Have you ever heard yourself saying, "I could never do that, or I wish I could do that?", especially when watching athletes compete, a performer belt out a song, or an awe-inspiring speaker?
What we often see is their very best performance, what we don't see is the endless hours, months, and years they have spent practicing and perfecting what we see.
In this second part of our three-part series looking at insightful concepts from the article The Mundanity of Excellence by Daniel Chambliss, who followed amateur and Olympic swimmers for several years to see what made them successful, there were three takeaways:
1. Excellence is a qualitative phenomenon. We spoke about this in our last newsletter. Remember, more does not equal better in most things, especially exercise. Rather, focus on the quality of how you move through your exercises.
2. Talent is a useless concept.
3. Excellence is mundane.
This week we will look at the idea that talent is a useless...
Have you ever felt like your body was physically stuck? Does it seem you tried everything, and nothing has changed?
Does it all seem like trying is just an exercise in futility?
I can assure you; you are not alone.
Making changes in your body, especially after any injury (even if you are unsure how you developed it), surgery, accident, etc., is much harder, and success can be achieved.
A client will ask, "Can I do this exercise?". They may have seen or read that it is good for the core or back. They see the fit, strong-looking person in the picture or video appearing to successfully do the exercise and looking great while they do it.
Again you are not alone.
There is no one best secret exercise. Nor do we recommend believing anyone who tells you that.
Another secret that has come to light to many who work in the exercise industry and clients have shared about themselves is that just because someone 'looks' good does not mean their body feels good. Many of our...
Creating lasting change can be challenging. Often, we have a beautiful picture of what we want each day, our future, or life to look like and lack the path or steps needed to make it happen.
In his book, Tiny Habits, B.J. Fogg writes, "Tiny is mighty. At least when it comes to change."
When it comes to how you live and move in your body, the concept of tiny habits can be, as B.J. Fogg writes, tiny is mighty.
Habits seem so hard to change, yet if we marry the change with another task we do regularly, it helps remove the complication of remembering to do it.
Here is an example:
If I have a client who struggles with low back discomfort, especially when she sits and her job requires her to sit for 2-4 hours at a time, I will recommend each time she sits to go through a simple routine to sit optimally.
After she sits and before she starts working, she will be sure to pull her SITS bones out and back to ensure she supports her spine on the broadest part of her pelvis. She will take five...
According to the National Council on Aging, every 11 seconds, an adult is seen in the E.R. for a fall-related injury,
The end of September was Fall Prevention week in the U.S. As a promotion, the National Council on Aging wrote the article, Debunking the Myths of Older Adult Falls. Of the ten myths listed, #3-#5 stuck out the most.
Physical activity is one of the best ways to build and maintain strength and flexibility. Strength and flexibility are essential to balance.
A few months ago, we covered a few things you can do to work on your balance. They included:
These will go a long way to improving your balance, flexibility, and core strength.
The best thing you can do if you...
According to a recent article published by the NIH (July 2022), back pain remains one of the top reasons for doctor's visits.
The article lists various back pain causes, including congenital to non-spine related and risk factors from age to psychological.
The article's recommendations for helping with back include medication, strengthening, stretching, and surgery.
One thing the article did not cover:
what you should stop doing for the health of your back and spine.
The picture below shows four everyday activities you may do throughout your day to move or for posture.
Each of these will put pressure on your spine and change the soft tissue (muscles, tendon, ligaments and fascia) in your lower back area. Eventually, the alignment of your spine will change and put pressure on your discs, spinal cord, and spinal nerves.
So the number #1 thing you can do is stop or modify the following activities:
Check out the picture below:
Does your overhead motion look like the model under suboptimal when you lift your arms overhead to get a glass from an upper shelf or serve during your tennis game?
Maybe you are unsure.... Let's find out.
Place your left hand on the bottom of the right rib cage. Next, lift your right arm straight up in front of your body and then all the way up, so it is next to your ear while keeping your elbow straight.
Did you notice your ribs moving underneath your left hand? If not, try again and see if you feel them moving.
Did you feel movement now? Not sure?
Place your left hand on your low back where you feel the arch in your back. Lift your right arm again as described above.
Do you feel the arch in your back getting bigger or moving away from your hand?
If you answered yes to either the hand on the rib cage or the hand on the back, you are using a lot of effort, primarily through your back muscles, to move your...
Did you know that you have over 20 muscles that connect the base of your head, neck, and jaw to your rib cage and shoulder joint?
So, if you have neck issues, it may come from something with your rib cage and shoulders.
The same is true in the opposite direction. It may be from something in your head, neck, or rib cage if you have shoulder issues. The body can be pretty complicated. Often, where we feel discomfort in our body could be caused by a problem from someplace else in our body.
Example: If I always pull my shoulders down and back to appear to have better posture, this action will stress my neck. The movement of pulling the shoulders down and back stretches the muscles attached from my neck to my shoulders. My brain perceives the feeling of tightness as I pull the muscle long and tight like a...
Do you know the answer to the question below?
When you squat or sit down, do you tend to bend first at:
a. your neck
b. your knees
c. your low back
d. your hips
Hopefully, you answered d. However, folks often say knees; yes, your knees should bend when you squat or sit. However, it should not be the first place that you move.
You can see by picture (d) that as the person goes into the squat, the whole torso moves from the hips to the head.
If you stand up and place your hands on the crease on the top, front of your leg, where your thigh bone meets your hip joint, this is the joint or area where you should start moving when you sit or squat.
It seems like it should be easy; however, for many people, the first thing they do is bend their knees (pic B) or their back (pic C).
Initiating the movement from your hip joint will help save your knees and spine. It will also help with your balance. Bending through your hips...
When properly rehabbing a house, a plan is put in place. Depending on the house's history, it may require a multi-step strategic plan. It may need need to be updated to run more efficiently. More time may need to be spent on specific areas or systems.
When starting a health or fitness program, you need a strategic plan specific to your needs and wants. Like updating a house, it may take longer than the initial plan. Yes, that can be frustrating, and if you know from the start, you can manage your expectations when issues arise.
An example: Sally is a referral after being discharged from physical therapy. She has met their functional goals and still has limited motion in her shoulders, making it difficult to do simple tasks like reaching overhead into the kitchen cabinet, putting on her bra, and doing exercises requiring her arms. Sally has a complicated medical history, including several abdominal surgeries and ankle sprains. In just a couple of sessions, Sally has...
In part one of this series, we looked at posture. In part two, we shared the concept of working smarter, not harder. While both are essential for improving your flexibility, this one is the quickest way to become more flexible at the moment.
Let's test my theory.
Which side do you feel resistance as you turn? Or does it not feel as easy to move?
Is one side more challenging or uncomfortable to move overhead?
Standing with arms at your side and feet hip-width...