Friday, February 28, 2014

Very Random Stuff

Sports Rehab has a link to download a free sample from Thomas Michaud's newest book Injury Free Running.  

Reading about the Popliteus and came across this video.  Technology is pretty sweet.

Want to know the best exercise?  Kind of a trick question.  Forced exercise doesn't bring the same results.  Mark gives a whole blog post to the question.   Best Exercise.   In case you want to know the answer it's one you will do and enjoy.  Find something you look forward to doing.  My 2 cents, find one you can alter to not allow stagnation.

Crossfit Open starts tonight.  Can't remember having so many patients and friends excited to go do or watch exercise as sport.  Good for them.  See the point above.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ground Contact Time and Foot Pain

Every winter in Michigan I see runners that develop foot problems that have never experienced foot problems before.  I used to just think perhaps they were sliding in the shoes a bit or were afraid to fall so they were tense the whole time.  My new theory, just a theory, is that their ground contact time is slightly increasing with each step and because of that we get longer use out of the smaller foot muscles.

If we have (x) longer ground contact time and we take (x) many steps per step.  We are asking the foot muscles and connective tissue to contract for (x)X(x) more time.  Given enough steps
and it's a plausible reason on why the foot muscles/joints/connective tissue get sore and painful.

A few big players that will increase ground contact time are the knee extensors and the hip abductors.  If either of these muscles carries more tension then they should the knee angle on contact can increase and thus we will have more ground contact time.

So if a runner presents with any type of foot pain not only check the foot, but check these groups of muscles to see if you discover dysfunction present.  Not only can it be a source,  it gives the patient an idea of potential why they are feeling the foot to begin with.  Everyone wants answers.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Posterior Calcaneus Evaluation

One of the things I've been checking lately is the quality of movement of the posterior calcaneus.  Passively where does it lay when the patient is prone.  Is it stuck in a big inversion or does it appear to be somewhat neutral?  It starts to help when you see someone a few times and recognize what is their normal and when they have any lower limb issues and the calcaneus is in a different position.

I first started paying more attention when a Strength Coach that studied under Gary Gray talked about the need of the calcaneus to evert in order to get maximum strength out of the Glute Max.

Outside of adjusting the calcaneus, I've really been going through the ligaments and feeling for the ability of the calcaneus to move against the distal fibular head.  I've noticed when this improves the tone of the calf often changes from having some tension to more of a relaxed state.  Whether this is just reflexive change or worthwhile, it's hard to say.  But, all joints should have good movement.

I've usually found tension in the calcaneofibular and post. talofibular ligament.  Generally speaking, working the connective tissue on the backside of the heel/fibula where I find tension.  Give it a try if you have a patent with consistent calf tension or foot biomechanics seem off.  Every joint should have quality motion.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Functional Range Release Review

This past weekend I had the chance to attend the Functional Range Release Spine in Toronto.  It was taught by the founder, Dr. Andreo Spina.  I had attended the Conditioning seminar this past fall and was really impressed with the quality of the teaching, the science of what is being taught and overall the quality of the material.

The more I learn,  the more I value information that can be used.  I love learning new stuff and I've written recently how nothing learned is wasted, but some information has much more practical application and at this point in my life/career, I'm after application.

The three day seminar was really on point.  The end of the day came quickly.  2nd best compliment I can give something.  We have all been at a seminar where you look at your watch and are like woe, I've got 3 more hours before I can go!  Even some where I find the info interesting.  When your engrossed, challenged, learning, engaged, time flies.

Now the best compliment I can give something, is that I took the seminar on the weekend and I applied the information with success on Monday.  Finding things that change how you practice are rare in my opinion.  I've been doing ART (active release technique) for over 10 years,  I find this method more advanced.

The first half of the seminar is really going over palpation.  It's a bit surprising/embarrassing that some structures I have thought I've been treating aren't even the right muscles.  Levator Scapula?
These skills are dramatically improved.  There is a system.  No guessing.  A few techniques on muscles such as Psoas were worth the trip in itself.

One of the best things was working on palpation skills and listening to the Instructors (Dr. Spina and Dr. Michael Chivers) give tips/helpful information.  Here is an example, the deeper the muscle, the less motion should be used.  It has to be segmental for it to be treated.  Makes sense.  I had never heard it before put like that.  For me, these were the types of things that I picked up the whole time.

Facial muscles were heavily taught.  First time again for me for having that dedicated time on learning about these.

On a side note, Dr Chivers was awesome enough to work on my elbow with Mulligan technique and combination of the PAILS/RAILS technique that is part of the FRR seminar.  My elbow improved.  I was shocked.  I was pumped.  4 years of people treating it,  including myself reaming on it, with little to show for it.   I no longer have a bone on bone end feel.  I'm excited to see how much more I can get out of this elbow.

Part of the Seminar is not only the palpation and treatment but the rehab using the PAILS/RAILS systems.  It's very integrative.  If you want more of the science behind everything,  Dr. Jeff Cubos gave a great review awhile back while doing an interview with Dr. Spina.   Notes and Quotes. 

Overall this is a great seminar.  I'm excited to take the lower and upper in the following few months.  This is information you can turn around and use right away.  The highest compliment I can give something.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Upper Traps Tight?

We are bipedal creatures that haven't quite readily adapted to being only upright.  It was a comment a heard maybe a year ago.  It was talking about the constant  feeling of having "tight traps."  Our shoulders just hang there.  We very rarely if ever hang off things anymore using those muscles around the shoulder girdle or put force into the muscles from the ground up.

So one of the exercises I have people do with chronic tightness is to get down on all fours.  Kneeling that is.  Hands spread on the floor.  Neck neutral.  Pull the shoulder blades down the spine.  This will take a bit of coaching as most people just want to squeeze the shoulder blades (retract) them.  You are actively pulling the blades down and squeeze hard,  now squeeze harder, now squeeze even harder and hold.  Keep breathing.  Hold.  Hold it.  Now relax and get up.  Upper traps still feel "tight?"

Try it on yourself or with your patients.  Think you will like it.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Would You Eat Insects for Protein?

I started a new book called "Edible." by Daniella Martin.  It's a pretty fascinating look at the world of eating insects.  I always enjoyed Entymolgy in college and the idea of eating insects isn't that foreign across the world.   The book paints a pretty poignant picture of how much it takes in terms of resources to create one pound of beef, one pound of pork and one pound of chicken.  It then shows how much it takes to create one pound of insects.   As an example one pound of beef needs 10
pounds of feed, 1000 gallons of water, 200 square ft of pasture.  A pound of insects needs 2 pounds of feed, 1 gallon of water and 2 cubic feet of land space.  Quite the difference.

There is dramatically less natural resources and environmental damage when compared.   Her numbers were based off big agrofarms, but even environmentally friendly grass fed animals have a much higher cost ratio then insects as well.

Insects are the larges biomass on earth.   So of all animals, insects are most of them.  Unlike other animals like chickens for instance, that are inhumanely kept in large dark spaces, one on top of the other, insects thrive on close quarter dark spaces.  They can grow and eat almost anything.  Vertical growing in cities is a possibility.  7 billion people on this planet.  1 out of 7 is consuming less calories then they should be.  The book estimates that by 2050 the population to potentially be 9 billion.  More people, more food, more resources consumed.

The author doesn't state at all to get rid of current protein sources, only to consider the growing potential of introducing a new one.  Very entertaining read so far.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Weekend Coffee

Here are some links to things that I've read in the last few weeks that I've enjoyed.

Looking for a new twist to some training.  Thought this was an interesting variant of using an Olympic plates with the grips instead of a kettle bell.  Plates over KettleBells.

Force is the language of the cells.  New ways of measuring on how cells communicate are under way.  The future looks pretty cool.  May the Cellular Force be with You.  

In case you were interested in perhaps how footwear has influence your health.  Please don't go from tanks to barefoot.  (just a warning)  Steven Robbins has a lot of information on the foot and barefoot and shoe wear.  How footwear caused humans to become Sedentary. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Learn What's In Front of You

Once again this weekend I'm reminded about subjects that I've blow off in the past and wished I had learned or payed more attention to.  I can look back and see a trail of subjects I had scoffed at, just another step on the ladder to a place I was going in my head.   It was there to only allow me to get to somewhere further down the line.

Problem, sometimes you realize the top of the ladder wasn't what you thought and to have known the subject you had discounted would allow you to switch ladders.  Other times, it was something that would make your top of the ladder experience that much greater.

I blew off Physics in high school.  I was going to play football in college.  My mentality at 17.  What do I need Physics for?  Fast forward 4 years.  I need to take Physics to complete my degree.  It would have been a much easier experience the second time around to have had a solid background.

Sophomore year of college I dropped Organic Chemistry because I had to study way to much.  It was interfering with football.  I was going to play in the NFL!  My mentally at 19.  Fast forward 4 years.  I graduated but am not in the NFL.  I'm trying to go to Chiropractic school.  I need Organic Chemistry to get in.  I end up taking it at a junior college.

First year in Chiropractic school.  I can't stand we are studying things like Embryology, Histology and Anatomy.  I came to school to learn how to move a bone and make that cracking sound.  Why in the world do I have to take this junk?  My mentality at 25.  Fast forward a few years and I realize everything is Anatomy.  Fast forward to present day and you start realizing cells make up the body, the muscles,  fascia, bone, connective tissue.  Referred pain is from embryology.  The way muscle, tendon, ligament, bone blend together is histology.  Things I want to know all about.

Hopefully, the next time I have something in front of me, I take the time to learn it, instead of just getting through it and discarding it as useless.  Maybe this can be my mentality at 37.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thankful for the Failures

I'm thankful for the failures.

After work today I'm driving over to Toronto to attend a seminar on soft tissue palpation, treatment and diagnosis.  Pretty excited as it is something I'm really looking forward to attending.  The quest to get better at the craft of performance therapy never ends.  If wanting to get better is a skill,  I do have this skill in abundance.

I'm going to let you in on a not so secret, secret.  I don't help everyone that walks into my clinic.  There are patients that I just flat out haven't helped.  My failures.  You read through a lot of performance therapy blogs and articles and you get the impression that they help everyone.  Doubtful, even if that is what is portrayed.  While I can humbly say I think I help out a lot, there are a few that I just scratch my head and honestly say, I don't think I can help you at this time.  My toolbox presently is to small.  Some are so intriguing I invite them back at no charge to try to figure out a way to make a positive change.  (Another way to learn) I think if you can take away dysfunction for a few minutes, you can for a few hours,  if you take it away for a few hours, you can take it away for a few days, and if you can take it away for a few days, you can take it away for a few months.  The trick is how to crack into that initial few minutes.

If you never failed, I don't think the desire to get better would be there.  If you hit a home run at every at bat, baseball wouldn't be that fun to play.  It's knowing when you step up to the plate that you can fail that makes sport interesting and fun.  It's awesome being in a profession where you get to help people every day, but I'm thankful every now and then I fail.  I hate it, but am thankful.

I will get my toolbox bigger.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wall Bangers

This video Todd Bumgardner, of Ranfone Training Systems,  demonstrates an exercise called Wall Bangers.  I first learned these from a Functinal Range Conditioning Seminar.  This builds strength eccentrically in the hip abductors.  I've been using it a lot with some of my runners and find it's working pretty well.  The further from the wall the harder they get.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Find the Coffee you Love and Brew it Better

I'm a big coffee fan.  Espresso to be exact.  There has been a lot of press over something called Bulletproof coffee that I started drinking about a year ago.  A few friends and I played around with other ingredients and came up with Unstoppable Coffee.  Espresso, ( made from awesome beans) whole grass fed cream, grass fed butter, coconut oil and a raw egg yolk.  Pretty awesome if I do say so myself.  I think even Mark Sisson started doing something similar.  Primal Coffee.

I also started watching this show called Dangerous Grounds.  The owner travels the world into the most crazy places looking for amazing coffee.  He's the ultimate coffee explorer.  The man knows his coffee bean.  I recently found an article he wrote summarizing how to find and make the best coffee for you.

Find your favor pallet.  There are three main types of flavors: Bitter chocolate, nutty sweet, acidic fruit. All beans will be described in this fashion.  Find the one you love the most.

For every one gram of coffee you use 17 grams of water.  This will require a scale.   Brewing this way actually will save you money.

Brew your best coffee.

 There is a lot of health benefits it seems from coffee, especially cognitively.  I wouldn't start drinking coffee if you don't like it, head over to the green tea line.  But, if your going to drink it, make it the best you possibly can.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Notes on The Stretching Code by Weingroff and Movement Lectures

First off, these notes aren't all encompassing.   If you find the points that I've taken away worthwhile, I highly recommend buying the full lecture from MovementLectures.   It's awesome to have this as a resource and something I think we should support. (no affiliation)  How can you go wrong to pay 5 bucks and here Charlie Weingroff lecture for an hour?

Does stretching reduce injuries?  Most of the research points to no.  Does it improve athletic development?  How do we define this?  Some of the things to consider is that the population possibly was never screened, what kind of stretching was done is not considered.

We are being told that stretching doesn't reduce injuries.  There are some factors that have shown to be predictors of injury.
1.  Previous Injury
2.  Right/Left Asymmetries
3.  Higher BMI (body mass index)
4.  Poor training choices

So does stretching fit into being a tool for some of these?  Does it change movement?
For people that move poorly that have fibrotic tissue, probably no.  But, for people that move well, stretching may improve movement.

Power output does go down with stretching.  But stretching, warm up, dynamic movement, power output goes back up.

Stretching after a strenuous workout can improve recovery by increasing cell permeability for greater uptake of the anabolic hormones and other substrates produced by the hard workout.  Passive stretching makes this happen faster.

People under the assumption that stretching makes the muscle longer, this is not the case.  One is not making the sarcomeres longer.  You would need to hold a stretch 30 minutes to increase sarcomeres in series.

Mobility training vs Stretching.  Do you even need to be stretching?  Motor control is the software, joint mobility is the hardware.  Is mobility the right answer?  A few ways to quickly find out.

1.  Loaded vs Unloaded.  Standing vs laying down or kneeling.  If all of a sudden that ROM changes and the ROM can be demonstrated.  Don't mobilize.
2.  Resisted vs Bodyweight.  Example, challenge the squat pattern.  Give them a load that acts as a counter balance.  If the squat improves, don't mobilize.
3.  Active vs Passive.  Example was shoulder hiking.  If actively they struggle, but passively you raise the arm better, don't mobilize.
4.  Assisted vs Unassisted.  Example the squat pattern.  Give them something to resist.  Reactive neuromuscular training.  If giving them resistance improves, don't mobilize.
These help to eliminate wasted time doing mobilizations.  Don't go after hardware, go after the software.

In a constant fight or flight state, sympathetic dominate, certain muscles are harder to activate.  Other muscles become upregulated.  Constant tension and over used.  These muscles can't evacuate the waste from the cells faster then it is being produced.  This is how we get fibrose tissue.  

This process starts out neurological and quick intervention may change it.  If it is constant it becomes physiological and more aggressive manual therapy is needed.  May also see changes in magnesium/potassium/sodium.  So stretching may not produce changes if nutritional support isn't there.

In a tissue with fibrotic challenges, there will be a reduction of oxygen.  Maybe the right prescription is aerobic training.  This increases the cells use of oxygen.

Put the person in a supported position and in ideal joint centration up to the barrier limit of their ROM and just breath or add in a multi planar movement.  Getting the brain to recognize there isn't a threat and it then allows greater ROM.

Perhaps all that is needed is proper training in a joint centrated position.

I thought this was a great lecture.  These notes just hit on a few high points.  If you are looking for a system to address the need to increase mobility, I highly recommend Functional Range Conditioning.  It's a game changer.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Powerful Men, Aerobic Women and the Foot

If you want to see some of the most powerful athletes on the planet compete, tune into NBC tonight to watch the Mens 2 man bobsleigh competition.  On an aside, my first year as a push athlete in 2006, I watched a competitor that is still pushing, do Jump Squats with 405 lb on his back.  HE GOT AIR!  After I picked my jaw off the floor, I went back to my hotel room and felt pretty inadequate.

If you want to watch the biggest aerobic engines, watch as much of the cross country skiing as you can.  Saturday I witnessed a Swedish racer named Charlotte Kalla erase a 25 second deficit in the last leg of the relay to win Gold.  It was amazing.   The men compete today.  Here is the last 2 minutes of the race.  Pretty awesome.

Those intrinsic foot muscles continue to get some cool research.  It seems the abductor hallucis, flexor digitorum and quadratus plantae when loaded, have the capacity to control deformation of the longitudinal arch in the foot.  The recruitment of the intrinsic foot muscles increased with increasing load.  My take away is that if you always baby your foot, you will eventually weaken these muscles.  Progressive loading anyone?  The way I interpret it,  like with any training stimulus, gradual progressions, back off days and continued progress lead to strength without injury.  Going from a tank shoe with an orthotic,  to barefoot or even minimal shoe, would not be the correct strategy.  Here is the link.  Intrinsic foot Muscles.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Aerobic Work For Post Concussion Treatment and Pain

I read this article, that I will link at the bottom, last night while watching some of the skeleton races.  It was about the benefits of aerobic exercise in helping speed up concussion symptoms. One of the things I've stressed to some of my concussion athletes is exactly what this paper is about.  Pure rest is never a good thing.  Small walks.  Slow.  Raise the heart beat slightly.  Increase the oxygen.  They waited 3 weeks.  I usually wait around a week.  The group that did do the aerobic work had a decrease in all post concussion symptoms.  Pretty cool.  Rest is no longer great advice.

Exercise is the Best Medicine.

On a side note a Facebook friend linked to this cool article about how aerobic work increased pain tolerance.  3x a week for 30 minutes at 75% effort on a spine bike increased pain tolerance to ischemic compression.

Increase Pain Tolerance.

There have been other studies that show aerobic work has some pain benefits as well.  It's always a goal of mine to get some chronic pain type patients to elevate that heart rate a few times a week.  Movement and blood flow generally speaking, can be a great healer.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sharpen the Axe

"Give me six hours to cut down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."

Abraham Lincoln 

The quote tells the significance of preparation.  Prepare well and the task that will be undertaken will improve.  I'm not one that loves to warm up, so I have started to implement 5-10 minutes of "Sharpen the Axe" routines.  

Very often if you get a workout, it just lists warm up.  I was guilty of this as any strength coach out there.  Maybe it's my aging joints, my current city being in the midst of a 3 month ( Not an exaggeration) sub freezing temperature streak or maybe I'm getting smarter,  either way,  my warm ups are getting more intelligently designed and slightly longer.

Part of the warm up should be mentally stimulating.  So not one warm up routine will do.  Create at least 3 that can be rotated from workout to workout.  Some rules to apply to your sharpen the axe routines.

1.  Body temp must be elevated.   (Get the body moving)
2.  Mobility must be incorporated.  Active (You moving into ROM) and Passive (foam rollers)
3.  Cross body movements  (brain likes it when limbs cross mid line)
4.  Squat pattern (goblet squat, air squat)
5.  Hip Hinge Pattern  (good morning, KB swings,)
5.  Pushing Pattern  (push up, spider man push up, Hindu)
6.  Pulling Pattern  (chin up, inverted row)
7.  Anterior Core (ab wheel, plank)
8.  Dynamic Movement  (jumps, KB swings, power skips, med ball toss)

Many of the movements can just be body weight, but kettlebells, furniture sliders, and prowler type sleds can make for easy implements to add in.

If all 8 are somehow incorporated you will not only have an awesome warm up to prepare you for an even better workout, you will have a very mini workout for the days when you are in a time crunch or don't feel like working out.  In fact, after you do this type of warm up, you will often find you do have the inertia now to keep working out.  Inertia is a powerful thing.

Spend a minute on most,  some just 30 seconds.  You decide.  A few examples to pick from:  air dyne, jump rope, skipping, A drills, skips with arm swings,  different types of crawls, air squats, body weight good mornings,  push ups, chin ups, ab roll out wheel, inch worms, swings, box jumps, squat jumps, spider man lunges,  push and pull a sled from various angles, animal flow, body weight Turkish Get Ups, somersaults  both forward and backward).  The list can get endless.  

Sharpening the Axe allows you to get the most benefit out of your workout.  It will keep you healthier. It will prime the nervous system for heavier weights and faster movements.  Go Sharpen the Axe!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What is Your Culture

If you have been watching this years Olympics you will have noticed that speed skating is being dominated by the Netherlands.  They have been winning and winning a lot.  I can remember being on tour with some of the Dutch bobsledders and them telling me how big a speed skater is in terms of fame in their homeland.  Think our NBA type fame.  The Dutch grow up skating essentially.

Jamaica is producing fast sprinters in Track and Field.  They have a love of track there with the High School National Championships often more packed then some World Championships.  Kids track and field clubs are plentiful.  Kids sprint.

Norway has always been a power house in cross country skiing.

Finland was a powerhouse in distance running.  Not that way anymore, cultures can change.  Now we see Kenya as powerhouse in distance running.  It's very much in the culture to run...and keep running.

For such a small country the Dominican Republic is producing quite a few baseball players.  Friends that have gone and done medical missions tell me that from sunup to sundown, day in and day out, every boy is playing some form of the game.  Stick ball, catch, actual games.  The island is engulfed with baseball.

When a country devotes it's culture to an activity, where from a young age, people just grow up doing it for the love of the activity they are going to produce a lot of talent in that sport.  The culture is strong.

Just like a country a company can have a culture.  When you think of the company Nike, "Just Do It," will probably come to mind.  The culture is one of inspiring activity.   A person I believe can have a culture.  It's what you think of when you hear a name.  Barry Bonds culture has changed from being perhaps the best baseball player of all time, to representing the steroid era.

If you are a company, gym, clinic or athlete, what is your culture?  What do you want to people to think of when they hear your name.  What is going to be cultivated daily in your life and the life or your business or activity.

What is your Culture?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

You Stressed or Eustress'd

The management of stress is one of the most important facet to preventative type health care.  Simply, stress on the body is bad and can be linked to all kinds of health issues.  Inflammation, obesity, headaches, musculo-skeletal pain, ulcers, (just to name a few)  can be directly linked to stress.

On the flip side of that coin called stress though is Eustress.

Eustress literal meaning is "good stress."  Without eustress we wouldn't grow as individuals.  We wouldn't get smarter, stronger or improve in any type of skill.  We wouldn't keep our health without Eustress.

To get a little more complicated, eustress.  Running 5 miles (if I made it) would be a major stressor to me, to you, it may be the highlight of your day and leave you feeling great.  It would leave me feeling crushed.  My weight lifting training may leave you crushed, but give me just the right amount of eustress to leave me feeling energized and improving.  But, it's also how we look at it.  Even if I could run the 5 miles physically, my view point on long slow running is one of punishment.  We know this would be a stressor.
 it has a lot to how you look at the situation that creates the stress or

"The mind is its own self, and in itself can make heaven a hell, a hell of heaven."
John Milton

Eustress is needed to continue to improve.  If I lifted the same weight day in and day out, it no longer is a stress and becomes more parasympathetic and almost meditative.  While this in itself isn't bad.  I know people where there walks have become this for them.  It started as a workout and now it has become so adapted to, it is now meditative.  This can be good at times.

To continue to get stronger Eustress must be in the equation.  Slightly out of your comfort level that demands an adaptation to occur.  This isn't just lifting.  You don't get improvements with the same in anything.

So the question is what eustress are you allowing in your life.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Scapular Breathing Idea for the Diaphragm

Breathing correctly is one thing I have been currently stressing with my patients.  22,000 reps per day better be good.  That is how many breaths they say an average person takes.   Then,  tie the breathing in with proper scapula motion on top of the ribs.  I often find the scapula to be "stuck" to the ribs.  Usually only one.  I wedge my fingers underneath the medial border.  Sometimes this is very difficult for me and for the patient.  Sometimes I physically can't do it.  If this is the case, this shoulder blade hasn't moved correctly in awhile. I then show them the other side, usually much easier.

Once I do manage to get the fingers underneath the scapula, I ask them to take a deep breath in through the nose and talk about expanding the ribcage.  I will hold my opposite hand on their same side traps and tell them I don't want this hand to be elevated when they breath in.   This gets rid of the shrug breath.  In through the nose, out threw the mouth.  When they get the idea of rib expansion, the scapula starts to move and the ribs expand and push my fingers out from underneath the scapula.

So my cue is, "Push my fingers out from underneath your shoulder blade with just your breath.  Big breath in, expand those ribs.  Keep my top hand on your traps quite.  Usually after a few tries, they get the idea and start to get those ribs moving through the diaphragm.

This is something I will do with all shoulder/neck/thoracic spine dysfunction.  Breathing gets a lot of things moving better.  I found this to be a helpful little physical cue into getting them breathing better.  Give it a shot.

If you were interested in a great article on the anatomy of the diaphragm and why it becomes so important, I highly recommend this paper.  Best anatomy of the diaphragm paper I've read.  Anatomy of the diaphragm. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Do it Every Day if It's Important and Stop Worrying about the Rest

If you do what's important everyday, Ala Dan John, you don't have to worry to much about the stuff that you don't do everyday.  Get it?

You can use this as a reference for other things, diet, personal hygiene, family, anything.

Diet.  Things that are important every day.  Water.  Quality protein.  Quality fat.  Vegetables.  If I don't do it everyday, I'm not that concerned with it.  I don't eat pie everyday, but when my Mom cooks a homemade pie, I'm eating it.  Guilt free.  I don't drink beer everyday, but I enjoy having a hand crafted coffee stout with friends.  Gluten and all.

Personal Hygiene.  Take a shower.  Poop.  Brush teeth.  Floss.  Everyday.  After this stuff, you can start debating whether  you should use a special stool to poop, organic shampoos, ect....Basics first.

Read.  Everyday.  My day is more enjoyable when I make time to read.  Don't worry about what your not learning if your currently learning.

Physical activity.  It's important.   Even if it's 10 min of walking and 10 minutes of stretching (I would say foam rolling).  It doesn't even have to be all at once.  Don't debate the best way to stretch the hamstrings or not stretch the hamstrings if you aren't doing 20 min of activity daily.  Argue about philosophy of training, after you are training.

If you do the stuff that's important everyday, everyday,  you can stop worrying about the stuff you don't do all the time.  If you don't drink diet pop everyday, don't kill yourself if your doing the important stuff EVERYDAY.  

Get it?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Chris Hadfield Interview

I thought his advice on winning, Olympics, and the idea of crossing a magical line, great advice.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Olympic Standards

The Olympics are upon us.  Tonight is opening ceremonies for the 2014 Sochi Games.  I look forward to watch friends compete.  I look forward to see people I have never heard of compete.  Every four years we get to see people lay it on the line, sometimes for mere seconds, for a shot at a medal, for a shot at glory.

Four years ago I had the unique opportunity to walk into opening ceremonies for the 2010 Vancouver Games.  It was an amazing experience.
Four years can go by quickly.

What I've learned from being around Olympians is that while you have to own today, you must commit to the long term.  It can be easy to say tomorrow when it's 3 years away.  To make sacrifice day in and day out for the chance, just a chance, to get to the games.  To make sacrifices when no one is watching and no one cares.  That is what everyone you will watch in the coming weeks have done.

The lucky few who win a medal, will not be the majority.  If your only goal is a medal, chance are you will walk away from a long journey disappointed and disillusioned.

The great ones I know love the grind.  Holding themselves to a Spartan like standards to carve out the life they enjoy.  It's full of sacrifice, but there is joy in the sacrifice.  They know nothing worth accomplishing is easy.  There is satisfaction in the pursuit of perfection.

Perfection is the best that you can possibly be.  To take 4 years, sometimes 8 years, to wring out every ounce of talent, every breath of potential that your body possesses.  This is what we witness when we watch the Olympics.

Citius, Altius, Fortius.   Faster, Higher, Stronger.

It isn't fastest, highest, strongest.  It's not about being the best.  It's about being your best.  That is the Olympic Standard.  You are left knowing that you lived a life that had no excuses, that you committed to a task body, mind and soul.

The Olympics remind us that great things can be accomplished when a singleness of purpose is had.  The soul is stirred and perhaps our own commitment to citius, altius, fortius in our life is ignited.

For that, we thank you.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Triceps Save the Biker

One of the things I always have my runners do is keep the tissue quality of their quads loose as this is one of the main sources of shock absorption on landing.

Recently, I've had my cyclists start to roll out their triceps.  I think these are the shock absorbers for the bikers upper torso  I've liked what I've seen in preventing mid back pain and upper trap pain as well.  The triceps can be a difficult area to roll,  so instead of rolling you can try more of a pin and stretch type strategy.  Pin a lacrosse ball under the triceps and straighten the arm.  Repeat for about a minute.

If you are a cyclist and suffer from mid back, upper trap or neck pain, try this simple strategy to see if it helps.  I think it will.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Plantar Fasciitis No More

This is one of the clearest explanations of heel pain I've ever seen.  Very informative.  Most people (including therapists) still believe that this is an inflammatory condition.  It's not.  Which means old ideas of treatment are outdated and not that effective.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Super Bowl Thoughts

If you watched the Super Bowl that was played a few days ago, and many of us did with it being the highest watched event ever, you noticed something with in a few minutes of play.  Seattle is fast!  Seattle is strong! Seattle plays with an attitude!

They were faster and stronger and knew it.  Two guys to the ball.  One smacked you and the other tackled you.  Unrelenting pressure.  In the end it almost covers up the need for skills.  You would find a lot of agreement that Peyton Manning may be one of the most skilled quarterbacks of all time.  Wes Welker and crew may be able to catch a football like no other, but, if you don't have the speed and strength to display skill, you lost.

How did all these Seattle players last till the later rounds?  The best corner back is a 5th rounder?  What are talent evaluators looking at?

Our best is better then your best.  They actually said after the game they had simplified their game plan. Who does that for the Super Bowl?

Pete Carol the head coach has a concept for big games.  Just play average.  His thinking is that most teams and players tighten up in big games and don't play their best.  Just play your average, you will win.  Coach Carol has a winning history in big games.

Defense still wins, speed still kills, the strong still rise.  Nice to know somethings don't change.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Life is Lateralization

Lateralization is a concept that when you have an injury or dysfunction that you find a way to move laterally which allows you to not take a step back in training. If you have an irritated lower back, we most likely wouldn't do full back squats or deadlifts, but perhaps Bulgarian split squats would be tolerated.

Shoulder pain in certain range of motions?  Perhaps floor press or high volume rows are in order.  Foot injury with running leads us to perhaps sprints on a bike to keep the cardio system in check.

I think Charlie Weingroff was where I first heard the concept of lateralization.  The concept is especially important for injuries and people coming off surgeries.  It may not make the original problem better.  You will have to deal with the issue.  But, you won't take a step back in fitness.

Don't move back. Sidestep.  In taking a step laterally, not backwards, we make progress.  Sometimes getting ahead, simply means not moving backwards.  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fear of Change

"Your life does not get better by chance, it get's better by change."
Jim Rohn

I had coffee with a friend the other day and he noticed that I had finally switched to a new phone.  A few months ago I had finally pulled the trigger from being an iphone guy to my current phone the Samsung Note 3.

Now, backstory, I'm what you call an Apple Fanboy.  I love their products.  My office is set up with Apple computers and Mac software.  After a bad Blackberry experience and a great iphone experience I could never imagine having another phone.  Routine.

Until one day it didn't meet my expectations.  It still did everything I had ever originally wanted from it.  The problem was my own expectations were starting to change.  My usage had changed.  Wanting Change.

I had uncertainty because I had such great experiences with the iphone(history) even though it no longer met my current desires.  Being stuck with a phone I was unhappy with for two years was always in the back of my mind.  Fear of repurcussions.

Finally, I just leapt and switched.  Nothing changes without action.  The first being willing to let go of a good experience for the chance for a great one.  Action.

Being willing to learn again is also a must.  I had the iphone tips, tricks and apps down so much it was like muscle memory with my thumbs.  The Samsung had a big learning curve.  I had to relearn the basics and then get into the cool stuff.  Sometimes this is frustrating.  Growth.

Two months in,  I couldn't be happier with my decision.  I'm reading more, having a more enjoyable experience with videos and online seminars.   Reward.

If you read this and think that this was just about a phone, you missed the point.  

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Jim Wendler - Strength Training Business Model

The author of 5/3/1 talks about business philosophy, writing and some occasional lifting.  If you own a business, like to write or lift things, it's worth the time.  Enjoyable and worth your time.  Contains swearing.