All Posts tagged Strength

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.

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Squats

Developing lower-limb strength and then power helps improve speed, acceleration and jumping. This in turn helps improve many track and field events, as well as field sports, gymnastics, weightlifting and martial arts.

Developing maximal strength in the lower body is an essential prerequisite of developing power. I still think the barbell squat is the king of all strength exercises. That’s because the squat exercise uses most of the major muscle groups in the lower body, overlapping with those used in running and jumping, so it is very suited to most sports. 

At the very least, you should keep bodyweight squats in as one of your core exercises. I always say that we should be able to do our age in bodyweight squats. For my advanced clients I recommend that you have a minimum strength base of squatting one rep maximum (1RM) of the equivalent to your own bodyweight.

Strength training develops the muscles’ ability to exert force, for example pushing a heavy object. Power training develops the ability to exert this force in less time – ie to make the movement quicker, for example throwing a ball. Sprinters can generate forces of up to three and half times their bodyweight when racing, so having sufficient leg strength to generate this force without injury is necessary. This explains the commonly quoted guideline that a power athlete needs to be able to squat a weight equivalent to twice their body weight – eg an 80kg male rugby player should be able to squat 160kg.

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Single-leg training provides less back stress

Single leg training is very overlooked in the gym & in rehab! Yet walking is the number one single leg activity. In sports, a split stance, single leg stance and pushing off one leg from a parallel stance is used. Doesn’t it make sense to train your body on a single leg?

Anything that causes less load to the low back is a good thing. The rear-foot-elevated split squat (RFESS), also known as the Bulgarian split squat (BSS) or Bulgarian lunge (BL) (it didn’t originate in Bulgaria) is an exercise I like for fat loss and muscular conditioning . This exercsie puts more stress onto your legs and therefore builds more useable strength, and it works around the vulnerable low back, which is often the weak link in bilateral leg squats.

From a functional training point of view I’ve never liked the leg press machine for leg strength because the low back has a tendency to round, which over time might create disc damage. I know in sports the goal is to build stronger legs, and as an injry prevent rehab specialist, I think it’s a good idea to target the leg muscles without having to place heavy loads on the spine. The rear-foot-elevated split squat (RFESS), is a better way to do it.

Benefits of RFESS: Targets the leg extensors (it’s a primary lower-body exercise). Develops balance, hip flexibility, strength, size, and you can use heavy weights to target the leg muscles with limited spinal compression.

Technique:
• Elevate your rear foot. An exercise bench or box works. If the stretch to the quads and hip flexors of your elevated leg is too extreme or uncomfortable, switch to a slightly lower box or step. I like the way the stretch feels and I personally need it for tight hip flexors.

• Start the exercise like a back squat, in that you position the bar on your shoulders in a squat rack, lift it off the supports, and take a step back. From there, lift one foot and place it on the bench behind you. Rest the top of your foot on the bench.

• How deep should you go? Place an Airex pad or mat on the floor under the rear knee, and tell they have to touch the pad with their knee on each rep. This creates consistent depth, and also serves to cushion the knee.

• Keep chest up. Core control is especially critical in the RFESS, as the elevated rear foot can create an unwanted back arch.

Add this in to your program for at least six weeks. Start with 50% of your one-rep max on the back squat.

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Biomarkers: The 10 Determinants of Aging You Can Control

William Evan & Irwin Rosenberg, Tufts University.
– Muscle mass
– Strength
– Basal Metabolic Rate
– Percent of body fat
– Aerobic capacity
– Blood sugar tolerance
– Cholesterol
– Blood pressure
– Bone density
– Temperature regulation
I agree with these authors that these 10 things can be modified and positively influenced by lifestyle changes. This is the approach I take to patient care. It involves hands-on body therapy, diet and nutrition coaching, and exercise training.

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