View this post on Instagram
For most us, our bodies will get stiffer with time. It’s our responsibility to do something about it. Anyone can improve flexibility but it requires daily practice. It doesn’t have to take up too much time. Today I demonstrate a short 3-5 minute stretching routine that I do EVERY SINGLE MORNING upon waking. I literally drink a full pint glass of water then immediately get down on the ground and perform a few stretches. I’ve done this for years. It’s short and sweet. I might not be the most flexible person in existence but I’m much better off now had I ignored stretching altogether like so many do. Watch the entire video. I have a few useful tips scattered in it. Please ask me any questions. I want to inspire you to take better care of your health. If you’re not very flexible, you may be missing out on more than you’d ever realize. It may also increase the chances of sustaining a serious injury. You can do something about it. Start today. #morningflow #morningrituals #dailystretching #fiveminuteflow #yogaflow #austinpersonaltrainer #austinpersonaltraining #austinpersonaltrainers #blueskystrongbox
View this post on Instagram
The body has an amazing ability to heal…if/when we let it. Ultimately, the responsibility rests in our own hands. There is an abundance of information out there dedicated to improving health. Much of it is free. I like books. I own many. These are a few that I own that have helped my own movement and body work. Knowledge is key. I was told a long time ago: ask better questions and you’ll find better answers. When it comes to health and quality of life, being lazy should never be an option. Seek help when needed. #bssbbooks #austinpersonaltrainer #austinpersonaltraining #blueskystrongbox
View this post on Instagram
FLEXIBILITY is this week’s theme. It should always be a “theme”. Watch the video from my last post. This post contains a few “stretches” I would recommend to most healthy individuals. If you already have pain or experience pain during any of these movements, make sure you see a qualified health professional soon. When doing any of these movements above, it’s very important to RELAX INTO the stretch. Never force a stretch. That’s exactly how to hurt yourself. Instead, start slowly and breathe INTO the stretch. If you cannot breathe reasonably well in any particular stretch, you’ve probably gone too far. Back off. Begin again. Breathe slowly in through the nose and out through pursed lips. How long should you hold? I’d recommend starting with a range 5-20 slow breathes. STRETCHES: 1) Child’s Pose 2) Rock Back Baby 3) Cat 4) Down Dog 5) Spider-Man Reach 6) Carlton’s Super-Stretch part one 7) Carlton’s Super-Stretch part two 8) Cossack Squat 9) Hang *Call these whatever you like. Names mean nothing. It’s the movement, the action that matters most. #bssbbooks #blueskystrongbox #stretching #flexibility #mobility #mobilityfirst
View this post on Instagram
Some people are naturally flexible. This basically means they did a good job of NOT losing the flexibility they were born with. However, most of us are not in that boat. Because of a variety of factors (sitting, inactivity, injuries, etc) most of have lost quite a bit of our “natural” flexibility every year as time has moved forward. With that said, it’s not limited to just the mature. I regularly see young folks in the teens, 20’s and 30’s with poor flexibility. Obviously, this is an area that most of us should give more attention. There is no one stretch or technique that will fix everything for everyone. We are each unique. Some people think “I should try Yoga”. It might not be a bad idea. Some think, “maybe a good massage might help”. That’s also a great idea. But even Yoga and a great massage still might not fix everything. Becoming more flexible, increasing mobility and range of motion may require many approaches. The first step is to find what area(s) need immediate attention. We call this “finding the MOST limiting factor(s)”. A great tool to use is a screening test. The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is a great screening test that many Fitness Professionals prefer to use. Regardless, find a way to assess where you currently are. For many, backs and shoulders feel stiff. For others, it’s more in the hips and legs. Sometimes everything is a bit of a mess. Regardless, most of us will have at least one major area that needs some TLC. It’s ok. It happens. Do something about it. Today, I’m demonstrating a simple lower-body stretch, typically called a Cossack Squat. Try it out. Go slow. Be very careful! This is just a quick example of a little something you could do daily to help get some Stretching into your life. Increasing flexibility take does time. Start slow and practice regularly. The phrase that really helps the most with my mindset needed while stretching is “relax into stretch”. Lastly, count your breathes not the seconds, doing your best to breathe comfortably during all stretching. Holding your breath is the last thing you wanna do when stretching. #bssbbooks #blueskystrongbox #stretchingexercises #flexibilitytraining #mobilitytraining
View this post on Instagram
Today, try hanging (safely) from something sturdy and stable. Count how long you can hold. It’s absolutely ok if you can’t manage this just yet. Be patient. In time, you may find it possible. See if you can find and practice an easier version till you get stronger. Also, keep in mind that any extra weight will make this more difficult. For those that can already do a pull-up, great, you might try adding in “breathing” pauses at the top (or bottom) to change things up. The point of all this is to get some regular hang-time in each week, if not daily. The body needs to expand. This is an easy way to accomplish this. Hanging lengthens the spine and gets our arms overhead, something most of us don’t do often enough. It may sound crazy but most folks find this strangely addictive once the habit is formed. My body has actually learned to crave stretching in this manner. It’s also worth noting that the “big fitness 3” (Flexibility, Strength & Stamina) can all be improved if appropriate variations are applied. Practice. Enjoy. #bssbbooks #blueskystrongbox
View this post on Instagram
I appreciate simple things. I also appreciate that simple and easy are not the same thing. They say you can tell a lot about someone by the shoes they wear and how they walk. I can do the same watching someone crawl. A very simple thing to try (but may prove to be more difficult for some) is to walk/crawl down to the ground and come back up to standing using mostly your upper body and whatever flexibility you currently have. Try to do several in a row if you want. (After years working as a fitness professional, I can honestly say that, as easy as this may be for regular exercisers, it’s often quite difficult for those that are sedentary.) Did it make you breathe heavy? Was it challenging to move the weight of your body around? Did you feel tight in a few areas? Perfect. This would be a great place for you to start exploring movement with your body. Yes, it also burns calories too. Just make sure nothing hurts when you do it. It is ok if it doesn’t look perfect. The point is to begin getting more comfortable being uncomfortable. I recommend practicing this daily. You don’t need to get all sweaty while doing it. Not yet anyway. For now, don’t even worry about counting any reps if you don’t want to. I would rather you put all of your energy toward simply moving better. You’ll know you’ve made progress when it feels easier to do AND begins to look more and more graceful over time. You can always upgrade to BEAST MODE later on if or when things drastically improve. But for now, master the fundamentals. They are never to be overlooked. #bssbbooks #blueskystrongbox
New Weekly Health & Fitness Video Tipz! This week I demonstrate and describe a short and simple exercise routine that can be done anywhere by most anyone, with very little equipment. Don’t be put off by the fact that it might only take 10 minutes to do the entire workout. Don’t be put off by the fact there are only 3 exercises. I’m not going to go into great detail on this today, but just know that exercise need not be long or include lots of exercises to be effective. All 3 of these exercises will help improve the three big areas that constantly need our attention: Stretching, Strength & Stamina. Do you need to lose body fat? Then focus most of your precious energy on eating better and food prep, sleeping well and managing your stress. Most of us don’t need to exercise hours on end. But yes, we should move every day and eventually work towards 2-3 days of simple strength training each week. There will be much more on all of this in the coming year. In the meanwhile, get to work. Ask for help if you need it. You are in control.January 9, 2017
New Health & Fitness Tipz! Today i talk about “Squatting”. Most people hear that and think: an exercise. But it’s much more than that. Even if you never plan to “workout” again, you still should be able to squat down without it looking like total dogsh*t. The point is, you need to be able to safely squat down fairly low till the day you die. But this requires some knowledge and will take some practice. Today’s video is not about trying to teach anyone how to squat correctly(that would be a much longer video), but more for ideas on where to begin. Start today. Learn to squat again. If you are not an “exerciser” then try getting down and hanging out in the bottom part of the squat, much like a daily stretch. If you have seen the light and do practice movement on a regular basis, include squats in every workout, either as part of your warmup or as a main dish. The point is to move better and squatting is a fundamental part of that huge equation. Enjoy.March 25, 2015
Ideas for a better warmup:
THE “Old” WARMUP (5-15min): Most people just hop on a treadmill or stationary bike for anywhere from 5-20 minutes to “warmup”. This works but it’s most likely not as effective as other options. Guys who plan on lifting “heavy” weights often ONLY warmup by doing light warmup-sets of their chosen exercise(s) for the day. Again, this also works but considering the fact that most of us know we need more stretching in our lives, including at least a few simple stretches in the warmup might be more optimal. Often guys are also scared to stretch before they lift because, “rumor has it”, you won’t get as big and strong. While it may be true that doing a marathon stretching session before lifting might be counterproductive for some, including other “types” of stretching has proven to actually increase strength & performance when done correctly. Lastly, some folks do their “cardio” first before lifting “weights”, i would assume in hopes of losing some unwanted body fat. Again, this is probably not the best idea UNLESS you are primarily seeking to increase your endurance for a specific event, competition or occupation. But for everyone else, i don’t recommend it. Ever, really. Normally, too much “cardio” before “lifting weights” interferes with… you guessed it, the weights. (And just to clarify, “weights”, “lifting”, “lifting weights” “strength machines”, “strength training”, “resistance training”, “body weight training”, “calisthenics”, “hard yoga”, “hard pilates”, etc are ALL basically the same thing!) “The primary purpose of resistance training is to get stronger, and for some, also build muscle. Both these things can also indirectly aid with fat loss. But keep in mind, getting stronger and building muscle both require INTENSITY to get the desired results. So don’t empty your fuel tank too early by doing too much in the warmup. If your goal is fat-loss, getting stronger or packing on more muscle, try including a short, intense 10-minute “interval session” after “weights” (aka “a finisher”). I’d also recommend doing your longer “cardio” workouts or group classes on another day, all by themselves, if you have the time available.
THE “New” WARMUP (5-10) So here we go. Here are some new things to try as your “warmup”. First and foremost, correct breathing is essential and often overlooked. This means breathing deeply from your diaphragm, through your nose. Keep this in mind as you warmup and proceed to the rest of your workout. I often tell people to do all movements at a pace that allows you sync your breathing with each repeat of that movement. Start your warmup by massaging some of the major muscles regions (back, legs, hips, calves) with a Foam Roller. (This is what most professional athletes do.)Most gyms have them. Walmart, Target, Amazon, etc all sell them for $30 or less). Then do a few safe Dynamic Stretches (aka “moving stretches”). Google this. Then perform a few easy body-weight warmup movements, focusing on stabilizing your spine and moving your many joints about (especially the hip & arm sockets). To summarize, you could very quickly Foam Roll 2-3 major areas of your body, do 2-3 full body stretches and 2-3 major body-weight movements (easy pushups, easy pulling & easy squatting), and be done in less than 10 minutes. You could even include 1-2 “core” exercises near the end or even devote some of the time to practice a new exercise (with no weight or a light weight) that maybe needs some practice. If you really want to hit everything, perform all the primitive movement patterns every time you warmup. (Check out any of Mark Verstegen’s Books). Research all this stuff! Educate yourself. It’s free. Keep things simple. Many things could work. Just keep this in mind, the purpose of a “warmup” is to get you prepared/ramped-up for the harder work ahead, not beat you done prematurely. The key is always to maximize your time, this should include not wasting any precious time doing useless sh*t during a warmup. You may want extend your warmup longer if you are sore or dealing with an injury, have specific “corrective exercises” you know you need to include, it’s really cold outside or you just woke up. We all know we need to stretch more, etc. Include these type things in your warmup and you can always get a lot done in each session, regardless of time. Density is the key.
p.s. Keep things simple. Always. I know i mentioned a lot of things, and that was just the silly warmup. lol. The reality is that the details of exercise and programming can easily start to bog any mind down. So don’t let it. Start by including just one new thing next time your workout. Build on that over time. The point is to move more, move better. There will probably never be a “perfect” way. And while some will waste time searching tirelessly for that, you should be out there getting work done. Time is of the essence. Ask for help if you need it. Work hard. Play hard. Enjoy.