functional movement

ROLLING PATTERNS FOR ROTATION

Rolling is a fundamental movement we all learned how to do during neurodevelopment, it is the second milestone in neurodevelopment after head control.  Rolling combines the use of the upper extremities, core, and lower extremities in a coordinated manner to move from one posture to another. This is done from prone (face down) to supine (face up) and supine to prone. 

Rolling is commonly utilised in neurological rehabilitation but is just as important and effective in any rehabilitation programme, particularly for those who have dysfunction in rotational movements or who play rotational dominant sports.  It can be used as an assessment and it is also the corrective. There are several cues to help improve someone's rolling pattern and also regressions available.

It is a great method to assess for and correct inefficient movements that involve rotation of the trunk and body; weight shifting in the lower body; and coordinated movements of the head, neck, and upper body.

Upper limb rolling begins with the eyes and head moving in the transverse/rotational plane with the body being taken along for the ride - "where the eyes go the body will follow".  Rolling can be done either leading with the upper limb or lower limb, depending on your assessment findings and needs.

DO YOU GET LOW BACK PAIN WITH DEADLIFTS OR KETTLEBELL SWINGS?

hip hinge avoid lower back pain rehab trainer Gold Coast Adelaide.jpg

Perhaps you are compromising your back as a result of poor hip movement...

Studies done on low back pain show that the pain is often caused by losing the ability to move through the hips. I see this all the time in clients and always have to re-pattern their hip movement to save their backs!

Dr Stuart McGill strikes again: “This is why the hip hinge is known to be a superior movement pattern for low back pain clients. Learning to hip hinge is paramount for both injury prevention and optimal performance.”

Too right Stuart! 
Learn how to move before you learn how to be strong!

If you'd like to learn how to deadlift or kettlebell swing then check out our video downloads on these topics.

Don't sacrifice your lower back for Deadlifts or Kettlebell Swings unless the movement has been broken down and taught to you effectively and you can carry it out extremely well.

CORE EXERCISE #3 : BIRD DOG

3rd core exercise in our top 4...

BIRD DOG:

Bird Dog Exercise Gold Coast Mobile Personal Trainer.jpg

Another great core activation drill. Awesome for improving Multifidus function; neck & shoulder stability as well as overall core stability.
For full explanation of the exercise please visit "stability exercises" in our exercise library.

If you found this information (or any info on this page) useful, please share.

THOSE AHA MOMENTS...

functional movement rehab trainer adelaide Gold Coast.jpg

I love nothing more than when a client has a lightbulb moment.  I live for these moments! Here is one from yesterday:

Client:  “I’m not sure if it was right but when I was carrying my shopping home yesterday I tried to focus on keeping my shoulder drawn back and down and gently squeezing my arm to my side like we have been doing in the exercise you get me to do.  I noticed that my shoulder that usually aches a lot after my shopping trip was fine yesterday and thought I’d ask if I was doing the right thing?”

Me: “Hell yeah, you were doing the right thing!  That’s what I like to call body awareness, AKA progress!  That is EXACTLY what you should be doing every time you carry anything.”

Client:  “Ah, I thought it must have been right as my shoulder didn’t hurt”.

The scenario ended with a HIGH 5! ☺

When we make our bodies more aware of good movement patterns and enforce it as a habit that is where CHANGE occurs! Those “AHA” moments are way more effective if the client is taught the biomechanics of a movement, along with the FEEL of it.  These movement patterns are then trained and re-inforced in session.  When this translates to their lives and they begin to make connections between WHY we are doing what we are in the gym and how it translates to their lives it is hugely empowering for each individual.  It doesn’t always make sense when explained during sessions until the connection is made outside of the gym through body awareness. 

I always try and train my clients for LIFE, to prepare them for whatever life throws at them and in order for them to achieve functional and pain free lives.  Everything we do in-session has a purpose and a direct translation to their necessary function through life, whether it be through sport; certain hobbies; achieving basic pain free functional movement patterns or just being ready for the unpredictable!

NOW LET ME SEE YOUR HIPS SWING

NOW LET ME SEE YOUR HIPS SWING

Incorrect swinging (as seen in first half of clip) can cause lower back pain and injury. Swing with the hips and not the lower back. Neutral spine (including neck), grounded feet, powered hip hinge, functional breathing.

THE POSTERIOR OBLIQUE SLING...CONTROLLING ROTATIONAL FORCES

THE POSTERIOR OBLIQUE SLING...CONTROLLING ROTATIONAL FORCES

The Posterior Oblique Sling...why it is a vital functional fascial line for daily life, not to mention most sports.

REGRESS TO PROGRESS

progress personal trainer rehab trainer.jpeg

To quote Pat Flynn from Chronicles of Strength (love this simple, yet effective way of summing up this whole blog post in 3 small symbols)...

"- = +" :-)

The golden rule in movement:  REGRESS TO PROGRESS!...

For the trainers out there:  please don’t expect your client to “get” movement by handing them a weight they’re not ready for and just expecting them to move correctly by shouting out a few cues to them…it ain’t gonna happen!  

The only thing that happens is they learn bad movement and possibly land up with an injury.  

For the fitness enthusiasts out there: you have to break down movement and work on the weaknesses within a movement pattern in order to progress a movement. Don't just think that practising single leg squats or pistols is going to get you better at doing pistols...it's only gonna get you injured.  There is a reason why you struggle with certain movements, you need to find that reason and work on it!  Maybe your ankles aren't mobile enough; maybe your hips are unstable; maybe you lack good sequencing in your inner unit (core); maybe you have flexility issues in either certain muscles or joints; maybe fear is holding you back; maybe all of the above! :-o  There are a number of possible, likely reasons but you need to find yours.

Just because your mate did loads of hamstring flexibility and went from finding pistols difficult to being able to achieve them, doesn't mean that's going to work for you.  We're all individuals here and you need to treat yourself as one.  And holding a kettlebell out in front of you is not the answer, yeah, you might feel more stable but maybe, just maybe that is because you have core issues and the kettlebell is forcing your body to react to the weight by engaging your core before you descend, but what happens when you try again without the kettlebell?  

I'd suggest ditching the kettlebell and stepping away from the pistol for a while to work on core sequencing...once you've made progression there, find ways to progress.  I'm just using pistols as an example, this applies to anything in life.  And it takes time, you're not gonna fix things overnight.

So please, think before you cause yourself harm.  If I gave you one Golden Rule of advice it would be CHECK YOUR BREATHING!  This is highly important for any form of stability work.  If your'e unsure, my stability exercise page has a great description of how to check your breathing and how to correct it, I have video links on Youtube to help as well & my facebook page has a link to an awesome interview with Dr Perry Nickleston & Julie Wiebe on the pelvic floor & breathing...Check it out!  Core function begins with breathing!

I repeat:  Regress to progress…Perfection before load…Get assessed if you're unsure...

MOVEMENT...WHAT IT REALLY MEANS!

American Turner Gymnasium 1860

American Turner Gymnasium 1860

An online lecture I saw recently given by Dr Ed Thomas, an expert in the foundation of Physical Education, drove me to analyse what fitness is today in comparison to what it was historically.  Historically, there are three fundamentals of movement and fitness, these are Progression, Variety & Precision.  

Now from what I can tell and have observed over the years is that the majority of fitness enthusiasts seem to do well to take care of the Variety aspect of fitness, it's not hard to keep workouts varied.  Progression seems to be mostly adhered to, it's quite simple, you learn a movement to a satisfactory level until it becomes quite comfortable and then you progress that movement, either by adding weight, increasing reps or challenging the movement to a higher level of difficulty (i.e. advancing from a squat to a single leg squat progression).  Now, I have to take a pause here, although progression seems to be quite evident in most fitness programmes, there is a little issue that is quite niggling…this would be the over-eagerness to progress.  This is a huge issue that is present within our field, you may have someone who is recently able to squat their own bodyweight comfortably but then wants to throw 40kgs onto their back and continue to squat, or a personal trainer who wants to make a client sweat more by handing them heavier weights resulting in a less precise movement pattern.  You can't expect the body to move as efficiently with extra load in a movement pattern that is newly learned with only bodyweight or that is challenging enough with the current weight used.  This brings me to the third and final (and I personally believe the most important) fundamental...Precision.

We need to find a way back to basics and get the population moving well and precisely again, we are so far away from our own mind-body connection that most people just go through the motions of exercise without ever making a conscious connection to how they are moving, why they are moving or how they are breathing.  There was no sloppiness in movement back in the 1800's & most of the 1900's, precision was the key focus and the fitness just followed.

functional movement personal trainer gold coast.jpg

In Gray Cook's book, "Movement", he talks about the origins of Martial Arts and sums up what fitness should and used to be.  Somehow recent generations have managed to distort this approach and turn it on it's back.  Current jobs and lifestyles have a huge role to play and make it hard for the body to hold onto fundamental physical fitness, but not impossible by far!  "Purposeful movement perfection was the focus, and physical conditioning happened as a natural side effect".

primal movement personal trainer.jpg

Modern day gyms are stacked full of equipment promoting dysfunctional movement.  The use of fixed machines encourage your body not to utilise it's core stabilising musculature and instead, rely on your large, global muscles for movement.  In our daily lives we need to be able to squat, lunge, push, pull, reach, run, bend and rotate, all done whilst fighting gravity (not sitting locked into a machine).  This is when our bodies are moving as intended.  These are the movements we need to perfect and do with precision in order to be healthy, fit individuals avoiding injury.

Look at gyms from ancient times and see if you can spot a hamstring curl, a pec deck or a leg extension machine anywhere?  They only use anti-gravity equipment in the form of ropes, rings, parallel bars, ladders etc and hand weights in the shape of dumbbells, kettle bells, medicine balls and clubs.

Train functional movement patterns and make sure you do it with Precision, Variety & Progression in order to achieve true fitness.  Don't rush into a new movement before you have perfected its predecessor and don't load up a movement pattern before being comfortable and strong enough in doing it body weighted first.

NO EXCUSES NOT TO SQUAT

Determination and a positive attitude go a long way in life!

Julia is one of our longest-standing clients. Squats were always a tough movement for her. When she first started training with us we did them up against the wall with her back on a fitball. Due to her Right-sided Cerebral Palsy, her Right heel would always lift off the ground as she lowered into a squat. Her squat depth was usually only to 90 degrees (hips level with knees).

Slowly, we have progressed to the rings for support and worked more on depth, now Julia is able to do deep squats using the "TRX" and her heel no longer lifts up. Movement at the Right ankle is much freer and her hips allow her to lower deeper into the squat!

 

Any movement you may be struggling with now, can get easier with time. You just have to stick at it and put in the hard yards!