Making Exercise Healthy Medicine


Bookspan Basics
Quick Drills For Healthier Movement For All You Do

Copyright © Jolie Bookspan. MEd, PhD, FAWM
Director  Neck and Back Pain Sports Medicine
Headmaster  Academy of Functional Exercise Medicine - the Fixa U

What does the word '"master" mean in the title Headmaster? Mastery over oneself. To be a skilled practitioner. To have qualified at a high rank. The best use of that term is to be those things, and actively work so that it does not mean to try to master others, but to improve yourself.

 

                  
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Welcome to my quick training drills to learn healthy movement and prevent injuries. This is one topic on my large no-ad web site, DrBookspan.com, for you to have a healthy, pain-free, stronger, happy life. I am a research scientist and clinician. I worked years in experimental physiology, sports medicine, biomechanics, and related sciences to develop effective, evidence-based techniques. I make my methods available for a better world.

On this page is a program of a quick fun set of skills that I developed to teach healthy movement for your whole body as a powerful sports and life enhancer. You can use them for yourself, and in groups. Scroll through to see how other people and groups have been using these Basics. The results have been exciting. This page also tells how you can send me your photos and videos using these Bookspan Basics so you can be a role model, too.

My web articles are summaries, with a wealth of knowledge still to give. Read my books for more. Hope I will get to meet you in my CLASSES, over a personal online consult to answer your questions, or maybe in a rare in-person Private Appointment. For more about me, check Adventure Medicine. Have fun.

SITE MAP. At the bottom of this page (and every page) are main navigation links, plus buttons to SHARE, TWEET, and LIKE.

 


 

What Are Bookspan Basics
Functional Retraining Drills?

 

I Didn't Want A Disease Named For Me, But A Cure

Teachers, coaches, parents, babysitters, trainers, physicians, group leaders, and others, asked me for specific things they could use to teach foundational healthful movement skills to their activity groups, sports teams, exercisers, clients, patients, schools, classes, and for themselves:

 

Be A Role Model and Get Useful and Free Feedback

1. Send me your short videos (30 seconds or less) of trying or teaching each. I will send you helpful feedback and help you develop them. I will add the best ones here on this page to benefit all with credit to YOU. Nothing goes on YouTube. Don't post anything publicly without first checking with me - Instructions on the Projects Page - Project 9

2. Send your success photos and stories of how you use these great training drills (intelligently) in your program for the Success page. Or send photos of you or your students doing each skill - one photo showing wrong movement and one showing change to healthy. Don't post anything publicly without first checking with me - Instructions on the Projects Page - Project 7. See our wonderful Canadian pole walking group, the Pole-R-Bears, first successes with this.

3. I am looking for a Director of Youth Programs to take these functional Basics to schools and youth centers everywhere, and a Director of Healthy Aging to take these same skills to elder centers, residents and staff of convalescent and retirement homes, and individuals. I am developing a traveling health show teaching these (properly - see me first - in classes and private appointments). See the Academy page for what we do and Academy Students to see programs we have made, to give you ideas for more.

 

1.

First Bookspan Basics Group Training Drill:
Fixing Swayback to Healthy Neutral Spine

 

Here is the first of the series of Bookspan Basics Functional Fitness Training that you can teach your teams, squads, classes, students, kids, groups, battalions, etc.

It teaches a healthy spine position habit needed for most of all else that you do in daily life and in sports. In this Basic you change a bad spine position (swayback, also called hyperlordosis) to a healthy position. Swayback is a major hidden cause of achy backs after activity, especially long walking and running.

 

Left - Bad positioning habit of allowing swayback (hyperlordosis) and position of hands at top and bottom of front abdominal muscles
Right - Practicing how to use hands to understanding reducing abdominal muscle length to move spine from hyperlordosis to neutral

 

Above, a GIF movie should play demonstrating fixing swayback to more or less neutral spine, without using hands. My student David from Belgium shows standing with swayback - in this case mostly from a tilted pelvis - and changing the tilt of the pelvis to more vertical. No movement of the legs or knees is involved.

 

 

PREP:

Assemble your group in so you can see each participant, especially their mid-section and lower spine. Stand in front facing sideways so everyone can see you in profile view.

Tell them that the first Bookspan Basic Fitness Training is needed to fix a bad posture habit that is one major cause of lower back pain - hyperlordosis also called swayback. Learning this movement is not a move that you do many times as some kind of strengthening. It is to learn how to make a change from now on. Once you learn healthy position instead of swayback, the new healthy position is how you continue to hold your spine.

There are several ways to learn how to move to the healthier spine position of neutral spine. This one is chosen for Bookspan's Basics because it does not need a wall, and is done standing:

 

HOW TO DO IT:

  1. Tell everyone to stand and notice how much inward curve they are using in their lower back. They can feel with their hands if their lower back bends inward a lot or a little. Tell everyone to notice if their pelvis is tilting rather than being vertical. Have then feel and look at each other to see what it looks like if they are leaning their upper body backward.  Tilting the pelvis and leaning the upper body backwards are two ways to make the lower spine sway inwards too much.

  2. Tell everyone to put one hand at the top of their front abdominal muscles where they attach to the bottom of the ribs in the middle, and the other hand at the bottom of their abdominal muscles,  where they attach to the front center of their pelvic bones Left-hand photograph above shows approximate attachment points of abdominal muscles and hands

  3. Have everyone move their torso so that both hands pull closer to each other. The body remains upright, not curling forward. Tell everyone to feel the movement they just produced in their spine, as if they had done a small crunch pull from both top and bottom of abdominal muscles to move both the ribs downward, and the pelvis from tilted to vertical.
 
TEACHING POINTS:

The movement to is reduce hyperlordosis, also called swayback to neutral spine. It is not to curl forward or make posture unnatural.

Done properly, participants will feel abdominal muscles in use, but not tightening in any way.

There is no tightening of gluteal or any other muscles. It is common to co-contract other muscles, but they are not how you move your spine from swayback to neutral.

To become proficient in understanding this to better teach it, see the article summarizing Fixing Swayback Pain on this web site.

This is the First Functional Training exercise. After learning this basic, learn and use the others below to teach your groups (or self) how to prevent common muscles issues that arise during the team season or operational theater.

 

Good body mechanics are a powerful performance enhancing aid.

 

 

SEND IT IN:
Send in your photos or videos of teaching or trying these and I will add the best here to benefit all. Trainers, send in your stories of how you use them in your program. Instructions on the Projects page.

 

 

RELATED READINGS On This Web Site to Fix Back Pain from Swayback:

 

RELATED READINGS from DR. BOOKSPAN's Fitness Fixer Column:

 

Book Explaining All About Fixing Swayback and Getting Healthier Stronger Abdominal Exercise:

 

 

Photo of my student Cynthia demonstrating the "hands on abs method" copyright Dr. Bookspan

 


2.

Second Group Training:
Good Bending for Back and Knees

 

Here is the second of the series of Bookspan Basics Functional Fitness Training to teach your teams, squads, classes, students, kids, groups, battalions, etc. It makes bending and crouching healthier for the back and knees.

PREP:

Assemble your group in neat rows so you can see each participant, and they feel the self-control of the neat rows. Stand in front facing sideways so everyone can see you in profile view.

Tell them that the Functional Fitness Training is a basic move that is needed many dozens of times every day, for their special sport or activity and for daily life - good bending:


HOW TO DO IT:

  1. Tell everyone to keep both heels down on the ground (right drawing) while they bend their knees and crouch about halfway down.

  2. Tell everyone to look down at their own feet and pull their (bent) knees back until they can see their toes (right drawing). Tell them if they cannot see their toes because their knees cover their toes, their knees are too far forward (left drawing above).

  3. With each practice bend, incorporate the next healthy change. Next is to tell everyone to look down at their own knees, and notice if either or both knees sway inward of the line of their feet - see photo below. Tell them to use thigh muscles to align knees over feet, whatever width of the feet. Feet do not move, only the position of the knees. Knees should not tilt or sway inward.

  4. Have everyone notice their NECK. Healthy neutral neck position is a big part of healthy bending. Have them learn to notice and correct a lifted chin and tilted back neck. Straighten neck gently in relaxed manner. Learn to recognize that most of the motion comes from straightening the UPPER body.

  5. Have everyone stand upright, legs straight, then bend again. Adjust knee placement, lower back angle, and neck angle, if needed. Rise and bend again. The goal is to be able to bend each time with knees aligned over feet, neutral lower spine and neck (right). They should feel the difference - using thigh and hip muscles, instead of sliding weight forward onto the knees, and no more strained angled neck.
 

 

View from above if knees sway inward. Not healthy position. Instead, quickly move both knees to line over feet. The feet do not need to move. It is the knees that are the focus.

 

Photo above shows one knee swaying inward of the foot on the same side. The other knee is above the foot. Learn to keep both knees over feet, regardless of foot width (for most common widths needed).

 

 

 

 

TEACHING POINTS:

Reduce back injury from bad bending, get leg exercise, burn calories, and build strong bones from the many free built-in squats daily.

Repeat good bending 10 times or any number that suits your group's need - more for groups needing higher training (or groups with poorer memory), faster for teams requiring this skill done quickly in actual use, and so on.

Put items on the ground they use for their sport or work and use the new good bending to pick up the items. Then replace the items on the ground with good bending, and retrieve with good bending. Repeat for the number suited for your needs.

Tell everyone that this is how they bend for picking up all their gear (except medical or tactical reason not to).

Watch and remind them for good bending practices throughout the team season.

This is the Second Functional Training exercise. After learning this basic, learn and use the others below to teach your groups (or self) how to prevent common musculo-skeletal issues that arise during the team season or operational theater.

 

Good bending mechanics is a powerful performance enhancing aid.

 

 

SEND IT IN:

Send in your photos or videos of teaching or trying these and I will add the best here to benefit all. Trainers, send in your stories of how you use them in your program. Instructions on the Projects page.

Scroll to the end to see how the fun Canadian pole walking group, the Pole-R-Bears, have been using these basics. Great work! Great fun!

 

RELATED READINGS On This Web Site:

 

 

RELATED READINGS From My Former Column, The Fitness Fixer:

 

SUCCESS!

A Canadian Nordic Pole walking group, the Pole-R-Bears, have been sending their successes using these Basics, my other web articles, and books. Some of their successes are at the end of this page. One of their successes has far-reaching importance:

On Dec 23, 2017, at 9:13 PM, JAN MOSLEY wrote:

"Linda, the head instructor is going to introduce squats and lunges, as outlined in your article, into her lessons at the Independent Care Facility. I did not know this but to remain in an Independent Care Facility here, apparently you have to be able to do a squat and lunge as demonstrated by specific functional moves! If they are unable to do that, they must move to an Assisted Living Facility. Now if that's not motivation to get it right now and maintain it, I don’t know what is!
Once again, thank you and ... Happy Holidays!"

 

Drawing of Backman(tm) and photos of bending copyright © Dr. Bookspan

 


3.

Ankle Stability and Ability
PLUS Healthy Neutral Spine When Raising Heels To Stand On "Tip-Toe" / Ball Of The Foot
(and wearing heeled shoes)

 

This is the third of the series of Bookspan Basics that you can teach your teams, squads, classes, students, kids, groups, battalions, etc. This drill teaches both ankle stability AND practices how to incorporate healthy neutral spine. Rising to "half-toe" to "stand on tip-toes" or to wear high heels does not MAKE YOU stand in bad posture. You control your spine and legs the same as during any other movement.


Left - bad positioning habit allowing ankle sprains. Right - Practicing how to prevent ankle sprain through specific proprioception

 

 

PREP:

Assemble your group in neat rows. Stand in front facing forward. Everyone sees your feet and you see each participant's feet. Footwear is whatever used for their sport or activity. Also try to practice barefoot and in different shoes so that you do not get your balance only from your shoes. You need to learn that support comes from you muscles and your own proprioception. Use or lose.

Tell them this Bookspan Basic Fitness Training is a basic skill, needed many dozens of times every day, for their sport or activity, and for daily life - ankle stability when rising to the ball of the foot (sometimes called standing on toes or half-toe), stepping down, landing from jumps, running, turning skills, and other motions requiring ankle stability. This skill teaches you how to prevent ankle sprains, when used properly. Your own proprioception, which is your body knowing what position it is in, is more helpful to preventing and rehabilitating sprains than the standard "stretch and strengthen" rehab, or wearing braces or high top shoes, which reduce your own proprioception.

 

A GIF movie should appear above of this Bookspan Basic Ankle Drill - Ankle Stabilization. The video has no sound (and neither should your ankle). First, my student demonstrates rising to tip toe, but allowing ankles to tilt outward. Then the student repeats rising correctly three times, keeping straight ankles.

See more of my movies directly from my Flickr.com collection, TheFitnessFixer: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thefitnessfixer/16759547880/

 

 

HOW TO DO IT:

  1. Tell everyone to stand with both feet facing straight forward, then to lift heels to stand on the ball of the feet

  2. Tell everyone to look down at their own feet. Feet and ankles should be held vertically, not allowed to tilt outward / sideways toward the small toes (use photos above for reference). While everyone holds tip-toe, make sure each participant straightens ankles, shifting weight back toward the big and second toe, rather than toward the small toes.  Have them reduce any swayback to neutral spine, as taught earlier.

  3. Have everyone stand flat on full foot again, then rise to half-toes again (up on the ball of the bottom of the foot). Adjust if needed. Repeat good heel-rising 10 times or any number that suits your group's need - more for groups needing higher training (or groups with poorer memory), faster for teams requiring this skill done quickly in actual use, and so on. The goal is to be able to rise each time with healthy ankle and healthy lumbar spine.

  4. Next - incorporate healthy neutral spine, not swayback, as below.

 

This skill also teaches that standing on the ball of the foot, as when wearing high-heels, does not "make" you stand badly or "arch your back" (stand in swayback or hyperlordosis). You control your spine, and can hold neutral spine, the same as during all other standing, walking, and activity. People may lean backward and/or increase lumbar arch when they haven't trained balance and neutral spine. It does not take much training to correct it, just knowledge and doing it.

In the two photos below, my student Leslie demonstrates standing "tip-toe" (raised heels). In the first photo, Leslie stands swayback (yellow arrow points to area of increased lumbar compression. Red line shows tilted pelvis). The second photo shows standing with raised heels in neutral spine. Green line shows vertical pelvis. One foot is more forward for two reasons - so you can see both feet and also, that is part of how you walk, while wearing heels or not. (Note, in the second, corrected photo, Leslie is still leaning the upper body back very slightly. When you do this, keep upper body vertical for standing).

 

    

All movement to change swayback to neutral comes from the spine. There is no tightening of abs, there is no "sucking in," and no "navel to spine." That is not how you move. The belly looks slimmer and more athletic because the pelvis is no longer tipped into swayback, so the abdomen is not curved outward. Leslie is 75 years old in this photo. See her video of doing 30 neutral spine pushups on the Fitness as a LIfestyle page.

 

 

Next my student Paula:

       

In the above two photos, my student Paula shows standing in raised heel position, first with swayback (first photo, with red X indicating wrong), then correcting spine to neutral (second photo with green check mark). Note that no knee bending is needed. I asked her to do this for photos in the middle of an exercise class. She had no warning or prep time. A great student.

 

 

TEACHING POINTS:

Tell everyone that this is how they rise to tip-toe - onto the ball of the foot - for all needs, not just as an exercise (except medical or tactical reason not to).

All participants should feel the difference - using leg and ankle muscles instead of letting body weight slide sideways, which bends ankles into classic sprain position - turned at the outside (inversion).

Tell everyone they will need this for the next skill - for stepping down and landing from jumps.

Watch them for good ankle stability practices throughout the team season. Reduce ankle injury from letting the ankle invert (turn sideways to a position likely to sprain). Instead use muscles and conscious control to prevent inversion sprains and turns, and get leg, foot, and ankle exercise, from the many needed neutral-ankle stability needed for varies movements daily.

 

Good body mechanics are a powerful performance enhancing aid.

 

SEND IT IN:

Send in your photos or videos of teaching or trying these and I will add the best here to benefit all. Trainers, send in your stories of how you use them in your program. Instructions on the Projects page.

 

RELATED READINGS On This Web Site:

 

 

RELATED READINGS from My Former Column, The Fitness Fixer :

 

 

Photo of ankles © copyright Dr. Bookspan from the book Healthy Martial Arts

 


4.

Ankle and Knee Stability in Jumps and Landings

 

Here is fourth in the series of Bookspan Basics Functional Fitness Training.

 

PREP:

Assemble your group in neat rows. Make sure all can see you and you can see them.

Tell them this is a fundamental physical skill to reduce musculo-skeletal injuries, that puts together Bookspan Basics, previously learned.

 

HOW TO DO IT:

  1. Have everyone rise to the ball of both feet, and lower, bending knees slightly at each lowering, in a bouncy movement. Rise and lower increasingly rapidly and smoothly, in a jumping motion, first without jumping off the ground, then barely jumping. With each bend and rise, maintain good knee bending and neutral ankle. Use good knee bending (knees do not sway inward or slide forward toward the toes, taught in an earlier Bookspan Basic above. When rising to the ball of the foot, and landing, use stable neutral ankle (not tilting outward to the side toes, taught in the third Bookspan Basic above.

  2. Next, having practiced "bouncy" movements with good foot, ankle, and knee mechanics, everyone jumps, landing softly - rolling down from ball of the foot to full foot using thigh and hip muscles for shock absorption. Keep healthy knee bending and neutral ankle. Start jumping moderately, then work for increasing height with each repetition. Repeat 10-100 times, depending on time and needs.

 

 

TEACHING POINTS:

Teach everyone that this is how to land from stepping, jumping, and descending terrain and stairs for all needs, not just as an exercise (except medical or tactical reason not to).

Use conscious control to prevent inversion ankle sprains and turns by not allowing the ankle to invert (turn sideways) when rising to ball of the foot during push-off in running and jumping, and coming down during landings.

Watch for healthy ankle and knee stability and placement throughout the team season.

Each Bookspan Basic Functional Training exercise shows how to teach your groups (or self) how to prevent common musculo-skeletal problems during the team season or operational theater. Learn this one to be ready for an upcoming Basic Skill, needed for cutting, changing direction, lateral movement, more.

 

Good body mechanics are a powerful performance enhancing aid.

 

 

SEND IT IN:

Send in your photos or videos of teaching or trying these and I will add the best here to benefit all. Trainers, send in your stories of how you use them in your program. Instructions on the Projects page.

 

RELATED READINGS On This Web Site:

 

 

RELATED READINGS from My Former Column, The Fitness Fixer:

 

Photo by Éole via Flickr

 


 

5.

Functional Upper Back Stretch Built In To All Standing And Looking Upwards

 

This Bookspan Basic retrains you to straighten (extend) your upper back (prevent a rounded upper back). Use this for all your sitting, standing, and activities. It gives a built-in extension stretch for the upper back, and is healthier for the neck and shoulder:

Photo (left) Folding back at the neck and jutting the chin forward makes unhealthful neck compression.
(postural spondylolisthesis). Drawing (right) shows extending more from upper spine, keeping more neutral neck.

 

PREP:  

Assemble your group in neat rows. Make sure all can see your neck and upper back and you can see theirs. Have them feel, notice, and visualize where is their upper back and how it moves - rounding more and straightening more. One way to help see this is to tell them to watch a person in line ahead of them.

Explain that key to standing comfortably straighter, and one main factor in preventing neck and upper back pain, is straightening (unrounding) the upper spine, not pulling shoulders back.

Further application of this is for every time you look upward. Get more range of motion from the upper back, not the neck alone.

 

HOW TO DO IT:
  1. Direct everyone to straighten the upper spine without involving the neck, not lifting the chin, and not leaning backwards. Only involving the upper spine.

  2. Next, try this again to gaze upwards upward by straightening the upper back and by lifting more in the chest, without lifting the chin. Tell the group that the concept is not to pinch the neck backwards (photo above of drinking) but to "unround" and lift upward more from the upper spine. Do not lean backwards from the lower spine. Keep both shoulders down and relaxed.

  3. Repeat this same concept for a third application - while reaching upward with both hands. Make sure not to return to pinching backward at the neck, jutting the chin forward (photo above), or leaning the upper body backward. Keep both shoulders down and relaxed.

TEACHING POINTS:

The upper back is often kept rounded forward (too much kyphosis) resulting in eventual deformity, stiffness, and chromic upper back pain. The neck is often misused - craned backward concentrating motion at one vertebral segment of the neck, instead of getting most of the range from the upper back, resulting in impingement and wear.

Extend the upper spine instead of craning and folding backwards at the neck to stand straighten and to look upwards.

Tell everyone that this is how to gaze upward for all needs, not just as an exercise (except with medical or tactical reason not to). Use conscious control to prevent pinching your neck backwards every time you look or reach upward.

 

The water bottle (pictured) and other fun teaching tools are available at Bookspan BackSavers through Cafe Press.

 

Good neck and upper back mechanics are a powerful performance enhancing aid.

 

 

SEND IT IN:
Send in your photos or videos of teaching or trying these and I will add the best here to benefit all. Trainers, send in your stories of how you use them in your program. Instructions on the Projects page.

 

 

RELATED READINGS On This Web Site:

  • Check my page on Fixing Neck Pain for more neck health and several healthier stretches.

Book to Learn Functional Stretching:

 

 

RELATED READINGS From My Former Column, The Fitness Fixer:

 

 


6.

Ankle and Knee Stability & Safety With Lateral Movement

 

Here is the sixth in the series of Bookspan Basics to teach your groups, teams, classes, students, kids, battalions, and others.

In this Bookspan Basic, learn to be ready for changing direction, cutting, lateral movement, landing to the side from jumps, slips and missteps, and more. It builds on a previous Functional Training exercise where you learned to jump with good lower body mechanics.

 

PREP:  

Assemble your group in neat rows. Make sure all can see your legs and you can see theirs.

Tell them this is a basic, functional physical skill to learn how to reduce knee ankle and foot injuries during jumps and quick moves sideways.

Remind them to use previously learned Bookspan Basics for better vertical jumps.

 

HOW TO DO IT:

  1. Have everyone leap sideways, off one foot onto the other foot, landing softly with good knee bending and neutral ankle. On landing, the knee is already above the foot, not bent or swaying inward.

  2. Leap back to starting place onto the other foot. On landing, the knee is already above the foot. Two other Bookspan Basics are used for the health of the feet - Ankle does not turn outward like a sprain (inversion and supination) - covered in Bookspan Basic #3. Arch of the foot of the weight bearing leg stays level, not flattened (pronated) - learn more on this in Bookspan Basic #8.

  3. Repeat leaping from foot to foot. Sideways and diagonals. With each landing, make sure the knee of the weight-bearing leg doesn't sway inward of the line of the foot.

 

TEACHING POINTS:

Improve by jumping increasingly fast, and far, for longer periods of time.

Tell everyone that this is how they land for all needs, not just as an exercise (except medical or tactical reason not to).

Learn this to be ready for the sixth one coming next, needed for cutting, changing direction, lateral one legged movement, more.

 

Good body mechanics are a powerful performance enhancing aid.

 

 

SEND IT IN:

Send in your photos or videos of teaching or trying these and I will add the best here to benefit all. Trainers, send in your stories of how you use them in your program. Instructions on the Projects page.

 

RELATED READINGS On This Web Site:

 

 

Photo by Wouter Verhelst

 


 

7.

Advancing Ankle and Knee Safety During Single Leg Movement
 

In this Bookspan Basic, improve your lower leg stability by training healthy foot and leg placement when landing on one foot from jumps, hops, leaps, slips and missteps, and more.

This skill builds on earlier Bookspan Basic training drills, where you learned to jump vertically (up and down) and leap laterally to one foot (side to side) with good lower body mechanics. Make sure to know them first.

 

PREP:  

Assemble your group in neat rows. Make sure all can see you and you can see them.

Tell them this is a basic, functional physical skill to learn how to reduce knee and ankle injuries during sideways jumps and leaps. Remind them they need to use the same principles from a previous Basic Training of vertical jumps.

 

HOW TO DO IT:

  1. Have everyone do a few bouncy jumps, as in an earlier Bookspan Basic. Use stable neutral ankle (not tilting or swaying outward to the side). Each time they lower, they bend knees slightly for healthy shock absorption to practice for jumps. It is like a "bouncy" movement up and down. Land softly with bent knees and good shock absorption on each landing.

  2. Have them stand on one leg only. Repeat crouching then rising to the ball of that foot (half-toe) on that one leg, progressing to soft hops. Upon landing, don't let ankles sway outward, turning the ankle. Practice landing with bent knees, soft shock absorption, and good foot placement.

  3. Hop up and down 10-100 times, depending on time and need. Change legs and repeat.

  4. If safe movement during vertical hops is securely learned, hop, as above, side to side.

 

TEACHING POINTS:

Lower limb stability and placement during landings of all kinds prevents injuries. Practice so you don't turn your ankle or knee.

Remind students and yourself that when landing from a jump, a hop, or a slip, use the same good bending and neutral ankle all the time, not just as an exercise (except medical or tactical reason not to).

 

Good leg mechanics are a powerful performance enhancing aid.

 

 

SEND IT IN:

Send in your photos or videos of teaching or trying these and I will add the best here to benefit all. Trainers, send in your stories of how you use them in your program. Instructions on the Projects page.

 

RELATED READINGS from DR. BOOKSPAN:

 


 

8.
Fixing Flat Arches

 

The eighth Bookspan Basic teaches your groups how to fix flattened arches.

Your own leg,ankle, and foot muscles can place your feet and ankles as correctly (or more) than using an artificial shim or orthotic.

 

PREP:  

Assemble your group so that all can see your feet and you can see theirs.

Tell them this is a basic physical skill to learn how to use your own muscles to position your own arches. No "supportive" shoes, shoe insert or orthotic is needed. Foot muscles need practice and activity all the time to be healthy, that they cannot get using external bracing.

 

HOW TO DO IT:

    1. Have everyone look down at their feet and notice their arches

    2. Have them push and flatten their arch down toward the ground and lift it up to see and feel how arches respond to voluntary movement. When they lift the arch, the toes do not lift from the ground.

    3. Have everyone notice how their body weight lifts off the arch and shifts more to the soles of the feet. The object is not to roll all the way to the side of the foot. The Bookspan Basic on Ankle Positioning, taught earlier, teaches how not to roll outward. Keep knees over feet,

       

 

A short gif of repositioning your own feet and arches from flattened and / or pronated position, to a level and healthy neutral arch should appear below. More on arches is on the Patient Success page, knee pain section.

 

 

1. First one of my students shows the foot allowed to slouch, so that the arch flattens.

2. Then we show using foot and ankle muscles to lift and hold a normal arch.

3. Then we demonstrate that if you stop using your muscles and slouch again, the arch will flatten downward again. This is not an exercise to raise and lower many times. It is to learn how to raise to healthy arch placement one time, then keep and use that new healthy arch.

 

 

TEACHING POINTS:

Show students that foot position is voluntary. Flattened arches are often no more than allowing them to slouch to lowest position under your body weight.

Remind students that they hold this new healthy position all the time. Lifting the arches is not a drill to do ten times then stop. It is for all the time.

Healthy foot and ankle placement is supposed to stop pain and injury. If it hurts, or causes new pain anywhere else, they are doing it is wrong. Adjust or omit, but do not do this thinking pain will fix anything.

 

 

Good foot and ankle mechanics are a powerful performance enhancing aid.

 

SEND IT IN:

Send in your photos or videos of teaching or trying these and I will add the best here to benefit all. Trainers, send in your stories of how you use them in your program. Instructions on the Projects page.

 

RELATED READINGS from DR. BOOKSPAN:

 

 


 

9.

Baseline Balance and Mobility - Sit and Rise From The Floor
 

This Bookspan Basic teaches your groups about an important issue. Being able to rise from the floor is natural lifestyle movement, done in many places in the world by people up to the oldest years. It builds in mobility, balance, leg and hip strength, and flexibility, and independence during your everyday life. Being able to do this simple thing has also been shown to relate to overall health.

I first wrote about it and took the movie that I hope appears below on my 2007 FItness Fixer column. When the company discontinued my column in 2010, they took down the article. Then in 2012, a separate study made big news that
"Ability to sit and rise from the floor is closely correlated with all-cause mortality risk." In their video, they show how to medically score ability to sit and rise from the floor.

 

PREP:  

Assemble your group so that all can see your feet and you can see theirs.

Tell them this is a basic physical skill that can determine their independence, health, and even safety.

 

 

HOW TO DO IT:

    1. Have everyone look down at their feet and check their surroundings.

    2. Lower slowly and safely to the floor. To start rising, a small push from the hands might be needed at first. With practice, the idea is to not need help or support

 

 

A short GIF should appear below of the simple but comprehensive skill of being able to lightly sit down on the floor and get up again without your hands. My martial arts student Ms. Han demonstrates in the short gif below.

 

See this and my other short movies, with more instructions, on my FlickR account TheFitnessFixer:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/39972966@N03/8315546611/

 

 

TEACHING POINTS:

Remind students that mobility is normal, healthy, and needed. This is not an extreme sport. It may indicate a baseline of health.

Instead of making it a big medical or training affair, remember that being able to sit down without hands and rise from the floor with minimal trouble or need for support, can and should be a normal part of how you sit and rise so many times all day every day, from any surface.

Build in normal baseline of health when you move. Don't lose your ability, need supports, then pay for PT and gyms to strengthen and stretch. Get it free, built-in, as normal, baseline everyday health.

 

Good mobility is a powerful health and independence aid.

 

 

SEND IT IN:

Send in your photos or videos of teaching or trying these and I will add the best here to benefit all. Trainers, send in your stories of how you use them in your program. Instructions on the Projects page.

RELATED READINGS from DR. BOOKSPAN:

 

 


 

10.

Built-In Stretch and Mobility By Putting On Your Shoes and Socks

 

This Bookspan Basic checks a baseline of range of movement and balance needed for health in daily health, and teaches you to get healthy stretch built in to your every day life.

Standing when you put on your shoes and socks gives you balance practice. If you can't stand on one leg to do a short normal task, you may have unhealthy reduction in balance. This restores it several times a day.

 

PREP:  

Assemble your group so that all can see you, including lower body and feet, and you can see theirs.

Tell them this is a basic physical skill that can assess a baseline of balance needed for safety, and also trains balance, stretch, and hip mobility.

 

 

HOW TO DO IT:

    1. Have everyone look down at their feet and check their surroundings.

    2. Bend the standing knee and reach to touch your shoe to get the idea. Keep the upper body as upright as you can. This is not done bent over.

    3. Then try to take your shoe off, then put it on again. Keep your chest up and your back straight to prevent practicing unhealthful rounded position.

    4. When you get good at this fun move, keep your ankle crossed and bend the standing leg enough for you to reach to the floor to retrieve your other shoe or sock. Even though this one bends over more, it does not transfer the pivot force to the lower discs for several reasons.

 

 

Below, a GIF movie should load of standing to put on shoes and socks. David Demets of Belgium made this video for us. He was a frequent contributor to my Fitness Fixer column:

 

 

If the above movie does not load on your device, click directly from my Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thefitnessfixer/16985671656/

 

 

You will get built-in balance, healthy hip and back stretch, and leg strengthening every day from daily life.

When you get good at this fun move, keep your ankle crossed and bend the standing leg enough for you to reach to the floor to retrieve your other shoe or sock.

Even though this one bends over, it does not transfer the pivot force to the lower discs for several reasons.

 

TEACHING POINTS:

Remind students that mobility is normal, healthy, and needed. This is not an extreme sport. It is basic range of movement and balance needed for health and safety.

Build in normal baseline of health when you dress yourself. Don't lose your ability, then pay for PT and gyms and devices for balance and stretch. Get it free, built-in, as normal, baseline everyday health.

 

 

 

Good mobility is a powerful health and independence aid.

 

 

SEND IT IN:

Send in your photos or videos of teaching or trying these and I will add the best here to benefit all. Trainers, send in your stories of how you use them in your program. Instructions on the Projects page.

 

 

RELATED READINGS from DR. BOOKSPAN:

 

 

 


 

Add Some Stretches

 

For a Quick Set of Basic Stretches - See my Web Page on Healthier Stretches, and scroll down to "Six Quick Stretches."

 

More to Come, Check Back.

 

 


 

Success!

 

This wonderful pole walking group from Canada, called the Pole-R-Bears, have been using my work in general, and recently started on the Bookspan Basics. In their own words, here are their first successes. More to come!

 

On Dec 21, 2017, at 11:50 AM, JAN MOSLEY wrote:

"Good Morning! I thought I would send you a couple of pics of the Pole-R Bears last scheduled group walk. We’re missing 7 of our members here due to holiday trips.

"They have really taken to learning your objectives and rationale of “functional moves” we are introducing a new one each week and during that week they are to look for and record ways in which they naturally use them. We played “Scattegories” at our year end party and they all came prepared with their lists of where they use lunges and squats in their everyday activities. I wasn’t surprised that they were so enthusiastic about it because that is their basic nature. What caught me off guard was the thought and observation they put into their lists!

"Check it out when you have a moment.

"Have a wonderful holiday season. And thank you once again for all your input. I am really looking forward to hunkering down with your suggestions, books, and web site links over the holidays!

"Regards, Jan Mosley"


FUNCTIONAL Lunges and Squat

Bedroom:
• Getting out of bed
• Getting stuff in and out of dresser and bedside table drawers
• Getting dressed - if you have mirrored closet doors, check out your technique to be sure you’re doing it right!
• Pulling stuff out from under the bed
• Finding shoes and other stuff on your closet floor
• Choosing clothes off your lower clothes hanger rod

 

Bathroom:
• Getting in and out of the tub
• Reaching down to place and to pick up the bath tub non-slip mat and the floor mat outside the tub
• Picking up the soap or whatever else you dropped while showering!
• Cleaning the tub/shower, toilet
• Sitting down on and getting up off the pot!
• Reaching into lower cupboards for “stuff” like toilet paper to replace the empty roll your hubby or kids left behind!
• Placing your freshly laundered and folded towels back on your linen closet shelves
• Turning your bathroom independent baseboard heater on - the kind with a knob
• Elaine practiced her squats while brushing her teeth and putting on her makeup!Kitchen:
• Getting food out of the fridge and especially lower freezer compartments
• Loading and unloading the dishwasher
• Reaching into lower drawers and cupboards- especially deep corner ones
• Getting pots and pans or however you may use your drawer beneath the oven
• Putting food in and taking it out of the oven
• Raising and lowering your oven racks
• Cleaning up spills
• Lifting garbage and recycling out of your kitchen pails
• Sitting down and getting up from your kitchen or dining room table

 

General:
• Using electrical outlets
• Sweeping, (especially extending under furniture), Vacuuming and washing floors
• Dusting, cleaning all mid to low spots
• Putting laundry in and out of front loading machines
• Putting on your shoes or boots to go outside
• Picking up anything and putting stuff away
• Playing with and Lifting your children/ grandchildren/ pets
• Cleaning glass patio doors, their tracks, baseboards
• Making your way around your crawlspace
• Decorating the lower branches of your Christmas tree

 

Travel and Recreation:
• Handling your luggage
• Walking up and down steep ramps
• Boarding and disembarking from various forms of transportation
• Attention to posture doing recreational activities in which you participate

Outside:
• Gardening and yard work
• Lifting garbage into large bins
• Getting in and out of your vehicle
• Shopping the lower shelves
• Putting items on the lower shelf of your shopping cart and retrieving them to put on the check out counter
• Loading and unloading groceries in and out of the car
• Picking up doggie poo
• Picking up and disposing of litter along our walks
• Picking up our Nordic Poles when they fall while we’re disconnected to them to blow our nose!!!!
• Doing stairs or hills
• Getting your mail from low post office boxes
• Playing with the kids, grandkids...Elaine built a snow-fort this week and revealed she also climbs trees. That helps to explain her great strength and flexibility!

Priceless:
• The ability to help someone who is injured or in major distress without injuring yourself in the process.

 

 

Here are my priceless Pole-R-Bears

 


 

 

Fun Things To Try Next

Help this site without donating anything. Click any links from my books to Amazon to get anything else, whether it's my books or not. Amazon will send this site a small percentage of purchases (not clicks) - anonymously - from song downloads, health and medical equipment, home stuff, movies, whatever. Your name is never given to me. Larger purchases send more, so get your next computer or playground this way, too. Thank you for helping this web site by shopping for things you get anyway. Proceeds go running this site, class scholarships, free world health programs through my Academy, donations to world need causes. Use the links for next time you shop, too. Have fun.

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The Fitness Fixer Dr. Bookspan IS The Fitness Fixer. My column ran on Healthline from 2006 to 2010. After that, they took them all away in favor of their own articles that sell medicines and treatments, The BlogSpot archives still have some of them. Check for articles on Achilles pain, foot, shoes, orthotics, knees, back, nutrition, and more by alphabetical listing. Click here for fun Index. Updates through Twitter, above.

Bookspan Basics. Quick training drills for yourself and your groups. Set up healthy movement training programs for schools and groups, eventually as part of my nationwide program.

Open our RESORT for healthy life training - maybe at your campus, studio or cruise ship? Also join fun and instructive Dr. Bookspan projects - design our Academy logo, be in my next book, write rap and songs about back pain fixes. Click Projects.

T-shirts and Mugs. Learn and promote functional health with UNcommon sense gifts from the Academy.

 

Books and e-Books

Fix your pain and get healthier. All the books together cost less than your prescription pain killers, and show you how to never need them again. Order links directly from Amazon and the publishers below. More about each of the books featured below, plus more books and resources are on my BOOKS page:

 

                 
 
      

 

Healthy Martial Arts
Top level book for all athletes to train thinking, spirit, and top performance. Healthy Martial Arts is the top of the line book (of my books) for exercises and athletes. Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" is the classic strategy manual in business and power. "Healthy Martial Arts" is the strategy manual for your life. For everyone, not only martial artists, who want to move, live, eat, and be happy in healthy ways. Direct from Amazon - Healthy Martial Arts.

Fix Your Own Pain Without Drugs or Surgery
Neck pain, back pain, shoulder and hip pain, knee pain, ankle and foot injuries, wrist pain, and "when everything hurts," featuring actual patient stories in every chapter. Many common exercise contribute to pain and aren't natural movement patterns. Learn fun healthy ways to get healthy movement back as part of your real life.

Print edition from Amazon.
Print and eBook Instant download from the publishers, Healthy Learning and Coaches Choice: https://healthylearning.com/m-1422-jolie-bookspan.aspx

Stretching Smarter Stretching Healthier
Fun, innovative, immediately useful. Almost 200 simple fun line drawings zero in on each concept.
Print and Kindle from Amazon and instant eBook download from Kobo Books.

The Ab Revolution Fourth Edition - No More Crunches No More Back Pain  Print 4th Edition.
Core training the way your body actually needs. Part 1 - Learn neutral spine to stop a major form of lower back pain. Part 2 - Apply Part 1 for functional strengthening from simple moves to the toughest you can get. Parts 1 and 2 let you get started quickly and clearly. Details on the anatomy and physiology are expanded and moved to Part 3, plus other improvements in photos and organization in the 4th edition.
Print and Kindle from Amazon.

Health & Fitness THIRD Edition
Fix pain plus healthy living - How to be happy healthy and fit for the rest of your life. One book with everything to get started. More photos, clearer descriptions than previous editions.

Order from Amazon.
Print and eBook Instant download from the publisher: https://healthylearning.com/m-1422-jolie-bookspan.aspx

Diving Physiology In Plain English
New BLUE cover edition. The diving cult classic! Replaces old GREEN cover edition. Signed collector copy direct from the author. See this and more diving and hyperbarics books on the BOOKS page.

 

More descriptions on the BOOKS page. Have fun.

 

 


 

Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.
- Howard Aiken

 

 

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That said, Be Healthy - Respect Copyright

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