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A Language to Diagnose With Kelly Starrett: Part 4 by Kelly Starrett - CrossFit Journal

In Basics, HD Videos, Medical/Injuries, Reference

November 01, 2011

Video Article

Join Kelly Starrett, owner of San Francisco CrossFit and creator of MobilityWOD, as he teaches coaches and their athletes how to diagnose dysfunction.

In Part 4, Starrett shares his athlete checklist.

“When I look at athletes … this is how I diagnose their movement inefficiency and how I can break down any movement, any sport, any position, anything right away,” he says.

First, he looks for best fit set-up, and if that can’t be achieved, he assesses technique.

“When an athlete has a problem, delve into the nuance of the movement, and that’s the level of detail where we start to see the significant changes and the significant outcomes,” he says.

Next, Starrett looks at midline stabilization.

“If I have movement mechanic faults at the spine, I literally can’t stabilize the shoulder and I can’t stabilize the hip, (and) musculature becomes tight because the spine is in a bad position and things become weak,” he says.

Then Starrett tackles upstream and downstream issues by looking at muscles and joints above and below the pain or inflexibility.

“We don’t ever isolate. You’re a system of systems, and pulling one joint or one movement out of context of the whole thing doesn’t make sense,” he says.

Finally, Starrett has the athlete mobilize at the point of restriction.

“We mobilize in the position of movement restriction, and in that situation I’ll catch everything that’s tight and I’ll fix everything that’s tight because those tissues will come on tension and be organized for me to be able to perform that movement,” he says.

10min 29sec

HD file size: 219 MB
SD wmv file size: 130 MB
SD mov file size: 111 MB

Please note: These files are larger than normal Journal videos. For smoother viewing, please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).

Additional reading: Hamstrung by Kelly Starrett, published July 1, 2007.

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13 Comments on “A Language to Diagnose With Kelly Starrett: Part 4”


Chris Sinagoga wrote …

This stuff makes insanely good sense


wrote …

Kelly - Thanks for the great videos. What do you mean by potentiate the posterior chain? Did I even spell that right?


wrote …

1) Much love for Kelly Starret. He is the man. I imagine that he is even more funny in person.

2) Wow.. 18 months to two years. That is both daunting and encouraging at the same time. Would love to see some before-after transformation videos of improved movement pattern for someone who went from junk to supple leopard!

3) These videos rock. I hope they keep showing more, I'm looking forward to when KStar has the alien pop out of his chest.


wrote …

Fantastic stuff Kelly. Your videos definitely inspire me and helps me with ideas for my athletes. Great work.


wrote …

Again...........awesome! Thanks a million and I hope to sit in on one of these certs soon.


wrote …

great work kelly...I wish other therapists out there had the same opinions and outlook. I see a huge potential for how crossfit can work together with all allied health professionals and ortho drs. In Australia i see patients with overuse injuries from doing too much. Ive been working in asia for the last 5 years and the majority of my patients present with overuse injuries from being to sedate and not doing enough. the simple task of walking through the shopping centre causes them pain. they pick up their child and they injure their lower back. they have o/a knees, prolapsed discs, massive bunions. plus they are extremely hypermobile and the majority have flexible pes planus feet. they lack any midline stabilisation or pelvic stability. very anterior chain dominant. They lack the use of the entire posterior chain. as such their feet over pronate, legs internally rotate, pelvis anteriorly tilts, lordotic curvature increases etc etc.

If only i could get them to do get off the couch. Huge problem. Then we get the ortho drs telling them not to do anything and we get the physio's sitting there teaching them how to activate their "vmo's" for an hour therapy session!!!!! No consideration to the posterior chain at all. They cant squat, deadlift, activate their gluteals or hamstrings at all.

Would love to get you out to singapore or indonesia to arrange a few seminars or talks/demo's.

keep up the good work mate.


wrote …

Wonderful informative series. Thank you.


wrote …

THanks for helping me fix my broken leopardness!


wrote …

nice work Kelly. You are putting into clear language for the laypeople how to take responsibility for themselves and their athletes. Its great to see the integrated approach to our constantly MOVING bodies..... piriWHAT?????


wrote …

I wish the two PTs I'm working with would watch these videos. Instead I'm stuck trying to convey what I'm hearing you say. And yes, that's two PT's who have teamed up to try to resolve my issues.


wrote …



replied to comment from Matthew Vander Hulst

1) Yes he is. But he talks even faster than that so be prepared for a massive influx of data when you're talking to him.


wrote …

This really should be free.

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