I recently listened to a Health Oddity podcast with a guest called Tim Anderson.  It was episode 37 and was called Strength From The Ground Up.  Tim has been a Personal Trainer for over 20 years and is passionate about helping people realise they were created to be strong and healthy.

It was a great episode and got me thinking about my father.  My father is in his mid 70’s and for many years now has been in pain with his back, knees, groin, neck, shoulders… I could go on.   His pain is now limiting his life, he can’t walk any distance and he no longer plays golf, his one passion, because of the pain. 

During the podcast Tim spoke of people being in pain and incorporating Original Strength into their workouts and seeing great improvements.  So after listening to the podcast I wanted to know a bit more about the programme.  So I logged on to Amazon and had a look at the books that Tim has written, and there are a few.  I chose ‘Pressing Reset, Original Strength Reloaded’ and thanks to Amazon the book was very soon in my possession and I was reading it.

It was a great read, very informative and made so much sense.  What Tim recommends is so easy to incorporate into a daily routine or training session anyone could do it.

So what is Original Strength?  The synopsis from the first book published explains it beautifully –

“When you were a child, you had an amazingly strong, resilient and healthy body. The body you built through movement during the first several years of your life was meant to be the foundation from which you would continue to add strength, power and resiliency. Your body was meant to be strong, graceful, powerful, fluid, mobile and resilient. You were never meant to be broken, weak, fragile, stiff or injured. You were never meant to just “fall apart” with age. You are supposed to be able to conquer mountains, and even playgrounds, well into your golden years. You are supposed to enjoy this life with vitality. But, many of us do not. Many of us are just watching life go by. We have lost our way. We have lost our foundation. Our sedentary lifestyles have robbed us of the foundation and the joy of movement that we built as children. 

Because of this, we have lost our strength, our health, our resiliency and our vitality. Thankfully, we were indeed made to move. Through movement, specific movements, we can regain our foundation of strength, our foundation of health. We can become the strong, powerful, and graceful bodies that we were meant to be. We can enjoy this life with vitality. 

We can regain our Original Strength – our foundation. We can help our bodies remember how to move again and in doing so, we can become strong, healthy and resilient; like we were meant to be”.

The updated edition that I read teaches you how to press reset and help your body once again remember how to move.  The book is about restoring your body’s abilities, the same way you did the first time you learned to walk.  

The programme consists of five movement patterns which will reset and refresh your central nervous system.

The five are:

  1. Diaphragmatic breathing
  2. Head control
  3. Rolling
  4. Rocking
  5. Crawling

At Unique Results we run semi private sessions for our members called ‘Pure Movement’.  As the name suggests the session focuses on movement, mobility and stability and so having read Tim’s book the team all agreed it would be perfect for our members, so we recently incorporated the five movements into our programming.

Here is what we have been doing:

  1. Diaphragmatic breathing

We have introduced our members to crocodile breathing which encourages diaphragmatic breathing.  Simply lay face down on the floor, head on hands with your mouth shut, tongue resting in the roof of your mouth, inhaling and exhaling through your nose only.  This will encourage you to breathe with your diaphragm and an indicator that you are is you should feel your abdomen push into the floor and your sides expand.   Take 10-15 breaths.

2.   Head control

Staying on the floor lift head, shoulders and chest and come into a sphinx position, pushing the forearms into the floor.  Keeping the mouth shut and breathing as above, lower the chin to the chest and then lift the head towards the sky.  Repeat 10 – 15.

3.   Rolling

Lay on your back with knees raised and hands on knees.  Roll onto one side keeping hips, knees and ankles in alignment. Then rotate your head to look down at the floor and if possible over your shoulder to look behind you.  Roll onto the other side and repeat.  Repeat 5-10 times each side.

4.   Rocking 

Move onto hands and knees with shoes laces down.  Keeping your head and chest lifted and proud.  Rock back and forth, bringing your bottom close to your heels.  Repeat 10 times.  

Then tuck your toes and perform another ten rocks back and forth.

5.   Crawling

Starting with commando crawling first to see how your body performs and what level of crawling you are at. Do not jump straight into the harder versions of crawling just because they look cooler or sexier. 

So start laying on the floor, on your front, with head and chest lifted and on your forearms.  Moving opposite arm and leg together move across the floor dragging the extended leg behind you.   Your knee will come to the outside of your body.  

Once you have mastered the commando crawl move onto baby crawling.  This time on hands and knees with shoe laces down to the floor.  Again keep your head and chest lifted throughout the movement.  Avoid the urge to look down at you hands and legs. Move opposite hand and leg together to move across the floor, dragging the back foot.

If you are ready for something a bit more challenging then progress to leopard crawling.  This is performed on hands and feet with the knees lifted slightly off the floor.  Again move opposite hand and foot together,  bringing the knee to elbow.  As before keep the head and chest lifted and the bottom low throughout the movement.

Aim to crawl for a total of 2 minutes working at your bodies level.

As you can see these are 5 simple moves that can easily be added to a daily routine or used as a warm up before a workout.

Give it a try and have fun pressing the reset button!!

Yours in health