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EBM Fitness Solutions

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How to dominate the holidays. Part 2. [9 videos]

Let’s keep the holiday train rolling along. In Part 1, we discussed just getting moving more using dynamic warm-ups.

In Part 2, we are going to look at a bunch of different stretches that you can utilize to avoid ending up a complete ball of stress and knots come January.

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How to dominate the holidays. Part 1.

Back on Thanksgiving morning, I started sharing different ways to help get people through the holiday season without having to give up exercise.

I even suggested that it is NOT a crazy thought to begin doing some extra activity or exercise during this time of year.

Understanding that many people would view that as crazy advice, I gave examples of things you can do.

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Holiday eating tips (cool poster).

One thing that is common for most people this time of year is eating a lot of extra food. There are lots of parties and very nice people bringing in tons of goodies to where you work. 

This is also the time of year when exercise is sacrificed for other commitments and food choices can be made because of proximity (goodies at work), less time to prep (holiday shopping, parties, and all the extra traffic) and stress (not everyone enjoys this time of year).

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Pulling exercises. You're doing it wrong (video).

Rows, pulldowns, pull-ups, and other movements that initiate movement through the scapula should make up a good amount of your upper body exercises in your program.

Rows and other horizontal pulling movements should outnumber both pressing movements and vertical pulling movements. 

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Single-leg hamstring drops w/ ball (video).

Single leg hamstring drops w/ ball.

For now, this one if the grand daddy of the hamstring drop family. 

Set up with your feet under something that will not move. A dumbbell rack works great but not all are low enough to the ground. 

I have used a standing hamstring curl machine to perform hamstring drops when the DB rack was not an option. See below.

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Did I just make hamstring drops harder (video)?

Set up with your feet anchored under a dumbbell rack or other solid structure that will not move. Focus on bracing the abs, staying tall throughout the motion and not bending at the hips. Perform the hamstring drop with only one leg on the way down and both legs coming back up. Try to keep the emphasis on the hamstring, not the arms and shoulders. The upper body is definitely assisting the movement, but the hamstrings should be the focus. Enjoy.

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Brutal hamstring exercise (video).

This will punch your hamstrings right in the mouth. Set up with both knees bent, feet flat on the ground with a slider under one of your feet. Lift the foot that is not on the slider off the floor. Perform a single-leg bridge with the other leg. Once at the top of the motion, straighten the knee by sliding the foot away from the body. When the knee is extended, keep the hips on the floor, bend the knee and start again with the single-leg bridge.

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Pullthroughs - a better way? (video)

This is a great alternative if using some attachment for the hands increases back pain or you find yourself pulling too much with the arms. Start by setting the pulley so it is around hip-height. Set the strap so it goes around the front of your hips. Set and brace your neutral spine position. Focus on keeping pressure through the heels and sitting back through the hips. To return to the start position, squeeze the glutes and push the hips forward. Avoid overextending the hips and straightening the body as this will cause you to lose your balance and fall back.

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Standing thoracic mobility (video)

Stand in front of a bar (or another surface that is stable and will not move - kitchen counters also work great for this).

Walk the feet back, perform a hip hinge and pivot forward until you feel so resistance to the movement in the thoracic spine. Hold this position for 5-6 seconds. Repeat as needed.

NOTE: this may cause the back to crack. Not getting a crack in the back does not mean the movement was ineffective.

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1st rib mobilization (video)

Mobilizing the first rib is not something many people know about which is unfortunate. The first rib is right under your collarbone and can be elevated which causes all sorts of issues for the neck and shoulder(s). Check out the video to see how to mobilize the fist rib.

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Spiderman hip stretch (video)

This is an excellent movement for mobilizing and stretching the hips. Start with the first position and progress to the others as needed. Remember, focus on a mild-to-moderate intensity in the hip and glute area when performing these. Start in a pushup position. Bring one leg forward to the outside of the arm. In the second video, bend the elbow and try to get it as close to the floor as you can. In the third video, rotate the arm up towards the ceiling. Make sure to rotate the body, not just the arm. One way to help do this is to keep your eyes on your hand. The arm should not travel where the eyes cannot follow it.

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How does posture get so messed up?

When I first started as a Physical Therapist, I used to get nervous any time one of my patients came in with any neck diagnosis.

I mean, its the neck. I could snap their spinal cord and the person would never be the same after that. 

Now, that is not true at all, but that is what I thought. What a weirdo.

Once I worked with some of these patients, I started to realize there were commonalities to most of my patients. Once we fixed a few underlying issues, they got better.

Almost 100% of them.

After awhile, I started to look forward to treating any neck issue because the outcomes I was getting were so good.

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How to train around PAIN.

The fact of the matter is, pain can bring each one of these situations to a grinding halt. Even worse, if the pain is left unchecked it usually gets worse and can even cause pain in different parts of the body.

It is not uncommon for a right ankle or knee issue to cause pain in the low back or the opposite hip and knee. I will explain how at a later date. The short answer as to how this happens is that everything is connected. 

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A quick and dirty breakfast idea.

Here is a really easy recipe that sets you up for success in the morning. These are mini egg omelets.  You can also call them egg muffins but I wouldn't trust a person that said that.

Once these are made, stick them in the fridge and wait.

In the morning, put one, two or three in the toaster oven (or microwave, if that's your thing) to heat up. They take as long to heat up as a piece of toast.

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My first experience as a patient.

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My first experience as a patient.

If you have been through a certain experience, you will undoubtedly have some practical advice to share with someone going through the same situation.

That experience allows you to speak with a voice that resonates greater than someone who lacks this experience.

Makes sense.

I work with people all the time that have injuries and associated pain and other symptoms. I have become very skilled at helping these people, even though, I have suffered only minor injuries to this point in my life.

If you truly want to understand someone's situation, walk a mile in their shoes, right?

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Nutrition basics: simple to complex.

Nutrition really has to start with a change in your mindset regarding food and what the process requires. Nutrition is hard to change because it is something you have to deal with multiple times everyday and it is influenced by some many factors.

Emotions. Stress. Time. Family. Money.

These are just some of the few things that can interfere with changing how you eat. Fail to plan and you plan to fail.

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