What is Corrective Exercise and Do You Need it?

“No No No, you are doing it all wrong. Do it this way!”

That is not corrective exercise.

Corrective exercise consists of 3 things.

  • Joint mobilizations
  • Stretches
  • Specific targeted exercises

Does Corrective Exercise Fix Joint Pain?

That will be the topic of this post. Since I am a Corrective Exercise Specialist, hopefully I can explain this in a way that gives you enough information to decide if thus is something you should incorporate in your workouts or pre-workouts.

So let’s start with an example.

Let’s say you have been sedentary for a number of years and feel old. You want to lose 10-15 pounds and look and feel better.

What do you do?

Old Model

  1. Join gym, bootcamp or buy a DVD.
  2. Start exercising and eating better.
  3. If you get hurt, either stop or see a Doctor that tells you to stop working out for a while.
  4. Repeat cycle.

Okay, I am being a little sarcastic here but isn’t that how it generally goes? Most people think a workout is either cardio, weights or a combination.

To make matters worse, most people want to “do” and not spend time “learning”. Fair enough.

Here is the problem. The fitness world is not telling you the whole truth.

Everyone likes to think their situations are different. And sometimes they are but most of the time people suffer from the same handful of conditions.

The reason is that we all work in the same environment, a sedentary one. We drive everywhere, sit for eight hours at work and sit on the couch at home.

That is a lot of time for negative body changes to take place. Changes you won’t even notice until they manifest themselves as pain.

Muscles become stiff and shorten. Muscles that are always under tension become irritated. They begin to pull on the joints in an uneven fashion. So you get muscle and joint pain.

This causes similar effects in most people.

  • Tight Hip flexors
  • Tight Hamstrings
  • Knee pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Shoulder and neck pain.

The idea here is not to get into how those physiological changes affect you but to talk about why traditional exercise isn’t going to fix them.

2 Rules to remember

Rule 1: Joint pain generally is not a joint issue.

Rule 2: Tight muscles are not a result of those muscles being tight.

Totally confused?

Let’s look at a knee.

corrective exercise kneeIn corrective exercise, I see joint pain as an effect not as a cause. If it isn’t the cause, then something must be going on to misalign the knee so crunches, hurts, pops, etc…

If the ligaments all need to aligned for the knee to track properly, what could pull them out of whack?

Tight muscles.

So to track where the culprit is, you have to go up from the knee and down from the knee and look at those muscles.

For example: Say the front of your knee hurts.

Old School Thinking:

If my knee hurts my muscles are weak. I will do a bunch of leg extensions and leg presses to strengthen them.

The problem:

Your pain is probably being caused by quad muscles already. They are tight from sitting and may have developed knots and all kinds of nasty stuff. If that is the case, strengthening the front of the leg will increase the imbalance not fix it.

Corrective Exercise Thinking:

Get a foam roller or a lacrosse ball and actively go up and down the leg muscles looking for painful spots. These are knots or adhesion and most likely will be the culprit of the knee pain. As you work them out you will get more length in the muscle and the knee pain will “magically” go away. Once you get rid of the adhesions or knots you can stretch and strengthen the muscle joint. But not before.

Sometimes that is all there is to it. I teach my clients how to troubleshoot and fix their aches and pains. It is all based on logic, therefore it is very intuitive and easy to learn but it is a different way of thinking.

 

Do I have to buy expensive equipment?

If you want to but all you really need is:

  • Foam roller $20 to $30
  • Tennis balls
  • Lacrosse ball $2-$3
  • Golf Ball

Everything else is optional.

How long does it take to do?

That depends on how many issues you have. The nice part about corrective exercise is that if it doesn’t hurt, we leave it alone. Usually 5-15 minutes is all it takes. Once an area is fixed, you don’t have to do the exercises.

Should I do corrective exercise before or after the workout?

If you do it after, you have just spent your time blasting muscles that are already tight and damaged. Not the best idea. Do the corrective exercise stuff before the workout and again after if that is an option.

Does it always work?

Nope. Sometimes you need to take it to another level and get a deep tissue massage. A good masseuse can diagnose and massage out knots faster than I can with my techniques, so always keep that open as an option. Also, corrective exercise probably won’t work if there are tears and ruptures. If you have any doubts, get to a Doctor an get MRI’s and X-rays. Corrective exercise is good but it can’t fix everything.

 

The Bottom Line:

As we get older, we are more susceptible to muscle and joint pain. If you think you are inflexible, have joint or muscle pain, it would make a lot of sense for you to learn these techniques or hire a coach to teach you.

I always start with a full body assessment before coming up with a workout program for my clients.

The biggest part of getting back in shape is showing up for the workout. So take a few minutes to make sure your body is ready to perform.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M Factor fitness

M Factor Fitness Online Programs

Questions about  M Factor Fitness Online training?

Let’s get them answered.

Is it really only $10/month?

Yes

How does it work?

You sign up via Paypal and download the M Factor Fitness app on your phone (or you can just log in through the website with your computer).

Here is what it looks like.

M Factor Fintess Online app

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will send you an email with your password when I get your account set up.

Click here to sign up!

What Online Programs Do I get?

To make this affordable, I have devised a number of workouts to cover almost any goal you want to accomplish. You can always go in and delete workouts, change the exercises or create new workouts from my workout library. You have unlimited freedom with my training but these workouts are a great place to start.

P.S. I am a pretty nice coach. Let me know what equipment you have and what your goals are and I will get everything customized for you.

No extra charge. See, I told you I was nice!

These are all subject to change but I wanted to give you an idea of what you get when you sign up.

Online Program 1: 10 Minute ab workouts

10 minute ab workouts have a built in timer and are designed to hit all areas of the core. Hint: #1 is easier than #6. It is progressive.

10 minute ab workouts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Program 2: The” 4 week get off the couch”

The “4 week Get off the Couch” are 4 progressively harder full body workout designed to gradually get you back in the game.

Do Workout 1 three times a week the first week, then workout 2 the next week…you get the idea.

online workouts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Program 3: The Balancing series

The Balancing series is an add-on workout you can do anytime. For best results pick 2-3 exercises and do 2-3 sets barefoot.

Online Program: Balancing

Online Program 4: Quickies

Quickie workouts are ugly, intense workouts when time is short and you have limited equipment. Great for hotel rooms while you are traveling or anytime you want your butt kicked.

Quickie Online programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Program 5: warm-ups, Cool-downs and Stretches

Warm-ups are to be done before the workout.
Cool-downs are done after the workout.

Online programs stretches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online programs cool-downs

 

 

 

 

 

Bonus online programs

I have a custom library of over 200 exercises for you.

online programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Kettlebell exercises
  • Dumbbell
  • TRX / Bands
  • Free weight

You can go into any workout and replace exercises or even create custom workouts.

How to customize Your Online Workout

Setting up Your Calendar

Hopefully this helps answer your questions. I designed my online training to be simple, affordable and most of all, effective.

Need a little more help???

Apply for membership in my VIP online training which is the ultimate in online accountability.

Click here for details.

 

Workout of The Week: Superset Madness

Workout of the Week #1 Superset Madness

Are you in the mood for a hard workout of week?

A Workout of the week or WOW is not for the weak.
 This one is from my online training program and it is a doozy.
I am going to give you an idea what to do based on screen pics.
Members get this on their phone with HD video and a full description of each exercise.
Oh yeah, it is only $10/month. Click here for more info.
First off, you need an interval timer.

What is an interval timer you ask?

Basically the interval timer keeps you moving. Work on the ding and stop on the next ding. Don’t worry about counting reps, just go for it.

For some of my workouts I build a timer inside the program so you can click and go.

This workout of the week is simple, yet hard to add a timer in so you will have to download a HIIT (high intensity interval timer).

The good news is that they are free to download.

The other good news is that they all work the same.

You want to program the number of sets.

In this case you are doing 3 sets of 2 exercises, then taking a break.

So we are talking about 6 sets.

Program work time.

Beginners start with 40 seconds, intermediates use 45 seconds and hardcores use 50 seconds.

Program rest time

Beginners use 20 seconds, intermediates use 15 seconds and advanced use 10 seconds.

The workout explained

The workout consists of 4 mini circuits. Do each circuit 3 times then move on to the next.
Your first group of exercises is dumbbell presses followed by squats.
Then you have alternating lunges and dumbbell rows…get it?
 
This is a sample of the workouts I do with my clients and the workouts you can get on my online training program.
If you are a member, you can go in and substitute exercises with my exercise library which has over 200 exercises.
My online training features a free smartphone app download that has HD videos and a built in timer that will show you what exercise to do and automatically switch to the next one.
workout of the week
 

Pretty cool for just $10/month. Check it out at http://mfactorfitnessandnutrition.com

Summary

Online training

Exercise Descriptions

The actual workout on your smartphone includes HD video and a Built in Interval timer.
You also have the ability to customize your workout by substituting exercises.
online coaching
Online personal training

To learn more about how to become an M Factor Fitness Online Member Click Here.

Why Your Workout isn’t Working Out Anymore.

It isn’t you. It is the workout!

 

Here you are, someone who has found themselves out of shape. Your stomach may be hanging over the belt, your butt may be expanding at a shocking rate or maybe you just feel like crap.  So something happens and you finally decide to do something about it.

  • You join gym.
  • You buy a DVD
  • You download a fitness app on your phone.

And generally this stuff will work for the first couple of weeks. You feel better, you lose some weight and all is good with the world. Then it all comes to a screeching halt. A couple of things may have happened.

 

 

Things that derail a workout

  • Your life gets busy and you put less and less effort into eating clean and doing the workout and you end up going back to your old habits.
  • You get injured. By exercising again you aggravated old injuries.
  • You get injured part 2. You started with a program that was waaaaay to advanced for you and you hurt yourself.
  • You are doing the same exercises and eating the same way as when you started but you aren’t making progress anymore. In fact, you may be going backwards.

 That is the dirty little secret of the fitness industry. It is a little thing we call the “De-conditioned Athlete”.

When you are sitting there on the sofa, bag of Doritos and beer in hand, breathing hard after walking up a flight of stairs, you are de-conditioned. Out of shape.

  • Your muscles are weak and flabby.
  • You may have lower back/shoulder/knee pain because the muscles can’t support the skeleton the way they should so you basically start folding over and collapsing.
  • Your aerobic system is taxed doing everyday things such as walking up stairs.

You are now the ideal client for the fitness industry. Any workout you do, not matter how poorly designed will result in an improved state of health. No matter how dumb the idea is, it will work…for a while. If you just cut back from a case of beer to a 12 pack, you will see a difference. This is known as the conditioning effect and it is a wonderful thing.

Gyms sell memberships by the boatload with this technique. First, they do an assessment which basically means putting you through the wringer for 20 minutes or so. When you come to, you realize how really out of shape you are and you sign the contract on the spot. Gyms will really hit you hard for referalls the first month because they know all you have to do is show up and you will make some progress.

The problem is that this phase lasts 2-4 weeks then disappears. Weight loss slows down, strength gains slow down and your enthusiasm starts grinding to a halt. This is where most people get injured or they just don’t see the value in putting themselves through this pain for little to no results. And it all falls apart.

Has this happened to you?

This is what you need to know. There are 3 phases to training.

  • Initial conditioning phase. 2-4 weeks
  • The training phase
  • The maintenance phase

We just talked about the initial conditioning phase. As a personal trainer I know I have to create enough momentum to push them past this first sticking point. Sometimes just knowing it is going to happen is enough for my people to keep working hard. The second or training phase is where we work on the goals. You are now ready to do the hard work. All the easy gains are gone. This phase lasts until you reach your goal. The maintenance phase can be a less aggressive, simpler period of time where you just want to stay where you are at. Nevertheless, these are the 3 phases and you need to know where you are in them.

This is where the value of a good fitness coach comes into play. I need to do several things you may not notice me doing.

  • Working on fixing old injuries through corrective exercise.
  • Making sure your technique is correct.
  • Keeping you motivated by making the workouts challenging.
  • Keeping you focused on your goals.
  • Setting realistic goals you can hit.

If you are one of these poor souls putting in time in the gym and not getting results, I would ask you:

  • Are you still doing the same routine as when you started?
  • Are you using the same weights for the exercises?
  • Are you developing or re-aggravating any joint pain?
  • Do you wander the gym aimlessly trying to copy someone else’s workout plan?

If this is you, maybe you need a little help. I am here for you.

 

Can I give you a couple of ideas?

If you are interested in online coaching, click here.

I hope this helped, any questions or if you would like to schedule a free 30 minute consult, please fill out the bottom of the sheet.

Contact Me

I offer in home and online personal training. This is customized training directed at achieving your goals. I offer a free 30 minute consultation and would love to talk with you. Just fill out the consult form and I will be in touch with you. I look forward to hearing from you.

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The Danger of Wearing Running Shoes to Workout and Workout Shoes to Run

You may be causing yourself lower back, hip and knee issues if you wear the wrong shoes for working out and running.

Things to Remember

Running Shoes

  • Running Shoes are meant to stabilize the foot and distribute impact.
  • Running shoes are meant to control strike imbalances such as over-pronation (the outer edge of the foot hitting first and rolling in).
  • Running shoe cushioning material will break down over time changing the shape of the shoe and changing your foot angle.

Workout Shoes

  • The best workout shoes allow the foot to move and react to stress.
  • They have minimal padding.
  • They don’t correct for the foot strike.
  • They are flat as opposed to having the heel higher than the toe.

What we are talking about here is something you probably haven’t thought about and it could be causing you big problems. If  you have lower back, hip, knee or ankle pain it may be a really bad idea wearing running shoes to workout in. It would be an even worse idea to wear workout shoes to run in. And by workout shoes, you probably aren’t running around the block in Chuck Taylors but you may be wearing cross trainers.

Here is my stretching program for runners 

Learn how to rehab running injuries here.

Why running requires a specialized shoe

According a study at Harvard, your foot impact is 1.5 to 3 times your bodyweight times 1000 strikes per mile.

So a 180 pound person running generates 270 to 540 pounds of force per step that the body has to deal with. Multiply that by 1,000 steps per mile and you can see why you pay $100 for a good pair of running shoes. They are built to absorb the repetitive shock of your foot hitting the pavement.

You may have seen the new movement, at least here in Colorado, of running barefoot. I see the science behind it and agree with it in theory. But with a lot of things in life, theory and reality aren’t the same. Just accept the fact that muscles of your feet have been weakened over time by wearing shoes and cheap shoes or running barefoot will be a far worse choice for you than investing in a good pair of running shoes.

Another aspect of running shoes is that they are higher in the heel than the ball of the foot. This in essence makes running easier because you are leaning forward. Not a bad idea if you are going forward anyway but not a great idea if you are standing and not moving.

So why don’t running shoes work in the gym?

As a personal trainer I spend a great portion of my time working with my clients on rebalancing muscle imbalances that are caused by the modern lifestyle. Here is a link to a short video that explains corrective exercise. A running shoe attempts to minimize the forces generated by running and keep you in a good running alignment. But that isn’t the same alignment as you need when you are standing.

Ever build a tower with blocks? What happens when you start putting blocks slightly out of alignment? Eventually the tower loses stability and crashes to the ground. By starting with your heels higher than the ball of your foot you are doing the same thing with your spine. To stand upright you now have to compensate with your ankles, knees and hips. In this case you aren’t having to correct the forces of a foot strike but rather control forces created by picking up weights.

Why barefoot (theoretically) is the best way to lift weights

Okay, some people have ugly looking feet they shouldn’t show in public. Some people have smelly feet they should not put on display. I agree with you but lets stick to the point. Lifting barefoot is the healthiest way to lift. Having the foot flat allows the foot and ankle muscles the freedom to move and counter forces the way the were made to. And in doing this get stronger. The RKA Kettlebell guys recommend training barefoot so the feet can grip the floor for added stability. Heck, even yoga practitioners train barefoot.

2 Reasons to train barefoot summarized.

  1. You will build up the muscles in the foot and make the foot stronger and healthier.
  2. You put the hips and spine in better alignment to bear weight.

Flat shoes are the next best thing to barefoot.

Yup, the old Chuck Taylors are the choice for a lot of powerlifters. These are guys lifting massive amounts of weight both in the squat and deadlift. They need the foot in as natural a position as possible. if they do this, wouldn’t it make sense for you to think about it too? Is this too much of a fashion faux pas for you? Alright, just look for a shoe that has a minimal amount of padding and a flat sole. Deck shoes are another great choice.

A Word of Caution

Depending on the condition of your feet, this can be uncomfortable at first. Walking in “basic” shoes can make your arches sore. That soreness is just dormant muscles waking up. You may feel funny walking or that your foot slaps against the ground. Don’t worry, all this is normal.

What is wrong with a Cross-Trainer Shoe?

A cross trainer shoe was developed for the person who wants to run and do other things. Running shoes are designed to go in a straight line. They don’t have the lateral stability for sports such as tennis. Even though a Chuck Taylor was originally a basketball shoe, I wouldn’t want to play tennis with one. The cross trainer gives you the best of both worlds. A shoe you can kind of run in and a shoe that has lateral support for sports such as tennis. Just realize that by trying to do 2 things at once the cross trainer is not great at either. But that may not be an issue for you. A cross trainer is versatile. I wear them when I play tennis or basketball.

But the bottom line is this. I wear running shoes to run and flat shoes for working out.

 

Here is a short video I put together for my online training people about the importance of Warm-ups and Cool-downs.

If you are interested in my Online Coaching, Click here.

 

I hope this helps. As always, I am here to help if you have any questions.

Contact Me

I offer in home and online personal training. This is customized training directed at achieving your goals. I offer a free 30 minute consultation and would love to talk with you. Just fill out the consult form and I will be in touch with you. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Ready To Get Back In The Game?

Am I really the last person you want to see?

head shot

I always joke I am the last person people call when they want to get in shape. And that is because you will try everything else before thinking about hiring a personal trainer. We are getting older and our bodies change. We are not as invincible as we were in our 20’s. This means it is harder to get in shape and harder to lose fat. Harder but not impossible.

Have you tried…

  • Dvd’s
  • Bootcamps
  • Boxing Gyms
  • Rec Centers
  • Chain Gyms

They just don’t seem to work anymore, do they?

 

Ladies

  • You need to put some pressure on your bones. Lifting weights is the best way to prevent or delay osteoporosis.
  • Getting stronger is the best way to regulate your hormones.
  • Getting stronger is fun.
  • Getting your muscle back is the best thing you can do to increase your metabolism.
  • Increase your metabolism and you burn more calories at rest. (and you can drink that extra glass of wine without guilt!)
  • Forget about diets and learn to eat like an athlete.
  • Get the things that have gone south going north again.
  • Turn some heads.

Gentlemen

  • Lifting weights increases testosterone. More testosterone = more fun.
  • Women don’t like moobs.
  • Your waist should not be bigger than your chest.
  • You will be able to tuck your shirt in.
  • Go buy that speedo you always wanted. (okay, maybe not.)
  • Get ready to turn some heads!

The bottom line is this. We are all getting older. But getting older doesn’t mean you have to look and feel old!

Now that you have gone through the stress of work, kids and building a life it is time to have a little fun.

And you can’t have fun if you can’t bend over and tie your shoes.

So here are 2 ideas.

My Online Personal training starts at just $10/month. Click here to learn more.

So Get ready To Turn Some Heads! Here Is Your First Step

Contact Me

I offer in home and online personal training. This is customized training directed at achieving your goals. I offer a free 30 minute consultation and would love to talk with you. Just fill out the consult form and I will be in touch with you. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Post 157: It may be pronounced “yogging”.

Too much jogging ‘as bad as no exercise at all’

To read the full story click here.

“Too much jogging may be as bad for you as not putting on your running shoes at all, a report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology says.

Scientists studied more than 1,000 healthy joggers and non-joggers over a 12-year period.

Those who jogged at a steady pace for less than two and a half hours a week were least likely to die in this time.

But those who ran more than four hours a week or did no exercise had the highest death rates.”

Man, I just don’t know about this. I wish the article had a breakdown of what people actually died from. With runners I would expect car collisions to be involved somewhere. This is something the couch potato doesn’t have to worry about.

 

 

Post 155: Side Planks

found on rei.com

found on rei.com

Do planks strike fear in your heart?

When the word comes up does your brain start thinking up excuses not to do them?

You is that you can do crunches all day and you will never build the same level of stability in your core as you will with a couple planks. This exercise is pure value for your time. Start by holding a couple of seconds and work up from there. The key is to do them everyday.

Here are some tips for you:

Variations

  • If the version shown is too hard on the shoulders, rest on your forearm (not your elbows).
  • You can move your hips up and down while holding the side plank position.
  • If you care just starting out, you can do these with your knees on the ground but make sure your torso is in a straight line.
  • If you are bordering on insane lift the top leg up and down as you hold.

Resources

Free 5 Day Fat Loss Video series:http://mfactorfitnessandnutrition.com/free-5-part-fat-loss-video-series/

Website: www.mfactorfitness.com.

Blog : http://mfactorfitnessandnutrition.com/blog/

Podcast: http://mfactorfitness.podbean.com/

Online Training start for $1: http://mfactorfitnessandnutrition.com/online-training/

Get a free jug of Protein powder:http://mfactorfitness.getprograde.com/workout-free-trial.html

RBT Bands – Looped bands for speed and power training.

http://mfactor.biotrust.com/

Podcast 47: Irrational Broncos and Why You Aren’t Losing Weight Part 2

Episode 47: Irrational Broncos and Why You Aren’t Losing Weight Part 2

January 15, 2015
Listen Now:

This week is sheer madness in Denver. The Bronco loss has brought out the lunacy in fans. Firing a coach that only took you to the playoffs every year and a Super Bowl? Booing a Hall of Fame Quarterback? You would think the team went 2-14. Nope, just lost a game to a determined Colts team that played a near perfect game.

 
If there is one thing I know. well,actually 3 things. 
Excellent quarterbacks, excellent coaches and excellent personal trainers don’t grow on trees. When you find one, keep ’em. 
 
After that rant we get to the meat of the matter here at the funkcast. A few episodes ago, Episode 44 to be exact, we started talking about the weird and infuriating phenomenon of doing everything right but still being unable to lose weight. I am not talking about the guy that sneaks out for cheeseburgers at night, drinks a case of beer over the weekend then moans about his inability to drop fat. No, I am taking about people who are watching what they are eating, working out and hitting a dead end.
 
There are a couple of causes and really they need to be diagnosed by a Doctor, not a guy on a funkcast. Nevertheless you need to be aware of what they are because sometimes even Doctors won’t figure it out.
 
What are they? Well I guess you will just have to listen, won’t you!
 

Podcast 46: The Militarization of Fitness or New age Jibber Jabber?

Episode 46: The Militarization of Fitness or New age Jibber Jabber?

January 8, 2015
Listen Now:

I like the episodes where I discuss articles and this is no exception.

 
I ran across this article entitled, 

The Massive Fitness Trend That’s Not Actually Healthy at All

Very interesting perspective. In this article, Jonathan Angelilli makes the argument that we have militarized our fitness because we are an aggressive society and that aggressiveness is a bad thing. 
 
I make the argument that Americans are more fat and lazy than aggressive. Maybe passive/aggressive but that is an entirely different thing. Please don’t take offense at that but I don’t think the Spartans had a diabetes epidemic. They were aggressive. I am pretty sure Genghis Khan had a good BMI.
 
And as we all know, “Those weights ain’t gonna lift themselves” at least not without a lot of hard work. I call it hard work, you call it suffering….let’s not play semantics here.
 
The idea here is to look at a different perspective. Even though he bills himself as a “celebrity trainer” ( yuck) and “peaceful warrior” he makes some interesting points and I respect that. And he is entitled to those opinions.
 
He also says a number of new-agey things that are way off base.
 
Who is right? That is for you to decide.