Fitness Coach Kelly Starrett Set for 60 MINUTES SPORTS Tonight
We are a slumped-over generation, hunched over computer screens, coiled in front of smart phones and using poor form even when we exercise. That's the take from fitness coach Kelly Starrett. More and more people, from NFL players to the average desk jockey, are straightening up and paying attention in order to work out more efficiently and avoid pain or injury. Correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi reports on Starrett and his mission to improve human motion on the next edition of 60 Minutes SPORTS, Wednesday, June 4 at 9:00 PM, ET/PT, only on SHOWTIME.
Alfonsi, who spends lots of time each week at the gym, learns that her own weight-lifting form could lead to injury. She tries seven times to dead lift a 25-pound barbell without arching her back, before Starrett calls his 8-year-old daughter in to demonstrate how to lift it with a straight spine. "Do you see how she folds, keeps the back flat? She drops her chin. Now her spine is in this nice position," he tells Alfonsi. When asked how many people he sees in gyms lifting the wrong way, Starrett replies, "Most of them." Watch a preview.
Starrett says an arched back when lifting is poor posture because, "What the research shows and my own experience is that over the long haul that's the mechanism of injury."
You don't have to be working out to be at risk for these types of injuries, says Starrett. Just the way we perform ordinary functions can lead to them. "There's a fundamental movement error in the way we're operating our spines and the things that we're doing to our spines, including texting and sitting and driving," he tells Alfonsi.
Starrett's methods, which he teaches at his own San Francisco CrossFit gym and to professional sports teams and companies, go beyond proper form and positioning to include stretching and other exercises to help bodies recover from rigorous and stressful activities. One of his clients is a pro football team, the New Orleans Saints, whose strength coach likens what his players go through each week to being in a violent car crash. 60 Minutes SPORTS' cameras record Starrett training the football players to reset their hip joints during a brutal part of their season when they played three games in 12 days. Saints Head Coach Sean Payton says his players are "looking for ways that you can help them become better, play longer, stay healthy, recover."
Members of the U.S. military also see the benefits of Starrett's regimen. The Air Force's 306th Rescue Squadron has consulted with him and believes his methods can play an important role. "It translates to skydiving. It translates to shooting postures, everything - the way you carry the litter," says Maj. Josh Appel, the unit's flight surgeon. "If we can implement Kelly's teaching early with our younger guys, you know, we can have more longevity and that way when they're done with their careers they can still enjoy their lives."