Rolling Rolling Rolling

Becoming a limp bizkit can make you feel awesome, seriously! Let me explain.

I heard this one Limp Bizkit song on a Spotify playlist and – ‘ding’ – went a light bulb in my head – “I have to write a wee piece about this”.baby-roll

It may have been released in the year 2000, 17 years ago, but I think Limp Bizkit were really onto something when they wrote ‘Rolling Rolling Rolling’.

Let’s just check out the lyrics below. VIDEO 

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Now, you might not be a fan of Limp Bizkit but hear me out. Much like music makes you smile, emotive, happy even, I’m finding rolling around on the floor makes people smile, emotive and even happier. Happier and more confident I may add in their strength moves to follow in their training sessions. By unlocking the four corners of the body, by just rolling around, people are finding it more comfortable to execute all their planned pushes, pulls, squats and hinges and other gym endeavours.

One particular chap can’t wait to hit the gym floor and start rolling… followed by various “Ah’s” and “Oohs” as one part of his body after another releases its day-long tensions (years worth perhaps). Just this week one couple told me how they spent the previous evening on the kitchen floor doing their rolls!! “Fantastic”, says I.

Before I continue, the roll in question is a segmented roll.

The video above demonstrates the segmental roll. Lying on the floor, somewhat like a starfish, you roll yourself from your back to your front (or vice versa) leading with your eyes, head and an accompanying limb. With a leg or an arm you reach over yourself to roll and flop yourself over.  The movement of rolling like this is something we all did as children or more specifically, as babies. The ability to roll is a development movement that patterns gait; how we got ready to use our heads, to crawl and then to walk, run and play in all kinds of directions. Segmented rolling is what gives us cross bracing in our torso.

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I’m looking up at the underside of my decking right now, where the gym is based, and during the building of the decking, bracing was used to tie together the 4 corners of the decking.

 

We have much the same muscular / fascial connections on both our anterior and posterior that tie together our corners. Left hip to right shoulder, right hip to left shoulder.

We are literally X-men and X-women!

We learned to roll as infants and as our strength developed we quickly figured out how to move out of static postures like lying on our front, sides or back. Once we could move our huge melon heads (Tim Andersons description of baby heads, not mine haha) and we could look around us, it wasn’t long before we discovered the ability to move our body more. Literally, where the eyes and head went, the body followed.

This crucial stage in our physical development gave us autonomy and some self-sufficiency and independance. After the sequence of rolling from front to back or back to front, we were capable and strong enough to explore getting into other wonderful positions like sitting or getting up onto our hands and knees. No longer did we need our parents to prop us up between cushions for a baby pic.

However, what happens towards the end of our juvenile years that continues often into adulthood is quite repressive in regards to our naturally developed physical independence.

Once school progresses into some hot and heavy learning, sitting becomes a dominant past time and this is reflected in adulthood with the majority of the workforce having desk bound, sedentary occupations. Maybe it’s best to describe most occupations as still. Repeated ‘stillness’ is a large condition of growing up.

What happens to ‘still’ occupied adults is a gradual de-conditioning of physical autonomy.

Rolling and rotation (a function of rolling) ends up not being a frequent movement for most adults and sadly many get sore or hurt on attempting rotational activities! Once we take away this infant learning pattern, we gradually peel away other physical ability. Balance, coordination, motor control as well as the strength to control our 4 corners (hips and shoulders).

It’s never too late though to prevent this de-conditioning from escalating. It may take a few bad experiences, tweaks of this, that or the other before the self realisation that, ‘hey, why am I so weak and broken at 35 years of age’?

I personally fell in love with segmented rolling when I discovered the Original Strength system and I very quickly learned how the albeit simple and strain free act of rolling, rocking and nodding my head gave me back some pain free movements that allowed me to pursue some bigger physical goals and challenges. I used to think that strong was just being able to move big weights. Later I learned that strength has a much greater scope that includes being able to control our own bodies in a whole range of positions.

It’s not just me either. The majority of people I work with as a trainer discover their ‘ah ha’ moments whilst rolling, rocking and nodding.

Everyone can now touch their toes, squat deep, look over their shoulders without whining and more importantly, confidently jump into their gym training programs and physical activities outside of the gym.

My take away? Don’t overlook the benefits of exploring the floor beneath us. Roll around, get loosey-goosey… maybe whilst listening to some Limp Bizkit!

For more information about how you ‘press reset’ for your body, get in touch below and we can make time to have a chat about where to start. 

 

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