Matt found us through his wife Terry who has been training with us since late summer. Matt is a marathoner and triathlete and was experiencing pain and tightness which was impacting his running performance.
First, we ran the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) with him to identify pain, tightness and left-right imbalances. Due to a lot of pain areas, Matt's score was a 3 out of 21.
While fit and lean, the pain and tightness was not allowing Matt to move well and enjoy sports as much as he used to.
So Dustin Jones, Doctor of Physical Therapy, began working with Matt to get him out of pain and to increase mobility and stability. After several sessions with Dustin, Matt was feeling better and moving better and joined Terry in early morning and Saturday Strength and Movement classes.
It's been amazing watching Matt progress since coming to MoveStrong Kettlebells. His FMS evaluation revealed some serious deficits that were limiting his physical ability. Yet, when confronted with his physical limitations, Matt didn't become defeated. He chose to overcome his weaknesses by working to get out of pain and being consistent in our On-ramp program. With time, his limitations have improved tremendously and he's well on his way to being able to handle his body with ease and strength and to lay a foundation of strength and mobility that will serve him well for many years to come.
Learning New Movements and Lifts
Matthew learned the key kettlebell movements, such as the clean and press, the swing and many other kettlebell movements and lifts along with stretches and TRX movements.
The Turkish Getup became a key component to get Matthew moving well with an emphasis on perfect movement quality at each of the seven steps, going through it slowly, and using key points to (such as the bridge) to open his hips and stretch his hamstrings.
From a 3 to a 14 on the FMS
A couple months later, we re-ran the FMS and Matthew's score went from 3 to 14 and he was 100% pain-free.
We were all ecstatic with his improvement and we really believe that this can be the case for anyone who makes a commitment to doing the work in the gym, stretching at home and being patient with their progress.
Matthew has always been a natural athlete, but since he turned 40 he has started commenting that training and races didn't feel the same and he was more tired. He has had flexibility issues since I met him and I was beginning to wonder if that combined with a decrease in strength training was causing some of his problems. After I discovered MovNat and kettlebells, I thought it would be a good tool for him. It doesn't feel like a workout and you get conditioning as you are hefting a lot of weight. I think the individualized attention helped Matthew as well as having someone that understands running and can tell him how all of this will help him achieve his goals. I think a big eye opener for him was the FMS results and being told that for his health and safety he needed to focus on finding the source of his pain and addressing his range of motion. Matt will do the work and the results of his next FMS speak for themselves. Now if I could just get him to eat less bread and carbs and more vegetables.
Describe your experience of working with Dustin to eliminate pain. Dustin was great to work with. Not only is he a nice person, he took the time to understand what I could do and what I couldn’t and could diagnose why I couldn’t do those things. There was no judging and since I had pain, of some fashion, during most of the FMS movements, we started small and built upon my progress. He provided a number of good movements and stretches that I tried to get in every day. Along with the objective of eliminating the pain, we conversed about running and things that I could incorporate into my training to make me a better runner.
How has the transition from rehab to small class been for you? Actually, it was really easy. Doing the rehab in the same location as the classes made it extremely convenient, which helped to incorporate the rehab and subsequently the kettlebell/movement training, into a routine. It’s also nice to have Dustin in the training because he provides an outsiders perspective on the progress that I’ve made that I typically can’t see for myself.
What is the biggest improvement / change you've seen? Any surprises? The biggest change that I’ve seen is that I feel more solid. My arms and legs seem stronger and I have much more upper body strength.
How do you feel about kettlebell and movement training? Will you continue to incorporate that into your life when you start running again? To be honest, at first I was a little skeptical. For a couple years, I had incorporated “lifting” a couple times a week during my ironman training and never really saw much difference in my body. With the kettlebell training since October, I can do things (a perfect push-up or even a pull-up) that I haven’t been able to do since the sixth grade. Actually, I tried doing the perfect push-up when I first started working with Dustin and I was all over the place. Unfortunately, I sprained my ankle in early November, so I haven’t been able to keep up with my run training, but I’m very encouraged in the strength I’ve gained and am hopeful that it translates in my running. Yes, I plan on continuing to incorporate the kettelbell/movement training in my race training. In addition to the benefits previously mentioned, this is something that may wife, Terry, and I can do and spend time together.
Were you surprised at your improvement on the FMS? Absolutely. I’ve always had a flexibility problem (the task of touching my toes was hopefully getting my hands to my knees) and unfortunately, my type A personality has always thought that stretching isn’t the most glamorous of activities and I frequently wondered if I was getting any benefit. I tried to spent the majority of 2012 trying to get more flexible and nothing seemed to help. Then, when I completed my follow-up FMS test, the results of rehabbing with Dustin, as well as the kettlebell/movement training, spoke for themselves.
I am thrilled that Matthew has committed to group training in the gym after rehab. He keeps learning new lifts and movements and is getting stronger -- and I think it is much more fun for him now. One day I actually saw a hunger in his eyes to move up to a heavier kettlebell and he did -- and he did the lift with power and ease. It was a Saturday class and we have great energy on Saturdays. That was my proudest moment for Matthew -- when I could see he wasn't doing this because he felt like he should, or because his wife enjoys it or because it would help his running -- he is now doing it because he feels good and he feels strong doing it.