Archive for Did You Know?, exercise programs, tips for trainers, workout tips

You’re Probably Foam Rolling Wrong

by Meaghan posted July 18, 2017

First, has anyone tried this new contoured foam roller? It looks AMAZING…

 

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More importantly, did you know you’re probably foam rolling wrong? I know, I know. For years we said there was no real right or wrong – before a workout, after a workout, on your off days: ALL good. Personally, it always made more sense to me to foam roll before working out to get your body through the necessary ranges of motion in training and prevent compensations that could lead to injury. We didn’t have much research to back this up (or refute it), but it certainly made logical sense to me.

Good news: We actually have some research on foam rolling now. Granted, it’s new and still not abundant by any means. BUT, it’s starting to suggest that the effects of foam rolling are largely neurological in nature – AND extremely short-lived. Not like a few hours short-lived, but a couple of minutes. That is to say, the release of tension we get from foam rolling may already be diminished by the time we even START our workout – especially if we do a full-body foam roll. The mobility effects in the lower body could be gone by the time we finish foam rolling the upper body!

SO, perhaps we need to rethink our strategy when it comes to foam rolling. We seem to see the best LONG-term mobility effects when we follow up our foam rolling with static stretching (PNF seems best), and then it’s up to us to immediately gain stability and strength through our newfound range of motion if we want lasting change in structure and/or pain relief. That said, it may be best to intersperse both foam rolling AND stretching for specific areas strategically throughout a workout rather than doing it only at the beginning or end.

Food for thought!

Get Better at Preventing Falls

by Meaghan posted March 15, 2017

Hope everyone enjoyed the snow day off! Might as well run this again. Be careful on the ice!

 

After last week’s snow storm, NYC was left with not only a snowy mess, but also some pretty slippery sidewalks due to the rain that followed this weekend, in conjunction with the erratic bouts of warm and cold temperatures we’ve been experiencing lately. Sheets of ice still coat the city in several areas and, needless to say, we’ve likely experienced a recent rise in the rate of falls…

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“Hypertrophy” Training Protocols are Kind of a Myth…

by Meaghan posted January 24, 2017

shocked-face-3mother-of-god

That’s right. Much of what you thought you knew is wrong.

8-12 reps for muscle growth, right? Not necessarily.

30-90s only of rest to recruit more muscle fibers, correct? Nope.

Moderate intensity is best? All wrong.

These are ALL myths.

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Focus Goes West!

by Meaghan posted November 22, 2016

You read right: The Focus brand has made its way to the west coast! We now have trainers in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, and recently held our first continuing education workshop for the California crew at Horn Strength and Conditioning.

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Under the supervision of Focus Personal Training Manager, Ryan Heffernan, FocusLA trainers Emmy and Josh (pictured above) had a refresher on the Starting Strength method of training, which is widely used by many of the Focus staff – including Ryan as well as our Starting Strength coaches: Brent Carter, Ryan Peller and Pete Troupos.

In fact, the FocusNYC team recently won their THIRD Starting Strength meet in a row!

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Congrats, team!

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Accidentally Made Up But Highly Effective Exercises: KB SLRDL – Rack Position

by Meaghan posted September 22, 2016

So a funny thing happened on the way to the single-leg deadlift…

Let me start from the beginning. I was training a client a few weeks ago and one of the exercises in our first tri-set was a kettlebell single-leg RDL. The kettlebell was held in the hang position, as you normally see with this exercise.

KB SLRDL
At least that’s more or less what it’s supposed to look like. (Back to this in a second.) The kettlebell is held in the opposite-side hand as the working (stance) leg in order to minimize rotational forces, and the back remains straight as the movement comes from the hip.

So we finished those. A couple could’ve been more controlled and he reached a little too much with the bell but, all-in-all, not bad.

We moved on to our second tri-set, in which one of the exercises was a kettlebell reverse lunge. Same kettlebell, but we changed the position of it. For this movement, I had my client hold the bell in what’s referred to as the “rack” position.

KB reverse lunge

 

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To Change or Not to Change…Your Warm-up?

by Meaghan posted April 20, 2016

This week, a new class of FPTI students is learning how to use the warm-up component of initial training sessions with potential clients to assess their movement capabilities (more on that HERE), along with some mobility strategies to address what they see.

And while the students (and trainers in general) spend ample practice time conducting dynamic warm-ups with the goals of increasing core and tissue temperature and range of motion, and preparing the neuromuscular system for the workout to come, an often overlooked aspect of warming up is the information it gives us – not only about movement, but also about mental state.

mental fitness

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It’s Mobility Week at Focus

by Meaghan posted September 30, 2015

It’s Mobility week in FPTI‘s Advanced Concepts class! This week, our AC students are learning various mobility assessments and drills to improve range of motion and overall function in their clients and prevent injury, as well as how to incorporate mobility into both first sessions (as assessments) and overall programs to enhance progress toward other goals. They’ll even learn how to communicate the importance of mobility to prospective clients to get buy-in.

Among other great resources, one that we like to share with them is MobilityWOD.

MobilityWOD

Mobility Workout of the Day, that is. MobilityWOD is a website put out by Kelly Starrett, DPT in attempt to provide athletes with drills to increase mobility and improve their training and performance. His goal was originally to get a video-based mobility blog post up every day for a whole year. What happened, though, was that he became a go-to source for the industry’s mobility needs.

We like him for another reason as well: Even though Kelly is a physical therapist, he really “gets” the strength world and takes an intelligent approach to training. What’s great about MobilityWOD is that he doesn’t just put up a video of himself doing an exercise. Rather, he includes explanations (in both text and video) of how and why the mobility problems usually occur, along with how his drills work to improve them, as well as other strategies to prevent recurring problems. He also includes ways to test and retest mobility to evaluate and monitor progress, as well as questions and even assignments designed to get you thinking about how and why things work the way they do.

So whether you train just yourself or other people, I guarantee you’ll learn a thing or two from MobilityWOD that will enhance your results – so check it out!

Understanding Your Shoulder Pain

by Meaghan posted August 13, 2015

Our students currently taking Advanced Concepts learned all about the influence of scapulo-humeral rhythm on impingement this week. Here is a bit more of what we talked about:

The shoulder is probably the most misunderstood joint in the body, especially among those who don’t have a good foundation in human movement – which, unfortunately, includes the majority of people who work out. This, coupled with its inherently mobile/unstable nature, also makes the shoulder the most commonly injured joint in the body – which is why you see so many people in the gym doing stuff like this:

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Effective Exercises: The Deadlift

by Meaghan posted March 11, 2014

The other day, one of my students asked me what my favorite exercise was. My response? The deadlift, hands down. (Not to be confused with the Romanian deadlift – or “RDL” – where the bar starts from a hang position and never touches the floor, and is predominantly a single-joint hip extension exercise rather than a multi-joint lift like the conventional deadlift).

 

 

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Have You Seen The Vixen Workout?

by Meaghan posted October 16, 2013

Believe it or not, THIS CLASS is being marketed to women as a “confidence booster.”

With wedge sneakers worn in class and “important terms” like ‘p-poppin till you perculate’ and ‘twerkalator,’ listed on the website, I’m a little curious as to how this helps boost women’s confidence…at least in a healthy and respectable manner. I know I’m a little biased, but I’d much prefer a class like PT6 where proper technique and safe but steady progressions are used to build confidence.

But check them both out and let me know what you think!