other end of the band to my hip and I could just move myself away and then start to wiggle my hip and wiggle my butt. So that that bands actually pulling me this way. So that's another form of traction. That you can use another popular form of traction is we'll do this a lot of times people have injured shoulders, you'll just kind of get into this position and hang and let await just kind of pull that shoulder joint a little bit and this is a form of traction as well. These are all ways that you can increase mobility and like I mentioned, becoming a supple leopard is a fantastic book for this stuff. And kelly starts creativelive course is great to um and then you also want to eat for mobility, vitamin B and vitamin C helped to increase your cell wall elasticity, Animal foods, seafoods, fruits and vegetables are all good sources of that. Most of us kind of sort of nowhere we get vitamin B and vitamin C, papaya, pineapple as well as meat that contain elements like popping Bramall lane trips and kimo trips and your body produces fibrinogen in response to a workout. And fibrinogen is one of the ways that you become immobile. It can can help contribute to start to scar tissue and decreased mobility, prolific enzymes, especially if you take them on an empty stomach and you don't have food in your stomach because it will break down the food instead of working on the fiber. Imagine if you take them on a full stomach, they're really, really good as far as like a, like a mobility supplement as well. Um cod liver oil or fish oil helps to slow the breakdown of cartilage. Um so I'm a fan of using a fish oil supplement to help with mobility or eating fish on a regular basis and then glucosamine chondroitin, m s m and collagen. These are all components of bone or ground up collagen a lot of times there from shellfish sources there from the ground up chicken bones, eating bone broth is another way to get this stuff. Eating bone marrow is another way to get this stuff. I love how many restaurants in the san Francisco area.

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