October 5, 2020

Podcast

#131 – Beth Lewis: The Art of Stability: Learning about pain, mitigating injury, and moving better through life

“The only time it’s bad posture is when you don’t have another option.” —Beth Lewis

Read Time 18 minutes

Beth Lewis is a former professional dancer and a self-described “educator of movement” who has an unmatched ability to assimilate information and customize training plans from multiple training systems. In this episode, Beth takes us through how she identifies problematic movement patterns and postures to help individuals relieve pain, avoid injury, and move better within all types of exercise. She explains how movement is in fact a trainable skill and provides suggestions for what people can add to their exercise routine to benefit their health and longevity. 

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We discuss:

  • Beth’s “way of no way” training philosophy [4:45]
  • Beth’s background in dancing and how she ended up in New York City [7:30]
  • Beth’s transition to fitness coaching and how her training philosophy has evolved [12:45];
  • Functional Range Conditioning and scapular mobility [21:50];
  • An overview of Postural Restoration Institute, and Peter’s squat assessment [35:30];
  • The important connection between the ribs and breathing [39:45];
  • The role of sitting and external stress in chronic muscular tension [42:30];
  • The important role of your toes, minimalist footwear, and toe yoga [44:30];
  • Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) [48:30];
  • A different view on knee valgus [52:45];
  • Is there such a thing as “bad posture”? [56:30];
  • How Beth identifies an issue, addresses it, and keeps clients motivated [58:45];
  • Lifting weights, the Centenarian Olympics, and dancing into old age [1:11:00];
  • The importance of the hamstrings versus abs [1:21:15];
  • Benefits of rowing, and why everyone should add it to their exercise regimen [1:27:15]
  • Different roles of concentric versus eccentric strength [1:35:15];
  • Flexibility and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) [1:39:40];
  • Training versus playing sports, and the best type of activity for kids [1:43:00]; and
  • More.

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Podcast interview also available on YouTube

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Beth’s “way of no way” training philosophy [4:45]

Resemblance of Beth’s approach to Bruce Lee’s approach to martial arts

 

Beth’s background in dancing and how she ended up in New York City [7:30]

Beth’s dancing career

  • She participated in a variety of activities as a kid, including gymnastics, martial arts, soccer, and swimming
  • After switching majors her junior year of college, she earned a degree in dance performance
  • She danced professionally for four years with a dance company named Pilobolus
    • This dance company is known for creating an athletic style of dance referred to as weight shifting 
    • The dance technique was “actually quite similar to the way I teach to lift weights. It’s about sharing the load and working with the weight.”
    • See this article for more about Pilobolus and the weight-sharing dance technique they developed
  • Beth did not like the frequent travel associated with professional dancing, which is what led her to change professions

Figure 1. Pilobolus dance theatre. Image credit: pilobolus.org

 

Beth’s transition to fitness coaching and how her training philosophy has evolved [12:45]

Transition to training

  • Beth was a fitness trainer prior to becoming a professional dancer
  • Broadway didn’t appeal to her, so she decided to return to fitness training
  • She split her time training clients between a few modes:
    • Private 1 on 1 in general strength and conditioning
    • Group classes 
    • And then she got into rowing and started teaching classes at CITYROW

Evolution in her philosophy on exercise training

{end of show notes preview}

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Beth Lewis

Beth is a former professional dancer and a self-described “educator of movement” who has an unmatched ability to assimilate information and customize training plans from multiple training systems. She grew up in a small town in South Georgia where she was a competitive gymnast, swimmer, dancer, soccer player and martial artist. Beth received her undergraduate degree in Dance Performance from The University of Georgia and then joined with Pilobolus where she spent 4 years touring the world dancing. After retiring from dance, Beth moved to NYC to really dive into health and wellness, and has worked with a variety of gyms, including being the Programming Director of CityRow.  Her continuing education in Functional Range Conditioning, Postural Restoration, Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization, and applied neurology has turned her into a strength coach with non-traditional methods.

Instagram: @bethlewisfit

Disclaimer: This blog is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this blog or materials linked from this blog is at the user's own risk. The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard, or delay in obtaining, medical advice for any medical condition they may have, and should seek the assistance of their health care professionals for any such conditions.

27 Comments

  1. Hey Peter,
    In response to your question, yes the video was absolutely essential to an instructional podcast of this nature. I.E. movement through a 3D plane. Plus it helped explain a lot of the terminology that would be lost on us layman. I’m of the opinion that this was one of your best podcasts. It goes a long ways towards winning the centenarian olympics.
    Thanks Peter,
    Blaine

  2. Hello Peter:
    I loved this interview /discussion that you did with Beth Lewis. She has great exercise/stretching health philosophy, a very humble woman 🙂 I had my 77 year old mother watch this video and she also loved it. During this COVID her and I are connecting on line and sharing/encouraging movement and wellness.

    We noted that in the interview you discussed going into the gym to have her show you some exercises/stretches that she discussed.
    Since your interview we have incorporated the practice of getting up from the floor, mimicking ‘fall and get up’, along with scapula, hip, leg and breathing exercises.
    Did you do a video that you are able to share with us of her exercises/stretches?

  3. Peter, Beth, and Team,

    1. Videos are superb.

    If you described Triceps-Extensions-at-End-Range, none of us would have got that. The video made that happen.

    (I crapped out at 4 extensions with 5 lbs. My arms still feel it three hours later)

    2. Make more. Especially with the physical stuff.

    The ability to show doing-it-the-wrong-way makes a huge difference for those of us who aren’t working with a coach.

    3. Videos keep the podcast from staying just a head-game.

    You want people to change how they are living.
    I want to change.
    Hearing you both talk is great, but it’s really difficult to bring that into action.

    Videos invite action.

    Thank you!

    Future Centenarian,
    Aaron

  4. Peter, for this particular podcast the video is invaluable. I would not do a video for all podcasts due to the resources that you need to expend and also because I would would find it hard to regularly sit down and watch a long form podcast. Cathy

  5. Peter thank you for this great interview and instructive videos. Since longevity is your focus you might like to check out the work of Linda Lack (Lindalack.com) called “Thinking Body Feeling Mind” she developed over the past 40 years. She is a former dancer with PhD. in kinesiology and teaches in Los Angeles. And I think is now 75 years old….remaining a beautiful mover and teacher and inspiration for longevity.

    ALSO Katy Bowman has done great work (books, podcast, etc) on functional movement integrated into daily living. (Nutriciousmovement.com)

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