Here's your November edition of Kinsei-Do Fitness Nuggets, our monthly newsletter that serves you little bites of health & performance wisdom!
Nugget of the Month
Movement in Medicine
I'm currently studying to become a certified mobility coach (see more here), and the deeper I get into the material, the more it becomes clear to me that much of what we "modern humans" suffer from is the direct result of our own doing (and not doing).
Low back pain
Sciatica and other issues in the hip area
And much much more...
You see, you were (most probably) not born with "tight" hip flexors, forward head posture (FHP) or shoulder impingement, these conditions have developed over time of using your body in certain ways, such as sitting too much, bent over a desk and keyboard too much, and in the last decade or so, staring at your phone while standing or walking.
At the same time, other positions and movements that for tens of thousands of years defined us and essentially enabled us to be "human", such as squatting, hanging and reaching overhead, have "fallen out of fashion", are rarely practised and even if they are, then this happens often only for a couple of reps in the context of deliberate exercise (3 sets of 8 squats anyone?).
So then, can we really be surprised that if we spend 70 or more hours per week sitting, and - at best - 1 to 2 hours per week stretching, that our balance and natural born range of motion is somewhat out of whack?
You see, by assuming certain positions and postures, and restricting you from accessing certain other positions, your brain is protecting your body from harm. But if you still "insist" on getting into these positions, e.g. trying to swing the golf club like Tiger in his prime, often pain and injury are the consequence.
The good news is, you don't have to throw out your couch and chairs and swear never to sit again. You don't need to spend the same amount of time that you are sitting in yoga poses, or conduct all of your work meetings as walking meetings from now on.
What you do need to do is expose your body, somewhat regularly, to a variety of movements and ranges of motion that you - by nature - once had and should have access to. Here are some ideas:
If you have young/small kids, squat down when speaking to them. (On top of training your squat pattern, I'm sure the child will greatly appreciate being addressed at eye level, so it's a win-win!)
Instead of sitting to read a book, lie down on your belly in a kind of cobra / sphinx like position, resting on your elbows and holding the book in your hands. Make sure the extension of your spine comes from the thoracic (upper back), and not overly from the lumbar (low back) area
Reach overhead more often, e.g. when putting things away into a high shelf, or simply standing in the doorway and stretching your chest and shoulders by pressing into the doorframe above your head
These are merely a few suggestions. If you want/need more customized and thorough recommendations, I'll be happy to start with a movement assessment with you (see details below), but I'm confident that just by regularly and consistently implementing some of these ideas, you'll be able to make progress and feel better right away.
Happy moving, friends!
After a summer break that unintentionally extended all the way to last month, my podcast Kinsei-Do Corner is finally back with three episodes recorded and released in the last four weeks.
In episode 37 I had the pleasure of speaking to Coach Jenni Schierman, a mental performance coach from America, who has been working with athletes and support teams in the field of motor sports for over a decade.
So...what is mental performance and what does a mental performance coach do?
We cover all of that and more in this short but insightful conversation, and I am sure you'll find some nuggets of wisdom and some practical tips to take away to improve YOUR mental performance, health and happiness!
Next up, in episode 38, I sat down with Kafka from the GymfitnessIndo / Magnus team, and we discuss our impressions, high points and favorite memories from last month's Iron Games
If you were at the Games, as an athlete, a fan or an official, listen in to relive the amazing experience, or if you missed the event, hear about some of the most memorable moments directly from us. And for everyone out there in the powerlifting and functional fitness communities all across Indonesia, you do NOT want to miss the announcement from Kafka about the next awesome things that he and his team have in store for us all!
Last but not least, in episode 39, I sat down with the first person from the local functional fitness that I met after coming to Indonesia seven years ago, Coach Oka T. It was the early days of Kinsei-Do's fitness bootcamp back at the Breeze in BSD, and at maybe the 3rd or 4th session, Oka showed up, supported the bootcamp and provided a fantastic role model for all the other participants, and I've been a fan of him ever since.
We talked about his early days in CrossFit in Indonesia, how he got hooked on it, became a bad ass athlete and most recently, hung up his boots and transitioned full time into coaching.
If you enjoyed my previous episodes with some of the other OGs of the local scene like Ant, Jemima or Adit, you're sure to love this episode as well!
Would you like a free movement assessment?
Are you struggling with movement limitations or discomfort when performing certain exercises, or in daily life?
As I've been studying to become a Primal Mobility certified mobility coach, I'm happy to offer you a free assessment.
Send me an email and I'll tell you what I need from you, and we'll go from there!
What's Jo doing?
After two years of forced hiatus, the beloved BSJ Biathlon finally made a comeback this year. Thanks to the two year Covid break, I had the unique honor of being the defending champion from three whole years, but that ended earlier this month when I surrendered my crown to a guy who was probably not much more than half my age, and also seemingly didn't take much more than half the time I needed to finish the 300m swim and 2000m run.
Nonetheless, I had a blast, got a chance to test myself again - it's already been many months since my last "competition" which was the CrossFit Open back in March - and enjoyed a day out in the sun with family and friends.
And just to address the elephant in the proverbial room: yes, despite swimming twice a week recently, I'm still pasty pale as swiss cheese...
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