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Controlling Extension: Is it really all that bad?

One of my distance clients from outside of the country asked a really, really good question in between his thesis working hours. The concept is so important that I thought it warranted its own article.

How do you know what positional errors to allow your client to make? How do you know what you should write in their program? You have to know about controlling extension.

His original prompt was:

What is actually the concept of controlling extension? Is it when someone is still extended and tries to not let it get worse during an exercise? Will this not feed into this pattern?

Let’s dive into it.

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Do you have any really great IT band stretches?

A friend reached out the other day asking me if I have any great IT band stretches or hints for rolling out the IT band. She wanted to know prior to beginning her training for a half marathon.

So I am of the belief that stretching the IT band does nothing because it never changes things over the long term. The number one way I address it is by addressing pelvic positioning. You’ll usually see glutes that don’t allow the hip to come back into the socket. The primary attachment of the glute is the IT band. Also of consideration is the tensor fascia lata (TFL). If the hip can’t stay seated in the socket, you’ll also notice an overactive TFL. Both of these lead to IT band tightness and both of these are left unaddressed by IT band stretching. It can assist your program, but it alone is not enough. The learning component of the new position or “tone” is just not there.

Here’s an example of a tight IT band, an exercise I prescribed this particular client, and the results of it afterward. Look at hip position and how her head an neck don’t move reciprocal and then DO move reciprocally some of the time.

A key talking point here is that the exercise I give each person is generally different. There are some I could just give everyone, and I might still do that if I want to “play it safe” or “cover all my bases” if I think the client has the patience for it. Just about all the time, however, I am evaluating each person and giving them an exercise based on what I deem they need. Faster results means more time for the cool stuff.

Header photo credit: Allen Tucker

How to Avoid the 2 Steps Forward, 2 Steps Backwards Fitness Dance

Today’s guest post comes from my co-worker and good friend, Tony Giuliano.

Tony is the hardest working dude I know, and a great coach. I’m honored to be able to give you guys this short article he wrote.

This guy wanted to give everyone a quick philosophical tip. And he even talks about a car wreck!

Alright, enough man crushing. Without further ado, I present to you Tony Giuliano.

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The Quick “Why” Behind Conditioning Work

I recently had a distance client of mine ask me:

What is the goal with the regenerate section?

For those who don’t know, this is in reference to my programs, which I break into seven sections based on what we are trying to accomplish. For example, any foam rolling work you do is always first (though I won’t prescribe it for everyone). After that, we do exercises to “reset” your nervous system. After that, you do a more dynamic warm up to prepare your body for training… you get the idea.

This post is not meant to be thorough and exhaustive, but instead to give you some ideas to help spark your own thinking.

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