If you're struggling with chronic back pain, tight hips and stretching hasn't worked, there's a reason for that. Most likely you're not activating the right core musculature, particularly the TVA to properly stabilize your spine.

In this video we talk about the importance of activation before building muscle and why it's often the most overlooked aspect of training.

When Jamie and I started working on the squat he had spent years struggling with this foundational movement. Convinced that his hips were just too tight, or structural limitations in his body would forever prevent him from improving, he felt frustrated and confused.

By working on the right activations, much to his surprise, in just a few sessions Jamie transformed his squat.

If you're spending years working hard to improve your mobility and it's yielding little results, it's not you that's broken. It's the model you're using.

If you're wanting to dramatically improve your core strength and get more flexible at the same time, make sure you're working on activation, not just going through the motions.

Knowing where to activate, and in what sequence means the difference between working hard with little to show for it vs. working smart and riding week after week of momentum and improvement.

Want to learn more about activation and how to transform your limitations? Book a free breakthrough call with me today

If you've ever gone to reach overhead and felt like "it shouldn't be this hard," or have dealt with nagging neck pain, you know how frustrating it can be.

If you have rounded shoulders, chronic neck tension or a tight upper back, these three shoulder exercises are going to be a game-changer for you.

Subscribe for more valuable videos

These are based on Controlled Articular Rotations from FRC. Which is a fancy way of saying, make smooth, controlled circles with your joints every day if you want them to work nice.

Here are my recommended doses and instruction:

Do this for at least 30 days and see how your shoulders feel.

Too easy? Here's how to make them even harder:

Share the love, yeah?

Use one of the buttons on this page to share this with someone that needs to give their shoulders/neck/upper back some much needed TLC.

As much as we know sitting for long periods isn't doing us any favors, it can be hard to get away from it.

For many of us, working on a computer, laptop or mobile device is a necessity, not an option.

So, apart from standing (which is good, but also just another static position), how do we have better mobility at work?

I'd like to introduce you to The 5x5 Habit, a very simple way to reduce tension and fatigue.

  1. Set a timer to go off every five minutes (eventually, you'll start doing this organically, without a timer).
  2. When the timer goes off, simply change your seating position. Could be a squat, kneel, straddle, cross-legged, butterfly - the possibilities are endless.
  3. After 5 different positions (25min) you take a 5 minute break to stretch, move, hydrate, shake things out and recharge.

All you need is a yoga block or a few cushions, and a low table. You can use a coffee table, a step-stool or even a box.

There you have it. The 5x5 Method. Try it out and I guarantee you will have more energy, get more done and feel much better at the end of the day.

Can I do this working on a chair in an office?

Yes, absolutely. Try experimenting with different seated positions in a chair. Knees crossed, cross-legged, number four, straddle, and a modified kneel are just a few possibility.

Share this with a friend who needs this. Their low back and hips will thank you. 👍🏼

Want a free lesson to undo the damage of sitting and improve your mobility?

Si gn up for my free 10 minute lesson on how to reclaim your physical freedom. You'll trade stiffness and nagging pains for a body that feels capable of anything.

Get the lesson and move better immediately.

Stiff, tight hips are no fun. They can limit you in all sorts of activities, from running to climbing, to martial arts, or just plain moving around doing daily activities.

My hips took a beating from years of sitting at a 9 to 5 desk job, and they're still recovering. But with daily practice and self-care they've come a long way and I'm inching closer to the splits every day.

So wherever you're at, be patient with the process and know that with a little love and attention, they will get better over time.

Use this beginner-friendly hip mobility routine to start feeling better in your body immediately:

Subscribe for more valuable videos

Here's a breakdown of the movements:

Remember, chronic stiffness and nagging pains are not normal

The more you move every day and take care of your body, the better you will feel. You don't have to accept a slow decline or believe that "this is just the way it is" now.

Try this simple routine for a week and see how your body feels.

Let us know if the Movement Lifestyle group.

If you know someone that needs more buttery smooth hips, make sure to share this with them. 🙂

Want a free lesson to help you build a body capable of anything?

My course on mastering the foundations of movement is opening up soon.

Head over here to join the waitlist and get a free lesson.

Primal Squat Mobility RoutineThe deep, flat-footed squat is one of the top three movements we all don't get enough of in our culture.

It's one of the first diagnostic movements I have my students do in my private sessions and group classes.

It tells me a lot about their limitations and what injuries they might be susceptible to.

Why is this movement so important?

Getting comfortable in the deep resting squat can help you:

Just kidding. The people just sitting there are the real weirdos.

The best part is once you own this position, it can help you move more freely on the ground, with less pain and discomfort.

Access the Free Squat Mobility Routine

Here's an example of how mastering the squat can open more movement freedom:

Subscribe for more valuable videos

I didn't start here though! I used to fall over when squatting, and my legs burned like crazy. It's been hard work, but the time I've put in mastering this position has paid off.

I no longer have lower back pain, and I feel much more comfortable sitting on the ground than I used to. I feel much more comfortable working in the garden, and crawling around on the ground. It's even helped my tree and rock climbing.

The squat is more than a static position, it can open many movement doors

Mastering the deep squat has many applications, it can help open doors with:

"But Jonathan, I can't squat without feeling like my legs are going to fall off"

Or maybe when you try to squat you have pain, or just fall backwards.

I totally get it! That's why I created a simple mobility routine you can do anywhere in 10 minutes or less.

It's not enough to just "squat more" or "try harder." You need doable progressions that will guide you back to restoring the squat pattern you naturally learned as a baby.

All you need is a little determination, and a bit of space on the floor.

Access it totally free. Just click the button and tell me where to send your routine.

Access the Squat Flexibility Routine

six-primal-movements-post-imageIt's everyone's fear.

Some kind of situation will arise and we won't be capable enough to deal with it.

At some point life will require us to overcome an obstacle, climb to reach safety or defend against an enemy.

We need to be ready, and many of us as modern men feel like we're not.

I don't know about you, but I want to feel strong, mobile and agile in my body. I want to know I can handle myself in a fight. I want to know I can pick up my wife and throw her onto the bed without throwing out my back. Most of all, I want to be able to play and have fun using my body.

The problem is that we often jump straight from the couch into superhuman training. Crossfit, P90x, you know the drill. We neglect the fact that human movement must come before superhuman movement.

So, what are the most basic primal movements most humans are deficient in?

These are six bodyweight skills I believe everyone should master:

1. Learn How to Take a Fall (and Get Back Up)

If you're afraid of falling, you'll never take any risks. You'll play it safe, even with the most basic of movements, with your body and life choices.

To get over this, we need to inoculate our fear of falling and failure.

Make a regular practice of falling with control, gradually increasing the unpredictability. The more you fall when you mean to, the more prepared you'll be when you don't.

2. Master the Primal Squat for Unbreakable Hips

This is one of the most basic positions every human should know how to get into. It unlocks many doors with crawling, stalking and quadrepedal climbing.

Squatting should be practiced very frequently, in short doses throughout the days. Aim for accumulating 30 minutes of deep squatting on a daily basis.

If you can't yet get into the squat, watch this video.

3. Know How to Throw a Clean Punch

Everyone should be able to throw a clean shot to the chin. If there comes a time you must defend yourself, you want to be confident that you know what to do.

The jab is the longest range punch, which makes it great for creating distance and disengaging. Because it's the most basic strike, it should be the first one you learn.

4. Overcome Any Obstacle in Your Path

The life beyond the template and safe, well-lit path is filled with obstacles and challenges. Going off the terrain and creating your own path will require you to master the art of overcoming obstacles.

The step-vault is one of the most basic techniques for getting over a mid-sized obstruction.

Subscribe for more valuable videos

5. Get a Grip to Unlock Climbing Mastery

Hanging is one of the most vital movement we are all extremely deficient in as modern humans. Our shoulders are meant to climb trees, reach over head and swing from branches.

The more we practice basic hanging, and hanging from a variety of surfaces, the stronger our grip will be.

Bonus: Breathe Deeper for More Presence and Focus

Your capacity to breathe deeply determines your ability to be present, grounded and focused. The more present we are with others, the more they will trust us, relax with us and open up to us.

The simple act of breathing deeper immediately drops you more into your body. When you breathe with intention, you can't help but be here, right now.

Warming up our primal movement practice with a breath practice can improve the quality of our training dramatically. And awareness of our breath throughout each movement can increase the quality of every repetition.

Challenge: Do these six movements every single day to grow stronger

My challenge to you is to do these movements every day for a week. See if you feel stronger, more flexible, and more confident than you ever have. I believe you will.

And remember, these are the most rudimentary "elements." They lead to many other more advanced skills and movement opportunities.

The more you master these, the more doors they will open to further primal movement skill.

Want my best strategies and tips for reclaiming your primal fitness?


Subscribe to the tribe (no bribe), for my best stuff, straight to your inbox:

Join the Tribe

A few days ago in our private little community I asked if people wanted to see my morning ritual.

You guys responded with a resounding yes, so I went out to Mt. Tabor and recorded this video for you.

Of course, there are many layers to it, and I could create several hours worth of video content to unpack all the details of the routine.

Perhaps that's something I'll do in a future course. 🙂

For now, hopefully you at least get the basics of it from watching the video:

Subscribe for more valuable videos


Morning routine summary:

  1. Ground and shake - 5 min
  2. Standing check-in meditation - 3-5 min
  3. Deep squat breathing practice - 3 min
  4. Controlled rotations of all joints - 5 min
  5. Incantations to unleash your greatest self - 5 min

Total investment: 20-30 min

Value: undefinable

The benefits of daily uncaging practice:

Of course, you don't have to do this whole practice, and some days I don't.

If I'm strapped for time, I will do just get my bare feet on the ground, shake a little and do the joint rotations.

The point is to do it every damn day. So just do whatever you can, however you can.

Pro tip: Find a trigger that helps you anchor this habit. This is basically just something you already do each morning, that will remind you to install your new habit. You make it easier because you're essentially piggybacking off of something that requires no current effort.

For some, that might be doing shaking and joint rotations after your morning cup of coffee. For me, it's taking my dog out to the bathroom in the morning.

I hope this helps you uncage and awaken the primal beast within you.

Let me know how it goes!

Over to you: What's your morning routine like? Do you have one?

If so, what is it? If not, why not start one now?

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/

Note: This is a follow up to The Ultimate Guide to Superhuman Movement. Please read it first if you haven't yet.

The picture of Bruce hangs on my wall, drawn by my sister as a birthday gift

The picture of Bruce hangs on my wall, drawn by my sister as a birthday gift

Ever since I can remember Bruce Lee was my hero.

Wanting to be like him was what got me into Jeet Kune Do.

Coveting skills like the one-inch-punch, the "dragon flag" and two-finger pushups was the shiny object that sparked my soon-to-be obsession.

It's what got me to walk in the door. But it wasn't what kept me there.

Like most people attracted to martial arts, I wanted to be a badass. I wanted to move in ways that defied the laws of nature. I believe that with enough training and enough dedication, someday I could move like an immortal, just like the master himself.

Then, something unexpected happened... my speeding bullet train I was on to mythical badassery was derailed completely.


Note: This is a follow up to this post, about how the old world of fitness died. Read it here if you haven't yet.

I'm sure my story isn't much different than yours.

It all started when I was a kid watching shows like WCW and The Karate Kid. And although I didn't know it at the time, the seeds were being planted for my lifelong quest to move like a hero.

I wanted to be able to fly through the air like the characters in the video games I played on my Super Nintendo. I wanted to perform amazing feats of strength like the keg toss in the World's Strongest Man competitions.


Copyright © 2020 - Liberated Human