physical therapy

Tune-Up Tuesday Episode 44: Serratus Slides for Shoulder Health

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body.  Due to this, our shoulders have a strong need to be stable.  Unfortunately, today's lifestyle puts us into repetitive postures that are not conducive to these needs. 

Sitting down at a desk all days causes stiffness/tightness of the upper traps and pecs, and weakness of the deep neck flexors and serratus anterior (SA). 

One simple, yet effective exercise that helps build healthy shoulders is serratus slides.  This drill is used primarily to strengthen the SA which is responsible for stabilizing your shoulders on the rib cage, and helps us reach our arm overhead. 

Check out the video below to learn how to perform serratus slides. 

Found this helpful? Left you intrigued? Leave your questions in the comments below!

Move Well, Stay Strong.

Tune-Up Tuesday - Episode 6: Knee Pain With Lunging

Tune-Up Tuesday - Episode 6: Knee Pain With Lunging

In this episode of Tune-Up Tusday, we are joined by Dr. Zak Gabor of Boston PT and Wellness.  He discusses a simple, yet effective modification to the lunge that will help you train around cranky knees.

Tune-Up Tuesday - Episode 5: Mobility For the Front Squat

Tune-Up Tuesday - Episode 5: Mobility For the Front Squat

In this episode of Tune-Up Tuesday, we have Dr. Clinton Lee here to teach us a quick and easy mobility drill that will help you improve your front squat.

What You Should Know About Pain: Part 2

What You Should Know About Pain: Part 2

This post is a follow up to last weeks blog post in which both Dr. Zak Gabor and I tried to challenge your views on pain.  In this post we try to help you understand pain to help you better conceptualize it when it happens to you.  

Tune-Up Tuesday - Episode 2: Building Tension in the Plank

Tune-Up Tuesday - Episode 2: Building Tension in the Plank

Today's Tune-up Tuesday goes over the proper way to execute the plank.  Proper execution is key for improved core strength and improving your technique on just about every exercise in the gym.  Read the full post for the full scoop. 

Cueing the Arm Bar

Cueing the Arm Bar

In this post, I talk about how to properly cue the arm bar, and some steps you can take to get more out of this exercise.

Why Aren't You Reaching Your Fitness Goals: Part 2

Why Aren't You Reaching Your Fitness Goals: Part 2

In the second edition of Why Aren't You Reaching Your Fitness Goals, I cover some ways to help keep you consistent with your workouts and nutrition. 

Move Better Installment No. 2: Controlled Articular Rotations

Move Better Installment No. 2: Controlled Articular Rotations

This blog post is a follow up to last weeks post on CARs.  Learn how to correctly perform shoulder and hip CARs - as well as some key points needed to effectively perform Controlled Articular Rotations.

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.