is not, "You're relatively flexible."
This is not, you're standing next to some guy go, "Well, compared to him I'm
Relatively speaking, he can't even touch his knees and I can touch my shins."
That's not relative flexibility. Relative flexibility is when one joint gets
locked down, when one joint loses mobility, the proximal joints will start
becoming too flexible to compensate that. Makes sense?
I lose range of motion at one joint, other joints try to make up for it.
So in this picture where is that guy's feet going? Out. His knees are
going in, his feet are going out,
it's a mess, it's a total mess. A very common mess.
So what ends up happening is if I start losing dorsiflexion because, let's say my
calves are tight, pretty common right,
my body will go, "Well, I still have to get down.
I don't have dorsiflexion, I still got to get down there,
so you know what, I'm going to do, I'm going to steal from my knees."
Sounds like a great plan doesn't it?
I lost some mobility of my ankle, I think I'll steal from my knees and where do my
knees go? Tibial external rotation.
I try to shorten that lever length of my foot so that I can get down further and
on top of it to make my limbs shorter I'm going to go ahead and bow in.
That's the type of thing that sets up an ACL injury right, or at least a whole lot
of knee pain.
we can go through this whole thing as we're going here. As length
tension relationship start to change,
I increase activity of certain muscles,
I get altered reciprocal inhibition, which shuts down prime movers so I end
up with synergistic dominance, because my synergists try to take over.
Right, maybe this all started with relative flexibility. Of course once that
happens I have to adopt a compensation pattern. A compensation pattern is the
new movement pattern you've adopted to make up for the fact that all of this
stuff is happening.
Where is that guy compensating? His back. Now, don't get me wrong,
this is a guy arching his back when he benches...a whole lot more weight than I
could ever bench.
You could put me on steroids from here into eternity and train the heck out of
me, I'm not going to be able to bench as much as that guy. I take my hat off to this
This is sport. In sport, we do a lot of things that are very harmful to our body.
My question is, if you saw somebody compensate like that just pushing open a
what's going on there? What is he compensating for? Yeah, so maybe his
intrinsic stabilizers are weak
so who is he trying to use a whole lot of to get some stability back in his
Maybe his erector spinae right? We see a lot of extension so maybe it's the
erector spinae coming in to try to compensate for the fact that he can't
stabilize here for the amount of force he's trying to produce. Is that kind of
starting to make sense?
So what is optimal flexibility? Is that optimally flexible?
That's actually hypermobile. It's a pretty picture, but it's hypermobile. Where is she
Yeah, can you guys see how she hinges right here?
Yeah, that's not a great thing> That will lead to injury in time. She
might feel great right now, but eventually that's going to cause
It is just as dangerous, remember our U shaped curve,
think about it, it's just as dangerous to be too tight as it is to be what?
too flexible. Anybody a dancer in here? You pay the price.
It's very beautiful and it's great activity and at the end
of the day, at the end of the day, nobody dies of a bicep attack. Guys get what I'm
saying? Right, like everybody needs to be physically active.
Orthopedic challenges are worth a lifetime activity and what it will do
for your heart and respiratory system and your overall health.
I'm not taking anything away from sport, but realize if you work for
hypermobility are you eventually going to pay for it?
Absolutely. If you don't need hypermobility for your sport, by all
means do not trained for it.
So let me just make this a little narrative for you guys and then we'll
head to lunch.
How many guys want to analyze an anterior pelvic tilt? You're wooed.
Alright, so in order to analyze an anterior pelvic tilt,
I need to start figuring out what joint actions occurred to get me into an
anterior pelvic tilt.
Hip...hip flexion and lumbar extension, good.
Yeah so, an anterior pelvic tilt, your pelvis isn't a joint, right.
Your pelvis is a bone under the control of your hip and lumbar spine.
All right just stay with me you'll you'll get it by the time I'm
done with this picture,
providing I can get my art skills back together.
So there's Slim, right?
We have a cervical spine, his thoracic spine and since we're drawing an
anterior pelvic to let me give them a pretty good lumbar curve here and and
then a sloping pelvis, but a femur that goes straight down. Draw his ribcage,
he's kind of barrel-chested, not really sure why. Actually, you know what, let me change this just a
I know this won't be perfectly to scale but I want to draw the lumbar spine a
little bigger so you guys can see. Let's draw his rib cage way up here.
Does that look like an anterior pelvic tilt you? Good.
So what happened to his psoas?
They're definitely weak but they're weak because they're short right. So his psoas is short,
well if it his psoas is short and he's stuck in hip flexion, who else is also short?
So I'll have that one from the pelvis. What else?
Yeah we could.. your erector spinae as your lumbar extensors, but let's save that
What other hip flexors do I have? Rectus femoris is tight.
What's this guy?
TFL, right. So I got rectus femoris, psoas, iliacus, TFL - all short and overactive.
Which means, like you mentioned my lumbar erectors are also going to be short and
overactive because of the way this tilts I end up with excessive spinal lordosis,
also known as what joint action? Extension. Who are my extenders of the spine?
And then we have one that attaches to the shoulder...
Latissimus dorsi is also short and overactive. All right now let's start
thinking through all the things we know that we just learned. If these guys are
short and overactive what do they do to reciprocal inhibition?
They're going to become..that's not the term I'm looking for yet...
not that term either. So if my hip flexors are overactive they will do what?
Tturn off your glutes via altered reciprocal inhibition. Right, so they shut
down my prime mover.
So we're going...these are going to be our long, under active muscles.
My extensors are going to shut down who? So my lumbar flexors which are my
rectus abdominis, obliques.
I was kind of nice to this guy, right he should be shut down.
So we got my internal-external obliques,
who else might be shut down? Some stabilizers over here, yeah the TVA
probably shut down.
So those guys are shut down, that sucks.
This is not a very pretty picture so far. Well if my glute max
who has to become overactive? Your hamstrings, because they're the
synergistically dominant, so then we bring out a new color. My hamstrings,
especially my biceps femoris in this case are long and overactive because
they are overactive synergists.
How's this looking so far? Not very pretty right.
That is not a pretty picture for performance, but is it common?
Oh yeah. This is definitely common and realize, this is could have all started
with one restriction.
What might that restriction of started with? Maybe it's my psoas got tight.
Maybe my psoas got tight or my rectus femoris got tight from, has anybody ever
strained their rectus femoris, it's a pretty common strain right. Maybe that's
what started this, so that all the other hip flexors joined suit - became tight and
overactive so this would cause what? Relative flexibility. You guys get that?
So a restriction in hip flexion may have caused an increase in lumbar
extension, a change in pelvic position and now this whole thing that I've had
to adopt is called what? Compensation pattern. You guys get how this all works
together. You guys kind of understand these terms. (Would the relative flexibility be the lumbar extension.) In this case yeah, it'd
probably be hypermobility at the lumbar spine. Very common.
Does this kind of help make those terms makes sense? Can you guys see how this is
all working together all the time?
We could even go farther and go, "Do you think the change in all of the muscle
activity here is going to screw up this person's arthrokinematics at the hip?
Oh yeah, joints stay centered in large part due to muscle activity.
Well center of gravity is still here, but realize that now these guys are pulling
harder and these guys aren't pulling hard enough,
which is going to shift the joint forward will shift the femur forward in
this case. A little bananas huh? Give you got stuff to think about?
Glad you learned your functional Anatomy yesterday because we couldn't even talk about this if we