Four Advanced Moves for Building a Strong, Balanced Back

Four Advanced Moves for Building a Strong, Balanced Back

Everyone loves a good chest workout, including yours truly, but you shouldn’t neglect your “posterior chain”. Ignoring back day can deteriorate your posture, lead to injuries and wreak havoc on your athletic performance. If your back program is in need of some inspiration, consider these programming tips and four advanced moves for adding functional strength and symmetry to your upper, mid and lower back. Oh, and they’ll help you look great in a tank top too.

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Don't Skip These Key Warm Ups (They Only Take About 5 Minutes)

Don't Skip These Key Warm Ups (They Only Take About 5 Minutes)

If you're one of those people who struggles to find time to workout, much less time to warm up properly, I can relate. One of the biggest complaints I hear from clients, especially those who have gone through physical therapy to recover from an injury, is that their list of warm up exercises would take them 30-45+ minutes to finish and they just don't have the time to get them all done. So they skip their warm up alltogether even though they know it will likely lead to more pain and injury. So, if you are short on time and can only muster a few minutes to warm up before your run, bike ride or any other form of cardio, here are the most important things NOT to skip. 

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Kinesiology Taping for Pain, Posture and Performance

Kinesiology Taping for Pain, Posture and Performance

I recently spent an entire weekend geeking out over fascia, feet and movement with the amazing Dr. Courtney Conley. It was awesome to be in a room with dozens of physical therapists, chiropractors, emergency responders and massage therapists all focused on helping our clients reduce pain and improve their movement. I left the weekend not only with two FMT certifications for assessing clients and applying kinesiology tape, but with a renewed passion and fascination for how the brain and body are connected and how we can improve that connection through physical stimulus like kinesiology tape. 

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The Best Stretches to Help with Back and Hip Pain

The Best Stretches to Help with Back and Hip Pain

Lower back and hip pain is incredibly common thanks to the hours and hours we spend sitting and toiling away on computers and devices. Finding the right stretches, mobility drills and strengthening exercises that will help reset your body and spending a few minutes each day consistently performing them can help keep you pain free and tracking toward your fitness goals. If lower back and hip aches and pains are slowing you down, give these exercises a try. 

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Expert Spotlight: Dr. Brad Bailey of SF Custom Chiropractic

Expert Spotlight: Dr. Brad Bailey of SF Custom Chiropractic

I am regularly asked who I trust for chiropractic and soft tissue work. For many years I've worked with the amazing team at SF Custom Chiropractic (SFCC) led by Dr. Adam Jacobs. Dr. Jacobs and his wunderkind associate Dr. Brad Bailey have not only helped me, but have helped dozens of my clients achieve pain free movement, better range of motion and structural symmetry though an integrative approach that includes soft tissue work like ART, chiropractic adjustments, clinical massage and kinesiotaping. They have become my trusted partners for my own body and the bodies of my clients and we often collaborate together to ensure treatment and training programs are aligned. 

 

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What We Can Learn from Metabolic Testing

What We Can Learn from Metabolic Testing

I'm a big fan of knowing what's going on with my body. And if there are simple, affordable tests I can take that can give me useful, actionable data to improve my health and inform my fitness program I'm all for it. So I recently engaged a local office of DexaFit to obtain a Dexa Scan Body Composition Analysis, RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) Test, V02 Max Test and  Fit3D Posture Scan. In this post I outline what I learned from these tests and how I am applying that knowledge to optimize my fitness program. I've also included links to my full reports and photos from my experience to help you decide if similar testing makes sense for you.

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SF's Top Swim Coaches Share Their Tips for a Better Stroke

SF's Top Swim Coaches Share Their Tips for a Better Stroke

Swimming can be one of the safest and most effective forms of cardio. Whether you are trying to lean out or to get stronger, swimming is easy on the joints, scalable to your goals and an excellent way to connect your brain, breath and body. But it can be a big drag (literally) if your stroke or breath are off. Michael Bonella, Claire Love and Megan Nazareno are three of San Francisco's top swim coaches and personal trainers. I asked them "What is the most common issue you encounter with form and how do you help your clients through it?" 

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Ultimate Guide to Ergonomic Workstations

Ultimate Guide to Ergonomic Workstations

If you work in an office like most humans these days, you probably spend a large portion of your day at a desk. This means you can be sitting for hours and hours throughout the day which can be uncomfortable if you don't have the right computer chair or posture. I was pleased to contribute to this Ultimate Guide to Ergonomic Workstations along with 14 other health and fitness pros to explain the best tools for your office and the best ways to maintain great posture throughout your day. Get all 15 tips here

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The 10-Minute Total Body Workout You Can Do Anywhere

The 10-Minute Total Body Workout You Can Do Anywhere

As a trainer in San Francisco's financial district my clients tend to be super busy, successful professionals. They often travel for work and don't always have access to or time for a gym while they're on the road. Travel puts a lot of physical and mental stress on the body so it's important to carve out even just a few minutes to move and breath. So I've created this 10-minute total body workout that can be done just about anywhere (perfect for a hotel room). 

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Curious About Cupping? Dr. Jay and JJ Demo How It Can Improve Fascia

Curious About Cupping? Dr. Jay and JJ Demo How It Can Improve Fascia

From Michael Phelps to Ryan Seacrest to the girl squatting next to you in the gym, cupping (or "myofascial decompression") is becoming an increasingly popular modality to help with fascial dysfunction. Perfectly round telltale "bruises" are making their way onto backs, shoulders and hips everywhere and are raising eyebrows from those who don't understand what they are. I've personally experienced positive results from cupping as part of an integrated physical therapy program in the past. So I enlisted the awesome Dr. Sarah Jay from GSPORTS Physical Therapy to discuss and demonstrate how cupping can help improve fascial health and mobility. 

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When Firm Life Makes Them Flabby, Lawyers Call This Trainer

When Firm Life Makes Them Flabby, Lawyers Call This Trainer

Lawyers face unusually long hours and high amounts of stress in their work. Hours on end sitting and typing, anxiety inducing deadlines and little time for proper meals and adequate rest can leave many of them wondering why they chose the law for a profession. I work with A LOT of lawyers. And my clients will tell you, it doesn't have to be this way. With a practical and efficient fitness program (and the right coach) even the busiest attorney can achieve balance and health without sacrificing his/her career. In fact, my clients say they're actually better lawyers because of it. For more details, check out my interview with Leigh Jones from Law.com: When Firm Life Makes Them Flabby, Lawyers Call This Trainer.

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SF's Top Spin Gurus Share Form Fixes, Coaching Tips and Programming Recommendations

SF's Top Spin Gurus Share Form Fixes, Coaching Tips and Programming Recommendations

Whether you're an avid cyclist, an occasional spin class warrior or are considering your first ride there are four spin instructors in SF that you want to know: Andrew Stinger, Marcia Robles, Danny Baker and Caroline Jordan. These four "Spin Ninjas" have uniquely different styles and while different are all grounded in safety, effectiveness and kick ass energy. Each was was kind enough to share with me how to avoid the most common and dangerous form issues; how to overcome common mental challenges; and their take on how often someone "should" spin, intervals-vs-steady state and what to do in between rides. 

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Somato-what? What You Should Know About Your Genetic Body Type

Somato-what? What You Should Know About Your Genetic Body Type

Science classifies our bodies into genetic categories. Naturally we fall into one (or a combination) of these three “somatotypes” based on body structure, muscle and fat storage and distribution: Ectomorph, Endomorph and Mesomorph: Knowing your natural body type can help guide you toward the right exercise and nutrition plan to help you naturally become more healthy and fit. 

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Three Drills for Improved Shoulder Mobility

Three Drills for Improved Shoulder Mobility

The shoulder is (or should be) the most mobile joint in your body. It's comprised of a complex system of big muscles (including the lats and pec major), smaller muscles (like the subscapularisinfraspinatus and deltoids), bones (humerusclavicle and scapula) and loads of ligaments, tendons, fascia and other connective material. It's a highway for many important nerves (such as the Brachial Plexus), arteries and veins. The shoulder is awesome. And odds are if you work at a desk and have a mobile device you treat your shoulders like crap.

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Rowing 101: 3 Quick Fixes for Perfect Form

Rowing 101: 3 Quick Fixes for Perfect Form

When done properly rowing is a metabolic, total body workout that strengthens a lot of areas the average desk-bound professional needs to work on. But if you find your lower back or neck aching during or after your sessions on the erg or if you just feel like your stroke needs help, checkout these simple fixes from my fellow Equinox Pine Street trainer and friend Lauren Barkan.

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#FirstWorldProblems... Is Your Tech-centric Lifestyle Ruining Your Health? These Tips Can Help.

#FirstWorldProblems... Is Your Tech-centric Lifestyle Ruining Your Health? These Tips Can Help.

Most of us got the memo that “sitting is the new smoking”. Chronic sitting, especially with poor posture, slumped over a laptop, iPhone or other piece of posture-wrecking technology, causes tightness in the hips, pectorals and several muscles that internally rotate the shoulders. Those tight muscles can pull joints out of alignment and cause pain and stiffness in the back, neck and legs and give you that oh so chic Hunchback of Notre Dame look. Not healthy. Not cute. But you can make some simple yet impactful lifestyle changes that will have you looking and feeling healthy and confident. 

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Farmer Carry Your Way to Better Posture, a Stronger Back and Killer Grip

Farmer Carry Your Way to Better Posture, a Stronger Back and Killer Grip

The farmer carry (also called a loaded carry, farmer walk or suitcase carry) is one of the simplest yet least understood exercises in the gym. It’s something we do in real life all the time. We shlep grocery bags, suitcases, laptops and all sorts of crap all over the place. But how often do we think about our shoulders, scapulae or thoracic spines when we do? Bueller? Bueller? Thought so.

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