Ep. #1048: Stacie Barber on Mobility and Flexibility for Strength and Health


Mike: Hello and welcome the Muscle for Life. I am Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today for another episode. And in this one you are going to learn about mobility and flexibility. How important are these things? How should we go about developing them and maintaining them? For example, some people say that proper strength training is all we need.

That will give us all of the flexibility and all the mobility that we need, and anything additional like stretching is not needed. Maybe not harmful, but not nearly as important as just doing strength training. So that’s one camp. And then if we swing the pendulum all the way in the other direction, we have people who say that we should be doing rather involved pre-workout mobility, flexibility.

Prehab routines that we should be spending anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. And usually it’s not just stretching. Often people who advocate for this, they recommend foam rollers and massage guns and band work, and some of these people say that we should do that to improve our performance. Some of them say that we need to do that to improve our performance and.

Reduce or minimize our risk of injury. And so I often get asked about this topic and to help break everything down, I asked Dr. Stacy Barber to come on the show and teach us about flexibility and mobility. And in case you are not familiar with Stacy, she has a doctor of physical therapy from Duke and she is the founder and owner of The Physio Fix, which offers physical therapy, training and classes to help everyone from professional athletes to Olympians to fitness newbies feel and move better in their training and in their life.

And so in this interview, Stacey and I discussed the difference between passive and active flexibility. She talks about stretching, and particularly if stretching prevents injury because that’s a common belief. Stacey gives some common mobility. Issues that get in the way of people’s ability to squat, deadlift, bench, press, and do several other exercises.

And she also shares some common ways that those issues are resolved. They are not going to work for everyone with those issues, of course, but if you are experiencing any of the issues that she discusses, and if you are like most people who are having those problems, then chances are one of the tips that she shares is minimally going to help alleviate the problem.

If not, eliminate it. In this interview, Stacey also talks about using little known exercises like the Jefferson Curl and Copenhagen Plank to reduce the risk of injury. She talks about the utility of mobility tools and gadgets like resistance bands, massage guns, foam rollers, and others, and more. Hello, Stacy.

Hey Mike. How are you? Good, thanks. How are you? 

Stacie: I’m doing good. Living the dream here in Phoenix, Arizona. Ah, 

Mike: is it getting hot? 

Stacie: It’s about 80 degrees today, but there’s like no humidity, so it’s perfect weather. The sun is shining. It’s 

Mike: beautiful. Yeah, that’s nice. I’m in Florida, so it’s 80 degrees, but maximum humidity already.

But you can’t complain if you’re in Florida because it’s soon. It’s gonna be 105 plus maximum humidity. 

Stacie: Yeah, well we get hot too though. 

Mike: Yeah, yeah, I know. I’ve heard. So years ago I lived in Florida and my wife and I wanted to go somewhere else and we ended up going to Virginia. Um, but Arizona was on the list, but then when we looked at the reality of what summer was and we were leaving Florida, one of the reasons we were leaving Florida is to get away from the climate.

And we were like, okay. Arizona’s out, . Just like how on the opposite of the spectrum, Wyoming we were thinking about and then looked at the reality of what a winter is in Wyoming. And I, I actually like cold weather, but when it’s like six months of snow and I think the moment when I was like, yeah, definitely not was I saw, it was like there was some statistic, it was like, oh, in the last Wyoming winter they had a hundred days in a row below freezing.

Yeah. And I was like, okay, next. Uh, anyway, we’re not here to talk about weather though. Uh, we’re here to talk about flexibility. And so just to kind of tee this up and then I will stop talking. I wanted to talk to you about this because. I often get asked if this is somebody asking, should I be stretching that, that that’s, that’s commonly the question.

And if you look around online, you find a lot of different advice. Even if you try to stick to smarter, at least purportedly smarter people, evidence-based people, you get a lot of different advice. You get some people saying, well, if you just do a few hours of strength training per week, and if you just do the basic exercises correctly, that will give you all of the, let’s just say, functional flexibility that you need.

And if you want to just be more flexible for fun, you can do stretches and do other things. But if you don’t, don’t bother. And then on the other end of the spectrum are people who say that it’s very important to be stretching. And we can talk also about using certain mobility things like foam rollers and massage guns.

But there are people who they, they would say that. Doing that stuff is just as important as doing your strength training. And if you don’t do the stretching and the other things, plus the strength training, you are not only going to be impairing your performance, but you are going to be impro increasing your risk of injury.

And, and then you have people who are somewhere in the middle. So that’s kind of the state of the discussion and, and understandably why people will reach out cuz they’re just kind of confused. And so I’ll just, I’ll just stop there and let you go wherever you want with that. 

Stacie: Yeah. There is a lot of confusion on this topic because like you said, like.

What does even flexibility mean? You know, like, and if we’re talking about in the context of movement, like it just, you know, how flexible do you need to be? Well, whatever flexibility you need to complete, whatever tasks that you’re trying to do. So that looks different for each person, depending on what sport you do, what activities you enjoy, what hobbies you enjoy, et cetera.

But we talk about like flexibility in terms of passive flexibility and then active flexibility. So if we’re talking about. Just about joint mobility. Our like passive mobility is flexibility, so let’s just get that straight. So if we talk about mobility, passive mobility, your flexibility is the prerequisite to active mobility.

So getting more flexibility within our tissues will allow us to have more joint mobility for movement, for the expression of movement. So yeah, I think that mobility work is very important. Flexibility work. What depends on, are you trying to be a high level gymnast? Are you trying to be a dancer? Are you trying to be, you know, an acrobat?

Someone that needs to be incredibly flexible? Yeah, maybe then you need to spend some more time training that flexibility or those passive mobility ranges to be able to access more range of motion. And then to be able to then turn it into active mobility, which is really what’s the most important for a majority of people.

Just learning how to use the mobility that you have access to and learning how to control it. So then you reduce your risk of injuries. 

Mike: And a lot of people listening, most people listening are going to be, I would say, everyday people whose fitness is important, but it’s not their livelihood and it’s not the most important thing in their life, per se.

And so they’re in the gym, let’s say, or, or they’re doing three to five hours of, of training per week. Uh, a lot of strength training, maybe a little bit of cardio training as well. But the primary goals are to look good, feel good, be healthy, and not to pursue a sport or to compete at anything, uh, at a high level.

And so, particularly for, if you want to call them lifestyle bodybuilders or body composition, crowd, whatever you want to call them, what are your thoughts in terms of flexibility? And again, what people will ask me or what they will see, they’ll see claims like for them who they, you know, they just are trying to get strong and.

Let’s just say get into great shape. Stay in great shape, avoid injury, have good workouts for them. Though some people will say that if they are not also stretching or not, also doing mobility specific exercises in addition to whatever mobility they’re gaining by doing a proper squat and a proper press and a proper hip hinge and and, and so forth that they are minimally missing out on additional performance and may even be increasing their risk of.

Stacie: Right? Yeah. There’s actually not a ton of research to support that viewpoint that if you don’t have X amount of flexibility, that you’re more prone to getting injured, right? It’s more in terms of mobility, like, do you have the mobility to control this movement? Can you get into it? Can you get out of it?

You know, can you, uh, make sure that you don’t get stuck in that position? Like so if you slip on some ice, can you catch yourself, pull yourself back, and not go into the splits? That’s more the research, like what we’ve found of what’s important. So I would say for majority of people, stretching is not as important.

You know, if you have extra time at the end of your workout and you wanna do some passive stretching and just like sit in certain positions that feel good, then by all means do that. Or if you have, you know, sciatica and having a tight pure and you wanna in there, kinda do that stretch at end. Great. You know, maybe your physical therapist recommended you to do that, that’s fine, but I wouldn’t do that.

Your would definitely, your. Um, as opposed to like spending too much time on that. So majority of people, I would say five minutes max stretching per workout. Like not, don’t devote too much time to it cause it’s not as important as all the other things. Yeah. So, 

Mike: you know, I just think of some, some people I see in the gym, they have pretty elaborate warmup routines.

I mean, it can be 15, I swear it might even be 30 minutes. I’m not like timing these people, but I’ll notice like, I’m like almost halfway through my workout and they haven’t even started yet. They’re still fiddling around with bands and doing certain stretches or, you know, dynamic stretches and, and so if I’m hearing you correctly, That for most people.

Again, the people that I just talked about, that doesn’t sound like a very productive use of time. 

Stacie: No, it’s not gonna reduce their risk of getting an injury. What’s gonna reduce their risk of getting an injury is making sure their joints are able to sustain whatever positions they’re trying to get into, and then make sure they’re strong enough to be able to make sure they don’t break right.

Like strong people don’t break. So I would think that, you know, building more resiliency within those joints, which would mean strength training, that’s how we’re gonna get stronger and that’s how we’re gonna make sure that we maintain our, you know, bone density and our. Circle, just cellular level as we get older too.

So yeah, stretching is not as important as well as like foam rolling. Like those people that spend 30 minutes foam rolling every single body part before they work out. The research shows that you might get 10 minutes of, of increased flexibility within the tissue after you foam roll. But then what happens after that 10 minutes, it goes back to the same shape that it was before.

And now, like unless you foam roll again, that foam rolling is kinda useless. So I tell people that like, if it feels good, it’s okay to do it, but don’t spend too much time on it. I would rather do active things over path to things. Every day of the week. And that’s what I teach all of my patients too, is that like, let me give you the tools that are gonna help you long term.

It’s not gonna be a quick fix. It’s not a short term temporary bandaid approach. It’s gonna be the things that are gonna help you out the most. Yeah, 

Mike: I’d love to to hear more on foam rolling. We’ll come back to that, but I wanted to share another question that people ask me along these lines. So, so what?

Though the person who’s like, okay, but I, I seem to be very tight, so, and it’s, it’s uncomfortable, like I have an uncomfortable amount of muscle tightness and I experience this in a very uncomfortable way when I’m working out, like, you know, where people are saying it, it seems like I kind of do have my, my flexibility is limiting me here.

Or if it’s not limiting me, there seems to be an issue. Like, is it normal to feel. Tight in my upper body or lower body or so forth. Yeah, 

Stacie: for those people, obviously I would say that make sure that you do an assessment first. That’s why like sending someone to the practitioner that could do a formal assessment is key there.

Cause some people that think they have tightness, it’s not just true like shortening of a tissue. I just posted something today on Instagram about how most people think that they have tight hip flexors and they just stretch them until you know they’re blue in the faces and they never get any better.

Cause it wasn’t actually tight. Cause tightness is just a perception. So it’s a perception that you don’t even know. What does this mean? Is it. Or is it something that is weakened and needs to be strengthened? So that’s where a good healthcare provider would come in. Or even just a good personal trainer that could look to see what your ranges of motion look like and say, are you actually limited in this range?

Do we need to focus on this first, a stretching component or mobility component? Or is it just something that’s weakened and maybe now we need to strengthen through various ranges of motions. Maybe you’ve never strengthened at the end range of your pecks before. Maybe now we just need to add in some more exercises at that end range, where your shoulders more in extension or in, you know, horizontal abduction, who knows?

But without having that formal assessment, we’re just guessing. 

Mike: And so if I heard you correctly there, then what you could perceive as muscle tightness could just be muscle. . Absolutely. And obviously you’re not gonna be able to just summarize what a formal assessment or to simplify it and like, yeah, just try these little things and then you’ll know.

But again, let’s, let’s think about people who are looking to perform basic strength training exercises. Um, your, your basic movements, you know, horizontal vertical press, hip hinge, uh, squat and so forth. Are there some green flag, red flag, uh, little assessments that they could do where a normal, you know, if, if you want to be able to barbell back squat, there are a couple of things that you’re gonna have to be able to do related to flexibility that people could just do a simple self-assessment and, and at least find if, if they have any major issues.

Need to be addressed. 

Stacie: Yeah. It’s gonna be dependent on obviously the, the movement that they’re trying to perform and then the joint that you’re trying to assess. But so for the back squat, um, example, like you need to have a fair amount of shoulder extension and shoulder external rotation, even hold that in that position.

So I work with a ton of power lifters and weightlifters that come in with shoulder pain all the time. Cause they lack that. That, um, shoulder extension and they can’t even get in that position. So, you know, what we do is we look at both of those things. We look at shoulder extension, how far does your hand go back?

Ok. And then now you know how much extra rotations I have and like, bring their arms up and then like rotate their hands out. Can your hands get outside of your elbows and with your, like elbows right in front of your shoulder? Okay. That shows me if you have the prerequisite external rotation to be able to get into that position.

And then you could go one step further and say, okay, let, let’s do like a behind the head lap pull down, which is essentially with the same position you need to get into for that back position. Can you get into that position without your elbows deviating? Like, can you pull all the way down to where you need to be for that like really sturdy position?

And then now that’ll tell me, okay, you have the prerequisite mobility and that strength and that stability to hold that position. That’s just a quick example for the upper extremity. But yeah, like a practitioner would know all of these different, or a skilled practitioner, I can’t say there’s, you know, not every practitioner’s the same.

There’s good and bad physical therapist. And like every field, right? So, you know, going to someone that knows how to properly assess these things, to be able to get you back to whatever you wanna do is crucial. 

Mike: And as far as the shoulder extension goes, what is a good amount of shoulder extension? Just for, for people who are wondering specifically, and, and people watching will have seen what you did there with the, with the shoulder, uh, external rotation.

But, um, maybe just to describe it quickly for people who are listening. So if you, if you put your, your arms out in front of you and then bend your elbows at 90 degrees and, um, Have your elbows relatively close together. , I’m trying to, trying to describe, uh, and then, and then, and then, and then keeping your elbows in.

How far can you move your hands away from your, your elbows or rotate them outward toward your, toward your shoulders, I guess is the, for people listening who are trying to visualize. And so if, if you can’t, if you can’t get them outside of your elbows, then that, uh, indicates that you may need to work on your, uh, external rotation, right?

Yeah. And then for 

Stacie: extension, like we would just look at, you know, straight, just your arm by your side and then, uh, moving your arm backwards. And then a normal range of motion in the physical therapy world is 60 degrees, but you don’t need 60 degrees. To be able to back squat, you need about 30 degrees depending on if you’re a low bar back squatter or a high bar back squatter.

So you know, how far does your hand go back? And then also look to see does it deviate out to the side or do you have strict, you know, extension or do you have extension with abduction? Because that’ll tell us maybe you wanna be like more of, you know, change your hand grip position when you back squat.

It’s a little bit wider. 

Mike: Yeah. Yep. That makes sense. And, and just sticking with squatting, can you speak a little bit about hamstrings and ankles as well? Cause those are also two issues that people run into. Uh, and if, if the, if the hamstrings and the ankles are not able to participate properly, it. Throws it off, you know?

And, and I’ve had people reach out to me who are confused and they’ll sometimes even send a video and they’re like, why can’t I just do this correctly? What is going on? 

Stacie: Yeah. So the hamstrings play a big role in pelvic positioning. So when we think about that butt week position at the bottom of the squat, so you know, if you don’t have, and everyone’s gonna be different cause everyone’s squat, mechanics are different.

Everyone’s ratios are different in regards to their torso link, their femur link, their tibia length. So all of this plays a role in how much specifically does that person need? But you know, if you don’t have enough to move effectively or efficiently, then you’re gonna have that butt leak at the bottom.

So getting a little bit more hamstring flexibility or mobility, we could kinda group it together that’s gonna actually keep your pelvis in a more stable and starting neutral position and allow you to be able to lift heavier weights too, because now you’re not moving inefficiently. And then in regards to the ankles, um, a quick ankle test that we do, and there’s very few people that pass this test is a five inch test like away from the wall.

So we have people who just kinda use like their fist with a thumb out as their like reference point because that’s gonna be pretty standard cause they’re gonna do the same thing over and over for reliability. So then they just put their thumb against the wall, they put their toes right behind their pinky and then they let go and they see if they can bring that front knee to the wall without their heel coming up.

And if you’re, if you can do that, that’s great. Your ankles are fine. And if you can’t do that, that’s definitely something that we work on to improve that ankle mobility. Cause it’s gonna be hard for you to keep your chest upright and let your knees come forward over your toes to do a really nice deep squat if you don’t have that prerequisite ankle.

Mike: And as far as the hamstrings go, again, something that people ask me is, should I, should I be able to just touch my toes, put my palms on the floor? Does that not matter? What’s normal? What’s good? 

Stacie: Yeah, it’s, it’s so different because I had the shortest legs ever. And so people will, will like yell at me all the time on Instagram because I’ll be performing various hamstring mobility exercises.

And they’re like, well, it’s not fair. She’s so short, she could just touch her feet, you know? And I’m like, you’re right. You know, I am short. But I also was a gymnast, so I do have really mobile and flexible hamstrings. So the people that have really, really, really long legs, like my husband who’s six two, he can’t touch his, you know, feet.

And I wouldn’t expect him to. And that doesn’t mean that he has necessarily tight hamstrings. He just has a really long femur and tedious. So now it’s really hard for him to reach all the way down. So once again, it kinda comes back to. Where is it limiting you? Like the mobility that you have? Do you find yourself limited in some way?

The activities that you do on a daily basis within your job, within like the sports that you do, within the, the workouts that you do? Are you finding yourself limited? Do you have any pain? And then that’s kinda when we kind of assess that. I think that everyone could use more mobility and, and in that regards, I think that always improving your workspace.

So if you have more, then you could go into more things or you could express more movement and do different things a lot easier. So I always am a big advocate for kind of incorporating hamstring mobility and pretty much every single person’s treatment plan, especially the men. . 

Mike: And what do you mean by hamstring mobility?

Stacie: Yeah, so we talk about mobility as more of in terms of active, uh, movement. So I would go into like put their foot on a box and then have like, you know, their arms at the side and then they hinge over until they feel like a good stretch. Then they come back up to a position and then they lift their leg up.

So then now we’re working on active range of motion too. And then we’re working on passive range of motion and then active range of motion. So that’s more like teaching them how to keep their pelvis in that neutral position and then now work on lengthening the tissue and then now using the tissue in that lengthened position.

So some things like that. And that’s just a quick and easy example. 

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Use the coupon code muscle and save 20% or get 6% cash back in reward points. Try recharge, risk free and see what you think. Could we talk about a couple of other exercises? Could we talk about, uh, like a horizontal press? Maybe you could, you know, think about a bench press, I guess, or an, and an overhead press and just some of the maybe common flexibility, mobility restrictions that people run into.

And, and also for, for people to be able to just assess if maybe the problem they’re running into is related to that versus something else. 

Stacie: Yeah, absolutely. Okay, so really good one to work on or look at overhead mobility. So can you do that? Shoulder press efficiently is to sit with your back against the wall on your butt, and then see if you can bring your arms all the way to the wall without your back extending.

Okay, that’ll tell me, do you have good shoulder mobility? Do you have good thoracic extension mobility without relying on your lumbar spine to extend and get that extra range of motion? So if you don’t have that, then you can do things like a down dog. I know most people kind of know what that looks like.

So you can go from your knees into a down dog, like a triangle position, or I’d like to do a, like a thoracic extension stretch on the wall. So I put my hands on the wall, walk my feet back, and then bring my chest down. And then that’s working on mobilizing that thoracic extension and shoulder reflection at the same time for horizontal pressing.

So maybe that’s more of that shoulder extension thing. So I will look to see how much shoulder extension, like we already talked about someone has. And then, you know, if they don’t have that, that shoulder extension, we could do something like a crab lift. So they put their hands behind them and they’re sitting down, and then now they lift their hips up like a glute bridge.

And now they’re working on mobilizing that shoulder into extension. Hold it a few seconds, come down. And with this one, I would just make sure that their shoulder isn’t rolling forward, it’s staying back so they’re actually mobilizing the right tissues and not trying to like, compensate their way outta the right position.

Mike: Yeah, that’s something that I’ve been doing. So I, I do a few stretches every day that are just more specific to my body, just knowing the restrictions or tendencies toward restriction that I have for whatever reason. And so that’s, that’s one of them is just, um, it, it’s just good for opening up my shoulders.

I think generally I have good posture, but I don’t know, just a lot of years of weight lifting. I just think it’s, it’s, it’s just a good stretch to do. At least feels good. So I continue to do it. , 

Stacie: right? Yeah. Always do the things that feel good. I tell people that too, like some people think about, um, mobility and flexibility, like they always have to mix it up and like change things too.

But if you’re still like finding that it feels good and it’s helpful for you, you can keep doing those same things over and over. , you know, there’s no like rule that says, oh, you can only do this for four weeks, and then you gotta move on to something else. You know, it’s not like a muscle confusion strategy, you know, we’re just working on opening up that joint and you can keep doing the same thing.

Now if you find that you wanna work on something else, then yeah, then you can mix it up. 

Mike: Yeah, I mean, I, I’ve just, uh, more of a, I’ve approached it more about, uh, just, just from a kind of utilitarian standpoint, like, here’s what I want get the joint to do, and that’s a good way to do it. And good enough for me.

Like my hips were pretty imbalanced. So on the left side, my internal rotation was bad and my external rotation was good, and then I had the opposite on the right side. And so that eventually was causing some SI joint, uh, dysfunction and pain. I found it’s, it’s kind of tricky to, to train that internal rotation or to pr to expand the, the range of motion in internal rotation.

And so, you know, I found a couple little odd stretches sitting on the floor with my leg in a certain way and doing a couple things and it worked and so I just continued to do it. . 

Stacie: Yeah. Yeah, no, that’s a really good point too. Like hip mobility is the number one thing that I see limited in the clinic. So hip, internal and external rotation and those, like those 90, 90 positions are very helpful for that.

But when you say that you had a hard time even being able to like get into those positions, that’s where that passive mobility or that flexibility work would, would come into to play. So then you can learn how to like sit in that position and kind of expand what your joint is capable of, and then now you can actually get something outta it.

So that’s when you would start using some of those strategies too, if you’re trying to get a little bit more outta that joint or outta that muscle. 

Mike: Yeah. What, what, uh, specifically for me, what helped a lot was, so this is, I was in Virginia and in the, I had a, an infrared sauna, and I would go in it every morning and I would read, and so I was sitting on a bench and I was able to then put my, I mean, I, you’d understand what I’m doing for people listening.

So it was my left side. So, so I’m sitting on the bench and then I am bringing my left foot up onto the bench. Right next to me, which allowed me to, to sit down into my hip. And initially I remember I couldn’t, I couldn’t put my left butt cheek on the bench. It would be like an inch or two off of the bench, and I would just have to kind of sit there and then just just, you know, ease into it.

Ease into it. But eventually I was able to then sit correctly on the bench in that internally rotated state. And once I balanced that out in particular, then the si. Paint went, went away, which was nice. And so that, that was, uh, a simple solution. But now I just do it on the floor. I just, you know, for a few minutes just kind of sit in that position every day just to maintain.

Cuz I’ve, I’ve found that if I stop doing it for a period of time, for whatever reason, I tend to regress and I tend to lose a little bit of that internal rotation. 

Stacie: Yeah, I also have like, I call it a sticky hip, so my left hip is a little bit sticky. I’ve had a, a hip surgery, a labral surgery on this side.

So like sometimes I feel like my hip doesn’t move as efficiently too. And I feel like a lot of people just kind of gravitate towards things that like naturally work for them. And so those are always good things too to, for me to like ask what are you already doing? So I can figure out what they’re already doing is to figure out, ok, these are the things that are helpful for them to do.

Cause we all kinda just kinda move around and kinda figure out how to move our bodies to get some, what we want outta that stretch or that mobilization. 

Mike: Yeah. Yeah, I totally agree. Um, can we talk about deadlifting and. Probably is gonna be related to the hips. . Yeah. 

Stacie: Yeah. Deadlifts obviously need your hamstring mobility and they also need a good amount of spinal mobility too.

You know, there’s still a good amount of flexion that occurs at the spine, especially if you’re doing max effort deadlifts. You know, and people might say that, you know, you should always keep your spine perfectly neutral, but you know, you and I know that if you’re maxing out your deadlift, it’s not gonna look perfect, you know?

So to be able to at least have that prerequisite mobility, so then you don’t get hurt if you have a little bit of spinal flexion is huge. So for things like that, I would do, um, Jefferson curls, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with that. That’s kind of when you go into some of that spinal flexion segmentally, and then you learn how to control that movement.

So then when you get yourself set up for a deadlift, now you can go into that flexion and you don’t feel like you have a ton of tension or a ton of pain, and then now you can tolerate those movements a lot easier. And then for mobility, for the hamstrings, Once again, it kind of comes down to leg links and you know, torso links there.

Some people start with our pips a lot higher. Some people kind of squat down a little bit more, so we do like a straight leg raise test. The normal range and that we’re taught in school is 90 degrees, so you should be able to land your back and get your leg all the way up to 90 degrees. And I would say that 75% of people can’t do that.

You know, so that’s something that we’d wanna work on too because that might change how they have to like maneuver themselves into that setup or shimmy into it and kinda get tight. Cause their hamstrings don’t have the, that prerequisite flexibility to be able to get in those positions. So adding in, you know, straight leg raise sort of exercises there, like we talked about earlier, would be helpful to learn how to like mobilize it and control it.

And then just doing the movement more often. Sometimes I’ll do like stiff leg deadlift for people, you know, and that’s kinda a flexibility exercise right there. Or doing like a, a good warning, you know, if they can tolerate that movement. All of those things are helpful to work on loaded mobility. 

Mike: Of the hip and, and just to come back to the spinal flexion, just for people wondering, uh, some people might be thinking, do you mean thoracic flexion or lumbar flexion?

Or both? Just because many people listening have heard so many times that your lumbar spine should always be neutral. Maybe some people have heard that you can flex the thoracic, the upper part for people listening the upper part of your spine. I, I personally don’t intentionally do that. So I, I, I consider it a more advanced technique that I just don’t care to like practice.

I’m not a, I’m not a competitive dead lifter. So , uh, but I just wanted to quickly ask, uh, that for, for people who might be wondering, 

Stacie: Yeah, good question. Yeah, so obviously we don’t want to get out neutral, but neutral is a range. So there’s a portion of neutral that is flexion. There’s a portion neutral that is extension in both the thoracic, the lumbar, and the sacrum.

So when we talk about getting into a little bit of flexion, it’s okay if you go into a little bit. Obviously we want to minimize that as much as we can to reduce our risk of, you know, a disc injury. But it’s ok, especially if your body has been able. Get in that position frequently, then you’re probably more exposed to that.

And then your risk of having an injury with a tiny bit of spinal flexion that are under load is not gonna be bad. Right. You’re gonna be used to that sort of movement. And that’s why training that movement, like Jefferson curls, it used to be like, let’s never go into flexion. And that’s not a, not a way to live.

Stuart McGill, he, he published like a lot of research about like, everything in, um, a neutral position of the spine. It’s about like creating spinal stiffness and a lot of his stuff. Like, it’s effective for people to stay in that position when they’re like really flared up and they have a lot of back pain, but it’s not really realistic.

You know, we can’t just live in this neutral spine like we’ve been, and we move and we twist and like, that’s just how we function. So unless you expose yourself to those various ranges of emotion, then you’re probably gonna be, you know, setting yourself up for an injury. Ask that of your body, and now your body can’t do that.

So I’m not saying go into flex, I’m just saying like, if your body has to go into a slight amount of that to be able to do that lift, that’s 

Mike: okay. And, and assuming that you’ve, you’ve trained up to a point where yeah, you can handle it, that makes a lot of sense. And as far as the Jefferson curl it, Again, it’s just, it’s, it’s counterintuitive to, to many people because to, to your point, many people have heard that when you are doing any sort of weightlifting period, you never want to, to be in spinal flexion.

But then if you, it’s gonna be with a lot less weight. Uh, the point that, uh, I think you’re making is that if you can, you can add load and you can build strength in that position. And that’s a good thing that as long as you do it appropriately, it’s a good thing. . 

Stacie: Yeah, we can, we can cause adaptation when anything, with anything that we gradually expose ourselves to.

So it’s a, it’s a great exposure thing. It’s not jumping from zero to a hundred in terms of load or in terms of range motion of the spine. But yeah, graded exposure always wins at the end of the. 

Mike: And do you think that would be appropriate for, again, more kind of lifestyle athletes, so to speak, to include something like a Jefferson Curl, or would you say that that’s maybe more for a competitive strength athlete who is going to have to.

Accept a higher risk of injury than the average person to, to 

Stacie: compete. I think for something like that, it’s actually really helpful for everyone. I, you know, I get patients in with low back pain all the time. That’s like the number one diagnosis, right? In clinic, and so adding those in, even general population, People, it’s really, really helpful.

So they can learn how to trust their body. Again, because people are so fearful of movement, like a big thing that we have to overcome is confidence of movement. And that’s done through graded exposure. Like getting all these little wins along the way, and then teaching them that like, it’s okay for your body to go into these positions because once again, they’re so fearful.

They’ve been told a million different things by a million different people. You know, their friend, their grandmother, their dog walker, their, you know, physician. That, that has good intentions, but it’s a lot of fear mongering language. Like never go into that position. Never, you know, you should always bend your knees and have a, you know, neutral spine when you bend over to pick anything up.

Like now they’re like fearful to get the groceries outta their car. So doing things like that and, you know, going into a little bit of flexion with like very light load is really, really helpful for their mindset too, and their mental aspect of, of injuries or just 

Mike: movement. That makes sense. And what about, uh, I immediately think of.

Knees and toes when squatting. Right. So everyone’s heard that for a long time the dogma was your knees should never go in front of your toes. And I think the state of of that conversation now, the pendulum has swung pretty significantly in the other direction, where now there, there are exercises, uh, that are explicitly designed to get your knees to go as far in front of your toes as possible.

What are your thoughts on that? 

Stacie: I think that they’re, those are helpful. Like we think about things like they should be natural. You should just do what’s natural for your body. You shouldn’t try to limit your range of motions. If your knees wanna go forward when you squat, great let them go forward.

Limiting the amount of anterior translation of the knee when you are squatting down actually increases the stress to the hips and the low back by six 70%. That is significant. So what if you’re telling someone don’t do that and now they come in with low back pain. Oh, I wonder why. You know, it’s like it makes sense that now that they just change the, and move the forces to their low back.

So I think that everyone should do what’s natural. Some people just naturally they don’t have that ankle mobility, so they do shift more back so they never get their knees over their toes. So for those people, obviously like, you know, we wouldn’t have them squat the same as somebody that has the adequate mobility to be able to just squat down these go forward.

But training throughout the full range of motion is important for everyone to maintain their like tissue health. So our tendons are weakest at their in ranges. So if you never train the in ranges or that like full squat position, which is what you see a lot on Instagram with that healed, elevated squats, that’s training the in range.


Mike: that’s what I was gonna, yeah. On, on the slant board. I see that. Yeah. Yeah. And I see sissy squats, people will talk about that. Or a, I mean, what do they, what do they call it? I think it’s like named after, you know, Ben Patrick, who has, uh, talked about this kind of stuff for a while, but I think they call it like, I’ve seen it called the a TG squat where it’s, it’s a, it’s a lunge basically, but it’s a, it’s a knee maximally forward lunge, you know?

Stacie: Yeah. An exaggerated lu forward lunge. Correct. Yeah. All that stuff is helpful for the, the tendons, so for our teller tendons, our quad tendons, if you’re not ever training it in ranges, which most people haven’t done forever until, you know, some of these, um, methods kinda came to light. I, he didn’t invent the method, but obviously he is definitely like marketed 

Mike: it.

No, no, I know. Popularized help part. 

Stacie: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Correct. Yeah. So all these things is just learning how to train at your end ranges to maximize your strength in these different tissues and to reduce your risk of injury. Whenever you get need to get into that position, that now you have the prerequisite strength to get out of it, not have an injury.

Mike: And by doing that, do you also decrease your risk of injury and pain in just performing the exercise, just performing your squat, how you normally perform it, where you’re not, let’s say playing a sport, you’re not doing something that is going to necessarily require you to, to get into rather extreme positions.

But by training some of those more extreme positions, can you still benefit again, just doing normal things? 

Stacie: Yeah, absolutely. Like tendons are, or tendonopathy is becoming increasingly common. Like, you know, everyone has tennis, elbow, golfers, elbow, like these things are all over the internet. Um, jumpers 

Mike: my biceps tendon right now is

Stacie: See? Yeah, like jumper’s knee, like bicep tendonitis or tendonosis or, it’s all called tendonopathy at this point, but any of that stuff like tendons need to be loaded at their end ranges to be able to get that full adaptation. And so when you just do a half squat or whatever, then you’re only kind of strengthening the muscle belly.

The tendons never really get like tugged on, they never get pulled. They never get stretched. They’re not actually getting any like tenile strength within them. So for everybody’s joint health and everyone’s like long-term protection of their body, we should be training at those end ranges for everything, not just.

Knees, but elbows like, make sure you’re doing full tricep extensions, full bicep curls, like all of that 

Mike: stuff. And, and so then, uh, would, would you say, sorry if I’m being obnoxious, but I, I, I’m, I’m genuinely curious cuz I, I personally, I currently don’t do jeffson curls. I don’t do the slant board or sissy squats or the extreme lunging.

And I’m curious if maybe I should be, so, you know, I can, let’s see. I don’t, I generally don’t full squat just because I don’t really see the purpose. Although if I. Do like, you know, I’ll, I’ll get a little bit below parallel on my back squats, no problem. If I’m front squatting, I maybe will end up just going a little bit lower than that and I don’t, I don’t generally have joint issues.

Sometimes something hurts a little bit, but generally I’m okay. So do you think that me or somebody like me could benefit though from some, some of these other like, like a Jefferson curl or some of these extreme knee over to positions? 

Stacie: Yeah. Cuz it’s not about, just about now, right? You said that you feel pretty good now you’re pretty healthy, but you’re also pretty young, you know?

And, and as our bodies get older too, things start to happen and like if you don’t have or you’re not sold training at the same intensity and you’re not training the in ranges now, that’s when you really start to see those teno teno are more highly prevalent people like over. So it just like, as we get older, our tenants get weaker because we stop training like we used to, or we stop, you know, we avoid those end ranges altogether cause we’re fearful or, you know, so-and-so told us that we should never do that, 

Mike: or it just doesn’t really happen.

I mean, right, because it’s like if, if you, if you do a lot of just buy the book strength training, unless your anatomy just really, let’s say knees, uh, and toes, unless it really pushes your knees forward. When do you really get anywhere beyond maybe an inch past your knee going beyond your toes? I mean, even, even full squatting.

I mean, I’ve done it before and my body, just the way it’s built, my knees, they don’t, they don’t push too far. And maybe it’s a little bit in front of my toes, but it’s not as extreme as you would achieve with, uh, some of these other exercise. 

Stacie: So I know you have your Muscle for Life book, your podcast, stuff like that.

So I think that if we’re talking about like joint health for life and muscle tissues for life, I think you have to incorporate and range stuff. You don’t have to do it every day. You know, maybe just doing it like, you know, once a week would, for each major joint is sufficient, you know, and then maybe once you have that training stimulus over time, maybe you only need to do it like a couple times a month.

You don’t need to do it, you know, signal that to the brain every single day. But now you know, your body’s adapted to those different positions and you’re just continuously training it periodically. It’s not a, not a big thing. It shouldn’t take too much time. But I think for longevity purposes, we have to train the full range of motion.

Mike: All right. Uh, then I’m gonna open up my spreadsheet when we’re done here, and now I’m gonna work some of it in and, and I have to ask then, so we’ve talked about a couple of the joints, but what would that look like for shoulders? You mentioned elbows, if there’s anything else to say. I mean, that seems pretty simple.

Uh, any other tips for, for people who now are thinking like, I am, like, okay, uh, then I’m gonna include some of these odd exercises in my routine. 

Stacie: Yeah, I would say that obviously the hips, like the hips training at end ranges is important too. So, you know, training like the groin, a lot of people have been doing Copenhagen planks, you know, that’s become kind of more popularized recently, but training copenhagen’s at end ranges too.

So like if you’re taller, maybe your leg needs to be higher, so now you’re strengthening full that through that full range of motion. Most people are just used like a bench, but if you’re taller, a bench isn’t gonna be sufficient to your end range. Like you should feel a stretch at the top of that range of motion.

So just, you know, kinda playing around with that and like figuring out what works for you. But once again, that’s training at in range. It’s going from the full length position all the way to the full shortened position and back down for the, the biceps. Like we wanna also strengthen the, the shoulder at that end range.

So we do like incline bicep curls, so you know, like letting the shoulder go into extension and then bicep curl all the way. Um, . That stuff’s pretty easy. I feel like people for like single joints, they kind of know how to train that more so like tricep extensions. You see a lot more people going like, you know, overhead tricep extensions.

They’ll go through their full range of motion, which is great, but we’re not doing that same thing for other joints, which is why now we’re starting to kind of realize, oh shoot, maybe we should have been doing that all along. And maybe that’s important to. 

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. The biceps point is good. And that’s also, that’s a good way to train your biceps muscles too, just for, just as an added benefit of, you can do it on an incline bench, or I suppose you could probably accomplish the same thing with like a, a cable drag curl kind of situation, if you know where like from behind.

Exactly. Yeah. And so you get, you get a nice biceps stimulus, uh, in that as well because of the, the consistent tension as opposed to with a standing biceps curl. It’s a fine exercise, but it, it is a, a bit odd in, in how certain ranges of that are very difficult. And then other ranges of that motion are much, are much easier.

Like the final, you know, third of a biceps curl is quite easy compared to the bottom. Whereas with, um, the, the particularly, I like the, the cable drag curl setup, you just get constant tension throughout. 

Stacie: Yeah, that one’s really good. It’s brutal sometimes, 

Mike: right? , I mean, it’s, it’s nice too that you don’t have to use that much weight to get a good training stimulus.

Even if, even if you want it to be, you know, rather intense. Let’s say you’re gonna do no more than 10 reps per set. I, I think for me right now that’s 30 or 35 pounds. So it’s, it’s joint friendly in that way too. Mm-hmm. , can we now talk about, um, gadgets? So, Foam rollers, popular massage guns get asked about bands particularly popular these days.

What are your thoughts on such things? I’m 

Stacie: not a huge fan of passive modalities, like even like hands on physical therapy stuff like manual therapy. I think it’s a means to an end. You know, I think that like there’s a time and a place for all of these things, but they shouldn’t be your main tools for working on your mobility or you know, your main strategy.

I think that there’s a lot of better ways to warm up a lot more efficient ways, you know, with better use of your time. So like a percussion gun, it’s kind of the same input as a foam roller, right? It kind of produces a stimulus. Sometimes it can help reduce pain perception temporarily, but once again, it’s temporary.

It can help increase the elasticity of a muscle 10 minutes. That’s what the research is showing. So all those are very short benefits, so you just gotta know. You know, if you’re really trying to get something out of that and immediately go into an exercise that’s gonna be also stimulating the same muscle group, then that’s great, but just know that it’s only gonna be 10 minutes and it’s not the thing that’s gonna really benefit you long term.

So I like. Percussion guns when someone is incredibly flared up. If you’re just in a ton of pain and you need something to just like help you get over that hump to be able to do something, then it’s a means to an end for me. Like I’ll implement that. I’ll have people, you know, phone roll if they find that beneficial.

And sometimes you’re kind working within people’s narratives too. Like if they think that it’s beneficial, then there is a placebo effect to that too. And placebo, we know is, is, could be helpful. It could be very helpful for people. Cause a lot of the things are, you know, definitely more like mental too.

It’s like some of these things as like how they perceive training and how they perceive their bodies. So I think that those tools, they’re helpful, but I think that there’s better use of our time. And a big part of what I do is educate people on what these tools actually do and what they don’t do. Some people claim that they break ups.

Or that they like some crazy stuff. And it’s like, if you knew how much force it takes to actually like, break apart fascia or you know, do like fascial adhesions, no amount of pressure from someone’s hands, no amount of pressure from that foam roller or that ball or that percussion gun will ever make a change in the 

Mike: tissue.

Yeah, I’ve, uh, gotten rolfing before and I don’t know ultimately what changes might have occurred, but that’s probably about as painful as, uh, I would pay anyone to do something to me could, could possibly be. And even that, it took several sessions to, to notice any difference. And that’s like, you know, maximum pain basically.

Stacie: Yeah, you gotta think about like the, the benefit cost ratio there too, right? Like, man, they may like, I don’t know if people know what Rolfing is, but it is an extreme form of like massage that like is intense. Like did they have, you had like parameters too, like if it with elbows, Yeah, if you go above a a nine outta 10 pain, you tell them to stop or something.

You put a word. No, 

Mike: no. There 

Stacie: was no safe word. . Yeah. I’ve heard some practitioners go crazy with that and they’re like, they’ll tell people, okay, we can go to a nine outta 10 pain scale, but I don’t want you to go to a 10 outta 10, so if you get to a 10, then we’ll stop. And I’m like, you want people like, That is incredibly damaging.

Not just like physically, but like psychologically too. Now you’re gonna go to that amount of pain for at what cost? You know, like, 

Mike: yeah, it wasn’t, he, he wasn’t that extreme. It, it actually, it was, it was painful, but it was certainly tolerable. And for what it’s worth, uh, this was a couple of years ago, so I don’t remember, there were a couple, it was, there was one issue, some muscles on my back that I, I just can’t get.

Like what am I gonna do, uh, about it. And so there were, there were a couple of things, and he was a good enough practitioner. It was there, it was maybe part raw thing, but wasn’t maybe as extreme as what you might find if you were to search online. Like he was a Rolfer, but he also had trained in other disciplines.

And so ultimately, ultimately it was productive. It, it was painful, but it wasn’t. Torture. I don’t have P T S D. I can laugh about it now. 

Stacie: Yeah, and all that stuff is like stimulating like blood flow and circulation too, which is helpful too, obviously with like inflammation and just to help, you know, kind of feel better.

Those are all those feel good things that you feel when like you just get things 

Mike: moving. Yeah. Um, regarding massage gun’s, question for you. So, something that is, seems to be related to this, this biceps tendon issue that I, this is the first time I’ve, that I can remember having any problem on the left side of my body.

The only problems I’ve had in the past were always in the right side, so it appears to be related to peck tightness, which can obviously make sense. And I say tightness and what I guess I’m really describing is, is pain. Like when, you know, I have a, there’s a massage therapist who I see every week and she was just kind of doing assessment of my body.

Okay, let’s see how things are. And then I didn’t even realize that this was a thing on, on my left side of my left peck. But in getting in, it might be more of a peck minor, but in really kind of getting in there, it feels bad and. It’s not supposed to feel like the other side feels totally fine, no issues.

And, and so I, I have a massage gun and something that has been helping for whatever reason is I, I see her once a week, but spending probably no more than 10 minutes a day, not, not overdoing it, but getting in there with this gun and finding these. I guess you could call them trigger points. It kind of felt like a big trigger point to begin with, and now there are areas where it’s like, oh, that feels better now.

Okay. That’s, that’s no longer aggravated like it was, but that in there. Oh, yep. That’s still a thing. And so in just using the massage gun every day, in addition to an hour with this woman every week, again, the, the perception of pain has, has gone away in certain areas of the peck and it, it has translated into less aggravation.

Okay. My biceps tendon is feeling better now. I still feel it a little bit. I’m avoiding a couple of exercises, but it’s certainly improving. What are your thoughts? On that. And, and the reason I, I bring that up is not, not really in my own self-interest, I mean maybe a little bit, but also , a lot of people, they, they will describe similar situations themselves where something does not feel good and it seems to be muscle tights or something, trigger points, something’s wrong, and they can use one of these guns.

And by being consistent with it, it seems to resolve the issue. Yeah, I mean 

Stacie: the, the gun does, like I’ve said, it does provide short-term benefits, so, How long? It really depends on the individuals. But you like, you know, unlike a lot of other people that don’t actually like, you know, take care of their bodies, there’s, you know, the problem in America, right?

Not a lot of people are taking care of their bodies, but you do. So you are doing the things, you’re doing the work, in addition to doing the soft tissue work and doing the percussion, like all that stuff to make sure that your joints are, you know, working efficiently and you’re doing the exercise to strengthen all the stuff around your shoulder.

You’re probably doing like rotator cuff stuff, that posterior adult stuff, anything to kinda offload this front part of the shoulder. You’re doing all that stuff. You’re doing the work and this is now just kind of giving you a little bit. Better or put you in a better environment to be able to feel like you can do those things easier without as much discomfort.

A lot of people though, like they might just rely on these tools as the end all be all right, like this tool is gonna fix all my problems. But unless they have those exercises to follow up with, to be able to like solidify what you’re trying to accomplish, then it’s just gonna be a short-lived thing. And then they’re always gonna go through this cycle of, they’ll do it, it feels better, and then it comes right back.

They’ll do it, it feels better, it comes right back. So it’s, you’re making the lasting changes by all the other stuff you’re doing and this is just helping facilitate 

Mike: that. And in terms of what may be going on, you mentioned earlier that there can be situations where, um, a muscle can be shortened, uh, or, or it could be weakened.

And so again, I’m just speaking to how it, my perception of it, but can there be a situation where, uh, a muscle or certain parts of the muscle can be in a kind of hyper contracted state? And if you don’t address that, it just kind of remains in this dysfunctional state. That’s, that’s how it seems like this has been, I guarantee you this has been an issue for some time.

I just wasn’t really aware of it and it didn’t particularly get in the way of my, of my workouts, training my pecs. But there’s, there, there’s an issue, you know? Yeah, no, 

Stacie: I think that, I mean, you’re doing all the right things. Yeah, I think that the, the, the stuff that you’re feeling here, you know, it’s probably a result of what’s going on at the shoulder joint too.

And then you also look at like thoracic spine too. So, you know, if this doesn’t resolve, you might wanna look at your T-spine and say like, you know, are, am I always kind of tilted into rotation this way? So maybe like when I’m doing these exercises, I’m not actually getting as much out of this one side as I am on the other side.

Cause I’m rotating away from it subconsciously at this point. And so looking at some of those other things to kinda fill in those missing gaps is, is huge. Um, but all of this stimulus, it feels good. It’s, it’s also creating a placebo effect too, which is helpful. Like if you believe in it, if you think it’s gonna work, then by all means.

There’s other things that can work too. They might just take a little bit longer, you know, to work by themselves alone. Um, that’s why in physical therapy, we do have tools that we use. We have a percussion done. We have, you know, we can do like soft tissue massage, we can do needling, we can do scraping. But these are just, like I said, a means to an end.

So it’s just to get your self in a better environment, to reduce your pain. Cause it’s, it’s more of a pain threshold. So if we can reduce that, and what you are describing too is hypertenicity of that tissue. So it’s like, it’s an a state, so it’s tense, right? And so if you can reduce that short term, then it feels like it may be your shoulder sitting in a better position immediately after.

So then you can do those exercises that you do normally with it being in that better position. And then maybe you. You did that stuff today, maybe it’ll take a week until it feels terrible again, and then maybe the next time you do it, it’ll be two weeks until it feels like it comes back again. And so it’s getting better and better and staying longer, um, in the, the right environment.

So I just think that you have to make sure you balance it and making sure that we educate people on what these things are doing and what they’re not doing, and how you have to back it up with something active for it to ever have a full, um, transformation. 

Mike: Just to the point that you mentioned of what the underlying cause is, and that’s something that I, I’m aware of like intellectually, but it’s hard to know yourself.

And, and yes, there, there, there probably is something in my training that some sort of imbalance, something that’s off that led to that issue. And so we’ll, we’ll see how it goes. Although again, it’s kind of odd that many years now I’ve not had any problems, any on the left side of my body at all. So, I guess we’ll see where it goes.

But, but, uh, being able to address it in the short term is, is one thing, but then being able to prevent it from recurring is another thing. Right. And that’s where then how I am training is, is, is gonna be the deciding factor. Because if it goes away, that’s great. But if there is something, some weird little thing that I’m doing that just contributes to it, little by little, like it can just come back if, if I heard you correctly.

Stacie: Yeah. So if you ever need any help, let me know. This, this is what I do for a living. . 

Mike: Yes. Yes. Uh, so far, uh, it’s been, it’s been moving in the right direction, so I’m like, all right, well I’ll just keep doing. And I, I actually, I ran into a similar issue, this was years ago on my right side, but I worked with a physical therapist cause I couldn’t figure it out myself.

And that time though, it was my subscapularis was extremely. Aggravated. It did felt really bad when, you know, when, when he worked on it. And, um, I believe it was hard to say if it was Terry’s. You know, there are a few muscles that, it’s hard to say exactly what it was, but there were a couple just. Very upset, uh, portions of, of muscles that we just had to work on.

And by being consistent with that, I would see him a couple times per week and then, uh, actually use a massage gun. One of the, one of the guys who worked with me when we were in an office together, cause I couldn’t get back. So he would just kind of, we’d spend a couple, maybe five minutes a day working on each of these points.

And I would avoid exercises that aggravated the tendon and then it went away. And that was the end of it. If we’ll see, we’ll see if maybe the, the left side is, uh, 

Stacie: Most things sort themselves out over time. You know, like sometimes you just, you wanna kinda give it a jumpstart, right? So that’s where a lot of these tools can come in.

You can kind of give yourself a little jumpstart. Or if an athletes in season and they’re just trying to get through the game or get through, you know, the championship, like whatever, then they like, they use these different tools and they know that now once season’s over and after that championship game’s done, they’re gonna now take care of it and implement the exercises that they need to do to actually fix it long 

Mike: term.

That makes sense. And one last thing before, uh, we sign off. I just wanted to, to get your, your thoughts on our bands cuz uh, I see a lot of people, usually it’s, it’s women, a lot of younger girls incorporating bands into a lot of things now, worm up routines, exercise routines, like adding bands now to exercises that you wouldn’t normally add a band to.

What are your thoughts on the utility of bands? 

Stacie: I think bands are a great tool and I think that they’re like an easy tool to get your hands on, right? They’re not very expensive, you know, I feel like, especially like after, you know, the pandemic, like a lot of people, that’s all they had were bands during that time.

So kinda like the resistance band, um, exercise really took off. So I think bands are, could be really helpful to, you know, you can do like band assisted exercises. Um, you can do band resisted exercises too, so you can use that to facilitate even mobility work. Um, I think that sometimes we wear bands like for exercises that don’t make any sense, you know, um, that they’re, you could probably not wear the band for that, but they might have found that an exercise they saw on the internet by their favorite influencer and now they have to try that exercise because it looks effective and it’s.

you know, a hit X, Y or Z, whatever that person said it was gonna do. 

Mike: A lot of it. A lot of it seems to be glute focused. Like you’re gonna, you’re gonna achieve higher levels of glute activation by adding the band to the whatever exercise. Yeah. 

Stacie: I think that there’s a lo, like a low level, especially if you’re doing like an isometric.

Yeah. It can help like. Get your knees to be out a little bit more. So say like maybe you have a faulty movement pattern and you wanna work on getting your knees out more to be able to facilitate a better squat or a better, like hip thruster. So yeah, you could turn on the boots better, but if your main focus of the exercise is hip extension, then why are we adding hip extra rotation or hip abduction?

Right? It kind of takes away from the main focus or the main stimulus that you’re trying to provide. So I think that we really have to think about or reevaluate our training of what’s our goal here is if it is it just train all the things at the same time. Okay. Then yeah, have bands on your hands and your lights at the same time.

Like, go crazy. But if, if your goal is to, you know, maximize your hip dresser, well then take the band off and just focus on hip extension. If your focus is on deadlifts, like, I don’t know why people are wearing bands when they do deadlifts, that’s still beyond me. I think maybe they’re tired and they don’t wanna take him them off and they just keep them on or something.

But like, there’s various exercises that we do in the facility to help, you know, to work on strengthening the glutes. 

Mike: It’s just to stop the scrolling, you know, it’s the scroll stopper. Like, oh, is that a, is that a, is that a rubber band? When, when he is deadlifting or when she’s deadlifting, I gotta, I gotta see this.

Stacie: Yeah. Like what is this doing? Or you know, these like banded, like kickbacks, like, or people that wear the bands and then they go on the StairMaster. Have you seen them? 

Mike: No. No. I’ve not seen that. Banded stairmasters. 

Stacie: Yeah. Like what are you, yeah, like what are you doing right now? Like why, I guess you’re being efficient with your time.

I have no idea. So whatever makes people happy. , I think it’s just a lot 

Mike: of people they’re associating bands with, uh, bigger, better butt. That that’s what you add a band to something and your butt gets better. , 

Stacie: no, it’s not gonna create hyper fees. If you’re looking for a bigger butt, a band is not gonna do it.

It doesn’t provide enough stimulus or enough resistance to do that. So I think that they, they didn’t know what they’re doing. Um, maybe a good portion of this should be education, but it’s just providing a little bit of nice generally. So I think that it’s not gonna make grow bigger glutes or anything else.


Mike: Makes sense. Well, um, that’s everything that I had on my list. Is there anything that I haven’t asked that I should have asked or anything still kind of bouncing around in your head before we wrap up? 

Stacie: No, I think we covered on a lot of things. This is a good talk. 

Mike: Yeah. Yeah, this was great. Um, again, I really appreciate you taking the time and why don’t we wrap up here with where people can find you, find your work, uh, if there’s anything in particular relevant to this conversation, not directly relevant to this conversation that you want people to know about.

Stacie: Um, so I’m on all the socials at the Physio Fix and I’m on, you know, Instagram TikTok. That’s a new thing. So I’m just trying to get into the TikTok space. I’m on YouTube, so 

Mike: you, you you did it? I haven’t, I haven’t done it 

Stacie: yet. Ah, I literally held off until July. I think I got it in July. So very recently got into TikTok.

But other than that, you can work with me online. You can work with me in person. I’m in Phoenix, Arizona, like I said at the beginning. So everything is on the website. The physio.com. You can book online appointments and person appointments, everything right there. Awesome. 

Mike: Well, thanks again for taking the time, Stacy.

This was a great conversation. 

Stacie: Yeah, of course. Thanks for having me. 

Mike: Well, I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful, and if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes. And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you.

And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have, uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email, mike muscle for life.com, muscle f r life.com, and let me know what I could do better or just, uh, what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future.

I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.


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