Welcome to another episode of The Hard To Kill Podcast! In today’s episode, we have a special, repeat guest joining me – the incredible Dr. Kelly Starrett. Get ready to dive deep into the topic of chronic pain and why it is your responsibility, not your doctor’s. Also, find out how my book, The Nimble Warrior, is the gateway drug for pain management. 

Kelly Starrett is here, again, to challenge our commonly held beliefs and shed light on the interconnectedness of physical and mental aspects of ourselves.Throughout this episode, you’ll learn fascinating insights from Kelly Starrett on how our brains are wired for movement and why it is crucial for maintaining a healthy brain. Discover how something as simple as incorporating movement into your lifestyle can have a profound impact on your well-being.

Listen on The Hard To Kill Podcast

Listen to our first episode, “How To Keep Our Warfighters Fighting” here

Excuse Me, Is That Pain on Your To-Do List?

It’s time to buckle up and face that nagging ache head-on. We all know pain can be a real pain in the butt, but guess what? It’s not your doctor’s responsibility to fix it. Nope, it’s all on you, my friend. So let’s dive in and uncover the real truth about chronic pain.

The Mind-Body Connection: Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

Ah, the infamous mind-body connection. Turns out we’ve been separating these two bad boys for far too long. But no more! Your brain and body are like long-lost siblings who need to hug it out. And guess what? Movement is their secret language. So get off that couch, shake those limbs, and show your body some love. Your brain will thank you, and so will your waistline!

“What you realize is you actually can’t have a healthy brain unless you also move.”— Kelly Starrett

Eating Together: It’s Not Just About Stuffing Your Face

You might be wondering how the heck eating together relates to chronic pain. Well, gather ’round, my food-loving friends, because this one’s a game-changer. Turns out, the simple act of sharing a meal can strengthen connections and, wait for it, improve behavior modulation. Who knew that spaghetti and meatballs could have such magical powers? So put down that takeout menu and invite your pals over for a home-cooked feast. Your pain-free self will thank you later.

Movement: Not Just for Gym Bunnies

Okay, we get it. Sweating it out at the gym isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But fear not! Movement doesn’t have to be all about dumbbells and treadmills. It can be as simple as taking a walk with your favorite furry friend or busting out some killer dance moves in the kitchen. The point is, find what gets your body grooving and stick with it. Trust us, it’ll make a world of difference in your pain management.

“If your teacher can teach your child how to read and do math, they can teach your child how to get up and off the ground or squat or dance or play or stand on one leg or do a handstand. This is not complicated. Kids do this intrinsically anyway.” – Kelly Starrett

Get your copy of the mobility and chronic pain fixing “gateway drug”, The Nimble Warrior 2nd Edition. 

Responsibility: It’s Time to Step Up Your Pain Game

Enough with the finger-pointing and blaming the medical professionals for not fixing you. It’s time to take charge of your own pain management. Remember, pain is not always a medical problem, and there are plenty of lifestyle changes and self-care strategies that can help. So empower yourself, embrace the challenge, and let’s kick pain’s butt together!In summary, folks, chronic pain is not your doctor’s burden to bear. It’s an opportunity for you to take control of your own health and well-being.

Embrace the mind-body connection, gather ’round the dinner table, get moving in a way that makes you happy, and take responsibility for your pain management. Trust us, you’ve got this! Stay strong, stay active, and keep fighting that pain, you badass warrior!

One last, parting, quote from Kelly:

“Yes, you’re gonna probably end up as an old person. And I think that’s probably what you’ve given, but the mistake is that people don’t realize how much better they can feel, how much more movement choice they have, how, you know, man, if you wanna look better naked, that’s totally cool. If you just feel like you don’t want your back to hurt or you’re not worried about your knees when you go play around with your kids, Like, those things are actually very tenable and within your scope of experience, even though maybe the body isn’t your own specialty, your specialty as management or you’re an entrepreneur or your war fight. Like, we have just completely disempowered people to understand how much agency they have to make themselves feel better and actually live better, more interesting self actualized lives.” – Kelly Starrett

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Dave Morrow [00:00:17]:

321, as you can tell, Kelly, I’ve upgraded since last time we chatted 3 years ago, where I was actually sitting in my aunts spare room on shitty iPhone headphones, because you were episode 14. So that was seemed like a lifetime ago. And — It was a really —

Kelly Starrett [00:00:36]:

I’m a go. We were all getting a little more sophisticated. You know? I just turned 49. I am, like, fine wine. Like, I you know, okay to man. So, you know, you gotta start somewhere and that’s what I think that’s that is the thing. That is the could be the theme of the whole conversation. We gotta start somewhere.

Dave Morrow [00:00:56]:

I love it. You’re absolutely right. I mean, That was 3 years ago, and I didn’t know what I was doing, but I had to wake a conversation with you because that’s what it essentially is. It was learning about how to apply in that conversation, how to apply what you’re doing to the warfighter communities. So those are in the military that spurred a whole bunch of different type, content generation and, you know, the conversations is having with, you know, clients and those that are in my community. I just work on basic things like knees, hips, back shoulders, and apply just some basic self myofascial release, which has, you know, really been a core pillar of what I do just to help guys out on a basic level. Like I say, I’m like, I’m like the gateway drug. Kelly is, like, the hard drugs So, like, you go up in levels. It’s like, I’m beer. Kelly is something much harder than beer when it comes to, recovery.

Kelly Starrett [00:01:52]:

So, like, that phone you lick, and then, you understand. Yeah. Yeah. I love your, like, outsider and I’m the the the who’s who’s Jake tote? I mean, I’m down. I’m down with that guy.

Dave Morrow [00:02:06]:

so, actually so, folks, if you’re this is the first time you’re listening to Kelly or anything that he does, like, time to get educated. and if you wanna hear his full backstory or part thereof, head to episode 14, we’ll go into a little more detail there. I wanna spend more time on his actual work today and, definitely go check out. I have both as here. Well, actually, you have more than 2 books, but I have 2 of your books anyways. So, Cupple leopard, definitely check it out. And one, we’re gonna look at more today is, this one here. So desk bound. So I think it’s all backwards. I’ll try and fix that when we do post production. But, so, Kelly, you’re obviously a prolific writer a, New York Times bestseller. Your doctor of physical therapy, I think I got that right. And Apparently, you love to dance. I don’t know. Yeah. You like lifting heavy things and throwing them over your head multiple times.

Kelly Starrett [00:03:01]:

All of that is true. You know, we were, Julian and I are accidental writers, you know, you know, am I physical therapist anymore? Hard to say. you know, I would say the most important thing I do is coach and that really is the, you know, more and more I’m of a firm belief that this concept of hyper locality is gonna get us out of this, which means a few people who are committed to each other their garage, few family members, taking responsibility for the rest of their family, a couple teachers making change in their classroom, a physical therapist dedicated to her small group of people that she takes care of, we need to know the nuances of how people’s lives are working, what their demands are, what stressors they’re facing, how they’re gonna fit this in, and really while we do need top down structural solutions, we have to be thinking about that. How do we reshape our elementary schools? What what does lunch at a high school look like? If kids are food insecure for, you know, can we give them two meals? Can we give them a take home meal? those are structural changes. The bottom line is, you know, we need to meet people in their homes and help them understand where they can make these small changes that make huge impacts because choose something, as you know, I talked about pre show, choose something you care about, ACL injury rates in kids, ACL injury rates in women, low back pain, depression, suicide, diabetes, hypertension. Literally, every single metric of human health is trending in the wrong direction. So if human performance and wellness is saying, hey, it’s a $1,000,000,000,000 industry, we’re so sophisticated. Go on Instagram. It’s a hellhole of abs and, you know, paleo, carnivore. It’s not working. And so the real question is, where are we gonna make those changes? Otherwise, Let’s keep expecting the same.

Dave Morrow [00:05:07]:

Yeah. That, you call it, what, hyper locality? So, basically Hyper

Kelly Starrett [00:05:12]:


Dave Morrow [00:05:12]:

Yeah. What what what I take from that is a decentralized approach going down to the section of the —

Kelly Starrett [00:05:19]:

It’s a really It’s a really nuanced approach where, like, we’re talking about the level of the squad, the the the team, the fire team. those small people really know each other, know how they operate. And of course, we’re gonna have to think about institutional level, reform, and things. But really, I think one of the things we’re seeing right now is such a mismatch between all the choices we have and fundamentally what it takes to be just durable. how can we help people reconfigure their data labs? So we imagine some of their essential behaviors because you’re gonna be a hundred years old. you really are gonna be a hundred years old and you can, you know, I think one of the problems is that we’ve sold all of this and do this. Otherwise, we’ll get you know, cancer and rabies and you’ll be a fragile old person. And I think the mistake is yes, you’re gonna probably end up as an old person. And I think that’s probably what you’ve given, but the mistake is that people don’t realize how much better they can feel, how much more movement choice they have, how how much, you know, man, if you wanna look better naked, that’s totally cool. If you just feel like you don’t want your back to hurt or you’re not worried about your knees when you go play around with your kids, Like, those things are actually very tenable and within your scope of experience, even though maybe the body isn’t your own specialty, your specialty as management or you’re an entrepreneur or your war fight. Like, we have just completely disempowered people to understand how much low how much agency they have to make themselves feel better and actually live better, more interesting self actualized lives. That is what we’re playing for. A very subversive change because we used to be constrained in our environment choices And now those environmental constraints are off. You walk to school. You didn’t have an iPad. You drank from the hose. You played all day because those are the choices available to. And now those things aren’t available as readily. You don’t you have to make a whole bunch of choices to get there. And that is what the sort of is the current problem.

Dave Morrow [00:07:25]:

That sounds kind of revolutionary, though, Kelly. Like, you’re basically saying, like, where we’re in charge of our own destiny.

Kelly Starrett [00:07:33]:

Well, it helps us. Subversive. It’s very subversive. Right? And, you know, for a long time, what we’ve done is certainly put professionals between a person in action.

Dave Morrow [00:07:45]:

Let me give

Kelly Starrett [00:07:45]:

you a great example. for a long time, if you went and worked with a trainer, you’re like, okay, I think I need to go get a coach. Like, I, you know, we see that gym memberships in America, are through the roof, and it correlates directly with obesity. It’s a beautiful one to one. The more

Dave Morrow [00:08:04]:

that’s so depressingly sad.

Kelly Starrett [00:08:06]:

Also, we we see that the research says things like, well, actually, we’re eating less sugar than we have. in privacy previous years. So we know that people are going to try and they’re sorting this out. They’re trying to get help, but as soon as someone said, hey, you know, my shoulder hurts. What we had told that trainer was that pain is a medical problem. and that coach, that trainer at the YMCA, that person who’s there to help you create a plan of movement and some loading give you some exercise nutritional support. That person wasn’t empowered to say, hey, I wonder if, there’s anything you can do to take a swing at that. And it turns out there’s like a 100 things you can do to take a swing at it. But instead, we were like, nope, you need to go talk to a doctor, a physical therapist. And what ends up happening then is and you can appreciate this is that we had this real disingenuous conversation about pain and pain. I want everyone to hear if you’re listening, pain does not mean you’re injured. It does not mean there’s tissue damage. It is a request for change. I want you unless you’ve been blown up or car crashed or you’ve been in 16 helicopter crashes, you know, you are people out there. Pain is just information just like loss of force production, loss of wattage, loss of poundage. If you and I go train today and I destroy you on the bike, I’m like, what happened to you? You’re like, well, went drinking last night. I got a fight with my wife. I’m super stressed. I haven’t slept. I’m like, oh, we can see these inputs 1 to 1. Right? We’re like, you know, you’re you’re performance was directly correlated to some of your environmental behaviors. Well, I want you to start viewing pain in this the same way. It’s a it’s a feedback mechanism that’s your brain is trying to get attention or have you is perceiving something as threat. So the the problem is what we said to people is, hey. Pain is a medical problem. By the way, go see someone. You’re like, I don’t have time for that. And besides, I just I got a little run. I still ran, and I had knee pain. So not a big deal. So we end up doing is we’re saying, hey, it’s not so much of a problem that it’s interrupted my life. I can’t occupy my role in society. I can’t occupy my role as a family. I can still do my job. I still do my role on the team. I haven’t had a clear mechanism injury, and I don’t have something that looks and smells like pathology. those are all things that we consider medical emergencies. If your back hurts so bad, can’t do your job. That’s medical emergencies. Your back hurts so bad. You’re afraid that your shoulder’s so bad. You’re afraid to pick up your kid. medical emergency. Why? Because you can’t occupy a role in your family. You can’t be a father. You can’t be a mother. Right? You step off a curb in here, snap. Go. Right? Quit messing around. Don’t don’t voodoo floss that thing. Go take care of it. Right? Night sweats, dizziness, fever, vomiting, nausea. You know, you’re sick. Go get some help. Everything that is not one of those things falls into the realm of this is why we eat, this is why we move, this isn’t your, wheelhouse to actually make yourself feel better. And when we told people that that was a medical problem, we ended up just giving people the tools defacto tools to self suit THC, ambient, Adderall, right? bourbon, and people will reach for whatever strategy is available and allows them to cope. And we see those those pharmacological behavioral strategies. It’s not good or bad. We’re like, you didn’t have any other choices. You made what you thought was the best choice based on your in your private, your previous history. So imagine suddenly when I’m like, hey, we could decongest that thing. We could desensitize that thing. We could change how you move. We could change how the system works. We can get some input in. You go after sugar points. You can rehydrate. We can get into sleep. Hey, let’s eat less sugar and alcohol and see if that brings the warning signals down. And guess what? most of the time, unless it is rabies of the shoulder or you’ve got gonorrhea of the knee, which is really a thing. All of that

Dave Morrow [00:12:03]:

Kelly Starrett [00:12:03]:

We’re gonna have to — — falls into the disease. It’s actually arthritis. It’s a real thing. So the the idea here is What we have suddenly is we’re expanding what it means to take care of yourself. It’s not just diet and exercise. It’s also what are my movement minimums? what are movement vital signs. If we can people can take their temperature in SAO too and know if they’re sick and have COVID or not, man, we can say, why do why do your hip extent, why don’t you have any hip extension? Why is your back hurt when you run? Well, let’s begin to ask those questions and say, hey, this is also what it means to be a full human being. So that is subversive. And I hope it continues to burn the institutions down so that we can actually use our institutions when we really have disease, when we really are sick, when we really do get into accidents, that’s what medical emergencies are for. But as soon as we came in with our Western, you know, medical approach, and we’re like, let’s try to solve obesity. Well, not gonna solve that through the hospital or conversation with your physician. That is not the place to solve it. The place to solve it is to say, hey, look, where are people eating food how can we teach kids and people how to eat and to self soothe and what are our minimums there? And that ends up being a lot easier than you think.

Dave Morrow [00:13:21]:

Yeah. I I agree with literally everything you’re saying there. The only thing I have a question that is about is is on the knee gonorrhea, but I think we have bigger fish to fry on, on on this, on this chat, because That was I just posted this yesterday because I’m back in the gym lifting. And when I was released from the army, like, in the process thereof, the doctors are are all very conservative. Right? Like, they don’t wanna make things worse, and I guess it’s, like, cover, you cover your ass. type mentality. And they said, don’t lift anything more than, I believe, it was, like, 10 kilos or 20 kilos, which is basically like a small child. Right? Like, my children are 20 kilos. You know? So it’s like, okay. So I’m I’m guessing I’m not supposed to do that the rest of my life. Alright. so then what am I supposed to do? And So back then, I was of that opinion, like, well, the docs said don’t do x y z, but I was just lifting 345 the other day on a deadlift. And I was like, well, if I can do this, like, can I do 400? Like, what what are the what are the limits? And are are they just psychological? And it’s been so long that we relied or I relied on medical information to ensure my health. And it was only wasn’t it wasn’t that long ago where I just decided, I think I’m gonna take charge of this and seek out people that are clearly getting results. Like you, I was reading your stuff regularly once I got turned on to it by I can’t remember what it was. I think it was my coach, LP, actually. He was talking about, you know, I was like, oh, and then I saw you stuff on YouTube, and I and then that just started opening things up. I was like, wait. Hold on a sec. If I do this one thing, my knee’s not gonna hurt when I go upstairs anymore and then apply and then realize, oh, wait. I don’t need nurse knee surgery. Oh, wait. I don’t need back surgery. I just need to put in the work. I just didn’t know what I was doing. So that whole idea that pain is a medical problem is, yeah, I didn’t know what to do. And I think that’s I think that’s your thesis. Right?

Kelly Starrett [00:15:26]:

That’s right. And we think every human being should be, like, look, couple things. Let me let me say this first. The remember, when you’re talking to your physician, she maybe has 6 minutes with you because

Dave Morrow [00:15:38]:

— If that, yeah, if that — —

Kelly Starrett [00:15:39]:

system is set up, is that she has to see a ton of people to keep her job. Right? She never set out to be like, don’t lift anything heavy, but she said something reasonable. Hey. I see that your back hurts when you lift something. Don’t lift it and make it worse. Like, very reasonable in that moment. That person also has had no training in anything related to anything other than your liver enzymes and your cardiac health. It’s like they are an expert in so many things. But you’ve just brought your car to your doctor and you’re like, hey, doc, what’s going on with the. So it’s a wrong it’s it’s misplaced precision on your part. And that’s something we can change. Right? And that is our we inherited that. Right? The physician isn’t the issue. The physician isn’t practicing the way they want. So we need to look at them as also victims of an institutionalized system.

Dave Morrow [00:16:34]:


Kelly Starrett [00:16:34]:

And, you know, what you’re what you’re starting to espouse is we think we will have to be successful when we have a generation of kids coming in who end up with pain and know how to take a first crack at it. So let me give you an example. You know, In the military, we had a lot of when I started, you know, teaching there, literally, I started teaching there 15 years ago. It was probably the first time I was in a, you know, like, Marine school of infantry, something like that. And they were to having a ton of shoulder impingements, huge loads, right, ratchet positions, helmets, £100 packs, rucking, and all the shoulder and pinch pain, unless they even call it pinch pain when you put your arms over your head. That’s gonna be tricky. That’s tricky if your job is to do monkey bars and pull ups. So among other things, right? So we just dropped an old cross ball and I was like, check this out. Put all the cross ball on your first ribs. Lay on the ground, put your arm over your head a whole bunch of times. Make sure you can breathe. and just mobilize those tissues. And, bam, now the lacrosse ball was as part of, like, the basic package that’s given out at the Marine School of infantry,

Dave Morrow [00:17:47]:

— for

Kelly Starrett [00:17:48]:

self maintenance because they found out they could solve this. And the physical therapists were like, yes. I actually have real injuries to solve. That guy actually her herself. She heard himself. You deal with this. The reason I, you know, I mentioned that is that a lot of those first lieutenants a lot of the captains, a lot of the even, right, the young people are now majors and curls. And What’s happened is it’s I’ve realized it’s gonna take a minute for us to make real change. The fastest we can go is at this glacial pace. and it’s gonna take a minute until we see changes in attitudes because everyone comes from somewhere. Everyone has some experience. So now the young people that we interacted with are now in positions of leadership and they’re coaching teams and they’re leading organizations. And sometimes it feels we can feel desperate. Like, we haven’t made any change, but we we are starting to see some change there. We’re also gonna start to see the fact. Let me give you an example. My daughter is a phenom water polo goalie. She is just like it fourteen year old starting varsity goalie. She’s a savage. She loves gold. It’s always 00 in her head. It’s just kinda like, My wife is a three time world champion white water power. The more stressful it is she can compete in the games. The more gnarly my wife gets. She’s become a diamond. Like, she’s all soft and and then she comes to diamond. Watching my daughter do that is is so cool. So she’s at this Olympic Training Center camp. for young kids. She was in 8th grade last year when she did this, and they had her throw a thout. They did, like,

Dave Morrow [00:19:20]:


Kelly Starrett [00:19:21]:

sessions in, like, 4 days. And as a goalie, she’s doing so much long toss. So she’s just long tossing all the way up. Right? And just like cold, warm block, long toss. And guess what? her shoulder starts to hurt. Biceps tend. It gets a little hot for anterior delts. Little pissed. She’s super freaked out. She’s like, hey, you know, I don’t wanna come out. I mean, scouted. I wanna play. So she gets out of one of the things at the end of the evening. She goes home. She does some end range isometrics. She gets a ball. She starts rolling it back and forth against the wall, and then she uses an h wave and decongests her tissues and then a little scraping on it. Guess what? back in the pool the next day. No pain. And when she asked the physical therapist, what the physical therapist said physical therapist who doesn’t know these kids has her own case levels, like, put some ice on it. And my daughter, like, lost her mind. That was your solution is to, like, make it numb. Like, Why don’t you give me a shot of bourbon lady? Why don’t you give me some drugs? He is here is a thirteen year old child who has been instructed in how to manage simple pain, even though she’s away at some sleepaway camp, and she’s able to take care of that through some very, very simple interventions. Now apply that across millions of people. and pretty soon we start to have something that smells like it feels like revolution because when someone’s knee hurts, your friends are like lay on the ground. I’m gonna walk on your quads. Why? Because your quads are stiff. At least let’s cross that off the list. Hey. Have you done any couch stretch? That’s working on hip extension. Why not? Let’s go ahead and do some my symmetrics there. And pretty soon, we can people can say, hey, let’s see when you’re squatting or your arch collapses. I think that’s a less effective position. And when we start to even change the narrative of, hey, that it’s not you’re not injured, but, hey, there’s something we can do to make you more effective as a mover or a person. Then we will begin to reap what we think we’re sewing now, and it is so slow and so painful that sometimes I feel like I wanna give up.

Dave Morrow [00:21:25]:

But you won’t. I know you won’t. We need you, Kelly. But, that’s a great that’s a great segue to what

Kelly Starrett [00:21:31]:

to be on the more TikTok videos.

Dave Morrow [00:21:34]:

More TikTok. I’m I’m too scared. I haven’t I haven’t even I download the app, and I deleted it right away. It, like, it put fear into me. I’m so scared. but I want to segue now that we’re talking about kids, your kids into the foundation that you’d gotten started, which I initially saw when I was a teacher, as a high school teacher, that I thought was pretty novel because I don’t think anybody else is doing it, but you correct me on that, but you started the, foundation was stand up kids.

Kelly Starrett [00:22:02]:

Yep. Yes.

Dave Morrow [00:22:03]:

Yeah. And the the reason why I thought it was super novel is because I started seeing it before I was tracking your foundation that, man, these kids sit down a lot. I I didn’t sit down as much as a teacher. I was up quite a bit. Right? I was, you know, walking around and I was pretty much on my feet all day as a teacher, whereas these kids Yeah. And at the end of the day, I was exhausted. Right? still got my still got my SMR working, still got my flaws in, but regardless, no big deal. the kids, Yeah. They were they were although we had quite good sports programs and we had, you know, quite as a private school. So they they had more activity, I would say, than average high school student were still sitting down for hours at a time. And I was just blown away at the the just the sheer volume of it. And then you come along and say, well, why aren’t these kids standing? Like, and then the stats here, I’ll just read some of them, which I think pretty cool. So if you go to stand up kids dot org, Tully’s got a bunch of great infographics, but 1 in 3 children and teens, age two to nineteen are considered overweight or obese, 96% of elementary schools offer no physical education classes. And then just a whole host of different things, like, if you’re not standing for a better part of the day, the chances of just childhood obesity and then dysfunction and then, like, just being obese as a child, there’s like a early death sentence, how did you come about with this idea to get kids standing and and, I guess, like, you put it changing, like, at a glacial pace that the the the next generation so that they’re able to incorporate this when their principals, when their teachers, when their parents, and they go, Hold on a sec. No. No. No. Like, like, this is what we used to do. Like, it doesn’t work. Do this instead. Like, I did when I was a kid. How did you come up with that idea? Cause I think it’s I think it there’s there’s genius in it.

Kelly Starrett [00:23:48]:

So there’s a couple. Let’s let’s tie a whole bunch of you know, we throw a bunch of balls later. Let’s let’s stitch them up here. first of all, is that if I ask any adult, should you how many steps should you get in a day? Someone will say something between

Dave Morrow [00:24:04]:

8 15,000.

Kelly Starrett [00:24:05]:

That’s pretty standard. Right? The the data is you need between 6 and 10 up steps, but if you walk more, you do better. And what we know working on our me military units tier 1 groups when people have sleep disorders, the first thing we prescribe now is more steps. get more walk, accumulate more non exercise activity fatigue, NEAF, non ex exercise activity creates sleep stress. It creates enough fatigue that you actually fall asleep at night. And one of the reasons people have a hard time falling asleep is they actually haven’t done enough movement. you wanna decongest your tissues and load and and, you know, decongest your tissues, move your lymphatic. It’s all driven through muscle contraction. So Ultimately, every adult on plan said, yeah, you gotta move. And I gotta walk. I I step on my Apple Watch reminds me whatever it is you’re doing. Yeah. And you say, okay. Well, you’re an adult. What about your kids? And then what you’ll see is that there’s something like a kid’s still a toy move. I’m like, great. Let’s measure that. And it turns out kids are walking 2 to 3 thousand steps a day. 2 or

Dave Morrow [00:25:09]:


Kelly Starrett [00:25:10]:

That that’s their total move. So we know that because we we track that. We put a bunch of trackers on kids, and it’s regularly on on rain days be two thousand steps. On other days, it could be five thousand steps. Max. So you’re like, okay. So you have a growing body that’s sedentary. So what’s the solution here? Well, we could walk the daily mile. We could put pelletons in everyone’s home and get the kid on peloton and Right? You clearly, the way to think about it differently is, well, how do we construct the environment so that we know what we’re doing is inputs to the child. So the child is getting what everyone agrees on needs to happen. And what we realized it wasn’t even about standing where sitting. It’s about moving. Nurses not moving. So what we do is we go in and we say, well, how can we create movement choice and moving choices, standing, fidgeting, playing with the foot, the bar, leaning up against a stool, sitting on the ground, getting off the ground, having as much option to move throughout the day as you can. And lo and behold, what we end up is hitting those movement minimums. Remember, the thing I described movement minimum, not like you get a gold star. I’m like, hey, good job. You’re not gonna get rickets. Like, that’s a that’s an RDA for moon Right?

Dave Morrow [00:26:27]:

Like, that’s what

Kelly Starrett [00:26:28]:

I’m talking about. Hey. Oh, you don’t have scurvy. You have the minimum amount of vitamin c. So what we end up doing is coming in and we’re also realizing that once again, where is the functional unit of change? The functional unit change is at the classroom level. So if we have a teacher who’s like, hey. And and try ask me, if your teacher can teach your child how to read and do math, they can teach your child how to get up and off the ground or squat. or dance or play or stand in one leg or do a handstand. This is not complicated. Kids do this intrinsically anyway. So how can we empower the functional unit of change single classroom? And that was really where we were like, hey. We wanna come in, and we wanna help you. We’ll find youth funding. and immediately all the teachers got it. So our daughters ended up going to the first all moving, not sitting in middle school or elementary school in the world. We had 500 kids. It’s over 10 years now where these kids have never sat at a desk at the school. That was we made a structure intervention where we suddenly are having kids rolling and, you know, started because I went in 2010. I went to Google and did one of their famous Google talks called Deskbound. And Juliet and I were like, why the hell aren’t we applying these lessons to our own children and their environments? And that really is when you start to think about the world in those terms, suddenly you have a lot more agency and you could say kids, while we’re watching TV, let’s sit on the ground tonight. So now you gotta get up and down off the ground, and we’re moving your hips more. And, hey, we can go for a quick family walk after dinner. and, hey, I’m gonna stand at my kitchen counter and check my email. And what you realize is, man, let’s all walk to school. You know, we had a walking school bus because there’s only like a mile and a, you know, quarter to school every day. Parents would drop their kids off at the walking school bus. There’s only 2 parents there. And then 20 to 40 kids. Sometimes there’s 5 kids, sometimes there’s 3 kids, sometimes there’s

Dave Morrow [00:28:25]:


Kelly Starrett [00:28:25]:

kids who walk to school together. And, you know, as a sanction event, suddenly, we’re getting a ton of movement in. We had parents who’s £20 doing that thing. They’d walk two miles and lose £20. I was like, dude, I wanna lose £20. I’ll have to do is walk my kid to school. So once we start to view the environment as imminently constrainable and shapeable, then we can begin to start to tug away at this.

Dave Morrow [00:28:52]:

So, yeah, that that brings up so many different questions. I mean, Ultimately, you know, the the school environment, especially when you’re young, right, my my son just started grade, bought grade. He started kindergarten. And, you know, it’s been he’s been having a few d a bad, like, bad days as as kids do. It’s a change of environment. And I’m like, how’s school? It’s like, oh, it’s not very good. It’s like, do I still have to keep on going? I’m Dude, you got, like, 18 more years, man, like, minimum. You know, like, you’ve had yeah. Yeah. Yeah. There there there’s no getting out of this one. So, I’ve been to his class. And one thing I’ve noticed since I got out of teaching and the curriculum’s kinda changed here when we went to just talk to the teachers is that they said, like, well, we’re not really doing much academics here in the first year in kindergarten. First block of the day is play. It’s like an hour a half. And then the last block of the day is play. And I was like, sweet. Because it wasn’t like that before. They were actually doing math and arithmetic and stuff. in kindergarten because the the the thought process was, well, let’s start them as early as possible with academics. And that means they’ll be more academically inclined and more likely to get a university, better job. Like, it’s all these you know, what ifs down in the future? But they’ve obviously realized that this is a poor strategy. They need to move. They they need to get out. They need to enjoy them need to be outside. They need to be getting vitamin d. They need to be running around. So when he comes home, he’s done. He’s done. Like, he’s toast. We have supper. We play a little bit. And then, like, by 7, 7:30?

Kelly Starrett [00:30:20]:

Wild animal is exhausted. That’s just gonna better. Yeah. It’s so terrible.

Dave Morrow [00:30:25]:

And I know it’s

Kelly Starrett [00:30:25]:

a good job.

Dave Morrow [00:30:26]:

Yeah. And I I was just so I was so happy that the school had that as part of their part of their curriculum. and I think I don’t, like, obviously, I can’t tell if you’re having an influence, but there’s obviously, a movement afoot to ensure that people get more active. And like you’re saying, I like that non exercise activity. Is that is that it non exercise activity where it’s extremely low level. It’s not even a walk. It’s just literally moving. And that’s something I noticed when I was in school. I was, well, I do it now. always fidget. I’m always moving my leg. I’m always doing something. I’m always just ready to go. And if I didn’t have that, I don’t know what would come about, but I definitely would be distracted and I wouldn’t be just dialed in. I had a hard time in school in that sense because I just felt like, okay. What’s the next thing? What’s the next thing? What’s the next thing? What’s the next and it just wasn’t, physically driven hard enough. Let’s put it that way, during the day. So I’d have to go home, and then we just run around all day. So that is kinda you know, a a beautiful solution because it’s cheap and if everybody can do it. So, in your book,

Kelly Starrett [00:31:28]:

let’s let’s talk about this first. I just wanna put one more thing. How did it go with with homeschooling everyone? We did remote learning.

Dave Morrow [00:31:36]:

Oh, god.

Kelly Starrett [00:31:36]:

Our parents had to manage that. What we saw was, oh, we really need schools. And, man, that is difficult. How can we empower our teachers to create an environment, the school to create environment? And as long as we continue to mandate school and look, everyone, I am pro school. I’m probably a d d kid myself. I’m I have a hygienic drive to move. I’ve tested it. I would sit in the back of my physio Grad school and plinth and stretch and balance and mess around. Eventually, I found a wheelchair in the corner of one of my one of my classrooms that I would just sit and balance in the wheelchair in a wheelie for an hour or so a day. And that’s got me through. So I understand this need to fidget. So what we can begin to think then is, man, these teachers are at the sticky pointy part of the spear. interacting these kids, how can we then mandate specifics around basic movement health? you know, we have to pay extra at our local elementary school through a fundraising campaign so they can have art and music and and Right? Because the funding doesn’t cover it. So everyone has this problem. How can we, you know, I work one of the schools we flipped is one of poorest schools in in Northern California and, you know, this school, ended up being in a lawsuit with the state of California for resources. But mow there are homeless children there. Their kids have been gone to skit kids wanna take off their backpacks by, you know, that school or kids get two meals a day there. That’s a place where we can really improve the health and wellness of our entire communities if we put different resources Sure. We need basics and people need more homework support and they need, you know, better more. We need more teachers. All of that is true that are funding true. But if we looked at the basics, as you’re saying, how can we say if kids are gonna have to be at the school during these hours? What’s essential for the human being? Well, then UK, they started something called the daily mile in the in in the United Kingdom where they would just walk for a mile. How many PE teachers it take to go walk a mile during the day? 0. and you could run it. You could walk it. It didn’t matter what speed, but they just put this daily mile in with the entire student body. And guess what end up happening? kids talk to each other. They got outside. Right? Teachers interacted. They had this not. It foundationally and fundamentally, how long does it take to walk a mile? at low speeds, 20 minutes max, you know, a 20 minute mile is super reasonable. Everyone can do it. We just have to start thinking about Where can I make these changes? What if I banned it so you couldn’t drop your kid off at school? You dropped your kid off a half mile from school. They had to walk in with their parents. Man, that would change everything. Right? Mhmm. Suddenly you start to look at some of those things. What if you couldn’t buy high satiety or low satiety you know, calorically dense junk food on school. What if you couldn’t do it? What if

Dave Morrow [00:34:32]:

what we had

Kelly Starrett [00:34:33]:

to offer kids was actual food. You know what I mean? suddenly, you’re realizing, well, we actually do have a lot of agency. We’re just gonna have to figure this out, or we’re gonna have to accept the consequences And, I don’t think we’re gonna like where that goes because look where it’s going.

Dave Morrow [00:34:47]:

Yeah. You talk about, like, you can’t our our genes can’t predict the future. We we’re caveman essentially. So, like, the genes reflect that. And as soon as we stop doing what is necessary for our genes to express themselves fully. There’s all kinds of dysfunction. So I was thinking about this.

Kelly Starrett [00:35:06]:

I got I got a payback on that because, you know, it it’s easy to wrap that up into, like, paleo romanticism. We haven’t really changed in 10,000 years

Dave Morrow [00:35:16]:

I mean,

Kelly Starrett [00:35:17]:

the the the ability to adopt like drink milk is a ten thousand year old adaptation. And you’re I’m fatter. Your femurs are longer. We’re exactly the same people. or 10,000 years ago, swear. That’s that’s true. One of the things that you have to, as you said, is At a genetic level, you have to have mechanical input in specific tissues. If you want them to express themselves at a genetic level. That’s called mechanotransduction. That is set of law on canon. If you want a strong tendon, you don’t rest the tendon. You have to put the tenant under eccentric load. I submit I symmetric load and concentric load. and you have to use that tendon through a big range of motion. You have to expose it to what it’s supposed to do. Go to the airport and watch people put their arms over their head in the scanner. You’re like, okay, we’re we’re doomed if the aliens come or do. I watch people trying to struggle to put their, you know, their luggage up on the overhead. So at a stellar level, you’re absolutely right. We are these people who used to sleep on the ground, twill it on the ground, live on the ground, feet on the ground, hanging on the ground, with chill on the ground, fire. The chair is a really new intervention Like, very new. We just everything else we did was sitting on the ground. For example, a structural intervention that I’m talking about constraint is if your whole family in the evening just sat on the ground and watch TV, you would begin to untangle back pain hip pain, knee pain. You get more movement in. You’d work on balance. Your grandmother wouldn’t fall. Why? because she gets up and down off the ground. a thousand times.

Dave Morrow [00:36:56]:

You know

Kelly Starrett [00:36:57]:

what the number one reason is people end up in nursing homes? They can’t get out of the house. We use to practice that all the time.

Dave Morrow [00:37:03]:


Kelly Starrett [00:37:04]:

Watch more TV. That’s your homework, but all

Dave Morrow [00:37:08]:

that’s amazing. That’s amazing. Yeah. That’s it. 7 Ground Moore watch TV, Netflix, and chill, and, stop putting tasty cakes in your face so often. Actually, that was my next that was my next that was my next thing that I was thinking about. because I grew up in the eighties. Right? And we ate, like, dog shit in the eighties. Like, it’s not like the eighties was, like, some golden era of, like, like, great food by any means. We, like, our parents did their best, but, you know, so they

Kelly Starrett [00:37:38]:

just come up.

Dave Morrow [00:37:39]:

Yeah. Like, I like, breakfast was a big bowl of frosted flakes for me. I was like, sweet. I’m good to go. but there there there wasn’t the obesity crisis. So is it because movement has gone down so much. Is that is that what might be the case? Is this that we’ve kinda constrained ourselves? Because, I mean, we had TV. We I had video games, but I mean, realistically, I mean, they were shitty enough that you could only play them for a few hours, right, and then you get bored of them. And, like, Super Mario got got got old. And then you go out and you just play and you’re gone literally all day. Is this a reflection of just our inability to kinda let kids kinda go and and do their own thing when they’re young and kinda like the helicopter parenting thing. Like, do you have a do you have a take on that? Like, because I don’t think the food has changed that much to be So anything, I think it’s gotten a little better, but we’ve gotten fatter, especially the children.

Kelly Starrett [00:38:35]:

A couple things. If, kids are growing up on you were not given an endless supply of Goldfish and chicken nuggets and pizza.

Dave Morrow [00:38:45]:

So — No. because I ruined my dinner. like, mom would get pissed.

Kelly Starrett [00:38:48]:

So what we’re really seeing is this sort of systemization of very high cortically dense foods. And I think that’s really the key. They’re not very fill fulfilling, and it’s so easy to overeat. And the research is supporting that it’s not the sugar It’s that, man, there are so many processed foods the same in the processing. That’s a in the side. It’s that these things are so high calorie. Here, everyone listening, I want you to do this for me. I want you to take the pound of cherries challenge. I want you to eat a pound of cherries.

Dave Morrow [00:39:23]:

Oh my god.

Kelly Starrett [00:39:24]:

And let me know how full you are after eating a pound of cherries. pounds.

Dave Morrow [00:39:28]:

My wife did my wife literally did that a few years ago, and she was finished for, like, 3 days.

Kelly Starrett [00:39:33]:

It’s 200, like, 30 counts. It’s 230 counts. eat an entire melon. Eat

Dave Morrow [00:39:39]:


Kelly Starrett [00:39:39]:

apples and tell me you’re just like, I just can’t wait to eat more. Then let’s go ahead and have a let’s have some baklava. Let’s have a cookie. What you’re seeing is, man, takes up this much space. It has so many calories. And what you realize is, like, hey, I’m still getting this hunger drive. So one of the ways that we I’ll I’ll get to your question a second. One of the ways that we help people expand the way they think about their food is that we don’t take food away. This food is awesome. Chitos are awesome. Takis are awesome. But we say, hey. Look. Let’s make sure that you’re getting this much protein every day.

Dave Morrow [00:40:17]:

Yeah. Right.

Kelly Starrett [00:40:17]:

Somewhere between 0.7 and 1 gram per pound body weight. Super simple. Not crazy amounts of protein, like RDA plus, like for for growing kids. Then we say, why don’t you eat 800 grams of fruits and vegetables every day? I don’t care what they are. You wanna eat all bananas, knock yourself right out. And what you see is doing like, oh, the sugar on the banana, like, seriously? Like, what about the fiber? What about the micronutrients? So what we suddenly see is If we can stuff 800 grams of fruits and vegetables plus getting PNF protein, and I’m not worried about the cookie because there’s actually no room for cookie. one of our friends, Mark Bell, has this great idea. And he’s like, hey. Look, if you’re really hungry, eat a hard boiled egg. And if you don’t really want the hard boiled egg, you’re not really hungry. Yeah. For my friends at work, it’s like, dude, I get hungry. And I’m like, eat 2 hard boiled eggs and an apple, and then come talk to me. Call me after you eat 2 hard boiled eggs and an apple. And he’s like, dude, I’m stuffed, and I’m a good, good to go. We’ll have a chat later on. Yeah. Meanwhile, you just had 12 grams of protein and an apple. Like, come on. So, you know, what we’re seeing is it’s this food density plus lack of total movement that you’re talking about. Plus, you can get into par prenatal conditioning and the way we’re sort of like we the kinds of foods we like, all that, But the other big piece is sleep. We’re not sleeping enough. Why? Because we have phones and we have LED lights, TV, and That stuff is imminently more exciting than going to bed and reading a book. So when you start to aggregate this, and this is really one of the problems with with doing any research on human beings is that we are the most complex structures in the known universe. Let me say that again. Your brain is the most sophisticated structure in the known universe has more attack, like, attached to a physiology as equally as extraordinary. and complex, psychological situations. Man, it’s hard to understand. But what we can do is say, Let’s expand this out to 20, 30, 40 years. And we can look at this and say inputs and outputs, and it’s Problem is in the in the in the short term, you can get away with everything because human beings are so robust, so durable. But when you start to look at the timescale of 10, 20, 30, 40 years, you start to see, and I’ll tell you, I’m forty nine years old. I hang out with a bunch of other people in their fifties, and we don’t all look the same. I’ll just say it that. And what we see is that the things you got away with suddenly you don’t get away with as much when you’re fifty years old. Right? And suddenly you’re like, oh my gosh. I’m I have asked you to process lost some disc height. I’ve lost all my muscle mass. I can’t drink a bottle of wine every night to calm down. I have to need a different set of solutions to make myself feel less anxious as I’m trying to keep it together, raise his family. So simultaneously, we’ve been crushed with you know, entertainment, serotonin boosters. We love highly palatable food. We don’t move. We don’t sleep. And what you see is rinse wash repeat that and you’re gonna see a whole population move towards where we currently are moving. So, again, the way to look at this is ask yourself, me, at a simple level is, I don’t wanna eat cookies in the middle of the night. I don’t have cookies in the house. Swear. Like, that is it. He’s gonna wake up and I’m like, I should eat some yogurts and an apple. I’m like, yeah. I’ll go back to bed. If I wake up and I’m like, hey. There’s a my daughter made chops her cookies last night. I’m like, maybe I’ll smash one of those and drink some

Dave Morrow [00:43:48]:

Yeah. Yeah. I’m exactly the same. My wife can’t stop making delicious pastries because she’s practicing her truck her craft making cupcakes. God, man. Those are so good. Cookies. Just like, what’s going on? Oh, I just I wanna I wanna practice.

Kelly Starrett [00:44:05]:

I have more activity in, and I better make sure that, you know, Lane Norton 101 if it fits in your macros. I got a really reserve some carbohydrate during the day so that I can spend it in the evening.

Dave Morrow [00:44:18]:

Yeah. Yeah. I don’t have

Kelly Starrett [00:44:20]:

I don’t need a suite until after 8 PM.

Dave Morrow [00:44:22]:

Really? I’m

Kelly Starrett [00:44:22]:

gonna eat sweets. Well, because I’ve already eaten dinner. I’ve eaten all my meals. I eat dinner. I’m like, I don’t want it.

Dave Morrow [00:44:28]:

Man, no. I see that’s the problem. Like, I if I if I touch anything sweet past, like, 7 PM, it goes straight to my ass and gut. Like, I just swell up, and it’s just like, I wake up the next morning, £3 heavier and go, ah, damn it. Happen again. You know? but it’s so delicious. So, okay. So, yeah, a lot of mental math actually going on for me most Like, how many garums of carbohydrate was that? Okay. No. I’m good. I think I had enough protein. I’ll be alright.

Kelly Starrett [00:44:54]:

Well, that’s every glass of wine you take

Dave Morrow [00:44:56]:

is a bagel. Yeah. I know. It’s crazy. It’s crazy. It’s crazy. I yeah. I I I can’t, you know, but I just like you, I can’t have them in the house. I’m a carb addict. It’s my iris genes. Anything that’s, like, starchy potatoes, forget it. Forget it. I’ll I’ll literally boil them up. and eat the mash them up with salt and butter and just have that as a snack. I I I can’t get enough of them. So, okay. So, ultimately,

Kelly Starrett [00:45:21]:

County Court. Like, we’re as Irish as a cat,

Dave Morrow [00:45:24]:

so I understand. It’s it’s born within us. It’s born within us. alright. So man, we covered a lot of ground there. I did have a question because we talked about Movement actually before. One thing in your book that I thought was really interesting, and if you could, like, expand on it, the movement brain. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and and it’s kind of something I’ve been toying with and something I’ve been working on with some of my clients that the I the idea of, like, movement before anything else is, like, is critical to getting things started because I know some guys that have been doing, I don’t know if you know, EMDR, is to help with, like, post traumatic stress. but, it’s essentially simulating, like, movement, but your static. I thought that was pretty fascinating stuff. And then the just the the act of getting up and going like, action begets action. And I just thought that was a fascinating concept, and you don’t need to be doing, you know, like, one mile run for time, you you just need to put on your shoes and go outside and walk. And the cascade effect is pretty impressive. So I’m curious to know, like, what your take, like, what is for you, the the movement brain?

Kelly Starrett [00:46:35]:

Well, as we as we’ve talked about before, you know, This notion that we should separate our physical selves from our psycho, emotional, intellectual selves. That’s a mistake. So whether we’re talking about the flood of the good feeling stuff or talking about, you know, thinking about Think about movements as on the same par as behavior of speech, of cognition, It’s just manifested thought behaviors. And when you realize that your brain is wired and one of the reasons people think you have a nervous system in the first place is to move through the environment and perceive change. So you can feed yourself. You can run away from danger. right, that you can reproduce. I mean, those are the the that’s the game around the nervous system. And when you start to view these fundamentals, then it becomes easier to under stand blood flow. I mean, there’s an old if you just Google exercise the blood flow to the brain, what you see is the brain gets more blood You know, things are more activated. You’re feeling asleep. Just bounce in place for 30 seconds and let me know how you feel afterwards. And what you realize is, These things are very much conjoined and always have been. And it’s just our western selves to try to parse them out and to Now I go to the gymnasium and now I go eat instead of realizing that these things are all systems of systems you know, one of the things we found out, I started to notice with a lot of the high performance groups I was working with, fortunate 500 companies, tier 1 military assets, right, Premier soccer, Premier Rugby is that these people all eat together at least a few times a week. They would sit down and the best teams ate lunch together every day. It was easy because someone made them lunch. They went to the cafeteria and they had this beautiful lunch. And What are you telling me that? It’s about vitamin a and vitamin d in collagen? No. It’s about what is it that humans are special about? what is it the way we perceive the world? How do we create safety and connection? And meaning, well, it turns out food is one of those connections. Right? And if you wanna modulate a whole bunch of behavior, have people eat together at the same time. If you wanna bind people together in common cause, have them together, have them make make dinner for each other. My wife and I had a, an embodied leadership school. It was a it’s kayaking camp for really sick kids, totally sick kids. And these all these kids had HIV and AIDS. One of our friends was the head infectious disease doc for the NIH. And so we brought kids in from all the United States for multiple, you know, walks of life. And what we found is that a lot of those kids did not have eating as part of their social structure. They ate really individual. They snack, but they had to cook and clean for each other and serve each other and eat together And, man, the transformations for people and the pride and the food and the connection, we just saw that as Hey, this isn’t just like an an excess or just a nice to have. This is an essential to have. So when we look at the movement brain as the same way, What you realize is you actually can’t have a healthy brain unless you also move. And that can come in a lot of different shapes. It can come in with dance and Zumba and peloton and bike riding and walking, but eventually you’re gonna have to realize if you wanna take full advantage of the meat thing that you’re encased in, Movement is part of that game. And if not, at some point, it will need to be. Yeah.

Dave Morrow [00:50:17]:

I think that’s a really important point to make whether you want to or not. you have to you have to pick your heart. It’s hard to sit and be dysfunctional and not be able to enjoy life because you not you decided not to move And that’s what I decided years ago.

Kelly Starrett [00:50:36]:

Garrett too. Garrett too, it’s gonna happen.

Dave Morrow [00:50:38]:

Right. Exactly. Like, we’re all gonna get old. Just how well are you gonna get old? Right?

Kelly Starrett [00:50:44]:

We want a laser that gets super older than die, like in one day. I mean, that’s really the goal. And I don’t think people realize, you know, one of the things that Juliet and I benefit from is that we get to be in so traveling so many different circles. We’re in these hot fortune 500 companies. I’m in ballet companies. I’m in have a premier level of sport, universities, Olympics. We get to see a lot of people’s dirty laundry there. And, you know, one of the things that happens when I spend a lot of time in the hospital is that we see that people’s lives get smaller and smaller and smaller. and you start to lose windows. You start to now you’re in a tiny room. Now you interact with three people. What we’re trying to do is keep as much movement choice and move an option in your life as we can. The most dangerous thing you can possibly do over 65 is fall and break your hip. Chances of you dying once that happens is real because you move less, see fewer people, Right? You’re become more frail. You’re more afraid to go up and down off the ground. You go through your muscle reserves because you’re I mean, like, you could just check the sequela of things that happen. So what we realized though, just like, you know, investing, the best data to invest was yesterday, and the next best data is today, you know, how do we build bone density Well, it turns out it really helps into your twenties, not when you’re a fifty five year old woman who’s like been told she has, you know, soft bones for the first time. Like, that’s a difficult bell to unring in your sixties. Right? You’re like, well, have you have you met jump roping? Oh, I haven’t jumped in 20 years. Like, what are you talking about? And suddenly you can come into movements like Chigong and Tai Chi and Pilates and yoga, and you’re like, okay. Okay. Okay. Let me let me reframe what those things are attempting to do in terms of loading and movement and breath practice. And suddenly you begin to see some of the real genius in some of these older traditions, these older practices. And then you could just pick and choose. But even when we’re working with elite athletes, Like, I just had an Olympic medal stand in my house for a week. The greatest bobslayer in the rest of the top world doing a little mini camp, you know, we make choices on giving her more movement choice and movement solutions. Not can she just generate more, you know, wattage on the bike? and that is a really good way of looking at your life. How can I create more movement choice?

Dave Morrow [00:53:09]:

It’s so fascinating. There’s so many different elements to this. And a lot of it you’re just talking about Chi Yong and just the ancient movement practices that they intuitively had this understanding of why movement was important, but how to do it And it’s like we’re revisiting all these old movement practices, you know, like, a Wim Hof, for instance, just breathing. Like, I just read James Nestor’s book about Breath. That just blew my mind. Like, wait. That has how many different ways of breathing. There’s how many different ways to move. There’s how many different ways to eat. There’s and all these things that were were were almost ubiquitous, in my opinion, and from what I’m seeing before the modern era, and it’s like, oh, This is what we need to do. This is what we’re supposed to. This is what we’re born to do. It’s not like we, all of a sudden, have a scientist say, hey. You know what? You need to move a little Like, we haven’t been doing it for, you know, ever. It’s just fascinating to kinda be in this space now.

Kelly Starrett [00:54:02]:

That’s a really healthy way of viewing this with humility by saying, do you really think you’re the first person to have taken a crack and improving the human condition?

Dave Morrow [00:54:13]:

Right. Right. It was about, like,

Kelly Starrett [00:54:15]:

The Prussian military history and military sciences long time ago Prussians kicked a lot of butt in a lot of places. Yeah. And one of the things they did was put packs on soldiers and then marched them at this temperature and then put the same pack on the soldier and march them at this temperature. And guess what? They were like, wow, when it’s hot, we can’t walk as far. People have been working on this for as long as there have been people. Look at the Hoosevelt Stone. How many times

Dave Morrow [00:54:45]:

is that about

Kelly Starrett [00:54:47]:

lifting stones. That’s right. Listing stones and ice.

Dave Morrow [00:54:50]:

That weird, like, it’s it’s not a it’s not a it’s not a geometric shape. It’s it’s just crazy weird. Yeah.

Kelly Starrett [00:54:54]:

It’s like so you could close the gate for the sheep. So what, you know, what we can do then is start to redefine what is fitness because it certainly isn’t winning Instagram with your abs for a certain day. But, you know, George Hiverr, who is the originator of Movement Natural, the Natural Movement System, you know, right around the 1900, early

Dave Morrow [00:55:15]:


Kelly Starrett [00:55:16]:

he said fitness is being useful. So think about what that means And then then suddenly, it’s a lot simpler about, well, I’m having a hard time getting down off the ground. Maybe maybe this Peloton class is making me not as useful as I think, but my cardiovascular health is killer. If I have to do some intervals, I’ll I’ll be slaying it. And again, I don’t really care. I’ve become a lot more agnostic about, you know, what people choose to do. I have certain feelings, if you wanna go win the Olympics or play Premier soccer, like, yeah, I have some ideas about what you’re gonna need to do. But on the other hand, what we see is such a mismatch where we’ve just pulled people out of any physicality, any nutrition, any discomfort. It’s not an accident that we’re seeing the body and the brain respond in the ways we are. Look, this thing is super addictive. It’s hyper addictive. It is fun. Hi, Jackie. My brain. I have to sometimes say to myself, I don’t need to go check Instagram. I don’t need to check Instagram.

Dave Morrow [00:56:17]:

That sounds like it sounds like a dick to Sounds of hearing addict. You you know, I just implemented this a few weeks ago. You can take it if you want. It’s my, Dave Morrow protocol, like, cobbled together from 2 other influencers. So, essentially, I use all the phone’s functionality to stop it from ringing and bothering me. And I don’t have any of the apps, like Facebook, Instagram, like nothing on my phone. I get a summary at the end of the day that says, hey, man. This is what happened. I’m like, cool. And everything else is done from my desktop. And I can tell you, like, without, like, like, in all honesty, I’ve never been so more so productive in my life. I get up in the morning, 5, 5:30, typically, you know, do my thing.

Kelly Starrett [00:57:02]:

describe this notion of consrangement. So you if you, you know, I tell look. I’m gonna be really offensive here, everyone. Just so plug your ears. I tell my daughters all the time. If you don’t wanna get caught, be caught doing cocaine off a stripper’s body in Vegas, Don’t go to Vegas. Don’t buy cocaine. Don’t hire stripper. Like, there are three things that have to happen for you to view cocaine off of stripper in Vegas. and you have places in any one of those spots where you cannot have I didn’t go to Vegas. I didn’t buy cocaine. I didn’t go to the stripper. And I think as a stupid example, my kids are always like, dad, we’re sixteen year old seventeen year old girls. It’s not gonna be us. But I’m like, but it is. you don’t have Instagram on your phone

Dave Morrow [00:57:47]:

— It’s metaphor. —

Kelly Starrett [00:57:48]:

cool. You know? So and what you’ll see is that you won’t go there. I think that that’s really, really remarkable. And that’s the only way where these things are so powerful and so fun and make us feel so good that the only way to deal with it is to actually physically remove

Dave Morrow [00:58:04]:

Yep. Yeah. because I was I I know I’m an addict. I know I’m an addict. Who who isn’t addicted? Reels are hilarious. I can’t get enough

Kelly Starrett [00:58:12]:

of them. And at remember, addiction, this is crucial. Do I have a cookie problem? Well, is your cookie problem interfering with your life and your relationships?

Dave Morrow [00:58:22]:


Kelly Starrett [00:58:22]:

still go to jail or the work and have a cookie problem? Is it crashing your health? No. You don’t have a cookie problem. You love cookies. So, you know, it’s I think that’s the way to look at it, but what you what you pointed out was really healthy is that you’re like, wow, there’s a whole lot of other things I’m making time for. If I don’t if I take away the choice, if I am forced to eat all these wonderful fruits, Right? Instead, I’m like, why? Just ate a pound of melon. Like, what you’re gonna realize is you don’t really care for chips or sugar sodas or thing. You just don’t you don’t care for it. You can’t — Yeah. You can’t take it. Please don’t make me need any more of these strawberries. Oh my god. Sick strawberries. Never happened.

Dave Morrow [00:59:03]:

Yeah. I all this to say, like, you know, we’re we’re critical of what’s going on. You’re of, you know, our how our society is kind of shaking out But, ultimately, from what I’ve read, like, you’re very optimistic. Like, you call this the golden age of physical performance because Like, like, let’s be honest, like, it’s true. Like, what even if there were, like, more than 10 years ago, I wouldn’t be talking to you. You would have had a book I might have read it, but there’s no way I would have been talking to you. How would that have even happened? Like, there was a very few select people that were communicating on that level and so the dissemination of great ideas that work has exponentially increased. So that’s how I see. So when I read something like that, I’m like, yeah. Absolutely. Like, everybody can compound each other’s research and performance. to the point where, like you said, like, at the beginning, we were talking about just, you know, how do we get this next generation to just fundamentally understand, hey. Let’s start from point a and fix the things that are bothering us without having to rely on, like, the the greater system. And I think that’s how we’re incrementally gonna get better.

Kelly Starrett [01:00:12]:

You’re absolutely right. we have greatest tools, the most communication, most shared resources to a point where it’s it is confusing overwhelming for people.

Dave Morrow [01:00:20]:


Kelly Starrett [01:00:20]:

But if we don’t get it right in this generation, we’ll do much better. We were still telling women to smoke in the seventies because it made easier birth. We’re still telling women not to feed the kids, you know, for the breast milk, this formula was better. I mean, so things have come a long way and we will continue to see that. and it comes at a cost, but you’re absolutely right. We, we there is a real opportunity. And that’s why I think fundamentally it just takes one change agent. that person in your family or in your squad to have one better thing. You bring that resource back to the tribe and then rinse wash repeat. you know, talk about your results with your friends. People pay attention. Hey. You look great. What are you doing? Oh, I did this thing where I just got into bed a half hour earlier every night and every 2 weeks, I sleep a whole extra day. It’s not weird. Just a half hour.

Dave Morrow [01:01:09]:


Kelly Starrett [01:01:10]:

It seemed like not a big deal. Like, what? You start drinking some water and your skin cleared up? Yeah. It was so weird.

Dave Morrow [01:01:16]:

Yeah. Like, I stopped I stopped eating cookies every night before going to bed, and, man, I’m down ten pounds. It’s crazy.

Kelly Starrett [01:01:23]:

So weird. It’s so weird. So, you know, again, why that thinking to, hey, now we have healthier tissues. Now we’re having more robust brain. Now we can go run faster or spend these credits the way we And I think that’s really what we’re we’re after here.

Dave Morrow [01:01:38]:

Yeah. do you mind if I explain my my theory on on everything and and how we’re gonna become or transcend to become a better species?

Kelly Starrett [01:01:48]:

Do it. And then my wife just texted me that I have 5 minutes.

Dave Morrow [01:01:52]:

Okay. Cool. Okay. So it won’t be too long. think fundamentally, the individual needs to be healthy. If we’re going to tackle things like climate change and, you know, AI and all. And if we don’t get this right, it’s gonna be very hard because we can’t think at a higher level unless we’re good. So that means, like, are we sleeping well? Are we eating well? do we have shelter? Like, all these things?

Kelly Starrett [01:02:10]:

I think I agree with I like that when I grew.

Dave Morrow [01:02:13]:

So, like, you’re you’re hitting that fundamental level of, like, live kind of like a a pain free life with good movement. Awesome. know, if we can add some strength in there, add some good nutrition, then we’re laughing. I wanted to ask just two quick questions from some really loyal fans, on some things that are bothering them. So if you’d, kindly oblige me. one question from John, he’s got back issues when he runs. He his back tightens up. Which one thing you need

Kelly Starrett [01:02:43]:

to do? Couple things. One is, look, we don’t know how you’re running. So let me just say this. Are you heel striking? Yes or no? If you don’t know, videotape yourself. Cause if you’re heel striking, that’s not actually running. Because if I ask you to take your shoes off, you’ll stop heel striking. So one of the ways that we constrain that, just to be clear, you can healstrike for a long time so you can’t. But that drives a lot of extension So the first thing I would say is, hey, let’s be curious. And by the way, running happens above

Dave Morrow [01:03:12]:


Kelly Starrett [01:03:13]:

footfalls a minute on the right side. So a total time of 180 left, right, left, right, left, right,

Dave Morrow [01:03:18]:


Kelly Starrett [01:03:19]:

beats a minute, but it’s 90 is our minimum for sort of capturing the elastic energy in the in the calf. And oftentimes people who spend a lot more time on the ground aren’t able to manage Just they aren’t utilizing their sprainess. It’s a lot more muscular driven and it leads to a lot more sort of hard work and potential strategy changes that lend themselves to less effective, more early sensitization of tissues. So when someone comes in and says, hey, I have a pain in running. First thing I do is have them download a Metro Nome on their phone, Metro known app. and turn up to 94. I want you running between 94 96. And what you think to yourself is I can’t run that fast, but Kipchoge broke 2 hours running at 96. So — Yeah. you can too. So, Andy did it with his mouth shut brain through his nose. Just pointing that out for everyone. And, Yeah. So the second thing I would say is, well, what are the fundamental positions? Well, it doesn’t take that much hip flexion to run, but it does take a lot more hip extension to run. And if you’re missing hip extension and you can’t extend your hip cleanly and you’re potentially dragging your back into an extension moment, got away with it for a long time, but now your brain says, hey, I think we need to change or investigate your strategy. And so rear foot elevated split squats, couch stretch, anything you can do in the day. If you go to my Instagram right now, I have a picture of some videos about you know, ideas around getting more hip extension and training hip extension. You’re and I don’t mean standing up from the squad. I mean, putting your knee behind your butt, like, hashtag mean behind butt guy. I’m you have to have that leg behind you in a lunge like shape way more than you are. When we start to make all of those changes, Suddenly, your brain probably will think differently about what’s going on, and you’ll stop getting that seizing signal.

Dave Morrow [01:05:13]:

Interesting. Okay. That was an awesome, little bit of info. so definitely, John, you’re lucky, buddy. And one last thing,

Kelly Starrett [01:05:22]:

Let me give you a bill later, John.

Dave Morrow [01:05:25]:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, send it my way. I’ll I’ll send it to him. and then Gabe, his knees hurt when he runs. This is, like, the typical, like, army, like, issue, like, generalized knee pain when running. Is it kind of the same thing? Like, maybe he’s heel striking?

Kelly Starrett [01:05:39]:

Well, first thing I’m gonna say is, hey, anything that’s where you’re slamming your heel down isn’t running. So — Okay. we could expand this conversation. Well, tell me about your warm up. Tell me about your cooldown. Do you keep moving the rest of the day, or do you just put on your sneakers and and go slam the concrete? Like, why are we treating running? Like, if I’d be like, here’s £500 on the bar, and you’d be like, you don’t know if I can pick that up. I gotta warm up. I’m like, okay. So let’s treat running like a sport. We train and prepare for sport. Right? So there’s a whole lot of things we could ask there. Some of the drivers, typical drivers of lower leg pain, particularly knee pain and running, it’s just stiffness in the quadriceps. stiffness in in the calf. And what we what I mean stiffness is you can take this test at home, lay down on the ground, have someone you love walk up and down your quad. Just walk up and down. No big deal. They can hold on to a chair, but they should be able to walk up and down, and you should be able to say, this is lovely. Like, what are we gonna do for dinner? And if you black out or pee yourself or scream, it sounds good to let. That we should be able to walk up and down. And so there are some easy solutions towards addressing stiffness because that tissue became stiff because you were loading it in a way that that was beneficial. The brain put down a whole lot more collagen, made those tissues stiff, to try to be more elastically efficient, but you still gotta have your range of motion. So, again, look at the first rule, Hey. Am I heel striking? What’s my what’s my cadence? 2nd, because that will also stop you from heel striking running at a higher cadence. Second, we can begin to just ask some simple questions about, well, what what is the assessment? If, you know, some aspect of your rifle you know, malfunction every single time. You take it apart, figure out which piece wasn’t working. We’ll do the same thing with your body. What is normal? What should my quads be able to do? One of the things we’ve really tried to do at our company is through our app, we it’s 15 bucks a month. I have thousands of videos. you can search by pain. You can search by body part. You can search by movement. And what we try to realize is that I can’t help everyone one on 1. That’s always gonna be the best therapeutic relationship, but we might be able to scale this in such a way where we could give people enough information where they can improve their performance, help their pain. And our app has simple movement self assessments built in. I have the best Movement assessment, self assessment in the world. You don’t need a Goinometer. You you don’t have to aim a phone at yourself. You can be like, yes or no. 1 or 0. I have full range or not. And we do that in terms of red, yellow, and green. Here’s a great range. Here’s like, hey, I should keep an eye on this as the minimum. And here’s definitely something that’s contributing. to less efficient movement. It’s super simple. And we have these for the knees. We have them for the ankles. We have them for the hips. Shoulders. Whole thing. And what we finally quickly realize is, again, if we can get people to, again, a conversation about this, we can fundamentally change what the next conversation is because he’s like, I don’t know what to do. My knee hurts when I run, so I don’t run. There’s a thousand things you can do if you know where to look first. And so what we’ve tried to do is aggregate. It’s basically the companion app from a four hundred page book, supplemental, and simultaneously, all of the experience I’ve had on the planet working with the world’s greatest athletes and teams and systems like the all blacks, like the English and National soccer team, like the Brazilian National. Sorry. I mean, I get to test my model all the time, And then we suddenly win all that back down into what we think are really good systems. You can employ yourself without a lot of equipment. That is how we try to foment revolution every day. So go to the app. But in the meantime, have someone walk up and down. If you don’t have someone walk up and down on your quads, take a heavy kettlebell and put it on your quad while you’re watching TV right there. You should be able to take a full breath and should be able to contract and relax instantly and and move around. And if you find anything that feels ugly or nasty, you found part of the problem.

Dave Morrow [01:09:52]:

I think I think we’re gonna have to film that one because I think it’s gonna go badly, and people are gonna find it hilarious. but the app, we can find it, the ready state dot com.

Kelly Starrett [01:10:02]:

That’s right. the raceday.com. And, really, we feel like this is, how we’re we’re doing our part by making it actually, 15 bucks a month, you can cancel it anytime. There’s dude, I have a free trial. Go in there. Use the app, fix yourself, then cancel. I mean, really, like, we’re like, we we agree. You probably some of you may not have 15 bucks a month right now. You probably have 15 bucks for 1 month, or you can even use the free trial, fix yourself, and then get out of there. Like, but stop it. Where you’ve got to do this. You you literally the app is is me in your house falling you around. I do everything. It if you’re looking for a daily maintenance, I have a 10, 20, 30 minute follow along video with a ball and a roller. I’ll show you how to take care of yourself. That’s easy.

Dave Morrow [01:10:49]:

I can attest. —

Kelly Starrett [01:10:50]:

the body part. How much time do I have? Give me 10 minutes.

Dave Morrow [01:10:53]:

I can attest. You’re in my house, for a better part of a year. using the app is freaking incredible. So, definitely go check that out folks. Like, it is a no brainer if you need wanna get things moving and grooving in the right direction. So Kelly, I know you gotta go hang out with the wife. We don’t wanna leave him, in the lurch. so thanks so much, man. always such a good conversation. I I love having a chat with you. We could chat for hours. so folks, definitely head to the ready state dotcom, download the app, start the free trial, start moving, man. Start making it happen and, start being a part of the physical performance revolution. Kelly, thanks so much, man. And folks.

Kelly Starrett [01:11:29]:

Thanks. Thanks, everyone.

Dave Morrow [01:11:30]:


Kelly Starrett [01:11:30]:

Good to see you, my friend.

Dave Morrow [01:11:32]:

Absolutely. And, folks, don’t forget, train hard, fight easy. See you on the next. Thanks.


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Dave is a retired infantry officer and Afghanistan war veteran. He’s the creator of the HRD2KILL training programs that were built on the principles that got him from not being able to get out of bed to competing in the Crossfit Open, Spartan Races and the Ironman. You can find more mobility based exercises in his new book, “The Nimble Warrior”, now available on Amazon or tune into his new HRD2KILL Podcast


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