Archive for the ‘movement training’ Category


As I was stuck inside on a Saturday due to the snow storm Jonas, I decided to take a look and edit some old You-Tube videos on my channel found here; I found an older workout and decided to make good on my promise to do a tutorial for the Gorilla clean.

Now before I go on, let me say if you don’t have the one and two bell clean down with at least half bodyweight for ten don’t do this move just yet. Take the time to develop your form and hip drive, soft landing in the rack and so-on. I have seen too many people over the years try to rush the process rather than to earn it and it has led to some problems in the long run. So be wise friends.




Now that I got my moral obligation out of the way and if you meet this criteria, then let’s get busy on how to do this kettlebell exercise. This move has a few different components to it that make it different from your basic clean variations.



1.It starts from the top down

2. It has a sort of squatty catch

3. It Requires more attention to details


1.It teaches control

2. It uses a different pattern (same but different)

3.It makes you think (for the reasons given above)

4. It is fun!

Start off slow and develop good habits and techniques and then have fun training with this kettlebell drill. Enjoy it friends




Movement isn’t just exercising, it is rather a lifestyle of striving to hit various directions and movement patterns across different planes of motion. Trying to fit those into a program can be challenging but is a lot of fun to figure out and to do.

Lately I have taken that challenge on and in my kettlebell training program have been adding in multi-directional components to my workouts and to my student’s training as well. We have been rotating, stepping, reaching and hitting a ton of other movement patterns, without neglecting strength, conditioning and other important factors, of course in less time spent training.

This week’s workout is one of them and is basically a rotational workout with a kettlebell that is designed to challenge you and help you get to your fitness goals.


Weekly Kettlebell Workout: An Intense Bendy Twisty Kettlebell Complex



This week’s workout is done by doing: 5 rotational cleans, 5 “curtsy” lunges and 5 pivot presses.  Keep this going for as many quality rounds as possible in 10 to 20 minutes.

Take a look at the video below to see it done and then do it yourself.



Once again we have your guidelines for success

  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern
  • Rest as much as you need to and no more.
  • Tough it out while working out ( keep in mind the results)
  • Enjoy the fat blasting effect  and raised metabolism.

Click here to get my Ultimate Kettlebell swing tutorial and workout series. This series will not teach you the swing,  but show you  how to train with it to get to your goals!


Over the last few weeks our posts have been geared towards why rotation in the athlete and human being is important as well as how to better develop this technique through mobility and stability work. (Click here to get them.)




This week’s post will attempt to wrap up this topic and give you some ideas on how to train this movement and how to better apply it to your chosen sport and or life.

First, it is important to learn how to rotate properly to increase your power and efficiency and to possibly prevent overuse injuries in the movement chain.  The first step is to be aware that this rotation needs to come from your hips by internally rotating through them and by pushing the floor away as you do. This will spare your low back form over rotating which could lead to all kinds of back issues and pain as well it being a weaker way to accomplish this task.

After you worked on and develop that awareness, you will want to develop stability with the hip to shoulder separation. That is where this next movement comes in to both develop core stability and the hip shoulder separation that is needed for power and effective rotation.


Then after you learn this month well enough that both sides are even, you can move into developing power in this motion by using the drill below.


After you have come to own this drill the next progression is given below it is being demonstrated by one of my athletes Anthony.


All of these drills have one thing in common, they require that you learn to separate your hips and shoulders from each other. To do this last one it takes it a step further and requires that you turn your hip first and then your shoulder to do this drill with speed as well. So that is why in this sequence it is last and the most advanced of the three.

These drills are extremely useful to develop and improve rotation with power development at the same time. So give them a shot and contact me for further information and for proven training programs that will make your life and performance better.

After reading our last post on this subject, you have gained some insight into the why of our rotational program.  If you haven’t read it yet, click here to do so now, because I will be referencing some of those points throughout this post. This week’s post will also be the beginning of a programming to train this movement, especially for mobility and stability work to help improve the technique of human rotation.

As you are aware, the body operates in movement systems and have been imformed of the ones involved specificaly in rotation, commonly refered to as  slings. The one thing that we didn’t cover las time, was that these patterns are connected by a substance called fascia.

This is a web like substance that sits over our muscles and pulls them together throughout the body. So in addition to specific muscles firing to accomplish a task, this fascial pulling also goes on as well. Now this is a great thing and helps our bodies transmit force as well as helping us to stabilize , as we do so and  move in our sports or life.  Yet, it can also limit our performance in the same way that it can help it; in the case of an  individual muscle or muscle in a pattern being underactive.

As a result of the weakness of one muscle, another along the movement chain can become tight and overactive as well as it leading to restrictions in a movement such as rotation in this case.

In light of this fact, it would make sense that individuals with this issue would need to mobilize orrelease their tight muscles in this (or any) pattern and then follow it by strengthening the weak muscles that are causing the problem in the first place.

So the first question that we need to deal with is what needs to be mobilized and what needs to be stabilized and or strengthened?

First of all we cannot say with absolute certainty for every person without anevaluation/assessment like the one that we do here at Escape Medford that could identify the issues that the person may have and then a strategy on how to deal with them.

But this post will endeavor to give you some general ideas to help you improve your rotation and then to pattern it with better technique.

Our first step is to mobilize an area that many people are “locked up” in due to our seated culture. That is our Thoracic spine or mid-back. A lot of the times, we cannot rotate properly and transfer energy the way we should, due to not being able to move through our mid-backs well. As result we usually end up using not so good body parts for this movement pattern. (Elbows as in throwing, lumbar spine, etc.)

Use this drill below to help you begin to utilize your upper back to rotate better and to minimize your low back for this human movement pattern.

Once we have mobilized this area, the next step is to stabilize it; so that the new range of motion is maintained. We like to use the following move to develop this quality, especially for overhead throwers

After developing the mobility and stability needed for the move of rotation, we can begin to pattern it while standing, helping the athlete get better at their sport, whether it be golf, baseball, or any other sport that involves a lot of rotation and or overhead work.

Next week, we will continue this theme and teach you how to begin to use your new found mobility and stability to enhance your performance in your chosen sport and for your health.


Training for fat-loss is not magical and doesn’t require an advanced knowledge of calculus or rocket science. All it takes is that you overload your system in one is the ways that have been proven by science. (Tempo, load, complexity and so-on.) The cool thing about these principles is that you can apply them all or most of them to a single workout. This week’s workout involves, complexity, volume and a few others to help you get the results that you have come to expect from this series.

Weekly Workout: The Fat Killing Kettlebell Complex


This week’s workout is a little complicated so don’t feel bad if you struggle a bit with any of the moves, just find an easier version to do and get results without creating movement dysfunction by training with a move or load that you aren’t ready for.

This week’s workout is done by doing the following in order then resting one to two minutes or until your heart rate gets low enough to go again.

8 clean and jerks with two bells
(If you don’t know how to do the jerk, simply do a push-press for the same reps.)
6 step forward lunges to side to overhead press.
(use one bell and if you cant lunge safely, do a squat to press.) 

Walking hand to hand swing for 20 steps a side 
( Just regular swings are fine t00.)

Enjoy this workout that will help you burn fat, build mental toughness, get strong and work your heart as you do it!

Once again we have your guidelines for success




  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern
  • Rest as much as you need to and no more.
  • Tough it out while working out ( keep in mind the results)
  • Enjoy the fat blasting effect  and raised metabolism.

Click here to get my Ultimate Kettlebell swing Tutorial and workout series. This series will not teach you the swing,  but show you  how to train with it to get to your goals!

Research has exploded in the last few years and with the advent of the World Wide Web access to it has gotten much easier.  Along with this enablement is the why behind what you are doing in addition to the how and when. One of these components to training for sport is the need for rotation to develop better, throwing, running and other needs to improve an athlete’s performance.


You may be aware of this fact or if you have been training with us you probably have experienced our emphasis and instruction on the need for this quality. Or you may have never even heard of us and have never been into our center. Whether you are familiar with us or not, we want you to know the why behind what we teach. That is the goal of today’s post to help you become aware of the reason behind the method. Just as the book title says we want you to start with why!



First we want to begin with the type of rotation that we are talking about and what it looks like.

The type of rotation that we are talking about is driven from the floor and ends up translated through the arm or the implement that is utilized in an athlete’s chosen sport.   We are however not referring to an isolated move wherein the trunk is the only thing that is moving.  An example of this technique is shown in a proper golf swing, pitching, and a slap shot in hockey and so-on.


After that last statement, you may be thinking, “so this is an important component to sports” and you would be very right if you are. So it would then in that case make sense to learn how to do it well for increased power and efficiency for sports performance.



So now that you have the why we should rotate well, how then can one do it? Also is there any risk in rotating? (As you may have heard that there is.)

The next few paragraphs and correspodning posts will give you some answers and a few ways to develop this quality to make you a better athlete.

Before we begin the next part let’s cover how to rotate and how not to accomplish this task.When we look at the body for performance and health, we need to realize that the body operates in movements and these movements are powered by systems or slings of muscles that function together to perform that move. In rotation we have both the anterior and posterior slings as seen below.


In order to better utilize this sequence to throw, run and other sports activity requires that you utilize a particular technique. Not only will this create better power but will also better help prevent non-contact /overuse injuries as you play.

The next two posts will continue to answer these questions and give you some ways to learn how to use this principle for sports performance and injury prevention. So keep tuned to this blog for that!


It is the holiday season and a few days away from Christmas and I am very excited to be able to share the season with my awesome little dude as well as my siblings and friends.  I also am very excited about this week’s workout that involves a functional movement, loaded carries. 


Think about it we have to carry all kinds of stuff around. We carry groceries, bags of gifts, (for this time of year) kids if you have them and so on. So, it makes perfect sense to strengthen and build work capacity with this movement pattern.

Weekly Workout: Cardio Christmas Carry



This workout is so simple that it will make you question whether there is more  to it or not! But it will leave your heart and waistline happy as well as give you the option of one more cookie, if you so wish. 

Pick a distance to carry half or your body weight in dumbbells or kettlebells (I prefer kettlebells for this one, due to the ability to do more rounds with them.) Set a stop watch for 10 to 30 minutes and carry away, after each round check your heart rate and go again if low enough to do so, if not recover enough to midway or all the way for your aerobic training zone and then go and go and go again until your chosen time is up.

Enjoy the happy heart, fat-loss training friends!



Once again we have your guidelines for success

  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern
  • Rest as much as you need to and no more.
  • Tough it out while working out ( keep in mind the results)
  • Enjoy the fat blasting effect  and raised metabolism.

You are all very aware that I am a big believer in the usefulness of kettlebells coupled with good programming to help my friends, clients and followers get real fitness results. I am not saying that they are the only tool that one should use to train because I use multiple tools, such as barbells, sandbags, bodyweight and so-on to give the person the recipe needed to get lasting results.

(Matt. M getting his workout on!)

This week’s workout is a challenging kettlebell complex that will put some hair on your chest, build strength, give your heart a workout and be all kinds of fun. (if you are into that sort of thing!)

It is done by doing the following for as many quality rounds as possible with medium uneven kettlebells:  ( if you use a 16 kg for one side use a 14 for the other.)

5 overhead presses with the other bell in the rack position throughout.
5 squats
10 one arm swings
Then do the same on the other side.
Repeat this for as many quality rounds as possible.

Check it out here  and get going!




  • Do all of your sets and reps with quality form. Crap only produces crap!
  • Breathe by matching your breathing with each pattern
  • Rest as much as you need to and no more.
  • Tough it out while working out ( keep in mind the results)
  • Enjoy the fat blasting effect  and raised metabolism.Just for the holidays I have made my Kettlebell series half off! Click here to get it and swing your way to fat-loss in the new year!

2014-07-29 19.02.30

The full pistol or one leg squat is an advanced movement pattern that many would love to progress into and some even train to do. But somehow they never seem to be able to do it or if they do, it looks terrible and may lead to an injury at some point if they keep doing it that way. In light of that fact the goal of this post is to give you my reader some correctives to help you in your journey to a full pistol and to help those with ugly form improve their technique.

The few things that I will cover in this post are a few things that I have seen in my time coaching this move with clients and even in myself. So as always, try the move in this case the pistol, then do the specific corrective and then re-test the move again to see if it improved.

As with any move that involves this much complexity there are any number of things that could go wrong that can negatively affect this move. These qualities are: mobility, especially of the ankles and hips. There is also a need to master breathing specifically power breathing as well as ab strength. Finally, if none of those help it could be a motor-control thing and some re-patterning and regression of the drill could help take care of that as you work on improving this advanced squat.


Having a tight or restricted ankle can lead to poor pistol performance, in things such as: moving too much through your lumbar spine to make up for your ankle restrictions and or ending up on your toes and having a wobbly and later on a painful knee.

Below are some drills that you can use for your ankle to see if it helps you overcome this mobility deficit in your ankle if that is a problem for you.

In addition to these drills Goblet squats and practicing your pistol with a plate under your heel could help with this problem as well.

Hip flexors:
Tight and overactive hip-flexors can lead to crappy pistol technique. Use these two stretches and activation drills below to deal with this problem and then once again re-pattern the move with low reps and better form.


Another important component of this move is the ability to create your own stability using an ab brace, power breathing and muscle tension. This increases your control and strength throughout the move and of course as you train this move, to decrease your usage of this ability to progress. The video below shows you how you can use the plank to develop this quality and increase your strength.

Ab strength:
Ab strength can be very helpful in owning this movement pattern as well as deep core stability. Use these two moves below to help build both in your program. I recommend doing the half-kneeling chop and lift as a warm up and the ab drills in your workout.

Counter balanced pistol:
Adding a counter balance on your pistol is a great way to help develop better form as you practice and it if you have a long femur, it could help you be able to do this move as well.

Heel lift:
If you have a bit of restricted ankle or lack core stability this regression can help you with being able to learn and earn this move. Watch the video below for demonstration of both.

Door pistol: 
this is one of my favorite drills to help my students achieve their full depth without overlying on an external help. This also requires that you create tension as a means to progress.

Box pistol:
this is another simple progression to build strength specific to the move and to pattern it as you train.

The next few moves are designed to help you build strength for the full pistol. Take a look at them and utilize them to help you build the force needed to help you get through the bottom to the lock out of the squat.

Step ups for pistol strength:

Split squats:

front squats:

You now have a good amount of information to work on and to develop the pistol. Get to work on it, try a corrective and then see if your form get better and stronger as you go along. I would almost recommend to get a friend or coach to watch you as you train and if you can’t do that, then you can video yourself to make sure that you are on pace to develop a pistol squat with good form for longevity and performance.

The overhead press is an often feared move in the fitness world as an other move can be depending on the person that is using it or teaching it. As with most other exercises it doesn’t have to be this can be a movement pattern that can and in my opinion should do to develop strength and work capacity as you train for better and higher fitness levels. This doesn’t mean that every single human being alive today will be able to do it without pain even if adequate mobility is present and proper mechanics are used and if that is the case for you, lateral raise, front raises and push-ups are fine to develop strength for you.

The definitely is the exception and not the rule, so the rest of us can follow these progressions and variations for their pressing pleasure! So let’s get going and getting stronger!


Half kneeling/tall kneeling:

Bottom’s up:


Barbell Variations



One arm press:





Sandbag shouldering:


Body weight variations:

Hand stand/ pike progression:


Enjoy these exercise friends and get stronger in the overhead pressing movement!