The Tim Ferriss Show Ep 664: Dr. Kelly Starrett — The Magic of Movement and Mobility, Training for Range of Motion, Breathing for Back Pain, Improving Your Balance, and More
Kelly Starrett is a doctor of physical therapy, author, speaker, and CrossFit trainer. He is one of the most influential and respected coaches in the field of performance therapy and self-care. He is the co-founder, with his wife Juliet Starrett, of The Ready State, an online platform that helps people improve their movement and mobility.
He is also the author of several bestselling books, such as Becoming a Supple Leopard, Ready to Run, and Built to Move. He has worked with professional athletes, Olympic medalists, military personnel, and everyday people who want to move better and feel better.
Here are seven key points from the hour-long podcast.
The magic of movement and mobility
Kelly defines movement as “the ability to express your physiology” and mobility as “the ability to put your body into any position you want”. He explains that movement and mobility are essential for health and performance because they allow us to adapt to different environments, tasks, and stresses.
He also says that movement and mobility are skills that can be learned and improved with practice and feedback. He suggests using a simple movement screen, such as the Functional Movement Screen or the Ready State Movement Assessment, to identify and address any movement limitations or dysfunctions.
Training for range of motion
Kelly trains himself and his clients to achieve full range of motion in various joints and movements, such as the squat, the lunge, the hinge, the push, the pull, and the twist. He says that range of motion is important for injury prevention and recovery because it allows the tissues to absorb force and distribute load more effectively.
He also says that range of motion is important for performance because it enables more power, speed, and efficiency. He recommends using a combination of active stretching, passive stretching, joint mobilization, soft tissue manipulation, and load management to improve range of motion.
Breathing for back pain
Kelly uses breathing exercises to relieve back pain, improve posture, and enhance core stability. He explains that breathing is a fundamental movement pattern that affects the function of the spine, the pelvis, the rib cage, and the diaphragm.
He says that many people have poor breathing habits, such as chest breathing, mouth breathing, or shallow breathing, that can cause chronic tension, inflammation, and dysfunction in the back.
He teaches how to breathe properly using the nose, the belly, and the full lung capacity. He also demonstrates how to use breathing techniques to decompress the spine, align the pelvis, activate the core muscles, and relax the nervous system.
Improving your balance
Kelly tests and trains balance skills, which he defines as “the ability to maintain your center of mass over your base of support”. He says that balance is crucial for longevity and brain health because it prevents falls, fractures, and cognitive decline.
He also says that balance is crucial for performance because it enhances coordination, agility, and proprioception. He recommends using a variety of tools and techniques to improve balance, such as standing on one leg, walking on a slackline or a beam, using a balance board or a wobble board, or playing with a ball or a frisbee.
The ten essential habits to help you move freely and live fully
Kelly and his wife Juliet distilled their decades of experience into ten simple habits that anyone can adopt to improve their movement quality and overall well-being.
The ten habits are:
1) move every day;
2) spend time on the ground;
3) hang from something;
4) carry something heavy;
5) squat often;
6) walk more;
7) sleep well;
8) hydrate properly;
9) eat real food; and
10) manage your stress.
They explain how each habit benefits the body and the mind and how to implement them in daily life.
The ready state
Kelly and Juliet created The Ready State, an online platform that offers personalized mobility programs, coaching, education, and community for people who want to move better and feel better. They describe The Ready State as “a place where you can learn how to take care of yourself.”
The Ready State helps people identify their movement goals and challenges, provides them with customized mobility routines based on their needs and preferences, guides them through each exercise with clear instructions and videos, tracks their progress and provides feedback with data and insights, and connects them with other like-minded people who share their passion for movement.