You Should Do This: Pallof Press

Core, Core, Core, You need it, preferably LOTS of it. But just having ABZZZ isn't enough. You need a core that actually works. A core that STOPS, instead of creates or allows movement through the lumbar spine. The "core" must create,  as Dr. Stu McGill puts it, "Super Stiffness" *this in NOT an ED commercial...But his lab did do this study. So sit-ups, crunches, Russian twists, these things, all out. And "Anti- Core", exercises that "BRACE" the spine against movement is all in.... Ribcage Down, Hips in Neutral: The Cylinder Position Here's the short: Use your "core" to create a stable platform not your lower back. Jamming your L4, L5 and … [Read more...]

You Should Do This: Single Leg Deadlift with the Angled Barbell

Just About Everyone Should Deadlift.  I mean, they're pretty much the epitome of a "functional" exercise. Like, ya kinda gotta pick stuff up off the ground. But deadlifts with the straight bar can be the DEVIL. Yes, IF you do them with correct technique you'll be ok. IF you have proper: Mobility Bracing Muscle activation Strength TECHNIQUE You'll be ok. But what happens when you don't have perfect technique, like when you're not qualified to do the lift or fatigue sets in? Truth is, there is a HIGH possibility of: Bad SH@T Happening And unlike some other lifts, when Bad Sh@t Happens in the straight bar deadlift there typically … [Read more...]

You Should Do this: Kettlebell Figure 8

These are Kinda BRUTAL Like they can get really hard, really fast... Hard Where?  Hard All Over. This exercise was popular for a minute a few years ago, but you don't hear about it much anymore. I guess cause it's kinda F-ing hard, takes your breath away, makes your whole body burn and you sweat instantly. Why Do Kettlebell Figure 8's? Cause they hit EVERYTHING at once. Literally: Core (all of it) Upper Back Shoulders Quads Hamstrings Glutes They all get hit pretty hard. Why Else (the Real, Real Reason I use them): The Kettlebell Figure 8 (when done correctly ie. not all slop city) forces you to CONTROL movement, in an ATHLETIC … [Read more...]

You Should Do This: Double Kettlebell Racked Front Squat

Q: Why do Double Kettlebell Racked Front Squats? A: Cause you hate yourself.... Personal Opinion: These are the hardest F-ing Skwaats in the world. And they might be the best. This is paraphrased: These FORCE you to "lock down" the core in a way that no other squat does. And in a world full of duck butt lumbar hyperextension/ overarching and butt wink these are one of the best instant remedies for BOTH of those. Why? Cause to handle the bells well you MUST stay in a perfect NEUTRAL spinal position which means the core is 100% activated and acting as a corset... You know, the way the core is meant to work? Because you're spine and pelvis are … [Read more...]

You Should Do This: Superman Mobility

There are some near universal truths when I get a new client: 1: They lack Thoracic Mobility/ scapula control 2: They lack glute activation/ strength 3: They create motion from the lumbar spine, and consequently have overactive spinal errectors (low back muscles) I would guesstimate that I see all three of these in a new client 90% of the time (cause, they are somewhat interrelated) and at least 2 of the three get hit about 95% of the time. And it all goes back to our flexed forward, low amplitude/ low velocity world. If you're always sitting, hunched over a screen, in a box, or in front of a box, you're probably not: Sitting up straight, shoulders in … [Read more...]

Pressing Through Your Heel Is NOT Flexing Your Ankle…

Can you?  "Feel Your Heels" And I don't mean "do you logically realize that you do, in fact, have a body part (the calcaneous) that is in the lay mans terms called to as the "heel". But, can you actually "feel" it? Like right now? Feel it, as in, manage not only the pressure on the heel but where the pressure is and maybe even alter the pressure points? And I'm NOT talking about flexing the ankle and pushing off the back edge of the foot. (More on that a bit later) But instead, just feeling and maintaining pressure in the whole heel. I'm willing to bet you can't. I know this because probably 80% of the people I train have trouble doing just … [Read more...]

Why I Love Zerchers and You Should 2

Do you know where Zercher Squats came from? Prison... Supposedly the Zercher squat came about because there are weights, but no racks, in the joint. They needed a way to squat and figured out that they could pick up a lot of weight off the ground in the crooks of the elbow. Zercher Squat. Ed Zercher came up with this squat variety many years ago. In 1966 or 1967, I read about a prisoner by the name of Robert Barnett, who had just pulled a 675 deadlift at 165 BWT. He related that the Zercher squat was responsible for his success. He reported that his best was 395 x 5 reps done off the floor.- Louie Simmons I don't know if that's the truth, but it's a hell of a … [Read more...]

You Should Do This: Band Good Morning with Band Around Knees

Ohh low backs, how you ruin our lives.. Truth is, it's not our low backs fault. It's our fault: we develop faulty movement patterns and then unknowingly do things that exacerbate the issue. In this case it's the ability to hinge at the hips. This is mostly comes down to 2 factors:   #1: Initiating Movement at the Low Back #2: A lack of Glute Activation Once we can initiate movement from the hips and turn the glutes on everything else falls in line and you might actually start loading your hips instead of your low back. But I Already Know How To Hinge: Maybe you don't... It's fairly common for experienced exercises to overreach lower back to create a … [Read more...]