I have recently been reading the book by Kelly Starrett : Becoming a Supple Leopard. Besides having a cool name for his book Kelly is probably most famous for his “Mobility WOD” You Tube and Website. There is a mass of content on his You Tube channel, which separately deals with lots of different physical issues and the techniques to put in place to prehab and rehab these.
I came across the Mobility WOD as a consequence of my shoulder issues and generally as I’m getting older I wanted to know how I could best deal with prehab and rehab issues at home. Yes I have been totally convinced and now own a lacrosse ball and various rubber bands to help me stay in one piece.
When I found out he was releasing a book I thought this will be an awesome resource. I have to admit that the book is a little expensive, but when you consider it more as a text book the price is not too bad. When you compare it to some of the strength and conditioning books I have bought brand new it is quite reasonable. When I last checked a kindle version was not available, so you will have to go for the good old fashioned paper version for now.
After reading through the book I realised that some of what was being said, did go a little against the biomechanics that I was taught during my strength and conditioning training. But he did have very convincing arguments on these few areas. So I am trying them out at the moment and they do not seem to be detrimental in anyway and if they have the benefits he mentions in the book then it is worth maintaining them.
I have found some really useful little tweaks to things like external rotation of your shoulders during press ups and bench press, which do actually have a big impact on your stability during these exercises. Considering I dislocated a rib once through poor form when doing press ups I’m sticking to these changes for sure.
One of the other big things for me was the posture corrections. As a desk munki these little changes have been really positive for me. To the extent now after a number of weeks putting them into practice, that my previous “relaxed” (ok slouched) position is actually not comfortable anymore. I am also now very conscious of these changes when I am walking or just standing. I feel taller when walking. Also when just standing the suggested changes have erased the ache in my lower back that I previously would inevitably get.
Like I have already mentioned I have some strength and conditioning training, which did include elements of biomechanics and form, so not all of the stuff in the book was a revelation to me. However the further explanations of why and the consequences if you don’t, did put a lot of things in a perspective I didn’t previously have.
In conclusion this is a very good resource, especially for those postural things that we do wrong all the time, but over time have big effects. Kelly gives very good explanations as to why these postural changes should be made and the potential impacts on your body if you do not make the improvements.
Now don’t get me wrong you are not going to change everything overnight, a lot of the things we do are habits we have formed over years. This is the case for me with my shoulder position. So I have had to make new positive habits. The same will apply to you munkis too, both in your day to day habits and as part of the form during exercises that you do at the gym. But the knowing what changes to make and the “why” you should make those changes is very motivating.