Since May of this year, I've been sharing with you various stretches and exercises to help you get out of pain and stay that way.  From the questions and emails I've been receiving it seems as though a reminder of the blogs would be really helpful.  As I promised early on in my blog post, I am committed to providing reliable, useful, practical information that will assist you in getting out of pain and staying that way.

If your having Shouler Pain:

Try these stretches and exercises to get rid of pain and stay that way:

Shoulder Stretches Group 1

Shoulder Stretches Group 2

Shoulder Exercises Group 1

Shoulder Exercises Group 2

Having Wrist Pain, don't forget these tried and true movements:

Painful Wrists Stretches and Exercises

Lower Back Pain, remember these stretches for the hip and lower back:

Back Pain Stretches Group 1

Back Pain Stretches Group 2

Back Pain Stretches Group 3

Knee Pain have you limping around? Try these:

Knee Pain Exercises

So there you go. The bodypart where you're experiencing pain listed just above the stretches and exercises. It doesn't get much easier than that.

With this well outlined group of stretches and exercises you should have no problem getting out of pain and staying that way.  But I feel I have to remind you, you have to do them consistently if you want them to work. Doing these movements once in a while will not get you results. Make the committment, get out of pain and go do what you already enjoy doing . . . . better!

Have a great Labor Day Weekend.
For some strange reason I've been approached several times this week regarding knee injuries.  Not quite sure why this has been the issue this week, but thought I would share with all of you some tips on how to get rid of that nagging knee pain.

First though, let me help you better understand how the knee ends up being in pain.  If you have a habit of sitting to one side while at your desk, cross your legs under your desk and/or chair, or if you sit on one leg, all of these create misalignment in either the hip and/or the ankle.  Guess what joint sits right above or below this now misaligned hip or ankle -- the knee.  

When you sit in a posture that is not legs at 90 degrees, feet and ankles underneath knees, shoulders back and chest up, you are increasing the chances of muscles running from the hip to the knee or the knee to the ankle becoming strained. And as you know if you've been reading my blogs, muscles under strain will pull on the joints.

Now let's be honest. Almost none of us sit upright in the position I described above all the time; But if you're in pain you already now that. If you're having knee pain, please download this free Knee_Injury_Rehab_Level_1_(blog_8-27-2010).pdf and get out of pain now!

If you've been lucky enough to avoid pain so far, I would encourage you to begin rolling on an Energy F/X Tube or other roller to alleviate muscle tension, and decrease the chances of developing knee pain. If you have any questions on how to begin using an Energy F/X Tube to avoid or alleviate knee pain click here. And if you need to purchase a roller that will last, try the Energy F/X Tube.

Life is too short to live in pain.  Don't let bad habits set you up for pain.  Either get in the habit of sitting in an upright position on a regular basis, use a Swiss Ball as a desk chair, which aids in maintaining good posture, or get yourself an Energy F/X Tube and, like drinking a glass of orange juice to avoid a cold, it'll help alleviate the symptoms that cause knee pain.

Or you could just ignore all of this. . . . . .  and see what happens.
Shoulder Pain must be the second largest complaint I hear about outside of back pain. Whether it's from doing too many bench press exercises and skipping rotator cuff work, or spending hours in front of the computer, shoulder pain . . . . is a pain!  Much like back pain, it is related to repeated poor posture, either sitting or standing. The purpose of these stretches is to get your body back in alignment and decrease the stress the poor posture has placed on your muscles and joints.

If the pictures and description are still a little confusing, I've included a freebie -- a Shoulder Stretch Sheet; that you can download and take with you to practice.

The first three stretches will be performed in a doorway. The images will demonstrate the proper set up position. In each of the doorway stretches be sure to engage your stomach muscles and tuck your hips underneath you to avoid arching the lower back.
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Stretch #1 
As I stated I would like for you to do these first 3 stretches in a door way. Taking a lunge position halfway through the door, reach up and out to a 45 degree angle. Gently lean forward until you feel a stretch. Make sure that your weight is balanced evenly between your front and back leg. Hold the position for 5-7 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.


Stretch #2
I've turned just a bit to the side so that you can notice the lunge position and the position of the hands (forming a 90 degree bend at shoulder and elbow). As in the first stretch, gently lean forward until a stretch is felt. Make sure that your weight is evenly balanced between the front and back leg. Hold this position for 5-7 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.


Stretch #3
Again, using this inverted V, place your hands lower on the door frame and gently lean forward until a stretch is felt. Make sure that your weight is evenly balanced between the front and back leg. Hold this position for 5-7 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.


Stretch #4
From a seated position place your hands behind you, approximately shoulder width, with your fingers pointing away from your body. Slowly slide your body forward, away from your hands, until a stretch is felt. Be sure to keep your chest up and gently squeeze your shoulder blades together as you lift your chest. Hold this position for 7-10 seconds.  Repeat 2-3 times.

Try the stretches above to get rid of that shoulder pain. It's summer and most of us are more active than usual. Don't be sidelined by unnecessary pain.  I've had great results with my clientele in relieving shoulder pain, and I think you will, too.

As always, let me know how these stretches worked.  And here is the freebie!  Bonus_Shoulder_Stretches_Sheet.pdf
I've been receiving some really great responses from the last 2 posts regarding stretches for the lower back. I also received an inquiry for a few more stretches for those that travel and have to deal with long plane flights (sitting for extended periods of time).

So here are 3 more stretches to get and keep you out of pain, whether you're flying every week, spending too much time in front of the computer, or need a little help keeping the hips and back open after a rigorous workout.



Stretch #1 Pigeon
This is a slightly less aggressive form of pigeon from the laying position. Lay flat on your back.  Bring your right leg towards your chest. Grasping your knee and ankle gently, pulling the leg towards the left side of your chest (so you are moving the leg across the body) until you feel a stretch in your glutes. You will create a very gentle stretch in the hip. You should feel no pain in the knee. Repeat this process 3-7 times.



Stretch #2 Windshield Wipers
Here is another version of the windshield wiper stretch from the previous back stretch post. Laying flat on your back, feet slightly wider than hip width, bring your knees together so they meet in the middle. Hold this position for approximately 5-7 seconds. Return the knees out wide over the ankles. Think of the windshield wipers on your car. Repeat the process 3-5 times.



Stretch #3 Knees Out Wide
As the name suggests, this is a basic groin stretch to decrease inner thigh tightness.  Resting on your knees, move them as far apart as you can comfortably. Place your elbows underneath your shoulders for support and rock back and forth to find your tight spots. When you find a tight spot, stop and breath 5-7 breaths before rocking again. I would suggest repeating for each tight area 3-5 times.

You requested it, so there you go.  Use these stretches along with the other 2 posts on back stretches to get and keep you out of pain.

As always, let me know how they worked for you.


If you have back pain, in most cases it has to do with tight hips. Whether it's from sitting too long, sleeping in an odd position or just feeling tight.  Try these 3 stretches to get rid of that nagging pain.

As always, let me know how they worked for you.

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 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. Hold position for 7 breaths. You should feel no pain in the knee. If you do stop immediately. This pose is also know as pigeon.

 

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.

I was sitting here thinking how tired I was, as I looked at my list of "to-do's".  I thought to myself I've got to get this done if I'm going to reach the goals I have set.  But honestly, I just wasn't feeling it.  So I leaned back in my chair as I sat at my desk and just kind of looked over the quotes I have hanging around my office.

And then it hit me P-O-W!!!

I don't know exactly where or who I picked it up from, but there on my wall in large letters it says, "Don't Let Life Get in the Way of Your Progress".

When you find yourself tired from the day, you don't feel like making your meals, you don't feel like doing your cardio, stretching or rolling, remember the old saying, Successful People Do the Things Unsuccessful People are Unwilling to Do. If it were easy to be financially independent, everyone would be wealthy.  If it was easy to be in-shape and fit, everyone would be in-shape and fit.

The fact of the matter is it takes commitment and work to achieve your goals no matter what they are. Everything from how well you plan out your goals (time perspective), to what you think about (reticular activation), to who you surround yourself with (coming soon), all dictate and influence what your results will be. The truth is, it's not crowded at the top because most people, in this age of convenience and "feel good", don't have the commitment or work ethic to create their dreams. They would rather complain or give excuses as to why they haven't accomplished the goals they've set. For some, comfort and boredom are more satisfying than challenge, accomplishment and success.

We all have all sorts of excuses as to why we can't do such and such. Everything from work, to family responsibilities, to not having enough time (I hear that one a lot), to just being plain old tired. Granted sometimes in this fast paced world we find ourselves just completely out of gas.  And the best thing for you at that time would be a good nap.  But I believe more often than not, we all give ourselves excuses for why we can't accomplish ________ (fill in the blank) because it's easier than buckling down and getting to work.

Be honest, doesn't it feel great when you've set a goal, planned it out and achieved it?  Isn't it validating to have created something and see the benefit it gives others? Don't you feel SO motivated when you see those extra pounds come off, take a few more seconds off your run time or are able to save a little more money by the end of the month? The work is worth it.

Make the plan.
Get emotionally connected to the goal.
Be consistent in doing something each day towards that goal.
And GET IT DONE!


All I have to say is Reasons or Results -- which one will you have in 30, 60, 90 days?


Let me know if this information was helpful.


A client asked me the other day why do I think it takes some people so long to get results while other people seem to have faster results. 


I think this is such an outstanding question.


It’s all about habits.  Some people will come in each week and do hours of cardio, but then leave the gym and pay little to no attention to what they eat. Likewise others will come in do all sorts of rehab exercises and then go and sit in their office chair with their legs crossed for 3-4 hours a day and wonder why their knee or hip is still bothering them.


It’s all about HABITS.  To me the whole idea of working out, exercising and training is so that it makes what we do in our day to day life easier and more enjoyable. If you spend 3-4 hours a week exercising, but spend 20-30 hours a week sitting improperly or not paying attention to what you eat, you’ve dismantled all the hard work you’ve done at the gym.


See, working out, training and exercising is like fluoride for the body.  It fortifies the body so it doesn’t break down while you’re going through your daily routine. Eating properly does much the same thing. It fortifies and encourages your body to burn fat, digest and eliminate properly and repair damaged tissues.

The curious thing is many people treat fitness like we do our car repair. We think if we just show up and do some exercise, that’s the end of the responsibility. Unfortunately you can’t just drop off your body and pick up a new one, without aches and pains, and the perfect shape you want.  You have to be aware of your habits outside the gym as well.

Simply put, health, fitness and wellness is a lifestyle.  It is something that should be made part of your everyday living if you are going to get results and reach your goals.

Here are some HABITS to assist you in reaching your goals.


1.)   Focus on the task at hand.  If you’re training, train, don’t make it a social outlet. Get what you came to get done, done.

2.)   Plan your meals in advance. Make food choices that assist you in reaching your goals. You deserve to see the results of all your hard work, and it will help you stay motivated.

3.)   Get body work/massage done regularly. Whether it’s going to a massage therapist or using a roller or tube for self massage, take care of your body. It’s as important as changing the oil in your car.

4.)   Be aware of your posture. How you sit in your chair, how you walk, how you stand. You spend WAY more hours doing these things each than you do training – Fortify!

5.)   Get your rest. At the pace most of us are working, none of us can afford to miss any sleep. It’s a necessary part of recuperation both mentally and physically.


Your habits, like it or not, decide your success in anything you do in life.  Don’t just go through the motions. You’re putting in the hard work, why not see the results? Whether it’s physical pain, a few extra pounds you want to get rid of, or a financial goal you have set for yourself, your habits will dictate your success.

As always, let me know what you think.  Was this information a helpful reminder?

Ok.  Here's tip #2 that will assist you in accomplishing any goal you are truly serious about.

Have you ever thought about something, a car you plan on purchasing, a dress you want to buy, and suddenly around every corner you turn, there it is. That is a phenomenon known as reticular activation

What that basically means is that once you make up your mind about something and have a sincere emotional connection to it, it activates your awareness to that item.  The interesting thing is, it works for just about anything.  Whether it be weight loss goals, financial improvement, an item you want to purchase or a way you want to stop or start behaving -- all effectively begin with using reticular activation techniques.

That is why I often encourage the use of affirmations said 3-5x/daily (stated in a way as though the goal, item or quality has already been achieved), or posting images on your refrigerator of what you want to attain.  It sets the mind in the right framework of success.  It makes you more aware and connected to your goal and thus increases your chances of success.  Just making a statement and "hoping" it comes true is nothing more than wishful thinking.  But making that goal a daily, conscious focus is quite another thing. It cues your brain to be aware of opportunities that present themselves to assist you in achieving your goal.

 

Reticular activation also involves visualization, so that you visualize your success or attainment of the goal you wish to achieve.  World Class Athletes have been doing it for years, CEO's have utilized the concept to create their success and many of my clients utilize these techniques to achieve their body transformation goals.

In my Free Special Report and Audio I further outline how you can utilize goal setting and other reticular activation techniques.

Set a plan, focus on it, execute it and achieve it.

As always please let me know if this information was helpful.

Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
– Alfred A. Montapert, American Author

I chose this quote, because today, as I sat for a moment between clients, I realized how many people just haphazardly go from one movement to the next with what appears to be no rhyme or reason.  Their workout appears largely machined based.  But darn it if they don't typically LOOK busy.  Interesting enough these also tend to be the same people that complain of making little progress to their goals.

I'll Keep It Seriously Simple.  If you are serious about getting ready for bikini season with the little time we have left before it starts getting crazy hot, here are a few tips that I guarantee will help you shed those extra pounds quickly.

1.) Don't skip your core/ab workout.  Do it first while you're fresh and focused. It serves the purpose of getting the body ready for exercise and brings your mind into focus for the task at hand.

2.) Put on your headphones and focus on what you came to do.

3.) Pick 4-7 exercises that involve the total body or an upper body exercise followed by a lower body exercise. Do all movements in that cycle before resting for 2 min. Then do it again.  Repeat 3-4 times.  Then pick a different group of exercises again, 4-7 movements that utilize the entire body or alternate upper lower.

4.) Utilize leg movements that force you to support your own body weight.  Sitting on a machine is fine if you're just starting out or in the midst of rehabing an injury. But by and large, your leg movements should include things like good old fashioned squats, lunges and deadlifts. There are literally hundreds of variations you can do that still fit the criteria of functional movement.

5.) Utilize upper body movements that force you to utilize your core as well as the muscle being worked.  For instance, one-arm rows utilizing a dumbbell or cable, push-ups, pull-ups, bicep curls coupled with either lateral raises or shoulder press all on 1 leg (7-10 reps per side).

6.)
Plan your meals ahead of time.  Do NOT wait till the last minute, find yourself starving and make a poor choice in nutrition. Heck you're going to the gym, why not see the results.

7.) Before you start any of the above steps, take your measurements.  Get a body composition done. Take your waist, hip, chest, and shoulder circumference measurements.  You're going to the gym, might as well be sure you;re getting the results of all that time.

As always, let me know if this information was helpful.

PS.  Be sure to print this out so you can get the benefit of all 7 secrets.

HELP!

 

I’ve been blog posting largely based on the experiences I have had or presently have with clients.  So far I’ve shared information on using self-massage techniques to help get you out of pain, information on carbs and generally how to create meals that will keep you on track, how to get rid of painful wrists and shoulders, and how stress may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts, and finally I shared with you how to assess the magic bullets that the media is constantly trying to sell you.

 

What I realized however is that while I may think the information is valuable and important, that doesn’t mean you do. So I thought the best way to improve the quality of the post that I put up is to ask you, “Is anyone experiencing pain issues I have not addressed, or has a nutrition question that might assist you with?"

 

I believe this whole social media thing is a great opportunity to share valuable information and network at levels never seen before.  Though I realize that this is often the case, I would like to use this social vehicle to inform and empower as many of you out there as possible, to assist you in getting out of pain, get into your best shape, and improve your overall quality of life.  Yeah, I know it’s sounds kind of corny, but hey, it’s the gift I have and I want to share it.

 

Let me know if there is anything I can help you with.