Home Blog Quick and Easy Ways to Feel and Move Better: Installment 42

Quick and Easy Ways to Feel and Move Better: Installment 42

Written on May 17, 2013 at 9:14 am, by Eric Cressey

After a brief hiatus for a much-deserved vacation, CP coach Greg Robins is back with five new tips for you this week.  Before we begin, I should mention that the week-long sale on Show and Go ends tomorrow at midnight, so don't miss out!  Now, let's get to the good stuff:

1. Don't let the distance between the ribs and pelvis change.

2. Base your nutritional approach around foods that you actually like!

The title speaks for itself, but here’s the deal: if you read this series regularly, then you know the importance I place on making a nutrition plan “doable.” Adherence is the key to success. When people decide they are going to “clean” up their eating it’s funny what a drastic “360” they take with their food choices. It’s as if what they enjoy to eat no longer matters. Will power has fallen from the sky and soaked them with its greatness.

The only issue is that most people’s forecasts aren’t calling for will power. There’s a better first step. – one that is more productive in the long run than abandoning ship completely and serving up a helping of things you don’t like.

Make a list of all the “real” foods you DO like. Choose foods that you actually enjoy eating, but also ones that the majority would consider healthy. Choose at least a few in each of the following categories. Here’s mine:

Protein: Meat = Beef (any kind), Poultry = Chicken (Not boneless skinless breasts!), Dairy = Greek Yogurt, Fish = Tuna, Others = Whey, Eggs, Pork, All red meat

Fat: Nuts = Nut butters (any kind), Oils (Coconut, Olive), Other = Avocados

Vegetables: Asparagus, Sweet Potatoes, Spaghetti Squash

squash4

Fruit: Blackberries, Apples, Blueberries, Pears

Other Carbs: Oats, Rice, Quinoa

With this list you have the beginning of your shopping list. From here you can search the web for recipes revolving around these items. Finding healthy recipes that include these things will introduce you to some variety. When in doubt, just go back to the list. Having this – as your first step and “fall back” – will greatly improve your chances of cleaning up your eating.

3. Use the suspension trainer when you don't have a cable accessible for rotary stability exercises.

4. Notice the pauses in your breath to help you relax.

Breathing is becoming a buzz worthy topic these days, and it’s a warranted surge of attention. We’ve only been doing it our whole lives, every day, and every moment. That’s reason enough to open an ear and see what the fuss is about.

One of the interesting things about breathing is that it sort of defines you. We are, in many ways, the product of the breaths we take. For example, when we constantly inhale, and never completely exhale, we tend to adopt an extended posture to support our breaths. Oddly enough, we also adopt a more “extended” way about us. We are more up tight, stressed, and restless.

Interestingly, the rate we breathe at (respiratory rate) actually shows correlation with our life span. A mouse takes 60 – 230 breaths per minute and has an average life span of 1.5-3 years. Whales on the other hand, take about 3–5 breaths per minute and live on average to be over 100 years old. We fall a little shy of that with about 12–16 breaths, and a life span of 70 – 80 years.

Slowing your respiratory rate probably won’t get you anywhere closer to being a whale. However, it does have a unique way of teaching you how to breathe slower, and helping you to relax.

Give this a try: twice a day, stop and observe the pauses that you take after each exhalation and inhalation. Just observing the pauses will cause you to breathe deeper and deeper, as well as begin to extend the pauses themselves.

5. Integrate appropriate breathing with your cable chops.

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  • Rotational Stability with the TRX – is this an exercise you’d look to use in the absence of a cable machine or for variation as opposed to an exercise you can progress?

    Separately, on the topic of abs, what are the ques for safely getting in and out of the basic side plank (for someone with low back issues)?

    Thanks

  • Shane

    Great tips Greg. Really like the breathing cues. Always learn something from you guys. Thanks

  • Andrew

    You know your stuff! Look forward to opening my email every day.

  • Greg,

    First of all, if you must take a vacation, let us know in advance. I can’t be waiting on my tips each week. Capiche? 🙂

    Second, the breathing stuff is eye-opening. Eager to try them out.

    RS

  • paul white

    Why no boneless skinless chicken breast?

  • Val

    Thanks a lot for this post. I especially like the nutrition advice. It makes a lot of sense.

  • “Not boneless skinless breasts!” <– Are you saying that they aren't healthy or that you don't like them?

  • Cory

    Why does he say to not eat boneless, skinless chicken breasts? Tia.

  • It’s a list of foods I LIKE. You can put them on your list! I made a point to include that remark because I know so many people who associate better eating with boneless skinless chicken breasts. However, they’ve been eating them so long they would prefer never seeing one again.

  • G-
    Lost of my clients are desk jockies- exist in kyphosis, lumbar flexion. So different than your athletes who tend to be in excessive extension. While I know I still need to get them in neutral- I often find that “Chest up” is a cue that they can understand and generally results in healthy extension of the spine as well- but not into over extension. What have you found with your non-athlete/baseball clients?

  • Kathy,

    It can definitely be useful in this population; you just need to make sure that they’re getting good posterior tilt of the scapula and thoracic extension and not “overcorrecting” with too much lumbar extension (past neutral).  A lot of them will go into cervical extension as well.  Of course, if you know what you want to avoid (and I know YOU do), you’ll be golden! 🙂


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