Muscle Dynamics


Maintain Your Body for Long Lasting Health & Mobility


Lesson Info

Muscle Dynamics

We're gonna take the first crack in this, most simple iterations of what we're doing. How do I fix a position? And one of the key concepts here is that we need to make sure that we have a set of skills and tools that actually are appropriate and where I can measure effect and see effect. Now, one of the systems that I sort of, kind of we've been engaged in for ever and ever is that we're like hey, a muscle is tight? Let's stretch it, that must be the case. Earlier we had kind of intimated that there are probably some other pieces relating to why that musculature is short. The problem with this is that and as soon as I try to call out a single aspect of the system, then what I'm never ever doing is I'm never catching the intra-relatedness of all of how these tissues work. Remember, you're sliding surfaces, talking about the connective tissue, you're a muscle driven system. You have joints, you have the connectors around the joints, and so what we need to be thinking of is how do I mobil...

ize the entire system sort of all at once, en masse if you will. And so the key concept here is that if I remember what the stable position is and I put myself into that stable position, then I'm naturally going to bias and emphasize those tissues accordingly. I don't have to remember what the spiral lines of the fascia are. I don't have to remember what the (mumbles) is of the pec as I reach overhead. I don't have to remember what the rotator cuff does and these different ... All I need to do is put myself into the best approximation of the position that I know is the end range of full motion, and then I can spend some time in that position. So that's a good model, it kind of integrates all of these systems together. The problem is this, that, what ends up happening a lot of times is okay, someone's like, "my hamstrings are tight so I need to put myself in this position." Have you guys ever done this light stretch before? Well, we make some basic movement errors, right? Am I really stretching anything? I feel stretched, certainly because my big self is hanging on the hamstring. Let me grab you for a second again. Feet were turned out slightly, knees came in, it's okay. Next time you do it again, truckload of kittens in the back, sacrifice. Now look, here's what you do, I want you to make a muscle for me, ready? Get tight, get tight. Now, I'm gonna apply a stretch to you. You feeling stretched? No. It's a great stretch, isn't it? No. So what's going on here? What's going on here is that this neuromuscular system is under tension, he's resisting this position. Can you stretch, change the relationship of how this muscle works when it's under tension like this? Not so much, huh? I mean I can hang on this for a long time and eventually he'll fatigue and then maybe I can get some change done, but eventually, I mean come on, look at those things, right? But the problem is most of us are oftentimes putting ourselves under tensioned positions and when I'm under tension I can't affect some of the contractile features. So what I need to do is try to put myself into situations where I'm not under tension. So what's the problem, say with working on your middle splits? What's the problem with this basic shape and position is what, is that the whole time I'm trying not to die. My hand, my abductors are on, things are horrible, I'm in a terrible shape. I'm cold, I'm on a concrete floor in Seattle but I am not gonna get a lot of mobilization done here because I am at end range freaking out. So, one of the questions is, how do I adopt some of these shapes where I can not end up putting myself under tension because that's not a very effective model. One of the things that we want to do and I want you guys to understand, my school for physio is a place called Samuel Merritt and it's attached to the World Center for PNF. Have you guys ever heard of PNF before? It stands for a proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. Remember, Jill talked about the proprioceptors are those kind of cells and the positioners that let us know where we are in our bodies. Your joints, your skin, the musculature, the tensioners, all of these things give me input about how I am, moving in space and where I am sort of in the world around me. Well, these guys in this clever place at Kaiser Vallejo figured out that they could use the body's mechanical position sensors to facilitate movement. Doesn't that seem like a reasonable idea? So my school is attached directly to this. And one of the techniques in there is a technique where pulled out, we're gonna take 1% of 1% of what this beautiful body of knowledge is about rehabilitating after strokes or spinal cord injuries. And what they've done is, they've said we use a technique called contract relax. And the idea is your muscular system isn't just a machine, it's a machine with a beautiful piece of software. And if we get the software engaged with this system, then suddenly we can start to affect much larger changes. And this idea is called contract relax. Now, before we get all up in your paradigm versus my paradigm, hard style versus loose style, what we want to be thinking about is the only thing that matters in our paradigm schema is test and retest validity and reliability. Can I make some changes, and can I see changes? So you have some voodoo priestesses who breaks a chicken neck and rubs around your leg and you're a little bit more mobile afterwards and you can do it every time, I believe it. I watch you squat more and your positions are better, I'm in, I'm a believer at that point. But more importantly, I like a set of tools that are instantaneously accessible to people that are simple and effective, and these are the tools through my time as a coach and my time as a physical therapist that helped me quickly to get into these areas. Now, this contract relax model means all I'm gonna do is build tension in the muscular system that I'm trying to change. You did that yesterday. Oh, I'm feeling like I'm having a visceral response when I push on my viscera, the viscerate. And when I'm laying on that ball and feeling gross and like I'm gonna vomit, what did I do? I contract in my belly and then release. What ends up happening is I get this neuromuscular signal to relax that muscle tissue, and this contract relax technique becomes very, very effective when I'm getting into vulnerable tissues like my abdomen or injured sites where tissues have been injured or people are stiff or what's going on. And so what ends up happening is that this gives me a really great technique to be able to start a conversation. And if it isn't short and in fact a shortened muscle fiber tissue then it's going to respond to this contract relax paradigm. It's going to respond to this contract relax model. And so, the key concept here is that I'm going to be in a position of end range in this. So whatever position I need to be in and here's the deal, remember yesterday I intimated that your brain is actually wired for movement. It's not wired for musculature, is it? You actually don't have selective control over any muscle in your body. What we do is we'll do muscle testing for people who have had spinal cord injuries because we're trying to assess at what level their injury is, that's appropriate. But since your body is actually wired for movement that if we wire the monkey brain, this is how they figure this out. They wired the monkey brain, the monkey picked up the banana chip and fed itself and then they move the banana chip over and it was a completely different neural pathway. Ching, it lights up differently. And then they were like well, what happens we give the monkey arm, give the monkey a robotic arm and just wire it and the monkey thinks about going for the banana chip, ching, it wires up and picks it. And so, with the robot arm and what ends up happening here is that we aren't wired for musculature, we're wired for movement. So the thing that I need to mobilize is the movement. So, is it accurate to say I'm ever stretching your hamstrings, no. But it's accurate to say as I'm stretching a movement, my hamstrings are involved with that piece of movement. Does that make sense to you guys? And when I say stretching what do I really mean? You'll notice that I don't use that word lightly and I don't use it at all because there's so much confusion around it. It's like using the word core. What do I mean by your core? The muscles that look good at the beach, like your Cobra? What do we mean by core? Your diaphragm? Before yesterday, did you even know that your diaphragm is part of your core? Your pelvic floor, your sphincter or your butt, is that part of your core? Well, it is, all of these things are part of that system. So what we mean is specifically is, when we talk about stretching, what we're really asking is, "What are we mobilizing, what are we trying to change?" And this contract relax means that I'm going to stiffen the position. What muscle were you thinking of tensing yesterday when you're laying on the ball? No idea, what I did was push into the ball and resist that position. Because this is a really effective way for suddenly to me to work on a position. Let me give you an example. Most of you guys have heard of this thing called reciprocal inhibition, which means that if I contract my biceps, it releases my triceps. Have you heard that kind of stretching before? Yeah, that makes real sense, right? I can track my quads and I release my hamstrings. Great, well, okay, if that's the case what is the opposite of this position? Does anyone know? What's the opposite musculature that's tight here? You have no idea, I have no idea. I mean what is this, this is like gristle in here. I want you to contract the opposite muscle of the distal insertion of the (mumbles) as it crosses into hip flexion, I don't even know what that means, I just made it up. And the concept here is, what I know to do is that I can resist this entire position. And as soon as I resist this position, I'm going to count for all the musculature that's tight in that shit, you following me? And that means it's something very easy. The contract relax technique is very, very excellent because think about how strong my hamstrings are. If I just put a little tension on them, I'm probably not going to get anything I want out of them. Why, because my hamstrings can resist hundreds of pounds of load. And if I would take hundreds of pounds of force to try to change that, but since our muscles are neural mechanical, if I get my brain involved in the project, it suddenly becomes a very, very simple proposition. So, this contract relax, we're gonna hold the position for five seconds. So it's five seconds of resistance, resistance. Then 10 seconds off. And here's the key idea, is that there's not really any time off. What we're doing is we're gonna move into that new position and hang out there passively. So it's five seconds active, 10 seconds passive, and I repeat that. Oh, wait a minute, how long do I repeat it? We probably should talk about some programming ideas. Oh, this is why you need to have a schema in your head for how we're gonna get this done, okay? So here's some programming ideas. The very simple, simple basics. One, every day, this is a seven days a week model and that I need you to think about position as a skill and how long do I need to work on a skill? How much time do you have as a busy human being with a family and a job and still gotta train? I know that you have 10 to 15 minutes a day to work on these things, very simple. If you dedicate 15 minutes a week, 15 minutes a day that's 90 plus minutes a week of noodling around. The variations are are endless. You can work on soft tissue, you can work on the joint capsules, you can work on just your shoulders every day. It becomes sort of an open-ended exploration which is what I want to do. People ask me all the time, can you put a routine together for me? And I'm like, "No way!" Because as soon as I say do these six things you've missed the other 4,000 things. And what ends up happening is I want you to start a conversation with your body where you're like, "You know what, I haven't been talking to my calves or my ankles in like a month." And so now, suddenly there's a conversation where I'm exploring those things. How long do I need to explore? 10 or 15 minutes a day, and I know you can work that into your busy schema because you guys are so busy. In fact, the modern hour is like a modern miracle of training, that hour of training. I've got to get you warmed up, I've got to teach a skill, we got to get you stronger. We got to get some metabolic conditioning and we got to talk about nutrition, right? So my idea is hey, I want my athletes and my people to be working on this. The worst and most greatest frustration I have as a physical therapist is when people come and see me. I'm like, "So what are you doing for your problem?" And they're like, "Nothing." And I'm like, "So you just want to lay there and me just fix you with my hands?" And they're like, "that'd be great," and I'm like, "get out of here." So what I need you to do before you see any physician, before you see any physical therapist or physio or chiropractic physician or osteopath is that you need to be working on this 15 minutes a day for a couple of weeks so that you start to have a good schema so that you can help that person figure out what's going on with you. You should be able to lay it out for them based on the fact that you're spending 10 or 15 minutes a day, which is a very reasonable idea to perform maintenance on sort of the most important vehicle for this thing. And for our Creative listeners out there, think about how much you might spend journaling or creating that perfect tweet, like 15 minutes goes like that. And so what I'm asking you to do, I've never spent 15 minutes with a tweet. It takes me 40 minutes. Oh, it's 40 minutes for one tweet. To write a perfect tweet. But we laugh, we cry, it changes the earth, I understand. It's true. But the key concept is that imagine if during that time you were working on your squat also, so the key is 10 to 15 minutes a day, and we're gonna say two minutes is sort of our minimum dose. Minimum effective dose. So the research says it's complicated because what am I really measuring and what we know is that sometimes it takes at least two minutes to make some of the soft tissue changes. Some of the tissue changes like that, and some of the tissues are a little bit grisly. And one of the type 1 errors we see a lot is people like, "Ah, I rolled my whole body." I'm like, "You rolled your whole body on a foam roller? Like you stuck yourself through one of those machines?" I'm like, "Well how long did you do that?" "That took me like three minutes." You rolled your entire body in three minutes that's a pretty colossal waste of your time, so the issue is stay on something, You know, as physical therapist, I'm trained this way. I'll get on a tissue until it changes, and I'll stay on that tissue until it stops changing. Isn't that very reasonable? So I'll stay working on that piece as long as there needs to be change, and I'll stay on that piece as long as I'm making change. so if something I get into my diaphragm and it takes me 10 minutes to get underneath there, that's the whole piece, and so I'll always prioritize quality over quantity. It's not about getting a ton of work done. Tomorrow we'll fix the rest of your shapes. Tomorrow we'll get into those grody feet, but today we're gonna get some work done on the proper area. So there's two minutes of a minimum dose, right? And then we can start thinking of it this way: if I have something that's popped up into my consciousness of having pain, address your pain. Address your pain, and that's upstream and downstream, right? Because this is sort of the top error, this is the the greatest problem right now is what's stiff, what's hurting? That's the thing that's sucking up your creative energy, that's the thing that's getting in your way of playing sports. And pain causes a whole bunch of complex down regulation. You get stiff because of pain you can't contract as muscle as hard against pain, right? Pain causes psychological problems. All you need to do is tweak your back and walk around with a backache for a while and see how that impacts your ability to like have a fun conversation with people, right? You're like that girl is so cute, but she's such a drag, but her internal pain is driving a lot of those psychological processes. So Brian Mackenzie, who'll be on later today, says this. He's like, "By pain is the indicator that you're violating the rule of biomechanics." Okay, so now I have this indicator. We don't like it, but it's an indicator. So now it tells me I need to address that. So this is what I'll go to the top of my priority list is the thing that's causing me the most grief, and once I've resolved that, then it becomes this open loop where I'm working kind of up and down this chain, up and down the system for 10 or 15 minutes a day. And I literally will have some of the best athletes in the world, and I'll put them down, and I'm like, "Do you have any pain?" "Nope." "Any hip pain?" "Nope." "Quads hurt?" "No, it's great." And then I get on those quads, and they turn out to be freakishly, freakishly stiff. And the issue is that, unless you're exploring, because remember I don't want to use pain as a diagnostic tool. I need to be kind of actively looking. The key concept here is that you have lives, and businesses, and families, and the last thing we can do is have you spend hours and hours and hours a day working on this. If you were an Olympic athlete, you could warm up, and cool down, do all the things, but that's not what it looks like to be an active marine, to run a business, to be with your family, but I know you have 10 or 15 minutes a day. And if you know I wrote a poem a day for like 200 days, 300. I think it was insane, but once I got into that practice it wasn't a big deal. And if you asked my wife could I do the splits like things ages ago she'd be like, "No way!" What I've done as I started to work on it, and when I'm watching TV, you know, I hang out. If I'm reading a book, if I'm on the phone I'll throw my hip up on the table and start working on something. So the question is when do ... When is it more appropriate for me to work on this? And my feeling is we're back to this conversation of 1 or 0. If it's 2:00 a.m. you wake up and you're stiff, maybe that's not the best time to attack yourself with a lacrosse ball. Have a shower, get up and going, have some coffee, but if that's the only time you can do it, guess what? It's 1 or 0. Are you putting in the miles or not? Are you working on your tissues or not? And what happens, it turns out that when I looked at the piece of my doctoral work, I was at barriers to adherence, and so what kept people from doing the things that they said they needed to do and actually knew they needed to do, well it turns out the more steps between you doing something and actually doing it the less likely you are to do it. And so if I set up all these preconditions your core temperatures can be active. You'll have walked for 15 minutes. You will be 3 hours after a meal, right? You'll be in a perfect zen state with candles. It'll never happen. You'll be like, "That's not perfect." Or if I said to you, "Hey we have to do your whole routine." What will end up? You'll be like, "I can't do the whole routine today." It's gone. I'll do it tomorrow. And you end up putting it off, so here's our deal: 10 or 15 minutes a day when it works for you. After exercise, fantastic. This, we're not talking about exercise during this course. We're not talking about you know the the training during this course or systems, but I'll tell you is that if you can't put your arms over your head, and you're about to go overhead with something, an exercise, or if like you're about to go swim, and you can't put your arms overhead, maybe that's what I'll work on before I go put my arms over my head repetitively in a competitive exercise environment. Does that make sense to you guys? Very simple. My girls at San Jose State swim team. I don't mean girls I mean my tigresses, right? They get off the bus, and the first thing I do is fix themselves. I mean undo that bus, right? It's not ideal. Sometimes it's early in the morning. Sometimes those girls are rolling around on the cross balls, and rolling on the foam rollers, and doing what they need to do at 5:00 a.m. on the deck of the pool. And what ends up happening is they just make a commitment to doing this basic set of work. So let's take this concept. It's very simple. It's everyday when I can do it. 10 or 15 minutes a day. 2 minutes is our minimum dose. I'm gonna address my pain first, and then if not, I'll get sucked into this open-loop because things are gonna come up and it's a moving target, you know? You just look different after you've been training for that marathon. You're just gonna look like a runner and be stiff, so if we say the most simple ... So let's do that. So what I'm gonna have you guys do is let's go ahead and stand up, and let's kick back, and let's take some basic shapes and ideas. And did you see the changes in behavior already in how you stood up? What's up? Let's go make a circle again. I'm so proud of you guys. My wife often says to me her best coaching cue to me is, "Boy can learn." That's it, so here's the deal: yesterday we talked about just this fundamental archetype of squatting, right? Getting up and down off the toilet. Alright we're not talking about how to put load on that. We're not talking about overhead squatting. We're how about any of those iterations. What we're gonna talk about is fixing this fundamental shape. So what would be an easy way to start attacking my lack of ability to get into a squat? Squat. Right, so I could squat, and that's what we do with the 10 minute squat test. We're just hanging out, and we're hoping that, given enough time, some kind of change in tissue will occur. If I spend enough time and downward dog, I'm hoping that things will change. Well sometimes they do and sometimes they don't, so let's apply this neural mechanical technique. This neural muscular technique called contract relax. So instead of bilaterally squatting, didn't Carl have us do one leg at a time for some of our rolls? So get into a squat position that looks like one leg at a time in a perfect squat. What would that look like? How about this? Doesn't this look like a one-legged squat? Ah! So let's get into the squat shape for me. Would you? Wait a minute. Did we test and retest anything? No! Oh you guys are just getting ready to go. You're having dessert first! Can I see your hand? We have no discipline! All right here we go. Go ahead and let's watch you squat. Remember, we're judging from yesterday. Oh look how different it looks today. Did you see that people? Legit. Legit, that's so much better. Excellent, excellent. Are you sure you're just a yogi? 'Cause you're pretty ... Like this is, this is some legit that's happening. Okay, so that's gonna be our test retest. Guys got it? Okay, the next piece now is let's go ahead and get into that shape I just showed you. So we're just going to take that one leg out here. Yes, my jeans have elastic in them. I found this out after horrific, catastrophic pant blowout in very opportune times. I'm from California. We do a lot of surfing. Sometimes you don't wear underwear because you're a surfer. Then you start having catastrophic, systemic pant blowouts and it's life-changing. Okay, so this first shape ... Here's what we're gonna do: we're just gonna take this basic concept shape. Can anyone see that this looks and feels like squatting? In fact hip creases below the knee, my shin is vertical, I mean all that all the points of performance. Now what muscles are tight here? Do you have any idea really? You don't, so let's do this: take a big breath and resist this position. You tight, resist. What are you resisting? Everything. And release. Now make that a little worse. Make it a little bit more aggressive. Remember what Carl said, "We want to exaggerate reality." So I'm gonna always try to protect my spine. Spine first, right? Head is neutral. I like his don't get old fast. Take away the wrinkles, but now let's exaggerate reality by just getting your belly button over your heel just a little bit. All right, we put this on mobility. Why we call this squat retest. I should have my feet straight, right? There's no reason why my foot should be turned out at all or my foot should be candidly ring up yet. So I keep my hand and my foot. Belly button to heel. I'm gonna try to keep my shin vertical. Right now your shin is not vertical. You pull that shin back a little bit. There we go. Take a big breath, get tight, and resist. Feet straight. Tight! Ah, release. Go a little further. Ah, we know this technique already. It's starting to map over as we did this on the ball. Now, I'm just gonna kind of I'm hanging out in that position. Give breath, get tight, resist, push a little bit further, release. Now, let's exaggerate reality a little more. Let's go ahead and turn your belly button to your knee. Isn't this just an exaggerated ... Ooh, anyone find new stuff there that's ugly? It's ugly isn't it? Take a big breath. Don't make the face, and release. Get tight. Umph, I'm gonna come off. Oh interesting. Now we're gonna be clear about something: one of the rules of mobility is don't be creepy. Is that correct? So if you make a weird, creepy face like a pain face is what we call it, it's minus one. So you know honestly what I want to do is we want to disconnect a short neck flexors and that pain response from that outward signal. And we have one of my best friends, one of which is really good lady down in San Diego named Nicole DeHart, she hates running. And what she says is, "I'm so light. It's such a beautiful day. I'm so happy, and when she's suffering the most, she smiles the most." Okay? So let's keep pushing into that corner and resist. What muscles are those? You could never tell in a million years. And release and make it a little bit grislier. It's a little ugly there isn't it? Now watch this: go ahead and break up with your leg. Break up, push out, break up with your leg. It disgusts me. Take a big breath and get tight, resist, resist, tight, release, push a little further, grinding in those corners. Anyone finding something that's tight and horrible there? It's pretty bad isn't it? And if you couldn't get on the floor you, could put your foot up on a box. You could put your foot up on a chair. You don't have to be on the ground if the ground is the limiting factor. Now let's go ahead. We start flexion and extra rotation was the stable position for the hip. So what happens if I start to buy us some extra rotation? I don't want you to put your knee on the ground. I want you to camp out in this position. So no don't drop the knee on the ground. So my chest is right over my foot, take a big breath, get tight, and resist. Ooh, that's a little bit different there isn't it? You just make crazy horse eye. Where like a horse is about to bolt for the barn in the lightning storm. We see it all. And release, big breath, get tight. Stiff, stiff, stiff. If you're a desk-bound athlete, this is part of your staple. Turn belly button to knee. Is it tight there? It's even tighter isn't it? Because we're biasing the extra rotation there, and get tight, and resist, resist, then release. Do you need any equipment for this? No. Can this be done anywhere discreetly? Maybe not, but you should let the world know you're getting awesome. Turn away, break up with your leg, discuss me, and get tight, resist, resist. Don't make that face. That's weird. And release. I'm such a beautiful butterfly. Good dismount, which is our feeling of this. Dismount and you're gonna feel a little bit drunk. Oh hey, I know, I know. All right, I had no idea. I feel kind of happy. So now check this out: now let's just run a test for a second as your nervous system is readjusting because it is, right? Now does this make sense to immediately jump into a heavy squat right now? No that would be weird, and anyone who does that gets what they deserve. Okay, but by the time I've moved around a little bit I'm not gonna have a problem with this. That's what all the research says. So now screw your feet into the ground. Create some torque. Is one side working a little bit more effectively than the other side? Whoa, it's almost like that side is not so stiff. Squeeze your butt as hard as you can. Which butt cheek squeezes harder? Whoa, the butt squeeze test! I know. Try the squat again for us. Go ahead and get into a squat position. What do you notice side to side? Go ahead and shove it in the leg out. It'll go further. One side will go further. Can you tell a difference? Yes. What are you experiencing there? Why are you laughing? We got to do the other side. Now, let's be clear: what you did, what you're discovering, is the other side is retarded, and that's actually the correct use of the retard, restricted. I'm trying to take that word back from the haters, okay? So what you're seeing is that that hip is greatly restricted in this position in iteration. You guys spin around right over there, perfect. Okay, stand back up. Ah, so we now we drive a test retest ethic into a basic in shape in position. Okay, are you guys following me? All right we're only gonna do one side. Come back to CreativeLive day three for the other side. So here's what we're gonna do though, but I want to keep this conversation going. Just to give us some examples. I want to make sure we're running through this. One of the most fundamental shapes because that's a squatting archetype shape isn't it? That I should be able to get my legs straight and knee out. That's one of the other archetypes was having the hip in extension. So let me show you what one of my absolute favorites. And you guys know it as what? The couch stretch. So well the reason I call it the couch stretch is that there's always a couch in your life going on, and this is a way to distract yourself while you're watching TV because TV is so boring. You might as well undergo some intense psychological discomfort. So we're gonna bounce over to this wall here. We'll have you shift down. We have you just shift down a little bit. Here's what I want you guys to do. Let's take this three group right here, and let's get into the couch stretch position. And that couch stretch position is an exaggerated reality, which means that I'm going to put my knee in the corner, which is bringing my hip behind my body. And then I'm gonna bring the other leg up into this basic shape and position. I'm not on my kneecap. It shouldn't hurt. And just hang out here and notice where you're tight. Okay, let's have the three of you guys adopt that shape and position. Start on our knees first, so not up on there. I want you start on both knees. So start on both knees, so you get your knee all the way back into the corner. See how you missed that corner? Good, now you can push up and now bring that other leg up into a standing position. And what are you guys noticing right away? Ah, we're seeing some really abject stiffness in this position. So a couple of things that tend to happen is the leg wants to fly out a little bit. You'll notice that his knee is kind of kicking off to the side, which we know happens when we run, so I want to try to keep that knee in line with my hip. So shove your hip over to the right a little bit. Other right. There you go. It's okay. You get all the discombobulated, right? You see, can you shove your hip over to the right just a little bit too. Ah, and you'll notice that these guys cleverly were like, "It's too tight! Mur! Let me just dump some of that tension." Shouldn't you be vertical? Shouldn't it? I should always be practicing that vertical shin because that's my safest and best position, and what you're noticing is that somehow this tightness in the back is not preventing them from being in a good foot straightforward position. So let's get the always mobilizing good position. Is your foot straight? That, lift, there you go, shin vertical. Now what do you guys noticing? It's tight. So I can just hang on that meat and beat it down, or I can drop in my brain into this conversation. So let's go ahead and get tight. What are you resisting? Everything, that's right, and release. Ah, and this can be done everywhere. These two fundamental shapes are the basic archetypes with the lower body, right, where I start to work on extension and that squat position. We've given you a ton more on those handouts, where you can figure out a little bit more about those basic shapes and positions, but you can start to figure out whatever position you need to change and be able to drop this contract relaxed technique in on top of that. Are you following me? Now that's position one. That's got a lot of what we call low leg flexion, so the leg is being bent, but the hip really isn't open, is it? So go ahead and see if you can get your shin vertical for me. Now there you go. I have a lot of friends who are very scary, and they say that this is worse than being waterboarded, which I appreciate. So it's like self waterboarding, right? That's really great, so, so great it's my favorite. Now go ahead and keep your back tight, belly tight, squeeze your bum, and then go ahead and just bring your back to the wall for me, would you? Oh pain face, minus one. Well I don't understand. What's going on? Why aren't you there? So this is a basic shape an archetype, where this should be no problem, and what we see is that when people have full capacities in their tissues they go right up to the wall no problem. Does butt need to be tight to try to protect the back? You bet. Right, do I need to be thinking about contract relaxed? Now what's happened with their breathing? Have you seen their weird breathing patterns have gone to like (panicked and constricted breathing pattern). And so what's happening is that these guys are not breathing. Can you take a full breath in that position? How very yoga of me, right? Mobilizing with breath. And what you're seeing though is that we tied that breath. Remember how we were holding our breath and releasing? That breath mechanism, that parasympathetic sympathetic response that I'm doing. I'm getting tight and then, poof, a release. And that helps me to break this cycle. Getting my brain involved, making sure that when I'm in these positions, that I still have full excursion of diaphragm, and I'm practicing that breathing mechanic. Should their abs be at 20 percent? At least, right? Hanging on the meat. I'm awake, I'm in a good ... What do you mean? You just dismounted? You just tapped out on TV? No puedo! I can't! No, that's alright and that's appropriate. Man that's intense. I can't do this. This I believe was the second mobility that I ever did. This basic shape. This is such an easy way if you're trapped in a bathroom and finding that your hips are tight, this is one of the tissue relievers that we do to just open up. We call this the couch stretch, and we know ways to make it far, far worse. So this is grade school level one, and it allows me to spend quality time here. We've been going for about four or five minutes in this shape. Let's go ahead and stand up and dismount. They crawl out like they're crippled or newborns, like newborn deer standing up for the first time. I love it. Excellent, don't do that in public. That's weird. "Hey, how's it going? You drop something!" Okay, now here's one of the concepts that I want you to get out of this lesson is that when we see athletes and people who are restricted in these primary engines, the big guns, when they're tight what happens to the torque? I lose stability not ... Remember we said that when we have over tension tissues, that's a problem that can cause a lot of the grief. But also when I devolve out because of that over tension tissue, is where I start to see those faults. Remember Carl talked about how sometimes I'll go around that the wind? That tension goes from high pressure to low pressure? Well the issue is ... Let's go ahead and squat again and tell me what you notice about your capacity to keep your knee out on the side we just mobilized. Is that better, same, or worse? It's better. Now we didn't fix this position did we? We did the opposite of this position. Now in PT school they say these revolutionary things like, "test something you think you changed and something you may not have changed." And then you're like. "That's so deep!" And then you're like, "Wait it's my leg, and I use my leg for lots of different things. So if I change my leg, turns out my leg works differently and all these things that involve my leg." So, all right, and what you notice there is that you can create better torque. You can keep the knees out more effortlessly. Shove it out hard. Show us what the difference. Like that's crazy town. Can you see that? You're freaking me out with that. Pull that leg back in. No, I'm just kidding! Push the other leg back out! How much harder? No, not with your arm. Do that one actively. Shove your right knee out by itself. Right, now you can see the difference. And that's the issue is how hard am I working to get into these basic shapes and archetypes. Come on, let's stand up. So we had a question earlier. Hang on one second. You are a fighter, right? Right. And you like, let's be honest, if you see me hiking up my pants, you know I'm gonna try to kick you in the head in just a second, right? All right, so how do I take this into that shape, and we talked about earlier that if I can't get tight, then it's gonna be difficult. If I'm resisting it's gonna be difficult, so let me show you one of our favorite techniques. And this will be our last one before we pull the master out because I really want to get into some soft tissue. But this contract relax technique is my basic archetype to be able to begin a conversation about getting into some very simple shapes. Exaggerated reality. So go ahead and dump your torso into this. You'll face that direction. Good, stick your arms in there. Great, so we value, in martial arts and gymnastics, the splits very much. Is that right? Yes. Great, so now that you're being supported by something, could you adopt a splits like position for me? Go ahead and try that. I don't know, let's do four splits. Now what happens it's pretty impressive, right? What happens is his torso is being supported. Do you feel the difference? And what does this allow you to do? Contract and relax. Without having to freak out about holding yourself up because we know that if he's working on his splits position and he's like, "Ah! I'm dying! I'm dying!" He's never gonna release into those basic shapes. Keeping his torso upright allows him to then occupy some of those basic shapes and conditions where he can relax and then start to hunt around the corners, right? Because that splits is a formal shape, and have you ever seen anyone fight in a split kick position? Whoa, no! It's coming up. Ah, so he can hunt in his different angles. There's still Bayes: our basic shape and principles. I'm mobilizing at the position of restriction, which is a shape that I want to get in using a contract relaxed technique. Are you following me? Absolutely. It's a nice idea, and I call this the splits machine. Oh yes, you'll try this at home. Don't freak out your parents, okay? So like, "Hey I'm not hanging around. I'm just working on my hips." Okay, so here's what we're gonna do. We're now going to just do a quick reload of reset of this. We're gonna kick it back to you guys for a few questions. We're gonna stack the chairs, and then we're bringing Jill Miller out. Let me introduce Jill Miller to you guys. Again, for those of you who are just tuning in for the first time. Jill is, well, I don't know. How would you describe? As a twin, and what I want to understand about Jill is that she is a brilliant movement coach. People sometimes forget about her ability to coach movement and her ability to teach movement, but she's also master mechanic, and she's one of the best people in the world I know about dealing with some of the soft tissue restrictions we're seeing worldwide. It is an epidemic of matted down proportions. It's like World War Z, but your attack down mess. So here's the deal: we're gonna bring Jill Miller on in just a second, but let's go ahead and we'll bring Jill out, we'll kick it back to you guys to take some questions, and let's stack those chairs, and get ready for Jill Miller. All right, Kelly, if you want to maybe come over here, so we can hear you. So, well, here's Jill. Hey Jill. Well I don't know about over here. Where did you want us? Sorry Okay, I'm coming back. There we go. Okay, question for you. Question for us. Okay, a couple of people were asking, "When you are saying the word resist ..." This is from Jill Adams and Jeff HQ. They didn't quite get what you meant by resist. Is it just tense every muscle that I can? Great question, so do I, when I'm resisting, I just need to contract everything in that position. I call it co-contraction. Make that position stiff, resist, get tight into that basic shape, and everything will tighten up around it. Absolutely good question. Great, Moose from San Diego says, "If you have pain in several areas and in the context of upstream and downstream is there a good way of knowing which pain to start with first?" The question about this is where do I start first. So ultimately if I drop a rock into a pond, I'm going to get waves and ripples through the whole system, right? Eventually. So we know that little fact. And different people have different theories about what to affects first. I always try to work closer to the trunk, and if there's something impacting my capacity to maintain my spinal position, so for example if I noticed that I was tight on the couch stretch, and I'm overextended all the time. That's pulling me into this broken position. That may be the thing I would relieve first or work on first in that basic shape and position. Right. I wanted to ask how ... Is there an optimal width that your feet should be when you're in that squat position? Like should it be narrow? Should it be wide? Great idea, so you are gonna have to ... Carl says I'm gonna have to squat into many different iterations, right? Go ahead and get around a refrigerator, and you're gonna end up in a much wider position. So I better be able to apply the set of moving principles to any squat position I'm in. I mean technically this is still squatting, right? I have to take a mid stance. I prioritize my trunk, and organize, and then the basic squat principles still work across any foot shape. That's one of the things I'm gonna have to do if I'm a lineman in the NFL, maybe I take a stagger start, prioritize the trunk, load, comma. When we work on athletic in our gym, we adopt a squat stance that allows me to go to full range of motion. So if I can drop down to these basic 4-inch of motion shapes, then that's the squat I want to work in most of the time. If I'm going to squat very, very, very heavy loads, I'm much, much wider, right? Like our strength athletes, but this shape, if I'm this wide it means I may not be able to drop down full range of motion. So I adopt the most effective position as my primal shape, as the shape I spend the most time with. That seemed fair and reasonable? Yeah. But what am I interested in? All of them. We have a we have a coach who worked with he used to be in a circus school kind of thing, and his name's Adrian Boozman and good, really good friend of ours, brilliant coach, and he had this Russian trainer who would ... You know Adrian would do something remarkable and he would be like, "More of everything." Like that was the coaching cue. Like in this Russian mode of everything. You know? And that's a really good coach, "I want more of everything."

Class Description

In this ultimate guide to resolving pain, preventing injury, and optimizing athletic performance. Mobility expert and SF Crossfit founder Kelly Starrett has taught tens of thousands of people, from elite athletes to weekend warriors, how to improve their movement and positioning to fix inefficiencies and avoid injuries. Kelly offers a healthy “how-to” blueprint for moving about in our hectic everyday lives. How do you fix your position while sitting at your desk at work for hours on end? How can you lift your kids without hurting your back? What’s the best way to run to avoid long-term injury? Kelly will give you all the tools you need to perfect your movement and ensure long-lasting health and mobility, unlocking reservoirs of athletic capacity you didn’t even know you had.