And now, a guest post from Richard Macaulay, Scottish speaking OS Level 2 Coach. Please read with a funny accent…

Slow down to speed up. Mull that one over for a few seconds….does it make sense to you? Have you ever heard the expression ‘Less haste, more speed’? Or a quote from the Mark Wahlberg film (Shooter) – ‘slow is smooth, smooth is fast’.

I am not sure exactly of the motivation for these sayings when they were written, but it certainly applies to movement – allow me to explain using an example:

I love crawling….I have ongoing conversations with Tim about all things crawling and recently David Shen and I have exchanged a variety of ideas on human anatomy, the ability of crawling movement patterns to tie us together as one piece and how we can train this movement pattern consistently over time to strengthen other areas of training/our lives.

When I started crawling as part of my training I performed it pretty fast. If I remember rightly, I used to move from point A to point B – and obviously because crawling is fairly uncomfortable when you start out – I tried to get there pretty quickly. I ended up a sweaty, sore mess with absolutely no control of how my body moved through space. I was not tied together as one piece, more a collection of individual semi functioning body parts. I learned some pretty painful lessons in the beginning. Thankfully, one day, I read an article on super slow training/time under tension and thought about applying it to all things OS.

Performing the resets slowly (in this case crawling) taught me a few things very quickly, namely:

My ‘X’ has a centre and it was certainly ‘firing’ when I moved my limbs slowly.
I was far more aware of the surface I was crawling on when I placed my hands/feet and didn’t let momentum dictate my movement. I was no longer merely falling forwards into my next step. This increased tactile stimulation was incredibly nourishing for the brain.
Moving slowly allowed me to feel connected to my breathing. I often let breathe dictate pace. This focus on breathing allowed everything else to ‘just happen’. Much in the same way all safe effective movement should happen – and it all starts with our breathe.
All muscles in and around my hips and shoulders were suddenly awoken and called upon to move me safely.

This revelation isn’t something that is exclusive to crawling but it has allowed me to steadily increase my crawling to 40 minutes, working towards my own fitness goals whilst healing from lower back injuries.

Try it with your these resets below and see what you learn:

Head nodding in any position slowly will allow us to challenge the muscles of our upper back. Slow head nodding affords us the time to increase the input by allowing us the opportunity to move our eyes around further stimulating the vestibular system – something that is not always as easy to do if you are prone to fast head nodding.

Rocking slowly allows you to feel what it is like when you use muscles and not gravity/momentum to move you backwards/forwards. Rocking slowly playing with different foot/knee/hand positions allows me to find sticking points and/or areas that most engage and release tension.

Rolling slowly allows for a huge amount of quality tactile contact with the floor, removes momentum and asks us to fire up our vestibular system and look where we want to go and lead with our head in order to get there.

Cross crawling slowly really challenges our vestibular system and righting reflex – try bringing your knee up whilst keeping your chest tall and hold this position. You will soon discover the wonder that is you hip flexors as well as challenge your balance in every muscle surrounding your ankle and knee.

Moving slowly will often mean fewer repetitions (especially if your train in a certain time frame), but that does not mean you are missing out on muscular/nervous system stimulation. It does not diminish the purpose or the results. What you might find is:

More control/more awareness of the movement you are doing
Increased quality of movement
Improved connection to what muscles are involved in the movement
Increased ability to control breathing/head control throughout
A greater awareness of self and the world around you

If you havent been moving slowing, on purpose, why not try it? You might learn some amazing things about your body and find that when you slow down the movements, you speed up the results. And shake, you might also find out that you shake…!

Richard is an OS level 2 coach (the only one in the United Kingdom and Ireland). He co-owns bodycarewecare with his wife Karen in Scotland. Their philosophy has always been about movement, food and fun. In his 12 year career Richard has been fortunate enough to work with business men/women and now spends most of his time working with youth rugby players and performance athletes on the representative ladder working towards international honours.

In his free time Richard in a devoted family man with two children. Richard came to OS after a bad back injury and has found true joy which training brings him through physical well being. To learn about Richard go to www.bodycarewecare.com

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