We hear a lot about posture, but how does it really affect our strength and performance? Many grapplers and fighters struggle with shoulder, neck, elbow and finger pains, but what is actually causing it? Coach Andrew Read walks us through his thought process when it comes to improving posture, shoulder function and grip strength.
In this episode we discuss:
- 5 factors for healthy shoulders
- Exercises to improve posture
- Understanding elbow pain
- How much is training is enough
- and more.
Mentioned in this podcast:
Thoracic rotation drill:
Neck work for restoration:
Mckenzie method back extensions
Scap push ups
Tying together an extension/ rotation/ integration series
Why Should You Listen to Andrew:
- Master RKC (Russian Kettlebell Certified instructor – the only Australian ever promoted to this level).
- Certified Kettlebell Functional Movement Specialist
- Certified Indian Club Specialist
- National Director Primal Move
- Qualified Olympic and Power Coach through the Australian Weightlifting Federation
- Ironman Triathlete
- Author for – Blitz, Ultrafit, Inside MMA, International Kickboxer, Oxygen and Breaking Muscle.
- Lectured in Australia, USA, China and Korea.
Check out more great info from Andrew here: ReadPT.com
Full Transcription of Our Podcast with Andrew Read
Interview with Coach Andrew Read explains how our Posture, Shoulder Health, and Grip Strength are related
Corey Beasley [00:00:01]: Hey guys, is Corey Beasley with fight camp conditioning and I’m on the phone with Coach Andrew Read. Andrew, how are you doing?
Andrew Read [00:00:06]: I’m good, thanks Corey. How are you?
Corey Beasley [00:00:09]: I’m doing great man. Thanks so much for joining us I appreciate it.
Andrew Read [00:00:14]: I mean it was a all spawn from an interesting conversation about training injuries, right?
Corey Beasley [00:00:21]: I know you’re coming off a an accidental broken nose from a jiu jitsu, so hope everything’s healing up good?
Andrew Read [00:00:29]: Yeah, look, I mean that’s the difference about what we’re going to talk about today. I mean, there are some injuries that you can’t do too much to speed them up like, if you just had an ACL repair, you just had an ACL repair. If you’ve got a broken nose, well you’ve got a broken noise. But for a lot of these other injuries that we’re going to talk about, these soft tissue ones, the stuff you can do leading up to and afterwards, you can actually speed that stuff up. I mean, muscular stuff you can actually affect pretty quickly. So it’s very different having a broken bone. If you’ve got a sore shoulder, you shouldn’t have to take out three or four weeks to let things heal up. You should be able to start getting after that straight away. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Corey Beasley [00:01:06]: Yeah, absolutely. So I know you had an interest, we were going to talk about a lot of weak links specifically, we’re going to talk about the hand, elbow and shoulder, right?
Andrew Read [00:01:21]: Yeah. So people often look at these like the separate system. They’re not really a separate system. So I mean as an experiment for people, if you weren’t, so sit there, relax your hands, completely relax the upper body and try to taste the muscles inside your shoulder. So try to fire up your rotator cuff while you keep your hands relaxed. And what you find is you probably can’t even find muscles inside your shoulder. But if you do the opposite of that, so now make fists and actually squeeze your hands as hard as you can. You can probably tense the muscles inside your shoulder that you couldn’t even access before those muscles you just found that’s the rotator cuff. So there’s this really big link between your grip and your rotator cuff. So if you look at jiu jitsu as an example, all grappling, super grip intensive, so the hands are being overworked and people often complain about sore shoulders. The sore shoulders come from a variety of factors. Some of that is, well, Hey, my arm really got cranked or I tried to get out an arm bar and the guy really yanked on my arm. So some of those are like, what would be impact injuries if you played football or something like that. But there were contact injury from the sport itself. But then a lot of people would just walk around with sore shoulders because their posture’s not great in jiu jitsu because you’re hunched up all the time that’s the sport. I mean it’s like sitting, but it’s turbocharged because you’re actually drawing yourself into that position quite often to get a better defensive position or pull yourself under someone’s legs or like slide down the back or whatever. So your posture is compromised and when you compromise, your posture, you compromise your shoulders, before we start talking about group, we’re going to talk about shoulders a little bit and then after you’ve talked about shoulders and then grip, we can understand the elbows to an extent. So when you look at shoulders, the first thing for healthy shoulders is having good posture in the case. So there’s five factors within a healthy shoulder movement or shoulder joint, and the joint is really only one of those. So the AC joint is one thing, your thoracic and cervical spine. So your upper back and your neck two of the other main ones. Then you’ve got your shoulder blade and how it positions in stays in place and you’ve got the rotator cuff itself. So when someone comes along and they say, well, my shoulder is really sore and I do blah, blah and it doesn’t even matter what they do, there’s really not much chance. When you look at, you know there’s five factors involved in having a healthy shoulder, it’s like a one in five chance that the problem is actually going to be the joint and it’s not like everything’s at 20% so 20% to the shoulder joint, 20% to the rotator cuff. I’d go so far as to say that the postural stuff, the upper back and the next stuff is probably responsible for that 50% of it in most people because along with our fight posture and if you look at like your grappling posture, even your stand up posture to an extent is a little bit hunchy because a good God position is going to have that slightly hunched kind of that hooded Cobra kind of look where your arms and your backs flavored a little bit, you crunch down a little bit to protect yourself. Your head pulled down, you still not in great posture and then you sit, cause you’re probably not a pro athlete, so you’re sitting down for work most of the day you’re spending a lot of time in that position. We need to spend some time getting out of it. So we need to spend some time doing thoracic extension stuff and cervical extension stuff. So there are some exercises you can do and within this podcast you guys will see the links for these exercises or articles about them so you can read a little bit more about it. But within the extension side of thoracic movement, we also have a rotational component. So we’ve got muscles that make us stand up straight out and we got muscles that turn us around in the upper trunk. So as a good rule of thumb, if you were sitting down and you cross your hands on your chest and you rotate it as far as you could in one direction, while your feet stayed flat on the floor, you’d be able to rotate about 50 degrees. Most people, I’m going to say don’t even get to like 40 degrees some. I’ve got plenty of guys you get to about 30 and so 50 degrees Hey, you’re an athlete. Fifties that’s considered normal. So if you’re lacking 50 degrees of rotation, you’re already setting yourself up for a problem. In terms of extension, their easiest test is can put your hands over the head. You should be able to get arms straight, hands over head without having to do anything weird to your posture. So a good way to test that is actually just lie on the ground, flatten your lower back into the ground and see if you can get your arms onto the ground past your head. So your arms should be able to lie flat on the ground and most of you are going to find either you need to bend your arms or they don’t even get to the ground at all. And so those two tests can you rotate 50 degrees? Then you get your arms overhead pain-free with full range, should show you where your discrepancies are. And so most people are going to need to work on both rotation and extension to fix them. So we’ve got a bunch of exercises we can do to fix that message is a really good way to help alleviate it. Because there’s going to come a point when you contract a muscle, it gets shorter. Obviously over time you just teach it to stay short basically. And no amount of stretching in front of rolling is really going to affect that. You need someone to get in there and break it all up and kind of reset you. So for someone who really got a lot of issues, you’re going to have to go get some message. How much message you get is going to depend on how badly beat up you’re in pain for how long. So if you’ve got someone like me 45 years old, I’ve been training since I was 10. Obviously I do my best to mitigate any problems, but when I’m training hard, I need a massage every week. When I’m kind of in like maintenance mode, it’s still every two weeks. And without that, I lose all those ranges emotion very quickly. And what a surprise. Next thing my shoulders are hurting. So once you looked at first at the neck, so when you look at people’s head position, when your head is directly above your ribs, where it’s supposed to be. So if you think your cheekbone should be roughly level with your collarbone. So for most people that means you’re going to have to significantly pull their head back. So have these head back, chin slightly down position to actually get your head into the wrong position. Most people aren’t there. We spent so much time looking at computer screens and phones people maybe who’ve got slightly bad eyesight, we might be seeing even worse because they’ll try to push their head forward even further to make what they’re looking at here. So every inch further forward your head goes, it weighs double essentially in terms of the stress on your spine, on your neck. So I think a head, I think its 10 pounds roughly. It could be. Well, it’s either 10 pounds or 20. Yeah. It goes up again so if you’re an inch out of alignment, it’s now 20 pounds and then you two inches out, it’s 30 pounds and so on you’ve only got the head of your head tip forward slightly to put an enormous strain on your neck when you’ve got something. So if you think the center of your body, your hips, if I put something in front of my hips, I have to do something else to kind of balance me up. That’s going to happen in my lower back, which is going to change how my upper back is shaped. So and normal. It’s like a shallow S curve for the spine. Now becomes an exaggerated is. So the forces involved on all parts of my spine go up. And what a surprise to deal with all that extra force, the muscles gets different. So the next got a big part of the plan as well. This is compounded by anyone who gets struck in the head because those neck muscles are going to fire up to hold your head in place or try to, when you wrestle. I tend to use my head as like a third arm and I know a lot of other people are the same. A lot of grappling places where I still see them they haven’t guys bridge on their heads and things like that. I think while it can be a great exercise initially long-term, that’s probably going cause problems. So I don’t know anyone in my age group who finds bridging on their head particularly comfortable. And I even remember and it’s a while ago now [Inaudible 00:09:58] was still competing, but he was getting into the mid-forties and he said, I’ve stopped bridging on my head, it’s too much for me. So this is a guy he’s all kinds of crazy strong. He’s got great technique. He certainly used to it because of the length of time he’s been doing it for. And he started realizing that Hey, this thing needs to be removed from my training too because its actually hurting me. It’s not helping me anymore. So we look at head and neck and key spine. So thoracic spine, it be indicators of health. So the general flow of movement. So this is kind of just to give people an idea of what’s going on. So when you place your foot on the ground, your foot needs to be stable and strong, that’s the platform for everything. And they look at how your ankle moves. So your ankle moves 360 degrees really a very mobile joint. Your knee should be stable and strong knee only moves in one direction and then the hip becomes viable as well. So we’ve got this stable, mobile, stable, mobile kind of continuum. So if the hip is mobile, the lower back should be stable. That means the upper back to thoracic spine, it should be low bar. The shoulder blade needs to be able to be stable and set in place and that allows the shoulder to be mobile. The neck actually has a combination of both stability and mobility because it’s got both an upper and lower component to it, but if we start messing around with that for whatever reason, so we change one of those things. So maybe you’ve got a busted ankle and it’s in a brace now. So instead of your ankle being mobile, it’s stiff. Your name will become sloppy to deal with the lack of movement that you’ve got in your ankle. Your hip will become stiff to deal with the lack of stiffness that’s in the knee. The lower back becomes a mobile to deal with the lack of mobility from the hip and then the upper back becomes stiff instead of mobile. Now when the upper back becomes Steve from sitting from our hunch position from another injury somewhere up or down the chain, then the shoulder blade doesn’t set in position properly. I remember. So these are all things we said were toe contributes to shoulder problems. So upper back, not working properly, shoulder not working properly, there’s no way my shoulder can have the mobility is requiring when the things that come before it aren’t working properly. So when I get one of exploring moving correctly, both in extension and rotation, it will allow my shoulder blade to set in place better just having my shoulder instead the muscles that control the shoulder blade, so there are some rotator cuff muscles, there are some upper back muscles. They’re just having those things work properly. We’ll allow the shoulder to be freed up and move. I’ve seen guys go from, so when I teach FMS, the standard test for shoulder mobility is basically how close can you get your hands together behind your back. So you have one hand going down your back, one hand reaching up your back. And we test for symmetry on both sides and we’re looking for less than a 10% difference. But a good rule of thumb is your hands should be so your hands should be one hand stand to one and a half gains pains apart. So most guys will have a hand is between seven and eight inches. So you’re looking for a difference that something like seven to 12 inches apart. I’ve seen guys go from like two feet apart to within that range all of them in very short period of time just working on upper back mobility. And what a surprise when they get that mobility back, my shoulder pains disappeared. I can get my hands overhead. Oh my neck feels amazing. Because we’ve actually cleared up all this stuff downstream, allowing all the highest stuff to come along nicely. So when we start looking at the way the rest of the stuff functions, so now we’ve covered an extension rotation in the upper back. We can look at extension in the neck as well. So a lot of people worry about how far forward the head can tip. So normal in the neck is you should be able to go chin to chest all the way down. And when you look up at the roof, you’ll see there’s a line, it becomes, it’s like the side of the head like this, you’ll see these line, that’s where the ear joints, you should be able to get that to almost parallel to the floor. So it’s like about 80 degrees. So I should be able to look basically straight up at the roof. I should be able to go chin to chest. And when I turned my head to either side when I turned my head to the side and drop my chin down, my chin should touch my collarbone. And again, you’ll find particularly grapplers, most grapplers you’ll find a probably an Institute inches away from that. And again, you should be symmetrical on both sides. If you’ve got, I can get my chin to my collarbone on one side and on the other side of two inches off. That’s a big difference there you’ve got a kind of corkscrew thing going on there where one side is really tight and strong and the other side is weaken and inhibited. So when we clear up the movement so a really good way to get head movement back is from a position and people call it the Sphinx position. So it’s lying on the ground but propped up on your elbows. So it’s kind of a combination of lying on the ground and being on all fours and just from that position, doing head rotations and head nods, which is just up and down. But not worrying so much about down, worrying about up. And if you look at, we’ve been lower back care. There is a school of physiotherapy called the McKenzie method. It’s basically a disc thing. So if you’ve had a disc injury, it’s a rehab methods, super-popular works really well. It’s just good general practice for jiu jitsu anyway, by see it, get yourself out of a ball and get everything arching back the other way. So getting to extension from the Sphinx position, all we need to worry about is looking up, come back, look up, come back. We tend to add in. So when you’re in the up position, you’re looking up, take a big belly breath in and out, and then just go a little bit further. Because what you’re finding is because your breath allows you to settle your body down and kind of reset your nervous system. When you breathe in and breathe out and you get just a little bit more movement and you come back and you go again, another breath in, breathe out a little bit further. And even just 10 to 20 reps, you’ll find all of a sudden your neck feels substantially better. And then we can do side to side as well. So that Sphinx position is awesome for neck stuff. So we’ve covered please by an extinction rotation we’ve covered next. Then we can talk about shoulder blade health. So we use, and I use two exercises to teach. This was actually, no, I think about it. Its a couple more than that, but two primary exercises to teach it. So a lot of people when they come in, that whole chain from grip to ability to set the shoulder wedding in position probably is not right. Like they just lost the ability to do it. If you’ve ever heard the expression of a winging shoulder blade or a winging scapula, that inability to hold the shoulder blade in position properly, the muscles around it just aren’t developed properly enough. So we tend to be from our sitting position, the muscles of the upper back become long in weight in general and we need to do some actual strength training for them. So things like supported rows, ring rows any horizontal pulling movement, the rhomboids and trap fibers to do their job and draw and control the shoulder blade. But we also need to get ourselves out of so the trapezius has got both upper lower fibers, so it’s got fibers that will shrug your shoulders, but it’s got fibers that will also pull your shoulders down. And we use the thing that I got taught by IDO portal just called an active hang and an active hang is like a reverse shot. So you have a pull up back, completely relaxed. And then basically all you do is shrug your shoulders down. So honestly straight the rest of the body stays relaxed. You pull only from the shoulder blades I had someone this morning and so we do three second holds. So a set of 10 takes you 30 seconds. And I had someone this morning and able to hang on to a pull up bar for 30 seconds and use their shoulder blades correctly. But what a surprise like after a couple of sets. So even though the sets were shorter in duration than what I wanted, magically, her shoulder pain had gone away. Well, because we’ve actually got some of these other factors involved in your shoulder pain working properly. Now you can actually just go back to having your shoulder where it probably is being reminded how to work properly again. So the active hangs really good, but then we go the other way. So a joint can have both a compression and a distraction strategy when it comes to a rehabbing it. So compression is pushing exercises, bench press, shoulder press, anything where the joint will be. You mentioned because there’s weight on it, it will become a little bit less. So the spice within joint. But then distraction strategy will be pulling exercises, hanging up, pull up bars, pull ups, rows, all these things where you actually, the joint is being opened up because the load is pulling you in the other direction basically, so if we’ve done a distraction strategy, which is the active hang, we need a compression strategy and the best place I’ve found for people to start with these scap pushups. And so this is from a plank or push up position. You actually just do a pushup by moving your shoulder blades. So the action will be to draw your shoulder blades as close together as you can and then push them as far apart as you can. So it’s protraction and retraction of your shoulder blade. Then again, like you said, with the active hang, way harder than people think it is. So it’s not unusual for us to see. People have to start on their knees for instance. And these are the people who can do pushups but they control of just that section of their bodies is so poor that we have found them on their knees. So they’re only carrying like 50% of their load compared to a pushup. And they’re still struggling to get more than one or two inches of lumen. You should be able to get your shoulder by, it’s almost touching together and then spread right out across your back. So for a normal sized guy, you probably have to fit a hand span in between the shoulder blades in that like protected position. And when they retracted, maybe only a finger or two between them, but most people can’t get that. So we start with active hangs and pushups. And so now by the time we’ve got, you know, if you’ve got someone on T spine and neck working properly, and then we’ve got active hanging the scap pushup stuff, what is stage a lot of shoulder problems have started to disappear in people. So it’s been a combination of this mobility and just getting a scapular working properly again and then we can start getting into all the normal kind of rotator cuff stuff. So all those things with arms or elbows at 90 degrees like rotations, we can do band external rotations all that kinds of people would probably very familiar with that because that’s usually the first place that a physic will go to is Hey, we’ve got to do external rotation stuff. Well maybe your rotator cuff is the problem. But quite often it’s maybe one of these other three things as well. And in my experience, unless you’ve been thrown or someone’s really yanked on your arm, particularly in that camera kind of position, it’s probably not the joint your problems are much more likely to be just your upper back. And neck movement and then the shoulder blade stuff. And once we’ve cleared that up, a lot of problems start to disappear pretty quickly. Now the weird thing about shoulders and grip, so we talked really quickly before about how you can’t have your rotator cuff function probably with actually grip active. So imagine now that, well my rotator cuff isn’t working, probably just my upper back isn’t working properly. My shoulder blades not working, probably my shoulder function as a whole has been shut down slightly. So the shoulder needs to provide a large range of motion but also actually has to provide some inherent stability at the same time, because if it’s not stable, I can produce force from that platform. So while I want my arm to move freely, I have to be able to lock it in place so I can pull and push and whenever with it, if I don’t have good shoulder stability with those other factors. But if I only have good shoulder stability, I’m going to overwork my grip. Because my hands and my shoulder health are tied together. So now some of these jiu jitus guys who particularly getting medial epicondylitis and golfer’s elbow, which I always tell my guys like, Hey, if you’ve got golfer’s elbow and you’re not playing golf, that’s kind of sad. So like if you got injured playing golf, you’re not exactly a prime specimen in health even worse if you’ve got this kind of weak ass injury from not playing golf, like are you kidding me? You got that from jiu jitsu or in the gym or whatever its sad, so don’t get that injury. And so the hand stuff, most of what I don’t do extra group work with people, so we don’t ever use straps or anything like that in training, I’ll make people actually hang on to the weights. That’s the first thing. The second phase because the grip is overworked. What happened is all those things that you grip with all the flexors run down over the inside of your elbow. If you’re looking at your hand right now, you’re looking at your hand, the inside edge of the elbow, not the outside edge, but the inside edge closest to your body that’s where you start to feel the pain. That’s all because your grip is overworked. So we can attack that just by stretching out the forms and the fingers. Particularly, I see a lot of people not worrying about stretching out the seniors anymore. So normal, we talked about normal range of motion with like shoulders and stuff like that. With your hands, you should be able to get to about 80 degrees at the wrist. And then once I put weight on it, I should be able to get into a pushup plank kind of position, no problem. So if you kind of get your hands flat on the ground with your shoulders directly above your hands, you have a flexibility issue in your forums that you need to address by stretching your fingers should be able to get to almost 90 degrees at the first knuckle. I’m looking at mine right now. And so most of mine are close, but my index finger on my left, I stupidly tried to pass someone with just one finger about five months ago and really bent my finger back quite painfully. And it’s almost better now, but I’ve got about half of the mobility on that finger that I should have. What a surprise that forearm and that elbow need constant attention at the moment just because of the extra stiffness that’s coming from that finger. So when I addressed that and I’m good my elbows are fine when I leave to be and I overwork that hand, I start getting some elbow stuff straight away. So that’s also my shoulder that is not as good as the other one. It’s the one I’ve had operated on. So you can see how like all these little things and come together to create problems for you. So stress the forums stress the fingers, and then you could actually do self-massage as well. So a lot of people tend to just rub along the muscle you actually want to get in and go across it as well. So you can put your hand on stretch. So like you’d put your hand against the wall with the fingers facing away from you and they can get just some into the like where the muscle and go across them. So scar tissue muscle fiber only runs in one direction. It runs in the direction that the thing moves. So like for instance, my quads pretty much running the same direction as my leg will move forward. So I run straight up and down my leg your shoulder, for instance, your shoulder is going to move in a bunch of different directions. But what you’ll see with your shoulders, you’ve got three different heads on your shoulder that in charge of different motions, like they’re in charge of given directions. Your hand has to move in a bunch of different directions, but the muscles that pull your palm towards you. So when I flex my hand, they’re only moving straight down your forum. Scar tissue doesn’t run in the same direction as the muscle. It’ll run it all over the place. Like crazy weeds just gone everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got scar tissue running along the muscle fibers, that’s actually okay because it’ll kind of make that a bit stronger. But you don’t want it running across muscle fibers because it will stops it contracting properly. So you want to message across the fibers to get stuck into it and it’s going to be really painful to begin with if he’s got some elbow stuff. But once you get stuck into it between the stretching, between looking after your other shoulder health stuff you’ll find that it tends to go away very quickly. I’ve seen, and this is not fight specific, but I had a string of women initially start getting weird elbow pain. I’m like, why don’t we doing like, I felt like maybe the pushups or he saw the seeing and actually what I realized was casing this is farmer walks. But when I questioned all of them, they all had neck problems and they all had shoulder problems driven by the neck. And took me ages to figure it out to me six or eight months to figure this out. It was driving me crazy because I was actually losing customers because of it. And so what I realized though was their shoulders not stable enough to deal with carrying weight and we weren’t even using super heavy weights, but I would stand up and you’d see the shoulders, like the arms would look super long because the shoulders would just pulled right out of place. So to carry the load they would just rely on the ligament structure of the shoulders to hold everything in place. So just relying on the [Inaudible 00:27:50] of what they born with rather than muscle to do the job for them. They got their neck stuff sorted out. Then we started addressing actual shoulder stability. So with the active hangs, with some other compression strategies like scap pushups and even just planks and side points are a really good strategy as well to create shoulder stability, that static hold magically, you know, the elbow pain went away. So by fixing the shoulder we actually fixed the elbow pain. So now often when I see people in particularly fight sport people and they complain about elbow pain, yeah you’ve got to, you have to get that looked after. You got to get someone to treat the pain. Otherwise it’s just going to get worse. But the cause is not the elbow. The cause is probably going to be this combination of grip and shoulder stuff and so we need to get their hands working properly we need to get the shoulders working properly again and actually out of those things, getting the shoulders working, probably again is far harder, there’s so many moving pieces to deal with when it comes to shoulders. It can be quite a slow process, but it can also be, like I said, with these guys before, I mean I went from, and they were PTIs in the army being strong dudes and we went from literally like teammate and pieces of wood, the worst shoulder mobility you could ever imagine to pain free and not bad within it was about 20 minutes total time. It was just a combination of some of the stuff’s, it’s a breathing exercise that you guys will be able to see in links as well as some of these shorter mobility stuff. And particularly looking at just how their neck and their upper back moved. The biggest increase we saw was actually from the earliest stuff. So the stuff that you look at in your lives, that’s not going to be made as to basic. And people forget. So for me, when I finished training, so after a jiu jitsu session, a lot of people just kind of pack up and go, I lie on the ground, I get into my Sphinx position, I do my neck nods, I do some head turns. I actually will do some thoracic spine rotation stuff, which you guys see there’s a couple of exercises that I’ll share with you guys and I do some bridging as well. So not on my head, but on my hands, like a backbend kind of position. And so I restore the function of my thoracic spine before I leave. That’s my actual cool down from wrestling it’s not bad to get some reps in while you’re warm. Your spine is nice and supple, but it means even the drive from some training back to work or back home to shower. You get out the counter and you feel normal, not like you normally do after wrestling. So when I say normal, like normal pre wrestling, not normal post wrestling. So if you’ve had, like a impact injury from wrestling. So someone’s trying to pull your arm off that’s a different thing. But a lot of the aches and pains people suffer. It’s simply because they’re not addressing the mobility stuff as well as they should. And particularly I find, I’ve got a message off a guy yesterday, he’s 46. He’s only just started jiu jitsu like a year and a half ago. So for people who are starting jiu jitsu, you know how rough it is. I’m telling you when you started in mid-forties. It’s like three times rougher. It’s so hard on the body and he’s doing great man like he makes it to training two or three times a week but he looks after his strength and conditioning outside and he very much looks after his mobility stuff to offset all the damage caused by wrestling. So he’s got a bunch of these exercises I’m going to show you are like daily homework. Hey, when you finish wrestling, you need to do this. This is your warm-up. This is you call down and you just, you can’t do too much of them. And at 46, he actually still moves. He’s, he’s great actually for a guy who’s only just started in his mid-forties if he sticks out it, he’ll be fantastic.
Corey Beasley [00:32:04]: Well, that’s cool. And it’s good to hear because I mean, there’s so many aging athletes, the guys that are like your age, my age and they want to keep, they want to keep playing, they want to keep competing, they want to have fun that’s their outlet. And a lot of these common aches and pains, sideline guys, it makes them inconsistent, which just really magnifies the problem over time. They try to get back into it and they haven’t truly addressed that challenge or issue. And then, it comes back or something else happens from compensation right?
Andrew Read [00:32:38]: Yeah. Well, I mean you’ve only got to look at masters worlds the BJJ worlds last year was the biggest tournament of the year and three and a half thousand competitors is the biggest conference bigger than worlds. It’s the biggest comp in the world. And this year it’ll be even bigger and so on. And there are plenty of guys who are 35 plus who still want to train hard and still compete and test themselves and whatever that I kind of feel like jiu jitsu is like jiu jitsu 2.0 now, maybe even 3.0. So, like the early jiu jitsu guys, if you’ve been around for a while, it used to be rough man. I mean I remember we had like, there were four sweeps, like that was all the possibilities they could ever be. And now you look anything we’ll actually do. It’s like about a zillion sweeps and I mean, there was closed down and there was like everything else, all as one thing. And now we’ve got closed guard, half guard I mean we’ve got so many variations and even now there was Mount, but Hey, there’s also side downS now there’s all these other options as well. And so you’re starting to see an even half guard. We have variations on half guard, we’ve got deep half guard and we got normal half and we got all these different kind of options half guard that didn’t used to be a thing that was, you locked the guy down and you tried to go back to full guard and they go on top, tried to pass. Now there’s whole systems of, I mean Damien Maia fights MMA using half guard, so there are a lot more possibilities now, but what that’s brought with it is this understanding that Hey, maybe you don’t need to bash the crap out of yourself every single time you train. I mean, you’re still going to have to fight because it’s to combat sports. So if you don’t want to fight you probably in the wrong spot, but you don’t need to go flat out every time you train. I mean it’s like, imagine you went to boxing training or kickboxing or whatever and you put the little gloves on and you put like eights on and like, full tilt sparring tonight, no head gear, let’s go. No one’s going like that. But that’s for some reason the jiu jitus guys, that’s the mentality is all because we tap, we can do that. Actually you probably not, and you’ll finally guys who do train like that, they probably get really good really quickly, but then they get really hurt and then they don’t train anymore. I’d much rather see someone train like three or four times a week at about 70 to 80% year round. They’re not at 100%, but the guy who trains at 100%. Okay. He comes five times a week, eight times a week, whatever, 100% for a month, but then he’s off for three. We go my 46 year old friend is another guy in our club who is, he’d maybe be 30, he’s like late twenties. Quite good really has a lot of passion for it. Little guy, but, but quite strong and fit for his size, always hurt. And so part of that is he’s little and he’s trying to fight as if he was bigger. Like he hasn’t learned yet to back off from things, but this idea that he’s got to go all out all the time, sometimes it’s okay to give up the position to avoid your knee getting cooked up. I mean, it isn’t these things differently, but it has been hurt twice in the last few months and he had like something else and something else. And just continual injuries like you need to learn to actually make haste slowly. I mean, it’s a weird expression, if your goal is black belt as an example, or even competing at a high level, it’s not going to happen overnight. And if you look at the way offsetting some of these injuries, we didn’t really talk about exercises like, you need to be doing three sets of 10, that external rotation to keep your shoulders healthy. That’s not like that. Maybe actually you can just keep your shoulders healthy by doing some stretching every time you train. And part of that is it’s the same mindset with training is understanding that, Hey, today’s not my day to push it. I’m not invincible. And clearly if you having more like repeat times off, cause you keep getting hurt, you’re not invincible. And usually sometimes it’s bad luck. Like my broken nose was total accident. I mean, it was a friend and, and it’s a move I’ve done a bunch of times and his reaction was actually something that no one had done before. And so it really caught me by surprise, honestly, when someone smashed me in the face with their knee. But he even said like, Oh no one’s done that sweep on me before. So it was great because I got to see what another possible reaction was. But that shouldn’t be happening all the time I shouldn’t be getting hurt like that. So you need to learn to back it off occasionally so that you can actually train more consistently. Because I would much rather be training now than have to take two or three weeks off because of broken noise. And maybe there’s always the way we’ve injuries. I was wrestling so well, like maybe like one of the best sessions on it ever had. And it’s always the way I was on fire, I felt fit. I felt strong.
Corey Beasley [00:38:21]: It happens everybody. And I think the points that you’re making I’m sure guys that have been rolling for a while that have some experience under their belt or even if they just got started and it resonates. Because people are banged up, they do get beat up, they need to take care of their bodies. And I think after time people realize that and sometimes it takes a little humble pie to make people kind of slow down and back off a little bit and realize that if they want to lasting the sport?
Andrew Read [00:38:52]: MMA is a little bit different, because MMA is only the sports side, like I don’t know anyone who trains MMA for fitness really is if you’re doing MMA for fitness and still sparring, to me that’s like it’s counterproductive. Like if all you want is to get in shape, you don’t need to let people punch you in the head. But if you’re doing MMA and you’re aspiring, there’s probably some competitive element there at some point. Like maybe you’re thinking you want to fight or because you’re a bouncer or something you want to like make sure you can go if you have to like, but there’s like a competing side to it. jiu jitsu I mean everyone goes wild over like the top competitive guys, but how many people would every school actually compete? Not that many I mean, my school is very calm, focused and we’ve got maybe 20 guys who compete out in like three or 400. So that means that everybody else’s focus is, they want to get better and I want to train hard and they want to push and all that stuff, but the end of the day they go home to their other job, the actual job, they go home to the kids. So you’ve got to put it into perspective. And maybe that’s something that comes with being a little bit older. You tend not to be as obsessive about things because you’ve realized that Hey, you know, I’m not paying my bills when I’m here and work has to come first. And there are times where I have to miss training because I’ve got clients or whatever. And as much as that’s annoying, while I’ve got to pay my rent, I’ve got to put food on the table and jiu jitsu is not doing it. So I think a lot of cases people are like, Oh, all my instructors are this, instructors a full time professional at jiu jitsu. Like it’s different for them because actually how serious they are that jiu jitsu is 100% of how they make their money. And they forget that when you finish class. So they may finish class and do another class, but they get to sleep until 10:00 or 11:00 o’clock tomorrow morning because they don’t have to do anything early. But you know what I mean? Like their life is different to yours. You’ve got to go home to the kids, put the kids to bed, get up for work tomorrow morning, work all day tomorrow, all bruised and battered and then go train again. It’s very different if you’re not a full time competitor slash jiu jitsu school learner or MMA fighter or whatever. So people need to learn to keep things in perspective. And I mean, fighters are one thing. It’s really apparent with runners. I train a lot of runners as well and they’ll have, Oh I’ve got this stress fracture in my foot, but I just sort of go and get like five kilometers in. You have a broken, running five kilometers, but jiu jitsu is the same, right? Like, I broke my right hand, I’ll just use my left hand. I’ll keep it out of the way and plenty of guys do that and there are times where you can get away with it, but other times all you’re doing is setting yourself back. I always tell people, if you were mad enough to hurt yourself in the first place, because you were disciplined enough to train hard and you were tough enough to trying to fight your way out of a bad position or whatever and you got hurt being man enough to do the rehab don’t brush it off. And the same goes for this kind of preventative stuff that we were talking about. If you’ve got stuff sorted out yourself, because if you go see a doctor’s, he’s first reaction is going to be, I want to catch your open probably surgeons cut things. That’s what they do. And that’s not a slight on surgeons. And especially if I go see a surgeon, I’m probably looking for a surgical fix because I’ve tried everything else. But in a lot of cases, these shoulder, elbow and hand things can be sorted out just on your own. It’s just you’re going to have to take some responsibility and do some work done. And if you want to be in the sport long-term, like when you look at guys like the guys had been around for a long time they’d had stuff, I guaranteed I’ve had stuff. And they sort of there because if they didn’t, they wouldn’t still be doing it.
Corey Beasley [00:42:52]: Yeah, for sure. Well, I think the stuff that you got, you walked us through and I know a lot of the other information that you’re can share with and some stuff like that, it’s going to help a lot of people. You know, guys who will definitely gathered up those videos and articles and stuff like that. Resources that Andrew’s going to provide and put those down below. Andrew for people that are wanting to reach out and learn more about you and what you’re doing, what’s the best way for them to find you?
Andrew Read [00:43:19]: Andrew Read on Facebook, so you’ll find my page it’s like a fitness pro page. So Andrew Read, and then just my website, Read PT.com.
Corey Beasley [00:43:32]: Andrew. Thanks so much. I appreciate the info. I know a lot of guys are going to love it. We definitely stay in touch though. Thank you so much.
Andrew Read [00:43:40]: No problem. Corey.