Original Strength https://originalstrength.net/blog/ en Copyright 2020 by . All Rights Reserved. 120 What is a RESET? https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/09/21/what-is-a-reset/ In Original Strength, we use the word "RESET" a lot. I often imagine that people know what we mean when we say it. It may not surprise you, but it turns out that my imagination does not bend the reality of others. Not many people actually know what we mean.

So, what is a RESET? 

A RESET is simply a movement that improves or adds to, the information going to your brain. When the nervous system receives information that it is looking for, information that it wants, it feels safe, and in turn, it allows the body to move better and feel better. 

You were born with RESETs preprogrammed in your nervous system. Even before you were born, you were given a movement template that was designed to build and strengthen your entire body from the inside out. This movement template is often called the developmental sequence. It is a series of movements, or a program of movements milestones, that are intended to build the nervous system and strengthen the body in layers.

Ultimately, this program, or sequence of movements, is to become your foundation for all the movements you will ever make and learn. Therefore, this original movement program is always to be engaged in some fashion. It’s the foundation, meant to be woven into everything you will ever do. Again, It’s purpose is to strengthen your body and keep it strong throughout your entire lifetime. 

But, in a modern world the body’s movement foundation can erode over time. The body’s nervous system is an “on-demand” nervous system. It keeps the neural connections efficient and powerful if they are being used. It prunes them away or “sweeps them under the rug” if they are not being used. If our day to day lives do not necessitate that we move often, our nervous system decides there is no longer a need to keep neural circuits that are not in demand, so it sheds them. So, not engaging in our movement design actually undermines our ability to move. The consequence of this is that we begin to break down, not because of age but because of disuse. We get slower, stiffer, we ache, we get injured, we get sad, depressed, fearful, angry, stressed, whatever. All of these things happen when we lose our foundation for movement. 

Our design, however, is a design of strength and nourishment. We have a developmental sequence (a strength-building sequence) preprogrammed into our nervous system. We do not have a “break-the-body-down” program preprogrammed into our nervous system. So, at any time, at any age, if we tap back into that original program, if we engage in our original movement template, we are effectively “Pressing RESET” on our nervous system. 

Whenever we move using our original, foundational movements we nourish the brain with information that it loves and craves. We are essentially teaching or reminding, the nervous system where everything in the body is and what everything in the body is for, our muscles, our joints, our fascia, our organs, our senses, everything... 

When the nervous system gets this refreshing information, it feels safe to allow the body to move and feel wonderfully. The brakes come off, pain goes away, emotions improve, thoughts settle, strength comes back, mobility is restored. All of these things happen when we “press reset,” or move inside of our original movement template. 

If you follow the design, your body is made to always “Press RESET.” It’s made to always be strong, to always feel good. Yes, you may get sick, but your body is designed to heal from that. Yes, you may get injured, but your body is designed to heal from that. Yes, you may feel tired, stiff, immobile, and weak, but your body is actually designed to prevent all of that, and so, it is designed to reverse all of that, too. 

Breathe with your diaphragm, move your eyes and head often, roll on the floor, rock back and forth, crawl, march, skip or walk often throughout the day, every single day. That’s Pressing RESET. Those are the foundational movements in your original movement template. They are meant to be foundational, needed, and used for a lifetime of health, strength, and joy.

 

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Mon, 21 Sep 2020 02:21:00 +0000 https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/09/21/what-is-a-reset/ tim@originalstrength.net (Tim Anderson)
Original Strength Got Me to Black Belt https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/09/14/original-strength-got-me-to-black-belt/ I received my black belt in karate after starting 38 years ago. I have done other styles and things but came full circle training with my elder daughter. Original Strength really got me there. It’s an arduous course, and increasingly I just do yard work by hand with added rolling and sled; every walk with the dog is with a backpack though. Playing with indian clubs and neuro grips too, but I stopped for the weeks before the grading to avoid injury. My strength is such that I could push two men trying to stop me who collectively weighed over 230 kg. It was surprising how easy it was. I could grapple a younger black belt of my size and use him as a shield to stack him against multiple opponents. I’m saying this only to point out that I pressure tested your ideas in a three hour grading and they worked; 8 years of training in this style to three critical hours of application. I would like to see critical responders and special forces use your stuff (I was navy reserve and have therefore done military training and experienced the fitness training there). I’m sure you have those stories. Thanks for your honesty and positivity brother. Off to roll and dead bug before the kids awake!
- Andrew
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Mon, 14 Sep 2020 15:35:00 +0000 https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/09/14/original-strength-got-me-to-black-belt/ jill@originalstrength.net (Jill Greene)
How to Feel Amazing https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/09/14/how-to-feel-amazing/ In Original Strength, we try to pass along the message that everyone, that you, are wonderfully made. We teach people, or we simply remind people, how they were designed to move, and how powerful that movement design is. In short, movement heals or restores, the body. But there’s more to it than that. Movement can also help heal or restore the mind and the emotions, the you inside your body. If you don’t know it yet, everything about your design, everything about YOU, is simply amazing. 

You are walking around in an amazing mechanism. You pilot your body. That’s true, but that’s not the whole story. Your body is much more than your vehicle, it’s also your friend. It knows you. It knows your thoughts and it feels your emotions. Heck, it even expresses your emotions. 

It’s not you, but it knows you. Don’t miss this. Your body is intimate with your thoughts and your feelings. Yes, it carries out simple tasks that you think you want to accomplish like check the mail, brush your teeth, or eat your food, but it also carries your thoughts and feelings. What I mean is, your body knows if you don’t love it. It knows if you are dissatisfied with it. It knows when you are punishing it. It knows when you are neglecting it. It knows you. And it stores your negative thoughts in its neural pathways, it holds the tension of your angst in its muscles. It tries to swallow your guilt and shame in its gut. It sees the look you give it in the mirror, the “ugh” look. It knows. And, it responds. 

Sometimes you can hide your thoughts and emotions from everyone else around you, but you can never hide them from yourself, from your body. You can deny them, you can bury them, you can even hide your own thoughts from your own mind, but you cannot hide them from your best friend, your body. The thoughts you bury, the things you hide, they often reveal themselves through your body’s movements, and through its sensations. 

Does your back hurt? Are you holding stress, anger, fear, or resentment? Are your intestines jacked up? Are you dealing with issues of guilt or shame? Do you feel like you’re inadequate? Do your knees hurt? Are you holding thoughts of aging because you're past thirty? Are you always tired or lethargic? Do you ever smile at yourself in the mirror or tell your body you’re grateful for it? 

I know this all sounds crazy, but understand that your body does absolutely what you tell it to. It just may not always turn out how you think it would do it. After all, if you aren’t conscious about the thoughts and feelings you are keeping inside yourself, how could you expect what your body would do with those thoughts and feelings? But it does do something with them. Nothing you hold in your mind or in your heart is without consequence. You’re that amazing. Your body is also that amazing. 

The point is, you are walking around in your best friend. It knows and feels everything about you. It manifests, in some shape or form, your thoughts, and feelings, both suppressed and conscious. It knows when you don’t like it, or when you’re frustrated with it. But it also knows when you love it, when you’re happy it’s yours, and when you enjoy it. 

Do you want to feel amazing? Know you’re amazing. Believe it. Act like it. 

Do you want to move well? Love your body. Smile at it, be thankful for it. 

Don’t punish your body by torturing your soul. Don’t bury your thoughts and feelings. Find ways to let them out. Reject the lies you’ve been holding onto. Forgive yourself for believing them. Forgive others for offending you. Look yourself in the eyes, in the mirror, and tell yourself you are amazing. Tell your body you’re absolutely crazy about it. 

If you try to do this, if you become diligent and consistent, you will truly discover how wonderful you really are. You will feel good. You will move well. You will be happier. You will be freer. You’ll even change the world and make it brighter. Learn to dance in and with your best friend. 

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Mon, 14 Sep 2020 02:32:00 +0000 https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/09/14/how-to-feel-amazing/ tim@originalstrength.net (Tim Anderson)
Balance Out Your Hips https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/09/07/balance-out-your-hips/ There are many things that just go great together like peanut butter and jelly, sausage and eggs, shrimp and grits, and Batman and Robin. Ok, that last one is certainly debatable. Batman may be better solo. Anyway, there are things in life that just run well together, like flexors and extensors. Yes, they don’t only run well together, they are a set. If you buy one, you’re getting both. 

 

Your body is full of flexors and extensors. They are the dynamic duo of your joints. They move your body and give it balance. At least they should. Sometimes the dynamic duos of your body get imbalanced. An example of this would be your hip flexors and your glutes. 

 

Your hip flexors flex your hip and your glutes extend your hip. But as a sedentary life would have it, oftentimes the hip flexors become short and tight and the glutes fall asleep or forget their job. When the hip flexors are too short and tight, the hip really can’t go into extension. So the balance of the hips becomes lost and the entire posture of the body is thrown out of whack a bit. That and the walking stride gets impeded and less efficient. 

 

A lifestyle of sitting is no friend to the balance of the hip flexors and glutes. You might be thinking, “But, Tim, I’m a sitter.” Yes, we all are. Sitting is a part of life, and that’s okay. It’s when sitting becomes a way of life that we need to be concerned. But even if you sit way more than you should, your body can restore the balance in your hips. All you have to do is intentionally move your body in ways that loosen the hip flexors and wake the glutes. 

 

Here are three easy, feel-good ways to restore the balance in your hips. Or, here is a cool way to get woke glutes. 

 

  1. Breathe this way:

    1. Lie on your belly and rest your head on your hands.

    2. Bend your knees so that your feet are pointing to the ceiling.

    3. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth.

    4. Breathe in through your nose and try to pull air down into you pelvis. 

    5. Do this for 3 minutes.

    6. Enjoy the feeling of your hips relaxing.

 

  1. Reach for the sky:

    1. From this same position, take turns trying to “touch the ceiling” with your feet. 

    2. As you lift your foot, your knee and thigh will leave the ground. That’s your glute cramping that you feel. You’re welcome.

    3. You may also be highly aware of your hip flexor stretching/lengthening. You’re welcome, again. 

    4. Do this for 2 minutes.

    5. Enjoy stopping after 2 minutes.

 https://youtu.be/wog0aS688iI

  1. Skate Away:

    1. Get on your hands and knees and perform Speed Skaters.

    2. Keep your head on the horizon and raise opposite limbs back in the same direction. 

    3. At the top of each movement, pause for a count of 1-1000, 2-1000. 

    4. Do this for 2 minutes. 

    5. Enjoy the invigorating feeling of a woke backside. 

 https://youtu.be/E7t6lierLhI

 

Do this simple routine every day and you will discover free moving hips and better posture. You’ll also probably discover that it’s a wonderful stress reduction routine as well. It only takes 7 minutes but it counters the hours of sitting. Then like the Wonder Twins they are, your hip flexors and glutes will regain balance, strength and power, together. 

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Mon, 07 Sep 2020 01:59:00 +0000 https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/09/07/balance-out-your-hips/ tim@originalstrength.net (Tim Anderson)
Moving Meditation https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/08/31/moving-meditation/ Do you meditate?

 

I’m really asking, do you set time aside to get alone, get still, and get quiet? Do you get lost in yourself? Or found, rather? 

 

There are many health benefits of meditation, on all levels of you (spiritual, mental, and physical). Meditation can help you deal with anxiety, it can help you solve problems or issues, it can invigorate or reignite you, it can soothe you, and it can lead you to know yourself at a deeper level - the real you, not the you that you play for everyone else. 

 

The real you doesn’t get frightened by the news. The real you doesn’t get angry over politics, toilet paper, or coin shortages. The real you is steady, open, joyful, respectful, polite, kind, generous, patient, and hopeful. This is the you that meditation, that intentional stillness, can invoke. That might seem like a fairytale, but it’s certainly worth the pixy dust to explore if you’ve never done it.

 

If you're curious about the "real you" that I'm speaking of, I wrote a book about it called Discovering You. For less than the price of multi-level marketing vitamins with your loyalty customer discount, you can learn about this "You" that I speak of!  If you discover it, it will change your life. Anyway, even if you don’t buy the idea of the you I am describing, meditation can leave you feeling very refreshed. 

 

But... Sometimes it’s hard to get still. Sometimes it’s hard to quiet the mind. No doubt some of you have tried with 100% intent to get still and quiet only to have your mind rip wide open into thought, dreams, to-do lists, memories, fantasies, and whatever else the “monkey mind” comes up with. Or, you sit down with the full intention of meditating for thirty minutes only to discover that three minutes feels like an eternity. Meditation, getting still and quiet, is not always easy to do, though it does get better with practice and dedication. We are all different. Some people do well with this, some need a different way. 

 

I am a fan of movement mediation. I have found I can use movement to “get still” and get quiet. I have learned I can get lost in myself when I roll or rock for long durations of time. I get on the floor, close my eyes, and rock or roll for 10 minutes or more, and I disappear. And so does time. 

 

If you’ve never tried it, nows your chance. I’ll walk you through this with rocking, it’s the easiest to get into as the risk of dizziness is almost nil. 

 

  1. Get on a soft surface (carpet, mat, knee pads, etc) and get on your hands and knees.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Breathe in and rock back. Breathe out and rock forward.

Don’t get upset about the breathing pattern. I just like this way and I’ll tell you why. When I breathe in and rock back, I imagine a wave pulling water and building up. When I breathe out and rock forward, I imagine the wave crashing or folding over and reaching the shore. I am constantly thinking wave building on the inhale and wave releasing on the exhale as I rock back and forth. And that’s it. 

 

When I do this, everything disappears. My worries, my thoughts, my duties, my shoulds, my coulds, they all melt away. It’s just the breath, just the waves. It’s peaceful. It’s soothing. It’s stillness in motion. It’s quiet in thought. And it’s wonderful. It feels amazing. 



It feels amazing to feel amazing and you deserve to feel amazing.

 

Give this a try. Set aside 10 minutes and see if you can wash away in the waves of your breath as you rock back and forth. Do it every day for a week and see how you feel. Maybe you’ll feel great. Maybe you’ll have less stress. Maybe you’ll discover more about yourself than you knew. It’s worth all the pixy dust to see what happens and it really doesn’t cost anything. After all, if you learn how to make time disappear, you can’t even lose that. 






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Mon, 31 Aug 2020 02:03:00 +0000 https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/08/31/moving-meditation/ tim@originalstrength.net (Tim Anderson)
The 3 best rolling variations you’ve (probably) never tried https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/08/24/the-3-best-rolling-variations-you’ve-(probably)-never-tried/ And now a guest article by OS Instructor and Friend, Aleks "The Hebrew Hammer" Salkin...

 

Ain’t no two ways about it, friend: over the past few years, there’s been a huge surge in interest in getting back to our ‘movement roots’.

Gone are the days when people’s only conception of fitness was what could be done with the equipment within the four sterile walls of their local fern-and-chrome colored mirrored paradise (aka the gym).  Slowly but surely people have gotten wise to the fact that they can get fit anytime and anywhere – no expensive equipment needed.

Beyond that, even top athletes have sat up and taken notice at the advantage to be had by harnessing the power of the natural movements they are heir to.

The most famous example of this is former UFC champ and mixed martial arts phenom Conor McGregor, who hired world-famous Israeli movement maestro Ido Portal as his movement coach to give him an edge in the Octagon.

Ido Portal (left) with Conor McGregor (right)

This same sense of awe and wonder at what the human body is capable of if you just, you know, move it the way it was made to move, draws more and more people to Original Strength every year for the same reason.

The ability to quickly, simply, and effectively tap into your body’s authentic operating system and unlock all sorts of abilities you never thought you had – from the ability to touch your toes or sit in a resting squat with ease all the way to running faster, playing harder, and lifting heavier than ever before – is downright addictive!

There’s a problem, however.

Most of us have been conditioned one way or the other to reduce our training down to the fewest possible moving parts in a misguided effort to keep things “minimalist”.

While the sentiment is a good one, the execution usually leaves a lot to be desired – particularly when it comes to Original Strength.

Case in point: given a chance, most OS newbies would love to crawl only and do nothing more. And you know what?  It will work!

For a little while, anyway.

Eventually, however, your training gaps will catch up to you, and you’ll be treading water and struggling to make progress just like before.

If you want to get stronger, move better, and make your kids and grandkids look like straight-up fools as they struggle to keep up with you and your boundless athleticism and ever-increasing strength, then you’ve got to pay homage to ALL the OS resets.

And while articles – nay, entire BOOKS – could be written on each of them, I want to spend a little time showering some much-deserved love on the oft-overlooked but mighty powerful rolling pattern.

For as much attention as crawling gets (and rightfully so) for its role in strengthening and solidifying your gait pattern, rolling is actually the movement that lays the earliest foundations of your gait pattern!

Rolling has a veritable truckload of benefits, including:

  • Tying your ‘X’ together (think segmental rolls especially) by connecting the opposite shoulder with the opposite hip

  • Develops rotational strength and stability – crucial for most all sports and a commonly missing among those whose main physical activity is hoisting heavy weights and putting them down

  • Improves spinal mobility – a critical piece of the movement puzzle that can drastically reduce how “aged” your movement is (the Chinese even have a saying, “you are as old as your spine” to describe the necessity of a healthy spine as you get older)

  • Increases the reflexive strength of the core and back, as movements of the head and neck – which play a pivotal role in almost all rolling variations – are strongly connected to the muscles of the midsection and back.

And though this isn’t an infomercial, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say this…

But wait, there’s more!

Rolling has another huge benefit that most people completely ignore, overlook, or don’t (yet) know about: skin stimulation.

Your skin is your largest sensory organ and is constantly feeding your brain information – on the safety/danger of your environment, the temperature, etc. – and uses 640,000 sensory receptors to send signals to your spinal cord via 500,000 neural pathways.

But most importantly of all, your skin needs to be stimulated in order to maintain proper physical and even mental health!

Why?

Tactile stimulation of the skin helps to establish more neural connections in your body, allowing you to move and develop more efficiently.  A lack of this stimulation has dire consequences.

For example, children who don’t receive loving touch from a caregiver can end up developing the same symptoms you’d see if they were malnourished: poor coordination, a weak immune system, lack of bone growth, and more.

Even as adults skin stimulation is important, as it plays a large role in hormonal balance by supporting the pituitary gland, which controls and regulates the other glands of the body while also producing somatotropin – or as it’s known more colloquially…

Growth hormone!

In short, small movements have a big impact, and if you’re not actively training your rolling, you’re missing out big time.

But I get it.  You’ve spent lots of your time doing other fun and flashy OS resets like crawling and don’t know too many rolling variations to keep your interest.

That’s okay – I got your back.

Here are 3 rolling variations you’ve (probably) NEVER done that will not only catch your interest but will break the chains holding back your strength and athletic progress in short order – so you can start knocking over old Personal Records as though they were statues of a deposed 3rd world dictator.

#1: The Frog Roll

A personal favorite of mine, the frog roll fires up muscles you never even knew you had.

A souped-up transition from the TV watching head-nod position to sitting, the frog roll revs up muscles in the back, the obliques, the hips, the abs, and more, and it’s a great coordination drill to boot.

Perhaps the coolest of all?

It can have a real, almost instantaneous impact on your strength training as well.

Case in point: a colleague of mine, Alyssa DiNatale, started doing these after I showed them to her and noted that they had a big impact on her deadlift strength.

Alyssa DiNatale - 2019 Pennsylvania State Record Holder in the deadlift in the 114 lb weight class – gives the frog roll two thumbs up

I can already see you chomping at the bit to try this elusive, exclusive roll, and I don’t blame you.  Here’s how to do it.

  1. Get into the TV watching position
  2. Look over one shoulder
  3. Keep looking over that shoulder, driving your head further and further to the side (with the help of your arm that’s still on the floor) until the arm and the leg of the side you’re looking over naturally start to come together as you flex at the side
  4. Sit up
  5. Reverse the process

 

#2: The Hard Roll

The hard roll earned its nickname the honest way: it’s hard.

Unlike other rolling variations which involve some level of increasing spinal rotation, the only spinal rotation in the hard roll is in the neck – and that means you have to have above-average head control to make this work.

Here’s what the full thing looks like:

  1. Get into the supine cross crawl position
  2. Turn your head toward the side of the arm that is reaching overhead
  3. “Reach with your forehead” as though you’re trying to look over the shoulder that is extended overhead.
  4. Upon rolling over, reverse the movement

If this bad boy is too tough, give the ‘soft roll’ a try:

 

#3: The Elevated Roll

Last but not least, we arrive at the elevated roll – one of my personal favorites.

The elevated roll has you beginning in a peculiar position for OS: in the pushup plank.  From here, you’ll want to do the following:

  1. Turn and look over one shoulder
  2. Reach the foot on that same side backward as though you are trying to reach out and touch a wall on the opposite side of you
  3. Keep reaching until it starts to gently pull the hand on the same side of your body off the ground
  4. End up in the high bridge position, then look down at the ground and reverse the movement.

 

The great thing about elevated rolls is how much muscle they ignite – particularly in the upper back, the sides of the hips, the shoulders, the triceps, and even the hamstrings!

These are a personal favorite of mine to do between sets of pullups.  I just do 2 per side and the back activation (or “back-tivation” as I like to call it, lol) helps me get my chin over the bar every time.

So there you have it! 3 must-try rolling variations to spice up your training, reignite your long-lost progress, and radically improve your movability while unshackling your body to make huge leaps in your strength and athleticism.

Set aside a paltry 3 minutes per day – 1 for each roll – and put them to the test.

If you fall in love with them, just be sure to invite me to the wedding.

Have fun and happy training!

Aleks “The Hebrew Hammer” Salkin is a level 2 StrongFirst certified kettlebell instructor (SFG II) and was hand-picked to be among the first-ever group of Original Strength Instructors. 

He grew up scrawny, unathletic, weak, and goofy until he was exposed to kettlebells and the teaching and methodology of Pavel in his early 20s, and took his training and movement skills to the next level upon discovering Original Strength in his mid-20s.

He is the author of The 8-Week Kettlebell & Bodyweight Challenge, and has a popular daily email list where he dishes out his best tips, tactics, techniques, and strategies for getting stronger, fitter, and healthier with kettlebells, calisthenics, and Original Strength.  To join (and get a free copy of the 8 Week Kettlebell & Bodyweight Challenge) click here => https://alekssalkin.leadpages.co/8weekchallenge/

 

 

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Mon, 24 Aug 2020 01:01:00 +0000 https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/08/24/the-3-best-rolling-variations-you’ve-(probably)-never-tried/ tim@originalstrength.net (Tim Anderson)
BodCast Episode 38: Breath, The New Science of a Lost Art with James Nester https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/08/21/bodcast-episode-38-breath,-the-new-science-of-a-lost-art-with-james-nester/ Click Here to Listen to BodCast Episode 38: Breath, The New Science of a Lost Art, with James Nester

In this episode, Tim gets to talk with rockstar author, James Nestor about his books, Deep and Breath. This is a wonderful talk that can change the way you think about your breath and your life. James Nestor has written for Outside, Scientific American, The Atlantic, Dwell, The New York Times, and many other publications. His book Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves was a finalist for the 2015 PEN/ESPN Award For Literary Sports Writing, an Amazon Best Science Book of 2014, and more. Nestor has appeared on dozens of national television shows, including ABC's Nightline and CBS Morning News, and on NPR. He lives and breathes in San Francisco. More at mrjamesnestor.com.

To read Deep, click here: https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Freedivin...

To read Breath, click here: https://www.amazon.com/Breath-New-Sci...

To read Tim's new book, Discovering You, click here! https://www.amazon.com/Discovering-Yo...

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Fri, 21 Aug 2020 19:06:03 +0000 https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/08/21/bodcast-episode-38-breath,-the-new-science-of-a-lost-art-with-james-nester/ jill@originalstrength.net (Jill Greene)
New Good Habits https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/08/17/new-good-habits/ I am grateful beyond words to be training with Mike Moran. Original Strength and Mike's guidance have changed my life. My hip and back pain were limiting my ability to move and affecting my whole life. I was taking pain medication and had gotten cortisone shots over the years, and a hip replacement had been suggested. Even more frustrating was the fact that I did have knowledge and background in safe movement, injury prevention, yoga, exercise and personal training, so I kept thinking that I should be able to fix myself.  What I didn't realize was that I could not recognize and fix what I wasn't aware of. When Mike introduced me to the basic resets of OS, and had me learn about my breathing, it was the start of me undoing years of bad habits and learning how to be kind and intuitive with my body.  I have decided that it took me a few decades to get so out of whack, and I will give myself the gift of training with Mike to keep helping my body heal, get strong, and continue my new good habits of breathing and OS movement.  I love the results I have experienced and I love that this training has influenced how I now teach others. Now my 69 year old body feels better than it has in decades, and I expect to be able to stay active, balanced and healthy... so long as I breath and move like a baby!

Marty

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Mon, 17 Aug 2020 20:56:09 +0000 https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/08/17/new-good-habits/ jill@originalstrength.net (Jill Greene)
How To Incorporate a Breathing Practice into Your Daily Life https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/08/17/how-to-incorporate-a-breathing-practice-into-your-daily-life/ And now, A guide to establishing a breathing practice by Original Strength Instructors, Sarah Young and Mike Moran...

 

We all breathe.

We all could breathe a bit better.

And that’s important because how we breathe affects how we move through life. Breath is the foundation of movement. Breath is life.

 

And the number one thing we can all do to make our breathing better is to breathe more with our diaphragms. After all, the diaphragm muscle is designed to help us breathe optimally. So the more we can access it, connect with it, the better our breathing will get.

 

All it takes is a willingness to relax and explore. That and a commitment to yourself to set aside time to do it. Building any practice requires such dedication. A breathing practice is simply an investment of time that’s an investment in you. One that pays itself back in improved health dividends. And you are more than worthy of that investment.

 

So how does a person develop a daily breathing practice?


The first step is to make it a part of your daily schedule. Yes, put yourself on your own schedule. Don’t let anything else get in the way. Start with two times a day. Pick a time in the morning and then another in the evening preferably before bed. All you need is about 5 to 10 minutes per session. 

 

Now that you’ve scheduled time for your breathing practice let’s talk about what those breathing sessions might look like. As mentioned earlier, connecting to your diaphragm is the foundation of the practice. So how do you make the connection? 

 

While each person is unique in how they find and reconnect with their diaphragm, there are usually 1 to 3 different positions in which most people are able to make the connection.  One is breathing while lying on one’s back and gently holding one’s knees towards one’s chest. This position often works.

 

If a person doesn’t find their diaphragm in this position then having them breathe while lying on their back with feet on the floor and knees bent often does the trick. And if the diaphragm still remains elusive a person can lie on their belly with one hand on top of the other hand and their forehead gently resting on their hands. This position is often referred to as the crocodile breathing position.

 

And oh yea, breathing in and out through your nose with the tip of your tongue resting on the roof of your mouth really aids in diaphragmatic connection. This tongue placement also aids in opening up your airway.


In your breathing practice sessions, you can explore these breathing positions. Simply inhale softly, easy, and quietly through your nose. Then exhale through your nose softly, easily, and quietly. And while you breathe in and out remember to gently place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Bring your full attention and awareness to the moment. Feel your breath. Simply notice how it feels to breathe. 

 

Try to make your exhale a bit longer than your inhale. For example, you can breathe in for a count of 3 and exhale for a count of 5. Or you can inhale for a count of 5 and exhale for a count of 8. The longer exhale allows for your diaphragm to relax more fully which it greatly appreciates.

 

It may be helpful to imagine your lungs as two big balloons. On the inhale imagine that you're blowing up those balloons from the bottom to the top. Feel how your ribs are nudged to move up and out as your diaphragm flattens and moves down on the inhale. On the exhale feel how the air leaves your lung balloons and your ribs move back to their starting position and as your diaphragm domes back up. 

 

And please remember, feeling and sensing breathing tends to be more powerful than trying to think breathing. Also, please make your breathing practice a judgment-free zone. Just breathe and be with your breath. 

 

That’s it. Just two sessions of 5 to 10 minutes each of mindful breathing is solid groundwork to begin a breathing practice.

 

And if you want to dive in a bit deeper with your breathing practice, well then, here are some more ideas...

 

During the day, play with having some check-ins with your diaphragm and your breathing. This will strengthen your practice a bit more. Maybe set a timer that goes off every hour to remind you to breathe. 

 

If you drive a lot, maybe use that as your reminder to breathe. When you get in the driver’s seat take some slow and deep mindful breaths in and out before you even take the car out of park. 

 

And if you have a daily flurry of phone calls or texts or emails, use that as a reminder to breathe. Reconnect with your diaphragm and breathing before you open up your emails, look at your texts, or listen to your voicemails. After a couple of mindful breaths simply return to the task at hand.


Breathing is just like strength training or playing music in that it is a process and a skill. It’s not a one and done kind of thing. The more you do it, with intention and awareness, the better you’ll get at it. And with better breathing, well, everything gets better!!

 

Enjoy your practice!

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Mon, 17 Aug 2020 02:47:00 +0000 https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/08/17/how-to-incorporate-a-breathing-practice-into-your-daily-life/ tim@originalstrength.net (Tim Anderson)
Better, Better & Better - A Spinal Success Story https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/08/11/draft-sue-success-story/

I came across your Original Strength concept back in May 2020 when I was researching something for a friend.  I listened to your podcast concerning your program.

I then watched many of your youtube videos and purchased 3 of your books – Original Strength-Pressing RESET Reloaded, Habitual Strength and The Becoming Bulletproof Project.  I also have subscribed to your blog.

My situation is as follows:

In November 2018, I had spinal surgery (lasting 3.5 hours) for the removal of a 2” benign (thank God) meningioma on my spine between T8 and T9.  They did a laminectomy from T7 to T10. 

My spinal cord was compressed 90% prior to the surgery.

And they did not know how long the tumor had been there.

Because my spinal cord was compressed that much, the nerve transmission from my feet up to my brain and back again was impacted.

I was in the hospital for 10 days then rehab for 30 days.  I came home on a walker, barely standing and walking.

I had in-home PT for 6 weeks and then Outpatient PT at several locations.

It was your 5 movements / resets (whatever you call them), along with the crawl that re-established that communication between my lower body and brain.  The Physical Therapists had only experience dealing with people following hip and knee replacements.  The neurosurgeon indicated he did approximately 10 of these surgeries per year (and let’s say there are 10 neurosurgeons in this area) – so really, what is the likelihood that the PT I went to post-op had a patient with the same issue I had????

Even though outpatient PT has addressed many issues, it NEVER touched on balance and coordination as your program has.  I started doing The 10 Minute Daily Reset as outlined on P. 122 in your Pressing RESET Reloaded book.  My balance and coordination and walking and moving have improved SIGNIFICANTLY!!  Thank you.

Since I subscribed to your blog, I recently received the John Hopkins Recovery & Rehab that you developed jointly.  I found that helpful.

I am still regaining strength in my hips / legs / feet and am walking unaided (no walker / no walking poles).

I realize I also need to do more training, etc. but I am sooooooooooooo grateful for your program. 

Many blessings to All of You at Original Strength!!

Sue, NC

MY DAILY MOTTO

I AM SO HAPPY AND SO GRATEFUL THAT EVERY DAY IN EVERY WAY I AM BETTER, BETTER AND BETTER.

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Tue, 11 Aug 2020 18:02:00 +0000 https://originalstrength.net/blog/2020/08/11/draft-sue-success-story/ jill@originalstrength.net (Jill Greene)