Unfortunately, shoulder issues are all too common. Many shoulder issues can be related to poor posture. Therefore, it is important to learn how to “pack your shoulders” in order to protect the shoulders and put them in optimal position. By packing the shoulders it places the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) in the most centered position of the socket. When the shoulder is not properly aligned it causes stress on the muscles and they become shortened. The human body is fantastic at compensating. Despite having misalignment, your body will usually continue to perform what you ask of it. When you learn how to pack the shoulders before an exercise the stabilizers of the shoulder are activated. This allows for better movement patterns. You can pack the shoulders by bringing them down and back. This allows the shoulder blades to rotate down and come closer together. Packing the shoulders is important in just about every upper body exercise. Some examples are pushups, rows, overhead pressing and chest press. You may hear the coaches tell you to keep your shoulders out of your ears and avoid shrugging. This helps reinforce proper position for the shoulders during each exercise. Often times when we perform planks or pushups we are not focused on our shoulders. We are more concerned with just keeping our body up.
The following videos show what it looks like to pack your shoulders during a plank and pushup hold. Remember, if you are allowing your shoulders to roll forward you are causing excessive stress on the muscles. If you have any further questions regarding your shoulder position please do not hesitate to ask one of the coaches
Do You Have a “Bad Back”?
It is not uncommon for people to experience low back pain sometime in their life. However, because the human body is so complex, the problem area is generally not where the pain seems to point. Unless you have disc herniation or fractures it is important to look at other areas of the body to reduce
the low back pain. It is important to understand the function of the low back, or lumbar spine. Physical Therapist, Gray Cook, promotes the Joint By Joint Theory. This theory states that joints alternate between mobility and stability as their primary functions. The lumbar spine primarily serves as a set of stability joints. The thoracic spine (upper back) and the hips are joints that are meant to provide mobility. When these joints are no longer as mobile as they should be then stress is placed on the low back and core stability is compromised. The low back muscles tend to be overactive and overworked because the glutes, hamstrings and abs are not being used efficiently. Often times we are not using our glutes therefore the hamstrings are working overtime. Not only do we need to focus on increasing our mobility in hips and thoracic spine, but we also need to work on core stability. You can’t work on one and not the other or else the problems will persist. Here are some suggestions on exercises you can perform to increase mobility and stability:
-Use foam roller or lacrosse ball on glutes and hamstrings
-Pinwheel or Pigeon Stretch
-Foam roll upper back
If you are experiencing a “Bad Back” talk to the coaches at GFNH so that we can help you determine the best exercise to promote mobility, stability and function.
Ski, Skate, and Shred Seminar
Winter is right around the corner; while this may not be the best way to start this announcement off…it is indeed the case! With that comes all the activities that can make winters in New England awesome! That’s why Coach Adam and Get Fit NH will be offering a 6 week Ski, Skate, and Shred class! This class will be aimed at helping to create balance, and other forms of dynamic strength and stability that are aimed specifically towards winter sports.
The smaller class size will enable use to implore different techniques, exercises, and patterns than in a large group setting. These will be aimed at making you as prepared as possible for winter activities. Some of the things we will be working on will aim to:
Create more balance on your skis.
More control and body differentiation.
Single leg stability and strength.
Active mobility increases in order to remain strong in these positions
Increases in lateral power
Core strength and control
Learning how to absorb and control larger forces
^ An absolute MUST for anyone who skis or boards on anything that is not totally flat terrain, especially those of you who like woods or glade skiing.
I have skied and skated for most of my life and that along with the principles that will be implored in this class will help you to have your strongest season yet. While also helping drastically decrease your risk of injury when you do get outside in the coming months.
Here are the details:
Where: Get Fit NH
When: Saturday mornings from 8-9am
How long: 6 weeks beginning Saturday November 9th
With the exception of the weekend after Thanksgiving
No Class will be held 11/30/19, the final 3 weeks will resume the following Saturday morning (12/7/19).
Who can join: Anyone, Get Fit NH clients and non-clients are both welcome to join us!
Cost: $139 for the entire 6 week class.
(Alternate arrangements can be made if you know ahead of time you will be away for multiple classes)
I am sure by now everyone knows I am a big fan of kettlebells. I have been working with them for many years now and still have a lot to learn with them, which to me is very fun! The first thing I noticed learning to use kettlebells was every teacher I have had always called it kettlebell PRACTICE. It was said a lot over and over again and eventually I had to ask why this is the term used, and this is what I was told:
“Even a kettlebell master needs to practice too keep his skills sharp. Kettlebells practice is a forever skill not set by a timeline.”
This sentence really hit home with me and opened up my mind. To build good kettlebell skills I need to practice, and that practice will always be needed. I took that mentallity to all of my time in the gym, it was in my head when learning a new skill or movement that it was practice. It helped me stay positive when I couldn’t grasp a new movement right away that it is ok because I am just practicing and eventually my practice will build a great skill!
So if you feel down about a new skill or movement just remember we are just practicing and practice takes time!
First thing I want you to do is to think about all of your best and worst days in training, I am sure you can vividly remember both of them! I am sure there are days where you lifted more weight than you ever thought you could and felt on top of the world, and there were probably days where everything felt terrible. These type of days happen here and there but what is usually forgotten is all the days inbetween. I like to call those days the medium days.
Medium days are those days where things may not have been fantastic and you crushed the world, but they also weren't terrible and everything felt wrong. You came in to training, did the work you needed to, moved your body, and went home feel.... well ok. You may not have felt the most motivated that day but still wanted to com train because you know you should, and it was just another training day.
I am a big believer that these medium days are the magic that moves us towards our goals and what we want. I would bet that in all your training days you have had more medium days versus great/terrible days, you just tend to remember the other days more! Everyone talks about needing more motivation to reach their goals when in reality its consistency that will help accomplish them. Consistency will also help you get motivation since you are taking steps in the right direction.
The medium days are the train tracks to your goals, with bad days being little hills that may slow you down a bit and fantastic days being a downhill making you go faster! Either way the consistently going in to those medium days are so important and if it is every a day where you just feel ehh... that's ok! The important thing is you made it, you're moving, and your body is so happy for those medium days!
Keep Making It Happen!
I’m sure you have heard your coaches say, “squeeze those glutes” or “pinch your back” during training. This is to help you focus on the muscles that we want you to contract during a specific workout. The more we can focus mentally on the action we are performing and which muscles groups we are using, the more effective our workouts can be. This can be referred to as mind-muscle connection, or MMC for short.
Research shows that consciously focusing on the target muscle as it works through a full range of motion can help recruit a greater percentage of muscle fibers to “fire up”. Just by doing this alone you can get and feel a better contraction of your muscles. Which in turn can greatly enhance your muscle development during your training. This is why it’s important to try and not let yourself just “go through the motions” of an exercise. Otherwise, we can lose out on maximizing the potential for muscle growth.
To improve your mind-muscle connection, really try to feel your muscles contract every single rep. For example, when doing band hammer curls. As you work through the concentric contraction of the workout, (lifting the band up towards your shoulders), really concentrate on your biceps pulling the band up. Once you get to the isometric contraction, (when your at the top of your motion and you’re holding the band up by the shoulders), really squeeze and flex your biceps and hold that tension for a quick second. Then control the band as you lower it down towards your legs.
You will notice a distinct difference when performing your reps this way. The same can be said for every exercise you perform while working out this way. Feel free to try it out the next time you come in to train. The mind is a powerful thing.