Shoes for Workouts? Which Types and Why?

Got 3 minutes? Check it out!

Olympic shoes? Minimalist shoes? Barefoot? Orthotics?

We discuss which type of shoe you should wear and give you a simple tool to determine whether or not you need heel elevation.

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The Best Hamstring Stretch

Hamstrings can be difficult to relax unless you stretch the entire leg. Using this 3d hamstring stretch, you will be able to reach all three muscles of the hamstring including the muscles around your hips and legs.

 

Easy Test for a Dysfunctional Pelvis

The pelvic rotation test will tell you whether or not you have control over your pelvis.  A dysfunctional pelvis can lead to a loss of power and performance; stiffness; and hip, ab, knee, ankle and back pain among other things. This is one of the tests I learned in my Titleist Performance Institute certification and your personal results may be surprising.

The test is easy. Watch the video below and see if you can move your lower body like the demonstrator. If you wave side to side, can’t rotate or your upper body moves, you failed.

Thank you to the cameraman, trainer and demonstrator for an excellent video 🙂

If you passed, GREAT!

If you failed, it’s time to get to work. Practice mimicing this rotation every day for 2-3 minutes until you get it. Holding on to a door frame to keep your upper body still can help.

If you master this, you will be one step closer to unlocking your body’s total body potential and cranking up your ability to lose weight, get strong, move quickly and balance well.

In Good Health,

Nate

One of the Few Titleist Performance Institute Golf Guys in Novi!

After lots of course work, a seminar and an exam, I am now Titleist Performance Institute Certified!!!

I’m really excited about this because I’m now certified to work alongside other professionals to help detect and eliminate malfunctions in the body that hinder rotational movement. For those who don’t know, TPI is becoming the premier certification for anyone who coaches golf. To give a small snap shot, TPI’s level one course breaks the golf game down in to twelve primary swing characteristics. These include

1. S-Posture

2. C- Posture

3. Loss of Posture

4. Flat Shoulder Plane

5. Early Extension

6. Over-the-top

7. Sway

8. Slide

9. Reverse Spine Angle

10. Hanging Back

11. Casting/Early Release

12. Chicken Winging.

Each of these swing characteristics can usually be attributed to a weakness, tightness or inability to fire certain muscle groups. The course is designed to build a common language between a team of professionals who work together to create the strongest, fastest, healthiest athletes ever.

A TPI golf screen takes about 1 hour to complete and consists of movement tests for every golf-related functional joint of the body and an exercise program is given at the end to help you work on eliminating your limitations. The investment is $250 and the information/benefit is priceless.

The screen tests and gives corrective exercise for:

1. Pelvic Tilt- loss of power, back pain

2. Pelvic Rotation – Slices, loss of power, too much side to side hip movement

3. Torso Rotation issues – Loss of golf posture, shoulder issues, side to side hip movement

4. Overhead Deep Squat – feeling “stuck” or jammed on ball impact, Loss of posture, balance

5. Toe touch – Back Pain, Knee Pain

6. Shoulder Flexibility – Rotational problems, feel jammed

7. Balance with eyes close – Balance, too much hip motion, butt weakness

8. Back muscle flexibility – Loss of power, feeling crammed

9. Lower body rotation – Ability to use your ball like a whip to crank out the yards

10. Upper body rotation – almost every issue

11. Glute strength- tied in to every golf fault known to man.

If you’re interested in scheduling a screen with me, one of the only TPI certified fitness professionals in Novi please Email at mywellfitlife@gmail.com.

see yah on the course!

Olympic Bodies: Sprinters or Long-Distance Runners?

There is a debate that ripples back and forth between cardio junkies and hight intensity interval (HIIT) advocates about which type of exercise produces the best results. Because the bodies of athletes reflect their training, events like the 2012 Olympics give us a chance to put our petty arguments aside and compare results.

The Argument for Long-Distance Training

Traditionally, weight-loss and fitness advice has been largely cardio driven. The idea is that burning more calories than you consume will help you to burn through body fat and get in-shape. Cardio junkies argue that HIIT training isn’t long enough to inspire enough change and that consistently training at high intensities will burn off too much sugar, causing the body to store fat and eat through muscle tissue.

Claire Hallissey Ph.D., is the Olympic long-distance runner pictured below.

Olympic marathon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Argument for HIIT Training

High intensity lovers say that high energy requirements of maximal-intensity exercise will make the body use more fuel after you’re done exercising and inspire a hormonal response that builds tissue and burns fat. They argue that long-distance training is not as time-efficient as HIIT and produces overall weakness. They also argue that long bouts of cardio will burn through muscle tissue and cause overall weakness and injuries to joints from overly repetitious motions.

Jess Ennis is the heptathlete pictured below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her program consists of short sprints, long sprints, box jumps, medicine ball throws and weights.

 

 

 

What does the science say?

Studies are showing that strength and sprint style training increases overall power, type II muscle fibers and control much better than endurance training. Additionally, it works faster. One study even showed that participants on a 7 week sprinting protocol improved their maximal ability more than participants who ran three  8 km runs a week. Another 2011 study showed the stress hormone cortisol to be much higher in endurance athletes than non. An elevated cortisol level is believed by many experts to be the cause of excess belly fat gain, sugar regulation and general fatigue.

 

 

What do I do now?

Choose  a path for your own fitness. If you want to follow the long-distance route, work your way up to 3 to 6 days of 60 minutes of cardio a day. If you want to follow the HIIT group, start out with sprints consisting of 20 seconds of an all-out intensity followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat this four times and slowly move your way up to twelve.

Enjoy!

 

 

References:

Karavirta, L., Hakkinen, A., et al. Effects of Combined Endurance and Strength Training on Muscle Strength, Power, and Hypertrophy in 40-67 Year-Old Men. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. 2011. 21, 402-411.

Macpherson, R., Hazell, T., et al. Run Sprint Interval Training Improves Aerobic Performance but Not Maximal Cardiac Output. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2011. 43(1), 115-121.

Bangsbo, J., Gunnarsson, T. The 10-20-30 Training Concept Improves Performance and Health Profile in Moderately Trained Runners. Journal of Applied Physiology. 2012. Published Ahead of Print.

Skoluda, N., et al., Elevated hair cortisol concentrations in endurance athletes. Psychoneuroendocrinology (2011), doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2011.09.001

Forgotten Aspects of Fitness: Heat

Ten minutes of recovery, severe disorientation and a massive headache were all things I felt shortly after finishing a high-intensity weight-lifting competition Saturday morning. As I sat panting in the heat, I was suddenly very aware that I had forgotten one of the cardinal rules to competitive training…train in your race environment. If you want to push your fitness to its limit, train your body to deal with every condition.

Are our programs making us fit?

Fitness is defined a little differently for each of us but if our fitness programs don’t help us do our lives better, they fall tragically short of adequate. My wake-up call came in the midst of a barrage of  olympic lifts under the 80-something degree sun.

Had I trained? Definitely.

Had I trained in a diverse environment? Definitely not … and I suffered.

Most of my high intensity training was done in the comfort of an air-conditioned gym. While my muscles, core, joints and cardiovascular ability grew stronger, my body’s ability to deal with the real world did not. Ultimately, this is what stopped me.

If we want true fitness, or the ability to tackle every obstacle that comes our way, we have to get out of the gym to force our bodies to adapt to the weight we push, the speeds we run and the elements we train in. Our fitness will always lack if our bodies can’t hack the heat.

Isn’t proper hydration enough?

Do you get dizzy or fatigue when you run outside, numbness or tingling when you work in the yard, performance losses in your sports? It must be from dehydration!

“Dehydration” is a knee-jerk word spew for exercisers, doctors and trainers across the globe. It’s safe because no one can say you should be less-hydrated. It allows us to hide from our “I don’t knows.” But studies have shown that athletes usually collapse because of vasodialation, not dehydration. When our bodies get hot, they try to cool down as quickly possible by activating sweat gland and opening up the blood vessels to push blood to the surface of the skin. This process is called vasodilation. If your body is not used to the stress of heat, it could buckle under this rapid response and cause you to puke, pass out or have a headache. Training in the heat will teach your body to deal with this response and create effective ways to remove heat from the body.

How do I train my body to be ultra-fit?

Start training in the heat! As with any exercise protocol, work your way in to it. Spend 10 minutes of your 60 minute workout outside and add another 10 minutes every one to two weeks. Change time and intensity based on how hot it is outside and continue to hydrate. Some studies are showing that drinking an ice-slurry before or during exercise can help cool the core better than water and improve time to exhaustion by 30 minutes.

How do I improve my PR with this elemental training idea?

Athletes trying to break their personal records can try drinking an ice-slurry pre and mid-race. Studies have shown that 7.5 g/kg of an ice slurry consumed pre-race can help cool core temperature and improve performance more than cold water and equally as much as submersion in an ice-bath.

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References:

  • Cui, J., Arbab-Zadeh, A. et. Al., Effects of Heat Stress on Thermoregulatory Responses in Congestive Heart Failure Patients. Circulation. 2005; 112: 2286-2292
  • Noakes, Timothy David M.D., Dehydration During Exercise: What Are the Real Dangers?. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, April 1995 v5; I2 (PDF)

http://journals.lww.com/cjsportsmed/Abstract/1995/04000/Dehydration_During_Exercise__What_Are_the_Real.9.aspx

  • Siegel, R., Thermoregulatory and Exercise Performance Responses to Cooling with Ice Slurry Ingestion. Edith Cowan University, 7 April 2011

http://ro.ecu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1148&context=theses

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