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Pain Never Precedes Dysfunction

"Pain never precedes dysfunction."--Dr. Stanley Paris I recently found a manual from a physical therapy course I attended in 1985.  Dr. Stanley Paris was the instructor and I was lucky to have been in his class at the beginning of my career.  At 26 years of age, I wrote this quote on the front of the manual and it still stands as the best bit of wisdom I can pass along to fitness clients and physical therapy patients. Pain happens as the result of some underlying performance problem: postural flaws and sustained joint positions, respiratory restrictions,  muscle strength/endurance is depleted, joint mobility is insufficient,  joint mobility is excessive, movement coordination is poor,  deceleration skills are below acceleration capacity. Resolving pain…

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Essential Movements for Life

Essential Movements for Life Maintaining the ability to sit and stand is essential to living your life to the fullest and staying active. If you want to continue to live life the the fullest it's important that you can sit and stand with ease and control--whether it's sitting at the table, on the couch, toilet, etc. The minimum level of function we want out of our older adults (60+ years old) is to be able to sit/stand with perfect control to a box or seat 16" off the ground for 10 relatively easy repetitions. Bonus points would be getting down to (or slightly below) parallel. For most individuals under 6 feet tall, this equates to a 10-12 inch box, for…

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Five Ways To Get The Most Out Of Home Workouts

Five Ways To Get The Most Out Of Home Workouts With the recent nationwide closures of many gyms along with many other businesses due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s left many people spinning trying to figure out how to maintain their healthy lifestyle.  Many of us have taken for granted how nice it is to have a well-equipped gym to train at that offers a variety of training options, equipment, and simply the motivation of not being in our home around various distractions.  While all of us who regularly exercise know the physical value of exercise, some of us forget the mental benefits, such as stress relief.  During this period of time, here are some simple suggestions on how to…

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Sledding Your Way to Better Fitness–Part 8

Sledding Your Way to Better Fitness--Part 8 Hand Over Hand Sled Pull Sleds have become an increasingly popular tool in the fitness world over the last decade.  No longer reserved for the football team, more and more individuals are finding the value of weighted sleds for a variety of fitness goals.  Louis Simmons started using them at his powerlifting gym Westside Barbell in Ohio as a means of active recovery and to build overall work capacity in the 90’s.  Since that time, you’d be hard pressed to find a decent gym that doesn’t have a space where you can work with a sled.  At Fenton Fitness, we’ve been using them with our athletes, general fitness population, and geriatric population for…

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Feets of Strength

Feets of Strength The feet are the interface between the ground and the brain.  A graceful gait and not falling are enormous evolutionary benefits so an inordinate amount of brain tissue is devoted to the evaluation of input from the feet.  As we age, develop medical problems, or become deconditioned, our feet can lose the capacity to send balance and coordination data up to the brain.  Training activities that enhance foot function will improve balance and keep us independent for a lifetime.  Read the remainder of this article and watch the video for a demonstration of a foot to brain retraining routine. Devote some fitness training time to restoring foot function.  Anatomically, we are talking about the joints, nerves, and…

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Focus Factor

Focus Factor Putting More F In Your Training Program I use a simple formula to assess a physical therapy patient or fitness client’s potential for success. The formula has two components. The first component is a percentage. For a physical therapy patient, it is percent compliance to home exercises/activity modification. For fitness clients, it is percent compliance with the prescribed training schedule. The second component is the focus intensity level created by the patient or client. The F factor is by far the most significant influencer of a rehab/training outcome. The Focus Factor is a whole number score from zero to fifteen. Observation of performance allows the therapist / trainer to make an educated assessment of mental effort. I often…

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