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Tag: breathing (page 1 of 2)

Detailed Group Training — How do you teach breathing to 30 people at once?

Personal training can get pretty personal.

When you’re one-on-one with someone, you have more time than you know what to do with. You can test-retest, make up stuff on the fly, and think up new cues that you can use with later clients.

When you have 30 people in a big group, you aren’t doing any of that. sure, you can make up some new cues or whatever, but can’t really see it through like you can when your one-on-one. Do you know if it worked? Too late. It’s time to coach the next person.

Large group training has its difficulties, but it’s also a really efficient way to train certain types of people. If you have people who are out of shape and not in pain, get them in shape in a group. You build camaraderie, forming team through shared suffering. and even if they’re already fit, a group workout is a great way to keep pushing everyone together. Community is one of the best ways to build fitness inertia.

But, if you’ve coached for any length of time, you know that not everyone fits into these simple buckets. I can count on one hand the number of clients I have who don’t have some sort of chronic pain issue that they’re dealing with. I don’t usually recommend that they join these groups, even though and they’re free to take over here at Google and they have some very competent coaches.

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The Unseen Importance of a Warm Up — And How to Write Your Own

On my way to the gym. Running late. Got out of the office late. Then forgot something and had to head back really quickly. Stopped at seemingly every traffic light that has ever existed.

Surely you’ve experienced that. Do you ever skip your warm up when that happens?

How much of it do you skip? Do you even have a warm up?

There are some parts of a warm up that are absolutely essential. Then there are some things that you can use to “stack the deck”, so to speak, to ensure you’re optimizing your session.

A good warm up sets you up for a great workout.

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Safely Reaching the Arms Overhead

Are you one of those people who likes to do overhead barbell pressing… but has no business pressing a barbell overhead?

How do you get your arms overhead? How do your clients get their arms overhead? Do you have the range of motion to do it safely? Or are you just overloading your back and irritating your shoulders?

I don’t want to sit here and pretend to tell you that I have the magic answer. It doesn’t work like that.

What I CAN offer you, however, is some insight on some of the things that have seemed to work for me… even the things that are a little counterintuitive.

Today we’ll discuss some things that have helped my clients safely perform overhead work.

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The Slave Driver of the Head and Neck

There’s no bigger insight into someone’s behavior than the head and neck. But what drives the head and neck?

If you want to be a great movement coach, you need high empathy and knowledge of anatomy. What is someone feeling and how does that feeling affect the structures of the body?

I’m not even talking about empathy in the obvious sense of human interaction. Will it help you seem like less of a robot? Sure. Will more people like you? Probably. But the hidden power of empathy for coaches is in decision making.

Imagine the basketball coach who keeps telling a kid to stay low out of a cut. The coach repeats the same words — over and over — throughout the season, but the kid does not respond.

Most coaches would say this kid is unathletic, unteachable, or disobedient.

But what if that kid cannot physically move his body that way? Maybe he just eats too much food before practice and pops straight up out of a cut because his hip is impinging in the bottom. I say this with 100% certainty of possibility.

If this coach wants to improve, he should know basic nutrition, biomechanics of the hip joint, and the anatomy of the thorax and abdomen. And, perhaps most importantly, he cannot assume anything.

This example and the hip joint is a starting point, but what about the head and neck? It’s the same, just in a different part of the body. I make better coaching decisions now that I’m paying attention to my clients’ head positions.

If someone has a rib cage that’s riding up, I’ll look to see what’s happening at the pelvis.

If someone has a slight head tilt when moving their arms, I’ll look to see what I can change at their thorax.

If someone is constantly looking down, I’ll challenge them to look straight ahead.

If someone is popping up out of a cut, I’ll look to see if their head and neck can bend.

The complexity of the joints in the head an neck make this undertaking difficult, but the sternocleidomastoid is the best place to start. This is the single muscle with the greatest ability to affect the head and neck because it’s relatively thick and has huge moment arms. It is, therefore, a strong mover in all three anatomical planes of motion.

As if the physics wasn’t enough, remember that the brain is always preoccupied with what the head is doing. Don’t believe me? Here’s a short list of what’s on the agenda for today:

  • Movements produced by the SCM
  • Movements kind of produced by the SCM
  • The thorax during respiration
  • Forward head posture
  • Swayback posture
  • Snapchat after workouts
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Asthma
  • Vision
  • Airways
  • Fatigue
  • My flourishing artistic abilities
  • Relative motion of joints
  • Entropy
  • Basic angular physics
  • How the head can move the feet
  • …and a bunch of examples

I’m here to help you dissect this topic piece by piece. I’ve included references for those who want to dive deeper. Each section of this post is meant to lead into the next one, but I’ve supplemented the writing with many pictures in hopes to make this article clearer and more engaging. If you want, you could get away with skipping around.

Given the positive feedback received on my post over the serratus anterior, I knew the present article had to be written.

Let’s start off with generalities.

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Weekend Reads: The Great Pain and Sitting Debate

This weekend, I wanted to share with you a Facebook debate.

Long story short: Eric Cressey posts an article written by Michael Mullin. Jon Fass and other critical thinkers don’t like it.

There’s a lot going on here, so dive in slowly. Plenty of good things to think about.

If you and I are friends on Facebook, you shouldn’t have any trouble seeing the post and it’s 100+ comments.

Also, on a lighter note, here’s some music for your Sunday.

Have a great week!

 

Photo credit: Allen Tucker

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