Personalized Personal Training

How it started; how it’s going.

Started with numerous issues, most notably was scapular dysfunction that contributed to pain in the upper traps.

The first exercise is conditioning the muscles of the shoulder girdle & thoracic spine to integrate instead of putting all the demand on the traps.

The second exercise is reinforcing the corrective mechanics and putting those muscle connections to work during movement.

The result is a better connected body that can disperse force through the kinetic chain and balance the workload for the muscles.

As we continue to clean up dysfunctional movement patterns, moving correctly will train the body to operate efficiently and handle the demands of the real world without pain and injury.

What Does Functional Training Look Like?

We often get asked “what exactly does your training look like?”

“Is it stretching?”

“Is it mobility work?”

“Is it rehab… or exercise?”

“Is it strength and conditioning?”

“Is it performance or injury prevention?”

Simply put, it’s all of the above!

When you move well, you are “stretching” parts of your body, while “strengthening” another.

Learning to move well also means that you learn to position your joints in a way to produce maximum mobility, while still being safe and beneficial for your body.

When you train your body to move well, you are in fact doing “rehab” while still building strength and training to perform better.

You can’t separate flexibility from strength and you certainly can’t separate rehab from performance either.

Training your body to separate those elements won’t get you long term physical wellbeing because your body operates as one complex system. Train it according, and if you can’t, we can!

Sling Training

Myofascial Sling Training is a way to train the human body that respects the way it evolved to move. It’s not based on arbitrary exercise tasks, but rather on movement patterns that translate to everyday function. Sling training refers to the Myofascial Sling Systems that connect the upper body with the lower body and are responsible for supporting the body during day to day performance. Whether you’re an elite athlete, amateur golfer, a 5K’er, weekend gardener, construction worker, walking the dogs, playing with the grandkids, and just existing in the real world. Whatever kind of movement you’re doing, your myofascial sling network is producing the movement. In order to move well, you must train the muscles in a manner that reinforce the way the sling systems function. Isolated movement doesn’t fulfill the requirement because when the body moves, it functions as one integrated unit- so total body integration will start to potentiate the muscles involved and teach them how to work together to produce efficient movement.

At first glance sling training is falsely mistaken as exercise that doesn’t accomplish strength gains. However once the proper foundation is built, slinging has the potential to build mass proportionally across entire chains of muscle, create strength during movements that replicate the way we function in reality, provide lengthened potentials (flexibility/mobility) for tight and overactive muscles, and unite multiple systems of the body to work together in harmony and promote a cardiovascular workout as well as strength that manifests in everyday movement. Obviously other modalities promote this as well, the issue that we’ve found is that the traditional means are often temporary gains riddled with aches and pains and are not sustainable.

The more efficiently you can move, the less energy you waste and the more muscles you have working for you at one time to provide a safer way to move your body while minimizing the risk of injury. As humans, we typically walk upright on two feet and other movements branch off of walking patterns, so when we train, we should be training the slings to become better during movements that we go through on a regular basis. While some argue that the squat is a staple movement because children often times squat when they play, they’re not recognizing that the way the squat is typically trained… with a bar on top of your cervical spine, compressing your discs, as you lift heavier and heavier weight, in a repetitious fashion… is damaging. The strength gained in the glutes and lower body is often overshadowed by lower back pain, knee pain, hip pain, or general tightness that, over time, begins to interfere with everyday movement. The squat can be functional, but it’s during movement patterns that promote connectivity between the sling system and the rest of the myofascial meridians. The more connected your muscles are, the less compression you’ll experience in the joints because the muscles are working towards a greater contractile potential to absorb the force.

Our gym offers training that enhances the human body and builds it up, rather than breaking it down through pointless exercise tasks. Instead of coaching you to become better at specific exercises, we teach your body specific exercises that are going to help you perform better in life outside of the gym. Our goal, as trainers, is to create a workout program for you that is sustainable as you age, while still allowing you to make progress and challenge the body as your muscles learn new motor skills to enhance everyday movement.

Aesthetics vs. Athletics

When we hear the word athletics, we automatically think of Michael Jordan or Emmitt Smith, individuals capable of accomplishing great movements with their bodies. But you don’t have to be an elite athlete to train your body to move better. When we only think about working out to get a six-pack or bigger biceps, because the magazines tell us that’s what we should look like, we miss the opportunity for exercise to enhance our quality of life. Rather than moving in respect to our human anatomy we contort our bodies and make ourselves so sore that we can barely walk the next day or can’t get on and off the toilet.

Human anatomy dictates the way our body functions based on the way our muscles connect with each other. The less connected your muscles are during movement the more likely your chance of injury is. Since all of our muscles are connected they never work independently, so isolating your body when you workout can potentially disrupt your muscle connections and cause your body to compensate when you move. When you move, your body is conditioned to absorb force in your joints instead of transmitting the force through a connected web of muscles. It’s like your muscles are clocking out early every day and your joints are working over time without pay, because isolated exercises utilize your joints as levers instead of transmitting force through our muscle chains. The goal with exercise should be to connect one chain of muscle with another through reciprocation, since human movement entails reciprocal forces, like opposing limbs uniting when we walk. The more your muscles work in harmony with each other, the more efficient your body will move, decreasing the likelihood of injuries, aches, and pains.

Since we all walk, an exercise like the barbell squat won’t translate as efficiently to the patterns we use on a consistent basis. The glutes developed primarily through walking and running mechanics so for most humans, squatting isn’t the most efficient way to condition your glutes for real world use. If you’re intent is to develop strength through lifting free weights then make sure the strength you develop can be transferable to other scenarios. You limit yourself by getting really strong at a particular lift but the only time you can apply that strength is when you’re performing that exercise. When you’re out with friends, walking your dog, or running errands, strength manifests in the form of comfort that you have in that scenario. If you’re standing in a group of friends and you can’t stand without leaning against a wall or shifting your weight from one leg to another, you have no relative strength- your strength only manifests when you’re in the gym doing your exercise. If fitness is meant to enhance our lives then why would you want your hours spent working hard in the gym to only apply to when you’re in the gym? Not all functional training is truly functional and when you’re trying to function and exist in the real world on a daily basis your body should be prepared.

When you exercise, prioritizing Functional Patterns of movement will condition your body for operating in reality. Training for athletics, or the goal of moving better, will outweigh the benefits of training only for aesthetics, a goal of only looking better. Working out to just build a bigger chest and arms, without taking into consideration that too much muscle mass can lead to imbalances in the body, can become disastrous for how well your body can move. Exercise patterns should mirror the mechanics of how humans move. A foundational human movement is walking, so when you exercise to only look better naked, you neglect the basic principle that the body is designed to move outside of the confines of weight machines and exercises that restrict force transmission through the entire web of muscles. Once the muscles are conditioned to support your body when you walk, without compensations like swaying hips, knees turning in, arms not moving, or a tilted ribcage, other movements, inside and outside of the gym, are streamlined. So, by addressing the way your body moves when you walk, other movements like playing ball with your friends, running a 5k, playing tennis or golf, and performing exercises that respect human body mechanics, are automatically improved.

Athletic training and aesthetic training can go hand in hand, when all systems of the body are operating in harmony, less energy is wasted and more muscle tissue is utilized, so eventually your goal of looking better naked will be achieved. The more muscles that you can integrate into one rep, the more energy you expend, so more calories are being burned per workout. Pair that with the proper nutritional habits, and it’s an efficient recipe for weight loss. Weight loss that comes as a result of better body mechanics and natural movement, not beating your body up with traditional weight lifting that leaves you hurting and injury prone so you’re unable to workout and the weight just piles on. Respect the way your body was designed to operate and keep yourself in the game so that you can move well and sustain a healthy weight for the entirety of your life.

Pain

Most of us are accustomed to pain at some level, whether it’s a dull ache or a sharp debilitating pain. Sometimes we feel it during day to day activity, specific exercises, or worse, it keeps us up at night. We seek relief from our doctor and they usually refer us to a physical therapist and we get some relief but as time goes on we find out that the relief is only temporary. We begin battling the same pain and discomfort, so we start reaching for the Advil or the Extra Strength Tylenol even though we know that’s like putting a Band Aid on a broken finger, and our problem doesn’t get fixed. The good news is that we have a solution to chronic problems like lower back pain, knee pain, and shoulder pain.

What sets us apart from traditional remedies like physical therapy, massage, chiropractic, and other methods of personal training is that we implement exercise according to how individual muscles work in harmony with the other muscles in your body and the requirements necessary to translate those exercises to sustain pain-free movement in life outside of the gym. We aren’t saying that those other remedies don’t work or that you shouldn’t try them but if you have tried them and haven’t had any long term relief then you should consider implementing our practices. We aren’t like most gyms, we spend our first few sessions drilling in the basics to establish a firm foundation to operate from. “Basics” meaning, breathing, posture, and proper body mechanics to enhance the way we exercise and improve the way we live.

While other methods look to the area that’s feeling pain to fix the problem sometimes that’s not looking deep enough. By understanding how the muscles in your body connect and what optimal movement should look like we can decode why you experience knee pain every time you take a step. For example, when we walk our torso should rotate to connect our upper body to our lower body, if we aren’t rotating the trunk when we walk then our body compensates in the hip, knee, or ankle joint down the kinetic chain, or into the shoulder joint up the kinetic chain. We analyze the way you walk and move to determine if your body is compensating in one area resulting in pain in another area. Our goal is to get to the source of your pain not simply treat the symptom because that may not be the cause, and if you never get to the real cause you never find long term relief.

Our methods don’t stop there, once we have your pain managed and your foundation established we begin to introduce exercises to retrain your body to hold proper muscle activations. That way when you move your muscles are doing the work and not your joints, so the pain you once experienced doesn’t return.

We’re here to tell you that you don’t have to live with your pain! If you’d like to learn more about how we do what we do and specifics about how we can help your individual needs then please contact us to set up a free phone consultation!

 

 

Body. Brain. Let’s Connect

A picture is worth a 1,000 words… this picture says a lot because a lot is going on during this exercise, physically and mentally. John is incorporating thoracic rotation by connecting his Left lat to his Right glute & his Right shoulder to his Left hip via a deep connection of muscle groups known as the myofascial slings. These slings connect the upper body with the lower body- an important connection for quality movement. We’re taking it a step further with this exercise and integrating the movement at a nueromuscular level to make this sling connection a sub conscious action. If you want to move pain free the rest of your life, the way all your muscles work in unison with each other has to happen at a sub-conscious, automatic level. 

During this exercise John’s left glute is on fire and the deep core musculature is engaging as the left lat pulls and right arm punches connecting with the obliques to help rotate his ribcage and thus the myofascial slings are engaged and connecting John’s upper body with his lower body. The action during this exercise replicates a way our muscles connect with each other in life outside of the gym. It’s important to connect the body in the right way if you want to move better in day to day life and move better during exercise, both which lead to less overall aches and pains in the body. 

This exercise was all about getting John’s body in the correct position to automatically activate the correct muscles at the correct time so his joints didn’t do the muscles job, aka no more joint pain when he is out functioning in the real world! When your muscles work correctly this means less wear and tear on your joints, the key to sustaining an active lifestyle well past your prime!

If you’d like to learn how you can optimize your lifestyle, we’re here to help!

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