Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Perfect Mile

Just finished a great book called, "The Perfect Mile," by Neal Bascomb.  It is the story of the first sub 4 minute mile and the 3 men in the early fifties chasing it.  It is now common knowledge that Roger Banister was indeed the first man to bring down the physical and mental barrier of the sub 4 minute mile.  
Consider this, before Roger, most people believed that if you ran that fast your body would shut down and there would be a good chance of death.  Roger took a different look and believed that a human being could indeed run that fast and set off to prove it.  What made the difference though was getting a coach that inspired him to believe that He could break the four minute mile.  This was a giant shift in thinking.  It went from being a concept, a thing to chase, to a goal, a thing to be achieved. 
This is profound if you think about it.  No more, sure it can be done, to sure it can be done and I'm the one to do it.  So I ask you this question, "What do you believe?"

Monday, July 14, 2008

Face Pulls in Grand Rapids

Every now and then I will bring you great exercises that you should be doing in any training programs.  The Face Pull is one exercise that should be in everyones training arsenal.  Wether your a powerlifter or work at a desk all day, this exercise will help balance out some postural issues that may cause pain in the neck or shoulder.  Two common problems I see every day in our practice in Grand Rapids.
Most people are to internally rotated at the shoulder.  Over the long run, this can lead to compromise at the rotator cuff and problems with balancing the movement of the scapulae.  The face pull is an exercise that targets the external rotators (teres minor, infraspinatus), as well as the lower trapezius. This will help promote an upward rotation of the scapulae.  A very good thing.  I think the biggest benefit is that it helps bring about structural balance.  A topic I will talk about more later.  Basically your internal rotators tend to be 25-35% stronger then your external rotators.  So a little extra work on those ER goes a long way.  
Stand in front of a cable machine with the cable coming at face level.  Attach a tricep rope handle.  Step away so that your arms are fully extended towards the cable machine.  Keeping a neutral grip (thumbs up), pull the cable towards your face.  You should end with the the shoulder blades fully retracted and the forearms faceing the ceiling.   
Always look to maximize your time in the gym.  So a good pairing would be to do this exercise and immediately stretch the pecs and lats.  Both big internal rotatores.  Try doing 4 sets of 12 a few times a week and you will be well on your way to being more balanced throughout the shoulder girdle.