Training Kids

Outlining the Restore/Thrive Approach

Morning Folks! We’re back on the YouTube Channel today. This time we’re talking training philosophy. One of the questions we answer most often is “What sports are your kids doing?”. The simple answer-none. Why? That’s the topic of discussion today. If your kids haven’t mastered these basics, getting them involved in sports may actually hinder their athletic development.

YouTube Update 5/23/17

Helping the whole world run faster and hurt less.

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Morning, Folks! The beat goes on and we’ve got a great foot and ankle exercise up on our YouTube Channel for those of you looking to improve your running, be it for distance, or a field/court sport. This will be especially useful for you if you’ve been told you have flat feet or need an orthotic insert in your shoes to run, train, play without pain. Remember, your arches are not weight bearing surfaces. If they’re flat, they’re weak. And just like flabby arms, it is within your reach to shape them up.  Get after it and have a great day!

More YouTube Goodness

Optimizing your conditioning work on the bike.

Morning Folks! We’ve got another video up on the Restore/Thrive YouTube Channel. This time we’re going after all you head-chasers and back-rounders on your bikes. The example we used today is on an Airdyne bike, but scales across the board-whether you’re Soul Cycling by candlelight, road biking, or conquering the trails, get your body and your mind right with our primer before you head out.

YouTube Update & An Item

Morning folks! It’s Tuesday and that means more YouTube goodness. Click on over to the Restore/Thrive YouTube Channel to check out a quick primer on performance enhancement through a better warm-up.

The extra item for today could be called a “Programming Update”, for lack of a better term. We’re going to be chasing down some big goals over the next 10 weeks. Primarily, opening our first neighborhood gym space. Simultaneously, we’ll be pushing out our first piece of downloadable content for folks not in the area who need some guidance fixing common physical limitations that are impeding their performance in whatever pursuits of a physical nature they’re engaged in.

If that sounds like a lot to tackle in just over two months, that’s because it is.

Which brings us to our programming update. With a few exceptions, you will experience Restore/Thrive on YouTube for the better part of the next 10 weeks. As much as we love to drop knowledge via the blog, we’re not big on putting out less than our best when it comes to content.

Our only ask is that you bear with us (and subscribe to the YouTube Channel!) while we work out these growing pains.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Training Files: Conditioning

Some weekend conditioning fun for all.

Ahead of the opening of the Restore/Thrive Gym later this summer, we wanted to give you a glimpse of the type of training we’ll be doing in our gym.

“Conditioning” as a general fitness term, can mean a variety of things to a variety of people. As a primary pillar of training in our gym, conditioning refers to the development of the physical ability to perform primary movement patterns under the strain of increased working volume, intensity, and metabolic demand.

Practically applied, a conditioning day at our gym can look like this:

  • 5 to 10 minutes warm-up
  • 9 rounds for time, 5 Deadlifts at 65% of estimated max, 20 second Airdyne bike sprint
  • Cool Down

Whether you’re a field athlete or a hard-working parent wrangling a handful of kids, our primary goal is to make you more physically efficient and resilient at performing the fundamental patterns of human movement in a variety of contexts. It’s one thing to execute a perfect hip hinge/Deadilft when you’re just training that pattern and giving yourself plenty of rest between sets. It’s a completely different animal when you’re stressed, breathing hard, or thinking about the 12 other things you have to do today and asked to pick up something heavy. The goal of our conditioning program is to hard-wire the most efficient patterns into your brain and body so that when the heat is on in competition or in the kitchen as you wrestle 3 kids and try to get dinner on the table at the same time, you default to the best patterns of movement.

The Training Template

Are you getting the most out of your training or fitness program?

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There are endless iterations of training programs, workout plans, fitness regimens, get-fit-quick schemes and the like littering the internet. While you, the would be consumer and user of said things, may think that the secret to better health, performance, and body composition is hidden within the depths of internet land, there is in fact a very simple way to understand and apply critical reasoning to any program you may be considering starting.

The human body is complex in many regards, but the primary patterns of movement it is capable of do not fit in the category of high complexity.

In terms of human movements we can divide them into a few primary categories. Let’s start with the upper body.

UPPER BODY PATTERNS

  1. Vertical Press
  2. Vertical Pull
  3. Horizontal Press
  4. Horizontal Pull

LOWER BODY PATTERNS

  1. Hip Hinge
  2. Step-Up
  3. Lunge

Perform quick test of these movements and you’ll notice that you can do all of them under a doorway. Hence, the reason we call them “Doorway Movements”. Now, layer on top of these primary patterns of upper and lower body movement, the three primary planes of human movement, pictured below:

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It should be obvious that we can move in more than just the direction straight through the doorway. Moving side to side and rotating are not just available motions, they’re necessary components to train in order to develop well-rounded strength. Being strong in the Coronal (a.k.a. “Frontal”) Plane and Transverse (a.k.a. “Rotary”) Plane actually contributes to better Sagittal (a.k.a. “Doorway”) Plane strength. For you meatheads and bros out there, being strong in all three planes means better bench, squat, and deadlift totals.

APPLICATION

Throughout our warm-up, training, and cool-down, we can apply these primary human movement patterns. You don’t have to focus on just one area per-session. And you don’t need to spend 30 minutes on activating every muscle in your body before you feel comfortable picking up a weight. Your warm-up should look like your workout. For example, if you’re going to barbell back squat, it’s a good idea to do a few body weight squats rather than just bend over to touch your toes or grab your foot and pull it to your butt. The warm-up should send a clear message to your body and your brain you’re about to do something similar with more intensity. If your workout is primarily full of horizontal pressing or pulling (i.e., bench pressing, or rowing variations), mix in a few movements that force your arms to move out to the side, or even diagonally across your body. The cool down should flush your body and your nervous system in such a way that you stimulate the recovery process. Here, once again, body weight movements are a great idea.

Developing better strength, fitness, and athleticism is only possible when employing training that encompasses these fundamental laws of human movement. There is a skill component to these movements, but a quality coach will challenge and improve all of these patterns, shoring up weaknesses and building better depth to the individual’s strengths along the way. Anyone, athlete or not, who employs a plan such as this will experience exponentially better results than someone stuck in a plan that doesn’t address the multi-dimensional character of human movement and performance.

Paraphrasing a popular quote:

“Smart work beats hard work when hard work doesn’t work smart.”

If you need some help figuring the ins and outs of a quality training program, give us a shout here through our “Consulting” page.


COMMENT RULES: If you are a real person, leave your real name. We are not a clearing house for solicitors so don’t do it here. Criticism and questioning is fine, that’s how we all learn and grow. Personal attacks, name calling, and the like ARE NOT COOL-if we catch you doing it you’re gone. Other than that, have at it folks! We love hearing from followers and newcomers alike and will try to reply to as many comments and questions as we can!

 

YouTube Update

A few thoughts on training

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Morning folks! We’ve got another post up on our YouTube channel. Today we’re talking training. Specifically, how do you improve your conditioning? While there are several ways to do it effectively, the approach we review today is one of the most simple and effective we’ve found to apply. Enjoy!

YouTube Update

For our golfers.

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Morning, Folks! We’ve got a new video up on the Restore/Thrive YouTube Channel. Today we’re getting after golfing fundamentals. Do you have the requisite mobility and stability to swing the club well, play your most consistent golf, and come out unharmed on the other side? Our quick screen and exercise recommendations will get you headed the right way.

Vision Therapy

A new vision exam for the 21st Century.

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Last weekend I had the opportunity to sit down for some continuing education from one of my favorite providers on my recommended post-concussion rehab team, Dr. John Metzger and the rest of his staff at Kansas City Vision Performance Center. Though I went into the event hoping to further hone my skills as a Post Concussion Syndrome rehab provider, I walked away with much more. Put simply, my knowledge base on vision development, assessment, and therapy exploded. If you or someone you know has visual issues, difficulty reading, focusing, following directions, poor hand-eye coordination, were born by C-section, or motion sickness, it’s a good bet that you may need some vision therapy.

Let’s dig in a little here and talk about why visual skill is important and why functional optometry is the wave of the future (even though it’s a profession over 70 years old).

When you go in for your standard eye exam, your provider is looking at two things: eye sight and eye health. Though important, these are just two of a multitude of factors that determine the true fitness of your eyes and vision. However, even if eye health and sight check out, there are several other factors that are equally if not more important. Generally categorized those factors are as follows:

  1. Eye coordination
  2. Eye tracking
  3. Focusing
  4. Visual Processing

In the medical community, we have been consistently taught that sight is one of our five senses (along with hearing, smell, taste, and touch). What has been largely ignored related to vision, is that this “sense” is actually more of a key factor in motor development than we previously thought. Think about it, what would poor visual skills do to your ability to learn to walk, talk, write, and perform math? The Optic Nerve, the nerve connecting your eyes to your brain, has more sensory fibers than all of your other senses combined. Another True Fact: 20-percent of Optic Nerve Fibers go to areas in the brain outside of the visual cortex in your Occipital Lobe. Meaning, your eyes do a lot more than tell your brain what’s in front of you.

Dr. Metzger and his staff gave several examples of pediatric patients who have struggled academically, behaviorally, and even in sports, who benefited tremendously from the in-depth vision screening and treatments they perform at their clinic. Kids who were previously diagnosed with learning disabilities, ADD, ADHD, or dyslexia, were found to have fundamental vision skill problems that were hindering their learning and behavior.

Take Aways

So what are you to do with this info?

First if you have children who struggle behaviorally, physically, or academically, I urge you to schedule an appointment at Kansas City Vision Performance Center as soon as you can. They offer screens for kids as young as Pre-K to make sure they start off on the right foot as they reach school age. What’s my angle? I get absolutely no kickbacks, I just want all of our kids to feel better and do better. This is a big step in the right direction to feeling and performing your best, regardless of your age.

For you do-it-your-selfers, I’ve got some goodies for you, too.

Check out Bal-a-Metrics (www.balametrics.com) for a variety of products you can use at home to promote better visual skill and sensory integration.

This 30-question predictive checklist, from the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, can give parents a quick view of a potential vision problems that would be appropriately treated with vision therapy.

Do yourself (and your family) a favor, and go a little bit deeper to assess your true eye fitness. The difference vision therapy could make could be life-changing.


COMMENT RULES: If you are a real person, leave your real name. We are not a clearing house for solicitors so don’t do it here. Criticism and questioning is fine, that’s how we all learn and grow. Personal attacks, name calling, and the like ARE NOT COOL-if we catch you doing it you’re gone. Other than that, have at it folks! We love hearing from followers and newcomers alike and will try to reply to as many comments and questions as we can!

 

Are You Ready To Run? Part XIII

Crossing the finish line in our series.

The last stop on our journey to transform your body, your routines, and your running performance is here. If you’ve been hard at work to meet the following standards, by now you should have a solid hold on what your actual strengths and weaknesses are.

In cased you missed it, here are the first 11 standards we’ve discussed to date:

The Standards

#1-Neutral Feet

#2-Flat Shoes

#3-A Supple Thoracic Spine

#4-An Efficient Squatting Technique

#5 Hip Flexion

#6 Hip Extension

#7 Ankle Range of Motion

#8 Warming Up and Cooling Down

#9 Compression

#10 No Hot Spots

#11 Hydration

#12 Jumping and Landing

Specifically, can you jump and land with good mechanics? In essence, the running motion is a series of single-leg mini squats each time your foot hits the ground. The ability to maintain good posture and alignment in this instance has direct correlation to the health of your ankles, knees, hips, and low back.

Similar to our Squatting Standard, landing from a jump should demonstrate your ability to create a stable mid-line, produce torque at the hips, and control your foot and knee position as your feet hit the ground. If your feet turn out and your knees collapse in when you land from a jump, it’s a good bet your body does the same thing when you run. And there’s no amount of tape, arch support, or pain medication that will keep you from shredding your patellar tendons and grinding your knee cartilage to dust if you run like a duck (toes out) or a pigeon (toes in). Mastering good jumping and landing mechanics takes a huge injury risk off the table and helps you develop better strength through your posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings) as well as your feet and ankles.

Passing the Jumping and Landing Standard is a two part test. First, can you jump and land with both legs, maintaining good foot, knee, and spine position?

Test #1: Jumping Onto A Box

Starting Position:

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Sit back in a quarter squat position, loading your hip and hamstrings, keeping your mid-line engaged and back neutral.

Jumping

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Forcefully extended your knees and hips, pushing off the ground while your arms swing forward and upwards.

Landing

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Good landing position looks exactly like good squat position: your shins are vertical, your back is straight, and your knees are out with your feet pointing straight ahead. From another angle:

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Fault #1 (Knees collapsing inward)

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If you land like this, please stop it, while your ACL’s are still intact.

Fault #2 (Feet turned out)

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If you land like this, not only are you collapsing your arches, but once again you are creating an abnormal amount of torque in your knees that will grind those joints down at an exponential rate.

Test #2: Single Leg Jumps

Our second jumping and landing test will tell you if you’ve got good power in your lower legs and enough strength down there to control how your foot contacts the ground. Additionally, single leg jumping is the perfect antidote for weak feet and ankles, as well as a quality way to warm-up before you run.

Jump from your hips and minimize your knee bend

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Keep neutral position from head to toe

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Land on your forefoot and let your heel kiss the ground before hopping up again. Each landing should be performed with the foot straight and knee in a neutral position

Fault #1

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Arch collapses (foot turns out), valgus knee (inside of foot).

If you are struggling to meet these standards, I suggest two things. First, re-visit your squat form and begin a daily routine of squatting to ingrain good alignment for your lower body and trunk. When you can pass the Tabata squatting protocol we outlined, you should be ready to start training your jumping and landing mechanics.

Second, if you passed this standard, as mentioned above, both of these variations are great exercises to practice on a weekly basis. Maintaining good jumping and landing mechanics is a sure-fire method to help you run your best. And plugging in 30 squats and 30 single-leg jumps for each leg is an awesome way to prime the pump of your lower body muscles before you head out for your next run.


COMMENT RULES: If you are a real person, leave your real name. We are not a clearing house for solicitors so don’t do it here. Criticism and questioning is fine, that’s how we all learn and grow. Personal attacks, name calling, and the like ARE NOT COOL-if we catch you doing it you’re gone. Other than that, have at it folks! We love hearing from followers and newcomers alike and will try to reply to as many comments and questions as we can!