Exercise Gurus: How to Trust Them

April 2, 2024

We talked last week about criteria for trusting a practitioner. Then I was mostly talking about medical people, doctors, and other health professionals. The number of people pushing exercise advice swamps the numbers pushing medical advice. You can have three people discuss the same exercise and get wildly different advice. How do you determine who to believe?

As with the medical people you start by looking at their background and education. Education doesn’t mean just degrees but who they studied with and how they were trained. Secondly, you look at the reasons they are pushing a particular exercise method or technique. Is there some logic behind it or is it just how they feel or how someone else taught them i.e. do what I say. Thirdly, there is a feel to a person and their message. I dislike excessively negative presentations that don’t have good reasons behind them. The exercise world is full of these kinds of presentations. I’m also skeptical of people who are practically naked in their talks. I feel there is something more going on than just good information. Lastly, I look for results from what they teach. On YouTube reading the comments can be valuable. Look for ones where the people have followed the teacher for a while and give a kind of testimonial. There are many people who give really good advice and even training. Some names include Mark Wildman, Mike Chang, Kelly Starrett, Pete Egoscue and Adelle Bridges. They all teach simply and directly without bombast and without negative comments about others. The comments they have on YouTube alone show how they change people’s lives with their methods.

Just briefly I will talk about my work. As you know the central theme of what I teach is good posture. This core tenet lets me get people out of pain. It also is a guiding light for how to move and how to judge your movement. From this core you can analyze your own pain and movement and figure out for yourself why you are in pain. Or why a particular movement isn’t getting you the results you want. I learned this from Pete Egoscue and martial arts. All of the martial arts I teach (Tai Ji, BaQua, and Hapkido) teach good posture and rely on it to become proficient. There is a logic behind this that governs motion. If you study good posture and work on making yours as perfect as it can be not only will you live a pain-free life, but you will see examples every day of people moving with poor posture. I don’t condemn other methods; rather I embrace them with the addition of good postural methods.

Start your day by looking in your mirror and seeing your posture. If it isn’t perfect, work on it. Or call me.

To a great life.

Cliff


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