Mid-Week Mobility: Traveling Yoga Flow

While you think you’re green,  you’ll grow. When you think you’re ripe, you begin to get rotten.

–Unknown

Traveling to Houston and watching the 2015 IWF World Championship was an absolute blast and I took a lot away from it, but the biggest thing I learned is that even World Champions fail and that is okay. Often times we get into the habit and mind set that we need to come in and crush weights, PR, and increase everything about our lifts. While this is the absolute best mind set to have, this sets us up for an inevitable failure. The sport of weightlifting is a cruel lover, one minute things are good and you are on top of the world, and next minute she takes everything you have and puts it out on the side walk. This realization usually comes on those days that you are supposed to come in and hit max attempts or when you are throwing weight around at another gym and you end up looking like you don’t even lift. The point I want to make, and that reflects on the quote above, is that we are always in a constant state of learning. I watched the world’s greatest, in multiple weight classes, fail attempts well below that of their maxes. Were they pissed? Of course they were, especially when they struck out. Are they going to dwell on it? Maybe for the day, but then they will take what happened and they will learn from it, because that’s what you do; chalk the day up to a loss (1 point for the weights) and come in tomorrow and bang your head against that proverbial wall until you break it down.

Now that we have covered all that, let’s talk about traveling for the holidays! Everyone knows that hours in the car just does wonders for your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back, and even though not being able to walk properly feels so lovely, we thought we would provide everyone with a yoga flow to loosen that area up pre/post car ride to help you look like a normal human that is capable of walking upright.

 

Enjoy:


Also, remember that Monday is the deadline to sign up for the PHP Super Total Lift-Off, so make sure and click the link for more information on how to get registered and compete!

To gear, or not to gear

There are plenty of difficult obstacles in your path, DO NOT allow yourself to become one of them

–Ralph Marston

Before I start talking about what today’s topic, I want to make sure that everyone knows we are down to the last week of sign-ups for the PHP Super Total Lift-off. Make sure to take a second and get signed up by:

Paying in person at Pure Health Locations:

  • Cash
  • Check
  • Card

Google Wallet your fees and information to:

  • Daniel.West.PT@gmail.com
  • Include your name, competition preference, and box affiliation (if applicable)

Paypal your fees and information to:

  • Purehealthperformance918@gmail.com
  • Include your name, competition preference, and box affiliation (if applicable)

Once you have sent your info, check The Sign-up sheet to make sure that you are registered and ready to go!

If you have questions about the rules of the competition make sure to message us or email us or you can check the Rules and Regulations pageNOTE: Power lifting session is a RAW session, the only gear allowed will be wraps (knee and wrist) and belts.

We want this to be a fun, competitive competition for new comers, veterans, and lovers of the sport. Make sure and tell your friends to sign-up (and make sure that they get that way).


If you are involved in any sport, especially weightlifting, you know that all the major athletes have tons of gear. Watch a video of the IWF training hall and you will see the most elite in the world squatting, snatching, clean and jerking, and pulling in belts, wraps, straps, etc… So yes, at some point gear is a necessity, hell, I think everyone aspiring to the sport of weightlifting or power lifting should invest in a quality belt, knee sleeves or wraps, and some type of wrist wrap and pull strap.

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What I mean to say is that often times we gear up when we get into the gym, right after warm-up, because we ache. We gear up because, for some reason, it mentally or, in some cases, physically helps us with issues we are having in the lift, and this is no good. The idea of gear is to help support once we get to extremely heavy weights, it is not meant to band-aid a mobility issue or pain we are having. This is not to say that if you come into the gym after a long week of killing weights and your back, knees, or wrist are killing you, to not strap up and get your training session in. I simply want to address the idea that you should be able to perform sub maximal attempts without gear, or you might be that person walking around with the belt on doing dumbbell curls for core support, because…you know…it helps.?.?


Belt/mobility/correction

Lets start with what a belt actually does, help to increase the Intra abdominal pressure.

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As we close our Glottis (reference the picture above), we start to increase are abdominal pressure, which in turn pushes on the Lumbar spine and creates a support. This being said, notice that we can accomplish this WITHOUT belt. The goal of the belt is to artificially help to increase the pressure and support when we need it, at maximally attempts. If you tend to wear a belt from the time your warm-up at 100lbs to the time you max at 285lbs, you might be masking issues that we can address below. 

  • Glutes/Hips

When we wear a belt, the most common problem is lower back pain. When we have pain in a joint, the best thing to do is to look up-chain or down-chain to see if we can find the source of the issue. It is extremely common that the source of your lower back pain is in fact not in your lower back (unless you have some existing Facet issues or a disk problem). Try a couple of these stretches, pre and post training, to see if you can start to alleviate your need for support and ultimately become pain free.

Other options not pictured: Pigeon stretch (make sure that your hips are flexible enough for this stretch)

 


 Knee wraps/sleeves/mobility/correction

If you follow a “squat every day” program, you will know that your knees, from time to time, will take awhile to warm-up. This is due to the fact of, you know, putting them under large amounts of stress on a daily basis, and this is okay. The body is built to handle this type of stress, IF, you take proper care to make sure everything is running smooth. Wearing some type of loose fitting knee wrap or knee sleeve is a great way to keep the knees warm, loose, and ready to lift on the daily. However, wearing these items can often mask the underlying cause of the soreness/tightness which is usually tight quadriceps.

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Notice that the musculature which makes up the “Quadriceps group” attach in and around the knee joint. Furthermore, notice that the Rectus Femoris attaches to the patella (knee cap) and down to the Tibia. I point this out because often times this is a great source of pain, and below is how to remedy:

The first 4 tiles are the same pose (Reclined Hero’s), just at 4 different levels (notice my quads are rather tight compared to Kaleighs). The last two tiles show rolling techniques used to mash the individual quad muscles (paying attention to mash both the medial and lateral quad group as well).


 

Wrist wraps/mobility/correction

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If you look at the picture above, you will notice why we go up or down chain in order to look for mobility issue. If you have “tight wrist” or immobile wrist we have to look up chain to the forearm due to the fact that there is not actually much musculature in the wrist (tendons that connect to the phalanges, but not much actual muscle). Tight forearms can present a great problem, especially when trying to front rack weight or bench press large amounts of weight. Try a couple of the stretches below to see if you can help your immobile wrist before resorting to wrist wraps and masking the issue:


We have touched on all of these topics in past articles, but wanted to bring it all together and give examples of how we tend to mask issues that present themselves. Make sure that you are constantly doing your mobility work, because you can mask with gear for a good amount of time, but eventually, the equipment is not enough and blowing out a knee or bulging  a disk  becomes a real possibility.

We look forward to seeing everyone in 2 weeks time at the Lift-off. Make sure and bring your friends and family out (we will have food and drinks available) to come and cheer you on as you break through some PR’s and fight for one of these bad boys:

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Recovery

If you have no time to rest, it’s exactly the right time

–Mark Twain

We are down to the last couple of weeks before the PHP Super Total Lift-off (check out the event with updated details on registration and how to pay) and from what I have seen, athletes are making the finishing touches on technique to come and put up some big numbers! With that in mind, I wanted to throw some tips and tricks up  to make sure everyone comes well rested and recovered to bring the best game possible to the meet.


Sleep

Of all the different aspects of recovery, sleep is among the most important. Yes, it is possible and even probable that you can come in with very little sleep, and in the right environment and mind-set, crush a training session. Now that being said, prolonged periods of heavy training without proper rest WILL result in a decrease in performance and output. This not only applies to weight on the bar or overall time, but will result in sloppy and potentially dangerous technique and form issues.

Best advice: Get as much sleep as you need. Take naps when you can and sometimes turn down the possibility of going out, especially of you are exhausted or destroyed from a training day. Remember, the good times will continue to roll in, but your competition has a set date and you don’t get those hours lost back..


Mobilize

I pretty much talk about this every time I post (and not just because it is the topic of this entire blog/website). This is what gets you better. This is what corrects movement dysfunction. This is what will take you from decent to good and from good to great. If you have the ability to move through the range of motion needed, all we have to do is instill technique and strength (both of which take far less time than trying to correct an injury you receive by trying to muscle through a motion your body physically is incapable of performing). When training, make sure and listen to your body. I am not going to tell you that pain is bad, because if you are training like you should be, it is going to happen. You are going to be sore, tired, and maybe in some pain; but know the difference between a little pain and “oh shit, I don’t move this way” pain (which usually results in a painful range of motion or swollen joint the next day or couple of days).

Best advice: Mobilize and mobilize often. Find 10 to 15 minutes in the morning and 10-15 minutes before you go to bed to add into your daily routine to work on issues specific to your sport and goals (or to help correct imbalances you might currently have). Make sure to include all of these movements in your warm-up and cool-down before and after your training sessions (if you need advice on these Facebook message us and we can get you some solid information or refer back to our Mobility post).


Vary intensity and volume

This tip can be found in any intro to movement science book (I figured if I put the word Kinesiology, no one would know what I was talking about). This is also a concept that applies to every sport and training regiment:
Intensity and volume (for the most part) are inversely related. Now, I am not going to go into which training plan for this and that is better, just know that you may want to rethink your plan if you have 12 sets of above 90% (one workout might be alright, but overtime this will destroy you). Also note that a deload week is a must, but also varies with most coaches between 4-8 weeks.

Best advice: Ask questions of your coach, do research, and push yourself to your limit (but know what that limit is). Make sure that you have a sustainable program for your goals and keep in mind that processes of changing the human body take time (lots of time) and patience, so trust in proven methods, but always know that everybody is different and there is no one size fits all programming, so give feed back!


Supplementation

This one is usually pretty controversial and depends on what Dietitian or coach/trainer that you talk to. I will say that the last thing you need to worry about if you are in the first 5 weeks of your lifting career is finding the right protein, creatine, ZMA, etc. to fuel your body. However, if you have been on a structured training regiment for a while (especially if you are training 4-6 days a week) having a little helping hand in recovery might not be such a bad idea. NOTE: I am not a doctor nor am I a RD, so make sure and check with such before implementing supplements into your diet. There are a couple of supplements that I definitely recommend once the time comes:

  1. High Quality protein source
    1. Make sure the company you get this from is reputable and has not come under scrutiny for nitrogen dumping (add Nitrogen groups into the protein to increase the reading of protein when tested). Some brands that I really enjoy are Dymatize, Optimum Nutrition, and Eat the Bear.
  2. Caffeine and Electrolyte Replacement
    1. If you are not sensitive to caffeine, this is a must when coming into the gym for the 4th of 6 training days (tired is no longer an excuse at this point in the game), so making sure you have something to help you focus and get the reps or miles in is a must. NOTE: This does not have to be some pre-workout concoction as coffee works really well and has all the caffeine you will need to make some great gains. Electrolyte Replacement is good to having during the workout to keep you hydrated and flavor your water just a little bit, NÜNN tablets are an awesome way to go (they even have some with caffeine in them if you are not a coffee fan).
  3. Sleep aids for recovery
    1. Most training nights I take a small assortment of supplements and powders that I found on a Catalyst Athletics post that seem to help my overall recovery time and soreness from session to session, they are as follows:
      1. ZMA
        1. This comes in pill form and is a Zinc and Magnesium mixture. Zinc helps support the immune system while the Magnesium helps with muscle health and sleep management.
      2. Magnesium Powder
        1. This can be found at Wal-Mart in a Lemon-Berry flavor and is mixed with water to drink with the handful of pills taken. As stated before, this is to help sleep management and muscle health (sleep tends to get iffy when all your joints and muscles ache, so anything that will help is a must).
      3. GABA
        1. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (yes, I had to look the spelling up) serves to calm/block nerve impulses and transmission in the brain, which acts as a natural tranquilizer (it will not knock you on your ass, but instead help put you into a calm state for sleep).

Food intake

This is by far the biggest issue when going from a normal exercise routine or weight-loss program to a performance based training program. YOU MUST EAT ENOUGH TO FUEL YOUR PERFORMANCE, END OF STORY!!! Gone are the days of trying to limit your Carbohydrates (which I would not recommend to most active individuals) and going on crash diets. You have to make sure that you are getting enough Protein, Fats, and Carbohydrates necessary for recovery and performance. The best way that I have found to make sure you are getting enough is to track your macros (grams of the 3 food groups). If you do not know how to do this, Facebook message us or come talk with us in person and we can get you started on the right track. Limiting your food intake (when I say limiting, I am not talking about for small weight cuts, I am referring to under eating and an unhealthy relationship with food) might work for a little while, and you might not see negative effects for weeks or event months, but know that they will come and they usually result in much greater disadvantages than advantages!


Read it, learn from it, and implement some of it into your daily routine! We have 19 days left until the competition so make sure and get registered as soon as possible (we want to make sure and have enough food and beer for all) and keep your recovery game strong! Keep track of what is going on with the event by checking back here on Mondays and Wednesdays and checking the Facebook Page a couple of times a week!

Gym gear: It’s what gym rats crave

Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction.

–William James

Training results in a lot of feelings that are different from person to person, but what stays the same across every individual (if you are truly training and not just “working out”) is pain, soreness, fatigue, hopelessness, and fear. If you feel these from time to time, don’t worry, you are not alone. These feelings come when you push your boundaries, when you do things that you thought 6 months ago would be impossible, when you get up day after day and perform the same movement you failed at the day before just to see if you can get it right this time. However, the best part of all of this, is the time you do get it right. The time that movement comes together so crisply, that you are not sure what just happened. This is what makes all that pain and soreness worth it. This is what truly accomplishing something feels. Remember; if it is not hard, it is not worth doing.

That being said; Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are right around the corner, which for most people means getting gifts. Now if you train, you know that sometimes the will to train is there, yet your joints just are not having it. Sometimes all your joints need is a little “hug”, something that keeps them warm and keeps them from feeling like any moment they are going to explode under the tension you have put them under. So to save you from telling your parents and relatives that you want “fitness gear” and ending up with a Shake Weight or “Brazilian Booty” workout DVD, I have complied a list of gear that might make those joints feel loved during the holiday seasons.


Tree Trunx Knee Sleeves

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I bought a pair of these bad boys when I volunteered at USAW Youth Nationals in OKC last year, and they are awesome! They are a little thicker than your normal 5mm knee sleeve from other companies, but they hold up really well and do a great job of adding just a  little bit of compression and warmth to keep those knees feeling nice and solid (especially when you squat everyday). As far as price goes, these are your best bang for your buck because they come as a pair (some brands you will pay this price for just one knee sleeve).


Kilos not pounds Knee wraps

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If knee sleeves are not your thing, or you want to be able to adjust the compression around the knee-joint, then wraps are the way to go. Kilos not Pounds make a great wrap that is inexpensive (sold in pairs), comes in a variety of colors, and last for a good amount of time (you can wash and hang up to dry and keep using). Best part is that when you buy a pair they throw in some sweet stickers for you to put on gym gear or water bottles!


Best Belts

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While these belts are a little more expensive than some of the belts at rouge, they are amazing and last. Very easy to order, custom fit to your waist size, can customize the color (they are not all pink), and they have tons of different options depending on what your sport is (tapered or 3 in. for oly lifting, 4 in. for powerlifting). So when you take into consideration that the belt is customized to your specific need and performs amazing, the fact that it is right at $100 is pretty appealing.

Rouge Fitness Belt Selection

If you don’t have $100 just hanging around, or that will be a little bit too much to ask for during the holidays, Rouge has tons of belts that can fit your need. Personally, I would go with a canvas style Velcro belt (something about non-custom leather belts just does not sit well with me and they usually take a while to break in).


Wrist Wraps

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Next to lower back soreness, wrist soreness is a pretty common occurrence when getting into heavy powerlifting or weightlifting. Getting something as simple as a cloth wrist wraps can add just enough compression to keep you in the game day after day and not have to take off because you cannot front rack or press weight. These wraps are super inexpensive (especially for how useful they are) and come in tons of different patterns and colors so you can mix and match depending on the outfit you are wearing to the gym (we all know it is important what you look like when going to the gym).


So, there you have it, a little list of stocking stuffers and gear that you can ask for to keep your game strong in the gym. Also, all of this gear is legal for the Super Total Lift-off happening December 5th, so make sure and get it to help with some of those PR’s (power suits of any kind are not legal).

We should be getting shirt info out by the end of the day, so keep your eyes peeled for the pre-order pricing and grab one to help support your local gym!

Update: 

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Shirts are in! The Blue is a V-neck design and the Red is a Crew-neck. Both shirts are printed on Next Level Apparel Tri-blend material and if pre-ordered by Friday (Nov. 13th) will be $15 a piece (price goes up to $20 after Friday). Make sure and get a shirt while they are hot off the press!!!

For more information on the competition and the rules we will be following visit:

Super Total Lift-Off Blog Post

Yoga Flow: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes

Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”

H.Jackson Brown Jr.

As a coach this is my favorite line to hear, “I don’t have time”. I get it, I do. However, here is the thing; you DO have time, it is how you spend that time that either gets you to the numbers that will make you great, or keeps you at those numbers that make you good.

This time it is not just about mobility, although setting aside at least 30 minutes a day to work on your mobility weaknesses is a must (especially if you want to be a better weightlifter or keep power lifting without any injuries). This time it is about deciding what is important. To many times do I get to hear as a coach “I had a bad day and I am tired”, unfortunately while I fully understand that, the game does not stop.

We had a member of the gym the other day post about how she came into the gym having an awful day, wanted to do nothing but cry the entire time she was there, but still manged to get in and bust out arguably one of the better training sessions she had in a long time, and I could not have been more proud of one of my athletes.

This is what training is about, finding a way to push past a shitty day to come in and keep grinding toward that goal. You don’t get to give up on life when you feel down, just like you don’t get to drop your goals just because you had a bad day. The gym is an outlet. It is the place you get to push your frustration. It is the best therapy. It is the only place that despite your day, despite your boss yelling at you, and despite things being out of control in your life, it will be the same. When you get to the gym, you get to decide how the session is going to go, no one else gets to make that decision for you!

So make time for the things that matter. Make time for the things that will make you better. Make time for partying and having a good time, but make sure that these times don’t hold you back from what is truly important to you. Make time for these things because you enjoy them, but also because if you want to be the best you have to beat others that are willing to put all of these things at the top of their list.


Since we are in a pretty hard cycle at the gym leading up to the competition, we decided to shoot a video of a yoga flow late last night that incorporated almost all the major joints in the body that come under stress with heavy training. While this is intended to aid in the recovery and mobility of our powerlifters and weightlifters, this yoga flow can also be used in many other applications and for various sports. The purpose of the video is to be used during off days, mobility sessions, or pre/post workout to increase the range of motion in the joint or to aid in recovery from a long stress inducing workout. The video is only a minute or so long, but we encourage you to hold the poses a little longer to get the benefit of the stretch (especially if one or more of the poses target an area that needs improvement).

Moon Salutation Breakdown:


We included a couple of stills to show the breakdown of the moon salutation for anyone that is not familiar with it. Moon salutation is great for opening up the hips, lats, obliques, and shoulders (which means it is great for pretty much all of lifters)!

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If you are using this as a warm-up for a training session or to start a mobility practice, I would suggest moving through moon salutation 2-3 times each side. If you are using this as a cool-down to a training session I would do 1-2 times each side, holding the poses a little longer (20-30 seconds) to get the stretch desired.


The next couple poses are to help specifically with mobility in the wrist, hips, lower back, and shoulders:

Standing Straddle Split (Prasarita Padottanasana):

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Take as wide of a stance as you comfortably can, working your feet out toward the edges of the mat. Take your hands and place them on the floor so that your fingers are facing through your legs and lean forward (giving your wrist a nice, deep stretch). Hold this pose for 20-30 seconds going back in and out of it at least 3-4 times.


Garland Pose (Malasana):

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Garland Pose is a great pose to show you where your squat mobility is (obviously). Are you pitching forward? Do you have the ability to sit in a complete squat? Can you hold it for longer than 5 seconds? All of these are problem areas that can be addressed by sitting in this position for a couple of minutes a day (especially if you sit at a desk). Start standing with your hip a little wider than hip width apart, with you toes pointed slightly outward. Sit back and down until you are in a comfortable position that you can maintain for a while (make sure your heels are still on the ground). Hold this pose for 20-30 seconds, going back in and out of it at least 3-4 times.


Reclining Hero Pose (Supta Virasana):

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We have previewed this pose once before (since I am not gummbie girl, I cannot get into the last two modifications for this pose and use a Dynamax ball to help support my torso.). This pose will help with tight hip flexors that might cause you to pitch forward during garland pose, or use this pose if you have a hip pain during squatting heavy. Start as shown in the far left picture, driving those hips up toward the ceiling, making sure to feel a deep stretch in your quads and hip flexor area. If this is comfortable to you, you can start to lean further back, intensifying the stretch. Hold this pose for 20-30 seconds, going back in and out of it at least 3-4 times.


Couple of updates for the event: 

  1. The rules for both the Weightlifting portion of the event and the Powerlifting portion can be found HERE. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules we will be following to make this as smooth of an event as possible (and for the safety of the judges if we have to call a lift no good).
  2. You can sign-up a couple of different ways:
    1. Paypal: Send to purehealthperformance918@gmail.com. Make sure to include name, event, and box affiliation (if applicable).
    2. Google Wallet: Send to daniel.west.pt@gmail.com. Make sure to include name, event, and box affiliation (if applicable).
    3. In person: We can take cash, check, or credit card up at the gym, just stop by during gym hours and get signed up!
  3. We will have Pure Health Performance T-shirts going on Pre-order sometime today and tomorrow, so keep a look out on the Facebook page if you would like to order one and help support your local gym!
  4. The medals for the competition will be ordered next week, so make sure and get everyone you can signed-up so we can order as many as possible!
  5. We are 3 weeks out from the competition, so I would advise finding some type of max this week and knowing what your openers will be for the competition!

If you have any questions about the event or just training in general, email one of the emails above or contact us via Facebook! See everyone tonight for lifting and yoga or in a couple of weeks at the competition!!

Why do we do what we do?

Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.

― Theodore Roosevelt

So yesterday I posted a video of a snatch fail in which I have a very intimate meeting with the platform, and boy did it get some back lash. Among the many things I heard the best were:

“That is so dangerous” (Ya, and diabetes and lethargy are a great alternative)

“Did it hurt” (Actually, it felt fantastic and I hope to do it every single day)

“What an idiot”

“That is why I don’t do stuff like that” (Sure, that is the reason you don’t do stuff like that….)

I expected backlash, hell, I expect to see myself put into some idiots Crossfit fail video. However, the real reason I posted the video was for all of the athletes I train.

Weightlifting is hard. Weightlifting requires power, speed, coordination, timing, flexibility, and strength all within a 3 second lift. It is not an easy sport to get into to and the learning curve is insane, but this is what I teach. I go to the gym and coach individuals that want to learn how to do something they have never done before, how to push their body to the limits, how to put their body weight or more over their head in less than 3 seconds, and I coach them hard.

I expect a lot out of the athletes I train. I expect them to listen, to perform mobility outside of the gym, and to do the lifts right. As you can imagine, there are more than a few of these athletes that want to punch me in the face on any given day. They are frustrated. They are tired. They are sore. Sure, as a coach you give out praise every now and again, but for the most part (especially with athletes that have been with you for a while) you give out cues and corrections. You sit there and say “again”, “keep it close”, “faster”, “be intentional”. What I’m saying is that for them, it is nice to see that even the person yelling at them six days a week is still looking to improve. I get frustrated. I am tired. I am sore. Hell, I fail A LOT. But when all is said and done, it is not the failure that makes you, it is what you do after you fail. Do you bitch and moan about how dangerous your sport is? Do you feel sorry for yourself? Or do you get up, finish your training day, and feel grateful that you are even able to do the things you can do?

So think about why you do what you do. Would a small mishap make you stop? Would it make you rethink your sport? Or would a small mishap push you to want it even more?

That being said, lets check out some fixes for your wrist issues:

Wrist anatomy

As you can see above, and if you are unfamiliar with human anatomy, there is not a whole lot of musculature down in the hand and wrist area. For the most part, everything that flexes and extends your wrist is located in your forearm area. So, when sitting at a desk for multiple hours a day with your hands propped up on a keyboard, you can develop some issues that might transfer over into your after work training days. Below are a couple of ways I help to warm up my wrist before, during, and after my Weightlifting sessions in order to better maintain my front rack position and help with my overhead stability.


Wrist Circles:

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Wrist circles are a pretty easy, great way to start to warm-up before lifting. Interlace the fingers and rotate in a figure 8 style pattern. I usually do about 15-20 rotations one way and then 15-20 rotations the opposite way.

Prayer:

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As simple as it sounds. Start by placing the palms of your hands together at chest level. Slowly lower your hands toward your abdomen, making sure to keep your palms together. Once you reach a spot where your hands start to drift apart, hold for 15-20 seconds and then come out of the stretch. I tend to do this 3-4 times in order to get my wrist into the extension I need for the front rack position.

Other options:

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After your workout, these poses are great for some additional ROM training. Notice that she places her wrist in three different positions, and leans toward the direction of her pointed fingers. Hold for 20 seconds on and relax for 20 seconds, moving through this 3-4 times in each position.

Short and sweet today, make sure and add a couple of these into your everyday routine and enjoy the benefits!

Sign-ups are live for the Super Total Lift-Off so make sure and go check it out at our Facebook Page. This event is for everyone of all levels (beginning lifters to expert lifters) and should prove to be a very fun, exciting atmosphere!

Pure Health Performance Super Total Lift-Off

I view my strongest competition as myself. You’re always trying to top yourself, rather than worrying about what other people are doing.

John C. Reilly

I will make up for the lack of mobility information in today’s post on Wednesday, because today we discuss the Super Total Lift-Off!!

So, what is the Super Total Lift-Off? This is Pure Health Performances first competition composed of the two Olympic lifts (Snatch and Clean and Jerk) and the three power lifts (Squat, Bench, and Dead lift). The goal of this competition is to provide a day for both those new to weightlifting and veterans to come and show their prowess in their given sport. We believe that it is not enough to just show up to the gym and workout because in this, there is no end goal. We believe that as an athlete you need a competition to come and prove (to yourself) that you are training for a reason, that you are in fact capable of more than you know, this is the reason for the Super Total Lift-Off!

That being said, here is the crucial information you will need to sign-up:

  • 12/5/2015
  • 8 a.m- 8 p.m
  • 518C SE Washington Ave. Bartlesville, OK 74003
  • Event space limited to 50 people
  • Registration is from November 1st- November 30th, so sign-up quick!
  • Pricing
    • $30 for Morning Session (Oly Lifting)
    • $30 for Afternoon Session (Power Lifting)
    • $45 for All Day (Super Total)
    • $5 discount for current Box Affiliation
    • $10 discount for PHP members
  • Event Page
  • Currently we have Google Wallet and Paypal set up for out-of-town payment.
  • For Google Wallet send it to:
    •  Daniel.West.PT@gmail.com
    • Please include
      • Name
      • Option for competition
      • Box Affiliation (if applicable)
  • For Pay pal send it to:
    • purehealthperformance918@gmail.com
    • Please include:
      • Name
      • Option for Competition
      • Box Affiliation (if applicable)

Our goal is to make this a very fun, friendly competition for beginners and avid lifters. This is a family friendly event and we will have food and drinks on-site for both the lifters and their guest. We also have some awesome prizes to give away from:

  • Phillips 66
  • Heartland Roasters
  • Kill Cliff
  • Fusion
  • and more

Below are the rules and judges bio’s. Make sure to go sign-up (because space is limited) for the event and tell some friends that might be interested. We hope everyone can make it out and have a great time, and we look forward to seeing what everyone brings to the table!!


RULES FOR OLY:

For the Olympic Lifting portion of this event, even though we are not a USAW affiliated club (yet), we will follow IWF standards to judge the lifts. Rules are as follows (taken directly from IWF Website):

THE SNATCH

The barbell is placed horizontally in front of the lifter’s legs. It is gripped, palms downwards and pulled in a single movement from the platform to the full extent of both arms above the head, while either splitting or bending the legs. During this continuous movement, the barbell may slide along the thighs and the lap. No part of the body other than the feet may touch the platform 3 during the execution of the lift. The weight, which has been lifted, must be maintained in the final motionless position, arms and legs extended, the feet on the same line, until the referees give the signal to replace the barbell on the platform. The lifter may recover in his or her own time, either from a split or a squat position, and finish with the feet on the same line, parallel to the plane of the trunk and the barbell. The referees give the signal to lower the barbell as soon as the lifter becomes motionless in all parts of the body.

THE CLEAN AND JERK

The first part, the Clean: The barbell is placed horizontally in front of the lifter’s legs. It is gripped, palms downwards and pulled in a single movement from the platform to the shoulders, while either splitting or bending the legs. During this continuous movement, the barbell may slide along the thighs and the lap. The barbell must not touch the chest before the final position. It then rests on the clavicles or on the chest above the nipples or on the arms fully bent. The feet return to the same line, legs straight before performing the Jerk. The lifter may make this recovery in his or her own time and finish with the feet on the same line, parallel to the plane of the trunk and the barbell.

The second part, the Jerk: The athlete bends the legs and extends them as well as the arms to bring the barbell to the full stretch of the arms vertically extended. He or she returns the feet to the same line; arms and legs fully extended, and waits for the referees’ signal to replace the barbell on the platform. The referees give the signal to lower the barbell as soon as the lifter becomes motionless in all parts of the body. IMPORTANT REMARK: After the Clean and before the Jerk, the lifter may adjust the position of the barbell. This must not lead to confusion. It does not mean the granting of an additional jerk attempt but allowing the lifter to: a) withdraw the thumbs or “unhook” if this method is used, b) lower the barbell in order to let it rest on the shoulders if the barbell is placed too high and impedes the breathing or causes pain, c) change the width of the grip.

GENERAL RULES FOR ALL LIFTS

The technique known as “hooking” is permitted. It consists of covering the last joint of the thumb with the other fingers of the same hand at the moment of gripping the barbell.

In all lifts, the referees must count as “No lift” any unfinished attempt in which the barbell has reached the height of the knees.

After the referees signal to lower the barbell, the lifter must lower it in front of the body and not let it drop either deliberately or accidentally. The grip on the barbell may be released when it has passed the level of the waist.

A competitor, who cannot fully extend the elbow due to an anatomical deformation, must report this fact to the three referees and the Jury before the start of the competition.

When snatching or cleaning in the squat style, the lifter may help the recovery by making swinging and rocking movements of the body.

The use of grease, oil, water, talcum or any similar lubricant on the thighs is forbidden. Lifters are not permitted to have any substance on their thighs when arriving in the competition area. A lifter who uses any lubricant is ordered to remove it. During the removal the clock goes on.

The use of chalk (magnesium) on the hands, thighs, etc., is permitted.

INCORRECT MOVEMENTS AND POSITIONS FOR ALL LIFTS

  • Pulling from the hang.
  • Touching the platform with any part of the body other than the feet.
  •  Uneven or incomplete extension of the arms, at the finish of the lift.
  • Pause during the extension of the arms.
  • Finishing with a press-out.
  • Bending and extending the elbows during the recovery.
  • Leaving the platform during the execution of the lift, i.e. touching the area outside the platform with any part of the body.
  • Replacing the barbell on the platform before the referees’ signal.
  • Dropping the barbell after the referees’ signal.
  • Failing to finish with the feet and the barbell in line and parallel to the plane of the trunk.
  • Failing to replace the complete barbell on the platform, i.e. the complete barbell must first touch the platform.

INCORRECT MOVEMENTS FOR THE SNATCH

  • Pause during the lifting of the barbell.
  • Touching the head of the lifter with the bar.

INCORRECT MOVEMENTS FOR THE CLEAN

  • Placing the bar on the chest before turning the elbows.
  • Touching the thighs or the knees with the elbows or the upper arms.

INCORRECT MOVEMENTS FOR THE JERK

  • Any apparent effort of jerking which is not completed. This includes lowering the body or bending the knees.
  • Any deliberate oscillation of the barbell to gain advantage. The athlete and the barbell have to become motionless before starting the jerk.

WE BELIEVE THESE RULES LEAD TO THE SAFEST MOST EFFECTIVE LIFTING FOR THE SNATCH AND CLEAND AND JERK, SO THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTION TO THESE RULES!


RULES FOR POWERLIFTING:

For the Powerlifting portion of the meet, we will use IPF standards (rules taken directly from IPF Website):

Squat

1. The lifter shall face the front of the platform. The bar shall be held horizontally across the shoulders, hands and fingers gripping the bar. The hands may be positioned anywhere on the bar inside and or in contact with the inner collars.

2. After removing the bar from the racks, (the lifter may be aided in removal of the bar from the racks by the spotter / loaders) the lifter must move backwards to establish the starting position. When the lifter is motionless, erect (slight deviation is allowable) with knees locked the Chief Referee will give the signal to begin the lift. The signal shall consist of a downward movement of the arm and the audible command “Squat”. Before receiving the signal to “squat” the lifter may make any position adjustments within the rules, without penalty. For reasons of safety the lifter will be requested to “Replace” the bar, together with a backward movement of the arm, if after a period of five seconds he is not in the correct position to begin the lift. The Chief Referee will then convey the reason why the signal was not given.

3. Upon receiving the Chief Referee’s signal the lifter must bend the knees and lower the body until the top surface of the legs at the hip-joint is lower than the top of the knees. Only one decent attempt is allowed. The attempt is deemed to have commenced when the lifters knees have unlocked.

4. The lifter must recover at will to an upright position with the knees locked. Double bouncing at the bottom of the squat attempt or any downward movement is not permitted. When the lifter is motionless (in the apparent final position) the Chief Referee will give the signal to rack the bar.

5. The signal to rack the bar will consist of a backward motion of the arm and the audible command “Rack”. The lifter must then return the bar to the racks. Foot movement after the rack signal will not be cause for failure. For reasons of safety the lifter may request the aid of the spotter / loaders in returning the bar to, and replacing it in the racks. The lifter must stay with the bar during this process.

6. Not more than five and not less than two spotter / loaders shall be on the platform at any time. The Referees may decide to the number of spotter / loaders required on the platform at any time 2, 3, 4, or 5.

Causes for disqualification of a Squat:

1. Failure to observe the Chief Referee’s signals at the commencement or completion of a lift.

2. Double bouncing at the bottom of the lift, or any downward movement during the ascent.

3. Failure to assume an upright position with the knees locked at the commencement or completion of the lift.

4. Stepping backward or forward or moving the feet laterally. Rocking the feet between the ball and heel is permitted.

5. Failure to bend the knees and lower the body until the top surface of the legs at the hip-joint is lower than the top of the knees, as in the diagram.

6. Contact with the bar or the lifter by the spotter / loaders between the Chief Referee’s signals in order to make the lift easier.

7. Contact of the elbows or upper arms with the legs. Slight contact is permitted if there is no supporting that might aid the lifter.

8. Any dropping or dumping of the bar after completion of the lift.

9. Failure to comply with any of the items outlined under Rules of Performance for the squat.

Bench Press

1. The bench shall be placed on the platform with the head facing the front or angled up to 45 degrees.

2. The lifter must lie on his back with head, shoulders and buttocks in contact with the bench surface. The feet must be flat on the floor (as flat as the shape of the shoe will allow). His hands and fingers must grip the bar positioned in the rack stands with a thumbs around grip. This position shall be maintained throughout the lift. Foot movement is permissible but must remain flat on the platform. The hair must not hide the back of the head when lying down on the bench. The Jury or Referees may require the lifter to affix his/her hear accordingly.

3. To achieve firm footing the lifter may use flat surfaced plates, or blocks not exceeding 30 cm in total height and a minimum dimension of 60 cm x 40 cm, to build up the surface of the platform. Blocks in the range of 5 cm, 10 cm, 20 cm, and 30 cm, should be made available for foot placement at all international competitions.

4. Not more than five and not less than two spotter / loaders shall be on the platform at any time. After correctly positioning himself, the lifter may enlist the help of the spotter / loaders in removing the bar from the racks. The lift off if assisted by the spotter / loaders must be at arm’s length.

5. The spacing of the hands shall not exceed 81 cm measured between the forefingers (both forefingers must be within the 81 cm marks and the whole of the forefingers must be in contact with the 81 cm marks if maximum grip is used). The use of the reverse grip is forbidden.

6. After removing the bar from the racks, with or without the help of the spotter / loaders, the lifter shall wait with straight arms elbows locked for the Chief Referee’s signal. The signal shall be given as soon as the lifter is motionless and the bar properly positioned. For reasons of safety the lifter will be requested to “Re-place” the bar, together with a backward movement of the arm, if after a period of five seconds he is not in the correct position to begin the lift. The Chief Referee will then convey the reason why the signal was not given.

7. The signal to begin the attempt shall consist of a downward movement of the arm together with the audible command “Start”.

8. After receiving the signal, the lifter must lower the bar to the chest or abdominal area (the bar shall not touch the belt), hold it motionless, after which the Chief referee will signal the audible command “Press”. The lifter must then return the bar to straight arms length elbows locked. When held motionless in this position the audible command “Rack” shall be given together with a backward motion of the arm. If the bar is lowered to the belt or does not touch the chest or abdominal area, the Chief Referee´s command is “rack”.

Causes for Disqualification of a Bench Press:

1. Failure to observe the Chief Referee’s signals at the commencement, during or completion of the lift.

2. Any change in the elected lifting position during the lift proper i.e. any raising movement of the head, shoulders, or buttocks, from the bench, or lateral movement of hands on the bar.

3. Heaving, or sinking the bar into the chest or abdominal area after it is motionless in such a way as to make the lift easier. 4. Any downward movement of the whole of the bar in the course of being pressed out.

5. Bar is not lowered to chest or abdominal area i.e. not reaching the chest or abdominal area, or the bar is touching the belt.

6. Failure to press the bar to straight arms length elbows locked at the completion of the lift.

7. Contact with the bar or the lifter by the spotter / loaders between the Chief Referee’s signals, in order to make the lift easier.

8. Any contact of the lifter’s feet with the bench or its supports.

9. Deliberate contact between the bar and the bar rests support.

10. Failure to comply with any of the items outlined under the Rules of Performance.

Deadlift

1. The lifter shall face the front of the platform with the bar laid horizontally in front of the lifters feet, gripped with an optional grip in both hands and lifted until the lifter is standing erect.

2. On completion of the lift the knees shall be locked in a straight position and the shoulders back.

3. The Chief Referee’s signal shall consist of a downward movement of the arm and the audible command “Down”. The signal will not be given until the bar is held motionless and the lifter is in the apparent finished position.

4. Any rising of the bar or any deliberate attempt to do so will count as an attempt. Once the attempt has begun no downward movement is allowed until the lifter reaches the erect position with the knees locked. If the bar settles as the shoulders come back (slightly downward on completion) this should not be reason to disqualify the lift.

Causes for Disqualification of a Deadlift:

1. Any downward movement of the bar before it reaches the final position.

2. Failure to stand erect with the shoulders back.

3. Failure to lock the knees straight at the completion of the lift.

4. Supporting the bar on the thighs during the performance of the lift. If the bar edges up the thigh but is not supported this is not reason for disqualification. The lifter should benefit in all decisions of doubt made by the referee.

5. Stepping backward or forward or moving the feet laterally. Rocking the feet between the ball and heel is permitted. Foot movement after the command “Down” will not be cause for failure.

6. Lowering the bar before receiving the Chief Referee’s signal.

7. Allowing the bar to return to the platform without maintaining control with both hands, i.e.: releasing the bar from the palms of the hand.

8. Failure to comply with any of the items outlined under Rules of Performance.

WE BELIEVE THESE RULES LEAD TO THE SAFEST MOST EFFECTIVE LIFTING FOR THE SQUAT, BENCH PRESS, AND DEADLIFT, SO THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTION TO THESE RULES!


GENERAL RULES:

  • You will be allotted 3 attempts for each lift
  • You must declare your weight prior to lifting
  • If you have to follow yourself, you will be given 2 minutes worth of rest
  • 3 judges will watch your lift and assess it. They have the final say in whether the lift is completed or not.
  • You must get 2 out of 3 white lights in order for the lift to be deemed “good”
  • Failure to complete the lift in the given time will result in a “no rep”

 Judges:

Dr. Jeremiah Williams, A-Z (there are some letters that go after his name, but it is way to many to actually type out)

J squats

  • Doctor of chiropractic
  • Coach and Co-Owner of Pure Health Performance
  • Knowledgeable in all things gym
  • Enjoys:
    • dressing as a zombie and pondering life under max weight
    • Crossfit
    • Jane Fonda’s “Fit and Firm” VHS

Daniel West, CPT, USAW-Lv1

Daniel Lifting

  • Coach and Co-Owner of Pure Health Performance
  • Known as “Trainer of the new hires”
  • Enjoys:
    • Being emasculated, while attempting a max rep deadlift dressed as peter pan, by the largest Filipino man known to the world flexing in his photo-op.
    • Weightlifting
    • The occasional curl in the squat rack with the bearing bar

Daniel Smith, USAW-Lv1

10403639_10203507434469149_8590190739719039460_n

  • Weightlifting Coach, Part owner of Box Force Events
  • Known as: D.Smith, The Samson of Bartlesville, and M.C Smith
  • Enjoys:
    • Hanging motionless in the air
    • Crossfit and Weightlifting
    • Flipping his luscious locks before a max attempt

Mid-Week Mobility: Shoulders

  Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.

Mark Twain

A couple of my athletes and myself were talking about this the other day. You get to a point when training becomes most of what you do. You wake up and eat, go to work, go to the gym and train, go home and eat and mobilize, and then sleep just to wake up and do it again the next day. Some people will look at you and call this boring, but some will call this ambition. Surround yourself with like minded individuals that want that something as bad as you want it, and you will breed an atmosphere that is contagious, follow the nay-sayers and you will soon become one of them. 

That being said, topic of today is shoulder mobility. Who does this apply to? All of my swimmers that walk around like wounded baby T-rex, any person looking to improve on their snatch or clean and jerk, to the guy on your floor that decided 4 years ago that everyday was chest day and now physically can’t move his arms out of his silver back gorilla stance, or to anyone that is wondering if this applies to you, it does…

Below we have a yoga pose, a mobility stretch, and a strengthening exercise to help you get those shoulders into their proper position!

First off: Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) and Puppy pose (Uttana Shishosana)

Screenshot_2015-09-28-19-45-16 Screenshot_2015-09-28-19-44-18

I included a picture of Kaleigh and not myself because my poses look nothing like this and I wanted to give a good example of shoulder mobility. The overall goal in both of these poses is to bring the chest as close to the floor as you can, resulting in a stretch in the Lats, shoulder musculature, and Pectorals (all of which, if tight, will cause us to have poor shoulder mobility). You can move through these as you like or add This Yoga Flow into your routine to loosen up before an after a heavy overhead day.

For mobility we have to go with: Shoulder Pass Through

shoulder pull through SPT TRANSITION 2SPT FINISH

Taking as narrow of a grip as you can to physically bring it around your body without bending your elbows, wrap your whole hand around the pvc pipe or wooden stick, and proceed to bring it up and over your head, holding behind  the body for 10-15 seconds before bringing it back around. The goal is that as you do this, you will be able to inch your hands a little further in and get a very deep stretch in the shoulder/pec area.

Last but not least: Overhead Press

OHP STARTOHP TRANSITIONOHP FINISH

Now if you are following a Weightlifting program, you know that you get enough overhead movement as it is, in which case I would suggest adding in some Bench Press or dips (to develop the pectoral muscle) to help counter-act all of the pulling motions we do. Furthermore, if you are a swimmer, it is probably not the best idea to do heavy overhead motions due to the amount of reliance you have on your shoulders during swimming, so I would go for nice overhead stability motions and full range of motion push-ups (chest to the floor). The overhead press is for anyone lacking in this very basic, foundational movement, as it is the best way to fully develop the shoulder musculature.

Start with the bar in a front rack position. As you start to push the bar upward, keep it as close to your face as possible, with the bar ending directly above your shoulders (which will happen to be in-line with the heel of your foot).

Make sure to stop by and donate those gently used clothes for the kiddos, we need them by Saturday at Noon! Also, check out the Facebook page for up-to-date info on the Super Total Lift Off on Dec.5th, sign-ups start next week!

Those hips don’t lie: Hip accessory exercises

Do or Do Not, There is no Try

Yoda

Now, I am not usually a fan of saying “There is no try”, but when it comes to certain things; I believe this to be true. When I ask some of my swimmers “Did you do the mobility exercises at home”, “I tried”…… When I ask athletes at the gym “Did you finish your accessory work” and they say “I did most of it”…. You either do it or you don’t. If you do 50% of the work, it DOES NOT mean that you get 50% of the return or strength gain–that is not how the body works. I said this last week and the week before and in most of posts before this one (actually, I don’t know that there is a day that I don’t say this); a well rounded, elite athlete HAS TO work on more than just the given movement they intend to compete in.

I was talking with one of my female athletes at the gym and she said “It sucks to do things that you are not good at, especially when you go from heavy dead lifts one day to light weight cleans the next” , but you cannot only do the things you are good at and expect to ever get past the point you are currently at. Think about it, that would be like MJ just giving us the moon walk and calling it good; never to grace us with all of that hip to toe, dirty-dancing goodness.

Sorry, had to make a point. Today’s post is really an extension of what I talked about last week, The Hip. We all ready provided some exercises for the posterior chain  and some mobility exercises for the hip flexor, so you can refer back to those as needed while reading this article. I think the best way to illustrate what we are trying to work is with some anatomical pictures:

Musculature_Deep_Hip

Anterior

glutes1311417224424 Posterior

This is the musculature that surrounds the hip and keeps it stable and functional. When we have hip pain it tends to be from the over development of one group of musculature (usually the Anterior side) and the under-development of another group of musculature (the posterior side). That being said, here are some auxiliary exercises that you can add in to your routine to help rehab a current injury or keep building strength and avoid some imbalances:

Start with an OH Lunge:

oh lunge down oh lunge up oh lunge down 2

Benefits:

  • Mid-line stability
  • OH Mobilization
  • Strengthening of the Glute, Quads, and Core musculature

As humans, we are most comfortable with being on both feet at the same time. This is the way we are built, it is the most stable position and gives us the best mechanical advantage. This is also how we can start to develop issues, especially in our squat. (Second picture was captured mid-sneeze, enjoy)

Start by taking a weight and placing it overhead with locked elbows. Take your first lunge forward and make sure that your leg comes to a solid 90 degree bend, step up, and repeat on the other side. Notice that I am stepping out from my mid-line, this helps to activate the glute musculature, which in turn helps keep us from kicking one hip or the other out during a squats and pulls. 3-4 sets by 8-15 reps.

Step-ups:

step up down step up up

Benefits:

  • Strengthening of the Glute, Quads, and Core musculature
  • Hip stabilization
  • Taking up a squat rack so people can’t curl in them

This is the one time that it is okay to take up a squat rack with something other than squats (although you can do this with dumbbells as well). This exercise can be used to greatly strengthen the legs or can be used as a rehabilitation exercise if you have an issue with kicking one hip out while you squat.

To start, grab a barbell and place it on your back like you were going to squat. Take one leg and place it on a box that will give you a little more than a 90 degree bend in that knee (if using this as a rehab exercise, start with a smaller box and if need be, start without a bar). Step-up, then step back down and repeat. The biggest thing to watch for while doing this is hip kick-out of the elevated leg. 3-4 sets by 8-15 reps

Waiter Squats:

  • waiter squat down waiter squat up

Benefits:

  • Mid-line Stability
  • Increase squat depth
  • Front rack mobility

Take a KB, place it in one hand, keep that elbow high, and squat. Make sure to keep the hips in line and that elbow up nice and high. When I do these, I like to squat down and hold for a 2-3 count to get a little bit of a squat mobilization exercise as well. 3-4 sets by 8-15 reps. 

3 simple exercises that you can add post-workout to help those hips out. Remember, “There is no try”, so do the accessory work even if your tired, because it will pay off in the long run.

Make sure to stop by the gym this week and get those gently used athletic clothes to us so we can give them to some kids in need and they can get there sweat on in style!

Also, make sure and keep a look out for the sign-up for this:

PHP Lift Off

Registration starts next week, so make sure and tell some friends who lift about it, it is going to be a blast!!

Mid-Week Mobility: Hip Flexors

Weakness in the Hip Flexors usually results from a problem that plagues most of the working world: sitting all day. When you are squatting, this can show up in a couple of different ways depending on the person:

  • Hip pain
  • Forward trunk lean
  • General Tightness in the Anterior Hip area down to the Quadriceps area

shutterstock171668654

So, how do you fix this? Below we cover a Yoga pose, a mobility technique, and a strengthening exercise to help mobilize and strengthen the area so you can put some more weight on the bar!

 

Yoga Pose: Reclining Hero (Supta Virasana)

RECLINED HERO

Starting with your knees slightly wider than hip width, place your palms behind you (as depicted above) and begin to recline back at hips (back stays flat and structured). Depending on your level of hip tightness, you can recline onto a ball (as shown above), back onto your elbows, or even further onto the crown of your head (however, if you can do this, hip discomfort probably is not something you are plagued by). I general hold this position for about 20 seconds and relax for 20 seconds, repeating this 4-5 times.

Mobility: Foam roller hip mash

QUAD SMASH TOPQuad smash bottom

Start with the foam roller right below one of your hips (the other leg will be splayed out in a spider man style fashion), and roll down to right above the knee-joint. Notice that my foot is turned slightly out so that I am rolling over the major problem area (refer to the first picture in this post and notice the area we are mobilizing runs down the medial side of the leg). I usually give about 15-20 rolls per leg, paying extra attention to any tender areas.

Strengthening: Hanging Knee Raises

HANGING LEG RAISEHanging leg raise 2

Pick a bar that you can be fully extended and off the ground. In a controlled manner, lift your knee as far up and into your chest as you can, squeeze, and slowly lower them back down to the starting position. This exercise can be added at  the end of any workout and can be done for 15-20 repetitions, by 3-4 sets.

Try adding one or all of these into your daily routine and see if this helps alleviate some of your hip dysfunction!