FlexibilityRx™ Workshops

FlexibilityRx workshops provide athletes with a framework to understand and overcome the two compensation strategies that afflict every athlete.  The two compensatory stabilization strategies are overextension (Extension Compression Stabilizing Strategy) and right side dominance (due to neurological, respiratory, organ, and behavioral asymmetry).  You will learn to self assess and treat extension and right dominant patterns in minutes to restore the neutrality of your pelvis and ribcage.  The correctives all have a neurological, respiratory, and stabilizing component that are absent in a lot of stretching and strengthening exercises.  These exercises will permanently enable a new pattern of movement so that you can squat, deadlift, and press overhead without any mobility or movement restriction.

Compensation Strategy #1: Extension Compression Stabilizing Strategy (ECSS)
The ECSS is a compensatory pattern of stabilization that involves hyperactive spinal erectors, hip-flexors, lats, and calves.  The image shows a compressed lumbar spine, tilted forward pelvis, a tensed (concentric) abdominal wall, and an elevated ribcage.  An extended individual will not be able to use their glutes/abs/hamstrings/obliques they will instead use their back and hip flexors to stabilize.  This individual will have chronic hip flexor and hamstring ‘tightness’ that stretching doesn’t eliminate.  This pattern also involves neck and chest breathing instead of breath expanding into the abdomen and laterally into the sides.  This stabilizing strategy is supported by a dysfunctional breathing pattern that will not allow an athlete to generate sufficient intra-abdominal pressure to dynamically stabilize the spine during lifting.

Athletes that are overextended have impaired cardiovascular function and will fatigue quicker, have less endurance, and will have to overwork to perform movements especially under load.  Rather than coaching the squat or perform ankle mobilizations for squat position, addressing this compensatory strategy will clean up multiple seemingly unrelated problems.

Extension Compression Stabilizing Strategy

How do I know if I am Overextended?
Chronic hamstring tightness
Chronic hip flexor tightness
Chronic calf tightness
Inability to get arms overhead (overhead squat, shoulder press)
Inability to rack the bar (front squat) because of tight lats
Lower back pain
Chronic low back stiffness
Prior disc herniation
Visible ribcage flare
Visible excessive lumbar lordosis
Significantly overweight/beer belly
Rectus diastasis
Normally uses a lumbar support in sitting
Flat arches of the feet (bilateral pronation)
Bilateral plantar fascitis
Neck/chest breather
Neck tension and/or numbness into hands
Shoulders elevate during inhalation
Chronic mouth breather and/or trouble breathing through nose
Inability to blow up a balloon or exhale for 6 seconds
Sleep apnea, lack of restorative feeling from sleep
Inability to rest and digest (parasympathetic nervous system)
Ligament laxity or hypomobile
Ability to palm floor in a forward bend

Learning to Be More Unstable
Taking away an Extension Compression Stabilizing Strategy involves proper integration of the diaphragm, hamstrings, and abdominals to stabilize the spine.  Instead of just stretching or strengthening this workshop will empower you to maintain dynamic neutrality throughout your movements.  An extended or right lateralized individual is too stable in a dysfunctional pattern.  Their joint position is not neutral or ‘centrated’.  Being locked in a pattern and only using one set of muscles in a certain way will compromise movement in an ongoing length of time.  Stabilization is dynamic, you will learn to be more unstable in a controlled manner so that when you have to get into very ‘stable’ fixed movements like the squat you will not default to one of these two compensation patterns.

Compensation Strategy #2: Right Side Dominance (Asymmetry)
The right sided dominance stabilizing strategy is even more prevalent than the extension pattern.  Our body looks symmetrical but is not.  Our hearing, vision, organs, circulatory system, respiratory system and brain are all asymmetrical.  The left brain controls motor control on the right side of the body which we favor.  The larger right diaphragm (supported by the liver) orients the pelvis and lumbar spine to the right also exacerbating right dominant patterns.  This is a respiratory driven pattern of the diaphragm contracting as we breathe 20,000 times a day pulling the spine to the right due to our lack of alternating and reciprocal movement in today’s modern lifestyle.  The resulting compensations of this orientation are predictable and can be corrected in minutes.

This workshop introduces unilateral arm and leg exercises to rebalance the two sides of the body.  These exercises are not the traditional ‘let’s do this many reps on each side’ approach.  Sitting all day (or standing) then going to the gym and doing symmetrical exercises: squats, deadlifts, snatches, cleans, and presses with a barbell fails to get us out of this right dominant pattern.  What this means is that when you squat your body is not actually in a symmetrical position – it has to compensate.  The left hamstring and abdominal wall (for example) will always be at a disadvantage and need to be trained to restore balance especially for bilateral (symmetrical) movements like squats and deadlifts.

Postural Restoration Institute

How do I know if I am neurologically patterned into right side dominance?
Always stand on right leg
Always carry items in right hand
Sitting with low right shoulder
Leaning to one side in sitting
Tight right low back
Right sided low back pain
Always carrying a child on one side
Plantar fascitiis on one side (usually right foot)
SI joint strain on one side (usually right si joint)
Chronically tight IT Band on one side (usually right side)
Sciatica (usually on right)
Strained or tighter and weaker left hamstring
Groin pull on one side
Scoliosis
More defined left lateral quad, right calf, right hamstring
Pronated left foot, supinated right foot (wear on bottom of each shoe is different)
Cramping/trouble breathing by left shoulder blade
Tight right upper neck (levator scapulae) ‘knot above shoulder blade’
Uneven shoulders (right usually lower)
Shorter right leg (usually)

You will become Empowered to…
Permanently banish hamstring tightness without stretching
Dynamically stabilize the spine
‘Breathe away’ hip flexor tightness
Relieve IT Band tightness (without the foam roller)
Learn what ‘not’ to stretch
Eliminate low back pain
Eliminate shoulder impingement
Eliminate SI joint strain
Eliminate neck pain
Fix Diastasis
Properly stretch the hip joint capsule
Do more for your shoulder than ‘strengthen the rotator cuff’
Run without pain or plantar fascitiis
Correct leg length discrepancies
Detect ligament laxity (and re-stabilize those ligaments)
Put an end to sciatica

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CrossFit Gym Owners

To inquire about hosting a FlexibilityRx™ Workshop at your CrossFit Affiliate contact Kevin – Kevin@FlexibilityRx.com