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Kip Thorstenson, DPT, CSCS

️Doctor of Physical Therapy
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Stir the pot. An advanced core exercise that uses the swiss ball in a rather unconventional way. This is an exercise that was created and popularized by world renowned low back pain expert - Stuart McGill @backfitpro. Here are the dos ✅ for the stir the pot exercise.
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✅- Once in a full plank position with forearms positioned on the ball - try to attain “perfect” alignment. I know there is not a “perfect” alignment, but shoot for the best form that you can do possible . Think of maintaining a relatively straight line all the way from your feet to the top of your head.
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DO NOT let the low back sag. Think of maintaining a flat back. Maintain tension in both your abdominals and your glutes. Once in position, slowly roll the ball in a circle (clockwise or counter clockwise) while maintaining that strict neutral spine alignment. Try to avoid moving your hips, spine, and pelvis as little as possible If you have to widen your stance of your feet to make the exercise a tad easier - do it. If you want to increase intensity - narrow the stance.
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🐥- DISCLAIMER - If you have any history of shoulder issues or pathologies, please do not do this exercise. This exercise will place a large amount of stress on both shoulders. I prefer to count/increase reps with this exercise instead of increasing the duration. Perform number of sets and reps based on your goals and keep the form solid at all times. Let me know if you have any questions!
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Stir the pot. An advanced core exercise that uses the swiss ball in a rather unconventional way. This is an exercise that was created and popularized by world renowned low back pain expert - Stuart McGill @backfitpro. Here are the dos for the stir the pot exercise. . . - Once in a full plank position with forearms positioned on the ball - try to attain “perfect” alignment. I know there is not a “perfect” alignment, but shoot for the best form that you can do possible . Think of maintaining a relatively straight line all the way from your feet to the top of your head. . . DO NOT let the low back sag. Think of maintaining a flat back. Maintain tension in both your abdominals and your glutes. Once in position, slowly roll the ball in a circle (clockwise or counter clockwise) while maintaining that strict neutral spine alignment. Try to avoid moving your hips, spine, and pelvis as little as possible If you have to widen your stance of your feet to make the exercise a tad easier - do it. If you want to increase intensity - narrow the stance. . . - DISCLAIMER - If you have any history of shoulder issues or pathologies, please do not do this exercise. This exercise will place a large amount of stress on both shoulders. I prefer to count/increase reps with this exercise instead of increasing the duration. Perform number of sets and reps based on your goals and keep the form solid at all times. Let me know if you have any questions! . . - 2 days ago

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18 Comments
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Ab wheel iso hold. Isometric holds in varying positions are a great way to challenge your neuromuscular system and effectively “teach” your body how to withstand and hold challenging positions. Here is how to perform the ab wheel iso hold.
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✅- You will start out in a push up position with your hands on the ab wheel handles. Think of having your hands straight down from your shoulders perpendicular to the floor. Assume neutral spine positioning by maintaining good core tension (belly button in towards the spine). Once you find your “neutral” position - simply hold. Hold for as long as your are able to withstand the proper positioning. You should feel a good burn in both your shoulder and core stabilizers throughout the exercise. To increase intensity - roll the ab wheel out in front of body slightly which will further challenge your overall stability.
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🐥 - If your gym has an ab wheel or power wheel, then this can be a great exercise to effectively challenge your shoulder girdle and core stability. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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Ab wheel iso hold. Isometric holds in varying positions are a great way to challenge your neuromuscular system and effectively “teach” your body how to withstand and hold challenging positions. Here is how to perform the ab wheel iso hold. . . - You will start out in a push up position with your hands on the ab wheel handles. Think of having your hands straight down from your shoulders perpendicular to the floor. Assume neutral spine positioning by maintaining good core tension (belly button in towards the spine). Once you find your “neutral” position - simply hold. Hold for as long as your are able to withstand the proper positioning. You should feel a good burn in both your shoulder and core stabilizers throughout the exercise. To increase intensity - roll the ab wheel out in front of body slightly which will further challenge your overall stability. . . - If your gym has an ab wheel or power wheel, then this can be a great exercise to effectively challenge your shoulder girdle and core stability. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 3 days ago

381 Likes
9 Comments
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Foam roller dead bug. The dead bug is a unique abdominal exercise while in a supine position that has many variations to effectively challenge your core. This particular version utilizes a foam roller to add an instability component to the movement. Here are the dos ✅ for the foam roller dead bug.
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✅ - You will need at least a 36 inch foam roller for this movement. You will start with yourself lying on your back with your spine the long way along the foam roller. Try to have your tailbone/sacrum and head make contact with the foam roller once fully lied down. Once in position, lift both knees up so both your hips and knees form a 90 degree angle. Hands will start in a palms down position on the floor next to the foam roller.
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The goal with this particular exercise is to perform alternating movement of both your leg and arm. So, if you straighten one leg out - lift the opposite arm up overhead. Only reach foot and hand out and up respectively as high as you are able to withhold the proper positioning and balance on the foam roller. Maintain abdominal tension throughout the exercise and try to avoid an excessive arch through your lumbar spine with the exercise. Repeat for desired number of reps and sets based on your goals!
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🐥- The dead bug is by no means the be all to end all for core training. It is definitely a great exercise that can be added to anyone’s core routine. Give this foam roller version a try next time at the gym if you feel up to it. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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Foam roller dead bug. The dead bug is a unique abdominal exercise while in a supine position that has many variations to effectively challenge your core. This particular version utilizes a foam roller to add an instability component to the movement. Here are the dos for the foam roller dead bug. . . - You will need at least a 36 inch foam roller for this movement. You will start with yourself lying on your back with your spine the long way along the foam roller. Try to have your tailbone/sacrum and head make contact with the foam roller once fully lied down. Once in position, lift both knees up so both your hips and knees form a 90 degree angle. Hands will start in a palms down position on the floor next to the foam roller. . . The goal with this particular exercise is to perform alternating movement of both your leg and arm. So, if you straighten one leg out - lift the opposite arm up overhead. Only reach foot and hand out and up respectively as high as you are able to withhold the proper positioning and balance on the foam roller. Maintain abdominal tension throughout the exercise and try to avoid an excessive arch through your lumbar spine with the exercise. Repeat for desired number of reps and sets based on your goals! . . - The dead bug is by no means the be all to end all for core training. It is definitely a great exercise that can be added to anyone’s core routine. Give this foam roller version a try next time at the gym if you feel up to it. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 5 days ago

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3 Comments
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Pec flys. An exercise used to isolate the pectorals by using the primary motion of horizontal adduction (bringing arm across body) to activate the area, which is a major action of the pectorals. Here are some things to avoid ❌ and tips and tricks ✅ to give yourself a more complete, effective, and safer pec fly exercise.
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❌ - This movement is starting the lift will slightly rounded shoulders and not holding shoulder blades in a good retracted position. This could put the glenohumeral joint in less than advantageous position. Also, elbows are completely straight throughout movement. Rather -try to keep a slight bend in elbows through the movement to take pressure off shoulder. Lastly, reaching too far down, which may take tension off pectorals. Far too many people will stretch and hold the dumbbells out too far out to the side and bring the dumbbells down way too low. This coupled with straightened elbows will can create a large lever arm and possibly place a large amount of strain on your anterior shoulder.
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✅ - Movement is starting and holding the shoulder blades in a nice firm retracted (squeezed back) position during the exercise. Also, elbows are kept in a slightly flexed position throughout exercise. Lastly, utilizing a slower and more controlled motion of dumbbells, stretching the targeted area, then contracting back up with the use of horizontal adduction.
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🐥 - DISCLAIMER - if you have a history of shoulder pain or instability - there are plenty of alternative chest exercises that will be better options for pec development. This post is for those with no prior history of shoulder issues and have sufficient stability/mobility of the glenohumeral joints. If you're shoulders are generally healthy and need a switch up on your accessory chest movements, give this a try. Be sure to start light, keep tension on intended area, and vary reps/sets to whatever your goal is. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.
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Pec flys. An exercise used to isolate the pectorals by using the primary motion of horizontal adduction (bringing arm across body) to activate the area, which is a major action of the pectorals. Here are some things to avoid and tips and tricks to give yourself a more complete, effective, and safer pec fly exercise. . . - This movement is starting the lift will slightly rounded shoulders and not holding shoulder blades in a good retracted position. This could put the glenohumeral joint in less than advantageous position. Also, elbows are completely straight throughout movement. Rather -try to keep a slight bend in elbows through the movement to take pressure off shoulder. Lastly, reaching too far down, which may take tension off pectorals. Far too many people will stretch and hold the dumbbells out too far out to the side and bring the dumbbells down way too low. This coupled with straightened elbows will can create a large lever arm and possibly place a large amount of strain on your anterior shoulder. . . - Movement is starting and holding the shoulder blades in a nice firm retracted (squeezed back) position during the exercise. Also, elbows are kept in a slightly flexed position throughout exercise. Lastly, utilizing a slower and more controlled motion of dumbbells, stretching the targeted area, then contracting back up with the use of horizontal adduction. . . - DISCLAIMER - if you have a history of shoulder pain or instability - there are plenty of alternative chest exercises that will be better options for pec development. This post is for those with no prior history of shoulder issues and have sufficient stability/mobility of the glenohumeral joints. If you're shoulders are generally healthy and need a switch up on your accessory chest movements, give this a try. Be sure to start light, keep tension on intended area, and vary reps/sets to whatever your goal is. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. . . - 6 days ago

963 Likes
26 Comments
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The inchworm slider plank. Here is an exercise that I made up on the fly while working with the sliders one day. If anyone knows the exact exercise name - please let me know! Here are the dos ✅ for the inchworm slider plank.
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✅ - This particular movement uses the sliders on the forearms during a front plank position. Start with the sliders on the forearms with the hands in a pronated (palms down) position. Next - find your neutral front plank position. Try to slightly tuck pelvis at the top by contracting your core and glutes. Also - think of protracting (rounding your shoulder blades) your shoulders by pushing your forearms straight down into the sliders and into the floor.
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Your upper arm will be perpindicular to the floor at the beginning/start position. While holding this full front plank position - slowly move the arms/sliders out in front. Only reach out hands as far as you are able to while holding this rigid front plank position. Then - you will “inch” your feet up to the point where you are back in the start position. Repeat for desired reps and sets based on your goals.
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🐥 - As said in previous posts - the sliders are an extremely versatile piece of equipment that can easily supplement your foundational workout routine. Give this exercise a try and let me know what you think in the comments!
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The inchworm slider plank. Here is an exercise that I made up on the fly while working with the sliders one day. If anyone knows the exact exercise name - please let me know! Here are the dos for the inchworm slider plank. . . - This particular movement uses the sliders on the forearms during a front plank position. Start with the sliders on the forearms with the hands in a pronated (palms down) position. Next - find your neutral front plank position. Try to slightly tuck pelvis at the top by contracting your core and glutes. Also - think of protracting (rounding your shoulder blades) your shoulders by pushing your forearms straight down into the sliders and into the floor. . . Your upper arm will be perpindicular to the floor at the beginning/start position. While holding this full front plank position - slowly move the arms/sliders out in front. Only reach out hands as far as you are able to while holding this rigid front plank position. Then - you will “inch” your feet up to the point where you are back in the start position. Repeat for desired reps and sets based on your goals. . . - As said in previous posts - the sliders are an extremely versatile piece of equipment that can easily supplement your foundational workout routine. Give this exercise a try and let me know what you think in the comments! . . - 8 days ago

629 Likes
10 Comments
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Swiss ball bridges. The traditional bridge is a hallmark exercise used to strengthen the posterior chain. If you’re having trouble “feeling” your glutes - simply performing the bridge on a swiss ball may give the necessary feedback to turn on the targeted musculature.. Here are a few bridge variations off a swiss ball that may be perfect for your routine.
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✅- 1) First exercise is a standard glute bridge. Begin by sitting on the exercise ball and slowly lower hips down to the floor. Shoulder blades should act as the “pivot point” for the lunge. Hinge hips down to the floor on the eccentric, and try to extend through the hips fully so your torso and thigh make a straight line. Ball should stay relatively stationary.
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2) Second exercise is a frog bridge. Feet and hips would be turned out into an externally rotated position throughout movement. Same rules apply - hinge at your hips, extend fully at the top, and ball should stay stationary.
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3) Next Exercise is a standard double leg bridge with a slow single leg lowering. Starting position of feet will be slightly closer together to start to keep the foot that you are lowering within the middle of your base of support.
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4) Last exercise will be the most challenging - a single leg bridge. Foot should be positioned within the middle of your base of support. Perform slowly to combat the instability of the ball. Try to keep ball stationary and try to get to full hip extension at the top of the rep!
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🐥 - Working on movements and strengthening with an instability component can be very powerful for your training. The swiss ball not only can allow you to create a more efficient hip hinge, but it also will challenge your body’s ability to maintain its base of support. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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Swiss ball bridges. The traditional bridge is a hallmark exercise used to strengthen the posterior chain. If you’re having trouble “feeling” your glutes - simply performing the bridge on a swiss ball may give the necessary feedback to turn on the targeted musculature.. Here are a few bridge variations off a swiss ball that may be perfect for your routine. . . - 1) First exercise is a standard glute bridge. Begin by sitting on the exercise ball and slowly lower hips down to the floor. Shoulder blades should act as the “pivot point” for the lunge. Hinge hips down to the floor on the eccentric, and try to extend through the hips fully so your torso and thigh make a straight line. Ball should stay relatively stationary. . . 2) Second exercise is a frog bridge. Feet and hips would be turned out into an externally rotated position throughout movement. Same rules apply - hinge at your hips, extend fully at the top, and ball should stay stationary. . . 3) Next Exercise is a standard double leg bridge with a slow single leg lowering. Starting position of feet will be slightly closer together to start to keep the foot that you are lowering within the middle of your base of support. . . 4) Last exercise will be the most challenging - a single leg bridge. Foot should be positioned within the middle of your base of support. Perform slowly to combat the instability of the ball. Try to keep ball stationary and try to get to full hip extension at the top of the rep! . . - Working on movements and strengthening with an instability component can be very powerful for your training. The swiss ball not only can allow you to create a more efficient hip hinge, but it also will challenge your body’s ability to maintain its base of support. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 9 days ago

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Plank hip slide outs. I’ve posted numerous times about my love for sliders and how versatile they can be in your training. Here is a couple of exercises that i like to use to train the movement of hip abduction with a core stability component. Here are the dos ✅ for the plank hip slide outs.
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✅ - Sliders will be placed on the front of both feet. Next - position yourself in a front plank position. You will then slowly slide out both feet to the side simultaneously while trying to hold the front plank position. While sliding feet outwards - try to keep toes pointed straight down into the floor as best as possible. The other exercise is simply moving one leg out as a time and alternating from side to side. Same technique and form applies. Repeat for roughly 10-15 reps.
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🐥 - If you are struggling with hip mobility - your core strength may be a prime culprit as to why your hips will not assume certain positions. Direct core work can - in some cases - improve hip mobility. Why not combine the two with the use of sliders? Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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Plank hip slide outs. I’ve posted numerous times about my love for sliders and how versatile they can be in your training. Here is a couple of exercises that i like to use to train the movement of hip abduction with a core stability component. Here are the dos for the plank hip slide outs. . . - Sliders will be placed on the front of both feet. Next - position yourself in a front plank position. You will then slowly slide out both feet to the side simultaneously while trying to hold the front plank position. While sliding feet outwards - try to keep toes pointed straight down into the floor as best as possible. The other exercise is simply moving one leg out as a time and alternating from side to side. Same technique and form applies. Repeat for roughly 10-15 reps. . . - If you are struggling with hip mobility - your core strength may be a prime culprit as to why your hips will not assume certain positions. Direct core work can - in some cases - improve hip mobility. Why not combine the two with the use of sliders? Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 10 days ago

552 Likes
11 Comments
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The psoas march. There has been many times that I have been asked by patients and athletes why their hip flexors “feel” so tight? They tell me that they stretch them all the time with little to no long lasting change. What if your hip flexors don’t have to be stretched, but actually strengthened? A large number of people would actually benefit from hip flexor STRENGTHENING as compared to repetitive static stretching. Here are the dos✅ for the psoas march.
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✅ - Use a band or theraband tied into a circle and place it around the front of both feet. You will then move to your back and flex both knees up towards your chest while maintaining a slight core contraction. Be sure to try and get both knees past the 90 degree angle - this is where your psoas (primary hip flexor) will be activated the most. Also, try to maintain the ankles into dorsiflexion (toes pulled up) during movement.
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While holding one thigh/knee flexed up towards chest, slowly lower the opposing leg down. Do not touch that leg to the ground. Be sure to maintain core tension (DO NOT let low back arch) and hold for roughly 2 seconds or so. You can repeat on the same leg or alternate legs - whichever you prefer. Try your best to maintain the “up” leg past the 90 degree angle when you lower the other leg down. Repeat for desired reps and sets based on your goals.
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🐥 - The psoas march is a great exercise to isometrically strengthen the hip flexors and to also help coordinate core tension with lower extremity movement. If you have not been responding to chronic hip flexor stretching, this might be a great exercise for you to add to your arsenal. Give it a try. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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The psoas march. There has been many times that I have been asked by patients and athletes why their hip flexors “feel” so tight? They tell me that they stretch them all the time with little to no long lasting change. What if your hip flexors don’t have to be stretched, but actually strengthened? A large number of people would actually benefit from hip flexor STRENGTHENING as compared to repetitive static stretching. Here are the dos for the psoas march. . . . - Use a band or theraband tied into a circle and place it around the front of both feet. You will then move to your back and flex both knees up towards your chest while maintaining a slight core contraction. Be sure to try and get both knees past the 90 degree angle - this is where your psoas (primary hip flexor) will be activated the most. Also, try to maintain the ankles into dorsiflexion (toes pulled up) during movement. . . While holding one thigh/knee flexed up towards chest, slowly lower the opposing leg down. Do not touch that leg to the ground. Be sure to maintain core tension (DO NOT let low back arch) and hold for roughly 2 seconds or so. You can repeat on the same leg or alternate legs - whichever you prefer. Try your best to maintain the “up” leg past the 90 degree angle when you lower the other leg down. Repeat for desired reps and sets based on your goals. . . - The psoas march is a great exercise to isometrically strengthen the hip flexors and to also help coordinate core tension with lower extremity movement. If you have not been responding to chronic hip flexor stretching, this might be a great exercise for you to add to your arsenal. Give it a try. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 11 days ago

984 Likes
51 Comments
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Swiss ball push ups. Lately, I have been experiencing with different push up variations - and this one is at the top of the list. This push up variation does a great job of challenging both the upper body and trunk stability. Here are the dos ✅ for the swill ball push up.
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✅- Once you have a swiss ball directly behind yourself- bring your feet up onto the top of the ball. You will see many variations with the feet position. I generally prefer to keep my toes on the ball - which may challenge your stability a bit more. You can also keep your toes in a pointed down position and ball on the dorsum (top) of the feet- which may decrease the stability component needed for the exercise. Next, think of slowly bringing your chest down first and try to avoid letting your low back sag. Your low back should not initiate the movement. Think of bringing your chest down first. Repeat for desired number of reps and sets based on your goals.
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🐥- The swiss ball is a versatile piece of equipment. Can be used for a variety of different exercises for upper and lower body & the core/trunk. Give this push up version a try at the end of your workout to provide your chest and core with a different stimulus! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.
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Swiss ball push ups. Lately, I have been experiencing with different push up variations - and this one is at the top of the list. This push up variation does a great job of challenging both the upper body and trunk stability. Here are the dos for the swill ball push up. . . - Once you have a swiss ball directly behind yourself- bring your feet up onto the top of the ball. You will see many variations with the feet position. I generally prefer to keep my toes on the ball - which may challenge your stability a bit more. You can also keep your toes in a pointed down position and ball on the dorsum (top) of the feet- which may decrease the stability component needed for the exercise. Next, think of slowly bringing your chest down first and try to avoid letting your low back sag. Your low back should not initiate the movement. Think of bringing your chest down first. Repeat for desired number of reps and sets based on your goals. . . - The swiss ball is a versatile piece of equipment. Can be used for a variety of different exercises for upper and lower body & the core/trunk. Give this push up version a try at the end of your workout to provide your chest and core with a different stimulus! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. . . - 13 days ago

384 Likes
12 Comments
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The pull up. In my opinion, one of the absolute best bodyweight exercises that can be performed for overall back development and strength. Here are the dos ✅ and dont’s ❌ for the pull up.
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❌ - This movement shows lack of a full range of motion with the pull. If your goal is to get good at performing half reps for the pull up - then this would work well. Stimulation of muscle tissue will work best when the FULL range of motion is utilized.
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✅ - Using control with as little swing as possible. Slightly squeezing at the top of the rep and slowly lowering back down to the full bottom position. Lastly, thinking of pulling top of breast bone to the bar, creating a slight retraction and extension moment through the arms and shoulder blades - increasing activation through the back musculature.
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🐥 - Pull ups - if done properly - can yield amazing results. Many studies have shown their effectiveness in stimulating the biceps to a high degree as well. So if your goal is to not only increase your back size and strength, but also your arm development - then pull ups should be a top priority for you. Be sure you utilize the full range of motion to get the most out of this movement! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.
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The pull up. In my opinion, one of the absolute best bodyweight exercises that can be performed for overall back development and strength. Here are the dos and dont’s for the pull up. . - This movement shows lack of a full range of motion with the pull. If your goal is to get good at performing half reps for the pull up - then this would work well. Stimulation of muscle tissue will work best when the FULL range of motion is utilized. . . - Using control with as little swing as possible. Slightly squeezing at the top of the rep and slowly lowering back down to the full bottom position. Lastly, thinking of pulling top of breast bone to the bar, creating a slight retraction and extension moment through the arms and shoulder blades - increasing activation through the back musculature. . . - Pull ups - if done properly - can yield amazing results. Many studies have shown their effectiveness in stimulating the biceps to a high degree as well. So if your goal is to not only increase your back size and strength, but also your arm development - then pull ups should be a top priority for you. Be sure you utilize the full range of motion to get the most out of this movement! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. . . - 15 days ago

600 Likes
23 Comments
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Improve your forearm strength. The forearms are a muscle group that is needed for a wide array of activities. Strength, stamina, and overall endurance in the forearms will improve not only your performance in the gym, but also normal every day activities such as trying to hold 15 bags of groceries from your vehicle so you don’t have to make 2 trips. Here is a group of 3 exercises that I enjoy performing to improve my overall grip/forearm strength.
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✅ - 1) First movement is a wrist flexion curl over a smith machine bar. You will need a wrist curl rope piece of equipment. Shoulders should be positioned at a 90 degree flexion angle with the forearms resting on the bar and palms in a down position. While keeping forearms pressed down into the smith machine bar, alternate and flex your hands down while curling the weight up. Exercise can also be done the opposite way with wrist extension as well.
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2) Second exercise is a behind the back barbell wrist curl. This exercise will be focusing on the wrist flexors of the forearm. Start with the barbell behind your back. Let the hands fully extend at the bottom and curl the bar upwards bringing the bar/hands up towards the ceiling. Use a full range of motion!
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3) Last exercise is a plate pinch. Video shows my good friends @kolbygru_hot and @savageborowicz performing the exercise with a 45 pound bumper plate. Use a weight/plate size that you feel as if you can hold for roughly 20-30 seconds with a good grip/form. Simply use a “pinch” grip with your thumb on one end of the plate, and your 4 other digits on the other side. Try and hold for 30 seconds or longer!
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🐥 - Forearms are like any other muscle group - they will respond best to progressive overload of both volume (2-3x per week) and weight (intensity) over time while hitting the different muscle groups (flexors and extensors) of the forearm. If increasing your forearm size and strength is a priority - give these exercises a try! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.
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Improve your forearm strength. The forearms are a muscle group that is needed for a wide array of activities. Strength, stamina, and overall endurance in the forearms will improve not only your performance in the gym, but also normal every day activities such as trying to hold 15 bags of groceries from your vehicle so you don’t have to make 2 trips. Here is a group of 3 exercises that I enjoy performing to improve my overall grip/forearm strength. . . - 1) First movement is a wrist flexion curl over a smith machine bar. You will need a wrist curl rope piece of equipment. Shoulders should be positioned at a 90 degree flexion angle with the forearms resting on the bar and palms in a down position. While keeping forearms pressed down into the smith machine bar, alternate and flex your hands down while curling the weight up. Exercise can also be done the opposite way with wrist extension as well. . . 2) Second exercise is a behind the back barbell wrist curl. This exercise will be focusing on the wrist flexors of the forearm. Start with the barbell behind your back. Let the hands fully extend at the bottom and curl the bar upwards bringing the bar/hands up towards the ceiling. Use a full range of motion! . . 3) Last exercise is a plate pinch. Video shows my good friends @kolbygru_hot and @savageborowicz performing the exercise with a 45 pound bumper plate. Use a weight/plate size that you feel as if you can hold for roughly 20-30 seconds with a good grip/form. Simply use a “pinch” grip with your thumb on one end of the plate, and your 4 other digits on the other side. Try and hold for 30 seconds or longer! . . - Forearms are like any other muscle group - they will respond best to progressive overload of both volume (2-3x per week) and weight (intensity) over time while hitting the different muscle groups (flexors and extensors) of the forearm. If increasing your forearm size and strength is a priority - give these exercises a try! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. . . - 16 days ago

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44 Comments
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Bent over rows. An excellent unilateral exercise (when used with a dumbbell) to strengthen the latissimus dorsi, core stability, and stabilizing back musculature. This movement is often done with subpar form, which could end up doing more harm than good. Here are the dos ✅ and dont’s for the bent over row.
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❌ - The set up has a slight rounding of the low back. It is crucial to hip hinge at the waist and maintain a neutral spine with this loaded bent over exercise. Neck is in extended (looking up) position during movement. Instead, think of maintaining a straight line from the tail bone all the way up to the top of the head. Also - video shows the rowing of the dumbbell to the arm pit level. This may activate the upper back to a greater degree, but could put the shoulder into a somewhat compromised/impingement position.
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✅ - Improved overall positioning with effective hinging at this hips. Think of rowing the dumbbell to the side of your hip where your pant pocket would be - and NOT rowing to the armpit. Motion can somewhat replicate the motion of starting a lawn mower. This will place the emphasis of the movement on the intended area - latissimus dorsi. Lastly, head/cervical spine position is held in a down position and eye gaze is focused on a spot straight down to the floor.
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🐥 - Majority of people that go to the gym would like to be working out many more years from this point forward. Be sure that you are taking the time and looking at your set up and positioning for the exercises that you choose to use. Bent over rowing can be a great overall exercise, but contains a lot of moving parts. Be sure that you are aware of your positions. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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Bent over rows. An excellent unilateral exercise (when used with a dumbbell) to strengthen the latissimus dorsi, core stability, and stabilizing back musculature. This movement is often done with subpar form, which could end up doing more harm than good. Here are the dos and dont’s for the bent over row. . . - The set up has a slight rounding of the low back. It is crucial to hip hinge at the waist and maintain a neutral spine with this loaded bent over exercise. Neck is in extended (looking up) position during movement. Instead, think of maintaining a straight line from the tail bone all the way up to the top of the head. Also - video shows the rowing of the dumbbell to the arm pit level. This may activate the upper back to a greater degree, but could put the shoulder into a somewhat compromised/impingement position. . . - Improved overall positioning with effective hinging at this hips. Think of rowing the dumbbell to the side of your hip where your pant pocket would be - and NOT rowing to the armpit. Motion can somewhat replicate the motion of starting a lawn mower. This will place the emphasis of the movement on the intended area - latissimus dorsi. Lastly, head/cervical spine position is held in a down position and eye gaze is focused on a spot straight down to the floor. . . - Majority of people that go to the gym would like to be working out many more years from this point forward. Be sure that you are taking the time and looking at your set up and positioning for the exercises that you choose to use. Bent over rowing can be a great overall exercise, but contains a lot of moving parts. Be sure that you are aware of your positions. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 17 days ago

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The ab rollout. A more advanced core exercise that will greatly challenge your overall core strength and stability. I see this exercise often performed in many commercial gyms - but the exercise is often done with less than desired form. Here are the dos ✅ and dont’s ❌ for the ab rollout exercise.
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❌ - Not “setting" the core properly before rolling out. Be sure to “tuck” your pelvis posteriorly before rolling the wheel out in front. If not, you will more than likely arch your low back which is NOT what you want. One universal cue that can be helpful of think of is to think of bringing your belly button in towards your spine and tightly holding that while slowly rolling out. Also, exercise is far too quick, which makes it difficult to control the pelvis and overall body position. This also causes the feet to lift up off the ground putting an increase strain on areas with a lack of control.
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✅ - Tucking and contracting the core prior to rolling out. Trying to hold this tightly tucked abdominal position the entire time is the key. Slowly rolling ab wheel out in front with much better control and tempo. Thinking of maintaining the posterior tilt of the pelvis while controlling the “crunch” back to the start position.
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🐥 - One major thing that I recommend is that you only roll out as far as you are able to while still maintaining a neutral/flat back. If that is only a few inches out in front - then so be it. You do not have to get the body parallel to the floor to reap the benefits of this exercise. Also, use a mirror if possible to get quick feedback for your overall positioning. If you continue to perform this exercise the ❌ way, I can almost guarantee that your low back will not be happy with you. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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The ab rollout. A more advanced core exercise that will greatly challenge your overall core strength and stability. I see this exercise often performed in many commercial gyms - but the exercise is often done with less than desired form. Here are the dos and dont’s for the ab rollout exercise. . . - Not “setting" the core properly before rolling out. Be sure to “tuck” your pelvis posteriorly before rolling the wheel out in front. If not, you will more than likely arch your low back which is NOT what you want. One universal cue that can be helpful of think of is to think of bringing your belly button in towards your spine and tightly holding that while slowly rolling out. Also, exercise is far too quick, which makes it difficult to control the pelvis and overall body position. This also causes the feet to lift up off the ground putting an increase strain on areas with a lack of control. . . - Tucking and contracting the core prior to rolling out. Trying to hold this tightly tucked abdominal position the entire time is the key. Slowly rolling ab wheel out in front with much better control and tempo. Thinking of maintaining the posterior tilt of the pelvis while controlling the “crunch” back to the start position. . . - One major thing that I recommend is that you only roll out as far as you are able to while still maintaining a neutral/flat back. If that is only a few inches out in front - then so be it. You do not have to get the body parallel to the floor to reap the benefits of this exercise. Also, use a mirror if possible to get quick feedback for your overall positioning. If you continue to perform this exercise the way, I can almost guarantee that your low back will not be happy with you. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 19 days ago

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The glute bridge. One of the most commonly prescribed exercises in the rehab and training world. A staple of many low back pain protocols and overall LE strengthening programs. It is an excellent exercise - WHEN DONE PROPERLY. There are many things that can be added to the glute bridge to make it more challenging such as bands, tempo, varying feet placement, making it a single leg movement, and many more. Of all the things that can be varied - there is/should be one constant with them all - a neutral or posteriorly tilted pelvis! Be sure to look carefully because both movements look very similar if you are unsure what you are looking for. Look at the stomach area during the video. Here are the do’s ✅ and dont’s ❌for the glute bridge.
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❌ - There is a small arch in the low back prior to the start. Also, the rib cage is flared (sticking out) and pelvis is anteriorly rotated. Most will start in this position without even knowing it. Starting in this position may activate the low back musculature with the bridge - which is where we generally do NOT want the contraction.
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✅- Prior to start of the bridge, there is a flattening of the low back. This "flattening" will posteriorly tilt the pelvis - which is the position you want to be in with this movement. Posteriorly tilting is a fancy word for "tucking your tail". This is accomplished by tensing the abdominals and decreasing the distance from the rib cage to the pelvis. Be sure to hold this tension and posterior tilt of the pelvis throughout the exercise!
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More tips ✅ - Also be sure to maintain a majority of your foot tension through the heels during the bridge. Only lift the hips up high enough to make a perfectly straight line with the torso and your thighs.
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🐥 - It may not seem like much, but this small movement at the pelvis can do wonders for activation throughout the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings) with the glute bridge. If you have back pain and were given this exercise and feel it in your low back with every rep - this cue may be the ticket to feel it more in your buttocks. Be sure that you are consciously aware of pelvis position with this exercise. Let me know if you have any questions!
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The glute bridge. One of the most commonly prescribed exercises in the rehab and training world. A staple of many low back pain protocols and overall LE strengthening programs. It is an excellent exercise - WHEN DONE PROPERLY. There are many things that can be added to the glute bridge to make it more challenging such as bands, tempo, varying feet placement, making it a single leg movement, and many more. Of all the things that can be varied - there is/should be one constant with them all - a neutral or posteriorly tilted pelvis! Be sure to look carefully because both movements look very similar if you are unsure what you are looking for. Look at the stomach area during the video. Here are the do’s and dont’s for the glute bridge.
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 - There is a small arch in the low back prior to the start. Also, the rib cage is flared (sticking out) and pelvis is anteriorly rotated. Most will start in this position without even knowing it. Starting in this position may activate the low back musculature with the bridge - which is where we generally do NOT want the contraction.
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- Prior to start of the bridge, there is a flattening of the low back. This "flattening" will posteriorly tilt the pelvis - which is the position you want to be in with this movement. Posteriorly tilting is a fancy word for "tucking your tail". This is accomplished by tensing the abdominals and decreasing the distance from the rib cage to the pelvis. Be sure to hold this tension and posterior tilt of the pelvis throughout the exercise!
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More tips - Also be sure to maintain a majority of your foot tension through the heels during the bridge. Only lift the hips up high enough to make a perfectly straight line with the torso and your thighs.
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 - It may not seem like much, but this small movement at the pelvis can do wonders for activation throughout the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings) with the glute bridge. If you have back pain and were given this exercise and feel it in your low back with every rep - this cue may be the ticket to feel it more in your buttocks. Be sure that you are consciously aware of pelvis position with this exercise. Let me know if you have any questions! . . - 21 days ago

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Improve your hip internal rotation. Hip rotation (external and internal) is crucial for healthy and mobile hips, which many people lack (including myself). The general rule of thumb is that you should have roughly 35-45 degrees of free moving hip internal rotation. Here are 3 of my favorite exercises to help increase hip internal rotation.
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✅- 1) First exercise is a posterior hip capsule stretch. I am a big believer of trying to establish proper joint mechanics/movement prior to moving the femoral head into hip internal rotation. If your posterior hip capsule is tight/bound down, it's likely that you may lack internal rotation or have difficulty getting the femoral head to rotate internally. Try to hold position/capsule stretch for 2-3 mins with deep breathing.
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2) Next exercise is groin rock backs. You will start in a quadruped (hands and knees) position. Then, slowly separate your knees to the point of a deep groin stretch. Once stretch is felt, slowly move your hips back towards your heels trying to maintain a relative neutral low back position. If you feel a pinch or groin tightness, decrease the intensity of the stretch and reposition.
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3) Last exercise is knee fall ins. While in a hooklying position, slowly rotate one knee inwards at a time. Only move knee in as far as you feel comfortable. A stretch deep in your hip should be felt once your knee "falls in". Again - if you sense any tightness or pinching in your groin - reposition/do not work into it. Work with what your body is comfortable. Also, try to hold your back flat against the floor as best as you can so the rotational movement comes from your hips and not your lumbar spine.
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🐥 - These are 3 of my go to exercises (in this oder) to help with my own personal hip internal rotation. This is a routine that I try to complete before every "leg day". Once these 3 exercises are completed - retest your movement patterns (squat, lunge, deadlift) and see if improvement was made. Let me know if you have any questions with any of the exercises in the comments!
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Improve your hip internal rotation. Hip rotation (external and internal) is crucial for healthy and mobile hips, which many people lack (including myself). The general rule of thumb is that you should have roughly 35-45 degrees of free moving hip internal rotation. Here are 3 of my favorite exercises to help increase hip internal rotation. . . - 1) First exercise is a posterior hip capsule stretch. I am a big believer of trying to establish proper joint mechanics/movement prior to moving the femoral head into hip internal rotation. If your posterior hip capsule is tight/bound down, it's likely that you may lack internal rotation or have difficulty getting the femoral head to rotate internally. Try to hold position/capsule stretch for 2-3 mins with deep breathing. . . 2) Next exercise is groin rock backs. You will start in a quadruped (hands and knees) position. Then, slowly separate your knees to the point of a deep groin stretch. Once stretch is felt, slowly move your hips back towards your heels trying to maintain a relative neutral low back position. If you feel a pinch or groin tightness, decrease the intensity of the stretch and reposition. . . 3) Last exercise is knee fall ins. While in a hooklying position, slowly rotate one knee inwards at a time. Only move knee in as far as you feel comfortable. A stretch deep in your hip should be felt once your knee "falls in". Again - if you sense any tightness or pinching in your groin - reposition/do not work into it. Work with what your body is comfortable. Also, try to hold your back flat against the floor as best as you can so the rotational movement comes from your hips and not your lumbar spine. . . - These are 3 of my go to exercises (in this oder) to help with my own personal hip internal rotation. This is a routine that I try to complete before every "leg day". Once these 3 exercises are completed - retest your movement patterns (squat, lunge, deadlift) and see if improvement was made. Let me know if you have any questions with any of the exercises in the comments! . . - 23 days ago

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Neck harness extension. Neck training in general is somewhat foreign for many people and I believe that many think it is inherently dangerous to perform neck exercises. If you have no prior cervical spine pathology or issues - direct neck training has a host of potential benefits.  Lower level newer research has found that direct neck training may be beneficial for possibly decreasing the concussion rate and helping to stabilize the cervical spine during physical/contract sports. Here are the dos ✅ for the neck harness extension .
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✅- You will be seated during the exercise. Once neck harness is positioned squarely on your head - you will dangle a weight from the chain. Be sure to start light if you have never performed this exercise. Next - you will slowly EXTEND your neck while trying to keep your torso/upper body still. Think of looking up during the movement and utilize the full range of motion. Be sure that your neck looks all the way up and all the way down. Biggest mistake I see people doing is that they will extend/arch their entire trunk and body - without getting the movement at the intended place (cervical spine). Initially - recommend that you start with lighter weight that you can perform 20-25 reps with. Rep schemes and sets can be altered based on your goals once the movement starts to become easier. .
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🐥 - The neck musculature is just like any other musculature on the body. It will respond to a variety of rep schemes and can play a pivotal role in controlling and stabilizing head movements in sporting/athletic activities. Shoutout to my good friend @kolbygru_hot for showing me the neck harness and it's potential benefits for strengthening the neck extensors. A simple padded neck harness can be found on amazon for roughly 20 dollars. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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Neck harness extension. Neck training in general is somewhat foreign for many people and I believe that many think it is inherently dangerous to perform neck exercises. If you have no prior cervical spine pathology or issues - direct neck training has a host of potential benefits. Lower level newer research has found that direct neck training may be beneficial for possibly decreasing the concussion rate and helping to stabilize the cervical spine during physical/contract sports. Here are the dos for the neck harness extension . . - You will be seated during the exercise. Once neck harness is positioned squarely on your head - you will dangle a weight from the chain. Be sure to start light if you have never performed this exercise. Next - you will slowly EXTEND your neck while trying to keep your torso/upper body still. Think of looking up during the movement and utilize the full range of motion. Be sure that your neck looks all the way up and all the way down. Biggest mistake I see people doing is that they will extend/arch their entire trunk and body - without getting the movement at the intended place (cervical spine). Initially - recommend that you start with lighter weight that you can perform 20-25 reps with. Rep schemes and sets can be altered based on your goals once the movement starts to become easier. . . - The neck musculature is just like any other musculature on the body. It will respond to a variety of rep schemes and can play a pivotal role in controlling and stabilizing head movements in sporting/athletic activities. Shoutout to my good friend @kolbygru_hot for showing me the neck harness and it's potential benefits for strengthening the neck extensors. A simple padded neck harness can be found on amazon for roughly 20 dollars. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 24 days ago

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Ankle mobility dorsiflexion (DF) pt. 2. These two exercises will help to effectively load the tissues into a further range of motion following the tissue work from the previous post. If you have any pinching type sensation in the ankle joint - please back off and do not work into that pinching sensation.
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✅ - 1) Loaded ankle DF with a kettlebell. This is my favorite loading strategy for ankle DF. Be sure to place the kettlebell handle the long way along your thigh. Once in position and placing hands on kettlebell, slowly shift weight and knee forward. Be sure to keep heel on the ground the entire time. Once you have maxed out your end range of motion - apply light oscillations (tiny movements) at the end range. Do roughly 15-20 oscillations, reset to neutral, then repeat 2 to 3 more times. Be sure to breathe as well!
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2) Standing single leg calf eccentric. You will need a step or platform to perform on. Start with both heels off the edge. Then you will go up on both toes bringing heels up. Next - slowly shift weight to the side you are attempting to load. Once entire weight is on that side, SLOWLY lower that heel down and stretching into a deep dorsiflexion position at the bottom. Try to perform nice and slow - roughly for a 5 count. Repeat for 10-15 reps.
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🐥 - Once completed with the whole set of ankle DF exercises - be sure to get into your favorite other exercises that will further stress/load your ankle DF (squatting, lunging, running, etc.) to utilize this newly acquired range of motion! .
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Ankle mobility dorsiflexion (DF) pt. 2. These two exercises will help to effectively load the tissues into a further range of motion following the tissue work from the previous post. If you have any pinching type sensation in the ankle joint - please back off and do not work into that pinching sensation. . . - 1) Loaded ankle DF with a kettlebell. This is my favorite loading strategy for ankle DF. Be sure to place the kettlebell handle the long way along your thigh. Once in position and placing hands on kettlebell, slowly shift weight and knee forward. Be sure to keep heel on the ground the entire time. Once you have maxed out your end range of motion - apply light oscillations (tiny movements) at the end range. Do roughly 15-20 oscillations, reset to neutral, then repeat 2 to 3 more times. Be sure to breathe as well! . . 2) Standing single leg calf eccentric. You will need a step or platform to perform on. Start with both heels off the edge. Then you will go up on both toes bringing heels up. Next - slowly shift weight to the side you are attempting to load. Once entire weight is on that side, SLOWLY lower that heel down and stretching into a deep dorsiflexion position at the bottom. Try to perform nice and slow - roughly for a 5 count. Repeat for 10-15 reps. . . - Once completed with the whole set of ankle DF exercises - be sure to get into your favorite other exercises that will further stress/load your ankle DF (squatting, lunging, running, etc.) to utilize this newly acquired range of motion! . . - 24 days ago

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Ankle mobility - specifically dorsiflexion (DF) should be a priority for any competitive athlete, runner, or weightlifter. Dorsiflexion is the movement of bringing your toes up towards the shin - opposite of pressing the toes down. If there were two lower extremity mobility restrictions that I see the most in athletes or patients - they would be ankle dorsiflexion and hip internal rotation. Increasing both of those (and strengthening within the new ranges) will greatly benefit your overall motor control and movement health.
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I will be having two videos that will focus on increasing ankle DF. The other one will be tomorrow.
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1️⃣ -  Foam rolling the calf. Tension in the plantar flexors can restrict DF and make it difficult to get into a full range position. I like to start with tissue work on the calf area for 1-2 mins per side. Be sure to move ankle up and down while applying pressure to foam roller. Cross opposite leg over to apply increased pressure
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2️⃣- Foam roll the fibular complex. The fibular muscles lie on the outer aspect of the lower leg. One muscle in particular (fibularis longus) plays a role in plantar flexing the ankle (pushing toes down); therefore, work the lateral lower leg tissue to decrease tension to those areas. 1-2 mins per side
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3️⃣ - Plantar fascia roll. A large majority of people's shoes have a large heel lift. This lift/inclination places the foot in a plantarflexed position for majority of the day. This means the body is never going into DF that is needed or utilizing that range of motion. Also, this heel lift can create tension on the bottom of the foot. That's why I see a huge benefit of simply rolling out the tissue on the bottom of the foot. 1-2 mins per side. Start with light pressure.
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🐥 - I am definitely not reinventing the wheel here. These are fairly self explanatory exercises that can go a long way to combat the daily stressors of poor footwear. These exercises are essentially trying to decrease tissue tension. Tomorrow I will upload a video that will focus more on joint mechanics and how to effectively load the newly gained range of motion. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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Ankle mobility - specifically dorsiflexion (DF) should be a priority for any competitive athlete, runner, or weightlifter. Dorsiflexion is the movement of bringing your toes up towards the shin - opposite of pressing the toes down. If there were two lower extremity mobility restrictions that I see the most in athletes or patients - they would be ankle dorsiflexion and hip internal rotation. Increasing both of those (and strengthening within the new ranges) will greatly benefit your overall motor control and movement health. . . I will be having two videos that will focus on increasing ankle DF. The other one will be tomorrow. . . 1️⃣ - Foam rolling the calf. Tension in the plantar flexors can restrict DF and make it difficult to get into a full range position. I like to start with tissue work on the calf area for 1-2 mins per side. Be sure to move ankle up and down while applying pressure to foam roller. Cross opposite leg over to apply increased pressure . . 2️⃣- Foam roll the fibular complex. The fibular muscles lie on the outer aspect of the lower leg. One muscle in particular (fibularis longus) plays a role in plantar flexing the ankle (pushing toes down); therefore, work the lateral lower leg tissue to decrease tension to those areas. 1-2 mins per side . . 3️⃣ - Plantar fascia roll. A large majority of people's shoes have a large heel lift. This lift/inclination places the foot in a plantarflexed position for majority of the day. This means the body is never going into DF that is needed or utilizing that range of motion. Also, this heel lift can create tension on the bottom of the foot. That's why I see a huge benefit of simply rolling out the tissue on the bottom of the foot. 1-2 mins per side. Start with light pressure. . . - I am definitely not reinventing the wheel here. These are fairly self explanatory exercises that can go a long way to combat the daily stressors of poor footwear. These exercises are essentially trying to decrease tissue tension. Tomorrow I will upload a video that will focus more on joint mechanics and how to effectively load the newly gained range of motion. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 25 days ago

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