“It’s so valuable to have a sustainable relationship with your body. Movement is medicine. We don’t need doctors, chiropractors, or physical therapists. What we need is to become more active.” – Dr. Craig Liebenson on how we can recover with the power of functional movement
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The Power of Functional Movement with Dr. Craig Liebenson
But before Rob got into the interview with Dr. Liebenson, Devon and him wanted to talk about an awesome app that one of our OSF Facebook group members mentioned called Meetup.
Meetup App: Get Motivated to Stay Healthy
If you’re struggling to stay fit and healthy, one great method to try is using the Meetup App. Look up people who are interested in doing similar activities as you such as hiking, biking, yoga, CrossFit etc so you can all workout together.
When you find a group of people who have similar interests as you, it can really boost your motivation.
Another great thing about the Meetup app is that it’s not just for meeting up to do sports or physical activity. You can also use it to talk to people about topics in your field, about family, or education, etc. It’s a great way to make connections and network with people in your area.
Benefits of Functional Movement Exercises
By now you’ve probably noticed that a lot of exercises that are explained in health magazines or online videos only focus on isolated movements of one problem area. However, what we should be focusing on to help us avoid injuries and physical limitations are functional movement exercises.
Why are functional movement exercises so important for our health? It’s important because all of the different parts of the body are connected. Therefore, you may have to focus on healing one part of the body to be rid of the pain in a totally different area.
Functional movement is about keeping our muscles strong as we go through life. It’s about being able to bend, squat, and kneel without any pain as well as prevent falls, be spry, and move well when we’re older
Investigate and Heal the Root of Your Pain
“Functional training is not a general thing. It’s a very specific thing and is meaningful to the individual. There are different things that a tennis player needs to focus on compared to a runner.” – Dr. Craig Liebenson
Just as our bodies are unique, so are our pains and injuries. To discover the root of your pain or ache, you have to look for hidden skeletons. The better you know your body, the more dependent you will be on yourself to find, treat, and heal any pain or soreness.
If you seek out a chiropractor, physical therapist, and/or personal trainer, they should all be working together and cheer you on during the entire process.
Don’t be discouraged if you get to the point when you no longer believe that there is hope to healing your pain. We can turn our bodies around at any age. To begin feeling more active, just focus on simple movements and getting up during the day.
Recover with Functional Movement
“Everybody is an athlete in my mind. If you have a body, you’re an athlete. I want everyone to develop a sustainable relationship with their body.” – Dr. Craig Liebenson
To begin to heal his patients with functional movement, Dr. Craig Liebenson starts from the very beginning by looking at their chronological pasts. By learning what people have done in the past or their genetic history, he can understand what their body is capable of and what needs to be improved to boost their functional capacity.
With that knowledge, Dr. Liebenson teaches his patients how they should be moving and how to improve their mobility by simply modifying their movements when performing physical activities.
Healing & Strengthening Your Body at Home
To get started with healing your body through functional movement, you don’t even have to leave your home. Just spend some time with yourself to think about where the root of your pain may be located in your body.
After reviewing your history including pains, injuries, and stresses, focus on where your current pain is located. What have you done before to treat that area and what are your triggers? Triggers can be anything that irritates the body such as a movement or stretch.
By just modifying your body’s movements, you can naturally stabilize and strengthen tissues without any weight lifting.
Examples of Functional Movement Exercises
“Functional training is first about stability and then strength” – Dr. Craig Liebenson
When it comes to healing the body, don’t do specific isolated movements or spot training. Instead, you want to retrain the body with functional movemnet patterns.
Examples of functional movements for the knee when you need to stabilize and strengthen it include:
- Lateral squats
- Single dead lifts
Basic exercises that can help begin the process of including more functional movement in your workouts include:
- Hip thrusts
- Glute bridges
Don’t Just Sit There, Get Up and Move
To have an active body, we need to be continuously focusing on functional movement. The simplest way for us to get started is to stop staying in a sedentary position for so long and just walk around. This is very important if you have a desk job and let’s face it, these days we’re all glued to our computers at work.
Try to find a way by adding movement to your day by either getting a Fitbit to motivate you, buy a standing desk, or take microbreaks during the day just to get up and walk around for awhile.
It doesn’t have to be difficult to be active during the day.
The Power of Functional Movement Each Day
When we stay inactive during the day, it can lead to other health problems that can be even more difficult to reverse such as obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, and more.
About Dr. Craig Liebenson
Dr. Craig Liebenson is the Director of L.A. Sports & Spine which is a pain management, rehabilitation & performance enhancement center providing one on one musculoskeletal care.
Dr. Craig Liebenson’s Career
He is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Chiropractic, Division of Health Sciences at Murdoch University, Perth Australia and consultant for the the Anglo-European Chiropratic College M.Sc. programs in Chiropractic Rehabilitation. The first ever chiropractic member of the McKenzie Institute (U.S.) Board of Directors he serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals including the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation; the PM&R Journal of Injury, Function and Rehabilitation; the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapy; and Journal of Manual Therapy.
Dr. Liebenson is the first health care provider in California to receive a Certification of Recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) on Achievement of Recognition for Delivery of Quality Back Pain Care. He is actively engaged in ongoing research on the spinal stabilization system as a Visiting Scholar at Pr. Stuart McGill’s Spine Biomechanics Laboratory at the University of Waterloo. He began studying with both Dr. Karel Lewit and Pr Vladimir Janda beginning in 1987 and began hosting Pavel Kolar’s programs in the late 1990’s.
Published works by Dr. Craig Liebenson
Dr. Liebenson publishes extensively and is the editor of the book/DVD Rehabilitation of the Spine: A Practioner’s Manual (2nd ed), 2007, DVD series Yoga & Ergonomics; Core Stability Training; & Functional-Performance Training and the The Functional Training Handbook (2014). He has had books published into Spanish, Greek, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese. He worked as team chiropractor for the N.B.A. Los Angeles Clippers from 2005-2009, consulted with the M.L.B. Arizona Diamondbacks, N.F.L. Seattle Seahawks, and Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group. He serves on the Advisory Council for Equinox worldwide luxury fitness gyms.
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What You’ll Hear on This Episode
00:00 Open Sky Fitness Introduction
1:15 Opening comments with Rob and Devon
3:20 Meet Up app: Struggles with Staying Motivated
9:15 Introduction to Craig
10:30 The beginning of Craig’s interest with functional movement
13:00 Changes in the chiropractic world
15:45 How Craig helps his patients
19:30 Who are your clients? Are they mostly athletes or average people?
We have an inactivity crisis- obesity, type 2 diabetes,
23:30 Craig’s definition of functional training
26:20 How do you help patients from your first meeting
31:00 How can we treat pain on our own?
33:30 How inactivity can harm our bodies
34:30 Functional Movement 101
38:10 How can someone create more mobility in their shoulder via the back?
40:00 Easy exercises to stretch and relieve your body
44:00 How we evolved to stand and sit up-right
47:00 The medial collapse of the knee for women explained
50:00 What do women need to be doing for functional training?
51:45 The benefits of functional training
54:40 Craig’s struggles with mobility: what he works on or wants to work on.
59:00 Connect with Craig
1:02:35 Closing comments with Rob and Devon
1:05:00 Open Sky Fitness Closing
RESOURCES MENTIONED DURING THE SHOW:
- The Open Sky Fitness Podcast Group on Facebook
- Dr. Craig Liebenson‘s official website
- Read Rehabilitation of the Spine: A Practitioner’s Manual by Dr. Craig Liebenson
- Check out the Functional Training Handbook by Dr. Craig Liebenson
- Watch Dr. Liebenson’s DVDs and read more of his books here
- Attend an upcoming seminar or course with Dr. Liebenson
- Read Movement-Functional Movement Systems: Screening, Assessment, Corrective Strategies by Gray Cook
- LA Sports and Spine official website
- Like the LA Sports and Spine Facebook page
- Learn more about using the Meetup App
- Listen to the OSF podcast episode no. 87 with Dr. Kelly Starrett: How to Prevent Injuries and Improve Performance
- Learn more about Pavel Tsatsoulineand and Kettlebell Training
- Listen to the OSF podcast episode no. 107 with Karen Smith: How to Become a Top Kettlebell Instructor
- Learn about the life and research done by Dr. Vladimir Janda, the Father of Rehabilitation Medicine
- Read The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease by Daniel Lieberman
Ask Rob a Question or tell him what is working for you: Email Rob@OpenSkyFitness.com
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Thanks for listening/reading Episode 132- Dr. Craig Liebenson: The Power of Functional Movement! We hope you have gained more knowledge on how to be a healthier you!