This week I have been listening to Kelly Starrett, who is co-Founder of Mobility WOD, which “is the world’s most comprehensive database of guided movement, mechanics, and mobility instructional videos”. As a truly fascinating and knowledge chap, he has a real passion for movement and is on a crusade to get everyone moving. He is closely linked to the Crossfit movement and in this interview, focuses on the downsides of sitting; something we all do & sure we can identify with!
Type of Flare: Fitness
Owner of Flare: Mobility WOD Co-Founder Kelly Starrett
Source: SpartanUp Podcast
Key Snippet: “We were not designed to sit” i.e. “Standing is the gateway to movement”
The interview was heard on the SpartanUp podcast which is excellent and provides great insights into ‘what makes the most successful winners’.
The following is my summary and takeaways from listening to Kelly and how it resonated with me. I think there are parts mentioned which would benefit us all & hence using the knowledge flare to pass that on!
I have included the details of the original podcast above and credited the team who conducted the interview. I’m hoping you find it interesting and will come back to read more and more flares.
In recent years, most people have begun to experience back and shoulder problems often as a result of sitting up to 12+ hours a day. Unless a strong posture is held, it can cause shoulders to round, your back to hunch over and sit in a mechanically poor position. As Kelly states, by not keeping your hips in a neutral position, everything else switches off; your pelvic floor muscles turn off, your diaphragm is compromised and you end up supporting your head on your neck (rather than your spine holding it in a neutral position).
I know from personal experience about having tight hip flexors and this is very evident when being asked to sit on the floor!
So what should we do?
The aim should be to target constant movement; for example, have stand up meetings, keep moving regularly learn little nuggets of information which can improve mobility. Taking the drivers in Formula 1 who strive for self-actualisation, how can we apply those lessons to everyday life? Is there a magic bullet to achieve this? No of course not, but good intentions is a start!
Kelly talks about how intensity is now the name of the game and relates this to the Spartan Race (team who created this interview). One cannot just turn up and expect to be good in a physical environment, that shipped has sailed. This is evident from the level of elite athletes competing in Crossfit or the endurance obstacle races. The times are getting quicker and quicker and the non-professional athletes are driving this!
That said, it has become increasingly important to ensure we don’t break! Starting with breathing,
Kelly also states that we often confuse exercise for movement practice. Movement practice means enabling our bodies to be mobile and move in the ways they were meant to; which should compliment and precede sporting activities. Swimming, running, bicycling are all exercise activities but yoga and pilates, for example, are movement practice. Just think, can you hold a correct yoga position and continuing breathe?
So…what are the takeaways and applications to everyday life?
It is not just about working harder; it’s about building a platform for dealing with stress and the challenges thrown at us in daily life. Some things you can’t control e.g. what time your young child wakes up and their sleep patterns, but you can control your movement practice (think stretching and mobility exercises) or the number of carbs you stuff down your throat.
“Be consistent before you are heroic” as Kelly says which supports the view that without a strong sustainable platform, it is difficult to reach higher levels. But if you have a good working base level, you can work build on it and make quite a difference.
And how does this apply to business or working life? Well, success in business and success in the gym are integrated systems; if you are not caring for the machine (i.e. you), all it takes is one little attack / injury / setback and the progress comes to a screeching halt!
The Knowledge Flare Comment:
So why is this important to me?
- We all sit – but as you read this, are your shoulders rounded forwards, hips tilted forwards, lower back under pressure and the spine being stressed? Just remember that we only have one body and we need to look after it.
- Whether you are interested and want to learn more about mobility or just take away one little nugget from this article, just remember that we need to look after our bodies now, so they look after us later in life.
- We are all awesome and can achieve great things, but healthy body and healthy mind need to rock in tandem together.
Simply speaking, better posture and mobility, means less injuries or sick days, which leads to better states of mind and the opportunity to be happier and even more (!) productive.