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Lesson 7 from: Achieve Ultimate Human Performance

Ben Greenfield

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Lesson Info

7. Mobility

Next Lesson: Balance

Lesson Info


So mobility and by the way, there was a fantastic creative life course on mobility, taught by kelly starrett, author of the book becoming a supple leopard, and we're going to kind of go over mobility a little bit, but I would highly recommend if you want to geek out on mobility big time, check out his course so some of the ways that you can improve mobility or your body's ability to move through its desired range of motion, the first would be stretching now there's kind of three different ways that you can technically stretch a muscle number one is static, stretching there's no evidence that static stretching is going to decrease your risk of injury. There's no evidence that static stretching is going to help you to perform better, and in most cases, it actually decreases strength, power and speed. If you do static stretching prior to a weight training workout or a run, or anything else for which you want tto have high performance, they did a recent study in runners and was just like a...

there's a half mile or one mile uphill repeat, like a time trial, and they did, stretching versus non stretching, and the time difference was amazing was like eight percent difference between the runners who stretched versus who didn't stretch mean, the runners who didn't stretch you were way faster it's why some of the fastest sprinters on the planet have very like stiff achilles tendon very stiff hamstrings so it's you need to be careful with static stretching now I personally as you may recall, do yoga every single day I start off my day with a yoga long kind of stretch and hold session we'll you know we'll get into a position like this and a hold it for like fifteen seconds and get into the other position and I'll go through ten minutes of static stretching but it's not because I think it's going to make me stronger or more powerful or decrease my risk of injury it's because I know it's associated with lower quarter salt levels and lower stress so it's my daily habit it's almost my form of meditation to start my day but it definitely doesn't improve your performance or your risk injury time one question I'm there was a period my life where I did a fair amount of yoga but I experienced more injury running my running experience more running laxity becoming real issues and again yoga is really popular these days and you do have to be careful you can overdo it you can make a joint basically like two pliable so you have to be careful with excessive stretching and holding and too much static stretching now if you're a very, very unlimited person static stretching khun certainly be a part of your program but you get to a certain point where you have a much mobility as you need and then sadiq stretching can actually come back to bite you need to be careful with it I'm a much bigger fan of dynamic stretching if it's before workout dynamic stretching means you're doing like leg swings, arm swings, lunges across a room squats you know we were actually again in the workout that we did in the in the park yesterday with patrick we were doing, you know, moves were to get down in a bear crawl position like this and like bring a like forward and kick a leg through and reach for the sky and all these cool moves that were actually opening up our hips and opening up her body and that's considered a dynamic warm up and you get funny looks when you're the person at the gym you know, like stand against the wall doing leg swings and arm swings and arms circles rather than sitting you know on your butt on the mat, you know down in that traditional kind of like reach for one leg and reach for the other leg and touched the toes type of thing, but you prep yourself farm or for far better for work out when you're doing that type of dynamic warm up and dynamic stretching versus static stretching so dynamic stretching is very good from ability and then assisted stretching as well. There's two forms of of assisted stretching that I like one is called p n f stretching, it stands for appropriate deceptive neural muscular facilitation. If you need to increase range of motion in a joint in which you don't have enough range of motion, this could be really helpful. Can I get a volunteer to come up here and I'll show you appropriate cept of neural muscular facilitation or piano stretching let's, do it real quick. Just lie on your back down here on the ground and let's let's bring you about right right here. So let's say that we want to get embarrassed more flexible in his hamstring. Well, what will happen is if I have him contract his hamstring really, really hard for a brief period of time, it will become more pliable after he contracts it so I can stretch him up to a certain point now kind of watches other hip to make sure it doesn't come off the ground. So I know I'm actually stretching his hamstring here and about right here I start to get resistance and then you contract against me for about six seconds really hard, so it takes about six seconds to kind of override that stretch reflex and then relax and he now moves to a greater range of motion okay, this is called p n f stretching again, we can get to a point where I'm going to leave you now with that one leg really well stretched you could just like limp back to your chair because the other leg is super tight you could get to a point where you increase mobility too much and joint, but if you have a certain area of your body that you're really really very immobile in it's not a fashion issue which we'll talk about later on and using to increase the actual flexibility the muscle fibers in the muscle belly pmf stretching works really, really well in most cases you need a partner to do it, but there is another form of stretching called resistance resisted stretching derek tory's airmen remembered territories the phanom the olympic swimmer she was like a forty plus year old lady who raced I think it was like two thousand eight olympics she has this form of stretching called resistant stretching and what resistance stretching is is you actually will move a body through range of motion like you'll you'll sit on the ground or in a standing position and you move your body for this range of motion like in this direction and then stretch it back out and it works for the partner as well, but she's got this entire dvd it's called resisted stretching a resistant stretching and it's a really really great way to learn how to move your body through an increased range of motion you'll be like sweating by the time you finish this resisted stretching workout but it works really really well it improving mobility and improving flexibility and also working yourself out at the same time so it's a fantastic one for like swimmers who need shoulder mobility and that type of thing what's called resisted stretching and it's based on similar concepts is that p n f stretching your overriding muscles reflects and then stretching it through a range of motion so that's one way that you could improve mobility now a couple of points about stretching before we move on to the second way that you could increase mobility yeah go ahead real quick also if you didn't have a partner you can always just grab a resistance man like the example we did get a resistance man that put on your foot either latch onto something behind your pull it you do the same stretch and then push against it and so exactly like a yoga ban that type of thing a lot of those type of p n f moves yeah, you can do in that way you have a great point static stretching like I mentioned it increases range emotion but it doesn't reduce injury it is good for stress and reducing blood pressure which is why I do it in the morning it's good for athletes who do need you know like dancers gymnast people who need toe have very, very structure resistant body parts, but most of us it's not an issue with muscle belly stretching and I'll get into that in a second on dove course it's best when you're warm and ready for rest like if you were going to do static, stretching and want to do it like during the cool down from an activity on day in the morning for I do my yoga moves, I always do calisthenics. I do some body weight moves and push ups and jumping jacks kind of warm the muscle dynamic stretching does increase range of motion and it does reduce risk of injury so like those lunges and leg swings and arm swings and things like that that's what you should actually be doing before before any type of competitive activity. So I blew my mind when the lights the super bowl don't went off you guys remember that in super bowl the lights went off and you looked out on the field and all these coaches had their players are doing static, stretching one of the worst things that could have done for their teams and it's still kind of this old school philosophy that you just get down and stretch the hamstrings and you do this one and you do this one but the fact is that those people should have been doing like riding the bike, dynamic, leg swings, arm swings, lunges, hops, skips, jumps, things like that that's the stuff that you use pre activity enduring activity to really maintain proper amounts of mobility and then resisted stretching and that's best because it's tough, you could do it as part of a workout. Um, and like I mentioned that resistance, stretching dvds really good that I have that as a resource that ben grieve told fitness dot com slash creative life. Um, stretching twenty minutes a day for five times a week is useless for improving flexibility. If you really, really need tio need to improve flexibility, you need four to six hours a week for two to three months than one hour a week for maintenance. So basically, what I'm saying is that if you really truly are immobile in your muscles, you have to, like, take up a yoga practice. If you really seriously want to improve flexibility significantly, it takes it takes some training, so the next away that you can increase mobility is based off of this idea of the cumulative injury cycle. And what happens is that when, for example, we sit for long periods of time or hip fletcher's get very tight. And they get very weak and they continue to get tighter and weaker the more that we sit and when they're tightened their weak and we start to move around there's more friction there's more pressure and there's more tension the friction, the pressure and the tension can create inflammation and it can also create decreased circulation or swelling in an area we get decreased circulation or swelling in an area we get muscle fibers that had he's to one another and we get decreased mobility and what's called our basha. We also can from this inflammation get acute inflammation that results in an injuries. This is what I call the cumulative injury cycle it's something that I go through in about thirty minutes. Sometimes I just took thirty sec to go through it. But basically the idea is that if you have immobility and a joint or inability in deep tissue or fashion, it creates this vicious cycle that keeps getting you injured over and over again, creating mohr mohr immobile scar tissue that results in you over the course of your lifetime just getting less and less mobile on more and more likely to become injured. So this is where strategy number to form ability comes in and that is deep tissue, so it doesn't how matter how much stretching you do if what are called national adhesions exist? Your entire muscles are surrounded by this sheath called fascia and fashion tends to become that he's that tends to become cross linked either through doing something like sitting for long periods of time are moving the wrong way, etcetera. But if we don't work out fashion adhesions than none of the stretching in the world is going to save us there's aton of different ways to work out fashion adhesions me sitting on that kettle bell was an example I keep a golf ball underneath my desk and when I am doing any amount of sitting or if I'm standing and I have one leg free I actually roll the golf ball no, I work in bare feet okay? But I roll the golf ball up and down my my feat to improve the mobility in the fashion and in ligaments of my foot there's also a company called rumble roller that makes not only this device which can be used to dig into your shoulders for example let's say I want to free up my shoulder prior to a swim I can literally get into this position find the area and my armpit that tends to be notoriously tight and just about everybody right uh there and I can work through this range of motion basically freeing up the fashion in the soft tissue right in that section that tends to be in mobile before I go for a swim lacrosse ball works really well for this also you can even take two of them together to make like basically a roller for your low back that you can roll up and down your low back and this company rumble roller they make a foam roller that's covered in ridges that's really, really firm and hard and works well for rolling out your quads, your hamstrings, you're calves shoulders your back so I personally do too full body phone ruling sessions one every week okay, so I work on that mobility every week and then any time I have a tight spot all used the golf ball, my little spiky rumble, roller ball, the lacrosse ball or even just like an implement at the gym like a kettle bell or something like that to hit fashion in different areas. That's super important if you want to work with the practitioner, there are really good practitioners out there who can give you a big big jump start on this stuff. Some of the best are called roll first roll thing is a really, really good way to work your fascia, advance muscle integration technique or it's also called a m I t that's kind like a deep pressure technique it's very kind of uncomfortable and painful, but it does a great job freeing up fashion there's a guy who I see in sacramento whenever I'm in that area named dr dr herb acres and he's been on my podcast at ben greenfield fitness dot com, and he talks about how fascia is actually where your body will will store and release a lot of neuro transmitter and how fashion adhesions can actually be linked to things like depression and brain fog and some really, really interesting stuff. But you'll notice when you've gotten deep tissue or fashion work done or like a deep tissue massage that you actually feel far different it's a combination of endorphins and nora transmitters and all sorts of cool stuff. So that's another really, really good way to improve mobility is deep tissue work. Okay? The last thing is traction member how was talking about the inversion table on how I use an inversion table? Ah, a few times we know inversion table or inverting is a great way, teo, as I mentioned when I was talking about it, recovered from a run like inverting one minute for every mile that you run it's also a really good way to get blood flow and limp fluid circulating through your body. If you tend to get constipated, it can actually do a really good job of helping to get rid of that owning an inversion table is really good for that inversion table puts traction on your back, so it helps you to kind of fight against gravity and pull muscles apart or pulled joints apart, which is basically what traction does. A lot of times you get fluid accumulation and adhesions in certain joints like your hip joints and the joints in your back and the choice in your shoulder. And by applying traction or basically pulling two joints apart, you can actually get rid of a lot of that they make these big band's called monster bands or ah, they're rogue fitness is the company where I got mine and I meant to bring it out. I didn't, but you can attach one end of the band to a stationary object. And for example, if I wanted to traction my hip, I could attach the other end of the band to my hip, and I could just move myself away and then start to wiggle my hip and we go my but that that bans actually pulling me this way. So it's, another form of traction that you can use another popular form of traction is they'll do this. A lot of times people have injured shoulders is you'll just kind of get into this position and hang and let away just kind of pull that shoulder joint a little bit, and this is a form of traction as well, these are all ways that you can increase mobility. One of my favorite full body ways to do it is to get inversion table. You're probably getting the idea by now that an inversion table is like one of my favorite toys on guy hang from it for about five to ten minutes a few times a week, all through my shoulders up over my head, I will pull on my hips as on there, so I get hip traction, I get low back traction, I get neck traction and I get shoulder attraction all the same time when a hangman inversion table. So I think it's I think it's a great thing to have around, and they're not super expensive, so those are some of the ways that you contraction or distract joints apart and like I mentioned, becoming a supple leopard is a fantastic book for this stuff, and kelly starts creative live courses great to um and then you also want to eat for mobility. Vitamin b and vitamin c helped to increase your cell wall elasticity, animal food, sea foods, fruits and vegetables are all good sources of that. Most of us kind of sort of know where we had vitamin b and vitamin c ah papaya, pineapple, ahs wells meet that contain elements like pat pain, bro malene trips in chi mo trips and your body produces fight bring engine in response to a workout and fiber in injun is one of the ways that you become immobile it can hit can help contribute to start to scar tissue and decreased mobility pretty little enzymes, especially if you take him on empty stomach and you don't have food in your stomach because it'll break down the food instead of working on the fiber imagine if you take him on a full stomach. They're really, really good as far as like a like a mobility supplement as well. Cod liver oil where fish oil hopes to slow the breakdown of cartilage s o I'm a fan of using a fish oil supplement to help with mobility or eating fish on a regular basis and then glucosamine con droid in em, sm and collagen these are all components of bone or ground up college in a lot of times they're from shellfish sources there from ground up chicken bones. Eating bone broth is another way to get this stuff eating bone marrow is another way to get this stuff I love how many restaurants in the san francisco area served bone marrow? I've noticed that a lot of menus while I'm here, I wish more in the in the in the state or in the in the states in in washington did that, but jesse makes a lot of bone broth she'll talk about that during a nutrition section but a lot of these components glucosamine con droid in em sm and collagen they're all structural proteins that we find in like bone marrow bones bone broth and having that is part of a diet can help out quite a bit with mobility as well you given by like powdered college in and powdered gelatin and things of that nature there's a really good organic company called great lakes that sells on amazon there's another one called bernard jensen that also doesn't organic version so those are some really good sources well and then finally gear from ability I've kind of told you guys most this stuff rumble roller um you know I had a couple of muscle sticks I'll show those real quick these air just basically like stick is that you can use and I'll travel with these t essa hasn't had an issue with it yet but you can use them to basically take care of fashion issues that happen in your I t band or you can like lay down and roll up and down your calf you can use a rolling pin if you want to don't let your dinner guests see you actually rolling rolling panda pinned down body parts and skin but um rollers are another really really good way to assist with mobility yoga bans blocks we talked about how you could use a band for self p n f and then like I like that resistance stretching dvd um there's a lot of different yoga dvds out there um I could tell you not to get the one that's by the biggest loser guy one that's like a really yoga workout it's more like a workout workout like if if if the yoga workout says it's designed to destroy you then be careful with it um just saying go and love our people in charge would like to know what your thoughts are in hot yoga since we're talking about stretching well for me when I'm getting ready for a hot race I love hot yoga as a heat acclamation tool thinking my body ready for a hot environment I also like how much force is your blood to move around how detoxing it is in terms of movement of lymph flow in circulation it does not contrary to popular belief burn many calories at all it also carries with it the same issues as static stretching meaning you wouldn't want to do it if you were trying to get a lot of power and strength and speed or like on a day earlier in the day before a power strength or speed session but I do really like it for for a lot of the other things is that it creates is there a danger for injury? Somebody in the chat room was saying that they have heard many people that do hot yoga and then outside of yoga once their bodies have cooled down try toe push their body to that same limit and injure themselves. Is that something that is something you're pretty much for the rest the day going to have a little bit of increase elasticity, increased mobility to the point where you might have some joint lax. So if you're planning on, you know, game of tackle football in the afternoon on the same day that you played, you know, done big, grand that's, where that would be an issue. You know, like, if I were, say, like coaching a baseball team and wanted him to be doing big room, they'd be doing the big german night and practice, you know, in the afternoon in the morning, that type of thing and even me doing a yoga session in the morning. I know that I'm sacrificing just a lie a little bit later on in the day and for me, that's. Okay, because it's really distressing. And, you know, I'm not getting a paycheck to do what I do. But you'd want to be careful if you're if you really wanted to maximize power.

Class Materials

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10 Human Performance Meals
7 Day Done
creativeLIVE Home Detox
Health vs Performance Slides
Become Superhuman Resource Guide
Body Products and House Cleaners
Enrollment Page
Ultimate Human Performance Exercise.mp4

Ratings and Reviews


Ben delivered an exceptional three-day seminar at creativeLIVE that I was lucky enough to attend. His expertise in all facets of health & wellness was on full-display -- and his presentation was clearly articulated & engaging He was friendly and responsive to feedback and gave actionable recommendations which are already paying dividends in my life -- especially in the areas of energy, mental clarity & sleep quality I strongly recommend Ben -- he walks the walk & talks the talk -- genuinely cares about helping other people and possesses a real gift to teach & inspire

a Creativelive Student

This is one of the best courses I have ever seen! So much value for money and so many amazing bits of information jam packed in. What a brilliant guy! Geeky information presented in a down to earth way. I can not recommend this course enough. I don't think I have ever been bothered to write a review for anything (EVER) but this was SO good I had to share. Well done Ben and thank you Creative Live!


Ben Greenfield has a lot of information, best course I have taken in regards to Nutrition and Fitness. There is a lot of knowledge and their a great couple and both have a lot of information to offer, I even like the lame jokes that he makes. Very nice and knowledgable couple.

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