What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

Copied/pasted from an email I sent someone that can’t work with me right now but is doing his best.

Hey (you that deserves a chance to make yourself better),

Here’s what you can do:
Practice moving without pain. I’m serious. There are two things that generally create it: a specific range of motion or loading (weight, be it bodyweight or external weight).
1. Pick a joint.
2. Move slowly and examine every range of motion that doesn’t cause pain. Play with rotation as well as wider and wider circular motions.
3. When you find pain, note it, then back off from it.
4. Once you’ve backed off from it, load it slowly. Either press your limb into something to create pressure gradually, use an arm for resistance, or imagine you’re pressing into something. Anything works. If you find pain again, either spend more time with lighter pressure that doesn’t cause pain or change the angle again until you’re clear of it.
5. Continue to explore, load. Explore. Load. Back off, load. Hold pressure steady in the safe ranges for 20 seconds or more if you can, less if you can’t at first, and build up both in time and pressure amounts as it improves.
IMPORTANT: Use this information. Try and stay out of painful ranges as much as possible throughout the day. I would advise to pick one joint and work on it until you feel much better before moving on to another, but having 2-3 you’re rotating through would be cool too.
Why this works: Isometric loading is the safest way for the nervous system to experience engagement because it’s using the body without actually creating any movement. It signals cells to strengthen good areas which make a better platform for other areas to improve. Your exploration and loading will change every day. Slowly and gradually. The best thing for you is to have as much time under tension without pain as possible. When you get fatigued, take a break.
You can use this video as a starter guide and do it EVERY DAY AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN. All of your joints need motion to get and stay healthy every single day. Once you get the idea down you don’t have to see my face all the time and just do it on your own. These aren’t the only moves you should do either, and this is separate from the advice above. Do as small a movement as you need to at any point to stay out of painful ranges. https://vimeo.com/193724953
It will also help a lot.
Have patience, take my advice seriously, and keep practicing and getting to know your body better every day, and you will improve. Email me if you have questions. I’m serious. I’ll get to them when I can.
You can do it. Good luck.
-Sam

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