Greg Perlaki, DVRT UK Master (Creator of Dynamic Mobility and DVRT Dynamic Warm-ups)
There is a common theme that keeps coming back in the world of DVRT and it’s the idea of generating force from the ground up. Sounds simple, but it isn’t to get many clients to be mindful of or really have them understand how our feet are so important to our core and glutes! One of the easiest ideas to share with people is the simple fact that half of our bones are in the feet and the hands (must be kinda important right?!). This is important because the way we engage with the ground has an impact further up the chain. If you look at the fascial lines, you see how the body is connected from the toes to all the way up to the opposite shoulder.
A little background story that I have always been flat footed since I remember and I used to suffer from deliberating back pain. I couldn’t figure it out until the recent years that the two things are connected. I remember that I had several ankle injuries both in karate and soccer in my youth. Of course all of that had an effect on the hips and lower back. I’m sharing this with you because what I learned through DVRT is not the norm in the fitness industry and looking back it makes complete sense how single leg stability problems lead to my lower back issues.
Being single leg isn’t good enough, can we actually do things from a single leg position is so important!
A couple of years ago, I had an episode with a physical therapist here in the UK. She tested how my glutes were firing when I had to lie down and perform a hip clam and various other single leg exercises including standing on a stability ball. She was isolating my gluteals muscles to see how those react. The problem was that my gluteals were not as active as she liked them to be. So she prescribed me more balancing exercises on unstable surfaces. The only issue I had, it was way more stimulus that I could handle. I was shaking like a leaf pretty much. That’s when I started to use resistance bands around the foot in single leg exercises as a feedback mechanism (as you can see in the videos above)
I love what Dr Brandon Marcello says about stability:
‘Allowing wanted movement, while resisting unwanted movement.’
Dr. Marcello is a great reason that we can confidently say that DVRT is really derived from science, not just what’s popular.
It’s important as many people mistake that stability training is about being shaky or unbalanced. The problem is if the body is shaking too much the nervous system shuts down very quickly as it perceives that activity as unsafe.
One thing that I’ve found out in my own ‘stability journey’, as well as training my clients is how we’re able to create single leg stability both from the ground up as well as in the pelvic region. Following the DVRT principles I was using Deadbugs and single leg drills. I wrapped a mini band around my thigh and opposite foot to create that pelvic stability and right after that I performed some Single Leg Arc Presses with a longer band anchored around my standing foot. Doing this allowed me to progress very quickly and most importantly lead me to explore more single leg based exercises with the same fashion. I’ve been using these techniques with clients for more than 2 years and the feedback is amazing. That’s why I’m so passionate about sharing these with you as I know how quickly they work.
Did you know that old-time strongmen considered single leg exercises the pinnacle of strength? We’ve come so far from this with all the machine based and bilateral training as an industry. However, with DVRT and its progression based system there’s no better way to reclaim single leg exercises as the highest level of strength training.
The good news is that we don’t need to start with single leg exercises to get stronger and more stable on one leg. It would lead to a similar nervous system ‘freak out’ that I had on the Bosu ball. ( Ps: I actually managed to control the stability ball standing on it with one leg after doing the above protocol for a couple of weeks)
Following the principles of DVRT it’s easy to create instability gradually using positions like the Sprinter Stance, Half Kneeling or Split Stances or Step Ups (which are probably the most underrated single leg exercises). That’s why I made sure that I include all of these great exercises in a progressive way in my new program called Dynamic Mobility. Combining movement strength and REAL stability training will have such a dramatic impact upon your mobility training that you will wonder why did you waste so much time in the past? Don’t worry, all of us have to go through that journey to realize what really works and makes a profound difference in the results we can get.
It is our ability to bring science that allows us to create the “magic” we want to help so many people with in their fitness. Heck, look at how I can help my lovely wife Nora with her squat by using these mobility training concepts. She can still get strong while improving the way she moves. That is what smart and effective mobility training is all about.