Tuesday, February 9, 2016

How To Fix Your Squat And Get A Better Life

 The squat is an essential human movement that gets used daily for a multitude of tasks. We squat to get up from our chairs, we squat to pick up objects from the ground, we can even use the squat as a resting position.

 However, most people have trouble performing the squat. If you have trouble performing a full squat, it means your full movement potential is limited. If your movement potential is limited then you're more likely to become injured. 

In my latest article for Whole Life Challenge I teach you why must be able to squat, what common issues are preventing your from squatting with ease, and how you can correct those issues. 

- Tim 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Glute Amnesia: A 3 Phase Program For A Better Butt

My latest article for "Whole Life Challenge" is up, and it's all about getting your glutes to work efficiently again. In it you'll learn about what "glute amnesia" is, how to tell if you have it, the dangers of glute amnesia, and a three phase program to eliminate it. Take a look by following this link.

- Tim 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

#1 Exercise For Improved Shoulder Mobility

The ability to raise your arms over head, without restriction, is an important skill for all humans. It's something you do on a daily basis weather you realize it or not. Reaching for something on a high shelf, putting away dishes in the cupboard, or doing work to the ceiling in your home all require the ability to raise your arms over head. The problem is, most people can't raise their arms over head and maintain a stable upright posture. When you're posture is broken, efficient movement becomes compromised and you're at a higher risk of injury. 

What Does Compensated Movement Look Like?

When I ask a new client to raise their arms over head as high as they can, I often see the same movement compensation ... a big arch in the lower back or a thrusting of the hips forward. The thrusting or arching allows the client to raise their arms completely vertical over head. The problem is that it breaks their stable posture and puts excess pressure on the lumbar spine and hips. Without the thrusting or arching the client would only be able to raise their arms to a level just above their forehead. It looks like this ... 

Why Can't You Raise Your Arms Over Head?

If you just tried the over head raise and noticed you thrust your hips in order to get your arms completely vertical, don't worry you're not alone. I see this time and time again. The reason you can't raise your arms over head is usually a combination of tight lats and tight pecs.  Your lats are those big sweeping muscles that run along the side of your ribs, they're the ones that give bodybuilders their "V" taper. Your pecs are your chest muscles. These muscles are commonly tight in just about everyone in modern society. Why? Because it's a byproduct of life style. We sit too much and move too little. If you experience shoulder pain, tight lats and pecs can also be the cause of shoulder pain that isn't associated with an injury. What's one to do in order to remedy this situation? One simple movement can help. 

The Passive Hang

The passive hang is a fantastic place to start when trying to improve your shoulder range of motion. It's safe for anyone who has mild shoulder pain or immobility that was not brought on by an injury (ex. dislocation). It's an exercise I program for almost all of my clients. It's simple and it can be performed anywhere. I've done passive hangs from pull up bars, soccer nets, jungle gyms, wall ledges, and more! 

 The goal with the passive hang is to incorporate it into your daily life. If you see a place to hang, hang! Try setting up a place to hang from in your home and every time you walk by that spot, hang! Our shoulders were designed to hang and brachiate (swing). We're still 99% genetically the same as chimps and other apes, they hang all the time. 

The goal is to hang for a combined total of 5-7 minutes a day. This can be done before workouts, after workouts, and throughout the day. Over time your pecs and lats will release their tension and allow the shoulders to move into a full range of motion once again. 

If you experience trouble holding all of your weight during the hang, it's ok. Simply hang from something low enough that you can place your tip toes on the ground, reducing the amount of weight your forced to hold. 

What does the passive hang look like and how do you do it? Take a look at the photo below and you can get on your way to opening up those tight shoulders. 


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Are High Intensity Interval Classes Hurting You?

High intensity interval classes have been gaining in popularity over the last 10 years. When used correctly, at the right time, high intensity training can be a great method of training for a lot people. However when it's used to excess or at the wrong time for the wrong person, it might cause more harm than good. Take a look at the YouTube clip above to learn more. 

- Tim 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The #1 Biggest Fitness Mistake!

 What's the biggest fitness mistake I see most people making? Is it isolating their muscles instead of training the whole body? Could it be not warming up correctly? How about outdated and dangerous exercises like crunches? The truth is, while these are all big problems, I wouldn't classify them as the biggest fundamental problem I see with most fitness programs. The biggest mistake the average person makes with their fitness routine is ...

 They don't make it portable!

 The BIGGEST excuse for not working out sounds something like "I didn't have access to a gym" or "I was stuck in a hotel all weekend and it didn't have weights". They might not be these exact excuses, but I'm sure you get the point - In order for the average person to be successful with their fitness program, it must be portable!

 The struggle for most people is finding a way to fit their training into their life. If you're always on the go (traveling, family, social obligations) it can be tough to make it to the gym. You might miss a workout here and there, eventually that turns into a week of missed workouts. Before you know it you haven't been to the gym in months and eventually you just stop going.  How often do we have friends who have been in that exact situation? How often has that friend been you? It's ok, it happens! But you need to learn from the mistake. You need to make your fitness program fit into your life in order to make sure that never happens again!

If you're program is based around minimal/portable equipment & bodyweight workouts you'll have your "gym" with you anywhere you go! You can literally fit everything you need, to get a great workout, into a small bag and take it with you anywhere you go. Get yourself a suspension trainer, lacrosse ball, and a few resistance bands. That's all you need!  If you have a knowledge of bodyweight training and some resistance bands, you can literally get a world class training session done anywhere in the world. It's that simple!

Exercises like joint mobility, hip thrusters, push ups, squats, rows, chin ups, and hinges can all be done with little to no equipment. They're also easily regressed or progressed to fit the needs of any trainee. They can be paired to help develop strength or used to improve conditioning, and they can performed anywhere at anytime. There's simply no excuse for missing your workouts due to traveling or lack of access to a traditional gym.

 You should never allow yourself to become dependent on the gym or a set of weights. In order to ensure life long fitness, you must free yourself from those self imposed "shackles" and take responsibility for your fitness. If you're always married to the idea that you need a set of weights or a gym, then you're placing limitations on your fitness. You're creating a road block that doesn't need to be there. Learning how to train on the go and how to workout in less than ideal settings is a must for everyone. When it comes to fitness, long term consistency trumps short term intensity. Being able train anywhere with little to no equipment will be key to your consistency and success.

- Tim


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Anytime, Anywhere: 4 Minimalist Hinge Exercises

 My latest article for BreakingMuscle.com is up and it's all about the hinge! I love bodyweight training, but there's one problem with it - there's no great way to train the hinge. In this article I will detail 4 ways you can effectively train your hinge with just a few resistance bands! Click here to read my latest article! 

- Tim