The science of body Movement with Carl Paoli
I wanna start by saying I wanna show you guys how to have secret muscles, and that means being organized and in the right position. So, so much of what we're gonna talk about with Carl means it starts when we go from this sort of very formal movement, we're hyper-organized into these very formal kind of language. How do you express that, as we say, from formal to freestyle? What does that look like? And let's talk about for a second the implication of this. And I'm gonna use a model because I'm seeing people struggle with this already. Carl is working hard on actually keeping his shoulders back in a good position. We know that Carl has paid a price for being a super gymnast, and being generally awesome and his shoulders sometimes do this and what ends up happening is because some of the missing rotation, he has to actually fight to keep his shoulders back.
I'm always fighting around you.
He's always, and so one of the things we've noticed is last year when Batman came out you guys ...
probably saw the Dark Knight is that Bane is the greatest bad guy of all time. Do you know why I particularly like Bane? How did he rest all the time? He always was organized, his shoulders, he parked his hands on top of his vest and he's parked his shoulders back so when he was barking orders "Not now brother, you must die in the wreckage." Like, he was always organized, right? And Batman, the first time they meet walks in how? All internally rotated and hunched. Who do you think is gonna win that fight? Like, I was like Batman's gonna lose this one. (laughs) So Batman comes in, and there's Bane hyper-organized all the time.
You look like the bad guy.
That's right, so if you can park your hands one of the things that we give is saying hey can you just park your hands right here so Carl has figured out that he can create torque off his hands off his stomach but this resting position takes all of that rotational torque out of your shoulder and allows for you to maintain a better position. If I'm a police officer or if I need to have my hands I don't ever have to clasp or close my hands I can still be in a non-confrontational stance, right? And one of the things that we've found is that position actually gives you a nice resting state so it's a way that you can work on your computer and sort of come back to neutral and practice cultivating that position. For our tactical athletes, our athletes wearing body armor like our officers we have them put their hands on top of the body armor and still keep the shoulder organized and so it's a nice little resting position because you see how you don't have to work to maintain that shoulder position because the point of all this is to be awesome and without further ado, let me introduce what I, is my awesome hero, Carl Paoli, give him a hand please (crowd applause)
Thank you. First of all, thank you so much for having me, especially Kelly for giving me the opportunity to come out here he has inspired me to do many, many things and he introduced me to the formalized world of strength and conditioning and it's been a pleasure to work with you ever since and it's been an awesome ride just to learn all these things and as I was back watching you here live it was crazy all these words that you're coming up with and how you're putting it all together just in amazing language that we all speak and it's this language of movement Kelly and I, when we first started hanging out, one of the things that we did is we went to the gymnastics gym and hung out there and we discovered a lot of things where we took this big body, this big piece of meat, and we put him up in the air we discovered a lot of holes in his performance and once we took those things that we discovered in the air down to the ground and then hyper loaded them maybe under a heavy bar or something we saw that they were the same problems and it's so cool to see these simple things that we see on a daily basis just come together and have these very simple tools that we can utilize to fix things and really have an implementation of those things so what I want to try to do is demystify a little bit what this freestyle concept means and it basically means it's an individualized way of expressing any kind of movement. I think Kelly talked about this earlier today he talked about different lengths of femurs and stuff like that, but we are the same human being we're not that special.
Wait, so when you back flip, right, and I've seen this Carl jumps this high and rotates very tightly in one place. When I back flip, it looks like a cape buffalo going through the air (crowd laughter) and I have to jump really really high. We're still executing the same techniques, same mechanics, same loading, but the expression is different.
It's like slow-motion. (Crowd laughter)
(laughs) it's impressive to see a cow flip through the air, I'm not gonna lie. (crowd laughter)
It's very impressive. And one of the things just talking about back flipping right now, I think he talked about this constant earlier which was the tunnel. And this is something that Kelly will help you guys out with where he talks about being able to get into these optimal positions. If we understand optimal positions and starting positions and finishing positions we will be able to create some sort of expression of movement between those positions and what I have really been working on is creating a connection between these positions that lead into certain types of movements that you can actually standardize and utilize on your own on a daily basis and it's something that lies present.
We have a question from a guest who says "With torque in place and knees driven out as much as possible, how do you mobilize to straighten your torso more and bring your hips through? I have a persistent 'butt wink' and would like to know the best way to correct it."
Great conversation. So the question about this reversal of spinal position. So if I'm squatting and I get to the bottom and I reverse and I sink back down into a slight flex position, what did we say was the mechanism to stabilize the pelvis and spine? What do I need to do? Create torsion. So what we see often times as butt wink is a lack or inability of creating that stability through the hip. Now tomorrow as we get to the bottom of this we'll be able to set up and asking the questions What's stiff and why am I simply dumping that torque? Because this is a solid solid solid torque dump position. It may be foot but once we've cleared the foot maybe we can start asking that question. Are we back?
We are back, but just so you know, several people in the chat room want to see you both do back flips
Maybe it will happen, we never know.
Maybe it will happen.
So let me just set this up because one of the things that we're not sure about and where we're living in this epoch is how much is possible and one time I was like Carl, I need to learn how to back flip. And he was like no problem, it'll be no problem you can do these basic things he was able to connect the dots for me very quickly and he was like great can you do that? And I was like I own this, like, I got this. No problem he was like, great let's test it. You're gonna flip this 600 pound tire and you're gonna back flip while you're breathing hard. And guess what? That made me very very nervous. And he was like, you're gonna do it a couple times in a row, and then we'll do a whole bunch and we'll see how much you can get done. And in the course of just five minutes I did 10 back flips and a whole bunch of tire flips and that was the single most difficult focus workout I ever remember. I had a good spot, it wasn't anything dangerous, comma, Carl was like, hey, do you have this technique and skill? Great! Let's apply it to cardio-respiratory load let's add a little external demand, and a little stress because we are gonna do it on camera and show the world so thanks very much Carl.
It turned out beautiful, in fact, let's use that question about the butt wink I think it's such an excellent question because it's something we study and look at every day and we have such simple solutions but it's not obvious to a lot of people out there so if we just go to the board really quick there's a framework I use and it's been really helpful to just really understand what movement looks like and how we study movement, and just like Kelly was talking about earlier, everything is addressed through body position. This position can be addressed in different ways and movement we have starting positions so that if I have a squat I have my standing position I have this bottom position my jeans are a little elastic, that's why I can squat and then I have this finishing position. Usually my starting and finishing positions are pretty stable depending on what I'm doing and what category of movement I'm working in but where we see the most problems are in these transition positions and in these transition positions are our bottom position, that's where the mechanics start breaking, and Kelly already-
You're saying that's a transition position like where I'm changing position going from down to up
That's exactly right.
So I can change direction in space and that can create some sort of problem and if you think about squatting that would be your bottom position of that squat. One of the things that Kelly addressed really well earlier while you guys were doing the push-up position he started placing your hands and shoulders in different places and he set some standards for you and that forced you to move in a certain way that certain standard that he set I call that blocking movement and I think you guys actually use that terminology as well, which is very cool. So if we can understand that setting standards for position will allow us to fix and optimize the transition position now we will be able to get through that tunnel that Kelly was talking about earlier and be on the other side feeling better. And, now, that's a very hard thing to do if I'm going to fly to Argentina tomorrow and I have to spend ten hours on a plane especially if you're flying in the back seats you wouldn't like to be sitting in a very upright position it takes a lot of effort to do so but there are certain strategies that you can implement by practicing that will allow you to build that up and that's what we call exercising, right? And that's just looking at it from a position standpoint. Now, in between these positions what we see is we see movement and this movement is whatever you want to call it. It can be walking, running, jumping, landing, catching, throwing, you name it, but that movement is the expression that we see on a daily basis, and that's what we had become students of, and we are constantly trying to develop the language that's the most universal language to be able to give everyone a way of communicating and that's what Kelly's always talking about. What makes us a little different and special is this concept of freestyle which is driven by our purpose. This purpose is why you are doing it how you are doing it, when you are doing it. This could be the demands that Kelly was talking about earlier. I can put you in a great position, but now I start loading you up with some weight or I make you go fast, or there's some sort of cardio-respiratory demands, now things start changing, and what happens? We see a trickle effect- boom. Straight into movements, straight into position and most of the times where it starts suffering first is in this transition position. So, that's what this whole thing is all about. If we can optimize our movement to address performance, whatever that means to each one of you, carrying babies or running a marathon I don't know what that is. We create this direct link with our purpose and the way we express that movement, that performance, we call freestyle and freestyle is just the individualized expression of each person's movement, that's all it is. How we study it, we have two different things. One, and this is discussion that we're ongoing with. And we talk about strength. When I'm talking about strength, I'm not referring to contract out potential or how much can I lift, I'm talking about your capacity to be able to move in certain ways to be able to get into certain positions, like Kelly was talking about earlier. He's talking about these archetypes. Can I get my arm over my head externally rotate lock-out fully, can I get into this extended shoulder position do I have this internal rotation? And I think you touched on it earlier. Same things happens with the main engine and the hips. That's the strength, and can I move from one of the archetypes to another archetype without breaking in that transition? That is seen everywhere from walking to running to jumping to landing, no matter what you're practicing this is always occurring. So strength is very related to position. Now, what's very interesting is that you can add what we talk about as skill and this concept of skill is your capacity to be able to carry this movement from one thing to another and Kelley mentioned earlier something about skilled transfer exercises and these skill transfer exercises are just drills that we do to connect movement patterns. Because what we do on a daily basis is all the same we have three archetypes of position, a couple of movements between those and then we just express them slightly different as we go through the day. First thing we do in the morning, we get out of bed. There's some sort of push up and then I sit and walk out. If I really care about my sleeping I'll be on my back and I'll be in a better position so I'll just kind of roll over do a little situp and then walk to the bathroom, right? But all those movements are the same. The second thing I do I maybe sit on the toilet stand, brush my teeth, go breakfast, whatever it is I do for a living. Pick up my kids, go get the groceries. We all have these same primal movement patterns we just express them slightly different skill is your capacity to be able to carry this strength for long periods of time utilizing your environment and what we call gravity, which is just a natural pull that's just constantly putting us into bad positions so if I'm strong I can hold a good position and then skill would be what Brian's going to talk about tomorrow is for example taking my center of mass or my center of gravity displacing it, meaning moving it and relationship to my base support wherever I'm standing and then creating movement. This is a skill and the more I understand that, the better I'll be able to express my life to fulfill the purpose and have some sort of optimal performance. This is all connected. So this, as crazy as it looks, all fits in with the same model of practicing that Kelly has. And if you guys can see that, we can really translate this into something bigger that fits everyone it's not for one purpose it's not for high-level performance as an athlete that's going to the Olympics it's for anyone just trying to live pain-free so I have four movements that I like to talk about and I call them the fantastic four and the first one is what in the exercising world is known as burpees. Sometimes in the world of football they call it up-downs, but it's basically a form of getting off the ground and back down safely. So is there anyone here that would like to demonstrate a burpee? Would you like to demonstrate one, Kyle? Come on over demonstrate a burpee.
Kyle that was legit
That was really it.
Oh no, did you see it broke? He was like aaaaaahhh dude how else can you do more today? Okay, here we go.
So, show us what you know about the burpee maybe knock out one or two so we can see what that movement looks like. Awesome, so Kyle rest a little bit. So stay there Kyle for a second we're gonna use you as an example. Why did you do the burpee like that, do you know?
That's how I was taught.
That's right, that's how I was taught, exactly.
or not taught
Why do you speak Spanish? Why do you speak English, that's how I was taught. I was educated to do it this way. A lot of people that have maybe not done this exercise before can look at it and say well that's unnecessary why would I have to do that? Well, it depends on what you are trying to accomplish. It comes down to purpose. Now do you know what the perfect burpee looks like within your standard?
What does it look like, dude? Can you show us?
Sure. We tell people to start with their feet in the standing position.
Just show us, let's see what it looks like just visually, let's see if we can see a difference. Go for it.
Go for it?
Just go for it, yeah, the whole thing.
Yeah, the whole thing.
Do it two times. Did you guys see any difference? Do you understand anything about it that was different than the first iteration that he did? Not really, we didn't see any difference the reason is that he didn't really change anything that caught our eye. I am fortunate enough to see very impressive athletes out there that can do pretty outstanding things but once you've seen them over and over again you realize that there are only a few that start standing out and those few that stand out, they have something special that catches my eye and that catch is a way of performing that's optimized. And this is what we obsess about all day and there is something about it there's this thing that you see and you're like that person has it. I can give you a list, but we know that person has it. Right now you guys didn't see the difference it didn't look special or different from the first iteration to the second so that's something that we wanna fix. So the first thing I'm gonna ask him to do and this is gonna be related actually to your squatting mechanics that you did earlier is I want you to actually pull out a chair for us just pull that chair up, put it right here
And as he does that just as a followup to what Carl said about hey I can't relate to this movement but if you fall how do you get up off the ground if you are a middle-aged person, right? I have to do this, some iteration of this. Remember we said that time to up and go was getting out of a chair and walking and the expression of that in the end range was this heavy front squat, the freestyle version of that? Well we are now you're seeing the high-end and we understand that this can be scaled up and down these are fundamental archetypal basic shape movements that people should have so just
Don't freak out.
What Kelly just said, this thing I just asked him why did you do it that way it's because I was taught and I'm gonna show you how we can go from using Kelly's concept and tools to dissecting it into something that seems more obvious something that you would have done 20,000 years ago. So do me a favor just take a seat on the chair you've trained them well. (cheering)
Give that guy a hand, come on that was so sick.
So earlier I was watching you guys and one of the things that Kelly was doing he was coming into a kind of freakish position and trying to separate your knees. Getting a little scary there, and that's something that takes effort to do but the reason we do the knees out is because we create more torque which is better positional strength in order to be able to efficiently apply that pressure so I can stand up and be pain-free or be injury-free. So one of the things that we like to do and this is the first rule of blocking movement is that I wanna bring everything close to this midline that crosses from my head all the way down to my toes. So what I'm gonna have you do is I just want you to relax completely right there if you forget that Kelly is looking at you right now he's not watching, right? Just go ahead and stand up how you usually stand up, stand up. He stands up totally fine, did you hurt?
But over a high number of repetitions under load and all these different demands something is gonna curve, Kelly definitely addressed that. If you guys watch his knees, Go ahead and sit down again If you guys watch his knees go ahead and just stand up for me again just the same way you did now he turned them out a little bit because he's focused but on the first iteration his knees buckled in I don't know if you felt that or not, but they buckled in so one of the things that we can do for someone that's not hyper aware of their bodies and cannot take instruction is that we can set standards that will force those good positions to occur automatically so go ahead and sit down again for me and one of the first standards is let's bring everything close to the midline so go ahead and squeeze your feet together big toes together, ankles together and now one of the things that you notice is are you relaxed?
Relax a little bit, chill there we go, we're just hangin' no big deal, no one's watching right now
Kelly never judges that's why he has all those creepy pictures up there here's what's going on look at the knee and the ankle relationship is this a good or a bad ankle relationship?
Fantastic ankle relationship, right? Is his back a little rounded? Is he leaning back, who cares, He's not under load. Now, one of the first things that I heard when I started working with Kelly he said In P.T. school, especially when working with older people, we talk about nose to toes in order for them to stand up. So what I want you to do right now is I just want you to bend over slightly almost sending your nose to your toes you're just gonna bend over. Did his knees cave in? No, they're still in a good position. Could you keep moving forward and stand up like that? There you go was that hard?
So here's the interesting thing is that the first thing we did we said let's bring everything to the midline what I did was I blocked position for optimal performance. The second thing I asked him to do was can you fold in the hips in order to start creating some sort of movement and how was that happening is very simple his center of gravity started displacing himself forward in relationship to his base support. Go ahead and sit sideways here for me so they can see you. Go ahead and face Kelly don't be scared feet together, sit down, take a seat so the first thing you're gonna do is just sit down with your feet together good position he's okay he's relaxed his center of gravity in relationship to his base of support, his base of support is here you guys see that? His center of gravity is slightly behind it's on the back edge of it because he's sitting in the chair now what I'm gonna ask him to do is can you send your nose to your toes? Yes, what is happening here is that this mass is traveling forward so his center of gravity is traveling to the edge of the other side of the base support and now at the same time what's happening is that we're loading up something in the back of the legs that's the hamstrings and other business we create this little hammock and that hammock is elastic and I'm gonna use that hammock to kinda send me up so if he does this in one motion meaning bend over stand, that hammock is gonna balance him out of that seated position and he's gonna be optimally placed. So go ahead and bend over and stand Was that hard?
Not hard at all.
He can squat 400 I heard earlier, something crazy, so that shouldn't be a problem. But if you're at home right now I want you to try that. Take a seat on a chair with your feet together see where your knees go and then see if you can stand up by thinking nose to toes and allow that displacement of the center of mass so that falling feeling to stand you up and if you can ride that fall out then you will be able to optimally increase skill in your strength which is your capacity to move or get into these shapes and then express some sort of movement as an individual.
Go ahead and sit down again, Kyle. So let's apply the same concept. Where do we need to start, torso first. So as he leans forward, if he breaks here is that a good or bad position? Right, so let's go ahead and be aware we still don't have to drop our principles as we start to increase the skill demands. So his ankles aren't collapsed his foreheads gonna go forward but he's not concerned his back oh, and what's that position? Can you hold that position can you see that roundedness? That is with a problem so we've advanced the skill and now we're gonna say make a better decision don't round your back, hinge forward again and you can find that elastic hammock
Which is my new punk band name.
Rock forward, boom, better. And that was a simple cue, hey I'm noticing you're rounding your back that's not okay.
and this is the beauty of this this stuff is that there's not only one setting to train this stuff or work on this stuff you always have to prioritize what your focus is. This is my focus position today well then I know what kid of demands to put on it. Is my focus skill development today? Being able to move through space efficiently then I'm gonna put another certain demands on it with certain standards so that's what we're looking at. Does that makes sense to you do you see that? Great. Let's go ahead and put that chair back and what we're gonna do is we're gonna go back and talk about that burpee. So do me a favor, with your feet together now and actually you're gonna go facing the audience right here, you're gonna bend over and you're gonna put your hands on the ground for me. You're allowed to bend your knees if you want to. Alright, so we have this round back wrinkles on the back of the neck we're not gonna stay young forever if we do that, right, that's a problem. Kelly is this okay?
It's less okay but he's not in a horribly loaded state. And it's okay to round your back globally
Perfect, so go ahead and stand up again for me. So one of the things that we've been talking about a lot is how do we pick something off the ground optimally, and Kelly talked about it earlier that I can find stability in this position but it's not ideal and exactly what he said you're not loaded right now so it's no big deal. So the first big test is how far can you bend over just reaching with your arms down without allowing yourself to flex in the spine. Does that make sense, guys? We don't wanna see this flexion as I bend over I wanna be as flat as I possibly can as I reach for the ground. So go ahead and bend over as far as you can go without rounding, that would be his end range his neck is pretty neutral, that's a good thing, but what I'm really loving here is that look at the knees, they're actually apart. Now from here because he's not loaded I can allow him to flex in the spine so go ahead and flex a little bit and put your hands on the ground you can bend your knees as much as you want now. Look at his knees, you guys see how his knees are turned out? That's a great thing, this is the same thing Kelly was talking about earlier when he was ripping your legs apart in the squat when you guys were trying to get up into that pushup position he flipped your hands this is the same concept does everyone see that? Great. Now this is what we're gonna do. We're gonna add a little extra value here. I want you to do me a favor, I want you to kick your feet out into a pushup position. Go ahead and kick your feet out. So you're just gonna hold the top of the push-up position right there. Do you guys notice how his feet are still together? Was that easy or hard?
More difficult than normal, but
More difficult than normal but not too hard. This is a strong athlete. Now do me a favor, without moving your hands can you jump your feet back into your hands? Not bad, but look at those, duck feet. What happened there? He turned his toes out this is what's happening go ahead and stand up for me. It's like wind, right, traveling wind is just air moving from high pressure to low pressure. When he is bent over there is high tension, high pressure when he kicked out he kicked out into a position of low pressure, low tension. When he had to come back in he was hitting this wall of high pressure and what his body did immediately was flinch to try to find stability. And this is what we're constantly trying to fight because every time I add some sort of demand like Kelly has been talking about earlier, that speed that load, our body is gonna tend to break into bad or less optimal position and then you'll become disnormal you called it?
Disnormal,dissupple for Juliet.
Dissupple, good. So that's the first thing we need to work on let's see if, now that you know that that's happening, just by thinking about it, let's see if that goes away So, bend over, put your hands flat on the ground kick your feet out back, see if you can keep your feet together, no problem in the air, if you see slow-motion, his toes actually separated, feet together. Feet together, there you go. Aww, a little bit better but not great yet. One of the things that we can do is we can put a hundred dollar bill in between his toes, right, and we'll say if you do it right, you get to keep it.
How about a kitten? (class laughter) don't drop the kitten, don't drop the kitten, bro.
Don't drop the kitten. Go for it. Not bad, and now back in. Better! He didn't make it all the way but it was better, go ahead and stand up for me. Was that hard for you?
That was very difficult.
Very difficult. Do you think that you could do that? That would be a hard thing to do. Do you wanna come and try?
Yes, come on, let's give it a shot. So you're gonna just stand right next to them and we're gonna see where it goes. What we are focusing on right now is just what are the feet doing in relationship to the hips, okay this is just a test. Go ahead and bend over put your hands flat on the ground, you're allowed to bend your knees as much as you want, look how nice it is that the knees come out, the toes are going as well. Look how her lumbar is beautifully flat beautiful position this upper back can have a little more rounding.
Head in always, no wrinkles in the back of the neck you wanna stay young forever, right? Put your hands flat on the ground, can you do that? Does it feel comfortable?
It's a little uncomfortable.
It's a little tough, go ahead and stand up for me. So this is what happens. If my mom is gonna train with me and she has hip pain or knee pain I wanna be able to give her options that are always gonna prioritize good position and we will scale the range of motion so one of the things that I would do is I would grab a box or a chair, can we grab that chair? That chair is a little high for you you're at a different level, we can even grab one of those yoga blocks but let's try this, just stand in front of the chair right there with your feet together, ankles together can you put your hands flat on the chair? Can you bend your knees there, is that okay if you bend your knees, there you go. Knees are out, good position. That doesn't feel like there is any strain at all, right? Good, we're gonna up her to the next level. Lets bring up some of those blocks. So let's put two blocks on the ground, perfect, step up close to the blocks, put your hands on the blocks, put them completely flat let's see what happens to the knees you can bend the knees as much as you want you can bend them even more if you want, there you go. Now her toes are facing straightish forward the knees are out she's in a good position. Once again, always looking at your toes is a good concept just because it straightens out your neck. Now from there would you feel comfortable kicking out into a push-up position?
Go for it. Interesting that she stepped, why did you step?
It was unstable blocks.
Exactly, go ahead and stand up for me all the way. So that's actually the next concept. If if can created movement by changing orientation of space or displacing my center of mass in relation to my base of support I'm adding a skill, but now all of the sudden she was on an unstable surface and she felt compelled to take a step. This is why running, and Brian will talk about this tomorrow, is a skill, because there is falling and there is some sort of changing of points of contact on the ground. If I can change those points of contact and still maintain good position, I am utilizing skill to keep my movement going. So she felt like she had to take that step in order to maintain stability from a positional standpoint so she wouldn't collapse. What if I came over and held the blocks for you, do you think you could kick out? Let's try, so I'm gonna go ahead and hold the blocks, go for it, bend over and now go ahead and kick out, can you kick in? That's a little harder, so once we see those little duck toes come, or the duck feet coming up, we want to be able to scale range of motion I would bring a block that's a little higher and I would start challenging her in that way, and that's where all the mobility concepts of being able to get into these archetypes like bending over to grab a barbell to pick something up is the same thing but it's just applied to getting off the ground.
Let me just show you.
What the expression is again. Kyle, legs straight as far as you can don't bend your knee without rounding your back so you started to round, there it is. Now this is this end-range position expressed in passive range of motion is straight-leg or active range of motion to 90 degrees, right, this is full range of motion, yes no, right? I should have, both sides should be the same 90 degrees. The expression of that, though, more importantly, is about the actual physical movement. Can I physically keep my back flat and express that in something that really matters?
While all you're seeing is this basic shape of hip flexion, of torso flexing forward expressed in the movement that we would see everyday getting up and off the ground and that's when we can see all the problems no wonder he's having back pain, every time he bends over- waah, he's starting to lose that basic shape.
You can stand. Good, so exactly what Kelly said this is something that we do just to challenge and to give you an ideal situation of what you should be striving for. Now, you may sit down, that felt better right, with the block? You felt like you could actually handle that as a burpee if we did that, right? And the same thing Kelly said earlier, I don't wanna do stuff on my knees because I can't access my butt. If I can't access my bum I can't get into a neutral position, I can't stabilize my spine and now all those midline principles are broken and and we're screwed. So that's just something to start working on. And this happens every day, first thing in the morning, you change orientation in the space to get up, either you're sleeping on your belly or you're sleeping on your back and I'm gonna show you how we get there. Let's put these blocks away Lets have you take a seat, thank you so much. Let's get you back on thus burpee because we're gonna test something. Now, some people doing this exercise may think that's ridiculous, why are you doing it this way? The reason we're doing it this way is because millions of repetitions and high intensity meaning a lot of speed, the athlete or the individual has adopted a more simplified position. A more simplified body structure and that is feet together. It's faster to move both feet in than one and then the other. Okay, so that's just something to think about and Kelly talked about that earlier, it's how can I cut down on as many variables as possible so I can maintain one shape and now I can operate in the most optimal place and positions, right? So, that's what were seeing here. But, that's not the only way our body moves, it has options. So, do me a favor, do a burpee like you just did earlier when we did those two but with your feet together, go for it. Cool, you can rest. I don't know if you see the difference, but one of the things that I see is that there's less wobbles happening. He looks a little bit stiffer, he looks a little stronger and therefore the application of force is better and imagine if you were to pick up two grocery bags that are very heavy and you grab the handles and all of the sudden the handles were rubber bands. That wouldn't be fun, you'd be dragging your groceries home. So when he was doing his first burpees he looked like a bag with rubber bands. I want that structure to be stiff enough that I can utilize it to efficiently apply force and not waste so much energy, so that's what he just did. In the beginning the adaptation is going to feel like it's sluggish and hard but over time we're very resilient this will catch up with us and we will be able to move efficiently through space.
This is a really important concept that Carl just illuminated that just because it's harder doesn't mean it isn't better.
and what we see is that when we have this conversation moving away from "Hey I have to work harder to maintain this position but it's so easy to be in these positions sometimes we will think "well, that one costs less or its mechanically more simple for me but it's not optimal. And what is when we acquire skill over time what ends up happening is your default because those skilled mechanically safe positions that no matter where I go, even if it was awkward in the beginning that becomes to be able to carry me.
And exactly what Kelly just said and somebody that you mentioned earlier today, actually. You mentioned that the modern man, the way it lives lives the way it lives because we're surrounded by technologies so that we no longer have to go out and hunt, and then teach our kids how to hunt so that they could survive so they could have a legacy. Now we are adapting into certain positions that we've created around our environment because of technology so we are forced into creating these third places which are artificial environments to train these movements, and that's what we're really doing here. So what we're seeing here is something that modern man has created to train, artificially, those needs that we had back in the day. But we're gonna test something now get back on the ground for me. So, just lie down there. Now, imagine you broke a leg. This leg broke, doesn't work. I want you to stand back up, go for it, stand back up. It's interesting when he goes with one leg, his foot is perfectly under his hip because if it wasn't there, what would happen? He would fall apart. So another good part of this burpee mechanic with feet together it allows you to now take away a point of contact or lose a limb and you still have a way to get out of it. And that's something that you, being in active duty, could experience sometime, I hope not, but we have heard stories and this does save people's lives. Now, go back down again for me.
Can I jump in really quick with a question? B. Hanson says he's confused a little are we supposed to keep our feet together during burpees?
Yes, ideally feet together during burpees just as a training purpose for positional standpoint for that to always translate into optimum performance. Now, I'm saying that that's the only way that's what I was showing these different variations of it. So feet together is just gonna give you the most universal solution to all our problems.
And it gives us universal concepts that are not dead ends, they always have an exit.
Any dead-end pattern means that I can't jump deeper I can't absorb load in this position, But this default could fall to the ground and always leaves me a universal solution with one skill set it's a universal solution. More importantly, should I do the burpees in this way, I will tell you that every person who does burpees competitively, which is a strange thing, I would agree. Adopts this foot-together position because it's so efficient.
So, yes, as variation this is the most universal solution. Now, let's do something else. Go back to your laying down position Where you're on the ground. Now imagine you broke an arm. You only have one arm, go ahead and stand up now. Do the same thing, go for it. Yep, there we go! That looked awkward, right? But what was the first thing he did? He tried to move and he felt like I feel heavy, I can't move. So the second thing he did was he separated his legs, did you guys see that? To try to shorten the distance and to make a wider base of support. And then he tried to press himself out like He-Man Out of the hole, and he struggled and immediately he violated principles of midline stability, so right him go from here to there. Now that's weird, right?
We don't walk around like monkey tiger boy, you see it now?
Finally it came out. So, what we're gonna do is we're gonna allow him to actually bow into extension as long as you're butt is on and your belly is on. So, go ahead and lie down on your belly. And I want you guys to watch this
In this bow.
Left arm is broken
Is the expression of that global flexion it's okay to move the whole system. It's okay, what all we saw is local flexion, which we know is hart do the is hard on the system.
Exactly, so watch this, the first thing we're gonna do is we're gonna spread the legs without being inappropriate you're gonna squeeze your butt tight, can you do that there? That's hard to do, Now, you're gonna keep your hips low and you're gonna lift your chest up, just your chest. There you go, like you're cheating. And now allow yourself to roll up into that standing position roll up and now stand. So it's interesting, he went straight because he's very educated, he went straight to feet together, and he follows rules. What if I said that you don't need to follow the rules, that I'm not the boss of you. Let your body do whatever it has to do. Where do your feet really wanna go?
Well, do that, let your body do what it's supposed to do, this is freestyle so legs out, butt taut, chest comes up, now jump feet wide. Now, stop right there, stop right there. Here's where we encounter problems. Can you get your knees further out without the foot coming of the ground Now, Kelly I need you, I need your tools to improve these things. This is why all the mobility tools that kelly gives you so you are mechanically efficient. We talked about that. The expression of biomechanics will be mobility as a tool, so if you can get into an optimal position, today it's okay but over a while in a high volume and repetitions, we're gonna start losing this, and that could cause problems. Now go ahead and stand for me, just stand up, perfect. And now you can walk away like a normal human being, right? Beautiful. We're gonna do one more thing, we're gonna go back on the ground, so go ahead and lie down. I'm just giving you variations of how to get off the ground right now. What would happen right now if you broke both arms? Get off the ground for me.
I don't know, you tell me. That's right, he rolls over, and now go ahead and stand up. He does some sort of getup, you guys see that? So he rolls over onto his back he does a situp, then he does some sort of lunge squat deal. There is a study out there that says that if you can stand up off the ground without using your arms, you are guaranteed to live X amount of years more in your life.
Wait, wait, wait, wait. Well documented, well substantiated, legitimate, bad, amazing study, like badass. So it's because you have enough mechanics, you don't wear yourself out, you have enough muscle to go oh this is interesting, alright. So, that's what we're looking at. How many different ways can you get off the ground and how efficient are you at doing that over long periods of time? Like, your life, 110 years like Kelly said earlier. So that's what we're always looking out. Now, can you make that look a little bit more like Kelly has been teaching you today? Get back on the ground. Both arms are broken. He flips over, he does a situp. And now what do you do? I feel stuck, yeah? How can you get out of that? He pulls a leg back, that's fine. Can you make it look pretty? Now from there, can you make it look pretty? Is there anything you can do? Try, let's see what happens. It's hard, yeah? Do whatever you have to do. (crowd laughter) Not bad, our legs are supposed to move in all those different directions. He posted where he felt stability he rolled over, that's decent, that's not bad. Now in gymnastics, I don't know if you've ever seen this, but we do a lot of rolling. So there is what we call a rolling pistol. Have you ever heard of that? A rolling pistol or a candlestick roll? Have you heard of that, Chris? Can we use, Kyle?
Good job, thank you so much.
So, Chris, let's take you on the ground you're on your belly, both your arms broke, now go ahead and flip over. Now from there one of the things that we can do is we can make that sit-up a little more dynamic. I want you to just roll up to your feet Do you know what I am talking about? Yeah, he rolls to his feet. You guys see what he did? He displaced his center of gravity in relation to his base of support to create some sort of momentum. This momentum is what we utilize to carry our strength, then all of the sudden he was able to get into a better position with his feet, and he squatted nicely. So these are very valuable tools. Can you do me again, a favor here Chris. Stand right here facing that direction. And I want to squat down as deep as you can with your feet together, squat down as deep as you can so he's in a good squat position now this is what I want you to do. I want you to just roll to your back. Just do the same thing that you did, and then you're gonna roll back to your feet. That would be the practice. Now the ultimate challenge would be I would get you on your belly and I say you broke both of your arms and you lost a leg, and you got get off the ground. You only have one limb. So, get on your belly. You broke both arms, and one leg whatever leg you prefer. Most likely with the broken arms you won't have that, yeah. And now you're allowed to do whatever you want to get up. He would roll and he would almost pistol out of it so the burpee is the number one movement in my fantastic four rule. The pistol is number two, because it is the epitome of squatting mechanics. When we exercise, we are always exaggerating reality and exaggeration of reality comes to this. So if we train this in real life, it will hopefully translate into something that you just did, and now you're carrying equipment and gear and other things. I don't know if you've ever seen gymnasts do ring before, but they do this thing where they get over the rings, they call it muscle up. And if you've ever seen people that do this a lot over high repetitions and volume it starts sweeping a lot and flipping a lot. So you can utilize that rotation that he just created to actually get over an obstacle. Changing orientation space the way he just did, Chris just expressed, is just the same thing as climbing up a wall and getting myself over, that's expression. And it comes with combining that with some sort of Pulling mechanics. So I'm hanging from a wall, I'm hanging from a bar, I'm hanging from some rings, I'm hanging from that rig, wherever I am, can I pull myself up? Can I roll myself over that obstacle? Getting over obstacles. Once I' in this position what happens is that now I have this pushing mechanics need. And that's where we start training push-ups, then eventually they take it as far as going completely inverted spacial orientation is key. To be able to say that I have optimal positions in all the different archetypes I can say that I can move from those positions and vary them as needed in order to fit my purpose and spend some time there and actually develop something that is gonna carry over. Now, remember that these movements are exaggerations.
Could I put you on the spot for a second?
Could you do a handstand?
I could, but we're actually gonna have Chris do it, I was thinking.
Well, even better.
Because I was
Well, this is even better, let's do it.
Because I can do a handstand, you can watch videos of me doing handstands, that's boring, and this is a show for you guys to learn something, so do you know how to do a handstand?
Would you feel comfortable kicking up to hands in here and just holding? On your own?
Would you kill yourself? Okay, go for it.
(chanting) Chris Chris Chris. (audience cheering)
Okay, no problem, he kicked up he didn't kill himself, he had an exit strategy, which was just rolling. Now do me a favor, kick up, I'm just gonna hold you a little bit, okay? So I'm gonna hold him. Now is he stable? Yes. Now check this out, I'm gonna start working my way down here, stay tight stay tight, you got it? Stay tight, you got it? Oh, he gave up on me! But what I started to do is I took two points of contact, I separated them. He was very good at stabilizing that he felt pretty good, and then I started working my way down and giving him a longer arm that he had to control. As I was doing that, did you feel more challenged? You felt like you needed to get a little bit tighter when I was working my way down.
From now on I focus on staying tighter at the position, you just let go.
So what I did, I created a standard for him to understand these inverted positions and same archetypes that Kelly is always talking about, and this is an exaggeration of reality. Now, another thing, we saw Caroline earlier on the screen doing some squatting. And I don't know if you noticed, but when she was standing, she was not here. She was out here, she was living on the edge of her base support because that's where she has traction in the posterior chain, which would just be musculature that goes all the way up to my neck. So one of the things that I'm gonna do with Chris, and I'm gonna give the mic to Kelly for a second. I'm gonna have you kick off to a hand stand, yet again, I'm just gonna hold you, just bear with me okay? I'm gonna get him into a good position I'm gonna have you tuck your head in. Look at your toes. Now check this out, I'm gonna bring him to the edge here. Is he strong there? He's gonna be able to hold a way better position. It's more tension right now but this is where he's really gonna learn how to find traction on that posterior chain, and that's what he's gonna be able to do and if he just starts focusing on pushing his shoulders away from me and keeping his belly and butt tight he's gonna start balancing on his own. Does that make sense? And he was about to do it there, but he's not trusting it yet. This takes a long period of time. So, remember, we had the burpee that's getting off the ground. I can change all these variations I have my situp to squat thing. I have an exaggeration which would be one leg, that's the pistol, if you add the roll, you'll add it into strength movement so rolling pistil is a great one to have those are your two get ups. Using the rolling with some sort of pulling mechanics, pull ups or whatever it is, you can take that over to obstacle clearing and once you have obstacle clearing and the process of transition into that obstacle clearing, there's some pushing mechanics involved. Push-ups once again we're doing the same thing as the Burpee if I cut your legs off and only had arms how would I get inverted or how would I get vertical? I would have to go onto my hands eventually, right? That's what we're looking at. So that becomes a handstand pushup and eventually a handstand, thank you so much Chris, nice work. (audience applause) Kelly, is there anything you want to add into that piece, or anything I missed that you feel like I should address?
So, in the start to finish, and the transition, the tunnel in between, how do you know where you're breaking down and how do you stay focused on where you want to get?
That's a great question, and here's something that you would hear Brian McKenzie say tomorrow, is that once you've heard of better ways of running, you will never think about running the same way, right? Kelly has been talking about all these positions, so all of the sudden you're sitting in a better position. Jill came in and talked about your breathing and she was talking about are you a clavicular breather or are you diaphragm? What's going on? You will never think about this stuff the same again. Now what you need to start focusing on, especially if you are training somewhere is to be able to optimize, always position first. If I can't get into good positions as I'm moving it doesn't matter what it is, I am missing the foundation of all my performance. The second thing which is the transition positions where now I'm starting to actually move into something that looks like whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. You need a scale on the range of motion on that movement. I would not ask you to kick up into a handstand right away if I didn't know you were capable of doing so. I would put you in a push up position first and then work your way up a wall and then slowly create an infinite number of progressions that would allow you to scale up. And once we find these master positions that you feel like okay I can really get into that shape, now I would ask you to transition from a shape that you are comfortable in to another shape that you are comfortable in, and that way we would always maintain control and you would feel like you got some sort of traction on that movement.
One of the reasons we decide about movement first is that, hey, I understand what the movement principal is, no matter wherever my body is, whatever my start position is, I'm always working to create as optimal shape as possible So if I know that the start position is optimal and I know what the finish position should be then theoretically I start to make sure I am moving between because I'll have you working the limits of your stability and the limits of your organization. We're gonna have a lot of built-in mechanical bufferance. So I'm protected as I develop my skill. A child may have to do something six to 10,000 times before it becomes functional. There's a lot of bad squatting and bad walking. Their spines don't come out of their face, well neither will yours. This is because we have enough genetic bounty inheritance to be able to buffer these less than perfect mechanics, as I learn the skill, we just can't confuse 'em. So if you understand hey, I'm doing my best to be in the most stable shape possible, from point A to point B without speed, without load, then as we add that skill these things are gonna happen automatically.
Does that help? Great. Any other questions?
Yes Carl, folks online, including Pilates Mike and Sonya Houston are wondering if you can go back and recap your fabulous four, your fantastic four.
Awesome, yeah the fantastic four are the first one is getting off the ground, we call it a burpee, and we showed you all the different variations. The second one was can I stand up from lying on my back position. And can I utilize one leg to do so? That would be a pistil. The third one is can I get over an obstacle, we call it a muscle up. Once we get over the muscle up, can you do some sort of pushing mechanics, and can you exaggerate that? That's a handstand pushup. So we have a burpee, pistil, muscle up, handstand pushup. Those are, remember, exaggerations of reality, but they contain all the basic movement patters that you see on a daily basis. If you understand how we did the variations with Kyle, you would have seen that once we take one leg away, that other leg away, this transverse plane comes into action and that's basic locomotion, walking, running, changing directions. So those are the fantastic four that I call, and those are the foundation of all my thinking and teaching, and they develop into anything that Kelly or any other professional is doing out there.
In terms of the language of freestyle, right? So all of the elements of the basic principles human movement are contained in there. And let's put it into context. Carl gets to work with the best dancers in the world some of the best divers in the world some of the best freestyle aerialists in the world, what is the most elemental basic shapes, the basic concepts or the building blocks that make all of those amazing.
These basic shapes and elements and constructs are the building blocks toward much more advanced freestyle. What we'll see is that if you can't do these basic shapes, we end up having a difficulty having further conversation.
Here's a quick example. I was in Spain visiting the national team for Gymnastics, a good friend of mine competing he's a very good ring specialist and he can do many of these strength movements one of the things he has gone through is two shoulder surgeries and I just said hey, show me your push-ups. He could not do push-ups. Once we fixed the pushups the pain went away and it opened up this whole new avenue of movement that he hadn't been able to do, and now he's at the end of his career, it's too late. So just something you can think about, if you can address the foundation from the beginning, the late high level stuff will always be there waiting for you, just like Kelly just said.
Alright, formal language into the freestyle.
I think we've got time for about one more question for Carl, and that is gonna come from Scapem138, my wrists hurt when I do handstands, pushups, and thrusters, how can I rehab this?
That's a great question, I think that's something that Kelly will be addressing tomorrow I believe he will be showing you some band distractions, some stuff that you can do for wrists, and that will fix it all, but I think one of the things that's really interesting is that if you can start utilizing the hand position turned around it will really help, just because that wrist action gets in the way and it prioritizes loading the shoulder as a primal position standpoint.
Also, notice that we rarely have a wrist problem that doesn't also go along with some other weird shoulder problem. Why is this handstand killing me?
Well it turns out you weren't really in a good position, so we start with the priorities, I should fix these things, spine first, work to the primary engine, and now I start working my way down in the same schema that I use to correct the movement. I now can use that same schema to start correcting the problems, know that if I am in this wretched position, turns out my shoulder has nothing to do with organized in that shape. But now my wrist doesn't hurt at all.
A very good example is thinking about the forearm almost as like a nail, you want that nail to be as vertical as possible to the ground for better application of force, when you hit it with a hammer, you don't want to hit it off the side, you're gonna break that main, so you always wanna hit it straight on, and that's just something to focus on. And I think if the nail is not nicely shaped, I mean the head is a little off, that's a broken wrist position, Kelly will be able to address that tomorrow with some specific tools, I think.
Ladies and gentlemen, the one and only Carl Paoli.
Thank you very much for having me. (applause)