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Legion! We were lucky enough to have Ian McKeown pay us a visit recently. Ian is the Head of Athletic Development for Port Adelaide of the Australian Football League. Ian and I talk about his strategies for working with his mutant athletes; including managing in-season loading, mobility, sleep & nutrition. Ian also offers up some advice for parents and coaches of young athletes. Kids should be having fun developing general athleticism and not necessarily chasing down deadlift PRs. So get those kids out running and jumping and tumbling – or climbing a tree or something. Leopards like trees. Go here for the video: http://www.mobilitywod.com/episodes/ (Must be an m|wod pro subscriber)
That’s right folks! @dianefu will be graciously joining @roopsihota for the upcoming Movement & Mobility course in Reno, NV on November 14th. I have had the fortune of working with this genius for so many years and have the privilege of calling her my friend. This is a unique opportunity to come out and see us geek out together. Register at www.mobilitywod.com/seminars — in Reno, Nevada.
Defining Normal Part 3 In Part 3, of our defining normal series, we describe competency in the Overhead position or archetype. The test is straightforward. Can you hold two dumbbells over your head without: letting the rib cage flare/tilt, elbows bend, or armpits rotate down (hands would leave “hammer” position). You see, this overhead competency quick test is an easy diagnostic for incomplete shoulder mechanics. If you flare the ribcage, you are missing gross flexion, if you spin (elbows bend or armpits rotate) then you are either missing rotation, or you are compensating for missing end range flexion by unwinding the shoulder (creating capsular slack). Classic physio training teaches to test/clear this archetype shape by over-pressing it into the same range of motion/position we’d see holding two dumbbells over head. The difference is that in physical therapy, they are looking for painful joints, not a fully mobilized joint (mobility equals full biomechanics and the motor control to express them). This is the same incomplete thinking that most athletes and coaches employ. That is, the weight is over the athlete’s head, count it. Not, “hey your elbows aren’t stuck bent in everything else you do, so that overhead position is incomplete.” Does this make judging a complete position more difficult in competition? Nope, not if we define our terms based on full physiology. Ever see a bench press test in the NFL combine? How many “half reps” do you see? The answer is most. Gray Cook makes a good point when he says, “practicing medicine without assessing vital signs is malpractice, coaching movement without defining full range of motion is the same.” As coaches and providers, we need to be able to identify full function in the people we are working with and recognize the broken archetype characteristics if the athlete is upside down, holding a bar, or diving into the water. Incomplete is incomplete. Your shoulders are agnostic to the task, just not the physiology. We aren’t chasing pain here, we are identifying bottlenecks of our physical competency and our function. We don’t care if it’s pain-free and good enough. We care that it’s full normal. Go here for the video: http://www.mobilitywod.com/episodes/ (must be an m|wod pro subscriber)
Establishing Functional Baselines: Full Normal Part 2 You may recall from our first episode on this topic, that we must continue to move beyond examining and describing movements as “functional enough”. We need to connect function and physiology more completely. Bottlenecks of function cost us performance and lead to maladaptation. Look, we aren’t just chasing the prevention of pain here. We are creating benchmarks of function. One or zero, yes or no, full or incomplete. Today we demonstrate our second functional test. Can you pick something up off the ground without rounding your back. Seems straightforward right? And if you can’t, are you functional enough? Is your back straight-ish enough? Is there a motor control component to these tasks? You bet there is. And you’d better have the ability to recognize if you don’t have complete function and a workaround plan to operate in the world. I have witnessed too many people that can’t even get to the barbell with a flat back, much less pick those dumbbells or a pillow up off the ground effectively. You must have the skills and bio-mechanics to operate as a human being indefinitely. If you think it’s outside of your patient’s or athlete’s goals to pick something up off the floor without a compromised spine, do us a favor and find a new profession (oh, btw. you’ll probably need a bracing sequence, full hip range of motion and full ankle range of motion, but those things are functional enough right?). And if you don’t believe us, we can always just wait around to see if you break and deal with the issue then. Meanwhile, we’ll hold the trophy. Go here for the video: http://www.mobilitywod.com/episodes/ (must be an m|wod pro subscriber)
We are doing it again Vancouver. The first time was amazing and I know it will be even better this time. Join me on October 17th for the @crossfit Movement & Mobility Trainer Course. You do not need to be CrossFit certified to attend this course, it is open to all. This is all about optimizing human performance, preventing injuries, and taking you out of the vicious pain cycles. Tag folks if you believe they should be coming with you. Register at http://bit.ly/1Fyszwd
Redefining “Normal”: A Full Function Definition: Test 1 The word “functional” carries a ton of baggage with it. From the rehab/physio side of things, “functional” means simply that a person can function (ie. You can clasp your own bra, wipe your own bum, get out of the chair, feed yourself…) In fact, we see lots of quick/throwaway references to functional all the time in the form of the insidious and mediocre phrase, “within normal limits”. Normal then, isn’t about making sure people can actually do what people should actually be able to do. It’s about, ish. Like normal-ish. Like, sure, you can swim with your incomplete shoulder mechanics because they are within normal limits. It’s functional enough. It doesn’t hurt, right? You can swim right? And “normal” means what then? Not painful? Able to run like crap but still able to run? Look, full capacity (real normal baseline) and not like everyone else limping and slouched around here is the goal. There is no value judgment about incomplete capacity. No one knows your history of injury, lifestyle, disease, poor coaching, insane training volume, brutal business travel schedule. It doesn’t matter. You can either do what humans are supposed to be able to do, or you can’t. Yet. Or you might not ever, so at least you know how to protect yourself from compensation and disaster. But be clear, there is a normal. And it’s based on real physiologically based full range of motion movements. Normal. Functional. If you are squatting all the way down and someone handed you something heavy, would your back be rounded like a broken rainbow? Hope not, because that’s not normal. We know you are still a world champion, fastest of your friends on the trails, the most elite, and yet it appears you have room to get better. Why? Because the new normal also means full potential. Go here for the free video: http://bit.ly/1ihc9ON
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