#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (2023)

#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (1)

My guests this week are Juliet and Kelly Starrett, who are a dynamic husband and wife team and the creators of Mobility WOD and THE READY STATE. Juliet, a former attorney, left her job to run their successful gym and business while Kelly is a world-renowned Doctor of Physical Therapy and a New York Times best-selling author.

Their latest book, Built to Move, is set to release tomorrow. Unlike Kelly’s previous book, Becoming a Supple Leopard, this book focuses on the 10 essential habits to help us move freely and live fully. Our conversation delves into the most crucial aspects of movement and independence. Whether you’re a high-performance athlete or just getting back to the gym, this discussion can help you refocus your goals and practices to achieve them. The Starretts have done the hard work of simplifying and organizing the vast amount of information on this topic into an easy-to-use manual, Built to Move. Enjoy!

Sample Topics Discussed:

– 10 Essential Movement Tips for Maximum Mobility

– Balancing Family and Health: Practical Strategies for Total Well-Being

– Understanding Pain as a Request for Change

– Optimal Breathing Techniques & Better Sitting Habits

Listen to the episode here:

#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (2)#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (3)#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (4)#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (5)#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (6)

Key Topics:

  • How Built To Move Started [00:05:32]
  • Fitting the Changes into Your Life [00:17:11]
  • On Eating [00:22:51]
  • Recovering from Surgery [00:37:18]
  • Guiding as Parents [00:54:08]
  • Fitness as an Industry [01:10:20]
  • Objective Measurements for Mobilization [01:14:39]
  • Kelly and Juliet’s Partnership [01:19:12]
  • Future-Proofing Your Neck and Shoulder [01:23:16]
  • Eating Together, Winning Together [01:37:57]
  • Micronutrition [01:42:06]
  • Squatting [01:54:17]
  • Support for the Elderly [02:01:35]
  • The Influence of Kelly on Juliet’s Physical Practice [02:10:01]
  • Meeting Juliet [02:12:53]
  • A Backstory in Writing Built to Move [02:17:42]

#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State’s Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit

“We’re always in high-performance environments, teams, and world champions, looking at, “How can we tweak your life so that you can adapt to the stress of yesterday’s training or competition and have it leave less of an effect on you, less degraded, diminished performance?” Instead of you’re thinking to yourself, “I’m not a world champion but I did have a huge meeting yesterday and now I’m cooked today,” or, “I had a big deadline,” or something stressful.”

“One of our friends is at home right now taking care of his family after his father has passed. What is it he’s going to do? How does he manage all of those real, physical, and psychological stressors so he can remain intact as possible? It’s going to have a cost, the session cost. We can be thinking in the same terms we do in high-level athletes towards people around saying, “We want you to be able to adapt and manage.” It turns out there are real things you can do to help yourself manage higher levels of stress.”

“Hidden in this message is the idea that you think you’re working at your limits right now, but you’re not. You feel like you’re working at your limits but you can work harder, handle more stress, and be more resilient and durable. We need to make sure you have some of the tools in place and show you where you can do that.”

“We have realized we ourselves can’t rely on willpower and motivation. Our life is too full to sometimes make that one extra decision or rely on that bit of motivation. What we’re obsessed with is figuring out how we can create an environment to require as little willpower and motivation as possible so that the things that we need to do are right there and it’s easy to make the choices we need to make.”

My guests are my dear friends, Juliet and Kelly Starrett. Together, they have one of the first CrossFit gyms in the Bay Area many years ago. Juliet was an attorney, she left her practice to run their successful business and gym. Kelly is a doctor of physical therapy. I would go out on a limb and say he’s about number one or one of the number ones in the mobility space. They have worked together, they have Mobility WOD, and now they have The Ready State. Kelly had a book called Becoming a Supple Leopard.

They have a new book, Built To Move. They have given you ten essential habits to help you move freely and live fully. What I love about this is anytime you can take something complicated, like, “What should I be doing when it comes to sleep, my head, my neck, and my hips, or hydration, my community, and things like that? Talking about it simply but yet with the best information, it’s always hard to do. It’s complimentary. Kelly is a doctor of physical therapy so he is looking at the body and he’s analyzing and he is doing all these things.

By the way, he has some weird talent on his own, he’s naturally flexible. He has an artificial knee. He was a high-level athlete. Juliet has two artificial hips because she was a world-class athlete and a world champion herself. These are people who have used their bodies, beat up their bodies, know how it works, and yet they have spent the time to break it all down and said, “These are the ten things that you should focus on.”

What’s so amazing is, within the book, you got to score yourself. I’ll give you an example. One of the first ones is to get up and off the floor by yourself. If you can do that without using your hands or your knees, this is your score. If you need to put a hand down, this is your score. If you need to put a knee down, this is your score.

What they do is they give you practices to improve whatever it is that you’re trying to work on. They give you the ten things but let’s say you go, “I’m crushing it over here on these three things.” Keep doing what you’re doing and then you can spend the energy on continuing to improve and work on the things so you have that long story. We’re all interested and we all want to kick ass. If you’re an athlete, you want to be high-performance.

Also, we have to consider the 80 or 90 years that we’re going to try to be running around, hiking, enjoying ourselves, playing with kids and grandkids, and doing fun and cool things with friends. I admire these two because they live it, they are it, and they have done something that is going to be of service to all of us. The book is Built To Move and my guests are Juliet and Kelly Starrett. Enjoy.

Juliet and Kelly Starrett, I’m glad you guys are here. I read all your books. How long have I known you guys now?

Almost ten years.

It’s not that it’s uncommon, it’s unusual when people get in a specific category, specialized, performance, functional, fixing people, and all of these different things that both of you have been involved with. You go, “Let’s scrape all the cream off the top and break it down and give bare bone some of the essentials that we need whether it’s healthy aging, performing longer forever, and some of the things we need to look at.” What was the conversation between the two of you? What had been going on in your lives and your business that you thought, “We’re going to not step backward but we’re going to approach this differently and do Built To Move for more people?”

There were two things that I’m sure Kelly will have something to add but I’ll start. The first is that while we’ve always been working in these more high-performance environments, we also live in this quaint suburban neighborhood in Marin County. A lot of the people that we spend our time with and who are the parents of our kids’ friends are people who care about their health, they want to be healthy, and they want to be durable.

They’re health curious. They probably exercise but that might mean going for a hike a few times a week or doing the Peloton. Most of them are professional people, two working parents raising children, and they all share in common that they want to be healthy. We’ve done a disservice in the health and fitness business because these people are all totally confused about what to do. We’ve become the node in our community for any health-related questions.

Even though our lane has traditionally been maybe fitness, movement, and mobility, it doesn’t matter if there’s any health-related topic, we’re the node in our community, “What do you guys think about this diet? What do you guys think about this new way of exercising? What about this supplement? How much should we sleep?” We found ourselves always answering all these general health questions for people.

What we learned is that most of those people could care less about optimizing. All the things that we like to nerd out on, and we love to nerd out on with you guys, most of those people could care less about that. They don’t want to feel gross in their body. They want to have enough energy to be present in their relationships and present at their work and have fun but they still want to be able to have a glass of wine every often and go out to dinner with their friends and be able to function like normal humans but feel good in their body and be able to move.

One of the best things you can do to create a winning team is to eat together. Click To Tweet

What we saw and started talking about at our dinner table was that people are totally confused. We’re part of an industry that has fire-hosed people with all this information. We’ve all been able to parse out what works and doesn’t work and what makes sense to us but they can’t parse that out. They’re confused and often, that’s led to doing nothing instead of trying to do something. We thought, “Maybe we can start to put together and maybe take a look at what we’re doing that’s working for us and that are simple behaviors that we might be able to share.” That was the first thing.

Once the pandemic hit, we saw how much people struggled. People went from being health curious and having some health practices to falling off the cliff in many ways from a health standpoint. It was those two things together that made us think, “Maybe there’s something to this. Maybe we need to figure out how to cast a wider net and bring more people in and have conversations that are not just about exercise even though we love exercises.”

It’s interesting, people spent so much time thinking about exercise but you do that the least amount of time in your days. I always find that interesting. Sometimes I even think about sex. There’s all this conversation and all this stuff. If your life is spent on having sex, they make such a big deal of it even though it’s important. Exercise is imperative and important but it’s like, “Let’s figure out a way to get it done.” You’re spending way more time managing stress and dealing with your nutrition and dealing with your relationships and self-inventory.

I never thought about it that way and that’s spot on. You’ve heard us say this for a long time, we’re privy to a lot of data and a lot of dirty laundry. We see how the sausage is made. The cross-section of the people training here is a pretty good indicator, like, “Am I competent in my field? I don’t know. There’s a lot of people who are super competent in their fields around me.” That gives you an interesting insight into, what do the best in the world do? What’s sustainable? What ends up being essential? What has been sticky? What are things that have people tried?

Imagine now that’s the English national soccer team. We’re at a big scale here where we’re seeing what works and doesn’t work. What we’ve come to understand in the last ten years particularly but even longer is we’ve come to view sport as the testing ground. We can come to understand what works and how to get the most out of people. It’s not like, “Let’s get as much as we can out of you and then throw your body to the lions.” We did that in sport.

We tried that.

Also, we’re now having these conversations. It’s worth millions of dollars to you, potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to you to not have knee pain, to be durable, to extend your career, and be able to compete in your 30s and 40s. In all of that laboratory that we have, this lab setting, remember we get access to everyone’s stuff. They’re showing us their cards to help us understand this. We’ve always felt that sport is an opportunity then to transform society. If the highest calling of science is to transform society, sport is a real gritty science.

That’s tied up in entertainment and culture and it’s complicated but we felt like we should be able to take those lessons and transmute them to see if we could improve our communities. This is the first time where we can say, “We’re going to take what we’ve been doing and see if we can improve society.” If we look at any metric that we care about, is it any ACL injury rates in kids? Is that what you care about? Is it low back pain? Is that what we care about? Addiction? Is that what we care about?

Is it obesity or depression?

Is it a girl’s self-esteem? What is it you care about? Let’s then ask, how is this trillion-dollar experiment going? What we come up with is maybe we’re not getting the results we want. On our little end, we’re saying, “We can do this.” The other thing notable is if you spin a coin, it has two sides while it’s spinning. That first side, these are the practices that we come in with to help the world’s greatest athletes get it right. Find their blind spots and create awareness that you’re a human being.

I know you smashed yourself but I need you to move more so you can decongest. You are lying about your sleep and wondering why your knee hurts. When we come in and are like, “Here’s what we’re going to do to build elite performance.” It turns out it’s these ten things. Simultaneously, Juliet and I turned 50 this 2023. What’s not interesting is how much I can deadlift. What’s super interesting is not feeling wrecked in the morning. I have several fears but one of my biggest fears is ripping my Achilles off the bone.

Is that for real?

I don’t know why.

Do you have a thing or you’ve just seen it?

I’ve seen it. I jump rope, I take collagen, and I push sleds because I’m never going to tear my Achilles. I want to do the things that allow me to continue to be a member of my family. I took a bad spill in my pool. I fell on the concrete and the first thing I thought was, “I’m going to have to go and do the dunes with Laird and Luca.” I’m worried that I’m injured and I’m not going to be able to compete in the pool. That’s an allegory for a lot of people.

You’re worried about corn hole, let’s be honest.

Also, sucking even worse at cornhole. Sucking worse if that’s possible. This book, for me, is about how can I create a body that doesn’t leverage. I don’t have the world-class genetics of the people around us. How do I fit these things into my life in a sustainable way so that I can go party with my friends and so that I can come off the couch and be there? That’s a different conversation for us.

For me, this is an important part for anyone reading this. Build To Move has ten essential habits. There is what the habit is. There’s a test to see where one lays on it. I didn’t score so high on some of this stuff. I’m sitting in my office reading this book and then I’m thinking, “Sitting in my chair, how can I sit better in my chair?”All of these things when I’m reading the book and being honest with myself.

The other part of it is athletes are great compensators. Also, the reason they don’t ask for help or go to a doctor is that, secretly, you don’t want to look at how the sausage is being made. I want to say upfront, I experience that myself all of the time. I don’t want to show my weaknesses but I know what they are.

On some of this stuff like getting up and down off the floor, personally, I’m using a hand so there goes my score, down. What you did beautifully and felt important was, “It’s okay. You can improve. Here are ways you can improve. Here are things you can do.” I want to say to people that we’re all places and I could ask the two of you separately as people who created the book that you are each day managing. It’s not like, “We do all these. We crush them.”

We work in front of a computer most days.

JStar has had two hips and other surgery. When you say you don’t have world-class abilities, that makes me laugh because we have a running joke about your incredible flexibility. It’s awe-inspiring. For somebody like me, because the ground is far away and it’s getting closer, I have better habits in place because I understood it was going to become a real problem. When I see that I have such envy about how quickly you can go up and down on the floor.

Me too, Gabby.

You have things that you’re managing. I’m curious. On these ten things, individually, what is the thing or the things that you, as human beings who have two children, a business, a relationship and you’re trying to navigate life, what are the things that you go, “My score could be better.”

When you read this book, because you’re going to get it, understand that we’ve taken all of this thinking and we have all these techniques and tips and tricks and we’ve boiled it down. We view everything through this lens, “When are you going to fit this into your life?” If I hand you a busy CEO, a person, a mother, a partner, or an athlete, a laundry list of things to do, particularly if you are not a man and you’re a woman.

I’m like, “Here are another 100 things you get to do to optimize your life.” You’re going to slash my throat. Yeah. As Juliet told me early on, I was like, “Look at this biohacking thing.” Juliet is like, “You’re going to give me another list of stuff to get done?” First and foremost, the behavior of when you’re going to do this, that’s the first lens. How are you going to fit this in? We were working with the Marine Aviation Weapons Tactical Group school and we created this thing called the 24-Hour Duty Cycle, which helped frame, “Here are what we think are the best things you could do to take care of your body today at this moment.”

With those men and women, I’m like, “Who got less than six hours of sleep?” Every hand goes up. I’m like, “Who got less than five hours of sleep?” Every hand goes up. I’m like, “Who slept between 3 and 4 hours?” A 100% of the hands go. I’m like, “Sleep more. Good talk.” They’re like, “Are you serious?” What we end up looking at is, given your real demands at this moment, and you’re durable and you can tolerate a lot, have a baby, go ahead and start a business. Have a sick relative and let me know how your sleep goes. Of course, you can buffer for a little while.

We started viewing this idea of, “In these 24 hours, where are you going to have some agency?” How can we start to shape and constrain your world so you can begin to feather these things in the background so you don’t have to make another choice? You can use your will to be like, “Am I lifting weights or doing Pilates?” “I want to go to yoga or walk with my friends.” That’s where I want you to spend your will. That’s the first lens through which this is viewed. We are realists and understand we’re not fitness influencers. I don’t meal prep, we don’t do that. We have a son-in-law right now who comes in. Al the leftovers I had for lunch are wiped out now.

That was our old meal prep strategy and that’s gone.

As we went through here, we wanted to create a concept of a vital sign. Everyone knows what a vital sign is. In the pandemic, we figured out that you can add vital signs, respiration rate, SaO2s, and temperature. People got comfortable with all that.

People that are not scientists or fitness people or in the industry are talking about their oxygen saturation and SaO2 and tracking that stuff. We thought, “If those people can track that data, then they should be able to track these basic movement benchmarks and basic health benchmarks.

That’s it, we said, “Let’s go ahead and expand this concept.” If I ask you, “My blood pressure is 120/80. Are you impressed?” No. You’re like, “That’s borderline bad.” It knows if I’m above 120 over 80, that means that maybe I need to pay attention or whatever it is I need to do to manage my blood pressure. What we’ve done is we’ve given people a benchmark to be able to say, “That’s not a problem,” or, “I’m well below this minimum.” That means that we can start to make different decisions.

#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (7)

Kelly Starrett – One of the things we are trying to tell people is that we have conversations about pain. This could be the way into understanding your body or having a conversation with your body.

If you go to a big wedding and you are going to have a drink because that’s with your family and you are drinking wine and it’s celebrating, you know your sleep is going to get trashed and you’re going to fall below this and you don’t freak out because you’re like, “I got to have to make sure I get back on this.” I never eat enough protein. I never eat enough fruits and vegetables. I undereat all the time.

Do you forget to eat?


What is it?

What I’ve observed with his eating is that he doesn’t like to eat very much in a single sitting. We’ll often eat the same amount at a meal but then he would theoretically need to eat a whole extra meal. He finds himself behind usually in the night. That’s the thing he struggles with, he hasn’t eaten enough. He often will wake up feeling hungry. The reality is the food choices he makes at 11:30 PM.

He’ll snack it.

Maybe I should go for a period of time where I’m not eating. That’s probably what humans do, break the fast. You should have a normal fasting window, hopefully, more than twelve hours. I’m not talking about intermittent fasting. I’m talking about that there’s a time where you should not eat and we know that eating late at night is not great for your sleep and heart rate, especially if you want to keep your teeth.

Let’s talk about that because I go through this a lot. With certain things, I know better, and I can even talk about it. What is happening to us as individual human beings when we know better and we’re still in the habit? What happens? I’m curious. Personally, I see it and I don’t do some self-loathing thing but I’m like, “You know better.” What do you guys do?

I’ll let Juliet answer her half. For me, around the eating part, if I don’t set myself up to leave the house and haven’t eaten, I’m a little behind and I’ll eat a little bit later.

That’s the beginning of the end for him if he doesn’t eat a big breakfast.

You saw me, I came down, and I was like, “We’re going to train. I’m going to eat something.” I ate a banana and some yogurt and I was like, “I’ve touched this so that I don’t end up deep in the paint later on.” Now I don’t worry about food anymore, I’m not stressed, and I don’t fetishize food. I’m lucky in some of those things but I recognize that if I want to take care of my body, I need to get all the micronutrients in. If I leave that to chance, I haven’t eaten fruits and vegetables, or I’m way under fruits and vegetables, and then I can make worse choices.

This shows up. You guys were kind enough to direct me to Dr. Stacy Sims. What shows up a lot is that the first and last meal are important, in the protein part especially. How do you personally pick it up?

Sometimes I don’t feel like I’m eating a gigantic meal. I sit down with Laird and I’m like, “I wish I could eat 6 steaks and 12 eggs.” He’s like, “Now it’s time to fuel so you’ll get all the fuel.” I fill up. One of the things that I’ve found is that I prioritize getting protein first thing in the morning. Intermittent fasting, we toyed with that. I’m like, “This is super cool, calorie restriction. I’m skinny.”

I get it but what I found out was I was missing an opportunity to eat. That put me even further and behind to get baseline on macros, protein, carbohydrate, and fat to fuel the things I wanted to do. What I noticed is I’m like, “I’m sucking on the mountain bike. This workout sucks. I’m foggy.” I went through a big knee replacement surgery and if I want to heal these tissue, I better have on board what everyone on the planet is saying, enough tissue, and enough protein to heal. I was not hitting those minimums. It’s nice for me to have this minimum. If I’m traveling or we have a weird day, I’m like, “I blew it today.”

You know the North Star.

Tomorrow, I get another chance to do better or do differently.

Built To Move sets that up. Even in the scoring because you give 2 or 3 points in a window. I have to say, honestly, that there’s a gentleness to that which makes you more willing to say, “This is achievable,” rather than, “Forget it. I’m not good at that so it’s never going to happen.”

One thing I would add is that we have realized we ourselves can’t rely on willpower and motivation. Our life is too full to sometimes make that one extra decision or rely on that bit of motivation. What we’re obsessed with is figuring out how we can create an environment to require as little willpower and motivation as possible so that the things that we need to do are right there and it’s easy to make the choices we need to make. The nutrition piece is easier for me. I struggle in other areas and I’ll get to that. One of the things I’ve been doing for years is, after I work out, I eat twenty grams of protein in the form of some protein powder. Thank you, Stacey Sims.

You do the powder.

You have been doing that forever.

She first told me that years ago. It’s not even a thought I have, it’s the immediate thing I do. I do any kind of exercise, even if it’s twenty minutes, and I already have twenty grams of protein on board. If my goal is to have 130 grams of protein, I’m slowly on my way. It’s no longer a choice I make, it’s a thing that I’ve come to do.

Kelly always likes to say, “If I don’t want to eat cookies, I shouldn’t have cookies in the house.” We’re obsessed with this idea of figuring it out. What we’ve spent our own attention on is how can we constrain our own environment so that we can make the best choices possible. Of course, we still have weird days where we eat a protein bar and nine cups of coffee and that was our entire day. That does happen to us.

In the pool, I was like, “I sucked yesterday.”

You turned purple.

It was cold. No food and micronutrients and macronutrients would help you with the cold.

You’re right though about the gentleness, that’s the other thing. We’re also hardcore and you are too. It’s taken us a long time. Years ago, we would be like, “We do know better.” We’d be a lot harder on ourselves. Now, we’re trying to give ourselves a little grace and say, “We do have a full life and busy life and there are going to be days where we don’t exercise and we don’t get enough movement.” With the exercise context or taking care of your body concept, we somehow have framed all those things that you have to have a full hour of your life to do them. Otherwise, don’t do anything.

Often, people think, “I couldn’t go to my one-hour exercise class. I lost my chance. I’m not going to move at all.” We’ve learned over the years is even doing ten minutes of something. When our kids were babies, Kelly invented this workout called the 10-10-10-10 at 10:00. It was 10 pullups, 10 pushups, 10 air squats for 10 minutes at 10:00. Our whole day would go by and we’re like, “We’re running a gym and doing all these things and somehow we didn’t exercise. We never trained.”

We realized that it doesn’t always have to be one hour. It doesn’t have to be this formal thing. You don’t have to go to a class. You don’t have to go to a yoga class. You can do some things on your living room floor. Anything is good and it adds up. One of the things we’ve been saying since the beginning is if you spend ten minutes a day on your mobility and soft tissue work at night while you’re already watching TV, that aggregates to 70 minutes a week and then you can keep going up from there.

Does Kelly do that?

He does. He doesn’t need to.

He’s good at it.

How about this? It feels good now. I can start to ask, “What’s stiff?”

Did your knee replacement make you appreciate something about your mobility that maybe you hadn’t before?

I had my knee replaced over two and a half years ago after a bad ski crash, that’s what happened. The internet says other things like I was going fast racing a stranger and booted out and took a bad crash.

Was it a teenage girl or something?


I’m kidding.

It was a middle-aged dad but he was fast. He was an awesome ski racer.

It’s the momentum.

I was ripping on these detuned Slalom skis and I was like, “I am the Shiza.” I then slipped out and had this moment where I put my femur to my tibia. I stood up and I was like, “Juliet.” Juliet came down and was like, “What’s wrong? You’re covered in snow.” I was like, “I slipped and I sprained my knee.”

He’s like, “I need to go to the car.”

I skied down.

A quick side story. I’m pretty convinced that anyone else on earth besides Kelly who happens to have quads, they would’ve been taken down the hill in the sled. Especially after we saw the pictures of his knee later, the fact that he was able to ski down to the car was amazing.

One of the things we are trying to tell people in this book is that we, for sure, have conversations about pain. This could be the way into understanding your body or having a conversation with your body. We go everywhere and ask everyone, “Who’s pain free? Raise your hand if you’re pain free.” No one raises their hand. I’m at a division 1 water polo camp with superstars and national team athletes and 100 teenage girls and I’m like, “Who’s pain-free?” Not a hand raises. You’re like, “That’s weird.”

Clearly, pain is not a medical problem. Here are all these people doing their lives but living in pain. By saying it’s a medical problem, what we said is that until it’s bad, you can’t occupy the role in the family and do your job. Don’t seek help. Instead, do whatever you can. Here’s some bourbon, some opiates, and THC. Do whatever you need. Food. Self-soothe that thing. We want everyone to hear this message that pain is a request for change. Pain does not necessarily mean there’s a bone sticking out of your leg. It doesn’t mean that you’ve got rabies. That can mean that but oftentimes, it’s your brain being like, “What’s going on?”

Also, it doesn’t have to be your identity.

Don’t move it in and name it, that’s what I always say.

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It isn’t going to be who you are or what you are forever. Having experienced pain, it is easy to go into that dark place but it doesn’t have to be that way.

I heard a bright person, one of your daughters, tell me, “Thick thighs save lives.” I want to give her credit for the geniusness of that. I have taken this bad crash but I was strong. I had been loading for a long time. I had strong bones and good connected tissues. I was able to withstand a pretty traumatic incident. When I went in to have them assessed, they were like, “Can we watch you move?” I was like, “Sure.” I had all my range of motion and I could squat.

Can you imagine?

When Kelly says he can move, you can squat like you are eating around a campfire and going to the bathroom in a hole in the ground. It’s not the way JStar and I move. Even with that, you could move.

I could still move. They were like, “Why are you here?” I’m like, “I can’t do the things I want to do.” Jumping off the bottom of the pool would start to irritate me. She’d be like, “Do you want to go for a hike?” I’m like, “Do I have a Celebrex because my knees going to swell?” We were on a river trip with our family and I was portaging this big classic waterfall and I stepped down and I had one of those moments where you’re like one of those little toys where you squeeze the bottom and the thing falls apart. I almost fell to my death with the kayak over the cliff. I was like, “Something’s going on here.”

Remember, I go in with a full range of motion because that’s something I can control. What can I control? I can work. I continue to work in ranges I had. I didn’t squat for six years. I air squatted. I didn’t squat heavy. I deadlift. I could do kettle bell. I could step up. I could ride my bike. I started to work around it. This is what my body can do and let me maximize that. I can keep an eye on my range of motion and manage my swelling. Those are all easy and reasonable things.

They go in and they do the knee replacement. They had a hard time cutting my bones. They went through three saw blades. The head of UCSF, the orthopedic guy was in there and he’s got a resident and the resident is freaking out. The saw blade is spinning and smoking. They didn’t know what to do about that. My friend, who’s the orthopedic rep, was like, “It’s okay, his bones are just hard.” I learned this after the fact and I was like, “You should meet my mutant friends. I’m some middle-aged guy who does a little deadlift thing.”

He was proud, by the way. It was like getting a gold medal for him and they struggled hard to cut his bone. He was proud.

Three-blade man. The other thing is when they cut open my knee, I started to bleed profusely. The capsule started to bleed. Everyone in the room was like, “What’s going on? Why is he bleeding?” My friend was like, “This is a big aerobic athlete. Don’t be confused.” I had good circulation. That’s all developed through zone 2 aerobic work, walking, and breathing through your nose. All of that stuff, I’ve been doing for decades. We’re obsessed with you being durable and the hits are coming for you. You’re going to get injured. Something is out of your control. You’re going to mess up with your ego and crash on some slow slope.

You might get a disease.

All of that is going to happen or a huge stress event is going to come. What we want to do is build the biggest and most capable person who can withstand those hits and come back from that. Oftentimes, when we see people get older, their worlds get smaller and smaller. Something bad happens and you lose your ability to get up off the ground or feel safe doing a sport or explore your world.

Juliet and I are now turning 50 this 2023 and we’re getting to the place where we can pay our rent and we can put our kids to college. We’re starting to be like, “Now, we’re going to play.” If my knee is suddenly taking everything off, that’s a worrisome thing. We come into this idea that you don’t know how to manage pain and you don’t know how to take care of your body. The place for that to happen is in your home. You don’t need an expert to eat more fruits and vegetables, to get enough protein, to sit on the ground, and all the things that we’re trying to do here.

Finally, I want to say something about the gentleness. All the tests in here are favorable for the person. It goes to the runner. We’ve set the bar so that one 120/80 is reasonable. That’s a reasonable blood pressure. It’s not a superstar athlete blood pressure. Juliet’s is like a whale heart at night. She’s like,
“My resting heart rate was up, it was 41.” I’m like, “That must be nice.” That’s not me. I’m like, “Is your heart beating last night? No wonder you’re cold. You don’t circulate blood through your body.”

The other thing I wanted to say and this is more of a question for you and I would love to hear what you think. Kelly has been working with injured people for a long time and many of whom have had surgery. It’s the first time since you became a physical therapist and worked with many people going through and recovering from surgery that you went through the process of having surgery on your own. It’s the empathy that he was able to generate from going through it. It was hard. Having had a hip replacement, that is a relatively easy surgery.

That’s like a haircut, let’s be honest. If you live with someone who’s had hip replacement, who cares?

How about get it on the same day?

You’re racing and it’s a losing game. This is someone like you who has every tool recovery, all the knowledge, and everything available to you. He deployed all those things. He was a good recovering patient. He did all the things that he would recommend anyone would do and then some.

I would double down on the things.

You were stressed out at times.

It was still hard and he still went through all of the emotional parts of, “Am I ever going to be able to move the way I did before? Am I going to be able to do the things I want to do?”

I called Gabby and was like, “Have I made a horrible choice?” You were like, “You can’t make a decision for six weeks. Don’t make decisions.” I was like, “This is my life now.”

You have to check your emotions at the door at least for 30 days to 6 weeks and ride that out.

I started saying, “Work the plan,” that became my mantra. I’m going to control what I can control today and work the plan.

The other thing that happened with respect to the surgery that is still bonkers when I think about it is Kelly had a surgery on October 21st, 2020. We closed our gym three weeks after he had the surgery. In addition to having the surgery, it was an extremely stressful time in our lives. Because it was COVID, we had to pack up and sell and load up all of our gym equipment in containers and we were moving stuff. Kelly was having to carry heavy weights within three weeks because we couldn’t get anyone to help us move our gym up because it was COVID.

That’s why I got the cemented knee.

That was also this crazy thing that happened within a few weeks. I’m sure, in some ways, it slowed down his recovery. He probably would’ve been the fastest recoverer of all time given that he has all the tools. Real life happened. I have to think that it was this powerful experience though in terms of your ability to have empathy for everybody else.

Do you remember we were watching The Voice?

You put that into this book, by the way.

We were watching The Voice and Juliet looks over and she’s like, “Are you crying?” I’m lying there pumping my knee, the gym is closed, and I’m weeping. She’s like, “Are you okay?” I’m like, “I’m not sure.” I’m like, “I don’t know what’s happening.”

He’s crying during The Voice.

It’s an important reminder also that life comes in those 2 or 3 waves. People will be like, “Why is this happening to me?” It happens that way. You get the knee surgery and then the gym has to close and then the stuff has to get moved. When it’s happening, we can also know that. We were just saying it’s almost not responding, noticing, and being like, “This is happening. This is difficult.”

Do you know what I’m going to do about it? I’m going to make sure I get enough protein. I’m going to control my sleep. I’m going to control the things I can control.

If you need to cry though too, that’s important. It’s not about, “I’m going to suck it up.” It’s important to be like, “This is hard for me and I’m going to stick to the plan and here we go.”

There are two things in this book that I want people to hear. One is that we had done a big project with Amazon a few years ago on this big computer vision project. They had an idea that they wanted to be able to have everyone take their phone and have it watch you move. I helped them establish what those parameters were and we spent a lot of time doing it. They then canned the whole thing.

That’s great. How long did that take?

It was a great use of everyone’s time. I came out of that and was like, “Way too much precision. I don’t care if you have 82.7 degrees.” I was like, “That doesn’t tell me what to do or give me a range.” What we started doing in even on our own assessments is we call it, red, yellow, and green. Everyone can understand that.

#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (8)

Juliet Starrett – You can’t heal and you can’t clear the garbage out of your body unless you’re walking more. That doesn’t need to be for post-surgical people, that’s for everyone.

Yellow is, “Let’s keep an eye on this.” Green is, “You killed that. Go work on something that you don’t need to work on or you need to work on and you don’t need to work on this.” Red is, “Maybe give this some attention.” As you say, those point differentials in there help you be able to say, “I have a lot of priorities in my life. I’m going to choose one of these things and I’ll work on it today.” That’s more reasonable.

We share this but I have the worst ankle dorsiflexion.

That’s not true but we can expand it.

I have less good ankle dorsiflexion. The squatting chapter is the most challenging one for me.

I was going to for ask you. Which is the one? It’s not getting up and down off the ground.

Interestingly, I can get up and down off the floor. That’s one of those ones that’s a moving target for me and it’s important for people reading this to also appreciate that and start to understand and be able to pay attention to what influences it. If I have traveled and had to sit a lot or if I’ve done an intense workout, especially one that’s like heavy weightlifting and I get stiff, I need to put a hand down when I am getting up and down off the floor.

If I’m rested, recovered, and had had enough time to walk enough and move enough and hydrated, I can get up and down off the floor. That test, in particular, is the one that I can see the influence of my day-to-day behavior and one I do every day. I do it as part of my warmup now when I work workout. Every day I go to work out and, once or twice, I practice getting up and down off the floor.

You touched it. You say, “Where am I at?”

If you watch TV in the evening, sit on the floor.

Do you know how far I am from the floor? Can you imagine if you are my height?

It’s so far. It’s not fair.

That’s reasonable. I understand. I don’t know how long your femurs are but they’re twice as long as my body.

Have you seen Brody’s femur? She can crunch up into a little ball and I always say to her, “Don’t lose that.”

Don’t lose it is the right idea.

I say, “Don’t lose that.”

That’s the thing with me and the squatting thing, I am never convinced. I will never get Kelly-level ankle dorsiflexion or be able to squat like Kelly. Also, that’s not my goal. That’s okay. That’s not what I’m looking for. What I’m looking for is to say, “This is something that I didn’t pay attention to for my young athletic life.” As you and I talked about, for whatever reason in the sports I chose, I didn’t need to have access to that range of motion.

It might have been even a benefit.

In my sport, it might have helped me. Now, I don’t want to lose what I do have. I maybe want to try to make some minor gains. That’s an area where I have to spend an extra special amount of time working. I have this slant board. When I work, usually, I have a slant board. It’s something where I’m like, “This is always something I have to keep a special eye on because it’s a real challenging thing for me.”

In there, there are a couple of things. One is Juliet described something in our technical high-performance language and we call it session cost. What is the cost of the session that might be on your readiness tomorrow, that might be on your range of motion, or your ability to develop force? We did this thing, “My back is super sore,” that’s part of the session cost.

We’re always in high-performance environments, teams, and world champions looking at, “How can we tweak your life so that you can adapt to the stress of yesterday’s training or competition and have it leave less of an effect on you, less degraded and diminished performance?” Instead of you thinking to yourself, “I’m not a world champion but I did have a huge meeting yesterday and now I’m cooked,” or, “I had a big deadline,” or, “Something’s stressful.”

One of our friends is at home right now taking care of his family after his father has passed. What is it he’s going to do? How does he manage all of those real, physical, and psychological stressors so he can remain intact as possible? It’s going to have a cost, the session cost. We can be thinking in the same terms we do in high-level athletes towards people around saying, “We want you to be able to adapt and manage.” It turns out there are real things you can do to help yourself manage higher levels of stress.

Hidden in this message is this idea that you think you’re working at your limits right now but you’re not. You feel like you’re working at your limits but you can work harder, handle more stress, and be more resilient and durable. We just need to make sure you have some of the tools in place and show you where you can do that.

The other thing that’s worth mentioning that we’ve all talked about here is that I did the same thing with surgery that I’ve done with any world champion. What day is the world championships? What day do we have to be ready? How many weeks do we have until that? One of the things that Juliet points out a lot and that’s good is she’s like, “Everyone is comfortable with saving for retirement.” That idea. We’re making a business goal. You don’t do that for your body. For my knee, I was like, “At sixteen weeks, I’m going to deadlift 500 pounds because I will have healed.”

It’s hard to feel sorry for you.

500 pounds represented 80% of what I could do before. I was like, “That’s a reasonable target.” I was like, “Mechanically, my tissues are healed, and by bone should be healed. I should be able to do this. When I asked my surgeon, I was like, “I’m going to deadlift 500 in sixteen weeks.” He was like, “What? We don’t know if you can do that.” I was like, “What do you mean you don’t know if I can do that?” He was like, “I don’t know.” I was like, “Look at the bone physiology and look at the healing.” All I did was start working backward. Early on, I did a hip hinge to a high box and moved three inches with my knee looking like a grapefruit.

I moved tiny but what I did was start to work backward from the goal. We want to start expanding people’s vision of what their livelihood works. We’re going to use the same thing that you’re using for 401(k) retirement or for elite athletes. We’re going to say, “What is it you want to do when you’re 100 years old? Let’s start working backward. What do you imagine your life look like when you’re 70?”

I’m starting to have friends who are turning 60, that’s super weird. Laird is ten years older than me and one of the things that that allows me to do is it allows me to see what’s possible for me and I think backwards, “What do I need to do for the next ten years so that I can end up like that?” That’s a useful mind frame. That means that I need to work the plan today.

People want two things. When they get older, they want to be able to do what they want to do physically, they want to live independently, and then they want to retain their mental acuity. Those are the two things. Universally, that’s what people want. There’s no one who says, “My retirement hope is that I’m living in a skilled nursing facility being taken care of by my adult children.” There’s no one who says that.

Most people want to be able to move in some capacity. What that means is different to people. That may mean being able to play with their grandchildren or walk around the park with their grandkids. In our case, we want to continue to be able to ski, mountain bike, and do some more sporty things when we’re in our 70s or 80s.

If we know we want to do that, the same way as if we decided we wanted to run the Boston Marathon, we would say, “We want to run these 28 miles. What do we need to do to get to that point?” That’s our perspective now, “What are we doing now to put money in the 401(k) so that we can keep doing the things we love to do with the people we love?”

The other thing about all this physical and movement stuff is that we don’t talk enough about it. Much of what we do with our bodies and the way in which we’re physical is also connected to our social life and our connections with other humans and personal identity. That’s what we’ve seen. Many people in our professional life have had to go into this dark place.

Not only when they get injured or sidelined by whatever, even nagging pain and injury and they’re sidelined, it doesn’t take them out of being able to do what’s good for their own psyche but it often removes them from their community. That puts people into a dark place from a mental health standpoint. We think, “If you can keep moving your body and doing the things you want to do physically, chances are you’re going to re be able to better retain all those connections with your friends and family.” In turn, it’s going to reap all these benefits from a mental health standpoint.

When you guys talk about this concept of working backward from anything, it’s like, “What relationship do I want to be in? What are my professional goals?” It’s putting that template on everything because it’s like, “What do I have to do today? What strategy do I have in place?” Instead of winging it or, “I hope we stay married,” or, “I hope my kids don’t hate me.” It’s going, “Let me take a look at this and be systematic about it and act and create a strategy today that will change but that will get me at least towards that goal.”

The other thing I want to remind people is when you have these practices for athletes, there’s a lot of incentive there for an athlete. It’s your job and you’re good at it. In a way, I want to say it’s easier. There’s an immediacy to it and all of these things. People will look at athletes and go, “Of course.” I acknowledge doing it in your everyday life because you can get away with things that an athlete can’t. At some point, they’re going to have to perform. They’re going to win or they’re going to lose. That’s why it’s even more important to have these ten habits because it can slip away.

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It doesn’t matter. I can eat all the pizza tonight and tomorrow, I’ll be fine. I won’t be great tomorrow but it doesn’t matter.

What’s the cost? Someone is not going to punch me in the head and I’m not going to get knocked out or I’m not going to be last on the track and embarrass myself, whatever that is. I want to visit some of the habits. It makes a lot of sense.

Did we miss anything? Do you think there was a big gaping hole? We thought, “What do we put in here that a person can do reasonably that’s going to have the biggest impact?” Eric Cressey, our friend, says, “Small hinges swing big doors.” For sure, we thought critically about, “How do all these behaviors stack on each other so 1 plus 1 equal 3? Where do we get the most bang for the buck?” I’m interested, as we go through this, what you would add.

The things that I thought about are all extensions of these windows. For example, you talked about creating a movement rich environment. That’s connected also to fun. Stress management, for me, is connected to sleep. What you did is you had perfect umbrellas for many things that are important. At some point, you have to land somewhere and someone is always going to come up with, “You did it.” I’m not going to do that.

I do like that you said fun led with that. When we come to your house, we describe this place as a spaceship.

This place is the quintessential movement rich environment.

I have a daughter upstairs who’s in bed. She’s a teenager and she’ll move and play tennis and do whatever but she is in her room not moving.

Either on or off though? When she’s off, she’s off.

She’s like the dog.

This is a great place to start.

I want to say that. I don’t want to be like, “My kids are in the gym right now banging iron.”

Around here, there’s a pickleball court outside in the driveway. It’s not like in a pickleball court, it’s in the driveway. I’m seeing a ping pong table.

Cornhole is set up outside. We’re scared but it’s there.

There are other things that are famous at this place like pool, sauna, and things. The play piece is the background. We’re not driving somewhere to do a thing. We call it peppering the environment. Georgia, when she was a baby, used to have a pacifier. She would kick the pacifier out and then she’d be like, “Where’s my pacifier?” In the middle of the night. We would be like, “God.” You’d have to find the pacifier and put it back in her mouth. Our pediatrician is like, “You’re doing this wrong. You need to put twenty pacifiers in the crib.” We dumped a box of pacifiers in the crib. In the middle of the night, we could hear her arm.

It wouldn’t matter. She could sweep anywhere and there would be one and then she’d put it back in her mouth.

Guess what? We slept.

We were like, “Genius.”

Create the environment where I don’t have to make another choice. The thing I studied in PT school was barriers to adherence. What keeps people from doing what they say they’re going to do? It turns out any friction at all now in society. You’re shopping and you’re like, “Enter my credit card? I can’t do that. I’m not even buying that today.” That’s where the friction is now. We are a friction.

The bar is low.

If you sit on the ground to watch TV because that’s what you do, you’re like, “There’s a Hyperrise percussion gun. There’s a roll.”

“Maybe I’ll use that.”

“I don’t have to get up and do it. It’s right there.” That is how close we want to make these behaviors into you so you don’t have to do anything frictionless or create any friction. This place, even though we have a daughter who’s growing, our daughter spends as much time in bed as your daughters.

No. Your younger daughter is a water polo animal.

We had all our daughters’ genetics tested early on.

Reason number 9,999 is they’re going to be in therapy in their 20s probably.

We want to know things. I don’t process fat very well. That’s something I learned.

You’re a coconut.

If I just eat tons and tons of coconut, it’s not great for me. Laird can be like, “We’re having fat for lunch? Great.”

We also have gotten into watching the show alone. Have you guys watched any of this?


It’s a survival primitive living show. We’re obsessed with it.

I can shoot but I probably can’t shoot a squirrel.

I was like, “I could carry the logs from wherever we got them back to the thing. I might be able to make a teepee structure but I can’t hunt.” Sometimes these people out there eat fat and that’s all they eat.

Kelly would die. He would starve.

I would’ve diarrhea and then stared.

He would die of diarrhea.

I said, “Laird could do this. Laird could subsist on fat alone.”

Kelly and I both have a high genetic drive to move but Georgia has a low genetic drive to move.

How do you test for that?

Apparently, there’s a marker that indicates that.

David Epstein even talked about this in mice. There are genetic drivers and some people who we sometimes identify as ADD or ADHD have higher genetic drives to move and we don’t recognize that. For example, I am down to do whatever whenever. I’m like, “We’re doing it. It’s another game? We’re gone. Another pool?” However, my recovery scores are terrible. I’m terrible at recovery.

Kelly’s not the guy who can do 27 workouts in a row. He can, one time.

I bet you, she recovers and she’s down to move.

Cut off Laird’s hand and tomorrow, it’s back. You’re like, “I cut off your hand yesterday.” He’s like, “I grew it back.”

I bet you I have a low thing to move. I recover okay.

Caroline, for example, has a lower recovery score. Georgia, for example, who has a low genetic drive to move, wanted to bake and watch Netflix.

That’s her default.

As a parent, most of us would be like, “You’re lazy. Go outside.”

Now we’re like, “You got to go outside. You can’t be lazy.”

We knew it was helpful. It was helpful because we were like, “This is a kid who needs to be pushed. This isn’t a kid we can watch her do her thing.” She needs to learn how to like to move.

Feel the relationship with it.

Get the benefits from it. Being strong, being the captain of my water polo team. Now, I’m like, “What are you doing?” She’s like, “I’m going to do some back squats in the garage before homework.” I’m like, “My work here is done.”

It’s interesting when you say that about parenting. My older daughter is more still by nature. She creates an environment. The way she says it to me is, “You’re my mother for a reason.” I’m a person who goes all the time and gets a lot done quickly throughout the day. She’s not like that and she goes, “That’s why you’re my mom.” It’s to see her then force this template onto herself to say, “I have this practice at this time. I’m going to do this at this time.” She recognizes it. When I’m talking about Brody up there, the reason I don’t harass her is that when she goes, it’s full-on.

Georgia, who has now figured it out, loves to exercise and loves to train. When we were looking at schools in 2022, she had like, “Here are the reasons I want to go to this school.” The quality of the training environment gym was one of her considerations. She’s like, “I want to go to the school but the weight room sucked and they didn’t have good equipment and it was all bros on machines. I can’t go to that school.”

#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (9)

Juliet Starrett – People want two things. When they get older, they want to be able to do what they want to do physically, they want to live independently, and then they want to retain their mental acuity.

She crossed the University of Indiana of her list because she was like, “The gym sucked and there were no women in the weight room. I couldn’t go to a school like this.”

That’s also an example.

Modeling is part of it. This is what we do and we do it every day. It’s like plain white bread and it’s not sexy. We don’t get all pumped up. There are kettles in the garage. Mom and dad are out there training day after day and Georgia starts to get it. Caroline is the chosen one. She’s the one who could be an athlete in our family.

Finally, we have one.

Her recovery score is super low. She tends not to recover very well. Guess what we ended up doing? Protecting her sleep. That kid gets 10 or 11 hours of sleep a night.

She’s at that age.

She’s growing.

By the way, they want to stay up later, which is natural because of the brain. I did learn this because I was having a complex as a parent that they want to sleep in later. For parents of kids from 12 to 15 or 16, this is weirdly normal behavior.

They can’t help themselves. They have to stay up late. They don’t have the desire to go to sleep until 11:00.

Something in the brain happens.

It’s part of puberty and the changes in their bodies.

California has mandated some later school time for teenagers. How reasonable? Let’s make the environment fit the organism. Let’s not cram these kids into high school, it’s 6:00 AM. Our school starts at 8:40. The kids sleep in until 7:30. To facilitate that, that means if they go to bed at 10:00 or 10:30, we’re in the window of getting good sleep.

Georgia is a senior and maybe she pushes it sometimes. She’s on her homework. I’ll take 11:00 to 7:30 for an 18-year-old kid, that’s pretty rad. Our kids do protect their sleep, they understand. I now make breakfast because I make breakfast for the girls every day but now it’s a to-go breakfast. I protect that extra sleep. They need that extra half hour. Sitting down with me, it’s always to go breakfast. Here’s another example of shaping your environment. Georgia doesn’t like to eat breakfast. She’s Not interested. She’s not hungry. It makes her feel kind of weird. We started agreeing that she’d leave the house with some vitamins, an emergency, a little bit of protein, and maybe a berry.

Like a boiled egg or something?

Yeah, 2 scrambled eggs. I’d be like, “You’re set. I don’t care if you eat anything else. Let’s get some protein in your body.” Now she figured out that if she makes a protein shake, stuffs it full of good stuff, whatever she wants, I don’t care. I can sneak collagen and creatine in there. She now has a 60-gram protein bomb that she sips on for the first two periods. She’s entertained and she has this thing.

It’s her thing.

I’m like, “We solved that problem. Thank you, Gabby.” It makes me happy to make you breakfast. Now I’m thinking about, “How do I constrain it to fit the demands of what’s going on in my life?” If we apply that creatively, you can begin to do that easily because there are non-negotiable building blocks to being a durable person.

The other thing I’d say about this whole parenting thing is there’s a lot to say.

How much time do you have?

We could do seven hours on this.

The bacteria is growing but it could die off.

One of the things I’ve seen in my adult friends is the ones who struggle to fit exercise into their lives now were people who didn’t move as kids. In many cases, they were people who were genetically gifted to have a body composition that they get away with it without moving. They were skinny and they look great and they didn’t see the purpose of exercise.

It’s those people I’ve seen now in their 40s who it adds up and catches up and they no longer have the body composition they wish they had and the things that had always worked for them are no longer working. They are the ones who struggle the most to figure out how to add movement and exercise into their day.

That’s part of the reason we’ve been obsessed, especially Georgia being like, “If she can go off into her adult life having found some ways in which she likes to move, even if she’s not that motivated to do it knowing when she does, that she will feel better and that she will feel happier in her relationships and be able to focus more in school or at work or whatever.” We’ve set her up to be able to have a lifetime of making movement choices.

She’s trying to plan the senior trip with her friend, Izzy. They were having this mismatch because what Izzy wanted to do was go sit on a beach in Greece and what Georgia was suggesting was, “How about we go hike in Switzerland?” Everything that Georgia was suggesting they do was all movement trips. Izzy wanted to go sit on the beach. They haven’t figured out what they’re going to do. I felt proud in a weird way that what Georgia was hoping to go do on her senior trip adventure was to take an adventure and do something that involved moving her body. One of our missions is how do we make sure our kids leave the house. They learn that movement feels good in their body.

Also, develop all the strategies that enable greater capacity and buffering of the BS because that’s coming. It will come. You will have a baby and you will not sleep for a year. What is your plan? You will start a business or a business will fail. What is your plan? I don’t think we’ve given people plans. All of a sudden, we end up in deep water and we end up over our heads. One of the things that I like is, when I move and even if I feel like, “I don’t feel good today. I had a thousand reasons to suck in the pool today.’ What I said was, “I’m going to go and start and I’ll see what happens.” We used to have this joke, we’re like, “Let the intensity find you.” I don’t even know what that means.

What does that mean?

Honestly, I want to say this. Also, it’s helpful to live with a person who knows what you want for yourself and they also reinforce that. You’re in a partnership that also is supportive. That’s why it is important talking about your environment. No matter what, the existence of Laird is a great reinforcement to me about what I know I’m trying to practice. I want to remind people that it’s hard to do it alone.

Juliet is the greatest training partner I’ve ever had. \

She’s always game. She’s always down.

So is he. One of the greatest things about our partnership is that we’re always game.

You walk. You talked about walking to school. We talked about that there are some vital signs that maybe we can visit. We’ve talked about, one, getting up and down off the floor. you give a ton of research about why that’s important, especially as you age. I want to remind people that even though you’ve gotten this all together and accumulated the information, there is science and data. You guys are not just shooting at the wall. Let’s say that, of course.

You talk about breathing and some tests people can do for breathing. I found myself sitting at my desk and I’m like, “I know I can crush the breathing.” I was sitting at the desk holding my breath for fun. I’m not going to lie. I was like, “Maybe my breathing is impacted because I can’t squat as deep as Kelly. The human garage guy, Gary, talks about, “Why do you want to squat?” He gets into the whole thing about the diaphragm and the organs but also your heart. I’m like, “I’m killing myself because I can’t squat as deep as Kelly.”

You’re practically dead.

Extend your hips, you give movements. I’m going to visit the ten so people have a sense of why this is a helpful workbook. It’s easy to read, by the way. It’s easy to get through. It makes perfect sense. You guys did a beautiful job at it. It’s not that the Supple Leopard was not an easy read.

It’s great to prop up your computer with.

Do you know what’s funny about extending your hips, which I thought was funny given that Kelly talks about how he almost killed himself, falling in the pool? You talk about the importance of the big toe in the book.

You’re welcome.

You talked about your glutes and then walking. Everyone talks about how underrated it is. Fast forward to zone 2. You guys were walking your kids to school. We never think of that as important or, “It’s not doing anything.”

Especially if I’m an athlete or I Peloton or I do this other fitness thing, do I need to walk?

What we’ve seen is that the fitness business is a trillion-dollar industry and everybody belongs to 57 trillion fitness apps and going to gyms. What we know we have done a good job of in our industry is telling people they should exercise. We know people are spending money on it. What we also know is it’s not working. They’re doing it and spending money on it and it’s not changing any of our health metrics. If you look back at my parents, nobody went to the gym. What people did there was keep moving. My parents were moving a lot.

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That’s not what we’re trying to do. You need to walk.

What we started seeing is, regardless of whether they did a one-hour CrossFit workout or Peloton or whatever fitness thing they’re into, they were sitting for the remaining sixteen hours of the day. There are 1,000 awesome reasons we can talk about why walking is so good for you. What we realize is that maybe part of the problem here is that people aren’t getting enough total movement in their day. This impacts so many things. Can you fall asleep at night? Kelly had mentioned before working with the marine.

This was Delta Force.

If one of their guys comes and is complaining of struggling to sleep, their first prescription is walking more.What they’ve realized is that even those guys who you think are the most badass dudes on earth and who are carrying sixteen pounds, “Make sure you get 12,000 to 15,000 steps.” That’s an actual prescription given to these guys.

You see it in kids. You watch little kids. The goal of the little kid is to burn your kid out all day long so they get as much movement as possible so they conk out when they go into bed. There are all these sub-reasons. Kelly can talk more scientifically about the lymphatic system but we’re obsessed with the lymphatic system at a basic level. It’s groceries in and garbage out.

The lymphatic system is how we clear all the waste out of our body. The way you do that is by walking and that’s the reason why whenever anyone has surgery, the first thing they want to get people to do is to get up and start walking. You can’t heal and you can’t clear the garbage out of your body unless you’re walking more. That doesn’t need to be for post-surgical people, that’s for everyone. There are lots of different ways to get non-exercise activity. You can garden. There are 1,000 ways to get non-exercise activity but what we’ve found is the most realistic way for people to get more non-exercise activity in their life is by walking more and sitting a little bit less.

Juliet did this calculator when we were working on Deskbound and she’s like, “I found this online calculator. “If I don’t sit, if I perch and fidget.” PErching is called leaning up against the stool. if you had a bar stool and you’re perching, that counts. You’re above 1.5 metabolic equivalence, which is the threshold for sedentary behavior. If you ever remember the old StairMaster from 1982 and you’re like, “What’s a Met?” “I’m going to do six Mets.” “I’m crushing it, 7.2 Mets.”

None of us knew what that meant but we’re like, “We’re crushing this Mets thing.”

Your toes start slapping the stare above it.

Crushing the Mets. We can start to say that it’s not sitting or standing, are you above this threshold of physical activity where your brain starts to recognize that you’re doing something? Sitting in a chair, you’re automatically below one and a half. We’re starting to realize that if you can work harder in a chair, you’re not sitting in the back, you’re doing some of the things, you’re perching, we can get you above that one and a half.

Even with something with the knees and the legs, you gave several examples of even better ways to sit.

If you find yourself at one of those office chairs that scoots around, check this out.

There are going to be races in offices.

There should be. I can see it. Go to OfficeChairRace.com. One of the things that we’re always pointing at is, in Supple Leopard, people lost the narrative a little bit. The narrative in Supple Leopard is only two objectives. They’re objective measurements. People are like, “Where are the tasks? Where’s the proof?”
I’m like, “Range of motion isn’t negotiable.” That’s what every surgeon, every physical therapist, or every doctor says a shoulder should do. Can your shoulder do that? Yes or no? Within two degrees? Come on. You can have those two degrees.

What we haven’t done for people that said, “This is what you’re supposed to do.”We can say it with your heart rate and your blood pressure. Why don’t we also say that for your hip range of motion? No one cares about the hip range of motion, they care about what they can do with their hip range of motion. The first objective in Supple Leopard was this range of motion and all the mobilizations are tools to get back to your range of motion.

The second one was bio motor output. Can you develop more force, jump higher, run faster, or surf more? It’s the expression of physiology. What we found is that when we gave people the range of motion back and train, they had more movement choices and they became better athletes and they went faster and they won world championships.

In this book, we don’t say good and bad. We say, “This position gives you less access to your physiology.” You’re going to see decreased function. If you’re reading this and you’re sitting, go ahead and slouch down. It feels good. Take a huge breath but don’t change. How much air can you get in? We can quantify that.

I’m going to do something miraculous. I’m going to coach everyone. I’m going to be the best coach in the world. Get into a position where you can take a bigger breath. I didn’t have to tell anyone to do anything. You knew, intuitively, in this position, I can take more air. Prove it to yourself. Objectify it. That’s a much bigger breath. We say that this position transfers a little bit better than your C shape position because it allows you to ventilate, it allows your diaphragm to work, and it allows your pelvic floor to work.

Let’s do another experiment around physiology. Go ahead and slouch down. Look over your right shoulder. You see how far you can look. Get into a position where you take a big breath. Look over your right shoulder. You can turn your head further. The range of motion capacity hints at, “Can I maintain the integrity of my body? Can I do more with my available state?” That hints at this position is fine. We want to move away from pain. “Don’t do that. You’ll get injured.” “Are you serious? Have you seen some of these mutants walking around? I can do anything to them and they won’t get injured.” What I can say is this position transfers more effectively.

Reece is in the pool. One of the things that will happen is that you’ll realize if you tilt your head back and try to sip with your lips, you can breathe. You’re going to have to come out of the water with your head more neutral and breathe. Otherwise, you take this glass ceiling breath. That is a great example of this position. It doesn’t transfer as well. That’s what we’re getting at when we start to say things like, “Can we adjust your chair so you have better access to your physiology?” How can we make choices in our life that maintains and protects our ability to move?

I am wondering, Juliet, if you are the voice of reason. You’re an attorney by education. Kelly is intimate with a lot of technical terms, mechanical, medical, and anatomy. Doing this project together, Juliet was, a voice of simplification and reason during this and how that worked.

Let me start by saying she’s always been that voice.

From MobilityWOD to The Ready State, in this partnership, you have creativity and content.

Juliet is like, “You’re not explaining it well. You need to be more concise.” She has always been on the side of the user. She’s like, “Not everyone lives in your brain all the time obsessing about it.”

This is a couple’s question. I work with Laird and people work together. Does Kelly have thick skin? How do you drop off that information? I’m also curious about working together as a married couple.

One thing that’s nice is we’ve been together and worked together long enough that I can tell where Kelly is at mentally and I can decide how I’m going to approach him.

As a wife, I know exactly what that means.

I can see where he is. There are some times when I can say to him extremely directly, “Nobody cares what you’re talking about. You made an entire video about the internal rotation of something and you put it up on Instagram and you don’t understand why people don’t get it.” I’m like, “No one cares. No one cares what you’re talking about. What are you talking about? No one cares.”

#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (10)

Kelly Starrett – Most people want to be able to move in some capacity. What that means is different for people. That may mean being able to play with their grandchildren or walk around the park with their grandkids.

I can sometimes be that blunt but I can also tell sometimes when he was feeling particularly passionate about something and I want to give him some feedback. I will try to be more gentle about how I give him that feedback. That has been often my role. There are a couple of things that drive him crazy. People struggle to understand what mobility means.

We certainly own our own role in maybe confusing what it means for people or over-complicating it. Sometimes I’ve said, “Kelly, maybe we should make a video called What is Mobility? He’d be like, “I made that video 75 times. People aren’t understanding it.” I was like, “Sometimes you need to tell people the same thing seven times or different ways or you need to try to say it without those physical therapy words mixed in.” That has been often my role.

I am not a physical therapist and I don’t understand anatomy and physiology with the great expertise that Kelly does but I care a lot about it. I’m passionate about what we do and I’m passionate about people moving more. I am passionate about expanding and widening the net so that more people feel better in their bodies. It has been my role to figure out, “How can we communicate this in a more simple way?” This was one of the goals of this book. In fact, we had quite a few conversations at our dining room table, like, “Is this too simple? Have we oversimplified it?”

It is very simple but the hardest thing in the world is to take a complicated thing and make it simple. You have to understand something. I heard a great story, I can’t remember which coach. Somebody was telling me a story about a coach and they were going out to do their performance, whatever that was, whatever routine, or whatever meet they were at. They said to this high-level coach, “Do you want to say anything last minute?” He goes, “Don’t screw it up.”

At some point, you could be like, “What are you going to say?” Laird talks about it all time in performance. You watch somebody and they almost wipe out. The guy who makes you think you could do it, that’s simple, that’s complex, that’s heavy, and that’s high performance. Saying that is exactly the right feeling to have because layered within it are complex ideas and completely achievable for the end user. I’ve got to ask about future-proofing your necks and shoulders. Why that and what exactly did that mean?

There are areas of the body that end up feeling like a black hole. If I say to the average person, “Rotator cuff,” they’re like, “I know what that is. I have a rotator cuff.” I’m like, “What does it do? How do you access it? What does it mean?” They’re like, “I don’t know.” They’re like, “My shoulder hurts. It’s the shoulder.” I’m like, “Are your triceps part of your shoulder? What are triceps?”

A side story. This reminded me of something. We have these protocols on our website and we call them Fix Yourself Protocols. If you have plantar fasciitis, you can go through this protocol. Kelly creates this one and he’s like, “I made this rotator cuff protocol.” I was like, “No one cares about that. No one even knows what their rotator cuff even is. They don’t even know what it is.”

She’s not wrong.

The only thing people know is shoulder pain. We had to reshoot some of the videos, which Kelly was annoyed about.

That probably went over well.

He was extremely annoyed. We had to reshoot some of the videos and call it a shoulder pain protocol because I was like, “That’s overly specific. Most people don’t know. They just know they feel pain in this part of their body and it might be their rotator cuff but they don’t know.”

What we try to do here is give a simple model for people to understand that the pelvis, the lower back, and the leg are connected. If you have stiff hips, that may be causing your lower back to work in a way that your brain starts to pay attention and say, “Something’s not working right. Something is a miss here I have low backache.” It doesn’t mean you’re spine, it can be anywhere in your lower back. One of the things that we’re always disentangling or one of the things I would say everyone can control is the range of motion.

Imagine if you have back pain and no one tells you your hips are stiff or that your missing hip extension could be contributing to how you’re moving and how your body is managing how you’re moving in the world. What we can always do is say, “Let’s improve your range of motion back to what we think everyone agrees your hips should be able to do.” People start to wrap their heads around this relationship between, “My quads are stiff, that may be causing or contributing to why my brain is interpreting this on my knees.” We know that happens, all of us.

That was me. I got beef jerky quads.

I work on my quads all the time. If I don’t work on my quads, my low back aches and I’m like, “Guess who hasn’t worked on his quads? His low back is stiff.” The more I bike, my lower back gets a little stiff or if I don’t work on my quad. Now let’s apply the same rationale to your neck, your thoracic spine, and your shoulders. Your neck holds up your head. Your thoracic spine is where your ribs and heart are, that’s your chest and your shoulders and arm attaches. We set our definitions correctly.

These are all systems that create stability and movement options and relate to each other. If I ask you your traps, which are your big neck muscles, what do they attach to? Your neck. What do they attach to your shoulder blades? If you want to lift your shoulder blade up or lift your arm up, you have to use your traps. What do those attach to? Your neck. If you sit in a C shape all the time, what we see is a loss of function in your shoulder and a loss of function in your neck related to your positions.

It seems like one of the things that we want to do to future-proof and restore your ability to access your range of motion and turn on the right muscles and move better is to make sure you can do the things you need to do. Throughout the book, we don’t lead with the mobilization. The way we lead is if you want to improve your range of motion, you should start by doing the thing we’re trying to do. If you want to have a better hip range of motion, let’s get you on the ground and let’s sit on the ground a bunch. Suddenly, ten minutes of sitting on the ground is going to be gnarly for you and you’re going to be like, “My hips and my back.”

First, you have the modified thing, like, “Sit with one leg bent and one leg out.” You have like, “Sit cross-legged.” You give examples.

Solutions and workarounds. When I come into a program, I’m asked to evaluate people’s programming all the time as a performance coach. One of the things that I do is start to ask, “In your programming, do you make your body move the way it’s supposed to move?” If I get into yoga, your shoulder does all the things shoulders need to do.

Let me be clear, because that seems like a huge ask, it’s Like, “What are you talking about?” Your arms go over your head, your arm goes behind you, your arm goes in front of you, and it goes out to the side. That’s all your shoulder does. You can bend the elbow or straighten the elbow but all of those positions ultimately make up the root of anything that your shoulder can do. It might be halfway in between but those are the bookends.

When I’m doing XPT and I’m doing jumps, my arms are over my head. When I’m crawling on the floor, my shoulders are in extension. When I’m doing those falls to the side, my shoulder is out to the side. Suddenly, if I jump into high X, I’m like, “I see why Gabby is making the choices she’s making for exercise because she’s asking my body to maintain specific positions which are required for me to have good function.”

The translation of the language is exercises but the root are these shapes and positions. If someone comes in and I’m like, “You didn’t snatch today,” or, “You didn’t do anything to rotate. You didn’t swing a kettlebell.” That may be why you’re missing some of this key range of motion your arms by your side and that can be contributing to why your shoulder isn’t functioning. When people have neck pain, we’re like, “I don’t know. Is it rabies? What’s going on? Did I catch something? Do I have gonorrhea of the neck?” I don’t know. My default is meningitis.

He’s had it twenty times.

I’m like, “I have meningitis.” She’s like, “Maybe you’re sleepy.”

Maybe your pillow was weird. You have a lot of stress because you’re doing a book.

The other thing I would add from the layperson’s perspective is there are two things that sideline people, neck pain and low back pain. Because those two things are connected to your nervous system, those are the things that take people out of doing anything. People can seem to deal with a lot of knee pain and other types of pain in the body. They can work through that and keep doing their gym routines.

As we both know, there’s a lot you can work with but there’s something about the connection between this neck pain and low back pain thing. If you have those things and if you’ve suffered from it chronically, it can pull you out of being able to do the movement you like because it’s connected to your nervous system. That’s one of the reasons why that’s such an important chapter in the book because it’s one of those places where you’ve got to keep an eye on it and you’ve got to make sure you keep your range of motion.

To show our associations, Laird and Gabby have done more to help low back pain and neck pain than anyone else I know. You have popularized this idea of better ventilation and better breathing. You put it on my radar in such a powerful way that I made breathing the first exercise I give someone with chronic low back pain. I need to make sure that your diaphragm moves, that your organs move, and that your ribs move.

We need to be able to do that in a way that gives non-threat to the body. We can begin to restore these relationships. You shut your mouth and take a breath through your nose and you stop breathing in your neck. I talked about how these things stack. If I’m sitting at my desk all day long and I now can’t take a breath in my belly because my belly doesn’t work, where am I going to breathe? I’m going to breathe with the other mechanics I have and that ends up being the neck and the jaw. I’m going to ventilate.

If you’re being chased by Cocaine Bear, you should definitely breathe through your mouth and neck. I want to turn on all the nitro. I want to go as fast as I can. I want to breathe in my ribs and my neck and my chest. When you breathe in your neck like we did when we’re sitting, mouth open and mouth breathing, your brain thinks you are being attacked by Cocaine Bear.

You’re under stress.

It turns out to be, “How about this? Who cares about that? Horribly inefficient.” That is not where your big breathing muscle is. Imagine that I’m using these little tiny turbo boosters to move the whole ship around. I’m going to burn them out or they’re going to get tired or they’re going to get stiff. I’m using my neck to ventilate and not using my trunk and all those things. Suddenly, breathing ends up becoming a component to your neck pain.

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If you’re stiff in that C, you can do all the chin glands you want but you’re stuck in a C position. Now we start to see that if I’m going to get to the bottom of your shoulder pain, I have to talk about your breathing and your thoracic chest organization. If I want to get to the bottom of your neck pain, I’m going to have to talk about your breathing, how your T spine moves, and how your shoulder works if I’m going to manage that. It’s not complicated.

You need to put your arms over your head. You need to put your arms out to the side and suddenly you’re like, “Turkish getups makes a lot of sense.” Chaturanga or that basic yoga flow where you go to downward dog and then to a pushup, you’re almost pushing through all of the shapes of the shoulder, three key shapes in that one thing. It’s almost like someone figured this out a long time ago and was like, “Check this out.” We see that people don’t have this language. You may not put your arms over your head until you’re forced to swim in your friend’s pool.

A lot of people have gotten interested in and are practicing breathing but one of the missing things we see is that they may be practicing but they don’t even have access in their physiology to be able to take a full breath because they’re missing poor range of motion in their thoracic spine. We’re like, “Yes, you want to practice the structure around a breathing practice.” You can also make that breathing practice so much better and more efficient if you can have access to your physiology to be able to take those full breaths that Laird would be directing you to do in some breathing practice.

You mentioned Wim Hoff in your book. People who practice yoga or all types of ancient practices, they’ve said it is the essence of life, taking a breath but giving it its due. I feel like it’s like, “We’re not banging iron,” or, “I only have twenty minutes.” Also, giving breathing, breathing correctly, and the mechanics, and I am guilty of this as well, it’s due is important. Sometimes when you say, “You only have ten minutes.” That ten minutes might be well spent lying flat on the floor and trying to get access to those breathing muscles. I appreciated that was isolated and brought back into the conversation. We always feel like we have to be doing something. The reason I know this is I am built this way. It doesn’t count if it isn’t hard.

That’s reasonable. “I have to suffer to make progress.”

It’s also that that same mentality we have where it has to be that whole block, you’re like, “Why would I practice my breathing if I don’t have time to do a full breathing system?”

“I only have four minutes.” You can do that everywhere. You give suggestions in the book. Even if we’re sitting in these certain ways, you can soften up your belly and get access to that diaphragm and slow down the breathing. I want to remind people. I have to remind myself. You talk about nutrition, eat like you’re going to live forever. That is the killer. We talked about that earlier where it’s forever in all people. You give great examples but you also encourage people to see how they feel. If you eat high protein or more carbohydrate or more vegetable, how do you feel? How do you sleep? How’s your elimination? You touch upon that in the book. For people, it’s Important to prepare meals as much as you can at home. It’s a pain in the ass.

We have gone out of our way to teach our daughter how to cook.

Did it work?

Georgia is a great cook. She cooks for her friends. She loves to bake. She loves to cook for us, “Can I make dinner tonight?” I’ll be like, “Who are you? You’re contributing?” One of the things that Juliet has brought up in terms of resilience in your community, we found that all the high-performance environments that we go into, one of the best things you can do to create a winning team is eat together.

That’s it. I have this discussion with my youngest, “We are a family and we are going to eat dinner together. You’re going to come down there.” There were nights where maybe she doesn’t want to see a bunch of people. I’m like, “It’s okay.” It is important. I want to say to people, I’m not every day being like, “I’m excited to prepare dinner.” It’s a pain in the butt. You have to strategize.

I know we talked about meal preparation. I’ll be honest, the best thing I can do is have the ingredients in the house. I have never meal prepped. I’ve never cooked ahead 2 or 3 days. I can barely do it. If I have the stuff in the house, that’s the best I can do for 2 or 3 days. because with the produce and stuff like that. When people go, “I don’t have time.” I’m like, “How is this not a priority?”

You haven’t experienced the benefits of sitting down with your family or with someone in your household or someone on your team. Seeing that food is not just nutrition and fuel, it’s also the reason to connect. That is lost.

Some of the greatest conversations we’ve had with our kids and our kids’ friends have been around the dinner table.

Our kids’ friends are shocked when we all sit down at the table and then they’re asked to contribute. Caroline has these cards she got.

They’re called Conversation Starters.

Caroline is far out.

None of us know what she’s going to do. We got these conversation starters, they’re playing cards.

What’s it like? Is it like, “What’s your sign?”

She looks through them. We’re made fun of them.

We calm the crap out of them.

Which Kardashian do I like the most?

Which useless superpower would you give yourself? As an example, I’ll tell you one that I thought of on that night. I was like, “My useless superpower is I wave my arm like this and then there’s a rainbow.” A useless supercar. It’s cool to be able to do that.

Caroline said, “I want to be able to be like, “Phew,” and there’s a wind in my face that pulls my hair back.

It’s a fan machine.

I want to be able to talk to squirrels.

You had to have been in photo shoots with fans.

That’s useless.

What was yours?

It doesn’t tell you anything but being able to talk to squirrels, what would that give you? The dog thing is way too useful.

This is useful in my house but it’s useless. I used to dream that I could make twenty-foot waves at a beckoning. When Laird was miserable, the night before I would go to sleep and I’d go, “It’s going to be okay.” It is in my house but otherwise, it’s useless.

You could go this and you’re like, “20-foot waves.”

You go do this and the sand falls off your feet.

That’s amazing. Who likes sand in their bed?

It feels good.

That’s good. Nutrition, you talked about hydration. We talked about protein. Everyone is like, “Drink more water. Hydration.” The deeper you get into it, whether it’s recovery or flexibility.

You want to decongest your tissues. Juliet is good at nutrition. She’s done some level-two precision nutrition. This is her jam and she loves it. I hate.

It’s your chink in your armor, which is great.

That’s reasonable. I accept that now. Thanks for pointing that out. I agree.

I say that with love.

I’m not interested in talking to people about their diets.

Also, you’re like, “Food. I could take it.” It seems like you enjoy it when you do have it but it’s not like you’re obsessed.

I’m obsessed with dessert, that’s true.

He likes to have dessert.

I had to start caring about it because I saw it as a limiter to healing and a limiter to your soft tissue quality.

Back to your ultimate fear of tearing your Achilles. If you don’t eat a vegetable, you’re going to tear your Achilles.

I have seen too many torn Achilles. It’s not my fault. People who have been in car accidents are like, “I’m not driving fast. This is dangerous.” If we’re trying to increase your connective tissue health so that you can stumble or do something or play pickleball, we’re going to play pickleball. I’m not afraid.

#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (11)

Juliet Starrett – Once the pandemic hit, we saw how much people struggled. People went from being health curious and having some health practices to falling off the cliff in many ways from a health standpoint.

Because you have nutrition and you’re hydrated.

That means also part of that is micronutrients.

We hear these terms. For the regular human, what does that mean?

It means fruits and vegetables.

What about minerals? Do you put minerals in your water by any chance? I started to do a little more.

I learned that from you.

Also, it’s for my heart. For women especially, going to bed dehydrated is tough on their hearts.

What I will say is that we take magnesium every night. In the morning, I take some other minerals.

Do you ever do greens or anything? Powder greens? Do you ever gag those down or what?

I struggle with it because they make me gag.

Turn it into a smoothie like Georgia’s smoothie.

I will drink them because I know it’s good for me and I don’t mind them. Georgia loves greens. She’s found a powdered green.

If you find good greens, you do start to crave them. Your body pushes you and says, “Hey.”

You are not the person I’m worried about. Oftentimes, when we give someone greens, what we’re saying is, “Don’t need any fruits and vegetables. You’re covered.”

Fair enough. You need that fiber, people.

You need to chew and you need some fiber.

Fat or fiber.

Contrary to our earlier discussion, it is important to chew some food during the day.

It’s not just the veggie.

If we could paste everything, it’d be great. It’s crucial. Breakfast is a priority for me. We borrowed this thing from our friend who has a simple idea around satiety helping you feel full and around expanding what you eat and not taking things away. We realize that if we get people to eat their protein minimums and then come over here and smash 1.7 pounds of fruits and vegetables, that’s 800 grams, good luck. You’re feeling like you’re eating a bag of chips.

Before everyone runs for the hills because when you say it and pounds it sounds unattainable, four large apples are 800 grams. Our point of view is it doesn’t matter.” If you want to get your grams by eating four apples a day, that’s not the limiting factor. Somehow in this whole third rail that is nutrition, people are like, “You can’t eat a banana. You can’t eat fruit.” We lost our way in terms of advising people when it comes to health.

At the Biohacking conference, I mentioned eating two bananas and a woman in the front row gasped.

Did Rick Rubin cry because he was there?

A woman in the front row gasped because she was like, “What about sugar?” I said, “How many calories are in a pound of cherries?” I’m gonna give you a pound of cherries and say, “I got $100 to eat this pound of cherries.” You’re going to struggle. It’s 230 calories. Do you know how many calories are in one Girl Scout cookie or one cookie from Starbucks? All the calories?

There are 750 calories.

Don’t get me started.

What we’ve done is we’ve taken these nutritionally super dense foods. One of the reasons I am a full fan of Laird Superfood is that it’s another way to get micronutrients into your system without always eating. It’s another support system where I can have these essential minerals and I can have these essential vitamins in something I’m doing anyway. That’s why it’s great. A big study came out looking at obesity rates in children. What was also said is that 50% of the kids did not eat a vegetable and 30% of the kids didn’t eat a fruit within the last week.

They just eat tan and brown food.

That stuff is fun and palatable.

It’s easy access.

One of the things that we see is that in our day-to-day work, we get to often talk to people about nutrition because they’re healing. I’m like, “If you want to grow that knee back, you’re going to need vitamin C with that collagen.” Where are you going to get vitamin C? You can take a pill or maybe better, an orange, or even a sip of orange juice. I’m down. We tend not to drink calories. There’s a whole category of people where I’m like, “You’re losing because you don’t eat food. You’re not eating enough. You don’t get enough calories. You don’t fuel your activity, believe it or not.”

We’re fans of workarounds like greens or however you want to get your micronutrients but that shouldn’t be the default. The default should always be from whole foods. You use those workarounds when you’re traveling or your life is time-crunched or something rather than defaulting to those things first. It should be food first.

If I don’t get enough protein, I reach for a protein shake. Supplements are my whole food nutrition.

The intention and strategy are s to get the real stuff.

I had two gigantic handfuls of world-class blueberries and a banana. I’m already thinking to myself, “Before I go out and do this work, I’m going to have some yogurt. I’m going to have these berries and this banana.” I’ve already started to fuel myself with whole foods and my gram count started when I woke up. Tomorrow, I’m going to have to eat 800 grams of fruits and vegetables. It’s a game we play. I found if I don’t start playing that game in the morning, I start to fall behind. In our life, our professional life, healing, recovery, tissue, and fueling. The real reason most people come and ask Juliet about how they can get her arms is they want to change their body composition. More importantly, what that means is they want to lose weight. They don’t know how to control calories. They have gone keto and they’ve gone paleo and they’ve juice cleansed and it still doesn’t work. Juliet has figured it out and she’s like, “Eat all this protein. Eat all these fruits and vegetables.” You’re like, “I can’t eat all that, it’s so much food.” You’re full.

All the healing and all the technical stuff aside, what people have enjoyed about the 800-gram challenge is the first time in their life, someone is like, “Eat more.” You can eat a bean and potatoes included. What we’ve told people over the last 20 or 30 years is that if you’re following a good diet, it involves a massive amount of restriction on certain things. Let me say this is a caveat. If I was diagnosed today with some autoimmune disease, I would look heavily into a more restrictive keto. I would look to restrictive diets if I were suffering from some autoimmune disease. That would be my go-to.

It would still be carnivore plus berries.

It would also probably be trying to heal your gut first and see what’s going on there.

Even all the people that work at our publishing company have been excited about the 800-gram challenge because they’re like, “It feels expansive. It’s the first time that I feel like I’m doing a “diet” where I can go out to a restaurant and feel like I can enjoy interesting foods and try things.” It’s been that way for us.

It’s all about calorie control. However you want to dress it up, calorie control is the game. Intermittent fasting turned out to be about calorie control.

Hold on to the reigns a little.

A side benefit of it is it’s fun and expansive.

I appreciated the way you guys address it in the book. Sleep, stress management, and nutrition kicks everybody’s butt.

It’s hard to be consistent. There are two things I want to say. You identify as a vegetarian for your own reasons or a vegan, cool. We work with vegan athletes. We know. Guess what? Show me you’re hitting enough protein. Show me you’re eating fruits and vegetables. You’re a carnivore and you want to fuel with honey and berries, cool.

If you’re trying to lower your glycemic index, you can eat 800 grams of fruits and vegetables or low-glycemic fruits. Knock yourself right out. Those strawberries are not going to ruin you. That’s not a limiting factor. What we’ve realized is that we can talk to everyone but put these principles in here and then trust you based on your society, your culture, and what your family eats. You can start to zhuzh this up a little bit. It does give people a sense of, “I can do this.” Guess what? If you eat more fiber, do you know what gets better? Everything gets better.

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We don’t want to get into the vegetarian or vegan versus meat-eating group right now but half of that deal is that they’re eating more fiber.

There’s not a single piece of research you can show that fiber doesn’t help things.

It’s amazing because people don’t eat fiber at all like processed foods and they’re down the road and they’re not having fruits and veggies and there are so many issues with that.

We do this thing in our house called the Three Vegetable Rule, which I learned from my friend. Her mom is Japanese. When she was raising her kids or starting to raise her kids when they were little, her mom was like, “You always cook three vegetables and you always serve kids three vegetables.” With kids in particular, maybe they’ll eat one but they’ll try the other two and you can start to put them on a shaping gradient to learn to like fruits and vegetables. We do this now as a matter of course.

When we’re talking about planning whatever dinner we’re going to cook, it always is like, “We need to have at least three vegetables.” Every time I’ve eaten a dinner that you’ve cooked, you don’t even know you’re doing that. There have always been six different vegetables. It’s obviously part of your strategy. If people thought, “At dinner, I’m going to make sure I have three different vegetables.” That already would go a huge way towards improving the amount of micronutrients people are getting in.

Maybe start to teach kids to learn how to like vegetables. It is something you do have to learn. We have one kid. Back to Brody’s sleeping upstairs. Caroline, left with her own devices, would only eat brown food. She’s extremely particular. Whatever it is that’s brown, she likes it. That has been one of our biggest challenges when it comes to parenting, especially because we’re so into health. How do we get this kid to eat? The three-vegetable rule has helped.

Sometimes I’m like, “You have to eat four blackberries.” I’ll sit there and be like, “Four blackberries.” I then give her some Nordic berries, some vitamins on the side, and I make her chug an emergency. Why? I want to support her tissues and all the things. I’m doing the best I can but she got four blackberries in. What we’ve figured out is that she likes a berry smoothie in the morning. I throw some yogurt in and some mixed berries. That kid will be like, “This is great.” I’m like, “Good. Here’s one for the rest of your life.” I can get her to eat a micronutrient and get a fruit If I blend it up with yogurt.

It’s weird though. In addition to being picky, she doesn’t like fruit. Who doesn’t like fruit?

She doesn’t like watermelon?

Not really. There is something about the texture. That’s a struggle for us.

We talked about the environment. You talk about squatting as one of your habits. It is this leg strength independence. What is it about squatting?

The way to think about it is this is one of the fundamental positions your body needs whatever you have access to today to restore and maintain its function, whether we’re talking about your pelvic floor. We’re talking about being able to load and put some lumbar flexion into your system. We’re talking about taking your joints through their normative range of motion. You need to close your knees down so you can squat up on your toes. That’s okay. That’s squatting. If that’s the squat you have available, great. If you can only squat on a slant board, you’re still squatting. If you squat on a leg press, you’re still squatting.

Does it have to be below 90 to count? This is a selfish question.

It can be six inches to count. I know that if I give you something to hold onto, you can squat a little deeper. If I give you something to lean up against, you can squat a little deeper. The first order of business as we try to untangle performance is to say, “Can we get into isometrics? Can you pause in that position? Can you even own that shape?”

A pilot takes off an aircraft carrier, have you ever seen this? They move the stick left, right, back, and forth and they move it all the way around. Everything works because that pilot does not take off before they make sure that the airplane is supposed to do what the airplane’s supposed to do. We don’t think about our bodies that way.

I went to Japan and I saw crazy stuff. I’m in a big hotel, a fancy hotel, and everyone is in socks on hardwood floors. Old people are on socks. imagine America, I’m like, “You want to come to my amusement park, put these socks on and we’ll go to the bar in socks.” It’s crazy how dangerous that is and yet there’s something there.

If you look at countries where people toilet and sit on the ground and have been able to maintain their full squat position, you don’t see as many orthopedic injuries. You don’t see falls or joint replacements. There’s something to that. The other thing I was going to say is one of the common things amongst the blue zones is that people can access their full range of motion. That’s not something that’s talked about. Everyone talks about how they eat olive oil and fish.

They’re walking.

The people in blue zones are in constant motion.

Muscles and tissues are like obedient dogs. You’re a bad dog owner.

The thing is we all know our muscle mass, it’s a losing game. At a certain point, at 40, it’s harder. We’re probably sort of on a downhill spiral when it comes to maintaining our muscle mass. What doesn’t have to change is you can retain your range of motion until the day you die if you’re willing to put some energy and work into it.

Talking about these socks on the floors leads to another one of the habits, which is balance, and practicing things where you’re imbalanced for this reason.

Everyone in sports, if you’re reading this because that’s some of your podcast people are, you start to obsess about feet. There is a lot of talk about feet around here. I talked about feet with your daughter. I talked about the feet with the other athletes.

We got those shoes from Mark Sisson.

There’s a lot of talk about feet around here and some of that is a necessity because if you surf, your foot is connected to the board. The point of transmittance from the ocean to your brain is through your feet. Your feet better function well. We know that if we take away a big toe or break an ankle, you start to move in funky ways.

Hit your toe, fall in the pool.

Suddenly, I’m walking around a little bit differently. I can’t squeeze my butt when I walk now. We know that foot strength can matter. It turns out that, in the future, it’s a good predictor of your likelihood to fall and ergo your likelihood of not being independent or getting injured when you fall if you have poor balance.

Everybody has probably heard that falling when you’re older is the beginning of the end. The people who fall die within six months. Once you fall, it’s the beginning of the end when you’re old.

Unless you have three sawbones.

Unless you have the gold medal of femurs.

I want you to share that story with Laird.

The real question is, when are we going to go to our balance class today, Gabby? When are we going to go not take care of our kids or not make dinner? We’re going to go take a one-hour balance class.

When are you going to forego the other things you love doing to go to a balance class?

You don’t get to lift today or go to yoga.

It’s a habit, that’s essential. 1 of the 10.

What we find out though is that people’s feet and balance should be worked on all the time. If you happen to live around professional surfers, you tend to see people good at balance because it’s part of their job and it’s always in the background.

They practice balance.

They practice it all the time. Even in our professional sports, we discovered that if we started to get people to work on their foot strength and balance, we saw improvements in their performance. They twisted their ankles less. In the NFL, they had fewer Achilles problems because their feet were stronger.

Fewer Achilles problems, Juliet.

That’s what it all comes down to. This is it.

Have you ever heard of this guy named Achilles?

It’s something I learned about you.

Did you see Brad Pitt? he was Achilles.

Did you ever have dreams of your teeth falling out? Did you have dreams like that, running naked in school or your teeth falling out of your mouth?

#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (12)

Built To Move

That wasn’t a dream for Kelly because he didn’t have his front tooth for a whole month. Did you happen to see that?

Yeah. I wonder where this came from.

This Achilles thing is a deep thing, it’s childhood, it must be.

I’ll tear my Achilles now, everyone.

You’re not tearing your Achilles because you do everything right.

I know a lot of people aren’t motivated by what might happen to them in the future.

You do this because you may not die.

As an athlete who’s been hurt, I don’t need to lose my health or lose stuff to understand that I will do the homework and take care of it. As I have gotten farther from the ground, I have put in place now practices. I don’t need to learn that hard lesson. I agree with you. What you didn’t do and this doesn’t feel you didn’t add and what I have been hearing more and more, I talked to Dan Garner, is, “I’m not going to tell you to do more things. Let’s get rid of the things that aren’t serving you.”

You’ve done this as well but also, there’s diagnostic testing you guys have done, and you’ve given these scores. I wasn’t surprised but I can see how motivated you are by the world around us, that people are not getting healthier. There is more diabetes, there’s more obesity, and there’s more of this. You’re saying, “It’s cool that we can help these high-performance athletes but also, what can we contribute that will support more people?”

If we reduced fall risk in the elderly, we did one thing, do you know how that would transform society? That would unload healthcare. People would stay in their homes longer. They wouldn’t have to move into nursing homes. They wouldn’t have to get help. They wouldn’t have to go gnarly on orthopedic surgeries. That one thing could transform our healthcare system, reducing fall risk.

I was at a huge conference in Vegas, the biggest chiropractic conference on the planet, and I made everyone do this test, all these chiros. They were physios there too. Everyone was like, “That was hard.” A physio from Norway came up to me afterward and said, “I like that you’re talking about this. This is a huge problem in Norway.” When you take people’s vision away from them and ask them to balance, that’s a system that decays quickly. If you don’t have a good ankle range of motion and a lot of input into your feet, you can’t tell where you are in space.

I’m middle-aged and I’m pretty good at balance. If you take my eyes away, the challenge goes up a hundred-fold because I’m older, my feet, ankles, I had all these injuries, I’m stiff, and I wear cute shoes sometimes, all the reasons. What he found was that the fall risk was going through the roof because there are a lot of snowstorms in Norway. When you take the visual field away from elderly people because it’s white out, they felt. When people fall in crowds it’s because they can’t see where they are.

Their visual cues are off.

They don’t know. You can only feel. The test in the book is called the SOLEC, which is super well-validated. Standing one leg and eyes closed for twenty seconds. What I’d recommend is if someone in your family can’t do that, walk up to a white wall and have someone get close to the wall and do the test and take their visual field away with a white wall. You’ll see how important your vision is to your balance. You start to lose that vision. We take that vision away from you at night. That’s why many people will fall.

Kelly is being facetious. We filmed a video of ourselves doing this test, a demonstration. We looked ridiculous. We both train hard and we’re good athletes and our balance is decent. It’s difficult to do the SOLEC test and it’s eye-opening to see how challenging it is to balance and keep that skill.

It’s important. I tried a lot of these tests and I was like, “That’s not a great score.”Paul Chek made me march in place once with my eyes closed. “Stand where you are, don’t move.” I ended up like turned to the side off my feet. This time, when I did this, I was in my early 30s.

It’s better now. You practice more.


You can see the truth of that suddenly. We’re seeing right now in one of our friends that we can train the brain, we can train the eyes, and we can train balance more. We’re starting to recognize that some of these senses can be turned up.

Keep touching it though.

We can do better.

Keep doing it. When I come away with it, it’s not only a reminder, it’s a clear way. Start here. Start with these ten things.

Our friend, Chris Hinshaw, is an incredible coach and he created a test so that he could beat his kids. He created a test and it’s called The Club. He created a test that he could beat his children at a task. He called it The Old Man Balance Test. You get to do The Old Man Balance Test every day.

I want to acknowledge that this is extra hard for you given how far away you are from the floor.

She’s trying to protect my feelings.

It’s extra hard. You put your shoes and socks on the ground in front of you and you stand on one leg and you reach down and grab your sock. Put your sock on without putting that foot on down and then you reach down and grab your shoe and put your shoe on. You do that on both legs and it’s difficult. One of the reasons that I love this test is that I do it every time I put my shoes on now. I often don’t make it. I’ve even fallen over in my bedroom because I’m halfway through time.

Do you have to tie your shoe when you’re on one leg? Not a slip on shoe?

You can do it with a slip-on shoe though. It’s one of those simple tests. No one is going to go to a balance class but there are these simple ways that you can practice a little bit of balance in your day.

I don’t think I’ve ever told you this. I’m sure I haven’t. Let’s hear it. Every day, I go into our closet, and when I put on fresh undies, I have to stand on one leg. I stand on my right leg to pull my left leg through my underpants. That is my assessment of how beat up I am from the day before. Can I hinge over and pull my knee to my chest? Sometimes I’m like, “I’m stiff.” Have you ever heard a crash against the wall? The effortlessness of that informs my session costs.

What’s cool about some of these things in this book is that this balance piece is a good indicator of how fried you are. You’re a good athlete, you’re a professional cyclist, let me show you the cost of that on your perception and on your vestibular system. Stand on one leg with your eyes closed and you’ll be like, “I can’t even do it.” Super fresh, you’ll nail it. That’s why these things are very much a moving target. They’re going to decay and come back, “What’s going on?” As long as you have a benchmark, you can know where you are. That helps us to expand this notion of vital signs and try to incorporate it into people’s lives.

I have two more questions. Is your mom riding a bike yet?

No. That was something that informed my own caring about balance. It’s difficult for people to care about these things that might happen to them years off in the future but it did impact me. I can’t even remember the context in which I’m like, “Mom, why don’t you ride a bike from here to there?” She’s like, “I can’t ride a bike anymore. I’ve lost my sense of balance. I feel too timorous when I’m on a bike.” For context, my mom is healthy and lean and fit. She exercises.

She started going to dance class.

She does other things.

When we had a CrossFit gym, she would come to our master’s class at the CrossFit gym. She does a diverse amount of things. She didn’t practice and lost her ability to balance and ride a bike. She hasn’t been able to regain that. It was a classic case of use it or lose it. That impacted me. Since we love to ride bikes I thought, “This is something.”

If I look forward at one of my goals and one of my goals is to be able to ride my bike still when I’m in my 70s and older, even if that’s an e-bike, but to be able to still ride my bike. Knowing that I had someone in my own family who lost that skill probably forever my motivation around making sure this was something that I practiced and part of the reason why we wanted to put it in this book.

I thought that was poignant. The two of you are an incredible example of 1 and 1 can be 3, 4, or 5.

One plus one is seven because it’s one plus six.

When you look at, for example, Kelly’s interest in making people function at their best and the body and the love that you have and parenting and building a family and building businesses together and now The Ready State and now your latest nook. Juliet, how do you think it would be different for your own personal physical practice as the athlete and a moving person if you had not come across Kelly?

I have always been a mover so I would’ve been moving and probably participating in some sport. I still would be doing outdoor sports like running rivers. and I wouldn’t be surprised if I wouldn’t have picked up mountain biking and continued doing some paddle sport or something like that. I would’ve kept moving but I’m not sure that I would’ve known ever or not as early the importance of realizing you have to put some input into your body and that you have to do some maintenance.

For the first part of my life and during my professional paddling career and when I was a D1 rower at Cal, there was zero input put into my body and there was a cost for that. Realizing this recovery input into your body and caring about your range of motion and what that means in terms of my overall physical well-being. I would’ve been a mover. I would’ve continued to be athletic. I don’t think I would’ve had the same careful appreciation of what it means and how valuable it is to take care of your body and put some input into your body.

#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (13)

Becoming a Supple Leopard

One of the reasons I was attracted to Juliet was her jacked lats and how well she could pull on the paddle.

I got to give some credit to Kelly because he’s the goat in terms of understanding how our body works and how to take a crack at taking care of ourselves. Sometimes he gets reduced to being the stretching guy. He changed my perspective on how the body works and what matters and many other people’s perspectives. I would’ve been moving but it would’ve looked different.

Kelly, you made that conversation more sexy, to be honest. It was like a thing. We were joking earlier, like, “Huberman says…” They’d be like, “Kelly Starrett…” You’ve made that conversation much more mainstream.

When the bar is set at the ground.

Settle down.

Take it in.

For you, do you think it would’ve been like, “You’re a guy with a private practice in an office or a gym if you hadn’t met Juliet.” I’m curious. As I get older, I value how we can help each other in friendships in partnerships. You two are great examples of this. If you hadn’t met your wife, how do you think the way you got to communicate your talents and gifts would be different?

It never would’ve happened. It physically wouldn’t have happened. I met Juliet in Chile at the World Championships. She was a professional person working a real job. She was going to law school. She was already a world champion. She already had this and I was like, “I am a kayak rep. I sleep in a truck with a dog. I live in Durango.”

I came home and I told everyone I knew, “I’m moving to San Francisco. I met this girl in Chile at the Worlds.” They were like, “You’re crazy. You barely know her.” I’m like, “I know. I can see it.” I knew that with all of this, something needed to change and happen. I didn’t like my life. It wasn’t fulfilling. I could be a kayak rep all day long. This is not the thing. I was out surfing at Ocean Beach, inner city, class five, and trashy heavy ocean beach.

I had a moment of satori where I saw all of this. I went home and told Juliet, “I need to go to PT school.” Juliet’s like, “Great, let’s work it out.” I discovered CrossFit. We’re like, “We should open a gym.” Juliet’s like, “Let’s open a gym.” We have a baby. She’s an attorney. I’m in grad school and we open a gym. That is not a recipe for anything. The businesses start to get rolling and Juliet is like, “I can leave the law practice to become the CEO.” None of this happens.

Do you know why we have a house? It’s because Juliet had a pay stub. I worked for myself. I did not have a pay stub. That’s why we have a house. The whole thing doesn’t exist unless I meet Juliet in Chile. If you’ve ever done the couch stretch or mobilized on lacrosse balls, it’s Juliet’s fault basically. That’s what I’m pointing back to.

We have this infamous story in the book where we take a bad beating on the river and Juliet pulls me out of the river and that’s the first time she pulled me out of the river. From my emotional development to being the greatest partner and the greatest wing woman ever, Juliet is the greatest partner ever. Every once in a while I say this and Juliet is like, “You’re so macabre.” I’m like, “A meteor comes down and wipes you off the plant. That’s the worst-case scenario in my brain.”

I’ve never said the word macabre.

This meteor takes you out and I’m like, “Who’s your replacement? You have to be able to do what? Deadlift, snatch, or power clean, be a shredder on a bike, be my wing woman skiing, run rivers, and hang out with all my smart friends. You probably need to be an attorney. You have to be a CEO. Can you be a great mother?” It doesn’t work without Juliet. There’s not another puzzle piece person that fits into that thing. Your question is, “What happens to Kelly Starrett?” I don’t even want to know. It would be a bad deal. I’m sure I’ve figured something out but, in that universe, that parallel slotting door moment, thank goodness I was like, “That’s the girl for me.”

The parallel for me is that I was on track to be a law firm partner, which I would’ve become a law firm partner. The thing that I look back on, speaking of macabre, is I’d probably be super rich if I’d continued on my path to becoming a big firm law firm partner. I also would not have been the mother that I have been able to be to my kids. I would not have been able to be present and around my own kids and have this tight and amazing relationship with Kelly.

One funny story I like to say is that after Supple Leopard came out, a friend of mine said, “Did you even know that Kelly was going to be famous when you met him?” I was like, “Not only did I not know but I could care less.” We’ve always loved to bro out with each other. We are bros. We love to do the same stuff. We love to train. We’re always up for anything. We have a similar vibe and ambition in life.

I always thought that was funny. She’s like, “Did you even know he was going to be famous?” I was like, “Not only did I not know but I could have cared less.” I knew that this guy was my ride-or-die. Whether that meant that nobody had ever heard of us and we had a much more simple and less public life, we would’ve had a grand old time doing that as well.

Justin, you get your time.

How long did it take you to write the book?

A quick backstory. We closed our gym during the pandemic in 2020 and we have been talking to our current book agent almost five years earlier about this book.

Georgia was in eighth grade.

We were busy running a gym and our other business, The Ready State, and we’d written some other books so we had a bit of book fatigue. We couldn’t see how we could figure out how to fit it into our lives.

Writing a book is gross.

The book was something we would talk about as a dinner table conversation. It was what we talked about on the side but we couldn’t even begin to conceive how to execute the book and how do we write this book together and how do we make it in a voice that makes sense. We couldn’t even begin to execute it. We closed our gym so we were running one less business. The agent called us back and said, “Are you guys ready now to write this book?” It was super interesting. It’s cliche but when one door closes, another door opens. Our gym closed and that gave us the mental openness and capacity to be able to think about how to write this book.

We watched our test. Have we taught people how to take care of themselves? We watched that experiment crash and burn in COVID where we had the true test of any fitness class, any health community fell on its face when the crap hit the fan. People didn’t do well in COVID.

Garbage cans were full of alcohol bottles and weight gain.

They did the things they knew and had been taught. All those things combined. We were ready to be like, “Poke me in the eye again.”

Congratulations. The book is Built To Move. People can find you at The Ready State. I love you guys so much. I appreciate this. Honestly, as somebody who knows all the complexities and I have access to all the smart humans who could tell me all these interesting programs, I will be incorporating some of these habits that are not incorporated in my everyday life to help me. Thank you.

We adore you. Thank you so much.

Your family’s DNA is all over this.

This book wouldn’t exist without knowing you and Laird.

That’s everything for everybody. We’re all touching each other and helping each other. That’s why I brought up being a couple, people don’t realize we can help each other and therefore, we don’t know where that leads. That’s important. Thank you for coming over, freezing, and talking for a long time. I know I kept you. I’m not going to ask you what’s next but I’ll be excited to see what you’re going to do next.

Thank you, Gabby.

Thank you, guys.

Thank you so much for reading this episode. Stay tuned for a bonus episode where I go deeper into one of the topics that resonated with me. If you have any questions for my guest or even myself, please send them to @GabbyReece on Instagram. If you feel inspired, please hit the follow button, and leave a rating and a comment. It not only helps me, it helps the show grow and reach new readers.

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#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (14)#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (15)#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (16)#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (17)#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (18)

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About Kelly & Juliet Starrett

#194 How to Move Freely and Live Fully: The Ready State's Dr. Kelly and Juliet Starrett | Unpacking Ten Essential Movement Habits for Optimal Health, Restoring Your Range of Motion, Effective Pain Treatment, Breathing Optimization & Better Sitting Habit (19)Kelly is the co-author aof the New York Times bestsellers Becoming A Supple Leopart, Ready to Run, and the Wall Street Journal bestseller, Deskbound. Kelly was also the co-founder of San Francisco CrossFit, the 21st CrossFit affiliate. Kelly consults with athletes and coaches from the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB the US Olympic Team and CrossFit, works with elite Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard forces, and cosults with corporations on employee health and well-being. Dr. Starrett’s work is not limited to coaches and athletes; his methods apply equally well to childre, desk jockeys, and anyone dealing with injury and chronic pain. He believes that every human being should know how to move and be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves.

Juliet Starrett is an entrepreneur, attorney, author, and podcaster. She is the former co-founder and CEO of San Francisco CrossFit, one of the first 50 CrossFit affiliates. Juliet is the co-author of the Wall Street Journal Bestseller, Deskbound, and co-host of The Ready State Podcast. Before turning her attention to The Ready State and San Francisco CrossFit full-time, Juliet was a professional whitewater paddler, winning 3 World Championship and 5 national titles. She also had a successful career as an attorney, practicing complex commercial litigation at Reed Smith for nearly eight years

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