Wednesday, July 31, 2019

WOD Wednesday #108

Complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:
  • 400-m run
  • Max set of strict pull-ups
  • Max set of strict ring dips

INTENDED STIMULUS: This one is very straightforward and fun AF. You need to run hard and you need to go to failure on the gymnastics movements. Gaming this one to maximize the number of pull-ups and dips will not give you as much fitness as if you're going in headfirst. It might give you a better score ... maybe. Instead use the clock to make you fitter. Really try to get that next round, and then that next round. Pushing a fast pace today is all that matters. Keep the runs fast and waste no time in transitions. Today there is really no time to stop, you can slow down the beginning of your runs and the ends if you really need to. But that is it. Commit to not stopping! 

Athletes scaling the gymnastics movements should aim to preserve the strictness of it.  Modify the distance in the run so that you can keep it close to or under 2:00. 

OPTION 1 Complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of: 400-m run Max set of strict banded pull-ups Max set of strict banded ring dips 

OPTION 2 Complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of: 200-m run Max set of toenail pull-ups Max set of toenail dips

Monday, July 29, 2019

XPO Sled - Exponential Resistance

The XPO Trainer 2.0 is the first wheeled push sled in the industry, but its truly groundbreaking feature is a patent-pending exponential resistance curve: the harder and faster you push the sled, the more the resistance increases—no weight plates required.*

This innovative design offers a wide range of benefits for athletes of every size, skill level, and discipline, as well as those rehabbing from injuries. As you build up the intensity of your training, from light rehab up to full-on competition level, the XPO Trainer adapts, with an added load component at the upper end of the resistance curve to help build explosive power in a full-body workout.

The XPO Trainer’s three wheels include rubberized treads for safe all-terrain use, indoor or outdoor, with greater control and less risk of scuffs than traditional steel sled skis. The wheels are also quieter in operation that most standard weight sleds. For portability and storage convenience, the sled’s push handles are removable.

*Weight Plates are not included with the XPO Trainer 2, but users can add them to the included weight post to assist with traction on slicker surfaces.

Do note, however, that adding weight plates to the sled does NOT change the resistance curve.

  • Made by Armored Fitness Equipment
  • First Push Sled with Wheels
  • Patent-Pending Exponential Resistance Curve: As you push harder/faster, the resistance increases to compensate
  • No Weight Plates Included or Required
  • (2) Removable Handles for easy transport and storage
  • Laser-cut XPO Trainer logo in front plating
  • Durable rubberized wheels for safe all-surface sled training
  • Nearly Silent Operation
  • Suitable for Beginner / Rehab up to High Intensity / Pro training
  • Color: Black

"I owned one of the Prowler Sleds version 1.0. Great concept but putting them to use in a parking lot or city street was riddled with challenges. Noise was a big one. You really need a dedicated strip of field turf or the like, and then the amount of space can become an issue for longer efforts. The XPO Trainer is a better mousetrap. Quiet, and the accommodating resistance is really where the XPO Trainer shines. You can use it on any surface (short of a muddy field), and you are in business.

- It's a great tool for building work capacity. The accommodating resistance allows me to train all of the energy systems. - You can train any age demographic - young, old, or in between. -There is no eccentric load, so it is terrific for recovery sessions. Blood is pumped to the legs and torso flushing out metabolic by­products. -Folks with knee pain that can not squat, lunge or step up can train their legs effectively while they build back up to traditional movements. - Older athletes with orthopedic issues can successfully condition with weight­bearing activity. - General warm­ups. Anything from 5­-15 minutes is ideal for elevating core temperature."

"every time it's mentioned on the white board, I am guaranteed to have one of the most brutal workouts ever. We workout in a parking lot behind houses, and the wheels make the sled silent which is great for us and our neighbors. The resistance is felt the minute you start pushing. When you try to push harder, the sled pushes back. Even a quick 50m sprint burns. Their support is great too, tons of videos on their website that show how to assemble, workout ideas, etc. Really proud of this small company and what they've been able to achieve with this product! It really is the best sled ever."

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

Tips for Getting Stronger with Gymnastic Rings

Today’s article explains a technique that will radically change your strength on the rings, on the pull-up bar and using free weights.

We’re talking about hanging from a bar or your rings. One of the simplest and most accessible of all exercises is often one of the most under utilized in people’s day to day training. It’s something children do any chance they get, and something you should do too.

This “skill” is one of the primary biological functions our bodies are designed to perform. Our genetic legacy comes from apes 🦍which are nature’s hanging, swinging, kings of the canopy. Although your iPhone makes you think you’re some how far removed from your hairy ancestors... you’re body doesn’t know that to be the case. Your shoulders are rare in the animal 🦒kingdom and they need to be treated with the respect they deserve; and they deserve a constant diet of hanging and swinging.

Spending a dedicated amount of time each day, or several times a week hanging from a bar or rings will help strengthen your hands, shoulders, decompress your spine and hips as well as build a powerful neural connection which will help to improve any exercise involving your grip.

(Learn more by finding related articles such as: )

Gymnasts and climbers know and understand the importance of racking up TUT (time under tension) through hanging. Their sports depend on them being able to suspend their body weight during extended periods of time.

However, the day to day fitness enthusiast, beginner or even long term veteran with a desire to break that training barrier will massively increase their performance by filtering in more hanging.

Whether strength is your goal or just overall well-being, plan to put a few days a week of dedicated work into this skill.

There are numerous ways to hang and some, depending on what style or strength adaptation is desired can change depending on the complexity of the hang that fits your needs.

A very useful beginner protocol is to start by trying to accumulate 3 minutes of time hanging from a bar or rings. Grab the bar, squeeze your hand tightly and have a stop watch or clock nearby to be conscious of how long you hang for each time.

It’s preferable to be completely suspended and hanging in a straight line, but if you need to bend your knees, don’t worry, you can still benefit tremendously.

For truly rank beginners hanging with the feet touching the ground to help displace body weight is a great option to get going. With this method even the extremely elderly or weak con begin to improve their upper body strength and health.

As strength progresses, more challenging variations can be performed.

Hanging with knees raised, or legs extended in L-sit are very challenging next steps.

Hanging and switching from one hand to another further pushes the grip envelope.

Later, one arm hangs and one arm L-sits can be performed as our strength to weight ratio gets higher and higher.

Even bent arm hangs can be used to advance our skills and strength.

When looking at health and well-being, passive hangs to decompress the spine and hips make a big difference in the mobility and quality of our shoulders, vertebral discs and pelvis.

Another great variation is the inverted hang which tractions our shoulder and cervicales spine by turning the body upside down.

Whatever level of strength or desire to improve you find yourself at, working in a schedule to hang with regularity will be one of the best choices you ever make. Start today and in one week you’ll begin to notice a difference in your hand and body strength.

Content courtesy of Happy Fat Rings - HFR

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!