Random Thoughts

Same story as before.  I just fill up my Google Keep throughout my waking hours with notes, concepts, thoughts, just ideas that move me.
When it gets overwhelmingly long and I have time to put them all together, I’ll give you one of these.
No pictures.  Too long for a blog, I know.  Just stream of consciousness.  Just what goes on in my head.



I’ve insisted and will continue to do so that the essence of understanding the value of the FMS and SFMA is gaining the knowledge of if joints can mechanically or neurologically get into the ideal positions to absorb and adapt to stress, no more, no less.  Taking this thought process further and using the System properly, there should be an appreciation that never is the whole story ever told.
There is a catalog of joint positions that is valuable for joint health and maximizing synovial fluid flow through all joints.  This is a context of all joints moving well enough for daily life and most GPP and SPP1, but probably not expansive enough for all of the specific positions of all sports such as rotation of the hips and thoracic spine in golf or shoulder extension in sprinting or skiing.
Secondly, the joint positions of training may or may not be a perfect overlay of what is valuable for health.  For instance painful and stiff shoulders may be just fine for Deadlifting or many Loaded Carries.  Zero ankle mobility is required for KB ballistics, unless of course you do them wrong.
Thirdly, the unique joint positions of some sports that exceed what is measured by the FMS or SFMA remand further screening at this specific level.  This is okay after the FMS or SFMA.  However, it is terribly ill-advised to use this specific screening approach without the general screening approach first.  Screening learned movements on the part of even a mildly experienced athlete has a high potential to show subtle high-tension strategies to achieve the position, and these strategies can be metabolically inefficient if performed with more any more tension than required.
Screening generally with unlearned movements first will allow for a more organic appraisal of joint position, which is all any movement screen should be judged against.
Yeah, I know.  You never heard it explained that way before.
And no.  I don’t know why you haven’t either.

More often than I would prefer, I ask myself if I really suck.
I question myself all the time.
When I can’t affect an amazing change, or I can’t get someone to perform with the right form, I just take it personally, which is breaking the 1st Agreement.
But I’ll keep trying to channel those failures into getting better.  And then just by doing that, I remember that I don’t suck.
Cue Bernard Legat.

I had a topic in this slot that I am deciding not to write about.
Let’s just say you wouldn’t believe me even if I told you.

In my mind, whether you call it screening, testing, assessing, evaluation, etc., I think there are 2 buckets that you can care about.
1) Information that is clearly going to speak to my already-determined ideal plan of training, and
2) Key performance indicators
In reproducing tests for a competition, we should consider does the individual have an efficient or elite motor strategy to perform.  If not, the KPI may not be as indicative of the physiological qualities under desire.  Maybe a more general test will tell you there is power or endurance, and they just need to learn how to do the movement better.
This thought process for rehabilitation may be quite converse.  We often hear models suggesting that every test can become an exercise.  Of course you can do this, but how can you be sure you actually developed the qualities you were lacking before the injury or change in competency?  Did you improve scapular stability, or did you just get better at wall slides because it is one of hundreds of opportunities to demonstrate scapular stability?
I don’t think we should ever use a test to generate an exercise other than a presumptuous warmup or cooldown.  That’s not a bad thing, but all you can prove was that you got more skillful at one arbitrary movement.  Testing with another series of movements very different from your training but requiring the same “bucket” of movement qualities is likely far more indicative of general motor skill acquisition.
Use your moves to beat these other tests.
Using moves attached to a commercial methodology can work.  But how about you test them out against legitimate motions of training and not your made up Ober’s Test or quadruped rocking?

I don’t know.  I see a lot of people who sit all day, and they don’t seem to have any problems.
I don’t blame sitting on every middle-aged business person’s forward head posture and back pain.
It’s probably not a good idea for metabolic reasons, but I don’t think everybody’s “bad posture” is because of sitting.
Trust the System and see what pans out.
Standing up every 15-20 minutes is a great thing to do.  I’ve asked businessmen to close the door and take calls on their headset standing or on their stomach.  But I’m not at all ready to tell people all their assumed postural problems are from sitting at a desk.

Someone recently asked fairly what are all of the things that people complain about in regards to the FMS.  A competent Strength Coach ran off a good almost dozen suggestions, some of which were correct and misplaced, others were just false.
One suggestion is that the FMS does not measure motion in the transverse plane.  This is patently false.
Deep Squat – Knees turn via hip rotation, Trunk or shoulders rotate for an uneven dowel placement
Hurdle Step – Standing on 1 leg is control of rotation, Phasic hip motion is often performed with internal or external rotation
Inline Lunge – Balance strategies are often seen with rotation of hips, ankles, t-spine (yes, I mention those joints intentionally); Holding the dowel requires clearly requires shoulder rotation which occurs in the transverse plane
Shoulder Mobility – Shoulder motion clearly occurs in the transverse plane, Thoracic rotation drills often appear to magically improve shoulder motion, so clearly there is a component of transverse plane screening in regards to the t-spine
ASLR – Anything done unilaterally is a function of controlling rotation; Often the stable hip will externally rotate, which………I thought………occurs in the………transverse plane
TSPU – Not often, but on occasion the arms do not press synchronously meaning the trunk has to rotate, and gosh, rotation has to happen in the transverse plane
Rotary Stability – Aside from the title of this Screen itself, spinal motion is clearly screened in the transverse plane as well as the balance strategies used through the stable sides of the 2 and 3 positions
I get it.  I get it.  You mean the FMS does not measure your favorite triplanar motions.  And these are great motions.  I’ve written about them multiple times and train Matrix, Locomotion, and ViPR often.  Please see this article which has my favorable views on triplanar motions, and this one as well.
Much of the beliefs of my messages in the Core Pendulum Theory are influenced by Gracovetsky.  One of the summary interpretations that I have made is that for balanced joint position with ideal co-contraction to be achieved, we require full non-threatened joint motion in all planes and vectors.  So even though the FMS or to a lesser degree the SFMA doesn’t have the physiological or phasic motion in the transverse plane that you value, in order to score a 2 or 3 with the acceptable perceived exertion, it is a reasonable and efficient appraisal of what you are looking for.
Do your Matrix assessment after you know what the joints can do.  They can live together.  But the order does matter.

The hardest part to following through on aggressive training someone without the requisite joint positions to adapt to stress is become comfortable with a truncated program.
This program is not your ideal A game, but the person is giving you reason to believe that he/she will fail at that program if you follow through with your A game.  Indeed, general fitness may take longer to achieve without your best moves, and athletic development may have to be more general than special.  But how can you expect someone ideally adapt to something like overhead pressing when they can’t reach their arm over their end?  Just don’t overhead press.  Just shorten the program and train the holy hell of what they do well and let a PT or Chiro fill in the planks.
I also don’t think the challenge in running with this truncated program is always because of push-back from the client or athlete all the time.  It’s the fear of push-back.  Try using less exercises, all of which exploit brilliant joint positions.  Fitness will be had.
Now when you work with a fitness client or sport coach that insists on the experience and not the result, then you either use your Jedi social skills to get them to do what you want and run the model, or you’re screwed.  Either shut up and take their money or punt them into the end zone with no chance of return.
I’ve often asked trainers and coaches to use these challenging environments to become great at coaching certain moves or this overall process.  Using these situations to develop yourself as a coach is just a branch of making the imperfect closer to perfect.
What I think is disgraceful though is rationalizing training through poor competency or using patronizing Golfish choices by using ideas of “connecting with your client” or “behavior modification.”  All those things just translate to “I know I suck, but this is how I can keep getting into the pockets or my clients,” or “This is what my company wants me to believe so I can keep this sorry client on my book and bang them for sessions that do not yield any fitness changes.”
Just admit you’re a babysitter, and this is how you put food on the table.

I’m not Evidence-Based by your definition.
I’m Evidence-Led and Science-Based.
I just want to win.

High FMS score with a 1 on TSPU + vertical strength and power training = High Injury Risk
High FMS score + stupid training = High Injury Risk
High FMS score + no fitness = Often High Injury Risk
Low FMS score with mainly SMCD = Often No Increased Injury Risk
Low FMS score + smart training = No Increased Injury Risk

Concepts that have a rationale grounded in both neurology and mechanics usually stand up to the utility of the best training and rehab techniques we have.

Manual Therapy such as soft tissue work or manipulation as a proprioceptive prep to motor skill acquisition is a very efficacious approach.
These joint systems have the motion, the hardware if you will, and the manual therapy can provide the guidance to “find” the pattern.  This is probably a different manual therapy in intent and technique than what you might use for a JMD or TED.

Reviewing DNS Testing, some of the renewed principles…..
Observation — How are certain muscles are being used in carriage of quiet positions
Breathing — Posterolateral quality and symmetry, Checking in various positions to find a weak link
Central/Sagittal Stabilization — Which muscles?  HTS?  Substitution?
Breathing — Get into a position, hold, and cycle a full breath
Full Body Motions — Imagine unimpeded water flowing from central spine to tips of fingers or toes
I’m still not sure the discern of the DNS testing is totally useful, but I am much clearer that there is absolutely no system or standardization of how to evaluate.  We are just ultimately looking at breathing, rolling, and crawling and trying to find the substitution pattern somewhere.  The belief is that this substitution will lead to overload somewhere.
I’m not there with the evaluation.
The techniques to change patterns?  There are no more powerful approaches for immediate changes of SMCD, bar none.

Stiffening the fingers with lumbricales as in crush gripping or curling the toes appear to decrease output in learning a new pattern.
Using needles and manual therapies to create mobility the metacarpals and metatarsals seem to yield brilliant and immediate changes.
Never curl the toes.  Never.  Let the other guy with the useless EMG contest.

Sometimes the question of how to go heavier when using kettlebells is very hard to answer.

I think it can be a trap to use terminal sport skills as a primary evaluation.
The standards of motion are different at human levels vs. sport levels.
When a terminal skill is incorrect or undesirable for some legitimate performance reason, maybe the athlete just can’t get into the general joint position without excess tension, or they don’t have the fitness level to repeatedly practice your drills.
Or maybe what they do “wrong” is really the best way to perform their sport?

You’re not looking down.
You’re looking straight.

Be careful in using powerful techniques to remove tone without the presence of pain.  Sometimes the tone is there protect you.
I wonder sometimes if it’s possible to predict this.  I’m not sure it’s always possible.

What can you do?  What are you good at?  What does the individual need?
1) Change pain
2) Improve joint position for whole-body compensation/integrity
3) Create directional tissue resiliency
4) Create neurological resilience/ignorance to unique variables
5) Create central and peripheral cellular fitness adaptations
6) Develop motor skills and fitness simultaneously with carry over to terminal athletic goals
7) Improve quick decisions, depth perception, hand- or foot-eye coordination, and/or split attention
8) Manage strategies for ideal recovery, regulation, and Readiness

Studying DNS makes you wonder what a professional or elite athlete should do to get better.
I remember Val telling me once that someone like Lebron can not get better by training power or fitness or practicing basketball.  Maybe he needs repetitions for the tactical execution to stay fresh in his mind and be with his teammates.
Val suggested the only way to make someone like Lebron better is have him Ready (in Omegawave terms) as often as possible for games.
I think we can speak to what Omegawave measures and values with the DNS model of training.  It’s high-powered recovery, and we will use this approach in our cool-down and recovery sessions this summer at the Pan-Am Games and FIBA Americas in Monterrey.

Centration as per DNS standards is 100% real.
I’ve seen hip pain disappear in using my fingers to separate someone’s toes in the squat.
I’ve seen t-spine and hip rotation go to the pooper with neck side bend or forward.
It’s real and something to highly take advantage of.

I just find it interesting the relative intensity that can be achieved with different motions or modalities.  For instance, you can get up to 180+ in sprinting or Airdyne in sometimes 20-30s or even shorter, but it may take 2 minutes to get up to 170 from 130 in the Versaclimber.
Maybe joint competency has something to do with it in the ability to really bring 100% effort.
Derek Hanson’s article here is one that I go back and read often to better understand what I am seeing. Brilliant article.

Squatting with the SSB without a box just feels weird.

When you’re not in charge, you are still part of the process.
That doesn’t mean you ARE the process.
Be ready to hear no.

Time after time, I understand better central vs. peripheral adaptations in my own training.
Doing little baby double hammer curls for 20 with 30s, and I’m burning.
Almost 1:1 on Jacobs Ladder for 10 min, feel completely refreshed after between 2:30 – 3:00 min rest.  Take total of 5 rest, and then after 1 or 2 rounds, it feels like I didn’t rest at all.
Hike halfway up Camelback at RPE of at least 8.  Feel ready to go after resting what seemed like 5-6 minutes.
I remember when I was younger, squeezing at the top of leg extension of any weight would be burning after 10 reps.
But after all, I’m really just fast-twitch.

I think if every NBA head coach was polled under truth serum, I think they would rather have another assistant coach instead of a strength & conditioning coach.
And in my opinion, I don’t know if I can defend a full-time strength and conditioning coach in favor of a full-time nutritionist/chef at such a level and competitive schedule.

So I did an experiment a few weeks ago.  At time of writing, it was 19 days ago.
I did 5 sets of 5 decline sit-ups.
Set 1: Pain on 3, 4, and 5
Set 2: Pain on 4 and 5
Set 3: Pain on 2, 3, 4, and 5; really trying to change the motion to not feel pain
Set 4: Pain on 4 and 5, 1st one felt perfect
Set 5: Pain on 2, 3, 4, and 5, trying to stay tall and cutting off the forward motion
Just an experiment.  Just pissed that my back still is barking.

While using superstar or elite outliers in sports to support that weight training is not necessary is annoying and silly, one defense for using weight training is simply to create resiliency to stress.  Any stress, whether it be getting after it, absorbing contact, or staying fresh and Ready.
I don’t believe the body knows the difference from an immune response from a pathogen or from overtraining and exhaustion.
If too much training can lead to illness, then I suppose there is reason to believe lifting or other types of fitness training can keep illness away.  It can introduce unique adaptations to maintain regulation all systems of the body.  Hormonal profiles can be manipulated, and we know these factors affect illness and performance.
And that is my understanding of one of the things Omegawave delivers.

Tiger Woods is not too big, big at all, and Tiger Woods is not injured because of “fitness.”  He’s not a linebacker unless it’s like a small sorry high school linebacker.
I don’t know how he trains, but if he trains like a clown, that can lead to injury.  But it’s not training all together for everybody that’s the problem.  Maybe the way HE trains is the problem.
His rehab didn’t get him to the point he needed to be.  He just came back too early based on the pace of what his choices of rehab and training could deliver.
Is Tiger Woods any bigger now than when he was when he was killing it?  No.  Was his swing nice when he was winning? Then how is he too big now?

Screening the big toe in the FMS is simply done whenever you screen for ankle mobility.
It is paramount in the Inline Lunge and impactful also in TSPU and Rotary Stability.
I suggest screening ankle toe mobility regardless of the weak link.  Often the weak link and 2’s in the Big 3 can lead you away from looking at ankles’ and toes’ DF.

A tenet of a High Performance Program in a team sport is offering the Coach pairings of players with comparable physiological qualities that best allow for him/her to decide style of play and/or time to leave them on the court or types of players to bring in.
I think this type of physiological clustering can make a lot of people look good.

In a world of performance literature that is linear and minimally variabled, I wonder how performance data would be different if there was control for individuals that demonstrated joint position to even get into the positions of the motions tested.
This would take much more time in validating how joint position was learned and would also likely remand larger sample sizes.
But how do you know if a test was truly valid, or a training choice was useful if you don’t know if the participants in the study were set up to fail in the first place?
Does pushing a sled not make you more fit, or did enough of the same not have the hip or ankle mobility to be efficient?

Is there really any difference in lower body measures of a Trap Bar DL with an angled tibia and a concentric-only barbell half Squat?

Expertly guiding tension and relaxation at barriers of range can bridge the gap between safety outside of what we know as normal ranges of motion.

I would love to see a modified Westside cycle with RFESS as an ME lift and still using the Box Squat and DL as DE lifts.
I think part of the realities of the Bilateral Deficit is that you can not strain through a RFESS, but it might be interesting to see getting up to the Circa Max phase.
It might also be interesting to see if the lack of strain on the ME Lower day offered any benefit to Upper Body training in terms of freshness.

It’s a uniquely amazing when you find a text or speaker say something that you already favor.  It shows the inherent correctness in the concept the more you see it.
I recently saw this from what Nike SSP used to represent in youth talent identification.  Very cool.

High tension strategies are useful the for skill development and lifting heavy things.
In a pattern, high-tension strategies should always just be an option and only be used as sparingly as required for learning. Correct Feed-Forward tension utilization makes the skill or joint position autonomous in Feedback tension execution.

It never ceases to amaze me when reading an article or watching even a short Youtube clip of Louie Simmons, I am very motivated to train and reread his methods.

Nutrition, hydration, and sleep are solutions, not primary measurement opportunities.  If they matter, it will show up in Readiness measures.
Some people need 5 hours of sleep, others 8.
Some people have food sensitivities to even heathy organic food if you believe in the ALCAT test.
To base an entire organization’s focus on everyone needing better hydration or sleep is just stupid.

If you have terrible form in training and no complaints, is it because it’s not bad form or are you just tough?
When you say in your program, we don’t see a problem, that usually equates to “OMG, I have no idea how to continue this conversation intelligently,” or “We don’t see a problem yet.”

Does non-purposeful joint position lie in a dynamic appraisal, a passive appraisal, or a loaded appraisal.
Finding the truth is just being systematic.  Don’t assume anything.

Development in CGS sports is unique as developing psychological and tactical qualities are never done against another human trying to actively stop you from doing what you want to do.

Do you ever smell your bad food instead of eating it?  Enjoying it is different.
I tried this with a biscuit on my food tray on a flight.  The biscuit smelled good, and I had the emotion of taking a few bites.

Is measuring grip strength any different from measuring scapula stability?
Can you have any kind of legitimate grip without a particular centration of the scapula and t-spine?

Training with implements away from Base of Support may be useful for GPP and fitness.
Its inherent inefficiency can be useful, or it can be your enemy with the expense of joint wear and maybe contrary motor skill practice.

Gulbin’s FTEM model absolutely explains why I’ve found legitimate sport coaches get frustrated with Balyi’s LTAD model.

To do DB Bench Press, I slid into a bench backwards, and my head and neck was reaching off the bench unsupported.
Why can’t you just do that for neck training?  It was work to press 70s and 80s for 20 and keep my neck in any kind of reasonable position.
Concentric or machine-based neck training and the Cylinder Theory are just garbage.

  • February 22, 2015

Leave a Reply 1 comment

Marc Heller, DC Reply

I have some thoughts on hip IR that I would like to share with you. Two papers I have written (for Dynamic Chiropractic), and are not yet published. Would love to communicate via email. I don’t think stretching into IR is the whole answer at all.

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