All posts in “fms”

rehab for muscle imbalances

Correcting Muscle Imbalances is the Key to Fitness Over 40

 

Exercise for Those Over 40 – The Two Main Culprits

Muscle Imbalances and flexibility issues are the two of the main culprits standing in the way of people who want to get in shape over 40 years old.  As humans, work takes over our lives for long periods, and when we exit a period of years where we’ve neglected our bodies, that’s where problems commonly begin.  And it’s so easy to avoid!

Sitting in that chair, standing holding the arms out, or sitting in that vehicle – for years, compromises posture, biomechanics, mobility and strength.  This is why when we’re old, we share most all of the above conditions I’ve just listed.  Just turning 40 we’ve already feel this!  When we exercise with these conditions, we’re sure to get injured, and that’s entirely unnecessary if the proper precautions are taken when we start back up again.

 

When you start to exercise again and take charge of your life, there are important steps to take:

Continue Reading…

rehab for muscle imbalances

Rehab of Muscle Imbalances Is Easy

Exercising to Fix Muscle Imbalances

Why do I say that….that “Fixing Muscle Imbalances is Easy?”  I say this because, if you start with the approach I recommend below, you will feel better THIS WEEK.  And that is easier than what you are currently doing….which is dealing with lots of pain.  See my approach below – life’s going to get much better for you.  

Muscle imbalances are the root of most muscle and joint pain, and may easily be corrected without surgery.  As we extend our lifespans through modern medicine and health awareness, our musculoskeletal system gets used and beat up for many more years nowadays, much more than it used to.

Pretend that you have muscles in your spine (below) that are tighter on one side than on the other.  The cause could be one leg that’s shorter, something MOST of us have, perhaps you previously played contact sports, or simply payed little attention to good posture, immersing that’s more and more common today.  The effect will ultimately be back and joint trouble if this isn’t dealt with by someone who works with postural alignment, is certified in FMS, or has physiotherapy experience.  I deal with this every day in my practice – easy to fix, but not easy if ignored.

low back pain weak muscle

Do we have any Tennis, golf, bowling, baseball, or basketball players here? If you have ever played or play a sport (past or present) where one side of your body is favored, you probably have muscle imbalances that cause you pain. Even if you haven’t played any of the above sports, most of us were born with one leg longer than the other, which sooner or later lends to back, his and knee pain, as the muscles that are shorter on one side of your body, keep you out of alignment, acting on your skeleton over time into further misalignment. Most of us have one leg that’s longer to some degree and it’s easily detected with an FMS screen.  Whether it’s back, neck, shoulder, hip/sciatica, knee or hip pain, the root cause is usually these muscle imbalances.

Fixing muscle imbalances is easy. The problem we have in our fat and lazy culture is laziness and excuses. Finger pointing is also a good one that’s sure to keep you in pain – “It’s the doctor’s fault, my gym is smelly, I don’t have time etc.” I’m not speaking right now to those who have these excuses – I have plenty of willing athletes/clients who have gotten out of pain, and none of them were the crying, complaining type, but rather, the type who have taken healthy action in their lives.

Where to start with an exercise programme?

To do this you must take a new approach to exercise until you’re better. Here’s the system I recommend. I encourage each one of you to approach this in your own unique way – but these are excellent guidelines and where you should start.

  1. Get a correct diagnosis of your musculoskeletal pain from a Doctor,Physiotherapist,A Respected Chiropractor,or an FMS certified Personal Trainer or Chiropractor.
  2. Build a team to help you. You will need a gifted and respected Chiropractor to adjust your skeletal misalignments, but will need to do the muscle re-lengthening work on your own or with a Personal Trainer (and a good Massage Therapist – more on this below),  so that your skeleton does not get pulled out of alignment over and over again. Find someone who is willing to work with you who is qualified. As an FMS Certified Personal Trainer, I spend much of a 55 minute session with folks correcting these muscle imbalances, incorporating stretching and exercise techniques, some of which are outlined in my previous blogpost Muscle Imbalance Exercises.  This is not something that can be fixed in the Chiropractors office, nor the Doctors office, or even the Physiotherapists. BUT, you will need all of the above to diagnose you and re-allign you from time to time.  Re-lengthening the muscles as outlined in the above link, takes months and months to fix, although relief starts happening immediately, the pain subsiding dramatically.  Believe me, when pressure is taken off of the joints through the proper exercises and protocols, the relief is immediate and people get almost euphoric when pain starts to leave their body.  Let’s look at the below diagrams for one minute…..

rehabilitation training

If it’s YOUR body in the above diagrams, and if it’s the left side that has one short leg (left being the left side as you look at the diagram), this will cause your hips to sag down on the left side.  All of the muscles in the above chart will become shorter, and many more, including the Psoas, Adductors,your IT Band,Illiacus etc. This muscle shortness will cause the phenomenon illustrated in the diagram shown above, effectively holding your hips out of position, causing misalignment and slippage of the Sarcoiliac/Iliosacral joint, the knee, the shoulder, the ankle, rib cage and most importantly,the spine including subluxations which, even after your Chiro treats them, will pop right back out due to these imbalances until they are finally addressed the proper way. Tightness in one side of the hip is also the leading cause of sciatica. These must ALL be re-lengthened (go to the the link above to my previous article to see the process),and this is all done during your exercise routine. It takes a few minutes extra, but you can get this done done in the gym or on a nice patch of grass with a scenic view at least,and not with an expensive Physio, and not in a hospital. Now look at the diagram above on the left. If your left leg is shorter, causing the hip to sag downwards on the left, then the muscles above your hip, up your back and all the way to your neck, will possibly need to be lengthened due to becoming shorter and tighter. The muscles below the hip will also need to be lengthened for the same reasons.

3. So,after you visit my blogpost, Muscle Imbalance, where I outline precisely this process,your next step is to work with a Massage Therapist. The Massage therapist will help re-shape and re-align your body, getting your muscles loose, bringing blood to them that is currently being constricted by poor muscle quality, tightness, knots and adhesions. Skip the massage,and this will take much much longer.

4. Understand that having a team is crucial, as none of the above professionals alone can fix you.

In short:

The Doctor diagnosis you.

The Chiropractor adjusts your skeleton

The Personal Trainer prescribes exercises and stretches, coaches on form and function – so more long term work.

The Massage Therapist, who is licensed to work on you with their hands, brings blood to the muscles, reshapes them, realigns them, and makes your body loose, and malleable.

(None of the above can, nor has the capacity to do all three jobs, yet all three are very necessary, when re-lengthening large muscle groups, and effectively changing the way you walk on this earth, and through this good life.)

As a side note, and possibly more on this for another blog post – here are a few things that CAN and WILL cause muscle imbalances:

Pretty much anything you do in life, that you do unconsciously, including –

Sitting with bad posture

Being Negative

Always sleeping on the same side

Eating poorly

Drinking too much (these above two are documented over and over again, and are shown to directly affect posture, and hence muscle imbalances.

Working out with improper form

Sitting too much without breaks

Inadequate exercise in your daily routine

Improper exercise protocols (too much pushing, not enough pulling), too much emphasis on hypertrophy, not enough full body movements such as deadlifts and sumo squats, which are recommended by the worlds top Olympic Coaches, as well as Physiotherapists and Doctors

Playing sports like golf, tennis etc, where the demand is placed primarily on one side of the body – this is sure to land you at the Chiro!

(In February of this year, I met a highly successful Chiropractor in San Jose del Cabo, while enjoying a beer and some mandolin at my favorite Tapas bar by the ocean.  He was extremely well connected, having lived there and thrived for the last 20 years. He said that his approach is simple – he tells the golfers that they need to stop golfing for 9 months in order to be fixed.  100% of them tell him to go to hell.  Then they come back and get fixed when they’re finally done golfing with pain, when they’re ready to they can live and feel well again, and play their best!)

 

By Dan Piper, CPT, RKC, FMS  Workout4Results.com

Rehabilitation at Dan’s Barbell and Kettlebell Club, Alameda, CA

Kettlebell and strength training

Eastbay’s Russian Kettlebell Club

There are 3 Aspects to this Kettlebell Club that you really should know about.

Why Learn To Use Kettlebells For Strength?

1. Learn Kettlebells from the ground up, with a Certified Instructor, learning solid fundamentals.  We are building kettlebell bodies here – the type that look great, move well, and are indestructible.  You body will need to change in order to master this sport – Whether you have experience with weight training or not,  and there is plenty to learn for all!  (Kettlebell Training usually costs $90 per hour – this will cost $200/mo. and will be much more fun)

What is FMS Training?

2. FMS….what’s that?  It’s mobility training, designed by Gray Cook, world renowned Physiotherapist.  FMS is used to train MOST professional sports athletes and teams – from the Olympics to Wimbledon.  I incorporate FMS training with Kettlebells, so that your body can move well, pain free, and achieve maximum performance.

Why Kettlebell Classes?

3. It’s SOCIAL.  Yes, this is a social club.  My thinking is this…..why can’t we rock out to our favorite music, kick some serious butt, receive world class coaching in the sport, AND be social at the same time?  I’ll show you how!  This club is about community, about getting your bodily needs met, and creating an environment that’s supportive.  I’ll support you by throwing a monthly BBQ, and making Wednesday evening of each week our Social Hour – where convene for dinner and drink.  

Below’s the press release………I’ll see you there!

It’s social.  It’s Fitness. It’s balance. In Dan’s Kettlebell Club,we’re fusing the national ethnic sport of Russia, Kettlebells, with real life socializing, food and drink! Mixing Kettlebells with FMS,we will start each workout by bringing mobilization and balance to the musculoskeletal system. Learning Kettlebells from the floor up from a SFG certified instructor you will feel like you’ve never felt before while meeting fun, active workout partners. The important part takes place after class on Wednesdays,when we venture out the fitness world to a local restaurant (where we normally do ourselves damage) – but the class will be accompanied by Coach Dan, so some learning about how to balance food with fitness will take place (we’re doing now, and not just telling anymore). And there will be regular BBQs – because the two just go well together – lifting iron outside, just like we’re back in Mother Russia.

When Do We Train?

Meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-7:30 PM (more times opening up – send me an email and let me know when you can make it – this will help me in adding additional class times! dan@workout4results.com)

About 75 – 90 minutes of fitness (we’re ditching the traditional hour)

Mobility, musculoskeletal balancing (FMS) and performance enhancement

Russian Kettlebell Instruction, and dripping wet workouts

Other forms of exercise you can expect: Body weight exercises, barbell instruction and training, boxing, aerobics

Here’s a sample of an old world Russian Kettlebell training manual, accompanied by music that’s sure to put you in the mood for this eastern genre…!

Old School Kettlebell Training

Time – time to talk, ask questions – time to learn about how to crack you’re body’s code and get fit like a spring chicken!

As a coaches, after every session we feel like we’re leaving our athlete/client out into the harsh, cold world where they have inadequate support …….!!!  Let’s discuss nutrition and life balance WHILE you are ordering in real time – I mean actually while you’re eating and drinking! Tired of being TOLD? I will SHOW you. We’ll Bridge the gap for training athletes by providing:

1.  World class instruction

2.Group Support

3. Habit building (the Coach is watching you order that burger…..yes, you SHOULD order that after lifting those iron cannonballs with handles)

Most of the Coachs’ knowledge is untapped – until you leave the gym…..that’s where everyone falls down!  I can’t install a kitchen at the studio to demonstrate – but there are plenty of places where we can walk,socialize,learn how to balance from classmates and the Coach and enjoy some healthy grub! It’s funny how in order to be fit,we must lose all of the habits we’ve acquired over the last 150 years – and how bringing the 5,000 year old kettlebell into the picture helps to pull us out of our modern, unhealthy thinking and habits.”

Watch! Old Russian Kettlebell Training

old school kb club

 


By Dan Piper, CPT, RKC, FMS,  Workout4Results.com

Strength Training at Dan’s Barbell and Kettlebell Club, Alameda, CA

sports exercise rehab back muscles

Lower Back Pain Rehab and Alignment – Time to Feel Good Again

Exercise and Rehab for Lower Back Pain

Time To Feel Good Again!

Rehabilitation athletes are folks who have been in automobile accidents, have had sports injuries, or are on the mend from one incident/condition or another.   I wrote this article because unless whoever you are seeing to fix you has you moving in exercises patterns or is watching you as you loaded and moving in a pattern, it will be extremely difficult if not impossible for them to recognize and fix you.   Fixing muscle/fascia and bodily imbalances may take more than just a few 15 minute visits with a physio, and small stack of exercises stapled together on 8.5/11″ paper.  It’s a process that takes a different approach to exercising (just don’t stop).  

If you would truly like to learn something, take a look at the above picture with me for a moment.  Imagine  that it’s YOUR body in the diagram, and that the muscles and fascia on the right side of your back are 1/16 of an inch shorter than those on your left side, producing stronger, uneven contractions as a result, pulling you out of alignment and actually altering the once straight and aligned skeleton that you once had.  No matter who you just went to see to get adjusted, massaged, etc, you will definitely come right back out of alignment again until you fix these muscle imbalances.  If you look at the diagram, you can see that there is plenty of muscle and  fascia in your back…enough to pull you sideways and right out of alignment again, with all of the accompanying pain.  If you were to have your spine adjusted, ribs, hips etc, do you think that the adjustment would hold itself in place after you pick up a heavy box, or barbell, asking your back musculature to contract with unequal forces?   Answer: No…that’s why you keep visiting the Chiro.  You will need to see a qualified Physiotherapist, Athletic Trainer, or FMS specialist to work with you over a period of time to re-lengthen these muscles, as this is something that cannot be done in a handful of sessions.  Here are the basics of what you need to do, if you have pain in your posterior chain (back, hips, glutes, shoulders etc).

  1. Be seen by qualified Personal Trainer, Sports Doctor or FMS certified specialist.  Many folks may also perform self chiropractic, outlined HERE.  
  2. Spend the appropriate time to re-lengthen the muscles. You can still lift during this time, but it will take a new approach that you will learn with professional guidance.
  3. Perform these re-lengthening exercises before, during AND after your workout.  Each time you workout, your muscles will want to continue with their current shape and dysfunction, unless you incorporate the following types of stretches into your routine:                                            

Re-lengthening exercises for back/hips/thorax misalignment:

Psoas Stretch                Dr. Eckberg VIDEO

Bretzel Stretch 2.0      Dr. Gray Cook VIDEO (go to 6:15 for 2.0)

Lacrosse Ball Rolling   (roll the side of your back that’s tight, more than the loose side on a 3:1 ratio)                                                                     Dr. Kelly Starrett VIDEO

4. Perform kettlebell or barbell deadlifts, sumo squats, or deadlifts with 2 kettlebells.  Use the lacrosse ball technique, the Bretzel stretch and the Psoas stretch before, and after each and every set, as your soft tissue will attempt to tighten up and shorten again immediately after the set.  After a quick and correctly applied roll, you will be straight again, or straighter at least,  taking you out of harm’s way, and reducing the chance of spinal subluxation/hip shifting during your next set.  In this manner, you will steadily progress  in balancing out your body’s web of muscle and fascia, and work your way back to health.  Most folks start feeling improvement immediately, once the proper rehabilitation exercise protocols are applied.

So don’t be afraid to confront the pain in your body directly.  Getting pain out of your body will change many aspects of your life, for the better.

By Dan Piper, CPT, RKC, FMS,  Workout4Results.com

Rehabilitation at Dan’s Barbell and Kettlebell Club, Alameda, CA

FMS Certified

How to Exercise Using the Functional Movement System (FMS)

FMS, the Functional Movement Screen and Certification, was originated by Gray Cook, one of the world’s foremost Physiotherapists.

gray cook kettlebells rehab functional movement FMS

Gray Cook MSPT, CSCS, OCS, RKC Kettlebell Instructor

Ouch!  Which exercises hurt, and cause us to forego them?  For many it’s the deadlift, or some version of the squat or lunge.  For others, it’s the the walkout.  Many hate doing the kettlebell get-up, due to poor hip movement patterns and limitations.  Guess what – there are exercises that I have serious hangups with also —-most trainers and athletes do. Continue Reading…