Tight Hips – Real Client Solution

Do you remember one of the things many teachers would say at the beginning of the year? You know when everyone is new to a class and nobody feels comfortable to ask a question?

A Day at Okanagan Peak Performance

Often times people will stop in to our facility and ask what it is we do. They already have some idea because the signage out front identifies us as an athletic training facility and through the mindows they can see some of the equipment.

But while there will be some pieces of equipment they will recognize there will also be some items which are foreign to them. For example, for what do we use the big wooden platforms are the floor? And what is the bench back by the med balls? And lastly why do you have a big tractor tire?

The Top 6 Travel Tips to Save Your Back

This is the follow up to the post  Is Sitting Killing Your Back? A Few Quick Fixes.

You provided some excellent questions and comments from that post so now as a reward I’ve got The Top 6 Tips to Save Your Back When Travelling. Some of these tips relate specifically to driving your vehicle and others have to do with air travel.

5 Things I Can Do Better to Improve My Health & Performance

If you’re serious about your health and performance than you want to know that you’re doing the best you can with your efforts. And if you’re not where you’d like to be weight-wise, performance-wise or in terms of your rehab than there are probably some things you could be doing a better job of. And if you are having some success in these areas than you are probably motivated to see what else you could do to ramp up your results even more.

I’ll be honest…I know I could do more personally. A while back I stated some of my goals. A few of them included hitting targeted strength measures, improved fitness levels and a specific scale weight.

And while I’m on track to hit my goals I know I could be further along. I know I maybe under-estimated myself by selecting goals I knew I had a pretty good chance of attaining.

There’s not a problem in doing that. But we want to make sure we are giving our best effort and setting new goals if necessary.

So while I’ll probably wait until I realize the current goals I’ve set  until I pick new ones there are a few things I know I can improve on until then. With that in mind here are 5 Things I Can Do Better to Improve My Health & Performance.

1. Improved sleep – I need 8 hours of sleep a night. Not 8 hours of bedtime on my computer, reading or doing sudoku puzzles but 8 actual hours of sleep. I need to make sure that I get as many of these 8 before midnight as possible. And I need to make sure to be as consistent with my time to bed and time to rise as  possible.

2. More soft tissue work – Every workout should begin with some foam rolling. It doesn’t have to be lots of time and the more I do of it the less time is necessary. But sometimes I’m a little short on time for training and this is what gets cut from the program. I need to remind myself how effective foam rolling is, how this restores alignment and posture, how it helps we achieve optimal technique on my lifts and allows me to recover more quickly between workouts.

3. Less sugar – For a while there I was in the habit of writing down the sugar content of everything I ate. Well not really everything but if it came in a package I was jotting in down. And this good because as you get your insulin under control your fat burning goes way up. I’ve got to get back to doing this again.

4. Drink more water – Sometimes I’ll get busy writing programs or running errands and won’t drink as much water as I should. As soon as you’re 2% dehydrated performance drops off. Plus many of your muscle building and fat burning enzymes are hydrolytic and require water. There are a number more good reasons to drink more water and I know I have to increase my intake.

5. Watch out for compensations – As soon as we compensate we put stress on the body where it shouldn’t be. And we then take longer to recover from this stress. Plus the longer we get away with our compensations the harder they are to undo and the greater the chance of injury. Specifically I need to watch that I am maintaining a neutral lumbar spine on all of my lifts. Only the weight should move and the rest of the trunk should be steady.

Well there are the areas I think I can do better in.

What about you? Where can you improve? Does it have to do with rest, training, nutrition or something else altogether? In the comments section tell me what you want to focus on and I’ll reply to help you out.

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                                             okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

10 Things to Avoid Doing During Your Workout – Part II

 

This is a continuation of a 3 Part series related to common gym training mistakes. Please see the previous post for Part I.

4. Going straight into my first set. When I was younger and it was bench day a warm-up involved doing 10 or so reps with just the bar. That’s it. And then as I started to add load to the bar for my working sets I might do a doorway chest stretch in between sets.

 

Not anymore. Now before I even get under a bar for I’ll do a general warm-up, some foam rolling, a dynamic warm-up, some mobility and stability work and then some full depth squats or hip hinges. And even once I step under the bar I’ll do many more light sets before getting up to working load.

 And guess what? My lifts are as good as they ever been, I recover more quickly and I have no joint issues to speak of. Couldn’t say the same of my body in my younger days.

 

5. Don’t ignore the little guys. I’m talking about the 2.5 lbs and 5 lbs plates. When was the last time you added 2.5 lbs to the bar? Be honest? But how many guys with a strong bench will do 135 lbs, 225 lbs and 315 lbs for their last set?

 I’m not sure why it is but we seem to ignore the value of small increments in our loads. If you are calculating your loads properly then 2.5 lbs per side  may be adequate for some people to increase from one workout to the next. To keep your gains coming and to minimize injury look to the little guys.

 

6. Shrugs. Every young at some time has wanted big traps. It goes without saying that when we’re young guys we want to work on every muscle from the abs up that we can see in the mirror. So a workout program would involve abs, chest, biceps, shoulders and traps. That pretty much covers it all, wouldn’t you say?

 

The funny thing with shrugs is that they target the upper traps which tend to be over active for most people anyway. Think of where you tend to carry your tension. Think of the position of your shoulders, head and traps as you sit in your car, at your desk or computer. Then add a regular dose of heavy shrugs to this prescription.

 

Not necessarily what we need. Leave the shrugs on the cutting room floor when designing your program. And don’t even get me started about doing shrugs with straps haha.

 

7. Feet off the floor bench. You’ll see this done from time to time. And you’ll hear explanations from various ‘experts’ as to why you should do it:

 “It helps flatten out your back” or

 “It helps isolate your chest” or

 “It prevents cheating”

 And I’m sure there are others as well. The truth is that you can maintain a neutral spine with your feet on the floor. Your body knows movements not muscles so you create dysfunction when you work the parts separately in isolation. And while having your feet up may prevent you from arching your back there is no reason you can’t use strict form with your feet on the ground.

 Guess what else? You’re stronger with your feet on the floor. With your feet on the floor you will have a more stable base and thus be able to generate more force. As well, think of the equal and opposite law of physics. As I push my feet hard into the ground there is resulting push back in the opposite direction which assists in moving the bar upwards.

Stay tuned for Friday when I give you the remaining 3 items related 10 Things to Avoid Doing During Your Workout.

All the best,

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                                           okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’