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Better Movement Series : Vestibular Health

When using a movement approach to vestibular health one must exercise caution. The majority of us will be fine, but there are people with conditions that would not benefit from this type of training. If you haven’t done anything like this before start slow, small and easy.

The Vestibular Labyrinth

  • the vestibular labyrinth partly consists of 3 semi circular canals
  • each canal detects a type of head motion, information from all 3 canals allow the brain to figure out direction of motion.

The 3 Semicircular Canals detect 3 motions :

  • up and down as in ‘yes’
  • side to side as in ‘no’
  • lateral tilts – like pouring water out of your ears

Practicing these 3 head motions is also great for neck mobility!

The Vestibular System plays a major role in Balance. However there are 2 other players in what makes up Human Balance; Vision and Proprioception. (Underlying all this is the efficiency of your nervous system to send and receive information, and your brain or spinal chords ability to interpret and react to that info. But this is outside the scope of this post.)

Here are some things to consider when using a movement approach to Vision and Proprioception

VISION – actions of the eyes and head

  • eyes focus on one spot with no movement
  • eyes focus on one spot but the head moves
  • eyes track moving spot without moving head
  • eyes and head track a moving spot


  • focus on ankles and hips and getting stability from the core
  • close your eyes while practicing to enhance the effect
  • practice ‘Re-Balancing’ – that is, almost falling over but catching yourself and bringing yourself back into balance. (shout out to Ido Portal)
  • practice at an 8 / 10 intensity – that is, if you do 10 reps only 2 reps should actually make you fall. 80% of your efforts should be successful, if not then what you are doing is too challenging!

My Top 3 Balance Drills

>>> 1/2 kneeling 3 way neck mobility

>>> Single Leg Standing Eye Tracking

>>> Eyes Close Toe touches : x 1 set heels elevated, x 1 set toes elevated.

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Better Movement Series : Shoulder Health

Using a movement approach to muscle and joint health involves exploring the ranges of motion, not going past 2/10 in discomfort and matching your breathing with your movement.

here are my Top 3 Shoulder mobility movements:

>>> Hang from something

>>> Arm Circles – simple circulation works wonders

>>> Supine Trunk Twist – use tension to keep your shoulders on the floor as you rotate your hips

The shoulder is a very complicated part of your body. There are multiple joints, bones and muscles that all connect to more or less the same area on your skeleton. The coordination of all these working parts is called a Rhythm – the Glenohumeral Rhythm or Scapulohumeral Rhythm.

The muscle that gets a lot of attention is the Serratus Anterior – a very sexy muscle that assists in scapular rotation. Getting this muscle working properly is critical for the Glenohumeral rhythm.

>General practice of this scapular rotation and getting the arm to move in coordination with your shoulder blade is also needed.

>The Muscles of your neck – your ‘Traps’ – often need to be DE-activated because they work too much.

>The muscles between the shoulder blades – your Rhomboids – need to be Activated and strengthened because they often are stretched out and weak.

If you practice these things your shoulder range of motion will be pain free. If you include push up, pull ups, overhead presses and the like – your shoulder range of motion will be strong and resilient. When training Overhead exercises there is no need to go to absolute failure: Safety First!

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Better Movement Series : Hip Health

Using a movement approach to muscle and joint health involves exploring the ranges of motion, not going past 2/10 in discomfort and matching your breathing with your movement.

here are my Top 3 Hip mobility movements:

>> Leg Swings – hold onto something for stability to maximize the effect.

>> Hip Rocks – ‘Tactical Frog’ and 1/2 kneeling variations.

>> Heel Circles – great for the knee and hip.

One last thing to say on this topic.

Love Your Feet!

believe me or not but healthy feet are key to longevity. Strengthen them, wash them, moisturize them, massage them, get good shoes etc.
> Do ankle exercises whenever it is inconspicuous enough to do so.
> Release Plantar Fascia tension at the end of the day.
> Keeping them clean & moisturizing them should be a daily routine.

If you are having hip pain you should go to a pelvic stability specialist. However there are a few things you can do on your own. For now check out Kelly Starrett & Paul Chek for some great tips, and stay tune for my own insight in later posts.

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Better Movement Series : Spine Health

There are numerous ways movement can improve the health of your spine.

Here are some tips when using a movement approach to spinal health

  1. Explore the Range of Motion: the spine can Flex / Extend / Rotate / Lateral Bend + any combination of the four.
  2. Reduce Pain: pain changes how you move, stay a 2 out of 10 in discomfort. Excessive tension should not be used, stay relaxed.
  3. BREATHE: match your breathing with your movement. This increases connection and Flow.

And Remember,
Work from the ground up – Always start with easy exercises on the floor and progress up to more challenging exercises while standing.

Here are my Top 3 spinal mobility movements:

>> 1/2kneeling Lateral Stretch

>> Torso Rotations

>> Jefferson Curl

Here are my Top 3 spinal stability movements:

>> Supine Leg Raise

>> Side Plank

>> Bird Dog

Each of these exercises have “easier” and “harder” variations. I would suggest starting easier than you think, because the time you put into the fundamental exercises will pay off own the road. This is what I mean by starting from the ground up. Once you find your starting place expect to get better every day for the first couple weeks. Eventually however you will have to change it up. Using some kind of test – retest protocol is recommended.

Try this out and let me know how it helps.