Wednesday, May 31, 2017

PT Pathologies: Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is an incurable disease affecting over 6 million people.  In fact, while hard to diagnose, it is the most common disorder of the musculoskeletal system in the United States.  This disease is a life long illness that is managed best with a multidisciplinary approach.  The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown however researchers believe it is related to an increase in a chemical in the body, substance P, which transmits pain.  Fibromyalgia requires care focused on muscle weakness, pain, and fatigue.

While diagnosis of the disease is difficult there are standardized criteria set forth in order to establish a diagnosis and they include:  pain in at least 11 of 18 "tender point" sites, widespread pain located in all 4 quads of the body, having pain lasting greater than 3 months, lab work establishing substance P fluctuations, testing of tender points with a Dolorimeter and the use of diagnostic tools such as a Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire.  Once diagnosed, treatment and management can begin.

A multidisciplinary approach is most effect and should only require medication as needed.  Education, psychotherapy and exercise are all required.  Physical therapy intervention includes a variety of treatments to assist a person with pain such as: aquatic therapy, relaxation techniques, yoga, energy conservation, proper body posture mechanics, ultrasound, TENS, hydrotherapy, and exercises.  In accordance with the patient's fatigue, exercise should be to toleration and start with short sessions primarily in the morning to loosen joints and assist with mobility.  Physical therapy can provide improvement for a person struggling with fatigue, muscle weakness and pain.

Monday, May 29, 2017



For time:
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run

In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.

This workout was one of Mike's favorites and he'd named it "Body Armor". From here on it will be referred to as "Murph" in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.

Partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run. If you've got a twenty pound vest or body armor, wear it.


Murph. Run 1 mile. Run outdoors or indoors, on a track, a road, or a treadmill. It doesn't matter--just note what you did to compare the next time "Murph" comes up.

100 Pull-ups, 200 Push-ups, 300Squats...partition as necessary. You do NOT have to do all 100 pull-ups before you start the Push-ups. You can do the exercises in any order, break them up any way you'd like. One example: 2 Pull-ups/10 Push-ups/15 Squats done 20 times.

100 Pull-ups. Do them any way you'd like. Strict, Kipping, on a Gravitron, using bands, jumping (but no negatives). Palms away; palms facing; palms toward you; doesn't matter. Just do 'em.

Squats without another word to describe them mean UNWEIGHTED squats here at Crossfit. No bar. No added weight. An air squat. Always.

Run another mile. Seriously.

Record the time it took you to complete the entire adventure

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

WOD Wednesday #21 Sponsored by Valor Fitness

Overhead Squat 3-3-3-3-3 reps

The overhead squat (OHS) is a very technical lift, one in which we do a full, deep squat (crease of the hip below the knee) while holding a loaded barbell above your head. 3 times, without putting it down between reps.

 If you’ve never done an OHS before make sure you do lots of practice in your warm-up with a PVC pipe or broomstick to get a feel for the exercise.

Take the bar from the rack in a back squat position. Spread your hands to about 7 or 8 inches beyond shoulder width and press the weight overhead. Drive (shrug) your shoulders up toward your ears (active shoulders) and keep them there throughout the lift. Load your glutes and your hams and squat. Stand straight up. One. Again—two. Once more—three. Either replace it on your shoulder and re-rack it or dump the bar in front of you.

3-3-3-3-3. Five 3-rep sets.  Any time you see something written like this it means we are doing a strength workout, and each set is the number of reps stated. 1-1-1-1-1 would be 1-rep sets, 5-5-5-5-5 would be 5-rep sets, and so on. Add weight for each subsequent set. Really experienced lifters might choose to go “straight across” with 80-95% of their 3-Rep Max, 

 You should approach this with the same level of preparation as any other WOD. Rest 3-5:00 between sets, enough to re-charge but not enough to cool off. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Product Review: Active Living Products (Interlocking Gym Mats and Resistance Band Set)

Interlocking Gym Mats
This interlocking set of high density EVA foam squares is great for your home gym. Each set includes 12 interlocking squares at 24" x 24" each. This will cover 48 square feet of surface area. At 1/2" thick, they'll provide a strong surface for your workouts that provides plenty of grip, and provides a high density layer of protection for your valuable floor.

Additionally, these squares are easy to configure exactly how you want them. Whether you need a completely square layout, or more of a rectangular approach, you can piece them together in any way you wish. They're also lightweight and easy to move as needed.

Product Features:
  • Each set includes 12 interlocking squares
  • Each square is 24" x 24" x 1/2" thick
  • Each set covers 48 square feet (Ex. 8' x 6' area)
  • Tiles include removable edge pieces for a flush finish
  • Lightweight and easy to move. Each tile weighs just under 2 pounds.
  • Made from non-toxic high density EVA foam
  • Provides a great surface for your home gym
  • Very cost effective versus high-end rubberized flooring

These interlocking pieces are quick and easy to assemble so you can set it up and take it apart easily. Great for garages and basements and even on the carpet to protect floors, reduce noise, and make floor exercises more comfortable. The dense, textured foam offers the perfect base for weight lifting benches, dumbbells, kettlebells, and other workout equipment. The Exercise Puzzle Mat is perfect for working out in areas with hard floors, such as garages, basements, and CrossFit boxes. If you need a safe and comfortable area to workout, but don’t want to completely redesign or install flooring at home or in your fitness studio, this is a great option.        The dense foam provides more room and cushion than yoga mats or folding exercise mats, allowing you to spread out with weights or a bench and perform a variety of workouts.

Set of 12 Interlocking Foam Exercise Mat Tiles. Great for Your Home Gym.

The ½-inch thick flooring protects floors from stationary bikes, weights, equipment, sweat and even my large Yoke Squat rack (weighing close to 400lbs when fully loaded with storage pegs). The water-resistant material makes these mats super easy to clean and maintain. The textured, non-skid surface improves grip and prevents slipping during workouts for and a safer workout. High-density foam provides a comfortable cushion for knees, back, wrists, and elbows. Great for floor exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, setting a bench on for bench presses or foam rolling and stretching. It can even be used for yoga or Pilates. It’s built to last for long-term, dependable use. The 12 square tiles cover a total of 48 square feet and include borders for a polished, finished look. Use fewer if needed, or buy more to cover a greater surface area. The interlocking tiles are easy to assemble and can be removed just as easily when needed so you can maintain a versatile space. They are very easy to cut for customized projects.


Band resistance:
  • Yellow: 8 pounds resistance
  • Green: 12 pounds resistance
  • Red: 14 pounds resistance
  • Blue: 18 pounds resistance
  • Black: 20 pound resistance
Each band increases in resistance as it is stretched, and imparts constant tension on the muscle, something which dummbells cannot do.  Combine the bands to increase the resistance for your exercise.

Package Contents Include:
  • 5 x 5-Foot Length Resistance Bands
  • 1 x Door Anchor
  • 1 x Travel Bag
  • 2 x Padded Handles
  • 2 x Ankle Straps
Elastic Resistance Band Kit with 5 Cables, Hand, Door, and Ankle Straps, Plus Carry Bag
Resistance Bands are the premier fitness product for strength training and resistance training programs. Perfect for fitness enthusiasts, cross fit athletes, and anyone just looking to get into shape; the Active Living resistance bands will have you getting in better shape without the need for a gym membership.  With resistance bands your body will tell you exactly how much resistance you can safely handle, because - unlike traditional weights - the resistance of our exercise bands increases with extension! That means that the resistance you feel will increase gradually as you pull more. Pull less: little resistance. Pull far: more resistance. You can feel exactly how much strain you put on your muscles, and workout safely. With this Active Living resistance bands package, you can now workout on your own terms where ever you want whenever you choose. The two way resistance allows you to benefit twice from a single motion compared to the single upward motion you do with the traditional weights. Resistance bands allows you to get fit, lose weight, gain muscle, get stronger and achieve your fitness goals.

Personally, I use these bands as a warm up before most workouts and before all upper body movements.  It feels good to prep the shoulders and doing unilateral movements allows you to work on left and right muscle imbalances.  With my training area, where I work with some local clients and ball players I have multiple carbiners attached to the wall at different heights, which allows me to adjust the angle of the resistance band by simply unhooking it from one clip and attaching it to another.  In terms of durability they are just your standard bands, not like Crossover Symmetry quality, however no where near the price either.  It would be beneficial to have 2 sets of these bands attached to a wall, fence or post, then you would be able to mimic many of the Crossover Symmetry movements for a fraction of the cost!

Active Living No-Risk Guarantee

We want you to be thrilled with your new gear. However, if you're not, you can return the item within 30 days for a full refund. We'll even cover the cost of your return shipping. Just send us an email to

If 30 days have passed, we'll gladly accept your return as well by providing you an in-store credit for the original value of your item.

My Rating: 8.8/10
First the interlocking foam gym mats are not commercial or industrial rubber mats, so don't expect them to be when you get them. They are pretty much like the ones you can buy in the stores which are the soft foam rubber kind like these, but from a much better brand. They are priced as expected (on sale now for $80), and actually cheaper than similar mats which is expected being an Active Living Product! They are kinda on the thin-side to me at 1/2" thickness as I would prefer something closer to 3/4". But, they are thick enough to make a big difference when you exercise. Placing equipment on these are fine, but they will sink into the foam, so expect that. The foam does go back to normal over-time if you move equipment and leave an indentation. Aside from those critiques, I believe these mats are the best option for most home gyms, in terms of value, benefits, cushion, convenience and coverage!

The band set comes with 5 different resistances to challenge you as you progress in shoulder/scapular strength.  Great for a warm up or full workout.  Like I mentioned above the durability is no where near some of the more expensive brands however with 2 sets you can mimic all the movements (unilateral and bilateral) but more importantly with much better value!

More importantly you know you are in good hands working with the Cody, and the Active Living brand.  Great people, no risk guarantees and policies, and some of the best products for the VALUE!

Click on the links above to purchase your own products listed in this review or visit   to view everything they have to offer!  Use promo code "TRAVIS10" for 10% off your purchase!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

WOD Wednesday #20

For time:
30 Handstand push-ups
40 Pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1.5 poods
60 Sit-ups
70 Burpees

30 Handstand Push-ups (HSPU). Just like they sound. Kick up to a handstand in the middle of the floor, lower your head to the ground, and then push yourself back up to the handstand. As Rx’d is actually kicking up to a handstand with your heels against a wall and THEN doing a inverted push-up. Looking to scale? If you can kick up to the wall, how about decreasing Range Of Motion (ROM) by descending to an abmat or two. Still too much? Walk yourself up the wall with your chest to the wall instead of your butt, look at the wall, and do the HSPU to a couple Abmats that way. Still too tough? Scale to some over head pressing with a heavy weight you can only do sets of 5 with.

40 Pull-Ups. Chin to the bar, strict kipping or butterfly your choice.

50 Kettlebell Swings. 1.5 Pood. Russian thing. Still. 1 Pood = 16Kg so 1.5 = 24KG or roughly 55lb. Sub is a 55lb. dumbbell. Typical women’s weight would be 1.0 Pood or 36lb (35lb DB).

60 Sit-ups. Start with your shoulder blades flat on the ground and end with your upper body perpendicular to that same ground. Many will use an Abmat; Anchored feet or free. Touch your shoes in front of you

Oh, as if all of that isn’t enough you have 70 Burpees left!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Lower Extremity (Leg) Rehab and Therapy Exercises

This is a list of common lower body exercises PT's will rx after surgery and certain lower body pathologies.  More detail will be given in future posts.

Ankle Pumps:
  • Bend ankles up and down (helps promote ROM and blood/fluid flow)

Gluteal Setting:
  • Do this exercise in sitting or standing position only
  • Tighten buttock muscles by squeezing them together.  Hold 5 seconds. Relax.

Short Arc Quad:
  • Place Blanket roll under knee. Lift foot off bed until knee is straight. Slowly lower heel to bed.

Sitting Long Arc Quad:
  • Tighten muscle in top of thigh and straighten out knee.
  • Keep thigh on chair.  Slowly bend knee and lower leg back to floor.

Side Leg Raises:
  • Stand up straight with hands on walker or counter.
  • Slowly kick operated leg out to the side. Bring back to center.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Product Review: Omniball

What is the OmniBall?

OmniBall is a set of 4lb, rolling weights that can be attached to the hands and feet for a dynamic, total-body workout. 360-degree movement unlocks the door to endless exercise possibilities. With OmniBall, you’ll experience a one-of-a-kind workout and enjoy undeniable results.

Omni Balls are a very creative piece of equipment that add versatility and difficulty to abdominal workouts. When I received these in the mail I was extremely impressed, by the packaging alone. They came in a sturdy white box protected by foam. It also came with a sharp gray carrying bag to store them in. Is this necessary, probably not, but it did ensure me that I was getting a high quality product.  The design is multifunctional as well as attractive. The straps are comfortable and sturdy. The weight the balls add makes them feel durable as well as give you more versatility in the workouts to used them for weighted abs. They roll extremely easy. If you angle them correctly it puts on the breaks and creates stability, stopping the ball from rolling. For the price these are definitely not for everyone. I would not classify these as a necessary piece of equipment for your home gym. If you are looking for a new challenge these could be very useful. A major benefit is that they don’t take up much room and are easy to store. The company also offers workouts specific for there products in case you are not the creative type.

My Rating: 8.0/10
While the quality is top notch and the product allows for a lot more diversity than that of an ab roller, the product I believe is built for more advanced users.  The price ($80) and required fitness level to get the most out of the product hinder my recommendation as I believe there are many more items more important for a home gym or travel equipment such as a kettlebell, sled, dumbbells, medicine ball, or gymnastic rings.  Yes, this is a luxury product but the value is there is you have some extra money to spend and looking for a new challenge or to change up your training!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

WOD Wednesday #19

135/95lb. clean and jerks, 30 reps

A “Clean” involves lifting a loaded barbell from the ground to the rack position, resting across the upper chest and anterior deltoids (front of your shoulder). One can do a Muscle Clean (lift bar and catch it in the rack with straight legs), a Power Clean (catch the bar in the rack in a ¼ squat), or a Full Clean/Full Squat Clean (catch the bar at the bottom of a full squat). For “Grace” it doesn’t matter; do whatever is most efficient for you.

The “Jerk” involves lifting the bar from the Rack position overhead, completing the movement by locking out your elbows and standing up straight. A “Jerk” implies that you actually push the bar off of your shoulders and then drop under it in either a squat or split squat (one foot forward/one foot back). Either is OK for “Grace” as is a Push Press (slight bend of knees and closing hip followed by a rapid straightening of the knees and opening of the hip angle) or a Shoulder Press (just push the bar up). Which of these you choose will depend on your comfort with the movements and the weight you choose to lift.

“Grace” as performed both in the gym and in competition has evolved into 135lbs. from ground to overhead, anyhow, with one caveat: the bar makes a stop in the Rack Position.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Spinal Flexion vs Extension Motions

"Neutral" or "Functional" Spine Position is the position where Minimal stress is placed on discs, ligaments, and muscles.  Spinal discs rely on normal spinal motion for nutrition and repair since no blood vessels reach inside of the disc.

Extension positioning and motions:
  • Posturally you have normal cervical and lumbar lordosis, or concavity posteriorly.
  • Increasing extension produces
    • Increased stress of facet joints
    • Decreases size of intervertebral foramena (possible pressure on spinal nerves)
    • Tends to cause forward slippage of vertebra on the one below (spondylolithesis)
    • Tends to unload intervertebral discs
    • Tends to move nucleus pulposis anteriorly
    • Prolonged extension of the spine produces facet and other posterior structures pain

Flexion positioning and motions:
  • Posturally we have normal thoracic and sacral kyphosis (convexity posteriorly)
  • Increasing flexion produces
    • Increased stress on intervertebral discs
    • Decreased load on facettes 
    • Increased disc load
    • Tends to move nucleus pulposis posteriorly
    • Increases opening size of intervertebral foramen

Prolonged Flexion of the Spine is caused by forward head for cervical flexion,  forward bending and posterior pelvic tilt for lumbar flexion, sitting and working postures, and lifting objects with a rounded back.

*****Please note I will expand on these topics, how it relates to fitness, and what it means to the average person as I continue developing this blog!  Some of these early posts will have content about 2 things: scientific background information to help understand structures or pathologies, or modalities and why a therapist would choose to use them.  Later I will discuss how to utilize this information to improve performance, but first it is important to understand some context!

Friday, May 5, 2017

My Answer to the APTA's Vision

APTA's vision for physical therapy is "transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience." How will you embody this vision as a future physical therapist?

            My goal as a future physical therapist is to combine my acquired knowledge as a movement expert with my background and passion of health and fitness to bridge the gap between movement and performance. From my experience, there seems to be a "gap" from the time rehab is completed with a physical therapist, to the time an individual tries to work at full capacity or perform sport at a high level.  For example, the physical therapist has corrected the injury, muscle imbalances and movement inefficiencies of the injury being treated, however other aspects of health and fitness (nutrition, recovery, other movement patterns) are left unchanged. The majority of musculoskeletal and soft tissue injuries can be prevented with proper self maintenance, mobilization and movement techniques. Injuries are part of human reality, while getting individuals back to functioning properly is the primary goal, I will embody the vision of improving the human experience by educating individuals how to perform basic maintenance on themselves.
            First, through my nutritional and personal training certifications, I will also be able to educate clients on how proper nutrition and recovery (bodily maintenance) plays an important role in rehab and prevention. From increasing or adding omega-3 intake to shift the body to "anti-inflammatory" physiological processes, to explaining why insufficient sleep can slow recovery, and increase injury, the fuel we give our bodies depends on how well our bodies function.  Since interacting with clients is part of the rehabilitation process, I believe it is important to utilize your time to make sure individuals are informed of all the aspects that can influence their health, movement and performance. It is not my job to force different health habits, rather giving them the information they need so they can learn to make the proper choices on their own, which in turn improves their human experience.
            Next, I believe it is important to teach how easy it is to keep soft tissues mobilized, break down adhesions, and to teach proper mechanics of other movements not necessarily part of the current rehabilitative plan. A small investment of a lacrosse ball, and foam roller, with use during break times, before workouts, or leisure time at home, 10-20 minutes a day can keep clients tissues healthy and firing correctly well after rehab. Through interaction and asking about daily habits, I will be able to make simple suggestions on how one should put their body in better positions throughout the day. Simple changes such as focusing on better posture on the commute to work each day, choosing to stand while working instead of sitting, or taking a few minutes each day to sit in the bottom of your natural squat. As subtle as these changes are in a typical day, if I can educate clients to choose to put their bodies in better positions throughout the day, the accumulated affect over time can help reverse movement defects and prevent other injuries from occurring in the future.
            Lastly, taking the time to teach individuals proper movement mechanics for common everyday functional movements is important to improving the human experience and preventing injury. Even if it is just by giving additional exercise instructional worksheets or using a PVC pipe for demonstration between sets of rehab movements, every day movements such as squatting, dead lifting, pulling, and pressing will be introduced during a clients time in my care. Obviously, depending on the individual circumstances some of the movements listed above will already be part of the rehab programming, however I feel it is a disservice to a client not to give them basic instruction on the other movements as well, based on their abilities.

            In conclusion, by helping clients create a bigger health and fitness base, by plugging in the holes where they lack the information to make proper decisions, I will improve the human experience well after their injury rehabilitation ends.  This will help increase their performance in sport, on the job site, with their families, and work towards preventing future movement problems and injuries. Like previously mentioned above, my goal isn't to force health habits on anyone. I believe in order to improve the human experience I need to optimize their movement, restore their injuries in their entirety, and interact with clients in a way that educates and motivates them to make better decisions in their daily lives. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

WOD Wednesday #18

Complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:
- 275/185lb. deadlifts, 10 reps
- 20 GHD sit-ups

AMRAP 10:00, a time demand WOD. We are given a fixed amount of time and asked to fill it with as much work as possible. Only 10 minutes so for experienced there's simply no reason not to put the hammer down and redline this all the way through.

The first movement is the Deadlift, the ultimate expression of "pick things up and put them dowwwn". 275lbs. is a 45lb. Oly bar with 2 45lb. bumper plates and a 25lb. plate on each side of the bar. Women's weight is 185. If you have never done a deadlift before don't even think about using any heavy weight today. "Deadlift". Feet under your hips, hands grasping bar just outside your knees, chest thrust out and lumbar spine flat, lift the bar from the ground and stand up straight, your
shoulders behind the bar at the top. Reverse the movement and replace the bar on the ground.

**CONGRATULATIONS TO Jerson Reyes for winning the RAWW BareHand Gloves GIVEAWAY! Be on the lookout for BareHand Gloves product review in the coming weeks as well as more GIVEAWAYS!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Dressing Types and Characteristics (For Wound Treatment)

·         used to secure primary bandage in place
·         use in spirals 1” above and 1” below

Calcium Alginates:
·         “rope” or flat sheet
·         provides moist wound environment
·         highly absorbent
·         may be used with infected wounds
·         assists in re-epithelization

·         non-adherent dressing (middle part of a bandaid) 
·         use with mildly draining wounds
·         works well with Silvadene applied over large burned areas, then secure with kerlix

Packing strips:
·         used for filling tunnels
·         Remember, we want the wound to heal from the inside out

·         Used with “wet-to-damp” or “wet-to-dry” dressings

·         Absorbent
·         Pads and cushions the wound
·         Maintains wound environment

Regranex:  growth factor contains form of human platelet derived from growth factor which promotes growth of tissue

·         Occlusive to semipermeable
·         Provides moist environment
·         Aids in autolytic debridement
·         Encourages granulation

·         Absorbs exudates into the structure of dressing
·         Swells to fill cavity

Ultrasound gel pack:
·         Place over top of wound, then perform US treatement

Elase and Santyl Collagenase:
  • Debriding enzymes
  • Use “cross-hatch” pattern with scapel to promote penetration into necrosis
  • Promotes wound debridement
  • DO NOT use on red, healthy tissue
  • Apply with sterile tip applicator

  • Used for superficial Stage 1 wounds
  • Promotes autolytic debridement
  • Transparent
  • Provides moist wound environment