Today on the podcast I speak with Danya Douglas Hunt, a former Olympic Athletic Therapist & Strength, and Conditioning coach turned multi-passionate entrepreneur. We had an enlightening conversation about mobility, injury, overcoming injury, and all those unsexy things that have to do with fitness. Danya has a wide range of knowledge in terms of science, in terms of anatomy, strength, mobility, and all this work that we do to be able to improve our performance. So if you're somebody who moves your body at all during the day, then this podcast episode is going to be for you.
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You're listening to Biceps after Babies radio episode number136.
Hello and welcome to Biceps after Babies radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Amber B 0:47
Hey, Hey, Hey, welcome back to another episode of biceps after babies radio. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke. And today I have my friend Danya Douglas Hunt on the podcast and we are going to have a chat about something that I feel like a lot of us know we should be doing, but aren't actually doing. Which comes to think of it is like so many things in health and fitness, right. But specifically, Danya and I have a conversation around mobility, injury, overcoming injury, all those like unsexy things that have to do with fitness. And I wanted to bring Danya on because I get questions about recovery, mobility, injuries, pain when you're squatting a lot, I get a lot of these questions and while I feel like I can give an answer to them, I am by no means an expert in that. And so that's exactly why I'm bringing down your onto a podcast because she is an expert in this. She has a background in athletic training, and then also was an Olympic strength and conditioning coach. So she's worked with everyone from Olympians down to normal human beings like us, and has a wide range of knowledge in terms of the science, in terms of the anatomy, behind strength, mobility, all this work that we do to be able to improve our performance.
Amber B 2:09
And so that's what I wanted to bring Danya on to talk about today is, you know, what do we talk about? What do we do when we have an injury, I know I have a lot of people who come to me who are like I have got injured or I'm going to have surgery, and I'm not gonna be able to be in the gym, stick around because at the very end of the podcast, Danya shares her personal experience with an injury that she's been dealing with and kind of how she's dealt with that and mentally as well as physically. We also cover mobility and how mobility is different, which is something that I did not know before this episode, mobility is different from foam rolling and/or stretching down. Yeah, it kind of defines both of those, and they're in separate categories, which like I said, I didn't know that before I got on the call with Danya.
Amber B 2:52
So if you are somebody who moves your body at all during the day, then this podcast episode is going to be for you. It's not just for somebody who wants to have, you know, a deep squat. It's not just for somebody who wants to lift a whole ton of weight. Mobility is for anybody who wants to age gracefully, who wants to be able to continue to perform those acts of daily living. There is going to be something in this podcast episode for you. So I can't wait to introduce you to my friend Danya and let's dive right into that interview.
Amber B 3:24
I am so excited to welcome Danya to the podcast. How are you doing Danya?
I'm so good. I always love having conversations with you. So I'm really pumped to be here. Thanks for having me.
Amber B 3:34
Yeah, we've had a couple of conversations just in real-life conversations, not podcast conversations. And every time we get together, we kind of like riffs back and forth and it's been so fun. And so the last time we were just like chatting, I was like, we need to get on the podcast and do this so that people can kind of hear these conversations that we're having. So I'm really excited to have you on. And I told my audience already in your introduction, but one of the things that I love to do is to bring on people who are experts in different things, and maybe things that I'm not an expert in. And I think some of the conversations that we're gonna have today are things that you are really an expert in, and I'm excited for you to share about. So will you start with just telling us a little bit about you and what you do?
Yeah, I love it. So I'm Danya, I am a former Olympic athletic therapist and strength conditioning coach, turned multi-passionate entrepreneur. And really what I'm focusing on now is helping the changemakers of the world really show up and perform their best. So this is all things around habits, mindset, and business. And I like to say slaying the invisible dragons, because we all have them that hold us back from really showing up, or pivoting or moving forward and growing and scaling. So those three things remain. Those three pillars are important because they help create autonomy and choice and freedom in someone's life. And if I can help someone else who's behind the business show up as their best self that creates the impact and income that they desire. So the ripple effect is good.
Amber B 5:02
Yeah. Awesome. So wait, how did you get into becoming a strength and conditioning coach? Like, what was that journey for you?
Yeah, I've always been a tomboy. I remember like, when I was five, I was wearing basketball jerseys to school, I've always played sports. So sports and training was always very natural to me, and I loved it. And I just knew back then that that was going to be my continuation of education, I would just wanted to still be involved in the work of the athletes. And for me at the time, it was really around, at the point of do I go and play sports in college and university or do I hunker down and do my career. And for me, it was like, kind of old school mentality around like, just get to school, get to, like, get your job kind of thing. So I went to school for athletic therapy, because I knew I could still be working and around sports. And at the time to the invisible dragons, I was playing there were more physical limitations. Working people have injuries, or knee pain or back pain, and helping them get back into the sport, doing the stuff that they love really, really lit me up. So I've always been around it. It's always just been a part of me and it was just a natural progression to continue working with the sport.
Amber B 6:09
It's so cool. And so with athletic training, athletic trainers really like you said, the injury side of like the sports world. And then what was that progression into like, can you for someone who just maybe doesn't know? What is the strength and conditioning coach, like, what does that actually look like? And how did you get into that?
Yeah, so athletic therapy is focusing on injuries. So anything must be dealt with orthopedic, we really focus on working with athletes in the clinic, or on teams, we don't really work in hospitals per se like a physio might. But we spend four years dedicated to that education, learning, the anatomy, the physiology, the systems, everything around injuries. And then strengthening conditioning is really knowing how to balance all the systems like how do you balance, strength training, the different ranges in strength training, as well as conditioning and so when you're working with Olympic athletes, you have to know everything, because everything is affected, and athletes are working on you know, a four year quadrennial, they're prepping every four years for the next Olympic. And so you know, you have to know how to break that down from four years into one year into 12 months into monthly, into weekly, into daily and know what to assess, what to monitor the data to really help that athlete perform their best without setting them up for injury or potential injury, right? So you're pushing the boundaries, you're working with all the systems, but you're doing it in a way where it's cohesive, and making sure that everything every box is ticked.
Amber B 7:35
It's awesome. And so I don't think there are any Olympic athletes who are probably listening to this podcast, if you are if you aren't on me, I think hey, but since most of the people who are listening to this podcast are like, yeah, I'm not an Olympic athlete. I'm just like a mom or a woman who likes to go to..
the mom, hold on, that's like an athletic feat in itself.
Amber B 7:56
That's very true. whatnot, but not looking to like, you know, get to top-level performance. So what would you say you've worked with both, right? You've worked with everybody all the way up to the Olympics, Olympians all the way down to just, you know, someone who's like trying to get back into the gym. What do you say? What would you say is the same, like some of the same philosophies that you would use for somebody who is an Olympic athlete and someone who's like, I just want to get back in the gym and like, feel a little bit healthier? What are some of the things that you can take from the Olympic athlete and apply to just the general population?
I love this in every note, I find whether it is athletes or business, like it's very similar principles. It's like what do you want, like really getting clear on what you want? What is your goal, right? Doesn't matter who you are, what is your goal, and then from there, formulating a plan that's customized to you, and what's going to work with your schedule and what you like to do, and we don't like to do so it's really getting to know the individual and making sure like, I'm not trying to fit someone in a cookie-cutter format. Even the same athletes aren't doing the same stuff, it is all customers and individuals, right? So what I would say is similar philosophies or similar principles is if you have a goal, the way you're going to reach it is to stay in the game being consistent. So you know, you know, I could talk about habits or, you know, improving 1% every day. But really, it's just, it's getting clear on what your outcome is, what you want. And then from there, formulating a plan that you know, you can stick to, and that's going to work for you. And then also no matter who you are using that data, assess, like take some time to do a weekly review. Am I trending in the direction I want to go or am I not? Are there certain things that aren't working or working for me and then adjusting? So I know, on your podcast, and we've talked about being that scientist, like take the emotion out of it, do it, do something, do what the data says, and then make an adjustment from there. So yeah, it doesn't matter what your goal is, whether you're just trying to walk two times a week or you know, put on a little bit of muscle. They all come down to the same principles. What's your goal, let's create a plan. Let's make that plan super- super simple. break it down for you. And as long as you're consistent, you take a second to pause and review it every once in a while. Then that's great.
Amber B 10:01
Yes, and this is one of the reasons that Danya and I love bringing other people on and having them share some of the same principles because it's not just me that keeps telling you guys this, like, gather data, be the scientists, remove the emotion, keep the end in mind, like reverse engineer the process, right? Like these, like principles are like general principles that when you can take this, whether you're in the gym, whether you're in your nutrition, whether you're in your career, right, like any of these places, we can take this, these principles and be able to do better and to perform better.
Amber B 10:34
So I get asked probably two questions that I feel somewhat equipped to answer, but not like the expert. And that would be in pain, right? So specifically, knee pain is a huge one, especially when it comes to squatting or lunging, or just like any exercise performance. And then the other one is mobility. So I would say like, those are two of the things that I get asked a lot. And I know I'm not an expert, but I know you're an expert in. So let's start with the pain and coming from an athletic trainer background. You know, this is a lot of what you guys deal with and help with. So for somebody who's listening, who currently has, let's say knee pain, or back pain or shoulder pain, and that's currently limiting their ability to perform their ability to like, go and do the lifts that they want, what advice would you have for someone who's in that boat right now?
I love this question and rein me in if I go to them but, so here's the thing, pain is actually a good thing. Pain, if we didn't have pain, we wouldn't know we're potentially doing damage. Like, it's like putting your hand on this hot stove. If we didn't have those pain receptors, your hand would melt, right? So anytime someone has pain, I want you to stop and pay attention. What are you doing? Did you just try something new? Were you in an awkward position? Like, through all of this, as I always say to anyone, it is like being your own health advocate. So there's having knee pain, doing squats being told never to deadlift, again, or squat again, I've heard all of it and it drives me insane. But I also understand why. Because here's the thing, if you love doing something, and someone says you can't do it, I would go look for multiple opinions, I would go get different angles because I don't buy that I just don't I've seen enough evidence I've worked with athletes, I've had people come back from laying on the ground and pain not be able to move to back to lifting in three months. So you have to understand as a person, you have to be your own health advocate. But you have to be an advocate for everything and take 100% responsibility. So number one, stop and pay attention. What's going on? Did you try something new, did you, and here's the thing most people like kind of know, but they ignore it, especially the athletes are like, Oh, I'm kind of feeling something, but I'm just gonna go for anyways. And it's like, maybe you should just have like, listen before pushing the boundaries.
But the second thing is, if it's been bugging you a lot like a lot is starting to affect your biomechanics, you're lifting your everyday tasks, go get it assessed, like go get someone to look at it. Because unless something just happened right now, where like I just punched you in the shoulder. And there's an obvious mechanism like, Oh, yeah, that makes sense. My shoulder now hurts, I just fell on it, someone tackled me, like these things make sense. If there's not an obvious mechanism, it's always going to be multifactorial.
And sidestep. Oftentimes, when it's something chronic, where there's no obvious mechanism, it's very rarely actually the site of symptoms where the problem is, and that can be like, very frustrating for people. So like, I've got back pains, I'm just gonna do back exercise. And I'm like, it's got nothing to do with your back. That's just where the breakdown, the change is happening. We're going in rabbit holes Amber so really an issue, I need to slow down. So the body works, it's all connected, right. And I want to use a metaphor like working on a group project. Because I think everyone here whether you have a team, you're in business, or you're in school, can understand this feeling when you are paired up with someone to do a group project. And this person you're paired up with was, let's call him Billy, sorry, if your name is Billy has nothing to do with you. But Billy slacks off and does nothing. And you have to do all the work. And you do the last-minute things, you're just so frustrated, but you get the project done. Great. What happens if your boss, your business, or whatever, you're stuck with Billy now for the next five years, that frustration you would feel of having to work with someone who's not stepping up doing their job, you would feel that. You would evoke probably some frustration or anger. That's the same thing with your body, though. Every area of your body has a role to play. And when someone's not doing their job, whether it's restrictions and mobility, whether it's weakness, whether it's previous injury, etc. It's like that Billy and other areas of your body have to make up for Billy not being able to do its job properly. And so what tends to happen when there's no obvious mechanism is we feel symptoms where that person has been doing most of the work for another area of her body. Does that make sense there?
Amber B 14:53
Yes. You know, I love a good metaphor.
So when we have things like pain, and there's no obvious mechanism, I always say get assessed, why not. And if you are going to get an assessed system key points, whoever you're going to as a therapist should not just be looking at the area of pain, they need to be looking above and below the area. And so yes, I teach people how to do this, we have the different mobility guide, where you can start learning how to self-assess when we talk about mobility, real quick, because he's going to tie together, every area of your body has a general role. And everyone's level of mobility is different. So I don't need the same ability as a gymnast, not what I need. But everybody has a body that needs to be able to perform its basic functions. Whether your functions are or your job requires you to be in sports, like a gymnast, or lifting or just perform everyday tasks. Everyone has a normal range, a normal baseline that's required. So to give some context, this will help bring around the pain and mobility question.
Let's look at the themes of the body really quickly. Our neck is meant to be fairly stable. Our upper back is meant to be fairly mobile, meaning lots of range of motion, right here, right now, as I'm going through this list, ask yourself, do I have lots of range of motion on the upper back? Like do you rotate in your day? Even if you're an avid athlete, and you're a runner, do you actually spend time going to the full rotation? Are you just, you know, working on one plane? And this goes back to principles, you know, everything you've taught on is if you don't lose, if you don't use it, you lose it. So over time, how these compensations, how these pains can come up for us when it just seems like oh my god, I just bent over and I picked up a pencil and I'm back thrown out. It's not that. It's the years of compensation being built up, it's the years of the Billie's, you know, not doing their job. It's the long game.
So as I go down the list, again, just drew back, your low back is meant to be pretty stable. Your hips, I guess, meant to be pretty mobile. Right now, how many of you complain of tight hips? Right? That area is meant to be very mobile. And if they're not, guess what someone else does to work harder. Your knees meant to be very stable, your ankle very mobile, your toes mobile. So right now, as you're getting some awareness of the body, the different themes, right, you can start to identify yourself, Oh, my gosh, my hips are meant to be mobile, they're so tight. Well, guess what? The area above and below that now is to work twice as hard for you. So if you've got knee issues or back issues, it might be coming from the hip, not even the near the back. That makes sense.
Amber B 17:25
A little bit. So when it comes to things like pain, and mobility, all of us have a very, every human body has a natural range of motion and a general theme. And then you might need to work on improving that theme, depending on if it's your sport or your requirement. And so whether you're an athlete, you know, who needs to squat heavy and have good biomechanics going full range of motion, if your ankle mobility is limited, well, guess what, you're going to put more stress on the knee, you're probably going to dump you're gonna have a different, you're not going to be as strong and efficient as you could be. Had you open up ankle range of motion to allow the natural flow of the body. But if you're not even an athlete, here are some questions. And you get up and down off the ground with ease. Like without any support, if you can't, that's mobility, right? So you have an athletic goal, or you are working on performance or not. Mobility is required for everything, longevity, daily function. For me, you know, I'm not competing in the sport anymore. But I want to be able to be active and mobile that can it's my late years. But that starts today. So if I want to be able to get out of my chair with ease, get off the ground with ease. I need to do stuff today to help facilitate that.
Amber B 18:35
That's so good.
Rabbit holes, but we can jam on more about maybe why people don't want to do mobility are, you let me know.
Amber B 18:42
Yeah. So that's what came up for me, when we think about athletes, and I'm an athlete, you're an athlete, people are listening, I'm using an athlete in a very broad term. We often know that we should do mobility, but we don't. Why? Why don't we do it?
I love this question. I'm going to kind of start with a little jab. And this is meant with love. I will say, all serious and smart athletes understand this and do this. Not to be a slap in the face. But like if you call yourself an athlete, you know the importance of it, then it's just a choice from that you're just you're in the habit of not doing it. And it's easy to know, everything's a habit. But let's dig into maybe why. Right? Like, what are some reasons why someone doesn't do it? So they know it's important, but maybe they don't see how it translates to their actual lifting. Anyone who's taking the time or their day, their busy day mode, managing kids or business, whatever, they don't have a lot of time. So if you're telling someone Oh, just do mobility, because it's good for you, and you don't see the translation to actually how it's gonna help in your daily life or your lifting or your PRs. Of course, you're not going to do it, why don't we get time for it. So it's understanding. Do you understand the value of it? Do you understand how it translates to your everyday task? Do understand how that Increasing ankle mobility is going to actually help you squat better. And if squatting better and getting stronger and heavier and being more efficient is important to you, then you're going to be like, Oh, I see the value. And I can make that connection.
I'm going back to the adult example of getting off the ground with ease and getting out of a chair if you can't do everyday functions with ease, but now you understand Oh, mobility can help me with that. Great. The other thing to keep in mind is, once you have it, it's so easy to maintain, like, so easy to maintain. with anything, it's so much harder to start from scratch to backtrack all the years of not doing it than it is to just do a couple of minutes every day. So there's value. Other times it's random. People just know they need to do it. It's as famous, whatever word as hot word, but then they just do general stuff. And it doesn't make any improvement. And they're just wasting your time. So then you need to look at Okay, what can help me make it more specific to me? Can I do something like the mobility program? Can I get assessed? So our athletes that I worked with, did this every day, but it wasn't, it was targeted, it was focusing on what areas do I know in my chain in my body, in the themes in my body that are holding me back from my full potential. So maybe it's hips or upper back, or risk mobility, whatever it is, they're not doing everything all the time, they're focusing on their main essential drills before they lift. And then that's it, then they might have a full day after recovery because it's nice, but it's also making sure it's not just general, it's specific to you and what you actually need, not just this waste of time thing.
Amber B 21:30
Yeah. And I think that's where I get caught up is like, do I need to do all of the mobility, like are we working on like neck and hip, and back and elbow and like, and it just feels like, do I do mobility on every single part of my body?
Every part, every day.
Amber B 21:46
What I'm hearing is no, like, what we're looking for is like, Where are the breakdowns in you and how can we implement mobility exercises. Because I think also we've been using this word mobility, like, what does that even mean? Right? Because it can mean different data, a ton of different things, and different exercises. So yeah, someone's like me, and they're like, yeah, I probably should do more mobility work. I don't really do any. But I don't really even know where to start, like, what does it look like.
Yeah, well, I will first look at it, I know you lift, right. So I'll ask that. And if you don't lift just ask that same question, what in your day to day or your lifting is limited or frustrating to you? Like, you're not gonna know what if you are a lifter.
Amber B 22:25
Can I tell you?
Amber B 22:27
I have medial malleolus pain. Like golfer's elbow on both elbow, and I've had it for like, a year and a half. Yeah, being something I've just like chronically have, it gets a little better, better, and then it gets worse, and then it gets a little better.
Yeah, totally. And now, I would look at so if you have pain at the elbow, now knowing what you know of the themes of the body, where potentially would you focus on would you focus on just the elbow or potential? Do you look at the risk of the shoulder?
Amber B 22:51
Right, so that was why my extrapolation from what you were talking about is like, Okay, so what's below and above it, like the joints below and above it is the risk of the shoulder.
Totally. Starting there. Honestly, just starting, there is such a good start. Because, oftentimes, like I said, unless there's trauma, and Amber, you're gonna know, always depends on everyone, but it does depend, it depends on what you do. Are you spending hours of your day on a computer, and more than before your body's gonna adapt to that stimulus? Are you doing more heavy grip strength stuff? Deadlifting more cleans that's requiring your forms of flex and stuff. So it's awareness of what's been changed in this last memory at my last routine in the last couple of months? Oh, yeah, I've jacked up my volume of training, I'm now spending more time on my computer. So you can start putting together clues of why I am in this area, my body, you know, a little bit pissed off. And so you can look at that, right? Because as you look at training, if you do things too much too soon, changing all the variables, there's going to be a breakdown or injury at some point. But it's not those factors. And it's like, okay, where can I start? Just like, above and below the area and save working on improving that range of motion is an unnecessary range of motion and needs without cheating, how do people cheat when they do the mobility. And if not, then start there. That's the easiest thing to do.
And so and then also can be a strategy, how do you work it into your lifting. So I said in the beginning, when we work with athletes, they do target mobility in the beginning, like 5-10 minutes, tops, max, right? And then during their lifts, if it's a strength day, you can actually work your mobility into your rest period. Like just get smart about it. Don't take all this time outside of your day outside your schedule to this another thing, fit it into your day. I'm not joking. I do mobility randomly throughout the day, I'm standing at my desk, I'll get down, do some, whatever. That's a fine girl. I'll wake up, I'll do some movement. But it's again, it's being your own health advocate and recognizing, being aware of yourself, and starting to notice how can I fit this into my day versus taking more time away from my day. And sometimes it can just be some simple like fixed like that.
Here's the thing though. The body's multiplanar right? So someone could be like I can run, and great, so you have great conditioning, and your runner. But the body requires multiple planes of motion, right? We've got rotation, we've got side bending, we've got forward and backward bending. And so for if you look at yourself and what you're doing for training, even though you might be super fit and healthy, you're still probably not using the range of motion the body needs, right? So how often do you get into deep squats? And if you don't do very often, well, that's something you need to be aware of adding into your routine, in terms of mobility, so you can look at what do I do for training, so Amber, I know you lift you do it, you already do a lot of mobility in your training, right. And this comes back to it's way easier to maintain than to build back up and always recognize that too. Anything is about a journey, anything is gonna require work. But once you have that range, or you have what you need is so so much easier to maintain. So for me, I don't spend a lot of time on hip ankle knee mobility. Why? Because I can go squat, no problem. So as long as I do that every once in a while, whether it's in my training, or just sit in it sometime in my day, like a couple of times a week, I'm going to maintain those ranges of motion, right. But for someone like me, as well, my upper back is stiff and restricted. So I would need to spend more time upper back doing some of those drills. But in order to maintain other ranges of motion, it takes way less work, because I already do that in my day in my training. Does that make sense?
Amber B 26:21
Yeah, that totally makes sense. And I think it's such a, it almost makes me breathe a sigh of relief. Just hearing you say that you don't have to, like do mobility on like, every single joint of your body every single day. Like it's like, oh, okay, like maybe in hearing you say like you can fit it in during the day, you can fit it in during your rest period, it just makes it so much more doable and less of a daunting task. So if someone's like, okay, you know, I'm listening to you talk to me. And I'm kind of identifying here, like some places that I feel tight or some places that I'm like suffering from an injury, what is the best way for someone to be like for me, so I'm like, I actually do a lot of like stretching with my wrist and stuff because I do find that helps my elbow. But I don't do anything in terms of shoulder mobility. So my next thing is like, well, what can I do in terms of shoulder mobility? So now when I go, like, how do I figure out what exercises to actually be doing for your hips, for your needs for your suit, like for all these body parts?
Yeah, I totally get this. So this is part of why I love talking to us, because it all relates back to performance, whether again, your new business, your athletic career, whatever it might be, everyone has to perform their best, everyone wants to move and feel their best, right. So whether you're dealing with an injury, whether you're dealing with just wanting to be better, move better. There's something I've created, like a simple resource to help you on your own self-assess, and self identifies and give you main drills, whether you want that or not, that's great. Otherwise, just start looking at it.
So as a side note, when we're doing something, there's my answer to some frustrating questions for people being like, but I stretch and I do these things. So mobility, let's even define what that is, it's your ability to control your full range of motion, the joint, and the soft tissue, with control through its full range of motion. Okay, flexibility, stretching is about lengthening the muscle. So there's no stability component in there. It's important. However, what happens when we increase the range of motion, we need to be able to teach our brain now how to control that range of motion. So in your day, all you're doing is stretching or foam rolling. That's a nice recovery, but it's also not teaching your brain how to now control that new range you just gave it. So oftentimes, you're like, Why do all these things and be consistent? I would ask yourself, are you actually doing mobility and mobility is active. For some people, mobility is like a workout with the intention you put behind it, right? There's some form of contraction, there's some form of awareness and control with what you're doing. So first, I'd ask you Amber is like, are you doing anything like active, with your mobile there, you just kind of stretching with your wrist and stretching your shoulders out and doing that, you know, dallol, pass-throughs, they're great. But you might be missing an active component of it, which is now going to help support that new range of motion you're increasing. So first, start there, and you're gonna know this, especially if you're dealing with pain, or you're just like, I'm not making any progress, you're probably missing that component.
Then I would look at CARs, controlled articular rotations, you can YouTube shoulder CARs, and it's just C.A.R.s. This is going to help teach you how to put some intention, some activation as you're working on a range of motion without cheating. And so YouTubing any exercise with hip CARs, knee CARs, ankle CARs will be greatly beneficial for you. Because it's going to teach you how to actually walk through how to do mobility and specific mobility that's going to encompass working on a range of motion, working on flexibility, and working on strength to support that new range of motion.
Amber B 29:43
That's good. And I really liked that you clarified that mobility and stretching and flexibility are different things because I think I would fall into this like, I feel like I've put that all under one umbrella, right? All of that is like foam rolling, stretching, like rotate, ankle, rotate, whatever. That's all mobility. And what you're saying is like, No, those are different. Those are different things. And so while stretching may be beneficial, while foam rolling, or rolling may be beneficial. It's not the same thing as mobility. It's not active, like a range of motion. Did you say that you have a free resource for people that we can link to?
Yeah, I do. And I will, I will send that to you. Or they can DM me as well. But yeah,
Amber B 30:20
We will. We'll put it on the show notes. So if you're interested in Danya's self-assessment tool, we'll put it in the show notes and you guys can we'll link that up so that you guys can get that. That's awesome.
Amber B 30:33
So you mentioned performance coaching. And I think that's such like a good segue because you call yourself a performance coach, you come from this, like athletic training and, you know, strength and conditioning coach background, and you've kind of morphed it into, into what like, what would you say has been that progression for you? And where your focus is now and why are you focusing there?
I love this question. Because I have pivoted, but it's still under the same umbrella. And I don't like labels, Amber. But I also know some people need to understand like, what do you do? And so it's fun, because you're like, well, what's a performance coach? Like? Is it acting? Is it sport, like, What are you talking about? Right? So I really focus on the entrepreneur behind the business, I find athletes and entrepreneurs at the high level very similar. But it was through my own experience of coaching that I recognize that look, I love what I did is genuinely my dream job out of the gate. But then I started to realize I wanted some more autonomy, I wanted some more freedom and choice around my schedule, my income, who I worked with, and how many people I could help. So what I really focus now on is just empowering, like I said, the changemakers. So some people might identify with that, but it's really those entrepreneurs who have a huge heart, who are super smart and can help a lot of people, but they get stuck on their own. But they do get stuck in their own fears, or they get second, he's invisible dragons.
And so my performance coaching encompasses three things. The goal, because when you move and you feel good, you show up better. It includes until I wrap it under habits, right, because everything is a habit. Mindset. Everyone, that's a big buzzword, but it is really coming down to managing your thoughts and how to slay those invisible dragons. But to help support the business, right, so most of my clients know what to do. Some of them are like type A, like, I know, I need to do this, I go 140 miles an hour, but then I just burn out or I'm super stressed out. And so they just need help and strategy around how to manage themselves so that they can show up as their best. And each client's a bit different. Sometimes it's more focused on the habits. What it looks like I don't. I used to just do programming for your programming, I used to just tell you, here it is, follow this plan, blah, blah. But then also I realized like people don't need that, or the like don't follow it. The people I typically work with. So I'm like, here's your customized plan, why aren't you following this? And I'm like, okay, what's going on here? And so then I got really fascinated with neuroscience, psychology. And then when I applied for James, when I was coaching as you are too, I'm like, Oh, this is it, like I love this. And so, for me, it's helping a holistic approach, performances, and habits, mindset in business. Hopefully, that makes sense.
Amber B 33:21
Yeah, yeah, totally. And I think it's such and we kind of talked about this before we hit record to have like, that's such a natural transition into focusing on physical performance and taking those things that you learn in physical performance into other realms. And I talked about this a lot with my clients, I'm like, yeah, I'm going to teach you health and fitness, you're going to come into my program and teach you all about like macros, and like fitness, and then you're going to take all those principles, those like foundational principles, and you're going to apply them to your business, or you're gonna apply them to your relationships, or you're going to apply them to your parenting or like whatever is taking them applying them elsewhere. And so that's really kind of what you've done is taking these things you've learned as training professional athletes in the physical realm and taking those same principles and saying, hey, let's see how we can help entrepreneurs to be able to be their best selves so that they can pour into other people, right? That's what we're talking about with those like big-hearted people. It's like, you always want to pour in other people, but we have to realize that, like, we have to take care of our physicality and our mental space to be able to have that performance.
Yeah, totally. Like, I love doing it. Sorry.
Amber B 34:24
It's just such a natural transition. And I'd love to see it in you. It's been fun.
It's, you know, at first, I don't know it's been, it's also been scary because my whole identity was wrapped up in the sport, right? And so, I had a huge identity crisis. I'm not joking. Like I cried, I was like, wailing. I'm like, What am I doing? But I just knew if I wanted to create change on a deeper level, this was the direction that was pulling me in. So you're right, like, I can apply the same skills from my Olympic athlete experience and pour it into business and entrepreneurs. So it's been super fun and I love it. And the funny thing is that side of you the education experiences and go away, right. So you and I can jam mobility injuries any day. I still got to do that through other outlets, but it's just not my main focus on my page anymore. It's through other things that I can still do that. But yeah, I love it.
Amber B 35:12
Well, awesome. So I'm curious, what are some of your current fitness goals?
I would say, so I dislocated my shoulder. I don't know how many months ago. And so it's for me, it's getting back to lifting heavy, I like lifting. It's just, it's what I like to do. So, hey, it's Humble Pie yesterday by doing pull-ups. It's not where I used to be and that's fine. It's just honoring where I'm at now and not letting my emotions be like, Oh my god, I used to be able to do this. So it's just getting back in the gym back to the barbell and consistently showing up. So I'm not gonna lie for a while when I got injured, I kind of was like self-pity. And I was like this. Now I can't do things I love to do. And I let myself go there for a little bit. But then it's like getting back on that train of my habits. And because for me, I don't know about you Amber, but it affects how I show up. It affects my focus, my mental clarity, my stress levels. I know the direct, like implications that have on my business when I'm not doing the things I love to do, or taking care of my body. Right?
So a little bit of a segue is like, most people are like, I'm so tired, I'm not motivated. I'm always like, okay, when's the last time you eat or drink water or like, move your body? You know, like, the basic stuff that most of us forget, especially the busy hype from entrepreneurs who are managing kids in the business, it's like, let's take care of the basics first. And so when I don't do that, I know how it directly affects my business and how I show up and also then my income and impact. Well, long story short, my goal is just to get back to lifting heavy again, for me, right, so I'm doing bodyweight pull-ups, which is a great place to start off with, but I like to add a bit of weight on like, I like some muscles. So that's my focus.
Amber B 36:54
Yeah, that's so good. And I do want to piggyback off that, and this will be probably our last topic because I want to wrap up. But injury, I think this is like getting back after an injury is something that a lot of people do. I would say, if you are a lifter, you will probably at least be injured one time in your life. Like if you're lifting for 40 years like there's gonna be probably a time when you're injured, you have to take some time off. And then you have to go through that process of coming back. And there is a lot of mental stuff that happens when people aren't able to be in the gym, whether it's because of a surgery or because of an injury or whatever. So will you just kind of take a moment and I know you have kind of dove into this a little bit. But just some of that, what you see in terms of things that people should be thinking about whether they're going into surgery, and they're gonna have to take some time off from the gym, I get that a lot. People really worried about that. Losing all of their muscle mass, or whether it's an injury and you're having to take some time at the gym. Can you just speak to that a little bit for those people who are really in that right now?
Yeah, and like I hear you, I get it. I've lived it as I work, people who do it, and honestly, I would say Amber is the hardest thing but injuries, the mental side of it. It's not the recovery. It's like following this plan, okay, it didn't work. Let's pivot here. Like, that's the easy part. The hard part is managing your thoughts, your mindset around them. But I like for anyone who's in that boat, allow yourself to feel those feelings, like feel frustrated, like, you know, I have a lot of athletes who got injured right before Olympic trials. And it's like, that's gut-wrenching, like, allow yourself to feel that if you bottle it up, it's just going to wreak havoc and make your recovery so much worse. But then also just recognize, like, most of us who have had one injury or a couple of injuries, you always bounce back, you always come back, right? Maybe not the same way, depending on what the injury is, of course, I got to be careful what I say here, but it's just like, be kind to yourself in that period, and also get the support you need. So I'm fortunate enough to know a lot about the body, there are certain things I couldn't do for myself, I had to have someone else manually help me with my shoulder in the acute phase. But after that was just like, focusing on what I can do. And really with anything, but there are so many things you can do. So let's say I've injured my shoulder. What else can I do?
Okay, real quick. Research shows that if I if you're able to doesn't cause you more pain, working on the other side of my arm helps actually reduce the atrophy of my right side by like 80%. So you have a choice right now feel your feelings, absolutely honor those but then what else can I do? Right? Can I work on my other arm? Great, that's going to help you reduce atrophy. Can I dial in my nutrition with the amorous program, right? Can I do lower body? Can I do court? There's gonna be still so many things you still can do. It's just, are you looking for those? You might not be doing the same we used to do so let's say your runner. Now you can't run, can you bike? Can you go run in the pool? There's always something you can do.
And I would also say that exercise is genuinely medicine. When I work with athletes, they are surprised at how fast I'm trying to get them back to moving. Now that's a different topic around like there are different types of moving active-passive. There are different types of contraction like isometric, concentric, eccentric, right? So listen to your body and use that pain as a guide, especially an injury, saying stop and pay attention, you're doing a bit too much right now. But use someone to help you get back to movement as soon as possible. Even after surgery, like there, you should be doing something, whether it's active or passive, or someone's helping manually move you to get back to your activity, right? The biggest thing I see people make as a mistake is they just rest. Resting is okay, for the first couple of days. But after that, you should be their stuff you can do if you don't know how to reach out to someone. But it's going to be the movement that retraining the body that we're getting you back into those movement patterns is going to help you heal. Like it actually assists in the healing process.
Amber B 40:52
That's so important because for years, and this is related to the medical field, right? For years, after surgeries, we just let people lie in bed like we knew that they were going to recover better. And like people would stay in the hospital for weeks at a time right after a major surgery. And now we know because of research, that the very first thing we have nurses do is get patients up, right, it's like you post off, like, the first thing we're doing is like trying to get you to sit at the side of the bed trying to get you up out into a chair like that, as a nurse, that's something that we know now facilitates the healing, it actually makes someone heal faster to actually get up and move. And I think I'm so glad that you brought this up as a final point because when we have pain or when we have injuries, there is that desire sometimes to baby it. And sometimes that can be the worst thing that we can do. Now, I'm not saying you should go and like to pain, right? Like Danya said, pain needs attention, like we don't go into that realm of pain. But just because you have pain when you do a full range squat, doesn't mean that you can't do a half range squat without. Right up to that point where we can start to have those movement patterns, do what you can do pain-free because that will allow you to get to a full range squat sitting on your butt is never going to allow you to get to the old age squad.
Yep, so true. And like I want you to think of, you're actually assisting in helping the tissue heal and realign. And you're helping prevent secondary complications, right. So as we stress the tissue, like we do any sort of contraction, you're helping the new tissue that's being laid down to a line in the same way that muscle wants to operate and work. When we don't do anything, the muscle, the body smart just starts throwing random crap down and patching it up. But unless you pot pie, a little bit of stress to help align those tissues, you're gonna have secondary complications, restrictions, you know, stuff you're gonna deal with later on. So yeah, if you listen to your body, of course, and I just like I'll preface this with this. I did a video on this a little while ago, but the journey is never linear. Success in anything is never linear, right? You're gonna it would be silly to expect that everything just goes gung ho perfect, move forward. Anything business fitness, pain recovery, you're going to have regressions, that's normal, you're going to have days where you're frustrated and in more pain, that's normal. Again, whatever you're at, stop and pay attention. But it's understood as if the overall trend is moving forward. That's what matters most. But give yourself some grace and recognize you're gonna have some bad days, you're gonna have some off days, you're gonna have some days where you're in pain, and you're gonna have more days, you're not in pain, and overall, the trend is going to be moving forward, getting back to health, or your business success or your fitness goals, right? I think that's a big misunderstanding. People just think, Oh, I'm never gonna be in pain. No, you're gonna have pain. Like just kind of expected, but keep moving through it under a guided plan.
Amber B 43:41
Yeah. Oh, good. Well, we'll be definitely linking up stuff on our show notes for people to be able to connect with you to be able to download your stuff. So where can people best find you or follow you if they are wanting to get more information?
Yeah, so on Instagram, I'm under coachdanya . Just like how it looks like Danya. So coachdanya is on Instagram, that's where I'm most active, especially more around habits and mindset and business stuff. For those looking for more like health, fitness-specific goals, that's done through pure life organic, so a lot of injury drills. More health focus that we've talked about is through that. But then also, I'll send Ammber a link to some other resources that can help you start to understand your blind spots and your fun limitations that might be holding you back whether it's mobility restrictions, we're gonna see you have pain or not. It'll be helpful.
Amber B 44:35
Well, and yeah, we'll link all that up on the show notes. So thank you so much, Danya, for coming. It's been so fun to be able to chat and talk a little bit about lifting and performance and injuries and all the good stuff. So thank you so much for coming on the podcast.
Thank you so much for having me. I love it.
Amber B 44:52
I hope that you enjoyed that interview with Danya. Like I said, all of the resources that Danya talks about, we will link up in the show notes Which will be at www.bicepsafterbabies.com/136, which is the podcast episode number. And that will be where you can download any of those resources that Danya talked about to be able to help you to move forward in identifying maybe some of your weaknesses in terms of mobility of different joints. And then you know what some of those first steps can be in terms of working on correcting them. And I know Danya and me, after we stopped hitting record on the podcast, we've continued to have a conversation about my elbow tendonitis, and I'm excited to be able to implement some of the stuff that Danya was talking to me about to see if we can get that injury that I've been dealing with the kind of cleared up.
Amber B 44:52
So I'm right there with you. I am learning these things and continuing to implement the things that I know I shouldn't be doing and aren't necessarily doing on a daily basis. So I felt it was so encouraging for Danya to remind us that we don't do all of the mobility every single day but rather make it more targeted towards what we're dealing with. And really just fitting that into our normal schedule. That I don't know about you, but that gave me a lot of permission to be like, okay, I can do this. It's not something that has to be a big huge deal, but it can be something small that I can be doing every day that is going to end up benefiting me in the long run in the gym.
Amber B 46:17
If you enjoyed this episode, go in and dm Danya, dm me posted on Facebook or Instagram and tag me and let me know what you thought about the episode or what you learned and how you're going to be applying it into your life. That wraps up this episode of biceps after babies radio I'm Amber, now go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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