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How To Not Destroy Your Knees By The Time You Are 40

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How To Not Destroy Your Knees By The Time You Are 40
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We are a society of people that love simple solutions – but then at same time we tend to over-complicate things when it comes to health care. Too many of us have come to accept age to be synonymous with pain and this is absolutely false. Knee pain is a product of improper movement which causes your joints to ‘grind’ and over time this will lead to major dysfunction.

I am not here to sell snake oil to rub on your knees and fix all your problems. The solution is much more honest and simple than that. We need to get our knees ‘tracking’ properly and then movement becomes therapeutic instead of degenerative.

I have created a 7 part ‘Self-Care for the Knees’ video series with detailed description and easy to follow steps to optimal knee health!

It all comes back to the holy grail of self-care exercises – the functional deep squat. This video will help prepare your legs for a functional and therapeutic squat which will get you moving progressively better every single day.

Be sure to check out the ‘Self-Care for the Knees’ series for more great information!

Ok, here’s the video:

How To Save Your Spine When Lifting

How To Save Your Spine When Lifting
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How many of us have ever been taught how to lift properly – making risk of injury obsolete? It is so incredibly crucial that we all understand this from a very young age and for some reason, it is not taught in school! Not only will it protect your back but it will make you a healthier person over-all. Don’t underestimate how seriously you can injure your back with bad lifting.

A few key factors to lifting functionally and therapeutically include:
1) Feet face forward, knees track on top or wide of your feet and knees never pass in front of your toes.
2) Engage your butt and reach it backward as you come down into a squat position.
3) Maintain a long neutral spine (remember – it’s not a hinge joint!) during the whole entire movement and you will be much safer during the lift.
4) The lifting should be done with the big, powerful muscles of the legs as the back muscles were never designed for it!

This video was specifically made to answer a question for a subscriber in Colorado with a back injury on how to lift without hurting herself worse. If you have any questions on functional movement or self-care, do ask and I will make a video for you or point you to one I have already made for your problem! Enjoy.

Note – this website is not medical advice. It’s advisable to consult with a physician before commencing a new exercise regime. Lift safely and know your limits.

Ok, here’s the video:

How To Get Super Defined Functional Abs (FREE Video Tutorial)

How To Get Super Defined Functional Abs
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The abs, short for abdominal muscles, are among the most coveted aspects of a desirable physique. In a world with skyrocketing obesity, lean, toned, carved abs are seen as an essential part of “the look”. However, our desire for image does not always steer us in the right direction. There are good and bad ways to train.

Our culture now has a plethora of fancy ab machines and over priced gimmicks to get you “shredded” fast. However, these may not actually be exercising the body in the way it is meant to be worked and may even be harmful. Isolation exercises which develop the abs without developing the entire core can lead to an imbalance. Highly trained abs without equal training of the other muscles in the core can lead to impaired posture.

Have you ever noticed that you can often identify the type of exercise or discipline someone is involved in by their musculature? You can tell a swimmer from a cyclist, skater, gymnast, dancer or runner – in addition to being able to discern a noticeable physique-type of someone who works on gym machines all the time. At first glance the size of the “gym rat” muscles may look impressive, but it can also be an ungainly, somewhat unnatural look (depending on the quality of their regimen). There’s a reason for this – and a reason why the physique of the dancer is often considered more appealing overall.

The most important question is this; “Will crunching forward a million times make me better at life?” In general, we are already stuck in a flexed forward position and often times are making these patterns worse by doing the same old ab workouts.

The strength, stability and flexibility of the core is critical not only to numerous athletic activities, but to overall health. The muscles of the midsection not only support the limbs but also give support to the internal organs, ideally assisting them to be in their optimal position.

We need to look at our mid-section as a stabilizer for our arms and legs to gain leverage from. This goes far deeper than just the “abs”. We must find optimal alignment first and only then begin strengthening the system from stable positions which in turn creates the fit look we are all seeking. We need to be careful to not make matters worse during training.

Aaron Alexander has created an AWESOME seven part free video tutorial series for a complete training system for the abs. Watch the videos and follow this guide for well supported and toned abs (and back muscles) while developing a functional and pain free mid-section or core:

How to Fix Hunched Forward Shoulders

How to Fix Hunched Forward Shoulders
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Does this image strike a chord? If you spend your day doing something like this, you are setting yourself up for problems and pain later on. You’ll also end up with that curved back/drooping neck look that is not sexy…. and never will be.

It’s a curious predicament we find ourselves in. We were not really built for the modern world the way it is currently: We are still running the ‘hardware” of the hunter-gatherer, but are now in the age of the computer. Instead of running the plains in search of food, our lives are predominately spent with our hands doing something in front of us, our heads leaning forwards (straining our neck muscles) and our shoulders rolled in and forwards. Our bodies gradually adjust their shape to what we do all day…

As we have spoken about before, we need to find a balance in everything we do. The shoulder girdle is a the most mobile joint in the whole body. This is great for handstands but potentially dangerous if we do not put the time into making sure our shoulders are properly stabilized.

The first step is of course to fix our posture at the computer. Laptops are causing a ton of neck and shoulder problems because the screen is way too low down, being attached to the keyboard. Anatomically speaking, the laptop is a terrible idea. The best fix is to get a separate mouse and keyboard and then put a box or something under the laptop so that the top of the screen is at eye height. Your back should be straight and your head level when you are working at the computer.

Once you have established good ergonomics at work, then there is the whole topic of correcting your posture with exercises, which involves stretching in a manner that is effectively the opposite of the hunched position. Trainer Aaron Alexander shows us a great technique in the video.

Standard gym workout techniques might seem like a good thing but are in some cases poorly thought out. Think about the exercises most people do in the gym after spending a day of rolling their shoulders forward. Desiring a chiseled physique, people will spend more time on the “glamour muscles” such as chest and biceps. These are the muscles that we generally need to be lengthening so the shoulders can sit back where they are strong and stable.

Check out the video and use this reversing technique after you do anything that involves rolling your shoulders forward. The goal of this technique is to re-stabilize the joint. The next step after that is choosing exercises that re-activate the muscles in the back of the shoulders. More on that in later posts.

Ok, here’s the video:

How To Do A Functional Pushup

You are working hard doing your push-ups, aren’t you? 😉 But are you making things worse with the way you are doing them? You could be creating imbalance which can lead to injury down the road. It’s not so obvious as your shoulders immediately being in pain. It goes a bit deeper than that….

By training your shoulders into a compromised unbalanced position, it will cause stress in the whole body, especially the neck/back/shoulder complex. Everything’s connected – right? Shoulders and head pushed forward translate into the muscles in the back over-engaging all day long to stabilize your imbalance…

Translation: Your neck and back are in pain because they are chronically strained to support your imbalanced shoulders which you’ve worked so hard for with your 50 misaligned daily push-ups.. Sounds counter-productive, right? Watch the video to learn more.

How To Do A Functional Pushup
Image – (with permission) Align Therapy