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.
- Set a Timer for 5 minutes. If you have a favorite song that's exactly five minutes, use it.
- Find an open space where you don't have to worry about banging into tables, or having anything fall on you.
- Just move continuously. Do any stretches, mobility drills or yoga poses for 5 minutes straight. The only rule is to constantly move.
- 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.