Exercise of the week: Inverted Row Suspension

Exercise of the week: Inverted Row Suspension

Here’s another great exercise for upper body pulling strength. If you’re an athlete or advanced lifter and you can’t do these through a full range of motion (handles touch lower pec) it may be an indicator that you either have anterior flexibility or mobility problems (shoulders) or posterior weakness in upper back (especially traps and rhomboids).

A good goal is to work toward 8-10 full range reps starting with your body parallel to the ground.

Advocare Teams up with WPS!

AdvoCare is proud to be a Founding Partner for Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS),

as well as providing Rehydrate as the official isotonic beverage.

WPS is the highest ranked women’s professional soccer league in North America. Formed in September 2007 thanks to the efforts of the Women’s Soccer Initiative, Inc., WPS, consists of seven teams across the country.

The markets for the 2009 season are Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey/New York, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

The inaugural season kicked off March 29, 2009.

Click here to learn more about the WPS

Fox Soccer Channel will broadcast a game each week with the “WPS Sundays on FSC” airing every Sunday April through August with the WPS Playoffs on Fox Sports Net.

Check out the games to see endorser Carli Lloyd and the AdvoCare name on stadium boards, towels, water bottles and more!

“My favorite AdvoCare product is Rehydrate. After a hard workout, Rehydrate really helps recover the water loss and gets me back to feeling like I did before my workout. I also take AdvoCare Spark® or AdvoCare Slam® before games to get an extra energy boost, and drink the Meal Replacement Shakes after my games to help replenish my muscles with extra carbs and protein.”

Visit Advocare.com click here

Exercise of the Week: The Squat

Here’s a basic exercise that basically everyone performs poorly. I see it in the gym literally everyday. Usually it’s as simple as:

Male use too much weight and can’t stabilize the movment
Females can’t stabilize the movement and therefore can’t use more weight

It’s something that everyone should be able to do (regardless of gender, age, sport, etc.) as long as there are no joint or health limitations. If you can’t do it, it may mean you’ve got some limitations to fix (joint mobility, joint flexibility, strength decrements, muscle imbalance, improper muscle firing patterns).

Hope this helps!

Olympic Lifts, Plyos, and the Jane Fonda Outer Thigh Exercise

I don’t care what the exercise is, everyone has an opinion about how do it correctly.

In some recent conversations I’ve had with some colleagues regarding Olympic Lifts, the concept has come up quite a bit. I also noticed an observation of the issue from Robert Dos Remedios (a strength coach that I respect a great deal) last month on his blog (read article here). Lastly, I’ve had countless conversations with students in my NSCA Prep course over the past couple years that have struggled with the same issue. Point?…exercise technique/performance is a common question and a common area of confusion. Quite frankly, I feel like I learn more and more each day about how to “do an exercise right.”

I will say this, though, as with most issues in exercise this is one of the areas where I have to begin my answer with the ever-hated, “It depends…”.

All quality exercise performance starts with some fundamentals, of course. I actually refer back to an old NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) biomechanics perspective that was developed by Tom Purvis (if I’m not mistaken). Smart guy. It essentially deals with 6 fundamental rules of lifting illustrated by the following acronym:
G – Goal
R – direction of Resistance
A – Alignment
S – Stabilize
P – Path of Motion
R – Range of Motion

Without getting into all of these areas, let me simply focus on the “Goal” component, as the way I determine the technical components of movement and exercise weighs heavily on this concept.

Case in point:
I will teach a male competitive Olympic Lifter how to do an Olympic Lift very differently than I will teach a female high school Volleyball player how to do an Olympic Lift.

Different people. Different goals and desired outcomes. Different body limitations and structures. Different ability levels.

If these things are true…shouldn’t it determine how we instruct people to move…to lift…to train? And, if it’s true in this situation, doesn’t it make sense that we’re going to have to modify or make appropriate exercises based on the INDIVIDUAL (if we do the lift at all)?

By the way, I have a woman who is 50+ years of age training in a group training class I offer that does Olympic Lifting Variations. Before she came to me she had hardly done any consistent free weight exercise in her life. And, oh yeah, she got out of physical therapy for her shoulder right before she came to me. Results? In the last year she lost weight, had less shoulder pain than she’s had in years. It’s been a process. It’s been progressive. It’s been modified.

P.S. I do that Jane Fonda outer thigh exercise with my clients. It’s a great activation exercise if you use it right.

The Best Exercise…

…Doesn’t exist.

I think this is probably the most common question I get (followed by, “How do I lose fat from here [fill in the blank]?”).

If I may simply clarify a thought on this issue. This is a question that is absolutely dependent on a number of factors. The most relevant of those being:
Exercise History
Exercise Proficiency/Mastery
Health History
What else you are doing/will do in your current exercise program

It is easy to come up with a “great” exercise that really targets a muscle/movement well. But, what if you can’t do it? What if you don’t have the technical proficiency, stability, mobility, ROM, strength, (need I go on) to perform that movement? Answer?…it’s not a good exercise for you.

The second issue…spot reducing STILL doesn’t work. We have understood this concept from the physiology research for many years now. Problem…TV. Infomercials. They are still confusing the issue. 8 minutes a day on that ab-shocker machine deal won’t help you get ripped abs. Neither will the great new Ab Machine (whatever is being currently marketed). You can’t do exercises for muscles and make that fat disappear from that region. It’s a no win situation. Best ab exercise I’ve learned in the last 2 years (if I may borrow a term from Mike Boyle) is the “Table Pushaway” exercise. Yep…push it away, eat less calories and create caloric deficit. That’s what it comes down to. Burn more than you eat and you’ll get the ripped abs. What do you think all those diets and exercise programs are trying to get you to do?

That being said, an exercise for a muscle group/area will help increase muscle density and resting tone so that when you LOSE the bodyfat through caloric deficit you’ll be able to see it…but not until.

In the end, the best exercise is one that will fit well into rounded, complimentary program that is appropriate for your level of fitness, exercise proficiency, goals, and health history. And I’ll tell you that no matter what your goals are, more and more research on program design for general populations (athletes or bodyfat loss seekers) is showing that full or near full body programs that involve multiple joint exercises are offering the most benefit.

If you’re starting your questions with “which exercise is best?” you are probably already on the wrong path. Start by asking questions related to “what type of exercise program is best?” and you’ll be off to a better start.

Therapeutic Massage at Home

Here is something you may be interested in…

A colleague of mine, Kathy Gruver, MS, LMT, RM, has recently come out with an instructional DVD for at home massage. For those of you looking to learn some practical techniques you can use on your own, this might be a good option for you.

I am always looking for ways of doing self myofascial release, foam rolling, etc. for my clients pre-, during and post-exercise to improve neuromuscular communication and recovery. But in the end, they are all “the poor-man’s massage” techniques. This is an opportunity to learn some more practical/scientifically-based techniques you can use at home and still save some bucks in our wonderful economy. I have had the opportunity to meet with and discuss some of these issues over the last couple years with Kathy and have found her to be a great resource of information.

Here’s the link to Kathy’s site: Therapeutic Massage at Home DVD

Santa Barbara Golf Academy coming this May!

Prevail Conditioning is excited to announce a joint venture with PGA Professionals Richard Chavez and Dave Thornton and Santa Barbara Golf Club.

Beginning this May, we will initiate a program that will be the first of its kind for golfers in the Santa Barbara area.

Dave Thornton and Richard Chavez will bring decades of expertise in the areas of swing mechanics, golf strategy and sports psychology. The exciting addition to these One Day Seminars will be benefits of power production, postural correction, fine motor control, and joint mobility and stability. As these concepts are becoming more prevalent in the literature and golfing world, our goal is to add a component and perspective to our attendees that will be like none other.

Details for the Santa Barbara Golf Academy / All Day Golf School
1 Hour Seminar/Breakfast at Mulligans Restaurant
2 Hours Golf Instruction with PGA Pros Richard Chavez/Dave Thornton
1 Hour Corrective Exercise / Strength & Power Instruction with
Performance Coach Chris Ecklund
18 Holes Golf
Tuesdays starting in May 2009!

For further information or to Register, contact:
Dave Thornton at 805.687.7087 / teeeoneup@aol.com
Richard Chavez at rchavez@pga.com
Chris Ecklund at 925.285.0924 / chris@prevailconditioning.com

Prevail Conditioning