If you’re looking for a great way to get motivated towards some tangible goal, and have fun while supporting a cause, then sign up for a local run and train for it, even get a group of your friends to run it with you. People spend a lot of time by themselves just going out for a jog or hitting the gym. Why not participate in something like a local run? You would be surprised to find how many there are in your area if you look for them. Go to the running shoe store in your area and there will be all sorts of runs and races ranging from 5k to half marathons. You will be surprised to find that if you do sign up for one, suddenly you reach a new level of motivation as the excitement and anticipation of the run approaches.
It is always helpful to have a goal to work towards when it comes to fitness. Not goals like lose this much weight, but rather goals like run a half marathon or run a 5k in this time. The other great thing about many of the local runs is often the money goes to support a charity group. So how about it? Get in shape by motivating yourself towards a fun goal while supporting a cause.
Here is some feedback from Holly from her first week with the exercises we prescribed for her.
“This is way harder than I thought it would be. I have been doing some alignment workouts for about 4 months so I thought it would be pretty simple. On the strap and knee blocks exercise I thought I was having a panic attack which I don’t have. But I felt somewhat claustrophobic while doing them. It was so strange. I am sure I will see results but it is tough.”
It was interesting to hear that Holly felt “claustrophobic”. I have had many clients say this in the past and they all had similar muscular systems. Holly has very little muscular engagement around her hips which is the cause of her poor posture. As she was doing the exercises and the muscles around the pelvis begin to engage it makes them feels tension they do not normally have. That is what causes that claustrophobic and a feeling of needing to stretch all the time.
Here are her pictures from the second round of postural photographs we took. These were done 6 days after the first set. For Comparison purposes I am going to put the first picture we took on the left with the more recent one on the right so you can see them side by side.
As we mentioned in the first post one of the most glaring imbalances Holly has is in her pelvis. In the picture on the left notice how far out in front of her the pelvis is. In the more recent photo on the right you can see the transition as her pelvis begins to come back underneath her. This is from the tremendous amount of muscle stimulus she did this week to restore the efficiency around her pelvis. Also notice that her pelvis is not rolled forward as much as it was previously.
You can see the same thing her on the left side of the pelvis as well. Also notice how much less pressure she has in her lower back. We will continue to promote greater positioning of the pelvis in her next round of exercises as well.
From the front view our hunch was correct. I figured that the tremendous amount of tightness Holly had in her upper back was masking some form of imbalance. In the new round of photos we can see that the left shoulder is quite a bit higher than the right. Now that her muscular system is relaxing this imbalance is more pronounced. We will be addressing this in her new routine.
We will update you again next week.
If you missed the post we did for Holly’s diagnostic routine click here. Just like I mentioned in regards to that post, I was so thankful that Dan was so eager to get started and it was obvious he was willing to do what was necessary to be successful. I was excited to work with Dan since I knew he had some injury issues which we had discussed.
So you can have an idea of where Dan was starting at, here are some of the basics of info we will share. Dan is 45 years old and has 2 sons. One in College, the other about to graduate High School (we hope). Just Kidding Luke. I tease Dan that he is a secret Agent but really he works as an International Corporate Pilot. Sounds like code words for James Bond but he denies it. With his job he is gone for 5-8 weeks at a time which comes at a serious cost to his muscular efficiency. There are times he has to stay in the same seated position for as much as 12 hours at a time. He spends most of his days either flying, working on the aircraft, or he stays at his hotel for the day, most of the time for his safety.
Currently his body suffers from many of the common symptoms associated with prolonged sitting. He has a bulging L-5 disk in his back. He constantly has discomfort in his hips, both joint and muscle pain. Then recently he suffered a scary lower leg strain that originally was thought to be a torn achilles tendon. He is generally very tight all over.
Here is his diagnostic photos from the first meeting:
Like we mentioned with Holly, there are several issues here to point out but we are going to focus on 2 main ones to start with. Looking first at the front and back views look at Dan’s Pelvis. Notice how the right side is significantly higher than the left? This is one area we want to really focus on. an imbalance in the height of the pelvis has some serious negative side effects throughout the body. We always say that your hips are the foundation of your body so any imbalance there will have repercussions elsewhere in the body. One of these examples is how the imbalance in the heights of the pelvis will cause lateral curvature in the spine (scoliosis). Commonly when you have someone with an elevated hip then one of the shoulders will also be elevated in relation to the pelvis. Notice how this is true in Dan’s shoulders.
The second issue is similar to what Holly was suffering from. He is not accepting weight correctly into his pelvis which creates a significant amount of stress in the lumbar spine. In the lateral views notice how far out in front of the midline his hips are. Look at this picture to to see again how the skeletal system is designed to be positioned. Holly was teasing Dan after we were going over the photos during the session that his butt has disappeared. I promised her it is still there but due to the position of his pelvis it gives the appearance that it is gone. We gave Dan his first series of exercises to begin the process of correcting his postural imbalances.
I have asked Dan and holly to give us a weekly update on how they are feeling and doing. I will post these up for you as they are ready. Then we will also go over the updated pictures each week.
Many of you were able to follow along with Josh as he trained for the Portland Marathon last fall. Now he is once again back at it only this time he is getting ready for the Boston Marathon! Here is a link to his post about the final of the Portland Marathon. If you want to follow along with him, check out his latest post that he is putting on our new blog, Runwithpower.com. This is our new Blog dedicated to everything running. On it you can see what is happening with our Hood to Coast Training for Team Runwithpower, Loren’s Quest to break 50 seconds in the 400m, and of course Josh’s Boston training.
We are extremely excited for Josh as he prepares to take on one of the most renowned Marathons in the world. Find out in his latest post what he is doing to prepare for “Heart Break Hill”, the infamous spot in the Boston Marathon that can either make or break your race.
Good Luck Josh!
EXERCISE OF THE WEEK #47
PARTNER IT BAND STRETCH
The Fourth move in our partner stretching series is the Partner IT band. We have done one other for the hamstring but we are also big fans of the IT Band stretch for the additional lumbar twist associated with the exercise. The twist enables for not only great lumbar rotation it adds additional lengthening of the Glutes, Tensor Fascia Latea, Erectors, and of course the hamstring. As with all the moves, be careful to not force the person you are stretching too far. Allow their body to settle into the move before you begin to push them farther.
As I sat down with Dan and Holly for our first session I was very excited to see their level of motivation. This is always a major factor in the success or failure of many training programs. Trainers understand this with each new client they get. Those that come in motivated are much easier to work with than those who are not. This does not mean someone who may not be overly motivated to begin exercising will no be successful, it will just take more effort. So my relief when they arrived was all I needed to know that this was going to be a great session.
We began with the basics of information gathering. Here is a quick synopsis of Holly. I will not put unimportant information on here, just the basics you need to know to understand where she is at in her life.
Holly has just turned the big “40” although she has the energy still of any twenty year old I know. She works as a Chaplain for a local Fire Department and is very involved with volunteering in her church and kids school. She has two sons, one now in College and another about to graduate from High School. She is on call 3-4 days a week for the Fire Department which can turn into 5 hours of walking or 3 hours of sitting at a time.
She is currently bothered by sciatic pain in her right hip, tightness in her IT bands, and she constantly has a significant amount of tension all across her back and shoulders which causes aching throughout the day. She also notices she is unable to type for long periods at a time without serious discomfort in her wrists.
She has not had any major injuries in the past but was involved in a serious rear-end collision that caused significant whiplash symptoms.
Her goals are to improve her posture, eliminate the pain symptoms in her body, and maintain her ability to move efficiently in an effort to fight aging. She also wants to be able to do a lot of traveling for many years to come.
Below are Holly’s first round of postural photographs.
For the first round I want you to focus on the two pictures from the side. Holly has several postural issues but trust me we all do. This was very brave of her and Dan to do this. It is amazing what you learn about yourself when you get put on the grid. We will dissect a few other issues in the next few posts because I think certain issues will look worse before they look better. From the sides look at the position of her pelvis. There are two issues. The first being that her hips are way out in front of the anatomically correct position.
Look at the picture here of the skeletal system. Notice how each of the structural joints (shoulders, hips, knees, ankles) are all vertically stacked on top of one another. If you compare that to Holly, notice how far out in front of that line her pelvis is. This is what is causing many of her issues. Secondly her pelvis is tilted forward or as we say, she has an anterior tilt. These two things have a drastic impact on the position of her spine which is causing her muscle tension and aching through the shoulders and back. Notice how unlike in the skeletal photo that has a nice “S” curve to the spine, Holly’s forms more of a “C”. This creates a significant amount of muscle tension in her neck as the muscles are trying to hold her head in place. We call this a cable example. The muscles of her upper back and neck are being used as cables to hold her head in place. This is where the tension and tightness that she feels is actually coming from. It has very little to do with her upper back but rather a pelvis that is completely out of position.
The first few exercise routines for Holly will be focused in pulling her pelvis back underneath her as well as leveling it out. This will then correct the exaggerated “C” curve in her back.
Next post we will go over where Dan is starting at.
Welcome back to fitness tip of the week for a great nutritional tip! This week we are looking at a tip to help out your health and fitness from a nutritional standpoint, and it is something that you can do every time you walk into a grocery store to buy food or sit down to eat something out of a package.
Whenever you eat something, look at the portion, or serving sizes on the nutrition facts panel. Most of the nutrition facts themselves are easy enough to understand, but what many people fail to realize is that when they are eating something with, say, 100 calories per serving, they often don’t look at the part that says one serving equals such and such cups. It may say two or even three servings per package if the item is a drink or snack. That means if you eat or drink the entire package in one sitting like many of us do, that 100 calories per serving just turned in to 200 or 300 calories. What is bad enough already is that serving sizes are almost twice as much as they were 30 years ago on average. A regular cup of coffee or a bagel now days have two to three times the calories they used to.
So, make sure that you are aware of serving sizes when eating items out of packages and don’t trick yourself into thinking you are only consuming one-third the actual amount you actually are consuming. Don’t be a victim of portion distortion!
I want you to be sure you are prepared for this one. It has been awhile since I have seen something this pertinent come through the medical research community. Duane, one of our readers and Loren both caught this one for me. This one comes to us from Yahoo news about a research team of Health Experts in London who came to this incredibly bold conclusion. Sitting too Much Could Be Deadly.
Here we are in the year 2010 and it took a team of Health Experts from London to tell us that sitting for long periods of time is potentially bad for us. The article tells us that “Research is preliminary, but several studies suggest people who spend most of their days sitting are more likely to be fat, have a heart attack or even die.”
I am not sure about death but what I do not to be fact and I have plenty of years in the industry to prove it is that sitting for long periods at a time will destroy your muscular efficiency. We have talked about this many times and detail it quite a bit in our 4 Laws of Training Posts. Our bodies are constantly changing based on the stimulus they receive. If the stimulus you give to your muscular system is to be dormant, sure enough it will become dormant.
It does not take research for us to understand that sitting is not a good choice. This is true regardless of your fitness goals. Losing weight, gaining flexibility, or running a 10k. Sitting for extended periods will make achieving these goals incredibly hard.
Do yourself a favor and allow the Experts in London to spend their time researching something that we might not be able to figure out for ourselves.
EXERCISE OF THE WEEK #46
For the third move in our partner stretching series we switch to the upper body. We so commonly train imbalance into our upper body by focusing more on our chest and bicep that we begin to tighten up in the anterior deltoid. The partner clapper stretch is a great tool to use to help combat this issue. The best way to keep your upper body from tightening up is to maintain an even amount of stimulus to all the directions of the shoulder joint. This coupled with the stimulus of lengthening the muscle through proper stretching can help to keep your shoulder in great shape.
Hey train2move fans and welcome back for another great fitness tip!
Lots of times when we work out, we need that extra motivation to get us excited and pumped to really get after it. Music can be that simple addition to any workout that just gives you the mental edge to push yourself a little farther than you think you can go. I find that sometimes I easily get distracted by surroundings when I am doing a tough workout, and the easiest way to really block out those distractions is to pop in some earphones and an ipod, turn on my favorite workout playlist, and rock out while working out.
You need to find a pair of earphones that are comfortable and stay in your ears well, especially if you like listening to music while you run. Also, there are some good arm band for holding ipods and other music players that you can get for pretty cheap. All you do is simply attach it around you arm, then run the ipod cable up your sleeve, and there you go, you’re ready to jam. If you don’t have an arm band, you can always get a pair of shorts with pockets and simply keep your ipod in you pocket.
One thing I like to do is browse the itunes store or the internet for different workout playlists that people have created. There are some pretty good ones out there with many of the classic exercise pump up songs if you’re into that kind of music. You can either download those, or just listen to them and choose your favorite songs, then create your own workout playlist from there.
This week, try working out to your favorite workout music and see if it makes a difference in the quality of your routines.