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The CrossFit Experience With Kelly Starrett by Kelly Starrett - CrossFit Journal

In Coaching, HD Videos, Mobility

August 21, 2012

Video Article

Rarely is physical therapy funny. But with movement and mobility guru Kelly Starrett at the helm, laughs are guaranteed.

During the CrossFit Experience at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games, the doctor of physical therapy talks about good posture and how it translates to athleticism.

“I want you to take a huge breath in your belly—big breath. Hold it. Now get tight. How’s that workin’ for ya?” he asks the crowd. “It’s like putting a bounce house into a little duffle bag, isn’t it? It’s never gonna work.”

The butt sets the pelvis, which is the body’s source of power, says Starrett, founder of San Francisco CrossFit. The pelvis needs to be in a neutral position to avoid overextension.

“If you’re disorganized or in a bad position, things don’t turn on,” he explains. “If you’re in a good position, things turn on.”

Starrett asks the group to put their arms straight overhead as if they were swinging a kettlebell.

“In order to control the spine, I have to think about what’s happening at the pelvis,” he says. “So if I have to control my shoulder-ribcage relationship, that’s got to start at the pelvis.”

Video by Again Faster.

7min 46sec

HD file size: 214 MB
SD wmv file size: 93 MB
SD mov file size: 43 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: Manage Your Own Business by Paul Southern, published Aug. 31, 2011.

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7 Comments on “The CrossFit Experience With Kelly Starrett”


All we can say is EPIC! After starting at his box and hearing these things for years, it never gets old. Kelly always has great little tid bits of knowledge, but this vid definitely takes the cake.

So many ques on how to fix the common problems of the squat. Can't wait for the his book as it will no doubt be filled with a ton of information.


wrote …

Amazing video, as usual.

With the 30/45 degree feet and OHS, is that a hamstring weakness, adductor etc? Or flexibility, or both?


Daniel Schmieding wrote …

When my partner Sarah and I would make the 40 minute trek to CrosSFit once a week, Kelly used to tell us that he "hoped" the trip away from running our two affiliates for the afternoon was worth it. I was never able to pin down what was worth more, his influence on my sense of humor or my knowledge; either way, it was always worth it.


wrote …

I guess the big question I have after watching this, and it really comes from the dynamic or dual request of stability and power requested in the OHS. I understand generating torque out of screwing the feet in the ground, but I feel much more stable and able to open my hips by opening up my feet a bit, with an angle. I OHS and squat with my feet pointed outward a bit,not qutie sure on the degrees, and I also have them a bit wider than shoulder width typically. I find that I'm much more stable and able to really get into a deeper squat position. Am I letting go of my abilty to hold my midline stability in order to get into thawt low position? Am I still able to generate torque in a wider more open stance? These are the questions I have, both for performance as well as for a safe position in those movements.


wrote …

Ummmm... More please!!


wrote …

GREATEST. VIDEO. EVER. My bucket list is officially empty.


replied to comment from Anton Gross

Anton, hopefully I can address your question(s). First, the reason that you are unable to squat in the positions that Kelly is talking about is due to a lack of mobility. If you don't have enough hip/knee/ankle range of motion, when you try to squat in a shoulder width foot forward position you physically cannot complete the movement. To correct for that, you toe out and go a little bit wider with the feet to get around whatever range of motion issues you may be experiencing. If we're talking about the overhead squat then shoulder range of motion also applies, and if you can't get your arms in the right externally rotated position then there is a waterfall effect all the way down your body, from wrists, elbows, shoulder, midline to hips, knees, and ankles. So, are you losing midline? Maybe. If you aren't losing midline then you are losing something else, probably collapsing the ankle, rotating the knee inward, or some combination of the two. Are you still able to generate torque? Yes, but the ability is greatly reduced. Torque feels like stability: you screw your feet into the ground and squat with knees out and it feels rock solid. If you feel stable out wide, you may be generating torque, but you may also just be generating tension against whatever tissues are preventing you from moving optimally. The danger with the second option is that putting tension on these tissues in a way they were not designed for can injure them (Watch Baron Davis dislocate his patella this year when he landed with an internally rotated knee).

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