Thoughts

TIME TO TEE OFF: TPI vs. FMS

TIME TO TEE OFF: TPI vs. FMS

Our golf specific 4 part series starts with understanding the scope of prevention and screening techniques widely offered by both medical and fitness professionals. Over the course of the last decade I have worked with more and more golfers who experience similar mechanical breakdowns, whether they are recreational or elite golfers – the corrective component should be an active part of any person’s golf game.

53% of amateur golfers and 30% of professional golfers will play with an injured back or performance hindering injury this year. InAmerica, more than $50 billion is spent annually on back pain-related healthcare costs. Therefore, with stats like these – it pays to invest in proper coaching, and bio mechanical corrective tools, like the TPI and FMS/ SFMA screens. When used together and tailored to the athletes goals, can lead to not only prevention of injury, but advancement on the green.

The TPI Golf Screen is one of the most valuable tools in the toolbox for any golf, fitness, or health professional who works with golfers, even at the recreational level. Both screens can help identify physical limitations that shape a player’s swing and contribute to painful movement.

What’s the difference?

TPI – Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) – the leaders in elite player development. Is a screen to showcase mechanical dysfunctional and breakdowns, related to the measure of risk of injury or poor play specifically in playing golf. There are 13 individual tests within the Level 1 Screen plus additional tests introduced at Level 2 for the wrist, ankle, and neck.

FMSFunctional Movement Screen (FMS) – is a ranking and grading system to showcase mechanical dysfunctions, breakdowns and asymmetries within the fundamental movement patterns performed day to day, and relates that to physical activity. The SFMA (selective functional movement assessment) takes it one step further is closely related to the TPI screen in it’s specificity to breaking down movement even further to better pull out dysfunction.

 

Both aim to sequentially offer corrective intervention techniques for improved overall movement in the client’s chosen sport and daily life.

One way to organize the TPI screen is along the global movement patterns within the SFMA. This structure won’t provide the same level of prioritization as within the FMS, as it is more indepth and used within the clinical setting more so that the gym floor, but we can begin to combine and connect the individual tests using the SFMA Top Tier seven assessments, along with the TPI specific tiered movement pattern assessments.

 

Top “Swingers” for Golf Specific Corrective Intervention:

 

1. Cervical Patterns/ Pelvic Tilt Patterns: making the argument that considering they are both affected by the other (meaning the top and bottom of the spine – when one moves, the other must follow). It makes sense to screen both of these elements. Lower crossed posture (S posture in TPI terminology) with a pelvic restriction, will have a similar effect as a cervical restriction due to the interrelationship of spinal segments. This is extremely common and cannot be over looked.

2. Upper extremity in Postural Alignemnt: 90-90 screen falls into this category along with the 90-90 in golf posture. The 90-90 golf posture test puts more emphasis on shoulder mobility and posterior line in conjunction with the back line, spiral and lateral fascial lines.

3. Multi -Segmental Flexion and Multi-Segmental Extension, as well as Upper Quarter and Lower Quarter Screens: both apply equally. Setting up your physical intention starting out on the tee, you need to be able to differentiate upper and lower extremity to ensure proper follow through and minimize lateral shifting; which directly relates to a reduced mobility and rotation in the hips necessary to power out and connect with the ball. Moreover, the S-posture commonly seen in poor golf mechanics is directly related to these specific assesments.

 

Full TPI Screen (cross over with the FMS and SFMA), consists of the following:

 

  • Pelvic tilt
  • Torso rotation
  • Lower body rotation
  • Overhead deep squat
  • Toe touch
  • 90-90 shoulder and 90-90 shoulder in golf stance
  • Single leg stance
  • Lat length
  • Upper quarter (without and with scapular stabilization)
  • Lower quarter
  • Glute bridge
  • Reach roll and lift
  • Leg lowering
  • Ankle inversion/eversion
  • Wrist (multiplanar)
  • Partial squat/ankle eversion
  • Cervical spine

FMS and SFMA: (Top Tier  Assessments – applicable for golf and integration with the TPI)

  • Cervical Spine Assessment
  • Upper Extremity Movement Pattern Assessments (& Pain Provocation Patterns)
  • Multi-Segmental Flexion & Extension Assessment
  • Mulit-Segmental Rotation Assessment
  • Overhead Deep Squat
  • Single Leg Stance

I would also be inclined to implement the trunk stability and rotary stability depending on the clients overall performance. Much of the swing pattern stems from being able to differentiate upper and lower extremities, rotation at the hips and powering through the trunk with flawless technique. This sequence is key to a golfer’s performance in tee-ing off.

 

Applying Corrective Interventions:

  • If the player is in pain, the first priority is to get them out of pain, much like in the FMS, if they score a “zero” a.k.a feel pain, refer directly to a physiotherapist or golf specific athletic therapist.
  • Address the breakdowns  that are most relevant to the player’s swing pattern. A major concept upon which TPI is built is the body-swing connection. How the player sets up their stance, body positioning in relation to the ball and how the player swings the club is an expression of his or her underlying movement ability or restriction pattern.

 

  • Correct all the failures you can visually see. You can only correct one movement pattern at a time. A big issue we see are clients and coaching programs that become too scattered and it will overhelm the client and most likely your own perscrption. Start with the lowest scored test or largest asymmetry (visual breakdown) and start to clean it up with corrective work off the  green and practical application on the range or on the green. Most often we find when one pattern is cleaned up, they will innately affect the rest of breakdowns (usually for the better). This will give you more of an accurate overall assessment of the clients performance in their swing, chipping, putting etc.

 

  • Have a prioritization scheme within the Screen. It is designed to give you the major movement patterns, but after the first screen, you should start to get a feel for the client’s specific mechanics. If they pass certain tests with flying colors, there is no need to rescreen them every time on that test. I screen clients every quarter on the full screen, but every 4-6 weeks I will screen the prioritized movement patterns, and each session will ensure there is an increase in movement and better performance – this comes from communication and active engagement between myself and my clients golf’s pro.

 

This is part 1 of a 4 part series on golf specific correction and intervention strategies. Next week we will look at the fascial components and tensegrity of the lines associated with the swing. We will also breakdown corrective drills to improve your tee off, based on the balance and integrity of this massive structure – we call our Fascial System.

This will be a great post for those of you who have inconsistent drives, slice the ball or have mobility restrictions in the hip and spine.

Much of the fascial system integration in performance based movement can be found

Birdie Up and Happy Golfing!

 

Sources:

Gray Cook, MSPT, OCS, CSCS, Author – Movement and Functional Movement Systems, SMFA – http://graycookmovement.com/

Thomas Myers, – “Tensegrity” Anatomy Trains – http://www.anatomytrains.com/at 

 

How Becoming a Teacher Made Me a Better Student

How Becoming a Teacher Made Me a Better Student

I had been practicing (and intermittently teaching) yoga for years before I decided it was time to take my Yoga Teacher Training at Live Yoga in the summer of 2011 and finally certify to teach. I picked a teacher that I loved (Dan Clement from Open Source Yoga) and embarked on an experience that would change me in more ways that I could ever imagine.

Although I had been attending classes for all those years, it wasn’t until I became a yoga teacher that I truly started learning what it means to be a student of yoga.

I’m not saying that understanding yoga is inaccessible to students, or that the light of yoga only comes with teaching it. For me, it wasn’t until I needed to articulate to others the benefits and purposes of yoga that I truly started integrating my knowledge into my own practice.

Many experiences as a teacher have deepened my personal practice: when students ask me about the philosophy behind the practice, or the anatomy behind the body; when students describe sensations or emotions during poses and how yoga helped them to heal; when students want advice for rehabilitating injuries and conditions; when students push too hard in class, or not hard enough; when students recount failures and successes and how yoga helped them to develop a fulfilling life.

Teaching so many wonderful people has enriched my own understanding and appreciation of yoga in profound and unimaginable ways. Here are a few of the things I have learned and integrated into my personal practice as a result of teaching and observing my students:

  • My body is unique and beautiful. Seriously. Nobody has my bones, my history, my evolution with my body. Nobody knows my body like I do and how it moves, how it responds and what it needs to feel healthy. My practice needs to be sensitive and respect this uniqueness. Sometimes that means I don’t do a pose even though my neighbour is doing it. I’m ok with that now, because my body is mine and I need to take care of it.
  • I require and deserve respect, patience and love. At All Times. Absolutely and without exception.
  • Every class/day/experience is an opportunity to learn (about myself and others). It doesn’t matter who I am talking to, who I’m learning from or which students are in front of me. Every person has a story that is interesting, full and inspiring. Even in mundane or tense moments of life, there are opportunities to learn and grow.
  • I deserve compassion and care, from others and especially myself. In yoga you explore your body (and spirit at times) and learn things. Sometimes you learn that you can’t do certain poses or exercises, while at other times you learn you can. This ebb and flow is an integral part of the practice. It is not yet another chance for judgement, repulsion or disappointment. I may never get into poses that make me look like a pretzel- that doesn’t mean I am less spiritually developed, physically fit or deserving of love! I try to understand and love myself for all my limitations and abilities alike. They are what make me ME.
  • Yoga should be shared. There is so much variety in yoga. So much that can help with health and wellness. I am to spread the word. Not in a dogmatic way, but in a way that expresses and abounds from the passion and belief I have in what I do.
  • Yoga isn’t about getting your legs behind your head, it’s about integration, health, vitality and wellness. That’s right. No one is meant to do ALL the poses that have ever been invented. There are a variety so you can pick and choose what works for your body. I do what feels safe, good and beneficial, I modify some to suit my needs, and I always give myself permission to leave some poses out completely.
  • I aspire to live my yoga on and off my mat. The more I learn patience, determination, how to overcome challenges, enjoy successes, demonstrate care and compassion on my mat, the more I want to be the person I am on my mat, all the time.
  • When I soften my practice, things open up (but sometimes when I get too soft, I need to energize too!). I used to practice power, hot and flow yoga all the time. I thought that to improve and get stronger at yoga, I needed HARDER classes. I have started to realize that a consistent, softer practice, with lots of intention, exploration, alignment and care has wielded far greater results for me. I make time for Yin and Restorative now. I make time to rest and breathe. I am gaining strength and energy with less tension. My practice is getting more advanced in a natural way – and I am having so much fun doing it!
  • Committing to my practice sets me free – whether that means a full practice in the morning, or just a few minutes of breathing, reading or relaxation at the end of my day. Making the practice of yoga part of my daily routine keeps me connected and fulfilled.

Sharing the wisdom of yoga as a teacher has made me a much more sensitive, caring and dedicated student. I am so blessed to share a practice that I love with others, and have them teach and inspire me in my own practice as well.

I hope that as a teacher, I continue to learn and get inspired by my students, so that I can deepen and expand my practice always.

My beloved teacher Dan Clement is running a 200hr YTT at my home base, Live Yoga in White Rock this July. Feel free to drop in on one of my classes at Live Yoga or Hari Om Yoga (in Langley) and share your light with me! Or comment below and share what you have learned from teaching/practicing yoga!

Amy, loving life from any perspective. (Photo, Roxana Albusel Photography, www.roxanaphotography.com)

 

 

 

AN UNCONVENTIONAL REVIEW: CONSCIOUS COMMUNICATION

AN UNCONVENTIONAL REVIEW: CONSCIOUS COMMUNICATION

Why being normal sucks!….and how embracing the unconventional can help you live a happier, more fulfilled life. This has been the premise of the last 2 weeks on my journey with Cliff Harvey. Ok, so he doesn’t really know… but I have been taking a lot of notes, and since he has been in Vancouver, I am well on my way to what we “mystical, universal… A.D.D holisitic, pro-humanity potential peeps” call “re defining your values and ethos.”

Life and the Universe have a funny way of bringing to us the exact people, places, circumstances, and messages that our souls are calling for at the right time. It could be a phone call from a long-lost friend we’ve been thinking about, a timely financial windfall when we need it most,  a seemingly random meeting at a social event that leads to the perfect job opportunity, or a poignant bumper sticker, or even a facebook photo—the possibilities are endless, and sometimes it is exactly the opposite – for me, a rejection letter from “what I thought was my career path,” needing to re locate and move, and at a cross roads of “WTF do I do now,” and should I choose “ice cream” or “chicken wings and beer” moment – here’s the reality; whatever your “sign” is, get off at the next exit and see where it leads – because an experience is an experience, there is no good or bad, merely our own perception which defines the “experience.”

What if you believed that everything in your life was happening for your greater good?  That you couldn’t go wrong? That even in the face of adversity, the universe was conspiring in your favor? Would this not make it so much easier to just live life, rather than continuing to run the hamster wheel of doubt, expectation and what if’s? Well, hold onto your hats – because if you just sit back and focus on what you want – it does indeed, manifest.

When it comes to synchronicity, life seems to land us in exactly where we need to be – even if it is in a place we are unsure of. No matter what the path, we do have a part to play and the all-important variable that we are in control of is navigated by our own personal moral compass and beliefs.

We have to BELIEVE that our dreams are real. We have to TRUST that anything is possible. We have to KNOW that every little action we take on behalf of our dreams is supported by unseen forces that are working for us and with us. Even when times get tough and all signs point to giving up, we have to dig deeper and find the faith to keep going.

Conscious Communication

Last night I attended the “Effective Conscious Communication” workshop, where his aim is to simply provide insight into why the way we communicate affects our interpersonal relationships and how we can transform that to develop more harmonious, peaceful and compassionate dynamics with others.

Cliff Harvey draws on his 14 years of clinical experience as a mind body coach, and as a naturopathic doctor to show how we can create more harmonious relationships at home at work and in any other area of life with a few simple intentions, tools and exercises. Instinctively, my first thought was… “oh crap, I am currently sitting in a workshop for “people in relationships” … ahem… check please… note to the world… I am still single.”

Cliff’s first few lines included, sometime along the lines – “we are all in relationships, whether it be with our partners, our friends, family, ourselves and the universe. When we learn to be more responsive than reactive we can empower our communication and encourage greater learning and personal growth.  Ergo – perhaps the key indicator for me here is “reactive” and “relationship,” two words if ever asked my response would be… “No, I am not” (insert awkward school girl giggle here).” Ah, yes the universe and it’s magnitude of aligning the stars and planets for all to see.

Intention is a large part of any holistic health modality, hell, it’s a large part of any modality, and life as we know it – or at least it should be, because it is the fuel behind the flame. It ignites the fire from which all else follows. “The intention we take into any communication (or any situation) drastically changes the context of that communication (or situation). Studies have shown that when people are pre-conditioned with negative stimuli they perceive events afterwards negatively. Conversely, when people are pre-conditioned with positive stimuli they will perceive events afterwards in a more positive light.”

Seems easy enough, but how often do we really think, do and act as thus? It seems to me, that as a human species we seem to focus on the bad, the what isn’t going right, or what we don’t want – rather than the experience is just an experience, it is neither good nor bad – it just is. If we choose to focus our intention on what we do want, and we visualize it as thus – we can and do bring about that change for the better.

Cliff brings up to very key points and that is the idea of trust and intention – Trusting ourselves and trusting others; which is no easy feat, but it is the foundation from which all else is built. It really boils down to self care and compassion for ourselves and for others. Focus on the intention of non0judging, loving compassion and simply receiving what each other are saying without judgement, and in the words of Philo… “Be Kind, for everyone is fighting a great battle.”

When we tune in to the synchronicity of life, when we look with the eyes of trusting in that intention and listen with the ears of and touch of compassion, we begin to experience the undeniable truth that we are all connected, that there is rhyme and reason to the way life flows, and that each and every one of us is accounted for. We begin to know without a doubt that we ALL have something special and unique to offer the world.

During the Q&A portion of the interactive dialogue, I realized that we were all there for various reasons – but our vision was the same, and that was to not merely “improve our communication” skills or “improve relationships,” but to CONNECT and in connecting and listening to others, we innately begin to break down our own barriers and realize that the path each of us are traveling may be the more challenging one, they may have setbacks, but the road less travelled, is the one worth setting forth your quest on.

One of the workshop participant’s, Lynne Laporte a triathlon coach, had this to say about the workshop and experience;

“the workshop is was really cool. Honestly it’s so hard to put into words because it was one of those things where the content itself was interesting but what I got out of it the most was the group experience. It was a workshop that was less context focused and more Interaction driven. In that even if you didn’t “learn” anything new, the context in which the information was shared was what I took away the most!”

The group discussion and sharing was key to the evenings success.

“Experience the breakthrough of realising your power to choose your life of passion and purpose! Live the S**T out of life! “

Next Work Shop –

Choosing You! How to connect to your life of passion and purpose and achieve the goals that really matter

Date: June 3rd

Time: 9am – 6pm

Location: Tides Canada, Hollyhock Room

Price: $199.00

Sources:

Cliff Harvey – http://www.cliffharvey.com/

Lynne Laporte – Enhanced Performance (http://enhancedperformance.ca/)  Switching Gears – (www.switchinggearstriclub.com)

INSPIRATION MEETS PERSPIRATION

INSPIRATION MEETS PERSPIRATION

Harnessing the power behind the mind-body connection or as us nerd-folk call it – The biopsychosocial model (abbreviated “BPS”).

Each day is a new day to harness the power of our own unique potential.  Learning to use your thoughts to positively influence some of your body’s physical responses, thereby decreasing stress, is merely one way to support your personal exploration of your best self. Research has shown that when we imagine an experience, we often have similar mental and physical responses to those you have when the event actually happens. Why? Because we have a vested interest in that connection. From a physiological perspective, our muscles have memory and thus, patterns can be built up, broken down and transformed.

Today’s post is about appreciating the mind-body connection through the art of visual representation and linking that connection to two of my favorite “meditative pass times;” which are running (leading with an active lifestyle) and yoga (mind and body meditation).

Enjoy and Namaste!

Life - it's pretty simple and that grand.

Go beyond your comfort zone.

 

The will to act. deeds, not words.

 

 

 

love rules all

 

 

There are no limitations, only a limited view.

 

Be Yourself!

 

Purpose - is here and now

 

 

IS YOUR FASCIA HYDRATED?  H2O TO GO

IS YOUR FASCIA HYDRATED? H2O TO GO

“No Body Likes a “Crampy”… I mean “Crabby” Athlete! Your hydration levels may be the culprit of your poor performance, and let’s be honest, if you’re feeling more than just muscle cramps (perhaps mental cramps) and poor perforamce; drink more water so you can go the ultra distance.”

As an ultra runner, I have been prone to injuries from time to time – wait… what am I saying. Okay, as an ultra runner I have pretty much had EVERY injury and this year has been no exception.

So why do I run? Because the feeling of accomplishment, of all those long hours running at the crack of dawn when the city is silent, the endless and countless miles clocked, and more importantly, the insurmountable, evolutionary personal changes, maybe a better word would be – epiphany – makes it all worth it. For me, it’s about the choice to run, when others cannot or do not have that choice – it truly that simple.

Last week I suffered intense abdominal pain; which is unnatural for me as a clean eater and for the most part I live a gluten free lifestyle, almost vegan (primarily out of the convenience of “I don’t cook” and prepare quick meals). As it turns out, this abdominal pain was an intestinal blockage (I know, I know… highly attractive), but one contributor to this was dehydration, but rather than “muscle dehydration,” my body had “organ dehydration.” Which means because of the amount I am currently running, training etc – my water intake has not been enough to sustain proper efficiency and even though I drink a lot of fluids – it ain’t enough and hasn’t been for some time.  Combine this with the high stress, of my second ultra event on May 20th “Walk In Her Shoes for CARE Canada, an event I am also organizing single handedly – I guess you could call  it a stressor… but I love it… but my innerds are a little agro. And looking back, my muscles have been “crampy” primarily in the calves and hamstrings a little more than usual.

Why do we Cramp?

Many endurance will experience muscle cramps at some point during their training or racing. An article that outlines this on going discussion very well is from “Utra Fitness” online where they look at the differing theories of where cramping comes from (in simplest terms).  Their findings can be broken down into 3 pillars; however, I am narrowing my scope to reflect and comment on the first two;

  1. Dehydration and electrolyte depletion
  2. Abnormal spinal reflex activity
  3. Carbohydrate depletion

“Using a definition from Dr. Martin Schwellnus a cramp is “a painful, spasmodic, involuntary contraction of skeletal muscle that occurs during or immediately after exercise”(1). While most athletes understand what a cramp feels like there is much confusion as to what causes cramps and how they can be prevented. “ (ultrafitness)

In the 1930s a theory was put forth that dehydration and electrolyte depletion were the primary causes of cramps. This is still a popular theory that has come under fire recently and how does that relate to post running??? Since my pain was associated post run (actually a week after my last long run of 52km)?

The article goes on to say that Schwellnus and Noakes , put forth the new theory that abnormal spinal reflex activity could be the real culprit behind muscle cramps. This theory is built on the understanding of muscle fatigue leading to abnormal functioning at the spinal level of the muscle contraction mechanism; which causes the muscle cramping during activity.

Review of anatomy 101, receptors called muscle spindles cause muscles to contract when they are stretched; while other receptors called Golgi tendon organs (GTO) cause muscles to relax when they are contracted. Both types of receptors are needed to help protect muscles from over-stretching and over-contracting, respectively. These receptors act on muscles by sending an electric signal to the appropriate motor neuron, which is located in the spine, and as we know the fascia assists with all of these responses.

During a normal contraction, signals from both receptors are in balance. According to the theory, when a muscle fatigues the activity of the muscle spindles increases (causing a contraction) and the Golgi tendon organ activity is inhibited (no relaxing) leading to muscle cramping.

Looking at these two theories; I would say that both hold a high degree of merit and (in my opinion) there is no dichotomy between the two. I would say they both contribute to cramping during and after a competition requiring a high degree of volume and/or endurance.  Let’s take a look at fascia and hydration and also the tensigrity of the fascia itself as a contributor for cramping.

H2O To Go, Your Fasica & Hydration:

Ergo, a great opportunity to revisit the fascial system and integration of the above…

The fascia is our body’s protector. We also know that at the microscopic level, the fascial make up resembles that of micro tubules that acts as a transfer/communication highway to move nutrients and transmit nerves impulses to and around the body. The nerves themselves, along with blood vessels run through the fascia. Therefore, if the connective tissue is tight, the associated tissues will have poor nutrient exchange.

In times of stress, and high volumes of load, along with what we are here today to discuss – dehydration, this exacerbates the situation because toxic metabolic waste products build up which will further aggravate pain receptors and reduce proper transfer. Needless to say, this can create a mechanical breakdown and a vicious cycle that undoubtedly creates more muscle tension, leading to further thickening and hardening of the fascia, which will further limit mobility and performance!

One important fact to note is that the fascia holds imprints of our posture and even old injuries, which is one reason why older injuries can still affect present day overall functions and/or re surface at a later date. The fascia (amongst other systems) dictates our shape and freedom of movement.

Are you Tense?

Fascia thickens and hardens where there is chronic tension. Chronic tension can then lead to joint restrictions, movement impairments, pain, decreased performance and/or cramping and twitching.  Manual physicians; (ie. Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Osteopaths, Acupuncturists and other non-physicians) can manipulate the fascial ‘networks’ in a variety of ways, either directly or indirectly. This is done by breaking up fascial binding and tone of the tissue, as well as re patterning and “waking up” the parasympathetic system. Also very important in recovery and rehabilitation.

I know from personal experience, there is no way I could fully operate as an ultra-runner without regular tune ups from my health team. There are certain things we cannot do on our own; which us why an integrated support team is essential. For more info on my health team please see under sources.

Fascia is composed mainly of collagen fibers, together with water and other proteins which provide a glue-like quality. Due to the regular alignment of the fibers, fascia often has a crystal-like appearance. The connective tissue fibers extend deep in between individual muscle cells and between practically all cells of the body. Fascia tends dry out as we age, becoming stiff and tight. Proper hydration, vitamins, minerals and overall nutrition assist with the rehydration and overall health of the fascial network.  Regular movement of the fascia through exercise and mobilization helps to greatly reduce the fascia from stiffening and ultimately effecting performance.

The Hydration Study:

The Fascia Research Group , is part of the Division of Neurophysiology, of Ulm University, Germany say that,

‘When fascia is being stretched, water is being extruded from the ground substance and simultaneously there are some temporary relaxation changes in the longitudinal arrangement of the collagen fibers. When the stretch is finished, the longitudinal relaxation of the fibers takes a few minutes to revert (provided the strain has not been too strong and there have been no micro-injuries); yet the water continues to be soaked up into the tissue, to the degree that the tissue even swells and becomes stiffer than before.’

So, how important is recovery and rehydration? I would say very! During the recovery period of the elongated tissue (minutes, even hours after), a gradual re hydration of the muscle should be expected; which is also in conjunction with the balance of the tissue through a gradual regaining of the initial tissue stiffness.  Active loading and subsequent rest in proportion to each-other will achieve the desired outcome.

Dehydration as little as 2% of body weight can begin to significantly impact performance. For an athlete that has a higher sweat rate (greater than 2 liter per hour), that level of dehydration can occur after 30 minutes of exercise in hot and humid conditions. Additional, research has shown that level of dehydration can slow 10-km run times by 6.3% compared to running in a hydrated state. That equates to a race time almost 3 minutes slower if you usually run a 40-minute 10k!

This of course depends specifically on someone’s unique mechanics and factoring in muscle fibre composition, sport they engage in will affect muscle tissue response etc etc, and as we have seen above – stretching as well.

Yin to Your Yang:

Passive stretching and Yin Yoga stretches can load the tissue and fascial lines in a way that induces a temporary decrease in tissue water content; which has been shown to contribute to alterations in tissue stiffness; however, this is to be expected with any load placed upon the tissue. When the tissue is in a state of elongation the question then becomes; how long will the tissue remain in elongation, as well as how important is rehydration recovery.

Conclusion:

The key factors in this article today are to ensure that you are aware of your personal mechanics and body responses during, before and after your training. If you decide to venture into the realm of ultra-distance athletics, take the time to understand the force applied and the necessary nutrients your body will need to sustain you, not only during the performance, but the months and weeks (sometimes even years) leading up to your goal. My greatest lesson learned is to never underestimate the power of the body and the will and drive to succeed. In all the chaos of the last 2 weeks, I forgot to listen to my body and even though during the taper, we decrease our mileage – it is an essential time to get our bodies ready by recovery, resting and fine tuning the mental and emotional aspects of our journey.

If you are unsure of how much water your mechanics need – ask a professional. Also, keep in mind electrolyte balance is essential as well. I always make sure to have at least 2 options with me at all times. Eboost; which is a special blend of active vitamins and minerals focuses on 3 vital elements of the athletes super world (endurance, immunity and recovery).

The Key Ingredients of Eboost:

For ENDURANCE: Glucuronolactone, Chromium, Vitamin B12, and Anhydrous Caffeine For RECOVERY: Minerals (including potassium and sodium for electrolyte replacement), and essentials vitamins including Vitamin C For IMMUNITY: Vitamin C, Zinc, Selenium and Copper. You really can’t go wrong, and super tasty (Pink Lemonade, is my fav).

I also put a few drops of Elete Electrolytes, provide balanced ions of magnesium, potassium, sodium and chloride, just a few drops in your water and you are ready to rock. Happy running!

Nourish the body and the soul will grow.

 

Sources:

Health Team:

CLIFF HARVEY VANCITY WORKSHOPS : “Live The S**T Out Of Life!”

CLIFF HARVEY VANCITY WORKSHOPS : “Live The S**T Out Of Life!”

Cliff Harvey (ND, Dip.Fit, HbT, Adv.Psych-K, Reiki lll) is a Naturopath, author and speaker specialising in holistic performance nutrition and mind-body-spirit medicine. He teaches people how to give themselves the chemical building blocks of health (great nutrition) and how to integrate new patterns of behaviour and actions to achieve their life, health and performance goals.

YogaFORM is pleased to support Cliff, combining personal growth with Yoga is a “no-brainer,” therefore; we thought it would be “neat-o” to offer Cliff’s attendees YogaFORM prior to his workshop!

Join us May 18th at the “Women Empowered” kick off event at Denman Cinemas, as Cliff makes is debut as my special guest at our event. If you didn’t know –  Cliff is also my Health Sponsor for the CARE Canada “Walk In Her Shoes” 101km Event in Vancouver, that I am currently gearing up for on May 20th. He will be attending and signing his best selling book “Time Rich Cash Optional.” Check us out!

 

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS IN VANCITY:

 

Effective Conscious Communication

Date: Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Time: 6:30pm

Location: Tides Canada – 400-163 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

BONUS: Coffee, tea and refreshments provided

Details:

In this workshop Cliff Harvey ND draws on his 14 years of clinical experience as a Naturopath and Mind-Body Therapist to show how we can create more harmonious relationships at home, at work and in any other area of life – with just a few simple intentions, tools and exercises.

You will learn:

  • The value of having Brave Conversations
  • The importance of speaking your truth
  • How to use positive framing to literally transform your relationships
  • How to create better rapport
  • How to create more mindful communication
  • A simple mindfulness exercise to reconnect to your calm centre

Additionally Cliff will outline his 4 Key Communication Skills and demonstrate a simple, effective exercises that will allow anyone, in any relationship to communicate more effectively. (Learning this simple exercise is worth the price of the workshop alone!)

 

Fight Nutrition 101: No BS Nutrition for Fighters

Date: Saturday May 26th

Time: 10am – 12pm

Location: Universal North Vancouver

Details:

In this workshop Cliff Harvey draws on over 14 years helping fighters to train and compete at their best. He has been called ‘the King of the Cut’ for his work helping fighters to make weight and enter the ring or cage in optimal condition and fuelled to fight.

Why you need to make a commitment to be a better athlete…not just a better fighter, and how you can be leaner, more effectively fuelled, and recover better year round.

You will learn:

  • Cliff’s unique 12 phase approach to eating to be leaner and more effectively fuelled year round, and before a fight
  • 5 Golden Rules for Meal Composition
  • How to optimise pre, during, and post-training nutrition
  • The safest and most effective methods for cutting weight before your fight

Living the S**t Out of Life! (An intro to Time Rich Cash Optional)

Date: Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Time: 6:30pm

Location: TBC

 

Details:

Intro to living time rich, happy and free.

(Consists of talk, followed by discussion.)

 

Based on the concepts in Cliff Harvey’s best-selling book Time Rich Cash Optional: an unconventional guide to happiness.

In this talk Cliff discusses why we simply have to change the way we live and the way we treat each other, for our own health and sanity and for that of the planet.

Cliff challenges the audience to live a life of simple abundance; embrace the unconventional; and begin to spend the currency of our lives (TIME!) on things that make us happier, healthier and that improve the lives of those around us.

Be inspired, motivated and uplifted.

 

Choosing You! Connecting with your life of purpose and reaching the goals that really matter!

[Full Day Workshop]

Date: Sunday June 3rd, 2012

Time: 9:00am 6:00pm

Location: Tides Canada – 400-163 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

BONUS: Coffee, tea, refreshments and fresh fruit will be provided. Bring your Yoga mat as we the workshop will be starting off with a 20min YogaFORM Vinyasa Yoga Class to get you energized and invigorated to start off your full day of “Choosing You!”

Details:

The exercises in this inspiring, motivational and practical weekend workshop have helped thousands around the world live happier, more fulfilled lives.

You will learn:

Why being normal sucks!….and how embracing the unconventional can help you live a happier, more fulfilled life
The value of dissatisfaction and how you can use this to transform your relationship with your life
– How to identify your value set and ethos, so that you can set the goals that really matter!
– How to turn your dreams into realisable goals
The importance of mindfulness for realising and achieving your goals

Cliff will also show how you can turn negative and self limiting beliefs into positive behaviours and patterns to defeat self sabotage, and will outline his unique approach to daily intention, actions and audits so that you can stay on track!

This workshop includes practical exercises encouraging greater mindfulness, awareness and communication.

Experience the breakthrough of realising your power to choose your life of passion and purpose!
Live the S**T out of life!

FOR MORE INFO ON REGISTRATION FOLLOW THIS LINK: http://www.eventbrite.co.nz/org/2144794195?s=7951665

Cliff Harvey –  http://www.cliffharvey.com/home

“WOMEN EMPOWERED:” ON MAY 18TH & 20TH STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE WORLD’S WOMEN

“WOMEN EMPOWERED:” ON MAY 18TH & 20TH STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE WORLD’S WOMEN

“WALK IN HER SHOES NATIONAL CAMPAIGN” IN VANCOUVER – STANDS IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE WORLD’S WOMEN 

 

Are you walking on May 20th?

Vancouver – ” Walk In Her Shoes Campaign” team leader and founder of RUN4ACAUSE pledges to” Run 101km in Her Shoes” on May 20th 2012, supporting of CARE Canada.

To help break the cycle of poverty and in celebration of 101 years of the world’s women; Sarah Jamieson, a local coach, athlete and philanthropist has organized two main events to showcase the power behind women, benefiting CARE Canada. TheseVancouver  events include:

“WALK IN HER SHOES” 101KM VANCOUVER EVENT:

In the poorest communities around the world, women and girls are often the ones tasked to collect water, firewood or other basic necessities of life. They walk on average 6 kms a day (approximately 8,000 steps) while carrying the equivalent of a suitcase. This leaves little time to attend school, access health services or earn money to support their families. This is repeated several times in a day.

The Walk In Her Shoes Vancouver Event,  is part of the CARE Canada 4 month national campaign “Walk In Her Shoes” that kicked off on March 8th, (International Women’s Day). The 101lkm route is broken down into 8 legs/districts with 6km to18km walk/run distances markers to choose from, and Sarah is asking Vancouverites to join her and walk or run 6km or more with her on May 20th.

START LOCATION: North Shore Athletics. FINISH LOCATION: Terry Fox Memorial Downtown.

Sarah’s goal is to run 101km in one day (under 14 hours) and raise $20,000.00 in support of CARE Canada’s key projects empowering women and girls, and to bring to light the importance behind girl’s education, and the impact girl’s play in their communities. Moreover, to showcase the potential WE, as a community have towards investing in the world’s most untapped resource – women.

To bring the understanding of women home – the last 10km (91km-101km) is dedicated to, and in honor of the women on the DTES (downtown eastside). Paying tribute to the missing women that have fallen victim to sexually bansed violence, as well as to those who continue to fight for those who no longer have a voice.

“WOMEN EMPOWERED” MOVIE & SALON CONVERSATION EVENT:

On Friday May 18th, join Vancouver for this one-night screening of  “Women Empowered” & salon conversation, a pre warm up event to Vancouver’s ”Walk In Her Shoes 101km. Created in partnership with CARE and the acclaimed social documentary photographer and TED.com speaker, Phil Borges. These films chronicle 4 short vignettes (approx. 15mins each), 4 stories of 4 women, remote and mostly unknown, on the vanguard of a global shift toward gender equality. Let us take you on a journey toIndia,Peru,Africa,Ethiopia andCanada, as we showcase the power behind girls education, maternal and child health, economic empowerment and defending dignity.

Conversation is an integral part of any event; therefore, the Women Empowered” event will also include a speaker panel thematically chosen to introduce each vignette, and touch on the powerful message behind the documentary. This style is representative of a salon conversation experience, as it inspires authentic and organic conversation between the audience and speakers. After the intermission, the audience will be offered a chance to ask questions and offer feedback.

Global Panelists:

  • Aliya Dossa – Introducing “Learning to Lead.” 18 year old [email protected] Speaker, Co Founder of Youth4Tap.
  • Alexandra Borys– Introducing “Vigilantes De La Vida.” M.A Int. Relations, Project Analyst for Colliers Int.
  • Jessica Robson – Introducing “Strength in Numbers.” Leadership Director for lululemon athletica
  • Sapna Dayal – Introducing “Abay’s Return.” Executive Director of imagine1day

Local Panelists:

  • Janet Kreda – Sustainability & Community Planning for Metro Vancouver, Philanthropist
  • Loretta Cella – Executive Program Director and Founder of Passion Foundation.
  • Jordan Bower – The Man Who Walked from Vancouver to Mexico

Special Guest: Cliff Harvey, Author of ‘Choosing You!’ & Time Rich Cash Optional; Speaker, Naturopath, Philosopher, Raconteur.

“Urban Sustainability Silent Auction”, Door Prizes & Exhibit: The lobby gives rise to an exceptional space for networking and will feature a unique and authentic take on the silent auctions.

JOIN THE RUN AND REGISTER HERE:

Taking part is easy, click on Registration is and join or pledge your support! Sign up Now!  Join “PB” & JAMS: RUN4ACAUSE or create your own team if you wish and get involved in supporting the worlds women.

DISTRICT SPONSORS:

 

EVENT SPONSORS & SUPPORTERS:

Fitness Town.     Passion Foundation.    lululemon athletica & A Little More Good. Imagine1day.     Fit to Train Human Performance Systems Inc & YogaFORM.      Scott Robarts Photography.      Miriam Borys, B.Ed, Chef.    Buddha-Full Juice & Smoothies.    [email protected]Jeff Gibbs – Human Earth Photography.

STAY INVOLVED:

Follow us on facebook at our Event Page here:

Women Empowered and Walk In Her Shoes Vancouver Event

Tweet it up and Follow our Campaign at @SarahMJamieson #WIHS

 

NEED A TUNE UP:  “Are Your Fascial Transmissions Strained?”

NEED A TUNE UP: “Are Your Fascial Transmissions Strained?”

Structural Integration has been a growing interest in North America. It’s roots stem from European descent; an evolutionary brain child of the fascial work seen in Dr Ida Rolf, the movement insights of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais and the whole-systems geometry of  B. Fuller and many other influences.  Amongst, those influenced is the widely known works of Tom Myers and Chris Federick.

It should be duly notes that Myers;  started KMI (Kinesis Myofascial Integration) which continues to explore Structural Integration from the point of view of myofascial continuities.

In many articles we have taken a close look at the neuromyofascial web; the matrix provides a sliding and gliding environment for muscles, suspends organs into the abyss that is our body, and transmits nutrients and information for movement from muscle to bone – it is the “Queen bee” of our very organic structure – otherwise known as the human body. This flexible structure is able to resist great unidirectional tension forces until the wavy pattern of fibers has been straightened out by the pulling force.

Figure 1a

YogaFORM “Surprising Differences in the Fascial Strain Transmissions:”

Earlier this week on my YogaFORM facebook page I posted the photo seen in figure 1a “Surprising differences in the fascial strain transmissions,;“ to bring to light the importance of movement and the associated relationships with reciprocal movement patterns.

Using the the ASLR (active straight leg raise) shown here; as an example of this ongoing exploratory conversation piece.  The ASLR exercise is one of the 7 screening tests corrective movement coaches apply using the FMS screen.  It tests the ability to disassociate the lower extremity while maintaining stability in the trunk.  By assessing active hamstring and gastroc-soleus flexibility, we also look at how the client reacts to maintain a stable pelvis , as well as active extension of the opposite leg . It is important to note that the hamstrings and the pelvis have a high correlation together in the toe touch and the ASLR.

Taking into account the “flexibility, tensegrity and tone” of the hamstring, but also the reciprocal action of the opposite hip flexor group, as well as the lumbar and thoracolumbar fascia. This cross over affect supports bipedal motion.

“The word ‘tensegrity’ is an invention: a contraction of ‘tensional integrity.’ Tensegrity describes a structural-relationship principle in which structural shape is guaranteed by the finitely closed, comprehensively continuous, tensional behaviors of the system and not by the discontinuous and exclusively local compression member behaviors. Tensegrity provides the ability to yield increasingly without ultimately breaking or coming asunder.” – Buckminster Fuller

Sherri Leigh Iwaschuk, a renowned and well known RMT and KMI therapist/coach/movement guru/ – pick a label and she will successfully dominate any one of them; posed a great addition to our facebook YogaFORM chat .  Sherri’s commentary, “It’s also worthwhile to note that contraction of the gluteus maximus might result in as much as 85% of the force transfer to the fascia latae, leaving only 15% to the femur, etc. This is a beautiful example of how muscles attach not only to bone (periosteum) but also to fascia and other muscles; laterally and even all the way to their antagonists. (Huijing)”

Sherri’s observation is correct, even in this picture there are only a few examples of the fascia strain transmissions to assoicated muscles, but not all are mentioned. The glutes, ITB TFL, even going as far as the latissimus dorsi and it’s points of attachement to the T7 – L5 of the spinal column, as well as the thoracolumbar fascia, iliac creast and inferior ribs and it’s innervation of the 6th, 7th and 8th cervical nerves. We can even go further down the rabbit hole and then discuss the relationship and direct impact of spinal structure in this specific case of the ASLR – but I will leave it here for now!

Potential Connections with the Role of Fascia and Overuse Musculoskeletal Disorders:

Tensegrity  plays a large role in structural integration and corrective movement, as it helps to explain the instantaneous transmission of fascial strain forces against or working with associated patterns.  Peripheral or secondary effects, can be  noted in many cases of somatic trauma or overuse of muscle, fascia and the related breakdown of the systems (reduced recovery, poor re hydration and energy adaptations etc). On average, the neutral tensegrity has balanced tensional forces and  can be noted as a stable and low-energy consuming structure at the molecular level, but when strained the structure can become rigid and inefficient; which is due to pre stressing along one or more of the associated lines of forces. This reduces the adaptively of the involved tissue and can alter the movement itself – thus establishing abnormal lines of force. Furthermore, this then can lead to hypertonicity and/or hypotonicity and imbalanced movement.

Needless to say that when overused muscles, in sport or even at the “corporate” level with hours upon hours of seated, seated and more seated movement can change the  adaptability of the involved tissue, creating abnormal lines of tension in contiguous structures, that is unstable and high-energy consuming at the molecular level.

Conclusion of this conversation is that there are many factors that apply to any one movement, because movement is a sequence of reflex, reactionary processes, where there can be no isolation of one particular muscle or group of muscles. In the action of the ASLR we can see that it is a delicate balance of not only tension, force and release but also a balance of mobility and stability necessary for proper movement and activation of the lines to collectively transfer energy to all the parts that make up the sum of the whole.

Taking a closer look at the ASLR progression we need to consider mobility before stability. Improving the overall flexibility of the assoicated muscles, fascia etc, involved is our starting point. Dysfunction in motor control tends to be one of the most common causes for altered neuromuscular stabilization of the pelvis and hips. Therefore, when performing the ASLR or any movement pattern for that matter – keep the transmission strains and transfer of force in mind to the surrounding muscles groups, joints and fascia lines.

For more information on KMI:

As noted in Sherri’s informational segway via her website… “The design of KMI is to unwind the strain patterns residing in your body’s locomotors system, restoring it to its natural balance, alignment, length, and ease. Common strain patterns come about from inefficient movement habits, and our body’s response to poorly designed cars, desks, telephones, and airplanes, etc. Individual strain patterns come from imitation when we are young, from the invasions of injury or surgery or birth, and from our body’s response to traumatic episodes. Beginning as a simple gesture of response, movements can become a neuromuscular habit.” I could not put this into better words myself!

Sources:

 

Fun Events and Sales this Weekend at Hari Om Yoga in Langley

Fun Events and Sales this Weekend at Hari Om Yoga in Langley

Join us at Hari Om Yoga in Langley (www.hariomyoga.com) this Friday and Saturday for two fun, low-cost events!
Tomorrow night, Friday, April 20,  finish your week off right with “Shine on You Crazy Diamond! Yoga and Pink Floyd!” from 8pm-9:30pm, for only $10+hst!
Rock, roll, move and bend to your favourite Pink Floyd tunes. No previous yoga experience necessary! Come for the amazing playlist, stay for the laughs, leave feeling great. Must love Pink Floyd, fun, and be open to random song quotes whilst getting bendy. Bring friends and smiles.
Then on Saturday, April 21, Hari Om Yoga is celebrating its 4th Anniversary with an Open House! Classes are FREE all day! This is a great chance to try yoga for the first time, or coax someone you love into trying it with you!
See in store for great sales on your favourite brands in yoga and fitness apparel. Retail sales from 15%-65% off and 20 & 50 class cards are on sale for 10%.
Always a fun day, it’s the perfect chance to meet other students and teachers at the studio over drinks and snacks, and stock up on class cards and yoga apparel. Stop by and celebrate another anniversary with us at Hari Om Yoga in Langley! See you there!
YOGA FREE CLASS Schedule:
 9-10am             Yin/Yang with Sean
10:30-11:30am “So you think you can do Hot yoga?” with Cormac
12-1pm             Luna yoga with Julia
1:30-2:30pm    ‘Classic Rock Flow’ with Amy
3-4pm                Bhumi Earth Practice with Valeria
4:30-5:30pm     Relax Deeply with Tara
Hari Om Yoga
20230 64 Ave
Langley
 604-539-0566
I Heart Handstanders: Dice and Bri

I Heart Handstanders: Dice and Bri

Dice Iida-Klein and Briohny Smyth are amazing yogis and teachers in their own rights, but together they are outstanding!

Hailing from California, they both teach out of their home studio, Black Dog Yoga in Sherman Oaks, CA. You can catch Dice’s classes on Yoga Glo, while Bri was most recently known for her Equinox yoga video fame, as well as her classes on Yogis Anonymous. They form the duo of Handstanders.com.

Check them out in this inspiring handstanding/partner yoga demonstration from last month. Get inspired!

Watch the YouTube video:

BARE ALL BAREFOOT PART 2: PLANT YOUR ROOTS, “PLANT(AR) FASCIA”

BARE ALL BAREFOOT PART 2: PLANT YOUR ROOTS, “PLANT(AR) FASCIA”

Barefoot running is not a new phenomenon.
It has historically been performed since the dawn of time, out of necessity rather than for recreation. Primitive man and early cultures existed without shoes and survived without the benefit of footwear. In fact, it has been common throughout history all over the world — but in the face of ever-increasing science and technology pumped into shoes, it has risen to popularity as a natural means of exercise.

In the last article we began to debate the pros and cons of barefoot running, and what frequently comes up is a very important consideration and this simple, and quite frankly, general rule of thumb – it depends on the what and why.
The movement has gained a strong following through some scientists’ beliefs that barefoot running can actually improve health in the feet, knees and hips while reducing the rate of common injuries like plantar fasciitis. I have no doubt that this is true for many; however, there are always risk factors, proper adaptations and progressions to consider, and asking the right questions – what activities do I engage in? will this improve my overall performance and health? When and where would barefoot running be implemented and when, what periodized progressions.

In my own personal athletic sphere; I find training in the gym when lifting kettlebells and performing yoga – barefoot is key to my success. I have not yet ventured to the realms of the trails or pounding of the pavement yet, but I will. Now, how about work?  My ultimate goal is to become a Vancouver Police Officer and I can say that without a doubt, barefoot options will not happen here, for 3 key factors (1) public safety hazard, huge risk factors (2) your boots are your protection, if a perp is on the ground, you don’t dive in “hands first,” and your feet are the closest piece of your body to someone on the ground – safety first. (3) long shifts and uncontrolled terrain, you never know where the day or night will take you. My point is that if you are considering barefoot options; you need to consider all spheres of your life and implement as such, with proper implementation.

The Mechanics of the Foot:

Running barefoot allows the mechanics of the foot to operate as it is designed, without restriction and it also connects the runner to the terrain, mother earth. Running barefoot forces the runner to use the foot pads on the balls of the feet when striking the ground rather than touching down with the heel, which can increase the shock absorbed by your legs and feet. A common injury seen in runners and endurance athletes is plantar fascitis.

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue running across the bottom of the foot, becomes inflamed. Your foot is the foundation, the roots to everything else that sits above. Made up of bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, our feet and hands house the majority of our bone structure.

The plantar fascia is a relatively inflexible, strong, fibrous band on the bottom of the foot that supports the arch of your foot. Beginning at the heel bone, the plantar fascia extends the length of your foot to connect with your toes at the ball of the foot and is an integral part of the superficial back line, one of our many fascia meridians.

 

Superficial Back Line

Insert anatomy 101 here: The Superficial Back Line :

Plantar Fascia > Gastronemius > Hamstrings > Sacrotuberous ligament > Thoracolumbarfascia > Erector Spinae > Nuchal Ligament > scalp fascia ( to “occipital ridge and beyond” well… to the brow bone anyways)

When we walk, weight is distributed across your feet. Any imbalances in the mechanics of the foot and distribution of weight can potentially cause compensation that can lead to injury. When we look at a dissection of this line we can see that the plantar fascia is continuous, covering and transvering around and to the heel and the Achilles tendon upwards through the calves, hamstring, deep fascia of the sacrum and lumbar, even interacting with the sciatic nerve. This begs the question – is what some call “plantar facitis” really the issue, if you experience back pain – that could be the point of origin of breakdown, or perhaps a very poor score on your ASLR (active straight leg raise) – perhaps it’s your hamstrings that are the “bain of the pain”  and not your feet. My point, is there are many things to consider here.

Many proponents of barefoot running and it cannot be jumped into quickly. Let’s look at the shoes for a moment – they allow the foot muscles to relax and exist underdeveloped. And they cushion from impact. Additionally, the bones in the foot and lower body are not accustomed to the stress of barefoot running. When you are starting out, note this.

 

The Superficial Back Line & The Hamstrings:

I find that clients and runners, who exhibit plantar fascia inflammation, also have had calf strains and tight hamstrings, or too much tone in the muscle tissue itself. As humanoids are initial response to pain is to fix and treat the pain referral point – but, remember, it’s all connected and the pain isn’t always the source of the breakdown. Moving on up the leg, try a simple multi-segmental flexion drill and trigger point to release to see if this improves the mechanics of the foot, superficial line and ASLR.

During multi-segmental flexion (toe touch) the primary line that we are asking to be lengthened is the Superficial Back Line and we know that this basically stems from the plantar fascia at the bottom of the foot all the way up to the scalp.  This teaches sensory awareness, as well as teaches relaxation of the tension in the back and superficial line and how to shift the body weight from heels to the toes in a smooth and consistent fashion.

Step One: Soft Tssue Rolling – use a tennis ball (or better yet a foot roller) and roll on the bottoms of the feet (the plantar fascia) for approximately 60sec per foot

Step Two: Toe Touch Progression (I like to start the client off with heels elevated slightly on the half foam first; which is more passive, then work up to toes elevated on the foam and a towel in between the knees for proper tracking of the knee and trunk engagement). Arms extended over head, again NO hyperextension and ensuring the client does not hyperextend the lower back upon returning from flexed position.

If the client has lower back pain or any back related injury (herniated discs, back surgery etc); then flexion you want to stay away from and extension patterning should also be considered with ANY flexion patterning  – it’s all about creating balance.

Dysfunction in motor control tends to be one of the most common causes for altered neuromuscular stabilization of the pelvis and hips and this transfers to our feet. Considering, the psoas and hip flexor group interact with flexion (point of origin of the psoas is lower lumbar, hence it will pull on the back and compress at the hip in flexion of the toe touch progression, you can modify this by performing another movement pattern – the supine  ASLR passive and active leg lowering progression.

Step one: use the foot roller or tennis ball to roll the plantar fascia.

Step Two: ASLR Passive Leg Progression and then moving to the second progression (using a hurdle or door frame). For more information on these progressions you can find a great breakdown in Gray Cook’s book “Athletic Body in Balance” or more for you clinical coaches, Gray’s  book “Movemet” looks at more the SMFA approach.

In any case, always retest and see if there is an immediate improvement in visceral pain of the plantar fascia and improved range of motion in the superficial back line. Some instantly feel release and can be able to touch their toes.

Next week we take a peek at the Barefoot Training and the neuromuscular adaptations and benefits of rooting through your feet in strength and conditioning.

 

Sources:

Dissection of the Lines “Anatomy Trains” – http://www.anatomytrains.com/uploads/rich_media/ATDiss-1.pdf

Gray Cook (links to his books and articles ) – http://graycook.com/

Fuzz: Another Reason To Start a Morning Practice

Fuzz: Another Reason To Start a Morning Practice

Gil Hedley, Ph.D., founder of Integral Anatomy Productions, LLC, and Somanautics Workshops, Inc. is an anatomist whose intention is to share a larger vision of community and relationships based upon insights drawn from self-responsible and embodied life experience.

He gives a wonderful “fuzz speech” which describes with perfect simplicity why we should all get up in the morning and move, stretch and use our bodies. Don’t let the “fuzz” build up and become permanent movement inhibitions!

Visit his website for more information about his research.

More importantly, watch the Fuzz Speech here!

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