Podcast #37: Simplifying Compression and Expansion with Angus Bradley


“When we inhale, your thorax gets bigger, you’re expanding.”

Compression/exhalation/force production side of things. Inhalation/expansion/yielding movement.

“That’s all athletic training is… these constant cycles of compression and expansion in various ways.”

“Some people have long ground contact, some people have short ground contact, some people have long penultimate steps, some people have short penultimate… it’s all just about (not good or bad) how much you need to compress, how much you need to expand, and how compressed did you start based on your skeleton shape.”

Narrows: “they’re gonna have a ribcage, if you look over it from the top down, that’s shaped a bit like a sausage. It’s a really easy structure to rotate, so it’s really good for efficient locomotion.”

Wides: “anyone who walks like a fridge… they’ve just got a torso like a Dorito.”

“Anything that loads us, compresses us.”

“If you’re just standing there normal, you’re relatively expanded. The only way I can expand you more, is if I pick you up off the ground and just somehow suspend you off the ground.”

“Have a look at Lance Armstrong on the bike, lots of space for air in the back of that ribcage.”

Narrows with heavy back squats: “Really compress at the lower back. They’re not gonna want to expose the pelvic floor to that pressure so they’re gonna tip that pelvis back and their guts are gonna sort of the front. So they just start doing weird stuff if you make them compress too hard.”

“A goblet squat, that’s real expansion, compared to a conventional Deadlift off the ground [compression]”.

“Narrows just suck at Deadlifting off the ground.”

“Movements where they’re straight into compression are really awkward… they’re also the people that can just stand under the rim, not run up to it, and touch it.”

Wides: “Short, little penultimate does the job.”

“Most people that are springier tend to be your narrows… that’s why for most people, a long penultimate probably does work. But you could also see how, we know there are some different people out there, so there are gonna be some people that benefit from an almost polar opposite strategy.”

“You cannot go North when you are at the North Pole and you cannot internally rotate a hip that is internally rotated.”

“What’s expansion at the foot? That’s supination.”

“You need some variance in your strategies to be able to manage collisions. It can’t all just be short ground contract, mid foot, hectic collisions.”

Narrows: Be careful with compression strategies

Wides: Be more hand fisted with expansion strategies

“It’s [Assault bike] amazing after some compressive exercises [Deadlifts].”

“Any time you put weight on certain people, they just dump into anterior tilt.”

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