Friday, May 31, 2013

TankGym Kettlebell Rehab Handouts- Snatch (negative phase)

The kettlebell overhead snatch exercise is great for developing and learning how to direct explosive power.
When my athletes and clients have progressed and are proficient at the kettlebell basics (front squat, dead lift, clean & press & swing) I will progress them to the Turkish Get Up (see previous post). As they improve with the TGU I will begin to introduce the kettlebell Snatch exercise. One of the ways I instruct this new pattern is by teaching the negative phase. I have the athlete perform 1 rep sets x 3-5 sets each side and progress them as they improve.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

TankGym Kettlebell Rehab Handouts- Turkish Get Up & Bottoms Up Get Up

The Turkish Get Up is one of my favorite exercises. For patients the TGU offers a functional way to breakdown floor transfers and for personal training clients the TGU is at the foundation of their training. The Turkish Get Up offers a unique way to demonstrate fundamental joint and soft tissue mobility while maintaining stability during postural changes. Once the individual is able to perform the movement competently and safely the Turkish Get Up can also be used as a movement prep activity prior to sport and as a reset after. Demonstrating coordinated motor patterns through a full range before and after activity allows the individual to monitor the effects of their activity on fundamental movement patterns thus giving instant feedback to how sports specificity has the potential to alter fundamental movement patterns.
Once the TGU is mastered the Bottoms Up Get Up will up the ante and challenge the neuromuscular system in new ways. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

You call that a Squat?

Towards Standardization of the Nomenclature of Resistance Training Exercises

Was recently published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:

This article highlights one of the challenges in communicating effectively with athletes and clients.  Physical Therapists, Certified Athletic Trainers, Chiropractors, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists, Sport Coaches, Personal Trainers all have different opinions about what an exercise is called, how the exercise is performed and who the exercise is appropriate for and when.
Pistol Squat

Bottoms Up Windmill 
In clinical practice I spend a good deal of time educating my patients and clients about terminology and how I am applying terminology. Squat, Dead Lift, Clean, Press, Snatch, Turkish Get Up just name every exercise you have ever performed and I bet I can show you another technique of that same exercise and we could disagree all day about it. No wonder the general public does not know who to listen to and trust. 

Kettlebell Swing
 I think the most important thing I educate my clients on is the concept of "Know WHAT you are doing and WHY you are doing it". This applies to individual exercises as well as types of exercise. For example I am often asked :What's the best (exercise, sport, fitness fad......) for (Fill In The Blank)? I answer with a question. What is your end goal? Followed by another. What do you enjoy doing?
Just because I like kettlebell exercises and trail riding on mountain bikes doesn't mean it is the best thing for everyone standing in front of me seeking my guidance.
Hike for One Arm Swing? Snatch, Clean, Press? Not Sure?
In short, Give your patients and clients better answers when they ask you questions about health and fitness, and admit to them when you do not know why the coach at school calls it one thing and you call it something else. Then go find out the answer.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

TankGym Kettlebell Rehab Handouts- Squat Progression

Teaching the fundamental squat can be a challenging task when considering the fact that everyone has their own perception of what the correct performance of a squat is. Wikipedia  identifies a few of the variations of the squat but the most misunderstood (important to clearly define) concept is that the Back Squat specifically is one of the three lifts in the strength sport of power-lifting. More later on the evolution of health and fitness in our North American culture over the last 100 years later.

From a rehabilitation and movement perspective I am referring to the squat from a fundamental movement (neuro-developmental) perspective. As we grow and develop, specifically from birth to 12 months of age, we earn our movement patterns by learning and often failing in a rich sensory environment (great 3 DVD set from Gray Cook of Functional Movment Systems and Erwan Le Corre of MovNat on Exploring Functional Movement available that really expands on this). We learn how to squat at an early age and we learn from the ground up. That is we literally start on the ground and stand up from a deep (but on the ground) squat. In training and rehab many time we need to reverse engineer the squat pattern with a stepwise progression. One technique is to teach the dead-lift with the help of handrails, or a physioball in this example, and progressively lower into a squat posture and return to a standing position. 

The take home message: Provide exercises that challenge your clients to successfully move on the edge of their ability and allow them to earn, or in the words of Gray Cook "own the movement"