If you’ve ever had a sports or fitness client who is desperate to get results, they want them like yesterday, then keep reading because this might just help.
How? Because it’s these clients who have no idea how far is too far to push their bodies, they have no idea how fast is too fast to push their bodies. They have no idea how hard is too hard when it comes to mobility, and it’s only when they hurt themselves, that they realise they have a problem.
It’s also these clients who believe that smashing their joints into submission is the way forward, “no pain, no gain” or “if it’s not hurting, it’s not working”. They believe this because they think that the destination is what counts. They think that if they push harder, they go faster, then they’re going to get faster results. And when it comes to mobility, it really is not the case.
In fact, the secret trick to getting outstanding results with mobility is to be super, super gentle.
I know, it might seem counterintuitive, it might feel like it’s the craziest thing in the world to be saying, but if you put your hand out in front of you, palm up, then push really hard and deep into your hand with one finger from the opposite hand, you can feel the tightness in your open hand. But if you run your finger super, super gently across the surface, you can feel a lot more. And that extra information is what will help your brain achieve more.
When it comes to mobility, most methods will ignore the brain and its role, but if we want to fast-track our clients’ results, we have to use the brain and all its capabilities. Why? Because we can’t separate the emotional and the physical. So, if your clients’ brains are perceiving that there is a problem with how they’re moving, then they are going to put up a resistance to that movement.
The harder, faster or further your clients push against that perceived problem, the more resistance you’re going to get from their bodies, which means that your clients aren’t going to get the results that they’re looking for. But, if they do it gently, they’ll get a very different result.
There are two phrases that I like to use to help clients get into the mindset of how slowly and gently they need to move in order to get the best results. One is “the speed of rocking a baby to sleep” and the other is “almost like you can’t really be bothered”.
Even people who don’t have children know that the faster you rock a baby, the less likely it is to go to sleep. So, if you get your clients to move at the speed of rocking a baby to sleep, and then ask them to do it, “almost like you really can’t be bothered”, then the brain gets to relax. And when the brain relaxes, your clients can push up against the perceived threat much more closely.
Because they’re doing it gently, the brain has got less resistance to them moving in those ways, which means that you can change the experience that the brain is having. The brain is always relying on previous experiences to make decisions. So, if last time your clients moved in that direction, they came up against a problem that was pain, for example, or it just didn’t move very well, then the brain is going to use the experience of last time to make decisions going forward.
But if you can change the experience, and it can allow the brain to learn that actually, moving like that isn’t a bad thing to be doing, which means that the next time your clients move that way, they’re going to get less resistance. And that means they can move forwards much more quickly.
The industry has us focusing on individual elements of the physical body, but improving your clients’ movements, isn’t about the physical elements of the body at all. It’s not about the fascia. It’s not about the nerves. It’s not about the muscles and bones, it’s about the brain.
If you’d like to learn more about how to use the brain’s natural capabilities to deliver outstanding mobility results, then check out my FREE book “The Coaches Guide to Long-Term Injury Prevention Success” and let’s dive in!