POSTURE AND BREATHING IS HOW TO START

Tue Jan 19, 2016

Wow…the month of January is just about over!  

How are the resolutions coming?  I know many of you promised yourselves this is the year…the weight is coming off, the marathon is gonna happen, I’m going to that gym 3 days a week…

I believe everyone should be working on their body, the weight issues and whatever fitness goal you choose.  I also believe there is a proper “process” you should go thru to get the most out of your program.  Trust me…if you are overweight for example, don’t jump jump into a h.i.i.t program.  If you have back problems for example, don’t jump into running.  Matter of fact, don’t jump into any workout program until you have been evaluated. 

The most important thing you can do before starting your choosen fitness routine is to get your posture (alignment) checked.  I can promise you… If the body is not in good alignment there will come injury, muscular pain and tightness and/or joint problems.  This will lead to time off or quitting due to the discomfort/pain issues.  

The 3 main principals to be addressed by EVERYONE…from beginners to seasoned exercisers are:

1.POSTURE (ALIGNMENT)

2.BREATHING

3.CONTROL

To be honest…most personal trainers do not focus on this.  I see people in the gym everyday exercising in poor posture…some in extremely poor posture!  This is not helping them.  They are putting more stress on their joints and muscles due to the poor alignment.   The brain is busy making compensation patterns in order to get thru the exercises.  Again, injury, tightness and pain will follow…

Do yourself a favor…learn about your posture and how your body is moving.  You will gain more awareness, strength and mobility just by working on your posture before you ever pick up a weight or jog that first mile.

I want everyone to exercise…whatever form you choose!  Learn to do it safely…efficiently…in as good of form as possible!

Find a posture specialist or someone who includes posture in their fitness assessments.  You will exercise better!

Of course, posture and exercise is what I do.  Contact me for your assessment today!

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Getting Back To Basics

Wed. Dec 30, 2015

Well we are just about to close out 2015.  This was not a great year for me… I, for one am glad 2015 is in the books and ready to move on.  Hopefully, 2016 will bring some joy.

Let’s talk about health/fitness goals since that’s what I do.

My focus will continue to be “bodywork”.  Posture, movement mechanics, Foundation Training, corrective exercise, and floor work.  I’m really liking the floor work!  This involves crawling, rolling and animal movements.  It looks easy…but is quite challenging!  

This type of work is all about going back to basics.  Getting our posture corrected is the first step.  Our bodies are not going to function mechanically as well as they should if our posture is poor.  Poor posture is epidemic and just about the leading cause of neck, shoulder and back pain.

The New Year is here.  The best time to always start fresh…start over!  Start with learning what some of your posture issues  are and correcting them.  I can promise you there is much more to it that just standing up straight.  Some of the things I teach are quite challenging.  

For those of us in our middle age years this type of work is going to “young you up”!  I have been doing Foundation Training over 2 years now.  My posture is great and my back is so much stronger and does not lock up anymore.  My hips are much more mobile.  I know how to perform movements safely.   Something as simple as loading a dishwasher matters!  There is nothing more important…at least for me than being able to move well and have my health as I age.  I watch people all the time…the way they move, the way they stand, how their head sits on their head…a lot of these people will be much younger than me.  They probably have no idea why they are walking slumped over or with their feet pointing outward?Posture can be improved and movement patterns can be corrected… You just have to know what the faults are in order to apply the corrections.  

Start your new year by getting back to basics.  Posture work, core work, movement pattern work, Foundation Training, some floor work and more!  This is the best way to work out.  It works for me….it can work for you!

Contact me with any questions you may have.  

Have a great day!

WHY WE SHOULD “SQUAT”

Dec 26, 2015

Well now, it’s the day after Christmas…how many of you feeling tired, full and the thought of moving around today is dreadful?   Just lay there for now with that cup of coffee and read the article.

If the thought of performing a “squat” seems impossible or you’re thinking, why in the world would I need to being doing squats?  I’m talking about bodyweight squats…not weighted squats.  The reason you should be performing bodyweight squats regularly is they are about the most beneficial movement for the body.  Squats are absolutely awesome for the spine, the ankles, hips and the muscle groups that work during the squat.  

Just 3 short years ago I could not do a full squat either.  Actually, had no desire too and saw no point in it.  Plus, half way down I thought my back would pop out of place.  Then I was introduced to FOUNDATION TRAINING!  Everything changed after that.  Foundation Training addressed a lot of my hip flexor tightness, my low back & hamstring tightness, and some weakness in my low back and glutei.  Even though, I have been stretching for years…FT was different!  FT gets the whole chain of muscles to work together…you become stronger and more mobile that ever.  

BENEFITS OF DEEP SQUATTING

ANKLE MOBILITY

Limited ankle dorsiflexion range of motion is a common problem linked to a number of other issues in the body, including overpronation, bad posture, and runner’s knee. A loss of ankle mobility is caused by both inflexibility in the calf muscles and Achilles tendon, and stiffness in the joint. A proper squat, with the heels flat on the floor, requires good flexibility at the ankle.  Exercise for the feet and ankles is one of the most important things you can do to improve your body.  No one thinks about the feet…if the feet don’t work well…other parts of the body will suffer.

HIP STRENGTHENING

If you notice when you sit down that your knees move inward…you have weakness in you hips.  Learning to squat properly will make the hip move outward and strengthen the muscles of the hip and leg.  I see a lot of women with this pattern.

REDUCE BACK PAIN

Yes, even I thought at one time I would make my back worse by squatting…I was wrong!  Once I loosened up the hip flexors (thru FT) I could squat like I was a kid.  Freeing up the hip flexors allowing my pelvis some room to move into a squat.  So many muscles of the leg (front and back) are attached to and around the pelvis.  

GLUTE STRENGTH

If you sit on your butt all day at your job…then you most likely have weak glutei.  They can not be working if you are sitting. Squatting is excellent for the glute muscles.  Actually, you will have to pretty much go down more than hip level to really get into the glute.  The glute muscles are large muscles and help us perform many movements of the hip and legs.  We need strong glutei!

POSTURE

My favorite reason of all…make squatting a habit.  Squats help so many joints and muscles get stronger and more mobile that your posture will improve.  Good posture is everything!  Good posture is better balance, better movement, better health, strength and confidence.  Challenge yourself.

I hope someone became inspired or challenged today.  

I can help you move better and feel better.  Contact me for an assessment or to talk about what you may need.  Start the New Year off by getting to know your body and learning what it is capable of doing.

Have a great day!

S I Joint Pain

Sat Nov 14,2015

Low back pain? Hip pain? Sciatica?  These are probably the most common pain complaints out there.  I have seen figures where as much as 80% of the western population has some form of these pain issues.  Why?

There are many reasons: weight gain, muscle imbalance, poor posture, joint dysfunction, joint defects, injury, repetitive movement patterns, arthritis, lack of movement/exercise and the list goes on and on.  For me…a lot of my back issues are that pesky S I joint.  My S I joint will rotate out of position slightly…usually on the right side and here come the muscle tightness and/or that slight hip pain or numb-like feeling in my quad.  

The sacroiliac joint connects the sacrum with the pelvis on either side of the lower spine. It moves the forces of the upper body to the pelvis and legs.                                                                                                                    

  
The saccrum and S I joint (it’s all connected) has to hold all the weight from our upper body and transfer that weight to our pelvis and legs.  This is why posture is so important…when all that weight (force) is transfered…the pelvis, hips, legs and feet (heels) should be supporting the weight in a balanced manner.  If not well balanced…over time all kinds of mechanical and postural problems will occur.  Those problems progress without treatment.  

When the body works out of postion it creates stress on the joints, and excess tension on the muscles.  When these positions are repeated constantly…the constant stress on the joints and excessive muscular tension…lead to inflammation, bone spurs, spasms, tendinitis, ligament damage and more.  A pill, a shot, some rest will ease symptoms…but, the cause needs to addressed!  Learn how to correct posture problems and repeated poor movement patterns.

If you have any of these pain issues…address them.  I did 12 years ago.  I only did because I hurt so bad I believed I was not going to be able to be active much longer…I was only 45.  Thank goodness I did something about it….today I am pretty much pain free and can move freely…actually as good as I ever have.

It started with massage and chiropractic care.  Two years ago I added FOUNDATION TRAINING!  Foundation Training has been the ultimate treatment for me.  To be able to lengthen my posterior chain…then to strengthen those muscles while in a lengthened position has been eye opening!  This is what has been missing all my years of working out, training and competitive sports.  Not only that…Foundation Training is the ultimate core work.  I mean pelvic floor core work….the real deal!

Gotta go…fixing to get my walk, FT work and a little floor work in.  Then I’ll teach a little FT.

Have a great weekend folks!

HOW TO AGE YOUR BEST

Thur 11/12/15

In this day and time people are living much longer…many well into their 90’s.  I read things all the time about how to save money and such so that one doesn’t out live their money.  I’m sure a lot of you also read a lot on this subject.  How many of you take the time to work on your physical aspect of maintaining “quality” movement until such an age?  What will we all move like when we are 76,83,92?  If you do not move well now (in your 40’s and 50’s) your golden years may be quite miserable.

Those of you going to the gym everyday, taking a run, playing golf/tennis are on the right track.  The body needs more variety, more range, more focus. There is more to do in taking care of your body and preparing it for the future than your hour of “exercise” a few times a week or even everyday of the week.

I once heard the very famous and wise strength and movement coach, Dan John, talk about how doing the thing you are not doing will improve everything else you are doing. Dan was talking about the 5 human movements (the squat, the hinge, the push, the pull, the carry). He said if he wanted to help an athlete improve his performance, he would focus on implementing the movement(s) the athlete was not employing in his training regimen. Then, the athlete’s overall performance would improve. 

The same thing goes for those of “us” the everyday 8-5 blue/white collar worker, the housewife, the big business owner.  We need to be thinking the 5 human movements daily…versus lifting weight improperly, running 5 miles everyday, only playing the sport we love etc. 

I did not say stop running, lifting weights, playing golf or any other activity you like.  The body needs more variety.  

I am saying learning how to enhance the basic body movements…squat,hinge,push,pull and carry.  Learn to do them on the floor using your body weight (as you did when an infant).  Learn to you your core during  your time on the floor.  Learn to breathe using your diaphragm…this is absolutely huge.  Your diaphragm is actually part of your core.  Learn how to push something with your core engaged and your shoulders in proper position.  This stuff is important…if you want to be active at 80 and above…learn how to do these things.

This is how I train now…Foundation Training for my posterior chain and core.  I am much more flexible and mobile and body aware from FT training alone.  I practice sit and getting up from the floor…great hip work.  I crawl…great core/shoulder work.  Crawling is great strength work and safe that shoulder work with dumbells.  I roll…awesome for the core and the vestibular system.  Yes, I still throw in some traditional weights…but I can do them in perfect posture/form!

Contact me.  Let me assess how you move and teach you how to move better.  Between Foundation Training and some floor work…we call all be 80 moving like we are 40!  Let’s prepare for our golden years physically…so we can enjoy life.

FOUNDATION TRAINING

11/04/15

There are several elements to Foundation Training.  Decompression Breathing, Hinging and Anchoring.  These 3 elements when applied during the FT exercise, or to any type of workout will greatly improve posture, strength, flexibility, endurance and mobility.  When applying these elements to everyday life all movement patterns will greatly improve.  

I have been speaking about FT and trying to expose FT to the public for over two years now.  Foundation Training is still amazing at help people become aware of their bodies, aware of their movements, aware of their posture.  People who learn Foundation Training can and do make changes in their posture and their movement patterns.  Pain can be managed and in some cases go completely away.  My back pain issues, degeneration and muscle tightness is so much better because I practice a little FT everyday.  It’s all about managing…knowing your movement patterns, your muscular strengths and weakness.  People do not have to suffer with back pain…I now know that!

Foundation Training is still evolving.  A new book will be out in 2016 and the team is always tweaking the exercises and/or adding a new element.  I actually need another workshop to get caught up on all that is new and improved.  That will be in my future plans.

  

WHAT IS POSTURE?

Sun June 1,2015:

POSTURE is the ability to balance your body in proper alignment.  The more aligned you are the more balanced your are…therefore, the better your posture is.

Proper alignment is having your head balanced over your shoulders, with shoulders/torso over the hips/pelvis, and the hips/pelvis over the feet/ankles.  The better the alignment… The better the muscles work at moving the joints…which in turn moves our bodies more efficiently and without pain.  Posture is so important…yet so many people have poor posture and do not realize the wear and tear “mechanically” poor posture has on the body.  Remember this: We will look “old”, move “old”, and feel “old” if the majority of us don’t start working correcting some postural habits.

Poor alignment is poor balance.  That does not necessarily mean your are stumbling around…even though some people are more prone to stumbling around.  What poor balance does mean…is when being out of alignment the  brain tells the muscles to work differently in order to adjust for the malalignment.  Now, the joint is moving differently which after time can cause wear and tear on the joint and some muscles to become overworked and some muscles not being worked enough or even at all.  This is how muscle imbalance develop and become worse.

We all have muscle imbalances! I have them.  They develop over time from poor posture, poor movement habits, repetitive movements, sitting to much, injury, sports and even gravity.  If you want to age better, perform better, look better, move better, feel better…learn about your posture and your movement habits!  

Contact me anytime to look at your posture and start changing the way you move.

MOVEMENT MATTERS!