Top 5 Mobility Moves for Golfers

Core Strength: Top 5 Mobility Moves for Golfers by Michael Volkmar, MS, CSCS, PES, CPT

Summer is here.  The Golf Clubs are out.  You vowed this summer to drop 3-5 strokes off your handicap.  I can help by getting more distance off the tee and building a healthier body that allows you to practice more. Continue reading

3 Best Exercises for Shoulder Health

3 Best Exercises for Shoulder Health by Mike Volkmar, MS, CSCS, PES, CPT

The shoulder is a very common joint to have pain. The majority of exercisers experience pain in the front or on top of the shoulder joint. This can be for a few reasons. The two major culprits are muscle imbalances and overuse injuries. Continue reading

Self-Assessment in the New Year

Self-Assessment in the New Year by William Smith, MS, NSCA, CSCS, MEPD

This past week I was bending over to pick up my 1 year old son and as I was doing this my back tightened up.  Nothing unusual about this by any stretch, yet the fact it began tightening up throughout the day struck me as odd.  This ‘pulling’ sensation got me thinking “why would this happen now?” Okay, to be honest, I haven’t been exercising regularly so that plays into, but my back?  Hasn’t been an issue in 10 years! Continue reading

Balance Your Pushups: Tips from Stew Smith

Balance Out Your Pushup Workouts by Stew Smith

People who exercise and those who do not, often neglect the upper back and rear shoulder muscles. Life has a way of bowing your upper back and rolling your shoulders forward. In technical terms, we are basically “internally rotated” within the shoulder girdle. Many things in life “internally rotate” us such as driving, sitting at a computer, playing video games, texting, carrying backpacks, bench pressing, pushups, situps and many more exercises and daily life events. So posture is critical to performance and our confidence. Perfect Posture is possible by adding in a few daily exercises for only a few minutes.

Basically, every “push” workout you do should be balanced out with a “pull” type of workout. You can do pull-ups to help balance out your pushups as well as supplemental daily exercises like the following:

 

Upper back exercise #1 – (Reverse pushups) – Lie on your stomach in the down pushup position. Lift your hands off the floor 2-3 inches instead of pushing the floor. This will strengthen your upper back muscles that balance out the chest muscles. Do 20-30 reps. Rear deltoids and rhomboids are the muscles used.

 

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Upper back exercise #2 – (Birds) Lie on your stomach with your arms spread to the height of your shoulders. Lift both arms off the floor until your shoulder blades “pinch” and place them slowly in the down position. Repeat for 20-30 repetitions mimicking a bird flying.

 

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This simple 3-4 minute program will help you keep your spine in proper alignment and fortify your delicate shoulder girdle. If you neglect these smaller muscles of the upper back and rear shoulder, all it will take is a fun toss of a football, baseball, or over head smash of a volleyball and your rotator cuff muscles will be talking to you immediately.

 

STEWART SMITH, USN, is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a former Navy SEAL, and author of several fitness books including The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness, The Special Ops Workout, Maximum Fitness, and The S.W.A.T. Workout. Stew has trained thousands of students for Navy SEAL, Special Forces, SWAT, FBI, ERT, and many other military, law enforcement, and fire fighter professions. He is currently the Special Ops Team Coach at the US Naval Academy that prepares future candidates for SEAL, EOD, and MARSOC training and runs a non-profit called Heroes of Tomorrow where he trains people seeking tactical professions for free.

WATCH this video to learn how to properly do a dumbbell bent-over row to strengthen and define your back muscles from the authors of The Body Sculpting Bible for Men and The Body Sculpting Bible for Women, Hugo Rivera and James Villepigue.

 

 

 

 

HUGO RIVERA is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, engineer and international best selling fitness author with over 20 years of bodybuilding experience. He is also the New York Times About.com Guide to Bodybuilding and continues to educate others on how to use bodybuilding in order to achieve their goals. Hugo is the author of Hardgainers’ Bodybuilding Handbook as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women.

JAMES VILLEPIGUE is a bestselling fitness author of 23 books and has over 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. as a nationally certified personal trainer with National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA), with their prestigious Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) credential, The American Council on Exercise and The International Sports Science Association. He has received degrees from Hofstra University, the New York College of Health Professions, and the Institute for Professional Empowerment Coaching. He now lives in East North Port, New York. He is the author of Mind Over Muscle as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women and Combat Fat for Kids.

Four Gentle Yoga Moves for Back Pain

Is back pain getting to you? Give yoga a try!

Strong and flexible muscles boost the strength of the bones they surround and offer them added protection. Yoga provides a way to strengthen muscles and build flexibility in the back and abdominal muscles that support the spine. Strengthening your muscles also helps improve your posture. Good posture relieves some of the pressure off the spine and reduces back pain. Not only does yoga help you strengthen back muscles, it helps to stretch those muscles gradually. Proper stretching of the muscles is important, especially for lower back pain sufferers, because it decreases the stress placed on the lower back.

The book Gentle Yoga for Back Pain shows how to incorporate low-impact yoga moves – complete with suggested modifications to meet your own needs and abilities – into your exercise routine so you can safely and effectively reap the benefits of yoga.

Try these four yoga moves from Gentle Yoga for Back Pain:

1. Warrior II

Start with your feet together. Take a wide-legged stance and, on the exhale, turn your left foot out 90 degrees, keeping your hips and shoulders facing forward. On the exhale, bend your left knee over your ankle. Your weight should be on the outside of your right foot as you pull up in your inner right thigh. Your focal point will be at the fingertips of your left hand. Hold for five breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Modification: For the chair variation, sit on a chair and come to a straddle position. Bend your left knee and turn your left foot out 90 degrees. Extend your right leg out straight. On the inhale, raise your arms up and hold for five breaths. Repeat on right side.

2. Reverse Warrior

Start in Warrior II pose, facing to the left (your legs will not move throughout this sequence). Position your arms in a “T” position. On the inhale, drop your right hand down to your right leg as you raise your left arm straight up. Exhale and bend your left arm over your head as you bend your torso back, stretching the left side of your body up and back. Hold for five breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Modification: For the chair variation, start by sitting on a chair. Straddle the chair, bending your left knee as you turn your left foot out 90 degrees. Extend your right leg out straight and then follow the arm directions. Repeat on the right side.

3. Bridge

Start on your back with your knees bent. Bring your heels as close to your buttocks as possible. On the inhale, raise your hips up, keeping your legs and feet parallel (you may place a block at a height that is comfortable for you and position it as the top of your buttocks, or use your hands to help hold your body up.)

Work up to five full breaths. Once this becomes easy, you can try bringing your hands together under your body and interlock your fingers with your arms straight and lower your chin to your chest.

Modification: If you are unable to lift your hips all the way, you can lift them halfway or as far as is comfortable for you.

4. Sphinx

Lie on your stomach and bring your forehead to the floor. With your legs and feet together, bring your arms up and position your elbows under your shoulders, keeping your forearms stretched out in front of your torso. On the inhale, rise up on to your elbows and hold for five breaths or more. Come down, take a breath or two, and then rise back up for another five breaths.

Note: As always, use caution and be sure to listen to your body– if the pose becomes to difficult, stop or switch to a more gentle variation.

 

Reprinted with permission from Gentle Yoga for Back Pain ISBN: 978-1-57826-390-5, $12.50 (paperback). New from Hatherleigh Press. Distributed by Random House.