All posts in Core training

Bands – Thera-band CLX

Doctors and patients will not be disappointed. You’ll enjoy time-tested “old school” movements with a new twist – the CLX band. I am all in!

CLX workouts are completely complimentary and synergistic with all other training approaches and styles such as yoga, free weights, kettlebells, ropes, and cardio. CLX bands provide flexibility and conditioning that are another Thera-band tool at my disposal.

If you are currently working out through an old injury, or feel injured after a workout, or experiencing pain with certain movements l recommend improving flexibility, building core strength, and neuromuscular control using the new CLX.

Dr. Tucker focuses on the basics. Planks, pushups, and squats. Lots of variety with the CLX!  These three will go a long way to strengthening your entire body. Dr. Tucker’s approach is hands on, your bodyweight, consistent short work outs that stress the “core”.


Low back pain – Work out with me in the office

In my 30 minute one-on-one sessions I include flexibility, core work, (but not just core work, I help you get at the deep core), balance, plyometrics, agility, strength, and cardio. I offer variety and knowledge to train you better than anyone else. Different tissues in the body each respond to different workouts based on the principle of specificity or specific adaptation to imposed demand. Including a wide variety of workouts prevents muscle imbalances and ensures that you are improving in all areas of our targeted goals – flexibility, endurance, neuromuscular coordination, body fat loss, posture, strength, and power.

I teach you how to use free weights, kettlebells, bands, and body weight. We have fun and the 1/2 hour goes by very fast.

Call 310-470-4511 and speak to August or Angie for an appointment.


Glute Exercises

Jeff.. I’ve always been taught to have pt do a pelvic tilt and then squeeze the butt while in this position..before bridging… Is this incorrect?

From the hook lying position, maintain the abdominal brace in order to keep your spine stable.
Have your arms at your side and turn them out so that the back of your thumbs are pressed against the floor. Spread your fingers out as wide as possible.
Keep the spine in a neutral position and slowly raise your pelvis off the floor into the bridge position (at this point you can have the client pre-contract the glutes). I like to observe what strategy they use without coaching on the first several reps. Do they use more hamstrings vs glutes?
Be sure to maintain the abdominal brace throughout the entire movement.
It is also important not to let your low back arch or flatten out at any time during the movement.
Slowly lower back to the starting position.

If getting the spine in a neutral position requires slight pelvic tilt, by all means explore APT or PPT and help them find it. You’ll be amazed at how many low back clients have lost the ability to perform ATP and PPT. Also make sure the knees stay in neutral as well (they don’t drift inward or outward).

Additional bridge progression
Cook Bridge (Hold one knee to chest)
Bridge with strap around the knees
Bridge with heels raised
Bridge with steps
Bridge with one leg extended

Hope this helps.



Functional Movement Screen (FMS)

I use the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) on a daily basis in my Chiropractic practice to watch how clients move through the most basic and fundamental movements. The FMS helps me to determine the risk of injury a person has, and limitations of movements, and right and left side imbalances during movement. I like to use the FMS to establish a base-line score in my non-acute patients.
I have found it beneficial to test low load maneuvers and exercises (before using loads) first. This has provided me with an overall exercise prescription that 1) Establishes mobility first (Gray Cook & Lee Burton strongly teach this point). This involves mobilization, manipulation, teaching clients how to perform self myofascial release using the foam roll, Deep Muscle Stimulator (DMS), stretch and lengthen, etc 2) Perform movements that recruit slow motor units. I make sure the stabilisers are working. The smallest muscles in the body need to contribute to holding spinal joints still while the arms and legs produce motion. It is better to use low load, or minimal load to primarily recruit slow motor units. Teaching patients the “primative” movement patterns are very useful here. All of this helps the spine to isometrically hold a position to sustain postural alignment or support functional trunk or limb load. I use exercises that  transition slow motor units to optimize rapid/accelerated movement and the production of high force or power. 3) I teach exercises that eccentrically control the return through range (limb lowering against gravity). 4) Control whatever functional range is available. Here the global stabilisers should demonstrate efficient control of both normal and hypermobile ranges of motion. Gray & Lee call this RNT (Reactive Neuromuscular Training). 5) Then I reevaluate the dysfunctional movement pattern found on the Functional Movement Screen to see if this made a positive change. If the movement pattern improves, my patient and I know we are on the right track, if the movement pattern did not improve, I need to rethink the corrective exercise prescription. All of this takes one on one time..worth it!


How to perform the plank

The plank requires good abdominal strength and co-contraction of the abdominal wall musculature to hold the lumbar spine and pelvis in correct alignment.


  • Assume a press-up position, but with your hands and forearms on the floor.
  • Hold a straight body position, with your weight supported on your elbows and toes.
  • Brace your abs and set the lower back in neutral (neither overly rounded nor arched) once you are up. Sometimes this requires a pelvic tilt to find the right position.
  • The aim is to hold this position, keeping the upper spine extended, for an increasing length of time – up to a maximum of 90 sec.
  • Do 2-3 sets.

Progression: Lift one leg just off the floor – hold the position without tilting at the pelvis.


Gluteus medius exercises

The gluteus medius muscle is an important frontal plane stabilizer of the pelvis. Although its primary function is pelvic stabilization in single leg stance (closed-chain), many therapists and trainers continue to strengthen the gluteus medius in an open chain using hip abduction. The addition of an unstable surface such as a Thera-Band® Stability Trainer is thought to increase muscle activation due to the increased challenge of stabilizing the pelvis in the frontal plane while balancing on a labile surface.

Researchers found that single leg stance exercises produced significantly greater glute med EMG activity compared to bilateral stance. In addition, single leg squats produced significantly more EMG activity than single leg stance. While not statistically significant, performing single-leg exercises on a foam pad did produce more EMG activity of the gluteus medius than a stable surface.


Low back & pelvis core strength & stability

The basic message I want to get across to my patient’s with low back pain is about your personal responsibility to support the muscle system of the spine. Have you heard of Core Stability? If you are into Pilates, yoga or strength training you have experienced core strength training and stability training.

If you are my patient you have heard me talk about the fascia and the joints. In particular for the low back, I talk about the fascia, muscles, and joints around the  sacro-iliac joints. These are part of your low back stability system. Contrary to what old rheumatologists will tell you, the sacro-iliac joints – which connect the fused section of the lower spine (the sacrum) to the pelvic/hip bones on either side – do need to move during normal daily activities such as walking and running. These bones were meant to move. On the other hand the lower lumbar vertebra were not meant to move very much. These lower lumbars usually need stability training to get them to “hold” in place better.

You will feel me touching and testing the motion of these joints and the surrounding fascia. It is both necessary and desirable that the sacro-iliac joints move, because they need to act as shock absorbers between the lower limbs and spine, and also as a way of providing proprioceptive (body positioning awareness) feedback for co-ordinated movement and control between the trunk and lower limbs.

As the SIJ is capable of movement, that movement needs to be properly controlled, as with any of the body’s joints. Some control comes through the natural architecture of the low back and pelvis, but more is possible by using the surrounding muscle, ligament and connective tissue system (fascia) to provide compression on the joints. This is important because we can influence the effectiveness of the compression through exercise and re-training after injury.

I will give you exercises to support the muscles and fascia  that help to stabilise the pelvic girdle:

  • For the back side I like arch ups;
  • For the front side I like abdominal curls or planks: 
  • For the sides I like the side bridge.

If you practice just these three core exercises and train every day for three weeks it will help you improve the fascia system of support.  These are just the beginner poses. I will progress you to the intermediate and advanced exercises.


Glut Medius

The gluteus medius is normally associated with movement. Weak glut medius muscles have ‘ruined’ more running seasons than perhaps any other single cause of running-related injury.

Appropriate assessments, exercise and rehabilitation can restore proper glut medius function.

The gluteus medius muscle originates at the top of the ilium (hip bone of the pelvis) below the iliac crest, and runs to the top outside surface of the greater trochanter (outer side of the thigh bone). It is the major abductor of the thigh (lifts it away from the body to the side). The fibres at the front rotate the hip internally and the rear fibres rotate it externally.

During walking or running when the foot is on the ground the gluteus medius is a pelvic stabiliser. It helps to keep the hips parallel to the ground. If the gluteus medius is not functioning well enough to achieve this control, compensation will occur.

Weakness in gluteus medius will have implications all the way down the kinetic chain. For example:

  • the femur (thigh bone) to shift inwards and internally rotate excessively
  • the knee to fall into a knock-kneed position
  • the lower leg to rotate internally relative to the foot
  • weight to be excessively transferred to inner side of the foot.

As a result you are at increased risk of any condition relating to excessive and/or prolonged pronation of the foot, such as medial tibial stress syndrome or Achilles tendinitis.

What contributes to gluteus medius weakness:

  • Medical – hip rotator tears and congenital dislocation of the hip
  • Lifestyle – standing predominantly on one leg with the pelvis swayed sideways and hip joint adducted (the classic hip-hitch slouch, often used by mothers when they stand with a child in their arms)
  • Simply sleeping on your side with the top leg flexed and adducted over the other leg: maintaining an elongated position for sustained periods can weaken the glute med.

My favorite exercises for the gluteus medius are side lying hip abduction,  single leg squats, and lateral band walks.

Come in and I’ll teach you how to perform these maneuvers with perfection.