POWER OF THE POSTERIOR CHAIN

What is the posterior chain anyway? 

The posterior chain is a group of muscles consisting predominantly of tendons and ligaments on the posterior of the body. Examples of these muscles include the biceps femoris, gluteus maximus, erector spinae muscle group, trapezius, and posterior deltoids.  In simpler words, you can say the back, hamstrings and calves.

This group of muscular structure should work together as a unit to extended and stabilize our spine, hips, knees and ankle as we move.

In this technology and computerized world we live in today where many people do not move enough the back of the body becomes weak and compromised.  Even if you do exercise more than the average person many of us do not move through enough range of motion or thru enough different planes of motion.

How do you know if your glutei is weak? How do you know if your hamstrings are short and tight?  Does your back hurt when you go take a run?

If you sit a lot…you most likely have a weak/tight posterior chain.  Short/tight muscles pull on the bones.  When bones get pulled or rotated out of position…muscles have to work out of position and inefficiently.  Thus, the cycle begins and continues until there is inflammation, friction, micro tears, spurs, imbalances, joint damage and pain.  This leads to having to stop activity, then you start taking medicine, then pain pills and then the cortisone shots.  You start to feel better and start moving again, but the symptoms return and the cycle continues.

We all have to start taking care of our body with our own musculature.  I know…you thought exercising is a way to take care of our bodies!  It is…we just have to exercise in a better more mechanically proper manner.  The human body is meant to heal itself…if you give it the proper tools.  

Enter FOUNDATION TRAINING!  Foundation Training focuses on the back of the body with a series of exercise that integrate decompression breathing and anchoring thru movement.  I have to say I was skeptical when I first started, but four years later my back feels great!  I use FT daily as my stretching for any and all activities I do.  You will reap great benefits from learning the FT protocol and exercises.  

Contact me and visit foundationtraining.com

Get up from that desk and breathe…decompress…lengthen…it only take a minute or two.  Now you can get back to work…you will feel refreshed and energized.  

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MERRY CHRISTMAS

12/25/15

Merry Christmas to all!

Here in Mississippi we are having a balmy wet day.  No matter though…  It is still Christmas.  Enjoy the gifts, the food, the family and friends.  Thank the good Lord for another day and the life that you have.

Get ready for 2016… I plan to focus my writings and teaching on MOVEMENT!   I will still be teaching plenty of FOUNDATION TRAINING… FT is at the core of everything I do.  

Have a great day everyone!

MOVEMENT IS WHAT WE NEED

Sunday 12/20/15

“What is more useful and rewarding for you and your clients?”

1. Learning to move in complex patterns that build strength, mobility, coordination, are in tune with our form, improve the brain by engaging in the process of learning and make you look awesome at house parties?
Or 
2. Generic dumbbell rows and chest presses?
I have been in the fitness industry many years.  Yes, I used to get in that gym a lift weights…heavy weights…all the time.  Used to have my clients doing it also.  Nothing wrong with lifting weights… I still lift a little.  Much lighter and not so often.  Like the saying goes: I wish I knew then what I know now!

The fitness world I live in today is all about MOVEMENT!  It is much easier to train to get stronger or more powerful.  Keep increasing the load, reps and force…strength and power will come!  Sometimes it comes at a cost if this is all you do.

Training for better movement is much more difficult….especially a little later in life after all the injury, tightness, weakness, and imbalances have been present for so long.  The brain has been adapting to compensate for the imbalances and so forth.  

For those of you reading this who do not know what I mean..

If you flop down into your chair or onto the toilet seat, if you would rather leave something on the floor because it hurts to pick it up, if you won’t pick something up (medium weight) because you fear your back will go, if you have not been down on the floor since you were a child…

You definitely have movement issues.  The more you avoid movements that trouble you…the greater the weakness and instability will become.  This is a fact: USE IT OR LOOSE IT!  

I see it to many times…50 year old women who can’t use their hips properly…they compensate and use their low back.  Men who can not straighten their arms over head because their shoulders are so tight from all those bench presses thru the years.  Young people 20 &30 years old with their necks sticking so far out because they have had technology since they were born.  Not a big deal to them right now, but it will be one day when the pain sets in because of all the compensation patterns that have developed over the years.

Those of you wanting to work on your fitness in 2016… Work on your MOVEMENT!  Most trainers do not even teach movement.  Like I said earlier in this article…I am a fan of working out, but work on your movement first.

If a person can move properly thru large range of motions your strength will already be increased…because you do not have to compensate so much.  

Learn how to crawl and practice that.  Learn how to roll properly and practice on a regular basis.  Watch tv in a squat or in a figure 4 sit…a few minutes at a time.  This will do way more for you that any bench press or leg press…EVER!

Christmas is around the corner… If you see yourself or loved one in this article…give the gift of “MOVEMENT”!

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.

FLEXIBILITY AND FOUNDATION TRAINING

Mon 9/28/15

Whether you attend the gym or sit in the office daily; you probably have tight muscles and may know little about flexibility. Do you experience neck or back pain? Do you feel aches and tightness when moving your arms and legs? Many people are unable to perform simple movements properly and thousands are suffering from back and neck pain. Please keep reading; your flexibility is more important than you realize.

Flexibility- the ability of a joint to move through its full range of motion.

Remember, our muscles are attached to the bones.  When the muscles become short and tight they pull on the bones.  They can literally pull the bones out of position.  When muscles become short and tight they will prevent us from moving as freely as we need to.  How many times have you stood up after sitting for a long period and you find it difficult to straighten up?  Our muscles become short and tight for a lot of reasons…mainly sitting to much and lack of use.

Poor flexibility means more difficulty when performing your daily activities and can cause joint stiffness, muscle tightness, lower back pain and other postural, and health related problems. A study posted in the American Journal of Physiology has associated poor flexibility with arterial stiffening. Arterial stiffening is called arteriosclerosis and it influences how hard your heart has to work to pump blood through your body. Myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke are both a direct consequence of atherosclerosis.

FOUNDATION TRAINING is a great remedy for improving flexibility.

Flexibility is essential for keeping our bodies and our health.  Every move we make requires requires neuro, muscular and joint activation.  As an aging active adult myself I spend time everyday doing a little Foundation Training as well as teaching clients the FT way.  

FOUNDATION TRAINING improves the human body in so many areas.  

FOUNDATION TRAINING improves the way you breathe, improves lung and diaphragmatic capacity, posture, balance, flexibility and strength…which leads to much better mobility.  

Learn FT!  It’s on of those things you just need to do to really “get” what I am talking about!  

Move better…feel better with Foundation Training!

INGREDIENTS FOR A HEALTHY LIFE

Tue 8/18/15

There are three things we have to have in order to be healthy: Air, food, and water. Together, air, food and water give us life. It is air that feeds us oxygen which keeps all our cells alive. It is food that feeds us nutrients which keeps all our cells alive. It is water that keeps us hydrated, which keeps all our cells alive. Without these three things, we are toast, dried up on a path of destruction.

As essential as air, water and food are, our bodies still need one thing that may be just as essential: Movement!  Our movement and the movement of others around us also brings nourishment to our bodies. In fact, the movements we make and the movements we receive can nourish our brains just like the nutrients from food does. Without movement, without information generated from movement that feeds the brain, the brain will become malnourished and starve. If the brain begins to starve and deteriorate, the body will also lose its resiliency and it, too, will break down.

In order to move their must be communication between our brain and our muscles.  Feed the brain well…feed the body well.  Breathe deeply and often…oxygen feeds cells!  Move deeply and often…movement feeds our soul!  

The world we live in today can be harsh.  Hard work, long days, stress…

Life is life…

It is our responsibility to make the most of our lives.  Make a healthy life a priority.  Eat well…plants, veggies, fresh fruit….daily.  Move often!  Humans are made to move…get up and and do it!  Stand up at your desk, walk down the hall, walk around the building after lunch.  Make yourself do this.  

I am signing off now…time for my walk before I head to the gym and the office.  Let’s have a good day!

BALANCE

Sunday 7/12/15
How’s your balance? Most of the time, you may not even notice how it plays into your day. It’s a steady presence that keeps you on your feet.

But here’s something you may not know: Balance training — exercises designed to improve balance — can give you a stronger core. Your core includes the abdominal, chest, back, and hip muscles.

When you practice staying balanced, you give these muscles a real workout too. This makes your midsection stronger and more stable. That’s one of the ways working on your balance helps reduce your risk of falls, back pain, and injuries.
Balance training is often recommended for older adults. But a strong core and good balance can help people of all ages in their everyday tasks and fitness pursuits. For example, you can put them to use when you’re climbing a ladder, carrying a toddler, skiing, golfing — and more.

It’s actually pretty easy to add simple balance exercises into your day — no special equipment required. These five basic moves are a good start:

Walk backward or sideways.

Walk on your heels.

Walk on your toes or heel–to–toe.

Stand up from a sitting position without using your hands.

Stand on one foot.

You can do these exercises as the space and situation allow. For example, you might stand on one foot while waiting for the microwave or talking on the phone. When you do any of these moves, make sure the surface you’re on is smooth and free of any potential hazards. If you’re unsure how steady you’ll be, have something sturdy to hold on to.

FOUNDATION TRAINING: My absolute favorite training technique for everything.  Since we are talking about balance…FT is great for training the core.  Movement starts in the core…the legs and arms move all around the core.  The stronger the core…the more control you have in balancing and moving.