Monday, July 22, 2019

How to Make Your Stress-Related Headaches Disappear

Did you know that headaches are the third most common pain complaint throughout the world? They can impact your quality of life and make it difficult to function normally. Luckily, headache relief can be found through physical therapy. Your trained physical therapist will work with you to provide pain relief from headaches, in addition to any other aches and pains you may be suffering from. In this guide, we’ll outline the different types of headaches and the causes for them, in addition to explaining how physical therapy can help.

Different types of headaches:
Any type of pain that occurs within the head can be referred to as a “headache.” Most headaches will resolve on their own without medical intervention; however, severe or recurrent headaches that interfere with one’s quality of life should most certainly be evaluated further. The challenge lies in identifying which type of headache you’re experiencing and then devising a treatment plan accordingly. Physical therapists are adept at diagnosing different types of headaches and can develop pain relief strategies for stress-related headaches.

There several different types of headaches that can be treated with physical therapy. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Stress (tension)
  • Post-traumatic
  • Migraine or sinus
  • Caffeine
  • Hormone
  • Exertion
  • Cluster
  • Rebound
  • Hypertension

What are stress-related/tension headaches?
Tension headaches are some of the most commonly treated headaches by a physical therapist. They occur when the neck and scalp muscles contract or become tense, and they can happen at any age. Stress-related headaches generally start at the back of the head and progress to the top of the head and eyes, sometimes accompanied by facial pain along the jaw and cheeks. This type of discomfort has been compared to having hair pulled or wearing a very tight hat. These types of headaches can occur as a result of:

  • Increased stress.
  • Poor posture.
  • Neck or jaw problems.
  • Fatigue.
  • Arthritis.
  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.

How physical therapy helps:
At your initial visit, your physical therapist will conduct a thorough evaluation of your physical abilities, in addition to reviewing your health history. He or she will ask you a series of questions to determine the type of headache you’re experiencing. After your physical therapist determines what type of headache you’re dealing with you’ll work together to develop a treatment plan for meeting your physical health goals.

During your first visit, you can expect to undergo some of the following:

  • Inquiries about the location of the pain, in addition to any other symptoms you are experiencing.
  • Questions regarding previous injuries to your neck, head, jaw and/or back.
  • Measurements regarding the range of motion of your shoulders, neck, and other relevant parts of the body.
  • Examination of your posture while engaged in different activities.
  • Tests of your muscle strength and sensation.
  • Manual therapy to ascertain the mobility of joints and muscles in your neck.

A physical therapist’s mission:
While the end goal of physical therapy is pain relief, there are some important steps along the way that your physical therapist will help you with, in order to decrease pain and improve function. These include, but are not limited to:

Posture improvement. Your posture throughout the day greatly impacts your likelihood for pain and stress-related headaches. Your physical therapist will teach you methods of improving your posture in order to function more comfortably in your daily life.

Strength improvement. You’ll learn exercises to help strengthen the muscles that control your neck and upper back, in order to improve posture and increase your ability to stand or sit comfortably for longer periods of time.

Neck improvement. Using manual therapy, your physical therapist will stretch the muscles in the back of your neck to relieve pain and increase movement.

Different types of physical therapy treatments
Your physical therapist may suggest any combination of specialized treatment services, including but not limited to:

  • Heat or ice compressions.
  • Soft tissue mobilization.
  • Muscular releases.
  • Muscle energy techniques.
  • Body mobilization.
  • Cervical traction.
  • McKenzie-based therapies.
  • Stretching.
  • Strengthening.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Product Review: GymNext Flex Timer Gym Edition

Product Details
This is the timer your coaches and members have been asking for!

The GymNext Flex Timer combines a large, crystal-clear LED display with an easy to use interval timer app creating the best, most powerful gym timer ever made.

The 4.0" LED digits (same as the Rogue Echo or MDUSA No Limits timer) in blue/red are visible from hundreds of feet away and the 95db buzzer is extremely loud. With bluetooth range of over 100 feet, you aren't tethered to the clock. Move throughout the facility and easily control and setup the timer from our convenient and FREE mobile app.

You can save an unlimited number of custom workouts spanning 6 different timer modes: Standard, Round, Interval, Tabata, EMOM and Laps. Configurable prelude times, round warnings, and a 3-second segue between rounds are just the beginning of the options available to create the most customized experience ever.

The audio sync feature allows you to use a wired or bluetooth speaker to augment or replace the timer's built in buzzer. Play your music from your phone and now you can listen to your music as loud as you want. The app will automatically fade the music in and out at the end of each round so that you never miss an indicator again.

Large gyms will love the ability to link multiple timers together and have them display the same workout or run the timers separately to easily manage different workouts or heats. And the included wall brackets make mounting your clock a breeze.

For the utmost convenience, go hands-free with a Pebble timepiece or Apple Watch. You'll enjoy the natural feeling you get from initiating the timer from your wrist just like a stopwatch.

For the data lovers and elite athletes, integrate heart rate monitoring into your workouts and have your heart rate periodically or permanently display on the clock so you know how hard you're working and can set a proper pace.

When not in use for timing purposes, the Flex Timer reverts back to a 12h or 24h clock.

But there's even more...

The Flex Timer app is updated all the time unlocking new features and functionality so that your timer actually gets even better with age.

My Review:
I avoided purchasing a clock for my gym too long. Didn't think it was necessary. I was constantly using my phone timer, an app, a stop watch, or even a stop watch website on my computer.  But after using my GymNext clock I can't imagine a workout without it. It is easy to use, not a distraction, and infinite programming possibilities for any type of workout.

I like that you can set up a custom welcome message and that the timer automatically takes local time from your phone. Be aware that the timer will only connect with one phone at a time. This means that if someone was using the timer and you go to connect with your phone, you won't be able to connect. In a big gym setting this would mean you have to reboot the timer or hunt down the person who retains control.

I researched a number of cheaper alternatives but what makes this worth the price is the app. The timer easily connects to your phone and then you can create whatever type of timer you need. Plus the built in timers make it easy to quickly get started, or you can edit them if need be.
The app works flawlessly with the GymNext Flex Timer application. Connection to the timer is so simple a monkey could do it. Everytime I open the app, it connects immediately with zero lag. It's programmable to every interval training mode known to man and has loud audible beeping that can also be programmed to discretion. It does not interfere with music and once the timer is going, you can still use your phone normally as long as the app is running in the background. It connects to a heart rate monitor and can display your heart rate periodically to your discretion. This is extremely helpful especially when you're trying to maintain a certain heart rate zone.

Bottom line, this timer is outstanding in value, usability, build quality and customer service. I've contacted their friendly customer service to tell them how impressed I am with their product and you can tell they are a Just as excited as you will be once you get your hands on it.

- Very bright numbers (I actually use the reduced brightness setting)
- LOUD (I put tape over the buzzer and it is still highly audible)
- App supports any imagineable interval combination
- Kid-safe as there is no remote to play with, damage, or hide
- Robust construction with top and bottom aluminum profiles / extrusions
- Wide-range input power supply for worldwide use

No more fumbling with an awkward remote control. Competitive price superior functionality = unbelievable value. If you're on the fence about this one, do yourself a favor and pull the trigger on the purchase, you won't be disappointed.

I must say it's even more impressive than I thought! Easy to use, 110-220V global electricity support, fast connection to iPhone, ample phone-to-LED display connection range even without the need for line of sight, straightforward LED display design, clear/visible display and audible alarm for large gym. The best timer in my opinion all around. My only critiques are not being able to sync multiple phones and not being able to adjust the beep volume.

It was pretty cool to see the time update instantly once I connected my phone to the clock and when I open the app, the response is quick, accurate and makes everything so hands free. The app user interface is easy to use and quick to learn. Additionally, if I have music playing from my phone, the app automatically quiets the music for the 3-2-1 countdown and then cranks back up for the WOD. What I love about this clock is that it doesn't take time away from my workout time. I don't know it's there until I use it, and when I'm done, it's done. Goes right back to clock time until I need it again.

Order your GymNext Flex Timer!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Product Review: Living.Fit Battle Ropes

Product Details:
1.5 Inch Diameter, 50 Foot Length Canvas Covered Battle Rope

All ropes are 50 feet in length, which is the best length for improved frequency, physics, and dynamic movement capacity (if you need a shorter rope because of space, you can always tie off your rope at shorter length, but you cannot make a short rope longer). The longer rope will not necessarily make the workout harder, but will definitely make your movement better with improved wave frequency, shorter ropes do not allow for this.

The shorter lengths can slap and catch because your undulations won't make it all the way down the rope before they hit the anchor point and send feedback back through the rope. The canvas cover protects the rope by preventing dirt, sand, bark, and grass from the rope fibers, which seriously degrades the rope quality and longevity.

This is a triple strand twist battle rope with a canvas cover. Ropes without canvas covers that are used outdoors or in harsher environments will fray and come apart. The canvas cover on the rope protects it from friction and fraying, ensuring longer user of the rope. Each rope has comfortable rubber grips on the end to help with grip during intense workouts. Battle ropes are ideal for building muscle, burning fat in home gyms or group settings! Make sure to add our FREE Battle Ropes Level 1 download with your purchase at the bottom of this page!
  • 1.5" in Diameter
  • 50 ft
  • Sourced by Master Battle Ropes Trainer Aaron Guyett for the highest quality
  • Comfortable rubber grips on ends for better workouts
  • One Year warranty

Product Review:
There are two types of rope making: Triple Strand Twist and Braided

The triple stranded twist is the most common style of rope making, as it is cheaper and faster than braiding a rope. The downfall, is that if your rope begins to untwist it is nearly impossible to twist it back to its original shape and length. This poses a big issue, if you are attempting any cyclonic or circular style of exercises: i.e. full body circles, triple wrapped rope pulling, or outside circles.

Image result for living fit 50ft battle rope
The braided rope is another method of making a rope, and it creates equal forces directing down the length of the rope when creating waves, circles, static engagement, and rope pulling exercises. It also is more durable. The only issue, is when performing circular waves, you will feel the rope wanting to twist inside of your hands. This is part of the tension that is being “held” by the rope. It will not twist the rope, so therefor your grip has to fight to keep the circles going.

Living.Fit by Kettlebell Kings had witnessed the shortfalls in the battle rope production, so they ordered over 30 ropes from 5 different manufacturers to find the very best battle rope and made their choice after hours of testing and many uses of each rope.

For indoor use, we selected the poly-dacron braided rope.  For outdoor use, we selected the poly-dacron triple strand twist with a canvas covering.

Each rope is manufactured with over 20 key specifications to keep the quality high, as well as three different thicknesses for your continued progressive overload training.

1 ½ inch thick starter battle ropes (this size has humbled the strongest men and women in gyms around the world)

2 inch thick battle ropes for 50% extra mass and more than double the effort needed to send the waves all the way to the anchor.

3 inch thick ropes for double the mass, and an insane amount of effort needed to send the waves all the way to the anchor.

All ropes are 50 feet in length, which is the best length for improved frequency, physics, and dynamic movement capacity (if you need a shorter rope because of space, you can always tie off your rope at shorter length, but you cannot make a short rope longer).

Premium Battle Ropes are great conditioning tools that not only improve your cardio but will provide a full body workout with a focus on improving muscle endurance and strength. It helps build core and arm strength and is excellent for burning tons of calories.

Built tough for your workouts, these battle ropes are durable, effective and fully portable and will last many years of usage and give you the results you want. Highly recommended for crossfit, strength and fitness training, athletes, military, boxers and gyms

Image result for living fit battle ropeConditioning Ropes began as a mainstay tool in Mixed Martial Arts, and then Functional Fitness. It is now used by the majority of athletes who train for power and explosiveness. The battle rope is universal because it has an ability to build core strength and improve core-to-extremity strength that helps you to hit your next workout, or opponent, hard. Power rope training is brutal in its hit to an athlete's conditioning and is an excellent developer of grip strength.

I have used battle ropes in the past at other gyms for workouts but having this Living.Fit Battle Rope brand new out of the box was pretty amazing.  The grips definitely helped me keep a solid hold during the workout. The main thing with having these as a personal item is having the space to extend them out and something sturdy to loop it around. Personally I used the anchor kit in my garage gym and strapped it around my storage unit  I believe that battle ropes are a great addition to any home gym and creates versatility in my workout routine. It may seem simple but battle ropes are as challenging as you make them. If you push yourself and get creative you can achieve a great cardio workout that will also leave you with your muscles burning.

The Living.Fit Battle Rope has given me some great high intensity work outs that I like to pair together with either explosive movements involving weights, or moderate paced cardio in between rounds. What I love about these ropes is that you can really target any body part that you want to if you focus on that muscle group. This is the perfect cardio for those who hate the normal jog or elliptical session, and it allows you to really attack your muscles while burning massive calories throughout the rest of the day. The quality of the rope is perfect, handles have a great texture and are easy to hold onto even when sweaty. I couldn't recommend this enough if you're in the market for one!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

WOD Wednesday #107

5 rounds of continuous movement of:
2 legless rope climbs, 15-ft. rope
20 controlled, slow AbMat sit-ups

STIMULUS: When I see something that has a set number of rounds on it – especially something unfamiliar like this workout – I usually assume it works best if the volume is preserved. So as backwards as this could sound, the easy bet for scaling would be to turn this thing from a task priority inside a task priority, to a time priority inside a task priority (Inception, anyone?) For example, 5 rounds of 45 sec. rope climbs and 1 minute of AbMat sit-ups. Or for easier counting, 1-minute and 1-minute. If you’re working out by yourself, you could do what I am now calling Ricky-style Reps (named after one of our 8th graders) where you just do one movement until you would have to rest due to fatigue then move to the next one. Again, the retest value is tough when doing that, but this doesn’t seem like an easy one to retest anyway. The Ricky-style would also help with the “continuous movement” part.

GROUP: Equipment might be the limiting factor here. When this is an issue, it’s best to look at each exercise not as the specific thing prescribed, but as something to be grouped into a large, inclusive general movement pattern. So really, what’s the difference between rope climbs and pull-ups and ring rows and farmer’s walks and grabbing your dogs’ leashes while they pull you as you’re trying to walk? Lots of things obviously, but they one thing they have in common is they’re all expressions of pulling. So as long as you’re doing something most of the group can do that makes them feel like they’ve been pulling with their arms, you’re on the right track for the rope climb sub. Then the closer you can get to the specifics the better. So strict pull-ups with an alternating grip (flipping hands each round), jumping and hanging from a bar (flexed or extended), halfway up rope climbs using your legs, full climbs with the legs… think general not specific and then the specifics will come to you. When I get around to doing this, I’ll go legless as high as I can then use my feet to finish. Or maybe just call it good where I end up haha. Depends how I feel. As for sit-ups, I find it hard to keep a good position while using an AbMat, and some people have complained about back pain after doing lots of regular sit-ups. So we do hollow body variations; only going as far back as you can maintain a hollow body (low back staying in contact with the ground, among other things). Try those if you don’t have AbMats. On a very important note, I really hate sit-ups. Probably my worst exercise for some dumb reason. 

INJURY: Looks like spine/hip stuff and shoulder/arms are going to be the only issues I can think of. Static plank/hollow hold would be a good sub for sit-ups if need be. As for the rope, anything one-arm would be good. If it’s a broken finger that can’t wrap around a bar or rope, you can try doing slow descents from a push-up or handstand. It’s technically pulling as far as I understand.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Crossover Symmetry - The Basics

Shoulder Info
Nagging shoulder pain is commonly addressed with ice and stretching, and taking time off from
the gym.  But this doesn’t address the underlying issues behind most shoulder problems,
leaving pain to return sooner or later.

Underlying many cases of shoulder pain is a weakness of the scap and rotator cuff muscles that
move and stabilize the joint. If these important stabilizers cannot adequately support the training
loads or become fatigued during training, it increases the stress placed on the shoulder which
commonly leads to pain and injury.

Additionally, the forward shoulder posture plagues our society and wrecks a good shoulder
position. Time spent working at a desk, driving, texting, eating, and other typical sedentary
activities in our day results in a chronic state of shoulder impingement.  This leads to mobility
issues that limit overhead movement

The CS Shoulder System focuses on the muscular imbalances of the scapular stabilizers and
rotator cuff and improves the mobility of the shoulder and upper back.  This will help correct and
permanently fix the causes behind most shoulder pain.

Hip & Core Info
The largest and strongest muscles in the body act on or attach around the hip. It’s also the
second most mobile joint in the body. For those reasons, the hip and core is the primary
movement hub and power source for sports and life activities. Unfortunately, we spend too
much time sitting, and isolated to moving in only single plane—forwards and backwards. This
creates dysfunctions in strength and mobility. Addressing these weaknesses fast tracks
performance progress, but also an important fix for pain around the knee and low back.

Related to the knee, hip weakness combined with core stability, is now considered the largest
modifiable risk factor for a non-contact knee injury. Specifically, weakness of hip abduction and
external rotation results in a condition in which the knees collapse inward, an issue termed
“dynamic valgus”. This often affects dynamic movements such as squatting, cutting, jumping,
and landing.

For back issues, the stabilization facilitated by the Hip and Core System often inhibits muscle
guarding that occurs from instability surrounding the hips & back. Lessening the muscle
guarding not only improves issues of low back pain, but improves mobility of the hips better than
stretching. In less than 5-minutes, the CS Hip & Core System will maximize your warm-up to
reduce pain and injury, and build the strength you need to overcome your biggest limiters.

Monday, July 1, 2019

What is a Pood? - Kettlebell Kings

This is common question for folks new to kettlebell, especially if you have been getting your workouts from Crossfit. 'Pood' originated in Russia along with kettlebells and is a unit of measurement for kettlebells in Russia. More specifically it is a unit equal to 40 funt (фунт, Russian Pound). A funt is a Russian pound

What is a Pood in Kilograms and Pounds?
It is approximately 16.38 kilograms. A kilogram is 2.2 pounds. So one pood is also 36.11 pounds.

Often times you will see a Crossfit workout call for 1 Pood, 1.5 Pood or 2 Pood. So, the common kettlebell weights closest to this would be a 16 Kg Kettlebell, 24 Kilogram Kettlebell and a 32 Kilogram Kettlebell respectively.

Bye Bye Pood, Hello Pood

Sadly, the good ol' pood was abolished by the USSR as a unit of measurement in 1924.

The term has had some resurgence as kettlebells have become more popular because it is still used in reference to sporting weights in Russia. That is it! Pretty simple!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

WOD Wednesday #106

On a 50-minute clock, with no rest between:

  • 15 minutes of handstand practice
  • 10 minutes of L-sit practice
  • 5 minutes of double-unders
  • 20 minutes of stretching

STIMULUS: This is going to be rough. I am very guilty of scaling time domains down to stay around 20 minutes (even daring so much as to go for 25 occasionally). Why? I don’t know. I’m just a pansy sometimes. I’m scared of seeing “30” in the minute column for me or my athletes probably due to an assumed lack of intensity. CrossFit is constantly varied. The best results tend to land somewhere in the 8-12 minute range, and sometimes in the 12-20 minute range. But constantly varied means we need to touch all time domains at some point. I think the 50-minute thing needs to stay intact. There will be a lot of resting but since you’re probably holding your breath on handstands and L-sits, you should be breathing pretty heavy once you get to double unders. Then on the stretching, the tough part is being able to control your breathing Awhile 1) under tension and 2) while already tired from the previous 30(!) minutes of work. Also, if you’re a serious athlete you’ll do this without music. There’s a lot of things your body will tell you in this workout if you listen closely.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Tension Headaches: How to Handle Them

Of the four distinct types of headaches — tension, migraine, sinus and cluster — the tension type is the most common. Of course, stress is a natural reaction to stimuli and can keep us safe from danger. Yet an excessive amount of stress can lead to tension headaches. That’s why learning how to handle emotional and physical stress can help reduce the severity and frequency of tension headaches.
If you’re concerned about your headaches, contact your primary medical provider!

How the Body Reacts to Stress

When the “fight or flight” response is triggered, our bodies become flooded with protective hormones like adrenaline, which leads to a chain reaction of neck and scalp muscles contracting. These physical reactions often result in either tension or migraine headaches.  
Muscular overuse is another factor that leads to tension headaches. Holding your neck or shoulder joints in an unnatural position for too long causes supporting muscles to go into spasm. In turn, the muscles compress the adjoining nerves, sending pain impulses to your brain that result in headaches and sometimes a sore neck.
Working at a computer, bending over a work table or holding a phone to your ear for prolonged periods are all frequent causes of tension headaches from physical sources.

Additional Causes

Along with muscle-bunching activities like desk work, here are a few other factors associated with tension headaches:
  • Emotional stress
  • Fatigue
  • Excess alcohol
  • Fluctuating caffeine levels
  • Eye strain
  • Use of tobacco products

Dealing With a Tension Headache

Here are three of the most common tips concerning how people effectively deal with tension headaches:
  • Stretch your neck muscles regularly. Tense muscles in the neck region are often tension headache culprits. Physical therapy can also help.
  • Practice relaxation techniques. Whether it’s deep breathing, yoga or walking on your lunch break — finding a way to de-stress is key to stopping tension headaches before they start.
  • Adjust your ergonomics. Your workplace setup can cause headaches. Consider simple adjustments like setting up your monitor to a more comfortable position, and getting a headset for your telephone.
If you have a severe headache, especially if it’s an unusual type for you, seek immediate medical attention. Tension headaches, on the other hand, don’t require emergency care — but they can still be painful and interrupt your normal routine

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Product Review: Xterra Fitness ERG700 Rower

Product Details:
The ERG700 Rower provides an unparalleled full-body workout. Simply put, it is the best low-impact, full-body workout available! The full body rhythmic nature of rowing makes it wonderfully efficient at burning calories while also developing flexibility and strength. Rowing is impact-free and the intensity is completely user-controlled.

The large 5.5” bright blue backlit console with height and angle adjustment includes motivating programs to keep you involved, inspired, and reaching your goals. Performance is top-of-the-class with a smooth action aluminum rail system, convenient fold up design, industrial strength handle strap, flex pedals with easy adjustment, and the combination of both air and magnetic resistance (16 levels) for an exercise experience second to none.

The XTERRA performance monitor clearly displays time, distance, strokes/min, count, calories, heart rate, watts, level and a program graphic of resistance over time. It also features 10 effective programs for a wide variety of workouts. When you are not using your ERG700 Rower, simply fold it up and wheel it out of the way. With folded dimensions of just 52.5” long x 18” wide it won’t consume a room when not in use. Start making waves with your workouts today on the new XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Folding Rower and exceed your expectations.

Combination of both air and magnetic resistance (16 levels) simulates the feel of rowing
Ergonomic rowing handle is contoured and padded for superior feel and comfort with a full 80.7” of travel length
  • 20" frame height gets you on and off the rower with ease
  • Console display features a large 5.5" bright blue backlit LCD with easy touch buttons and height and angle adjustment for the perfect viewing angle
  • Ten effective programs offer a wide variety of workouts including Distance, Time, Calories, 20/10 Interval, 10/20 Interval, Custom Interval, Fat Burn, Cardio, Strength, Game, and Manual
  • Large contoured seat maximizes comfort and performance
  • Built-in HR receiver (chest strap sold separately)
  • Solid steel frame with smooth aluminum seat slide provides an incredibly smooth motion for improved rowing efficiency
  • Flex pedals with easy adjust numbered settings allow you to maintain proper form by flexing with your every movement
  • Fold up frame design with built-in transport wheels allow for moving your equipment when not in use
  • Must plug into standard wall outlet
  • Weight limit: 350 lbs
  • Assembled dimensions (L x W x H): 97” x 18" x 38" | Folded dimensions (L x W x H): 52.5” x 18” x 62”
  • Assembled weight: 80.9 lbs
  • Frame - Lifetime, Parts - 5 Years, Labor - 1 Year
Product Review:
Originally I had wanted some other much more expensive high end options - you know the ones - but decided I'd give this one a shot. This was a couple hundred cheaper than those other said models - but still has all the features. It's well made and impressed with how smooth it is. I can change the levels of resistance - and get all the important info and programs I could ever need. This machine doesn't skimp on the features. It was simple to put together, did it on my own in 30 minutes.   Extremely quiet. Nice glide on the seat and on the flywheel/ pulley. Very easy to fold up & move - love the wheels. Moves well even on carpet.

Storage and Transport Made Easy
The ERG700 Rower folds in half taking up less than 50% of original footprint! Folding and transporting takes less than 5 seconds: pull the Pin until the rail touches the ground. Lift the rail upwards until it clicks into position (no tools required) - and that's it!

Adjust amount of Drag for Any Ability
You are in control of your output and resistance at all times. The amount of work you do is directly calculated by how hard you row. Row harder to go faster, row easier to go slower. There is also magnetic resistance that allows you to quickly adjust the resistance to the flywheel from little drag at Setting 1, to max drag at Setting 16. This is much like rowing with little drag or shallow paddle depth at 1, to max drag with deep paddle depth at 10. You can change the feel of the stroke to suit your preference. The flywheel design produces a smooth feel and minimizes noise.

Smoother, More Comfortable Rowing Experience
Xterra ERG 700 seats feature extra-padded, high-density foam ergonomically designed for maximum comfort while rowing. Our uniquely designed fan to utilize air resistance allows the user to enjoy a smoother, more comfortable rowing experience that maintains momentum immediately from your initial pull. Enjoy a smooth, momentum-building pull with every stroke.

Durable Construction
ERG 700 are known for their durability and construction. The commercial quality provides a stable foundation for nearly any user weight.

Easily Measure Performance and Progress
The ERG700 comes with an easy-to-use console display that gets straight to the point. Simply begin pulling and the console will begin tracking Time Rowed, Time/500M, Watts, Pulse (when connected to a heart rate monitor), Meters/Distance, Strokes Per Minute, Calories, and Total Strokes.

You can also toggle between several performance measurements to display in large text/graphics on the screen: average 500m pace, average meters per stroke, max heart rate, calories per hour, force curve, max watt, watt chart, average watt.

Access pre-built programs from the main menu: Quick Start, Competition Racing, Interval/Tabata, Target Time, Target Distance, Target Calories, Target Heart Rate, and Target Strokes. Select your program and parameters, press Start, and begin rowing.

I've used many machines and I'm active in Crossfit (including the popular Concept2.) I have to stay, this XTERRA machine exceeded my expectations. This should definitely be ranked with the best of them. I am glad I got it. The combination of air and magnetic resistance the console makes it so easy to track progress.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Introducing the Leopard Paw - w/ Focus on the Forearm and Wrist

In this video, my good friend, Dr. Brian Watters demonstrates how to self mobilize tissues of the forearm and wrist and briefly describes the difference between tendonitis and tendinosis. Know the difference to solve the issue since it is commonly misdiagnosed.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

WOD Wednesday #105

5 rounds for time of:
9 deadlifts
5 squat cleans
3 thrusters

Men: 135 lb.
Women: 95 lb.

Scaling Considerations: When scaling loads for conditioning workouts that have multiple barbell movements, I typically have athletes utilize loads based on the limiting movement. For today, I anticipate the thruster load to be the determining factor on what weights will be used. On some rare occasions, I may allow the athlete to adjust the load slightly on the deadlifts. For today, I will likely not scale the reps per round, but rather I will reduce total rounds if the athlete’s capacity determines that the overall volume is too high.

Deadlift: I consider the prescribed load to be very light today with 9 reps being easy on nearly every round. With that being said, I won’t underestimate this movement too much, as the squat cleans will also require a pull from the floor. Athletes will utilize a load that is light for their capacity and allows for sound mechanics.

Squat Clean: I consider the prescribed load to be moderate today, with 5 reps being able to be completed unbroken or by performing quick singles. I will have athletes utilize loads to meet this demand. We will drill the mechanics of this movement quite a bit before starting the workout. If an athlete struggles with mechanics, I may have them perform a power clean followed by a front squat or perform the movement from the hang position.

Thruster: I consider the load to be moderate, but challenging, as I know this movement will be nasty after completing the front squats. I will have athletes utilize loads that can be completed for 3 reps unbroken on every round, following a short rest after the squat cleans

Monday, June 10, 2019

Tips to Treat Your Arthritis Pain

If you are like the one in four American adults who suffer from arthritis symptoms, you are looking for options for managing the day to day aches and pains and often debilitating loss of mobility.  Fortunately, there are many things you can do that, when combined with physical therapy, can improve your strength, increase your flexibility and help you manage your arthritis symptoms. While these tips are helpful, they work best when paired with professional treatment, call us today to learn how we can help you live pain-free!

Weight Loss

Since many arthritis symptoms are exacerbated by obesity, weight loss is one of the most effective ways to manage those symptoms without medication. Fortunately, physical therapists are adept at creating weight loss or weight maintenance programs that take pressure off of your joints and increase blood flow for nutrient delivery throughout your entire body.

Time for New Shoes

Many people overlook the effects of footwear on arthritis of the knee. Whether it is special purchasing special footwear or adding insoles or orthotics into your existing shoes, this simple fix can help immediately relieve the pressure on the weight-bearing joints of your lower body. As an added bonus, the correct footwear makes it easier to walk or exercise without pain.

Hot & Cold, Hot & Cold

When it comes to arthritis, temperature matters. Many people discover that a warm bath or heat pack helps ease arthritis aches and pains. Others find that cold packs applied on a regular basis reduce swelling in the joints and relieve discomfort. Alternating between the two has been shown to provide the soothing comfort of heat with the anti-inflammatory properties of cold. However, it is important to consult with a medical professional about the proper procedures for applying both heat and cold in order to avoid skin irritation.


As tempting as it is to “rest” when you are uncomfortable, there is nothing better for managing arthritis than exercising on a regular basis. However, many people are reluctant to begin an exercise program with arthritis for fear of injuring themselves. Physical therapy can not only help you discover the exercise program that is right for your condition, it can provide you with a long-term solution to your arthritis symptoms. Your physical therapist will show you proper technique, a variety of exercises and how to wear appropriate accessories like braces or wraps if necessary.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Product Review: TimTam Power Massager v1.5

Product Details:
This second-generation TimTam deep muscle massager offers amazing power and now includes a patent-pending threaded shaft that improves its durability and overall performance. This heavy duty percussion massager helps break down knots, increase blood flow, and release stored lactic acid. It is also excellent for chronic pain. This deep muscle stimulator's effectively “heals” the affected area, helping to mitigate the pain messages that the area sends to the brain and begins to change how the body is experiencing that pressure and tension.

The TimTam Power Massager comes standard with a lithium-ion battery, charger, carrying case, and a round silicone multi purpose tip. Other tips including the Trigger Point Tip and flat Warmup Tip are available separately.

90-Degree Articulating Head
With its incredible 90 degree articulating head, you can feel the potential of its 2000 strokes per minute technology.

The movement of the head gives the user more angle options to hit different areas of the body. It is also helpful for those who use the massager to work on patients and need multiple ways to apply pressure.  All TimTam accessories are integral to a comprehensive recovery routine.

THERAPEUTIC: Helps break down knots, increase blood flow, and release stored lactic acid. Also excellent for chronic pain.

POWERFUL: Delivers up to 2000 strokes per minute.

DURABLE: Patent-pending threaded shaft provides durability and superior performance.

VERSATILE: 90-degree articulating head and an available variety of thread-on tips give the TimTam Power Massager a wide range of applications.

COMPLETE: Comes standard with a 12V lithium-ion battery, charger, carrying case and a round massage tip.

Product Review:
High frequency cordless massage gun that speeds up muscle recovery, reduces chronic pain, and improves mobility by increasing blood flow, breaking up muscle knots, and reducing inflammation/lactic acid build up  A majority of professional sports teams, including but not limited to MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, UFC, etc. have been using high frequency massage guns for the past several years.  This thing is amazing. I researched all of the percussion massagers currently on the market, and this is going to be your best value. The more expensive devices get the same job done, but may only be quieter. 

The amount of time I spend on massaging and recovery had been cut in half and more effective. Foam rolling is great, but takes time and the use of your whole body to get it done. You also can't get to every spot needed that may require more precision. Yes I use a LAX ball for those areas, but again, more work that just placing the massager on that spot. You also don't have to be very precise as the vibrations affect a large area in getting the job done. Think of it as a 'shotgun' and not a 'rifle' when targeting those tight muscles.

This is NOT a silent massager because it’s very powerful. If you’re looking for the quietest and weakest massage gun, this is NOT for you. This massager also has a hard ball. If you are sensitive to hard pressure (like deep tissue massages), this is not the ideal massager for you. But if you're looking for the best self recovery tool, you’re in the right place. One of the best things about the hand held TimTam power massager is its versatility.

This massager tool is not only great for relieving chronic sore muscles, working out a difficult muscle knot, and workout recovery, but also to relieve achy legs, back, neck and shoulder from sitting for extended periods while at work or traveling. Many clients love it to loosen up the muscles for a deeper stretch before doing yoga or gymnastics. Each trigger point you release will be thanking you!

Testimonial from patient Rick R:
"This gun worked great! I pulled my lat and have had a giant knot there about a month ago and haven't been able to do a pull-up without being in a lot of pain. I've tried stretching, doing band work, going to a chiropractor, etc. and haven't really seen any progress. I used this gun before my last workout and it was the best my lat has felt since before I pulled it! I am a competitive powerlifter so being able to use my lat is crucial for my workouts.

I love that the gun has a bunch of different speeds. I started at a low speed and worked my way up to the top level to really work the knot out. I'm a big guy (265 lbs.) so ramping the gun up to top speed was great for a guy my size. My girlfriend has started using it as well."

Monday, June 3, 2019

Three Tasty Tacos

The Beef-Up (Spicy, Protein-Loaded Steak) Taco
Careful taking this one lightly— its power levels are off the charts. Pick up some flank steak and cornmeal tortillas to get started with this one, then you’ll want to season it with ingredients that focus on complimenting and bringing out the flavor of the beef.
Combine fresh diced onions and garlic with any peppers you have on hand (the spicier, the better), and top them off with lime juice and additional seasonings of your choice— a little chili powder, cayenne pepper, etc. will go a long way when combined with savory flank steak cuts and freshly chopped peppers.
Top it off with some cheese!

Taco Day

The Lean Bird Machine (Turkey and Black Beans) Taco
If you’re as serious about your diet as you are about your lifting (and you always should be— the two go hand in hand), then there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself with extra turkey breasts lying around from time to time. If not, go grab some— this makes for one of the tastiest and healthiest tacos that money can buy.
Combine whole wheat tortillas (cornmeal tortillas are fine) with pre-cooked turkey breast, cilantro, black beans, lettuce, and chili powder— the rest of the seasonings are up to you, but we recommend salsa and additional spices to bring out the best in the turkey and beans.

The Good Samaritan (Vegetarian Taco with Good Karma)
We didn’t forget about you, vegetarians— even the meatiest of meat heads among us have accepted that you can derive just as much protein (and arguably more nutrition) from achieving the discipline of a calorie-dense, vegetarian diet. This taco is a shout-out to those of you who enjoy abstaining from animal products while still bringing it in the gym and on the pavement.
Combine a cornmeal tortilla with a range of peppers— first and foremost, we recommend jalapenos and red bell peppers. Next, level it out with your preferred choice of beans. We’re partial to black beans, but pinto beans work exceptionally well for flavor —garlic, onions, oregano, and other universal taco constants apply equally here, along with your choice of cheese and optional extras. Add some oil (vegetable or olive), wrap it up, and you’re good to go.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

WOD Wednesday #104

5 rounds for time of:
7 left-arm dumbbell rows
7 right-arm dumbbell rows
21 dumbbell bench presses
500-m row

Men: 50-lb. dumbbells
Women: 35-lb. dumbbells

I like the movement combinations here, good stuff. Here are some thoughts on the workout:

Single-arm dumbbell row: I consider the volume to be low and load to be on the lighter side. This movement will present the least amount of difficulty for most of my athletes. My first thought on increasing difficulty is slowing down the tempo of each rep and requiring a very static torso position that is parallel to the ground. With my more advanced athletes, this might present an opportunity to increase load a bit. Keep in mind, this movement will have an effect on the bench press, so be careful with increasing load. As far as scaling goes, I will have my athletes reduce the load to complete 7 reps consecutively, on each arm, for each round.

Dumbbell Bench Press: I consider the loading prescription to be moderate and the volume to be relatively high. The difficulty can potentially increase due to the one-arm dumbbell rows. That being said, I will likely reduce load and/or reps if the athlete will need to take more than 2 short breaks on the first round. The goal is to not take more than 2-3 short breaks on any given round.

Rowing: I will have most of my athletes complete the entire distance, each round. In some cases, I will use time guidelines to assess when reducing distance may be beneficial. For example, if I have an athlete that is likely to row the initial 500 meters in over 2:30, I will consider reducing the distance each round or have them row for a 2:30 duration each round.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Product Review: Radien Sports Strongman Sandbag

Product Details:

The Secret’s Our Roll-Down Design:
Forget those leaky fitness sandbags that close with zippers, cords, or strings. This ingenious sandbag cinches just like a kayaker’s drybag: Roll down the top till it’s snug, then close the strong metal buckle. You’ll have a leakproof seal in seconds – with no need for awkward filler bags.

Best of All, It Adjusts for All Levels of Lifting
Simply fine-tune how much sand you add & how far down you fold the top:
Fill 1/3rd of the way to use as a kettlebell
Fill 2/3rds up to use as an Atlas Stone
Fill to capacity for serious loading events
Plus everything in between
  • Holds 50-300 Lbs: Use this sandbag weight for everything from kettlebell reps to strongman events.
  • Leakproof: Thanks to its clever roll-down design, your fitness sandbag won't leak sand.
  • Super Strong: Made of extra-tough 1000D nylon, your strongman sandbag will stand up to tons of wear.
  • 36 Options: It's crisscrossed with nylon bands, so you can grip this beach-ready bag multiple ways.
  • 3 Free Padded Handle Covers: All removable, so you can use them to cushion any of the 36 grip bands.

Product Review:
Want to burn your lungs and make your muscles scream? The Radien Sports Strongman Sandbag will get the job done. It is fantastic and holds a weight between 50-300lbs depending on the size. This sandbag is ideal for various workout routines such as kettlebell reps and strong man events.

The material of the Radien Sports Strongman Sandbag is sturdy and leak proof with a roll down design that ensures your sand does not leak. The material is sturdily made of two layers of nylon to withstand pushing slamming, throwing and pulling without tearing. The handles have multiple layers of padded covers that offer a firm comfortable grip during you exercises.

I received the medium size and I will be getting the large size. This thing is the perfect simulated atlas stone. It is made of some highly durable canvas which seems to be double walled. All the threads are a holding up well. And the cinch down buckle (like a dry bag) is ingenious. I filled mine with loose sand, I bring it back inside after working out; no spilled sand. When or if I need it lighter or heavier it's as simple as unroll, fill, cinch back down.
The Radien Sports Strongman sandbag has several handles that are strapped around the tube; this gives you several grip options: hence you can maximize your training. The multiple filler bags also allows you to choose on your perfect weight for your exercise depending on your level of fitness. It is ideal for both beginners and experts.

Other reviews, I noticed, didn't like the fact that there is no heavy duty handles sewn into the bag. This is true. The straps on the outside are like a sleeve that can be removed. I myself like this a lot. Because stones have no handles. I use mine without the straps. Helps with grip strength.

Does what it says. You fill it with sand, affix the hand straps, and go to town. One of the more reasonably priced bags on Amazon so the apparently exceptional build quality was a nice surprise. I will update if anything changes.

My initial concerns were sand leaking, how functional the handles would be, and how awkward it may be to do the exercises I wanted to do. As of now I have only worked out with it twice but I am extremely satisfied with my purchase.

No sand leaking at all and I feel comfortable letting it drop from my shoulders. The handles are well spaced and functional. Dead lifts & kettle bell swings weren't awkward at all. However, squats had a learning curve to them. First, getting the bag up over my shoulders. Second, positioning the bag comfortably. The first handful of times were pretty awkward but I came up with a process that works for me and even the squats feel good. It allows me to do everything I need without a gym membership or spending an arm/leg on equipment. As of right now,

I've used it for four workouts now, with this bag in motion for twenty minutes per workout. I have not slammed the bag, though I've dropped it. Not a grain of sand to be seen. I'm a plumber and believe in functional strength... I think the shifting weight of this bag will help me when I pick up toilets and other heavy items.

For the price and exceptional quality, you will regret picking the Radien Sports Strongman Sandbag for your training. It can still hold up steady and strong even after years of using. It is undoubtedly a 100% money back guarantee and I would highly recommend it!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Trigger Point Dry Needling Part Deux

Physical therapists routinely evaluate individuals for painful "trigger points' that can result in not only pain but, also limited movement and tolerance for activity.  If these areas of muscle hypersensitivity are not identified and then addressed therapeutically, they can result in a prolonged and sometimes chronic painful condition.  The "dry needling" component is simply a means of better allowing a technique to specifically zero in on and "reset" the muscle tissue that is hypersensitive.  As the name implies, dry needling involves the use of thin needles of varying length without anything "wet" going into or out of the body.  No medications or solutions are injected and most of the time no blood exits the body as the needles are a fraction of the size typically used for injections or for drawing blood.
The targets for these needles are trigger points which are taut bands (nodules) found within muscles that can be irritable and painful with pressure or palpation's and often times result from our body's response to injury.  When activated by pressure or irritated by injury or activity, they can reproduce an individuals pain at the site of the trigger point, or even in a seemingly unrelated location of the body, which may then result in a loss of motion or a decrease in function.  Since these identified areas of hyper sensitivity are ultimately the targets for part of our treatment regimen, it makes sense that dry needling is often called trigger point dry needling (TPDN).  Trigger points and muscle dysfunction (i.e. tight muscles or muscles that are not working properly) have been recognized since the 1950s and have been something physical therapists have been trained to correct with a variety of treatment approaches.  Stretching strengthening, therapeutic ultrasound, lasers, electrical stimulation, joint mobilizations, manipulation, as well as various techniques using thumbs elbows, and or tools have all been utilized and will continue to be used to address these problems.

Dry needling for trigger points was first used in 1979 when a physician found that using injections into trigger points to alleviate pain worked regardless of the medication used.  The needle actually seemed to be the source of the pain relief.  The rationale to explain how a skillfully placed needle into a muscle can result in a significant reduction of pain isn't completely understood.  Perhaps the needle causes a very specific and localized stretch to the taut fibers within the trigger point which then results in a 'twitch' response which ultimately renders the muscle to be less sensitive to movement.  Another theory is that there may be a localized increased chemical release or 'leak' of the chemical that causes a muscle to contract which may lead to incomplete relaxation of the affected area.  The needles may be enough of an irritant to the structure that is leaking the chemical that it releases more, resulting in a localized muscle twitch.  This may then use up the excess chemical which then ultimately helps to shut off the leak leaving behind a more relaxed muscle.  No matter what the exact mechanism is for why a needle in a trigger point makes it act differently, the result is a muscle that has been reset, no longer holding unnecessary tension or acting inhibited from performing its role in helping the body move.  This reset is often compared to the Control-Alt-Delete function on a computer effectively causing it to 'forget' whatever it was causing the problem!

Monday, May 20, 2019

What about the Lunge?

In sport, athletes display a high variance of movement potential. To build athleticism, strength trainers must select exercises that improve speed, power, and strength. In traditional strength training, the squat reigns supreme for improving lower body power and strength. But what about the lunge?
Since the squat directs force vertically, the lunge takes precedence in directing force horizontally. In running sports, acceleration and change of direction are paramount. Lunging can touch on athletic components that the squat alone cannot.

Why Lunge?
In looking at the athlete’s sporting demands, we see that movement happens in large part on one leg. This unilateral movement demands the athlete to have enough strength to both produce and resist force in the sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes.
Lunging variations serve to integrate and load multiple planes of movement that help the athlete’s proprioception and timing. Further, multi-planar lunging can help safeguard problematic and injury-prone areas like the groin, hips, lower back, hamstrings, and knees.
Although strength trainers cannot ultimately prevent injuries from happening, they can provide exercises that build multiplanar hip, knee, and ankle stability to make the athlete more robust and resilient. Since tight musculature and lack of mobility often contribute to injury potential, lunging provides an inbuilt mechanism for safeguarding against these risks.

The Lunge is Foundational
An assessment of the athlete at play is vital in determining which exercises to include in their training program. It is appropriate for a tennis player or fencer to train the lunging pattern, as their sports are almost entirely based on lunging and striking movements. However, swimmers, rock climbers, and gymnasts may not need the same training volume or intensity.

Since athletes from all sports must be able to move with precision, the lunge is as prudent as it is pragmatic. If the athlete is able to comfortably cross the midline of their body during cutting, acceleration, and deceleration, their chances of injury lessen while their performance increases.
In programming for strength and athletic performance, exercise selection ultimately comes down to the primary action of the athlete. Both bilateral and unilateral movements are important for the athlete, but the application of when and why to use each is paramount.

The Squat vs. Lunge
In human evolution, the squat is more of a rest position than an exercise, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be loaded for strength and power development. When loading the body with a barbell, kettlebell, or other implement, the squat trains the lower body’s maximum force development in the vertical plane
However, the lunge is advantageous for the athlete that must make a change of direction in sport. Further, athletes with prior injuries to the knees, low back, or hips may find loading lunging patterns easier than loading squats. In order to understand the necessity of lunging, we must look at the role the feet play in the squat and lunge:

Squat: The feet remain in a fixed position. The feet do not move during the movement.

Lunge: The feet move in a stepping motion in any direction. The feet return to the starting position or to a new position.
Since moving into a squat is a downward motion of the athlete, it’s wise to see how a bilateral squat can help improve an athlete’s overall power and vertical jump. However, lunging provides a stimulus for the athlete that must make a sudden forward thrust of the body like in sprinting, cutting, or attacking an opponent.

The Lunge Improves Athletic Ability
There are several progressions that I give to my athletes when learning to lunge. In order to progress, the athlete should demonstrate precision in each movement, loaded and unloaded.

Lunging Continuum
Split Squat  > Reverse Lunge > Walking Lunge > Forward Lunge > Power Lunge

Friday, May 17, 2019


During treatments, you need to do an ongoing evaluation of length/strength of muscles, relationships of body parts. I.e., which part moves most, which least; why? Which part is tighter causing abnormal positioning? 

Resting position (normal posture) gives strong clues as to which muscles are long, which are short, since resting position is a "balance" between antagonistic muscles. We need to lengthen muscles that are too short, and shorten supporting muscles that are too long, then use them habitually in that shortened position. This will counter balance the muscles that tend to get too long. It is ineffective to merely strengthen long muscles; they must be gotten to be shorter in their "resting" position by habitual positioning.

Need train movement to be correct through practice so correct part moves, correct part STABILIZES. (practice, use wall for support, mirrors for visual alignment.

Need correct postural habits which involves all the above, i.e. exercise must become a habit
  1.  Effects - refers to physiological changes
  2. Indication - refers to an advisable, safe, recommended, prescribed treatment based upon clinical signs and symptoms.
  3. Contraindication - refers to an inadvisable, potentially unsafe, not recommended treatment based upon clinical signs and symptoms.
  4. Precautions - It is "okay" to consider this treatment with caution.  there may be potentially negative consequences. Be aware and ready to discontinue treatment based upon effects (subjective and objective) signs and symptoms that occur during the treatment.
Common Abbreviations:
  • Rx - Prescription
  • Tx - Treatment
  • Dx - Diagnosis
  • PMHx - Past Medical History
  • BID - Bi Daily (two times a day)
  • PRN - As Needed
  • THR - Total Hip Replacement
  • c/o - Complaint
  • WBAT - Weight Bearing As Tolerated
  • WOD - Workout of the Day
  • AMRAP - As Many Reps As Possible
  • EMOM - Every Minute On the Minute
  • PR - Personal Record
  • 1RM - 1 Rep Max
  • Wednesday, May 15, 2019

    WOD Wednesday #103

    5 2-minute rounds of: - 15-cal. row
    - Max strict weighted toes-to-bars

    Rest 2 minutes

    Men use 8-lb. ball for T2B
    Women use 4-lb. ball for T2B

    In this interval workout, you have to use a hip-opening movement to earn time to perform a hip-closing movement. A moderate amount of rest is provided, allowing you to push hard in each round. Select a number of calories that will allow you about 60-75 seconds on the bar, and select a toes-to-bar variation that will allow you to perform at least 8-10 reps per interval.

    Intermediate Option5 2-minute rounds of:
    - 12-cal. row
    - Max strict toes-to-bars
    Rest 2 minutes

    Beginner Option5 2-minute rounds of:
    - 10-cal. row
    - Max strict hanging knee raises
    Rest 2 minutes

    Tuesday, May 14, 2019

    Balance, Balance, Balance

    Stance is the position of the feet and legs in standing. Stance has a primary impact on balance, along with movement and surface. Stances that require a small base of support, e.g., tandem, split, single-leg, etc., are more challenging to balance. Conversely, stances that have wide bases (feet apart) are easier on balance. Below is list of standard stances, in order of increasing levels of difficulty:

    Normal: feet about shoulder width apart.

    Feet Together: feet are positioned near each other in narrow stance, heels may touch.

    Split Stance: feet arranged with one foot forward and one foot back.

    To make balancing easier, widen the frontal plane distance between feet. Narrow the distance to make it harder.

    Narrowing the sagittal plane distance will also help make balancing easier. Conversely, widening the distance between the feet will make it harder.

    Tandem Stance: one foot directly in front of the other, like standing on a narrow balance beam.

    Modify tandem stance to make balancing easier; place feet so inside border of heel touches inside border of toe on opposite foot.

    Single-Leg Stance: standing on one foot.

    For patients unable to stand on one foot, modify single-leg stance by resting the opposite foot on the ground, stool, or wall.

    Functional carryover of arrow stances includes improved ability to stand in confined areas, such as, spaces between furniture, stored items, walls, etc. Split stance postures are also common when reaching deep into a pantry or fridge. Additionally, steadiness in single-leg stance is helpful when stepping over a tub, up/down a curb, up/down stairs, etc.
    The next time you want to increase the level of difficulty for balance training, try a new stance. Modifying stances is a great way to fine tune intensity, helping to ensure proper training at the 20:20 ratio for steadiness and unsteadiness. Don’t be afraid to take a stance, try a new stance, or change stances on balance – your patients will thank you. Happy balancing!

    Wednesday, May 8, 2019

    Product Review: XTERRA Fitness AIR650 AirBike Pro

    Product Details:
    The XTERRA Fitness Airbike Pro offers a tremendous range of workout solutions – the unlimited range of air resistance provides low resistance at slow speeds to high resistance at fast speeds. Simply put, it increases resistance the harder you work, so it’s great for everyone.
    This modern take on a classic modality is one of the most popular full-body workouts available. The XTERRA Fitness Airbike Pro offers a tremendous range of workout solutions – the unlimited range of air resistance provides low resistance at slow speeds to high resistance at fast speeds. Simply put, it increases resistance the harder you work, so it’s great for everyone. Few other full body workouts are as low impact, easy to use, and burn so many calories in such a small compact design. Whether you are looking to rehab an injury, shake up your WOD (workout of the day), or cross-train for your next race, the XTERRA Fitness AIR650 Airbike Pro has you covered.
    • RESISTANCE: Smooth, unlimited air resistance provides low resistance at slow speeds and high resistance at fast speeds – user controlled and great for anything from rehab to high intensity interval training
    • DRIVE SYSTEM: Industrial grade chain drive system operates as a fixed gear (direct drive) and is extremely durable and reliable
    • CONSOLE: Performance monitor LCD display is easy to read with all your necessary information - RPM, Speed, Time, Distance, Calories, Watt, Interval Prompt, and Heart Rate. Chest strap transmitter (not included) is required for heart rate display to function.
    • PROGRAMS: Quick mode program buttons include Target Time, Target Distance, Target Calories, Target HR, Interval 20-10, Interval 10-20, and Interval Custom
    • SEAT: Performance designed seat enables maximum exercise mobility while still providing support and comfort
    • HANDLEBARS: Ergonomic handlebars are designed with multiple padded grip options and are built to take the most intense upper body workouts
    • PEDALS: Wide, low profile pedals are anti-skid with dual sided molded pegs for an excellent grip
    • FOOT PEGS: Large foot pegs are knurled for better grip, allows user to rest their feet during targeted upper-body workouts
    • ADJUSTABILITY: Seat is fully adjustable (up/down/forward/back) to provide users with a proper fit
    • FAN: 9 heavy duty steel fan blades are completely enclosed in a 27” wire steel fan housing – added benefit is the fan keeps you cool during workouts
    • FRAME: Heavy-duty steel frame is extremely stable and backed by our lifetime warranty
    • POWER: No external plug-in required, console uses 4 AA batteries (included)
    • STORAGE: Large transport wheels allow for easy transport to any room in the house
    Product Review:
    Finally, a heavy-duty exercise bike designed directly for the use of athletes to rehab patients and everyone in between. The Xterra Fitness AirBike Pro reinvents and retools nearly every component of the traditional fan bike, from the frame construction to the crank, pedals, monitor and more.
    The great thing about the Xterra Fitness Air Bike is that it can work for a beginner, a rehabbing athlete, or a seasoned pro training at the highest levels of competition—no matter their sport, body type, or ambition. While fanbikes have existed for nearly half a century, modern advances in their design and function have made them increasingly in-demand among military personnel, pro and college sports teams, competitive cyclists and sprinters, and high performance athletes from the cross-training ranks. The key: you set your own pace. The resistance adapts to your own output, and the bike’s multiple, custom seat adjustments make for a more comfortable, customized ride.
    This bike has become an essential part of my daily routine. I've actually been using fan bikes for almost two years at my local CrossFit gym and fell in love with it there. Now I have one of my own so I can use it when I want, which is just about every day.

    There's nothing quite like it. Resistance increases the faster you pedal. There is no coasting. It's a workout from the first pedal to the last. And it's super simple. Some might be put off because of this. The monitor is an upgrade over the competition with all the the important information you need to monitor your work...time, calories, MPH, watts (watts are what you should be watching's the best indicator of how much work you're actually doing).

    It also has several simple programs built in including interval training, distance, calories, and heart rate. I like the interval programs. Research shows interval training is the best for your overall well being. I've taken to doing the 10-20 (that's 10 seconds work hard and 20 seconds rest) in the morning. You go through it 8 times which is a total of 4 minutes. I burn about 50 calories in that 4 minutes and I really feel it when I'm done. If you do interval training right and push as hard as you can during the intervals, you will get to that "breathless" state where the magic happens.

    In the physical therapy world, Dual Action Air Bikes are simply smart. Wind resistance is exponential, so the harder you pedal, or push/ pull your arms, the higher the resistance becomes. This naturally provides the right workout for both a novice exerciser and an elite athlete.  You will find the bike in heart centers, physical therapies, Cross Fit gyms, NFL training rooms, and millions of homes throughout the world.
    The bike was super easy to put together. I followed along with the directions that were included  and it probably took me all of 20 minutes. There are actually very few parts for you to assemble, and it's super helpful that all the screws are already in the holes that you'll tighten them in.

    Main Points to Consider:
    -   Effective for Any Ability
    Xterra Fitness Air Bikes resistance is controlled by the user, not the machine. You can control the intensity of your workout - The harder you push, pull and pedal, the more air you're moving and the greater the resistance. Cool-down and lower your heart rate by easing the intensity of your push, pull, and pedal stroke in order to decrease the resistance and amount of air moving.
    -  Full-Body Workout
    Pushing, Pulling, and Pedaling can all be done with a Xterra Air Bike. This activates muscles in your arms, chest, back, legs, and even your core for washboard abs! Quickly burn calories with a full-body workout where you control the intensity of your exercise regimen!
    -  Comfortable and adjusts to fit various heights
    The adjustable seat allows you to adjust the seat up/down, and forward/back. Simply loosen the pop-pin and pull out to adjust the vertical distance from seat to pedal. Next, loosen the seat lever to slide the seat closer or further away from the handlebars!
    -  Easy Transport and Storage
    Simply tilt the AIR650 forward and roll away using the 2 over-sized wheels from the front stabilizer
    -  Built to Last, COMMERCIAL GRADE!
    More robust than competitor Bikes and uses more durable moving parts. Xterra Fitness Air Bikes utilize the best technology in exercise bikes for a heavy-duty piece of equipment built to withstand anything you can throw at it!

    -  Easily Measure Performance and Progress
    Competition Ready: The Xterra Fitness Air Bike comes everything you're accustomed to and more! The console measures distance, watts, speed, and calories. The Large Console Display gives users an easy way to measure performance and track progress.  Everything you need in one, easy-to-read console with the ability to setup Interval Training, Target Training, Heart-Rate Training, and more. Polar-Heart Rate Chest Belts are compatible.

    The console also allows for switching between units of measurement: Meters or Miles and measures to the tenth of a Calorie so you know your exact progress. Our console is easier to use and more accurately reads changes in speed. We've also included the ability to SET or TARGET distance, calories, and time while the console counts down from your targeted goal so you know just how much longer to work for.

    -  How does it compare to other Air Bikes?
    The Xterra Fitness AIR650 Air Bike features increased durability by using higher quality parts throughout the frame. We've reinforced weak points of other air bike models to create the most durable and robust bike on the market. The frame weighs more than comparable models which leads to more stability.

    Purchase your XTERRA Fitness AIR650 HERE

    Monday, May 6, 2019

    Ached by Lower Back Pain? Stand up Straighter with Physical Therapy

    Lower back pain is a sensation all too familiar to millions of people. This ache can hinder many aspects of your life: working, spending time with friends and family, partaking in the activities you enjoy, and even just relaxing. The World Health Organization estimates that in the United States, 149 million days of work are lost due to low back pain. It is the leading cause of inactivity among adults, and it can result in other health issues if left untreated. It is also extremely common, appearing in 60-70% of people across industrialized nations.
    If lower back pain is plaguing your everyday life, it is important that you find relief as soon as you can. For more information on how we can help get you back to a pain-free life, call our office today.
    How can physical therapy help?
    Physical therapists focus specifically on pain and injury to help their patients regain function, comfort, and mobility. Physical therapy treatments are used to alleviate pain, promote healing, and bring restored function and movement to the painful area. When you come in for a consultation, your physical therapist will provide you with an extensive evaluation, discovering what form of treatment will be best for whatever orthopedic, neurologic, or cardiovascular condition you are facing.
    Physical therapy also consists of two categorized types of treatments: passive physical therapy and active physical therapy:
    Passive physical therapy
    The purpose of passive physical therapy is to help pain become more manageable, and hopefully to alleviate it altogether. Lower back pain can be a debilitating condition, impeding your physical abilities. Because of this, physical therapists work hard to reduce pain as much as possible. Passive physical therapy can include any combination of these specialty treatments, as deemed fit by your physical therapist:
    • Massage
    • Manual therapies
    • Hydrotherapy
    • Ultrasound
    • Dry needling
    • Heat/ice packs
    • Iontophoresis
    Some of these methods are used to reduce pain and swelling, such as heat/ice packs and massage therapy. Electrical stimulation, while it sounds intimidating, is a painless treatment that delivers minuscule waves of electricity throughout your nervous system. This also helps with pain relief, and it can also help in decreasing muscle spasms, as well as encouraging your body to produce pain-relieving hormones. Hydrotherapy is an aquatic-based treatment, in which patients will perform low-intensity movements in water, thus relieving any muscle pressure they may be experiencing and allowing their joints to move freely and comfortably. These techniques are more commonly used for the treatment of lower back pain than others, although any could be prescribed based on your physical therapist’s discretion.
    Active physical therapy
    The purpose of active physical therapy is to provide exercises that the patient can do on their own in the later stages of their physical therapy treatment. Once your lower back pain has subsided enough that your physical therapist believes you are ready for active physical therapy, he or she will set up and exercise schedule specific to your needs. This can include any combination of stretching, strength training, and stability training, and it is all geared toward helping you gain back your flexibility, range of motion, and muscle strength. These exercises will help provide support to the painful area and will guide you further in your recovery process.
    What will my visits look like?
    At your initial consultation, your physical therapist will ask you several questions regarding your medical history, lifestyle, and painful area(s). This information will assist your physical therapist in creating the best treatment plan for you and your specific needs, so you can be provided with long-term results.
    After your consultation, your evaluation process will begin. Your physical therapist will examine you by assessing your posture, coordination, strength, balance, flexibility, blood pressure, and/or heart rate, depending on your pain and symptoms. This evaluation will be both manual and visual.
    When you’ve completed your thorough evaluation, your physical therapist will then create your treatment plan, beginning with passive physical therapy and leading into active physical therapy. You may also be given exercises to do at home, during your time away from treatments. This is all done in order to reduce pain, avoid further injury, and provide you with the quickest recovery time possible

    Wednesday, May 1, 2019

    Everything You Need to Know About Barbells

    Much of how a lifter classifies knurling seems to depend on what bars he/she has used and his/her barbell sport background. Perhaps someone who has a powerlifting background and lifted with a specialized powerlifting bar for years can have a different opinion of what aggressive knurling is. The best knurl grade for you will be what you are accustomed to in most instances.

    A point of marketing that has surfaced recently is the notion that clean, defined borders of knurling is somewhat indicative of higher quality. The reality of these prominent lines is that this effect can be created in such a way that compromises the steel strength of the barbell.

    Knurling is cut into the barbell with a CNC Lathe. Some lathes will require more manual handling than others. The borders of the knurling are created where the machine stops and is restarted again. A fully robotic machine can make exact adjustments during this process, whereas a barbell that is hand-crafted by a man must be reset manually. What some barbell manufacturers will do, (even with some IWF certified bars), is they’ll cut the lines after the knurling is done to create a nice, super neat border. This looks great, and internet bloggers will certainly say this “high quality” feature is a positive attribute of the barbell. The main issue is that any physical cut in to steel is an opportunity to weaken it because it creates stress points. Multiple, unnecessary stress points along the barbell shaft are detrimental to steel strength and the higher the tensile strength of the material, the greater the problem this creates.

    Many lifters will like the traditional centre knurling featured on many barbells. Some consider the extra grip they feel on the back of their t-shirt ideal because it makes the bar feel more secure when squatting. The actual purpose of the centre knurling on barbells dates back to when one-armed “odd” lifts were part of competitive weightlifting and even included in the inaugural Olympic games in the late 1800's. The one-armed snatch and the one-armed clean and jerk are only a few examples of lifts that required such knurling. You’ll notice that 15 kg barbells don’t feature a centre knurling because women were not included in weightlifting competitions until well after the one-armed lifts were phased out. For most Olympic weightlifters, the centre knurling will be an annoyance so many higher end weightlifting bars will have a recessed centre knurling for this reason. The IWF specifies the centre knurling is still a requirement for 20 kg barbells, so manufacturers produce their bars to meet this requirement.

    Barbell Finishes and Their Properties

    Here is a list of many barbell finishes and their pros and cons:

    Black Zinc: Looks Great. Wears (down) easily. Often times it is difficult to make black zinc appear to be truly black. Typically you will end up with a somewhat charcoal to chocolate finish or somewhat of a dark olive colour.

    Black Oxide: Has a matte black appearance. Black oxide is not so much a coating as it is a chemical process of turning steel black. It has very little anti-corrosive properties which means it will rust quickly if not cared for properly. It will scratch, but it does not flake off. The scratches are just a lighter or a different shade of black so they show more. Black oxide does leave the barbell with a raw steel feel without being purely raw steel.

    Bright Zinc: Looks great and classic. It can vary from very shiny, almost chrome-like in appearance to a more matte finish. Exhibits a higher resistance to corrosion than black zinc. Bright Zinc will tarnish and turn grey over time. It is considered a sacrificial coating as it oxides itself rather than the steel underneath it. It will eventually develop a patina which makes each bar have its own unique look depending on its use.

    Nickel Chrome: Looks great and classic. Chrome will scratch or chip if mistreated, but it typically lasts a lifetime. All higher end weightlifting bars are nickel chrome or hard chrome plated.

    Hard Chrome: Hard chrome is actually an industrial finish. Although it can be polished to high lustre , it will not have the aesthetics of nickel chrome. Hard Chrome has a couple of advantages over Nickel Chrome. It does actually fortify the bar and increases the overall tensile strength. It will easily last 20 years or more. The disadvantage of Hard Chrome is that it can have slight marks in it where the components are suspended by a thin wire during the electroplating. Due to Hard Chrome being so thick, even a small imperfection can be made more noticeable where the material accumulates.

    Thin Dense Chrome: It has a matte dark grey appearance that is very unique looking. It has the feel of raw steel without the rust problems of bare steel or some of the other coatings. It adds tensile strength to the barbell just like Hard Chrome does.

    Bare/Raw Steel. It looks really great and feels great... for about a week, then it will start to oxidize and rust. If you don't like oiling barbells and meticulously caring for them, or don't mind lifting a rusty bar, a raw piece of steel is ideal for you. With routine oiling, wiping perspiration from the bar after each use, and storing it in a climate controlled environment, the steel will develop a nice bronze/grey coloured patina.

    Barbell Rotation Types
    Bronze Bushings, Composite Bushings, Needle Bearings

    Composite Bushings are made from hard plastic compounds. They are actually harder than bronze and will not break down after extensive use. Over time, the spin of the bar won’t improve (like with the Oilite Bushing), it will remain consistent

    Needle bearings provide the smoothest and quickest bar rotation. There are a number of barbell varieties with either 10 or 8 needle bearings being the most common variety. We have found the quality, grade, and fit of the bearings as well of type of lubricant used has more impact on spin than total number of bearings.

    Eight (8) bearings can actually take up as much space as Ten (10) bearings, depending on size of the bearings. Bearings are available in different load ratings and widths. Higher load bearings may not spin as easily unloaded and lighter load bearings usually spin much quicker without load, such as spinning with the hand. Once the bar is loaded, there will be no discernible difference in speed of rotation. The higher load rating bearings will last longer and can absorb more impact shock. The reality of weightlifting is that the bar only turns over 180 degrees during a proper lift, and although weightlifting is fast, it's relatively slow as far as revolutions per minute (rpm). Needle bearings are really designed for super high speed applications, meaning thousands of rpm's per minute. Although weightlifting doesn’t push needle bearings to the full capacity of what they are designed to do, utilizing these bearings can still contribute to a successful lift.