- How to avoid getting sprayed by pee while changing my son.
- The secret to making my wife happy…..strawberry pavlova.
- Our dog doesn’t like foreign dogs.
- How to live in a foreign country.
One of the biggest things I learned was about my body, and it came from the subtlest of comments:
Him: “Dude put your feet together”
Me: “Huh…come again?”
Him: “Yeah man put your feet together. You always lean-to one side and your toes always point out when you’re standing. This is why your hips are weak. Learn to put your feet together when you stand. Your hips will eventually adjust back to the way they should, and you’ll be able to increase your range of motion, especially in the squat.”
This was a comment made by coach Reggie at the CrossFit box I was going to in Poland last year. Something so simple, yet made so much sense. Before I started CrossFit I always thought I had great form in exercises such as the squat and deadlift. Boy was I wrong. I had no idea I was so inflexible……especially below the waist. Little blue pill jokes aside, I discovered my form was horrible, my range of motion sucked and in fact I was probably doing more damage than good.
So How Could This Be?
Well first off WE as in all of us, sit too much.
We originally were a species that were on our feet most of the day. Our cavemen ancestors had great posture and mobility. Over the years things like cars, couches and computer desks really fucked things up.
Have you ever watched a toddler pick something up off the floor? Perfect squat form! Legs are shoulder width apart and knees never go past the toes. Next time pay attention when your children, niece or nephew bend down to pick up a toy off the floor. Perfect form. You’ll be amazed.
Eventually over time, modern conveniences take over and our mobility goes out the window. I use to be overweight. My poor hips, posture and stance must have been something I developed when I was heavy. I started shifting my body position to help compensate for the extra weight I was starting to carry. When I eventually lost the weight my old posture and stance remained.
I like to think of my feet as the tires of my body. Much like tires on our cars, our feet are always in constant contact with the ground and act as the buffer between us and gravity. It could be argued that everything starts from your toes and works its way up. Everything is interconnected. Bad foot position leads to weak ankles. Weak ankles lead to bad knees and hips. Bad knees and hips could lead to a bad back ect ect…..all the way up to our head where now the only thing on our minds is how much massage credit we have left in our company benefits plan.
So What Did I Do?
Well first off, I started reading up more on our bodies and how to undo the damage of sitting. Here’s a great article (with pictures) from Art of Manliness on how to undo the damages of sitting:
Then I started reading up more on proper posture and stance. As an example here is the way we were meant to stand:
I started consciously standing with my feet together.
At first this felt super uncomfortable for me. Not only did I feel weird I thought I looked weird too. I felt like my tree trunk legs were not meant to be that close together. My dearest wife even made a comment saying I looked like a toddler trying to take a poop! Well over time I began to naturally stand with my feet together and I didn’t feel or look as weird. Maybe I still look weird but that’s for another post. It’s been months now and I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my posture, stance and workout mobility. Not only has my posture improved, my lower back isn’t sore anymore from standing. I’m also becoming way more flexible, my range of motion has increased and I’ve been able to squat deeper and with better form.
I’m still not at the mobility level I would like to be but I’m getting closer and closer to being able to pass the wall test:
The BEST Part About All of This:
Didn’t cost me anything! No fancy training shoes, no weird-looking braces or even expen$$$ive orthotics.
Sometimes the easiest fixes are right in front of you….or in this case right below you.
Keep the blue side up.
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