back pain

Tune-Up Tuesday Episode 48: Learn To Load Your Hips

I hope everybody's Holidays were fantastic!  As we all prep for 2018 to arrive, let's delve into one final Tune-Up Tuesday post!

A few weeks ago I had taken the Performance Therapy Mentorship course at the Exos facility in Arizona.  It was a great course that offered a lot of takeaways, along side valuable insight into better bridging the gap between performance and rehab. 

By the completion of the course, I felt I had a better grasp of a system that can help me make better decisions as a clinician and a personal trainer.  

One valuable exercise I learned at the course is called the Star Pattern.  In my short time applying it, this exercise has had a big impact on many of my clients. 

The Star Pattern

The star pattern is a great exercise that teaches one to "feed into" their hips.  This is a Gary Grey term that tries to describe how the hip loads and unloads in different planes of motion.

Here is how he describes it:

  •  Functionally the hip gets loaded and unloaded in the sagittal plane with flexion as well as extension.
  • The hip also gets loaded predominantly in the frontal plane through adduction and unloading into abduction. 
  • Transverse plane loading of the hip in internal rotation with unloading into external rotation.

How does the Star Pattern fit into this?

As you drive your hip back and towards the floor, we are creating hip flexion, adduction, and internal rotation (loading or feeding into the hip).  As we come back up, we are extending, abducting, and externally rotation our hips (unloading or feeding out of the hip).

For those clients who shift their hips to one side while squatting, or hips shift out during a lunge, this is a regressed position that starts to teach patients how to load their hips. It has also been extremely powerful for those suffering from hip and low back pain.

Give it a try, and let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Move Well, Stay Strong.

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Feel Better In 5 Minutes A Day

If I told you that in 5 minutes a day you could decrease pain, increase energy levels, and decrease stiffness in muscles and joints, would you do it?

Is this some sort of magic pill that will make you feel like you just drank from the fountain of youth? No, not quite. The "pill" I speak of is what I like to call movement variability.

Movement variability is defined as, "repetitive movement that is not repetitive" (insert confused emoticon here).  To simplify this definition, you should simply move in ways that are different than what you are currently accustomed to. 

For most people, sitting at a desk is a reoccurring stimulus on an everyday basis. For marathon runners, this repetitive movement is constant running in one direction without ever moving within any other planes of motion.  Over time as we continue to load the same patterns over and over, pain can develop due to multiple factors.  If we spent time moving with variety throughout the day it is possible that both our perception of tightness and pain can be diminished.

Here's the crazy part. 

In order to start moving and feeling better, all you need to start with is five minutes of movement.  For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you know that I love Max Shank's 5 Minute Flow.  I've done this since June and honestly feel better now than I did in my college days.  Since initiating in a daily five minute flow, I've dramatically decreased pain in my lower back. I feel much more limber and mobile throughout the day, which has boosted my confidence when lifting weights. I also feel more energized to start my day, after just five minutes of free and random movement!

Max Shank states that you should, "move for five minutes in a way that gently pushes your flexibility but keep moving.  Don't worry if you get stuck somewhere, retrace your steps while you think of the next movement.  If you're into martial arts or yoga throw your own blend of that together."

Everyone can find five minutes in their day, whether it be in the morning, during a lunch break or sometime in the evening.  If you claim to not have time to flow, you need to take a better look as to why you really are not doing this. Not having time is an underlying translation for, "I don't want to do it." Give it a chance, I promise you, in just a few days, you'll feel like you're reliving your youth.


  1. Set a Timer for 5 minutes. If you have a favorite song that's exactly five minutes, use it.
  2. Find an open space where you don't have to worry about banging into tables, or having anything fall on you.
  3. Just move continuously. Do any stretches, mobility drills or yoga poses for 5 minutes straight. The only rule is to constantly move. 
  4. Commit to 30 days.  Try it for 30 days, see how you feel, and keep doing it afterwards if it makes a positive change. 

Below is a 5 minute example.  The video is time lapsed, if you would like to see a full version you can click here

Get your Joe Flow on and let me know how you feel in the comments section below.