Archive for December, 2008



Hope this coming year is filled with happiness, good health and success!

Make it your goal to look and feel fine in 09!


Get Strong! Stay Strong!




Twas the week before Christmas and all through 

the clinic not a patient was hurting, not even 

cranky Mr Tinic (fictional).  The tubing 

and weights were stacked in the gym with care in 

hopes that the strength fairy would soon be 

there.  The patients were exercising without their 

meds while visions of balance and stabilization 

danced in their heads.  When out in the parking 

lot there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my 

core training exercise to see what was the matter.  

When what to my clinical eyes should appear, but a 

little old driver and eight buff reindeer.  As I was 

turning around, through the door Santa came in 

with a bound.  A bundle of rehab equipment he had 

flung on his back, and he looked like a jolly old athlete 

flaunting his six pack (abs).  He spoke not a 

word, but went straight to the gym, pumped out 

some reps and set up the new equipment in a 

whim.  He turned with a jerk, giving a thumbs up 

and a nod, then zipped out the door sporting his 

holiday bod.  He sprang to his sleigh, to his team 

gave a whistle, and away they all flew like the 

down of a thistle.  I heard him exclaim, as he drove 

out of sight, “Merry Christmas and good 

health to all, and to all a good night!” 

Wishing You and your families a happy

and healthy Holiday Season!



Wether your at home or on the road for the holidays here is a workout that can be done anywhere with no equipment needed.  Work it hard and dont feel guilty about indulging (a little) over the holidays.

Perform each exercise for 30 sec and rest 15-30 sec between.  If your feeling ambitious, do multiple rounds.

     Mountain Climber Push Ups (2 mountain climber then push up-Repeat) 

     Squat Jumps

     MT Climber Push Up

     Alt. Lateral Lunges

     Mt Climber Push Ups

     Reverse Lunges

     Mt Climber Push Ups


Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Happy Holidays!



By Sylvia Anderson, AHJ Editor — Published: December 18, 2008

A majority of people will experience joint discomfort at some point in their lives, and you may be one of them. Arthritis is perhaps the most common cause of joint pain, but not the only one. Fortunately, there are many effective ways to both prevent and treat joint-related aches and pains. Keep reading to learn the difference between Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Gout, Bursitis, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Osteoporosis and how to find relief for each.

Since there can be so many different causes for joint pain, receiving an accurate diagnosis is a crucial first step when looking to address your specific pain.


There are many different types of arthritis, requiring different types of treatment. A few examples include:

1. Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack your body’s own joints. Why this type of arthritis strikes some individuals and not others is unknown, and a cure is non-existent at this time. However, sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis (also known as RA) have been helped by supplementing their diets with vitamin E and fish oils, as well as herbs such as turmeric and Boswellia.


2. Osteoarthritis: This condition involves the deterioration of the cartilage that cushions your bones, causing pain as bones rub together. The dietary supplements glucosamine and chondroitin have been used to help delay or reverse the loss of cartilage. Other nutritional supplements containing herbs such as Dandelion and Goldenrod are showing promise in pain-relief as well. Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight can delay the progression of the disease.

3. Gout: Sometimes referred to as metabolic arthritis, gout results from an excess of uric acid in the body, typically caused by too much fat and protein in the diet. Therefore, dietary changes are necessary in the treatment of the disease. Reducing your intake of alcohol, especially beer, may be helpful in decreasing the frequency and intensity of attacks. Natural remedies that have shown promise include eating cherries (or drinking cherry juice), and supplementing your diet with folic acid, vitamin C and quercetin. (Tune in next week for an article about to prevent gout!)

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis: Although arthritis is generally thought of as a disease occurring primarily in older people, it can occur in children as well. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is marked by limping, swelling of the joints, and lethargy. The cause of this form of the disease is not currently known.

Other Causes of Joint Pain

4. Bursitis: Bursitis results from the inflammation of small sacs of synovial fluid, called bursae. It can be caused by 4. injury or overuse. Applying ice to the area affected by the bursitis may help ease pain. In the case of repetitive stress injuries, avoiding the movement that caused the bursitis or modifying the situation to make it more ergonomically correct can help relieve symptoms.

5. Lupus: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune illness that causes inflammation of connective tissue, particularly joints, throughout the body. Swollen joints are just one of the symptoms of this autoimmune disease. While the cause is yet unknown, some sufferers have been helped by diet modifications and getting more omega fatty acids, as well as flaxseed.

6. Fibromyalgia: Unfortunately for those who suffer from fibromyalgia, researchers and scientists are still very much in the dark regarding this complex syndrome. Joint pain and stiffness can accompany the general fatigue and chronic pain associated with this poorly understood condition. Some alternative therapies include regular, low-intensity exercise and acupuncture, as well as dietary modifications such as adopting a vegan diet. One study showed significant improvement in subjects who eliminated MSG from their diets.

7. Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a weakening of the bones that can be accompanied by joint pain where the bones connect. It is thought to be highly preventable through exercise (strength training and other weight-bearing exercises) and dietary considerations (getting enough calcium and vitamin D).


A Word on Exercise
Exercise can help delay the onset or relieve the symptoms in arthritis sufferers who are healthy enough to engage in it. Maintaining a healthy weight is important as well, as excess weight puts extra stress on the joints.

In all cases, early diagnosis and preventive treatment options offer the best hope of minimizing joint pain and damage down the road.

Get Strong! Stay Strong!



(An excerpt from Alwyn Cosgroves Newsletter Dec 16 2008)
I’m a huge believer in using the “alternating set” system when training in the gym. For time management reasons, I tend to do exercise one for a set, rest 60 seconds or so, do exercise two for a set, rest 60 seconds or so, and continue. This allows me to increase work density while still getting “true” rest.

In other words, I perform a set of squats, rest 60 seconds, perform a set of push-ups, rest 60 seconds, and repeat. So in effect, I’ve almost tripled the rest period between squat sets (60 seconds plus the time taken for push-ups plus 60 seconds) as opposed to using a straight set system. And for fat loss training, it’s unparalleled.

However, the biggest problem or complaint I get from clients who use commercial facilities is that it’s really hard for them to tie up two pieces of gym equipment at peak hours. I have my own facility, but I realize this can be a real problem elsewhere. So I started experimenting with a few things–doing dumbbell lunges and push-ups for example or step-ups and dumbbell bench presses where I could use one set of dumbbells and one piece of equipment.

It was an okay compromise, but it started to somewhat limit my exercise selection. And to be honest, it still had the issue of people working in and possibly disrupting your rest periods.

So I went a step further. What if I created a fat loss or conditioning program based around one piece of equipment where you stayed in the same spot, using the same load for the entire duration. So I tried it. At first it was awkward, but after reading Istvan Javorek’s work and talking with über strength coach, Robert Dos Remedios, I started to implement different variations of combination lifting.

I just hoped that it would work as well as alternating sets for fat loss and conditioning or at least close enough that it wasn’t too much of a tradeoff. As it turns out, it worked better! In fact, it worked so well that it became a cornerstone of my conditioning programs with several athletes.

Part two
Part two of the evolution of our fat loss programs came shortly after. I have always recommended interval training as a superior form of fat loss over steady state cardio. Interval training is essentially periods of hard work alternated with easier periods of work using a cardio exercise.

The problem–running a mile doing intervals involves about 1500 repetitions. For someone looking to cut body fat, and hit total body weight training two to three times a week, that is a lot of extra volume and potential joint stress. So I started thinking. Interval training is similar to weight training in that it involves sets (and reps) followed by a rest period (albeit active). What if I used a lighter version of traditional strength training and created metabolic circuits?


Timed sets

This is the simplest variation of metabolic work. Pick a load that is about 80% of your 10RM. Perform as many reps as possible at a constant tempo for a period of time (e.g. 60 seconds) and try to perform as many repetitions with as good form as possible. Rest for 15-30 seconds and perform another exercise.

Example #1

Barbell reverse lunge, left leg, 60 seconds
Rest 15-30 seconds
Barbell reverse lunge, right leg, 60 seconds
Rest 15-30 seconds
Barbell push press, 60 seconds
Rest 15-30 seconds

Repeat three times for a 12-minute routine.

Example #2

Kettlebell swings, 30 seconds
Rest 15 seconds
Push-ups/burpees, 30 seconds
Rest 15 seconds
Prowler push, 30 seconds
Rest 15 seconds

Repeat for five rounds for a 12-minute finisher.

Alwyn always has great info.

Get Strong! Stay Strong!



Andrea Wasylow PT, FAFS

A few years ago I had the opportunity to play a round of golf with some people I greatly
admire. It was a fairly typical golf outing until one of my opponents took his tee shot on
the 7th. It was one of the most amazing shots I have ever seen.

The paragraph above, in and of itself, is a story. But, doesn’t it leave you wanting more?
Who are these golfers? And why was that shot so amazing? Basically some information
has been provided, but not enough to show exactly what was happening. The same can be
said for conventional techniques used for evaluation, treatment, and training of the
cervical spine.

More than a few clients and/or patients have crossed our paths with complaints of “a pain
in the neck.” The stack of seven vertebrae at the top of the spine is an amazing structure.
Yet, the truth behind how this region functions the majority of the time is often

Conventional evaluation may have an individual perform a big “yes” sagittal plane nod, a
big “no” transverse plane rotation of the head and a big “I don’t know” frontal plane
lateral flexion of the head. But, as in the paragraph above, only part of the story is being

Function of the cervical spine is driven both from the top down and from the bottom up.
The demands on the cervical spine depend entirely on the functional task being
performed. To complete the task, does the individual need to look in a particular direction
by turning the head while the body stays still? Does the person need to keep their gaze
fixed while the body moves below? Or, most likely, is there some combination of head
movement with simultaneous body movement below needed for the task? (In FVD
“Cervical Spine: Both Ends of The Chain,” there is a great example of this given by Gary
Gray PT in his demonstration and explanation of cervical function while swimming.)

If a functional task drives the system, then it stands to reason that our cervical evaluation,
treatment, and training techniques must reflect that task. For example, when walking and
taking a step forward with the left foot, the right arm swings forward. In order for this to
happen and allow the gaze to remain straight forward, there must be adequate right
cervical rotation. But this right cervical rotation is created by the head staying still while
the thoracic spine below rotates to the left. Rather than asking the individual to turn and
look over their right shoulder, a better cervical ROM test for this task could be to have
them fix their gaze straight ahead while performing a right hand, anterior at shoulder
height reach. Another example of cervical motion driven from the bottom up is seen
when playing golf. A left handed golfer needs tremendous right cervical rotation during
his/her backswing. If that bottom-up driven rotation isn’t available it could create
tremendous problems with his/her shot.

This brings us back to the incomplete story above. The golfer being described was none
other than Dr. David Tiberio. And the tee-shot he made was so amazing because it
actually went backwards (really). As it turns out, he was experiencing some cervical
spine motion limitations. Though his motion appeared fine using head active ROM
testing, when he kept his head still and drove his arms in all three planes, it became
evident that his cervical spine was limiting his ability to move below. Thankfully, he
recognized what was going on and was able to improve the limitation fairly quickly;
allowing the rest of us to wait for our turn at the tee-box, safely, for the rest of the round. —-Andrea Wasylow PT FAFS

Get Strong! Stay Strong!


By Sylvia Anderson, AHJ Editor — Published: December 11, 2008

Have you ever experienced an “exercise-induced injury”? A strained muscle or joint or conditions like tennis elbow or plantar fasciitis are just a few examples of injuries that can result from too much or improper exercise. So how can you avoid such injuries? And why are women more likely to experience some types of injuries than men? Keep reading for answers to those questions, as well as four simple tips to avoid potential injuries.

Women vs. Men
Anyone can suffer from an exercise-induced injury, but research shows that women are more likely to experience some types of injuries more than their male counterparts. Knee pain is one of those injuries.

So, why are women more likely to have knee injuries than men? Many health professionals point to high heels, because they shorten the calf muscles and place a lot of strain on the joints and ligaments surrounding the knees. Others point to the wider hips that women have, which increase the amount of strain on the lower half of the body. Additional culprits include the female tendency to overuse the quadriceps (front of the thigh muscles) and underuse the hamstrings (back of the thigh muscles), and research links higher estrogen levels to an increased risk in ligament injuries.


Of course, women can’t change the way they are built, but they can reduce their risk of injury by exercising and playing sports the right way.

Regardless of whether you’re a male or a female, you can follow this advice to keep yourself healthy and strong.

1. Take it slow. If you haven’t exercised or played a sport regularly in while, don’t leap into an aggressive routine. Start out with one or two sessions a week, and listen to your body if you experience aches and pains. Gradually increase the time and intensity of your workouts as you feel comfortable.

2. Stretch it out. Improving your flexibility will keep your body in balance and allow you to recover more quickly from a challenging workout. If you’re a jogger, for example, stretching before and after a jog can reduce anterior knee pain which is caused by an imbalance of the muscles around the knee.


3. Vary your routine. Resist the urge to stick with the exercises or sporting activities that you enjoy most and step outside of you comfort zone. This way, you’re more likely to use muscle groups that otherwise go neglected and you’ll keep your body in better balance. But if you’re a swimmer, for instance, and you can’t tear yourself away from the pool, avoid overusing one specific muscle by practicing a variety of strokes.

4. Replace your gear regularly. Common foot injuries like plantar fasciitis (pain on the inside of the heel) and inflammation of the heel pad can be avoided by wearing a pair of well-cushioned shoes so that you reduce the impact on your joints. A good pair of shoes also helps to support the foot arches and reduces risk of injuries. Replace your shoes every three to six months, or whenever the cushioning is visibly worn down (the golden rule for runners is every 300-500 miles).


Don’t let your exercise routine – or your daily life – become interrupted by a preventable injury! By following these four tips you can avoid the pain, suffering and inconvenience of an exercise-induced injury.

Get Strong! Stay Strong! (and be safe!)

Came across this exercise and though it was interesting.  Never thought of using ab wheel like this.  Very creative.

I tried it and it is challenging.  Definitely requires some hip mobility and could be used to promote and train hip mobility as well and general leg, shoulder and core strength.

Remeber to have fun, be creative and get outside the box!

Get Strong! Stay Strong!