The Fundamental Principles of Mobility
Here's where we need to go now. We sort of, we have a framework for understanding what we're after. Now let's kind of delve into some of the universal principles about how the body's organized. What's nice is that if you a set of, a schema, if you have a basic organizing principle, then you can start to apply that and we'll keep doing that to sitting, to holding something heavy to carrying a baby, to carrying, to sitting to lifting. So, but we need to make sure that we have some of that basic theory first. So, that's probably where we should start. And then we'll, in the next kind of hour also hit that where the rubber hits the road and we'll actually watch you guys do some movement and express these things in some mid-range movement, the squat which is a archetypal foundation movement, and mid-range pressing, getting up off the ground pressing in front of you which is also a very archetypal mid-range movement. Make sense? Alright. So here's what we're gonna do. As we get into these pr...
inciples, we want to talk about first is why we prioritize the spine first. We do this for a couple reasons. And this fits with our schema and definition of functional movement too, is that I have to work in a way of contraction from trunk to porphyry, from core to sleeve. And one of the reasons we have to hammer on the spine first, is one, central nervous system injury (writing) is a bummer. (audience laughing) And here's the deal is that if you've ever tweaked your back or injured your back you know it is not fun. You're down and out for the count. And it's because your body triage's it in a way because it's thinking hey look, this is a primary threat to the organism. You evolved a brain to move through the environment. That's what all the science says. All the research is that hey you're wired for movement and your wired to be able to move through the environment. Skill acquisition is a complex biologic phenomenon to make your move more efficiently. So you can hunt and reproduce and do all these things that you're supposed to do comma, when you injure the central nervous system you put a threat out there that maybe the animal is gonna be primarily taxed. And so what ends up happening is you have a commensurate response of severity, where literally your body freaks out. And if you injure your back you know you do not want to lift heavy things. You don't not want to sit. You do not want to make out, dirty dance. Maybe a little dirty dancing but you get the idea. But the key is that we want to prioritize the spine first. In terms of athleticism or function, you will tweak your back in your lifetime. Everyone will, comma, you'll probably heal from that. But it costs you a lot of psychosocial, psychogenic energy to be able to manage that. And if you're an athlete, this means that you've lost two or three days of training. Or if it's your neck, we're talking about your hands and now you can't work. You're afraid to pick up your kids. The women I've talked to who've had babies and bad posture, it's a disaster. So we want to make sure is we're thinking, hey we better prioritize the spine first. And that means prioritize the spine first in terms of organization and movement, but also organizing in terms of understanding what we need to fix first. So we always fix the spine first. The second reason, is this. Is that the spine, (writing) has major potential, (writing) to decrease your force production. (writing) To decrease your force. And let me give you an example. (pen clattering) Can I grab you a second Kyle?
Now when Kyle got up, his feet turned out like a duck, and his knees came in a little bit. Right? So what we would say, is I would give him a coaching cue. (slaps) (audience laughing) Terrible, dude. Alright so we're gonna make a better decision. And here's the problem. Wasn't thinkin' about it. I know he knows how to squat. He's a phenomenal athlete. But it's that detail where we start to practice because he became unconscious. Feet just started to happen to turn out. You have to sit in the worst chair possible. It is the worst chair possible. Right? And so what was the default? Well he defaulted right to where he was. So, don't do that again.
As my wife would say, make a better decision.
Her best coaching cue to me. So here's what we're gonna do, let me show you the impact that when you lose your spinal integrity what happens. And this is one of the reasons why Jill's piece coming up is gonna be so important. So spread your fingers out as far as you can. And make those stiff. Stiffen 'em. So, what I've done is given him a cue to stiffen his elbow. Eyes level. I'm gonna try to bend his elbow. If he bends his elbow, we have in the back a thousand kittens that will be killed. (audience laughing) We're playing for, death does not bother you, kitten killing seems to bother people. Hold. Don't let me move you, now watch. I'm gonna hork on this. Don't bend. The kittens. (audience laughing) (grunting) There's no way. He's legit. Okay now watch what happens now. All I'm gonna do is have him change his neck position a little bit under load. So when I tell him he'll look up. We're gonna double the kittens. Wheel out the second load of kittens okay? If you bend, it's kittens mayhem okay? Hold. Don't look up until I tell you. Be stiff. This is for the kittens. Hold. My daughters are watching this. Hold. And look up. (grunts) And he looks up and he starts to bend his arm right away. And what's happening there, is that, put your arm down for a second. Is that he has this complex neuro mechanical. His nerves and mechanical system of his body all interrelate. In his back is this big thing called the thoraco dorsal fascia. Which is a big sheet of connective tissue through which all of his spinous processes stick out. And so if he suddenly kinks that position, and breaks that then he loses integrity in that big sheet. And that's one of the mechanisms through which his spine creates its stability. So he's lost the sort of the tensegrity, or the tension in the sheet to make the whole system mechanically stable. Are you followin'? Okay. That's one problem. The second problem is that when he puts that back do you see this tissue hinge right here? He actually is not creating look global affliction in the system or global extension in his system excuse me. He's actually creating a hinge and he's literally hinging at one of his segments. And so he's stiff through this upper back. We know why. 'Cause he's a tactical athlete and a big strong guy et cetera et cetera. And so he ends up hinging right here. When he puts a hinge across the nervous system, the body recognizes that as a primary insult and threat to the body because you're basically guillotined or hinged the nervous system. And you kinked the tube, and so it just drops off and if we extrapolate a, go ahead and, that's, it's killin' me go ahead and straighten, there you go. If we extrapolate your sitting position, with your eyes level, this is what happens if you round it a little bit in your sitting is that your eyes will stay level and orientate, and if we stood you up you would see the same basic mechanical shape expressed. And this is one of the reasons while this sitting forward position is so harmful. Now I'm just creating sheer and hinge through that segment. I just get a lot of action in that and I'm like ah I'm gettin' this neck pain. So weird. And it's not that unusual but if I extrapolate that blood up it's this position. The same thing happens if he looks down. So we'll do the same thing. Double the kittens or nothing. Okay this time you'll have to kill the kittens yourself. Little kitten blood. Alright hold on. Kitten blood may be my new favorite band title. Hold. Don't let me move you. Don't break. Be stiff. And then look down. (grunts) And he breaks right away when he loses that. In fact when his body undergoes that flection, his body experienced that as a significant threat and what's that flection look like? Sitting in your chair, hangin' on the meat. There's that rounded position. So we need to be able to identify some of the reasons is that it puts that nervous system into untenable positions and threatens my force production which means I'm threaten my stability and this is the second reason. Thank you very much. Sorry about all the kittens. So the third reason is this. The spine (writing) is the carriage (writing) or chassis (writing) for the engines, and we call these primary engines of, wait for it, hip and shoulder. Oh that's a language you understand. Hip and shoulder. Okay. So what's happening, is that we call these the primary engines. And what we know is that when I'm disorganized at the trunk, I can't really start to see what's going on in real time at the hip and the shoulder. With means that everything else ends up having a problem. Steve come here for a second. Oh good. You have low weight on your heels. You didn't have your toes screwed into the ground. That's fine. We'll talk about that. Okay. So, here's what I want you to do. I'm gonna just over extend a little bit. So I'm just, I'm sittin' up at my chair. And I want you to just internally rotate me. So you're gonna grab my elbow and push my hand down. Go ahead and internally rotate me until it stop, oh! That stops. Did you see that? Go ahead and, gentle, when it stops it stops. Go ahead and you'll feel it stop. Do you feel it stop?
Okay. I'm just a little bit over extended. I'm a little bit out of spinal position. Now watch what happens. As soon as I, go ahead and come off tension real quick. As soon as I put my rib cage down where it belongs, now go ahead and internally rotate me. And see if there's anything change. Keep goin'. Keep goin' it's weird. Have you hit that hard stop yeah?
No not yet. There you go. Does that look different? Do you need a laser goniometer to measure that or can you see that that impacts my position somehow? Well all we've done is put the spine into position so that my scapula can relate more effectively. And as long as I end up in a dysfunctional pelvic position, I can't really have optimal hip function, and subsequently knee function. If I'm in a dysfunctional rib cage position, or spine position I'm never gonna get hold of what's happening in the rest of the system. Which means that I'm always gonna be disorganized. So we've got to prioritize the spine. Thanks very much. Alright? Spine first.
Kelly? Mark Hoffman in the chat room is saying, he's wondering if you would be able to show the sitting and standing bends in the spine on the skeleton.
Sure. We can do that quickly. (clattering) Jill Miller has named the skeleton Nigel. (audience laughing) So what's happening is that there's a rod going through this skeleton, and we will not show that flection extension. What's happening there though is that all he's doing is hinging back and forth. And what we really want to understand about this is we want to disconnect the technical anatomy from the real function. 'Cause you can identify if your head's in a good position. Yes, no? And you can identify basic changes in shape. Especially as we kind of start to get you organized and that's the most important part. It's useful to have all the physiology and all the anatomy, but that's not how real life works. Already if you're sitting in a good position and you're managing this versus hey. Have someone take a photo of you from the side. We know your head weighs about 10 or 11 pounds. For every inch in front of your body, it's plus 10 pounds. So now you have a 22 pound head, and now it's a 32 pound head. And now it's a 42 pound head and now I'm sitting with that 42 pound head out of position. And now I'm gonna go run in that position. And you can imagine sort of some of this trauma that we see. I try not to make creepy videos of people moving poorly in the world. But last night I made one in my house. Or not my house, in the hotel room. And there was a woman running and as she was running she literally was just hinging right up and down underneath one segment. There was this one spot that was hinging back and forth. And if I could've stopped her, excuse me ma'am, I just want to show you how inefficient you are. I'm not a stalker. But that's not okay. Right? So I gave her my business card. I'm a physical therapist, you'll call me. It'll be fine. So here's what the key is, is you start to identify these hinges and I'll give you a template and a schema for that in just a second. Spine first is our model. Second aspect of this then is that when we see movement around the spine, it's pretty a simple idea. We want to avoid, (clattering) what we call local flection or extension faults which is exactly what this question is. So if here is the most beautiful woman in the world. You can't see her yet. This is how my wife looks to me. Right? What I should see is that I should not see flection forward or extension backwards. Flection or extension happening in localized positions. So if you see a globally flexed position or globally flexed or globally extended position, like I'm hitting a volleyball up the net, I'm swimming, right? Doing a forward somersault. I have to be able to adopt those shapes for sport and life. But, if you see me create a local hinge in the system, that's a fault. And you identify that. And often times we'll get physically a hinge in the tissue. The places where we tend to see this hinges are at the neck, at the thoracic spine, right? The bottom of the rib cage here. So we tend to see these hinges kind of here at this interface, right here at the bottom of the rib cage at this interface, and at the interface of the lumbar to the pelvis. These are sections that tend to kind of get a lot of sloppy motion in there. And so what we want to do is we want to avoid these local extension faults. So the one joint rule is this. The only place where I should see massive amounts of flection or extension is in the shoulder and the hip. Oh that's easy. And what it really does is it allows me to simplify a lot of the complex movement that I undergo. Is that how do I break it down to its most fundamental constitutes? Minimal number of moving parts. And so if I'm organized around the spine, the only places where I should see large motions of flection or extension are in the shoulders and full flection, full extension and then the hip full flection, full extension. And so when I can start to evaluate some of the robustnesses of peoples positions, if all of a sudden you watch me squat, how many hip joints do I have now? Suddenly I have this hip joint, right? Which is undergoing flection but I also suddenly have a couple other hinge joints, and I shouldn't this should be a chassis off of which my basic elements should move of just that hip. Does that make sense? Are you tracking me on that? Right? No local flexion or extension faults. And what you'll see is the we tend to break a lot in these basic fundamental positions and shapes. And it's easy to identify in movement or in your kids or even as you're sitting. So if you're sitting flexed, you've got a local extension fault there. Bam that's the problem. So it becomes very simple. We start to have a schema now for understanding how the body's organized. We need to prioritize the trunk first. Check. Does that, what's that look like? How do I get braced and organized? We'll talk about that in a second. And then, boy I shouldn't see local breaks in it. The only place I should see is in the hip and shoulder. Carl Paley who's gonna be on this afternoon has a great model for this. He's like the best example of this, is men's gymnastics rings. Have you ever seen that sport? It's a dumb sport. (audience laughing) It's ridiculous. Look how stupid this is. Bare with me. Stiffen everything. Lock your wrists out, lock your elbows out, and move your shoulders around. That's what it is right? It's a shoulder movement sport. And like oh I'm so impressed. You didn't move anything else, and you only moved your shoulders. How difficult is it to do that? I know like five people in the world who can do that sport. That's how difficult it is and what they're really done is that they've brought down this archetype or they brought down the minimal number of movements and are expressing rotation through a single joint. That's how difficult that is to stiffen and simplify these things and what we want to do is start to simplify the way I pick up my kids, or the way I lift up off of the ground or deadlift. I prioritize the spine first. I should only see movement happen at the hip 'cause that's designed to handle it right? And then a little bit in the second engine. But it's really about trying to minimize the number of variables in the spine. (audience laughing) Sorry about the... (laughing) So that's the one joint rule. Which gets us into the laws of torque. For us, we're fortunate because the shoulder and the hip are the same joint. So they obey the same principles. Physiologically, very very similar structures. In fact, interesting that they both have a head that looks like this. You'll notice that the arm here, top of the arm is a ball and socket. And the hip is a ball and socket. Right? That there are two bones and that there are two bones, and weirdly this looks like that foot in a strange way doesn't it? It's very analogous in its structures. The function is very similar too and the organization is similar. And once I have accounted for the extra degrees of range of motion, and I've accounted for the scapula I basically have the same system. So guess what? They organize the same way. Which means if you understand how one organizes, you understand how the second one organizes. So take your hand, put it in your shirt. This is the model for how your joint sits inside its joint capsule. Which is this bag of fibro cartilage. It's a sack that gives the whole thing integrity. Now, go ahead and grab the shirt and try to tighten it up for me. Tighten up the shirt. You can get all the slack out of it and get it pretty tight. Right? But you'll never get it really tight. How would we make that tight? What would we do?
Twist it. So if I add rotation to that, all of a sudden, oh my, it's like a piece of candy. It's weird how they wrap the candy up isn't it? Well your body has figured out the same thing. And that when I create that rotation inside the joints of the hip and the shoulder, I create stability through the whole system. If you break down the movements or the coaching cues, then what you're gonna see is most of the coaching cues we've been using our whole life and heard our whole life are actually cues of rotation. The other ones are about your spine. Get tight. Get ready, squeeze you butt. It's all about prioritizing the trunk first, or elbow in. Break the bar. Knees out and you're gonna see that a lot of these languages relate to the laws of torque. So in all motions of flection, (writing) which is arm going up, hip going up, there's a corresponding rotational force. What is that corresponding torque or rotational force that makes this stable? Now I know some of you guys know this. So here's the deal, is that the problem with my field is that we have divorced the language of movement from the language that you use, which is you've been an athlete and a human being your whole life. We need to leverage that skill set. Everyone can relate to how we're supposed to do things. So check this out. Let's break down this down for a second. We said earlier, how does the queen wave? Why would she wave in this position? Because the wrists and the elbow and shoulder in a externally rotated position. And ends up being very stable. And it's weird that the queen waves in the exact same way. Head is neutral, oh 'cause you can do that all day, head is, shoulders organized, wrist is organized. And that's the same quick reload for all that we're taught isn't it? For all of the close quarter combat stuff for shooting. The queen is practicing her ninja skills. (audience laughing) Double 07 just brought that out. So the second aspect. What's the finished position over head with the Olympic lifting? I'm taught armpit forward. And when I do armpit forward what's really happening to shoulder? This rotation of external rotation. This torque of external rotation. Okay. What about bench pressing? Carl you look like a big bench presser. What do they tell you to do? What did Louis Simmons tell you to do? Break the bar. That's right. So when you break the bar what's really happening at the shoulder?
External rotation. As I screw my feet into the ground like Mark Bell the best power lifter, one of the best power lifers on the planet, these are his cues before he lifts 1200 pounds. He's like the first thing I do, is I squeeze my butt as hard as I can. That sounds like prioritizing the trunk. He's like then I pretend like my feet are on plates, and I try to screw my hips into the ground through the plates. What's he really doing? He's creating torsion and stability through the trunk. Now, how does the car turn on? That's right. It turns on but we'll notice that people are so dysfunctional now, so disnormal that they had to push a button. (audience laughing) Because they can't do that anymore. How does a screw screw in? Or a light bulb? This is like the DaVinci Code when he starts seeing the Goddess everywhere like in the Starbucks cup has the Goddess too, it's a conspiracy. Well external rotation is the same concept. The movie Avatar is my favorite example. They name all the plants, get all the animals right. How did they pull the bow back in Avatar? Internally rotated. So James Cameron your movie was crap. That was when you lost me. I was like you don't understand how the shoulder works. This is BS. (audience laughs) I'm outta here. And so here's the deal is that all of the cues that we're using, knees out, creating torque, elbow in, how we climb a rope, all of these things relate. I mean wax on wax off. I mean it's all there when you start to see this. Check this out. I travel a lot at the airports right? You grab your tongue of your hand with right. I'm right handed. So I flexion, external rotation, I put my shoe on. It's all organized and good. Then how do I do it with my left side? Well I'm right handed so I grab the same tongue, and then what happens to the hip? You're like oh I don't have the hip range. You know what I'm talking about and you like stumble around. Oh you cripple. And then you stomp your foot. That's because you don't understand how the body's organized. I know, I know. Mystery of the body explained with Kelly Starrett. Right. (audience laughing) From butt lamination to putting your shoes on at the air port that's my dream to explain this to you. Okay. So flexion has a corresponding external rotation torse. External (writing) rotation. (writing) This is why that when young gymnasts are taught, in gymnastics they're taught to block the hit and rotate. Boom. And what we're really doin' is we're tryin' to create a torsion force here. Does that make sense? Okay. Well, extension (writing) has a corresponding force as well. And that extension where the hand is behind the, arm is behind the body, or the hip in our case, which is really important here in walking, it's behind the body. What is the stable position for the hip when my leg trails behind me? Jodie? Internal rotation of course. What's happening here, is that with internal rotation, (writing) I become more stable. Now, if in the language of strength and conditioning a jerk is a nice example of this. Because when I jerk, (feet slamming) this back foot turns it. What's happening is that the hip is becoming stable right? So, if leg internally rotated, hip internally rotated, we're spinning in when the leg goes behind me is the good stable position for the hip, everything works. My ankle works better, everything works better. What happens then if I'm standing like a duck? And I take a step. Am I in a good position or bad position?
Automatically it's a movement fault no matter what. Because now, my ankle is collapsed. You can see that torsion in my toe through the shoe. What's happening in my knee? Twisted. What's happening in my hip? Unstable. And then as I swing through am I likely to end up in a good position or bad position?
Oh. So as we're working on running tomorrow with Bryan McKenzie, turns out if you're missing the capacity to extend your hip and internally rotate, what'll happen is you'll run your way around that problem, like you're peeing on something. And then you'll swing that through. (grunts) And you'll end up with a bad position. And this is the mechanism for so many of the running injuries that we see. In fact you'll see people at the park mobilizing or stretching their quads, (grunts) and where's the leg go? Flies out to the side doesn't it? Why would it fly out to the side? Well it's the same pattern. If I'm short in this leg what happens? And now I've violated that basic principle and rule. If I'm gonna dunk a basketball, if I turn my hands back and dunk a basketball, negative. I'm in this position. People will always wind up, because this is the stable shoulder. And that's why I have to understand this as I do a push up if I'm missing this internal rotation concept, my arm comes out, I'm in a bad position and that's the mechanism for so much of the dysfunction we see pushing up and why people's shoulders get all grizzly. Does that make sense? So if I'm holdin', if we know that in lotus position, what is this lotus position? What's really happening at the shoulder? Bam. They figured it out. Right? So if I'm holdin' my baby, and I don't think about creating this torsion, this torque force am I in a good position or a unstable position?
Oh. And this is what we call bridal shoulder. Hey. 'Cause you're poppin' the shoulder for your little cute white dress. Right? Or you're holdin' your baby. Or you're holdin' your weapon. It's the same, ends up being the same basic shape fault. Right? And this is one of the problems. So we need to get have this understanding that this basic torque concept really starts to illuminate a lot of the movement principles that we're workin' with.
I have a question.
Okay so this is going back to the spine first one joint rule. What about people that have a rounded thoracic spine or scoliosis. How do you get them to get into that one joint position?
Great question. So, if someone has a stiff back, is this a motor control problem? Do I have the technique or can I express the technique? No. What do I have to fix first? The spine. And now we understand how these mobilizations or the tools, the positional changers, the skills that we're gonna work on tomorrow, how they improve my mechanics so that I can express the right idea. So, scoliosis is slightly different then if I have a congenial scoliosis, right? That's a slightly more complicated conversation where I have a slight bend in the spine, we can talk about that maybe a little bit later if we get there, we still practice and prioritize the movement first. Make sure tissues are working optimally, comma, this is your fault. And we know how to fix that. And we will fix that in the next couple days. So the first thing's first is spine first. What do I fix first? I fix the spinal fault problem. If I'm standing like this all the time, what things do I need to get undone first? The things that are maybe holding me into this position. And now I can start talking about function. But until that spine gets organized, until I start to understand these basic principles, then I'm never gonna be sorted out. This is a problem isn't it? How did the yogis, can I grab you for a second Alex? Can you just go full lotus for us real quick?
I don't know that I can.
Just pull one leg up.
Sit down for us.
Yeah. Easier that way right? So, the yogis figured out that what? When sitting for long periods of time, we needed to put the hip into end ranges of flexion and, external rotation huh? And this torque that she creates in the hip here, makes her pelvis stable. We'll talk about that in a second. So, one of the reasons that it's important that we understand this relationship, is that it's a connected system. So if the hip becomes stable, the back which is also connected to the hip becomes stable. So if I'm sitting down, am I expressing a stable hip position here? No. It's difficult to get stable and organized in this position right? Am I sitting in full lotus? Was I sit at my desk with the hip at its end range? No. I end up sitting in neutral. So I don't have any way to stabilize the pelvis which we'll talk about in a second. So what do I have to do? I have to default to other mechanics. Otherwise I'm just balancing back and forth. So my hip flexors get tight. And they go from femur to pelvis. They pull me forward. And then there's a deep muscle which Jill will set up for us called the psoas which attaches to my spine, and pulls my spine to my femur. And now how am I holding myself up? Even though it looks like I'm in a neutral position, I had this internal tensioner blocking because I can't do anything at the hip. This is one of the reasons while sitting is so complicated and you cannot sit in a chair in a perfect position. Unless you can sit in lotus in that chair. Which maybe you can. (audience laughing) That make sense? Thank you very much. So, yes?
Absolutely. Pass that over.
We always focus on external rotation. What about swimmers?
Especially swimmers. What's the stable position for the shoulder when I'm glided out? Here? No. External rotation. It's the same concept. So the question is what about swimmers? Absolutely. What we end up seeing which we'll talk right now is that swimmers often aren't missing this corner. Right? The fullest expression of flexion and external rotation is over head stable shape. What are they missing? The other side. So as they arm comes down, as they finish pushing, they're missing internal rotation so they compensate, and then what's the next problem? I can't be back in that good shape. So hang on one idea. Let's flush this out. (clattering) We'll introduce you guys to a concept we call the tunnel. This will be the last concept, then we'll get into some movement at home and here. (clanging) When I start any movement, I know that it initiates with a start position. And it finishes with wait for it, a finish position. And our hypotheses is this. If you can express good organization and full capacity to have your body in the best position possible in the start position, and full capacity for the finish position, and this arm this way and this way, then you're not gonna have any problems in the middle. Because you have enough capacity to start from one end and go to the other end. Are you followin' me? So do most people have a start walking position problem? No. Where is their problem when they walk? The finish position. So what position do people need to work on to improve walking and running? The finish position. Well, this becomes, we call this the tunnel, because we know that once you're under load or once you're under way, it's difficult to reclaim a good position. We know this 'cause we watched the best athletes in the world. When we see someone squatting, the knees come in, you can't get your knees out. So when RG3 jumped and his knees came in, he didn't put his knees out and jump, he had to wait until he was done before his knees to come out. So if he lowers his position at the start, then the finish is not gonna be good either. Does that make sense? You have to enter this tunnel organized, and exit the tunnel organized. Especially in movement. So, this ends up being what we call, mob (1). This means this start position piece is can you get into the good start position, yes, no? And if you can't, this is a problem. One of the nice things about our template, is that in our gym, in our CrossFit gym, we expose athletes to a full palette of movements like every good strength and conditioning program should. We're exposing it to all the things that human beings should do. So, Chris can I grab you for a second?
Can you, don't do a pistol. Just get into the bottom position of a pistol for me would ya?
So this pistol position, his arche isn't collapsed is it? He can get into this. Well turns out, this is the expression of full ankle range of motion. There's not anything else in the world that sort of requires more ankle range of motion than this complex thing called shooting the duck on roller skates. Do you remember this? At the roller rink in the 70's. (audience laughing) Am I dating myself? No not at all. Okay it's fine. It's fine. Okay so this means he's got full ankle range of motion. For me, if he can't do this, I know we have a problem. Yes, no? Dave can we see you for a second?
Dave's feet were straight. Knees were out when he got up. Excellent. Go ahead and just, don't do a pistol. Just go ahead and get into the bottom position of that pistol for us would ya? Without holding on.
Can't do it.
Why what happens is you don't?
Let's see it? Ah. Now we're startin' to see the relationship. Is that he doesn't have a start position problem at all. We're startin' to see a finish position problem. And what's so nice about our template, is that if you're engaged in the basic tenace of strength and conditioning it's like a formal language of human being. A formal movement language of being a human. It's like classical ballet but expressed as movement that you should do everyday. And what we're seeing is, I suddenly don't have to memorize any of these ranges of motion. I need to ask myself can I get into this position? Now this is pretty extreme right? But what's not extreme is can you squat with your feet together for me? Oh. Can you just sit down there? Let's just pretend like we're in Thailand, having dinner. You and I. Go ahead. How's it goin' this is great. Or I'm in the wood taking a poo. (audience laughing) These things, this is an expression of full ankle range of motion. Can we see ya join us in Thailand?
Nah. (audience laughing) With heels off.
Oh the heels come off the ground. So even if you couldn't even relate to doing a squat with your one foot, you should be able to relate to this position. Can I express full range of motion in my ankles, yes, no? Can I express full range of motion in my knees yes, no? In my hips? Yes, no? Right? And in the tissues between because this is a passive relaxed easy position. And so suddenly we've found something that we can work on. And this is the mechanism for why we see so much of the compensation. Remember, over tension can often lead to that open circuit. As he solves that problem in the ankle, (groaning) his body goes around it. Because it's a bad adaptation. His body's always gonna create a work around for him, so that he can continue to move through the environment no matter what. Even if it means it burns his knees or it burns his back in the process. Are you guys following me? This is why this fundamental shape. If you go to Mobility Wod, what was the first thing I ever did on Mobility Wod? Ten minute squat test. Can you squat for ten minutes? Yes, no? Let's have a check. Gang come on up. (audience member coughs) (chairs screeching) (audience laughing) Just in that bottom position for me. We'll make a little circle here. So we have, where you can see 'em. Great. Now, this position, when her knee came in, is her ankle, I don't know if you guys can see this yet. Come over with us. Go on and turn around again and squat down again. We haven't talked about squatting yet. Did she move knees forward first? We haven't talked about this but she did. So that was a movement error. Did that hurt your knees? No not really. Not at all you're awesome. (laughs) Right? And what we're seeing is in this position, is that her ankle is actually not in a good position. It's collapsed. She has collapsed the joint. The stable position for this ankle, is knee oh, all the way out there. And knee out is an expression of what at the hip?
External rotation. So you're just sitting down here with no external rotation torque in the bottom. And that is that knee in position. So let's see if everyone. So this is one of our first movement tests. Can you get into this basic shape? 'Cause this should start to color our capacities. Can you get down, yes, no? And what we're finding is, why are your feet turned out like a duck again? 'Cause we thought that that was sketchy. Just sayin' duck man Steve. And now we start to see the basics understanding. We can start to figure it out. Remember our goal is to make the invisible visible. I don't need you to memorize a whole bunch of crazy systems. I need you to understand what's happening in front of you in real time. Are you followin'? Okay. We jumped ahead a little bit. But if this is our case, about understanding how to move more effectively, then I should not make basic assumptions about your mechanics. How many of you guys thought about your spine before you squatted down did you? Did you forget? One of you? Right. So here's what I'm gonna do. Let me have you guys on your back real quick. Go feet towards the middle. Is this workin' for you guys over there?
Yeah it's great. We do have a couple people who are chiming in. Tiffany McCoy says, "no way could I do this. "My knees would die." Photographic Element said the same thing. I can't squat for 10 minutes
My knees would die?
because of knee pain.
So-- So she couldn't even get to that bottom position? We're gonna be able to answer that. So our diagnostic tool's what? How we know she's making progress or not? She can perform these archetypal basic full range of motion shapes. Do you have full range of motion in your legs? Yes, no? It's amazing that she can't squat into that bottom position and a lot of us have lost that capacity. One of the things we'll see is that people will go whole days and weeks without actually ever performing a squat or full range. They get up from bed, they walk around, they sit on the toilet, right? They go to the breakfast table. They get in their car and they go to work and then they come back. Still haven't actually performed a squat the whole day. They've just been half range. And that's where we've been living ourselves. So, here's what we're gonna do. Let's start from the beginning. Are we making basic movement errors? And the first thing we need to do is make sure we're moving in a good position right? So that starts with the?
Okay. So let's make sure you organize. Hands by your side. We're gonna go through this quick. What I want you to do is pick you legs up fast one inch go. Hold. Now what you see universally, is that the belly's jumped. Come off tension. Turn everything off. We're gonna do it again. Ready go. Do you see what happens? That everyone's belly's bulge out a little bit? Come off tension. Turn everything off. Do it again. Flinch. And put your head down next time cheater. And down. Okay. And turn everything off. And flinch again. Boom hold. Now, what you're seeing universally in this group, legs down, is that we're violating this basic movement principle. Which is spine first then engines right? Wave of contraction from trunk to porphyry from core to sleeve. Well what's really happening, is that these guys fire their powerful hip flexors, I'll go over here so you can see. Go ahead and lift that up again. Boom. He fires his powerful hip flexor. The hip flexors attached to this low spine on the pelvis, and it pulls on it. Because it's a simple lever system. And so what ends up happening, is that when his spine experiences this moment of sheer this little freak out, this flinch, his body goes into reactive mode which is an open circuit fault. His rectus abdominis, his abs bulge. And then there's this other muscle called the psoas which is, can you see he's making a pain face? That's minus one for the pain face. (audience laughing) And how do you know, that is so tight. Oh you're about to vomit on TV that's so awesome. (audience laughing) So we're clear, this is the filet mignon of the human being. And I know he's probably grass fed. I'm just sayin' you should just know that, okay? Ethan Hawk started it in the butt on that movie. I would never start there. Psoas okay? Have to eat someone, this is important. Okay. So what we want to understand is, what's goin' on here? And what's goin' on is that we're having a fundamental movement error. When they fire the leg, the trunk kicks on a second later. And we get the phenomenon of the tail wag in the dog. So there was no prior movement or conscious spinal stabilization strategy before we moved. And so everything else that happens from this moment onward is sort of a default or is not in a good position in the tunnel. You're gonna go sideways into the wall. So you entered the tunnel poorly because you weren't organized correctly. So here's what we need to do. What we're gonna do is go ahead and show you the template but I want to tie some concepts together. So if I bring this leg up, right? This hip crease below the knee, we're just kind of roughly squatting. The leg, just relax for me. The leg, don't help. Let it be dead and floppy or I'll move on, so a couple things. One is that he's missing, this is his total hip range of motion. Do you think that's normal to have five degrees of hip range of motion? I'll give you a hint. He should have like about 130 degrees. So we're seeing that we have one really really tight hip here. His hip should be able to swing all the way out here. Curious. And you're not even back to zero yet. So there's another joint that you have negative range of motion in. That's awesome. That's amazing. (audience laughing) Really is amazing. Okay. So here's the deal. Let it be floppy. Let me have the leg, don't help. Right there is the end of his posterior range. So, let me, let's see if we can grab someone else here. When I bring this leg up, this hip crease, whoa. It's like running into a wall there Eric. What is that? (Eric laughs) You knew that?
Okay. So we're just seeing that this is miraculously about the height of a chair. Not full range of motion. But we might see that reflected in his squat with his back. But so if I bring the knee here and bring the leg up. Relax for me, don't help. Right where he kicks on is the end of his range of motion. So that's where his hamstrings comma posterior chain musculature starts to get tight. You'll notice he's holding himself up there because he's tricked his brain into thinking every time this gets tight I better turn on. So relax for me. You're on TV. There's no pressure. No one's watching. But that's the end of his range of motion. Full range of motion you guys is straight up and down. That's full range. So, is he missing a big chunk of the pie into that full range of motion? Yes, no? Okay. Could that potentially impact his back? Yes. Look how tight the hand break is right below the primary engine. So we know he's being less efficient. Now, our old model would have said this, well it's tight? Stretch it. But that's really sort of level one grade school thinking. What we need to do is be a little more sophisticated and we do this by prioritizing the trunk first. So here's what I'm gonna have you do. I'm gonna give him a model. Hands by your side. Right? And let's go ahead. Squeeze your butt as hard as you can. And you'll notice that his pelvis changed position. In fact everyone do that for me would ya? Lay down. Squeeze your butt as hard as you can. Did your pelvis change position? Well what's cool about that, is that even if I'm standing, if I squeeze my butt my pelvis will change position, and that's because my butt has been scientifically engineered for me. Not for you. And so if I squeeze it, boom. It will automatically orientate my pelvis into a good position. And what happened was, he was laying in the ground, and with a poor spinal position. If he's in a bad position, can he stabilize his spine effectively? No. Can he control his hip effectively? No. So the first thing we do when we squeeze the butt, is that that powerful glute not only extends the hip but it also brings the pelvis back to organized, back to neutral. So the butt sets position, and now the abs can do their job. Now watch this. He squeezes his butt, take a big breath in your belly for me. Good. And exhale and pull. So he's pushing up which is what I call fat belly syndrome. So if I was gonna try to make a little tiny space around the spine, I'd want to shrink wrap all the musculature around the spine right? I don't want to try to make a bounce house, and then try to stuff that into a duffle bag. Does that make sense? Everyone can try this. Take a huge breath for me in your belly. Huge in your belly. Bigger, bigger, bigger. Now stop. Hold that. Now get tight. How's that goin' for ya? It's like a joke isn't it? You're like ah I'm so full of air. What we need to do is make a little tiny space. So we squeeze the bum. Take a big breath in the belly. Exhale and pull your belly button to the spine on the exhale. Draw, or wait a minute. That's a cue we hear a lot. I don't like the word draw. I don't like the word hollow. I don't like the word suck. What I want you to do is stiffen your spine around your belly button, or stiffen your musculature around your spine. So we say belly button to spine is a good cue. Take a big breath in your belly. Exhale. Did you lose your butt? Keep your butt tight. Now, keep your hand on your belly. Now you're being super tight there but take another breath in your belly. Oh what happened? What happened there for him, was that he had to choose between either stabilizing, or breathing. And he chose breathing. Which is what often happens to our athletes and to our people. We can't disassociate the stabilization mechanism, from the breathing mechanism which is what we're gonna work on with Jill in just a few minutes. So what's happening here is I need you guys to be able to get into a good position. Squeeze the butt. Big breath in the belly. Exhale. Get tight. Pull that belly button to your spine on the exhale. Keep goin'. Keep exhale. There it is. So I see the outline of your rib cage. Breath in the belly. Exhale. Get tight on the exhale. We're stiffening up. We do the same thing every single time. Now, they're like 10 out of 10 stiffness. Can you guys get any stiffer for me? Get stiffer. Get stiffer. That's like a cobra. Bam. Cobra stiff. What's happening here when they're cobra stiff is that that's before I have peak effort. I'm gonna pick something up heavy, I'm going to lift something up, right? I've gotta organize my spine in it's peak efficiency. Can I go about my day to day work with my spine in cobra tension? No, I'll probably black out. And my friends will think I'm very strange. So what I need to do, is be able to have enough tension to support and stabilize my back and not any more than that. So, standing. Can you come stand up for me real quick Eric? Boom. Okay. What did Eric not do before he stood up? Did he get organized? Negative. You disrespecting me son? (audience laughing) You have no discipline! Come stand up Eric. Get tight for us. Good. Now he doesn't mean you have to be like a cobra but come stand up. Now the idea here is that in standing, he better be a little organized in his trunk. So that means that he needs to have a little tone on. And in our kids class, 'cause these are very complex concepts, how do we teach this in our kids class? (slaps) you whack 'em in the stomach one time. Now look he's got his abs engaged and all I have to do is walk up to them now. 'Cause we know that once you hit one guy, they're all afraid of you a little bit right? That's what you learn on the, I'm a professional person I never aim low, I've practiced this a lot. If you do this at home. The key is that I needed him have 20% of his tone on his abs at all time. He cannot walk around abs off. And if you're sitting at home in a chair, what I'm talking about is you can not sit ever and not have your abs on. If you're wakin' up, you need to be able to create this 20% of your abdominal tension all the time. Do you follow? You never get to go on ab vacation. The only time where abs turn off is when you go unconscious. And what do you think happens to your body when you carry a baby or two babies to term? You spend a lot of time in a bad position, and can you stabilize in this position? No. In fact, Jodie stand up for us real quick. Now go ahead and take your pelvis and turn it over. Good. Now try to get tight. How's that goin' for ya? Now squeeze your bum as hard as you can. (groans) now make your belly tight. Does it get firmer in that position? And that's why this position matters so much. This is my leading indicator. So before I do anything else I want to optimize position. Eric go on your back again. So, squeeze your butt. Big breath in your belly. Exhale. Get bully button to spine. Now remember, if he looks fat, it's not good. It's not cute. Pull. You got to pull. So here what you're seeing, is that he doesn't know and is he breathing right now? No. He's got a model. I'm either gonna breathe, or not breathe. There's no in between. How are you gonna get tight and go up and down the stairs with a heavy load? How are you gonna squat 21 reps? And the key here is that we're seeing an athlete who is having a hard time choosing stabilization or choosing breathing. Now on last Friday I went up with the Blue Angels, flew in the back seat, and they do this thing called the hick maneuver so you don't black out. Right? And that idea is that you have to be tight. (grunting) But you only have about four to six seconds of oxygen there when you're under peak tension before you have to take your next breath right? Well so you're like, you have to breathe, (grunting) and it's hard to breathe while I'm under peak tension so I have to take another little staccato breath. (grunting) (gasping) Well what's happening is that you have chosen, I'm tight. And then if I take another breath, (gasps) I fall apart. And we need to be able to disassociate those things. So, squeeze your butt. Big breath in the belly. Exhale. Remember, put your hand there. Take another breath in your belly. Oh and it dropped off. Exhale. No, no don't push. Let your belly fall. There we go. Now, you can practice that at home. And here's the deal. Your combat stance is your every day stance right? Which means, you should be practicing this all the time. You're in a horrible business meeting with your boss, you're doin' some work right? You're like whoa I'm a ninja. I'm a cobra you don't even know. You're payin' me to be a cobra. That's what I want you to be doin'. Are you braced here? Okay. Big breath in the belly. Exhale. Good. Does that change his range of motion? (audience laughing) Oh. So it turns out that looks a little different doesn't it? In fact I would call this full range of motion. Right? He doesn't need to stretch anything behind here. And the reason is that I got his spine organized straight. We've head broke, we lost position. When the spine breaks we see these other, not only does it muck up my ability to reinforce, but I said that the spine is the chassis. And if the chassis is disorganized, then the primary engines of the hip and the shoulder don't function correctly. This is why it's so important I know how to brace and how to get organized. So push your legs out real quick. We're gonna go five more minutes. So we can plan ahead.
So here's what I want you guys to do. Squeeze your butt as hard as you can. Oh and look, some of you guys are pulling your toes to your face. Which is very weird. So here's the test at home. Pull your toes towarda your face, squeeze your butt as hard as you can. How's that goin' for ya? Now push your toes away from your face. That's what we call triple extension. That looks like jump roping doesn't it? This looks like shavasana. Weird. This looks like swimming. So point your toes. Now squeeze your butt as hard as you can. Oh it's better isn't it? And the reason is that when you pull your toes to your face, that's the economy of Greece. And you pull your toes away from your face, that's the economy of Germany. And what ends up happening is that this position, who doesn't like a little economic humor, is that when you push you're basically making it more efficient to cue that posterior chain. If you can squeeze you butt harder what can you do with your pelvis? Control your pelvis and spine more efficiently. And this basic concept of getting organized, means that I need to do this before I do anything. So if I'm gonna go pick over this microphone, I don't just bend over and pick it up. I'm in a bad position. The first thing I do is get my spine organized. Squeeze my butt, belly tight. Doesn't have to be cobra tight, and then I can reach down and pick up the microphone. Do you follow? Okay. So, heres what we want to do. Real quick, lift your legs up. Fast. Did you get braced before hand? You'll notice that you're not breathing Kyle. See how you're holdin' your breath? So come off tension. Let's get organized this time. Point your toes. Squeeze your butt. Big breath in your belly. Exhale. Now lift up. Is that better? Don't hiss out that's weird. (audience laughing) Good. Now are you in a better position? Now, can you stabilize in that position and talk?
A little bit. Right? You're picking your head up Henry 'cause I know you're trying to cheat me. So I'm not looking now at is your abs bulging? Because of course your abs are on. They're your abs. Come off tension. But what I am looking at is did you have a horrible spinal flinch? Remember what happened in the beginning? Turn everything off. Lift your legs up fast. Oh there's the flinch! Did you feel it? What do we have? A local extension fault. Bam. Do this test for me. Lift your legs up fast. Now flatten your backs out. Flatten your backs out. Now I'm a good coach I'll say it twice. Flat back, flat back. Flatten your backs out. I didn't say lift your head up cheater. Flat back out. (audience laughing) Can you do that? Can you reclaim a good position from a bad position?
No. And so here's the deal. Once you've entered that tunnel we need to reset, because you can't reclaim that position. Right? Flinch again one more time for me. Flinch. Now take a big breath. Where was your breath? It was in your chest! Is that where your diaphragm is? So take a look at this. Do that again for us Alex. She lifts up. Flinch. Right? She's lost her spinal position. Take a big breath. (gasps) It's in her neck and in her chest. So what happens is, come off tension here. Is that when we see an athlete, who has lost position or a person who's lost position in the spine, what's happening is that I've made it impossible for them to have good breathing mechanics. And so everything is sort of dysfunctional. So what happens if I breathe in my neck all the time? Jill's gonna gonna talk about this. I tend to get tight, I tend to get stiff. And what happens here, is that this is a big diaphragm called the diaphragm. And you have another diaphragm in you pelvic bowl, called your pelvic floor. And guess what? If this pelvic bowl, this pelvic diaphragm doesn't work when you're out of position neither does this one. And it turns out that the best research around about pelvic floor dysfunction means that the first thing that we have to do with any of our athletes with pelvic floor dysfunction is correct their pelvis. Then we can get them bracing and then we can get them moving. Does that, are you guys followin' me? So come stand up real quick. Pop on up. Are you organized? Did you get organized? Were you braced there? Okay so now, put your arms over your head. Full range. Elbows straight. I need elbows straight for the win. And the question is, are you in a good spinal position? Yes, no? Is he in a good spinal position gang? No he looks like a broken banana. And here's the key, is that, come on in the middle. Is that we see athletes all the time sacrifice this basic spinal position, to get something done. You will burn your back down for your shoulders. So, any change in spinal position is a fault. Is that correct? So it's not okay to change my back when I, round my back when I deadlift? Or if I pick something up off the ground? I have a flat back. So, he squeezes his butt. He gets his belly tight. Good, now this is organized. Now put your arms straight up over your head for me. No don't break. Keep that rib cage down. This is our stable position. And now we can start to see, don't you think full range of motion looks awfully like the leg in this other side. And what you're seeing, is that we're missing a ton of range of motion in this position. Turn from the side. Range of motion, and he's starting to decay. Can you see the local extension fault here? Rib cage down. Keep that rib cage, ah there we go. Now his arms are out in the crazy YMCA. Full range of motion, is oh. Straighten your elbows. There's that full range. So what's happened, is that once again we're missing this big chunk of range of motion here. And why? Because all I did was prioritize the spine first. And you feel like you can't go any further right?
Go ahead what happens if you go further? Go further. Go further, go further. You're gonna hang, oh and now we've sacrificed the spine. So this spine first paradigm makes a difference. If I'm swinging a kettlebell, everyone, arms up over head as far as you can. Squeeze your bum as hard as you can. Right? The gymnasts have a simple rule, if you're in the air you better have your butt squeezed. And toes pointed. So butt squeezed. You don't have to come up on your toes. Now straighten your arms out for me Jodie. Belly tight. Now on the three we're gonna turn our butts off. Ready? One, two, three. Did you all over extend? Oh no. So what happens when that heavy kettlebell comes flying down? Am I in a good position or a bad position?
Ah and that's the problem is that most of us are very comfortable with a lot of movement in our low spines and low backs. So here's what we need to do. We're gonna see if we attack this spinal stabilization model. Can I get stable? Before I move, I prioritize the spinal position. And how do I do that? Is that rocket science? No. The second model then is I take a breath in my belly. (inhaling) Exhale and get tight. (exhaling) Now I only need 20% on in standing. You don't have to be flexing your cobra all the time. Right? Running around the building might be a 60% solution but this is I need to have 20%. So for the rest of the day, if I get all sketchy there you know what's about to happen. (ninja calls) Okay the Wushu ab slap. Alright? So here's the deal. We need to be here. Now I need to be able to also take a full breath in my belly and have my belly button move in and out or be able to fully expand that. The tighter I am the harder that is. The looser I am the easier that is and no wonder when we're breathing hard what happens to our spines? (panting) I tend to be over extended and broken. So here's the piece, if you can't stabilize with this basic construct, and if your diaphragm isn't working effectively, 'cause we know you're out of position, we're gonna see problems. And this is a perfect segue to bring on Jill Miller. 'Cause Jill us gonna take us--