Real World Examples To Improve Mobility


Maintain Your Body for Long Lasting Health & Mobility


Lesson Info

Real World Examples To Improve Mobility

So here's where we're gonna go. I wanna do some real-world action breakdown. What does this look like, applying these principles, where the rubber hits the road? And here's gonna be our test case. Do you have your abs on 20%? No, yes, no? (groans) Are you sitting in a good position, bad position? At home, you're playing for score? Good, much better. Excellent, I see you. We can be great friends in that perfect position mechanics. And it's difficult. If you've ever sat in lotus position and meditated for, oh, I don't know, 20 minutes, what burns? Everything, right, and it's so hard to stay organized, so how the heck could you stay organized for eight hours? Which we'll get into, some of these, applying some of these principles, and it's difficult to kind of constantly tend that garden. So what's it look like when we start to take position and start to challenge it across these different platforms, adding load, adding speed, what's that start to look like? Can we identify some of the bre...

akdowns of these basic shapes and basic positions, and start to see where we're giving away force and power? I just want to start with this by saying that this is a very, very, very old sculpture. Back is straight, belly's soft. Feet, (groans) wouldn't give him, but look how far the knees are out, right, creating torsion at the hip, and what I want you to tell about this photo is that, like, we're not the first people to figure this out. Right, it's been done before us. This is, I'm gonna get it wrong, but it's late Zhou period, and notice how straight the feet are, and how straight the back is, and how far the knees are out in these two Judo players, and it's almost like humans are really clever, and they found they could throw and fight better when they were in better positions, and that actually got reflected in this, and you will see this everywhere when you start paying attention. This is a photo that I took on my phone in the Presidio. This is from 1904. This is the US Army marching off to war in the Philippines, or marching off to the Philippines, and you can see, is his leg in a good position in the back? You can see it, right? And can you see that he's striking and his foot is turned out? Yes. And some of the times, the problem is that with some of the shoe-wear that we wear, this is cavalry, so he's got a boot, so he can slip into the stirrup, but what does that boot do to my heel? Doesn't that take away some of the dorsiflexion? And if I squeeze my butt and be organized, I should be flat and have my weight through the entire center of the foot. I need to have my center of mass right through the arch. It's right in the front. What ends up happening is that, and we do this, and this is a little bit gross, and clearly this is not my dream, but the next time you go pee, or tinkle, pay attention to what your feet are doing. And when it's a nice time, you walk in, you're gonna be like, oh my lord. My right foot is turned out crazy. My weight's on my heel. But we need that whole arch balanced, and you weight through your whole center of foot, and a lot of people are weighting their heels all the time, which does what, if I weight my heels and I'm in a good position, I'm gonna fall over backwards, but if I screw my feet into the ground and create an arch, I should be balanced in that neutral position, and all of a sudden, if I cant the whole system forward an inch, or a couple centimeters, I'm either gonna fall forward, or I'm gonna compensate somewhere else, aren't I? And this is the problem with some of these basic shapes. And so we've taken away his hips, we've taken away his ankles, and you can see that reflected in this open-knee position. This is exactly the position that we see, striking with that knee-forward positioning, or valgus knee, or an ACL tear. I see broken people. (group laughs) Right, that's my new mantra. This is one of my all-American swimmers. She is an extraordinary athlete. What I want it to tell you is that, why isn't she swimming this day? Do you guys know? Her shoulder hurts. Can you perchance identify why that's not the most efficient position? And you can see, what is she looking for? She's looking for, not for attention, she's looking for tension, right? She's kicked this leg out, she's cocking on the hip. You can see her creating a local extension fault here at the low back, and then she's just hanging on these tissues, looking for stability. One of the things that we've been able to do with this swim team, this is the San Jose State women's swim team, these girls and women have figured it out. They practice and cultivate this concept of combat stance as your everyday stance, and these girls are vicious, and are destroying the competition, and setting PRs in the works, and going faster and faster, and for the first time, guess what, we have a collegiate swim team that doesn't have shoulder pain. Can you imagine that? What's that look like? Revolution is what that looks like. And it's because these young women, these female athletes, are phenomenal at understanding what resting position is, and understanding how to take care of the mechanics when they're not there. This is their coach. Can you identify this as a bad position on the ankles? Can you see it, that he collapses and goes down? Can you see this in, collapsed-in position? And what's interesting about the coach is he had knee pain for long periods of time. What I want you to, you should be able to identify is that a good arch position or not. If I'm doing any movement, and my, one of my primary joints collapses, or ends up in a dysfunctional position, which doesn't look like, if I'm organized, it doesn't look like that shape, then you know you have a problem. What do you think, elite? Does that just scream elite? Right, and you can see, she's just hanging, (groans) and she's an amazing athlete, alright? And this is just me trying not to be creepy. This is in our laboratory, and one of the concepts that you're seeing here is what we call the back fins, right? He's got two huge dorsal fins on his back. What extra appendage is that? Is it extra lungs, auxiliary fuel tanks, what is that? What that is, is that he's got a local flexion fault right in the middle of his spine, can you see it? And what's happened is that as he's loaded, he's gotten himself down, and then he's pulled himself into position, but remained in a flexed back. This is a flexed-back, rounded-back position. He may be able to hold here forever and ever. Does this look like a straight, flat back? No. Does this violate our basic principle of spine first? Absolutely. And now it doesn't matter how strong he is, as long as this thing is going here, we're seeing a problem. So this is one of our, oh, she holds her back. She's not loving that, is she? What I want to show you about this, and we'll run it again here in a second, is that... Okay. Watch when she pulls, let's see if we can get it paused. Negative. What you're gonna see is that she starts in a rounded position. Can I reclaim a flat back from a rounded-back position? No, and what ends up happening is, as soon as she starts translating, the system isn't set up, and it's gonna kind of work towards equilibrium. It's basically gonna end up in that basic shape where it finds that stability, which is that default position. Step up, and she hangs, and then she has to end up hinging up and over, and subsequently, what happens? She's like (groans) she gets immediate feedback. That wasn't good. Which is exactly what happens when I'm in a hurry and I reach down to pick up my groceries, and I go to pick up and I'm not stable, I'm gonna start pulling until my tissues become stable. And as we magnify that across thousands of reps, or millions of reps, one of the things that we want to expand on is this definition of functional movement, and that we feel like, and this is one of Carl's original ideas, he's like, you need to come out unharmed at one rep, or a million reps, or 10 million reps. Your body is designed to work. It's designed to be ridden hard and put away wet for millions of oscillations, and millions of duty cycles, so what's going on, and if you come out harmed at any point in your life, something's up, right? This is a picture from our local newspaper about one of our local triathletes going to Kona, going to the world championships. Are her knees in? Is that a good position or a bad position from which to generate force? Looks like RG3 on a bike, doesn't it? Can you see this hump right here? So her coach was like, hey, I want you to go out there and create a big hump. (sighs) Now, look at her shoulders. Does this look like a stable position? What about this? So she's generating force in this position. If I was in this position, you'd be like, what's wrong with you, right? I'm like, I'm going to Kona. (group laughs) So what happens then when she stands up? What does she practice? Where is she giving away force? How does it affect her swimming? So we want to minimize these extension faults, we want to minimize all of that internal rotation silliness, and that knee should not be making circles. I see broken, oh, wait. I don't see broken people. All right, I see more broken people. Can you identify the positional problem? And how long has this taken up? Here is his ear. This hole in the ear is what we call the EAM, the external auditory meatus, boom. And what happens, that's the center of mass for his head. The center of mass for his hip is way back here, right at kind of the joint line, and then it should be for the hip. So you can see how far he's deviated back, and how far forward off. If we projected his spine straight there, you can see that he's basically stuck in this position and his body has figured out, he even has to tilt on this other side. He puts an enormous load into his middle back, you can see it, where he's starting to hang on those tissues and if he was a 95-year-old man, when he sneezed, this is precisely where he would fracture, 'cause he's hanging on those tissues forever. 'Choo, break, boom. That make sense? There's nothing wrong with this photo. I'm just messing with you, all right? (group laughs) I know, you were like, whoa, where's the broken guy! There's nothing broken there. Okay, what is that? I know, this is. So, I'm not saying you should start this game. My friends and I play a game where we take pictures of broken people and send them to each other. (group laughs) Right, call it a hobby. It's really like, it's nothing. It's like scrap-booking. What I want you to notice is this poor woman's toe is not really in line, is it? She may be part of the old, ancient Chinese foot-binding society, I get that, but what I want you to see is, how does something like this happen? How does this toe kick over so violently? What happens? Can you come up with a model for how I might load that toe off axis? How many reps does it take? And then physically what happens is, your body's like, all right. We'll take that tendon, we'll jump it over, and so now physically this is getting worse, right? This is pretty deep into the duty cycles, isn't it, and that poor woman probably has to wear flip-flops all the time. So here's a young athlete working on her midline stabilization, she's doing a plank. What position are her hands in? Is she creating external rotation torque? No, so her hands are in in this plank, 'cause we see this all the time, and what we're gonna find out, as we create some torque in just a minute, is we add torque to the equation of stable spine, that she actually can't get stable through her upper back, because she doesn't know how to create stability through the primary engine. The system reciprocates. Once I'm organized, then I can create stability, and then once I create stability, that also reciprocates and stabilizes the system. And so here's an athlete, and you can see how flat she is, and then she's looking for tension, and it doesn't help that she's also looking at her feet. Watch what happens when we put her into a slightly better position. Now it's the same athlete creating a little bit more torsion on the ring, so she's working on creating some stability here, and subsequently you see a lot of correction in the body, why? Because all we did was what, fix what? Her movement first. Is she in an organized position? Butt is squeezed, she's a little bit hyperextended here. You can see the little back position's not efficient. But how much of this corrected with head positioning once we gave her the cues to organize? So if I'm holding my baby, or I'm holding my heavy camera and I'm internally rotated, I can try to pick my back up all day, but as soon as I create some stability off of that kid, or off of the camera or the lid, then all of a sudden, it makes it a lot easier to maintain the carriage and chassis. Good coaching. Alright, let's pick on Jill for a second, all right? And the whole point is, Jill sent me this, and full disclosure, this is for you, Jill Miller, is that what we see is, this is a few years ago, before she started working with us, can you see a hinge in her ankle? Is her ankle in a good position or a bad position? She's collapsed on this right side. What you can see is, is her back straight? And what you can tell is, as her back comes down, you can see a hinge right here. So she said, no problem. I've got full range in my shoulders, and guess what, hinge, now I've got really full range in my shoulders. So she's totally organized in this position, we create a hinge, and do you see how she rounds her lumbar? Is that okay, to round your lumbar when you're active? No. If I'm hanging out in the bottom position eating dinner, absolutely it's okay to be rounded, because there's no load in the system. The second we end up in an active position, I should not see roundedness in that bottom position. And this is because Jill wasn't lifting heavy-ass weights, and now she is. This is one of our athletes, competing in the CrossFit Games this last year. This is a phenomenal athlete named Camille Leblanc, who's a brilliant athlete, and look how straight her feet are when she's jumping, and what is she doing to create stability in the hip? Can you see the knees-out iteration here? This allows her to keep her torso upright much earlier, and so you start to identify, look how straight her back is, and knees are out. This guy probably needs a little help. Hey, Kelly? Yes. There was a question when we were showing the video of the woman lifting the weights with her back. What do you think, this is from Melinda Zayner wondering what do you think about using a weight belt to maintain the spine? Would that help that girl who was doing the deadlifting? So any time you duct tape something stiff, it certainly helps stiffness, doesn't it? So the way I feel about a weight belt is this, and I'll take the cues from the best lifters I know in the world, is that when it gets very heavy, they'll put a weight belt on for insurance, because when you have 700 pounds on your back, or a thousand pounds on your back, a small deviation in position can end up costing you quite a bit in terms of training. But what we always say and that they will agree with is that they don't use a belt up to about 90% of their one-rep max, because the whole point of the heavy load is to challenge the capacity of your spine. So we see people belt up all the time, and now I'm just using the belt as a set of abs, and as a cue to be able to stabilize myself, and subsequently, I get really strong, and what has remained really weak? So, comma, I will have women who have had babies, who have diastasis recti, they've split their abdominal wall, and literally, the only way we can get them moving again pain free, is to give 'em some extra stiffness. So during some of those movement strategies, we stiffen 'em right up. So my feeling is, if we put a band aid on that, we're not really getting to the problem. That make sense? First. Oh, wait a minute. He has 455 pounds over his head, where is his weight belt? Feet are straight, within that 12-degree position we're gonna talk about, knees are out, and you'll notice how his belly is solid. He's not pushing into man belly, he's pushing into compressive belly. Armpits forward, we know what stable position that is. Pretty extraordinary position. We'll try this in just a minute. One of our athletes at one of our seminars asked, he's like, well, isn't this guy a cheater? And I was like, well, what'd you mean? He's like, he's Chinese, he grew up squatting. Obviously. And this kid was literally like, I wish I had been born Chinese. (group laughs) So let's evaluate the position. This is my daughter Caroline. Is her head in neutral position? Yeah, she's doing a pretty good job supporting this neutral spine and basic shape. She's got her shoulders up, eyes are level, she's not adopting what we think is one of the worst positions on the planet. And this is a perfect time to talk about this as we start to apply our schema to what's going on. One of the most kind of gnarly positions we're seeing in the real world is that this texting habit is really, really hurting us. So let me teach you how to text, and probably if there's one takeaway from this course, it should be, you should not mess yourself up texting. So, Alice, come on up. Oh, here we go, all right. So here's the deal, so go ahead and grab your imaginary phone and text down for me. Now, just from an evolutionary standpoint, if I'm a leopard, and she's closed off, do you see how this makes it easy for me to pounce on, and, ah, okay. Now, I have two daughters, and the last thing I want them to do is be situationally unaware, right? At a bus stop, that's pretty sketchy. But guess what happens when we apply our basic principles. Spine first, so her head is in neutral. What does she need to do to get her shoulders organized? Put it in this externally rotated stable position. Now, how is she going to text and not violate the shoulder position or the head position? It's right here. Anything, let me be clear. Anything that's not this position, is a horrible, wretched position, and you deserve what you get, in terms of neck pain and back pain, right? So she's there and organized. Now watch, I'm the leopard, and then, oh, she's got me, right? (group laughs) So it's totally tactical, isn't it, right? I see you. I'm situationally aware, I can see, I can check. And more importantly, what is she not reinforcing? She's not reinforcing a pattern that she's gonna have to undo. You will be surprised. One of our strength coaches from a university just had his athletes start to accumulate and track the amount of time they spend sitting and texting, and it was a freakish amount of time, between school, and video games and texting, and online and Facebook, they were crushing themselves in some of these defensive positions, and they had to undo it. It was causing a lot of shoulder dysfunction and a lot of neck dysfunction. So here's the deal. Get tight, everyone sit up. Head neutral, you in the back too. Organize yourself, look at that. Om, isn't this just so enlightened right now? So here's the deal, and this is an important concept here, is that when we talk, ribcage is down, when we talk about putting the shoulder in a good position, we're talking about spinning it in the socket, right? Do you notice that I have not mentioned the scapula at all? I want to organize that thing as tight as I can. Now she's in a stable position, ribcage is down, and then she just brings the hands up into this stable position. I don't think scapula because I don't have good mechanics of the scapula, or awareness of my scapula, and it doesn't account for what's going on with the primary engine. It's just the holder of the primary engine. So if I organize the shoulder, my scapula will always go into the right position. If I'm bench pressing, it will automatically go in the right position. If I'm going over head and putting a kettler on the shelf, my scapula will go into the right position. I don't have to memorize 4,271 different scapular positions, I just need to be aware of what I'm trying to do, which is create torsion, or torque, through that primary engine, and now we have an organized system. And I can tell the people who are organized or not, because you have confidence. This is a young woman I want to hire. Go back to the broken sad woman. (groans) Can you see that alone? Thank you very much. And this is an important concept, because as technology permeates us and permeates our children, if i don't teach and engrain these habits in my kids, where do you think they'll pick them up? They won't, and practice makes permanent, and you will see whole hosts of bent over children. We're like, oh, you're part of the internet generation. They're like, how did you know, right? Quasimodo obviously was a little texter, isn't he? So what we do at home is that if the girls end up in a bad position, the iPad or phone goes away for an hour. If they're in a bad position, it goes away for the day. And we're militant about this, and guess who is also militant about it? Them, 'cause they have attributed this posture to immediate behavior modification. Ah, I get to keep the iPad, right? And here we are just getting a little cold checked out, and Caroline is on it. My poor kids. This is a phenomenal athlete by the name of Rich Froning. He won the CrossFit Games a couple times. Exactly right and I'm such a fan, he's a phenomenal athlete. What I want you to see is a couple things. Remember when I said that I needed your elbows straight? When we see the elbow bent in iterations of movement, it tells me about the stabilization and organization of the shoulder. So if I'm holding something over my head and my arms are bent, am I in a good position or bad position? What's happening mechanically, is that because the elbow is bent, I'm internally rotating the shoulder, which violates our primary concept, doesn't it? And so now, I've bought myself some space, but I've made the whole system unstable. If my arms are by my side, and if the elbows are bent, do you think my shoulder's in a good position or a bad position? Bad position. Keeping the arms straight and turned out creating that torque, allows us, and you can see, it allows to be stable, and you can see the impact even on his chest, side to side here, you see the deformity of how his massive chesticle gets pulled out of position there, and he even kicks his head off center. Can you see that, that's because one side is more turned in than the other side. This side is more turned in, and look what happens. His peck now has to go up and around his shoulder. It's in this position. So mechanically, it's a terrible position. Sometimes we'll get people who complain of sternum pain doing dips. Well, I wonder why. What's happening is that the peck is literally pulling the sternum apart, and people are like, it feels like I'm dislocating. What's happening? They're dislocating, that's right. If you put yourself into a good position, you look massive and powerful and more handsome, and your shoulders don't hurt. So we have a lot of people asking online, and have been all day, but about the correct posture for reading a book, or for sitting at their desk, is this sort of similar? Right, so how do I start to apply the basic concept? So if I'm sitting at my desk, you'll notice that I don't really have a desk, do I? What do I have? I have some iteration of a high stool, where I can leave the hip open all day long. I prioritize the trunk, I'm braced 20%, head is in neutral. That means I need to prioritize my spinal position among all the things. So if my monitor's too low, what's probably gonna happen? I'm gonna violate the spine first principle. So what I wanna do is make my ergonomics fit the mechanics. It doesn't matter if you have a perfect mouse, if your shoulder's in a wretched position, does it? Now this doesn't make sense. I've had this $50 million ergonomic evaluation, and yet I'm disorganized. It doesn't matter if you're standing up tall all day long, 'cause someone told you to get a standing desk, and your hip is all out and you're overextending, and your belly's off, this is a problem. So we want to apply the same sets of principles where I can be organized, and we'll work a little bit more on this as we apply some of these concepts, so hang tough on that, but the idea is, are you designed to move, yes, no? Are you designed to be static for long periods of time, yes, no? No, you're not. So maybe your best position is your next position, TM. (group laughs) Love it. We're going. There's Carl jumping off the container. Are his toes pointed? I hate him, he's so pretty and popular. This poor woman, I thought she was so attractive, until she stood there and parked. And look at that, it's just disgusting. Right, can you see how she's just hanging on the meat? Great athlete deadlifting, anything wrong with his feet? Collapsed, you can start to see it now. Knowing the problem is half of it. What's that? This is the head of a hip, that's right, that's banged around in the socket so much that it's chipped away the beautiful articular cartilage, and now this 27-year-old runner/swimmer has a brand-new hip, isn't that amazing? Look, we know what happens with bad mechanics. After a while, things start to break down a little bit, huh? You can buffer your mechanics for a while until you can't. This is one of our elite rowers. Rounded-back position, she's working on it, shoulder is a little bit soft. Can you see that we're never gonna get hold of this shoulder as long as this back is in this position? Let me clear, this is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. She is a phenomenal, phenomenal athlete. This is Erin Cafaro, my metaphorical sister. And watch what happens when we get her into some slightly better positions. Does that look different to you guys? She's sitting up, she knows how to create torsion off the shoulder, and her back is in a much more organized position, and it's not an accident that she turns out to be one of the best rowers in the US, and in the world.

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.