When we focus on the condition of our bodies, we tend to approach it with an exercise science mindset. What if we worried less about achieving the ideal range of motion of, say, the shoulder joint, and just focused on doing actual things with those shoulders on a regular basis? Our cultural experience with healthy, functioning bodies is still driven by a deficit mindset, but developing a deeper understanding of why movement matters involves a bigger question: What are you after in the end?
DANI: That was an awesome pun by the way.
KATY: What fun. I just punned.
DANI: Big movement in the fitness industry.
KATY: Oh there you go.
DANI: Welcome to the Katy Says podcast, where Dani Hemmat and Katy Bowman talk about movement; the tiny details, the larger issues and why Movement Matters.
KATY: I'm Katy Bowman, biomechanist, and author of Move Your DNA.
DANI: And I'm Dani Hemmat, a chronically curious movement teacher.
DANI: I have to tell you about a cool person that I saw the other day that I worked with.
DANI: She was in her, I think, late 50s. Even she wasn't sure. She was hilarious. She was like, "Yeah, I don't do the math anymore." So I sat down with her and usually when I work with a client they talk about, "Well, my knee hurts, my shoulder hurts." and all this stuff. Well, I sat down with her and she said, "Well, I don't really have any pain. I've just been following Katy's work for a long time and I just want to prevent pain."
DANI: And that was really the first time that I'd worked with somebody in that capacity. It was kind of exciting. Just because I liked, you know, being able to work from that proactive point of view. And...
DANI: ... anyway, and I just wanted to, kind of, run that by you because that's never really happened for me before and it opened up a whole can of really good worms to think about. It's like, wow, I'm always helping people get out but this was a whole different thing.
KATY: Yeah. It makes me, and the reason we're talking about it, you were starting to tell me the other day when we were on the other podcast it and we're like, "Oh, let's talk about it on the podcast," is, it reminds me of the essay in Movement Matters titled, "Movement is Not Medicine."
KATY: And when you were telling me her story it was like, that really is the perception. And I'm not going to go into the essay "Movement is Not Medicine." And you can read "Movement is Medicine" which is another essay that I wrote in one of my other books. You can read "Movement is Medicine" and then right after that you can read "Movement is Not Medicine" just to get the full... "Movement is Medicine" is in Alignment Matters, just FYI.
KATY: It'd actually be fun for me to audio record both of those, one after the other and then maybe just release those two.
DANI: You should. There.
KATY: I should. I'll put it on my list.
DANI: With all your free time. Put it on your list.
KATY: Thought we weren't gonna should this year. We're not gonna should.
DANI: No. That would be awesome.
KATY: There we go. But it's this idea that we have that movement, as well as, like, nutrients, are things we turn to once we have a problem. Right? And so, the idea of "Movement is Not Medicine" is beyond just that phenomenon. It has a lot to do with, I think, how we reinforce ... how we reinforce the ... uh ... is this a good podcast. Uh. Uh.
KATY: I mean... I don't even... it's really hard to explain.
KATY: Let's hold that thought. We're gonna talk about it and I will refer back to your client.
DANI: Yeah. And unwind that.
KATY: But it's not so much about her. It's about this idea that...
KATY: ...movement. We are talking about, our understanding of movement is through a particular, is in a context where movement is not required. We live in a context where eating good and healthy foods, sustainably sourced, is not required because we can offset the consequences of those decisions very easily. So we have the luxury, or maybe, and also the burden, of having to choose one particular way where if someone doesn't have the luxury to choose that way, because they can't. They don't have as many options to behave in as many different ways as we listening and recording this podcast do. So I want to talk about, I don't know exactly how to phrase it. Maybe we can title this one, I know you had thought about like is it exercise or just movement. It's a big idea but I think it has more to do with the way things are investigated to find out how things work.
DANI: Well, yeah. Like that whole exercise science.
KATY: Yeah and science in general.
KATY: But we're talking about exercise science today, or it can be therapy science or whatever. So...
DANI: Ok, I have to write down a question because you just made me think of something by what you just said.
KATY: Ok. Let's just write down...let's just write the entire time and it'll be like eeeeee....
DANI: Everyone will just hear our pens scratching across paper.
KATY: eeee...like this...ready.
DANI: I'm writing on that cool waterproof paper right now because it's the only thing I have in front of me.
KATY: Here we go, ready... (writes)... papercut. Ok.
DANI: Back to, really quick, because I'm not going to write it down, that a lie. I just wrote down notes. When you just said nutrients are something we turn to once we have a problem, do you think that's, like, because of how we're taught about them or why they research them in the first place?
KATY: Yeah. Both. Both of those things.
KATY: So why do we research, I mean, I think it's, you know, where science is a pursuit of understanding about nature, but we're going to be interested usually in solving our problems. Right? I think that kids, little kids, my watching, I can speak to my own kids and other kids that I come in contact with, they are not curious about nature for solving problems. You know? Like they're just like, "This is cool. That's cool! This is in my life. This is in front of me now and I am interested in how it works." Where things get more complicated when you're talking about funding later on and you have to have a purpose and also maybe there's something, a problem in your own life that maybe fuels your own curiosity. But in general medicine, nutrients or nutrition, corrective exercise, the reason we have interests in those is because there are things happening to us that we don't understand. There are phenomena happening to us that we don't understand and then we work backwards to figure out, "oh, it turns out that this phenomenon is related to this and that and this." And so, but then, you and I didn't live through the four or five hundred years of them developing nutrients. We just got the end lesson which is, "if you don't have this nutrient you will get this. If you don't have this nutrient you will get this." Like it's not ever talked about as, perhaps, the part is like, well why do we have the diets that we have. Right?
KATY: So now, like, now we're talking about maybe, there are more cultural. It's a cultural, it's a cultural, it's a cultural context. And we don't get that part. We just get the scientific findings of solving the problem. It's not really referring back to the cultural experience that brought about the needs, that brought about the information.
DANI: That's true.
KATY: It's, you know, like, and of course it's all about timing. There's certain things that you tell children in lessons, you know, in second grade. You don't get the, at my school I didn't get the cultural competency version of nutrients. I just got "this is the government pyramid"
KATY: "This is the pyramid" and that was my exposure to it.
DANI: Well and we all get the scurvy lesson just to show you, "This is what happens. Your teeth will fall out."
KATY: Yeah. And I didn't get that in second grade but it turns out I didn't get it in University or Graduate school either. I just kept getting, and again, these are points that I make, I just kept getting a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of my particular diet. I didn't get the back story of why my diet is the way that it is. Now it turns out, other people in other fields of other interests, non-scientists, people just thinkers and philosophers, philosophizers, philosophy...
DANI: (laughs) You were right the first time. Stop while you're ahead.
KATY: I'm sorry. That you can read outside of nutritional science for here's why we eat ... here's what happened to the, here was the food source of the place that you live in at one time and here is the evolution of that food source. And then you start to see what's tied up into the food that you eat. And then you begin to realize like, "oh, I see that the need for nutritional science came about because of all of these other things." And you start to see a larger picture. Anyway. We're not gonna talk, we've talked to that, I think, to a certain degree. Today I just wanted to talk a little bit about how to recognize when you are talking, I mean, you and I have had some discussions and other people have weighed in on the difference between movement and exercise and this would be how to pay attention to yourself and the language that you use and the intentions that you set and in the understandings that you're trying to work through, is how to see when your own desires for your movement practice, we're gonna talk about exercise today, are relating more to the useful, natural, in nature thing...the natural phenomenon that movement is or when you are understanding or perceiving movement through the filter of, a filter set by the people whose job it is to break it down. So let me give an example, if you're like, "What?" Let me just say, I remember, I was teaching a group of Res, which is Restorative Exercise Specialists, people who have trained with me, and she was like, "I can't get my clients excited, like, they don't, like, they're not excited about more arm range of motion, you know, it's like, I want to know how many degrees should I be planning on trying to increase and I can't see the measure of increasing the degrees." And she was just really focused on this idea that what she was after was more range of motion. More range of motion was her end goal. She had made that the focus of her own, like that's how she prescribed exercise, that's how she embodied exercise and she was trying to hand that down to her client. And her client wasn't coming in, like, she wasn't motivated to do the exercises because she didn't see, the woman was like, "She doesn't see the value. Like she doesn't get it. She doesn't get that we need this much range of motion in the shoulder." And I was, like, the idea that the reason that you move is to have a greater measure of movement is something that is not relatable to really anyone else who is not studying movement. Like that's a desire
KATY: That's a desire, like, why do you need more range of motion of your shoulder? Now can you, like, what's the next step. It's the idea that, you want, you don't want more range of motion of your shoulder full stop. You want to be able to do things with your arms that you are unable to do right now. You want to be able to do things with your back that you're unable to do right now and you recognize how maybe your shoulder is part of it, you know? Like you have to, I don't want to say you have to but, if you're trying, if you're summing up natural movement as this certain degrees of function of certain parts and you're not tying it back in to what is the purpose, like what is this movement facilitating then you have to be aware what culture you are participating in and how that might be different ...
KATY: ... than the culture of another person, who was like, "I just came here for fun." Or "I just came here to feel better." And then, of course, you do find people, and I image that it's people attracted to me because I like the science of movement and I describe it that way before, but I guess it's just, it's a perspective thing.
DANI: Yeah, but it isn't, that approach isn't for everybody. You're right.
DANI: I mean, and just to be receptive to that. Not everybody geeks out on, you know, movement and kinesiology in that way. They just want to feel better or they just want to be able to wash their hair.
KATY: Yeah. But I also think that when you geek out on the scientific details, like when you're participating in that, sometimes it prevents you from seeing the non-reduced picture, which is where we live. Which is life or the world, right?
KATY: I want to read to you this last sentence. I'm gonna read, I'm gonna read the final sentence of Dynamic Aging. And I'm gonna talk to you about a discussion, I'm telling you this - this is my stalling while I download it. And then, I'm gonna do three things: the first thing is I'm gonna download it. The discussion that authors and I had in editing, so I feel like I don't want to read the final sentence because it's so impactful but I'm gonna read it anyway. So hold on, I'm scrolling through. So the final sentence of Dynamic Aging is, I'm gonna kind of paraphrase: "The reason I'm writing this book Dynamic Aging and the movements that it's helping you learn to do, is not so that you can age dynamically, it's so that you can live dynamically." Ok, so the
DANI: I like that.
KATY: my co-authors, they're like, "well, can we put like, it's not only so we can age dynamically but so we can live dynamically?" And I was like, "what, what is the benefit of aging dynamically...
KATY: ...if you're not living dynamically?" So I asked them to quantify it. Like what does that mean to age dynamically, like, are you, could you age dynamically without having an experience associated with it. Like if, I feel like that's a, that's an understanding about when you're pulling the thing, when you're separating the thing to investigate it a little bit, it's challenging to refer back to the original context from which you pulled. We are constantly inundated all of the time with the scientific findings of things. Because we don't know anything if it doesn't come, like, we have set it up where that is like the valid knowledge will come through that process. So, for example, it'll say, "Oh, the length of your telomeres is really important." If you want to age well, you know, and have a younger biological age, your goal is to have these longer telomeres within your cells on the end of your DNA. So we get that message and it's like, "I want..." it's kind of like the grip strength...
KATY: "I want grip strength. Like grip strength. I want the grip strength. I want the longer telomere. Like I'm gonna do the exercises for those things." Or "I'm gonna eat the diet for those things. Because I want those things that are associated with health." We say we want the things that are the indicators of health and we forget that it's, we actually want the health. We want the health, which is what?
DANI: Mm. Good point.
KATY: It's the experience. It's the experience that we create. That sometimes, what's compromised... like it's not your knee that's compromised. What's compromised is the experience that you have now because of your knee. That your knee is limiting an experience. And so we get really caught up in with creating a program, choosing when to exercise, choosing which exercises to do, as they relate back to the variables that health was associated with, rather than doing an activity that brings us joy. Another example of this idea is, someone came in and wanted to talk about her diastasis recti. And she was like, "I'm so, I'm very stressed. Because I still have a 3-centimeter gap." And I was like, "Ok. What, like what is the symptom of your 3 centimeter gap?" And she had no symptoms. I was like, "is it keep...." like I was trying, like I couldn't figure out why it was bothering her. I was like, "Is your back hurting you?" "No" and like she's getting stronger. She can do all these things. "I can carry my kids." "Well, why is it bothering you?" And it's bothering her because she's been told that she's not supposed to have a 3-centimeter gap.
KATY: Right, like, we have become... like you put your shoulder at me, like "Ah! I have no shoulder range of motion. I'm terrible. My hamstrings are so tight. I don't have good legs." And it's like, "ok well, that type of information is to help people whose job it is to understand movement science, understand movement science." Let's put it into context. "Why do you care that your hamstrings are tight?" "Well, cuz you told me too." It's like, "Well I didn't tell you to care that your hamstrings are tight as much as I pointed out that if you were having difficulty or were trying to deal with this injury over here or this injury over here, check the length of your hamstrings." "Ok. Yes, I have tight hamstrings and I have knee pain and hip pain." "Ok, well how is that affecting your life." It's like, and then they're like, "Well, it's not. I really sit too much." And then, but the more you engage in dialogue it's more like, "Well, I actually really like to do this thing but I can't do it anymore."
DANI: Not at all.
KATY: It's like, "Now we have a goal. Now you are starting to put together the variable of your tight hamstring with something in the quality of your own life." And that needs to happen.
DANI: And I imagine that's the core of the motivation.
KATY: Yes but that... so what I'm saying is the motivation, one of the reasons, because I deal with a lot of people and of course, they're coming to me because I'm breaking down movement, is that their perception is that they need the movement for movement's sake. It's the exercise perspective. They don't really, they haven't integrated the fact that it's moving through their life that's a problem for them.
KATY: And so it's like I'm wanting to help connect those dots for them. And for everyone to kind of go like, when you're describing it's an anomaly to have someone, "like I don't hurt yet, so why would I move?" You know, like, it's ok though now then you wonder how much movement, then this is like that Movement Matters idea which is "well how much movement is in our own lives." Like when you have a sedentary, when you live in a sedentary culture, the fact that you might not be able to move very much isn't really an issue. Until I start making recommendations, like, "Oh you should carry your kids for more range of, better variabilities." And it's like, "I can't cuz I hurt." And then it's like, "Ok, well, " now we start to break it down, "Why?" "Well, my shoulder doesn't go anywhere." It's like, "ok". So when you are trying to create a program or evaluate your own progress, I guess the point of this show, because I do like to bury the lead, make sure we put our points in at the end...
KATY: ... is that, what is the real life non-exercise benefit to you that you're looking for? Can you frame your movement pursuits to be not coming from an exercise mindset but from a movement mindset? A non-exercise movement mindset, which is, "Oh, no. There are these other things that I'm trying to be able to do that maybe through something that I've read of yours or through reading something else, I understand is related to my immobility. But I'm not pursuing my immobility just because immobility is bad." It's just an adaptation. You're pursuing your immobility because of, there's this thing over here that you want to be able to do. And that is super helpful for yourself. I mean, the person who came to me, she wasn't a movement teacher, she was just talking about herself. Like it had gotten to the point where she's reading so many things that the fact that she hasn't achieved a particular number, to her, was an indicator that her body wasn't right.
KATY: I'm like, there's no right or wrong bodies.
DANI: Well, I feel like performance ideals kind of cloud our end goal. Like, what are we really after and then those ideals of "well it should be this way." "Well, you shouldn't have a three-centimeter gap." You know, that kind of clouds, you know, what are we after in the end.
KATY: Well, and it turns out she didn't have anything she was after in the end.
KATY: And I think that that's the issue.
KATY: Like, what are you after in the end. Like, she was just told that she should have zero, she wanted a body that was a particular way because she was told that it was the body that was body that she was supposedta, supposedta, she was supposed to have.
KATY: And I think that that, you know, I've been doing a lot of interviews on why exercise doesn't work. I mean there's a big movement in the fitness industry, they're like, 'You know, we keep, like, I don't know how much more research ..."
DANI: That was an awesome pun by the way...
KATY: What pun? I just punned subconsciously.
DANI: Big movement in the fitness industry (ding).
KATY: Oh, there you go. There is a big movement, here you go, there is a big movement in the fitness industry to try to understand, "ok, we're like on decade four of telling people that they can't continue to sit all the time, that they have to get up and exercise." This is the exercise perspective. "And they're not doing it." Most people are not doing it. Probably not the people listening. But most people are not. And they can't figure out why. And I believe it's a cultural issue.
KATY: And I might have talked about it a little bit before, like, the different between exercise and movement it's a cultural one. And this is another piece of it, though, too, is we've reframed, it's kind of like, we've reframed it in terms of nutrients. "This is what you do if you don't want to get sick. This is what you do if you're already sick." It's like relating back to the end, it's relating back to the physical structure of an unmoving body. It's not really relating to a body that you want to do any particular thing with. And that's not true for everybody but for a lot of people, especially the people who are asking me these questions, this is what I find at the root of it. So I was thinking, like, why did I want to do a pull-up? So, you want to do a pull up right?
KATY: Why? Why do we want to do a pull-up? What does that give us when we're able to do it?
DANI: Pull yourself up into a tree when Zombies are chasing you. That's why I want to do it.
KATY: So you're doing it for safety.
DANI: Yeah. Or just, yeah, or be able to... I want to pull myself up out of things. Like, I don't want to be dependent on any sort of implement.
KATY: Yeah. Like
DANI: If I want to go somewhere.
KATY: Yeah. yeah, yeah, yeah. So I think, that helps. Like, "I want to go across..." Like what's another goal, I'm trying to think of maybe after reading Move Your DNA that I, myself, was able to have? Gosh, I'm thinking way back, like, I used to not be a squatter. I couldn't squat. To be able to squat was my goal. But my reason for it was because that would be, that would be the medicine. Like that's how I would have a healthy pelvic floor and that's how I would have good hip range of motion and that would mean, like, when I'm walking around I would have better butt development. Like my perspective was very much entrenched in the benefits that I knew came about because of the science that I had on it. But it made it very hard for me to think about squatting in a non, like what are other, what are other non-exercise related things. I mean like, we're not thinking about the health benefits, the physical health benefits, that squatting was able to afford me. And then over the last, I mean we've talked about them on this show over the last year or two years, it's like, "Oh, it allows me to comfortably nurse in a squatting position." Like there's the convenience.
DANI: Or resting without a chair.
KATY: And people are like, "I'm unable to breastfeed my child out of a chair because, or lying down. I can't really sit comfortably in any other position. And that's what keeps me in my house. That's why I can't go out and walk as much as I like because I have to nurse so frequently that my hip immobility is keeping me from leaving my house with regularity." And then when you start panning out, you start seeing like, "oh, not everyone is interested in the health benefits." Or it's only motivating to a certain point. At some point we have to start talking about these things as the immobilities or the weaknesses or whatever you want to call them that you have are, they're limiting your mobility in a larger sense. And it might be that you don't find that limitation until you step outside and try to do something new. And then it's like, "I can't carry my kid because my back hurts." It's like, "ah, now we have... well why do you want to carry your kid." "Well because I heard it's better for him or her and me." It's like, "Ok, well what else?" "Well, I'd like to actually take an afternoon walk but I can't ..." Ok, now the value of what you're doing is larger and you're and it's able to sustain you through this transition of being sedentary to being someone who moves. So anyway, I mean, that's really all I wanted to say. Your, the person that you're talking about, it triggered that idea, like, we really do need to talk about. We've talked about the differences between exercise and movement in a very theoretical way. But what does it mean when your whole mental process thinks about all movement in terms of exercise and keeps relaying things back to the physical benefits of it when you still can't yet see it how it changes the life experiences available to you.
DANI: To make that shift, how do we do that? Just kind of start stepping back and moving away from looking at moving away from, it's not so much, "I don't really care what my range of motion of my shoulder is but I do want to be able to reach up and grab stuff. You know, I want to go out and be able to pick cherries this summer."
KATY: And you couldn't do that before?
DANI: Well no. But I'm just saying it's, instead of looking at it from, "Well, this is what it should be. This is why it hurts because of this..." but stepping back and looking from it, from a more of just doing stuff with our bodies. Not now our bodies should be or how they should perform...
DANI: ... but just doing it. I mean aside from...
KATY: Well I feel like "should" ... should make it
DANI: Should, should, should.
KATY: Should is like a real... should is, I feel like it's external. When you're, is there any movement that you want to do that would be, I'm trying to think right now of something that, like what's on my list, you know, I'm trying to think of like my own, like what's a good example. I mean the squat. The squat was a big one for me. Like, I worked on my squat for years and years for the sake of the squat. You know, I still had furniture in my house and yes, getting rid of the furniture increase my frequency of practicing my exercise squat. But it was only, it was only by taking my squat outside of my exercise practice. And I posted one time a picture on Instagram when we were someplace in New Mexico or Arizona, and this amazing rock formation that was so old. And I was squatting down and just to go from a standing to a squatting I became aware of these tiny purple succulents growing all over what looked like a barren dead landscape. I couldn't see them until I squatted. It changed my perception of the world - the squat did. It allowed more information in to me. And so I feel like there's a lot of listeners and then those listeners have friends, who, their exercise, their movement world is still contained in an exercise bubble. Even though you take it outside. That's one way. Like there's lots of ways to, I mean, you're gonna transition away from exercise to movement. It's a transition. It's not like, it's a way your mind thinks. Like your mind has thought these ways repetitively and they are just, your thought processes have adapted. They're stronger in some ways and weaker in this new way. But, one way would be to take that thing that you're working on, diastasis recti would be one, and give it context that's not exercise.
KATY: That's not exercise science. That's not health science. That's not movement science. That's your own personal experience of the life that you would like to have. Not because someone told you to do this because you were healthy or whatever. That you are able to relate it back to something that doesn't come from this particular process of learning things. So I'm trying to... is there anyone that you have. Is there anything that you're working on that we could do that for you?
DANI: For me? I think just that upper body strength is my thing, lately.
KATY: What is your upper body strength keeping you from doing?
DANI: Getting all the way up a tree. (laughs)
KATY: Yeah. Ok, yeah. So is climbing a tree something that you really want?
DANI: I really do.
KATY: Yeah. Ok.
DANI: Yeah, I really do. And I think that's a biggie.
KATY: And you can't climb any trees at all now?
DANI: I can only get up so far now before I get tired.
KATY: All right.
DANI: And I really have to use everything to get up. Not just my upper body. But a whole lot of momentum and flailing and stuff.
KATY: Yeah. What else. Do you have another one? Any other...
KATY: It's like, ok so for me, I was thinking, I don't want my low back to go out. Right? That would be... that would be a reason that people would exercise. Right?
KATY: Like I am doing this because I'm told that the benefit of doing this these four exercises stabilize my low back. I don't want my back to go out. That "I don't want my back to go out, I don't want my back to go out" is your intention. And of course, you don't want your back to go out. But you don't not want your back to go out for the sake of it not going out. You want it to stay in...
KATY: ...because you can't move when it goes out. Right?
DANI: Right. Debilitating.
KATY: That you, yeah, oh, I have to be bedridden...
KATY: ... for three days. And then it's not only that you don't want to be bedridden, because, frankly, that might be enjoyable to one person listening to this for a few days as a break, you know, lounge for a few days. To be still. What you're saying is, "there are other things that I would rather be doing than being in bed." And it's like, "great, what are those things." "Well, I want to be able to take a walk every day." Or, "I want to be able, I really like going to this..."
DANI: Well I used to not be able to pick up my kids before I heard of you because I was afraid of my lower back going out.
KATY: So, but to be able to relate the reason you're doing the exercises to those things that you get to do versus relating those exercises back to the thing that you don't want to happen. That, that is a mental shift. Right? Because if you're doing the things because you don't want your back to go out, the reason you know about those things as they relate to your back is because of, you know, a therapeutic understanding or an anatomical understanding of how the things work. And I think that there's something to be said for the mindset that you're in and what keeps you going as far as doing your exercises and how much movement you're getting in your life. Because you can say that you're doing those exercises so that your back doesn't go out, so that you can go take a walk every day, pick up your kids, but are you actually taking a walk every day? And picking up your kids? And then you start to see, "oh, I don't, even when I can do those things, I'm not doing those things." It allows you, I think, to see your behavior in a larger, in a larger pattern. So, I don't, I don't know if there's a, if there's an easy formula to kind of give order to the things that I'm talking about right now, but it's more, can you start paying attention to how you think about exercise, the purpose that you're giving to your exercises and do they have any sort of non-exercise movement component and are you engaging in the non-exercise movement component that you are doing the exercises for? Or are you on an exercise only loop? Because you don't know how to get out of it. Because that's, that's, go ahead and cut that off. Put it at the beginning of the show and then listen to it to get back to that point.
KATY: That's what this is all about. Thanks. Sometimes I have to go around the long way. That we are stuck in an exercise loop because we don't truly understand, we don't physically embody how those things that we're doing over here relate back to them over on the non-exercise movement side because we can't get out of the exercise trap. And I think it has a lot to do with how we're thinking about things. And the, the, you know, how much the trainer teaching the student that the goal is to have more shoulder range of motion, like she just stopped coming to class. It has absolutely no context for her. Why would she want more range of motion in her shoulder? Like even if you could explain it, "well you want this so this happens over here." And she's like, "eh, but it doesn't hurt." You know? Like and so I feel like we need to have a broader understanding of how other non-movement science nerds think about movement and then also look to see if our own nerd-dom is affecting our ability to get out of the exercise box. Final answer!
DANI: No. That's a good one. And I feel that it, it makes it, for my own self, you know, approaching it from that, that way of thinking about it. The movement, or whatever I'm doing for myself, just say for the upper body strength, I'm much more motivated and in a different way. Like it's much more exciting for me and I'm not doing it because, like, I feel like I should, or I'm trying to stave something off. I'm not approaching it from a deficit mindset, I'm, it's a much more adventurous and kind of an abundance, like, "Oh I'm gonna be able to do this," you know, "this is what I want to do." And it really changes my motivation and commitment to movement...
KATY: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
DANI: ...when I'm not running from something but I'm , you know, climbing toward something. It's a lot different for me. Well, I'm so excited, back to Dynamic Aging, for that book to come out.
KATY: Me too.
DANI: And I think let's do, let's talk about it next podcast episode after this one.
KATY: Yeah. Now that I've already given you the last line, it's like,
DANI: It's all you need.
KATY: You know who did it. You know who did it.
DANI: Are you gonna still be doing a presale? When, this one is gonna come out, I think, February 7.
KATY: Nope, pre-sale will be over.
DANI: Pre-Sale will be over. Okay.
DANI: And you'll be selling it on the site too, right?
KATY: It'll be on the site, yeah. But it should be shipping in the end of February. So it's good.
KATY: Cool beans! Alright, well, any other.
DANI: All right, man.
KATY: Is that it?
DANI: Can you do a question? You got time for a question or not?
KATY: Do it.
DANI: So our mailbag is full full full and I apologize to everybody who is writing in. I'm, it's like, did you ever see the Grinch That Stole Christmas?
KATY: I have not but I've read the book.
KATY: I know.
DANI: Ok, remember the scrawny dog with the antler taped to his head and he's like cowering underneath the giant bag of stolen Christmas?
KATY: Yeah. It's huge.
DANI: Yes, ok. So that's what I feel like every time I open up the mailbag. So we have to answer one. This is a really good one.
DANI: This is from Ashlei and Ashlei writes, "I have a weekly study group where a friend and I get together and practice our alignment with Katy's videos and books. We laugh at our immobility, but it's helped a lot to do the..." I'm just thinking how funny that is. I'm sitting here like "Ha, ha, ha, you can't do that." ..."We laugh at our immobility but it's helping a lot to do these movements. I've been working through the diastasis recti book exercises and I asked my friend to help me with the floor lying bolstered spinal twist that is on Page 96. The directions say to lie on the floor and move one knee to the other side but as soon as the lower ribs leave the floor... but stop as the lower ribs leave the floor. And then it has a picture of Katy with her ribs clearly flat on the floor but her knee over to one side on a stack of pillows. She's bolstered. The problem is, neither of us can twist our spine or move our knee to the side far enough to even put it onto a stack of pillows. Even if we bolster our shoulders enough that our lower ribs are on the floor when we start, we can only lift the side of our pelvis off the floor about an inch before the ribs start going up with it."
DANI: "The knee can't cross the midline of our body and there's nowhere to rest the leg or relax and do a stretch. I have asked my husband to try it too, and he has similar results. We must all be really tight in the spine. Is there a way to scale back this stretch and work up to the point where we can actually get our leg onto that pile of pillows? I'm concerned that if I can't twist even a tiny bit while keeping my lower ribs on the floor, that any other twisting while sitting or standing will also be dysfunctional." Totally feel it, Ashlei. Totally feel it. I get that. Been there. Been there.
KATY: Yeah. So the, well and I was teaching class this morning and that was the reality. And I got the same question in class this morning which is, it's not your spine that's tight. It's your entire torso. So just to give people listening kind of like, "could you say that all again?" Most people are familiar with the spinal twist. You bring your knee up and you roll it across your body and you are, I'm doing air quotes around the word, "Twisting" but the reality is, most people aren't twisting at all, they're rolling. Their pelvis rolled. Their stomach went with their pelvis, and their ribcage went and they kind of arch their back. So their pelvis and their knee ended up on the other side but it's not a rotation action between the rib cage and the pelvis. And that is, in my book, in Diastasis Recti, and other things that I put out, that's what the measure is for. I want you to see how much rotation you have in your trunk. Not your spine only. It's the entire thing. Because the point of Diastasis Recti is, your abdomen, like the muscles of your abdomen are very tight. And can be limiting their strength and as well as the rotation of the spine and the health of those vertebral column and discs, etc. So what I have people do is you keep your ribs on the floor and only let the lower half go. But if you don't have very much torso range of motion, which is very common when you also have diastasis recti, it's those two things are related, the reason you do the exercise is like, "Wow, I can't, my pelvis doesn't go anywhere without my ribs." And that's one of the problems. That's one of, that's an immobility that when you have it lends you to straining particular tissues. So we're trying to get more range of motion. If you can't, though, turn at all, where you can get into a plane of action where gravity... you know like one of the things of, one of the reasons you do the twist is because you can get your knee just so where gravity does the twist for you.
KATY: But you have to break 90 degrees, right? You can't have a perpendicular thigh. Which is basically what she's saying, "I can't even get my leg over, it's so tight." Great. That's when you go there's sitting twists. You just don't have the range of motion in the twist in that particular range of motion so I think it's, I don't know what page it's on. I can look it up. But you're sitting in a chair with your same pieces, the same relationship between your pelvis and your rib cage, but you're twisting to the left and then you're twisting to the right. So that's one thing is to do the twists, like, it doesn't, it's not hurting you to take that same exercise into a vertical orientation or sitting, it's the way that you deal with it. One other way to deal with it and I apologize if it's a little tedious to listen in a podcast without visuals is' you can cheat ... When you're starting a twist, basically your whole body is facing up to the ceiling and then your lower half goes over. If you don't have very much range of motion, and you have very good spacial awareness, you can cheat, which means turn, your entire body; shoulders, and pelvis, let's say to the left and then start your twist from there. Which would, even if you only have a couple of inches, change your lever system so that you would have, you would have that, you would have more gravitational, like more rotation created through gravity, because of being able to turn yourself. You just have to really know where your ribs are relative to your pelvis. That's all you, that's all you have to be monitoring. So if it's like, "My ribs don't go anywhere." Or "My pelvis barely goes anywhere to make being on my back effective. Then it's like, "turn your whole body to the left and start your twist there." Or stand up and do your crescent stretches and do other mobilizing exercises and then come back to it and see how you go from there. So.
KATY: The answer is cheat... what's the sitting twist?
DANI: Page 94.
KATY: Wow. You're like that assistant I always wanted. Yeah.
KATY: Yeah. So there's, so you, it's just that that particular exercise doesn't work for your current mobility. And you're not going to get very much out of it so either adjust the orientation a little bit or just go back to the other exercises. And then look at how much rotation you have in your day to day life. Is there anything that you could do where you have the need for that rotation, you know because that would be a way, like the more, if you can get a little bit more active in that rotation
DANI: That's smart.
KATY: So like that's where we are right now. Is there's nothing in our lives...there's very little in our life that requires movement anymore and so we're highly dependent on sucking the teet from the exercise book.
KATY: Because there's no other movement that's facilitated.
KATY: There's no more movement. Now we've got backup cameras. That was the last...that was the dinosaur. That was the dinosaur
DANI: Totally was just thinking of backup cameras.
KATY: I mean that's what it is. I'll give lectures a lot, all over and they'll be like, "what's the one thing in your daily life where you have to rotate your neck and your shoulders. And backing up is the only one.
DANI: Mm-hmm. Yep.
KATY: And we just got rid of it. It's like, I've just been really fascinated lately with, you know, the diversity of seeds, the diversity of peoples, and the diversity of movements, where we're losing so much of it. You know. It's like we're down to, like, these are, these are endangered movements. They're endangered movements because once you stop doing them, they become more difficult to be able to do. And there's, you know, it's
DANI: Endangered movements!
KATY: Well and I was like...
DANI: Oh my gosh.
KATY: ...we were doing the calf stretch and I was like, "Ok, when would your calf do this?" and then it was like, "Uphill." And I was like, "Who has walked uphill at this angle, like, in the last three months?" And it's like, wow. And now when you do it it's like, "Woah." It's just not there with regularity and it just gets lost. And then when you change the, when you alter the environment, you know, to make not moving our parts even easier then you get less moving parts. Like it's just the, it's the nature the influence between, of all components of the ecosystem. Anyway.
KATY: Yeah. Thanks for that question.
DANI: Yeah, that was good Ashlei.
KATY: Thanks Ashlei. And your friend.
DANI: Thanks. We see you.
KATY: And your, and your...
DANI: Go ahead and keep chuckling at your...
KATY: At your alignment study group. I think that's awesome.
DANI: Yes. Yeah. That is. It's good to have a buddy because you can't always see what's going on. It's always helpful to have another set of eyes on you. Awesome.
KATY: And plus now, now you kind of made it a community thing, right? That's one way of ...
KATY: … bumping it out of exercise only. It's like, "We're laughing." Ok, you just, you just de-exercised it a little bit. If that makes any sense. You just added an element of, "Well this is my friend time." Great. Now you're on your way of, that's why I think the buddy system works. I don't think it's about this accountability as much as you're getting more value out of that assigned time for movement.
DANI: That's true.
KATY: If we can understand the things that we quote "know" in a slightly different way, I think it's helpful. I think it's helpful in the fact that we need to get moving. Seriously. And we need to understand how movement works and I'm not talking about exercise. The end. All right. Thank you for listening.
DANI: Thank you so much, Katy, for saying endangered movements. Because now I'm gonna like, walk away with that, like it's a little treasure. And think about it all day long. Endangered movement. Uh!
KATY: Well, it a, it's an, it's a cultural perspective, right? If you don't need the thing, you just don't need it. Like there's, to see the consequence of the lack of it is something that's challenging to see. Right? It's hard to see. I mean foresight is challenging. I never understood what "hindsight is 20/20" meant. I never understood what that meant in the same way that I couldn't get that joke, "which is what's heavier, a pound of feathers, or a pound of bowling balls? " I never got that. I was like, "It's clearly the pound of bowling balls." You don't, I just, I couldn't, like there was something...
DANI: So now do you get "hindsight is 20/20"?
KATY: I did. Yes. But those were key things. That and learning how to tell time. Just so you know like, those were concepts that I struggled with as a child. Everything else came, like, pretty easily. Or how many 3 cent stamps in a dozen.
DANI: A dozen.
KATY: Well, four is the clear answer, when I was...
KATY: ... when I was, you know, 8 years old. And I couldn't get the thing. I couldn't penetrate the thing and then, uhhhh, and then it came.
DANI: Well, I'm gonna turn endangered movement, that phrase, into a scavenger hunt if anybody wants to just spend the next three to seven days trying to find endangered movements.
KATY: Save your seeds. Save your seeds and save your moves. Ok?
DANI: Yeah. That's very very cool, man.
DANI: All right. We're done here. (laughs)
KATY: I'm not going to say this again. You know where to find me. Find me outside or at the new NutritiousMovement.com. Small little makeover. Not big, but kind of cool. Dani Hemmat, you can find her promoting endangered movements over at MoveYourBodyBetter.com. Oh and she just bought the website Endagered Movements dot com I see. Just kidding.
DANI: Nope! (laughs)
Music fade in
KATY: Oh wait, she just trademarked it.
DANI: Oh oop. Twitter.
KATY: Dang it. I have a fine. I have a fine for just using it right now. You have a fine from Dani Hemmat for using her trademarked term Endangered Movement. Jerk.
DANI: (laughs) Oh. Get outta here.
KATY: All right, friend. All right. Thanks so much.
DANI: All right. Talk to you later.
VOICE OVER: Hopefully you find the general information in this podcast informative and helpful. But it is not intended to replace medical advice and should not be used as such.