Do you have shin splints with running? What about knee or hip pain? Lower back pain? Maybe all of them! Find out if your lack of ankle flexibility is causing it.
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.
Isometrics for Better Handstand Positioning | Movement Fix Monday
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!
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.
Biggest bang for your buck mobility | Part 2
“Dude, I've hung three straight days for a cumulative of 5 minutes at a time and I shit you not I already feel a difference in my upper back and shoulder. Crazy shit.”
Continuing our series with biggest bang for your buck exercises. If you missed last week check it out here. Moving on we are talking about hanging. Yes I am asking you to do more than just lay there this week.
In one movement we are addressing shoulders, elbow, wrist, hand and spinal health. Seems like a pretty good “bang for your buck” exercise. I am going to pick on the desk jockey once again. He is sitting in a hunched forward turtle position all day long. Gravity is doing its thing having his body adapt to this position. Now that you have pictured that person, think about your position when hanging, basically the complete opposite position of that. With once again gravity doing all the work to open everything up that has been closed off.
Where do we start with this? This is most likely going to be a very stressful and or uncomfortable position on the entire body at first. A few ways to minimize this is partial hangs (see picture below) This allows your body to slowly begin to adapt to the new stresses or increase demands.
There are a variety of grips an athlete can utilize with hanging. For simplicity sake let’s start with either a neutral grip(palms facing each other) or pronated(palms facing away) grip as these are the two most less stressful position to put the rest of the body in. I think Ido Portal summed up hanging with this quote
“Avoid pain, aim to strain, no strain no adaptation. Proceed with caution, it is better to underdo then overdo.”
The call to action for this week is ACCUMULATE 7 MINUTES A DAY over the next week and see how your shoulders feel. This should also not be 7 minutes all at once but accumulate throughout the course of the day. A typical day looks like this for me; 3 x 60 seconds in before noon while at the office(and yes my office is in a gym so I have multiple pull-up bars to hang from) I will perform 1 x 60 pre and post WOD. Lastly I will accumulate 2 x 60 seconds in the evening before going to bed(yes I have installed rings in the ceiling of my Boston apartment, don’t tell my landlord) Make it a habit so I can start getting more emails like the one above.
Biggest bang for your buck mobility | Part 1
I often get asked what is the best drill for this or the best exercise for that? These questions usually come up when I am coaching or teaching a seminar, which means I have 90 seconds max to provide the athlete with some useful information.
Over the next few weeks I am doing a series of the “Biggest bang for your buck” drills/exercise/stretches that I find myself recommending to athletes. There are an infinite number of things an athlete can be doing on a regular basis to be getting themselves better. Why these specific ones? Regardless of who you are you should be doing these drills and you will be making yourself better. Secondly they are for the most part self correcting exercises which means the athlete can’t screw them up on there own. Lastly they are simple to execute so in an effort to have an athlete start developing productive useful habits I want them starting simple(seeing results) then progressing to complex.
What are we going to cover in part one?
Laying face up on a foam roller. YES that’s it, just lay there!
I find this especially useful with my non proactive patients that aren’t motivated to do anything on there own. This goes back to point number 3, starting them with something simple and getting them results. Depending on how you decide to lay, there are an infinite number of benefits to this. First of all when you lay lengthwise, this for the most part places the spine in a neutral position. From there depending on how you position your arms this is a great way to open up the shoulders, chest and arms. This is a great position to put the desk jockey in, that is sitting all day in a hunched forward turtle position. As this is the complete opposite position.I like to explain it as, we are almost bringing you back to neutral or balancing you out by doing this position. This is also a great position to practice belly breathing in as most of us are chest breathers and it is very difficult in this position to breath with your chest.
Where do I start, what is my call call to action?
Start with ten minutes a day just laying there. Everyone has 10 minutes a day.
This is the minimum effective dose. I will also say that you can’t over do this one, so accumulate more than 10 minutes a day if you can. Think about how much time you spend sitting either at your desk, commuting to/from work and at home on the couch. 10 minutes isn’t much to ask for, especially when you ask so much of your body. Most of you reading this are most likely on your back following a tough workout anyway, you might as well be productive while catching your breath at the same time. Move your arms up and down like a snow angel, focus on belly breathing or you can just lay there and listen to a podcast for ten minutes.