This is the second installment of the series I'll call "THINGS". The first post was about some Things I Stopped Doing, where I basically "called myself out" for not knowing a whole heck of a lot when it came to effective exercise selection and proper programming for resistance training.
After learning from my mistakes I began to implement a variety of things that will hopefully help me move, feel, and look better. If appropriate, some of my clients are doing these things as well, but it depends on each individual circumstance.
(1) Foam Rolling / LAX ball rolling. I have been doing this for a little while now, but up in til recently I've been doing it half-ass. I started "rolling" almost everyday of the week about 2 months ago and it has made a huge difference, especially in squat depth and single leg movements.
|Trust me- You won't have a smile on your face!|
|Find the knots and roll em' out!|
I realize my hips were pretty jacked up and my piriformis and IT band were extremely tight, so I dedicate about 5-10 minutes on getting those tight areas a little "looser" and I'm moving much better.
(2) Dynamic Mobility Exercises. Since we started with Foam rolling, that leads nicely to the next phase of my warm-up which is to increase my heart rate and improve mobility. I have done the static stretching thing through high school and college athletics, it amazes me that none of my coaches incorporated dynamic mobility drills and part of the pre-practice or pre-game warm up.
Movements like leg swings, hip circles, and a reverse lunge with a reach can do wonders for the hip flexors. Thoracic spine activation drills and exercises like wall slides can help improve shoulder mobility and serve as a precautionary measure for a few common upper body injuries.
One of the mobility drills I "hate" the most is the overhead squat! My form definietely needs some improvement and I really notice the areas where I lack flexibility. I guess that means that I should be doing it more often.
(3) Taking a Probiotic. There is a lot of literature on the importance of "gut health" and when you think about the functions of the digestive system and the immune system, you definitely want them working at full-force. You can find Probiotics in yogurt, I just find taking one capsule a day much easier and I'm not a huge dairy fan anyway. Like I said, I really don't encourage people to take too many supplements, but this is one that is cheap and beneficial.
(4) Questioning the Laws. You must eat breakfast everyday. You must eat 6 meals a day. You must eat every 2-3 hours to "stoke" the metabolic fire. Really? Check out THIS website for a different approach in terms of eating for leanness, backed by client transformations and research links. I have come across some interesting reading material recently and I decided to try some mini-experiments on myself.
I am in the beginning of doing some self implemented "research" in regards to my daily nutrition plan. I have been trying to find the right formula on how I want to set things up in regards to macronutrient breakdown and meal timing, when I get it figured out - I'll make sure to let everyone in on my results.
(5) Morning Movements. I stole this from John Romaniello. He calls it a "neural wake up" and honestly it does get the blood flowing and the mind working more efficiently. In the morning before my first client, I perform 10 push ups, 10 lunges, 10 band pull a parts, 10 squats, 10 TRX rows, and 10 reverse lunges. I usually go through this series of exercises twice and I perform each movement in a controlled manner with a full range of motion.
Ideally, I'd like to get this "morning movement" drill in 3-4 times a week. I find that I am more energetic the days I do this and when I demonstrate an exercise for an early morning client I am not as rusty.
There ya go, some things that make my life a little more awesome day in and day out. As I evolve as a fitness professional I constantly seek ways to improve myself and the people I train. I think it's irresponsible of me to request my clients to do something if I haven't tried it or I can't do it.
I guess I am a guinea pig when it comes to exercise, nutrition, and supplements- but at least I can inform people what they can expect from a certain protocol.
Next week I'll have up Part 3- Things I'll Never Do. Check back tomorrow for "End of the Week Thoughts".