Drop it like a…

Drop it like a…

Jul 17, 2016

I’m a stickler for function.  Everything I do when I am working on a person, teaching a stretch class or just in conversation, it always comes back to function.  How is what is hurting you impeding your ability to function in your daily life? Then we’ll talk about how it impacts training a little, but then we go back to function. I start every single stretch class with the same exact question: “What is the MOST IMPORTANT Functional Movement you do every single day?” Think about it.  The title of the article should give you a hint, but if that doesn’t, take a peek at the picture below.


Once you lose the ability to SQUAT, you lose the ability to get yourself on and off the toilet.  If you are unsure how much this will impact your daily life, you haven’t been on a Med/Surg floor of a hospital or Long Term Care Facility recently.  Every single Nurse or Nurse Aid will tell you, the most important thing going on next to general medical care is this ADL (Activity of Daily Living.)

So what happens when you can’t squat yourself to a toilet? Well, there are bed pans. You say gross, but trust me, it’s the best of all the options I have yet to explain.  They have different lifts to help get people on and off the toilet.  The standing lift is kinda cool.  I’m pretty sure after leg day, a few of us wouldn’t mind having access to one of these! But, the reality is, you are relying on someone else to put you on a toilet.
Standing lift & hoist

Then there is the sling.  This is when you don’t really have use of your legs at all.  Here’s a little insider secret on this one, though.  Because of the release of pressure on the body when the sling picks you up, often times the bowels feel very comfortable evacuating then, and not waiting for the toilet.

Sling hoist

It’s not as fun as it looks…

The other option, that is basically a part of all of the above mentioned assistive devices is wearing of adult briefs. nosocomial-infections And what happens if you sit in something like that too long? Skin breakdown.  I will spare you the pictures of this but if you find yourself curious, Google ‘Decubitus Ulcers’ and you will understand how serious this really is.  It’s this kind of stuff that lands people in the hospital with infections.  Now, think about this… when someone gets sick, how often is it the actual illness takes their lives? Unfortunately, it is most often a secondary infection that wrecks havoc on their body. The CDC states that “although significant progress has made in preventing some infection types, there is much more work to be done. On any given day, about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection.”

Now, you’re reading this thinking this has so much more to do with your parents and not you.  You’re active, you lift weights.  I mean, you are reading this on “Iron Authority” so it’s safe to assume you are healthy and this isn’t an issue for you.  You would be wrong.  Your parents were young once.  Perhaps they lead more sedendary lifestyles, or perhaps they labored hard their whole lives and now they just don’t move the same.  I can’t even begin to tell you the number of clients I see who wished they started taking this topic seriously when they were YOUR age.

Let’s start with an anatomy lesson… Femural head of hipThis is what your leg & hip look like.  The bone in your leg, the Femur, connects, or articulates, to your hip by something that looks a lot like a ball & socket.  In fact, this is the only ball & socket joint in the human body. (In other words, this is not what your shoulder, or the rotator cuff, looks like at all.) This joint has a full range of motion that over time and living, starts to dramatically decrease.  The synovial fluid, which is basically like the WD-40 of your joints, starts to thicken and lose it’s viscosity. Calcifications start to form and the ball & socket joint stops being able to move as well. It can basically become glued in their. Let’s add in load bearing activities, like squats, or yoke walks, or farmers, or the deadlift… all of these activities compress the femoral head into the socket of the hip.  The body shifts and adjusts and compensates for this, but over time and LACK OF TAKING YOUR MOBILITY SERIOUSLY will catch up to you and the simple function of squatting to the toilet and standing up from you desk chair or getting out of your car becomes a painful issue.

So how can you keep yourself from losing your squat? Stretching is key, and movement.  Just because it’s tight and sore doesn’t mean you shouldn’t move.  You need to warm up the synovial fluid in your joints to allow them to become more free on their motion.  A really good warm-up before training helps so much.  I’m going to use a bad word, please forgive me, but CARDIO before training to get things moving is Huge! Regular yoga is incredibly helpful as is finding and utilizing a really team of Recovery Professionals like a Chiropractor and Massage Therapist.  One of my Certifications is in Fascial Stretch Therapy from Stretch to Win located in Arizona.  You can visit their website at www.stretchtowin.com and click the “Find a Therapist” page.  I HIGHLY recommend you search for one who is a “Body Worker” such as a massage therapist or physical therapist.  I’m lucky to work with a Team of 7 Highly qualified Performance Recovery Therapist here at Tri-Covery Massage and Flexibility located in the Novi, MI, about 20 minutes from Detroit.  Here a few pictures of some of the work I’ve been able to do this year at the different events I have been invited to.  You’ll see, the pro’s take it seriously – so should you! Please feel free to share this with your friends and family.  Lifters or not, EVERY SINGLE PERSON MUST NOT LOSE THE ABILITY TO SQUAT!

Nick Best at Giants Live

Nick Best at Giants Live

Mark Henry at Arnold Classic

Mark Henry at the Arnold Classic

Jerry Pritchett at Giants Live

Jerry Pritchett at Giants Live

Sabrina Provoast, owner of Catalyst Training Center in Grand Rapids, MI

Sabrina Provoast, owner of Catalyst Training Center in Grand Rapids, MI




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