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September 15, 2017

What I Saw In The Hotel Gym (And Why It Matters)

As a medical professional, rehab specialist and strength coach, I’m never quite on vacation — even when I’m supposed to be on vacation.

I own and operate The Training Room Sports Medicine Clinic and Executive Gym in Santa Barbara, California. But I always find it fun to venture out of my gym and observe other exercise routines. That’s what happened on a recent visit to a hotel gym in Toronto.

The first thing I noticed was a guy walk in with reading glasses and a book. Really? He planted himself on a bike and pedaled for 45 minutes without ever even glistening.

Next, there were two ladies on the treadmill walking at a normal pace and holding onto the handles the entire time.

There was another gentleman on the treadmill walking a mile holding onto his cell phone with his head down at 45-degree angle the entire time. That’s a lot of neck stress. Not good.

Then there was another guy on a so-called elliptical. Precorise is the only true elliptical trainers. (Every other machine moves in circles so be careful on these.)

I could go on but I think you get the point.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Although I have worked with many athletes, I am anything but the tough coach or drill sergeant type of guy. I’ve seen too many harmful effects from that type of approach in more 30 years as a chiropractor.

After all, you’re not a 14-year-old who wants to join the football team. Or an 18-year-old recruit in Marine boot camp.

So a little common sense goes a long way. Don’t overdo things.

On the other hand, you can go too far in the opposite direction. Slow movement is better than no movement. But the folks in the hotel gym simply weren’t working hard enough to get much benefit.

The big picture is that fewer than 10% of the American population actually exercises at all. And only 1% of the population is doing a quality exercise program.

If you’re over fifty and doing sort of exercise program, I salute you. You’ve already taken the first step — which is the most difficult.

Now is the time do a little more, a little bit at a time, so you fully enjoy the second half of your life.

Find out more here.

August 30, 2017

The Kettlebell Military Press vs. the Barbell Version

The Kettlebell pressed overhead from the rack position helps the shoulders to stay packed and move according to optimal biomechanics. This enables an optimal lockout overhead, and thereby helps to develop strong and healthy shoulders.

In deeply studying the Kettlebell military press, I have conducted that it presents an excellent choice when it comes to transfer to the bench press, as it allows the practitioner to cover the entire range of motion of an overhead press, and it involves in totality, thanks to the lockout, the muscles of the upper back, including the para-scapular muscles and those of the rotator cuff. I believe that the Kettlebell military press is essential for the harmonious development and coordination of the shoulder joint district.

There are three factors that make the Kettlebell military press the best way to develop overhead strength.

1. THE KETTLEBELL’S SHAPE: with dumbbells, the center of mass is in the palm of the hand, but the center of the mass of the Kettlebell is located about eight inches away from the handle, depending on the Kettlebell size. Therefore, the center of mass of the Kettlebell locked out overhead aligns better with the shoulder, keeping its center of mass over the center of the joint  that supports it. This means if the Kettlebell is large enough, even though the arm isn’t perfectly vertical, the center of mass of the Kettlebell aligns over the shoulder. This is totally different from what happens with dumbbells and offers unique advantages in regards to the joints health.

2. THE STARTING STRENGTH: this is the strength necessary to press the Kettlebell from the rack position.

3. THE RACK POSITION: To perform the Kettlebell military press, you must have the ability to hold the Kettlebell in the rack, which requires the exertion of a certain amount of tension. A strong rack position will lead to a strong press, which is the primary transfer to the bench press.