Antifragility is a property of systems that increase in capability, resilience, or robustness as a result of stressors, shocks, volatility, noise, mistakes, faults, attacks, or failures. It is a concept developed by Professor Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book, Antifragile
I was first introduced to the Antifragile Fall Matrix by Dr Perry Nickelston founder of ‘Stop Chasing Pain’. Dr Perry based his fall matrix on a few key ideas…
1 – We fall down and when we do, we need to be able to get back up
The Fall Matrix is based on the simple fact that as we age, the majority of us become less mobile and more sedentary which can lead to increased risk of injuries as we age. As human beings, we were meant to move, not sit at a computer all day. If you don’t use it, you lose it. We don’t need a complicated exercise routine to maintain basic body movement patterns. We just need to move out bodies in many different directions and shapes.
A simple movement like getting up off the floor can be difficult for many people. However, if we train our bodies to be able to get down and up off the floor, we will be using a great number of muscles and movement patterns that will help to keep our bodies functional as we age.
In a Brazilian study, 2002 men and women ages 51 to 80 were followed for an average of 6.3 years, and those who needed to use both hands and knees to get up and down (whether they were middle-aged or elderly) were almost seven times more likely to die within six years than those who could spring up and down without support.
2 – Reduced threat
Developmental ground positions reduce ‘perception’ of threat related to falling, as well as any related protective mechanism such as stiffness, weakness, discomfort and altered coordination
There is always some degree of unconscious nervous system activity devoted to preventing a fall. Such as excess tension and mobility restrictions.
3 – New program upload
If you struggle with a given movement, then for most part it comes back to two reasons. Its either a hardware or a software problem.
Hardware – muscle, joints, ligament etc
Software – brain
Many people struggle with movement in a gym environment because at some point or another they have experienced pain with a given exercise. If this is the case subconsciously the brain perceives threat and down regulates movement.
Now, if the reason you can’t squat is because you have a software issue (you would be surprised how many of you that is) then you need to upload a new software package.
When we move taking ourselves away from the idea of exercise and shift into an ‘outside of the box’ concept (Fall Matrix) we become open to uploading a new software package.
So, someone that traditionally has an average looking squat suddenly can squat ass to grass. It then simply becomes a case of ‘downloading’ that new program
How to do the Fall Matrix
- Stand in an open area such as carpeted living room.
- Use whatever technique you need to be able to get down on the floor and lay on your back
- Repeat this a total of 3 more times. Each time you get down on the floor, lay on a different side of your body. For example, your back, stomach, right side and left side.
- If you can successfully complete all four positions then you can graduate to the next challenge.
- The Fall Matrix is more difficult by not allowing the use of an arm to assist in getting down and up off the floor. For example, place your right hand on your left shoulder, keep it there the entire time you go down and get up off the floor in all 4 positions. Go ahead and try it again. You will notice that it is immediately slightly more challenging. Make sure you don’t use momentum..go slow and be ninja like
- You can challenge the Fall Matrix in endless ways but start simple by placing a hand on any body part. For example, the opposite shoulder, elbow, knee, hip, crossing your arms, etc.
- For videos on “The Fall Matrix” search on YouTube or Google.
The Antifragile Fall Matrix is a pretty simple concept but don’t let that fool you of its profoundness.
Our bodies are pretty incredible and given the right opportunities and feedback our body will find the right way to achieve the desired outcome. The beauty of the Fall Matrix is that when we start moving to the ground our body just ‘figures it out’
Check out the video below of some of my Anti-fragile fall Matrix efforts