Category Archives: Health & Wellness

Creating Lateral Stability to Heal & Strengthen the Hip, Knee, Ankle & Foot

This has “exercise” has become one of the most oft utilized both personally and clinically as it serves as a comprehensive means to address essential hip strength.  As noted in the demonstration below, weakness, instability or an overall inability to communicate with these stabilizing muscles can result in not only local hip issues, but knee pain and damage, IT-Band syndrome, knock knee while running, OVER-pronation and problematic stress to the plantar fascia, an imbalance and weakness while walking, running, jumping, squatting, dead lifting; the list goes on.

Even if you do not have any of the above issues (yet?), this is no doubt a solid add to your proactive, intelligent, full body regimen.

Have at it:

Rethinking Inflammation: When You Need It & How to Make it Work For You

Inflammation has long been recognized as a common denominator among the mass majority of unfavorable conditions. However, NOT ALL INFLAMMATION is bad. In fact, sometimes it is necessary; particularly when dealing with a musculoskeletal injury or perceived discomfort post exercise, workout or training.
In these cases, inflammation is actually an imperative component of the healing process. If we narrow mindedly block this due to applying a somewhat ignorant, across the board damnation of all inflammation, in an effort to avoid temporary discomfort, we actually delay and could outright block the healing process and our ability to fully recover.
Follow us now on the oft ignored explanation and mechanism behind this, and what you can do intelligently facilitate a healthy immune response, which includes that optimal healing and recovery we all want to achieve.
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Mastering the Air Squat: Mastering Strong, Pain Free, Functional Movement

For demonstration and additional explanation, click the link:

Movement Monday: Air Squat

Stand with feet approx. shoulder width apart.

Stand up straight with ears lined up above shoulder, lined up above hips, lined up above knees and ankles.

Brace the core by inhaling through the nose, breathing diaphragmatically (with your belly, not your chest), and upon exhalation create approx. 20% tension in the area between your ribs and pelvis (360 degrees, your core).  You are now braced. This does not mean to hold your breath, but a little bit of tightness and tone in the abdominal region.  For some bracing and being able to breathe while bracing may be the starting point.  This should be the staring point for all subsequent movement; the air squat and beyond.

Begin the movement by hinging at the hips, with the hip being the fulcrum and lever arms being your femur (thighs) and torso (abdomen and chest). Both of the lever arms should remain as straight as possible throughout the movement.  The hip hinge is executed by sticking out your backside and pushing it posterior.  You can counter balance by increasing your hinge and keeping your arms out in front of you (as seen in the demo above).

Ideally we want to work on maintaining the braced core, maintaining a straight torso (if not slight extension) and lowering your backside down to the point where the hamstrings are parallel to the floor and the shins are perpendicular to the floor.  Once you reach your personal depth, you should be able to pause, and then in a controlled fashion, rise back up while maintaining balance, and the straight spine.

That would be ideal.  However, we all have our personal baselines and starting points.  Find yours and work at improving it.  It may just be getting comfortable with bracing the core and beginning the hinge.  That is fine, that is the start of proper movement which, with practice will protect you and provide power as we move through life each day.

If you notice that the knees translate forward as you descend, to the point where they are becoming even with or moving anterior to the toes below, you have an anterior dominant squat which can wreak havoc on the knees and neglects relying on the optimal intended core and glute strength.  Do not proceed to drop deeper into the squat until you can do so without knees staying behind the toes.  Once you have improved balance, core stability, and activation of the glutes, you will be able to continue your decent correctly.

The “Chair of Death” exercise shown above can be implemented as a means to keep you in check as you practice mastering this essential, functional movement.

Get moving.

 

Link

TRUE Core Strengthening: Creating Functional Stability

The following is a blend of two oft performed exercise techniques.

Step 1 is being able to simply execute a side plank to awaken, activate and engage the other non-AB 360 degrees of your true core.  This will create a more stable state to perform our movement throughout the day.

More stability.  More balance.  More strength.  Less chance of injury.

Step 2 is to add this variation of the old school “clam,” WHILE keeping the core engaged.  Marrying the two will translate to enhanced movement patterns throughout your daily routine; whether that be during training or just general movement as you navigate the day to day activities.

If you expect that body to continue to perform without a hitch (ESPECIALLY as we age), pay it some well deserved attention and watch it pay dividends on a performance and enjoyment basis.

Get after it.  You know how it goes…use it or lose it.  DON’t LOSE IT!

Movement Mondy: Side Planked Core Clams

Making Connections: Exactly How the Gut Affects the Brain and Thus Your Mental Health

Are you tired of being told to do things without an explanation?

Are you tired of hearing blanket statements and expected to simply accept it without understanding the mechanism behind it, or knowing if the conveyor of the message even understands it themselves?

I know for us and many of our patients, we want to know the “how” and the “why;” the nitty-gritty if you will.  Connecting the dots can help fuel the fire to execute and follow through; knowing the purpose behind the action and potentially further perpetuating the desired outcome and gains.

Are you tied of reading as well?

That is soooo 2019.

Well, in an attempt to keep it up contemporary and give the people what they want, check out these 4 chapters below; broken up into digestible 60 second or less chunks that what will illuminate the very real connection behind the health of your gastro-intestinal tract and your brain; hopefully providing a potential starting point or additional path on your journey towards health optimization.

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CHAPTER 4: 

 

Still hungry for health?  We got you.

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