Want to know how you can run faster, swim smoother, bike more powerfully,
walk down the stairs easier, recover more efficiently and avoid the dreaded
injuries that sideline far too many people?
I have had quite a few people ask me how I was able to manage the physical
strain and stay injury free during an 18 month non-stop training and racing
schedule with 3 Ironman races (within a 7 month period), 4 Ironman 70.3
races, a marathon, 2 Olympic distance races and another 8 or so Sprint
I’m gonna tell you one of the biggest things that has worked for me:
Stability, Mobility and Elasticity!
Bet you weren’t expecting that! And…you might not even know what the heck
I am talking about.
SO, Let me explain by having you do a little activity:
Take your left hand and put it flat on the table in front of you. NOW,
raise your middle finger and push it down as hard as you can. Slam it down.
Do it again…raise the finger and slam it down.
NOW….relax your hand and reach over with your right hand and pull that
same finger back and let it SNAP down. Do it again. How much effort was it
to raise that finger? Probably not a lot…but, it should have created
quite a lot of force. Definitely a LOT more force than the first method we
used with your left hand doing the work alone.
If you were to keep raising your middle finger off the table by itself,
you’d get tired. But if you can store and release that energy, lifting
with your other hand, you can do that all day long…and produce much more
power with a fraction of the effort.
This is the ELASTIC component that affects EVERYTHING we do and every part
of our movement; whether it’s walking, running, swimming, going down the
stairs or ANY other movement. This is important for every one of us! If
you are human, your body will move better, improve it’s ability to recover,
tolerate increased physical effort and just FEEL better when you have
Elasticity is basically the ability to store and release energy efficiently.
If you want your body to move more efficiently (elasticity) then you HAVE to
have a solid foundation of STABILITY and MOBILITY.
Go back to your finger lifting activity and when you lift your middle finger
up, don’t keep your hand STABLE on the table…let it lift. Lost all that
power, didn’t you?
STABILITY allows you to have a fixed point from which to stretch a muscle so
it can efficiently store and release your energy.
MOBILITY is the ability to take that finger (or muscle) back through the
range of motion, allowing for full fluid movement and a greater potential to
store and release energy.
Are you with me??
Now…Picture a rubber band. Now…picture that rubber band attached to a
pencil. If the pencil is stabilized and you pull on the rubber band, you
will get a lot of stored energy released when you release the rubber band.
If you don’t stabilize the pencil when you pull on the rubber band, there
won’t be any tension (stored energy) in the rubber band.
Now, picture that same rubber band, but with a dozen knots in it. Now, pull
the rubber band back. It won’t go nearly as far as the un-knotted rubber
band, and it won’t have the ability to store the energy or snap back. THAT
is what far too many of our muscles and connective tissue are dealing with
No wonder far too many people feel tight, compressed, stiff, achey and
Too many people are living in bodies that are UNSTABLE, IMMOBILE and KNOTTED
UP like a beat up rubber band that has no elasticity cause it’s been
LET’S FIX IT!
Want to know how you can improve your STABILITY and MOBILITY so you feel
great and perform at your potential?
We are going to improve your Stability (like a strong hub on a wheel holding
EVERY other part of your body in place), your MOBILITY (by improving not
just muscle and connective tissue range of motion, but also decreasing all
those knots in your muscles) and ultimately improving your ELASTICITY (which
will create a healthier movement environment for your body)
You need to strength train! BUT…not just any sloppy, mindless kind of
strength training. When you are doing your strength training, spend time
doing movements on unstable surfaces, standing on one leg, moving in
different directions (like side to side and diagonally) and strengthening
core musculature (if it’s attached to your spine, consider it part of your
You need to begin EVERY workout (whether strength training or
cardiovascular) by spending just 10 minutes going through a very basic set
of moves that will activate your muscles so they are working at full
capacity and able to move like an unknotted rubber band.
First item to do: Self Myofascial Release. Otherwise known as ROLLING.
You are basically giving yourself a massage with a foam roller. You can
buy a foam roller on the internet or at local sporting goods stores. I have
one in my living room and several at my studio and use them often! To learn
more click on this link (just a quick 5 minute read with some great info and
Next item to do: Movement Prep. I have made a video of these moves and you
can check it out at this link:
Finally, in order for your muscles and connective tissue to fully respond to
your efforts, you need to keep them HYDRATED!
So…keep that water coming!
You will amaze yourself with what you can accomplish when working with a
body that moves well because it is STABLE, MOBILE, ELASTIC and HEALTHY!!
ENJOY and…. HAPPY MOVEMENT!
*Challenge for the Week:*
Your challenge this week is to begin incorporating the Foam Roller (Self
Myofascial Release) and the Movement Prep into your exercise routine.
You are also going to work VERY hard this week to ensure you are staying
HYDRATED by drinking somewhere around 96 ounces of water EVERY DAY!
I KNOW you can do it!
I also KNOW you are going to be feeling so great as you begin adding this
crucial change into your movement!
If you are able to stay INJURY FREE and healthy, you will be able to
consistently and progressively improve your fitness and your health!
AND…isn’t that what we ALL want?!
So, keep up all your good work and have a GREAT WEEK of improved movement!