10 Vital Moves to Reach Your Body's Full Potential

Kelly Starrett

Learn how to biohack your mobility, create a movement-rich environment, and tap into the benefits of breathing, sleep, and balance.


In this Episode of The Human Upgrade™...

… Kelly Starrett knows all the best moves. His 10 Vital Signs give you doable tests, tips, and tools so you can live your life exactly the way you want to.

That means a focus on mobility and your body’s complete range of motion. Movement like being able to sit on the floor and get back up; daily walking and squatting; increasing range of motion in your hips; and mobilizing your back and shoulders.

“The harmonious convergence of all the elements that allow you to move freely and effortlessly through space and life (joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, nerves, brain, and the vasculature that runs through the body)—for the physically elite and nonathletes,” he explains in his newest book (co-authored with his wife, Juliet) “Built to Move: The 10 Essential Habits to Help You Move Freely and Live Fully.”

Physical therapist Dr. Kelly Starret is a highly respected expert in the world of functional movement and mobility. His ability to convey complex ideas in a relatable and approachable manner has made him both a pioneer and a popular figure within the fitness industry. 

Take walking for example: “Walking gets a bad rap because it’s not running, it’s not high intensity. What I want people to understand is that walking is the chief and best way to get non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT).” … “Probably the primary reason why you can control your weight or can’t control your weight is how much movement you’re doing throughout the day, week, month, year. Walking is an easy way to just turn those dials to 10.”

Over the years, Kelly’s collaborated with elite athletes and teams to enhance their physical capabilities and performance. He co-founded The Ready State (formerly MobilityWOD) and San Francisco CrossFit. He consults with athletes and coaches from the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB, the US Olympic Team, elite Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard forces, and consults with corporations on employee health and well-being. He also co-authored the New York Times bestsellers “Becoming a Supple Leopard” and “Ready to Run,” and the Wall Street Journal bestseller “Deskbound.” 

In this episode, he discusses the importance of shifting away from solely traditional exercise and hour-long gym sessions. Instead, Kelly put the focus on movement quality and variety with physical practice happening over 24 hours for a more holistic approach to fitness. “Built to Move” lays a movement foundation for everyone from non-exercisers to professional athletes and everyone in between.

“At the heart of upgrading is this idea that you are actually in charge of your own body,” he says, “And that happens in the household. No one else is coming to save you!”

Watch this episode on YouTube!

"What we have confused in fitness is the idea that whoever goes the fastest wins."

Kelly Starrett


  • Reconsider your physical practice throughout a 24-hour day instead of viewing exercise as an isolated 1-hour unit.
  • Get a kettlebell for at-home workouts to promote consistency in your physical practice.
  • Prioritize total movement, nutrition, sunlight, and social interaction for overall health and longevity.
  • Reduce session cost by avoiding excessive consumption of unhealthy foods and beverages.
  • Check out “Built to Move” for simple tests, practical tools, and manageable approaches to functional movement.

Enjoy the show!

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  • Importance of Functional Movement, 
  • How the fitness industry has become a trillion-dollar mega industry that doesn’t serve the people it purports to serve. 
  • The goal of training and high-performance environments is to transform community and make families more robust. 
  • Why movement should be viewed as a skill, and biomechanically, burpees may not be the best exercise and the importance of understanding movement quality and making sure that the skill is maintained even when faced with metabolic or cardio-respiratory load. 
  • Why physical practice should be viewed as happening over 24 hours, rather than just in discrete 1-hour
  • Sleep, nutrition, and stress management practices, can impact our performance during exercise. By adopting healthy behaviors, we can reduce session costs and handle higher levels of stress. 
  • Mobility is about maintaining a full range of motion in the body and controlling that range of motion. In contrast, exercise is about using that range of motion to create biomotor expression. 
  • Movement vital signs are objective benchmarks for physical and movement behaviors that allow us to measure our progress. By focusing on these vital signs, individuals can improve their health and longevity, even if they are busy with work and other demands.
  • The Sit and Rise Test is a simple, effortless way to assess mobility. 
  • Walking is a highly underrated form of exercise that can have numerous health benefits. 
  • Why movement is crucial for weight control, and walking is an easy way to increase daily movement. 
  • How Delta Force warfighters were asked to walk 15,000 steps to help them fall asleep. Walking 8,000 steps a day reduces all-cause mortality by 50%, but 10,000 steps is unnecessary.
  • Why sitting or standing for extended periods of time can be detrimental to your health.
  • How you can shape your environment to incorporate more movement, like standing at a bar stool or taking a walking meeting. Even small movements can have a significant impact on your health.
  • The benefits of walking include strengthening your feet and getting sunlight. 
  • Why it’s not necessary to have a tracking device like an OURA ring to tell you how you feel. You can focus on how you feel, how you’re moving, and the quality of your tissues to determine your health goals.
  • The importance of crafting a personal, functional movement routine that works for the individual. 
  • How pain is a request for change, and it doesn’t necessarily mean tissue damage. Kelly Starrett suggests we should view pain as a complex psychoemotional component that requires a change in behavior. 
  • How functional movement exercises can help individuals unlock their true biological potential, increase their capacity to cope with physical demands, and live a longer and healthier life. 
  • The importance of deep breathing and using different parts of the lungs to improve overall health. He shares his personal experience with mid-back pain and how changing his breathing pattern and rib position eliminated the pain. He argues that deep breathing should be a basic skill for everyone.
  • How and why you should unlock your individualized biological potential by embracing a household-centered approach to health, developing a functional movement routine that works for them
  • Kelly Starrett discusses his new book, Built to Move, which focuses on the ten vitality signs that indicate optimal health. He emphasizes the importance of functional movement in achieving these signs and encourages listeners to prioritize it in their own lives.
  • The importance of striving for all ten vitality signs and becoming part of the Ten out of Ten Club. While Dave admits he may not score perfectly on all of them, he aims to be in the top 10% on most.
  • The evolution of health conferences and how attendees have become more sophisticated and nuanced in their understanding of the body and health. 
  • The crucial role of functional movement in biohacking and achieving optimal health. He praises Dave for shining a light on this often-overlooked aspect of health and encourages listeners to prioritize it in their own biohacking journeys.

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