2021 January

January 17, 2021

Oh my goodness, as an exercise physiologist and a personal training studio owner for the past 18+ years I forget just how much people don’t know. Yesterday I went to a YMCA in downtown Greenville, SC so I could make the most of my time whilst my oldest was nearby at a Boy Scout University Merit Badge class earning his last Eagle Scout badge (woot woot!) I ran outside on the Swamp Rabbit Trail and then stretched on the very large fitness floor finished with a  warming meditative sauna visit. Fyi..I wore a mask on the fitness floor during stretching as there were too many for my comfort level not to and darn it there was another person in the sauna so I kept the mask on also.)

Anyway, as I was stretching, doing headstands to overt the spinal compression from running there were a few times I was aware of what the people around me were doing as part of their fitness for the day. I dare say doing as a part of their fitness plan as most people don’t have one it seems. They just wander from machine to machine or my favorite which I haven’t seen in years since I’ve spent so much time in Energy Fitness is the guy on the stair master machine leaning on the handrails heavily. I’ll give this guy props as he must have been 70 and he had great muscle tone and was alternating leaning with not leaning.

The guy next to me on the floor as doing sit ups. He’s the second person I have either seen doing full sit ups or who had admitted they do them. I thought to myself who does sit ups anymore and why didn’t this guy get the memo that they actually make your abdominal wall stick out further.

Yes, I said it! Sit ups make your belly bigger. Think about your core as more than just your rectus abdominis muscles. You have all these great other muscles that can help bring your waist smaller and belly flatter. Your internal and external obliques (large muscle) which you can target with rotational/twisting exercises and your breathing and posture muscles (serratus anterior) along your ribcage. Of course I can’t do a post about having flatter belly and not mention that lunges from a stationary position stepping backwards into a lunge is great at helping your belly look smaller as it helps keep your hip flexors stretched out which can help rotate your pelvis in a more posterior position if this is what you need for your body. The extensors in the back also need to be kept strong to help your overall core.

So DITCH the FULL SITS UPS AND TRY A FEW OF THESE! You may have to copy and paste in new browser!

If you have diastasis (separation of the abdominal wall when you do a test crunch and can put 2 fingers or more) then this exercise may not be for you as it will make if worse if you haven’t gone through a program to improve it.

 

There are so many others that I have my clients do but these at least can get you started in the right direction.

Here’s the stationary lunge back I had mentioned earlier. I use to hate lunges but started forcing myself to do them more which helps to undo running and cycling tightness of the hip flexors that puts your pelvis in an anterior tilt making it look like you have a larger belly than you do. I can easily see the tilt of my pelvis in this video done years ago.

Come see us onsite for a bit longer at our Memphis location 552 South Main, Memphis, TN 38103 or find me online with live personal training/coaching or hire me to write a program for you with your own personalized 4-6 minute demo of each of your custom workouts included. One client responding to an email with video demos “These are extraordinarily helpful.Best, Tom”

Onsite following local covid guidelines as well as maintaining our current disinfectant procedures. You will have to sign a Covid19 release form, wash your hands upon arrival, etc.

Click  here for information on our Healing Arts Services (Massage Therapy).CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT A FREE VIRTUAL OR ONSITE FITNESS CONSULT (VALUE $87)

 

 


January 7, 2021
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I’ve had some serious thoughts about glute dysfunction and tightness for sometime now. Being in the fitness profession for almost 30 years plus being a cross country and track collegiate athlete I have seen a lot of bodies not moving well / not being mobile or stable enough.

I’ve concluded that we all have to take action to take back our backsides so we can age well, move well, sleep well and the list goes on. I have about six and a half weeks left in massage school with only about 4 weeks left of clinicals (massaging clients that pay the school for student massage) in South Carolina. Being on the massage therapy side of it has reinforced the idea that people really need to stretch those glutes! Many get on the table and their whole legs rotate (laterally) so as the toes point out. Many of these people on my table complain of knee or back pain that is chronic or acute at times. A massage can only do so much which means self care is recommended between sessions. I have tested clients before in the pose(s) below and after the massage and sent them home with a few of the diy stretches. I also write it on the SOAP notes in the plan section which is the documentation process for licensed massage therapists. As a personal trainer my documentation for Energy Fitness is my copywriten programs or written exercise prescriptions with custom changes as necessary for clients based from their fitness assessment. We all need a program in order to get better and most need accountability to do it. Just remember what you hate to do is often the exact thing you need to or must do to get better or feel better. It may be uncomfortable and/or darn right painful to hold these stretches for the length of time necessary to get maximal benefits but in the end it will be worth it.

I’ve said this many times before….some stretching is better than no stretching; however optimal time to actually change and lengthen the actual muscle fibers is 3 minutes (count to 90 twice) every day for 6 weeks. Don’t want to count? Take 10-12 long slow breaths and settle into it with a positive attitude and be present with the discomfort as it too shall pass.

YOU CAN DO THIS !

Gold standard provided you have no knee issues. First one below is cow pose where knees are stacked atop each other and glutes are on the ground. Use a yoga block to sit on it you need to and can get into this pose. If I were to include a video you would see that I lift and wiggle my way into the position. I actually use a block under the top foot to get a deeper stretch. You must breathe on this one as it’s tough. Count to 90 twice if you can or take 10 slow breaths each leg.

The next one I believe is called stacking logs stretch and gets the glutes in a different angle. Most people’s knee come nowhere close to touching the other leg and mine don’t most of the time. Of course depending on how flexible or inflexible you are this may feel as intense to you as a more advanced one feels to someone else.

For the stretch up the wall stretch pictured below, usually the best bet as a starter glute stretch for those with chronic low back or sciatica pain and want to use caution with their knees. See the sequence on how to get into position for this cross legged wall glute stretch (also called thread the eye of the needle). You will want to press your tailbone down towards the floor once you get in position. You can use a wall or not.

 

I intentionally put the pictures with my tailbone up off the ground quite a bit as most likely that is what is closest to what most people can achieve.

The ones below are modified pigeon, pigeon pose and seated what I call cross leg glute pull stretch.

 

 

 

 

 

Stretch it out!

Come see us onsite for a bit longer at our Memphis location 552 South Main, Memphis, TN 38103 or find me online with live personal training/coaching or hire me to write a program for you with your own personalized 4-6 minute demo of each of your custom workouts included.

Onsite following local covid guidelines as well as maintaining our current disinfectant procedures. You will have to sign a Covid19 release form, wash your hands upon arrival, etc.

Click  here for information on our Healing Arts Services (Massage Therapy).CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT A FREE VIRTUAL OR ONSITE FITNESS CONSULT (VALUE $87)