>>Jonas: My name is Jonas. I invited Kelly to speak today. Kelly founded San Francisco
CrossFit about five years ago with his wife, Juliet, who is also in the audience. Thanks
for coming. And I think some time last year, Kelly started with his mobility project. And
he was mainly posting a YouTube video on mobility per day for a full year.
You are at about 270 right now I think. And for me, that really showed what you can do
with a little bit of knowledge, good intentions, a camera, and an internet connection. So I've
been watching a lot of those videos. I work at YouTube, so I've been looking for things
to watch at night. And so, the videos were super helpful.
Thanks for posting all that. And I thought Kelly would be a great fit for Health@Google's
speaker series. And why don't you come up to the stage and teach us how to use the time
in the office for our bodies rather than against it? Thanks for coming.
>>Kelly Starrett: First, thanks for coming on your lunch. I appreciate it. My name is
Kelly Starrett. I'm a clinical doctor of physical therapy. I own a strength and conditioning
center in San Francisco with my wife. And Jonas was referring to the fact that about
We see lots of athletes and we specialize in the gamut from children all the way up
to the most elite scary power lifter you can see. So we see--. We have lots and lots of
athletes come through, lots and lots of people come through. In the last six years, we maybe
estimate we've seen 60 thousand athlete sessions at our gym, which is a lot of pattern recognition.
So first and foremost, I'm a strength conditioning coach, but I'm also a physical therapist.
And what I was seeing was that I was running into the same patterns and the same problems
over and over again. And people were running, sitting at their desks, doing their due diligence,
eating right, trying to exercise like mad.
And we were finding that people were making the same errors and same type one mistakes
over and over again. And I'd see a lot of people would come and talk to us about their
back pain or their knee pain or their ankle stuff. They injured themselves in college,
And they were coming to see me after having an MRI, getting a physician's referral for
physio. And there were very simple things that we were, that they could have done. They
didn't need that. There should've been some basic information that your Grandma should've
passed down to you.
That your Mom should've said, "Oh, you have knee pain? Why don't you do this? This is
your Granddads favorite knee squat test, stretch your quad kind of thing." So, what
happened was that we started a project that we were gonna be committed to changing the
way that people thought about taking care of themselves, that they should be able to
perform basic maintenance on themselves.
One of the crucial factors is examining and drawing consciousness to how it is you sit,
what are you normal patterns every day? I'll tell you that sitting in a chair and talking
about sitting at a desk is probably the most dry, horrific topic on the planet. And it's
much akin to talking about the differences in toilet paper. Come on.
What I want you guys to know is that if you're here and learn some very few basic organizing
principles and understanding about how your body works, you'll be able to apply it everywhere.
And you can take this time sitting at your desk and you can actually use this as a launchpad
to get a lot of work done, so that your time off the desk is not influenced by the time
on the desk.
And that's the underlying principle where we're going. I wanna make sure we have time
to answer individual questions, but we have a lot to get going through. My wife always
reminds me that I speak quickly and I get excited sometimes. So, if I start to haul
butt a little bit, slow me down.
Stop me and we'll make sure you understand the concepts, OK? All right. So, again, our
essential premise is that you should know this. This should be free information. Your
basic understanding of how you work and how you sit should not be happenstance. You should
arrive at a system of movement.
And some of you were elite-level gymnasts, I can tell, as kids. And some of you were
obviously high-level fighter pilots. You're tipped back in your chair the same amount--.
They actually tip fighter jets for the fighter pilots back 'cause they didn't know how to
teach airplane pilots and fighter jet pilots how to protect their backs, so they just tipped
the seat back.
And that's one of the ways that you can naturally get out of that position. We can see it. We
start judging our athletes immediately when they come in the door. So, if we start to
have some basic concepts, some understanding, we can get rolling.
And what I wanna show you that is that in the news recently, in every dirty men's fitness
journal, Men's Fitness, Men's Health, they're talking about trying to scare you that sitting
is going to kill you. And I'll tell you that that is the worst, worst way to get my attention.
And I'll tell you an example why. How many people in here flossed this morning? Raise
your hands. Right. Yet you all know you should floss religiously. And the problem is if you
don't floss, what's gonna happen? Not flossing is like not wiping, one of our friends says,
but that's an aside, right?
The issue here is that you aren't flossing and you know you may or may not lose your
teeth in the long haul, but tomorrow you'll wake up and you'll still have your teeth.
And flossing didn't improve your life. You did not see any direct improvement based on
You couldn't feel change. You didn't wake up feeling supple. You didn't PR on your 5K.
And that's the problem when we try to make things germane to people, relative to "Hey
do this or else.
Sit in your chair, or else." You're like, "Dude. I'm a World Champion. I sit in my chair
all day long and then I go rock the kickball league and it doesn't affect me." So what
we wanna do is try to tie more of the behaviors of why we should be doing things, into things
that we can change and things that we can see, and not--.
Flossing scare model is a bad model. So, let's move on. What we wanna do is start thinking
about sitting as a skill. And it's a high-skill activity. In fact, if you look at yoga and
you look at the Buddha and how these people are sitting. They've spent a whole millions
and thousands of years organizing themselves to be able to sit effectively.
And Buckminster Fuller, great thinker, talked about that all systems that are true and organized
are mutually accommodating. And that once you start to understand and see some basic
organizing principles to which you're falling to everyday and maybe not paying attention,
you'll be shocked when the veil of illusion comes away from your eyes.
And you're sitting like the Buddha all day long. At Google. Which is really the dream.
You start sitting at an early age for some reason. And did your Mom ever teach you how
to sit? No. Did we teach our kids how to sit at school? No. It's just one of those assumptions.
While youre sitting, youre sitting fine. Everyone can sit. But yet, it's probably the
highest skill, highest demand thing that we do. This is one of my daughter's friends sitting
in the chair. And my daughter is wisely sitting on the ground. Just wanted to put that out.
So we go from sitting at an early age, to suddenly this very complex minutia of, "Hey,
I have the right thing," and this angle at my knee. And what I wanna show you is that
that's great. You can sit in this position. You have the computer right, but look at how
many 90 degree angles are in that human being.
Can you see that? If you're in an idealized state of sitting at a computer, according
to our ergo brothers and sisters, you have one at the ankle, one at the knee, one at
the hip, one at the elbow. And you spend a nice chunk of your day stuck in 90 degrees,
because that's what we say is the best way to go.
So imagine you and I are having lunch at the most famous cafeteria in the whole world and
you notice that I can only bend my arm halfway to my face. That would be a little strange
because eventually, I'd start complaining of neck pain, wrist pain. But imagine if I
spent ten hours a day, or longer, stuck with 90 degree angles in my body.
Suddenly, you might just see like, "Hey, what are you doing Kelly?" "Well, I'm practicing
eating for lunch. It's gonna be fine." And what happens in a lot of times is that we
see this slow decay, slow transformation of the body to reflect the reality of what we
do every day.
We like to say that muscles and tissues are like obedient dogs. And your body will respond
in kind all day long. All you have to do is practice. So if you wanna sit in 90 degree
angles, easy. So, where do we go from there? I'm gonna show you a little, quick video of
an athlete who is a very, very strong power athlete.
I want you to notice that she's working full ranges of motion. There is oftentimes, we
see that people literally will not bend their legs past 90 degrees for an entire day. They
wake up. They get off the bed. They sit on the loo. They go down to have breakfast. They
go to work.
They're in their car. And that leg has never bent more than 90 degrees the whole day. And
yet, you're designed to be a moving machine. You are an elegant moving machine. So here's
an athlete squatting. Going for one rep max back squat. It's a very technical move.
She's using this West-side style approach. What I want you to notice is the full range
of motion. I want you to notice that her knees go out when she stands up. OK? This is Caroline
Starrett, my other daughter, at age 11 months. At some point, we stop thinking about why
do we move the way we move?
You're gonna notice that she's gonna squat all the way down to the grass. Butt to grass
squat here. Perfect positioning. Shin is vertical, minimizing sheer across the knee, etc., etc.
Watch this. Perfect squat up. That was the paleochair, by the way. All the way down.
If you don't have a chair. The Starrett girls are so advanced athletes that they squat and
eat at the same time. It's really the next evolution of working and moving. And then
she's sitting down on that chair. But what's happening is that she's, by default, sitting,
getting up and down up off the ground.
Cultures that even sleep and toilet on the ground, we see a lot less hip disease. We
see a lot less back disease. Which is why? Because we use it. We use those ranges of
motion. So the question is what's happening? And I want you guys to do a quick test for
me. If you--.
Some of you guys are eating. Don't worry about it. But if you can, I want you guys just to
stand up for me real quick. You need to experience it to really understand. All right. Here's
what we're gonna do. I want you to stick your hands in your pockets. Grab this big chunk.
Bend over and grab this big chunk of skin here. It's like chicken skin. That's the crackling
of the human being, right there. Got it? OK. Guys, not sexy. Grab it. Grab hold. It's not
your shirt. It's your skin. Got a big handful of it? OK. Now, this represents about a 90
degree angle in your body.
Got it? Now go ahead and stand up. Hold that skin. Do not let that skin go. What happens
to your back? How does that feel? It's awesome. Right? You overextend. Can you feel you're
tight in the hips? And you've had to make a compromise based on the fact that you're
hips are tight.
Can you guys feel that if you reach and grab that skin? And if you try, you're gonna tear
that skin off your legs. Don't do that. Or, you're gonna have to make some compromise.
Well, this is what happens to us after we sit for even a short period of time. Your
body instantaneously reflects what's going on underneath.
Now, what's interesting is that a lot of our athletes and Google people out here have switched
to a standing desk, which is fantastic, but yet, still has its own unique set of problems.
And if I stand all day long in a bad position, it's the same thing as sitting all day long
in a bad position.
In fact, you'll see very, very sophisticated yoga enlightened people stand and they put
one leg up. What are they doing? They're trying to figure out a way not to have their backs
hurt. If you've ever gone drinking at a bar, you notice that they have that bar at the
bottom of the bar.
Captain Morgan position, right? What that's about so we can make it easier to stand up.
And you'll see examples like this all the time. But what's really happening when you
picked up that hip is that you were playing what we call "Gas-O Brake-O." Your body has
the capacity to generate lots of force, run away from bears instantaneously.
You have a model that can generate lots of force over lots of periods of time very quickly
in spite of your tight hips. And so, by the time we've actually worn out a joint or caused
some pain, it's because you've been running around with your hand brake.
And Gas-O Brake-O is a game that we used to play when we would travel in rental cars on
the National team. And what we would do is basically turn the car on and floor the gas
pedal all the time because, of course, that's what it's there for--the gas. Right foot.
So you turn the car on. You floor the gas pedal. You can't drive 90 miles an hour all
the time, so you put your foot on the brake at the same time. So the car's revving to
eight thousand RPMs. And you've got your foot on the brake. Can you see how that works?
And then you just accelerate and decelerate the brake.
We work with the military. They told me that's called "tactical driving." But when we did
it, we called it Gas-O Brake-O. So, you play Gas-O Brake-O till you think you're gonna
die or the car's gonna blow up. We've pulled into the hotel in South America, Team USA.
We get out. And the young, nice man was there. He's like, "Senor, senor." And we're like,
"No, no. It's OK. We're Team USA. We're here." And he's like, "No, no. Senor. Senor." We're
like, "No, really. We're checking in for the world championships. We're here." And he's
like, "Your wheel is on fire, Senor."
And we had literally set the tire on fire. And of course we were so shocked. How could
that possibly happen? I have no idea. Well, we were running around with our Ferrari engines
of that rental car with the brake--on.
And that's what's happening to a lot of our athletes. We sit down. And unbeknownst to
us, that hand brake starts to come up a little bit and you start playing Gas-O Brake-O. So
we're gonna show you how to ameliorate that. And the model is simple. It's movement and
We want you to think about you have to know how to organize and how to get moved, how
to move correctly. And it's very simple. And at the same time, you have to be able to treat
yourself. So there's our model--movement and mobility. First thing in the movement we'll
take off is get organized.
Spine, then limbs. So, here's what I wanna show you. I'm gonna show you guys the two-hand
rule first. So, what I want you to do is sit up tall. Take a look at the difference. Every
single person in this room is now gonna sit up. So, you caught yourself in what we call
an "open circuit position."
We're literally--. You're hanging on your spine, slightly flexed. Or, you're over there
in the back and you're just ramrod straight like your Mom told you. And you're also in
an over-extended, non-supported position. So, the two-hand rule is that if you take
Actually, come stand up for me. It'll be even easier. If you find your sternum right here.
It's the bottom of your rib cage. That's where you're not--. That's your xiphoid process.
Don't do CPR there, right? Remember that? Make a flat hand. Take your other hand and
put it on your pubic bone.
Now, check this out. Make your belly as tight as you can and squeeze your butt as hard as
you can with your feet straight. Get that tight. So, if someone walked up and punched
you in the stomach, you would laugh. No problem. Here we go. I'm gonna show you what I'm talking
Right. So, you're nice and tight. That is neutral spine. If your butt is squeezed and
your abs are on, that is straight up and down balance and supported. You're braced. Now,
you can't walk around flexing your cobrahood all the time 'cause it's weird, right?
[strained voice] "Good morning. How are you? Stable, braced."
[normal voice] What we need to do, though, is think you gotta
have 20% of that best effort on all the time. So, if you just give me squeeze your butt
20% , belly tight 20% , you'll notice that you found yourself in a good position. Now
if you go to sit down and your hands.
Keep your hands there. If your hands go apart, that's a fault. That's a broken spinal position.
Or, if you're sitting in the chair and your hands start coming together, you're ending
up in the dreaded dog poop position. Same thing.
Dreaded spine flexion, herniation. Danger. It's not bad. It just looks bad. So, go ahead
and see if you can hold that neutral spine for me, that 20% of your abs, and sit down
and pay attention.
So now as you sit down, now you have some base line. And it's easy to find that organized
position when you're standing. And that's one of the reasons we like to have our athletes
and office, our executive athletes stand because it's really easy to be in this organized position.
As soon as I sit down, my athlete capsules. My tight jeans are all pulling me into a bad
position. I have to overcome that. So if I get organized in a standing position, it's
easier. And it's easier to see. And you can see that many of us are like, "That was an
And then my hands are basically touching each other. So, the first error is that it doesn't
matter what you're doing with your keyboard, or how high your desk is or where your mouse
is. If your back is trashed and you're hanging out on your joints all day long, it's no good.
And one of the things that we'll see is that from a chi standpoint, or neurological outflow
efficiency, when we see changes in spinal positioning that happen like this or at the
back of the head, it radically affects your power output and radically affects your reaction
time, your neural output.
Let me show you. Come on up here, Jonas. Yeah. And I'll have you--. Can you hold? I'll have
you hold the microphone. Come on. So, I'm gonna show you with these head positions make
a big difference. Now you're all sitting up. You have a nice model. You should always have
your abs on 20% .
You don't ever get to go on vacation unless you're sleeping. Always 20% . Now, here's
the deal. I'm gonna have Jonas put his hand out towards the wall in the back. And he's
gonna spread his fingers out. And spreading his fingers out is the same thing as making
his elbow stiff.
And so now his elbow is stiff. And how he's braced. And they'll--. Keep your eyes up.
I'm gonna try to bend them. Don't let me move you. OK?
[strained voice] Hold. Hold. He's very strong. OK. I can't do it. He's German. OK. Now, when
I have him look down, watch what happens instantaneously to his position.
So all he's gonna do is just look at the floor a little bit. 'Cause you can't relate to that
at all on the computer, OK?
>>Jonas: Or not.
>>Kelly Starrett: Hold. Now look up. Hold. Do I move you? And look down. And he breaks
right away. It's weird, like magic. The same thing will happen if he looks up. So, if he's
sitting in a bad position, either way, if we see the deviation in neck or spine, we'll
see the same break. [strained voice]
Hold. Hold. And just look up. Even if he looks up a little bit, we see that--thank you--big
change in output. And that's why we need to pay attention to what's going on. Do I have
a braced model? Do I have 20% of my trunk on all the time? So, I'm gonna walk around
and just be able to punch my co-workers.
Twenty percent is my best effort in their stomach all the time. They appreciate that.
And actually, in our family, we call it the "belly smack." And our daughter, at her gymnastics
class, that's how they teach the kids. They just give them a little smack in the belly
and they figure it out.
Twenty percent. OK, so you've got that model in your head now. You've gotta not violate
the two-hand rule. You can't extend. You can't flex. You gotta have on--. See, you did it
again. Easy to figure out. Big landmarks. And ultimately, you become a fencepost, which
is the highest degree of Zen you can achieve.
Now, the second part to understanding this--. First I said, first trunk, then limbs. So
the main thing that we need to talk about are shoulders and the hips. These are the
real issues for our bodies when we sit. If I'm disorganized at the trunk and hip, or
at the trunk, it doesn't really matter what's going on with my shoulder.
I can't ever fix this problem in my elbow or my wrist, because I'm disorganized here.
So now, I've got a plan here. Straight up and down and braced. Now I need to show you
a very complex biomechanical principle called "flexion and external rotation." And I know
you guys are all superstars.
And you're like, "Biomechanics was a sleeper class." But look. This is flexion in the arm.
Arm comes straight up. See how simple that is? Brushing your teeth, being a human being.
Most of those movements happen in flexion. Easy. External rotation is just turning the
arm out, turning the hand up.
That's external rotation. So, flexion and external rotation. Simple? Lemme give you
a few examples. It's really important. Flexion and external rotation is how gymnasts turn
out on the gymnastics rings. Right? Can you see it? So, they're turned out.
What's important about flexion and external rotation is that's where the shoulder becomes
stable. That's where the hip becomes stable. And then I've wound up that joint into a good,
tight position. And then I can hang out there all day long with very little muscular problem,
very little tissue deviation, tissue creep.
And it gives me an organized position to start with. And what you'll find is that you'll
see this over and over again in nature. Savasana, or corpse pose, looks a lot like--. What's
her hand doing? It's an external rotation. It's the same as the gymnastics ring position.
It's the same anatomical position. Screwdriver. If you wanna tighten a screw, which way does
the screw turn? It's always set up for right-handed people. I know there's a right-handed bias
in the world. But its external rotation is how you tighten a screw, drive the screw in.
You'll see these patterns, even if you turn your car key on. How does your car start in
the morning? External rotation. There it is again. We're having a little yellow-out. There
we go. More importantly, 'cause you're probably at my generation, Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel-san
in the Karate Kid, what movement?
Wax on, wax off. And what is "wax on, wax off" really just about? External rotation
and flexion. So if you understand that you're gonna see these strong principles over and
over again, and in fact, if we're in a self-defense class and you grab my hand--. Grab my wrist
like you're holding me.
I'm danger, right? I don't know how you got my hand in the first place, but you've got
it now. I'm gonna break it. And how do they teach first external rotation? It's a very
strong, powerful position. It organizes the shoulders. So, if you're sitting at your desk,
the very first thing you can do to get organized at the shoulder is that external rotation.
And all you need to do is just screw your arm around to the back of the socket. Can
you do that? Try that. So, look. You're sitting in Savasana at your desk. Enlightened beings.
Now take a look at this. I was an Avatar nerd, like everyone else. And I really bought in
to the Unobtainium movement and understood all this.
Until I saw this. Does anyone understand what's wrong with this photo? I was like, after this,
I was like, "James Cameron is so unrealistic. He did not pay attention to any of the details."
Because what position is that person drawing the bow, the Na'vi? She's in internal rotation.
No advanced human being life force, whatever, would draw a bow in a weak position. And so,
if the hand was on the other side, I would've bought the movie. But the fault is the person
is internally rotated, which is the same position that you were not supposed to type in.
The same position that causes all this not good positioning and looks really, really
bad. So, you can see it. This is the break. So, let's show you something. This is probably
the most critical part of the whole talk, is what I call the "Western Keyboard" approach.
This is our friend, Mark Bell.
He's benching 900 pounds. He's going for the world record. I think it's crazy. But he's
a good friend. The first thing he does--. So put your arms out. I'm gonna teach you
how to bench press like Mark Bell. Nine hundred pounds is coming. Set your shoulders back.
OK? And I want you to pretend like you're gonna break an imaginary bar, or stick, in
half. Forty-five degrees. What happened when we did that? External rotation. See how your
shoulder got stable? Now, get tight. Bellies tight. Two-hand rule. Now pull your elbows
down to the side.
Ready to go. You're bench pressing. It's very heavy. And that's your keyboard position.
Hey, that's the Western Approach. So, if I actually rotate again, pull it down, get it
tight. And guess where my mouse should go? External rotation. There's that same principle
that if I'm internally rotating for my mouse, my shoulder is disorganized.
I'm gonna have problems. So, we teach people how to get all this good, fancy set-up, but
we don't ever teach them how to sit and what positions they should be in. Questions.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #1: [inaudible]
>>Kelly Starrett: Oh, the problem with the earlier slide was that her hand is not in
an externally rotated position. The hand is in an internally rotated position, which means
the shoulder is in a weakened impinged state.
It's a disorganized position. All you need to do is just wax off, and then that's how
you would do it, right? It's easy to see. Good question. Need the biomechanics. OK,
so that's our Western Approach. Now, because we're so much more Zen than Mark Bell, I'm
gonna show you guys an Eastern Keyboard approach.
So here's what I want you to do. Go ahead and externally rotate the arms, like you're
gonna sit back. And you know that they probably told you to squeeze your shoulder blades together.
And that never works because the shoulder blade is never organized in a wound-up, tight
So, external rotate. Nice and tight. So now you're in Savasana. And then, just flip your
hands over. What position are you in now? Perfect typing position. And you can find
it either way, from either from this externally rotated position down. Or, just flip over
and turn it back up.
Now, I'll tell you what. This is probably the easiest way to understand and hold a good
texting machine. So, pull out your texting machine, whatever that is. Your texting machine
of choice. This is important. 'Cause then you're like, "Oh, I'm sitting so good at work
all day long." And then you're like, "Oh, text."
And you can fall right back into your little monkey habit. So here's what I want you to
do. I want you to hold your texting machine with one hand. Balance it on your hand.
Externally rotate. Bellies tight. Two-hand rule engaged. And then, just pull it in tight.
And then, place your other hand underneath. And now, your shoulders are supported and
you will be shocked that your typing rate will go up. Your number of texts answered
per minute will go up.
And your shoulders will not ache. And you see, as soon as you let those shoulders go,
your shoulders round forward, your head goes. It's terrible, isn't it? And so you just like,
"What are you doing?" You're like, "I'm getting ready to meditate with my texting machine."
And I'll tell you, it also solves the horrible thumb problem that we see in a lot of people
who have to be on little Blackberries all day long. So, if you can externally rotate
that hand first and then bring it in, we've solved it. And so much of this, you'll notice,
that this pattern happens.
And this person, this is the Bodhisattva , who basically wrote the Yoga Movement. And what
position is Lotus? External rotation, right? In fact, sitting Indian style, this is actually
the only appropriate use of Indian style. Everyone else is 'indigenous person' style.
But this is Indian style, is that the leg is externally rotated in flexion, which is
the same position as the upper body. So, you'll see these patterns over and over again. And
you'll be mini-obsessed with it. When we saw Caroline squat earlier--the Bear--she squatted
and her knees went out.
And that same knee-out position is that external rotation position, which stabilizes her hips.
So we're gonna see this same model at the hip and at the shoulder. All right. So we
have some basic understanding of how can I get my spine organized, two-handed rule, 20%
flexion, external rotation.
And then from there, you can basically go to the Olympics. Do whatever you want. Super
easy. So, next piece then, I said some movement and mobility approach. Well, the first part
of that is that we say hey, is the athlete in a good position? Is the person sitting
at the desk in a good position?
And then the second part is what's going on with the tissues? And here's that piece where
we usually skip around. And it doesn't matter how much massage you get, or stretching you
do, if you just default back to your troglodyte self, it's just amazing how you go back to
So, you have to fix the position. Then, we fix the tissues. And now we've got a recipe
for changing things. Here's what you're gonna do. You're gonna take a little test for me
right now. This is the dirty, secret show. I want you to pull your pant leg up. Now,
cross your leg.
Pull your pant up so you can see your shin. This is the technical part. This is your leg
bone right here. So, grab the calf behind the leg bone and the front. And what you're
gonna do is you're gonna see there's a flat part of the middle of that shaft, of that
Right in the front of the leg, there, in the shin. See there's a big, flat part of your
shin? It's flat there. What I want you to do is take your thumb and drive it right into
the flesh. Not on your calf, the muscle, but right over the bone. Try to push that thumb
into the bone.
Five seconds, hard. So right on the bone, push hard into the bone. Hard. Hard. Hard.
You're not pushing hard. I can tell. Get tight. Good. Now, pop your thumb up. Did you see
a dent in your skin? There's a little dent there. Raise your hand if you have a dent.
Don't be ashamed. I know that there's a global warming problem going on. This is what we
call global dehydration. And what that little pitting edema test is, is it's a metric of
how well your tissues are sliding over one another. And guess what?
If your tissues become pitted and nasty and you're dehydrated, then what ends up happening
is you go through a very complex process where high temperature--. Let's take a look at another
model. Imagine right now I weigh--. I'm a 200-pound guy. I'm a little more than that.
I'm an adult-sized male, 200 pounds. And I'm about a hundred degrees, give or take. Right
now, I have about a hundred degrees and a hundred pounds in each one of my butt cheeks.
Just like you. And guess what? Under high pressure and high temperature, you create
lamination, or oil.
That's how we laminate surfaces together, right. So what's going on right now is you
are in the complex process of creating what we call butt lamination. All of the tissues
of your butt and hamstrings are being sandwiched together under high pressure. For what, seven,
eight, nine, ten hours a day?
Plus the car ride. So you can imagine that if you also failed that dehydration test,
you don't have any lubrication. You had to take a drink of water. You couldn't even help
it. You're so thirsty. And what's happening is that you're getting those tissues stuck
And, for lack of a better word, you've created this sandwich out of most of your bits. Well,
that's happening in all of your tissues, your Achilles, the nerves sliding through the nerve
beds, how the tendons relate. All of these tissues end up getting sticky and they don't
slide very well and then they get stiff.
And that stiffness is one of the problems that happens. And so if I'm dehydrated and
then I freeze myself in a 90-degree position. You can imagine that after a while that's
gonna be a recipe for pain. I don't know what's happening, but I used to be a college swimmer
and now I can't put my arms over my head.
And it turns out you need water and salt. And what are the amounts of water? Well, we
recommend that people drink half their body weight in ounces. That's it, every day. And
what I think you should do--. So, do high math there. I know you can do it. It's very
It's not a lot of water. You should--here's the "should"--try doing all that at work.
It's one of the ways that we can gain this process is that I can take care of my hydration
at work. So I can use my coffee in the morning. Bridge myself to work. I drink all day long.
And then I go home and I'm gonna have red wine.
And neither of those things count towards our total water. But what does count is the
water that you're drinking during the day. So, baseline without exercise, half your body
weight in ounces every day. Now the key to this is that a lot of you drink more than
You're really good. You got your little gallon. You're refilling your thing. But it turns
out you're not adding any salt. And a lot of the people we're seeing now are paying
a lot more attention to their diet. They're very low-salt diets. They're eating primal,
And what's happening is that people are not salting anything and they've reinvented the
need for the salt trade. Well it turns out animals drink ferociously after they eat.
And the reason is that's when they absorb water.
And if you're not regularly going home and eating animal kidneys, which you're probably
not, then you need to think about your water as a chance to make it with a little salt
in it so it's the same salinity as your body can actually absorb it. So, what ends up happening
is you dose your kidneys.
You drink this big bolus of water. You're so good. And then you just tinkle all the
time. And that doesn't change any of the global dehydration. And this global dehydration,
this change in the quality of that stickiness of the tissues, it takes weeks to develop
and it takes weeks to undo.
So, what I'm saying is take a little pinch of sea salt and throw it in your water. Or,
there are nice companies in the world that make these great little tablets that you can
just drop into your bottle. And CamelBak gave us some of these. It doesn't matter what brand
There's NUUN. Everyone makes these little tablets of electrolytes. They're not sugar.
It's not Gatorade. It won't wreck your insulin, but it makes the water absorbable. So, make
sure you're not making that type one error, that foundational error, of being dehydrated
and you're drinking all the water, but you're not absorbing the water.
Because if we can undo that stickiness of that tissues, things change radically. What
happens is you become de-laminated where you want to become de-laminated. But this is your
tissue. It becomes stuck. I like the bacon 'cause it's a nice reference for your muscles
running through the grilled cheese sandwich that is your butt.
You should be like layers of silk running over steel springs, not this. And if you stand
up and then go try to run or play kickball after this, you're gonna have a problem. So
what do you do about that? So the first and easiest way to deal with that is we brought
you a gift.
If you can hand some of these back. This is a lacrosse ball. If you can get a couple of
people to pass these around. These lacrosse balls cost a buck a shot. There's lot and
lots of fancy myofascia balls. Hand some out. Thanks, Jonas. We like the lacrosse ball because
we think it's the most painful, first.
And second, it turns out they're cheap. And if someone wants to steal it or take it, we
give it to them. So here's what I want you to do. Very, very complex task. Take the lacrosse
ball, and stick it in the grilled cheese sandwich that is your bottom. Hey. I can do this while
I'm answering emails, right?
And what's happened is now you've gotten some work done while you're doing something else.
So, grab that lacrosse ball. We got plenty. We've got more in the back. Don't be shy.
There's a box of lacrosse balls in the back. I'm trying to change the world one lacrosse
ball at a time.
Here's what I want you to do. So I want you to sit on the lacrosse ball until you find
something that hurts. It's pretty simple. I wish it was more technical and complex than
this. I have an advanced Doctoral degree and that's all about sticking a lacrosse ball
in your bum.
OK? Got it. Now, find something that hurts. Now, if you stick a nail through that grilled
cheese sandwich, are you gonna have a problem? Yeah. It's gonna hurt, right? And it doesn't
change the surface. It doesn't de-laminate or shear those tissues apart. So if you want
to pull a grilled cheese sandwich apart, what do you need to do?
Spread it apart, right? You don't just stick a nail through it. So what you're doing right
now is just sticking a nail through your laminated surfaces and that's why it hurts. So what
you need to do is roll. So, first thing is just try to roll past that lacrosse ball anywhere
And if it doesn't hurt, find someplace that does. It's a dirty secret in there. Many of
you guys have been experts at sitting in front of a blue screen for many, many years. And
it takes a while to undo that lamination. So, what I'm saying is, how long does it take?
Treat until you make change. How simple is that? Now, that's one model. Roll around on
it. Here's the other model. Go ahead and put it underneath your hamstring, which is this
big muscle group in the back of your leg. So kind of tack it down. So now we're back
to that tack model.
And what we're gonna do is what we call an active tack and stretch. It's a poor person's
A-R-T. I know you guys are working hard for the man. So you don't have time to go get
massages. So put the ball on your hamstring and then kick your leg out.
Anyone feel that?
That's fun, huh? That's a pain face. That's a private face. Don't make that face.
Straighten your leg. Now, just kick your leg back and forth. What's happening is that you
created a little micro-tack under that hamstring, under those posterior tissues, whatever that
tissue is there. And now you're starting to de-laminate. You're restoring that slideability.
And I'll challenge you this afternoon. Go ahead and hammer one butt cheek. Then only
floss one hamstring, back and forth. They call this flossing. This kind of tack and
stretch. Just move it around. Give it five or ten minutes. It doesn't take much time.
And then stand up and just move around.
And try to squeeze your butt and you're gonna be like, one side is like The Hulk. And the
other side is like the grilled cheese sandwich. And that's how we know it works. And it's
very, very simple and very low-tech. And someone's gonna come up to you and, "Can I borrow your
You're like, "Sure." It's a buck. Like, please. A latte costs more than you treating yourself.
So please take that lacrosse ball. Enjoy that. So that's one model. The second thing is we
want you to think about gaming your desk. I stopped evolving after the Atari 2600, after
I moved back home from Germany.
So, this is my mantra. But one of the things we do, is we try to drink all the water we
can while we're at work. Use the lacrosse ball on as many tissues as we can. Now, think
of this as some advanced clinical reasoning. Could you put that lacrosse ball on the bottom
of your foot?
Yes. Can you put that lacrosse ball in your knotted arm? Yes. Take the lacrosse ball right
now. Put it over your heart. Yeah, that's your pec, pec minor. It gets stick and ropey
in there and holds your forward. Your body's like, "This is the position you wanna be in,
bro? I got your back."
And so it rolls you forward, pins you down. And all you have to do is roll that thing
around right underneath your collar bone. You can find the sticky bits, yeah? It's super
simple. If you think, "Hey. No one needs to know, under the desk, what's going on."
How's it going? And all you're doing is just rolling on your feet. And if you're a runner,
or if you stand up or planning or cycling, we do not take care of our feet. It's a simple
way to get some serious mileage in while you're at work.
And someone just texted me and said, "Hey, Kel. Big fan. I just was at jury duty for
three hours and I got it all done." So, carry your lacrosse ball. The lacrosse ball we know
has gone to Afghanistan. We know it's been deployed with our Navy Seals. And it's very,
And it's a low-tech way to actually change the interface of these muscles, the skin,
and the tissue. But now, we're into the executive stretches. Let me just show you a couple of
ideas. On the end of this presentation, there are some links with ideas, with some directions.
So, I'm not gonna run you through a whole gamut. But there's ideas and short little
episodes that you can really click to. But let's do a little game. Imagine that you're
sitting at your desk. Now, go ahead and stand up for me. Oh, you failed. The first time
you sit up.
That means you owe a pounding. So, here's the first game and we call it the Sit Game,
or what do we say? Kind of sit and pay. So, every time you get up and down, that's one
pounding. So, here's the first and easiest thing you can do. Cross your leg. Belly tight.
Don't violate that two-hand rule. Now, if you're having a hard time getting up or your
knees or your chest, already some things should be coming clear to you. It's easy. It should
be easy to get my leg down and tall.
[whispers] If your knee's up by your face, that's not
Take them down.
[normal voice] You can't, right? So, go ahead and just lean
forward. Now, the common mistake that people will make is that they just don't do things
long enough to make change. So, the minimum therapeutic dose is two minutes. It's easy
Gimme two, right, from Johnny Utah. You can see all the Submarine sandwiches. Back in
two. And two minutes is a nice way. Most important is that you just start to do something. And
right now, you can hook your knee underneath your desk, get some email changed.
Take your lacrosse ball. Stick it right behind the calf bone right there. Hey. Look at that.
Right behind that shin bone, press that ball with both hands right into that fleshy bit.
Now make circles with your ankles. Hey. That's OK. Got it? I'll take that. Thank you. So
right there, anchor that thing and just make little circles.
Just little wheels. And my wife is a world champion athlete back there, and an attorney.
And she's like, "I'm always gonna wear cute shoes, Kelly, no matter what you say." And
those cute shoes make her calves tight. And here's that remedy. I'm like, "Here's the
You can wear cute shoes, but do something for your feet, please." And this is so simple.
So hey, a penalty, every time I got up I have to do something for a minute. Simple? Gives
you an idea. Go ahead and stand up one more inch again. Will I do it?
Hit it. Oh, that's a foul. Good. Next foul. Watch how high-tech this is. Put your knee
on the ground. Can you do that right in front of your desk? Right in front of your chair?
Go ahead. If you've got arthritic knees, don't do it. Be cool. If it feels sketchy, it's
How simple is that model? Now squeeze your bum as hard as you can. Was your bum squeezed?
It wasn't, was it? You were like all over-extended man belly guy. Don't be that guy. Rib cage
down. Squeeze your butt. And just push forward. Now, through the butt.
Anyone feeling anything tight, like a wolverine gnawing at your hip right here? Yeah, that's
another way to undo that hip skin, that tightness. And all you have to do right now is just answer
emails in a very strange position [audience laughs]
for what--a minute.
And you're gonna start to see some change. It's very, very simple. These tables are a
little bit low, but you can even put your foot up here and still maintain decorum and
still get some work done. In fact, give that a try. Don't fall over. It's so simple. We
call this the couch stretch because it's perfectly done on the couch.
It was built for "So You Think You Can Dance." So you can watch "So You Think You Can Dance."
Put that knee to the back corner. Squeeze your bum and just try to open up that hip.
How long do you do this to make any serious change? Two minutes. If something goes numb,
what should you do? Call you doctor.
No, stop doing that. Right? That's easy. That numbness is a serious issue. We've given you
ten different ways, fifteen different games, on there about taking a look at how to game
But remember that it's gotta be about not being afraid to try to move a little bit at
your desk. De-laminate yourself. Roll that ball around every conceivable place on every
soft tissue you can have access to at work.
Create a game where you actually get something done at work for you, for your body, so that
when you stand up you become that supple leopard again and you're right back out and your desk
hasn't imposed a compromise where you're playing Gas-O Brake-O.
'Cause that's ultimately what we need to do. We understand that if I was walking around
like this all day long from my job and then suddenly had to not be in this position, it
would be a real problem for me. And that really is a simple exaggeration of what this does.
So whether you're standing or sitting, don't make the mistakes of losing the spine. Am
I braced? Two-hand rule. Twenty percent on. And you can see everyone here. I don't know
if you guys will see each other and you'll walk right up and slap each other 20% . You'll
see if that girl's overextended in the back, you'll say, "I see you."
Neutral spine. And as soon as you do that and then you've got this taken care of. Get
yourself organized. And once you're here, everything becomes very simple. External rotation
Two-hand rule engaged. And get some work done. Make sense? It's very, very simple. And I
think now we're taking some questions. Nice to see you still sitting up and drinking water.
>>Jonas: So please ask questions into the mic there and then we have a few questions
submitted to the Google Moderator page. So, I'm just gonna leave this here.
>>Kelly Starrett: Great.
>>Jonas: You can read the question.
>>Kelly Starrett: OK. Let's take questions from the audience first.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #2: I've had some problems with dead lift in my lower back. I've been
experimenting with different ab position for dead lift. What do you suggest for--? Is it
a similar kind of two-hand rule for dead lift?
>>Kelly Starrett: So the question is when I pick heavy things up off the ground, what
do I do with my spine? That's really the question. Whether it's my two-year old, my six-year
old, it's 500 pounds. It's the same thing. And the idea is where should I get organized?
Should I wait till I'm tight down here and get all organized and stiff? No. I do it at
the top where I not violate the two-hand rule. Get as organized and stiff as I can and then
move from there. So we always prioritize the spine first, and then look to create torque
at the hip second.
So, I would say absolutely getting organized. And whether you breathe into that tightness--.
Do this little experiment for me. Take a huge breath. Hold it. Now, try to get tight. How's
that working for you? It's like putting a Bounce House into a duffel bag, isn't it?
Yeah, absolutely. Now, let's become cobras. Get tight. Now try to breathe into that tightness.
It's like putting air into a compressed tank. And that second model of stiffness and position
first, and then breathing second.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #3: So, your thing about the external rotation like, having the
mouse out, do you have any suggestions when you have to work a lot on a laptop where you
got the track pad in the middle to keep that going?
>>Kelly Starrett: So, the question is how do you manage a compromise? You're playing
Tetris with your body. And like, you've got the perfect setup. You're about to get the
And what's about to happen? It's like the worst piece comes down, right? And you gotta
put that piece somewhere and you're like, "No, I don't know. It doesn't fit anywhere."
Well, that's what's going on with that little mouse pad. I'm pretty sure wireless mouse
is A this large.
So you can always make a better decision, which is my wife's best parenting advice.
Make a better decision, to me. The second idea is that I can still be in an external
rotated position to maintain the shoulder in a good, organized position and then swing
my hand in.
And that's what's cool about having this extra joint. It allows for some differentiation.
And that's what you need to know. The main thing is to get the primary joint organized
and then I can spin back in. But the second that misses, then I'm toast.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #3: But I kinda got in the habit of doing that. Do you have any
ideas how to remind yourself to get out of that habit, then?
>>Kelly Starrett: So I do this all the time.
What should I not do?
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #3: I do this all the time.
>>Kelly Starrett: You're gonna have to realize that you need to spend some time working on
it and practicing. And we've given you some links and some resources to encourage that,
but just motor control and consciousness is [whispers ]pretty powerful stuff.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #3: Is internal rotation ever good?
>>Kelly Starrett: Always good. And extension.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #3: Absolutely.
>>Kelly Starrett: So when the arm comes behind, it's the opposite. That's beyond the scope
today. Does that make sense? So you still think about what are the principles I can
What can I control? And then hold it there. And holding your little texting machine. And
if I can get my laptop up a little bit and not do all ten errors at once. [whispers]
My precious. [normal voice]
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #4: There's been a lot of minimalist footwear out there, like
FiveFingers and Merrell makes some, too. Any thoughts on those as far as are they good
for realigning everything? Or, are they bad for the joints? I've seen both thoughts out
>>Kelly Starrett: The question is what do you think about minimalist footwear? I think
it's awesome. I personally--and I'll probably get sued for this--but I don't think my wife
would go on a date with me if I wear FiveFingers.
So, that's my fashion statement. Comma, you can always make a good decision. In fact,
our daughters run around in ballet slippers. I think there's probably people here wearing
very flat sandals. There's always a choice. Whatever shoe company that you're at, you
get a lot of input from your feet to the world.
And if you're in a disorganized position, or collapsed, or insulating yourself, you
can't actually hear the messages from the ground up. And so, do we encourage good mechanics
first? Yeah. It's always solving the movement problem first.
And if I have a $500 shoe and I'm putting my heel out, to stop a $500 heel strike, and
it's a problem. I think there's even a correlation between the more expensive your shoe and severity
of your knee injury. Convenient. Other questions? Do what works for you.
All right. So here are a couple other questions. "Standing appears to be a lot better for the
body than sitting. What are the do's and don'ts when working at a standing desk, though?"
So, this is the problem is that we're thinking, "Hey, I'm an enlightened human being.
I'm just gonna stand now and do all the same things." In fact, I stand and my back hurts
even worse and now I'm overextended all day long. And you'll know what I'm talking about
if you see these guys stand like that. Oh no you didn't. This is me trying not to have
my back hurt and I stick my hip out.
See what you're doing in the back? It's cute. But it's not organized. That's right. That's
the problem. And dancing, that's different. So, one of the issues is how do I avoid that?
And we'll see guys will stand out like this all the time. We'll see people roll out on
the bottom of their feet.
And what they're all trying to do is solve that broken spinal position problem. Standing
like this with your foot over. So, the best thing you can do is at your work station,
give yourself a place to go. One of the concepts is your best position is probably your next
So, any one position is Han being frozen for a long time. That guy was stiff and dehydrated.
But I'll tell you what. If they allowed Han to refreeze, he probably could have hung out
in that Carbonite a lot longer without detrimental effects, without the blind sickness.
And it makes a big difference because even if I'm in a perfect position all day long,
it turns out that the Yogi's knew they had to meditate in these very externally rotated,
neutral positions, but then they had to stand up and prepare the body to be able to sit
in those positions.
Originally, the breath training, the mindful training, the yoga, the movement practice,
was about being able to sit and organize. And that's what we need to be thinking about.
What am I doing? And so now, we've got at least a model, or two or three models, of
rolling around on a ball and doing some hip mobility stuff.
Does that make sense about that? And standing all the time is overrated, too. But this is
a high position. This is why everyone goes for these little tables first at the little
cafe. Next question is, is it better to work in one good position for the most of the day,
or mix it up?
What's the right answer? Mix it up. Absolutely. Any recommendations on how to keep external
rotation in the shoulder, arm, when using a touch pad? You're a plant. That was great.
Yeah, absolutely. So, start as best that you can. Get as organized as efficiently as you
Make as few compromises, then come back in. And what you'll notice is that it's not today
that you'll see change. It's a week from now, a month from now. You'll be like, "I just
feel great. This job is saving my life." And that's where we need to be going with this.
Make sure we don't have any others. We do not see the exercises remotely. We only see
the slides. Any way we can use the lacrosse ball exercises? Yes. On mobilitywod.com is
our Open Source network idea about trying to put this out there.
So, you shouldn't have to pay for it. This should be--. You should come out of the womb
and your Mom hands you a lacrosse ball. It's all on there. And there's some links on the
back of these slides to those videos as well.
>>Jonas: YouTube channel.
>>Kelly Starrett: YouTube channel. It's all YouTube. Absolutely. Viva la YouTube. We were
just saying I think we're up over three millions users on that thing, which is insane for stretching
I previously worked at a standing workstation. I found that after a while during my day,
my feet would hurt. What would you do to avoid this plan? This problem. What do you do if
you stand all day long and your feet hurt?
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #6: Change position.
>>Kelly Starrett: That's right. Changing positions, but look what I could do at my standing work
station. There's this thing called stretching your calf all day long. You should have the
most supple, long, sexy calves if you're standing up at your workstation because it's easy to
get in there and open those up, or get the foot up.
And sometimes we see downstream problems when people get stiff and it's because their spines
are disorganized. Whenever you're having any problem, ask yourself, "Is my spine in a good
position or bad position?" Am I in a good position check. Am I organized? Yes. And all
these concepts again are out there. Yes, ma'am.
>>FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #7: Do you mind talk about how we should walk? Do we go heel first?
>>Kelly Starrett: That's a big can of worms, except it's not. Really the main thing is--.
Let me say. If we have full normal motion and we watch a kid walk, it's absolutely heel
first. No, walking is not varied. There's not a lot of flexion. Not a lot--.
The problem is--let me just make this clear--is that when I walk I'm usually taking a very
little stride and my foot is right up underneath my body. So the force that goes through the
heel is transmitted underneath the base of the support, which is not so different than
me falling forward and then just keeping my feet underneath me.
That's actually how children run. And if you watch how children walk and initiate and you're
like, "Georgia, get over here." And she's like, "Sure, Dad." And then they run after
you and that's because that falling position is how we maintain this neutral spine. But
what do I do?
I'm like, "No problem. There." And now I have to make all of these cool walks. Had a girl's
name as a kid. It's how I developed the cool walk that hurt my back. So, shorter steps.
You know how gymnasts walk? They're nice and tightly organized and their feet are underneath
them. Does that answer your question?
>>FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #7: What about running?
>>Kelly Starrett: Running? The best way to do running is, are you pain-free? And what's
the best and most efficient way? We think the best and most efficient way to run is
to put that ball of the foot on the ground. Not heel strike first.
But if you wanna keep heel striking, I'll give you my physical therapy information.
Running is the most dan--. Running with your heel down is the most dangerous sport in the
entire world. And again, what's interesting about running is we're like, "Oh, all kids
run. It's so cute."
No one taught them to run. Running is a high skill, just like sitting. And there should
be some thought to it. We shouldn't take anything about the way we move for granted. You're
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #8: Hi. Should we be teaching our children how to sit? At what
>>Kelly Starrett: Great question. When should you teach your children how to sit? Go home
and teach them how to sit. Now. As soon as they learn. If I was a race car and my wheels
pointed in different directions, would that be a problem for me?
Is it a problem, then, if I walk with my wheels pointed in different directions? Absolutely.
And what's happening is that that arch isn't supporting yourself. You're not walking--.
The analogy is that we talk about it at home about having our kids know that their feet
go straight, and they walk with their feet straight.
And it's an easy cue thing. And what does that look like to sit? Well, I'll tell you
that all of the modern thinking about education is don't make kids sit day long. And that's
the worst thing for them. And that having kids on the floor and having them adopt the
positions where they're comfortable and these kids are stuck in these positions.
And you can imagine you have to suppress that urge and terror of, [yelling] "Get out of
the desk." And then you learned to muffle it down. And once we started this conversation--.
This is why gymnastics and some kind of system of movement and this consciousness is a big
deal. Do you teach your kids how to go to sleep? Yes?
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #8: Yup.
>>Kelly Starrett: They have to learn that. You're gonna go to sleep now and cry for five
hours. It's OK. It'll be good for you. Do you teach them what to eat? Yeah, absolutely.
We should be teaching our children how to stand and walk and run. Absolutely.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #8: Thanks.
>>Kelly Starrett: You're welcome. Any other questions?
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #9: Yeah, I got one other question. I saw some of your videos
and I saw that you had these jump stretch bands that looked like it pulled some joints
apart or something like that. What's the idea behind that, if I understood that?
>>Kelly Starrett: Definitely not necessarily pulling joints apart like a chicken. That's
the wrong message. One of the tools that we use all the time in the Mobilitywod is a big,
thick, jump stretch rubber band. It's like an inner tube tire.
And the idea is that with that inner tube tire, or that band, we can actually change
and encourage how the joint moves within the socket. So, it's a more special motion. But
what ends up happening is that if you're a thick, strong athlete with big hip capsules
and you're powerful, or you're just a human whose stiff, stretching sometimes doesn't
affect all of the systems in a system of systems.
And by using that band, we can have a much better outcome. Our metric is, if you can't
see change, there's no change. It's very simple. It should be observable, measurable, and repeatable.
And that's why we know it works and that's why I'm standing here talking to you because
the things that you're doing should see change influence throughout your life. And if you
can't observe it, or track the data, or see the changes, then it's not working. And that's
a pretty simple model.
>>FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #10: What about the neck?
>>Kelly Starrett: What about the neck?
>>FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #10: Yeah, I tend to go like this. How do I remind myself?
>>Kelly Starrett: Well, so the good question is how do I remind myself of my neck positioning?
Well, this mid-line stabilization concept, the two-hand rule, actually extends all the
way down to the bottom of your sacrum and to the top of your head.
And so, if I'm in a good position, you see how my head is still in neutral? And it's
a continuation of my spine. And that, when we pulled Jonas up and we had his head go,
in fact, his head is that keystone. His shoulders went and everything else went. And so, if
I can yell at my kids to sit up straight.
Instead, if I just say, "Hey, fix your--. Are you tight? Are you in neutral? Fix your
head." Then everything else fixes. So, head in line, but again, there are a lot of people
who only ever turn their neck when they drive and look in the back seat. And what we need
is more of everything.
We need motion. Motion is lotion. That's why we've got to tack and stretch. And we have
lots of neck stretching and neck mobility ideas on the site.
>>MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER #11: From everything you've said, it sounds like you'd also be
a fan of the ball chairs and the chairs that move around for strengthening your core, things
like that. Is that right or wrong?
>>Kelly Starrett: Well, I think that all tools are tools. And so, the problem with the ball
chair, if I'm sitting on a ball chair and if you love your ball chair, stick with it
if it's working for you.
What ends up happening is that people get on this unstable ball chair surface and they're
bouncing around and they feel good and then they get tired and they have to stop that
ball chair from bouncing around. And they do that by shutting off the circuit of their
spine and now they're in a flexed position.
Or, more importantly, 'cause you're an evolved person and you have a ball chair, and you're
like, "Bam." And now I'm overextended and I've violated the two-hand rule from the front
and I'm stable, good to go. No idea why my belly sticks out like this, though. It's strange.
So, I think all tools are good and that standing on a ball. The physio ball revolution actually
came from early in the pediatrics physical therapy, working with kids with polio. And
then they actually abandoned it because it didn't quite get what they wanted out of it.
The reactive balance doesn't really transfer into other things. So, if it helps you to
get through your day and it's another way to get some movement in there, it's a fantastic
And it should be one more tool that allows you to get out of your desk and thrive and
not get out of your desk and survive. Good? Thank you guys so much. I appreciate your