Wednesday, September 24, 2008

X-Band Walk for I.T. Band Problems in Grand Rapids

An example of an exercise that will recruit and strengthen the glute med. A primary hip abductor. Keep this strong and I.T. band problems will start to dissapear.

I.T. band pain usually manifests as intense lateral knee pain. I have seen many runners and cyclist in Grand Rapids have IT band pain. As the hip abductors lose their ability to control pelvic stability. The body recruits the I.T. band to help. As the I.T. band gets tighter and tighter it gets to the point where it rubs the lateral condyle every repetition on a run or bike. So keep the Glute Med. strong and the body won't recruit the I.T. band as a hip stabilizer.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Congrats to Grand Rapids Native Ron Ringewold

Ron Ringewold - 481.7 DL @ 73
Ron is from our very own Grand Rapids, MI. He sets a new record and proves once again that age is just a number. He owns Beckwiths Gym. Located on the corner of Division and 28th street behind the old bowling alley, come check it out. The gym has a great lifting atmosphere.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dante Love

I went down to Bloomington, IN this past weekend and got a chance to see the beautiful Indiana University campus. Saturday night I got a chance to see the Indiana vs Ball State football game. It was a great game. With Ball State pulling out the one of the biggest wins in school history. In the second quarter Dante Love, colleges leading reciever, was in a head to head collision. He lay motionless on the field for 15 minutes while he was being attended to. It's always a scary situation when you see the medical staff bring out the backboard. Today it was released that after five hours of surgery, he has movement in his arms and legs. Here is his STORY. Keep him in your prayers as he recovers.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Smart Training

So last night I had a max effort front squat schedualed. My body was feeling really good. Each warm up set felt better then the one before. I felt in groove. The weights were coming up with good speed. On my last set before trying to go for a new PR, I felt a bit of tightness in my upper left quad. Dillema. Every one has been there. Do I push through or do I taper it back. What are the costs/benefits? I decided to taper it back. I will have another shot at a PR in a few weeks when I retest. I'm still dealing with a torn calf from July. Achievements come from the long consistent journey. Not from one great day. The best training advice I've ever recieved was "one workout will not make you, but one workout can definetly break you." So there are going to be times when your going to have to push yourself to grow, pick them wisely, listen to your body, training is all about consistency.

Front Squat Tips

From a few posts back, you know that I'm a big believer in keeping the bar off the spine and limiting the amount of spinal compression. Front Squating is a great alternative. Unfortunately front squatting is hard! Thats why most people will never do it. You can't use as much weight so the ego takes a hit. It can feel like your slowly choking yourself and most peoples wrists aren't that flexible to even get in the position. I learned this tip from my buddy Cameran Gardner a few years back while we were both training at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY. Cameran is a strength coach and firefighter in New Jersey. If you tie wrist straps around the bar you can then use them for leverage and not worry about wrist or elbow flexability becoming a limiting factor. Talk about a world of differnece.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

High-Fructose Corn Syrup Ad 1

I can't believe that this is a real commercial. All natural? The last time I checked HFCS was chemically made and couldn't be found in nature. With the surplus of "grade 2 corn," HFCS was one byproduct they came up with to help reduce the bulging grain surplus. It's cheaper then sugar. It's also one of the leading caused of childhood obesity. This is some of the most blatant propaganda I've ever heard.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thoracic Mobilization in Grand Rapids

I first came across the concept of mobilty vs stability from strength coach Mike Boyle, not at chiropractic school. First kudos to coach Boyle, and second shame on my school. The body is basically broken down into segments that alternate between mobility and stability. If you lose one, you jeopardize the other. For example if you lose ankle mobility you put the stability of the knee in jeopardy. Lose hip mobility, lose lumbar stability. Lose thoracic mobility, jeopardize scapulo-humeral stability.
One of the first things I try to bring back to great function at Train Out Pain Chiropractic in Grand Rapids, is thoracic mobilization. Both threw chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue work and in smart exercises. Here is a great drill that coach Boyle demonstrates to increase thoracic mobility. A common flaw in today's flexed forward, seated, crunch heavy society. Coach Boyle has taped two tennis balls together in the video. Enjoy

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Inverted rows (feet elevated) Exercise in Grand Rapids

Video courtesy of Joe Defranco. Inverted Rows are a great exercise for developing the scapula retractors, balancing the shoulder girdle from all the pressing and increasing core stability. A progression would be to wear a weighted vest or go to an unstable surface such as a swiss ball instead of the bench, or pulling from blast straps. This is an exercise I use a lot with the Grand Rapids Rugby team. This will go a long way in helping prevent shoulder dislocaitons. Give these a try.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Forward Head Posture Correction in Grand Rapids

Have someone check your lateral profile. If your ear is in front of your humeral head. You have forward head posture. Chances are you have tight cervical extensors. Levator scapulae, splenius muscles group and as a result also tight subocipital groups. This can lead to headaches, trigger points and adhesion's throughout the muscle groups. I always check this when evaluating a neck/shoulder case in my practice in Grand Rapids. I also have them look to the ceiling. If they again can't get the ear behind the shoulder. The patient is in a for a lot of health problems stemming from the neck.

You can stretch the posterior neck like crazy and still not get the total desired results you want. Persistent back of the neck pain may still result. The problem is that even if you stretch like crazy, the neck still has to stabilize itself. So muscles are recruited that should not be. When the head is forward, those muscles that are tight are acting as guide wires and trying to pull the head back.

Enter the cervical flexors. The longus colli and longus capitus are two key muscles that lie on the front of the cervical vertebrae. These two muscles are notoriously turned off and weak. They help stabilize the neck. Without there activation the extensors are left to do to much work. If you have ever suffered a whiplash accident. These two muscles tend to be inhibited and weak.

One easy way to get these muscles back firing is the simple double chin exercise. Stand tall, and slowly retract the head so that it appears you have a double chin. Hold for two seconds and repeat for 20x, 2x a day. This will slowly start to turn these muscles back on and get them working for you.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tri + Rugby + Bikes = Busy Day in Grand Rapids Sporting Community

It was a busy Saturday.

Congratulations to my girlfriend and all the other participants of the Reeds Lake Triathalon. It's really cool to see people out there on an early Saturday morning pushing themselves to their limits. It's called the three disciplines for a reason. Discipline and Mental toughness are vital for finishing. Most people have one discipline that is just more of a challenge for them, but when they do complete it, it's empowereing.

Congratulations to the Grand Rapids Rugby Club. They opened their season opener with a win over Detroit RFC. It's been fun getting back involved with rugby after not having played for so long. It's a brutal sport, so I hope I can help keep these guys healthy. Come check them out at Douglas Walker Park. There next home game is September 20.

Finally, congrats to all the participants in the Priority Health Classic. The Mens Pro race was quite amazing, coming down to an all out sprint at the end. It's spectacular to see a pelaton of bikes riding at 30 plus miles per hour take 90 degree turns. If you've never taken the time to watch a "crit" in person, your missing out.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Neck Bridge for Pulling Power

I'm always on the lookout to find cool little tricks that will help turn on the nervous system and allow for a greater workout. One such method is doing an isometric off of a swiss ball to strengthen the neck musculature.
Sit on a Swiss ball. Walk forward until only the back of your head is supported on the ball. Keep the hips up by contracting the glutes. So now the only points of contract are the feet and the head. Try to hold the neck in a neutral position for 60 seconds. If you feel yourself losing the neutral position, stop the set.
Activating the long cervical extensors can help reposition C5 and C6 (two vertebrae in your neck) which inervate the biceps and a few other muscles. This will increase curling and pulling strength (it may increase biceps strength by as much as 10% according to Charles Poliquin). So next time your head off for a set of pullups, try this neck exercise and see if it doesn't have you "pulling" a few more reps.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

omnivore's dilemma

I just finished "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollen. I can't begin to express how cool a book this was. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about how food, buisness, government and economy all affect your food, the food chain, and your health. It poses interesting questions that demand you to think and look at the big picture in a interesting way. If you have ever wondered what exactly the terms local, orgainic, processed, cage free or free range mean, this will answer. Meat vs vegatarian, grain fed vs grass fed, organic vs, local. All pose interesting and compelling arguments.
I love books that make you think and that you learn a great deal, but are interesting and capture your attention. This is that kind of book. After reading this book, it will demand that at least you think of your food choices. I personally have started to attend more farmers markets and try to eat more locally.