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Single Leg Squat

 

Single Leg Squat. What You Want. What You Don’t Want.

The single leg squat helps with stability, knee stability and strength. Start with a higher box to feel things out at first. Use a counterweight such as a light pair of dumbbells to help you with your technique.

A main focus on the single leg squat is controlling the down motion. Avoid dropping fast onto the box. The more control and steady pace you have while going down, the more beneficial the single leg squat will be building knee stability.

We incorporate single leg squats for this reason and for unilateral strength, this helps focus on a strengthening a weaker side to reduce injury.

Kettlebell Swings.

 

Kettlebell Swings. What You Want. What You Don’t Want.

Kettlebell Swings packs a hefty punch, and are a great go-to if you are short on time.

Kettlebell Swings are a hip action rather than a squat. It’s all in the hips. Set the hips back and let them be the engine of the movement. Let the bell float to the top position. Think of your hips as being the engine and your arms being the steering wheel. All of the drive and power comes from the hips.

A technique we use to help teach the hip hinge is pictured on the left. Cross your arms over your chest, and push your hips back with minimal knee bend. Drive your hips forward as you stand tall at the top squeezing your glutes aka your cheeks.

Box Jumps

Box Jumps are great for explosive power and strength. Doing them correct will help save your joints in the process.

Key points on a box jump.

  1. The more quite the landing the more is absorb by the muscles and not the joints.
  2. Control the landing.
  3. Get both heels fully on the box when you land.
  4. Step down instead of jumping down. Jumping down creates unnecessary impact.

Picture yourself landing like a butterfly with sore feet. Jumping hurdles is far down the road when you begin plyometric training.

 

achilles tendon

Achilles Tendon.

The calf muscle is made up of two muscles: the gastrocnemius and soleus. The gastrocnemius is larger and more superficial. Both of these muscles combine to form the Achilles tendon.

All parts of your body are linked and interrelated. When one part, for example a tight calf muscle, is not doing its job properly, other body parts have to compensate.

I’am going to provide you with 3 simple techniques to help reduce muscle tightness in the gastroc and soleus which form the Achilles tendon. These techniques do not take much time and can be very beneficial. Like any thing else, you will receive the benefit for as long you continue to incorporate these techniques. Lets get to it.

 

Gastrocnemius/Soleus Self-Myofascial Release.

calf smr

Preparation

1. Place the foam roll toward lower part of one calf.

Movement

2. Slowly roll calf to find the most tender spot.

3. Once a tender spot is located you can cross one leg on top of the other to increase pressure(optional).

4. If a tender point is located, stop rolling, and rest on the tender point for 30 seconds.

calf muscle

Gastrocnemius/Soleus Static Stretch.

 

calf stretch

The picture above shows a stretch for the gastroc muscle. In order to get a good stretch on the soleus we would bend both knees, bring our back foot closer to the front while keeping both heels on the ground.

Preparation

1. Use a wall or stable surface for this stretch.

2. Place one foot in front and one foot behind you.

3. Keep the back heel down the entire time.

Movement

4. Slightly lean forward by bending the front knee until you feel a pull in the leg with the back heel down.

5. Hold the tension and stretch for a minimum of 20 seconds per side.

Now you are armed with the knowledge to identify and address calf muscle and Achilles tendon tightness before it turns into an injury! The key is to be proactive so you can keep doing what you love.

Exercise

Avoid this $4,000 Exercise Mistake!

This is it, you have finally made the commitment to go all out and build that home gym and get a gym membership on the side, you know, for those days you want a change of scenery.

But should you be acting so fast to go out and buy this equipment? The average cost for the most common “heavy duty” piece of home gym equipment will run you about $2,000. I’m talking about an elliptical or a solid treadmill.

When your product arrives you light up like a kid on Christmas morning! Everything is planned out and nothing is going to get in your way, this is the year that new, smaller waistline happens. A couple months in you are rocking your new piece of equipment and feeling good. You start to wonder, what if I start to throw in some weights on top of this???

You purchase a home gym with all the bells and whistles for $1,500 with over 100 exercises on it you can do.  But for some reason you find yourself doing the same 6 exercises over and over, your workouts become boring, motivation is lost and that beautiful elliptical and home gym is now a place for you to hang your clothes on.

It’s okay though, you have a backup plan. You head out to the nearest, cheapest gym and purchase a membership for $40 a month, back in the saddle! The first time you walk in with your headphones in bumping eye of the tiger you feel like freaking Godzilla.

The trainer dude walks up to you and says, what are you working out today? You pause and think, ah, just going to do a little bit of this and that. You walk around like a shotgun blast. The pace stays strong for a month with weekly visits then fades away, that membership is just another monthly charge but not a big deal because of the price and you may use it next month, right?

Exercise is like another area that has those that are an authority. When I need my taxes done or another professional service, I have those that are an authority guide me and take care of it. Why? because that is not my area and I’m not going to spend my money and time trying to figure it out.

Treat your exercise the same way! Stop wasting money on pieces of equipment and memberships that you think you may use again someday. Get with a place that has proven to get it done for others, sure it appear to cost more in your eyes compared to other places but you will get a lot more out of it, free up space in your home and never have to think about what you are going to work on for exercise that day. Do your research and go with that place who has proven to be the authority.

 

 

Headaches.

I wanted to throw a couple of techniques your way that may help alleviate of stiffness, headaches and tightness in your neck and upper back. Not much of your time is required to receive the benefits from these 2 techniques combined. First you will do your foam rolling then your static stretching afterwards.

Enjoy.

Upper Back Self-Myofascial Release.

foam rolling

Preparation

1. Place hands behind head to support your neck.

2. Relax hips on the floor.

3. Stabilize the head in a neutral position.

Movement

4. Start with the roller up high(not on the neck) and work your way down just before the mid-back.

5. If a tender point is located, stop rolling, and rest on the tender point for 30 seconds.

 

static stretch

Preparation

1. Place One hand behind the back.

2. With the opposite hand, place it on the side of the head.

Movement

3. Lightly pull the head to the same side of the arm that is up.

4. When you feel the first light pull, stop and hold.

5. Moving your eyes to look into the armpit of the same side will give more tension.

6. Hold the tension and stretch for a minimum of 20 seconds per side.

 

Give these 2 techniques a try 1-2 times per day spaced out over the day.

-Mike Miller.

Sprained Ankle

Have you ever had a sprained ankle or several incidents that have caused one? Signs of an ankle impairment can lead to injuries such as Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendon or shin splints.  Other areas that an injury may occur due to a foot and ankle impairment is low back pain, the knee, hip flexor area , hamstring, quad and groin strains.

Smart Goals

How may times have you set a goal for yourself and came up short? We have good intentions when we think of and set a specific goal. Have you ever set a goal and reached it by following through with action? What did it feel like to accomplish that goal? Fitness is just like any other type of goal that we set for ourselves, you have to follow through and stay on track no matter how many obstacles are thrown your way and create smart goals.

Flexibility

Flexibility is the normal extensibility of all soft tissues that allow the full range of motion of a joint. Flexibility will allow us to feel and move better. Today’s society is plagued by postural imbalances, primarily owing to a sedentary lifestyle caused by advancements in technology.  More and more are spending their day hunched over a desk at a computer and requires long periods of sitting. Flexibility training is a key component to helping decrease these dysfunctions.

High Protein Foods

What are High Protein Foods? High Protein Foods can be found in any local grocery store.

Protein Absorption.

When looking to get an adequate amount of protein for your current weight and fitness goals we need to keep in mind how much protein our body can absorb in one sitting. One sitting is about every 1 1/2- 2 hours . The body can absorb about 30 grams of protein per sitting. High Protein Foods that are over the 30 gram mark will end up being past as waste. It is important to keep this in mind when we look at food labels and do not get carried away with seeing a big protein number on the nutritional facts  thinking we got all of our recommended protein in one certain food item for the day.