We all want to be flexible. Flexibility is beautiful. Flexibility helps with injury prevention. Flexibility improves performance. People who have flexibility are graceful, fluid, and effortless in their movements.
But what creates flexibility? How can we gain flexibility and maintain flexibility?
This month I am going to highlight the Bear Crawl. The Bear Crawl is an amazing e-cise that almost everyone can do, but many people do it incorrectly.
When done correctly, the Bear Crawl has many benefits and can improve movement, posture, and performance. When done incorrectly, the Bear Crawl can reinforce bad movement patterns, poor posture, and cause pain and injury.
We've all heard the saying "move it or lose it" but what do you do with that information and why is it the key to lifelong health?
Many people think move it or lose it means exercise regularly to maintain fitness. And while that is true, our health would benefit if we look at it much more closely. Our body is very specific and particular in how it responds to our environment. The human body is a stimulus response organism. That means your body responds to each and every stimulus it is exposed to. If we want to maintain our health and function, we need to move each and every part of our body through different and varied stimulus on a regular basis in order to maintain that function or not lose it.
To maintain ankle function we might want to take our ankle through the many different motions and demands it is designed to do. This could look like:
Continuing my series of blog posts about how the body works as a unit and how posture deviations in one area cause reactions throughout the body, today I'm going to focus on the relationship between the upper back and shoulders.
Here are the first three blog posts in this series:
Part 1: Introduction to how the body works as a unit
Part 2: Foot and leg posture
Part 3: Hip and spine posture
The upper back or thoracic spine is intimately related with the shoulder complex including the scapula, clavicle, and humerus and any injury or pain symptom in this area can only be effectively treated by looking at the entire upper body as a unit.
August is National Golf Month
In celebration of National Golf Month this August, I am offering free 30-minute golf specific posture evaluations. Sign up by contacting me and requesting a golf specific evaluation.
Athletes are always looking for ways to become faster, stronger, and more agile. Athletes are also looking for ways to prevent injury, stay pain free, and extend their careers. And these "athletes" I'm talking about are everyone from LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Lionel Messi, and Serena Williams to middle-aged weekend warriors around the world. People will do almost anything to get an "edge."
But do these things actually help? Is there a better way? A faster way? A cheaper way? A more natural way?
Myth 1: Injuries are the result of bad luck.
Truth: Scientifically there is not such thing as bad luck, thus that can't be the cause of injuries. All injuries are caused by something concrete and with enough investigation the underlying cause can be found and fixed or eliminated, which will help that injury heal faster and more completely and help prevent future injuries. Start your investigation with a free posture evaluation.
Myth 2: Injuries are from overuse.
Truth: As I've talked about previously, overuse is a myth in the way it is talked about, and "overuse injuries" should really be called "improper use injuries". Read more here.
A new study published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research wanted to look at the question of whether there is an association between a history of running and symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. The study looked at over 2,600 people with an average age of 64 years old, of which about 30% had run at some point in their lives. The researchers evaluated the relationship of running with knee pain, radiographic osteoarthritis (OA), and symptomatic OA.
Fitness trainer Nate Helming from The Run Experience made a video where he talks about head and hip position and how it affects your running. Faulty head and hip position will negatively affect your running performance and can lead to injury just as bad shoulder posture does. Nate shares some good knowledge and tips including:
"Good posture is the key to everything" and my head, low and behold, is attached to the rest of my spine." Both are things I've taught every client, Egoscue University student, and Posture Alignment Specialist I've worked with over the last 15 years.
Nate talks about how you should not hold your phone while looking at it and you can clearly see this is terrible posture:
Interactive posture analysis of lower body postural alignment.
Anyone who is going through Egoscue University to become a Posture Alignment Specialist (PAS) or Advanced Exercise Therapist (AET), attending The National Posture Institute to become a Certified Posture Specialist (CPS), taking classes at the American Posture Institute to become a Certified Posture Expert (CPE), anyone wanting to become a Certified Posture Exercise Professional (CPEP) from PostureZone.com, or someone attending the Posture Restoration Institute with the goal of being Posture Restoration Certified (PRC) needs to understand posture. Anyone doing postural alignment analysis needs to understand what good, correct, or ideal posture looks like, what common posture imbalances are, and what causes those posture imbalances.
Oregon Exercise Therapy is happy to help you in your posture knowledge and application by offering interactive posture analysis of different areas of the body.
Look at the person below and evaluate his posture. Put your answers to the following questions in the comments section below this post to start a discussion about this posture and how it is affecting this client.
What jumps out to you? What is not in good/ideal alignment?
How would this posture affect his movement, function, and performance?
What injuries might this person be susceptible to based on his misalignments?
What do you think caused these misalignments?
What would you have this person do to correct his posture?
Children's postural alignment
Benefits of postural alignment therapy
Orthopedic doctor and postural alignment specialist discuss osteoarthritis
The chicken or the egg in pain and posture
About Matt Whitehead
I'm an Egoscue University certified Postural Alignment Specialist (PAS) and Advanced Exercise Therapist (AET), certified personal trainer, PatchFitness performer, FiveFingers wearer, trail runner, cyclist, dad, music lover, environmentalist, hiker, and wanna-be slam dunk champion. I will be providing you with the latest posture exercises to help you live, play, and be pain free.