Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Workout of the Day: 12 Days of Christmas

For Time:
1 L Sit Pull Up
2 Strict Toes to Bar
3 Bench Jumps
4 Overhead Plate Step ups (35lbs)
5 Plate Shoulder Press (35lbs)
6 Overhead Plate Lunges (35lbs)
7 Kettle bell Swings (35lbs)
8 Hollow Rocks
9 Burpees
10 Push ups
11 Front Squats (75lbs)
12 Hang Squat Cleans (75lbs)


*Rounds 1 and 2 do not let go of pull up bar
**Rounds 4, 5, and 6 do not drop the plate below face level

Like the song the “12 Days of Christmas,” complete each exercise in ascending order then work back down to 1, adding one exercise per round. Like this: 1; 2-1; 3-2-1; 4-3-2-1; etc – for a total of 364 reps.

There are many variations of this WOD (aka: “12 Days of CrossFit“). The movements and weights may always be changed to suit the athlete.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

How Long Will It Take To Recoup Your Home Gym Investment?


An idea of a home gym may sound too expensive for you; however, in reality, it’s a great investment. The best part is that you don’t have to wait too long for your return on investment. You can get it as soon as 7 months! Let us break it down, because everyone likes numbers when it comes to savings, right?

 

Fray Fitness garage gym equipment

If you’re going to a big box gym like Gold’s or similar, the monthly price is around $50 on average! You might get perks like a sauna and swimming pool with that, but how many times you have used the swimming pool? You’re there for a squat rack, weights, and maybe leg press - all of which you often have to wait on. In the meantime, there is an overwhelming amount of people and machines, while you just want to stick to your simple routine. Things that bothered you at your local gym won’t be a problem with a home gym anymore!

 

On the other hand, if you choose to go to a CrossFit® gym on an unlimited plan, you will spend AT LEAST $150 per month. That is $1800 every year! With your home gym investment of $1,000, you'd make your investment back in less than 7 months. Think about it, you will have everything you need in your garage gym for the price of your membership. You don’t have to be constricted by the class hours, you can have your CrossFit® or cross-training workouts whenever it works best for you. If you were missing motivation, nothing can motivate you more than the convenience of your gym and your new gym toys! Some people like the social aspect of a group training gym, being a part of the team that pushes you, but you can still invite people to your home gym. Moreover, you can now workout with your family.

Recoup Home Gym Investment

So, to sum it up, if you spend $1,000 to start your home gym you would make your investment back in less than 7 months if you were going to a CrossFit® gym or 20 months for a big box gym. However, the beauty of a home gym, besides saving a ton of money, is that you get to have your schedule. Whether you are curious about lifting or have been in this game for quite a while, a home gym can be ideal for you! If you are worried about not knowing what exercises to do? Street Parking is an online workout programmer with a focus on lifting and metabolic conditioning. Only $180 for a year!

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Say Goodbye to Your Aches and Pains with Physical Therapy

Don’t Let Yourself Live in Pain Any Longer!

Whether you have recently started waking up with generalized aches and pains, or suffering from chronic pain for a long time, physical therapy has been proven to be the best possible treatment method for you.

A sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, or an injury can all contribute to aches and pains. The bad news is that the pain is probably not going to go away on its own. The good news is that a physical therapist can put you back on the right track and help get rid of those aches and pains.

Is your pain persistent?

Your physical therapist will also work to educate you on ways to keep aches and pains at bay, by living a healthier lifestyle. This can range from advice on staying hydrated and enjoying better nutrition, to exercises and stretches you can do at home.

The goal is to get you to the point where you are motivated to stay healthy without the need for regular physical therapy sessions. All of this will contribute to solving your aches and pains.

How will physical therapy help?

Physical therapy has a wide range of tactics and techniques that can be deployed to help with pain management. Here are just a few:

Say Goodbye to Your Aches and Pains with Physical Therapy

  • Cold laser therapy to release endorphins
  • Movement therapy and exercise
  • Joint and bone manipulation
  • Tissue massage
  • Manual therapy
  • Microcurrent stimulation to release serotonin

Within each of those categories, your physical therapist has a lot of tools and techniques at their disposal.

For example, movement therapy and exercise might mean running on a treadmill, or working in a swimming pool. It all depends on your physical condition, the source of your aches and pains, and the treatment methods that are most likely to meet with results.

Diagnosing your pain with PT

Your first visit with a physical therapist will involve a conversation about your symptoms and medical history, as well as some simple tests. Be prepared to answer questions about past injuries that may be contributing to your current aches and pains. Your diet, exercise routine and daily activities will also be discussed. This is to give your therapist an idea of the possible cause or causes of your aches and pains.

You will then be given a series of tests, based on your description of your symptoms. These will involve posture and range of motion exercises, and possibly some strength and resistance tests. When your therapist knows where you are experiencing aches and pains and has determined the likely causes, your personalized physical therapy treatment plan will be drawn up.

If you’re noticing aches and pains in the morning, it could be your mattress

According to Spine Health, “Sleeping on the wrong mattress can cause or worsen lower back pain. Lack of support from a mattress reinforces poor sleeping posture, strains muscles and does not help keep the spine in alignment, all of which contribute to low back pain.

Sleep comfort is also sacrificed if a mattress does not match one’s individual preferences. A mattress that provides both comfort and back support helps reduce low back pain, allowing the structures in the spine to really rest and rejuvenate during the night.”

While the Better Sleep Council recommends replacing your mattress every 7 to 10 years, the way you feel in the morning is a better indicator that it’s time to replace your sleep surface.

If your mattress was once comfortable but now seems to be at the root of your aches and pains, it may be time to replace it. Physical changes like injuries, surgery and weight change can also change your body’s position as you sleep, necessitating a faster change in your mattress.

What could be causing my pain?

If you suffer from generalized aches and pains when you wake up in the morning, here is what your physical therapist will tell you. Our bodies build up inflammation in the tissues throughout the day. This can be extremely subtle and you may not notice it, even by the end of the day.

But when we lie down and go to sleep, the inflammation can thicken and settle into your muscles. This in turn immobilizes your joints and can lead to aches and pains when you wake up. That same process repeats, day after day.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Need More Physical Activity? Here’s How to Get It


Did you know that 
80 percent of the U.S. population falls short of the Physical Activity Guidelines recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services? Millions of Americans are risking serious health consequences simply because they do too much sitting and not enough moving around. You may not find that information shocking, especially if you’re one of those 80 percent. What really might surprise you, however, is just how easily you can give your daily activity level a dramatic boost. Here are seven simple tips from our physical therapist for adding some much-needed additional exercise to your life.

1. Walk Instead of Drive

Many people automatically get into their cars even for a brief trip to the mailbox or corner store. What if you spent an extra few minutes each day walking instead of driving? It might not sound like much of a workout, but walking increases the circulation, exercises your legs and feet, sheds excess pounds, keeps your joints limber and helps to release stress.Need More Physical Activity? Here's How to Get It

2. Get a Bicycle

If that trip to the corner store takes too much time on foot, maybe it’s time you remembered how to ride a bicycle. Cycling exercises different muscles than walking, making it a valuable complement to that discipline when you need to go a little farther and a little faster. It also provides you with a significant cardio workout.

3. Take Up a New Sport

Getting that extra activity doesn’t have to be a chore; it could just as easily take the form of new fun. Have you thought of taking up tennis, golf, surfing, swimming, running, or a team sport such as soccer or softball? These sports all offer different physical benefits, and they all get you up and moving.

4. Join a Yoga Class

Physical activity isn’t always a matter of running or jumping around at a frenetic pace. Yoga offers profound benefits to body and mind by releasing stress, stretching muscles, increasing your range of motion, and helping you master your breathing. A yoga class offers structured learning as well as a positive social environment.

5. Stand at Your Desk

Standing desks have become all the rage in workplaces, and for good reason. Standing at your desk instead of sitting can help prevent unwanted weight gain, regulate blood sugar levels after meals, ease back pain, elevate your mood and energy level, reduce your heart disease risk and add years to your life expectancy. You may even find that you get more work done!

6. Turn “Couch Potato Time” Into a Workout

There’s nothing wrong with spending some quality time watching your favorite TV shows or movies — but you don’t necessarily have to spend all those hours sprawled on your couch, motionless. Consider getting a stationary bike or treadmill that you can use while you’re catching up on your stories. You’ll have just as much fun, but you’ll be working out instead of sacking out.

7. Exercise With Your Dog

Have you ever marveled at the sheer energy and endurance displayed by your dog? Dogs love to walk, run, play catch and explore. Join in these activities, and you’ll find that your dog gives you one heck of a workout.

One Final Tip: Get Physical Therapy

Are there activities on this list that you’d love to try — if only your body would let you? Physical therapy could get you back in shape to get into better shape. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

Ready to Overcome Your Hip and Knee Pains? Give PT a Try


Move Comfortably Once Again with the Help of Physical Therapy

Do your weight-bearing joints feel more like pain-bearing joints these days? If you have a hip or knee that just can’t support your body weight without causing annoying aches or agonizing pains, you may be unable to perform your job, play sports, handle household tasks, or even find a comfortable sitting or sleeping position.

These limitations and frustrations might have you taking potentially risky painkillers or considering joint replacement surgery. Fortunately, many causes of hip and knee pain respond quite well to physical therapy – the natural approach to pain management.

How can physical therapy relieve my hip and knee pains?

Getting relief from knee or hip pain doesn’t necessarily involve the use of heavy drugs such as opiates or procedures such as joint replacement surgery. Physical therapy can improve your joint function while also easing your pain and stiffness.

Our physical therapist can prescribe exercises aimed at addressing your specific condition, such as:

  • Step exercises
  • Hamstring curls
  • Leg lifts
  • Hip flexion, extension, or abductor exercises
  • Mini-squats
  • Heel-to-buttock-exercises
  • Hip rotations
  • Knee lifts

Even an activity as simple as walking to help preserve mobility and reduce pain in arthritic knees or hips. Our physical therapist may also recommend that you receive heat/ice therapy, ultrasound therapy, massage therapy, laser therapy, or orthotic footwear to help normalize your musculoskeletal balance.

knee painPhysical therapy can help you reduce your daily pains

You may get pain relief when you are at the physical therapist and going through treatment, but what about when you go home? A major goal of your physical therapist is to heal your injuries over the long term.

The various exercises and treatments they use with you will steadily improve your condition so that you experience less pain on a daily basis. As your body gets stronger and more mobile, you are likely to experience less pain in your hips and knees.

What’s causing my hip or knee pain?

Your hips and knees do a lot of work over the course of a lifetime. These joints must withstand the majority of your body weight — not just when you’re standing still, but also as you walk, run, climb or jump. It’s not surprising, then, that a variety of ailments and injuries can plague the knee and hip joints.

Your pain and stiffness may be caused by:

  • “Runner’s knee” – An unstable kneecap can lead to chronic knee pain. This condition is known as patellofemoral syndrome or “runner’s knee.”
  • Strains, sprains and ruptures – The knee and hip joints can move thanks to muscles, tendons and ligaments. Repetitive motion or acute injuries can cause a strain (damage to muscles or tendons) or a sprain (hyperextension of a ligament). Athletes are vulnerable to ruptures of the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament).
  • Bursitis – Both the hips and knees have fluid-filled sacs called bursae that prevent friction between bones and soft tissues. Unfortunately, these sacs can become inflamed from overuse, a painful condition called bursitis.
  • Osteoarthritis – Osteoarthritis is a degeneration of the cartilage that normally keeps the bone ends in a joint from rubbing together. The resulting friction causes chronic pain and inflammation.

Various health or lifestyle challenges can worsen a case of hip or knee pain. Carrying extra weight is a prime example. A musculoskeletal misalignment or postural imbalance can place unnatural stress on a hip or knee. Lack of exercise can cause the muscles to weaken, setting the stage for chronic strain and joint instability.

Choosing physical therapy over drugs

If your doctor has prescribed you pain relievers it is best to follow the guidance of your doctor.

However, you are welcome to discuss physical therapy with your doctor as well.

If you find that your pain level has decreased through physical therapy, you can discuss reducing your pain reliever usage with your primary physician.



Monday, November 9, 2020

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.
Features:
  • 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 actually..it'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, November 2, 2020

Top 5 Kettlebell Movements - Part 2


The Snatch is one of the quintessential kettlebell movements; the combination of strength, power, stability, and cardiovascular fitness embodies kettlebell lifting perfectly. Whether you want to build power or strength endurance, the Snatch is a great exercise to add to your training. Another reason to love the kettlebell Snatch is that the movement is accessible to a larger population than the barbell Snatch; the mobility requirement is less stringent, with many of the same benefits.

Since the Snatch is a highly technical movement, take plenty of time to practice with a light kettlebell. The neuromuscular system needs time to coordinate the movement and build muscle memory. The shoulder also needs time to build stability in the overhead position. A great way to start is to practice the Half Snatch. This allows you to focus on the upswing of the movement before tackling the more challenging drop into the backswing. Once the upswing is mastered, you can work on the drop, making sure that you allow the bell handle to skip the center of your hand on the way down so there is no pulling on your palm, which can cause blisters and tears.

There are two variations in technique you can use on the Snatch. The first is a Snatch that uses a hinge motion, which is great for building strength and power. The second is a Snatch that uses a pendulum leg action, which is ideal for endurance work. Choose the variation that suits your goals, or simply the one you enjoy more!

1.      Start in a standing position with feet about hip width apart and a kettlebell in front of your feet. Grab onto the kettlebell with hook grip (bell handle in the fingertips, and thumb locked over the fingers).
2.      Pull the bell into the backswing, then drive with the legs to bring the kettlebell up. For the hinge-based power swing, use a hinge motion and extend the hips forcefully. For the pendulum-based endurance swing, use a slower pendulum leg action that follows the motion of the kettlebell.
3.      When the kettlebell reaches the float point (somewhere between hip and shoulder level), redirect the kettlebell into the overhead position as you punch the hand up and through the bell handle to meet the kettlebell in the overhead position. For the power swing, the arm and the kettlebell should stay tight to the body on the way up. For the endurance swing, the bell should be allowed to follow its natural path (which will be farther from the body) before redirecting into the overhead position.
4.      After stabilizing the kettlebell in the overhead position for a couple seconds, turn the bell and allow it to drop; give the kettlebell a head start before following it into the backswing with the torso. The arm should hit the hip before the torso folds forward.
5.      Once the kettlebell completes the backswing, go into the next repetition. 
The Renegade Row is a challenging core exercise that involves both pushing and pulling upper body components. The movement is comprised of one kettlebell push up followed by a row on each side from the plank position. One of the main functions of your core is to prevent trunk rotation, which requires your core, glutes, and hips to work together. Keeping the hips in place while performing rows in the plank position is a great way to train anti-rotation, as well as upper body pulling. The push up provides the upper body pushing component, and requires the core to stay active.

The Renegade Row should be trained with focus on form, not speed. Moving quickly typically leads to hip rotation and less core engagement. Instead, move slowly and deliberately to ensure proper body position in each part of the sequence. Start with 3-5 repetitions and work up to 10 repetitions. When you can easily complete 10 repetitions at a particular kettlebell weight, you can move up to a heavier weight.

1.      Start in the plank position with a kettlebell underneath each shoulder. Begin with the feet spread apart wide, and move them closer if you want to make the movement harder.
2.      Perform a push up, keeping the elbows in close and the belly button pulled up toward the spine to engage the core.
3.      From the plank position, perform one row on each side. Try not to move the hips -- this is the anti-rotation component -- and think of pulling the elbow and hip toward each other while you row.
4.      Once you complete the rows, go into the next repetition.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Top 5 Kettlebell Movements - Part 1


While getting depth in the squat is important to to involve the glutes and hamstrings (as opposed to using the quads only), the spine should stay neutral throughout the movement. Try not to let your butt tuck under in the bottom position; if it does, you are likely going lower than your range of motion allows and your lower back will take some of the load. Mobilizing the hips and hamstrings prior to squatting can improve depth and activation of the posterior chain.

The Goblet Squat can be utilized to build strength by completing sets of 3-5 reps; Kettlebell Kings bells go up to 203 lbs, so there is a bell weight to challenge almost anyone’s strength! The Goblet Squat can also increase strength endurance and metabolic conditioning; simply use a repetition range of 8-20 with a lighter weight. A fun variation to try is the Goblet Squat Curl, which requires holding the bottom position while doing a bicep curl - guaranteed to cause extra muscle pump!

1.      Stand with feet about hip width apart. Bring the kettlebell into the goblet position, grabbing hold of the handle on other side.
2.      Squat down while keeping the chest up and weight in the heels. An easy way to determine proper depth is to bring the elbows to the inside of the knees. The spine should stay neutral.
3.      Drive into the ground as to come back up to standing position, contracting the glutes and fully extending the hips.

The Turkish Get Up (TGU) is a total body movement that builds shoulder stability and core strength. Since there are many parts to the movement, be sure to practice the sequence with bodyweight initially. Ensure proper and smooth execution of the entire movement before adding a kettlebell. You should have control over each part of the movement; if someone yelled “freeze!” at any point, you would be able to stop and maintain stability of the kettlebell.

The TGU is best practiced in sets of 1-5 repetitions. There is a lot of focus required, so doing a lower rep count will ensure better quality movement. Build up your volume slowly by increasing the number of sets. I recommend being able to do at least 3-5 perfect repetitions with the weight you are using before moving up in weight. A perfect repetition means there is no wobbling of the kettlebell and you have complete control of each portion of the movement (including the return to the floor).  

The TGU can be practiced in parts as well. Typically the most challenging part of the movement is the Turkish Sit Up (also known as the Half Get Up), which is the initial portion of the movement where you come to an upright torso position with hips still on the floor, then slowly return to the floor. When training toward a heavy TGU, it’s helpful to work on the TSU with heavier weights than what you would use for the full TGU. Besides the TSU, other parts of the TGU to isolate would be the pass through of the leg from the TSU into the Kneeling Windmill, the Kneeling Windmill, and the Overhead Lunge.

1.      Start lying on your side in the fetal position. Insert your hand fully through the kettlebell handle.
2.      Roll onto your back, keeping both hands over the kettlebell handle and elbow tight to the body. Set the legs about 45 degrees apart, with the leg bent and foot flat on the side you are holding the kettlebell. The other leg should be straight.
3.      Press the kettlebell up until the arm is straight and the weight of the kettlebell is balanced over the shoulder. Remove the free arm and place it on the floor, palm down and about 45 degrees from the body.
4.      Use the elbow of the free arm and the foot of the bent leg to drive into the ground and bring yourself up onto your elbow, then up onto your hand.
5.      Lift the hips, then pass the straight leg underneath until the knee is under the hip. Keep your eyes on the kettlebell.
6.      Bring the torso up straight, then pivot the back leg so you are in a lunge position.
7.      Drive into the heel of the front leg to come up to a standing position.
8.      To reverse the movement, step back with the leg opposite to the side youre holding the kettlebell and come back into the bottom of the lunge position (knee resting on the floor).
9.      Pivot the back foot in, then slide the free arm down the thigh and onto the floor directly beneath the shoulder. Pass the back leg through the free arm and the front leg and set your hips down onto the floor.
10.  Lower down to the elbow. As you lower all the way down to the floor, feather the kettlebell across the body slightly to slow its descent.

The Bottoms Up Press (BU Press) is an upper body pushing exercise that encourages proper mechanics for the shoulder and activates the neuromuscular system. Due to how hard the handle must be gripped during this movement, muscles that wouldn’t contract on a regular press are suddenly brought to life, i.e. rotator cuff, core, glutes, lats.

Since the BU Press is much harder than a regular press, start with a light weight and let the body adapt before trying anything heavy. The BU Press can be utilized in a training program like any other upper body pushing exercise -- and may actually be better than other pushing exercises for anyone with shoulder pain. To build muscular endurance, train higher repetitions with lighter weight. To increase strength, train lower repetitions with heavier weight.

Before even attempting the BU Press, you should know how to fail out of the movement safely. If you fail before the kettlebell reaches shoulder level, you can simply use the free hand to prevent the bell from hitting you. If you lose control of the bell in the top position, simply let the bell fall and step in the opposite direction so the bell drops onto the floor. Another precursor to doing the BU Press is to have a solid and stable BU Clean. If you perform a poor BU Clean, the BU Press that follows will not go well! You should be able to stabilize the kettlebell in the BU rack position before attempting a press overhead.

1.      Start in a standing position with feet about hip width apart and a kettlebell in front of your feet.
2.      Hinge at the hips and grab onto the kettlebell handle, then hike the kettlebell back between the legs. Fully extend the hips and bring the kettlebell into the rack position, with bottom side up. Stabilize the bell here first; if you have a bad clean, re-clean the kettlebell before attempting the press.
3.      From the bottoms up rack position, inhale and engage the lats by pulling the shoulder down and away from the ear. Press the bell overhead as you exhale.
4.      Hold the bell in the top position for 1-2 seconds before slowly lowering the bell down with control, again engaging the lats by pulling the shoulder down.
5.      Once back in the rack position, prepare for the next repetition.


Friday, October 23, 2020

Product Review: Speed Hound - Compression Therapy

Product Details:

TURBOCHARGE YOUR RECOVERY WITH THE TOUCH OF A BUTTON

Accelerate your recovery and #crushtomorrow with the Speed Hound ProPerformance Recovery System. Provides on-demand, dynamic air pressure that massages your legs after an intense workout so you're fresher and ready to take on tomorrow. Note: Most men are size "long". Heights of 5'5" or taller should order size Long. 5'4" or below should order size Medium. Please read sizing carefully below before ordering.

Features:
  • More adjustable than other brands: Wide range of pressure settings (20mmHg - 250mmHg), On/off toggle for different parts of legs, Flush and Massage mode, Time settings of 10-30 minutes
  • Premium Quality: Attachments are made of high quality material that's durable, lightweight and easy to clean
  • Want to try? FULL REFUND & FREE returns within 45 days of purchase - If you're not happy, we don't want your money!
  • Peace of mind: We've got you covered in case anything comes up with the system!
Train like world-class Olympic, professional, and collegiate athletes by supercharging your recovery
with the Speed Hound recovery system! The system, which utilizes dynamic, sequential air compression, is based on important medical technology and principles proven to improve circulation, mobilize metabolites and other toxins like carbon dioxide from muscle tissue, flush out lactic acid, mitigate edema, reduce exercise-induced swelling, alleviate inflammation, and facilitate protein synthesis by increasing blood flow to muscles. In short, this speeds up your body's natural process of healing, allowing you to recovery quickly and consistently. The boots have other applications outside of sports medicine, including rehabilitation from injuries or surgery and treating lymphedema, poor circulation, tension, cramps, restless legs, varicose veins, sciatic nerve pain, and general venous insufficiencies.
My Review:
After much research and testing across several alternatives (including Normatec), I purchased the Speed Hound Recovery System. After 2 weeks of use, I am happy to report that it is the best recovery product I have EVER used.

Training for Spartan Races and Crossfit, my legs are constantly placed under significant training load. The Speed Hound System has allowed me to significant enhance (and shrink time required) for my recovery. The boots flush my legs of all lactate buildup and after 20 minutes (30 following really long workouts) my legs feel as though I could hop right back on my bike or pull on my running shoes.

Compared to other alternatives, I really appreciate the increased compression available with the Speed Hound System. In conjunction with a reasonable price point these boots are (in my opinion) the best option on the market.The  pressure range goes from 20 mmhg to 200 mmhg in 10 increments. (This is an increase of 20 mmhg at each level.)

If you are between sizes, go by your inseam. Some tall people have longer torsos and shorter legs in which case they would fit better in a shorter size. On the other hand, some shorter people have longer legs than torso in which case they would fit better in the longer size. When in doubt, we recommend people go with the size longer.

The boots are bladders covered in a stitched material. They have a zipper that runs down the middle of the boot with a second zipper for people with larger legs. I don't know who would use the larger size because they would have to have enormous legs though. The setup and use are very simple. It has 2 different modes, adjustable pressure and you can turn on/off different compartments. It comes with a nice travel case. Overall we've been very impressed with the quality.  We have 2 people that have been using them almost daily for 3 weeks so we can't comment on the long term durability.

Now for the normatec vs Speed Hound comparison. The quality of the two seems to be the exact same. I don't think that one is better than the other in that category. The Speed Hounds can go to a higher pressure than normatec. I doubt many people would be able to go to the highest pressure but it's available if you want it. Ease of use is the same also. A win for normatec is the size of the control. The Speed Hound puts the control on top of the pump box which is similar to the old model of normatec. The new normatecs have a smaller control that can be held in our hand while using the device but I'm not sure why you would need it. Once I started it I just let it do it's thing until it's done. The biggest difference was the price. Normatec retails for $500 - 1,000 more than Rapid Reboot. I wasn't even able to find a pair of used older model normatec's for cheaper than I was able get the Speed Hounds (obviously that could vary from what someone finds).

Overall I recommend the Speed Hound Recovery Boots System. They work really well and are cheaper than comparable options.  Finally, although not a buying consideration for many people, I also find the staff at Speed Hound to be extremely friendly, accommodating, and customer focused. As compared to being "just another number" like with other companies, I firmly believe my best interest is what matters to the team at Speed Hound.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Ready to Rid Yourself of Headaches? PT Can Help

 


Finally Find Relief for Your Persistent Headaches with Physical Therapy

If stress-related headaches are happening so frequently that they are impacting your daily life, it’s time to start thinking about physical therapy for relief. Stress-related headaches, also called tension headaches, are the most common type of headache that impacts people.

While they are not as serious as migraines, tension headaches are a sign that something in your body is “off.” A physical therapist can work with you to determine the cause and eliminate stress-related headaches for good.Ready to Rid Yourself of Headaches? PT Can Help

How can a physical therapist help with my headaches?

The ultimate goal of your physical therapy regimen will be to eliminate your stress-related headaches. However, in addition to relief, you will gain additional benefits that will likely improve your overall quality of life:

  • Improved posture. Bad posture is really one of the leading causes of stress-related headaches. If you don’t enjoy good posture throughout the day, it is likely to lead to more generalized aches and pains, as well as the muscle tension that contributes to stress-related headaches.
  • Neck tension relief. You will have better range of motion in your neck and reduced tension, thanks to manual physical therapy techniques applied to the muscles there.
  • Increased strength: Your therapist will teach you exercises to strengthen your neck and upper back, which will lead to improved posture. With better posture, you will be able to stand and sit longer without experiencing discomfort.

The many benefits of physical therapy

The treatment of your stress-related headaches will depend in part on the diagnosis. For example, one course of treatment that would work for correcting your posture and strengthening the neck muscles might not be appropriate if your headaches are the result of a past injury.

In general, you can expect stretching and strength training to be part of your treatment. Other options that your physical therapist might employ can include:

  • McKenzie therapies
  • Cervical traction
  • Body mobilization
  • Hot and cold compressions
  • Soft tissue mobilization

Aside from your physical therapy sessions at the clinic, your therapist will also recommend exercises, stretches and lifestyle changes that you can make at home, which will all contribute to eliminating your headaches.

How else can PT help my headaches?

Our physical therapist can help you get to the bottom of your headache problem.

If your headache is cervinogenic in nature, we may need to work on your neck. For instance:

  • Our physical therapist can help you identify other migraine triggers and suggest strategies for avoiding them in your everyday life.
  • If your migraines are the result of a recent concussion, a carefully-administered course of physical therapy can actually help you recuperate from that concussion more quickly.
  • Corrective exercises and postural/ergonomic changes can help you steer clear of “text neck” and other occupational headache triggers.
  • Laser therapy and massage therapy can both relax tight neck tissues and speed recovery to injured muscles.
  • Chiropractic adjustment can correct skeletal misalignment issues that place your neck muscles under unnatural strain. These adjustments can also help to reduce cluster headache attacks.
  • Exercises that strengthen and loosen your neck muscles can help to ease the stresses that set off your headaches.

Diagnosing headaches with PT

Before your physical therapy treatments begin, your therapist will work with you to diagnose your headaches. You’ll need to discuss your medical history with the therapist. If you sustained an injury to your neck, back or jaw years ago, it could still be contributing to headaches to this day. The location where you experience pain, such as in the face, back of the neck or forehead, can also help to diagnose the source.

Your physical therapist will likely run you through some tests as part of the diagnosis phase. For example, your posture will be checked as you engage in several activities. The strength of your muscles and the range of motion in your neck and shoulders will be tested. Your therapist might do some manual therapy to see how mobile your neck joints are.

Once the cause of your stress-related headaches is determined, a customized course of physical therapy can be prescribed to treat them.

So, what’s causing my headaches?

One of the main causes of stress-related headaches is right there in the name: stress. The headache generally happens when the muscles in the neck or scalp become tense and contract.

Depression and anxiety are similar emotions to stress that can also lead to headaches. In addition, there may be a physical cause behind your stress-related headaches. An accident or injury to the neck or back can contribute to headaches. Poor posture and arthritis are two other potential causes.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Finally, Relieve Those Aches in Your Back with Physical Therapy


Find the Answer to Your Back Pains Today!

Most Americans will suffer temporary back pain at some point in their lives. When back aches are not temporary, however, it becomes a major quality of life issue. The American Physical Therapy Association states that back pain is the most commonly experienced form of pain for Americans.

In fact, one in every four Americans has sustained some sort of back pain in the past three months. The good news is that you don’t have to live with back pain permanently.

Taking a proactive approach like working with a physical therapist can help you find back pain relief at long last. 

Finally Relieve Those Aches in Your Back with Physical Therapy

What can I expect with physical therapy for back pain?

Over the course of your work with a physical therapist, your progress will be monitored to ensure that you are recovering.

The goal is to eliminate the back pain so that you can live a normal life. A big part of working with a physical therapist is that you will learn strategies for movement and carrying out daily tasks in ways that will prevent the pain from recurring.

For example, your therapist will show you proper posture techniques while you are at home, at work or enjoying leisure activities.

You will also learn how to keep up a regular exercise regimen to keep your supportive muscles strong, which will prevent the back pain from coming back. If your weight is contributing to your back pain, you will learn nutritional advice in addition to exercise to control your weight and keep back pain at bay.

What do treatments look like?

Once your back pain has been diagnosed, a personalized course of physical therapy will be outlined for you. Treatments for back pain will vary based on the diagnosis, your age, weight, physical ability and other factors.

Your course of treatment may include any of the following:

  • Posture work to provide better support for your back
  • Electrical stimulation for pain relief
  • Manual therapy and spinal manipulation to improve joint mobility and relieve tissue pain
  • Stretching and strength building exercises
  • Ice or heat treatments for pain relief
  • Education on how to take better care of your back, such as proper methods of lifting, bending, sitting, and sleep positions

How will a physical therapist diagnose my back pain?

Your journey with a physical therapist will start with a discussion of your symptoms. Your therapist will also review your medical history for any past injuries or illnesses that could be contributing to your current pain. Your physical therapist will also conduct an exam to assess how you are able to move and function as a result of your back pain.

The diagnosis phase will also involve some tests to find symptoms of more serious conditions. If your physical therapist suspects that there is a serious health condition contributing to your back pain, you will likely be referred to a specialist for more testing. In most cases, this will not be necessary.

So, why am I experiencing back pain?

Did you know that the World Health Organization estimates that approximately 149 million workdays are lost due to back pain? It is a sensation that is all too common for millions of people.

60-70% of people across industrialized nations experience back pain, which can greatly hinder daily life and limit you from participating in certain tasks and activities that you enjoy. If left untreated, back pain can also progress into more serious health issues.

There are three main types of back pain:

  • Chronic Back Pain: If back pain lasts longer than three months without subsiding, it is classified as chronic.
  • Recurrent Back Pain: This occurs when acute back pain goes away for a while, but then comes back periodically.
  • Acute Back Pain: Acute back pain is the most common type. This is a temporary pain that goes away in less than three months.

Back pain is usually not serious and will resolve on its own. Recurring pain and chronic pain, however, can be a sign of a more serious health problem.

There is a broad range of potential physical conditions that could be causing your back pain, which include osteoporosis, degenerative disk disease, a herniated disk, fractures, or lumbar spinal stenosis.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Physical Therapy: Treating Arthritis Without Drugs

Discover the Ways Physical Therapy Can Help You Find Natural Relief

Stiffness and discomfort don’t have to be a part of our daily lives — and yet many people assume that they’re doomed to suffer from joint pain. It is time to start treating your arthritis.
If you’ve been losing more and more of your mobility and productivity due to chronic joint inflammation, you may be disappointed by the usefulness of painkilling drugs or even alarmed by the potential dangers of such drugs.
Fortunately, you have a safer, more effective path toward arthritis pain management: physical therapy.
How will physical therapy help my arthritis?
If you want an arthritis pain management plan that improves your health without presenting you with the dangers of drugs, turn to physical therapy. Our physical therapist can examine your joints to see how advanced your arthritis has become and how it may be affecting your stance, gait or mobility. You’ll then receive a customized pain management plan that may include:
  • Physiotherapy techniques – You may benefit from massage therapy, cold/heat therapy or laser therapy.
  • Exercise – Exercise can aid arthritis sufferers by boosting circulation, easing inflammation, strengthening joint tissues and increasing range of motion. It can help you improve your balance, if that’s become a problem for you.
  • Lifestyle guidance – Your physical therapist can recommend specific changes to your everyday ergonomics or lifestyle that will ease your pain.
  • Corrective devices – Your physical therapist can recommend specialized insoles and train you in the use of devices such as walkers or canes.

What type of arthritis do I have?

Arthritis includes an entire family of painful joint conditions. For some individuals, it may take the form of painful gout in a toe joint; in others, it can strike due to a bacterial joint infection. The majority of arthritis sufferers, however, suffer from one of two agonizing conditions:
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – This form of arthritis is caused by an auto-immune disease or dysfunction. The same protective mechanisms that normally fight off disease germs decide to turn on your joints, treating them as the enemy and attacking them. This results in painful inflammation that may come and go, leaving joint swelling and deformity in its wake.
  • Osteoarthritis – This most common form of arthritis is usually a natural consequence of a lifetime of joint motion, coupled with certain changes that take place during aging. Healthy joints contain not only a lubricating fluid to keep the bone ends moving smoothly, but also a layer of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber and anti-friction component. Over time, however, the production of lubricating fluid can start to dry up, while the cartilage becomes thinner and more worn until it finally breaks down completely. This leaves you with pain, stiffness, and inflammation that usually feels worse whenever you try to move or put weight on the joint.
Many arthritis sufferers naturally turn to medication in the hopes that it will ease their symptoms. NSAIDs, steroids and (and in the most severe cases) opioid drugs may produce such relief, but only temporarily. These drugs can’t address the physical problems that actually cause your symptoms; they can only mute the symptoms themselves.
What’s more, painkilling and anti-inflammatory drugs can pose significant risks if they’re used constantly. NSAIDs can damage the internal organs, while steroids may contribute to everything from cataracts to osteoporosis. Opioids can be extremely dangerous, not only because of their addictive properties but also because overdoses can (and often do) prove fatal.

Understanding the dangers of opioids

Both opioid prescription rates and deaths from opioid overdoses have quadrupled in the last two decades. Given these identical statistics, one can’t escape the obvious conclusion: Reliance on painkillers has gotten out of hand, and the consequences can be literally fatal.
In a study published by the American Physical Therapy Association, titled “Beyond Opioids: How Physical Therapy Can Transform Pain Management and Improve Health,” this issue is exhaustively analyzed. It identifies three important waves of the opioid epidemic:
  1. “1. Increases in deaths involving prescription opioids starting in 1999
  2. Increases in deaths involving heroin starting in 2010
  3. Increases in deaths involving synthetic opioids since 2013”
Beyond extreme physical risk, over-reliance on prescription painkillers can have other detrimental effects on your health.
Withdrawal symptoms can be harrowing. And while you’re still using them, opioids can lead to depression, which sets up a vicious cycle of self-medicating in order to feel better emotionally as well as physically.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Looking to Improve Your Physical Health? PT Has You Covered!

Physical Therapy Can Help Improve Your Health and Wellness!

Physical therapy will improve the physical health of people who have injuries, illnesses, and medical conditions. An individualized physical therapy program is a conservative approach to managing these types of problems.
But it doesn’t do just that – it also improves overall health and wellbeing!

Evidence of the success of physical therapy

Clinical studies support the benefits of physical therapy for health conditions like osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is one of the ten most common illnesses. “Patients were recruited from the osteoporosis outpatient clinics of Klinikum S├╝dstadt hospital and the University hospital of Rostock to engage in physical therapy for osteoporosis.
Over a period of 3 months, 44 patients with osteoporosis completed a twice-weekly 30-minute intensive exercise program. The conclusion was that physical therapy reduced pain and improved function, with the sling exercise patients benefiting most.
The combination of functional improvement and pain mitigation resulted in improved health. This study is just one of the many proving the health benefits of physical therapy.

The 6 main benefits of physical therapy

Decreased risk of heart and lung disease

Physical therapy is a component of cardiac rehabilitation. To address pulmonary issues, a physical therapist will help improve your health and quality of life through breathing, strengthening and conditioning exercises. Physical therapy also helps clear fluid from the lungs.

Help with conditions caused by age

With aging, the chances of developing osteoporosis or arthritis are increased. A physical therapist is a trained expert at helping patients recover and manage age-related health problems like osteoporosis and arthritis.

Mobility improvement

With both passive and active treatments, physical therapy improves mobility. Muscles are strengthened and flexibility is greatly improved. This way you can engage in activities and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Fall prevention and balance rehab

With physical therapy, a physical therapist will screen your risk for falling. Exercises will be given to improve your balance in real-life situations. Assistive devices will be given to ensure safe walking. And if you have a problem with your vestibular system, a physical therapist will perform specific methods to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of vertigo and dizziness.

Possibility of avoiding surgery

When physical therapy works to heal and reduce pain, the need for surgery is greatly decreased. “For some conditions, including meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritis, treatment by a PT has been found to be as effective as surgery.”

Pain relief

Manual therapy treatments like soft tissue mobilization, ultrasound, electric stimulation and targeted exercises help relieve pain and restore joint and muscle function. These types of methods also help prevent pain from coming back.

Passive physical therapy vs active physical therapy

Passive therapies

Passive treatments work to manage pain. The purpose of passive physical therapy is to help manage and alleviate pain, so you can get back to the activities you love.
By eliminating pain first, the rest of your treatment program will be easier. Passive treatments are done first so you can focus on regaining your strength and function later on in your treatment plan.
Passive physical therapy can include any combination of these specialty treatments, as deemed fit by your physical therapist. These include, but are not limited to:
  • Manual therapy
  • Massage
  • Ice and heat therapies
  • Dry needling
  • Ultrasound
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Electrical stimulation, such as TENS Units
  • Iontophoresis

Active therapies

Active therapy focuses on targeted exercises and stretches in order to improve function in the affected area.
The purpose of active treatments is to provide exercises that the patient can do on their own in the later stages of their physical therapy treatment plan. In fact, many active physical therapy treatments are designed so the patient can perform them on their own, after their PT sessions are over.
Once your pain or discomfort subsided enough that your physical therapist believes you are ready for active physical therapy, he or she will set up an exercise schedule specific to your needs.
The exercises prescribed in an active treatment plan are 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.