How to Erase Pain & Improve Mobility with Jill Miller – EPISODE 167


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This week on Barbell Shrugged we chat with Jill Miller, creator of the Yoga Tune Up training program, as well as author of The Roll Model, an excellent guide to mobility and self-care.

Mobility work is now a common thing in gyms of every kind, which is extraordinary. Athletes now understand that it takes much more than heavy barbells to maximize fitness and performance. You also have to give a lot of time, effort and resource to self-maintenance and restoration.

The lesson has been learned the hard way. You can train brutally hard, with great passion and focus, but your progress and ultimate success will always depend on your ability to recover fully and move well. Thanks to the efforts of Übermensch Pro’s like Kelly Starrett – all of the viral methods and little blue tools of self-flagellation – it’s now very cool to be strong AND mobile.

Honestly, I think most athletes will thank him more in about 30 years time, when they can still train and  play with their grandkid’s without pain.

Cheers to the Leopard!


We’ve made a lot of progress, but the truth is that most athletes still spend too much time in compromising positions.

Outside of the gym most people still slouch over steering wheels, laptop screens and smartphones most of the time. We sit…and sit…and sit, endlessly, which serves to stretch, squeeze and compress our most powerful muscles, the glutes.

Honestly, a few minutes of foam rolling or unfocused stretching here and there just isn’t enough. You need a more thoughtful method, one that starts with one other absolutely vital muscle that’s often forgotten entirely by most athletes.


You need focused, directed mobility work to yield the best results and make the most of your time. Get over 30 unique mobility roadmaps to show you the mobilizations you need to do specific to your limitations and training.  Click the image above to learn more.

You MUST maintain a healthy, fit diaphragm.   

Why is posture so important? Why is it so bad to practice shallow, hurried breathing patterns, especially during times of stress? Well, it’s got everything to do with your diaphragm and the ability to breath well.

Your diaphragm is a large, mushroom cap-shaped muscle that attaches to your lower ribs and spine. You are able breath because this muscle contracts powerfully and smoothly, moving downward during inhalation. But what happens during distress, or the shallow breath? How do you think the function of your diaphragm is changed by all those hours spent slouching?

An unfit diaphragm will be burdened with excessive tension. Further, rounded shoulders often cause uneven loading on the diaphragm, which can lead to breathing dysfunction and poor fueling of the tissues. That’s the last thing you want to experience during a tough WOD.

The gut smash!

Movements like the gut smash help to restore “suppleness” and full function to the abdominal tissues. To breath and contract the diaphragm into a ball is very similar to rolling-out a sore thigh. After working at it you should be able to breath better, recover faster, and drastically lower stress.

Better still, you might experience an improvement in mobility issues that have limited motion in your shoulders, back, hips, knees or ankles. The anatomy and action of the diaphragm directly affects everything above and below it. If it moves well and functions, YOU will move well and function.

The same is true of the true seam-system of facia and soft-tissie that ties your body together, inside and out. Everything is interconnected. Working tissue in one spot is very likely to have unforeseen benefits in other areas of the body, and in life. Just do it.

Posture is more than you think.

Remember, great technique in the gym is nothing more than keeping good posture while you move around under load. And posture has everything to do with your ability to breath really well.


Mapping the body.

Rolling for mobility, breathing and improved recovery is one thing, but this is still a limited view. Self-maintenance is also an extremely effective way to train body awareness (something no athlete can do without).

When you dig a ball into your thigh, for example, you’re also stimulating a lot of Ruffini nerve endings which lay down through the skin, deep in your fascia. The resulting neural input allows the brain to map that area of your body more accurately. The effect on the abdominal tissue is similar.

When you work the soft-tissues you effectively map the inside and outside of your body, which significantly improves both prioprioception and interoception. Simply put, if you want to be a better athlete, get to know yourself much better, inside and out. That benefit alone would make all of the rolling priceless.

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We had a blast hanging out, Jill. Also, thanks again for the bourbon. We’ll have to do it again soon.



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7 Responses to “How to Erase Pain & Improve Mobility with Jill Miller – EPISODE 167”

  1. Robert

    Great show.

    I notice the dog doing his own glute stretches (big turd) in the technique wod. He must have been listening about squeezing his butt hard

    Keep it up, love the show

    Listening from Australia

  2. Pablo

    Great episode guys! I’ve been doing glute bridges for many years because they are the magic exercise for my lower back. My problem stems from muscle imbalance due to my right leg being an inch shorter than my left and glute bridges have pretty much eliminated spasms. Fantastic exercise to recommend for people who sit too much.

    While watching 167 I tried rolling my feet as Jill advised and the release in tension was amazing. Not only a huge improvement in toe touch, also improved my posture ( I struggle with slouching). Definitely going to try this fascia stimulation some more.

    Last but not least, I’m 45 and have been feeling like I’ve been going through manopause. A buddy suggested creatine and I was skeptical because I don’t lift heavy. I did some reading and all the other potential benefits sold me on giving it a try (mental clarity etc.). 5 grams a day and wow, what an improvement. I feel better, I feel virtually no next day fatigue or soreness after 90 minute workouts. Amazing stuff.

    I try to catch the pod regularly, but time… you know how it is. I’ve picked up some great tips, but this episode takes the cake for instant results.

    Keep up the good work!


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