Welcome to a movement dissection 101, today looking at a classic exercise that every teenage boy has pumped out on their bedroom floor (NO NOT THAT).
The push up.
Also known as a press up, the push up is synonymous with upper body strength. For many it’s where we started our fitness efforts, for others it might represent a goal to work towards. And for some it’s just a bro exercise that isn’t really considered relevant or appropriate.
Whether you think the pushup is your thing or not, it probably has a lot to offer. We’re primarily using our pectoral…
“Woah, I’d never be able to do that, it must take so much core strength!”
This is a Public Service Announcement:
A handstand is not a demonstration of a strong core.
Handstands are kind of challenging, but actually more approachable than most think. They do require strength, mobility and coordination. But one of my biggest pet peeves is that you must have a super strong core to pull it off.
If you’re looking for a beginners guide to the handstand, check out my other piece;
So what does a handstand actually ask of us?
The big question is, how?
Tons of people have said to me “Oh yeah my friend tried that keto thing. It didn’t go very well…”
Well, here’s the thing. Ketogenic diets are a therapy. They’ve traditionally been implemented under the strict guidance of medical professionals, with very specific protocols.
This isn’t as simple as “eat this, not that”.
This is science.
But look, us ordinary folk should have…
I’m going to make a bold claim.
There’s a single physiological system that underpins every bodily function. Our cells are 24/7 dependent on this system and the vital resource it provides. The nexus of this system is perhaps the most important organ in the body. The vast network of veins, arteries and capillaries deliver it’s products far and wide.
I’m not talking about the heart, lungs or oxygen supply. There’s a new (old) kid on the block — the liver.
The liver sits at the centre of our metabolic system, which is all about the production of energy and it’s…
It’s hard to perfectly execute any given movement or exercise. There’s always improvements to be made, and few of us will ever achieve ‘perfection’. But is perfect form the be-all and end-all?
Well, why do we train any given movement? To increase our capacity to perform in some other, real-world situation. Maybe we’re training for sport, for profession, or simply for a healthy life. In all of these contexts our physical training improves our capacity to react to external demands on the body as we go about our days.
We repeat certain movement patterns, like a squat or an overhead…
We’re lucky to live in an age in which we’re cushioned from the ruthlessness of the world. Modern, civilised life treats us well. We don’t have to worry about the moment-to-moment danger and questions of survival that occur in the wild natural world every day.
Our society builds around us a bubble of emotional security. Sure, we have incredibly strong and very valid undulations in mood and emotion, but the menu is limited. We rarely feel everything that an ancestral human or a wild animal would feel. We’re missing out on part of the experience of life.
One of the…
We’re animals. We all know it to be scientifically true, but how often do we actually allow that to guide what we do?
Civilisation has drastically changed the way we live, but it hasn’t changed our bodies. It hasn’t changed our bio-mechanics or physiology. Evolutionarily, we are still the same animals we were 30,000 years ago.
And that means we need to be moving the same way.
Our bodies are not designed to be sedentary for 20+ hours a day. We’re not designed to find ourselves in the same seated position enabled by the prevalence of chairs in our world.
Can the revolution really happen?
I fantasise about it all the time. That moment when the social pot finally boils over, our anger becomes action and overlords become over.
That moment when chaos bursts forth and everything is up for grabs. A window of time in which we have the opportunity to reshape society for people and planet. To dismantle inequality and ineptitude. To build a new structure that promotes the pursuit of better values.
But how can that moment arise? How are the revolutionary flames stoked?
Potential social sparks happen all the time. We only have to look to…
“Stretch first thing in the morning” “Stretch every hour in the office” “Stretch before your workout” “Stretch after your workout” “Stretch before bed”
These days we all know we’re meant to stretch. That’s what you do to stay healthy, right? We gotta get flexible so we don’t hurt ourselves. Everybody’s known that since the 80s.
But actually, in reality, flexibility isn’t really what we should be looking for. Sure, it feels good to stretch, and it’s no doubt doing us some good, but we’re leaving so much on the table. We’re looking at the wrong target.