Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Strong Breath Strong Core

Here is a simple breathing exercise that will not only help with breathing efficiency but act as a great core strengthener. 

Sit in a comfortable upright position (against the wall if needed), cross legged if possible.

Breath in through your nose into your belly, making your belly big as possible (like Buddha).

Hold for count of one to two.

Exhale all the air through mouth or nose.

When you think you have released all the air, push a little more.

Then, when you really think all the air is released, squeeze your abdominals and hold for a one to two count.

Try this daily, start with sets that last for two minutes, work up to five minute sets.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Foot position during the squat

I wanted to write about squat foot position, I get asked about it often and correct during squats all the time.  I feel the proper position of the foot during the squat is toes forward position.  Toes forward allows the athlete to create the most stable position for the foot, ankle, knee and hip.  Toes forward allows for the creation of torque through external rotation at the hip.  The torque and external rotation stiffens the arch of your foot, this will create stability and power from the foot.  With the foot now set, the shins are now vertical and set properly into the ankle.  The vertical shin trains the knee to be in a more stable and safe position.  Decreasing the risk of knee injuries.  The goal is to train this position in a controlled setting of a workout, with the hope that the training carries over to the field.

Now, if you have noticed me working with some clients that do not have their toes pointed forward during their squats, there is usually a reason for that.  Most that I work with that do point their toes out while squatting usually have decreased range of motion in the hip, so toes pointed out a little will allow for work through the full deep squat.  Eventually working towards toes forward deep squats.

Start adding toes forward to your squat workouts to get stronger and safer.         

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Are you mentally tough!

As I write this article I am digesting the amazing Patriots comeback in the Super Bowl.  From an athletic and performance stand point it was one of the greatest performances ever.  Not just Tom Brady, but the entire team.  This team has shown incredible focus and mental toughness on the field.  Here are some tips or exercises for improving focus and mental toughness.
Visualization: perform the event before the actual event.  If you are about to attempt a PR (personal record) deadlift, step back and go through the steps of doing the lift, and see yourself successfully performing the lift.  In some cases, your body will feel as though it has already completed the event.
Meditation: like visualization, but you will be attempting to clear the mind of extraneous thoughts to mentally prepare you for the upcoming event. 
Breathwork: Having a strong breathing practice will help all focus and mental toughness work.  Strong breathwork will assist your visualization and meditation practice and help control your heartrate during times of exertion. 
Experience Discomfort:  the legendary coach John Wooden always wanted to make practice so difficult and physically challenging that games would be easy.  It could be as simple as running a little faster and longer than your race pace/distance, run hard sprints, take shorted rest interval during workouts.  Or one of my favorites, cold water.  Ice baths are a great way to enjoy discomfort.  Since most cannot regularly utilize ice baths, try using cold water in the shower, try twenty seconds of cold, followed by 10 seconds of hot for five to ten cycles. 
Give some of these a try, they won’t make a navy seal but may help you handle everyday life a little better.  

Friday, January 13, 2017

2017 is upon us and I hope everyone is having a great new year.  Last post I wrote about goal setting, so this post is somewhat of a continuation, some techniques that can be used to help keep you on track towards your goals.

Set small realistic goals: This allows for positive growth.  Huge harsh goals do not allow for human error to occur. Break your big audacious goal into manageable chunks. 

Reward yourself: not with food.  A five pound weight loss may “require” a reward of a new outfit!

Do something you like doing: You are more likely to do an activity you enjoy.  If you hate running and running is the major activity, then you are more likely to not continue with your workouts. 

Keep a Journal: this can be a food and workout journal, it allows progress to be seen.  Food tracking helps with finding dietary holes and eating patterns.  Strength increases can also be tracked using a journal.

Find a buddy or trainer: this is about accountability.  You are more likely to show for your workouts if someone is waiting for you.

Start at the right level for you (at this time): if you have not worked out for a long time, you should not restart where you left off.  Maybe start with a more beginner type routine.  Consistency is a key to long term success.  If you workout so hard on day one and have to take the remainder of the week off, you will be starting over at the beginning of the following week.

 These are not the only keep you on track techniques out there, and if you have a different one that has worked for you post it in the comments section.  It may help someone else.