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shoulders

Movement You Should Master

Step Ups

Modern medicine is keeping us alive longer, so now we need to put some effort into staying lively longer.  Mastering specific movements will improve our quality of life and help us stay independent and injury-free. I have come up with several exercises you can use to make yourself stronger, more durable, and develop a healthier, more functional body.  An exercise that I have found to be very helpful in restoring the capacity to get up and down off the floor is the Step Up.

Step Ups

The ability to go up and down steps will almost always be needed.  Losing this ability is a sure sign that one’s quality of life and independence are quickly fading.  Step Ups can be done in a variety of different directions and loaded a number of ways making them easily progressed or regressed based on goals and fitness level.  Step Ups improve balance and strength in the glutes, quads, and hamstrings.  Depending how you load, they can also challenge the core and shoulders.  The average step in the United States is 7 inches tall.  Strive to work up to a 14 inch box so that no flight of stairs will ever intimidate you.

Here Coach Katie demonstrates two different versions we like to use and the benefits of each along with some progressions.  Watch the video and give it a try: https://youtu.be/iGXtKyGlKMg.

1) Anterior Step up (Progression: Anterior Step Up with Racked Kettlebell hold)

2) Lateral Step Up (Progression: Lateral Step Up with one side loaded)

-Jeff Tirrell, CSCS, Pn1

 

Movement You Should Master

Weighted Carries

Modern medicine is keeping us alive longer, so now we need to put some effort into staying lively longer.  Mastering specific movements will improve our quality of life and help us stay independent and injury-free. I have come up with several exercises you can use to make yourself stronger, more durable, and develop a healthier, more functional body.  An exercise that I have found to be efficient and effective is a Weighted Carry.

Weighted Carries

Very few things are more functional than a carry.  You’d be hard pressed to get through daily life without having to carry something at least a few times per week.  While basic, a carry is an efficient and effective full body exercise.  Depending on the carry you choose, the load is virtually limitless.  Performed for time or distance, carries will always improve gait and core stability.  Depending on which version you use, they can also be an effective tool for improving shoulder mobility/stability, grip strength, balance, and overall awesomeness.  Watch the video and give it try: https://youtu.be/PaP4-IlVAOA

Coach Chad demonstrates my top four carry picks:

1) Farmers Walk (gait, core stability, grip strength, upper back, legs)

2) Suitcase Carry (gait, core anti-lateral flexion, grip, upper back, balance)

3) Waiters Carry (gait, core stability, shoulder stability, balance)

4) Double Waiters Carry (gait, core stability, shoulder mobility, shoulder stability, balance)

-Jeff Tirrell, CSCS, Pn1

 

Movement You Should Master

Pull Ups

Modern medicine is keeping us alive longer, so now we need to put some effort into staying lively longer.  Mastering specific movements will improve our quality of life and help us stay independent and injury-free. I have come up with several exercises you can use to make yourself stronger, more durable, and develop a healthier, more functional body.  An exercise that helps build upper body strength and maintain shoulder mobility is the Pull Up.

Pull Ups

If you are a superhero and find yourself hanging off the edge of a cliff or a building, you’ll need to pull yourself up.  All kidding aside, the pull up is a fantastic exercise to build strength in the lats, biceps, rhomboids, and rear delts, while helping to maintain shoulder mobility.  Pull ups can be done with a variety of grips.  The most important thing is to use a full range of motion and maintain control (avoiding excessive movement to reduce injury risk).  I utilize one of three pull up versions with most clients depending on their fitness level.  Watch the video and give it a try.

1) Eccentric Pull ups: Use a box to start in the top position, and slowly lower yourself with complete control down to the bottom position.  Once you can complete 10 of these with a good 4-6 second descent, then it’s time to move on to a standard pull up.

2) Standard Pull up:  Start hanging from a bar (or rings) with your arms completely straight.  Pull yourself up until your clavicle touches the bar.  Slowly lower yourself back down until your arms are completely straight and your body is motionless.

3) Xiphoid Pull ups: Start as you would for a standard pull up, but rather than pulling to your clavicle, you want to lean back and pull yourself up until your xiphoid process (bony part at the bottom of your sternum) touches the bar.  Then, lower yourself in a controlled manner back to the start.

See video of pull ups here: https://youtu.be/Cyvp4X2MRC0

-Jeff Tirrell, CSCS, Pn1

We want the time we spend exercising to carry over to better performance on the field of play and in our daily lives.  In the gym, most push-type resistance training is performed on a machine or lying down on a bench; however, all functional pushing tasks and nearly all athletic endeavors place you in an asymmetrical standing position.  One leg is loaded to a greater extent than the other as you move an object or an opponent with your arms.  The split stance dumbbell curl to press is an exercise that creates carryover to real world.

It matters little how much push force you can create on a machine or bench if you are unable to stabilize that force in an upright position.  A 150 pound press performed while sitting or supine will not carry over to a 150 pound standing push if your core and leg muscles are only able to stabilize 25 pounds.  The reciprocal hip position you assume during the split stance dumbbell curl to press is the sprint in track, the stiff arm on the football field, and the lay up in basketball. curl_to_press

Proper set up is important.  Stand holding two dumbbells at your sides.  Place your right foot on a stable bench, rack, or box that is set at mid-thigh height.  The left foot is set behind your body so that the right hip is flexed and the left hip is extended.  Keep a perfect upright torso posture.  The bottom of the rib cage stays pulled down and the pelvis should not wobble during the exercise.

Curl the dumbbells up and rotate the palms so they are facing you, then immediately perform an overhead press.  Hold the dumbbells overhead for two counts then lower the weight in a controlled fashion.  Perform six repetitions and then rest.  Repeat the exercise with the left foot up and the right leg back.  Start with two sets of six repetitions on each side.

Keep your ego in check and start with lighter dumbbells on this exercise.  Maintaining a rock solid posture is more important than the load being lifted.  As your core stability improves you will be able to up the weights.

You will feel this exercise in your shoulders, biceps, and core muscles.  If one side is more difficult, always start on that side.  Perform an extra set on the weaker side, and try to train that performance asymmetry away.

Click on the link below to view video demonstration of the Split Stance Dumbbell Curl To Press:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsBnAHWe928&list=UUje3hqQBygH_JOPhWLQjtVw

-Michael O’Hara, P.T., OCS, CSCS

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