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.

TMJ AND FOUNDATION TRAINING

Monday June 23, 2015

 What Is TMJ Disorder?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the jaw joint that connects the mandible, or the bone of the lower jaw, to the temporal bones of the skull on either side of the head. Symptoms of TMJ disorder (often referred to as just TMJ) include:

 Pain in the jaw and surrounding muscles… Grinding/clicking of the jaw… Jaw muscle stiffness… Locking of the jaw.  Remember the jaw is a joint just like the knee, ankle, finger etc.

TMJ can develop from injuries…such as a broken jaw.  Stress, grinding teeth, gum chewing, poor posture, dental work, arthritis to name a few.

Usual treatments consist of simple jaw exercises, bite adjustments, simple occlusal guards…more elaborate guards, medicines.  More extreme cases could be treated with injections or surgery.

I have worked in a dental office for over 20 years and have seen cases of TMJ.  TMJ can be a nuisance and should be treated conservatively at first…then more advanced measures if the symptoms can not be managed.  Managing symptoms is how to manage pain.  We do the same thing for back pain, neck pain, wrist pain.  The jaw is a bone with a joint that is moved and supported by muscle and ligaments…just like all of our other joints.  The more you can manage pain by motion the better.

Since I am a “body” person…lets talk forward head posture being a possible cause of TMJ.  The average 10-12 pound head we all have is supposed to balance directly between our two shoulders.  When the head juts forward it becomes heavier increasing the weight and the stress on our neck, shoulder, upper back.  Some of those neck muscles are attached to our jaw.  When these joints are out of position…the muscles have to work very hard in order to balance our head.  When soft tissue is strained, or overworked it can it will pull on the bones causing malalignments.  When we are out of alignment our brain calls for help from other muscles…this cause muscles that should be doing their job to rest.  This becomes a cycle of some muscles doing to much and some not doing anything…hence “muscle imbalance”. 

Posture is the ability to balance the body.  Some of us have really good posture, some pretty good and some really poor posture.  Therefore, people with poor posture…specifically “forward head syndrome” have musculature that is really stressed and working harder than it should to hold the head up.  

If you have TMJ issues…get your posture looked at.  Forward head posture can be improved.  The shoulder, neck, traps, rhomboids can be strengthen to help get the head back in better alignment which in turn take stress off that jaw.  Foundation Training is perfect for this.  Foundation Training is posture work for the posterior musculature.  

HAMSTRINGS AND FOUNDATION TRAINING

Tue June 9,2015

Hamstrings- the muscle group in the upper back of the leg opposite our thigh.  The hamstring group is used to help us bend our knee and perform hip extension — backward movement of your thighs. Although the gluteal muscles in your buttocks are the main muscles that perform hip extension, your hamstrings assist with this motion as you move from sitting to standing, squat and jump. Hip extension performed by your hamstrings also helps propel your body forward as you run.

The hamstrings are often under utilized while the opposing muscle group (quads) are over utilized.  This creates imbalance.  The front of the legs becomes over dominate and the back of the leg becomes weak and looses its flexibility.   Too much sitting is another culprit for weak hamstrings and glutei.  If you are sitting on these muscles for 6-8 hours a day…they are not working!  If they are in this “turned off” state day after day, the hamstrings become short, tight and weak.  Hamstrings need to be flexible.  Tight hamstrings are a major contributor leading to back pain and knee pain.  

What can we do for our hamstrings?  

First, a steady diet of FOUNDATION TRAINING is a great place to start.  Foundation Training, is the perfect posterior chain training technique to stretch and strengthen the hamstrings.  If you want to keep doing the same old single leg hamstring stretches you have been doing for years…fine, but Foundation Training is better…and that’s a fact!  Isolated stretching is not going to accomplish what Foundation Training can do by stretching the whole posterior chain as a unit…period!  

Secondly, when working out at the gym for every quad exercise you do make sure you do a hamstring focused exercise.  Squats and deadlifts are ideal…if properly done.  If you know Foundation Training…you will be mechanically prepared to do squats and deadlifts properly.

Thirdly, stop,sitting all the time!  Get out of the chair and move around.  I have a desk job and I get up every 15 minutes or so.  I’ll throw in a little desk stretch or founder.  When I get home I’ll sit on the floor just to get my hips into a full range of motion.  

Work on your posture.  The hamstrings also help us balance our bodies.  If they are weak or tight we tend to bend at the waist and tip forward…this is how the back issues start…and never stop.   What’s the best exercise for posture?  That’s right…FOUNDATION TRAINING!  

Gain control of your body again.  Don’t let time, age and gravity bend you up like a pretzel.  FOUNDATION TRAINING will give you the awareness and tools you need to stand up tall, manage pain, move well and feel well.

FOUNDATION TRAINING IS A WAKE UP CALL

Mon June 8,2015

Here we are again on a Monday morning.  How many of us are waking up sore and tired from our weekend warrior activities?  How many of us are off to the gym this week to train our chest, biceps and quads?  How many of us will head off to our “desk” job and sit for most of the week?  How many ladies out there will high heeled shoes on all week?  How many of you have poor posture?  How many of you with back problems have been told to work on your core?

The point I am making from the above questions is how dominant we are in the front of our bodies.  The quads, chest, forefoot and biceps take the brunt of the workload in any given day.  Wearing a heeled shoe tips us forward loading the forefoot and quads.  We will make adjustments in most cases by arching the back…now we have extra forces on the discs.  Couple that with sitting at a desk…well this is a recepe for muscular imbalance and pain issues.

How many of you spend time…quality time on the back of the body?  This is where the most important muscles are.  The posterior muscles groups.  The body needs this group of muscles strong and flexible in order for them to do their job…which is to keep us upright, in good posture and balanced.

The term posterior chain refers to the series of muscles that include the low back, the glutes, the hamstrings, and even the calf muscles. Posterior chain exercises involve most, if not all, of these muscles in a chainlike manner.  Posterior chain exercises also contribute to a strong core. A common assumption is that the term core applies only to the abdominal muscles, but the low back, glutes, and even the top of the hamstrings are all part of the core as well. This back side of the core must also be developed and maintained.

If you are complaining that your back hurts or your shoulder hurts…chances are there is weakness in the back of the body somewhere.  That weakness is most likely coming from tightness in the front of the body.  This is what imbalance in the body is.   In most cases the front of the body is pulling the body forward couple that with forces of gravity pushing on us daily…no wonder so many people have back problems, disc degeneration, joints with worn out ligaments, and just overall compressed bad posture!

Learn FOUNDATION TRAINING!   The absolute best wake up call for posterior training there is.  The absolute best wake up call for you to learn about your body and how it works.  Once you gain a little knowledge about your postural habits…you can start to feel better.  FOUNDATION TRAINING is medicine, muscular work and therapy for the body all wrapped into one superb training technique.

It your body and your health.  The better you take care of your body…the better your body will work for you!

Contact me: steveygaddis@yahoo.com

Contact me today…steveygaddis.com

POSTURE AND BALANCE: THE KEY TO AGING WELL

What is balance exactly?  

Balance is the ability to maintain your center of gravity within your base of support.

Posture is th ability to balance our head over shoulders…over our torso…over our pelvis…between our feet.  The feet are our base of support.  In actuality we all are in posture everyday…most of us are in poor posture due to the fact we have lost the ability to balance our posture between our feet in proper alignment.

An example would be a pretuding forward head developed from years of sitting at desk looking at a computer screen. That forward head is out of balance.  The forward head puts strain on the neck and shoulder muscles causing them to over stretch and become tired. This causes a cycle of adjustments in the body to help compensate for the forward head.  

Take a look around next time you are in a mall or grocery store.  Look at all the people just going about their life.  Look at all the different postures.  How many good -balanced postures do you see?  Probably not many.  Matter of fact someone with really good posture will stand out in a crowd…good posture is very attractive.  

How do you think some of the elderly get so bent over?  So stuck in a stooped position?  Why can’t they pick their feet up when they walk?  Why do they shuffle?  The answer is years of poor posture.  They lost their ability to balance the head over their shoulders in proper alignment long time ago.  This causes the body to alter mechanically in order to remain upright.   The muscles shorten or tighten. The bones and joints shift causing friction and degeneration.  How many of you have parents that you worry about taking a fall because their balance is so poor?

There is absolutely no one has to age poorly.  Age does not cause bent over crocked bodies.  

Start working on your posture today.  The better you can balance your head over your shoulders…over your torso…over your pelvis…between your feet (your base of support) the more efficient your muscles will work.  This stuff is important.  I realize no one ever thinks about their posture or how they move…but it is the key to aging well and moving well as we age.

POSTURE CHECK SAT. MAY 16 9:30 AT FLOWOOD YMCA…YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO GET STARTED!

MOVEMENT MATTERS!

Sciatica Pain

Sun.4/1915:

Thought I would share this article from MIND BODY GREEN on stretches for sciatic pain. If you get pain in the buttock that radiates down the leg you most likely have sciatica.  I do these stretches all the time to help prevent and back/sciatic problems.  Of course, I primarily do Foundation Training to keep my body strong, flexible and balanced muscularly to ward off pain issues.  These are good stretches that help and feel good.  The more tools in the box the better!

Sciatica is more than just a literal pain in the butt (and back and legs). When it strikes, it can cause misery and debilitating pain, instantly putting a damper on your life. 

The sciatic nerve runs right through the piriformis, a tiny but powerful muscle deep in your glutes that helps laterally rotate your hips. If it gets too tight, it can impinge the sciatic nerve that runs through or under it, causing tremendous pain, tingling and numbness in your lower extremities. 

If you find yourself the victim of sciatica (especially if it’s caused by a sedentary lifestyle), Or from to much sitting try these for stretches to help relieve the pain:

1. Piriformis Stretch

Laying on your back, place both feet flat on the floor with knees bent. Rest your right ankle over the left knee and pull the left thigh toward your chest.  As you gently pull the left thigh toward you-gently push the left knee away…be gentle because it really gets into the hip joint area.

Hold stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Remember to keep the top foot flexed to protect your knee.


2. Seated Hip Stretch 

While in a seated position, cross your right leg over your straightened left leg.

Hug your right knee with your left arm, making sure to keep your back straight.  Back must stay straight…no twisting from the lumbar.

Hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds, and then repeat on the opposite side.


3. Pigeon Pose

Start in Downward-Facing Dog pose with your feet together. 

Draw your right knee forward and turn it out to the right so your right leg is bent and your left leg is extended straight behind you. Slowly lower both legs.

Hold the position for five to ten breaths, then switch to the other side.


4. Self-Trigger Point Therapy

Performing self trigger-point therapy using a lacrosse or tennis ball can be very effective at delivering sciatica pain relief.

All you have to do is find a painful spot in the glutes, place the ball at that location and then relax your body into the ball.

Hold this position for 30-60 seconds or until you notice a significant reduction in pain. Move to the next painful spot. The total time spent on this exercise should be between 5-10 minutes. 

Practicing these four exercises once or twice a day can definitely bring you much needed sciatica pain relief.  You have to actually practice these often in order for them to work…don’t wait for a sciatic attack and think these exercises will make it go away.

FOUNDATION TRAINING

Friday 4/17/15:

The most common “ailment” in today’s society is Back Pain!  A whopping 80% of the population have some form of back pain.  Back Pain develops for many reasons.  Poor Posture, sitting to much, standing to much, being overweight, weak muscles, tight muscles, overpronation in the foot, to much anterior tilt in the pelvis, to much posterior tilt in the pelvis….the list goes on and on.

The good news is “most back pain” can be treated without medication, surgery or other major procedures.  The bad news is so many people are not willing to do a little work and change a few bad habits.  Most people go to the doctor and actually believe the medication that is prescribed will fix their back pain.  This just is not true and never will be.

First and foremost everyone needs to buy into the fact that humans are made to move.  I do not mean move from the chair to refrigerator, or from your desk to your car to your big easy chair at home.  I mean “ALL HUMANS” are meant to move all day long.  Our muscles need to be lengthened thru the day.  Our joints need to bear weight properly aligned through out the day.  Our muscles and joints need to be taken through their full range of motion through out the day.  We all need to learn how to breathe better using our lungs and diaphragm to a fuller capacity.  

It is a fact that people in far away countries with far less than we Americans have are healthier than us.  They work in the fields, on the fishing boats, doing manual labor.  They sit in a squat position to rest.  They sit on the ground in general.  We sit in big, curvy comfortable chairs…never getting that hip joint to close down any further. Hard to believe with all that we have here in the states that our society is so overweight, over medicated, lazy, and unhealthy.

If you want to feel better, manage your body pain without medication, improve how your body works…you better start changing your poor habits.  Our bodies are machines that need their full range of motion. 

FOUNDATION TRAINING will set you on the path to better body awareness and health.