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  • Thank you.

  • So, the other day, I was giving a talk to a bunch of young models

  • on having a career in the fashion industry.

  • And, I really wanted to tell them about my upcoming TED talk.

  • So I go, "Hey guys, has anyone here heard of TED?"

  • And in typical model fashion, this is the reply I get:

  • "Yeah, I've seen them both, and their teddy bear's hilarious."

  • (Laughter)

  • Like, what?!

  • The youth of today, it made me laugh so much.

  • I mean, I can't really say much.

  • When I was 15, I wanted to be a bodybuilder.

  • Not just any bodybuilder though, the number one: Arnold Schwarzenegger.

  • I actually remember day one on my attempt to get a body like this guy.

  • There was this local old school gym in East London,

  • and it looked like something you might see in a "Rocky" movie.

  • It was this converted garage space with ripped black benches,

  • rusting bar bells,

  • and these posters of ex-bodybuilding champions on the wall,

  • including Schwarzenegger himself as a goal to aspire to.

  • Now, the day I walked in there, I met the owner,

  • this proper Cockney guy called Dave.

  • I described to him my health and fitness goals in great, lengthy detail,

  • you know, just like an adolescent kid does:

  • "I want to get massive."

  • (Laughter)

  • But he nodded, you know, he really understood what I wanted.

  • He pointed to the squat rack,

  • and he says,

  • "That over there, son, [that's how] you get big legs.

  • And that over there, pull into the bench press.

  • that's how you get a big chest.

  • And these dumb bells - here - for big arms.

  • And that's about it.

  • Now off you go, son."

  • So off I did go, dad.

  • I mean, it was a pretty simple concept, really.

  • If you can get from A to B in eight repetitions,

  • you just add more weight.

  • Now, at this time in my life, I hadn't yet studied sports science,

  • so little did I know, but this A to B method I was using,

  • we refer to as "overload."

  • Now, the overload theory works like this:

  • If I push my body to failure,

  • meaning I no longer have the capability to do any more repetitions,

  • then when I'm resting, my body simply produces more muscle,

  • and that allows me to lift more next time.

  • I can then work around the body using this method on each muscle group,

  • and, Hey, presto, (Arnold voice) one day you have body like Arnie.

  • Well, I obviously do not have a body like Arnie. (Laughs)

  • In fact, I have a body like a fashion model.

  • That's because I was scouted in the street

  • and was forced to give up on my bodybuilding dream.

  • This is one of my first shows.

  • This is me strutting down the catwalk for Calvin Klein.

  • The casting director - thank you - was back stage before the show

  • teaching us how to walk in a strong posture.

  • Feet straight, belly button in, shoulders back and down.

  • But why in my early 20s was I being taught how to walk?

  • More importantly, why did walking this way feel so alien?

  • But yet, on the outside, to the audience, it looked quite powerful.

  • I mean, all they were asking me to do was walk like I was supposed to walk.

  • So I decided to go to a place where just being in strong posture

  • was common practice.

  • And I was about to meet the person face to face

  • that would destroy my aspiration of Schwarzenegger forever.

  • I was attempting an exercise called a "bridge":

  • an adult gymnastics class.

  • And I just couldn't get my arms straight,

  • let alone my body off the ground.

  • So the coach calls somebody over

  • who demonstrates this movement effortlessly.

  • She was a six-year-old girl.

  • This is actually her.

  • Her name is Grace.

  • Amazing...

  • Grace.

  • (Laughs)

  • (Laughter)

  • How sweet.

  • (Laughter)

  • But what I really began to see

  • is the principles being used in gymnastics class

  • were identical to the posture cues I'd been given back stage

  • during Fashion Week.

  • It's the language of gymnastics that's not based on individual muscles

  • but based on movements of the joints and the skeleton.

  • For example, they use shoulder instead of biceps, triceps;

  • hips instead of quads, hamstrings.

  • Completely the opposite to what the fitness industry prioritizes.

  • Fitness talks muscles before spine.

  • You see, gymnasts focus on how they are moving their body.

  • And they also just happen to have awesome posture

  • and a really strong core.

  • It's really no coincidence.

  • This is a byproduct of working with the body.

  • In fact, prioritization of the spine is a much smarter approach.

  • If you happen to damage your spinal cord,

  • you can actually lose the ability to move any part of your body.

  • And this is something we've been reminded of our whole lives.

  • "Stop slouching."

  • "Sit up straight."

  • "Engage your core!"

  • "Get your elbows off the table."

  • They all mean the same thing.

  • All your parents were saying was:

  • prioritize your spine.

  • You see, the thing is, as humans, we were born with full range of motion.

  • Biochemist Esther Gokhale spent time traveling the world

  • and researched places where back pain hardly exists.

  • What she noticed was people's spines with a flatter lumbar curvature

  • didn't suffer from back pain.

  • She referred to this as a J-shaped spine,

  • and you can see the difference in the images here

  • between the S-shaped spine taught in the Western world

  • and the J-shaped spine in people where back pain doesn't exist.

  • Gokhale states the J-shaped spine is what you see in Greek statues

  • and in young children universally.

  • What she's saying is, we're all born with a J-shaped spine.

  • Now, you may have noticed,

  • when young children pick things up from the ground,

  • they drop down into this perfect squat.

  • This kid, unlike myself, did not need a casting director,

  • nor a six-year-old amazing Grace to teach him this move.

  • In fact, nobody taught him.

  • And no, guys, he's not exercising.

  • This is, in fact, a pre-chair, resting human position.

  • But unfortunately, as a consequence of our current human conditioning,

  • or our culture,

  • this natural resting position is about to be taken away from this child.

  • He's about to be taught a resting position is, in fact, a chair.

  • And when he's due to start school,

  • seven hours of his day, every day,

  • he will be asked to sit in this - quite frankly weird

  • and unhuman - position.

  • Now, I didn't even take into account the amount of hours

  • this kid spends watching Peppa Pig.

  • (Laughter)

  • According to the British Chiropractic Association,

  • the total number of people off sick from work with back pain

  • increased last year by 29 percent.

  • >From the survey, the reason for back pain was sitting too long in one position.

  • So I tried to find a survey totaling the number of four-year-olds

  • off sick from school with back pain.

  • But would you believe it, I just couldn't find one.

  • You see, we are more than well aware.

  • We are a generation of sitting-on-our-backside human beings.

  • But, the specific point I would like to bring to your attention today

  • is the fitness industry's ignorance of the spine,

  • to have us hooked on task completion.

  • Time, weight, and distance.

  • This is, for most people, measures of improvement and progress.

  • How long can you run for?

  • How fast can you run?

  • How much can you lift?

  • How many repetitions can you do?

  • How many calories can you burn?

  • This list is endless.

  • But they're flawed.

  • None of these take into account how you're moving,

  • or more importantly, how you once could.

  • You see, nothing can ever compare, or will measure up against,

  • the exquisite movement you had as a three-year-old.

  • A study in 2012 found that musculoskeletal conditions

  • were the second greatest cause of disability in the world,

  • affecting over 1.7 billion people worldwide.

  • Professor Wolfe, a world leader in healthcare,

  • describes suffering from musculoskeletal disorders

  • as being like a Ferrari without wheels.

  • If you don't have mobility and dexterity,

  • it doesn't matter how healthy the rest of your body is.

  • So surely the access to a healthy physicality

  • is working back towards full range of motion,

  • to understand how your body moves,

  • and to be able to function like a human.

  • Said simply, the ability to move like you once could

  • when you were a three year old.

  • We can and should start re-learning how to move

  • from the examples of children,

  • ditching these current measures of time, weight, and distance,

  • and spend time unravelling restrictions,

  • getting back the movement we actually once had.

  • All that's left is an aspiration of ourselves

  • in the school playground as a child,

  • able to play and move

  • without fear of injury and using our body's full potential.

  • And those other results we're aiming for

  • such as: slimmer physique,

  • toned muscles,

  • do come,

  • but as a byproduct of moving the body as it's designed to function best.

  • There's a famous Chinese proverb:

  • "You are as old as your spine."

  • In all honesty, I'll have more chance teaching penguins how to fly

  • than humans a better way to sit on a chair.

  • We're just not designed to do it.

  • Today, I'm going to leave you with a powerful standing posture.

  • In cultures where the J-shaped spine exists,

  • people's butt muscles engage every time they take a step.

  • It's one reason they have these strong butt muscles

  • that support their lower back.

  • To demonstrate how this standing posture works,

  • I will need a bit of audience participation.

  • So I need you all to be standing.

  • Sorry.

  • Please stand with your feet together

  • and facing forwards.

  • Now push the heels of the feet against each other -

  • not the toes but the heels.

  • Keep pushing.

  • Keep pushing.

  • Now hold.

  • Hold this tension.

  • Squeeze.

  • I want you to just notice,

  • just notice,

  • what happened to the glute muscles

  • as a consequence of pushing the heels together.

  • We didn't focus on these muscles,

  • we focused on a movement.

  • This is movement-first philosophy, which I spoke of earlier.

  • Focus on a movement; muscles follow suit.

  • We move efficiently.

  • The body recruits the right muscles for the job.

  • Standing here with your heels pushed together

  • is now your new stance.

  • Actually, if I can get you guys to hold this while I finish

  • you might just have to give me a standing ovation.

  • (Laughter)

  • By taking a lesson from my kid self.

  • It took me two years at the age of 30 to finally get back my resting position.

  • No, no.

  • My resting position. (Laughs)

  • Maybe we should all take a lesson from our kid selves.

  • We should stop teaching kids how to sit on their ass,

  • we should lead by example,

  • and move like them.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

Thank you.

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B1 UK spine body posture resting shaped position

【TEDx】Why Sitting Down Destroys You | Roger Frampton | TEDxLeamingtonSpa

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    anne posted on 2017/03/19
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