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May 2015

Runners - Do You Know How to Tie Your Shoes?

RunningshoesThere are so many ways to do most everything that we sometimes miss the obvious.  If you are a runner and are plagued with blisters, heel slip or are jamming your toes during your run then you might think that the solution to all of your problems is getting new shoes.  Think again. The problem may not be the shoes themselves but how you are lacing and tying them.

I've worked with hundreds of runners over the years and I would say that more than 90% of them do not know how to properly lace their shoes in order to get the maximum comfort from them.  Check out the following video on a method to tie your shoes that may save you from some pain and aggravation! :)


Mastering the Squat?

RAMGobletSquatIf you ask most athletes they will tell you that they already know how to Squat, be it with body weight, a kettlebell or a bar.  They've been doing it for years and their buddy (or high school coach) told them that had it "dialed in".  Unfortunately, this is far from the truth in most instances...

The mechanics behind a safe and effective Squat are relatively immutable but you will see a wide variety of examples in weight rooms, gyms, and online.  How do you account for all of the different Squats you see?  For the most part it is just plain laziness and trying to avoid discomfort - something that most will go to great lengths to avoid.

In a recent conversation I had with Marty Gallagher, one of the most successful coaches in the history of Powerlifting and a world class lifter in his own right, he stated that the Squat is the most important lifts that there is.  Want to improve your Deadlift?  Squat.  Want to improve your Bench?  Squat.  Want to improve your Military Press?  Squat. 

The Squat, in the form of the Goblet Squat, is an integral part on both the HKC and RKC curriculums for good reason.  Being able to safely and effectively execute a Squat is key to developing strength, power, mobility, and is a key component of longevity.  Squatting is something that you do naturally as a toddler and it creates a foundation for walking, running and other complex movements as you develop.  Unfortunately, as we age and lose both strength and mobility, the ability to Squat is lessened and is replaced by other less advantageous movements.  Being able to reclaim this movement would go a long way in enhancing most anyones life.

If you want to learn more about how to squat, and from one of the masters of the movement, then check out the latest installment of the Strong Medicine blog.  You won't regret it...

Peak Tension vs Working Tension

Check out this video from Dr. Kelly Starrett about the difference between Peak Tension and Working Tension and how it can be developed.

NOTE: understanding how to create the right amount of tension to get the job done is an advanced concept and is cultivated through directed practice and good technique.  In the beginning it is always better to have too much tension that not enough, especially when learning a new skill.



A Truly Functional Burpee

Does your Burpee sag and flop? Why?  Is that what you are really training to develop - sagging and flopping skills? Or, is your Burpee tight and strong, demonstrating good transitional skills and mastery of movement, loading and unloading, and athleticism?

Compare this video with the one posted yesterday and see what I mean!


The Burpee Revisted

Love them or hate them the Burpee is a staple at most CrossFit gyms.  They have been a part of WOD's and even part of the CrossFit Games from the very beginning... and I don't see any reason why they won't be around for years to come.

While everyone does Burpees (or at least something that resembles one) there is a lot of variability in how they are performed.  My take on the Burpee is that it should be an exercise in transitional skills, loading and unloading, and tension management.  This is not a popular point of view because it makes Burpees "harder" and you can't do as many reps in a short period of time.  Sorry... I'm looking for quality over quantity and want my athletes to "own" the movement.  Looking like you were just tasered and then popping back up off the ground is a poor example of movement and is going to lead to problems down the road. Yes, I know you can do a lot of them in a short period of time... but why would you want to?

Check out this video of the new "standard" for the Burpee and let me know if you think that this is a really good example of how to do this technique and if it is a good foundation for other skills! :)