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Listen To Your Body Podcast 370 Mobility for Strength Training w Dr. Jen Hosler

Mobility for Strength Training w/ Dr. Jen Hosler

There is a huge need for more understanding of movement and mobility regarding fitness in general. While injuries are impossible to avoid, the idea that our bodies just fall apart as we get older has been normalized, to the point of, detriment. By providing yourself with the necessary tools and knowledge, you can keep your joints healthy to continue to do the things you love at any age.

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Key Takeaways

If You Want to Improve Your Mobility, You Should:

  1. Start with a daily movement routine to ensure you are hitting your full range of motion
  2. Remember that mobility work is strength training, just with a different focus
  3. Get an assessment to understand your limitations and where your training should go

Connecting With Your Body With Dr. Jen Hosler

Dr. Jen Hosler is a physiotherapist and trainer who is passionate about helping women cultivate healthy behaviors and discover how simple it can be to live a healthy life, without stress. Building strong joints and tissue through mobility practices is the tool Jen uses to help her clients avoid injury, recover better, and connect with their bodies from the inside out.

Healthy Joints = Healthy Life

For many people, concerns around pain or injury in their lower back and neck stop them from achieving their health goals. Jen wants to challenge you to look beyond your regular fitness routine and incorporate some mobility practices that will target your joints and focus on your strength from the inside out to feel better and get stronger. 

Life will find a way to put every difficult position in front of you. This is why you should expose yourself to these movements now so that your body can be prepared for them when you are faced with them.

Making Your Mobility a Priority

Mobility work is like the brushing and flossing of your teeth, but for your joints. Mobility work can help you maintain and improve your range of motion, get necessary nutrients in and out of your joints, and help you gain body control and body awareness. Mobility is not something that you can just ignore, and the benefits you will receive from starting now instead of tomorrow will have a huge impact on your ability to take your health to the next level.

Don’t just accept that your body will start to fall apart as you age. You owe it to yourself to connect with your body and see the return on your investment in your health.

Are you ready to start prioritizing your mobility? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.

In This Episode

  • Common challenges women face as they age and how specific mobility training could help (8:25)
  • How to navigate fear surrounding a past injury or hurting yourself through mobility (15:10)
  • Addressing the polarization between mobility and nutrition in your day to day life (22:01)
  • Examples of how to properly move your body during mobility work exercises (30:35)
  • Why you should adopt a new attitude when it comes to how your body is aging (40:43)

Quotes

“I really realized that the place that I can have the most impact, is helping people continue to still do the things that they love.” (4:12)

“We need to load and off-load the joint to flush junk out and get good stuff in. You can take all of the supplements you want, but if you are not moving your full range of motion, you are never going to get there.” (17:49)

“I am really lucky that I started to learn the importance of these things and addressing my limitations early on because most people don’t realize until they are 40 or 50 and have a major injury.” (26:04)

“Most people don’t realize that mobility work eventually looks like strength training, or it is strength training, it is just with a different focus in mind. (28:30)

“It is not necessarily your fault that you didn’t have the right information, but it is your responsibility to address the things when your body is talking to you.” (41:43)

Featured on the Show

Dr. Jen Hosler Website

Movement Upgrade Mobility Classes

Follow Jen on Instagram

Apply for Strength Nutrition Unlocked

Support the Podcast

Get 20% off Legion Supplements with code STEPH

Follow Steph on Instagram

Rate and review on Apple Podcasts

Related Episodes

Ep 265: Why Strength Training Can Help Your Body and Mind with Dr. Jen Hosler

Ep 362: Sports Injury Rehab and Returning to Lifting with Dr. Leada Malek

Mobility for Strength Training w/ Dr. Jen Hosler

Steph Gaudreau
If you’re an athletic 40, something woman who loves lifting weights, challenging yourself, and doing hard shit, the Fuel Your Strength podcast is for you. You’ll learn how to eat, train, and recover smarter. So you build strength and muscle, have more energy, and perform better in and out of the gym. I’m strength nutrition strategist and weightlifting coach, Steph Gaudreau. The Fuel Your Strength podcast dives into evidence-based strategies for nutrition training and recovery. And why once you’re approaching your 40s and beyond, you need to do things a little differently than you did in your 20s. We’re here to challenge the limiting industry narratives about what women can and should do in training and beyond. If that sounds good, hit subscribe on your favorite podcast app, and let’s go.

Steph Gaudreau
Hey, Jen, welcome back to the show.

Dr. Jen Hosler
Hey Steph, I’m excited to be the first guest on your new podcast name.

Steph Gaudreau
You are the first! Yeah. This is the very first official episode of the Fuel Your Strength podcast and I’m so happy that it is with a returning guest because you were on the show a little over two years ago.

Dr. Jen Hosler
Was it that long ago?

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, I had to. I had to look back, it was episode 265. So that was over 100 episodes ago.

Dr. Jen Hosler
That’s a lot. That’s a lot of podcast episodes, which is really cool. You’ve been around and on social media for quite a while.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, we’re in the 370s, now.

Dr. Jen Hosler
Wow, congratulations. That’s a lot of information.

Steph Gaudreau
It is. And at the same time, sometimes I look back and think there still there’s still so much we could talk about. And it’s really a pleasure to be able to bring people like you back on the show. Because much like myself, you’ve had a bit of an evolution kind of a pivoting a refinement, I guess of what you’re offering. And when you came on the show back then it was ‘why strength training can help your body and mind’. And I know that your mission is really helping people get mobile and strong so that they can stay active without injuries or pain holding them back. And I feel like that’s in the same vein, but you’ve taken a bit of a different trajectory in the last little bit. So can you fill us in on what has shifted for you and your business?

Dr. Jen Hosler
Yeah, so I feel like when I first started a lot of social media, I think I had a ton of impostor syndrome to talk about anything movement-related and mobility-related and rehab-related. I think that was my biggest hesitation. So I was doing a lot of all of that in my actual job. So I was like working full time as a physical therapist. But I felt one I was just like super passionate about like, hey, women need to lift back then like, like, that was something that I kept seeing as a problem in the clinic. And then things in general, I just felt like the fitness industry had it. We just were all doing that work. I feel like you’re doing the work. We’re trying to get women to lift to know how to strength train to fuel themselves to recover. Well, that’s like your entire what you do. And so when I was originally going through it, I was like, Okay, well, this is what I feel comfortable talking about the most. And in the movement world. Sometimes there are a lot of trolls and arguments and negativity around things.

Dr. Jen Hosler
So if you say something like people just attack you for like, oh, I don’t know, like you need 13 different research studies to back up everything you say, or that’s not correct or whatever. And so I had a lot of like, fear of talking about that, for those reasons. And I had when I first started talking about some of that, but I just kind of like didn’t entertain some of those people. And luckily, my community is amazing. And I don’t have that very often at all, which I love. So I started to really realize that the place where I can have the most impact is helping people still do the things that they love. So like, I keep continuing to see people even in the clinic and people I work with, they fail or I guess rehab, traditional rehab kind of fails them or they just don’t get what they need out of it and or just people keep getting injured or have this nagging pain that like holds them back. And like if my overarching goal is to get more people active and like help change the fitness industry. This is like the one thing specifically that I can do that still achieves that thing. And so I think part of it is just like learning a little bit about myself which entrepreneurship kind of makes you do. And I know that you know that too. And then the other part was just getting comfortable and realizing that I know more than I was like sharing and so I had to kind of learn that and unpack a lot of that, and the more I worked with people, the more comfortable I felt like sharing a lot of that information. And now I’m like, wow, there’s a huge need for an understanding of movement and mobility, when it comes to, like fitness in general. And so now that’s like all that I talk about. And so it’s really fun. So I’ll still like sprinkle some of the old like lifting things in there and things like that because it still is important to me. But the majority of my time is spent, making sure that people have the tools they need to keep their joints healthy so that they continue to do the things they love.

Steph Gaudreau
Which is so important. And I know that we, we talk a lot behind the scenes, in DMS sometimes and, you know, we’ve talked a lot on this show about the great things and the terrible things about social media, and I very much relate to what you were saying about, you know, you have this, this knowledge, and we know it’s good quality information, and we’re not just making shit up. And at the same time, you just have this sort of, I guess, energetic, like, Oh, if I put this out here, and like you said, a lot of people, they do want to kind of come in and argue and you’re like, I just want to help people I don’t want to argue. And that’s really frustrating. So and it can take a, it takes lot of sort of courage and, and also, like you said, realizing that people out there really need this, and the ones who need it are going to hopefully be helped by it. But that can be such a huge, huge barrier. I think for a lot of people. And I definitely relate to that. So if anyone out there is listening, and in a similar situation, like you’re totally not alone, in that.

Dr. Jen Hosler
And then also, if you reach out to people who are doing that, and you feel like they figured it out, they didn’t it’s like something that constantly happens. But like you start to kind of like learn how to deal with it. And then I found that one of the most helpful things ever was when I would message people like Steph, and we were talking about it, and other people are dealing with it. And so it’s definitely something that is really helpful to find other people in the industry, especially online because people in the real world do not understand what people who do things online do. And so finding an online community has been so helpful for me. Personally, I think probably you would agree with that, too. So reach out to people, if that’s you.

Steph Gaudreau
Absolutely, absolutely. So recently, you put up a post, and I think you know, now that this show is I really want to help other women who are sort of around my age, you know, we’re sort of like getting out of our 30s into our 40s. And we’re like, okay, stuffs gonna be changing. You know, we hear about things like osteoporosis and sarcopenia. And we don’t necessarily think that those things are going to be hitting us immediately. I mean, in some cases, people younger people are dealing with those things. But we tend to think of them as something and in the decades to come. And yet, there are a lot of women who I know listen to this show who are just like, wow, my body just doesn’t feel like it used to feel. And recently you had this post, and the title of this of the cover, the cover slide was getting old or lack of specific mobility training. So I would love for you to kind of walk us through what you start to see maybe with some of your clients in the clinic or with the people you’ve worked with online, that are some of the challenges that people are running into.

Steph Gaudreau
As we’re getting into maybe 40s And beyond that we think are like we’re like, oh, it was just getting us getting older. But is it really that? Is it a combination of things like what do you see?

Dr. Jen Hosler
Yeah, for sure. I feel like this is something that you’ll probably agree with, in general, I feel like the 40s and 50s are definitely when our habits and like kind of lifestyles tend to catch up with us. So and I know that everybody loves to say like, Oh, everybody in their like 40s or everybody in the 30s deals with this. Like I keep seeing memes a lot about 30 probably because that’s I’m turning 30 this year. And so like as I see these things, it’s like oh, yeah, suddenly, when you’re 30 like you sneeze and your neck is jacked up for three days. And I understand memes and I understand all of the like humor as a coping mechanism. My total like That’s exactly how I am. I think it’s important for us to relate. I think that injuries are super common and injuries are impossible to avoid, we cannot prevent them. They are part of being human, you’re gonna experience pain and injuries. Something that I feel has become too normalized is that our body just falls apart as we get older. And I know that you can agree with that. I know that you also preach that like as we get older, our habits haven’t caught up with us. And one of the things that I think happens that I see a lot is we don’t really do anything in fitness to directly target our joints. So most of the fitness is focused on maybe your endurance, maybe your strength for some people. It’s actually like the red muscle tissue. So like we’re thinking about like, yeah, let’s grow our muscle, and originally, it’s actually like I want to shrink myself.

Dr. Jen Hosler
But then we get to the point where we’re like, Okay, actually, maybe I want to grow and put on muscle, but it’s still very like external focused. And nothing is really paid attention to our joints or our white stuff. So like our ligaments or things like that. And by the time we get to be 40-50, and maybe even older our joints have kind of lost some range of motion. And even if you’re doing fitness, where you’re kind of going into a deep squat, or you’re lifting in your full range of motion, there are movements, you’re just not exposing yourself to on a regular basis, just because that’s not the point of fitness, right? Like, that’s not the goal. And so by the time we get to be 40, or 50, that’s when stuff starts to kind of catch up with us. And the biggest thing that I would say that I, that I would say that I often see is spine-related things. And so I feel like that’s kind of the biggest thing, it’s the most common thing. It’s also the most, I would not say detrimental, but like the biggest barrier for a lot of people in the fitness industry is low back and neck related stuff happening to them.

Dr. Jen Hosler
And if you look at fitness, what things are we doing to actually address our spines, so our spines or joints, and we basically live in neutral in lifts. So this doesn’t mean you need to go out and start lifting with a rounded back on a regular basis, it just means maybe we need to start paying attention to incorporating some sort of mobility or movement, targeting our joints focusing on the deep stuff inside out. And two things happen. When we start doing that one, we start to feel better. And we start to realize, okay, wow, I’m actually addressing a lot of stuff I haven’t been addressing. And number two, actually, we get a little bit stronger when we start working from things on the inside out. So that’s typically kind of the biggest thing that I see is probably just our lack of attention to our joints as we get older. And then specifically spine-related stuff, probably.

Steph Gaudreau
When you posted your video doing the Jefferson curl, did that break your Instagram?

Dr. Jen Hosler
I think because my community is so used to me just like saying things they’ve been around for a while I haven’t hit like this massive growth rate of a bunch of new people in probably the last like, couple of years because I was really like quiet on social media last year because I finally moved to a house and that was like taking over my life. And it was really fun. But no, it didn’t. I was kind of glad it didn’t like to spiral into something. But I know that those, typically, do tend to be a more unpopular thing. I think for two reasons. One, it just like didn’t hit a bunch of people who aren’t used to my content. But two, I think the Jefferson curl has become a little bit more normalized, and we’re doing a better job at being like, ‘hey, maybe we need to move our spines and pay attention to that. So I personally might be in, I would say like, you know how the algorithm keeps you in corners of the internet, my corners of the Internet are like very, oh, we’re gonna pay attention to the spine. And so I see a lot of like, approaches towards Jefferson curls, maybe throwing them in too early, but we are starting to normalize it a little. So luckily, I didn’t have that happen. But I was a little concerned that it would when I posted that for sure.

Steph Gaudreau
For anyone who’s not familiar with what Jefferson curl is, can you describe it.

Dr. Jen Hosler
So the like, what a Jefferson curl really is, is just loaded spine flexion in a vertical position with a load. That’s it, it’s just rounding your back. So the actual exercise is usually utilizing some form of weight. Either in your hands, I like to do the Zerker hold, which just looks cooler. Also, I like the position better than holding my barbell down by my feet. Because it’s easier to set up. You don’t need to be in a box. But for most people, when they set up, they’re standing on a box. So they’re up tall, they have the barbell and in the front of their legs, and they just start with their chin and they’re rounding their back slowly, one segment at a time all the way down. The ones they get to the full rounded position, they’re returning back by finding their hamstrings, tucking their tailbone, and rounding their spine all the way back up. So that’s how a Jefferson curl typically should be done. A lot of people just kind of fall forwards and then stand back up. And it’s not intentional. But that’s essentially the gist of a Jefferson curl.

Steph Gaudreau
Which to a lot of people can look really scary because in movement or in strength training, like there are certain sorts of things that have become gospel dogma, I don’t like its label around your spine. Yeah, don’t ever let your spine be rounded. And of course, that’s contextual and nuanced. But there’s this thing where it’s like, oh, my gosh, if I feel any part my back has musculature and if I feel start to feel anything in my lower back, it must mean I’m hurting myself. And when people have that history, right, maybe they do have a back injury or something like how do you help people with mobility? I guess, kind of, navigate those spaces where they have fear around a particular past injury or a fear of hurting themselves. When you talk about it all the time, you can only mitigate risks, but we can’t prevent things from happening 100%. So how do you help people navigate that space through mobility?

Dr. Jen Hosler
That’s like 90% of my job, I feel like maybe not 90%. But a good portion of my job is like, de-educating, which might not be the right word but helping people relearn things and learn to think for themselves a little bit about things rather than just take statements and run with them. A lot of the fitness industry has done this fear-mongering around movement. So don’t let your knees ever travel past your toes, your knees need to travel past your toes, if you’re going to go downstairs if you’re going to sit on a toilet like they’re going to have to do that they already do that. And so maybe you think they shouldn’t do that with the load. But again, you’re still loading your knees on a regular basis. And the whole point of strength training is to load yourself so that you build a capacity, not the whole point. But a big part of it for injury reduction is to load your tissues so they get stronger, so then you have a higher capacity. So it’s harder for you to get injured, it takes a lot more for you to get injured than if you were not to strength train, those tissues are not very strong, then it takes a little bit less load to actually injure you. So part of strength training is to load you in positions so that you’re stronger there.

Dr. Jen Hosler
So if we are afraid of positions, then are we avoiding them all the time in our daily lives, and we’re not because we can’t and that’s just silly to think that. Same with rounding your back, it’s very much never round your back, don’t round your back under load especially, and never rotate and round your back under load. But you know what, if you’re a human you pay attention to it, I posted a real about this, like a while back showing different spine movements and then showing how we do them in our daily lives and what they’re needed for and like side bending, we need if we’re going to pick up alike, I don’t know, what a suitcase on the ground. And we’re going to need to be able to do that. And a lot of fitness industry is like no, the spine needs to resist movement only just resist movement and stay in neutral. And the hard part with that is one, you do need to resist movement for sure you don’t want the movement to happen if it’s gonna happen, but to the way that our joints stay healthy is through movement through their full ranges of motion, because in one position, part of my joints getting loaded and other positions, other parts are getting loaded in the way that we keep, like joints healthy and get good nutrients in and out of the joint because our blood flow doesn’t actually go into the joint is through pressure gradient through movement. So we need to load and offload the joint to like flush junk out and then offload to get junk, not junk, but like good stuff, in so you can take all the conjoint nor supplements you want if you’re not actually moving through a full range of motion, you’re not going to get there.

Dr. Jen Hosler
And then the second part is if you never expose yourself to those movements, prior to when you do on a regular daily life experience you’re not building the strength and capacity there. So the thing that I do with most people is kind of show them that and like you’re already doing this on a regular basis. For most of my clients, I build a really strong amount of trust with them. So when I start to debunk things, I don’t get a lot of pushback, which I love. I love it if any of my clients are listening to me, I love you all because you’re so great for that. There will be an occasional person who will talk to me about that. But the other thing I present is that the research doesn’t support that there’s one perfect position to do certain things. And the actual research for movement shows that the people who have the most variability, the most options, most different ways of doing movement have the least injuries and perform the best. So those are kind of the two ways that I work through that with people, if they’ve had a prior injury, this is where things get a little more complicated. Because we have that fear, we’re like, Well, I got injured in that position. So now I’m terrified to go back into that position because I might get re-injured. And I go back to the whole load management example. So like we want to build tissue capacity, so you’re strong in that position.

Dr. Jen Hosler
Because why it’s gonna put you there just like I’m trying to think of a good example right now. But if you’ve like injured your shoulder reaching your arm behind your back doing something, and like you had a pop, and then it was super painful, like are you never going to be able to reach your arm behind your back again? Or should we not slowly expose you to be able to do that. And it’s kind of the same for every other joint. It’s just making sure we do so in a way that the body is prepared for it. And rehab is just taking you from a different point than training is training is like adding load you’re stronger, you’re slowly progressing rehab just adding load progressing you slowly it’s just a different starting point. And so once I usually tell them that and then we’re kind of working through things, we make sure that things are not painful when I’m working on like working in that position with them. And then they start to realize and build trust in their body again, and then I’m like, Okay, so now we’re gonna add a little bit of load and then they’re like, oh, okay, so this was okay. And so that’s just kind of where we are. So that is typically what I do with people. And that was like a very long-winded answer to your question.

Dr. Jen Hosler
But it’s a very important thing to note that like, just because you got injured in a position doesn’t mean that position was bad, it just means your body was not prepared for the load in that position. And so I’ll usually also tell people, we’re not only going to re-expose you to that position, I’m going to expose you with more load. So now you’re even stronger than you were before, which is, I think, something that’s missing in a lot of rehabs, in general.

Steph Gaudreau
Absolutely. I appreciate your answer to that. And I think it’s going to be really helpful as people are thinking about those sorts of things. Because yes, like, we start to, you know, like, oh, yeah, I shouldn’t ever, like reach behind me in that way. Or it just, you know, I love this, why I love what you do is because you are one of the very same voices out there that are like, Well, no, we should be able to kind of, you know, to get you back to doing these things. And that’s not necessarily the way you want to go about your life.

Steph Gaudreau
On that note, you know, social media, of course, allows for a lot of polarized opinions, and a lot of very binary like, you know, this is, this is the best or This is terrible. And there is a lot of chitter-chatter about all sorts of things. Of course, I see it with nutrition. You see it, I’m sure a lot when it comes to mobility, but there are kind of these two very loud camps of voices. One is that like, mobility work is useless. You don’t need it, it’s a waste of time. The other is like, you know, you’d spend hours and hours doing mobility work such that when is the average person who has a job, a family, hobbies, other shit they want to do in their day? How are they supposed to fit that in along with the workout they want to do? So you have the spirit to kind of polarized camps? Where do you stand on that? And how would you talk the listener through it? Like, how do we address mobility in the day-to-day?

Dr. Jen Hosler
Yeah, for sure. This is kind of nuanced. It’s actually something I care a lot about. And I’m constantly thinking about, and Ryan, my husband, and I, we take walks regularly, I swear, those are like, probably some of my best times ever, just like our regular walks. And I will talk a lot about this of how like, I’m very conscientious of like, I don’t want to be another voice adding another barrier to the fitness industry of, you’re not doing this right, or you need to add this or it’s not the perfect workout, right? And I think we get we fall in that line, a lot of like, oh, well, here’s all these checklists. And I’m not covering all of them. And so I try really hard, which I have way too many words in my captions because of it. But I try really hard to make sure we realize that like, mobility isn’t like this V thing. And I don’t want somebody to be like, Why can’t move because I need to work on mobility. But I also want people to realize that like, we can’t just ignore it. And clearly, it’s something that is important to be incorporating. And the more that I work on things like that with myself, the more I’m like, Okay, I’m actually going to work on this more because I’m getting a ton of ROI for my other efforts.

Dr. Jen Hosler
Like I’m getting more ROI for my strength training efforts, the better mobility I have, and the better control I have, I don’t expect anybody else to be that same way that’s just like me, I fall in love with hard things. So, but I wasn’t that way when I first started. So everything is kind of like a level or like a stepwise fashion. When I first started doing mobility work, it was just the bare minimum. And normally when I work with people, we start with the bare minimum. So if you were to look at my Instagram, and you see all of these different exercises and all this information, just know that everybody that I work with starts with the basic foundation, which is a daily movement routine, it is taking your joints through their full range of motion, it’s very simple, it takes five to 10 minutes. And I’ll always revert to that when people will say these things up.

Dr. Jen Hosler
Well, like how much mobility do I need to be doing and, you know, like your workouts are this and that. And I show my workouts for example in the demo. And also just to remind you that like I’m in whatever arena doing this stuff, too, but like I am a little excessive or extreme because of my knowledge. And because I’ve been doing it for so long. Most people just need to do C.A.R.S. on a regular basis. And C.A.R.S. is the daily movement routine that I teach everybody. It stands for controlled articular rotations. Everybody that I work with, especially the middle-aged dads, like both of our parents will be like yeah, I did my C.A.R.S.and trucks today as I did. I did my like whatever BMW today like they just like make jokes about it. But that is like the foundation of everybody’s that they work with. So we start with that. And like I said, once you first learn it, it’s probably going to take you a little bit longer, but they are the way that I explained them is just the brushing and flossing of your teeth for your joints. It’s just like, do you even pay attention to your joints on a regular basis? Like are you doing anything to address them? If not, then let’s make sure we start with maintenance mode and that’s what C.A.R.S. are.

Dr. Jen Hosler
They are going to maintain your range of motion. They’re going to get nutrients in and out of your joint because they said earlier we don’t get blood flow in there. So even if you take those supplements, they’re not going to get into your joint unless you’re loading and offloading all of them moving them through their full range of motion. And they’re also going to start with body control and body awareness. I can’t start all with all these crazy mobility exercises with you if you don’t even know how to move your shoulder without your spine helping. So like, you need to learn how to connect with your shoulder connects with your spine, connect with your neck. And for a lot of people, depending on their lives, we don’t get very far past that, because they don’t have a ton of goals to do all of these crazy things with their bodies, they just want to feel good in their bodies and keep doing whatever it is that they want. Some people will move past that, and they’ll be able to do more, but some people don’t. And it’s just where you are, where your goals are. And some people will be like, oh, I’m fine, we’ll just do the C.A.R.S. and then something pops up. And then they’ll be like, Okay, now I know, I need to make mobility more of a priority. And I said this, not too long ago, actually, on my walks with Ryan, my husband and I said that I’m really lucky that I started to learn the importance of these things and addressing my limitations early on.

Dr. Jen Hosler
Because most people don’t realize it until they’re 40 or 50 and have a major injury. And they’re like, okay, now that I’ve missed my lifting and fitness, and I’ve gone through this identity crisis, and I’ve gone through all of these things. Now I know and you’ll see this, I see this happen a lot in the fitness industry and the entire, like the trajectory of how they present information will change. And all of a sudden, it’s like mobility needs to be part of your like rehab journey or your journey in general and fitness. And so I’m really lucky that I grew up with a ton of injuries and a bunch of issues that I had to kind of take care of it early, or I was in like I was in chronic pain for a lot of time of my life. And so I think that’s probably why that I’m so focused on it, somebody who has gone down injuries is going to know, these are certain things when they work with somebody like myself, these are certain things I need to incorporate and include and be working on because I know my body, so they’re gonna have like maybe a little bit more of their workouts dedicated to mobility. But that doesn’t mean yours need to or that doesn’t mean anybody else’s, it’s going to be case by case. So I’d say the amount of time you need to spend on it depends on what you’ve done so far, like how well you know your body.

Dr. Jen Hosler
And like where your goals lie, if you’re in a position of being in a lot of pain, trying to rehab something, you’re probably going to have to dedicate more of your time towards it. Because again, we’re all limited on our time, you can’t, I don’t know very many people were like, yeah, I spend like 90 minutes to two hours in the gym on a daily basis, like five days a week where I can get my hour of lifting in and my like 30 minutes of like specific mobility training. So that’s just not the case for most people. So most people are going to have to shift what’s important, and what is there gonna prioritize. And then for a general person who’s like, I like fitness, I don’t have a ton of mobility problems that maybe have a nagging injury, we might make a hybrid. So their strength training program might not look like a traditional strength training program, but it might be half traditional lifts and half mobility work. And they may, that’s only going to be if they’ve like gone through C.A.R.S., learn their limitations worked all these things and progress into it.

Dr. Jen Hosler
And those are going to be people who, when you look at their program, that you’re going to be like, Wait, this, this looks like mobility and strength training separate but together, and I don’t really understand it. And most people don’t realize that mobility work eventually looks like strength training, or it is strength training, it’s just with a different focus in mind, we’re kind of focusing on the internal structures and moving them out. So sometimes it’s like making more joint space or getting a better range of motion. And so it’s still strength training, it’s still hard, it just doesn’t look the same as traditional strength training, because traditional strength training is focused so outward. So again, another very long-winded answer to your question, but it’s a very important thing to delineate. And note that like, there’s no perfect way to incorporate mobility. And it’s definitely like, the first thing that I will always say is where are you in your journey of mobility work? Like if you’re new, we’re gonna start with C.A.R.S.

Steph Gaudreau
I love that. And I appreciate the nuance in your answers. And it’s one of the reasons why I love you so much. Is because I get it. I know, someone asked a simple question, that seems simple on the surface, this happens with monotonous regularity to me on social media where they ask a simple question, which is fine, but then in my mind, I’m like, I’m going to run out of room trying to explain this in in the comment section. So perhaps this needs to be a podcast episode because I think there is. It’s easy again to spit out these little, you know, sound bites, and sometimes we do those things but then underneath it, there’s always a discussion. And so that’s one of the things I appreciate. I you know, when you were started talking about C.A.R.S., this is one of those things where I feel like people are like, Yeah, I’m doing my C.A.R.S. And then when you see them moving, you’re like, Okay, wow, wait something is amiss.

Steph Gaudreau
And I know that most people are going to be listening to this. So we’re going to have to maybe verbally talk through it. But are you in a place where you can sort of giving us a little bit of a quick demo about maybe like your, your 101 level of like, what is? What would be a C.A.R. for maybe your shoulder? And how does that like, how do we want to move our bodies and we’re doing this, you kind of said, like, know, we don’t want our spine to be the helper here. But can you talk us through what that looks like or feels like when somebody should be doing it?

Dr. Jen Hosler
Yeah, for sure. So one of the ones I like to do is actually shoulder blade movements because they’re pretty easy to describe and conceptualize. And then they’re the really good ones that most people like have zero awareness of, and they’ll use their spines a lot. And it’s a great example. And I love using it also, because, in fitness, we kind of give certain cues, depending on the movement. And if you’re doing a C.A.R., and you can’t control your shoulder blades, and then all of a sudden, now we’re adding load, and we’re trying to do things when we chew things. If you can’t move your shoulder blade without your spine without weight, you’re not going to be able to magically do it when we add weight. And that’s kind of one of the biggest things that I see as a downfall in fitness and like in people trying to translate mobility drills, and they’re like, just add weight, and then suddenly, you’ll be able to lift your arms overhead or something like that. And like if you can’t do it without weight, adding weight will automatically cut your range of motion off. So if you’re able to suddenly do it with weight, it’s with compensations. Like, that’s kind of the general gist.

Dr. Jen Hosler
That’s why I like C.A.R.S. because they’re always like the first line of my assessment and anybody I work with and kind of going back to your last question I did want to add that like C.A.R.S. is where I start with everybody. And then anybody who wants to do any other mobility work needs an assessment, you have to know what your limitations are. And then you have to know what you want to be able to do. And so that’s just like a little note and reminder if you’re listening to this, and you’re like, Okay, well, where do I go from C.A.R.S., it’s going to definitely be assessment is required. And sometimes you can do some self-assessments. And some of the stuff that I do in my construct classes or I have on my social media will be like this is a great assessment example to like know if this is a limitation for you. But you need that information to know where you’re gonna go beyond just C.A.R.S.

Dr. Jen Hosler
But back to C.A.R.S., definitely one of the things that I see the most is people being like, Yeah, I’m definitely doing C.A.R.S. And two things happen when they say that, one, there’s always going to be some variation of me working with them and assessing them and being like you’re doing what you think is a car. But the point of a C.A.R. is only the one joint that you’re moving shouldn’t be moving. And almost everybody does not know that or have that awareness or even know how to assess themselves when they record themselves. It took me years to learn this and I’m getting sore finding that skill. So they’re usually using some other joint that’s helping them. And then the second thing is going to be people will push through certain sensations that they shouldn’t be because it is joint jamming together, or it is going to be not ideal. And that is going to be something like a pinch on the closing angle side of a joint. So I’m going to show you shoulder blades, but shoulder blades, you don’t normally have the pinch, an example of like a pinch would be if you were tilting your ear right here towards your right shoulder, there’s going to be an angle your shoulder and neck make on the right side that will be a closing angle on the left side that angle is opening when you are doing a movement, you should not feel anything on the closing side.

Dr. Jen Hosler
So I should not feel anything on the right side of my neck. If I do that is a pinch. And if we’re doing C.A.R.S., we would not want to push through that the only thing I should feel is maybe some opening stretching stuff. In general for movement. That’s like a rule of thumb. And this is something I see a lot and like squats, the closing angle side for the hip and a squat is the front of your hip. If you feel pinching there, we should not be going that deep, or we should be altering the squat. So you’re not pushing into that that is a joint set like a joint issue saying, hey, something’s going on here, you should probably get this assessed, or at least just don’t push into it. So those are the two things that I see. So let’s go through what a shoulder blade car should feel like, I’ll kind of coach you through it, you won’t be able to see me but you’ll be able to feel some of those things. So what we’re going to start with is just our arms resting by our side. This is like the first step C.A.R.S. can be done a lot of different variations in different positions, we’re just going to do the easiest one, you want to think about your shoulder blades moving on your spine. So you think about your shoulder blades, visualize them on your back on your ribcage, you’re gonna move those shoulder blades up towards your ears as far as you can.

Dr. Jen Hosler
While they’re up, we’re going to make sure our neck is not moving up or down. While they’re up. We’re going to bring them forward. So keep them up as high as we can reach them forward. Make sure our arms are not leading the way so your arms are still resting in your lap. While they’re forward. Bring them down away from your ears. So make as much distance between your shoulder blades and your ears as possible. While they’re down. Start to bring them back and we’re going to try to keep them away from our ears and squeeze them back together as far as possible. Here is where our ribcage likes to lift up. So if your chest lifts towards your chin or you feel some of your back muscles, then you’re using your spine as your shoulder blades. So just relax. Don’t move as much and try it again to squeeze their shoulder blades together and bring them up toward your ears, make sure we are not lifting our neck or our chins again because we’re using our necks as our shoulder blades. And we’re back up to where we started, bring them forward while they’re up.

Dr. Jen Hosler
And we’re going to reverse while they’re up, bring them back, squeeze them back together, keep them up, pause, good. Now bring them down away from your ears, but try to keep them squeezed together ribcage does not pop up. This is where our spines like to help again, squeeze them down, good, pull them down a little bit more. So if you can get more range of motion, now we’re gonna go down in Florida, if you felt a little like lat cramp in your armpits, that’s super common right here, that just means you they have no idea how to work in that position, you don’t have the strength there. And then while they’re down, we’re going to bring them forwards, reach them forwards, reaching forward. So make as much distance between your shoulder blades and your spine as possible. And while they’re forwards, bring them up. And we are back to that start position up and back. And you can kind of bring them down. So the things that I was giving examples of you may not notice or be able to feel, but if you were videoing yourself and looking at yourself while you’re doing them, or you looked at the video after you’d be able to see them and I will say 90% of people still won’t be able to see what’s actually happening, because you don’t know where to look, or what is what movement. I did an example of this in my stories.

Dr. Jen Hosler
Last weekend, I showed somebody moving who what they thought was only their shoulder. But in fact, their whole spine and everything was coming along for the ride. And that’s a skill. So this is why we hire people to help us learn about things with ourselves. And a lot of my job is just bringing stuff to people’s awareness. But you may have been able to feel that because it’s pretty substantial sometimes. And we are squeezing our shoulder blades together and our spines lifting. But if you did feel that, that is something to pay attention to, because now every time you’re doing an exercise where you’re squeezing your shoulder blades back, you are likely using your spine to help you it’s not a bad thing when we’re going super heavy, because you’re trying to just lift the most weight. But if your goal is just to move your shoulder and shoulder blade, and every single time you’re using your spine, and you also have some low back tightness, we may need to start to pay attention a little bit more, okay? Sometimes that means we need to reduce the weight sometimes just means we need to do more C.A.R.S., but we just need to be a little bit more conscious of Wow, every time I do that without Wait, I’m moving my spine, let’s see if I can work on learning how to dissociate those movements.

Dr. Jen Hosler
So then when I start to add load, I am not using my spine every single time and my back won’t be so pissed off from doing so much work. It’s like our body works on a group project. Everybody needs to do their job. When somebody is having to do the work of everybody else, they kind of get angry. That’s kind of how our bodies work, too. So yeah, that’s kind of one example of C.A.R.S. and all the information you’re getting from C.A.R.S., which is why I love them.

Steph Gaudreau
That was really an I was doing it at the same time that you were describing it. And I was like, Okay, I’m like definitely noticing a couple of things here. So, yeah, it’s I think that’s going to be useful. Hopefully, people were able to take themselves through that drill. And, you know, much to your point, I think this is where, you know, we both share a lot of information, you know, we want to help people. And then also I think you get to that certain point where it’s, it’s time to get more targeted help it’s time to maybe see someone in person or it’s time to, I don’t know, whatever, whatever is accessible to you, but like to take it to that next level. You know, like there was a very lovely person on Instagram the other day asking about like, overhead squat position. And I just thought, wow, this is it sounds again, sounds like a simple question. But wow, there could be a lot to this and unpacking, right that that reason why overhead, the overhead position, which is just so challenging, as it is so holding load over your head in that way. There could be a lot to unpack as to why that movement is not feeling very great.

Dr. Jen Hosler
That’s involving like a lot of joints. And then a lot of range of motion from the joints. And when I work with people like overhead work is super hard. But overhead work with a squat. Now you’re asking like a ton like a snatch, cleans and snatches are like not easy movements and like an overhead squat or a snatch like or even like a jerk of catching the way overhead but especially if you’re adding the squat to it, it’s just a lot from all of your body in 99% of the population just doesn’t have a lot of that mobility. And some people are able to do it not because they have the mobility just because our body’s really good at compensating. But like, even if you’re able to do it without pain, it might behoove you to improve your performance by working on improving the capacities of your joints, making the parts work better, will make the whole system work better. And so like that, that’s kind of something that I always talk about. So but like if we’re talking about an overhead position, like first of all your shoulders need to flex overhead, but be to be able to get them to flex. So bring your arm up towards your ear, we actually need a lot of joint space. So we need adequate rotation from the shoulder which is something that you won’t understand until you kind of learned some of the stuff that I have. And so I always tell people, it’s a lot more layers than you think. But in the very gist if you can’t get your art arm overhead. Sorry, I don’t know if you can hear my dog. He’s like very vocal about overhead positions. He really loves it.

Steph Gaudreau
He’s like, yes, overhead positions!

Dr. Jen Hosler
Yeah, he’s like overhead. Exactly. He’s like hyping mom up.

Dr. Jen Hosler
But as we’re going up overhead, like there’s just a lot that it requires from our shoulder joint. And if you can’t get your arms overhead, if you’re without your spine, then we’re probably going to have to work on figuring out the cause of why and there could be like, different reasons for that. You also need a lot of thoracic extensions, by the way, so all of that to say it requires a lot. And usually, simple questions definitely require a lot deeper things on our side.

Steph Gaudreau
Absolutely. Well, this time has absolutely flown by. There are a million other things we could talk about. But I would rather that we say maybe we’ll have you back again. Maybe we’ll talk about hips next time.

Dr. Jen Hosler
Yeah, sure. I could talk about anything the body because I love movement. So I’d be happy to.

Steph Gaudreau
I think it’s awesome. It’s so important what you’re doing. And you make it really practical for people as well as providing really high-quality information for them to to get in there to start learning, like you said, to unlearn some of the things that are maybe keeping them stuck to see things in a different way. Right, you know, is it just us falling apart when we hit 40 or, you know, maybe life has caught up to us a little bit. And there are some things we can do about that, right? I think one is very disempowering, like, there’s nothing we can do. And then the other is like, well, maybe we may not know what to do right now but that’s why people like you exist and can help walk folks through that process.

Dr. Jen Hosler
I love that you said that, I think it’s really important to note that it’s like not necessarily your fault, that you didn’t have the right information. But it is your responsibility to kind of address the things when they’re when your body is talking to you. And so I try really hard to help people realize without shaming them that like, Oh, you haven’t been doing C.A.R.S. or your mobility, as nobody taught you that it’s not your fault. I haven’t been doing them either until I learned all this stuff. But your body’s telling you something, let’s like address that and acknowledge it, and maybe try to seek out some help and like actually take action to address those things if we are feeling that they are limiting us. And we have a goal of addressing those things. So.

Steph Gaudreau
So I’m introducing a slightly new little question at the end, which I think will be interesting for all of us. And that question is maybe in a sentence or two, can you describe what strength means to you?

Dr. Jen Hosler
This is such a good question. I love this. Because my head’s jumping to like how strength is like a production of force in our body. And I do think that’s like, normal for me to think that because I just also I’m kind of diving into a lot of strength research stuff right now. But I honestly feel like strength has a lot to do with your ability to manage. Stressors are not the word that I’m thinking of. But forces, I’d say the ability to manage forces. And I feel like that kind of applies to everything in life. So like forces coming at you your ability to kind of just managing the things that are happening. So whether that’s like a big major life event, or going through like an injury and having a big identity crisis, or whether that’s like actually in the gym, where you’re trying to, like pick a barbell off the ground, like you have to be able to cultivate your own internal forces to overcome the force of the barbell. And so, to me, strength is really just like the ability to call to cultivate your internal forces to withstand and manage like external forces.

Steph Gaudreau
I love that. It’s awesome. Thank you. Yeah, I’m really looking forward to what different people say because I think that that’s one of the things is that we, I think out in the world, people can presume that strength has to mean a certain thing, or I mean, obviously, like, we talked about it in the context of, of muscles and your body, but it goes so much further than that. And it can be a catalyst for so many other things. So I’m always fascinated by that. So thanks for sharing.

Dr. Jen Hosler
Yeah, same here. Strength training was a catalyst for my entire life and everything I do, so I really like that question.

Steph Gaudreau
Absolutely. Tell people where they can catch up with you on social, on your site, what you have coming up, and where can they get involved in working with you?

Dr. Jen Hosler
Um, yeah, so I live a lot on Instagram when it comes to social media. I’m just at @JenHosler. You can find me there most days I do a lot in my stories. And I do a lot of education in my stories because it’s a little bit easier for me than being super consistent with posting just because I still have I still work part-time in person. So I still am seeing patients and clients in person. And then I work with people virtually, via one on one assessment in programming for mobility. So that is all pretty much on my bio, and then I have a mobility class membership called Kinstretch with Dr. Jen, that is all pre-recorded virtual classes that you get access to there’s I don’t know how many but I’ve had this now for two years and we’ve done multiple classes. Four classes per month for the first year and like two per month ever since. So, there are basically classes for like everything you could need and we’ve been doing themed classes now. So it’s elbow and wrist month, we’ve gone through every single body. And next month, we’re going into a squat theme. So if you have certain goals, those classes are like a lower tier, they’re not as expensive as working with me. So if you don’t have the clout for that, we go through C.A.R.S. and every single video, and then all of the classes go through exercises where you are working on things, but I’m doing a ton of educating just like I did in here about what this means, what you should feel, how things should look, and what it means if you’re not able to do that position or that movement.

Dr. Jen Hosler
And that’s like the best thing you could do besides working with me one on one to learn about your body and to get some assessments. So those are kind of the gist of everything. And then I do have a C.A.R.S course if you want to just get started with C.A.R.S., but you can also peruse my entire Instagram, I have a highlight on C.A.R.S, or you can learn about them. And I think I have a live that I did a few years ago where it runs through them if you want to just like try the daily routine. So those are all of the things then I have a podcast as well called The Movement Upgraded podcast, where we unpack a lot of the stuff in more detail. So those are all of the things that I do.

Steph Gaudreau
All of the things, it’s wonderful, and I love that you have several different levels that folks can work with you. You know, I get a lot of questions in my DMs & in my comments like ‘how should I deal with this injury or this sticky joint or this and that ‘and I’m constantly tagging you because I want people to go and learn from the best and you are one of the best. So thanks so much for putting all that information out there. Thanks for being a guest on the show. We’re going to link all of that up in the show notes just in case folks are out walking or they’re doing their thing. And they want to go grab the links later. But we will put all of that in there. And thank you for coming back. I really, really appreciate it.

Dr. Jen Hosler
Yeah, thanks for having me on. It was good. And I love that I got to be the first guest on you’re new podcast name, so great.

Steph Gaudreau
You did. Thanks so much for spending the time with me.

Dr. Jen Hosler
For sure. Thank you!

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