Increase Your Joint Mobility
You're noticing (laughs) that we've cultivated better body awareness in everyone. (laughing) And what's interesting is, if you're playing along at home, we talked yesterday about turning this into some kind of slouch drinking game, and I wanna just talk about the postural, mechanical change differences in the audience. Do you guys feel like you're moving, sitting just slightly differently than before? What's the difference?
Stronger, ribs are down. Ribs are down, normally I'd sit like this.
I'm telling you, I don't know if you guys are better looking right now because of the light, or if you're well-fed, or if I'm giddy, little punch-drunk, one too many hits with the snake. An Aladdin reference, that was for you. But the issue (laughs) is, really, what I see see suddenly is, I'm like, "Oh," I walk into a room, I'm like, "These people understand." And I like, "Oh, they've had some kind of Jedi training," you know, they've cut the padawan knot, and you guys are cutting it. It really ...
looks different. What were you gonna say? Oh, you're not gonna say, just hold the microphone?
I find that I'm more aware of everything, sitting up, even standing, wherever we've been today, just "Okay, get it together."
Right. And cultivating that awareness is that deep practice. You'll notice, CJ's sitting in lotus. Does that work?
This is how I sit at work all the time, and I used to think that I was crazy 'cause no one sits like this, but now I know I'm okay so I'm gonna do it all the time. (laughs)
Now, I don't mean to make a racist statement. (CJ laughs) But I'm guessing you're not a hundred percent Caucasian, is that correct?
No, I am not.
Right, so there was that "cheater Asian" thing we were talking about earlier, and--
I used to not be able to squat like that, for a long time. I would always fall backwards.
We had, Jill brought up an interesting point that these processes and changes take time. The further away you are from this sort of ideal state, the longer you sort of have to dig your way out of this hole. And just, it's the slow blade penetrates the shield, it's like that slow concept where it's an ice wire cutting a block of ice over time. The problem with this, of course, is that the more poorly you move, the more damage and stiffness generates because of the poor movement habit. And then that reinforces that poor motor and you get into this horrible spiral. Right, pain, inhibition, tissues get junky, you get stiff, you-- So unfortunately, the better you move the less actually is required in terms of maintenance. And what you'll find is that as you move more efficiently you don't get as tired, things don't get as stiff, it takes less maintenance. And what you'll see is that, for our elite athletes who are pain-free, that 10 minutes is really just this freestyle where they're just working, "Oh, hey, man, "I ran a long way yesterday," just, they touch base with some things that maybe feel stiff, they have a stiffness awareness, which is great. We worked our way through our system, and we've got this good concept now of "Okay, I have to map this motor control." And the difference already in your spinal positions and in head positions is dramatic. Your shoulders are back, your feet are straight, I see you guys standing up and sitting down differently, which already self-corrects for so many of the basic problems that we're seeing day-to-day. We talked about, "Oh hey, I can just get into a position "and I can contract, relax my way through that shape." If I don't know any other thing, don't have any tools. Then we were like, "Hey, maybe "I'm gonna have to re, kind of distribute or change "some of those sliding surfaces," how my tissues are sliding over one another. We had Jill's brilliant work about some, definitely in the trunk, in the spine, changing the breathing mechanics. And that leaves one more thing on our thing on our list. Do you guys remember what that was? What was the last, fourth of the system? Joint capsule. And what we're knowing is that that joint capsule, that bag of connective tissue can become very stiff. And remember yesterday, let's do this again for those people who are just joining us. You take your fist and put it inside your shirt, that's a really great model for what your joint capsule does. Now, imagine I've got you moving correctly, I'm very, I'm organized, and the soft tissues are working, and I've got those muscle fibers that can slide over one another, and they're moving great. But all of a sudden, the bag itself is stiff. So if I wind up into a good position, rrng, I create that torque, and I add that torsion to that sack of capsule, where it becomes stable, if the joint capsule itself isn't pliable and flexible and supple, then what I end up happening is restricting that range of motion. I get that phenomenon we talked about where the joint hinge on the door is tight and creating a little pile of hinge dust. So what are my options for dealing with that? Well, what we believe is that if I think about the joint, let me draw a really simple joint for you guys, and we're gonna build on these layers of kind of understanding. This is a really rudimentary joint. And what's gonna happen is, we tend to think about this joint as having a single access of rotation. What's happening is that the limb, in this case would be my arm, is moving what we call a physiologic range of motion. So my arm is going up over my head, and subsequently we think about having a single axis of rotation, as if I was putting a pin or a dowel right in the middle and my arm spun around that dowel. Okay, that's one model. But we've learned that there's another model, there's another element to this movement, and that's rotation. That I don't become stable until I add this other element of rotation to the capsule. So I can mobilize any position that I want to; unless I add that rotation, understand I'm never going to fully get the most out of the joint and the joint will never be in its most stable or most efficient position. That's why we have to add this rotation. And when we don't think about it-- You know, I said yesterday that so many of the cues we use in athletics, "elbows in, knees out, "armpits forward, break the bar," they're all concepts about rotation. "Jump and land, break block," right, it's amazing, "wax on, wax off," how much (laughs) rotational movement we talk about as human beings. We're sort of rotary engines, that's a way of thinking about it. So we explain this with some of the shoulder stuff, for example, people were complaining yesterday, "Hey, I may have some wrist pain." Well, it turns out if I put my arm over my head you can see that that rotary engine affects all of the systems, that my elbow collapses a little bit, the wrist collapses in, because it's not just a hinge, it's a rotary hinge. So I've got to account for that second axis of rotation. But really, what we know is that there's another translation, there's another motion inside the joint. And what actually happens is that I have two axes of rotation, and combined, one rotates and the other translates. And so what's happening is, as the arm comes up the arm has to spin to be stable in the socket and it translates forward. So the probably with this skeleton as a model is that I can hinge and I can rotate, but because the axis of rotation is fixed here I end up always slamming into the roof of the shoulder joint or the roof of the hinge joint, or the hip joint. And what's happening is that if I don't account for that motion inside the joint somehow or my joints are stiff, I'm always gonna be at square one. And when I'm stiff, my body creates more stiffness. And what we need to do, remember that first rule? If something's in the wrong place, let's put it in the right place, and if it's not moving, let's get it moving. Does that make sense? So if we stepped away from pain and just simply talked about, can you do the things that a human being should do? Then this is one of those ideas, and we need to account for this joint capsule in our thinking. Now, a lot of really smart people have been working on this for a long time. This is a theory, right? The osteopaths out of the UK were distracting and pulling joints apart for as long as there've been people pulling on joints. If you read the kind of modern translation of 300, right, the Gates of Fire, is that what it is? And they talk about, like, each soldier had an attendant who rubbed liniment and massaged out the tissues to get them ready for battle. I mean, people have been doing this for a long, long time. So what ends up happening when you see a chiropractic physician, or a physical therapist or an osteopath, is that this person is trying to affect the motions, the intra-articular motions of the joint. We're trying to restore that normal joint motion. If it's not moving, get it moving. Well, what we're talking about is the specific, small internal rotations. And we have a couple ways of doing that. I can either pull the joint's surfaces apart, and this gapping creates an opportunity to unload those joint surfaces. So let's use a hypothesis. Let's say that my mom is complaining of a very arthritic hip. Could I somehow use a very technical device like a rubber band, and help my mom to pull those joints apart a little bit? Yes, and that joint distraction is one of the fundamental techniques of restoring a lot of the normal motions of the joint. So if I'm having a really arthritic or junky hip because it's had a lifetime of abuse, it tends to get angry at me. There was even some new research that came out in one of the physical therapy journals that said that joint distraction actually helped to restore articular cartilage surfaces. How weird, that if you didn't have something that was constantly being crushed under pressure all the time, that things could rehydrate and reperfuse. Right, then we think about this. When people take glucosamine, glucosamine is a salt. It's called, I think it's a glucosaminoglycan, I probably got that wrong 'cause I'm not a chemist. But what happens, it's a salt that they hypothesize goes into the surface of the joint, this articular surface, and that salt pulls in more water, "aah," and then that water creates a little bit more of a fluffy surface so that I can better resist compression and better resist deformation. So let me give you another reason why you should be drinking water, I saw you look for the water, I see you, right? I have mind control powers. Is that if you're dehydrated, then those surfaces are more susceptible to the ravages of arthritis and less able to handle that deformation. So one of the things we know is that we need to pull those surfaces apart, and people with arthritis, we need to have the spongy surfaces, and an easy way to restore that is to get people out of weight bearing and create a little distraction in the joint. Pulling the joint surfaces apart allows me to start to restore those normal motions. Now, if we take that concept of, from scale to "Hey, if I just pull a little traction "through a joint," right, a normal, not necessarily had a total hip replacement or something like that, but if just put a little traction on that joint, even then it's appropriate. Then what we find is that people start to feel immediate relief. But can we spin that up into a difficult position? So yesterday we were talking about your overhead position, right? Can you come and show us again? Right foot turned out like a duck. Kill that kitten in the back, kill it. I'm just kidding, alright, here we go. So let's go, arms overhead. And look at the difference now. He organized his butt first, he stabilized his ribcage. I didn't have to cue any of that this time. That is set, and as a coach in his movement I'm like, "Good, we can set and forget it," right? So now we're starting to see better range of motion here. But full range of motion for this thing, put this hand down, is all the way, full rotation, and straight up and down. And you just have to remember, does it look like the leg? And is he bent like a banana? He is. So keep your ribcage down, there we go. And then, if the arm is straight in line with the leg we'll have full range of motion. It should be, if I was gonna do a handstand that should be the same range of motion, shouldn't it? So now, let's apply this concept. How do I mobilize at the position of restriction, what position do I wanna change, and then can I apply the same technique? So go ahead and wind yourself up into this band for me, we're gonna hook through, and all we're gonna do is pull the joint surfaces apart. Give it a try. So he goes over, hooks it, backs it up, pulls some tension in this thing, this thing weighs a lot. Okay, now. What he's done is that he's created a little traction or distraction surface in the joint. Let's have you, can you switch hands for us so we can get it on camera better? Come over this way, you just changed directions but didn't change sides, that was great, that was clever. (laughing) Okay, now. What's great here is that, like the 10-minute squat test, if you are a swimmer or you're someone who has to work overhead all day long, like you're painting the roof, exactly, if you're painting the roof or lifting things up onto a shelf for a living, do you spend any time with your arm over your head, yes, no? What did we do yesterday, the 10-minute squat test? Can you imagine an analog for your shoulders, the 10-minute overhead test? Well, the difference is that if my tissues are restricted I may be putting my shoulders into a bad position, but by creating this distraction in the joint I can start to restore that normal motion while he spends time in this position. Can he contract, relax here, like that basic shape? Yeah, this makes it easy for him to do that. What muscles are you gonna tighten up? Everything, right? So he stiffens everything. The problem is, is he in a good position or a bad position? Why? He's not externally rotated. And that's why rule number three is what? Now, hold that position. Rule number three was, always mobilize in a good position. Do you guys remember that? So is this a good position, or it's an open position, isn't it, it's an unstable position. So what we need to do is have him get into a stable position. The problem is, can I reclaim that good position from a bad position? Nope, so I need to have him come out of tension, come out, prioritize the stabilization of movement first, I break the bar before I bench press, right? I get stable, I screw my feet into the ground before I sit down on the toilet. And now, put that arm over your head. Oh, that's a little bit different experience, isn't it? Now look at the rotation, watch what happens when I release. "Boingg," ooh, a lot of tension. Go ahead and re-grip that. And this time you're gonna take your own hand and flip this up. If his elbow is bent, what does that mean about his shoulder? Not in a good position. So elbows stay straight, and you can use your other hand to hold that. Now put your arm over your head. Ah, now we have a template. And we can understand what's happening by straightening the elbow, and now we've biased all the tissues, and you can start to see. Do you think him rolling around back here might improve this position? If it's like a tympanic membrane, right, I should not be able to play the drums on his muscles back here. Could his tight thoracodorsal or thoracolumbar fascia contribute to his lack of overhead positioning? Sure. Could upstream on this side made a difference to this position? Yeah, and so what you would do is you would bias that position and lie down and work it out. And the key is, because I'm thinking about the system I'm capturing all the rotational aspects of the joint, I'm capturing all the layers of the way the fascia was designed to be loaded, and I'm putting the joint into a stable position. And why, because you understand the primary principle about the way the body's organized. And so that means that you never have to guess or understand the anatomy, because you know the position. You know what the functional outcome is. So we're trying to spend two minutes here. He could just tug on that tissue; he could also contract, relax. If you kicked your leg behind you, kick your leg behind you, and then behind you over here, mrrr, does that make it more awesome? (laughing) Oh, and what have done? I've just tied this aspect of the system into it, haven't I? I just put more tension into the lat. And so you'll dink around with this. We have a technical term we call "messing around," and as long as the shoulder's in a stable position I'm not gonna see problems. And if he has pain, he resets, gets out. Are you having pain? No, no. It feels stable. It feels like a stable, organized shape. Come on out of that real quick. Dismount. Good, I know, it's legit. (laughing) Now, let's go ahead and put arms overhead, facing the side, and let's see if we notice a difference side to side. Both arms up, rrrr. Can you see a difference, yes, no? I'll give you a hint. The answer is yes, that arm is further back. Pull that forearm, it'll go further back. There is is. (laughing) And his brain didn't even know he had that range. And this is why it's so important that we're changing this, but we also change the fundamental understanding of the movement, is that, if I didn't understand how to move then I'd press and guess and go back to my crappy mechanics. But we have is, and if you go forward, head on, you can actually see that he's trying to compensate even more with this elbow, it's different. Elbows straight, elbows straight. Now pull the arms back, and you can see, does it look different side to side? Yeah. Demons out. Go ahead and grab (laughs) that microphone. Good job, fishin' buddy.
My question's about using the elastic band. Is it best to distract with a stretchy material as opposed to something that doesn't have that give?
Yes, so great question. I think we see a different reaction. If you're pulling on something hard, the body tends to react neuromuscularly very differently. And certainly it would work, but people have sort of theoretically been doing this for a long time, but as soon as I get that band distraction it allows me to relax. These bands, this is made by Rogue Fitness, we've put a link up there to get these. We have a couple different widths, we have a green one and a black one. Remember that I think you should be able to fix yourself anywhere, anytime, with anything, right? There's a great coach who said, "Do what you can, where you are, with what you have," and we've literally had friends report they've been in Afghanistan, they've been in Haiti doing relief work, they've tweaked themselves; there's always a bike tire somewhere in the third world, isn't there? And they go and they buy an old, used bike tire from a kid for two bucks, and now this becomes an inner tube. And most people can go down to the local store. We believe in democratizing this process. This band is fantastic, but an inner tube, tire will work, and it works just as well. So okay, we're having this concept that I can use this joint distraction, and one of the things that happens then is that if I'm trying to improve my range of motion in this direction, that means that the bottom needs to spin out. And so I can either pull it apart like we just demonstrated, or I can hook and try to pull that down. And that's what we're gonna do now. Now look, if you look at the anatomy of my hip, my hip capsule is up here, one of the biggest, most powerful engines in the body right here, the butt, it's very powerful, hamstrings insert here. How thick and massive is this tissue? Thick and massive. Down here, not so thick and massive, much more refined and elegant. So it's probably, if I put this thing under tension I'm certainly going to feel some basic stiffness earlier on in the thinner tissues and I'm not even gonna get close to that basic tension or some of the structures higher up. The problem with the couch stretch, one more time, jump on that couch stretch. Right foot turned out like a duck. I've failed you. (chuckling) And go ahead, bring that up, mrrr. Is that, in this position, have I gotten anywhere close to his hip capsule here? Not anywhere. Where his hip capsule starts to be tight is when that hip is in extension. And so I probably need a mechanism to be able to account for that, and we've missed this a lot in our traditional strategies about trying to fix the human body. So come on up, and let's do this. We've got a whole bunch of these bands; we can put two or three per post, and let's have you guys go ahead and come up, grab a band, and if you want, if you're husky and you need a big band, grab a big band. Nice sitting up, I saw you. And then grab, and what we're gonna do is we're gonna hook it on, we're just gonna link that around. And watch what we're gonna do here. Now, this connective tissue doesn't-- What we're gonna think about is that it doesn't contract, relax, does it? It's not gonna respond, it's not neuromuscular in nature. And so wha's gonna happen here is that I'm probably gonna need to bend the paper clip. So if I bend the paper clip 50 plus times, it'll finally break. And what I'm talking about is, I need to oscillate in and out of resistance to make these changes. So what's gonna happen here is that I'm gonna hook this on, my bike inner tube tire or the band, and we're just gonna go after the opposite of sitting, right? So what's the opposite of sitting, is opening up the hip behind me. That's when you stand up after sitting and you go into the normal position, you feel tight here. And I watch people, and they're like (groans). So let's do the exaggerated reality of that, which just carries that motion a little bit further, does that make sense? So I'm short, I stand up, (groans), I'm tight, in fact, do this for me. Go ahead and stick your hands in your pockets, this is a great one at home. Bend over, and grab the skin right there, grab that skin. That's the cracklin's of the human beings, we're gonna make cracklin's later. (laughing) Celebrity Chef, human edition, that's me, right? The secret ingredient is... (laughing) Psoas. (shouting) Alright, so now I grab that skin, got it tight? Don't let it go, got it? Stand up. What happened to your low back? It's hard to stand up, isn't it? In fact, you sort of can't stand up, you can't. Just go ahead and let your low back go, go ahead and overextend for me. Oh, no problem. Oh, so I'm a little bit tight in the anterior hip, I start to walk around like that. Oh, you know what, makes it easier. Oh, that makes it easier. Try it, go ahead and do that skin grab, turn your feet out, and you're like, "Oh," (laughs) "that's better in that position." And then what happens then, if I wanna protect my back, what do I do? Aah, that's so much better. I put a little bend in my knee. Ah, no wonder we're starting to see these problems. So I probably should be able to extend, and I wasn't even putting my hip back behind me, was I? So what we're gonna do is, with this basic concept, couple ideas, I'm just gonna put it right in the hip crease here and then I am gonna put-- Just hold that down for me for a second, would ya? It weighs a couple hundred pounds. But I'm putting massive, massive, massive, that is probably 200 pounds of band tension. You certainly don't need to start with that much, but what I'm gonna do is just give you an example that when I get into this basic kneeling shape again, this looks like exaggerated reality. My butt's squeezed, my abs engaged. Notice that I suddenly start to get into this hip capsule in real time. And so what's happening now is that I'm trying to account for that joint capsule being stiff, and now I've got a mechanism to maybe try to affect that. The good news is, it's a hip capsule. You do horrendous things to this thing. You jump up and down, you pick up your kids, you walk up and down stairs. Do you think pulling on it with a rubber band puts you at risk for injury? Not really. So the key is, if you feel sketchy, back off, right? If you fall into that hypermobile category of super-mobile dancers, do you need a lot of joint distraction? No. If we have kids who are very, very floppy, do they need a lot of joint distraction? No. And so there's a whole category of person who probably doesn't need a lot of joint distraction. We save the mashing for them, some of the yoga tune-up balls. You can see why Jill's practice has evolved out of this myofascial work and the connective tissue work, because she's working with people who are very, very flexible. So what ends up happening is that, if I can can get someone who's stiff, though, into this basic shape and position, "poomp," add that load, now I can start working in there. So let's get everyone into that basic shape and position. We're gonna have to simultaneously engage. (laughing) Here we go, we'll walk this way and then I'm gonna stand right on here. And if you can pull me over, more power to you.
So Kelly, again, if people are doing this at home, what should they be using, once again?
Oh, so if they're at home,
You just hook this to your Rogue rig, right, it's right in your living room. (laughing) I mean, we have one in our living room. What we do then is, how could I do this? So we've done this a couple ways. What we've done is, at home I put a rubber band in the door and I put a shoe behind the door, and then I just close the door, and that seems to anchor it very well. Some people have tried to do this on their dining room table; bad idea. (laughing) If you hook a dining room table, it's like Superman when the little baby Superman crushes the guy on the piano. You will get crushed by your dining room table. (laughing) Right? It will, it will happen. So in the meantime, we've also done this iteration where I've driven my car up and over the band on a road trip, and then just popped open and the car pins it down. Now, is anyone feeling something special there? Does that feel tight, are you okay there? (laughs) What are you noticing? (speaking off camera) So if it's hard on your knee, we put a mat down. I'm gonna dismount, don't go anywhere. Or a shoe, right? So she follows the first rule of business, which is, "Hey, I don't feel like this "is helping me out," right? We can even have a yoga block around. Does that give you enough support? There you go, we just elevate her a little bit. Alright, so now. Butts engaged, so we don't overextend? You feeling that? No problem, and it feels very different, doesn't it? Now, instead of just holding that end range, bending that paperclip one time, I wanna come in and out. So I don't know where you're tight, but I'm guessing it's not just linear. Go push into these different corners, find out what happens when you play around with your foot a little bit. Oh, you found something. Shing, I'm so light, it's such a beautiful day, I'm so happy. And this is where we need to be working on this. I've gotta restore. So look what happens when he puts his arm over his head. Doesn't that lengthen this internal tissue? We put suddenly a big load through that psoas. And remember what we did earlier today was, we worked on some of these soft tissues from the upstream. Now we're biasing the hip capsule, that's the load. We put a little passive demand with arm overhead, and not only does he get a big wind-up through here but it starts to wind up into there, right? That is very, very tight. If I pushed you with a pin there, you would explode, gshhh. Are you feeling that there, that little rotation? And again, I don't know where you're tight, but you do. All I'm doing is taking the basic concept of the shape, exaggerating that reality, and then moving into those basic shapes and positions. Are you feeling that okay? Is it alright? And you feel how tight that is. Now, check this out. Stay in that position, don't dismount, don't make the face. You can put the arm behind your head, like bicep, Arnold, twin biceps, okay. (laughing) Now watch this. One time at home, my daughter Georgia was like, "That's pretty cool, Dad." And what she did was, she just stood up and down on the band. And then she started jumping. (laughing) And what we found was, that created a ton of movement in the hip capsule, right? Did that change anything? (laughing)
Right. You go from a 10 to an 11. So do this for me, dismount from that. Has that been two minutes? Were you paying attention? Whoa, that was special. (laughing) Okay, let's do this. Let me ask you guys a couple things. Did it hurt your back? Were you engaged? Yes. Did you go long enough, make change? We think we did. How was your breathing? (laughs) Easy, full breaths. And you were like, "Whoa, I feel open." Now, go ahead and squat. We didn't even fix that position. Does that change your experience of what's going on with that basic shape and template? Does that feel different to you? What do you notice? Does that hip, does it sit difficultly back there? Yeah. And what you're seeing is the reaction of that tight joint capsule to how that impacts the rest of your movement. Try lunging side to side and actually seeing what happens in the extension. Because as we set the stage for Brian McKenzie to come out here and talking about walking, to talk about the technical bits, you're gonna see that if you're short in the hip then you jump up and go running, can you imagine the forces put on your back? Can you imagine that I'm gonna break and have to extend that load to my lumbar spine? You're gonna have to put it out into these other positions, and now we have a mechanism for understanding what's going on when we're running, or even when we're walking, people have horrible, stiff tissues. This mechanism is very, very easy to deal with that. Does that make sense to you guys? One of the reasons that we like it is that it also allows me to, then I can change the variation. Will you jump on that for me again? So what happens then, I'm a martial artist, let's say and I don't put it into leg flexion. Let me go to the other other side so you can see what's going on. (speaking off camera) Absolutely. (laughing) So here I am, and just, I don't have a whole lot of hip extension going on here. The leg's not going that far behind me. It's the leg that's bending. So what happens when I start to bias more extension? Oh, I can change that corner a little bit-- Look at that beautiful standing position. And now you can see that you just are messing around with the shape. And what we're finding is that our athletes are doing this before they work out and having phenomenal results. They're doing this after sitting. On MobilityWOD we went ahead and put up "how to erase a long day in the car"; this is at the root of having to sit. If you're a creative person, this is one of our key mechanisms to get you unglued and turned around. Does this make sense to you guys? Does this seem like a reasonable idea? So let me sum up. We have kind of three concepts here. The first is, I can create a little joint distraction if I have someone with an arthritic hip. So someone's a little bit painful, I've got some arthritic knee, I can just pull the joints apart, wrap myself up, creating a little distraction. The second idea was, oh, if I just wanted to go ahead and change some of these positions by creating a little distraction through that joint, I can restore that normal motion as I just bias the actual position I wanna change, that makes sense. And the third was, by adding that force we get it right. And if you get it wrong, if you set the band the wrong way-- Will you hold it down again? Guess what happens to you? Nothing. Nothing happens, it just doesn't feel good. You'll just be like, "I don't think this is working." And guess what, it's not working. It's pretty miraculous. The key is that we're thinking in terms of these tissue systems, and now we're starting to have an integrated approach. And so that 15 minutes of practice that we have is contained. The movement part, that's your exercise, whatever you're deciding to do, right? That's not the discussion here. We've got the movement control, that I'm working all day long. I understand that that guides my positional decisions. Then I can think of, is this a siding surface problem? Muscle, kind of contractile, muscle dynamics problem? Or is this a joint capsule problem? And when I just start adding one or two of those three, it's mix and match as I go, think around, miraculously I start thinking in terms of these systems again, and we're going. Does that make sense? Questions that you guys have about this? Yes ma'am.
So when we have an artificial joint, let's talk about that for a second. It's a great question. What we do when we have an artificial joint is that we have a definitive ball and cup. So how many rotations do I have? I have a single axis of rotation, yes? I definitely have that spin, I've seen people do this, but do I have that second axis of rotation that allows that? No. So why do artificial joints wear out? Because they tend to impinge and slap back and forth because they can't get out of the way, they start to have high wear patterns because of the forces of that rotation. That's why this joint wears out. That's why there's this motion in your joint of that little bit of translation. And so what we tend to do is say, "Hey, if you've got an artificial joint," obviously we don't put so much traction on it we try to dislocate it, but go ahead and try that. You'll never dislocate your hip. I'm sure someone out there will, don't take me (laughs) at my face value. But putting a little traction in a really painful hip is remarkable. But if I have two artificial surfaces, pulling those artificial surfaces apart doesn't necessarily change how that feels inside. Right, so what we do is, we tend to focus on these other systems. I know that that joint capsule's gonna be tight, but I attack that with motion and work on the other tissue systems, the soft tissue systems around it. Because I don't really get a lot of benefit from changing or resetting the articulation of that joint because I'm probably missing some of the end ranges and I definitely don't have all the motions. So I'm just like, "Eh, skip it." Go onto something else. That seem reasonable and fair? Let's kick this back, questions from the Internet about what you're seeing? And then we'll-- You guys wanna grab a seat?
Yes, we definitely always, always have questions, especially today. Judy Stowell from Wisconsin is asking, "What would you do for joint extraction at the knee," and trickman2 is interested in anterior knee joint extraction also.
Anterior knee joint distraction, I'm not even sure what that means. The front of the knee joint, so can I pull the surfaces apart this way? Yes. So I can wrap a band around my knee, and if you go to MobilityWOD, we did a MobilityWOD recently called Terminal Knee Extension where we show how to restore. Oftentimes, can I grab ya? Actually let me grab you 'cause you've got your pants-- ah, feet straight, knees out. That's the one for the win. On your back, that's right. Organize, and go ahead and turn just a little bit more for us. And take a look at this. What we should see in a normal joint is that I should have a little bit of what we call terminal knee extension. I should be able to hyperextend my joints a little bit. If my elbow was stuck bent all day long, this would be a problem. Don't believe me, go ahead and walk around with your knees slightly bent all day and tell me how that goes for you. Your knees are gonna be killing you. So we should be able to have a little bit of motion on the other side, and one of the things that we see when we pull those joint surfaces apart a little bit is that we're able to distract that and restore those motions. Again, that kind of key concept, if something's not in the right place get it in the right place; if it's not moving, get it moving. So the surfaces, we've got that on MobilityWOD and people can dive in. It's a very, very searchable archive. Search for Terminal Knee Extension. Thank you very much.
Very cool, thank you. Question from cray9, "Can you explain translocation "just a little bit more?"
Not translocation, translation. And the key concept about that translation is that I just have a little bit of movement that happens that isn't around a single axis and isn't spin. So it's not just perfect, like I have this robot arm, "rrr," right? The motion that actually happens at end range, I get a little bit of this motion forward. And that's what keeps me from impinging my hip all the time. If I don't account for that joint capsule and this flexion range, then my hip just goes up and I slam into the roof, and do you remember that picture yesterday of the artificial hip, or that hip that's becoming an artificial hip? That's what happens when we don't account for the joint capsule. That joint gets destroyed.
Great. Jeff H from Fernie in B.C., Canada says that he has ankle issues and sprained both ankles at least once a year. "What can you do to mobilize the ankle "and create a more stable hip "with the increased ankle mobility?"
Great, full question. So let's take this on. I'm missing some ankle range of motion. It's as if we've been talking about this for two days. So the first thing (laughs) is, if my foot is turned out, is my ankle stable or not? Okay. So I consciously try to put my foot into a stable position whenever I can. Sometimes it happens that, "rrng," I'm gonna turn out when I walk, so I consciously try to fix it, when I'm standing I try to consciously fix it. Remember my body's gonna turn over a new skeleton eventually, right? The connective tissue's gonna remodel eventually, right? Well, all I have to do is keep that constant pressure on the gas pedal. So if we were gonna build a mobility prescription for this ankle problem, this Mob Rx, the first thing that we would do is what, fix the movement. So put the joint into a stable position to begin with. So if that foot is turned out, guess what, there's a lot of laxity in the ankle there as well, just like the knee. I tend to impinge, and this is where we see a lot of crazy ankle faults happen. So we cultivate that awareness and that stiffness. Now, why is it, if we work downstream of the ankle, what's on the bottom of the foot that we could affect? Plantar fascia, the bottom of the foot. So two here would be bottom of the foot. Now, how could I change the bottom of the foot? What are my techniques? I could take a lacrosse ball, take one of Jill's balls and I can literally smash the bottom of my foot. If that base of your support isn't supple and dynamic-- The foot is extraordinary engineering, and where literally I go from an unstable surface that can instantly mold to the ground underneath me, become stable and strong and powerful to generate all this force. It's incredible, the number of kind of articular surfaces and intricacies of the foot, it's miraculous. And this is one of the reasons that when your feet get stiff, this is a problem. So we could smash the bottom the foot, contract and relax in there. What's upstream of that? The calf and the shin. So the question is, do I have calf and shin tightness? Can I affect that? Well, I can do something as easy as put my foot up on the wall, wind it up into what we know is a good position, contract and relax in there, that's one idea. I could even kneel on those feet, ah, and try to open that up. This looks very yoga-like and martial arts-like, doesn't it? Oh, we're spending some time in those positions, contract, relax. Could I get a ball of some kind into any of these tissues? You betcha, and on MobilityWOD we talk a lot of different ways. We have some evil, evil ways, don't we? Smashing each other on a lacrosse ball or on a barbell, getting into, using another person's leg to smash you. We've even done what we call the bone saw, where you use your own shin to smash back and forth. We have a lot of crazy techniques to try to undo that stiffness. What about the joint capsule? What would I do for the joint capsule here? I would do some distraction. So you're like, "What do I do?" Well, imagine, can you jump on the band for me or jump on this? Imagine that if I just put the band, rnng, (groans). Be careful. One time at home I put my foot up on a roller, thinking it was a good idea, took my foot off, and put my nose into my knee very quickly, and I was like, "Did the camera catch that?" And Julia's like, "No." Could I spend some time using the band to try to affect the joint capsule? Does it also make sense this way? You betcha. And now I've got a distraction moment going where I can change some of the joint capsule pieces. And of course I'm working upstream on the hip 'cause if my hip is tight, it's difficult to create a good ankle position. So here's our schema. Start to work on these tissue systems from the bottom, below where you think the problem is, on the way through, work these different templates of pieces, and you will come up with your own mobility prescription, your own concoction for your own healing, or your own performance. And this is how exactly this is being run at our universities, how it's being run in the military, our athletes and women and men are figuring it out for themselves. 'Cause you start to figure it out, and as soon as you're an expert in ankles, guess what? Your bro shows up and he's like, "Hey, my ankles are tight," you know, and then you're like, "Check this out, I figured this out. "It's a great cake recipe, it's the best." (laughing)
I love it, I love it. We have people chiming in with all kind of issues that they have, is that okay to throw those at you at this point?
Absolutely. Sure, let's do it.
Okay. Let's do it. So Ben J Photo had said, "So fallen arches, flat feet "are no different than poor posture "and can be corrected," question mark? "Docs have always said to me, 'You have flat feet.'"
Well, here's let me show you. So let me just pull this out. If you have flat feet, and this is a great conversation, because I teach regularly a movement and mobility course for CrossFit. It's very, very technical, about the barbell movements, about the trainings that we do when training. But what I'll tell you is that I have to get beyond the fact that I'm saying, "Hey, "you're lifting and your feet are completely collapsed." And when I show all of these athletes how to creat that torque, how to create that torsion from the hip down, what ends up happening, in a room full of 50 people I won't see a single collapsed arch. People who grew up in Hawaii, who were wearing sandals their whole lives, what's the problem with wearing a flip-flop, for example? I have to clench my toe to keep the slipper on, or I have to make my ankle rigid to keep the slipper on, and guess what happens. My ankle's range of motion is missing. Where do I tend to walk? Out. And if I walk out, what do I tend to do to that arch? Destroy it, because it's not designed to be loaded in this direction. It's designed to be loaded in this direction. And so what we find is that people who wear flip-flops their whole lives have horrible collapsed feet. And what's interesting, people are like, "Oh, 'cause it doesn't have arch support." I'm like, "Well, these people have been barefoot "their whole lives," and their feet looked immaculate and amazing. And the difference is what? Not having to clench to keep the toes on. This is a little bit controversial, I've put this on the website before. Athletes and human beings should not wear slippers, you should not wear flip-flops. If you're going to the shower, don't wanna catch a disease, I think it's not gonna mess you up to wear flip-flops for a few minutes. I will permit my daughters to wear flip-flops for a few minutes when we walk from our house to the pool when the concrete is a hundred degrees, right, 110. Otherwise they're barefoot, or otherwise they're wearing shoes, or they're wearing a shoe with a back. But we don't spend a lot of time in flip-flops. Brian will say the same thing. And runners, if you're an athlete or if you're moving, you shouldn't wear flip-flops, because we know what the sacrifice is. So, the first thing we need to understand is that if I've stretched out all the ligaments, all the connective tissue of my feet because I've been walking in this position my whole life, then I'm gonna have some joint laxity down there. But look what happens when I create a system of torsion. And Jill knows this in yoga as tadasana. This is what they were talking about, is creating the torsion from the hip down and the whole system up-regulates. This muscle behind the shin here, it's called the posterior tibialis. And what ends up happening is, it runs right behind your ankle bone and creates an arch in the bottom, it helps to support the arch. But your connective tissue supports the arch, the musculature of your feet support the arch, and if you have an arch support nonstop isn't that the same thing as wearing a weight belt all the time? Your feet are never having to work, 'cause I'm supported in this position. What we want is, we want our athletes and people to start creating that torque and practicing that neutral position. Can you identify that this is a stable position for my foot? Can you identify that this doesn't look like a good position for my foot? Instantaneously you've got the awareness and eyes. So we need to start rebuilding people's arches. Romanov, who was one of, Dr Romanov was one of Brian's mentors, talked about these foot exercises, I call them the Romanov foot exercises. They're in Brian's book, and we have some exercises that actually strengthen your feet. One of the ways I know to strengthen your feet is actually exercise, (laughs) right, to actually use your feet as they were intended. But when we see stiff feet that aren't in the right position, the first things first is, let's correct that. And it will take some time to build the tone. As a case report, our young swimmers at San Jose State; some of those girls would be like, "I'm walking around, but my feet are cramping," and I'm like, "Cause they're so weak." No wonder you're cramping. And guess what, that cramping goes away over time. You've gotta have strong feet. This foot sets the tone for everything. Now, in the NFL, this comes from my good friend John Welbourn, who played NFL for nine years, and he says they examined his feet like, 22 times. And they will not draft you if your navicular bone, this thing on the inside, is on the ground. Why won't they draft you? Because if your foot is collapsed, what happens to your knee? And they know that that collapsed foot likely means knee injury. And now we understand that, that's not like, some crazy misconnection that some voodoo priestess made. Oh yeah, the arch collapsed, the whole knee becomes unstable. So this is why we look, and why we we said yesterday when you're squatting, it's not okay to practice destroying one of your primary joints.
That's all I have to say about that.
(laughs) That was great.
Of course that's just my opinion.
We did have a lot of questions on shoes and everything, so that was a perfect segue (crosstalk drowns out speaker)
Well, and let me show you something. This show has no insole, isn't it interesting? Because I'm able to make that shoe more stiff and give me better to the ground. Shoes are very personal. Full disclosure, I work with Reebok on shoes, but we're interested in the shoe that gives you enough support; do what you need to do. I will say this. If I choose a shoe that's designed for running, it may not be the best shoe in which I can create torsion. And we tend to see a lot of sloppiness out the side, and that's all I'll say about that. I want you in as flat a shoe as possible, and we'll leave that hornet's nest to Brian, (laughing) 'cause he's really good at it. Other questions?
Hey, that's what we're bringing him out for, right?
Bagall is saying, "Is there something I can do "to undo carpal tunnel?" Better position for using the keyboard, we've got a lot of people who do that all day, every day.
Yeah, what a reasonable thing. So when you say "carpal tunnel," this is sort of an incomplete language. You know, like you're saying "I wanna fix ankle." The carpal tunnel is a tunnel of bones, (laughs) right, and what we're seeing is, this is one little tight system. So if I spend time in a collapsed position, is this a good position, bad position? You can see that nothing's lined up, I'm collapsed. Doesn't this look like something else? Seems weird, like I'm having weird Achilles pain down here, and yet when I type in this position I'm also having tension in this system. Can you restore the sliding surfaces of your skin here? You betcha. But if you rest your elbows down-- So one of the problems, let's go back for a second. We see people on these little tiny laptops all the time. So are you getting organized before you start typing, yes, no? If you thought about typing as the most important, gnarly skill of the day, you'd sit there and you'd get organized, and you'd do the Western keyboard approach, where you set your shoulders back, break the bar, (yelling) and start typing. Or you'd be all Zen, very Eastern keyboard approach, ribcage down, head neutral, flip your hands up, organize shoulders, and then engage. One of the nice keys that I tell people is I'm like, "Make a little diamond," right, on your keyboard. 'Cause what that diamond does is, it brings you back to what position? Slightly externally rotated, shoulders stable. Type, come back. We actually want people to use their thumbs on that trackpad, and if you watch children they'll navigate everything with their thumbs because it feels better than to use their fingers. They'll navigate, they touch, everything is (mumbles) with thumbs. And what we're gonna see is that if you mouse with your thumbs and then kind of come back to a resting organizational state, and enter the tunnel of movement, we see a lot better positioning. So just kind of coming back to a resting state, type, come back, and try to do the best you can. Clearly, if I put the laptop deep in my lap and heat up my junk, (laughing) that has its own set of problems, but if I can try to get that thing up so it matches my own body a little bit, mechanically, then I have a little bit better position. And that's a good state, so start there. And then what we wanna do is, we wanna make sure that we're thinking in terms of the system upstream and downstream. So could I be restricted in the neck? Well, all the nerves run out my neck into my arms, so if I'm tight here, that's a kink on the nervous system, right? If I sit in this position, with my head in this position, does that impact the sliding surfaces downstream? Yeah, and so what would we need to fix first? Fix that thoracic spine first, put that neutral head position first, work on the tissues upstream. Does that improve the mechanics ultimately downstream? You betcha. We see people that do have a lot of scar tissue here sometimes; creating a lot more scar tissue in this area is not the answer.