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Workshop #2639

Sitting is the New Smoking

85 min - Workshop


Join Dr. Brent Anderson in this workshop where he discusses the problems that accompany the sedentary lifestyle. He shares the causes of the sedentary lifestyle and how it impacts our bodies and our longevity. By looking at what parts of the body lose the most mobility from sitting, we will begin to understand how our bodies are designed to work. This will help improve tightness and pain throughout the entire body.


- Learn about the natural squat and how humans used to use this position for many activities

- Learn about the compensations that develop from sitting and how we can help improve these restrictions

- Learn about ergonomics and how it has impacted our bodies and productivity

What You'll Need: No props needed

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Nov 04, 2016
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Chapter 1

Finding Motivation to Move

Hello, my name is Brent Anderson. And excited to be back at plot is any time with a topic that I am very excited about and that is sitting is the new smoking. And I think over the past number of years I realized that my job has shifted, is developing more and more of the business side that I find myself sitting more than the constant moving that I did as a physical therapist and as apply these teacher for the first 2025 years in my profession. And I started really feeling the effects of the sedentary lifestyle and started noticing some of the problems that accompany that. And I also realize that when we go back into our basic fundamental philosophy of Joseph, Paulie's and Clara politeness, that movement and the opposite of sedentary lifestyle is our philosophy.

It's being outside, it's moving, it's engaging, it's exercising, it's playing and recreating. And these are all things that really are starting to miss in our society. And one of things I want to talk about today is we go through as looking at not only what we do for ourselves as, as teachers, which I think we need to make sure that we're moving, but I think we have a much higher calling to make sure that the world's moving and everybody that we come in contact with, that we're really focusing on how do we motivate people to participate in movement activities. And when we look at the ratio that people are sitting or sedentary in their lifestyle, we're seeing it's almost impossible for two police classes a week to be able to make up for the 14 hours a day of sitting. Some of the research that currently is out and about, there was a study done at Harvard in the epidemiology department and what they looked at was at the top 30 economies in the world.

And they looked at longevity measures. So who has the longest average lifestyle in the top 30 economies in the world? And unfortunately the United States took 29th position out of 30 and which is crazy because we have, and it's very well understood that we have some of the best research and resources and we spend more money on healthcare than any other, any other economy per capita. So just really taking it by head, by person. We spend more money on health than any other country in the world and we're 29th out of the top 30 economies. And so they started looking at the epidemiological factors that influenced that.

And I think this is really important point is we have to ask ourselves, um, is it the food we eat? Is it how much we smoke? Is it how much we drink? Is it, what is it? And this is what they were looking at was looking at all the factors of lifestyle in these top 30 economies. And the number one factor they came up was sedentary ism or moving being the opposite end of it. So when they looked at the United States, what they realized is it, the majority of us live in suburbia. And so we get in our car, in our garage, and we all have multiple cars in our homes, so everybody in the family can get in a car and our teenagers can get in cars and they have their own cars and our maid has her own cars and everybody has her own car. So they get in the car and they go stop by the drive through bank, get their cash out, they then go spend some of that money from the drive through bank it Starbucks and the drive through Starbucks.

They dropped their dry cleaning off at the drive through dry cleaning and then they dropped their kids off at the drive through drop-off at the schools. They drive to their office and they complain that they don't get the parking spot that's undercover, that's only five steps away from the door into the elevator to be able to get up to their office. And they never take the stairs because heaven forbid they take the stairs. So what we realize is that it really didn't have anything to do with nutrition and smoking and drinking. It didn't even have to do with the amount of exercise because we show that we do a lot of exercise, but it's different than the sedentary ism of moving and so even even the U K, which is no offense to anybody from the UK, but they drink a lot more, they smoke a lot more, they eat really horrible food typically and, and you would think that they would have a higher death rate or a higher mortality rate than those of us who are really think we're health conscious and suburbia, United States and Australia also, by the way, as number 30 so just to give you an idea of what's going on here, but really it's that 15 minutes, twice a day of walking to a metro or a subway or some kind of public transportation or walking into work in the inner city when they pulled, when they pulled in New York out of the United States and measured it by itself, it moved up to number five.

So isn't that interesting that just moving just that little bit of movement every day had a big effect. Now they've also shown that the chair itself in sitting itself does not kill people. I'm going to show you some statistics that show that it's really, when you talk about sitting, I'm referring to a sedentary lifestyle. And when we think of what the advances of technology have done for us, they have made us a more sedentary lifestyle. And you think about the number of people that used to be blue collar workers back a hundred years ago to the number of blue collar workers today. And we just see a huge shift in with automation and technology has done for our society.

So I want to go through and start talking a little bit about this and I have some slides to share and to help us understand this sort of concept. And I'm going to use a little humor. So I hope I don't offend anybody because we're all part of this. And I think it's important to understand that you know, we're not going to die tomorrow because we sit, the idea is what can we do in our and how do we become active in our societies as movement teachers, as followers and disciples of Joseph, polite, his methodology to get people off their duff and get them moving, get them walking. So we've talked about this. The title is sitting as the new smoking and smoking. Obviously, I'm not saying that we can all smoke now because it's okay to smoke.

It's not nearly as bad for us as not walking in the day. Smoking still is very bad for us, so I'm not endorsing smoking kids at home. Please do not smoke. We know better than that. We know sometimes you'd like to be self destructive and as long as you're doing it to be self-destructive, we get it. But smoking is distractive. But what we're realizing now is that we sit too much and the average person is sitting on average somewhere around nine to 12 hours per day, which is a horrendous number. And then when we're in bed, we're probably in bed another seven hours a day.

So you're looking at something close to 20 hours a day that we're, the average person is sedentary, whether it's in a chair, in bed or at work, whatever we're doing. Um, I was gonna make a comment but I'm not going to make that comment on, on the rate, on the, on the video. But the idea is that I just met the activity level in bed, but typically I was talking about sleeping. So activity level in bed is actually also very healthy and is movement and will prolong your life. And there are studies that show that. Um, but our goal here is to, is how do we motivate people to get out of their chair? And we're seeing out in our younger population, you know, they're going like, I don't know how come my hands are going numb. I don't know why my elbows are hurting or why my neck hurts or why get headaches.

And we see this over and over again that the keyboards get smaller and smaller. The phones are smaller and smaller as far as what we're doing with our smart phones. Um, you know, we're an iPad and everything brings the body into this position. And we're seeing a lot of muscle skeletal problems in particular that are associated with this type of posture, not just the global health and morbidity issues that come from a sender lifestyle. So there's two different things that we're talking about. We buy these really expensive chairs to make sure that we're ergonomically correct and then we sit in them so that we can look at our small computers in a pasture that's not conducive. So we said, then we wonder like, man, I'm sure glad I got this expensive ergonomic chair that I can sit in to make myself healthy. And we'll talk a little bit about that. And this is, goes back to Philip Beach's work a little bit where you know, the guy doesn't have any furniture in his house. You know, the ideas that the floor and the hard services tell our bodies when it's time to move. And you know that I'm going to give you permission today in this workshop. And also at home, the why you're watching this is try not to be in a chair and try to change positions. So you're welcome to, you know, sit on your legs, you can side sit like the mermaid, you can cross legged sit and you can do any number of sitting positions.

But the idea is at the heart of the surface we sit on the more frequently we move. So feel free to go up and down off the floor and to move in the box. And the idea is just the movement itself, right? The movement itself, the floors can tell us. And the key is the frequency of the movement. And I think what we've done in society as we've looked for this perfect share that allows us to sit in a still position to be productive for many hours at a time. If we get the right lumbar support, if we have the right angle so that we don't get cutting off the pressure behind our legs and the siding nerve and the blood flow and we get our feet supported the right way. So we don't put pressure on our low back. And the head supported perfectly. And then we sit like this inside that chair. And, and so, you know, we look at this and what we want to, what I want to bring out is that the most common muscle skeletal problems come from things like thoracic immobility, right?

So when you think of sitting, we lose our thoracic mobility. So our head, neck, shoulder, and lumbar pathologies are almost always a direct result of poor thoracic and red mobility. And sitting is one of the big corporates of losing that mobility. And there's other things that we lose as well. We lose hip extension and we lose ankle Dorsi flection by sitting in chairs. So you see a child, a child can easily just go down into the floor like this without a problem. But you take that same child and you put them in 10 years later after they've sat in chairs at school for you know, five, 10 years and all of a sudden they don't have Dorsey flection.

When they go down to squat, they've gone through the growth phase, their heels now come up. When they squat down, they can't keep their heels down. So these are the types of things that are changes that we as politesse teachers can really have a fantastic effect in a positive effect on our, on our clients. Milford Merchant gave a beautiful Ted talk and she was one of the first ones I had heard that he coined the phrase sitting is the new smoking and she gives us great talk. You can look her up on a on t on Ted and listen to her talk. I strongly encourage it.

A couple of the things that she talked about was that she had a meeting with another executive from another company and he said, look my, I don't have any more time this week for a meeting, but I am going to be going for my walk in the morning if you want to join me for the walk, feel free to meet with me on my walk. And so she said she got all worried because she thought like, I'm so out of shape is I go walking, I'm going to be panting and huffing and puffing trying to talk and negotiate a business deal with another executive business person. And they went for a walk and she said they walked for a full hour up and down some hills. And that was just what he did. And she had this light bulb go off in her head thinking like, you know, for my whole career I've always thought that my health and my work were in opposition to each other. So for me to be an executive, especially a female executive, that she had to work all these hours to be able to compete in a male dominated world. And so she's very clear about that, that she felt this pressure to do that. And yet she knew from the research that she needed to take care of her own body to be able to be a successful executive female in business.

And this idea of how do you balance that? I was always, it was always in opposition to each other. And I think I've thought that, and that was the first thing that resonated with me was thinking like, look, you know, I travel so much and I'm always on an airplane and I can't get into a schedule. I have no regularity. And then I thought, you know, those are all bullshit excuses. Pardon the expression, because I'm in a business that has applied his equipment everywhere I go. So the fact that I can't get up and move or go for a walk or do my exercise in the morning, and I know you know all of the Mat Repertoire of course. So there's no reason why I can't just drop on the ground and do my mat repertoire and work on that. And I realized very quickly that it really was about a choice of being able to integrate the two of them. And so I thought when I build this course, I'm going to build this course without a chair. Right?

So this course that I did, I've, I've taught at the PMA and a couple other places in the past year and I didn't use a chair. So I kneeled down, I stood up, I sat on the ground. It took me three times as long to build this course. But it made me realize why we use chairs is because in an automated world that we live in, the chair is a very efficient way of production. But we have to realize that there are other aspects of our job that do not require us to sit down. For example, if I'm talking on the phone, but I'm talking on the phone, I don't need to be sitting in a chair talking the phone. I could be standing up walking around, moving around my office.

And even just that little movement of five, six minutes on a phone call is significant. If I'm just going to be talking to somebody, just go outside and go for a walk. If you know you're gonna have a 1520 minute discussion that you wouldn't be writing anything down anyway. And she said, if you are going to do something, just record it into your phone. If there's something that needs to be recorded, we have all the technology to actually make that work in our benefit rather than against us. And so I thought that was very interesting. And again, when we're working with our executives, I think one of the key things we have to be able to do is promote them to be able to and encourage them and motivate them to be able to start participating in things like this. So I want to sort of open up the floor a little bit and I want you to think at home like what are some cool ideas that we could teach our clients to be motivated to move during the day? So we already said you've got nine and a half hours that they're sitting in chairs, the average person. And if you think about it, that's the average person. If you take us out of the equation, you're really talking about people sitting for 1314 hours a day.

So they sit in their chairs of the Office for 10 12 hours. Think of your typical accountant, your attorney. Um, you know, anybody who's dealing with the it world programming world, which is a lot of our workforce now, they're probably sitting closer to 13, 14 hours a day, sleeping five, six hours a night minimum. That's almost a whole day that they're, that they're in sedentary lifestyle. So what are some ideas that come to your mind that of ways that we could motivate our clients that come in two hours, out of those a hundred hours a week of awake time, uh, to be more active, just to move. It's not even so much doing exercises. What is it? What are some ways that we can do that?

What are some things that come to your mind? It's motivation because I can think of ideas to get them moving, but not, I don't know if they'd be motivated to do it. We'll share some of those ideas. Even if you, if you can think of the motivation, what would be some ideas that you might give to some of our clients? From my own experience going from never sitting to sitting a lot, I find myself resisting the heart and stuff. So I start there and after two to three sales emails that, you know, aren't that easy to answer, I'll, I'll, that's like if I get through this then I pick it up.

Cause I feel like though I feel the pain. That's it. So because you have a schedule and you've seen that shift in your own schedule of being a potties teacher for your whole time is up, standing and moving to where now you're having business things, you're answering emails, some of them are more difficult than others. Um, then you can set a goal and say, when I accomplish two or three of these difficult things, then I can participate in what, what kind of thing would you participate? Wait off and play music and, and dance even. Perfect. Okay, perfect. So to get up, move around, play some music, dance. Perfect. I'm motivated to move cause I feel the difference still. I'm not. Yeah. And you're motivated to move because you do feel the difference.

And I think that's anybody that has that increased consciousness of movement feels when their body needs to move. Right. We all sort of start wiggling around and moving our bodies to be able to do that. What are some other things that you think you could share, teach with your clients? What comes to mind? Well, I think you mentioned even a phone call stand up if you're on a phone call. But you can also check your meals on emails when you're standing. You know, you don't have to have your laptops. Everyone has laptops. You don't have to have them on the table where you sit.

You can put it up higher on the kitchen counter, check them standing up, have you known pat by there, bend your knees do go to rise. You know, there's all sorts of this, the simplest, great. So you could change the height of things like checking your email so people have high boys countertops. Um, there's now the tables that are the high low tables for workstations that bring them up. So you can be standing, sitting, moving around. Good. But have some other ideas. Anything come to your mind? Just think about our children. Think about the youth in our communities. How do we get them? What are some things that, how can we motivate that to be proactive in getting the youth to move? Any ideas? Well, I mean, I don't have children, but maybe before they could get TV time or computer time or something that the parents have to initiate outside time first.

I mean something as simple as like we've got 10 minutes for his kids before we go inside of your inside time. Perfect. So creating sort of a habit or a pattern or a conditional response with the children at home. So those of us that are parents and have children, you know, before they can, before they can, won't get TV time or before they get computer time or gaming time that they have a certain number of minutes that they need to participate in physical activities. Matter of fact, when, when our kids are growing up, um, they're all grown up now and they're all very physically outdoors-y kind of active kids. But I would lock them out outside for a couple hours every day. And we were very fortunate. We lived in an acre so it was safe in the neighborhood. We have a swimming pool.

And you know, I always Lizette and I always believe that it would be better for them to break an arm falling down out of a tree being outside than to be children that were sedentary children that did not, you know, understand movement and those kind of things. We wanted them to have that experience. So I think that's a great ideas. You know, let's get them outside and make conditions of them to be at. And I think what's important, understand it's not, it's not necessarily saying, oh, I gotta pay money for them to be in dance class. Right. You gotta pay money for them to be an organized sport. It's like, just go out and ride a bike. Just go for a walk. Just go, you know, climb, climb stairs or do something, have a race upstairs and play games and, and, you know, kick the bucket. I mean, the things we used to do as kids in the, in the old days, we would play, kick the bucket, hide and go seek.

Those are the types of things, you know, who can climb a tree. Um, another thing we had a home was a slack line. So we strapped a slack line between the wall of the house and our big tree and the kids all practice slacklining and pretty soon we found all the kids in the neighborhood wanted to come over and practice slackline. So I had to go renew my liability insurance just to make sure that that's always been the case in my house. We've had a, you know, the kids jump off the roof into the pool. We had pole vaulting pits and we'd see them doing back flips onto the pole vaulting pits. And of course I saw things like as a physical therapist, spinal cord injuries and fractured arms, but we never saw him in our house. Thank goodness.

But I think the idea of being outdoors and being physically active is in complete harmony with what Joseph [inaudible] taught. In matter of fact, when you go back to as nine pieces of the formula, it's fresh air is being getting sunshine. It's a balance between work, play and rest play being a very important part of that. And then exercise. And I think making extra is fun for kids is very important. I think also politically we can become active in the schools of really trying to get recess and unstructured outdoor time back in the school system. I think we get so focused on the math and the writing and, and history that we forget that if they don't have movement, it makes it so much harder for them to be able to concentrate. So very cool part. Good. I'm sure you'll think of tons of ways.

Feel free to send them to us and share the ideas. I'm polite. Is any time, these are all things that really, you know, it's a social movement to get people to stand up, to get people to move, to get our children to play. So the question always comes back is,

Chapter 2

Are We Sitting Too Much?

are we sitting too much? And the answer obviously is yes, we as a society are sitting too much. Um, it has multiple effects on us that are not just related to muscle, skeletal and postural problems, but it also ties into the sedentary ism of disease and other problems that we have in the world. So we can look at some of the negative effects of sitting that we know are out there. We know that people that sit too long have increased blood pressure, so we see that relationship and again, it literally is just a matter of inactivity. So inactivity as we age, we tend to get hardened harden in our arteries and our blood pressure goes up and our heart gets overworked and we shorten our life longevity, which is what we're talking about, and we also have those physiological impairments with things like hormonal balance, biochemistry in neurotransmitters. This is really important to us because things like cortisol for example, cortisol is a hormone that is a stress related hormone. It's normal in our body. Our adrenal glands secrete it when we need to have it, but when we have too much of it or we're chronically having adrenal glands working, we can go into what's called adrenal fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome, which means that our metabolism slows down. It means that the bad cholesterol increases and the triglycerides increase and we have higher risk of stroke, heart disease, it decreases our immune system so it makes it more likely that we're susceptible to disease. And if we have congenital predisposition to certain diseases, like we have cancer genes in our family or we have rheumatoid arthritis genes that tend to be there, there are things that trigger those stressful state trigger some of those problems for us. So how the, the more that we can move and be active, we can control some of those levels. And you know, it's almost meditative to go out and go for a walk this morning. Being here, I'm so spoiled. I go for a nice long walk and along the beach and, and walk for a good hour.

And it's amazing how clear my mind was this morning. How I felt energy and you know, ready for ready for the day. And I think that's exactly what our body needs and craves. Um, we know that the life expectancy shortens with sedentary lifestyle. We know that things like fertility decrease. Um, there's one exercise that I always joke about, friends that are cyclists and I always tell them that there, you know, if you're sitting on a bike for like five, six hours every couple of days, you probably will experience a decrease in your sperm count. But typically sedentary lifestyle does have their studies that show that there's decreased fertility, we'll send their lifestyle, increase incidents of low back pain. That's a no brainer for us. We've gone, when I started my dissertation in 1997 my phd was looking at low back pain, chronic low back pain and how movement affected that and how we could create a positive perception to be able to balance out the effects of back pain.

But it was interesting because in 1997 it was estimated that 70% of adults in the United States would experience a severe bout of low back pain one time in their life, 70% and that 25% of them would have lifelong bout with chronical back pain. And the cost of that time was about $190 billion a year in the United States alone that we spent on lost time in management of low back pain. So that was 1987. I finished my dissertation in 2005 and when the new numbers came out a couple of years later, it was estimated that in the United States we were at 90% of adults will have a severe bout with low back pain and still about 25% would have chronic low back pain. But now it was $280 billion a year that we have in lost time surgeries, uh, lost work, lost revenues and most importantly the medical costs of the surgeries.

Um, for example, is not uncommon for a lumbar fusion to range to a couple levels to be as high as a hundred thousand dollars for a surgery. And then if they become disabled after that surgery, you're looking at years and years and years of estimated loss to do that. And when you go starting up in 90% of the population that's going to have these bouts of low back pain. It's a, it's a big problem. We also know that there's decreased cognition. I think we've experienced that. I know I have when I, when I don't get outside, even like this morning just for me to go outside and feel the fresh air and to walk and to feel the sunshine, it's amazing it how the hormones and the neurotransmitters in the body are stimulated and you actually feel inspired.

And I think that's what we look at is how do we get people to be inspired. We get inspired when we move. We feel better after we do a class, but we also have a better, when you have sunshine, we feel better when we felt smelled, the fresh air, those kinds of things. So if you live in a place that unfortunately doesn't have fresh air and doesn't have much sunshine, you know, you need to plan vacations and holidays to places that do, you need to find it somewhere. Even if you can't get it in your day to day, you might need to take more vacations and take more rest time even if they're just long weekends. So it might be that instead of having a two week vacation, you might have five or six, three, four day weekends that you regularly go somewhere that you can get fresh air and some sunshine. There was a great study done in Brazil. They took 4,000 people and they basically came up with a score and the score said that to go up and down off the ground without using your hands was worth 10 points. Every time you used a hand on the way down or on the way up, you would lose a point. It was a longitudinal study, meaning that it covered a long period of time. And what they found was that for every touch of the hand on the floor, there was a 20 plus percent correlation with a decrease in longevity.

Right? So if you had to use both hands to get down and both hands to get up, that was at least four points that were taken off. And four times 20 is 80% likelihood that if you had to use both hands to get up and down off the ground, you had an 80% likelihood of decreased longevity associated with that. And it's interesting because statistically it shows that one of the greatest predictors of health is if people are able to get up and down off the ground. And I think that's a really cool factor, especially over the age of 70 we often define our adults as being frail or active and that definition has comes from can they get up and down off the ground. Okay. So if I was applied his teacher, I am a place teacher, but if I was thinking of, you know, what is my primary purpose? One of the primary things I would want to know about all of my clients is, are you able to get up and down off the ground?

If you can't get up and down to ground? I would make that a huge priority in my [inaudible] lessons to get my clients so they up and down off the ground because I know there's a direct correlation with them being able to live longer and have a better quality of life if they can get them down off the ground. This is why the advent of things like total knee replacements and total hip replacements have shot through the roof. They've exponentially grown in our society because we realize if you cannot get down in the ground or the knee, arthritis is so bad that it immediately starts biting in to your longevity. If you, because you become less and less active, you're less likely to get down to the ground.

You're less likely to go for a walk. You're less likely to go hiking, less likely to play tennis. And we used to say, because we weren't sure on the longterm outcome of a total joint replacement, wait until you cannot do 80% of the things that you would normally do and you're crawling on the ground. You'd hear doctors saying that, you know, when you're crawling on the ground, come back to me and we'll do the surgery. That's not the case anymore. We've really moved it down. And so societaly we say 50% if there's 50% of the things that you believe you should be able to do and you can't do because of severe knee arthritis or hip arthritis, these two surgeries have such success in getting you back to functional activities. It's worth your while to have it done right. So you're gonna increase your activity. So that's an interesting phenomenon regarding surgeries.

I'm not promoting surgery cause I think we also can do a better job of just getting people to be aligned to before they get that bad. I'll give you an example. I have this really lovely lady that's a client of mine and she's in her sixties and she and her husband had planned this wonderful trip to go to Asia for three weeks and they'd been planning it for years. It was like this target that they'd had and she'd had multiple knee surgeries and the knees were getting so bad that the doctor was telling her that she, the only thing now she could do was to have a total knee replacement. And, and I would agree that she Sunday's going to a total knee replacement. So when I would range her knees, you'd hear that [inaudible] kind of really horrible bone on bone Sam.

But we realize that she had had some habits with the way that she walked in. Also her send her a lifestyle. So we started getting the focus away from the knees, getting more Dorsey flection in the ankles, more movement in the hips. And the next thing she knew is she was up walking up to two, three miles a day without any knee pain. And this went on for about two, three months as we were preparing her.

And she ended up going to Asia and she sent tons of pictures of having a great trip with little to no knee pain and the confidence to be able to walks. And the whole idea and the mindset was, when you get back home, we'll talk about knee replacement. Let's just get you so you can do the vacation you plan on doing for the last 10 years, have a great vacation, and we get back. We can talk about it. Well now she's back and she's going, you know, my knees don't hurt. I'm walking, you know, an hour a day. I'm involved in exercises, I'm swimming. My back doesn't hurt anymore and all because she's been doing her [inaudible], you know, three, four days a week.

It was an intensive protocol that we put her on. Plus she's walking at home one or two times a day and she's doing some water therapy at home. So we really got her into an active lifestyle. And that's what I think was interesting is when she had the confidence, she still has no cartilage in her knees. Both her knees still squeak, but her perception of activity has completely shifted to be an active person, not an inactive person. We still have troubles getting her up and down off the ground, which is why I do believe she's still a good candidate for a total knee replacement. But now she's strong and she's confident. And if she goes forward with a surgery, I'm, I can almost guarantee that she's going to have a much better longterm outcome with that surgery than had she had the surgery five, six months ago.

Chapter 3

The Benefits of the Natural Squat

So the big corporate of hip mobility is, or lack of hip mobility is sitting in chairs. And I think this is important for us to understand. Um, Eric Franklin had that great phrase. He said, we are what we practice, right? So we practice sitting, we start looking like a chair, right? And a chair is bent at the hips, which means the anterior hips are going to be shortened and that's going to have significant consequences on our spine when we move. And I think that's just something, it's a very clear picture.

If you can imagine. I always, I always do the posture where I say, okay, I'm getting out of my chair. Right? And this is what the chair made me look like. So I'm going to stand up. When I stand up, it's going to pull my back forward. Right. And it's going to cause that whole back to go into a sheer force. And so you think of somebody that's standing a lot, right or sitting a lot and then they go to stand.

That's going to create that sheer force that leads to things like stenosis degeneration that this sets disc pathologies and all the pathology that we see in the spine. And more importantly the low back pain that they would have from that. They come to pilates and we reeducate them to open the hips up. So we're doing exercises in the movement class that we'll teach. We'll be looking primarily at three areas.

We're going to be looking at thoracic mobility, hip extension and ankle Dorsi flection. Cause those are the three primary areas that we lose mobility by the sedentary lifestyle. And they have direct effect on things like knee pathology, hip pathology, back pathology, neck and shoulder pathology. So here is a sitting position that we in Western society have sort of gotten rid of. You know, we don't squat. If, if we didn't have toilets, for example, one thing we didn't have toilets, this is how we would go to the bathroom. We'd find a hole somewhere and we would squat over the hole. You've seen a whole movement now with a pelvic floor specialist or the squatty potties, right?

So they bring in these little box kind of things that come around the toilet. So you're in that nice deep squat position to go to the bathroom. We also know that birthing has really changed and so we see a lot more birthing going back to the way birthing was done for millions of years with squatting or hanging onto a tree or a quadramed position, which was a much more natural way for the pelvic floor and the birth canal to be able to, to have a baby rather than laying back in a chair with the feet up and stirrups kind of thing. So this is a very natural position for the human and we go to other parts of the world. It's very common to see people participating in this position. So I want you to just for a second to try to go into that position and, and notice and observe, uh, you know, what, what you feel as the resistance. Do you feel in the front of the ankles?

Do you fill in the back of the calves? And most of us are going to fill it in the front of the ankles. Like we can't quite get over that. Right. And I'm going to tell a story while you're sort of experimenting with that. When I was, um, I guess 18 my most of my injuries occurred from pole vaulting. Some, you know, I'm a, I was a pole vaulter and I had a very severe fracture of my left ankle.

So I'd broken and Paul and I came down. I ended up having surgery a couple of years later to fix that. All right. You can rest whenever you're ready to rest on it. And years, I'm suffering from hip problems and back problems and other things that I don't really make a correlation. And as well as talking to somebody who said, well, can you do a full squat like this? The natural squat position. I said, oh no, no, I can't do a full squat because I've had surgery on my ankle. I can't do a full squat on that ankle. And what I realized was, oh, the fact that this ankle, even though it doesn't have pain, is not a problem, doesn't have Dorsey flection. I was abusing my right hip and I was already thinking about a total hip replacement and the right hip.

I'd had a an arthroscopic surgery 13 years ago and I was thinking about, you know, there's no cartilage in there. There's pain. I couldn't stand up. It's getting worse. But I realize as soon as I started working on getting Dorsey flection and ankle to be able to sit in that position that it was then that my hip started feeling significantly better. I had took a lot less anti-inflammatory and I'm even getting back to where I can do things like jog across the street, go on long walks and hikes that are not painful like they used to be even just two, three years ago. So it was a process of going through and that's when things were going to work on in the class is how do we prepare ourselves to be able to go into a full natural squat.

Now the slide that I just put up, it's a joke obviously, but it's not a joke. It's a joke from the standpoint of showing that if you look at the posture of the person sitting is not very different from the posture of the primate in the very beginning. Can you see that? Right? So you see that the primate does not have hip extension. You see the primate does not have a buy curve spine. They go from the sacred right up to the neck, have the single curve, right?

So that rounded back and you know their arms hang down off their shoulders in front of the center of gravity. So that means they have a tremendous amount of work happening to try to hold their body up. And that's why they use their hands on the floor to be able to walk. So the chair puts us back in a very awkward position of what we've worked millions of years to be able to change and become a biker, bipedal animal. We're very unique in the [inaudible] family in that we're the only animal that has a lumbar and a thoracic curve.

And that relationship of that curve is what allows us to have the reciprocal movement that makes us very efficient bipedal animals. And when we sit for a long period of time, it actually works against that beautiful biker of spine. So we end up having shortening in the front of the hips. We dropped down more into flection, the shoulder and the thorax and we ended up looking more like the primate that we worked so hard to come away from.

Chapter 4

The Evolution of Ergonomics

The next area is really looking at, you know, how we as a society have tried to deal with making sitting more effective and making it okay. All right.

And so we've designed these perfect workstations in the transportation. I've put a couple pictures up here to sort of show, you know, we've got these special seeds with balls to bounce on. We have seats that we can lean into. We have seats that are called Nada Chair. They really still are a chair because it's sedentary. We're not moving. Um, we also have some new stations that are like, hey man, you can do everything on here. All you need is a urinal and you don't even ever have to get up.

It's like you can do your work, you can exercise, you can type, you can watch your movies. But take a look at the, see the design of the chair. Right. Again, it's getting rid of the bike curve element of the person and the loading. There was a great movie. There was a cartoon movie, I forget the name of it, but I'm sure somebody out there remembers that. But the, I remember watching it and they were in chairs and they were waiting to be able to go back down to earth and they were living in space. And what's that Wally? Yes. It's called Wally. Thank you. It's the, I knew somebody when our youngest, our youngest participant knew it and while he was, was really quite a social statement, wasn't it? It was really saying that we become exactly, we're talking about sitting in the new smoking and they couldn't bear weight on their legs because they had been so used to being in sort of a jelly kind of relationship of floating around and, and moving that way.

And so we look at this type of thought of let's create the ultimate environment to be able to work in that. We have everything there where we have a straw to sip water, we have a urinal to go to the bathroom, we can be exercising our legs while we're sitting down and typing and doing things. And we sort of think, wow, that's a great idea. But it's really a horrible idea. We also have our wonderful airplane seats now. I travel a lot and I can tell you that to me, the absolute worst thing in the world for me and my back is an airplane seat. And I know, uh, Lizette, my wife is always thinking about designing and she's an architectural school now and like everything is looking at like why would they design a chair like this for humans to sit in for long periods of time. So when I fly to Asia, I fly to Europe and I have these long hauls, which happened quite often.

Um, I have to make all kinds of modifications, but what I realize is not the modification. I just have to do what I just have to get up. So I made sure that I have an ILC and I drink so much water on a plane that I have to pee at least once an hour. Right. And that makes me get up out of my chair walking. When I walk up to the head of the cabin, I can sit up there and I can do squats, I can stretch my hip extensors, I can move my body around.

People look at me like I'm a little crazy with some of the things I do up there and do a little gyro can ISAs and some of my work to get to the rotation in my spine. I do some swan up against the wall waiting for that bathroom to open up and then I go to the bathroom and I go back and then I sit in some really funky position in my chair. Like I turn and face the person behind me and I sort of looking at them as they're sitting in a chair and like you realize you're in a very bad position for your back, don't you? And they're like, why aren't you on business? Leave me alone. I'm like, well I would accept from a physical therapist and it's my job to inform the whole world that the devil is in the chair and you are being persuaded by the devil to be back pain. So get up out of your chair and go over there. You know, you got to go move around. But you look at these chairs, you use things like you could not have a worst design for the body. So there's only one solution and asked to get out of the chair.

And I think what we have to think of is this idea of these ergonomic chairs. I mean it's a really good idea if all we're worried about is production production will happen. If we can make the chair really comfortable. What happens though is that our body, and I love the way this is put is like a three d printer. So everybody familiar with the three d printer. Now you can, you can design something that's three dimensional, like a toothbrush or an orthotic for a foot and you can design toys and you can design like we're going to get to the point where it's like, honey, where are the forks? I don't know. We lost our forks. Can you go print a couple of forks for me?

And you go to the printer and you print a fork. So the three d printers are available. You just go to best buy now or you go to any, you know, fry like tree and you can go buy your three-dimensional printer for very inexpensive. You put your plastics or your, they do it in different types of metals. Now they can do three d printing of any kind of material almost. It's really amazing.

Our body is exactly like a three d printer. So what happens is our fashional system is very dynamic and very much alive and the Fascia connects to everything. We know that the fashion tubules go into not only the cell wall, but they also go into the nucleus. And so there's this sliding communication happening throughout the body. And it was Mark Hamilton, he said Fascia is a three d printing machine that is working all the time, creating structure and reforming itself based on how we manage it.

It loves to be massed flee led like in a dance. So now that's the good part of Fascia, right? So as we're polite as teachers and we're moving people and we're getting them into things and we're sort of leading their body through this dance, the fashion changes. It's very dynamic. It's reprinting the body. We have a tremendous amount of redundancy in our body to be able to adjust or adapt, and that's why when we say we are what we practice with Eric Franklin talks about, that's very true. We watch somebody who practices certain sport and we could say, oh, you're a long distance runner. You're a sprinter.

You're a high jumper in track and field. We could look at a football team. We can say your front line, man, you're running back. You're tied in. You're a defensive back. We could look at a soccer team. You're a forward, you're, you're a goalie. We look at swimmers. You freestyle, you butterfly, you backstroke. You do endurance, you do sprints. You're a triathlete, you're a cyclist. We can look at people's bodies if they do more. In dance, of course, is one of the biggest ones that I'm most familiar with where I can look and say, oh, you dance Balanchine. Oh, you dance this. You're a Martha Graham dance. You did a lot of Cunningham. I can just tell because of the way the body's shaped and how it developed and what either was a natural attraction for their body or was developed over what they practice. And I think the, one of the hardest things to know is if somebody practices politics, it's actually pretty hard because plot is a very neutral activity, a neutralizing activity.

So what we would notice by some enterprise supplies would be things in, it would be absent of things that would tell us that, oh, you do this or you do that, or you dance or you run, or those kinds of things. So somebody who practice a lot of [inaudible] is going to be in that middle ground of, of human nature. So we look at fashion and typically we look at dead Fascia. So when I was teaching anatomy as part of my Grad assistantship at the University of Miami, the fashion I always looked at was like on the bottom right. So I would look at, I would, you know, Fascia was in the way. We would cut the Fascia out of the way to be able to see the muscle, to see the Oregon to see the bone.

And when you think about eating chicken or meat or those kind of things and you pull the meat apart after it's been cooked, you often see the Fascia connecting has been cooked a little rubbery, but that's not what Fascia looks like when it's alive, alive. It's very different. There's a great video called strolling under the skin that you can look for on Youtube and it that picture on the, on the left of the screen is a picture of dynamic living fashion that is sort of like a spiderweb three-dimensionally with dripping honey on it and it just continues to move and transfer when you watch the body change its positions. So now I want to go back to the idea of being in the perfect ergonomic chair and that chair allows me to sit for two to three hours without changing the position. Now it's going to increase my productivity, right? Because I'm not going to be distracted and I can stay focused on typing with the perfect keyboard. The perfect support, the perfect highchair, the perfect lumbar support, all those things, right? However, that printing machine at three d printing machine is going to print us in that position because we were there so long that now our Fastenal system starts to look like that.

And if our only move is to get up and go to the bathroom every two three hours and when we walk to the car in back and then we'd go home and sit at a desk or we sit in a couch in a different position, you can imagine the amount of time, what do we say, sitting time up to 1314 hours a day of Fascia being told to look like a chair. Does that make sense? And it's all living. It's all dynamic. We could change it anytime we want. And I think that's the good news, you know, for us at home is that hey, you don't have to look like a chair, but if you put your body in a chair position for a long periods of time, guess what? You will look like a chair and that it's inevitable for us to be able to get out of. So we have to think of how do we counteract the effect? Yes. I mean in moving and it makes you want to do this and makes you want to just like, oh, I just got to move. I've got to do different things.

I'm going to go into a different position. I'm going to cock the toes. Right? And so we change all the different positions to be able to, to move and to organize our body in a way that's different. And this is where, uh, um, I already said his name once. My friend from New Zealand, um, dog beach, Philip Beach talks about this and he really practices what he preaches. And it's always amazing to me cause I still like my chair. I realized that when I, it took me three times as long to make this program because I wasn't sitting in my comfortable Ergonomic chair that I still feel that, that sort of torn feelings.

So now what I do is I just make sure I walk a lot more and I take the stairs whenever I can take the stairs and I try to get more movement in my body and I stand up for my phone calls. But I still find my most productive position being in my ergonomic chair to get something done. Sort of like what you were talking about, I was like, let's get something done and then give ourselves the reward to go move. Right. But up works on the ground. And even when he's treated me, I've been lucky enough to have him treat me and he's amazing practitioner. You know, he's on the ground and he's using his knees and his legs and he's all over the ground and in a squat position treating. And it feels very primitive in the, the energy of being connected to the ground.

And there's some very cool things with grounding and earthing that maybe you've heard about. But that idea of being grounded and being barefoot and in his house, he has, I haven't been there, but he's told me the rocks that he walks on to build his tomato feet. He goes for hikes and walks and runs barefoot up on the trails and he's always feeling the ground is telling his body, telling his fascist system how to organize and be very dynamic so that the likelihood of having restrictions is less. And I think this is one of the big take home messages here. Um, Mark Comerford talks about this sort of chain of events, of restrictions and then compensations and from compensations we have give and give really as deformation, right? Which is what we were talking about with the Fascia give is deformation.

So we talk, it's a biomechanical term that when tissue gives is gone. The tense has been so much that the tissue actually deforms. And when the tissue deforms, we then lead that leads to pathology and pathology to pain theoretically, right? So we stretch the ligament, we stretch the tendon, we damaged and have fissures in the desk. We have stress fractures in the bones. These are all the types of things that happen from abnormal forces, restrictions and compensation patterns. Now in medicine, our primary treatment pattern is looking at pathology in pain.

So we use pharmaceutical for pain and pathology, and we use our manual therapy interventions to try to resolve the pathology or the pain or exercises in that, in that fashion. But as PyLadies teachers, we really focus on restrictions and compensations, which I think is a much healthier way to think. For example, so what often happens in healthcare is I receive a prescription from a doctor to a referral to evaluate and treat, let's say for a shoulder pathology. Well, the way the insurance world works to be able to save money is I can only, as a physical therapist treat the shoulder that is having a problem. But we know in our work of how integrated the body is, that shoulder problem could be a result of poor thoracic mobility. It could be ground for us, it could be a restricted ankle, it could be the toes. Who knows what it is, right? Fascicle system. It can be the mind, it can be a belief system. It could be a strategy that they have.

And so we understand movement as being as very complex, multifactorial event. It's very, we spend our whole life studying factors that influence movement and not scratched the surface. But yet in the rehabilitation world we're only allowed to treat the pathology. So one of the beautiful things about being applied, his teacher, a Gyrotonic teacher, Feldon Christ teacher, is that we look at the whole body and we look at any kind of restrictions. Now restrictions can manifest typically in two ways. We have structural restrictions, which might be where there really is a torn ligament or ruptured disc.

It could be a broken bone. There are some things that really require medical intervention. So they might need to have surgery, they might need to, you know, go through a time where they're immobile to allow something to heal. But that is actually more rare than we think. The other type of restriction is a strategic restriction.

And I think strategy really is one of the biggest ones that we often deal with. And we don't really think about it. But as plot is teachers is everything to us. And what I want to make clear is that, remember I said the Fascia is like a three d printer. It's very dynamic and it wants to be led in the dance. So we as [inaudible] teachers at Jared tonic teachers, Yoga teachers were always leading the dance. That's what we do.

We're dancing with our partners and we're telling them and guiding them so that the fashion is going to follow and move and follow suit. So when they go in to do an Eve's large and they open that up and sometimes we want to stay in that position for a little while because they've been sitting in the other position for three hours or four hours a day before they come to us. There's nothing wrong with going into certain positions or a swan, try to open and clear things using breath to be able to create a different dance in the fashion. Does that make sense? So in our plies exercises, we might find when somebody is doing footwork that they have a restriction in their ankle. Now they might be complaining about shoulder problems, but we just go about clearing the ankle and making sure the knee moves correctly in the hips and there's reciprocal movement. And the next thing you know, a couple of weeks ago, this might sound really crazy, but you know, I've been seeing a therapist in doing this and all these things for my shoulder. But since I've been coming here, my shoulder pain has gone away. And we say, well, you know, it's applies a whole body thing that happens. It's the miracle plots.

But what it might've been was a strategic restriction in an ankle or a knee or a ground force reaction the back or decreased mobility in the rib cage. And now all of a sudden the breathing, the rib cage is moving and now the shoulder girdle has more mobility. So they're not having that deformation going on in the subacromial tissues or the rotator cuff. And that's the beauty of what we do. And this is why I'm trying to teach the physical therapist to say, please, even though we get a diagnosis of a right shoulder pathology, please understand that the restrictions and the compensations might be what's manifesting as a pathology. If you don't go back to the restrictions and the compensations, you might miss it.

And I think that somewhere around 80% least in my clinical experience, 80% of the restrictions I see are strategic. It's like re-educating people how to change behavior, how to reorganize to have increased awareness and consciousness. And that's what we do all the time. Right? And that's the beauty of our work. So Fascist, dynamic, take home message, it wants to be led in a dance. It will like a three d printer represent what we do.

So if we are sitting for 13 hours in a chair, our fashion system, even into the kidneys, the liver, the lungs are the organs, the heart will look like a chair and it affects everything. And I think that's why we were trying to understand this more, but the idea is that, you know, when somebody's had surgery and then they also have a center lifestyle, somebody did an abdominal surgery or let's say even something as simple and natural and normal that we see all the time as a c-section, right? I wouldn't say natural but it's common as we see c-sections and you know, when they cut through the abdominal wall, they cut through the uterus. There is going to be scarring and reorganizing taking place. What if that scoring, reorganizing takes place in an accelerated fashion because of the inflammation in the surgery and they're letting it happen in a sedentary posture.

You can see how that would play havoc on things like low back pelvic floor dysfunction, even normal reproductive organ function because of the way things are are reorganizing, um, in the fashion system that that Fastenal system. And so I think it's very important for us to understand when we move. So imagine, you know, six months after having a baby and after having a c-section that your body starts participating in things like swan and rollover. And Mermaid. That information now is telling the fascist, connecting to the ovaries, to the uterus, to the kidneys, to the intestines, right to the, so as to the Iliac, as to the pelvic floor, to the diaphragm, to the lungs, that hey, I'm normal. This is normal movement for me in these planes.

And that fascist is going to dance with the movement. And that's why it's so important that even if they're in a chair, I've taught whole politesse classes in chairs for people that are in wheelchairs that are paralyzed from waist down. And so they can do a mermaid, they can at least get things moving. And then if I can get them into the pilates equipment, I can get in my machines and get them into prone and I can get them to things that even though they don't have volitional control over their legs, we're still gonna take them into anti chair positions and movements. Right? We're still dealing with passive tissues like basher and other connective tissues. Alright.

Chapter 5

Lab 1

So what I'd like to do for the rest of this workshop is actually spent some time looking and thinking about, there's two little labs. One is understanding the bone rhythms from the pelvis down to the foot cause I think that's important for us and weight bearing. So I'd like to take one of you through that and demonstrate, demonstrate it. And then I want to have a brainstorming session of what types of exercises would we do to counteract the restrictions that we find in thoracic immobility, right. Rounded shoulders, shortened restricted hip flexors and decreased Dorsi flection. And that's what we're going to do in the class that we'll do a little bit later that will be available for everybody on plies any time, is that the class is going to be sort of a reprogramming class from people that sit in chairs a lot to specifically focus on areas of movement that we lose, that we really need sort of an intense information coming into the Dorsey flection ankle, the hip extension and the thoracic mobility.

So as we go into the first lab, what we really are interested in doing is just looking at alignment and thinking of how alignment is changed from a sitting posture. And typically what we're going to see in that sitting posture is the collapse or rounding of the shoulder as we saw in some of the other video. And we're also going to see the rounding of the low back. So we're going to sort of wrap into a posture and that was what I was talking about, sort of that almost primate kind of pasture where it makes the arms look like they're really long and they're rounded. That puts the head typically in a forward head position and we start losing the tubular alignment that we want on the body, right?

So when we just think of axial longation, we often correct most of that. So we think of pumping the disc up s right? We almost automatically change that relationship. And then we're looking and saying, how much restriction do they still have with the shoulders rolling around the front and back? Um, how much do the ribs come out from underneath in the front? Going forward. Um, I'm looking into relationship and one of the ways that I look at that is this idea of tubes. So I think if Chris, he was just the spine coming down from the neck, that tube would run right down to the Sacrum, right?

And it would be about that wide, right? And one of the tubes, the next tube would be the head coming down to the inside of the pelvis. And so I think of a second tube when I'm watching somebody's body from all the way around the body. And the third tube is the outside of the rib cage down to the outside of the pelvis. And that's both in the front and the back. So when we're watching our clients from all different angles, we're looking at those tubes. So violet, Chrissy collapsed into our low back. So it's going to yet like a bad swan. I know that.

I see now a hinge in this area, which tells me we've collapsed the lumbar spine, right? That tube is not in a good place. If the head gets pushed into a forward head position, we know that we now have collapsed the extension in that tube and so actually long Geisha always rules. Whenever we have a question we always think of like just bring it up into actual engagement and think about what's the relationship now between those three tubes. So that's one of the things we'll talk about when we go into the movement class.

A is really being able to see how do I get that mobility back into the thoracic back and the shoulder girdle so that I'm not creating hinges in the neck. I'm not creating impingement in the shoulder and I'm not creating sheer force in the lumbar spine. The next part is actually looking at the lower extremities and I like to use the bone rhythms or arthrokinematics is what Eric Franklin talks about. Mabel Todd talked about it. Edo Canisius for those of you that are dance majors and what we want to do is I'm going to have Christi turn sideways just like this towards me and let's have you go into like a sort little wider stance. Yup.

And turn the feet and knees out just a little bit. Yep. Good. And even a little bit wider than that. And what I want to look at is I want to look at the actual rhythm between the femur and the pelvis. And one of the ways that you can think about is we're watching this. It's not the physiological movement of flection, extension, abduction, adduction, and rotation.

It's actually the accessory motion that we're looking at. So when the knee in particular is what causes it, it has two condos and the medial condo is larger than the lateral condyle. So when the knee bands, as she's going down into a squat position, it's going to cause the femur to naturally spiral out. Now, in order for a bone to move, it's sort of like a jar. So if we take a jar of pickles and we want to open it up, the lid has to spend in the opposite direction as the jar.

So our joints are the same way. And what happens when we sit down, we tend to lose that mobility in the hip or that relationship because we ended up going into a little bit of the posterior teal and this almost becomes like a fixed structure. Like it no longer is really moving. So that's what I want to teach is how can we get that separation between the femur and the pelvis. So as Christy goes into a little bit of a squat, the spiral is going to also be thinking of the pelvis. That was nice. The pelvis sort of spirals forward. So I think if she had a marshmallow between the pubic bone that forced to be coming here and from the back, the sit bones are going to be widening. As she goes down and she comes back up, the sit bones are going to narrow and the pubic bone widens.

That brings you back up into a nice vertical position. So if I was guiding it and I'm teaching it, I'm going to have in guide the pelvis. This spiral in as the femur spirals out and the femur spirals in the pelvis spirals out to come back up. So let's repeat that a couple times and then we'll turn it around and watch it from the other angle. Beamer spirals out, pelvis spirals in, pelvis, spirals out, femur spirals in, and we just repeat that rhythm and start allowing the sit bones even that widen and dropped down a little bit deeper. Good. Right. And this is also how we want to start working on getting a little bit deeper into the ankle so we can now take it down to the next level.

So femur and Tibia, what I'm going to do now is that she comes down, the femur spirals out as we said, the Tibia has to spiral in just like the jar of pickles. And you can see how, just to give you that little bit of feedback, how much easier it was to come down. So her restriction was much more about the Tibia than it was about the pelvis and the femur. And then come back up and this is what we often see. Would you classify this as a, as a structural or a strategic restriction? Strategic. Right. Because it just changed in a second by giving good feedback into the foot.

So let's turn around and face the other direction and I'll work on the other leg. So same idea, starting here with the other leg as she goes down to the squat, sit bones widen, right femur spiral out, femur spirals in sit bones, narrow sit bones widen, femur spirals out and I'm going to take it down into the Tibia. Femur spirals out, Tibia spirals in and you can watch your just drop right down into it and then back up. So what she thought was a restriction possibly in her ankles, probably was a relationship between the Tibi and the fibula and just not really understanding how that knee could move over the second toe of the foot. So she has had a significant increase in her movement. Now, if I had just asked Kristi to squat, I probably wouldn't have seen that type of response, which I know I did it because when I had you go down into the natural squat position, you were struggling with it. But here, allowing that to happen. Now, let's say that I saw Christy still struggling with that. One of the things that I can do is I can roll up one of the mats and create a lift for her. So now she's gonna put her heels up a little bit, half roll.

Any kind of thing that will lift up, you know, in answer to, and this might be because there's still some restriction in the ankles, but now I can still work on her just having that Nice Nice organization allowing the sit bones to widen. Right? Does that feel different? Yeah, very natural. Now lift the arms up and lift up with the chest to stand back up. Right? So now all of a sudden we're organizing the relationship of the tubes, which requires a little bit of core and connectivity of the rib cage. So come back down, lift the arms up and stand up with the chest, right? The chest leads you up. Good. And this is a great exercise to practice.

Like you get out of the chair, you might not be able to get down to a full squatter. My for awkward. Go ahead and put something underneath your heel, a book, get a book off your shelf, put a book underneath your heels and do the squat multiple times. Lifting the arms up in really connecting that as can a is going to fight the effect of the chair and that Dorsey flection. Now over time, what we want to do is decrease the height of that lift until you can do it on the ground. Right. And that will gradually get it. Now that would be an example, more of strategy or structural restriction. Structural. Right. Well if you couldn't get down and we went through all the bone rhythms and you still couldn't get down, like this is an example, but if you couldn't get down still after doing the bone rhythms, right, which would be strategic restriction, we can start working on the structure restriction.

Like what my ankle was after the surgery. So with my strategic restriction, it weren't really helping me and I have this now, but you don't need this. This was just an example. If you couldn't have I, you went down just to teach my brain. Yup. Okay. Yeah. That's your tissues. The appropriate septic tissues. So for example, when somebody has an injury or they just spent a lot of time in a chair, they no longer have that proprioception or awareness in that part of their body and they're not able to, to really feel what's happening. They don't allow the movement to happen. We also have training that happens in teaching where we're telling people, don't let the knee go in front of the second toe. Well, that's ridiculous because we're humans and we're made, you know, we're made to be in this posture. My knee is in front of my toes. This is the human posture. This is how we'd go to the bathroom.

This is how we cook this, how we fix things. That's how he lived things is how we do all of our movement. So telling somebody the knee can go in front. What's interesting though is the hip has to be able to move equally towards the back and that's why I work with the bone rhythms. I have to be able to get the Femur to articulate, for example, stand back up on a show, a faulty one.

Let's move the pelvis and the leg into a posterior rotation around rotation and go down, right? So that puts you out. That puts tremendous stress into the knee, the back, the toes, the foot, right? All the way down. So this goes back in time when you know my ballet class where the teacher would come by and smack me with a stick in the bud. If my butt was sticking out too far and get you to tuck under what tucking under, it's like turning the lid in the jar in the same direction. You're not going to get any movement here.

So now I have excessive movement that goes in other joints, right? So now just allow the sit bone to drop straight down and now all of a sudden the knees can go forward. And that's what we were. That's right. That's exactly what we were playing with. So as soon as you allow the sit bones to widen the knees to go over the second toe, beautiful squat. Okay. Interesting. For me also, I think there's a sense of movement, exercise, change. The word control to allow that allow is really the key word.

And I think that's, we often do that and we think you know, in what, what do you feel when you go down to that squat? Right? So we're in this squat position here and I often say the pelvic floor now feels a little bit like a trampoline and that trampoline now is my power to be able to come up and down. Now that I can allow that movement to happen where not too long ago I couldn't do that because of the structural restriction in my left ankle. And that is what I had the structural restriction I had to do what we do with you in the demonstration. I used a half roll, I lived in my heels up so I can at least get the vertical organization of allowing my hips and knees to move correctly. And then I gradually increased the Dorsi flection to get it so I could do the whole squat towels. I mean, anything can work for it. Is that lift? All right, so that's number one lab.

We're going to come back and we're going to do lab two. Okay.

Chapter 6

Lab 2

The next lab that I want to do is looking at designing a program for when we see restrictions in the ankle, the hips, the back, the shoulders, the thorax. And I want to start by doing what's called an oscillation techniques. So I have Amy up on the table and I just want to show what a ground reaction force might look like if it was coming through her foot and allow me to sort of see where movement is happening and maybe where movements not happening. So a lot of times when I look at my clients, I can tell right away that maybe there's not enough movement in the ankle or the foot, maybe the Tibia and fibula in particular, the fibula not gliding up enough.

It could be that the femur is not rotating inside the socket of the pelvis enough. It could be that I'm not getting good lumbar lateral flection on this side. And it could be that I'm not getting a rotation or a translation into the right side of the thoracic or up into that right shoulder, the neck and the head. So when we look at these types of relationships, and even as I oscillate Amy, she starts loosening up and starts letting go. Yeah, I want floppy. There's no, I don't want any muscle to work because what I'm looking at is just seeing how her body responds. So it's, it's clear to me that there's not a lot of movement in the thoracic spine and we've sort of known that about Amy and that's why I picked Amy. Um, but the idea is that there's not a lot of movement thoracic spine. So I'm going to create a couple exercises, very simple ones to be able to get the movement a little bit better there.

And then we can test again and see how that works. And then I'd be interested in getting it into the lumbar a little bit in the hip. And in particular the hip extension. I think it's a little limited. As I come down lower, I lose a little bit of that mobility and the ankle actually feels pretty good to me. So I'm not really worried about her ankle at this stage of the game. Okay. So one of the things I want to work on first with Amy is I want to get that thoracic mobility. And in order to do that, I'm going to have her go into a prone position and we're going to take a look at getting some thoracic extension through those upper fossette. So let me have you turn over onto your belly head down this way so we can get a good view of it. Excellent.

Now one of the things that I want you to sort of think of as just as if you're like ping pong balls or something in front of your eyelashes and you wind up pushing them with your eyelashes away and allow the head to gently come up. Yeah. And bring it on up and sort of pushing into the ground. Now immediately, I see a little bit of extra work happening in this upper mid thoracic area. And so I want to make that as easy as possible for Amy to work on. So I'm going to give her a little bit of feedback with my hands.

I'm ever come back down and we're gonna talk a little bit about the rule of ribs. So the rule of rib says that where the disc goes, the rib goes. So I'm asking her to go into a little bit of extension, still responding to going to extension. That means the ribs are going to have to slide forward. So I really want to get her to feel the ribs in that upper thoracic to be sliding forward. I'm going to be giving her a little bit of feedback from the back. So we're going to do the same thing again.

You're just going to let the head come up a little bit and think of that length. Yup. And the shoulders spiraling down. That's better. And send these ribs right here through to this finger. Yep. Good. And come up a little bit higher. Good. And send these ribs through. Good. And then back down. So we can do that. Two or three more times.

We're going to send these ribs through. The collarbones are spiraling backs and these ribs through. Push a little bit further with the arms length in the back of the neck, a little bit. Good. And then back down. And we'll do that one more time. Follow the fingers spiraling, gliding, coming up. Beautiful. And then back down. Now let's bring the hands to the side as if we are going into a swamp position.

So has right next to the chest and a lot of times what we try to do is we try and do too much retraction, right? So we're over recruiting muscles, retraction and protraction get in the way of normal thoracic extension. So I want to keep this nice and wide. I'm just going to put a little draw on this to give her the sensation. I love what I just saw right there, back of the neck long to get the back of the neck a little bit longer. Yup. Good. And then back down. So I saw that nice organization.

So I'm almost thinking the rounded shoulders when I had her here, the tension, his shoulders was more of a restriction for her than even the thoracics. When we brought the arms down to the side, I could actually get her, you don't see the muscles bunching up around that area. So now I have that nice movement, taking a breath as if the ribs are sliding forward and then realize back down. So that's exactly we want to see is that Nice segmental movement of the thorax going through there. So now what I want you to do is you're going to sit facing me in the mermaid position.

So we've worked in the sagittal plane getting some extension. I'm now going to work a little bit in the coronal plane to get some lateral flection. There's nothing better than our mermaid exercise. So this hand down here, I'm going to create a little bit of a fulcrum. So I'm going to have her let the elbow bent into her body a little bit and actually feel this shoulder dropping down cause I want to get this sliding and I'm going to bring this hand behind her head and we're going to send this elbow up to the ceiling. And what I want you to see is that as she pushes with this hand, this arm and this arm are actually reaching opposite of each other.

So I'm getting this opposite energy and that now means that I can come in to getting the sliding opening of these facets on this side as she's reaching this up and we're now using breath to be able to facilitate that opening. So we really have a great access here and you can even grab gently onto the arm and just give a gentle cue of where we're sending that elbow up opposite of this elbow that's going down. So really creating that opposition and now his breaths work to facilitate the gliding that's going on there, right? So let's just now switch over the other side. And now this time when we go to the opposite direction in this direction, we know the femur now in its internal rotation is blocking the hip.

So she's not going to get any hip lifting up. So we're going to do the same thing, sending this up, and now I even have a greater fulcrum to be able to get the gliding in. This area. So again, I'm just using our traditional PyLadies exercises. So priests, one, we're doing a little bit of Mermaid to get some movement in there. And the last thing we'll do is we'll go into a little bit of rotation, right?

And we'll just do it on the one side. You would know do it on both. When we teach the class, we'll make sure we hit post sites and then come up. Let's come back to this side. Like we're going to come over right? And now we're going to add the rotation with it. So I'm going to have Amy take that rotation down, bring that left hand down to the mat.

And this becomes a very important part of compensating and changing the effect of that three d printer from sitting in a chair. So she's gonna push with her hands and send the energy backs and in the sit bone down. And you'll notice that there's still a little bit of of narrowing between the shoulder blades. So what I need her to feel is that the breath inhaling is going to expand that space. That's right. And exhale, even expanding it more, coming in from underneath, inhale and expand. And again, I'm just taking those presets and now we're doing a rotation. So we're getting a rotation effect through there. So when I shake her leg again, we're going to see a very different response in that thoracic without me having to even do a manipulation.

Like I would cheat sometimes as a physical therapist and now we're going to use the idea of going into extension. So she's going to pull with her hands, let the sit bone come up. But allow now those ribs to come forward. Inhaling. Yep. And then exhale and slides. So we're really moving from where my fingers are more than just the hips when we pull the come through. Yep. And we push to go back. We use our breath inhaling coming forward, moving the ribs with inhalation and then exhale sand in the ribs back. Yes. And we're getting that nice opening now between the shoulder blades.

One more time. And now I know when I have her lay on her back again, I'm going to see a nice translation through that area. So let's have you lay on your back again, head down this way and let's just retest and so already I can see that. Now I'm getting some nice movement in that thoracic spine. So again, these are all exercises you could do at home. If you're sitting in a chair, you can do these exercises, you can get on the ground, do a little bit of Swan, you can do a little bit of Swan in your chair. If you had to get in the thoracic mobility, you can do Mermaid and mermaid with rotation. Newest, sustained position. Did you notice how I left her in a position for a while with multiple breaths?

In the mild fascia release world, it's thought that you need to have at least three minutes according to John Barnes of holding a sustained position and breathing in that position for the fashion of tissue, the honey tissue that we saw, right, dripping on the spiderweb to start changing and de crystallize and to morph into a better position. So imagine that if you just did this for like five minutes every hour or two hours, your productivity is going to go up and you're not going to have the problems of the neck pain, headache, the shoulder pain, the backaches that go along with it, right? So you can see where, I mean, just a big, big difference through, through that side. So that was a very simple, simple fix to that. And that's why we're not talking about when we do the class, I'm gonna try to keep the class less than a half an hour. And the reason being is because I want it to be something that you can just say, hey, you know, I'm taking my half of an hour break at work. I'm going to do my 2030 minutes of exercise. You're not going to sweat. You're not going to just make sure, get flexible clothes, get down on the ground in your chair and do the exercises so that you're actually counteracting the effect of sitting.

And it might be that you have four exercises that you do in one 15 minute break and then two hours later you add another 15 minute break. You can do another three or four exercises and then you do another one later in the evening. You could do it in your certain tie. You loosen up your tie, you do the same thing. So the next thing that I want to look at in this, and this is sort of bringing us to ahead here is what we do with hip flexor problems, right? So the hip flexor tightness, now she has a little bit of hip flexor tightness, not much, but I'm going to have her turn onto her belly again and we can go down with the head down this way. And the first exercise that comes to my mind is being able to do a single leg kick, right? So I'm gonna re, I'm going to reinforce coming up into the extension onto her forearms and let the hands come together nice and wide.

And you notice now again how much nicer the movement is in here. Just with those two little things that we did before in the thorax. Now the tr, the challenge is that flexibility through the quads in the front. So what I do is once we're up in the position, I just push into see where do I start to see the lumbar respond to it. So I should be able to take her heel right to her bottom, all the way to the bottom without it affecting this part of the spine. Most people, that's not the case today because sitting, we tighten up the quadriceps, we tighten up the hip flexors.

That whole fashional anterior chain gets a little restricted because we're sitting in a flex posture. But this is where we want to go. And I love this exercise because I'm lifting from underneath in the front. So I'm really taking that thoracic spine that that so has major hooks to, and I'm saying, I'm going to hold you up here and now I'm going to have you do an oscillation, right? And then alternate side the side. So it's a beautiful exercise. It's not a hard exercise. It's easy exercise, but it definitely is giving a message against sitting. Can you see how it's completely opposite of sitting? Right?

So this is just another one. I was actually as a, we can do very simple. You could do if you wanted the double leg, I'm not going to take her through it right now, but those are the types of exercises. If you're getting her onto plys equipment. My all time favorite exercise on the trapeze table is the tower bar sprung from below and having her, let's go into a quadro paired position and then drop down onto your forearms. Yup. So if you can imagine the tower bar here sprung from below and I bring her foot up to that bar.

She has to maintain this organization typically to keep this here. The person cannot push the leg past that horizontal point of the body. There's just too much tension. And so I love this exercise as a pub to start releasing all of that anterior tension that we see that the same thing with the other leg. So you'll have a better shot of it.

But the temptation is as soon as I lay comes up, Bam, they want to drop down right now. If I want to make it a lot more challenging, bring her up under her hands. So now I'm bringing the bite even more and it's even gonna be a little bit harder to get that leg to come up. Right? And so those are the types of things that I'm thinking of as how can I get this part of the body to be still and be able to get this to push up into extension without things like people want to go into rotation, they want to drop their back down. Those are the mistakes that we often make. Okay. And then the last thing that we saw in the previous lab was making sure that the ankles are moving, which just tells me we need to make sure that you incorporate a squatting activity into your classes.

And even if you're just doing these things at home or in your office, make sure you take your shoes off and you practice your squat. Like we demonstrated in the first lab with Christi of just getting down and squatting and working on that flexibility of Dorsey flection to counteract the effect of sitting. All right, so we'll see you in the class. Thank you for joining me on this workshop, sitting being the new smoking, and let's keep our people moving.

Continuing Education Credits

If you complete this workshop, you will earn:

2.0 credits from Pilates Association Australia (PAA)

The Pilates Association Australia (PAA) is an independent and not-for-profit organization established by the Pilates industry as a regulatory body for control of quality instruction, member support, and integrity within all legitimate approaches to the Pilates Method.

3.0 credits from National Pilates Certification Program (NPCP)

The National Pilates Certification Program is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)

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1 person likes this.
Fantastic. In my workplace right now we are relocating and I'm trying to encourage them to the design the space in such a way that people have to move - alternative meeting spaces, standing desks...if anyone has other suggestions please feel free to throw them out. Thanks for a great workshop!
Even if you bring in a large fitness ball and they make the kind to use behind desks those are fun for a change instead of a has some give to it and def keeps you upright and balanced!!
What I saw was great. I got a lot of network errors that kept me from seeing most of several chapters. I missed most of the labs in the last two chapters which was why I bought the workshop. Maybe viewing on another computer will be better although I'll still be using the same network.
(Edited by Moderator - Alex Parsons on April 1, 2022)
Linda ~ We are sorry that you had trouble with the videos, but we're glad you are enjoying this workshop. You may need to try a lower video quality to help the videos stream better. Here is a link to our video troubleshooting tips. If you continue to have trouble after trying these, please email us at
Patty Hafen
Another great workshop from Dr. Brent. Thank you very much!
1 person likes this.
Great workshop- but please take a look at the quiz- there were spelling mistakes on the word muscle, incomplete question on when to have a joint replacement etc. The quiz was the most poorly written Ive take on Pilates Anytime thus far for PMA CEUs.
1 person likes this.
Stephanie ~ Thank you for your feedback on the quiz. We have corrected those questions and hope that it is better for everyone who takes this quiz in the future.
Brent! Thank you for this information workshop! I would have loved to have you sit in front of me on an airplane and tell me to move. :) I also appreciate how you focus on simple, yet challenging moves to counteract the harmful effects of sitting. You have energized me to keeping moving in different ways. With more people using standing desks as a result of the research you cited about sitting, I wonder if there are new issues with people standing in one position all day.

I really appreciate Pilates Anytime offering such high CEC quality workshops. Would it be possible to share the topics the quiz will cover before hand? The questions were fine, but when there is so much covered and when we each engage with these workshops using our own authentic lens, a range of ideas resonate and seem important. I might have focused on one piece of a section, while the quiz seemed to emphasize another. So, a quick list of topics might be helpful for participants to prepare for the quiz. Thanks!
Rachel ~ Thank you for your feedback. We will definitely keep that in mind for future workshops! We are glad to hear that you enjoyed this workshop!
Brenda B
3 people like this.
Thank you, Brent for a wonderful workshop, of which content I'm living proof! For 10 years or so I've lived with 4 herniated disks. I consulted doctors and surgeons and just out of the blue, one day that I was feeling less pain, I tried a Pilates class. I noticed the immediate change in my body. I continued practicing routinely and soon became a Pilates instructor. I then became familiar with the natural squat and learned of its benefits. I've adopted it and have included it in each and every one of my mat classes. I've been pain free for years now. I dance, walk, swim, sprint without pain.
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