Squat posture: Video Link I almost always assess people with injuries by looking at their squat posture. This universal movement provides a lot of information about how people move their spine in relation to the arms and legs. I want to know what the spine is doing when the legs and arms are moving. In today’s video I change my arm position four times. I often have people hold a 10# weight in the first position as this helps me see what their ideal spine posture looks like during the squatting motion. As the arms move back towards the body in the next three positions I am looking at how their trunk position changes. Ideally it does not really change or is pretty close to the first test position. You can try this yourself. All you need is a camera and a vertical line to assess changes in trunk position during each test position. You can put a vertical strip of blue painters tape on a wall to serve as a vertical guide. The counter balance weight is a good way to start learning what your trunk should feel like. I also use resistance bands to help build this better spine posture. I will discuss this further in a future post. Getting your squat spine posture correct is a great way to start moving better. Once you begin to feel the ideal muscle activation as you squat with spine control, you can then take this new skill into other training postures (biking, rowing, running, etc.). This column-core process preserves the spine and makes the arms and legs do all the moving work.
Keeping the spine fixed during a sit-up requires more strength and control. The longer the spine is the harder it is to control. In a standard sit-up people curl the spine which shortens the trunk lever. This reduces the workload. Keeping the spine fixed as a long lever, in your anatomical position, increases the challenge on the body. Building spine control and strength is the key to reducing or eliminating training related injuries. The more time you spend training your spine to be a controlling system vs. a moving system the better your training results will be. I have helped hundreds of athletes to eliminate or prevent injuries by introducing them to my column core training system.
Great drill if you train on an RP3 or other rowing machine where the seat and feet both move relative to the trunk. Goal of this drill is to develop body control. The more trunk(spine) control you have the less the seat will move towards the stern (towards feet) at the finish. Seat control comes from the strength, power, and ability to stabilize the trunk (spine) throughout the rowing stroke. Weakness is shown when the seat slips into the stern at the finish. Spine slumping (C-shaped spine) is a weaker body position and it shows up as the seat drives into the stern at the finish (boat check). Spine control (as close to anatomical spine position as you have strength to handle). Try this drill and check out your trunk control. Anyone can build this skill once you understand how column core activation works and you begin building it. I will give you a hint: traditional weight training and planking don’t teach this skill.
Assuming you don’t have moderate to severe lumbar disc degeneration (on x-ray or MRI) you shouldn’t really wake up with a stiff sore back. Even if you train at a high athletic level. After seven or eight hours of good sleep you should wake-up refreshed not stiff and sore. A stiff sore low back is evidence that you moved you low back too much the day before. Today’s video share some insights as to why and how to start eliminating that morning low back stiffness.
Gyms are temporarily closed with social distancing. I have witnessed a sudden increase in the number of people out running or walking in the open park spaces. Running is a great way to keep up your cardio-fitness, however ramping up too quickly can lead to injuries. This is especially true if you have not been running too much. Doing the right type of strength training can help keep you injury-free especially with a recent increase in weekly mileage. Today’s video -Runner’s pulls; this is a great exercise to improve your running strength that also helps reduce injury risk. Check out the video here to learn more.
Column core training is restorative fitness and targets weak and inflexible muscles in the arms and legs while simultaneously building a powerful non-moving spine. This is what I call real core work. Everyone who trains, at any level, can benefit by adding column core training to their regular fitness program. Keeping the body strong, flexible, and injury-free is a key point to stay fit. Today’s video shows a dynamic lunge stretch. Here the resistance on the handles is increasing as I lunge forward. Pushing through both hands eliminates trunk rotation and aggressively activates the abdominals which prevents to low back from arching or extending. This allows the hip flexors to get a maximal stretch without allowing the spine or pelvis to compensate.
Running into 2020! Trail running is now a favorite way to get my cardio done. I love being outside and the challenges of single track trail running, but it wasn’t always fun. The first few years of trail running I sprained my ankles multiple times and tried to resolve the problem using traditional physical therapy exercises which didn’t resolve the repeated ankle sprains (swelling and pain). But that all changed once I built and started training on the K-Core and I have not had one single ankle sprain over the past 8.5 years. Today’s video is one of a number of different running exercises I do about every seven to 10 days. The column directed resistance on the K-core keep my leg flexors really strong by connecting the moving arms and legs through a fixed spine which eliminated my chronic ankle problem as well as other issues [will get to those on another blog post]. If you are suffering from any recurring training related injuries that have failed to get better doing traditional treatment there is hope. I have helped hundreds of regular athletes restore whole body strength by having them implement the column core training system. So if you are committed to getting better and finding a long-term solution I would be glad to a quick phone call so you can learn more about this revolutionary training system and how it might fit into what you are doing now. No strings attached. Thanks for following and Happy New Year!
Hip rotation strength and power are essential in golf, throwing sports, mix martial arts, boxing, throwing, and many other sports or activities. In this “upper cut” exercise I am working on hip rotation, trunk, and arm strength and power. I am stabilizing the K-Core with the top hand and trunk/spine as I move the bottom arm and hips against increasing band resistance as my hands come together.
The column core training journey started with my wanting to know why with all the strength training we did as members of the National Rowing Team that there were so many injuries. Strength training should help prevent injuries which I personally did not witness when I was a physical therapist while a member of 10 National Teams. The video explains the story.
Mastering spine control is the key to optimizing whatever sport or activity your do while eliminating training related injuries. Building this control is best done through column loaded resistance training. In the video tension is increasing through my trunk while I drop into a spit squat. The goal of this exercise is to train the spine to provide a non-moving platform for the moving legs/and or arms to work against. Mastering spine control is a skill that will help you optimize performance while eliminating injuries. More than 20 Division 1 teams are now training on the K-Core for this reason.