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Webinar with Dr. Cobb

Episode 80: Pillars of Performance

Video Highlights

- Ever feel like your body has "brakes" holding you back?
- Demonstrating the 3 pillars using the overhead press.
- Bonus video for health and fitness professionals.

Hi everybody, Dr. Cobb back with you.

I’m going to give you a holiday gift this week.

Now we’re going to dig into the brain a little bit, so I’m going to ask you to follow along closely. You might want to get a piece of paper out, write down the stuff that I’m going to talk about, because it has the potential to change your life in 2015.

If you’ve been listening to us, you know we talk about 3 pillars of fitness at Z-Health. Seeing well, balancing well, and moving well.

Now, this is huge. Most people out there in health and fitness space are working on the movement aspect only. Not understanding how the eyes and inner ear interact with your muscles, your ligaments, tendons, and your spine particularly can have a tremendous impact on your performance.

You may be stuck at a plateau. You may have pain when you don’t need to have pain. What we’re going to do is we’re going to take a quick break. I’m going to come back with a weight, and I’m going to show you what happens in a very, very standard exercise that we see. Again, we’re going to look at it from a brain perspective. Be right back.

All right. You can see I’m holding this big yellow kettlebell. Kettlebells have gotten really, really common and popular recently. One of the most common exercises that we see when people are using these weights is a shoulder press or overhead press. You’ll see people doing stuff like this. They’re here, they get set, and then they press the bell and they follow it hopefully with their eyes and their head. Then they come back down, everything follows, and then you follow the bell back down.

Now I’m going to put it down and I want you to think about what my eyes have to do.  First of all, if I don’t move my head, my eyes have to go up and to my right. That seems like that should be a really simple thing, but if you can’t do it, it can indicate some pretty interesting movement problems or result in movement problems, because that particular eye motion feeds into part of your brain called your cerebellum. If you can’t do that motion, it can interfere with your movement.

Next, I turn my head to the right. Once again, that’s going to impact my inner ear on this side. Then I’m going to tilt my head, also impacting my inner ear. What’s going to show up here is if I have, let’s say, decent vision, decent balancing system, on the right side of my body, my right press might be pretty good. Then I go to my left side and it gets funky and uncontrolled and weird and I can’t press as much with my left side as my right side.

The first thing that we would think about in Z-Health is not that you’re weaker because you’re right-handed and left-handed, but instead there’s a high likelihood that your eyes or your inner ear on that side are messed up. Now, I can train you for weeks and months and years, and you won’t improve if the visual system and balance system are messed up on that side. You might make minor improvements, but people that we deal with constantly feel as if their body’s being held back, like the brakes are on.

I’ve been really working hard, I’m working really hard, and my fitness goals just seem to keep moving further away from me. That kind of stuff happens constantly in our world because bad eyes, bad inner ears are not being tested. They’re not being worked on. As a result, we’re stuck, kind of how we’ve always been. This is what we see in the fitness industry.

Going into 2015, here’s some next steps for you. If you’re a health and fitness consumer and the people that you’re working with are only addressing your movement, they’re stretching you and mobilizing you and strengthening you and you’re not making progress, you need to find out if they know this stuff. Find out if they understand the inner ear. Find out if they understand the eyes. Go, “Hey, can we look into this?”

If you’re a health and fitness professional, more importantly, make 2015 different. Most of us have already kind of … If we’ve been in the industry for any period of time, our biomechanical knowledge is pretty good. We know how to make stuff contract. We know how to make stuff move. But almost everyone that we deal with that comes through our program says, “Jeez. I wish I had known this stuff before because I could have helped so many more people.”

The science around the eyes, inner ear is continually growing. We’re learning so much more about how all this stuff integrates, how it interacts. Like I said, if you work with people for a living, in 2015, you owe it to yourself and you owe it to your clients to learn more about this emerging neuroscience of pain-free maximal performance. All right?

Have a fantastic holiday. I hope that’s a nice gift for you. At least it’s going to get you thinking going into the next year.

If we can answer any questions for you, let us know.

Recommended Reading/Watching:

Health and Fitness Professional’s Educational Addendum to this video.

The Six Muscles to Include in Every Training Session.

Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy: Review of Indications, Mechanisms, and Key Exercises

Vestibular Rehabilitation – An Effective, Evidence-Based Treatment


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