RETHINK YOUR POSITION
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From the moment we lift our heads off the pillow and put our feet on the floor… our days are filled with movement. In fact we make hundreds of movement decisions every single day.
For the most part we don’t think of our movements as ‘choices’ ..but in fact whether they are conscious or unconscious – we’re the boss of how our bodies move and the consequences of those choices.
I recently spoke with author Katy Bowman about her newest book: “Rethink your Position – an updated guide to everyday body alignment and movement. It’s chock-full of sensible – doable solutions to make your body your new best friend.
Back as a guest on this NEW episode of The Art of Living podcast, nobody knows body mechanics quite like Katy. She’s made significant contributions to the field of human movement with her holistic, sensible approach to health… and truly practices what she preaches.
In today’s episode, Katy talks about the numerous benefits of movement, going beyond the obvious to explore lesser-known advantages that you may have never heard about, including the profound effects on your health.
During our conversation, you will discover:
- Katy’s “Head Ramping” technique to save you from “tech-neck”
- The best Sleep shapes for a healthy spine and reduced pain
- Simple, easy toe exercises that lead to Better Balance.
- Why your Calves are your second heart – crucial for good circulation
FOLLOW ALONG WITH THE TRANSCRIPT
Kathy Smith (00:00):
From the moment we lift our heads off the pillow and put our feet on the floor, our days are filled with movement. In fact, we make hundreds of movement choices every single day. Now, for the most part, we don’t think of these movements as choices, but in fact, whether they’re conscious or unconscious, we’re the boss of how we move our bodies throughout the day. And also, we enjoy the consequences of those choices or the benefits of those choices. So some of the choices are obvious. You decide to walk instead of driving, you decide to have a standing desk instead, instead of sitting at your desk. Now, others aren’t so much. For instance, you might turn your body to side to see something. And instead of turning your body, you just twist your neck. Or you might bend down to pick something off the floor. But instead of bending, you might also squat down to pick something off the floor.
So, bottom line in big and big in little ways, our bodies are constantly in motion. And cumulatively these movements link directly to our health and our wellbeing. Now, think about your day. It might include driving to the gym, sitting at your computer, maybe checking your social media, texting. And through that all we’re keeping our spines, our necks, our bodies locked in some unnatural positions, and typically for long periods of time. So five years ago, I introduced you to Katie Bowman, and her breakthrough title at that time was Move Your d n A. I’m excited to welcome her back today with her newest book, rethink Your Position. Now. It’s her updated guide to everyday Body Alignment and movement. And it, it’s a book once again, full of straight talk, sensible, doable solutions on how ma how to make your body, your, your, you know, your best friend, and how to create a movement, really rich environment. And of course, it’s sprinkled with Katie’s engaging sense of humor. So Katie, welcome back to the show.
Katy Bowman (02:04):
Oh, thank you for that lovely introduction. Thanks for having me again.
Kathy Smith (02:07):
Oh my gosh. Well, you, I have so much I wanna unpack about this book, but I’m telling you honestly, it has been life changing for me. And I’m not exaggerating. I mean, it is being in the movement business forever. It’s interesting patterns we’ve developed mm-hmm. <Affirmative> that, that are, are obviously habitual and mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. I’m gonna get into the couple that I’ve developed that aren’t serving me well. But, you know, let’s start by just backing up again. And the first show I called you a movement original. I think it’s fair to say that you’re, you’re, you’re a movement guru, emeritus. I mean, everybody from the Maria Shriver, the people around the country are talking about this approach where, you know, you were a real disruptor and have bad in the sense of, I remember when we first interviewed, I first interviewed you had, you were talking about about, but to chair ratio and how we sit too much during the day. And you actually took the chairs and the sofas and everything outta your house to really create this movement rich environment. So let’s, let me ask you, what has happened since our last talk that has prompted you to write this new book, rethink Your Shape?
Katy Bowman (03:26):
Well, you know, I started, I’m a biomechanist, so I started with, when you were doing the introduction, some of those more nuanced choices that we make, the, the, the alignment of our body throughout the day. That’s, that’s my, that’s my specialty. But I also expanded upon that in the last, you know, 17 or 18 years to talk more about physical activity being more active throughout the day in general, just using your whole body more often. But I, I wanted people to also remember the nitty gritty, like, we need both. We can’t, we need to move more. Certainly, certainly, certainly. But also a big reason people don’t move more is because they have little spots in their body that don’t feel great. And, and just moving more doesn’t necessarily make those little niggling spots feel better. Sometimes it can make ’em feel worse. So they hear, you know, the general, you gotta move more, exercise more.
It’ll help you get this better life. And they try it and it doesn’t, so easy to give up at that point. So I wanted to clarify, well, what if we approached moving part by part? Because for some people it might be a whole body phenomenon for some people introduction to moving more, moving better might be part by part. So it’s sort of like the companion book to move your dna n a in that, in that way, where move your d n A was really about whole body state throughout the day. Not so much sitting, moving more in general. So it’s, yeah, it’s to get back into here’s what your knees are doing. Here’s what your hips are doing, here’s what the little bones in your feet are doing. Here’s how your neck is behaving when you’re on the phone or not, and how to change and modify all those little pieces.
Kathy Smith (05:07):
Well, you talk about, you know, you broke the book down into parts and right now I’m doing something and maybe you can explain, tell the honest what I’m doing. I’m doing two things that you recommend. One is a, a term you calling head ramping. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> and literally a technique that you teach in the book that maybe you can talk about. But something that even in reading that that section of the book that I’ve been practicing throughout the day, and it’s just, it, it just, it, it, it, we all know that technology’s great for that it’s technology is a won. That’s wonderful that we have all this technology, but we also know that, you know, it has really impacted our posture. So can you talk a little bit about technology and head ramping?
Katy Bowman (05:56):
Yes. You know, technology facilitates so many things that make our lives better and that we’ve come to depend on. But because it’s so new, we’re not really sure. W we haven’t been really mindful about how we use our body when we use technology. Technology is sort of sudden onset of technology, if you will, and there hasn’t been that much attention paid to good form during so much tech technology use. So I actually started the book with an exercise that yes, applies to technology, but also applies to your reading time, your sewing time, your knitting time. You’re your, anytime your head is down you know, you’re riding with your hands, you’re studying. And it’s this idea of your head is very heavy. So if you imagine your head being a bowling ball, or if, if you imagine holding a bowling ball, if you reach your arms way out in front of you and hold that bowling ball, it’s much harder to hold than if you pull the bowling ball close to your body.
There’s a, it’s a, it’s a leverage thing. So our heads are pretty heavy, relatively speaking. And when we look down at our technology, look down at our book, you have all that weight sort of out in front of you, and now it’s pulling on your spine a little bit more. It’s, it’s increasing the dropage, dare I say, of your upper back or spine. So head ramping is you take your phone that you’re looking at, or the book that you’re looking at, and without changing the position of your torso, you slide your face back away. You can do this from your steering wheel when you’re driving, or you move your face away and you move the top of your head up towards the ceiling at the same time. And that simple movement effectively reduces excessive curvature of the upper back and excessive curvature of the cervical spine in your neck. Two areas that people tend to struggle with. Not just the position but functions within that position, the health of the bone there, your breathing capacity and so forth. Swallowing, as I mentioned in the book. So it’s a simple adjustment, head back and up towards the ceiling while you keep your chest down. And you can add this movement pretty much throughout, throughout the day.
Kathy Smith (08:12):
Yeah. Even, even at dinnertime sometimes I just like look up and just think head ramping and, and to describe it. You did a great job and I love, I love that word drooping, but I, you know, on the opposite of drooping. But it is in the, you know, back when we first started teaching ex exercise, it was like, imagine you’re a puppeteer and you’re pulling mm-hmm. A string. You’re, you know, so the head is going up. But the part that I, you know, find that’s just been very, very positive is that it goes back without lifting the chin. So I’ll actually go up against a wall in the morning mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and just push my head back against that wall to just get that sensation of what does that feel like, where your ear ears get aligned over your shoulders. And it’s so simple. But really it has been a powerful thing to practice.
And, and not that you need extra time or extra minutes in your day to do exercise, cuz it’s, it’s really while I’m eating while I’m driving. Well, you know, I’m talking to you right now. So, yes. It’s, so let’s go. We, we started at the head and I, I said, you broke the book and body parts. So let’s flip down to the, to the toes because this is the issue that I’ve been having a problem with. And so I’m not only going to I’m gonna ask your, you know, professional advice also, but balance for my friends and for different people as we age becomes an issue. And one thing you talk about in the book is that your feet are the, your foundation. And you have this exercise where you press your big toe into the ground and you lift your four remaining toes, you know, and then you reverse it.
You press the four toes and lift the big toe. Now everybody that’s listening or watching, you know, try this. Take off your socks, take off your shoes, try this, and you’ll be surprised. That sounds very simple, like a very simple exercise. And it’s not at all. And what I noticed, and this is the question, I noticed my left side was completely different than my right side, meaning my right side after a few attempts, cuz there’s kind of a skill to it also. And you kind of have to figure out what you’re doing. But once you do, I can do it on my right side. I can, I could not lift my left toe off the floor. I could lift my little toes. So tell me what that says about my body and what this exercise in general will help people do.
Katy Bowman (10:40):
Well, it’s difficult to say what it says about your general body without seeing what you’re doing while you’re doing the exercise. But, you know, when we stand, even when we stand up straight, so to speak, sometimes we’ll have a slight twist to our pelvis and you’ll just have a little bit more of your weight out, more on the front of one foot and back on the other foot. So it could be that you tend to carry a little bit more body weight on that foot compared to the other side. And so when you go to lift the toe without realizing it, you might be still on, you might be still on or over the front of the foot. So back, try backing your hips up and also try it sitting down to see if removing the work, the muscular patterns you have in holding yourself up is involved with why you can’t lift that big toe.
Sometimes there is just a, a stiffening within the foot, foot due to an old injury. So you might have had a sore spot on one foot or a foot injury and developed a slightly different way of walking that caused the parts in that foot to recruit each other to ma to make them make your foot a little bit more stiff and then the goes away. But the walking pattern lingers, even though maybe you’ve stretched out some parts. We tend to not, we don’t do a lot of our exercise barefoot. You know, we don’t look what our lunges are doing when we don’t have our shoes on or what our squats are doing when we don’t have our shoes on. So definitely spending some time doing some of your regular non foot exercises in barefoot, bare feet or, or at least minimally shot with less stiff shoes will help you see like, oh, I can see I can’t extend that toe as much.
So it could be anything and anything in between that arises there. But when there’s an overt stiffening, sometimes just manually taking your toes and stretching them with your hands lift your big toe up towards the top of your foot while pushing the other four toes down. That would be a pre-stretch for this exercise that you’re trying. It’s a way of practicing the skill and reverse it and put your fingers in between each one of your toes and stretch them away from each other a little bit and see if mobilizing or twisting the four foot. And it’s like a bit of a self-massage. It’s a bit of what we call passive stretching. You’re stretching out tense parts and then go back and try it again and see if you don’t notice better recruitment the next time.
Kathy Smith (13:10):
And why is, why is this exercise important in general and does it these movement patterns that we develop that you know, over time it does impact then the way we walk, the way we run mm-hmm. <Affirmative> the way we exercise, which then, then can throw maybe give us pain in other parts of our body. And that’s, again, a bit on that side. What I’m noticing, I’m experiencing more pain in my hip and we don’t have to spend any more time on me, but I’m saying in general, this type of movement with the feed, it’s, it seems like when you’re emphasizing the book, it’s extremely important to start at the base and just get a, a good foundation so that everything else you do throughout the day will be more efficient.
Katy Bowman (14:00):
And they parts relate to each other. Now the parts relate to the hole. So, you know, I, we start with the part by part approach, can you lift your big toe? But that, that motion of lifting the big toe is called extension. But toe extension shows up in every single step that you take. So when you step off your right foot, as your body weight passes over, your toes have to all extend together in order to take that step. But if that toe is stiff and can’t extend, then what you might do without even realizing it, because we’re so good at staying as mobile as possible, you could still get your 10,000 or 20,000 steps a day, but you might be slightly lifting the hip up just a teeny bit so that you can pass over that rigid big toe and still get your steps in.
But then now we’ve got a relationship where the hip is no longer extending and the gray toe is not extending. Or it could be in the reverse order. Maybe that hip was a tight hip and because it wasn’t extending with every single step equal to the opposite side, that gray toe wasn’t put through the same extension rigors as the other foot. And so you end up cementing, although I, I hate to use the word cement because cement feels more permanent, and we are much more malleable than cement, although we take time to restructure. But these patterns go pretty deep. And then pretty soon you get a stiff hip and a stiff foot and, and you think they’re related. You, you have an intuition that they’re related, but you’re not really sure where to proceed. You proceed part by part and you explore part by part and then you end up, I love how you said at the beginning, you’re, you’re like the boss of your body, but you’re also, you’re also the best friend of your body. But I would say you’re also mapping your body. You’re the explorer of your body. You’re the, you’re the internet in the astronaut of your body. So you are trying to make sure that you’ve documented all the plate, you’ve paid good attention to each one of your parts, unless there be some unexplored area of your body that has been calling your attention in the form of pain or injury.
Kathy Smith (16:16):
Well, speaking of pain, it seems that, I mean, if we avoid injuries and, you know, we’re all gonna have injuries for our life, but basically beyond injuries and major trauma, I mean, the biggest thing that creates this pain in our body, or I know from my body are these imbalances. And it can take, it can take decades. Like, the funny thing for me is here I am in my seventies now, and I’ve, in the last decade, I’ve, I’ve started seeing this relationship between that foot and that hip. But it wasn’t until I read your book that I thought, I mean, and this is like bad on me, that I should have gone probably to a professional earlier on I thought, you know, no, I can correct this on my own. But honestly with the book and some simple exercises, I noticed the correction pro process happening, to your point, it’s, it’s ingrained in my body.
And so it’s a daily kind of mindfulness practice of, oh, rolling through the foot, wear the hip and yes that’s what I figured out. I’m lifting that hip on that side. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So and everybody that, you know, I’m a big walker. I love walking. You talked, you talk about it in your book and can you give us the biggest mistake people make when they walk? And maybe one of your best walking tips to really, to really get most out of your walks. But once again, you have, you have, you have good you talk about alignment when you’re walking, how important that is. Can you go through the process?
Katy Bowman (17:57):
Yeah, we can just talk about maybe the, it’s not necessarily a mistake, but it’s the idea that walking is not walking is not walking. There’s a form to walking that you can, and you can be working on your walk and you can work on the mobility of all of your parts while you’re walking. So walking doesn’t even have to be only a whole body activity. It can also be a chance for you to pay attention to how your parts are working together. So if we went from the top down, we already talked about head ramping. So where’s your head when you’re walking? Is it out in front of you? Can you ramp it back? And you do that exercise while you’re walking, lift the top of your head up towards the ceiling. You can look at your shoulders. So when you’re walking at, at a what we consider like a, a general fitness pace, it doesn’t have to be very fast.
But it’s not like slow, slow walking your arms swing. There’s something called reciprocal arm swing. I break that down in the book as well. You should notice if you have only one arm pumping and the other arm is sort of not, and make sure that you are letting your arms be matching your, your arm movement is the mirror of the opposite leg movement. So when your left leg is moving back, your right arm is moving back. When your right leg is moving back, your left arm is moving back. And that balancing motion to have it intact is good for your spine. When it’s not there, it means that you’ve got muscles in your torso or or in your spine locking down to keep your legs from twisting you up when you walk. So that’s what your arms are doing. Your arms are balancing that weight going back.
So look for arm swing. If you do carry something, you’re holding a dog leash, you’re on a phone you have a bag on one arm, mix those up. Your arms don’t have to be moving back and forth the entire time, but make sure you don’t always hold the dog leash in your right hand. Put it in your left hand to balance the lock. Great. Just just realize that your arms aren’t, your arms are walking parts too. That’s the easiest way to say it. If you place your hand on your hips, if you were standing with your hand, your hands, what we say, a kimbo <laugh> with your hands on your hips, you would want to make sure that your pelvis isn’t twisting with every single step twisting, sort of like you would if you were salsa dancing, right? The idea of the front side of your pelvis moving forward while the other side moves back, your pelvis more or less stays still.
And when your pelvis is twisting with every step, it’s a sign that your hip joints are not allowing the leg to go back behind you. And again, that tends to tax the lower back because now instead of your hip joints extending, using your glute muscles to support your walking, instead you’re using your spine, your lumbar spine, your lower back, the discs in your lower back are doing all these little twists that, that don’t need to be present with every single step. Watch your knees and make sure that you like, if you’ve ever, if anyone’s ever jogged before or ran when you run, every time you land, your knees bend just a little bit. It’s like little mini cushion that your knee bend does for you when you’re running. But when you’re walking, you don’t need that same cushion. And oftentimes what that indicates when you’re just regular walking, that every time you land your, your head dips down a few inches before it comes back up.
Your walk from the side looks very bouncy. It can mean that you’re not using the muscles of your thighs, your upper thighs really well to hold you stable when you’re walking. Instead, you’re, you are using one muscle of the thigh, usually your quadriceps, which has a tendon that attaches to your kneecap, which is when this gets overused. Why walking downhill or downstairs hurts your knees. Reducing that bounciness to your walk. You don’t have to walk extremely stiff, but just, just be paying attention to be like, wow, I really have this sort of mowing, mowing every single step that I take. And then you can also look at your feet. Look down at your feet and notice if your feet, imagine if you were driving your car forward, you would want the wheels on your car to point forward if your feet are really turned out one to the right and one to the left or one forward and one to the right or vice versa, that you orient your feet in the direction that you are walking.
And then finally, still with feet. Make sure your shoes are attached to your feet when you’re walking, watch slide on shoes. Slip on shoes. You know, if you have slip on shoes like flip flops, it’s gonna be summertime walking around the pool, you know, moving between your house and the water. It’s not such a big deal. But when you’re going for a walk, like if you’re out on vacation, you’ve got a cute sandal on if it’s not connected to your foot or if you are slide on shoes, you have to stiffen your feet to hold them on. And that can be another source of toe immobility and decrease balance as we get older, the fact that we tense our feet to hold our shoes on. So look for something with a well attached upper when you’re logging your steps per day. And that’s that’ll help you make over your walk right there.
Kathy Smith (23:26):
Oh, you know, during covid and as we were locked in, I, I wanted some comfy slippers to wear around the house, so I got some mm-hmm. <Affirmative> ugs and they were just great. But to your point, they did attach. And I noticed after a while of walking and those exactly what, you know, it was a stiffening of the, the toes that started happening. So, and it, it was subtle, but I’m going, what, you know, after about six months, it took about six months, but that gripping action. And so yes, I’m always now not only around the house, but when I’m out and, you know, I’m heading to Madrid and we’re gonna be doing a lot of traveling, but always have shoes that have a back on them of some sort. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. But you know, the thing about the bouncing that you were talking about with walking also I find that my first five minutes of my walk, cause we can go out for a walk and maybe with our girlfriends or friends or family or dogs or, and, you know, you’re outdoors.
You wanna take in the, the smells, the sounds, the forest, whatever. So it’s not like you wanna be spending all of your walk in this mindfulness date. But I find that if I spend the first five minutes of my walk thinking of alignment mm-hmm. <Affirmative> going through the checklist as you just went through toes, knees, hips, that the rest of the walk is so much more comfortable. But also after, I don’t know, it took me about 14 days, maybe two weeks of doing this, then it starts to imprint this new pattern. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I don’t know. What, what have you found with people? How long does it take and what are some, some, some suggestions for getting motivated to do this because it is one of these things that it’s like I might have to, you know, tune into myself to kind of break these habits. And I honestly don’t know if I want to right now. But how do you motivate people to make these changes?
Katy Bowman (25:26):
Well, I mean, we’re in it for the long game, right? I mean, I think that’s just like, we’re in it for the long game. So there’s gonna be days where it’s easier and there’s gonna be weeks when it’s easier, and then there’s gonna be months where it’s not, because we all have complex lives that are going on. But I try to, like I, in the book again, I write about, we’ve got this old adage in the movement spheres, like move it or lose it. So I try to reframe it a little bit, care for it to keep it right so that it’s just like anything else that you hold dear in your house. Whether it’s your tools, maybe it’s your woodworking tools, it’s the things in your house that you know that they last longer. When you give them a bit of extra clear, you wipe things down when you’re done with them.
No one’s really taught us that about our own body. That ultimately everything that we do, for the most part in our lives, we are the tool. We are the conduit that uses all the other things that we’re taking more care of. And so just reframing this, maybe it doesn’t have to be about exercise or fitness, it’s about wiping off rusty bits, right? It’s a, it’s about making sure water isn’t accumulating where it’s going to ruin a particular piece of wood in your house, right? It’s just, it’s like that bit of shift in your understanding of what it is that you’re doing, what it is that movement does for us. It’s just simply basic care. You know, it’s pulling the weeds out sometime in the garden. It’s movement is watering certain flowers, so you wanna make sure that all of your flowers are being watered, that you don’t have dry patches or patches where weeds are accumulating.
You just wanna think whether, pick your analogy, whether you’re a gardener. Also, you know, for someone like you, I imagine you’ve probably been paying attention to your body most of your time. You’re very, you’re very fluent in movement. And so it’s, it’s easy for you to integrate because you are fluent in yourself physically. And I think that we do many of us have resistances to being fluent in ourselves physically and, and even maybe being fluent in certain parts of our body, right? Like, we can be fluent excellent movers, but there’s just some parts of our body that we don’t wanna look at that we don’t want to integrate. So just also realize that that’s what mindfulness is. This word that we use quite often is, are you tuning in to listen to what a part is telling you or communicating with you? And communication could be in the way that you can see clearly how it moves.
It can be how it feels when it moves. And at first, just like all meditation instruction, you start without any judgment, right? You just pay attention to seeing and listening. No judgment. You’re nailing it. You are here, you are doing the thing. The more often you pay attention, sometimes that’s all a lot of body parts need is just your attention. And you can make shifts that way. So I think softening to your question, how do we, how do we make it more of a priority? How does it integrate more seamlessly as just by first noticing, just notice that’s what this book is, is going, here’s how you would learn to even see your knee, you know? And then when you’re walking, you can do the checklist for those first five minutes, and then you go to talking with your girlfriends or your grandchildren or whoever you’re with, but then you’re gonna be stepping and you’re gonna notice the outside of a knee hurting or, or a or a hip feeling stiff. That’s communication. So at that point, it’s an invitation to go back to your checklist for a second. And so the more you learn to read your body, the more you pull out this big toolbox that you have now that you can use when your body is asking for it. So that, that’s, to me, those are the two big steps that it takes to, to integrate it into where, yeah, it’s a new pattern, it’s a new habit. We just need to make a different habit. And it just comes through repetition, like any, like any habit.
Speaker 3 (29:39):
Brilliant. I love,
Kathy Smith (29:40):
I love the integration aspect that you just described. And, and one of the things that, before I let you go, and I think it ties into what you just said, is that, you know, you’re, you’re, you’ve got a huge social media following. You’re, do your blogs, you, you’re doing interviews around the country, so I’m sure you get a lot of questions about, well, if I don’t have time or, you know, what’s the most important exercise I should be doing? Now, judging from your book, I’m guessing you’d probably say something for your calves, but could you describe if, am I correct with that? And if so, could you describe why? Hmm.
Katy Bowman (30:24):
Well, right, if, if you’re like, if, if I only did one exercise, what should it be? We have a particular calf stretch. It’s a little different than a general calf stretch. And why I put it, so wh why I put it at the top of the hierarchy is, is because most of us are, have had similar habits of wearing positively heal, positive, healed shoes and sitting a lot of time. And that geometrical combination of having a heel raised over the toes and having the knees flexed for a significant number of total hours of our daily life mean our calf muscles are much shorter and stiffer than they should be for the work that they need to do. So what is the work that they need to do? Thank you for asking in, in rethink your position. I talk about calv hearts where we are not, I think we’re not always, movement is so protective of health, it’s not very clear to many why It’s not even really clear to many researchers why that’s, we’re in the process of figuring that out.
But your calf muscle contraction going through its range of motion is support for your cardiovascular system. So your heart, it’s easy to get your blood down to your body parts because your heart is above everything for the most part. It’s harder to get it back up. So the beau the body is organized in a beautiful way where the muscular action of movement brings the blood back up. The farthest part away from you are your feet and legs, the calf muscles, they’re like tiny hearts inside of your calves that are there to support your heart to move the blood back up. And in the absence of their action, your heart has to do more of the work than really it’s meant to do. You know, the heart did not evolve in a place with so many chairs and, and, and so little body specifically have use.
So, so yes, if you’re gonna do one thing only and it’s non-negotiable, then do the calf stretch because then that parlays into every single step that you take. It’s not just the action of the stretch or the exercise, it’s how that exercise shows up for you again and again and again, just walking around your house, getting to and from your car. When you do your exercise, you’re getting more out of the things you are already doing by changing, by changing that one, one, the, I say one little part, but they’re two big important parts in your body.
Kathy Smith (33:12):
Okay. Then quick follow up. I know I’m, I’m calling you on this one. May may be pushing too much my luck here, but okay, second, what would be your second if you had number two? What’s number two actually
Katy Bowman (33:21):
Pelvic list. So pelvic list and so pelvic list. The reason I would make that number two is for exactly the reason the phenomenon that you’re explaining about your foot and hip is very common. And one of the reasons I started trying to teach it, and I wrote dynamic aging is like I’m trying to get people armed. These things that we have, they don’t really pose problems when our tissues are younger, but they set us up as we get older f for having like less balance and less strength and less support specifically around important, or I guess should say, more prone to fracture and things like the hips. So the pelvic list is where you learn how to hold your body weight upright using the muscles of the lateral or the outside of the hip. There’s the glutes. Those are great, we need those absolutely. But the lateral hip is ha is is what keeps your knees from hurting when you go downhill.
It’s what stabilizes your pelvis so that your lower back doesn’t have to when you’re just walking forward, it’s what allows you to be on a single leg safely. And if you think, well, as I get older, I’m just gonna stop doing things on a single leg so I’m not vulnerable to falling. Walking is a single leg activity. So if you have that mindset that you wanna eliminate the single leg stance things for your safety, I would say it’s probably the opposite. You become more at risk when you eliminate the single leg safety because then you sacrifice locomotion the ability to walk around, then it’s autonomy and then there’s all the mental health things that go along with that engaging in the community. So Cal stretch one, pelvic list two. But if you listen to this and you feel like, wow, calf stretch or pelvic list is calling to me, then make that your number one, right? Yeah. But also just do two of them. Just do two. You can do two <laugh>
Kathy Smith (35:21):
<Laugh>. Okay. Well full disclosure here, <laugh>, since I was having you on the show, I thought, I thought I’m gonna have a different sitting position for Katie. So I’m obviously not going to embarrass myself by just sitting in a chair. So I’m gonna be sitting, and I saw you on one of the shows you’re on where you’re, you’re sitting on your chair, but you’re actually on your toes and your, your butts on your heels. So I’ve been sitting through this interview like this. Now I do not have dead butt syndrome right now, but what I do have is I have den to syndrome or whatever, so sure. <Laugh> and so move’s around. So, but I, but on, on, on the flip side, it’s k it’s kept me very alive sure. While we’ve been doing it. So I think I’ll have to come up with another one for the next, our next interview, but it’s always a pleasure. I will talk more about your book. We’re going to can you tell us right now where we can get your book?
Katy Bowman (36:20):
You should be able to get the book at any bookstore in your town or of course on all of the online platforms Amazon, and really, I mean, any place you get your books, you’ll be able to find,
Kathy Smith (36:34):
Rethink your position. So rethink your position. It is, I’m gonna rave about it more and more and we’ll do it on social media, but this is a must. This is just a must for your library because it’s not only great to go through the first time, but there’s pictures, diagrams, and to understand the body, this body that we live in, this vessel, this, this that, that, that we wanna have, you know, vital for this, the amount of time we’re on the planet, whether that, whatever that might be. And it could be a hundred years now in the way that we’re going. And so right now I am on a mission to just keep getting this the alignment working on the alignment. And it’s all because of you, Katie. So I thank you for that.
Katy Bowman (37:20):
Thank you so much. Thank you for your support. It means a lot.