Tag Archives: movement

5 simple things you should be able to do

How much time do you spend crawling around on the floor or climbing things?
Once upon time the rising fame of Ido Portal took hold.
People across the globe found themselves moving.
This stuck around and is still going strong yet the overall notoriety of it and chatter has diminished, the big question is why?
From an experienced eye it would be this; ego.
While moving is easy enough and there are plenty of regressions that can be put in place the average person doesn’t like feeling stupid, unable to do something or weak.
Supporting your weight on your hands/feet and being in a quadrupedal stance is very humbling for many.
It is at this point the realise the exact place they’re in when compared to someone like Ido who is essentially a movement god.
Sadly knowing just how far you’ve slipped down the ladder of being able to move is a massive hit to a lot of people.
I remember talking to someone about this.
My standpoint is simple: most general movement/exercises are not difficult it’s just that the average person is very unconditioned (weak, overweight, immobile).
^^ This clearly caused offence, even if objectively true for the level of person we were discussing people sadly get too caught up in ‘feelings’.
All of this is only in reference to being on your hands and feet simultaneously, you’ve then got having three, two or one limb on the floor and that is where things really get interesting.
Some will say that as the complexity increases things become more advanced and yet when you see children doing such things without a care in the world can you really say that?
(Obviously there are advanced movements, however in regards to the average person and their ability what is being asked is literally at ‘baby’ level of crawling capability)
Then we have the giant slayer that can tripped a persons mindset.
Climbing a rope without the use of ones legs.
Something we should be able to do, yet many can’t, that should tell you something about the state of the world.
Believe it or not I do understand how it makes people feel.
You know, not being able to do things.
To many it makes them feel like a ‘lesser’ person.
Judged, ridiculed and all the other shameful feelings that are linked together.
The interesting thing with shame and it’s many faces is this; no one can make you feel ashamed unless it’s something that you already feel/believe.
Seriously, I’m sure you know someone who had all the shit thrown at them, people endlessly trying to shame and bring them down, yet they simply shook it off and were not phased by it.
The reason why is simple, to them they had nothing they felt ashamed of or that they need to feel shamed by.
Shame it like guilt, it can’t be forced on you, it’s something you have to allow someone to put on you.
Anyway, back to movement.
Can you do these 5 basic things:
– Climb a rope without using your legs 5-10m
– Bear Crawl unbroken for 50m
– Duck walk 50m unbroken
– Bound Jump your own height along the floor
– Sit in a deep squat for 5min without struggle
Nothing earth shattering or out of the realms of possibly for all people.
Give them a go, once you’ve gotten your confidence from finding out you can do them all try to add just moving to your training.
Start off with 10min per day.
You never know, you might just fall in love with it.
Enjoy,
Ross

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Mobility Master

Being able to move unimpeded and pain free is something a lot of people want.

All it would take is one quick google search and you’d find all the information you need to put a plan together, alas many of us are too lazy for that, thus we will just let our body slowly stiffen and lose its ability to move well.

When I’m away teaching there are a few key drills I will put in to warm ups to see how well people move, it’s also easy to spot just by looking at people who that is.

Total body coordination is something we’d really do well not to lose.

It’s it quite surprising how many people will watch the other people in the groups I teach that move what I’d consider ‘normally’ and are like “OMG, wow, that’s amazing.”.

Ummm not it’s not, that’s something we everyone should ideally be abel to do, so in truth the people that can more are not amazing, you’re just really really broken in a moment sense.

Don’ts get me wrong, I’m not talking about people moving like Ido Portal from day one.

More along the lines of having basic coordination skills and not making yourself look like your 80 because of how crap your movement skill is.

These are the three main movement I will get people doing (they give me all the knowledge I need).

1 – Inch worms (a lunge step to upper thoracic rotation is also added in)
2 – Spiderman/Lizard Crawls – ideally hey get their chest as low to the floor as possible
3 – Duck Walks & Sit Through

If the facility has one then I’d also like to see a rope climb as well, beginner level is using feet, I’m ideally after people to climb and descend using arms only.

The reason for these is simple, the first tests mobility/flexibility/stability.

The second looks at mobility, stability and strength.

The third is mobility, balance and movement coordination.

If we have a rope then that tests strength because I’ve found that while some people more well they are very weak.

When time is short and I need one simple test to assess everything in one go it will be the TGU (turkish get up), I will proceed to see how heavy they can go with the gold standard being 1/2 their bodyweight per hand, if someone can do that then good things happen.

Give the above a try, you can hope on YouTube and find them all easily if you’re not sure what they are.

You’ll also find adding these to your assessment methods will highly who need what and in what dose.

Try them yourself because while you don’t need to be perfect at everything you do, you need to be competent in demonstrating it well, otherwise you may look a tad foolish.

Enjoy,
Ross

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***6 Steps to Solid Sessions***

No long monologue today.
 
Time to get straight in to the good stuff, easy to follow steps to create training worthy of the gods.
 
Well, maybe not the gods, at least legendary hero though.
 
The structure of session I will use as an example in each is as follows:
 
W/U – warm up, potentiation biased
Skill – learning something new, refining technique etc
Main – building strength and lean mass (muscular bits)
Accessory – often within main element (weak points)
Conditioning – can be for CV or addition to main/acc
C/D – cool down, CNS optimisation bias
 
Let’s go.
 
Step 1 – Movement first.
 
Simple as it sounds many lack any large amount of movement based exercises in their training, as such you are going to want to make sure you get this down first.
 
You will have something movement related in every session, it can be for warm up/cool down, skill acquisition, main exercises, conditioning or accessory (weak point) purposes, however it will be there every session.
 
Example:
 
W/U – Leopard Crawl 100m – 5min
Skill – Loaded carry medley – atlas stones – 15min
Main (strength) – Sandbag clean, carry and load -20min
Accessory (postural) – SA Waiters walk – 10min
Conditioning – Farmers Walk & Suicides – 5min
C/D – Yoga Flow – 5min*
 
*If you’ve trained in the PM a Yoga flow surrounding internal torque will trigger the para-sympathetic nervous system, if you hit the gym int he AM then you’ll need one focused on external torque.
 
You get the idea, yo’d have one movement related element in each session, you can of course have a full session of movement like the above as well.
 
That’s the first step done covered.
 
Movement is life, quite literally in most cases.
 
Giving it the attention it deserves in your training will yield results beyond what you ever expected, trust me, it’s totally worth it.
 
Until next time.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Honestly, this is blindingly good information.

A short tip to improving form instantly.
I can’t take credit for this little gem, it is something in the lifting world the Russian athletes of the world have done for a while.
 
You will also find it common in various other sports as well.
 
Why?
 
That is simple, it is because of the exceptional amount of feel it provides you.
 
Close your eyes and lift.
 
Yep, lifting with your eyes closed if one of the best ways to sharpen up your form instantly.
 
Is it dangerous?
 
Meh, potentially, then again, you wouldn’t want to try it with your 1RM, perhaps starting off with bodyweight and then moving on to lighter loads is more sensible.
 
What pulling down the lids on your peepers will do is nothing short of amazing.
 
You will start to feel your bodies movements.
 
The balance biases, the instability, the movement patterns and so much more.
 
If something is off you will wobble, feel unstable and probably bail on the attempt, and that’s okay because you can try again.
 
Being the complex creatures that we are,w e rely heavily on our sight.
 
Maybe we shouldn’t, not all the time.
 
Give this little tip a try with smaller movements first the are lower overall risk.
 
Over time build up to doing it with larger compound movements.
 
With enough practice you’ll be Daredevil in no time.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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What’s old can be young again

You can’t stop the hands of time.
 
Eventually you will become old, withered and grey, or bald.
 
You can however delay the degradation of your body by lifting weights and making optimal nutrition choices.
 
Take some time and think.
 
Do you want to be 75+ and always in constant pain, with little to no ability to move and do things for yourself or do you want to be one of the 75+ that can still get out and about on their own and have the quality of life they did in their 50’s?
 
Regular training (lifting weights & cv work) will help, this is because if you don’t give your body a reason to stay healthy, it won’t.
 
It’s the whole ‘use it or lose it’ concept.
 
Funnily enough it’s quite an important one to keep in mind in regards to your body and ability to live an active life.
 
I’ve been lucky enough to work with a wide range of clients.
 
The biggest changes and appreciation of them comes from those in their later years of life 65+.
 
Why?
 
Simple, it gives them back a little of what they’ve lost.
 
I wish I could help them get it all back, however the damage was already done from years of neglect, sad yet true.
 
If your goal is sport, competitions or anything else, great, fill your boots, however give some forethought to the future and your body to come.
 
Here are five key points to remember that happen to us as we age:
 
(based on a typical untrained elderly person)
 
1 – Tonic muscles get shorter and tighter
2 – Phasic muscles get weaker (especially in the *PKC)
3 – Bone density goes down
4 – Resting heart rate elevates
5 – Your hormones are less than optimal
 
*Posterior Kinetic Chain
 
You can address these points in the following way (like today, don’t wait)
 
1 – Have a daily flexibility/mobility routine
2 – Kettlebell swings, loaded carries, Get Ups 2-5x P/W
3 – Lift weights 2-3xP/W, focus on compound movements
4 – Daily cardio can be useful, not HIT, simple LISS (walking)
5 – Nutritious food & some extra supplements daily
 
Now this is of course a massive topic to delve in to, however if you do the above, with a focus on health, movement and longevity – as opposed to being a gym bro or gym bunny, you’ll set the foundations for long term health.
 
Just because we get older it doesn’t mean we have to get old.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Some simple tests to try

Movement.
 
It’s kind of really popular now.
 
Like really popular.
 
However before you can move on to all the fancy stuff, form a lifters perspective, can you do the basics?
 
Squat-Hinge-Push-Pull-Brace
 
Most think they can
 
The truth is many can’t
 
Here is a simple yet effective movement screen I use with clients to assess their ability and see what we need to work on.
 
My basic movement screen is as follows:
 
– Standing on 1 Leg (eyes open, then closed)
– Goblet Squat
– BW Hinge (double leg & single leg)
– Press Up
– Bat Wing
– Floor or Wall Angle
– Plank
 
What do the above actually assess or do?
 
Let’s take a look.
 
Standing on 1 Leg (eyes open, then closed): Aim for 30 seconds without any movement with your eyes closed.
 
Balance/proprioception/posture 
 
Goblet Squat: Aim for a full ROM with no upper thoracic collapse.
 
The ability to stay braced and maintain upper thoracic extension/stability while achieving a full flexion of the hip/knee, it also highlights ankle/foot stability/mobility issues (weigh shifting, heels lifting etc)
 
– BW Hinge ( start with double leg & then single leg): Aim for a full hip hinge while maintaining solid posture, no rounding or loss of balance.
 
Full hip hinge while maintaining core bracing, natural posture, proprioception and stability.
 
– Press Up: Aim for full press-up with no break in form (elbows tight to sides, bum pinched.
 
Bracing, posture, while moving through time and space in a pressing fashion, full ROM through elbow flexion and also control of upper back (scapula) retraction/activation.
 
– Bat Wing: Aim for full retraction of shoulder blades and upper back contraction – do this against a wall.
 
Upper back control, scapula retraction and full ROM, plus bracing and good posture throughout the movement.
 
– Floor or Wall Angle: Aim to get your arms fully extended overhead with no change in your posture (excessive back arching).
 
Upper thoracic ROM, shoulder ROM, stiffness in lats/lack of core bracing.
 
– Plank: Aim to hold a solid position from head to toe,no sagging.
 
Core Bracing and posture consistency.
 
The above tests are an overall assessment to see if the person doing them can control their body correctly and move through time & space without any issue.
 
A lot of people struggle with these basic movements and worst of all ignore them, opting to go for more advanced movements that they’re just not ready for.
 
Basically building on disfunction.
 
Think of it like building a house, you wouldn’t do it if the foundations were crap of the area was known for subsidence, that’s just a recipe for disaster.
 
Now from an enjoyment stand point the train that these styles of assessment will require the client to do can seem very boring and basic, especially when we live in a world that demands MORE MORE MORE.
 
A lot of people fall in to the trap of wanting the fancy fun things to do and while there is nothing wrong with this it can cause a lot of issues later down the line.
 
For example:
 
Plyometrics (jump training).
 
Is it fun?
 
Hell yes.
 
Is it safe?
 
Yes, IF you have correct movement patterns and the strength/stability to perform the movements correctly, if you can’t hen it will lead to injury, especially in the knee, trust me I’ve seen it.
 
Did you know according to the research done by Prof Yuri Verkhoshansky, to do basic low level jump training you should be able to squat your bodyweight for solid reps – that’s bodyweight on a bar by the way.
 
For Depth Jumps and other more advanced techniques the recommendations are up to 2xBW on the bar, not many can do that.
 
^^ You will find this info in the book Super Training & also The Science & Practice of Strength Training if memory serves me correctly.
 
Keeping this in mind.
 
How many people do you know who do training that is far lack of a better term, way beyond their pay grade, a fair few I’d imagine. 
 
I know a few and I have even done it myself in the past, injury was my reward because like all competitive people I did too much of what I wasn’t ready for.
 
Building a solid and wide foundation will allow you to hit a higher peak.
 
Yes it may be a tad dull at the start, it can also be hard to hear, however it’s sometimes necessary.
 
Take a look at your own movements and patterns, are they solid or could they do with some improvement?
 
Truing hard and stay safe
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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4 Movements you should be able to do.

Well you don’t have to be able to do these, however life will be much easier if you can.
 
1 – A full ROM overhead squat
2 – A full hinge
3 – A get up without the use of your hands
4 – A full ROM pull up
5 – A handstand – advanced
 
Why those 4?
 
In terms of general health you’ll find it’s these qualities people lose over time and as such their quality of life depreciates, however if you keep a good amount of strength in these movements you’ll find you age proof yourself throughout the years.
 
Let’s look at them all individually.
 
1 – A full ROM overhead squat.
 
Now this doesn’t have to be with maximal loads, it’s just a movement that will show your bodies potential limitations in ankles, hips & shoulders which are common because of daily life.
 
This skill can be linked to getting out of a chair or up from sitting on the floor. 
If you’re really strong you can do this on one leg too.
 
2 – A full hip hinge
 
This is in reference to a full hip flexion with minimal knee bend while not losing upper thoracic position, it will basically allow you to lift things correctly and minimise injury while firing up your hamstrings, glutes, erectors and musculature of the posterior chain.
 
It will also cross over in to picking something up and carrying it for a distance or time, a skill we NEED in everyday life.
 
3 – A get up without the use of your hands
 
If you’ve ever watched the difference between a elderly persona and a youth when it comes to getting up you will see the difference, however keeping the ability to get up without the use of your hands shows total body connection and strength which if kept in to old age can help keep you out of a retirement home.
 
The above being said, having the ability to perform a Turkish Get Up is also a great skill to have at any age.
 
4 – A full ROM pull up
 
Climbing is something we are meant to do. The ability to pull up your own body weight is an essential skill because it shows health & strength, plus if you’ve gotten in to your golden years and have slipped over and perhaps twisted your ankle the ability to grab something and lift yourself up will be most welcome.
 
5 – A handstand
 
Balancing on your hands was an old favourite in the days past and showed not only strength and total body connection along with wrist, elbow and shoulder health.
 
Inversion is a great skill as it requires concentration, bracing, controlled breathing and calm.
 
Now these movements are very useful for overall health and longevity, if you wish to specialise in a sport then you will have different needs which may go against the best interests of your health/longevity, this is the sacrifice you make.
Being able to move is also great for your mental health too.
 
If you want to work on these then you can either take up a movement class or perhaps some form of advanced yoga.
 
Being able to move is important, don’t lose it, the difference between a young body an old one is the ability to move.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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You don’t need to squat heavy…

Do you need to squat heavy?

It pains me to say this, however there is technically no need to squat heavy weights…

That said, there is a basic necessity for the squatting movement pattern as it will ensure healthy ankles, knees, hips and loads more.

The squat is a fundamental human movement pattern, you need it, fact.

I am personally bias towards heavy squats, I love them, however they are not for everyone, some people may have injuries that prevent them going heavy, this is fair enough, they can adapt and do things such as goblet or front squats as substitutes, so long as they are performing the movement pattern all is good.

This short post is just to remind you that it’s okay not to squat heavy, you just need to be performing the movement in some way, shape or form to stay healthy.

Here is a simple workout structure for those who need some guidance, you can pick which ever :

W/U – Squatting pattern – Example: Goblet Squat 50 reps
A1 – Hinging movement 15-25 rep goal
B1 – Pressing movement
B2 – Pulling movement 25-50 rep goal for both
C1 – Core movement or Loaded Carry 30 rep goal or Distance for Time (e.g., 10min)

Easy, all you need do for exercise ideas is simply find a list of movements and pick ones that you feel like doing on the day.

Actually, hold on…

http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html

^^ A great resource, they’ve got some fantasist bits on there to read, enjoy it.

Ross

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Skills Skills Skills

Life is all about acquiring skills.

Think about it.

As kids we learn to crawl, then walk, then run an jump an play which finally lead in to minor sports and activities, however the best part about all that is the sense of achievement, wether you’re aware of it or not.

We like learning new things and more importantly being good at them, training should be no different.

That being said, there are plenty of exercises that people will avoid like the plague not because of a legitimate excuse but for the fact that they’re not good at the moment and it brings their ego down a peg of three.

If we take squatting for example.

A squat is something everyone assumes they can do, nay, they expect they can do, so when someone tries and struggles or perhaps fails to execute it with any good form they get disheartened and start to avoid the movement, usually opting for leg press or machine work.

Squatting is a skill, much the same as pressing, deadlifting, running, jumping, throwing and so on. The only difference is how quickly a person can learn that skill (major injury or medical reasons aside), some take longer than others but that doesn’t mean you should give up on it.

Something I’ve noticed in other people as I’ve gotten older is just how lacking in resilience they are. If something doesn’t happen instantly or go their way from the start they get pissy, make excuses and give up, bot a good trait to have.

Have I ever had the above attitude?

Yep, more times than I’d like to admit, however there’s no sense in lying about it so I might as well learn from it instead.

The main lesson I took away was this; thing take time, some more than others but everything comes with a cost of your time. You just have to pay it, if you really want to achieve anything that is.

I understand how frustrating it can be when things don’t go your way, oh and before you start thinking “I don’t agree with that.” stop, it’s human nature to get the hump when we don’t get what we want, just accept it, no one is here to judge you and if they are then let them, it literally has no effect on your life unless YOU allow it to.

Will you do something for me? Or more aptly put, will you do something for yourself.

Write down 3 skills you want to achieve.

Next, look at each skill and write down what you need to be doing to acquire that skill and HOW you’re going to achieve it.

Lastly, start working towards them.

Don’t give up, almost everything can be learnt/achieved if given enough time, you just have to want it bad enough.

Enjoy,
Ross

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