Thursday, April 24, 2014

Random and Interesting

This post from Mark Sisson covers the multitude of positive outcomes that our gut bacteria do for us. It's a very complete spectrum of the importance of gut health.  7 Things You Had No Idea Gut Bacteria Do.

A variation of a lunge I've been doing is lunging forward, keeping the heel down and driving the knee forward.  Keep the heel down and as the knee goes as far forward as you can get it.  Maximum dorsiflexion and then drive through the heel to go to your next lunge.  It recruits more hip activity it seems, but also works on creating better dorsiflexion.

Want an easy but effective way to keep the weight off.  It seems exposure to morning sun is a driving force in having a lower BMI (Body Mass Index).  Pretty interesting.  Morning Rays Keep off Pounds.  It may have something to do with setting the natural circadian rhythm we have built in.

Can your foot position, arch height, intrinsic foot muscles help predict and stop baseball pitching injuries.  Pretty interesting ideas and theories about how the foot has the potential to influence pitchers staying healthy.  Pitching is a controlled fall.  One of the more striking comments was that pitchers that had a previous ulnar collateral ligament damage scored worse on a Y-balance test.  Cleat Smarts: Foot posture.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Knowing Histology

Knowing histology is a big part of a successful treatment plan.  Pain with motion and no pain with rest probably means that it will respond to tissue work.  Less pain with motion, but an increase pain at night, most likely means inflammation.  Movement is the most powerful anti-inflammatory there is.  Would you want to do lots of soft tissue work on an inflamed muscle?  Probably not.   Isometric treatments may be great, as they impose no inflammatory response on the joint.  Pain that returns after a long lay off, lets say from running, most likely is mechanical in nature.  These tend to be the home run treatments.  Change one thing, how the joint moves, and people think you are magic.  There was no pathology.  Rest had no influence.  Pin point pain means something separate then if someone does a general rubbing of the area.  Tendonosis vs referral pain.

All of these described scenarios above have different histology's with different treatments and different outcome time tables.  Hopefully you know the difference.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Palpation is the ability to feel whats under your fingertips.  What connective tissue are you feeling?  The ability to discern a structure from another is one of the greatest skills a manual therapist can possess.  I can remember holding a neck for the first time and trying to feel the C2 landmass and wondering is that it?  We were told that it would get easier.  It did and does.  Something to practice and get better at.  One of the biggest problems with palpation and that is stressed in Functional Range Release is that what you expect to find, is the biggest hindrance in getting better at palpation.  Your preconceived notion of where anatomy should be, what anatomy should feel like,  is creating a mental block of what is actually being felt under your fingertips.

"A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be."
Albert Einstein

Monday, April 21, 2014

Kettlebell Certifications

First, I like kettlebells.  I think they are fun.  I own 15lb or 7kg to 106lb or 48kg.  I view them as a tool.  I'm not a kettlebell guy, just like I'm not a TRX guy or insert "another" tool guy.  I do like them though.

My question becomes why are the Kettlebell certifications so expensive?  A few years ago the RKC seminar was close to 3000 dollars with the caveat that you would have to do a recertification every year.

Pavel has left Dragondoor and now there is a Strongfirst certification.  The price is 1700 from what I could tell.  I couldn't find if there is a recertification for this.  RKC appears to have lowered their price to almost 1/2 at 1500.

I'm a big seminar guy, so I understand paying to learn.  I just never understood the cost of paying to play with the kettlebell.  (Then having to repay to keep the certification if that is important for your work)

The greats put out YouTube videos of step by step instructions for almost any move you can think of.  With the boom of smart phones you can literally dissect your technique if you wanted to.

Having never taken one, I don't want this to come off as bashing these seminars.  It's more of my asking the question is it really worth it?  If someone has taken one of these, please comment.  Open minded, but skeptical.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

On The Road to Master, Leave Room for Curiosity

If you don't know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?  I've heard this repeated several times in its relationship with goals and goal setting.  Define the objective, work towards meeting it.  

I attend many seminars each year with the objective of getting better at the goals I've identified that will help with my manual therapy and strength and conditioning.  Hopefully, to allow me to get clients better, healthier, stronger, faster

Recently,  I was laying around thinking about what I was learning and realized if I can clearly define what a dysfunctional joint is, if I can clearly define what abnormal tension is, if I can clearly define the why of the tension, if I can clearly define how to improve both, what else is there?  

Mastery.  This part is obvious.  This part is just as much art as science.  Stay on the path.  Work towards mastery.

But...there is also this nagging little thing in the back of my mind that whispers this quote. "I don't know,  what I don't know."

Stay curious, keep searching, explore paths you don't think will lead anywhere.  Perhaps the stuff you read or seminars you attend will just confirm that the path you are on in the process of mastery is the right one, perhaps it will enhance the mastery, perhaps it will lead nowhere.  It may open up to another path you didn't know existed.  "No Education is ever wasted."

"On your path to Mastery, leave room for Curiosity."

Saturday, April 19, 2014

What Do We Really Know about Gut Flora

The Surprising Gut Microbes...from Wired Magazine was a short interesting read about the gut microbes of the Hadza tribe and some Modern comparisons.  What the researchers found was highly interesting.  Bacteria that we thought was good were absent in the traditional Hadza tribe and gut bacteria we thought were harmful and in large quantities in Crohns disease were present.  Even among the Hadza tribe, men and women had very different gut flora.  Women gathered more tubers and had more gut bacteria for the digestion of fibrous veggies.  This shows that not only can the gut bacteria be influence by diet, but that different quantities of the same food can as well.

This certainly raises some interesting questions about what we have thought was healthy vs unhealthy.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Story Behind the Names of Fitness Equipment.

Lately I've been curious about some of the names of old school fitness equipment.

Treadmill:  Originated in England Prisons as almost a type of water wheel.  It had vertical bars to separate prisoners and give them isolation.  The apparatus would turn and the prisoner was forced to take one step up and keep at this for shifts of up to 8 hours.  The power that was generated would be used in plants and mills.  Hence the name tread-mill.  (no wonder these feel like torture to me)

Medicine Ball:  The ancient Greeks wrote about the use of weighted balls for exercise and health.  Health and Medicine were one in the same in context back then.  Gladiators were known to use them in their training.  Claudius Galen a physician in ancient times would choose "therapeutic exercise" to bring his patients health back.  He would often have them whip the ball back and forth.  Since this was how they used "medicine," the medicine ball was born.

Kettlebell and Dumbell:  Back in ancient times church bells, often weighing up to several tons, were rung by several men.  To practice different tones and get proper sequencing,  the person would practice on non clanging bells.  Hence the name "dumb-bells" because they were quite.   According to a Scottish legend, Kettlebells came about from old kettles that were leaky.  They were then filled up with sand or shot and used as strength training.  Russians used them as counterbalances and then would often show their strength by pressing them up in the air or by juggling.

Olympic barbell:  A German invented the adjustable bar to allow different weights to go on.  It debuted in the 1928 Olympics.  Hence the Olympic barbell.