Page 1 of 2

Movement

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2021 10:39 am
by RoamingFrancis
I'm diving into the topic of movement and am starting a thread to share what I learn and spark discussion. I read The Joy of Movement by Kelly McGonigal and The Align Method by Aaron Alexander. Also on the list are Move Your DNA by Katy Bowman, Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine, and The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk. I lastly have a copy of Tim Ferriss' The Four-Hour Body, but I think that will be better for skimming, and am interested in the book Dirty Inspirations by Terri Schneider.

I am planning to get certified as a personal trainer / group exercise instructor in the near future, so this can be considered preliminary research.

Key Insights Thus Far

The Joy of Movement:
  • Synchronous group movement can be a powerful force for generating collective effervescence.
The Align Method
  • Sit on the floor
  • Breathe through the nose
  • Hinge at the hips
  • Hang from a bar regularly
  • Walk a lot
A sidenote for me is to get less restrictive pants from a thrift store, and to transition to minimalist footwear.

Re: Movement

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2021 11:01 am
by white belt
What is your athletic background? That is a huge factor that might dictate how useful you find such resources.

Disclaimer: I haven’t read all of the books listed, but I do have some exposure to the ideas from youtube videos.

My impression of some of this movement stuff is that it is a bunch of nerds who never really did anything athletic talking about lot of common sense knowledge to anyone who has spent significant time playing sports or exercising. Some of the natural movement stuff in particular also comes off as not very evidence-based and quite a bit of woo.

Edit: I guess another thing I’m getting at is that it may be more useful to just play a sport or take a dance/exercise class than to read a bunch of books about the benefits of movement.

Re: Movement

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2021 11:07 am
by RoamingFrancis
I was a pretty scrawny kid, never very good at sports. That shifted a bit when I discovered I had a knack for rock climbing, but living in a flat region, I never got to pursue it much. In high school I got pretty good at cross country and gymnastics, but since graduating most of my movement has been hiking and yoga, with some weightlifting here and there. I want to shift to martial arts when I connect with a good trainer.

Aaron Alexander makes the note that none of the healthiest cultures he has studied are "gym cultures." So I think there's a case to be made for integrating movement into daily life, not just having it be restricted to the gym. Though I suspect your expertise trumps mine here :D

Edit: Yes, I am doing the exercise too. But I'd like some of the theory as well.

Re: Movement

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2021 4:06 pm
by Blackjack
white belt wrote:
Sun Nov 07, 2021 11:01 am

Edit: I guess another thing I’m getting at is that it may be more useful to just play a sport or take a dance/exercise class than to read a bunch of books about the benefits of movement.
Agreed. Don’t read books about the benefits of movement, find a good theory of movement / athletic development and spend time practicing. Side note: most modern hip hop / dance classes for adults are generally geared at people with the ability to understand / be able to replicate advanced dynamic movements at the drop of a hat. Spend time asking around with facilitators for specialty into classes if you want more of an intro.

If RoamingFrancis is trying to become a personal trainer, he doesn’t need to just become a good mover / athlete though, he needs to have a mental model of how to bring others there.

There is great disagreement whether many sports / etc actually develop many of those capacities in some sort of systemic and meaningful ways, but even when it comes to hard core martial arts / dance / etc, we see a lot more of “bucketing” good movers and bad movers based on performance filters and those who have the ability to continue over time (I.e. self selected due to lack of injuries, seeing continuous progressions, etc). Those who got filtered out or filtered down to lower teams are generally the ones who are not fit, prone to injury due to bad movement, etc.

So (in my opinion) the job of a good personal trainer would then be to generally understand how to evaluate and treat the physical shortcomings of this lower tier of “less athletic” or “worse mover” class, and give them a systemic treatment based on the above evaluation to work through fixing their athletic shortcomings and once those are worked through allow them to start having the “training velocity / momentum ” (ability to train skills) of the higher tiers of athletes above through increased athleticism / whatever you want to call the large grouping of physical movement skills.

In my long and thorough experience with many people along the ladder in a place which valued the above (and teaching people to be teachers most of all), it becomes pretty clear that “being athletic” and “being able to train others effectively” are two very different skills, but in order to be a good trainer and lead from the front, you need both. And a big piece of that “being able to train others effectively” skill is understanding a systemic way to train others to be athletic, which may be something a naturally athletic person never had to go through at all(!). Consider it a depth increase holon (Ken Wilber, theory of everything) which needs both to progress. I consider it a highly artisanal skill that is very hard to develop.

Basic intro stuff I recommend studying the programming / exercises recommended from Ben Patrick for bringing people up to a much higher athletic ability / being able To rehab tons of injuries and imbalances. This is very basic (but highly important) development stuff though, equivalent to learning to eat veggies. It is building the machine correctly, but not really using the machine that it has built, you need to add that on top.

Once you’ve built something akin to hitting most of those goals / alongside after you are progressing (obviously I have some criticisms of his teachings and methods, but the results produced are incredible and speak for themselves), you can move into the fun / complex / juicy stuff. All martial arts sit here, so does dance, and high tier gymnastics / the other sports which involve complex object and body manipulation. Choose your own adventure to the things that interest and drive you. This is beyond the personal trainer tier. I studied a lot under the methods of Ido portal / movement culture, but anything with a high drive towards complexity should be continuing to build new athletic skills, then eventually integrate them together, and then this can eventually allow for you to (wittingly and unwittingly) integrate the skills together to make new creative work / patterns (see Jacob’s Stoa ERE talks for more on this).

(Post script; I am not an athletic / movement trainer myself. I have spent thousands of hours training next to them and hanging out with those being trained for such, so these are just my mental observations of the processes being played out next to me.)

Re: Movement

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2021 5:09 pm
by shaz
If you want to become a personal trainer, you should check out the educational resources available from the organizations that serve exercise/fitness professionals. The resources you mentioned are targeted at non-professionals.

Re: Movement

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2021 6:08 pm
by Ego
If you want to become a great groupex instructor my advice would be to take classes taught by great instructors. You can only learn so much studying theory. The most important aspects must be learned by doing. You've got to experience what it is like to be in a class that just syncs to get a feel for how to make that happen in your own classes. One thing that nobody tells you is that if you are doing it really well, you will be absolutely exhausted after teaching.

Re: Movement

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2021 6:26 pm
by Blackjack
Ego wrote:
Sun Nov 07, 2021 6:08 pm
If you want to become a great groupex instructor my advice would be to take classes taught by great instructors. You can only learn so much studying theory. The most important aspects must be learned by doing. You've got to experience what it is like to be in a class that just syncs to get a feel for how to make that happen in your own classes. One thing that nobody tells you is that if you are doing it really well, you will be absolutely exhausted after teaching.
Echo this but extended even more: gain mentors who are great teachers who will also try to help you become a better teacher yourself.

Very narrowly I can point you to a half dozen or so people I know across the US who do teach very specialized versions of such things, but they usually charge a couple hundred dollars a month for their gyms initially and require a lot of time from you to work towards being a teacher (eventually this is switched on its head to pay $20-30 per hour once you are sufficiently advanced, but you would generally want to leave and start training others yourself here for much better pay).

Maybe Ego would be willing to teach you his ways to teach more normal group classes well for cheaper :lol:

Re: Movement

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2021 6:57 pm
by Ego
Blackjack wrote:
Sun Nov 07, 2021 6:26 pm
Maybe Ego would be willing to teach you his ways to teach more normal group classes well for cheaper :lol:
Actually Mrs. Ego is the great teacher in this pair and she is light years ahead of me in terms of ability to engage and motivate a class. Here she is at fifty teaching yoga to a bunch of twenty year old surfers at a surf camp in South Africa.

Image

Re: Movement

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2021 10:17 pm
by Scott 2
I fall into the non-athletic nerd category. I loved the idea of correcting all my movement deficits. I spent maybe 1000 hours in various yoga classes and workshops, along with a similar amount of time reading and watching videos. I had fun, but honestly, the results weren't all that great.


Some of my takeaways:

1. Learning movement from books and videos doesn't work. Maybe you can record yourself and iterate, but nothing replaces an in person relationship with skilled instructors.

2. Training methods carry both a survivorship bias and a selection bias. Weed out the weak and a protocol looks solid. Former dancers and gymnasts are drawn to yoga. They were already good at making the shapes.

3. The price for beautiful movement may include long term joint health. A surprising number of older yoga teachers have hip replacements. Quite a few former dancers or gymnasts are trying to escape pain, caused by destabilizing their joints.

4. Much of your ability to move is governed by factors you have limited control over - gender, ethnicity, age, height, whether you've had a kid, the shape of your hips or shoulders, did you have athletic childhood, etc. Weight is a huge determinant in your ability to do stupid human tricks. Power ratios (obviously), but also limb girths.

5. Teachers face a strong financial conflict of interest. Want to keep students? Make them feel insecure and aspire to an unachievable standard of perfection. Want to make serious money? Get them into an escalating sales funnel - books (sorry OP) to workshops to certifications to franchising.

Even for a teacher with the utmost integrity, often selling credentials and continuing education is required to make ends meet.

Re: Movement

Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2021 5:52 pm
by mooretrees
I think there are really two themes here in the OP, becoming a personal trainer and seeking knowledge about moving better in our world. Most of the advice has been focused on exercise. So, here's some experience/advice based on movement.

I've been enjoying Katy Bowman's Move Your DNA and have found it really useful for where I am in my life. I played soccer in college so I come from an athletic background. However, I had three knee surgeries and a broken ankle, plus numerous sprained ankles and likely a concussion or two for all of those years of contact sport. Since reading Move Your DNA and listening to her podcast I've been very attentive to how sedentary our society is, and how much our exercise is limited to one type of movement or doesn't address weak/inflexible areas. If you exercise long enough you get injured. I've seen people who exercise who look so broken, but they're still exercising so all good, right? If the exercise/movement is not quality, is it still worth it?

What I have found useful to move more, is to actually NOT focus on exercise. To put more nonspecific movement into my day, squat some, sit on different surfaces, make a point of using my body differently than I normally do. The point of moving more isn't a cardio/strength focus, but a holistic health focus. I recently stopped using a pillow. After a few months of stiff necks in the morning, I have more mobility in my shoulders and neck now. That wasn't gained through yoga or stretching, it was all done while I was sleeping. Now, when I do exercise, I'm able to be pain free afterwards. So, I think there is a benefit to exploring the idea of movement that the folks RF mentioned in his OP.

Re: Movement

Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2021 10:29 pm
by RoamingFrancis
@mooretrees thanks, you hit the nail on the head. I am planning to move forward with ACE certification, but I meant the thread to be more focused on discussion of the books I mentioned.

I have just started Move Your DNA and will post more when I'm done. I have also been trying to incorporate non-exercise movement more into my life :)

Re: Movement

Posted: Thu Nov 11, 2021 1:43 pm
by enigmaT120
mooretrees wrote: I recently stopped using a pillow. After a few months of stiff necks in the morning, I have more mobility in my shoulders and neck now.


Do you sleep on your back? On my back I prefer no pillow but on our hard mattress sleeping on my back will make my back hurt. I usually sleep on my left side but have to switch because my shoulder goes numb and stuff, but for sleeping on my side I like a pillow. How does that work for you?

Re: Movement

Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2021 8:20 am
by mooretrees
enigmaT120 wrote:
Thu Nov 11, 2021 1:43 pm
mooretrees wrote: I recently stopped using a pillow. After a few months of stiff necks in the morning, I have more mobility in my shoulders and neck now.


Do you sleep on your back? On my back I prefer no pillow but on our hard mattress sleeping on my back will make my back hurt. I usually sleep on my left side but have to switch because my shoulder goes numb and stuff, but for sleeping on my side I like a pillow. How does that work for you?
I mostly sleep on my back, but occasionally sleep on my side. My neck and shoulders adjusted to sleeping on my back sooner than on my side. We still have a soft mattress, so I don't have the same set up as you do. I'd like to get to a point of having a shorter, thinner mattress but not sure if DH is on board with that. Not sure if that helped?

Re: Movement

Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2021 8:28 am
by slsdly
I've been getting help with an injury recently and the advice I got was straightforward: this new injury is the same as all of my others in the past, despite being in a different part of the body. I do all the work with my quads and lower back, since that is where I am strongest. Even my posture reflects this.

I told her my primary goal was to prevent future injuries. The guidance I've gotten is to strengthen my other muscles. My quads/lower back will probably always be my go to way of doing things, but I need to keep in mind alternatives to give them a break and let other muscles bear the load sometimes. It is fun how most of the take home exercises I have don't focus on the injured area.

Re: Movement

Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2021 11:25 am
by Blackjack
slsdly wrote:
Fri Nov 12, 2021 8:28 am
I told her my primary goal was to prevent future injuries. The guidance I've gotten is to strengthen my other muscles. My quads/lower back will probably always be my go to way of doing things, but I need to keep in mind alternatives to give them a break and let other muscles bear the load sometimes. It is fun how most of the take home exercises I have don't focus on the injured area.
Can’t comment on your exact situation but this is often the case. We all learn bad patterning (I.e. using one chain like lower back / quads where it may be inappropriate) growing up that will tend us towards injuries, etc. The high level movers I know tend to have spent a lot of time balancing those out (you might need to do something akin to Jefferson curls and hip flexor raises to stretch out the lower back and open up the path more for the glutes, hamstrings, etc) to embrace more of the chains or something (again I’m not your pt so no actual idea). It’s generally a few month process at 2-3x per week if you have good form and end up with the correct targeted exercises to open the brain-body pathways up (ohhhh, this is how to flex my glutes in this movement, etc) , and then will take a decent amount of time to train those other muscles up strength wise once they are more, erm, “bioavailable” for you to access.

The other way to stop off a lot of injuries is by bulletproofing the hinge / joint areas through targeted training, and building the end range of motion and strength in the end range of motion for the hips, knees, ankles, spine, shoulder, elbows, and wrists. That process will generally self balance the body and rewire you to a large extent, while also giving you strong tendons / ligaments / muscles / patterning which will lead to it being harder and harder to injure yourself. Same process as above paragraph, just a more systemic/ holistic way to treat your body against injuries and for increased mobility in the long term (less worry about falling down the stairs, etc, when you get older).

Re: Movement

Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 12:22 pm
by J_
It is so easy to understand, but so few do it.
I mean (eating and) moving your body for living a whole life without drugs or other medical assistance.
Thank you RoamingFrancis for starting this thread and mentioning the book Move your DNA. It helps me to further maintain my body well, to find/notice weak spots and how I can apply correctional movements to make them ok again.
To have a good gait, a healthy posture standing and sitting. E.G. Squatting, not as an exercise but as a position to rest, read a book or have a talk.
I recommend this book too. It has the same (unbiased) quality as the book about food from M. Greger (How not to die).

Re: Movement

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2021 10:20 pm
by enigmaT120
I really prefer the term hunkering to squatting, but OK. I do it all the time. I hate standing around and I don't care if people look down on me. Also it makes me feel primitive, which I'm not.

Re: Movement

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:18 pm
by Scott 2
My library had a couple of Katy Bowman's audio books:

1. Move your DNA - I enjoyed this. It opened my eyes to the difference between my prior experience (movement as exercise) and the reason I think this thread was started (movement as a lifestyle). I like her conception of movement as a nutrient. Watching video of her, it is hard to overcome my bias towards wanting the expert to show off. She doesn't.

2. Movement Matters - She doubles down on movement as a nutrient, extending it to an ecological perspective. I saw very strong parallels to ERE, especially Jacob's recent interest in broadening the audience. Her talk of "stacking" one's life looks very similar to the web of goals. She also makes strong non-financial arguments towards ERE compatible DIY - foraging, growing your own food, cooking from simple ingredients, walking instead of driving, etc.

3. Grow Wild - next in my queue. I think this is more of a how to, for the ideas presented in Movement Matters.


From the old exercise based mindset, I just finished Ready to Run. It was the only audio book I could find carrying Kelly Starrett's name. I don't have any intentions of running, but do have a some takeaways I am playing with:

1. Toe socks. I want to improve the health and function of my feet. I think these will help. If they go well, I am considering integrating a pair of vibram 5 fingers as well. I've already been rolling my feet at night, manipulating the toes, playing with spacers, etc.

2. Joint distraction with bands - currently I am focused on my shoulders, following the video below. I'd like to explore more, maybe get into my hips as well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geBY3Dc4jZM

3. Compression. I recently put some elbow sleeves into rotation. I have some compression floss on order and am interested to try it on my wonky elbows. Elbow flossing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVWjVSQXsl4

4. In the "to try" queue is picking up some pee strips, to monitor my electrolyte balance, potentially mixing up a DIY electrolyte supplement. The ingredients are super cheap, but I'd like to confirm a problem before adding something beyond my normal food. I already throw a little salt in my protein shake and drink coconut water post workout. It's possible this is a non-issue for me.

Re: Movement

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:55 pm
by Blackjack
Scott 2 wrote:
Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:18 pm
1. Toe socks. I want to improve the health and function of my feet. I think these will help. If they go well, I am considering integrating a pair of vibram 5 fingers as well. I've already been rolling my feet at night, manipulating the toes, playing with spacers, etc.
IMO skip the theatrics of the five fingers and get something barefoot with a big toebox. Vivobarefoot, lems, or xero are all great at this, same functional idea as the five fingers, and won’t make you look like a weirdo. Cheap version of this would be feiyue’s off eBay (classic Kung fu shoes, should be $20ish, but the toebox isn’t wide enough for my liking and they fall apart quickly). Xero shoes are the next cheapest I think. I have 7 year old lems Boulder boots that have thousands and thousands of miles on them and have been to 30 something countries with me that are finally starting to fall apart, I consider this a good length of life for the cost of the shoe. If you want more barefoot then this, just go barefoot. Cheap and gets you the actual barefoot feel.

Re: Movement

Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:21 pm
by MidsizeLebowski
RF,

Here are the primary resources that have helped me help myself and clients over the years.

Assessments:
Assess and Correct video series - Eric Cressey & Mike Robertson
Functional Movement Screen certification
American Counsel of Sports Medicine Exercise Testing & Prescription book

Nutrition:
Precision Nutrition Certification
How to Eat, Move & Be Healthy book - Paul Chek

Post Rehab/Pathology improvement:
Anatomy Trains - Thomas Meyers book
Bridging the Gap from Rehab To Performance book - Sue Falsone
Ultimate Back Performance book- Dr. Stu McGill
Sturdy Shoulder Solutions video series - Eric Cressey
Functional Patterns courses & certication

Program Design/periodization:
Super training - Verkhoshansky book
Science & Practice of Strength Training - Zatsiorsky book

If you want to teach large classes I’d recommend learning the fundamentals in terms of acceptable joint ranges of motion and focus on your people skills from there. If you know how to spot patterns that lead to people getting injured, cue them to be in the right position before that happens/give an alternate for the moment and some “homework” correctives, and connect with them enough to trust your advice then you’ll be in the top 10% of group ex coaches and change plenty of lives for the better. Hope that list is helpful to you!


Hunting through any of those characters free content online should yield a lot as well.