Friday, April 28, 2017

Product Review: Gravity Fitness Mobility Products

Quick Overview:The Gravity Fitness Massage Ball Set and FREE exercise guide was developed by Physical Therapists with a passion for fitness! Use it to for injury prevention, training recovery, rehabilitation, and athletics. Experience for yourself the most effective and convenient way to improve your flexibility.

DEVELOPED BY PHYSICAL THERAPISTS – use the Gravity Fitness Foam Roller for muscle and tendon flexibility, spinal and peripheral joint mobility, training recovery, athletic conditioning, rehabilitation, injury prevention, yoga, and core strengthening.

Made of soft foam this lightweight and durable Balance Pad is ideal for professional or personal use. The Innovative non-slip textured surface for safety and effectiveness.  Experience the most comfortable and convenient way to improve your coordination, balance, and athletic performance. All of our products are premium quality design for any fitness and physical therapy use.    -   Use Promo Code "ptherapy" for 10% off your order!

My Review:
One of the things I love about the Peanut and Lacrosse Mobility balls: they’re small yet crazy effective. The small size allows you to get into those tight areas you normally wouldn’t be able to with a regular-sized foam roller, and doesn’t force you to hold up your body weight the whole time. They’re also small enough to fit in your bag, making them perfect for travel. I seriously have bought about a half dozen mobility balls to keep in each bag, backpack, car etc just so I make sure I always have one where ever I am!

Gravity Fitness Mobility PeanutThis little rubber peanut ball-thing is perfect for getting into those tight spots in your calf, feet, neck, hip flexors, glutes and shaped to fit right on each side of your spine. So far my favorite use for the Mobility Balls is to break down the fascia in my feet, to help eliminate the painful areas and inflammation from training for OCR and on my upper back (tspine) to allow my shoulder to get into a better position when throwing or lifting overhead and to counteract the effects of sitting in class for hours ever day.

Gravity Fitness Foam Roller:The best hollow roller I've found. Great for travel because I can pack a couple pairs of shorts and a few shirts inside of it so it essentially takes up zero space. I like that the surface is consistent, I'm not a fan of the half large/flat, half small and spiky. Give me all of one or the other! The foam itself is somewhat soft, so it provides adequate cushion, but since it's not overly thick, the roller is still good and firm over the PVC core.

I have a couple of rollers (Rumble Roller black) and a couple of other Trigger Point products and this is the one that gets used the most. It seems to have a good balance of firmness to get to most sensitive muscles when the Rumble Roller is sometimes too intense. I like how small and compact this roller is, however the only drawback is while it does come with a carrying bag, I wish it had end caps to hold in contents I also wish to travel with.

Gravity Fitness Balance Pad:
Many of these balance pads start at $70. Don't know if their quality is any better, but this one is just perfect. I got it originally to help with my horrible balance (definitely my worst skill of the 10 physical traits).  Warming up with this everyday is a good ankle warm up and I have noticed less shin splints from my runs.  It is an easy and cheap progress before something more unstable like a bosu ball, although if you can master this balance pad, I think that is enough for the average person.  It is every bit as good as the expensive one the physical therapist uses. It also came with a carry bag, which is nice to have and large enough to store other items (like the gait belt). Use it for physical therapy, injury prevention, athletic conditioning, core strengthening, yoga, dance, balance, and proprioception.  Innovative non-slip textured surface for safety and effectiveness. Embedded logo to prevent cracking and chipping.

My Rating: 9/10
These products are stand alone some of the best mobility items I have used.  Cost effective, high quality, and they provide great content on how to use them.  I believe every person should have a set of mobility balls and a foam roller at the minimum for basic maintenance.  My major criticism are not necessarily with the products that they currently offer but actually what Gravity Fitness doesn't offer (atleast quite yet).  I know they have the stretch strap but I would love some different mobility bands and jump stretch bands for joint distractions as well as a "voodoo" type band for compression.  Being a physical therapy focus company it would be nice to see some compression gear as well, but the main thing I would like to see is a kit offered at a discount that include all of the mobility items so I can point future patients/clients to the website to purchase 1 set of items.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

WOD Wednesday #17

Five rounds for time of:
12 Wallball shots, 20/14 pound ball
12 Toes-to-bar

5 RFT (Rounds For Time) of 12 Wallballs and 12 Toes to Bar. This is a balls-to-the-wall, all-out sprint.

With the medball in hand perform a full squat, crease of the hips below your knees. Stand up with an aggressive opening of your hips and throw the medball to a target 10' above terra firma. 12 reps is a devilish number, just enough to really hurt but not enough where breaking up the reps is obviously necessary.

Toes to Bar. As Rx'd is hanging from a PU bar with your feet above the ground. Raise your legs and touch your toes to the PU bar. Feel free to swing, kip, or do just about whatever it takes to get your toes up to the bar. Again, this is sneaky mean; around rep 8 or 9 you really, REALLY want to drop down. This one's gonna get into your head a bit. Scaling options for the TTB include Knees To Elbows, L-Raises, Tuck-Raises, and regular sit-ups.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Guidelines for Consistent Circumferential Measurements

  1.  Use the same tool every time a measurement is taken.
  2.  The same individual should measure the person every time.
  3.  Measurements should be taken at approximately the same time of day.
  4.  Measure both unaffected and affected body parts if possible.
  5.  Landmarks must be easy to identify and used consistently.
  6.  Measure directly over the landmark.
  7.  All measurements should be documented, preferably on a form to provide comparable data
  8.  Use the same units each time (inches or centimeters)
  9.  Conditions that may skew measurements should be noted
    • examples:  use of a diuretic, 10 lb weight gain or loss, additional medical problems, change in treatment regimen 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

WOD Wednesday #16 - Powered by RAWW Barehand Gloves

Resting 60 seconds between sets:
Press 2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2

This is a mono-structural (one exercise) strength day. Done properly these are just as tough as, if not tougher, than any of our CF met-con WOD's. If you apply yourself and apply intensity you should be both mentally and physically fried at the end.

We are doing 10 sets of the Press, short for Shoulder Press. Take the weight from a stand or squat apparatus. Begin with the weight in the front rack position. This is a pure overhead shoulder press with NO input from either the hips or the legs. Each set is 2 consecutive reps without putting the weight down or back on the stand. Using your legs or hips, or failing to lock out your elbows is a "no rep". As soon as you put the bar back on the stand hit your stopwatch; rest precisely 60 second between sets. The entire workout will be & 20:00.

Where should you start? How much weight should you add as you go along? Both of these questions depend on how much experience you have with strength training in general and the shoulder press in particular.

Start at a number that will put you at what should be your 1 rep max (not a typo) for 2 reps in round 8 if you add 5# each round. For example, if you think your 1 rep max is 100# your first 8 rounds should be something like 65-70- 75-80-85-90-95-100. Underestimate yourself and make it all the way easily? Cool...keep adding 5# two more times. Over-reach? No worries. When you fail a weight drop down to the last weight you successfully lifted twice and try to carry that one through to the end.

***GIVEAWAY-  We will be giving away some RAWW BareHand Gloves to one of the subscribers on the blog!  Please subscribe at the bottom of the page, winner to be chosen and announced by MAY 3rd!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Research and Evidence Based Medicine

Definition: "the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values"

Hierarchy of Evidence:

Level 1a:  Systematic Reviews of Randomized Control Trials
  • Comprehensive survey of a topic in which all primary studies of the highest level have been identified, analyzed and appraised
  • Assessed by individual reviewers
  • Cochrane systematic review is a type of review specifically used in health care.
Level 1b:  Individual Randomized Control Trials
  • Type of research design in which participants are randomly split between 2 groups
  • One group is the intervention group, one is the control group
  • The control group receives either no treatment or a default treatment
  • Random assigning reduces risk of bias
Level 2: Cohort Study
  • Observational study of subjects with a specific condition and/or who are receiving a specific treatment
  • Followed over a period of time
  • Comparisons are made from the 2 groups, the cohort and possibly the gerneral population
  • Limitations include lack of control of variables
  • Not as reliable as RTC's
Level 3: Case Control Study
  • A study that involves identifying subjects who have the outcome of interest and control subjects without the same outcome, and looking back to see if they had an exposure of interest
  • Typically done retrospectively, looking back over time, example is smoking as a link to lung cancer
Level 4: Case Report or Case Series
  • Describes the medical history of one participant
  • Used to record and alert other health care professionals to occurrences 
  • No control group
  • Not statistically valid

Level 5: Expert Opinion

Other Things to Consider:

Ethical Considerations:
  • Informed consent, confidentiality, Protection from harm or danger, Knowledge of the outcome

  • Independent Variable: the factors manipulated by the researcher
  • Dependent Variable: the factors used to measure the effect of the independent variable (the "effect" or outcome of interest)

  • Descriptive statistics: Summarize or describe important characteristics of a known set of data
    • used to determine whether there are significant differences between groups

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

WOD Wednesday #15

Four rounds for time of:

Run 400 meters
50 Squats

Run 400M. Just like it sounds. Run. Don’t jog or stride. RUN 400M. If you have access to a track this is pretty much 1 lap starting at the little “400” triangle. Maybe you’ve measured out 400M in your neighborhood or a park. You can check out or other similar sites, too. If you can’t run outside for whatever reason and will use a treadmill this is ~0.485 miles or so. Use a little elevation, 1 or 2 degrees, to more closely approximate running outdoors (I like to elevate the BACK of the treadmill to approximate running downhill!). Can’t run for whatever reason? The sub is Row 500M.

When you see Squats listed as we do today that means “Air Squats”. Just you, and gravity. There is no added weight whatsoever. Place your feet just outside shoulder width. Load you glutes and your hamstrings (push your butt back). Descend until the crease of your hips is lower than your knees, than reverse the process and stand up. There is controversy about the proper vocabulary for cues that should be given about where your knees should be during the squat. Whatever. The bottom line is that you should not allow your knees to track inside your big toe, not be in the so-called valgus position.   

Monday, April 10, 2017

Easy Crock Pot Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Prep Time: 5 min
Serves: 4
Fat (g)
Carbs (g)
Protein (g)
• 2lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 32oz. V8 Spicy Hot Juice
• 1 tbsp. seasoning salt

• 1 tbsp. lemon pepper

• 1 tbsp. garlic, finely chopped garlic

• 1 can fire-roasted stewed tomatoes
• Cumin, to taste

• Paprika, to taste

• Chili powder, to taste

• Oregano, to taste

• 2 avocados, sliced into strips
• 2 heads Romaine lettuce
Per Serving

• Pour V8 juice into the crockpot then add chicken breasts, Tony’s, lemon pepper, and garlic. Cook on low for 6 hrs.
• After your chicken is done, shred the meat with two forks and throw it and some of the leftover broth (really just a small amount to help everything cook evenly) into a skillet with the fire roasted tomatoes and add paprika, cumin, chili powder and oregano to your preference level. Cook until the liquid is boiling, about 2-3 min stirring constantly.
• Have a taste! If all the flavors you added are there, pull off heat and serve. We had ours wrapped in Romaine lettuce and covered in avocado slices.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

WOD Wednesday #14

For time:
50 Box jump, 24 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, 20/14 pound ball
50 Burpees
50 Double unders

“Filthy Fifty”. 10 exercises, 50 reps of each. No one is really too sure exactly why these are called Chippers. Some say it’s because you just “chip away” at the work until you make it through. Others hold that it’s because these WOD’s make you feel like you just went through a wood chipper. This is the mother of all task-specific WOD’s. We are given a boatload of work that we are to complete as quickly as possible.

Each exercise should be done before you move on to the next, and the movements should be done in the order prescribed. For example, all 50 Box Jumps should be completed before you move on to the Jumping Pull-ups, etc.

Quick explanations of each exercise: 50 Box Jump 24”. From a standstill jump on to a box or other object that is 24” high. At some point before your feet are lower than the 24” surface you must be “standing” up straight with your hips fully open. Jump up and STEP down rather than jumping down. Scale to a lower height if necessary, as low as jumping onto a single 45# plate. 50 Jumping Pull-ups. Find a bar where your wrist is at bar level. Grab the bar, bend your knees, and jump into the PU. Push yourself down from the bar. Scale by using a lower bar and more jump/less pull. 50 Kettlebell Swings (KBS) 1Pood. (~35#) Scale by using a lighter KB. 50 Walking Lunge. Total of 50, NOT 50 each leg. Let your trailing knee “gently kiss the ground”.

50 Knees to Elbows. Kinda like Toes to Bar. Hang from the PU bar. Swing your bent legs up to meet your hanging elbows. 50 Push Press 45#. Basically an empty Oly bar. “Dip, Drive”. Close your hips slightly while also slightly bending your knees. Immediately push with your legs and open your hips to pop the bar off your rack and press it overhead, locking out your elbows. Scale weight, all the way down to a PVC pipe or broomstick if necessary. 50 Back Extensions. Can be done on a GHD, over a med ball, Roman Chair thingy, or superman on the floor. 50 Wall Ball Shots (WB) 20#. Hold the WB against your upper chest, do a front squat, come up and throw the ball to a target 10’ above the ground. Scale the weight of the ball (typical women’s weight is 14#) +/- height (again, typical women’s height is 8’).

50 Burpees. From a standstill bring your body to the ground with your chest and quads on the deck at the same time. Get up and jump, clapping your hands overhead. 50 Double-Unders (DU). As if Burpees aren’t cruel enough the Filthy Fifty finishes with 50 DU with a jump rope. In order to count as a DU the rope must pass beneath your feet twice while you are airborne. Subs? Tuck jumps or Single-unders but the suggested number would be 3:1, or 150 if you do.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Insights in Manual Muscle Testing

Manual Muscle Testing Grades

Zero (0/5)
The subject demonstrates no palpable muscle contraction.
Trace (1/5)
The subject’s muscle contraction can be palpated but there is no joint movement
Poor Minus (-2/5)
The subject does not complete range of motion in a gravity eliminated position
Poor (2/5)
The subject completes range of motion with gravity eliminated.
Poor Plus (+2/5)
The subject can initiate movement against gravity, but no further than a few degrees.
Fair Minus (-3/5)
The subject does not complete the range of motion against gravity but does complete more than half the range
Fair (3/5)
The subject completes range of motion against gravity without additional resistance
Fair Plus (+3/5)
The subject completes range of motion against gravity with minimal additional resistance
Good Minus (-4/5)
The subject completes range of motion against gravity with minimal to moderate resistance
Good (4/5)
The subject completes range of motion against gravity with moderate resistance
Good Plus (+4/5)
The subject completes range of motion with mod to maximal manual resistance
Normal (5/5)
The subject completes range of motion against gravity with maximal manual resistance