nyc

4 Exercises To Keep You Feeling Young

When it comes to exercise - there are a few bang-for-your-buck exercises that will bullet proof your body and keep it feeling young for the years to come.  Until modern medicine figures something better out, it's safe to say these are the closest things to the fountain of youth we currently have. 

Here is a list of my top 4 exercises. When added to your program, these can help you build resilient tissues that can withstand whatever you throw their way.

 1) Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs) - Part of the FRC system, CARs are the best thing since slice bread.  

CARs  are active, end range circular motions for a joint.  The reason why they make your body feel great is three fold.  

Quadruped Hip CARs 

  •  Movement is the body's best anti-inflammatory.  By constantly moving joints through all available range of motion, we continue to nourish the joint daily.
  • It allows us to maintain and expand our range of motion at a joint. By constantly taking our joints through full range of motion, we are able to maintain it.  One reason we lose mobility is because we don't spend any time there.  By doing CARs, we ensure that our joints are creating maximal movement - through the biggest circles we can possibly make - allowing us to hold onto our range of motion and even possibly expanding it. 
  •  CARs are a self assessment tool.  I think this is an extremely valuable aspect of CARs as it allows you to assess every joint in the body.  CARs can give you insight into when your joints may start becoming problematic; giving you insight into areas you need to address before pain/dysfunction is present. 

2) Turkish Get-Up - This is one of my favorite exercises because it promotes high levels of stability, mobility and strength and it's packaged into one power packed movement. 

Here are a few of the benefits that TGU's have to offer according to Brandon Hetzler:

  1. Promotes upper body stability
  2. Promotes lower body stability
  3. Promotes reflexive stability of the trunk and extremities
  4. Promotes cross lateralization (getting right brain to work with left side)
  5. Ties the right arm to the left leg, and left arm to the right leg
  6. Gets the upper extremities working reciprocally (legs, too)
  7. Stimulates the vestibular system (one of three senses that contributes to balance)
  8. Stimulates the visual system (second of three senses that contributes to balance)
  9. Stimulates the proprioception system (third sense that contributes to balance)
  10. Promotes spatial awareness
  11. Develops a front/back weight shift
  12. Develops upper body strength, trunks strength, and hip strength

If you aren't sold yet on why the TGU will keep you feeling young into your 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's and beyond - take a look at this study by Claudio Gil Araujo from Brazil.  The study said being able to stand up from a seated position on the ground was remarkably predictive of physical strength, flexibility, coordination at a range of ages. 

3) Carries - You have to give an exercise some major thought when Dan John categorizes it as one of the fundamental human movements: push, pull, hinge, squat, loaded carries and the sixth movement. 

When loaded properly farmers carries are an excellent exercise for core strengthening.  It is an easy to learn exercise that challenges your endurance, strength, stability and grip strength.  The ability to carry heavy loads gets our core to create super-stiffness.  Dr. Stuart McGill describes this super-stiffness as - the sum of the forces of all the muscles contracting is greater then what any individual muscle can provide.  This teaches you to build true strength that will aide you for any endeavor you wish to attempt. 

4) KB Swing - This exercise develops power in the hinge position.  Why is power important?  As you age, power decreases - so swinging consistently can help you maintain a power packed punch as you age - not to mention, allow you to improve your overall performance, strength, and endurance. 

What's even better than that?  The kettlebell swing is extremely beneficial for your lower back.  Having a flying bell not directly attached to your body forces your glutes, lats and core to work hard in order to control the bell.  This overall synergy of muscles will help keep your spine strong for years to come, as well as help you rehab from lower back injuries. 

Add these four exercises into your programs on a monthly basis and reap the benefits of better strength and performance; all while keeping pain at bay - even as you age. 

Move Well, Stay Strong.

 

How To Instantly Become More Productable

I always feel as if I am never productive enough. At the end of the day there is always something left on my to-do list, and before I know it, I have achieved almost nothing done.  My days always feel very busy, but my to-do list always seems to stay un-checked.  I have tried many times to overcome this, but all have failed - until now. 

I just recently read an amazing book called the Perfect Day Formula by Craig Ballentyne.  In a nut shell, the book is about helping you maximize your productivity so you can get your work done and still have time for the things you love. 

One message the book conveys to it's readers is how to take control of your mornings in order to increase your productivity. By doing so you can tackle tasks first thing in the morning while energy levels are at their highest and before your day distracts you. Craig states, to do this, simply wake up 15 minutes earlier and undertake any responsibilities that will lead you to your big goal.  

When I first read this, I thought Craig was deranged.  I am not a morning person by any means. For the first 30 minutes of the day I can barely function.  My typical morning begins with the the snooze button and continues on my couch where I drowsily scroll through social media. Before I realize it, I am behind in my morning routine and have to rush out the door. 

Nevertheless, I decided to give this a try.  

My first day trying this I woke up at 5:00 am instead of 5:15, while at the same time swearing off social media for the first hour of the day.  

This combination added 30 minutes of free time to my morning and improved my productivity.

Now I write blogs, read or get any other work done that needs to get done for the day.  I'm completing the tasks that I used to constantly run out of time to do on a regular basis.  I am closer to hitting my goal of investing in the stock market which takes research and time to initiate. 

If you want to instantly become more productive so you can complete tasks you constantly struggle to find time doing (HEP, writing a book etc...) you should wake up 15 minutes earlier than you do today.  Combo this with not touching your phone for an hour and you will be able to accomplish more each day then you thought was possible. 

Move Well, Stay Strong.

What is Kinstretch?

Kinstretch is defined as a movement enhancement system that develops maximum body control, flexibility and USABLE ranges of motion.

So what does this mean?

Unlike other common methods of flexibility training such as yoga and passively stretching muscles, Kinstretch focuses on gaining control of your passive flexibility by using our muscles (rather then gravity) to attain improved mobility.  This serves two purposes, improve usable ranges of motion and strengthen in these new ranges. 

Top picture is the before and the bottom picture is the after, they were taken a week apart. 

Top picture is the before and the bottom picture is the after, they were taken a week apart. 

Simply stated, Kinstretch focuses on training your end range of motion with the goal of improving your movement capabilities and decreasing your risk of injury. 

Why end range of motion?

The human body is a highly efficient organism.  Due to the copious amount of biological processes that go on in our bodies, it has learned to become extremely efficient.  

The body's efficiency allows it to take short cuts when possible to allow it to work at full speed.  This is a reason why we develop habits, which are automatic behaviors that we don't have to think about.  It is also why our bodies tend to the path of least resistance when doing things such as skiping a workout, hitting the snooze button or utilizing movement compensations.

These processes allow our bodies to remove pathways from the body that are no longer used. For example, having a skill when you were a kid that you suck at today (whether you want to believe it or not).  This is because the synaptic pathways that created that skill degrade when rarely used.  This gives way for new pathways to connect to allow you to learn new tasks.

The same goes for movement.  If you haven't moved through a particular range of motion, the joint mechanoreceptors don't get stimulated often. Eventually the lack of stimulus will cause atrophy of these mechanoreceptors and cause decreases in range of motion.

There are other factors involved in this, but this plays a role in our lack of movement variability today.  

Our lives today revolve primarily around sitting ( I am sitting now as I write this post).  We tend to be hunched over with arms in front of us and hips flexed.  This typical posture results in the loss of thoracic extension, shoulder flexion (arm over head) and hip extension.  Therefore, the adage of we lose range of motion as we get older is incorrect.  It really should be, because we don't use it that we lose it. 

Returning back to training end ranges of motion.

In Kinstretch we train end ranges of motion to attempt to restore decreased mobility and improve movement capabilities.  Kinstretch is geared towards creating more active range of motion so you can be better at all the things you love to do most. Whether that is deadlifts, swings, running, sporting events, gardening or playing with your kids.  The better you move, the better you can enjoy life regardless of your goals and what you enjoy in life. 

Move Well, Stay Strong.