Homeostasis and Hyperflexibility: What to do with your most difficult clients

Some of the most difficult clients to make changes with are those who have excessive flexibility everywhere.

But it doesn’t have to be that hard!

This month, Lance guides you through training hyperflexible clients:

  • What do they look like?
  • What is going on inside their body?
  • What positions will they default to?
  • What are some important muscles to address?
  • What are some exercises I can use with them?
  • Should you let them stretch?

Prepare to have these questions answered. And even hear a metaphor about Ty Terrell and Lance playing on a seesaw…

Further diving into this topic is not for the faint of heart. If you want to go in, go deep. Lance recommends:

  • Taking the three primary courses from the Postural Restoration Institute.
  • Having an anatomy atlas with pretty pretty pictures allows you to make anatomical inferences. He recommends Gilroy et al’s Atlas of Anatomy.
    • Note from Lance: Ugh, I can’t believe there’s a new edition. Where am I going to put all these books?
  • Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers by Robert Sapolsky. The number one book on stress and homeostasis. Also where the seesaw analogy originated from.
  • Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System by Donald Neumann. The most thorough book introduction to functional anatomy.
  • And last, but not least, The Power of Proprioception by IFASTU coach Brandon Brown, a free video he made for everyone and anyone interested (read: you can send this to anyone).

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Published by Lance Goyke

2 Comments

  1. Hey Lance, do you change the exercises above based on infrasternal angle and ribcage findings or are these still your foundation go to-s for your hyper flexible clients?

    • Hey ML!

      So the same principles in this video definitely apply. These clients have stiff core areas and loose extremity areas. They’ll lose core position first and have trouble dissociating their extremity movement from their thorax movement.

      The infrasternal angle is not an guiding rule that I always use. Some of the most sensitive clients — i.e. these hypermobile ones with pain — find a lot of positions uncomfortable. I’ve even had someone who was so stiff that laying on her back after a 90-90 hip lift was painful. I haven’t yet looked at them through the lens of the ISA, but more just with the intent of getting a good respiratory position of the diaphragm.

      A new, low level exercise I really like is the rockback breathing, but without total passivity in the thorax (https://youtu.be/NzUas41PUwk). Active reaching gets the serratus to pull the rib cage back. I use this one a lot with people who have a down pump handle and need to avoid the over-crunching, thoracic kyphosis look.

      I also like ground work where they’re moving around, like the crab walk with fingers forward for rib cage retraction (https://youtu.be/45dnw0xwlAo), backwards bear crawl (https://youtu.be/ZGweueWue70), and lower trunk rotation (https://youtu.be/PcT_7dp9zsc). These are great to get people moving around and maybe even sweating, which is sometimes more important for these clients depending on their experience and goals.

      Does that help?

      -Lance

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