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The Simple Back Pain Reliever

The Simple Back Pain Reliever When you lift, carry, walk, or run, your shoulders and hips move while the lumbar spine stays stable.  Prolonged sitting, age, and deconditioning can create tight hips/shoulders and a lumbar spine that is unable to hold a stable position.   Much of the mechanical back pain we treat in physical therapy is related to this stability/mobility issue.  A simple exercise that can retrain the neural control necessary to restore this essential movement skill is the bird dog. The bird dog is commonly used in physical therapy and usually poorly performed in the fitness arena.  Three things to keep in mind.  You are moving your arms and legs, but the focus of the drill is keeping the…

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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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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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Sledding Your Way to Better Fitness–Part 7

Sledding Your Way to Better Fitness--Part 7 Crawls 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 the last eight years. …

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Sledding Your Way to Better Fitness–Part 6

Sledding Your Way to Better Fitness--Part 6 Lateral Sled Walks, Anti-Rotation Walks 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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