Goblet Squat

Squatting is a basic human movement.  It is also a movement that most Americans cannot perform properly or with ease.  To be able to perform a full, deep squat, a lot of things have to happen.  The ankles have to be mobile enough to allow the knee to travel out and over the toes.  The thigh muscles have to be strong to move and stabilize the knees and hips.  Your hips need to be mobile enough to prevent rounded of the low back at the bottom.  And you need core and back strength to maintain a neutral spine throughout the squat. THE MOVE The goblet squat is an easy way to improve your ability to squat.  Try performing this movement daily and reassess after a month and see how much stronger and easier it is to do.  You can do one quick set during your lunch break or add 2-3 sets into your workouts.  The idea is to be constantly developing the squat as a skill.  Your hips, knees, and back will end up healthier for it. The Goblet Squat Hold the dumbbell or kettlebell high against the chest Keep your chest up Have your feet slightly wider than shoulder width Feet can be turned out 0-30 degrees Sink down into the squat Drive your knee out while the elbows track inside of the knees Drive back up pushing through the heels Keep the chest up Goblet...

Stir the Pot

This exercise helps to improve core stability that is essential to transferring power generated in the lower body to the upper body.  The exercise is a spine sparing activity.  Spine Sparing refers to movements and strategies that decrease a load on the spine, which will reduce disc herniations. THE MOVE To start, assume a plank position with your forearms on a Swiss ball. Make sure there is space between your chest and your forearms. Your arm and forearm should be about a 90 degree angle. Use your forearms to move the ball in small circles while keeping the rest of your body in the original position. Do 10 circles to the left and then 10 to the right. That’s 1 set. Do 3 sets.  Make sure you brace your core and glutes throughout the movement. Download Stir The...

Core and Shoulder Stability

Stability ball walk-outs is a great exercise for core and shoulder stability, as well it is beneficial exercise to increase scapular stability for smooth shoulder mobility.  This exercise helps to reduce shoulder injuries by increase strength and is especially good for athletes who play paddle sports. THE MOVE Step 1:  To start lie on your stomach over the top of a stability ball. Begin on an all fours position with your torso on the ball and hands and feet on the floor. Lengthen your legs and stretch your heels to the back of the room. Your feet should be off the ground and your hands should be directly under your shoulder. Step 2: With your abdominals engaged and torso rigid, slowly walk your hands forward. Avoid allowing your legs to droop. Continue walking out until the fronts of your thighs or knees are resting on the top of the ball. The further you walk away from the ball, the greater the stability challenge. Go slowly and find the challenge that is right for you. Step 3: Slowly walk yourself backwards to your starting position. Try to maintain your stability and balance. Going forward and back to starting positions is 1 rep. Do 10 reps and 3 sets for a full core and shoulder stability workout. Download Core and Shoulder...

Functional Screen Series: Screen Two – Diaphragmatic Breathing

This month’s screen involves breathing.  Now before you read any further, go stand in front of the mirror and take a deep breath.  What did you see?  Did your shoulders and elevate and your neck tense up, or did your shoulders and neck stay relaxed?  Did you stomach come in or did it expand out when you inhaled? Many people fail to breathe optimally.  Natural and efficient breathing requires us to use our diaphragm muscle. When we inhale the diaphragm should contract and lower into the abdomen, slightly expanding our bellies from the downward pressure as the lungs fill with air (diaphragmatic or “belly” breathing).  The shoulders and neck should stay relaxed.  Unfortunately, many people do the opposite.  They rely on their neck and shoulder muscles to help assist with breathing and they sometimes even bring their stomachs in on the inhale (chest breathing).  When you breathe this way you aren’t using your diaphragm correctly.  Due to the incorrect breathing, many people get sore and tight through their neck and shoulders. What’s more, people with chronic low back pain were shown to have poor function of their diaphragm.  When you breathe properly, your diaphragm contracts and increases the pressure in your abdomen.  This increased pressure actually helps support the front of your spine. One way to help encourage deeper breathing is to breath more often with your nose.  Nose breathing allows you to breathe deeper with your diaphragm. When you breathe into your belly, your abdomen should expand in 360 degrees.  Imagine pushing your waistband out in all directions.  To get started breathing more efficiently, try the “crocodile breath” exercise explained...

Staying Healthy On and Off the Bike

By Dr. Jon Sebby and Dr. Josh Akin It takes more than just spending time on your bike to reach your cycling goals. It requires listening to your body and implementing successful strategies to keep your body injury free. In you are feeling out of sorts or you are having a hard time coming back from a ride, you may have developed restrictions that are preventing you from efficiently riding. Many times, athletes equate poor performances with poor conditioning or training. To overcome the poor performances, athletes tend to increase their mileage and intensity. However, your performances and training volume are not always directly related. Often time athletes with good training habits develop overuse injuries because their imbalances and dysfunctions were not addressed. Adhesions in the soft-tissues and restrictions within joints can predispose athletes to muscular imbalances that can lead to injury. When athletes are training at a high level, these imbalances become magnified. Over time the body reaches a point where it is no longer able to adapt to the stress. A normal muscle and its fibers should be able to move independently of the other soft tissue structures surrounding it. For instance, when paint is left on a brush overnight all of the fibers tend to stick together. Soft tissue adhesions or fibrosis are essentially this, when muscle fibers stick to each other and other structures around it (other muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves etc.). Muscles cannot and will not function properly in this state and pain is one of the symptoms people may experience when enough build-up has accumulated. Fact is stretching will never release the scar tissue, which is several times stronger than normal tissue. Stretching and other types of non-operative treatment become successful...

Foam Roller Massages

Quad Massage with Foam Roller Start with both of your thighs on the roller at the same time. Roll back and forth from your knees to hips. To increase the pressure, lift one thigh off the roller and lean into the roller with the leg on the roller.  Roll for 60 seconds. Hamstring Massage with Foam Roller Start with both of your hamstrings on the roller at the same time. Put your hands behind you on the floor for support. Roll back and forth from your knees to hips. To increase the pressure, lift one thigh off the roller and lean into the roller with the leg on the roller.  Roll for 60 seconds. IT Band Massage with Foam Roller Lie sideways with the foam roller under the side of your thigh. Roll between your knee and your hip bone. Spend extra time on the more tender areas you encounter. Roll for 60 seconds. Repeat with your other leg. Glute (Piriformis) Massage with Tennis Ball Sit on the floor and place a tennis ball under your gluteus maximus. Use your arms to control your body weight and the amount of pressure you find to be most beneficial. Move your hips around over the tennis ball. Roll for 60 seconds. Repeat with your other side. Download Foam Roller...