You may have Flexible Hamstrings, but can You Control Them?

You may have Flexible Hamstrings, but can You Control Them?

Athletes spend a lot of time in order to try to make their hamstrings longer or more flexible. While this is a great thing to be working on, unfortunately this is only one piece of the puzzle. 

You Need To Improve Your Grip Strength

You Need To Improve Your Grip Strength

If you can’t hang from a pull-up bar EASILY for 60 seconds you need to work on your grip. Even if you can, you should still work on your grip! When you give that test a try make sure you wrap your thumb around the bar.

Athlete Highlight - Training not Treatment fixed his Sciatic Pain

Athlete Highlight - Training not Treatment fixed his Sciatic Pain

Having chronic sciatic pain and back pain for a while due to a car accident, I needed guidance to get back into being active again. After training with Wes, It is the pain-free life I can have after training that lead me to come back for more. Also the 26 lbs I lost and fitting in my clothes better was encouraging too. 

Stop Stretching your Hamstrings Incorrectly

Stop Stretching your Hamstrings Incorrectly

Unfortunately for the majority of people they aren’t even stretching their hamstring, they are instead stretching their sciatic nerve. And just incase you didn’t know stretching nerves is a really bad idea.

Your Hip Flexion Stretching isn't Working

Your Hip Flexion Stretching isn't Working

Poor hip mobility is without a doubt a cause for not being able to achieve a biomechanically sound squat. Where do we start then? I always start by addressing athletes hip INTERNAL rotation.

External rotation and flexion of the hip are easy and hip internal rotation is a better predictor of overall hip health.

The Best "Hip" Stretch you aren't doing

The Best “Hip” Stretch you Aren”t Doing

Of all the muscles we utilize during a normal running gait cycle we can narrow down some of the big players to include the Hamstrings, Glute Max, Quads and Adductor Magnus. 

Yes the Adductor Magnus. This muscle is effectively divided into two components. There is an adductor portion, which its main function is hip flexion(and adduction). There is also a hamstring portion, which its main function is hip extension.

This sounds a lot like running! 

Problems with the Adductor Magnus in terms of length or ability to produce strength can cause running form issues which can result in a number issues such as lower back or knee pain.

The video uptop is a simple and effective way to stretch primarily the hip flexion portion of your Adductor Magnus. Next week I will address how to stretch the hip extension or hamstring portion of the Adductor Magnus and why you are most likely stretching your hamstrings incorrectly. 

 

 

Isometrics for Better Handstand Positioning

Isometrics for Better Handstand Positioning | Movement Fix Monday

This is part 3 in the 'un-sexy' series on how to improve your positioning using isometrics (see part 1 and part 2 for more isometrics). The full part 3 write-up is here. 

This time we are talking about handstands and focusing specifically on the over-arching of the low back that is extremely common during handstands and overhead lifting.

"Most commonly in a handstand with excessive arching, the thoracolumbar junction get's used and abused. Thoracolumbar is just a fancy way of saying 'where your thoracic spine and lumbar spine meet'."

Developing a quality handstand will have great turn over to other exercises. The ability to achieve full wrist and thoracic spine extension, coupled with shoulder flexion while simultaneously supporting your body, has tremendous transferability to handstand push-ups, handstand walks and Olympic weightlifting. The handstand is what is known as an isometric exercise. Isometric exercises are a great way to build strength while decreasing your chance of injury. Performing an isometric exercise requires activating all of your motor units and at the same time producing a balanced contraction on both sides of the joint so no joint shearing, or increase in inflammation, occurs. Essentially handstands increase strength while reducing the chance of shoulder injury! 

Isometrics for Better Squatting

Isometrics for Better Squatting | Movement Fix Monday

In the second video of our series Dr. Debell and myself go through a horse straddle stance. Most athletes don’t need additional lower body mobility then what is required to perform a proper straddle stance hold. When you develop a strong straddle position you get the biggest bang for your buck in terms of transferable mobility to all other lower body movements. It addresses almost all of your most underdeveloped lower body limitation, adductor mobility. It also simultaneously works on opening hips, ankles and spinal position once you can achieve it with the PVC pipe in the hips.

  • Start with your feet together. Windshield wipe your feet out (see video to visually see what that means) 4-5 steps as a starting point
  • Get as deep as you can while controlling the position and keeping your spine in neutral
  • Try to balance a dowel on your thighs without letting it slip off
  • Hold until it gets hard
  • Take a break
  • Repeat 3-5 times (this is feel based)

Be sure to check out Ryan's full blog post here. 

Negative Muscle Ups for Better Transition

Negative Muscle Ups for Better Transitions | Movement Fix Monday

When Dr. Debell was in Boston a couple months ago I had the pleasure to film a 4 part series with him on the topic of isometric exercises. 

Ryan titled it the "Un-Sexy Video Series on Improving Positions Using Isometrics and Eccentrics." The idea for the series was developed after Ryan got in a few training sessions with me and was interested in the gymnastic strength work I was doing. It started with a discussion on how if people were less concerned with quantity and more about quality. These exercise while not as exciting as swinging from a pull-up bar can be beneficial to any athlete. Dr. Debell accurately put it....

"Getting weak people to kip up into a muscle up without ever having developed the strength (both of muscle and connective tissue) will lead to short term excitement but long term problems." 

Check out the first video, as well as the full write up here on Ryan's website.