Exercises to improve shoulder health


For great shoulder health it is very important that the shoulders are mobile and strong through full range of motion. The shoulders are the most mobile joint in the body. They are capable of extension, flexion, rotation adduction, abduction, and circumduction. Since the shoulders are very mobile and very dependent on other joints of the body. It is best to stretch and strengthen the shoulders in as many ranges as possible. Below is a list of my favorite shoulder stretches and exercises to help keep my shoulders healthy.

Band/Broomstick Pass through 
Grab a resistance band or broomstick and perform this exercise to help improve range of motion of the shoulders.
2 x 15-20

 

Band pull apart 
Keep shoulders down pull the band  apart but make sure to keep you elbows straight and squeeze your shoulder blades together  when you finish the movement
2 x 20

Scapular Push-ups 
Get in to a push-up position on the ground. Keep the elbows locked and make sure to only move through you shoulders pushing them into the ground and allow your body to drop between the shoulders.
2 x 15-20

Child Pose with Lat Stretch
Try to walk you hands up as far as you can and get a good stretch in the lats. Then walk your hands to one side to get a better stretch.
2 x 30 seconds each

childs-pose-with-reaches-e1412191155998.jpg

Thoracic Extension with a Foam roller 
Grab a foam roller and a weight and you will bridge over top the foam roller using the weight as an anchor.

Progression 2 

Scapular Depression
You will need either a bar to hang from or a lat pull down machine. The goal is to help recruit lower trapezius and lats. Arms stay straight and from their pull your shoulders down. you will only move about an inch or two that is fine.
2 x 15

Performing these exercise will help improve your shoulder health but it will take consistency to see results. Stick with it gang

 

My go to mobility exercises


When I have days in which I move like the Tin man I have some go to mobility drills to help put my body back into proper alignment.

TRX Chest stretch
Move your arms up and down searching for really tight areas of the chest and anterior deltoids

Couch Stretch
Great Stretch for the Quads try to hold between 1-2 minutes on each side

Banded Hamstring Mobility:
Try to perform 12- 15 reps per side.

Lateral Chain Stretch 
This can also be done on a stability ball hold the stretch for 1-2 minutes

Rocking Groing Stretch:
Grab a kettle bell or dumbbell and gently rock back and forth to help stretch the groin. 12-15 reps a side.

External Rotation of Shoulder
Try to hold for 1-2 minutes.

Thoracic spine extension
By dropping your hips down after you get set-up you can control how much tension you want. If you are unable to get the weight to the floor that is fine. 12-20 reps

5 Steps to fix tight hamstrings


Do you have tight hamstrings. Do you  dread dropping items on the floor  knowing that you have to bend over to pick it off the ground. Do you feel that you have steel cables running down the back of your legs. I have 5 steps to help length those muscles.

  1. Tissue Quality 
    The first step to help lengthen your hamstrings is to improve tissue quality. When your hamstrings are littered with knots. There is no way you can improve the length of your hamstring. So the first step is to perform SMR( Self Myofascial release) aka Foam roll. You can use several different tools to assist with improve tissue quality. You start with the easiest method which is the standard foam roller  or you can move up to more advance option the barbell.
    Foam roll with rollerBarbell Smash
  2. Static Stretching 
    Once you get those knots broken up is time to stretch those hamstrings and tendons and try to get a little more range of motion try to hold a stretch for 2 sets of 30 secs really push to get a little more range in those hamstrings.
    2015-12-02 06.31.252015-12-02 06.31.44
  3. Mobility Exercise
    The next step is to reprogram movement pattern using a mobility drill that moves the joint through the range of motion helps reset your movement. Also helps warm-up the joint capsule and help prepare it for movement.  here are two of my favorite mobility drills for the hamstrings.

  4. Strengthen the new range of motion
    Now that you have this brand new range of motion it is time to strengthen those hamstring and further cement that additional range of motion. Here are two exercises that I recommend try to use light weight and concentrate on form.

    Really concentrate on keeping the back straight and only work through hips really load the hamstrings.

    Keep your back straight and allow the weight to help push your down into the bottom of your squat.
  5. Consistency
    The last and most important step is consistency. This is not a one time fix. The more you work on your hamstring the better your results. I recommend performing your hamstring rehab 2-3 times a week. Until hamstrings  are to desired length.

Do you have the Buffalo gene?


If you are wondering if you have a the “Buffalo Gene” then you probably don’t have it. But don’t worry you can develop the buffalo gene by throwing these exercises into your daily routine.

Bulgarian Split Squat to Single Leg RDL

TRX Push-up to Tricep Extension to Fall out

Behind the neck Press to Overhead Squat

TRX Curl to Face pull to Row

Lateral band walk to Goblet Squat ( Thanks Amanda for the demo)

Kettlebell Snatch to Windmill

Buffalo Gene Workout
E.M.O.M x 5 for each exercise 5 reps on each exercise in each series.

Have fun with these exercises

 

How to get conditioning in your workout as a lifter


As a so called “lifter” cardio is my kryptonite. Even though I know that cardio wont burn away my hard earned muscle. Soo what is a lifter suppose to do? Lift weights faster.  Now let’s get it straight if you want to be a better runner, cyclist, and swimmer. You will have to practice those discipline.  For those days you don’t feel like going out in horrible weather here are some lifting conditioning methods.

Every Minute On the Minute(E.M.O.M or E.M.O.T.M)
One of my favorite methods of getting conditioning while weight training For the next 10- 30 mins you will have a bell or buzzer or timer go off every minute.  Once the bell goes off you must perform a sequence of exercise within the minute.  What every time remaining in the minute. The faster you move the more rest you get. The slower you move the less rest you get.
Examples  
E.M.O.M x 15
1 Rep on each exercise
Deadlift
Bent row
Hang clean
Military Press
Back Squat
Good Morning

Escalating Density Training ( EDT )
Escalating Density Training created by Charles Staley
This is a great training model to help build lean body mass and at the same time burn fat and build your cardiovascular system. The goal is to pick 2 exercises resistance should be moderately high( 70-80% of you max).  For the next 12 mins you will perform 5 reps on each exercise trying to complete as many rounds as possible.   If you want to build muscular endurance use lighter weight and perform 10 reps on both exercises.

Example  
12 minute EDT
A). Barbell Back Squat
DB Bench Press

Rest 4 minutes

B.) Barbell RDL
Inverted Row

A.M.R.A.P( As Many Rounds As Possible)
Put 20-30 minutes on the clock and your goal is to get through your strength circuit as many times as you can in the time allotted. I really like to perform this circuit when I am by myself in the gym so I can hog all the equipment. Make sure to keep good form as you progress. I sometimes throw a sprint on either the treadmill, rower, or airdyne bike.

Example
20 min AMRAP
100-200m sprint
Front Squat x 10 reps
Dumbbell Incline Press x 10 reps
Chest supported row x 10
Barbell Deadlift x 10
Weight Straight Leg Sit-ups x 10

Give these workouts a try. Also if you have some other conditioning workouts please post them in the comments.

Thanksgiving Workout 


My Favorite Medball exercises to develop power


There are many different variation of  Medball tosses I will give a couple that I love to use to help my clients develop rotation power.

Shot Put toss with Reverse Step

Kneeling chest press with fall

Medicine woodchopper with step

My Top 5 Core Exercises


These are my favorite core exercises I incorporate some these exercises into more training programs and my clients training programs to develop core strength and keep my clients injury free.

  1. Pallof Press                                                            

2. The Boat anti-extension

3.  Suitcase Carry

4.  Cross body Isometric crunch

5.   Hanging Leg Raises

Shout out to Jason for filming

Principles I use when training new clients


When I am training new clients I follow a certain protocol. I developed this protocol out of experience with working with people and athletes for the last 5 years. My principles are Movement, Core strength, Strength Training, and Conditioning.

The first thing I do when I get a new client is establish a movement baseline. All I care about is how well you move or don’t move. I will use the Functional Movement Screen( FMS ) with people that can complete all 7 test without hindrance.

Movement.

From the FMS I can learn your quality of movement.  If you quality of movement is high your chance of injury is decreased. This is by far the most important principle. If your client is not moving appropriately they will injury themselves. An injured client is a unhappy client. For the first month I am hammering how you move lots and lots of cues and adjustments and repetitions of bodyweight to low resistance, mobility, soft tissue work is done. Helping the athlete develop awareness of the body. I do not perform a lot of “corrective exercises” I just do basic movements and keep making adjustments until the athletes gets that “ah-ha” moment.

Core Strength

Core strength is very important. I define the core as the area from the base of the neck to above the knees. The core is the root of all movement with out it you are sunk. A lot of core training is teaching the client how to breath. Properly breathing helps to align the body properly. With improper breathing comes improper movement. The core musculature has two purposes first to create movement. and second to resist movement. I train the core for both facets. I perform a lot planks and strongman exercises yolk carry, farmers walks, planks, and other variations of core exercises. Once my client is able to perform a proper plank for 2 minutes I know they are ready to handle high resistance strength training.

Strength Training

Strength is the foundation for all athletic performance.  I want my clients to be strong relative to their body weight. I have strength standards for both men and women. All my strength standards I took from Dan John and modified based on my own experience. The standards are based on the 5 movements of the human body: Push, Pull, Squat, Hip Hinge, and Carry. Each movement is based on your body weight. So my clients have two choices 1. Get stronger in all the movements, 2. Lose weight.  Some people will need either or a combination of both.

Conditioning  

The last principle is conditioning. The reason why I have conditioning last is because running, cycling and swimming put an immense amount of stress on the body. If you body can’t move properly, or is not strong enough to resist the stress it will break down. Getting the body ready for conditioning is very important to insure that my clients stay injury free.

These are my principles when I am training clients this is to insure that they are happy and injury free. If you have any questions feel free to ask me anything.