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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How Weak Ankles and Ankle Mobility Affect the Rest of Your Body

How Weak Ankles and Ankle Mobility Affect the Rest of Your Body

As a successful personal trainer for Equinox in San Francisco I’ve worked with hundreds of clients. They want to be lean. They want to be strong. They want to be healthy. But no one ever says “I want strong feet and mobile ankles.” Yet weak feet are often the biggest roadblocks to achieving their health goals. The ankle is one of our most important and commonly overlooked joints. Pain and injuries in the knees, hips and lower back can often be traced to issues at the ankle joint. Think of how often and how many ways we use our ankles: walking, running, biking, squatting, yoga, balancing, dancing (you get the idea). If the muscles acting on your ankle are chronically tight or if the joint itself is jammed or lacks proper mobility the impact can be painful and damaging as the body will compensate at other joints to accommodate movement. Check out my interview in Shape Magazine to learn how to improve your ankle mobility, reduce pain and improve performance in your workouts.

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My Favorite Hamstring Stretch

My Favorite Hamstring Stretch

A lot of folks, including myself, have tight hamstrings that foam rolling, static stretching and basic dynamic stretches can’t seem to tackle. Chronically tight hamstrings can lead to compensations in movement patterns, pain behind the knees and lower back and other nasty injuries and problems. For the past few months I’ve practiced a basic move using a monster band and have noticed a difference in my hamstring flexibility and overall mobility including the absence of lower back ache. I’ve used this technique with about a dozen clients so far and those who have done it consistently have seen solid results.

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Read. This. Book. Now! Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World

Read. This. Book. Now! Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World

Dr. Kelly Starrett, author of the New York Times Bestseller Becoming a Supple Leopard and creator of MobilityWOD, released this week what I think will be the most important health book in years. I received my copy of Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World yesterday and I cannot put it down. If you sit more than two hours per day (who doesn't?!), use handheld devices or have children in school you simply must read this book. It's filled with loads of critical and practical info that could save your joints and your lives. Pick up a copy, read it and learn how to protect your body and improve your quality of life. STAND UP! 

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Two Go-To Dynamic Warm Ups for Any Workout

Two Go-To Dynamic Warm Ups for Any Workout

Rather than passively forcing our muscles into painful, temporary and ineffective lengthening which can (in some cases) reduce your performance it's generally advisable to take your muscles and joints through a dynamic warm up to prep the body. And even if static stretching is part of your program it's still a good idea to perform a dynamic warm up before a cardio or resistance training workout (especially for those who work all day at a desk, in a car or regularly use computers and mobile devices). Here are two of my favorite dynamic warm ups that I give clients to do before workouts and even throughout the day at work or on rest days. 

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Five Truths About Muscle Soreness and Five Ways to Deal With It

Five Truths About Muscle Soreness and Five Ways to Deal With It

I get it. We live in extreme times. We work hard, we play hard. We want results. And for many folks that means wanting to leave the gym feeling like they got the sh*t kicked out of them. The simple fact is that muscle soreness is not necessarily indicative of an effective workout or training program. In fact, if you’re sore after every workout that’s a bad thing. This is a hard pill for some of us A-typers to swallow, so let’s examine five truths about muscle soreness. Checkout my guest blog post on thumbbell.com.

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Travel Can Be a Pain in the Neck: Mobility Tips from Dr. Adam Jacobs

Travel Can Be a Pain in the Neck: Mobility Tips from Dr. Adam Jacobs

According to AAA nearly 42 million Americans will take a holiday road trip this Thanksgiving and 3.6 million Americans will fly to their holiday destinations. That’s a lot of stiff joints and sore muscles! You wouldn’t run a marathon without training and warming up, right? (RIGHT?!) So put a little forethought into how you’ll take care of your body if you have a long trip ahead of you. For this post I enlisted the help of the Bay Area’s best chiropractor Dr. Adam Jacobs from SF Custom Chiropractic to share some practical tips, breathing drills and stretches you can do while traveling on a plane or in a car to stay limber and avoid common aches and pains.

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Unjam Your Body’s Highway from the Foot Up

Unjam Your Body’s Highway from the Foot Up

Some of the brain’s most important sensory input comes from our feet. When the joints of our feet get jammed (from wearing the wrong shoe, having unstable arches or any number of other issues) the information flow from our surroundings to our bodies to our brains (and from our brains to our bodies in response) gets jammed. It’s like we’re stuck in traffic and the brain looks for whatever detour it can take to make movement happen. Until we unjam these joints and free up that highway we’re stuck with poor movement that can lead to pain, injury and less than optimal performance. Read on for a video of a simple drill that might help you move better!

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