A Couple of New Year Ideas for You!

Well, as 2012 opens its eyes, many of us are in the midst of personal resolutions and body revolutions. In my life, 2011 was one of the best years of my life with amazing changes in key areas of my life and a total left hip replacement. The hip surgery was life illuminating for me: I learned that pain leads to all kinds of issues and you need to deal with it.

I am never going to tell you that pain is bad altogether. It is the body (and the Universe!) warning you that you need to take a moment to rethink a few things. In the past few years, there has been a surge of people giving advice about eliminating pain. All too often, when you start trying to eliminate pain “here,” you discover a ton of pain “there.” And, “there” and “there” and “there.” Moreover, I recently had some great insights from an Orthopedic surgeon who laughed at this idea that you can go to a workshop and dispense advice about hip, shoulder, neck, back and finger pain in a weekend. I think it is also illegal in most states.

So, be careful here: I DO think that we can do more than just cut the body open. Two excellent new products are on the market that reflect the kinds of things I believe in. For example, I have discussed the role of yoga, especially Bikram Yoga, in aiding most of us with mobility and flexibility. Bikram Yoga also seems to be an excellent sleep aid and did wonders for me as I approached my surgery. Post surgery, I discovered that I am banned from a number of the movements, so I have found some other forms that work just as well. This kind called “Gentle Yoga,” where I hold a pose for up to five minutes, is as misnamed as “Tough Love” in the RKC.

I still find rolling on my little “rumble roller” to help all kinds of things. I am doing Kettlebell Fever’s One Month Swing Program and Day One ended up being 315 Hinge movements and 245 Squats. So, any and all correctives will be part of the other days: Ocean dips, Hot Tubs, Rolling, Get Ups, and various easy stretches.

Gray Cook and my good friend, Laree Draper, along with Brett Jones and Doctor Mark Cheng among others, have packaged a great summary of the Functional Movement System. As most know, I am a big fan of the FMS (and the world of correctives that support the findings of the assessment). What Gray provides us here is the “Connected Dots” between the FMS assessment (you are asymmetrical, you lack this here and that there) and what to do about it. As always, Laree went the extra mile(s) and Disc Four is my favorite. Here are the DVDs:
4-disc DVD set–nearly 4 hours, plus bonus material
Filmed live at a Perform Better Summit Workshop
Disk One
Standard Operating Procedures
Movement Matters
Squat Discussion
Stabilization and Repatterning
Our Movement History

Disk Two
Functional Movement Screen Review
Scoring the Screens
Filters and Key Points
Live Screens
Scoring Criteria
Programming the Results

Disk Three
Screen Results Analysis
Order of Screen Priority
Hip Hinge and Deadlift Strategies
Movement Motor Learning
Movement Principles
Self-Limiting Exercise

Disk Four
Extra corrective strategies footage
Full lecture in MP3 audio format for listening in your car or on your portable device
A 61-page typeset transcript of the lecture
Movement Principles excerpt from the Movement book
FMS scoring criteria and verbal instructions
Presentation slides PDF
Video clips from Gray’s Powerpoint presentation
Self-limiting activities chart

After Laree put together my Intervention DVD, most people tell me that the MP3 and the PDFs are the glue that make everything make sense. I think the FMS’s key importance is this:

Like a Pull Up test, you are “here.” When we test you again, we can see where you have gone. If things get “better,” well, you are doing things right. If not, let’s talk.

Oh…that is so simple. Right? Then, why don’t we all do it?

On the same front, Martha Peterson’s new book, “Move without Pain,” is out. Martha has taught me the Green Light, Red Light and Trauma Reflexes and once I looked at this, all of Janda’s work made sense. And Alexander’s. And Gockhale’s. And…and…and.

Listen, there were a lot of geniuses in the middle of the last century when it came to movement. Thomas Hanna’s work was often overlooked (Somatics), but when you study Martha’s book, you will see that pandiculation is a superior technique for flexibility. No, I am not tossing Pavel’s “Relax into Stretch” away as both Martha and Pavel say the same things. I’m clearly out of my water when I talk about mobility and flexibility, but I know what works. I have been doing many of these safe and easy movements in my personal and group work and I like how it opens my hips up. Hips? Yup, if you want insights into an issue, ask somebody who has been exploring pain, surgery and rehab for a while.

So, you find an odd blog post here. I am telling you to do a lot of swings and squats this year, check your FMS and start doing Martha’s drills. To me, the whole thing is a “system.” Be sure to read the mistakes that I have made the past four or five decades (overtraining!). Then, look at the mistakes Martha has made (too much emphasis on stretching!). I’m sure Gray has some insights about his shortcomings, too.

My point? Let us help you (Help me…help you!). Train hard, but ease off as appropriate. Know your shortcomings and address them. Keep a balance between strength and stretching, power and mobility. Strive for as much strength as you can hold, but have keep your body in alignment.

Let’s all improve in 2012.

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