Posts Tagged ‘functional exercise’

 

 

 

 

TGIF!  Able to add lean protein into the mix which will add some variety and expand my food choice, although I think I,m going to stick w/ beans and just a little chix and fish sparingly.  Luckily I’m one that can eat the same thing over and over.

Firdays consist of a 6:30am workout.  Today I superset :

Hang Clean for 8 w/ Pull ups for 10  (3 sets)

1 arm barbell deadlift using thick gripper 5x each side w/ Inverted shoulder press on total gym for 8-10  (3 sets)

Seated DB curls using grippers w/ Dips w/ knee tucks up/over bar x 12 (3 sets)

Finished w/ a few random ab exercises for good measure and to tone up the midsection that is lean from the purification!

As always followed workout w/ monster fruit smoothie w/ whey protein and cleanse powder.

I must say im pleasantly surprised at how good I feel and the energy I have despite NO caffeine!  Amazing.

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

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Santa is not the only one to use a sled!  The weighted sled can be used in rehab for lower extremity strength, endurance and makes a great core activator. Every patient suffering a significant injury to the lower extremity needs to restore integrated movement, strength, endurance and power. With the sled fastened around the waist and the sled towed behind leg drive and posterior chain strength can be developed for gait and transition into running. It simulates walking up hill without the hill. In addition it will get that heart rate jacked in a hurry!  Walking backward will really fire up the quads.  Now to use the sled for core strength and activation, I just put handles on the ends of the ropes where the waist band attaches. We can now repeat our walks holding the arms chest level or outstretched in front.


 

 

 

The resistance is now pulling back through the arms that have to be stabilized by the core as your legs are still driving forward, not to mention an even greater metabolic demand!  Walking forward activates more of the abdominals and walking backwards (holding the handles) will activate more of the posterior core muscles.  It also give you some additional bonus shoulder and arm work.  A shoulder harness is a great alternative to the handles although not as demanding.

 

 

 

 

I am a big fan of asymmetrical loading due to the increased demand for stability and its relation to “real life” activity/movement.  So, here are just a few of many tweaks to the sled I use.

                  

 

 

 

1 arm push                                     1 arm pull                        over shld pull

So, as you can see (hopefully)  these exercises can be used in rehab for the upper extremity, core or lower extremity.

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

Her is a great post from my good friend Adam Brush, top trainer at the Institute for Human Performance and Five Tool Baseball.

There’s no doubt that the core/trunk of a baseball player takes on a fair amount of rotational stress when it comes to on-field movements such as throwing, hitting, running.

To train for the rotational demands placed on the core we’ll structure Superset combinations, in which core integration is a major part of each exercise. The following PUSH/PULL combination is one such superset combination capable of developing the necessary core stiffness & strength a ball player will need to perform those on-field rotational movements.

SUPERSET

1-ARM(1A) DUMBBELL(DB) FLAT BENCH PRESS:
In addition to the strength development for the chest and triceps, proper execution and control of this unilateral movement will have a great influence on shoulder stability and core stiffness.

 

 

 

 

 

1-ARM, STAGGERED STANCE (S/S) CABLE ROW:
In addition to strength development for the back, posterior shoulder & biceps, this exercise is driven thru the extremely important transverse plane. In addition, the hip flexor of the rear leg is lengthened when the same side glutes are activated. This lengthening of the hip flexor becomes of great importance to hamstrings.

 

 
In addition, a similar 1A superset combination can be performed by implementing a 1A Incline DB press followed by a 1A “high to low” cable row
Stay tuned for a future blog that outlines a PULL/PUSH rotational superset combination.

Out train the game!

Posted by AB at 5:40 PM

If you want a piece of equipment that can provide, strength, power, fitness and fat loss all in one check out the video below and stay tuned for some cool PT/fitness applications!  My patients love it.  Our athletes, pro and amateur, love it!

 


 

Yes, I said dormant butt syndrome, DBS for short! I see it all the time in the clinic. In athletes and people of all ages. The cause of DBS is usually tight hip flexors, again, which most people have. This is due to repetitive hip flexion from walking, running, sitting, driving and sleeping in the fetal position.  Other causes include injury and inactivity.   If you remember back to previous posts the gluteus maximus generally attaches proximally to the sacruum, and illiac crest and wraps around the hip to distally attach to the greater trochanter (the big bony bump on side of hip).  Although we think of the gluteus maximus as a powerful hip extender it is actually built for rotation.  Just look at the fiber orientation (yes, you may have to crack open the old anatomy book).  So, functionally its main function is to eccentrically control internal rotation of the femur in the transverse plane during the loading phase of gait or running, eccentrically control hip flexion in the sagittal plane and assist the gluteus medius in stabilizing hip adduction in the frontal plane.  The ability to appropriately load enhances their ability to concentrically contract during the unloadong or propulsive phase.  If the gluteus maximus is inhibited (which V. Yanda taught us) from a tight hip flexor, then the hamstrings and erector spinae group  become overactive to compensate.  This leads to the possibility of hamstring strains, low back pain, knee pain and possibly even plantar fascia.  A simple way to check for DBS is to have patient lie prone and ask them to do a leg lift.  Palpate the gluteus and the hamstring and see which contracts first.  Many times I feel the hamstring contract then the gluteus.  It should be gluteus then hamstring.  Sometimes ive seen people have a 5/5 manual muscle test and not even fire the gluteus.  They used all their hamstring and erectors to lift/hold the leg up.  Some general strategies include a basic muscle re-education of laying prone over table or bed and actively squeezing butt then lifting leg.  Sequence can also be done with bridge exercise.  Stretching the tight hip flexor, of course, and functional hip dominant exercise like single leg balance w/ arm reaches, multi planar lunges, sled walks, various step up and downs.  So now get moving and wake that sleepy butt up!

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

Despite their name, the adductor muscles work primarily as strong sagittal plane hip flexor or extensors. For example, if you are walking (or running) and the right leg is forward, the right adductor works as an extensor and the left as a flexor and then they switch as you alternate legs in the cycle. Have you ever went out and ran or sprinted for the first time? Where did you feel sore? Right, in the groin and inner thighs (as well as the rest of your body if was your first time).
The adductors (generally) attach proximally to the pubic bone and distally attach to the posterior medial aspect of the femur, giving them their mechanical advantage in the sagittal plane. In single leg stance or the single leg phase of gait running or kicking they work with the gluteus medius and the quadratus lumborum to stabilize the pelvis and limb in the frontal plane on the stance side. Now, in activities such as gymnastics, ballet, and karate where the leg is lifted or rapidly “thrown” out to the side the adductors will actually adduct the leg to bring it back into position to hit the ground.

Due to its atachment to the pubic bone, the adductors when activated, can stimulate (turn on) the pelvic floor muscles.  So, squeezing something between the legs while doing a bridge or squat for example can increase pelvic floor activity, which is important for women who have had multiple childbirths and people with core stabilization issues.

Some examples of functional exercises that activate the adductors include:  lunges – forward, lateral and posterior lateral w/ rotation, step up w/ opp. leg hip flexion (w or w/out resistance from cuff or cable), single leg balance w/ opp. leg reaches, and resisted walk, jog or running (cable, bungie, sled).

Once you understand what the bones are doing in all 3 planes (against gravity, ground reaction forces and momentum) and you know where the muscle attaches proximally and distally, you can begin to figure out its true function and design exercises to actually improve the bodies abilitiy to move.  Unfortunately, school doesnt usually teach us that.  Think back to anatomy.  We are taught that the adductors adduct the leg.  Well, now we know that in function they rarely ever do that!  Good luck and have fun!  There is always more to learn!

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

Great Info from the Gray Institute Newsletter

TWEAKOLOGY is the transformation of the notion (what we know about function) into the motion (what function looks like).  Knowing that every “tweak” will create a different reaction, mindfully chosen “tweaks” provide the foundation of the exercise strategies that are specific for each individual.

This month we highlight the BALANCE REACH as our exercise and use SPEED as our “tweak”.  Before we further describe the exercise, let’s discuss balance in general.  Balance is a state of equilibrium, it is dynamic in nature, it requires a combination of stability and mobility or “Mostability”.  Balance does NOT require stillness and is hampered by rigidity.

Back to the task at hand…SINGLE LEG BALANCE REACH.  Two things to look for when observing this exercise are: 1) how far the individual can reach their and 2) the ability to transform the direction of the movement.  Let’s perform three different foot reaches at ground level using the three cardinal planes 1) Sagittal Plane (click HERE to view) 2) Frontal Plane (click HERE to view) 3) Transverse Plane (click HERE to view).  Perform 3-5 repetitions with each foot at a self-selected speed.  Observe not only the reaching foot and leg, but observe the “balance” leg.  Also observe the reaction of the trunk, the shoulders and even the head and hands.  Does each side react the same?  Is there similar control demonstrated?  Similar ranges of motion throughout the body?   Similar quality of movement through the Chain Reaction™?  Now let’s tweak it.  Repeat the balance reaches with decreased speed.  How does decreasing the speed affect control, range of motion, and quality of movement?  If the body senses a loss of stability and control, with the simple tweak of increased or decreased speed it will react with an immediate neurological stiffening to add control back into our system – to prevent one from falling.  Remember, it is always about preserving ourselves within our environment.  As you experience a stiffening effect, do not worry – but note the difference between fluidity in motion versus rigidity.

Find the speed of your success.  Also find the speed of success for those that you are assessing, training and rehabilitating.   Depending upon the function that they are looking to improve, condition the movement with slightly decreased speeds and slightly increased speeds, over time without sacrificing fluid efficient movement.

As always, safety is the number one concern.  Any time you believe you are not able to complete the movement without the need for additional stability, make sure that you are performing the balance foot reaches in a doorway, next to a wall, or next to a chair or even having someone else control you through hand stability.  Remember to provide the same safety net and opportunities for your patients and clients.

By Doug Gray

Jumping is an action that has implications to everything we do. Squatting, walking, running, lunging, etc. has components of jumping involved. Therefore, jumping better will pave the way to functioning better. A common element of plyometrics and calisthenics is jumping. Jump training is a point of focus in sport, yet has extreme implications to life in general. The topic of jumping initiates many questions to consider, such as the following:

• Is your jump training directly carrying over to that which you are training for?

• Is your jump training better preparing you to execute activities more efficiently, whether in sport or active daily living?

• Is your jump training incorporating all three planes of motion (as the body is intended to function)?

• Is your jump training properly sequenced to be safe and guarantee progress / improvement?

• Is your jump training properly preventing future injury?

• Is your jump training dynamic and variable (i.e. – incorporating two feet to two feet, two feet to one foot, one foot to two feet, and one foot to the same foot)?

As the above questions trigger contemplation to the purpose, logic, and sequencing of one’s training regime, it sets the table for exploration on how to better train the body. A great starting point is identifying and discussing a functional threshold.  A functional threshold … the body’s ability to successfully perform the multiple tasks required for what one needs to do and what one wants to do in life. In essence, it leads to productively owning ones three‐dimensional space in completing the desired task at hand. The spectrum of “needs” and “wants” is long and variable, yet lends itself to the following point: it is in ones best interest to expand his / her functional threshold in order to enhance overall performance.

Jump‐Jop‐Hop Explosion, which is part of the Gray Institute’s 3D Matrix Performance Series, is a workout intended to increase one’s vertical, to protect one from injury, as well as to improve one’s strength, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, coordination, agility, power, speed, reaction, etc. More importantly, it is designed to enhance one’s overall health, wellbeing, and longevity by creating an environment where one can expand his / her functional threshold. Jump‐Jop‐Hop Explosion, as all DVDs in the 3D Matrix Performance Series, consists of both instructional and follow‐along segments.

The terms jumping, jopping, and hopping all refer to the act of loading the lower body and trunk to efficiently and effectively (as well as explosively) unload the body to become airborne in defying gravity. Pure jumping is defined as leaving the surface (or ground) on one foot or both feet and landing on both feet. Pure jopping is defined as leaving the surface on both feet and landing on one foot. Pure hopping is defined as leaving the surface on one foot and landing on the same one foot.

The Chain Reaction™ biomechanics involved with jumping are very similar to that of the lead (or front) leg in gait (or walking). In understanding this better, it is valuable to identify what is known as a Transformational Zone (TZ). A TZ is defined as the period of time when motion changes direction. Moreover, a TZ is the point where eccentric lengthening (loading) of a muscle transforms into a concentric shortening (unloading). The TZ of jumping (when the body compresses before exploding upward or outward) calls for a three‐dimensional Chain Reaction™ throughout the entire body (feet / ankles, knees, hips, trunk, etc.). This load and explode sequencing is a common denominator for all forms of movement. For that reason, Jump‐Jop‐Hop Explosion is not strictly for jumping population, but for all walks of life.Jump‐Jop‐Hop Explosion is a workout that trains the body’s muscles and joints to load and explode in a variety of ways in performing jumps, jops, and hops. Embedded into the workout is a progression that gradually intensifies the workout from round to round (consist of three rounds) by beginning with jumps (two feet to two feet), then shifting to jops (two feet to one foot) and hops (one foot to same one foot). Also, very important to the topic of the DVD, a strategy of safety and progression is performing the workout in initial ranges of motion until the body is comfortable and strong enough to be challenged more (which would involve moving then into mid ranges of motion, and then moving into end ranges of motion).

Additionally, Jump‐Jop‐Hop Explosion positions the body from the top‐down to facilitate and different Chain Reaction™ to add variety and functionality to the workout. For example, both hands are positioned differently in certain portions of the workout to put parts of the body at a biomechanical advantage, while putting other parts of the body at a biomechanical disadvantage, in order to mimic sport and daily activities that the body needs to perform. Of course, these positions are logically organized into all three planes of motion (in front of, above and behind, to the right of, to the left of, rotationally to the right of, and rotationally to the left of the body). Placing the hands in front of the body (anterior at hip) recruits more of the back hip (glute muscles) to execute the task, whereas placing the hands above and behind the body (posterior at overhead) recruits more of the front hip to execute the task. Different positions of the body allow gravity to compress the body differently, as gravity is the competitor of jumping, yet also the best friend when it comes to loading the body to jump.

According to the Gray Institute’s Functional Video Digest Series v2.4, “Jumping: Unleashing the Load” CLICK HERE, jumping is a tri‐plane phenomenon. Also, to enhance jumping, it is imperative that new pathways of loading the body are established and existing pathways are deepened and enhanced. Jumping is not only vertical, but also horizontal and rotational. All these dimensions need to be exploited in any jumping program to better prepare and protect the body in all areas of performance, in which Jump‐Jop‐Hop Explosion successfully exhibits. This needs to be the goal for any athlete: to develop and enhance the gifts and talents that he / she has been given. Therefore, all dimensions need to be attended to in expanding one’s functional threshold. Jump‐Jop‐Hop Explosion is an integral step to this process.

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Burn fat and look great too with this whole body exercise known as the Get Up.

One of my favorite applications is to set a timer for 5 minutes and do Get Ups alternating arms each rep.

You can also plug them into a circuit.  For example:

kettlebell-swing-sequence kettle_row(1)

20-30 Kettlebell Swings Followed by                          10-20 Alt. Renegade Rows

and finish with Get Ups for 5-10 reps each side.

Dont lollygag!  Work hard, push yourself and youll look and feel great!  If it was easy everyone would be doing it!!!!!!!!!!!

Enjoy!

Get Strong Be Strong!

Chris

This is a great little exercise routine (inspired by Gary Gray)that involves multiple planes of motion, multi level lifts and doesnt take a lot of time.  So, if someone tells me they dont have time to exercise, I say Bull@#$&!  I have an answer!  The Matrix.  It only takes about a minute and a half!  And if they still say they dont have time, I tell them to just do it faster!  Or I know they really dont want to exercise.

THE MATRIX       Alternate reps for 6 for each movement in each plane.  Move as quickly as you can with full range, good form and control. Try doing multiple sets with 1-3 min rest between.

Shoulder to Overhead Series

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Waist to Shoulder Series

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Lunge and Reach Series –  Chest to Knee or Floor (if able)  Do sagittal then frontal then rotation   

 Start / Return Pos.    DSCF0036   DSCF0037  DSCF0038

Lunge and Reach Series 2 – Chest to Knee/Floor and Return to Overhead Position

Do sagittal then frontal then rotation

DSCF0035   DSCF0036    DSCF0037  DSCF0038  DSCF0039

Some variations are to use 2 diff size weights and/or do with one or both eyes closed

Have fun and enjoy!!!!

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris