I have to admit that I see people using the foam rollers and other self massage techniques more than ever before, but it still surprises me how many people still don't know the benefits.

 

Whether it's new clients or the regular gym members that consult me on how to get out of pain, I have to tell you self-massage has got to be one of the most underrated "get out of pain and speed healing" techniques I know.

 

It doesn't matter if you spend your day sitting at a desk, are a weekend warrior with some nagging aches and pains, or a competitive athlete looking to decrease soreness and improve performance, self-myofascial release (self-massage) works.

 

As the old saying goes, “sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees”?  This morning I was reminded of just “how deep in the trees” I am.


I was approached by a woman that I see regularly at the gym who asked me how to get rid of her knee pain she's had for the past 4 weeks.  She stated that she enjoyed Spinning, long bike rides on the weekends, but spend most of her day at her desk at work. In addition, after sitting for long periods of time, standing up is quite painful, though the pain decreases after moving around for a bit. I asked had she had any falls or other impact to her knee and she stated, "No".

 

She also said that she had begun stretching, but that only made a minor difference in the pain. It’s gotten to the point now where she is unable to enjoy her usual cycling and it's beginning to make her depressed.

 

I asked, “Do you do any self-myofascial release or self-massage”?  She said, “What’s that”?  I then proceeded to demonstrate some techniques using my Energy F/X Tube.

 

While I was demonstrating the techniques it hit me...

 

I take for granted that many people don’t know about the benefits of self-myofascial release.  In a nutshell, self-myofascial release is a type of self-massage using a hard roller, tube or ball.  It helps break up scar tissue and increases blood flow to the affected area.  Not to mention it can increase your range of motion and improve performance.

Many weekend warriors and sedentary people end up feeling stiff and hurting, and mistakenly believe there is something wrong with their joints that might require surgery.  In fact, most of the time all they need to do is regular self-myofascial release.

 

Before you give up hope and think the only alternative to being in pain is surgery, check out the videos below where I demonstrate how to use self-myofascial release techniques to get out of pain.  It's simple to do, and literally doesn't take more than a few minutes a day.  







 

 

As always, let me know how these techniques worked for you.  And if you need to buy the Energy F/X tube, go to http://energyfxfitness.com/_product_78512/Energy_FX_Tube to order it. 

Jan
31
2012
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I'm not sure how many of you get a chance to read Competitor Magazine, but I just wanted to make a quick post to share an article I did for them in December of 2011.

 

If you spend your day at a desk, here's a great reminder on how to get out of pain, or to keep yourself from having pain.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

And of course if you're interested in reading the original article --

 

The 7 Most Important Stretches If You Spend Your Day At A Desk

 

What you focus on is what you create.  That being said, be aware of challenges, but focus on the success!

It's scary even for me to read.  Especially when I think about the busy schedules everyone has, but the following two links are by far 2 of the most important things you need to consider this year!

 

Yes, I realize that sounds rather sensationalized, but believe me when I tell you the information shared in the following two links will indeed get you thinking about your life differently.

 

The first one I just received -- literally.  And it impacted so much that I raced home to send this blog post out to you right away!

 

23 1/2 Hours by Dr. Mike Evans

 

or just watch the video below.

 



 

The next link is to a post I wrote a little while back that shares some pretty startling research on how sitting for over 3 hours at a time can actually decrease you life span.  Yes, I do realize it's hard to believe, but it is actually backed with some interesting research.  Either way you look at it, it should move you into action.

 

Sitting For Long Periods Can Kill You

 

No matter how you look at, both of these pieces really serve as great reminders that no matter how wonderful technology is, you still have to make time to take care of your body.  And that means, whether it's getting out of pain, getting back to enjoying your favorite activity, or wanting to lose a few of those unwanted pounds, you have to get up, get out and move that body!

 

Have a day that makes you glad to be alive!

With the New Year upon us, so many people are making an effort to get into better shape.  And that's a good thing for sure.

 

For some that means just finally getting off the couch and doing something -- anything to get the body moving.  For others it means joining a gym, a group fitness class, a yoga studio, or some other structured group.

 

But beware, just joining a group doesn't always mean you will get fit, sometimes it can mean you'll open yourself up to getting hurt.

 

Check this out!

 

How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body

 

Now at first glance you might think I'm advocating that Yoga is bad!

 

WRONG!

 

If you read the article carefully you'll find in many cases you could replace the references and word "yoga" with group exercise, weightlifting, or any host of other fitness choices.

 

Not all instruction is good instruction.  And just because an instructor is popular doesn't necessarily mean that they are good.

 

There is a difference!

 

So the the next time you go shopping for a way to get in shape be sure of 3 things:

 

1.)  Start off slow regardless of your chosen interest; at a level you're capable of doing!

 

2.)  Don't confuse popular with good. Make sure the instructor caters the class to the abilities of the various students. Not the other way around.

 

3.)  No matter what you choose, remember your body needs a bit of variety -- stretching, resistance exercise, some type of challenging cardio, and yes, some time to recuperate.

 

And as the old saying goes, Those that don't make time for health will eventually have to make time for illness.

 

 

Choose wisely and Have Some Fun!

Nov
05
2010
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Last month I shared with you some exercises to help you fight SB Syndrome.  And if you've been practicing/using them regularly you know how well they work.

This month I want to share some exercises for the core.  I know many people, some of them even trainers, believe that the elusive 6-pack is all about how many crunches you do each week.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  While doing abdominal exercises will indeed tone the midsection, nutrition is the larger key in creating that all important 6-pack that so many people desire.  However, now here's the kicker, just because you have a 6-pack, doesn't mean that you have a strong core or that your abs work effectively.

The bottom line is that you have to do both: core/ab exercises as well as a proper nutrition program in order to get that "ripped" midsection look.  And you know me, it's not just about the vanity aspect of having a nice set of abs.  There is an all important functional aspect as well.  How well your core functions (as well as your glutes if you'll remember last months posts) often determines whether or not you'll have back pain. Want to get rid of back pain or just make sure you don't ever have to experience it, try the movements I'll share with you each Friday this month and I can almost guarantee you won't have to worry about pain in your lower back.

Here's the first movement I'd like to share to help you get your core in shape and looking good.

If you'll remember last week I shared with you 7 of The Most Important Stretches if you spend your day at a desk.  Well as promised here's the other half of the equation.  Stretching is only half of the solution to getting out of pain.  The other half is Massage. And if you can't get to a massage therapist as often as you'd like, self-massage is the next best thing.  It provides many of the same benefits, loosening tight muscles and breaking up scar tissue that accumulates from either working out or from poor posture for long periods of time (think sitting over a desk working).

Truth be known, it only takes 7 minutes to feel the relief of self-massage.  But if you really want to get all of the "bugs" out, and really break-up that tight tissue, try 15-30 minutes of the techniques I demonstrate in the videos below.  Whether it's 7 minutes, or 15-30 minutes, it's a small price to pay to get out of pain and stay that way.  And for those of you that are really serious about kicking pain out on it's ear, do your self-massage followed by your stretching and watch how fast you get results.

And if you don't have your own tube, please visit my store and pick up your Energy F/X Tube. I promise it will last much longer than you're average tube or roller. I use my Energy F/X Tube 8-10 hours a day, 6 days a week with clients and it's still going strong over 1yr later!






After last Friday's post I received quite a few emails regarding which were the most important stretches. "I don't have time to do them all Kurt, c'mon."  So I thought it might be a good idea if I broke the stretches down into groups so that you can use them more effectively.

By and large most of my clientele spend the majority of their day sitting at a desk.  They tell me that they have few if any opportunities to get up from their desk for any length of time. And if they do, it's usually to go to a meeting where they spend anywhere from 2-4hrs sitting again. 

As all of you know, who have been following my posts, sitting for long periods of time has significant consequences to your body.  Especially your lower back, knees and sometimes wrists (depending how much time you spend on the computer).  So let's get rid of that pain and discomfort.

Below I have listed the 7 most important stretches if you're a person who is stuck at a desk for most of the day.

I would encourage you to do these stretches a minimum of 1x/day. They will take you approximately 15-30 minutes to do.  Not much time to invest to get out of pain.  Think about it for a second.  You spend 4-8 hours sitting.  I'm just asking for 30 minutes a day to get you out of pain, and help you decrease your stress level. Sounds like a good investment to me.

 This is Stretch#1.

Position your body with your right leg bent at a 45 degree angle. Straighten your back leg with the toe facing the floor. Position your upper body so that your knee is in line with your sternum (chest bone). Hips should be parallel to the floor.  You should feel no pain in the knee. If you do stop immediately. This pose is also know as Pigeon.

Hold position for 7 breaths.
 

This is Stretch #2.


Begin on your knees, with your knees out wide, resting on forearms. Then straighten one leg out to the side. Be sure that the toe of the straight leg is in line with the knee of the kneeling leg. If possible, reach out to touch toe of straight leg with same side hand.


Repeat movement 3 times on both sides.


 This is Stretch #3.

With your calves against the supporting surface take a medium to large step forward. Place one foot, shoe strings down, on the stable support surface behind you. Kneeling down bring the back leg knee to the floor. Now if you're just beginning you may need to place a pillow under your knee for cushion and to decrease the intensity of the stretch. Be sure that the front leg knee is bent at a 90 degree angle and the shin is perpendicular to the floor.

Hold for 5-7 breaths. Repeat on other side.



This is Stretch#4.

Begin with your head, forearms, shoulder blades, and butt against the wall.  Feet should be 6-8" away from wall. Make sure there is minimal space between your lower back and wall.
 


Ending position for Stretch #4.

Extend your arms up and out into a 'Y' position. Be sure to keep forearms and hands in contact with the wall at all times.

Repeat movement 7-10 times.


This is Stretch #5.

Taking a lunge position halfway through a doorway, use this inverted 'V', place your hands on a door frame and gently lean forward until a stretch is felt in the shoulder, chest and/or arms. Make sure your weight is evenly balanced between the front and back leg.

Hold this position for 5-7 seconds.  Repeat 2-3 times.


This is Stretch #6.


Stand straight and clasp your hands behind your back.



Ending position Stretch #6.

Tuck hips underneath you (by flexing your butt) and tighten your stomach, move clapsed hands towards floor, while pulling shoulders back and lifting chest. This should create erect posture. Be sure not to arch lower back.

Hold for 5-7 breaths. Repeat 3-5 times.


This is Stretch#7 (1/3).
This stretch is often called Child's Pose. From a kneeling position, toes pointed straight back, sit backwards so that you are sitting on the heels of your shoes. Reach forward with both arms, far enough to feel a stretch in the lower back and shoulders.

Hold for 7-10 seconds
 


Stretch #7 (2/3)

Keeping your legs where they are at, engage your abs and move both arms to the right until a stretch is felt on the left side of the body. Think of making your body into a half circle. Be sure to remain seated on your heels.


Hold for 7-10 seconds.



Stretch #7 (3/3).

Now do the same process you did for the above picture for the left side.

Hold for 7-10 seconds.

Well, there you go.  The 7 most important stretches for those of you who spend way too many hours seated at your desk.  These quick 7 should get you out pain and help you stay that way. 

As always let me know what you think.