Learning to communicate with your body

If you've been following my Instagram ( @dave_hedges ) you'll see me sharing videos from BJJ athlete Silvia


Silvia has been on a journey


She could be considered one of the more complex cases I've been fortunate enough to work with.


Without going into detail and giving away personal information about Silvia, but there was a time when she and her body seemed to be at war with each other.


Constant pain.

Frequent injuries


Particularly around the knees, including needing surgery on the MCL


Last month we met up, a rare occurrence with the whole Covid situation.


In this meeting we did some catching up, in which she talked about an aspect of her game she is struggling to improve 8n, and the she feels her squat is "stuck"


Yesterday she sent me this:



That's not a stuck squat!!


What this is, is an athlete no longer at war with their body.

No longer trying to force their body to do shit it doesn't want to (this is the path to injury)


What we have here is an athlete working with their body.


This line of communication between the body and mind can sometimes need an interpreter.

This is why we do assessment work, the assessment finds where the communication breaks down and attempts to restore it.


In Silvia's case, when we reminded her hip how to internally rotate, abduct and flex all in rhythm, in a nice coordination with the flexion and external rotation of the knee, while centering her weight into the foot tripod.....


How complicated does that all sound???


It's called "Suspension" or "Pronation mechanics" and it's something almost every person I meet struggles with.


In this single case study, Silvia went from an asymmetric, wobbling quarter squat before we did suspension work on one leg only.

To a full resting squat and a look of utter disbelief and suprise on both her face and mine.

In under 10 minutes


In the weeks since, she has done the work to make this movement permanent.


And then sent me that photo.


It's incredible how sophisticated the body is.

It's also incredible how simply we can make it.

Once we simplify it, we can optimise the relationship between the driver and the body.

No forcing, more like asking permission.


Once this relationship is established, the subtle movements that remind the body how it likes to move can be utilised

And then the stuff you want it to do becomes not just possible, but pleasurable


You can follow Silvia's progress on her Instagram @silviascomparin and her BJJ school @junglebjjdublin


Regards

Dave Hedges

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