Get Up Challenge Updates

The challenge continues with every day explorations of our most commonly practiced get up drills at FitStrong.

Today I spent roughly 10 minutes after my main daily routine of Deadlifting and Pressing etc (ask if interested) playing with the ‘side bent sit get up’.

Here’s the time-lapse video.

And here’s a guide to the side bent sit get up:

Invitation to ‘Move with Jamie’

Everything I teach can be summed as ‘movement’. Whether I’m helping someone feel less stiff and achy, helping someone prepare for a StrongFirst Kettlebell certification or helping someone lead a physically more balanced life – I’m teaching movement.

A number of months ago I shut down my Facebook page (here’s that post) as I felt I really wasn’t achieving what I wanted from the social media platform. I was just posting for the sake of posting. Sometimes for marketing but mostly just to show presence – but it didn’t really achieve much, except from taking time from my day.

I have put in much thought into how to re-enter the social media life. First off, I had to except that E-communications is here to stay and it could be foolish of me to ignore the potential.

Potential? To do what I love to do – teach.

Saturday afternoon, cold and windy, I thought, ‘well, this is as good a time as any to restart FitStrongs facebook!’

To best serve my goals, I’ve created a private group, ‘Move With Jamie’.

This group is dedicated to the practice of exploring movement for health, personal development, fun and curiosity. 

I’ve set this group up slightly differently to the normal groups.
Rather than filling a page up with a constantly growing feed of posts, I’m creating 5 Units.
Each Unit will be dedicated to different facets of movement that we practice at FitStrong Strength and Wellness.

The Units are:
1. Restoration
2. Locomotion
3. Natural Movement
4. Flow
5. Exploration

In each of these Units I’ll grow the information, demonstrate, teach some and more than anything, promote the natural methods of developing strength and wellness.

 
Move With Jamie
Private group · 6 members
Join Group
This group is dedicated to the practice of exploring movement for health, personal development, fun and curiosity.
 

Build Stronger Feet and Balance

I really am a terrible person but I just can’t help myself laughing out loud, a literal lol when I watch one of those videos with people slipping, falling, crashing their bike on a straight road and of course cats slipping off the kitchen counter. 

It is an innate human thing to do – laugh at someone else’s expense. This very natural response is called Schadenfreude. ‘Schadenfreude is when we laugh at someone else’s misfortune. Schadenfreude comes from the two German words, Schaden and Freude, harm and joy’. Psychology Today It’s our built in response to avoid fear or pain. Simple hey!?

Personally I’d rather not fuel someone else’s avoidance of feel fear or anxiety by not tripping, falling, slipping, to the best of my abilities anyway. 

Another failing of mine are my feet. My big size 46 feet. I used to torture them by squeezing them into tight, rigid cycling shoes. I wore these specialised shoes for 20-25 hours+ a week for a few years when I raced full-time in the 90s’. The firmness of the shoe helps not waste energy pushing into the pedals but can and does result in pathetically weak feet and ankles if no other training is carried out.  

Apart from neurological conditions, weak feet and ankles are leading causes of trips, falls and knee pains. 

While my feet are better now than right after I hung up my bike and stiff shoes (because of knee problems), they have suffered anyway. I tend to train in the gym barefoot or in socks which has helped me immensely. No more orthotics for me. However, I noticed for ages how my bush walks took their toll on my feet and ankles despite wearing expensive barefoot style shoes. Cramps, aches and occasional plantar fascia inflammation all made walking less enjoyable. Until…

Until I discovered balance training. 

In 2016 we had some renovation work done on our house. One length of hardwood removed nearly ended up in the builders skip. This piece of 5m, 8cm x 20cm chunk of hardware made me immediately think ‘balance exercises’ in the gym. I was mostly thinking of adding this for my senior gym members as part of fall-prevention training. 

Sadly I didn’t action this right away. Thinking people would label me as mad as a fish I wasn’t brave enough to unleash the beam. Until… 

Ol Faithful

… Until I finally attended the level 1 Certification with MovNat in January 2020. The curriculum includes many aspects of natural human movement. The preparation manual included many movements to practice including balance. I didn’t really think much about the effort of walking along a length of timber until I realised how inefficient I was. Not wanting to flunk my cert because I couldn’t balance walk, I put in much practice. Pretty much daily I spent a minute here and there walking forward, backwards, shuffling sideways, duck-walking along the timber and other really quite fun moves. This was between November 2019 and January 2020 and during this time I was still doing my weekly off-road walks that I’ve always done. Very rough paths, loose stones and rocks and bits of trees etc.

I can honestly say my body had an epiphany earlier in the year. Were I normally have to focus on where I’m placing my feet to avoid an ouchy, it’s as if my feet just all-of-sudden intuitively knew where to go. These past 6 months of ongoing off-road walking have been fantastic. More relaxed, faster when I need to be and so much more efficient with fewer trips or stumbles if any at all. Best of all, my feet and ankles simply do not give me any negative feedback afterwards. No tight ankles. No big toe pain. No plantar fascia pains. My feet have learned how to be feet again it seems.

Doing more reading has supported my thoughts that balance training effectively fine tunes the feet and ankles and their reflexive strength and endurance. 

I do still daily walks on my cheap ol homemade balance beam that was saved from the builder and I have all my clients routinely walking and working on some 2x4s from Bunnings. At $5 each these have been great investments. A lot cheaper than recovering from a painful fall or trip. I’m not saying a trip or fall will never happen, cause hey, ‘life happens’, but luck favours the prepared.

If you spend your day in hard soled shoes and complain of sore feet and ankles, I really do recommend you call over to your local hardware store and pick up a length of 2×4… or check out the builders skip in your suburbs. 

Here are a couple of videos of simple balance drills, starting with one not needing any equipment at all, just the floor beneath you.

And if you can get hold of a 2×4 or similar, here are some great exercises to practice.

Wooden board is optional, but it puts a sense of reality into the practice.
A little bit more tricky, but also fun.

Got any thoughts or experiences? Why not get in touch.

Animal Flow in Brisbane

With everyone now able to roam more freely in the fresh air, I think it’s time to have fun, learn some new skills, get stronger and fitter and look cool at the same time haha.

Yes, I’m being upbeat despite all that has been going on, but that’s exactly how I feel when practicing Animal Flow. I get to escape in the details of each and every movement, the alignments, the breathing and how to transition from one position to the next movement.

A typical session will see me mobilise my joints in preparation before ‘switching on’ all the important muscles needed for the work ahead. I’ll then typically practice each movement on the planned flow before building that flow from start to finish.

I could talk more, but if you’ve read this far, maybe you’d like to join me in my upcoming small group classes to learn more about this unique strength and fitness system.

Here are a couple of videos to get you thinking more…

  1. The practice of the Kick through movement.

2. A full flow demonstration with some extras at the end.

To really encourage people to try Animal Flow I am currently offering personal sessions at a reduced PT price.

  • Classes will be 45 minutes in length.
  • $45

These can be booked in via the FitStrong booking page.

Interested? Get in touch to learn more.

Get Up… and Down Stronger

In this third part of the Get Up series I’ll introduce a great method of getting to the floor and back up that does represent a very real-world method of, well, getting to the floor.

The Strength Get Up I showed you last time has purpose to get stronger whilst performing the get up with a hand weight of some sort or (as I suggested in the scenario) if you had a sore back or broken arm!

The Prone Get Up we’ll look at today is again, a great strength and mobility exercise by itself, but contextually also a super method of getting to the floor to say, look for that lost $50 under the sofa.

The movement could be simplified as a squat down to a push up but it would be boring of me to leave it at that. I could also describe it as a refined healthy variation of a Burpee… but I don’t like Burpees haha.

Here’s a move by move description if the video isn’t sufficient:

  1. Stand upright on the balls of your feet.
  2. Slowly pull yourself down into ‘your’ deep knee bend. Everyone has their own limit to this range of motion and position.
  3. With your arms outstretched, reach for the floor.
  4. Perform a simple reverse push up to lie on the floor.
  5. Chill for a moment.
  6. Pull hands back to the side of the chest and push off the ground with your stomach braced too.
  7. You might need a second push to assist returning to the deep knee bend position. Keep it safe.
  8. From the deep knee bend, brace once more to stand up.

Progressing:

  • Try to slow the whole movement down. It’s not a race to see how many reps you can do in a minute but rather a practice to see how efficient you can perform the move with control.
  • You could lean back a little on the deep knee bend. This will add to the thigh workload considerably.
  • Aim to perform the push from the floor in one go.

Notes: The drop from the deep knee bend to the floor (and reverse) can be performed one knee at a time if that is where your ability is. I do perform it that way myself at times to understand the whole movement more fully. Meet your body where it is. That’s always a great rule.

Got any feedback or questions? Just pop them on the feedback form below.

Get Up!

As a coach, I’ve met plenty of people over the years who either had resistance to getting down to the floor, had previously had a fall and was reluctant to revisit the floor in any capacity or who quite frankly didn’t see any purpose to get to the floor for exercise or other.

There are many reasons to practice and train getting to the floor and back up again. Let’s make a short list.

  1. Improve your every day life and for its eventualities
  2. Prepare you with skills needed for when you have to get to the ground or a fall to the ground
  3. Improve your bodies mobility
  4. Improve your body awareness and coordination
  5. Improve your bodies resilience through increased strength and conditioning
  6. Decrease any fear of the floor
  7. Open opportunities to explore other movements and purposes of getting up and down

 

I’m not going to teach get ups in this post, but I will soon – I promise.

Here’s a glimpse of just 8 styles of ‘get ups’.

 

Got any questions or feedback? Get in touch below.