Posts Tagged ‘corrective exercise’

I wrote a post a little while back about the usefulness of kettlebell training when used with good form and technique coupled with intelligent programming. (To read it click here.) In light of how well that post did, ( thank you) I decided to continue with the same premise and break down a bit more how kettlebell and its movements can and will train your core.

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Before we begin the practical part of this post, I think it is important to realize exactly what the core is. One simple way to understand exactly what our core is as humans is the saying, “that if I cut off my arms, head and lower leg, there is my core.” So you see our middle as humans is more than just the abs and obliques. (To learn more about this subject, click here.)

Now that we have that out-of-the-way let’s get to the topic at hand: 6 Ways kettlebells can work your core.

The swing works the core:
It is a well-known and accepted fact that the kettlebell swing works the glutes and hamstrings. However, it does even more than that in its proper execution, those two other aspects as I stated earlier are part of your middle. Yet, the swing when done in the hard-style format will also train your abs. In order to make this happen one must brace the abs as if they were going to get punched on the top of the swing. This also serves as a veritable brake to stop the low back from hyper extending at the lockout of the swing.
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The Overhead Press works the core:
The body has a highway of sorts on which we transfer energy from the floor into a movement. The overhead press is a perfect example of the concept, in which we wedge ourselves between the floor and the kettlebell that you desire to press. The glutes, abs, lats, diaphragm and so on are activated in order to achieve the overhead move in a way that is safe and strong.

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The Kettlebell front squat trains the core:
The kettlebell racked squat is both an anti-rotational drill when done with one bell and a heck of an abs exercise when done with two. It once again hits the glutes as we hip extend, trains the pelvic floor, (more on that in the future) diaphragm when we use proper breathing patterns and so much more. This move is also a great one to teach a lifter good technique to begin to train the squat with barbells.

The Turkish Get-up works the core:
The Get-up is an awesome exercise. It teaches the practitioner to stabilize their shoulder and to move at the same time. It also works hip mobility, and shoulder mobility. But for the sake of this post it has been shown by E.M.G. to work all of the muscles of the core throughout the movement. It has built into a rolling pattern, spinal stability/shoulder stability and so-on. It is safe to say that the Get-up is an awesome exercise that saves time and trains multiple movements at the same time!

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The Single leg deadlift works the core:
This move is both a stability and strength exercise. It is also anti-rotational exercise depending on where you place the bell in correlation to the move. This exercise when coupled with the right loading will lead to you having to use an abs brace to produce the force needed to lift the loading that you are using off the floor. Give it a shot and see!

Carries work your core:
Loaded carries can be like magic to those who never do them. These moves when used appropriately can bring balance to your muscles in patterns. Train shoulder stability, anti-rotation, build strength and just make you feel plain great! Click on the link above to learn more about them and to learn how to do most of the variations.

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When most people think of the core they think abs and having a “six-pack.” I hope that after you read this post that there is much more than that to it than just a muscle and a look. Your core being balanced and things working well can lead to less pain in your low back and many other issues; it is also important for your performance as a fit person and or if you are an athlete.

So if you aren’t begin to train these moves and if you don’t know how, learn from a qualified, certified instructor in order to get all of the benefits that come training with kettlebells with good form and intelligent programming

It seems like our culture is getting worse and worse when it comes to mobility and movement quality. We usually have locked up t-spines, ankles and hips and as a result cannot move the way that we need to stay safe and get the results that we want from our training. One of those issues that we find a lot in our clients and athletes is an obvious lack of the ability to touch ones toes.

This movement pattern is vital for your safety and performance in lifts and movements that require that your hips move in a hinge pattern and at times in hip extension. (Hint, just about everything that utilizes lower body requires these movements.)

But before we go any further, let’s look at these moves so that you can have better understanding of them.

Hip hinging is when you are required to moves your hips back. This is seen in the exercise world in the form of deadlifts, kettlebell swings, broad jumps and other like movements.

Hip extension is the finish of these moves and is also seen in proper running and walking mechanics.
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(Dave knows how to extend his hips!)
Now that you understand in a very simple way what these moves are, let’s discuss how a lack of toe touch can mess up these patterns and lead to less than stellar performance.  You see a lack of toe touch is often a problem of not being able to shift your weight back and as a result your brain fires you hamstrings to keep you from breaking your nose. There are also times that your brain senses that a muscle is inhibited in the movement chain and as a result tightens up muscles to keep us from hurting our precious joints.

So then if stretching isn’t the answer, then what is?

The answer isn’t as simple as a 1, 2, 3 solution and can vary from person to person, but we can give you a few drills to help you:

1. Breathing;
Proper breathing patterns that utilize the diaphragm as the main respiratory muscle has a huge in stabilizing ones midsection and can enable you to move better by causing your brain to release any unnecessary tension in the body and to better stabilize your mid-section.

2. Toe touch pattern drill:

As a stated before an inability to toe your toes is usually a lack of being able to shift your weight back. This drill can helps you re-learn how to do this important movement and give you the ability back to deadlift with proper positioning.

To do this drill find a two inch elevation, such as a book, board or even dumbbells. Put your toes on the lift. Then stick something between your legs right above your knees, reach up to the ceiling, crush the object between your legs; and touch your toes 10 times. It is ok to bend your knees if you have to, in order to get to your toes.

After you have done that direction, stick your heels on the lift and follow the same sequence. You will either be able to touch your toes or you will be closer. Keep on practicing this drill until you can touch your toes, when you aren’t warmed up.

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3. Glute strengthening:

Lastly is if your glutes are weak or inhibited, you will probably not be able to get in the proper position to lift and train safely with good form. Now when people sit often as well as those who are just begin to workout usually have overactive or tight low back muscles and hamstrings and under active glutes as well as being stuck in a flexed or forward shoulder position.


To combat this and to help better position yourself you will want to, release (stretch, foam roll.) The tight areas and strengthen the weak ones. For the sake of this post we will only discuss the glutes. (We will be doing a posture post soon.) Glute development isn’t too difficult, you will just want to do it in a way that doesn’t keep the imbalance though.

1. Lower rolling for glute strengthing:

2. Supermans, birddogs and reverse hip lifts:

3. Bridges, Single leg and 2 legged

4. Glute ham raises:

 https://youtu.be/w0X0Vw6Vu1Y

5: Hip thrusters :

These aren’t the only exercises that train the glutes they are just simple and effective ways to do so.

Having a comfortable toe touch that is controlled is very important for your health and fitness. So it is worth finding out what is limiting you from being able to do so and to take the time to correct this issue if it is present in your life.

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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.

 

 

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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

Benefits:

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

Whoa! Before you go any further, take a minute or two to read the first post in this 2 post series. (Click here for it.)

 

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If you have read it, continue on and read this post for some ideas on how to incorporate this fitness quality of control into a practical one; that will help you perform better and hopefully better prevent non-contact injury in sport.

Now before we start to get into how to achieve this benefit, I need to give a quick “science” rant to better help you understand what it is that you will be actually doing. That is using the neural-developmental model to better develop control of your body.

This is simply when a baby is born, they can breathe, grip, poop and eat. Then they begin to control their neck, afterwards they begin to roll from supine to prone (face up and face down.) and prone to supine. Following that is the process of crawling/ rocking. Then kneeling, squatting, assisted walking, then comes walking.  As they human continues to grow they begin to be able to run. Lastly we learn to skip and play sports etc.

 

 

As we develop we learn to control our segments in order to move on to the next step in the model and so-on. So in the same way that we learn to develop the first time, we can and should use to learn to learn control when we need to again and as we need to.

Breathing:
Not breathing well can lead to all kinds of restrictions in movement. Especially w moves such as: t-spine rotation, lateral flexion and so-on.
This drill below will help you re-learn how to properly breathe again.

 

 

Supine posture:
After you have spent a little time on breathing and have developed some reflexive stability an s a result, you will want to re-learn how to develop stability in this posture. These drills are great to see if you are truly operating on all cylinders or are you using your global (large) muscles for stability. Make sure to maintain breathing as you do all of these drills!

 

 

 

 

Rolling after supine comes rolling which in my mind is one of the most important drills that tone can do in helping better develop eccentric control and has great transfer over to rotational sports!

 

 

 

 

Cross pattern drills:
These moves involve crossing the midline of your body in order to develop better stability and control of the hips and shoulders.

Bird dogs:

We are familiar with this exercise form Pilates, yoga and Dr. Stuart McGill’s work. In addition to these awesome benefits of core stability and low back rehab/prehab. These drills also help you reach across mid-line of the body which works both sides of your brain simultaneously.

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Crawling:
This movement is a progression into walking for babies, it helps them develop better core stability, strength and control for walking later on. For us it has a huge benefit to help develop better contra-lateral movement (opposite side) , can help with wrist mobility, develop better control of our trunk and so-on.

Watch the video v=below to see my little boy crawling around and don’t feel bad if you can’t do it as well as him yet. He has had a few months of practice!

 

 

Kneeling:
This posture is the next step in development and multiple drills can be done form this position to better help develop core stability , hip shoulder separation in some moves done in this position ,glute activation and single leg stance improvement.

 

 

 

 

Squatting
squats are also part of this process and are best learned as the first time form the bottom up. This drill teach you how to do that once again.

 

 

TGU
This exercise actually hits just about all of the NDM transitions and can be used to better help develop control if you treat it like it should be a tai-chi like exercise that you’ll need to own all the parts of!

 

Click here for more information on this exercise.

After all of these steps comes walking and running as well as more advanced things such as the list given below.

Loaded carries:

I wrote a bit about these awhile back click here to get them and to learn more…

 

 

Locomotion and control

Skips

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Hops

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Shuffle

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Single leg arm exercise can have huge transfer over to function and also can help maintain all of the work that you have done in the earlier stages of this renewal of control. Use these as much as you can to help you build strength and further develop control.

 

 

Pistol squats

 

 

 

 

In closing we need to be able to control ourselves in order to have the quality of life that we want as well as to continue to make fitness gains uninhibited by poor movement quality and potential stops due to non-contact injury! So friends regain control once again and even get better!

 

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.)

 

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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.

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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.

Mobility:

Ankle:
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.

Tension:

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.

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When I was still fighting as a boxer, the group and coach that I worked with realized the need for strength training to make you a better athlete. However, I am not sure how effective the program that we were doing was at doing that; it was a lot of slow stuff in the weight room , followed by slow running. I am not saying that slow is bad if the right reason is given to do it  and for a set time. I think however that one of our biggest training mistakes is that we didn’t do exercises to build power and explosiveness on a consistent basis and as a result , we probably missed out on being better athletes.

Even though I am no longer boxing , I recently realized that I need to develop explosive power and as a result have created this program geared around that goal and that program is the one that I am sharing with you today. So if you want to be more explosive and or if you want a different program to do for a while keep on reading and then get working.

Strength: Every program that enhances athleticism should have a time period carved out to develop strength. To me how you go about doing this is not as important as doing it. I prefer powerlifting and the three big lifts, along with accessory exercises that help you in a weak area. Olympic lifting also works to develop strength as well. So don’t get caught up in the how so much, just get stronger!

Once you have done this for your set amount of weeks, you will now want to work on building power  in two different ways: one, you will want use Olympic lifting, heavy Kettlebells and so on to build power. Two: you will want to develop explosive power or convert you strength into power. This is done by doing plyometrics, med ball work, light to medium sized kettlebells, sand bags, dumbbells and possibly barbells.

Power and the ability to explode and or move quickly is associated with the ability to become a better athlete in many regards. Explosive power is linked to speed and even more efficient endurance performance in my opinion. It is the a need for anyone that wants to perform at their top-level if they play a sport as well as those who want to change the focus of their workout for a while in order to better avoid over-training.

Just before we get into the program itself, let’s review how to become more explosive. Strength training and getting stronger in and of itself will most likely not be enough to produce this quality. It does however have a need in the process and also may I mention there is some research that says if the intent to move heavy weight quickly is present the explosive muscles fibers are activated and one becomes more explosive as a result. In spite of this fact, this blogger feels that both are needed to enhance performance.

Without further ado my friends we have the program:

As any long-term program goes this is one is a progressive and builds up as it goes along.

This is a 6 week program

Day 1:
Velocity based training day

Barbell cleans ; 50% of your one rep max
Week 1: 6 x 3 sets 2 minutes rest move the weight as fast as possible (thus the light weight)
Supersetted with half kneeling chop and lifts 15 to 25 lbs 8 reps x 2 sets

Week 2 to 4:

Add in a rep on each set
Week 3: move it faster
Week 4: add in another set
Week 5: adjust , work on technique move the weight faster and so-on
Week 6: add 5 lbs to the bar

The chop and lifts should progress from load to lunge position for 2 weeks to single leg supported
Push press 50% 1 rep max 8 x 2 sets as fast as possible 3 minutes rest (please follow this rest exercise is cumulative and not just about 1 session)

This should be treated the same as the clean in its progression throughout the weeks

Y,T, M,s 2x 4 each

Shuttle run:

week one 4 sets 40 yards 30 seconds rest

week 2 add in a round

Week 3 : get all of your rest down to 30 seconds

Week 4: add in a round

Week 5: Go faster

Week 6: add in a round

Day 2: Strength day:
This is the one day of grinds you can possibly put in any move that you want to work on, just don’t go crazy!

I chose snatch grip deadlifts, in order to see if they help make my chin-up stronger.

Week 1: Snatch grip dead lift 60% one rep max 3×5 sets 2 to 3 minute rest
Half kneeling landmine press: 2×5 60% one rep max (superset)

Weighted chin-up: 80% 5 rep max 2×3

Janda sit ups 2×5 ( I went from band assisted to “full on”)

Rower for distance 2500 meters

Week 2: Add 10 pounds each set on the deadlift 2 to 3 minutes rest
Half kneeling landmine press 3×3 80% one rep max
Chin up: same load add in a rep each set
Janda the same
Rower: get it done faster

Week 3:

Add ten pounds once again on the dl
Half kneeling landmine press 3×6 70%
Chin up: same load add a rep on one set
Janda: take band away 2×3
Rower: faster same distance

Week 4:

Add 20 pounds to each set on deadlift
Half kneeling landmine:  3×4 80%
Chin up: 1st set: the same for 5 2nd: 5 pounds heavier 1 3:1
Janda: 2×4
Rower: same as last week

Week 5:
Deadlift: warm up with your 70 %  5 reps 1st set, 2nd set: 80%  3 reps rest 3 minutes in both 3rd set: 90% 1 x 5 minutes rest beforehand
Chin up: 1 set: 1st set, 4 reps of previous load. 2nd set add on 10 lbs 1 rep
Janda: 2×5
Rower: slow 2500

Week 6: Deadlift: two warm up sets at 70% and 80%  3- 5 minutes rest. 3rd set: one rep max!

Day 3: Active rest: I did boxing work, you can do whatever you like without high intensity.

Day 4:
Week 1:
Dumbbell snatch 2×5 50 lbs 2 minute rest
Superset: suitcase carry 50 steps medium load work on position and
Med. Ball scoop toss: 20 lb. ball 2×8 1 minute rest
rotational med ball slam: a weight that you can move very fast. 1 minute rest 2 sets

Week 2:
Dumbbell snatch 2×5 set 3:3
Carry again but 5 steps further
Scoop toss: same but throw it further
Rotational slam: Faster

Week 3:
Dumbbell snatch 3×5
Carry go 5 pounds heavier
Scoop toss: 20lbs. 3×8 2 minutes rest
Rotational slam: Faster

Week 4:
Dumbbell snatch 5 lbs heavier 3×5
Carry: add in 5 steps a side
Scoop toss: same but 1 1/2 minutes rest
Rotational slam: Add a set in

Week 5:
Dumbbell snatch 5 lbs heavier 3×5 faster
Carry: same
Scoop toss: same but 1 minutes rest
Rotational slam: 2 pounds heavier sam reps and sets

Week 6:
Dumbbell snatch add 5 more pounds 2×5
Carry: same
Scoop toss: same but 1  minutes rest
Rotational slam: 2 pounds heavier same reps and sets

Day 4:
Week One:
Squat Jumps; 2×6 as fast as possible up and off the floor 2 minute rest
Lateral jumps over cone: 2×6
Med ball slams 10 pounds: 2x 8 as fast as possible
Kb deadswings: 3×8  2minutes medium load

Janda sit-up: 3×5

4 minute run 2 off for recovery

Week 2:

Squat Jumps; 2×7 as fast as possible up and off the floor 2 minute rest
Lateral jumps over cone: 2×7 2 minute rest
Med ball slams 10 pounds: 2x 8 as fast as possible 1 minute rest
Kb deadswings: 3×8 1 minute rest

Janda sit-up: 3×5

4 minute run 2 off for recovery work on running technique.

Week 3:

Squat Jumps; 2×8  as fast as possible up and off the floor 2 minute rest
Lateral jumps over cone: 2×8 2 minute rest
Med ball slams 10 pounds: 2×8 and 1×6, as fast as possible 1 minute rest
Kb deadswings: 3×8 30 sec. minute rest

Janda sit-up: 3×5

4 minute run 2 off for recovery add in a round

Week 4:
Squat Jumps; 2×8, 1×6 , as fast as possible up and off the floor 2 minute rest
Lateral jumps over cone: 2×7  1x 5 2 minute rest
Med ball slams 10 pounds: 3 x 8 as fast as possible 1 minute rest
Kb regular swing : 3×8 30 minute rest

Janda sit-up: 3×5

4 minute run 2 off for recovery add another easy round in

Week 5:

Squat Jumps; 3×7 as fast as possible up and off the floor 2 minute rest
Lateral jumps over cone: 3×7 2 minute rest
Med ball slams 10 pounds: 3 x 8  1 minute rest go faster with good form
Kb Regular swings : 3×8 30 minute rest

Janda sit-up: 3×5

4 minute run 2 off for recovery 4 rounds

Week 6:

Squat Jumps;3×8 as fast as possible up and off the floor 2 minute rest
Lateral jumps over cone: 3×8 2 minute rest
Med ball slams 12 pounds: 3 x 8 as fast as possible 1 minute rest
Kb deadswings: 3×10 1 minute rest

Janda sit-up: 3×5

4 minute run 2 off for recovery 5 easy runs in

There it is guys this program made a huge difference in my sprinting speed and punching power. if you feel the need adjust it to you, but don’t go crazy too early especially if this is your first time doing a cycle like this. There is much more going on than just your ability to recover in between sets and reps,but a need for your musculoskeletal system to adapt as well. So trust the process and know the why behind your need to train like this, even if it is just to change your approach for a brief while!

If you liked this post, I offer online coaching and program designing services to fit your life and to get you to your goals! Click here to learn more.

Perfection is an interesting concept, we all realize that we are not it if you are in touch with yourself and if you do think that you are you are deceived and possibly very insecure. Now the realization that you are imperfect should not leave you feeling powerless and hopeless, in fact it should make you excited for the endless possibilities to learn, grow and improve in all areas of your life from: relationships, career and so-on. I will be the first to acknowledge that learning new stuff isn’t difficult and often painful, but avoiding this truth will lead to you getting nowhere fast and becoming ineffective before you know it. So just to end this rant, seek and pursue perfection. But realize it is out of grasp and even if we did somehow manage to achieve it, how can we really know if it truly is perfection?!

Another idea where people feel that there is a perfect standard is in movement. A lot of times exercise and rehabilitation professional foolishly assume that there is no such thing as perfect movement and try to cram people into their box of ideological fallacy.

This group of people believes that their standard will somehow stop the injuries that happen in people due to poor exercise form and overuse. Yet, their clients are often the most “banged up” and it could be different if they did not assume that everyone should look the same, as well as respecting the law of individual differences.

Now this post is not saying that there are no rules for safety and performance when it comes to training and exercises. It is simply saying that there is safe form not perfect form. The goal of this post is to give you a standard for that form, which is simply, competency as well as some of the consequences of forcing our movement ideals on all. What should be corrected and finally to tie it all together with a bow and send you home being better for it!

As I stated earlier, there is no such thing as perfect movement; however, there is competent and safe movement. Safety comes as a result of not overtaxing a joint in the movement pattern and doing that overtime which could lead to injury in the exerciser. This means that you should have proper mobility and stability in the movement to keep you safe as you do it. The joint by joint concept shown below can help you visualize this as you look at it.


Also here is an example of this concept at work in squatting, the low back should be stable or long, the t-spine needs extension, the hips mobile to get in the best squat for you. You need ankle dorsi-flexion and plantar-flexion to do it well and of course your head shouldn’t bob around like Quagmire!

So in light of the last paragraph, you see the need for things to be move adequately in order to perform this task of loaded or unloaded squatting. If one aspect has an issue, it can lead to overuse in another and an overuse injury somewhere along the chain. If that is the case, our cues are not enough to fix the problem and the problem at hand should be corrected in a way that results in better movement by the individual. E.g. a restricted ankle needs to be mobilized in order to squat better.

In light of those issues that can put the exerciser into a bad position as they train there needs to be allowance for the individuality of the person and their anthropometry as they do any exercise. In fact, there may be things present in the person’s movement patterns that you feel are ugly. But that is how the person is built and just the way it goes and maybe there is a need to switch to different variation of the same move. E.G. dumbbell bench press over barbell.

Now also be aware that there is the possibility that a person may stand a tiny bit uneven in a lower body exercise and also be ok. I would in this case try to correct it, if their movement profile says that they are ok and then be open for feedback from the person as to how they feel while doing the move. If they feel weird or if they have pain there may be a chance that they have two different hip joints (the ball and socket and need to be allowed to be a bit uneven in their stance.

Depth in a move also may vary from person to person and trying to force a person deeper in a move such as a squat may lead to a whole lot of health problems down the road. So have your ideas just recognize that everyone is different and should be treated as such.

In conclusion, I hope that you realize that better is better and not to aim for some false ideal of perfection as you train others if you are a trainer and if you are a fellow no trainer fitness buff, don’t let anyone force you into an uncomfortable or painful position in the name of some outdated philosophy. Be free to do you even if it bothers the anal exercise form person. Take the time to get assessed to see if you have any issues that need correction and practice safe form as you train. Most of all keep on rocking and get fitter as you train to be the very best that you can be!

(Bottom’s up kettlebell and donut press. A super Kung-fu advanced variation!)

Variations of exercises are awesome to use, if the right purpose is presented in any program to do so. The kettlebell bottom’s up press is an awesome exercise along those lines. This exercise is a very useful drill for many different reasons and in my opinion should be added to any strength or fitness program. Here is the clincher though, hopefully before doing them, you have spent enough time on training your basic overhead press and don’t want to move on to the b.u.p. due to just boredom.

Over the last few years, I have used this exercise to help my clients, get stronger, leaner, improve their wrist stability and press better and this post will be a quick “rant” on that topic and brief tutorial on the move in the video below.

My thoughts on the B.U.P.;

 

I am deeply in love with this move, so much so that my wife probably should be threatened by it. (Just kidding) But seriously, I have this move to be a great tool to use in my training tool box and will get into some of its uses below.



I have seen this move build strength, help create better balance between wrist extensors and flexors in my clients and as a result creating better stability in the wrist area. I have also witnessed strength levels or the ability to create tension increase resulting in some of my clients unintentionally getting stronger in the over head press. One of my students press went up two bell sizes in a short period of a few weeks. As well as better creating awareness of body mechanics in the kettlebell rack position and throughout the pressing movement.

How to do them:

Now that you know how to do them in a very basic way, get to work and add them into your training. Remember to chalk your hands and or the bell before you do and get complete focused on doing this move that can help you become just better!

If you are looking to progress in your fitness, give me a buzz for my online coaching and program design service!

I am by nature an introverted person, am inclined to shyness and as a result of my personality am very, skeptical. So as you can imagine, when something new comes along, I am not the first to embrace it with open arms. In fact, I usually stay away from it, do research and then begin to experiment with the thing. In this case it is exercise and considering the fact that I train others for a living and their safety and results are in my hands as far as picking moves and programs to do goes, it makes it a very good trait to have.

I was very skeptical of kettlebells when they began to get popular around my area. But I did my due diligence and came to the conclusion that they are a very useful tool and when coupled with good programming, can get someone the results that they crave. So you can probably imagine when hip thrusts came along I was a bit apprehensive. Beside the fact that it looked like you were trying to get it on with the bar! 

I however began to look into this move and began to read up on it. I looked for articles, research, analysis and other’s experience and results from and with this movement and found it to be a useful movement and as a result have added it into my client’s and my own training.

I have had some good results from using it as well. One: my glutes fire so much harder on my other lower body moves such as my squats and deads.

Two: I have ended up improving my kettlebell swing form and my ability to generate force.

Third: my butt grew a bit which my wife likes! I am also sure that there have been other benefits but I haven’t noticed them as of yet.

How to do them:

This movement is not too complex to do but like every exercise, you will need to pay attention to the details as you do them. In order to get the full benefit of this drill and to become a believer like me, you will want to: Set up properly, find a spot on the horizon to focus on throughout the movement, keep your rib cage down. Drive the earth away through your heels, keep your knees out and squeeze your glutes hard on top.

1. Set up properly:
I have said it a million times and now I will say it a million and one: “the set-up is the most important part of any exercise.” The same holds true for this movement pattern; if you don’t set up well, it will be hard to fix everything once you start your set.

So when you set up: take a seat on the ground with your mid back on the bench behind you. (Make sure that the bench won’t move before you get going.) Find a spot to look at on the horizon throughout the move, place the barbell on your A.S.I.S or the bony part of your hips. Tighten your with a brace (as if you are about to get a people’s elbow to your gut.) and get ready to get some booty and strength building movement!

2. Push through your heels:

Like any other exercise that works the posterior chain, you will need to “push the earth away with your heels” to engage your glutes, hammies and of your other back side’s muscles. If you do this as well as the other parts to this move, you will get an amazing glute activation.

3.Force your knees out:
Physics are funny and always lead to a certain part of our body wanting to collapse under the resistance of a move. For example, when you do push-ups- your low back and legs want to bow.  In this case just as with squats your knees may want to bow inward. So make sure to keep your knees out as you workout by using this strength move. To learn more about this and how to correct this mistake, click here.

4. Squeeze your glutes hard on top:
The Glute max is a phasic core muscle, which simply means that we must focus on firing them to get the most out of it. So as you do this move, you basically want to do a plank for your butt and squeeze super hard as you pause on top for a second.

Hip thrusters have won over this skeptic in a very convincing way. Between my and other’s experience and Bret Contreras research, I am a convert and use them with most of my clients for various reasons but always with good results. I recommend that you do the same and get to as Bret C would say, “Get glutes!”