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More on Sitting

June 30th, 2011

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Shoulder Reminders

June 22nd, 2011

I see a lot of shoulder injuries in my Rolfing practice. Not all, but many of these injuries are in athletes who do a lot of overhead work with a barbell. I am by no means condemning overhead barbell work. There are a few points that I would like to make over the next few posts that are good reminders for anyone with shoulder problems who like to lift overhead.

It seems logical, but we all know how tough it is to resist the exercises we’ve grown to love. Face the facts; you just might not be able to overhead press with the straight bar.

Not all bodies are created equal in the first place; a good example would be the different types of acromions, a portion of the scapula. Those with type III acromions are more likely to suffer from subacromial impingement due to the shape of this end of the scapula:
These are the 3 types:
Type I Acromion: flat, minimal impingement risk, normal subacromial space
Type II Acromion: curved, higher rate of impingement, slight decrease in subacromial space
Type III Acromion: beaked, highest rate of impingement, marked decrease in subacromial space

Now, ask yourself this: when someone universally recommends overhead pressing, how often do you think they’re consulting x-rays to determine if it might not be the best thing for you?

Moreover, not all bodies are equal down the road, either. If you’re a type I or type II acromion process, you can “acquire” a type III morphology due to reactive changes. These changes may be related to a specific activity (e.g. weight-training) or just a case of chronically poor movement patterns (think of a hunchbacked desk jockey who’s always reaching overhead).
There’s almost always going to be something else you can do to achieve a comparable training effect without making things worse. So, the next time your shoulder starts to act up in the middle of a training session, put down the weights, take a deep breath, and walk over to the water fountain.
Use this stroll as an opportunity to recognize that something is out of whack and determine an appropriate course of action — including an alternative exercise. You might need to experiment a bit, but it’ll come to you. Avoid the “one size fits all” approach to fitness and weight training.
Poor posture is a big risk factor for hundreds of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. Specific to the current discussion, rounded shoulders, an excessively kyphotic thoracic spine (think hunchback), and anteriorly-tilted, protracted scapulae will all predispose you to problems with the rotator cuff, long head of the biceps, labrum, and several crucial scapular stabilizers. With this in mind, I should introduce something I call the “23/1 Rule.”
Very simply, this rule states that although you may do everything perfectly from a technique standpoint while you’re in the gym for ONE hour per day, you have TWENTY-THREE hours to do everything incorrectly outside of the gym. This is especially applicable to the desks jockeys in the crowd who spend 8-10 hours per day at the computer in hopes of winning a Kyphotic Derby crown.
The solution is very simple: quit your job. Okay, I’m kidding. Instead, make a point of getting up and moving around as often as you can. Reach up to the sky, walk around, and do some doorway stretches for your pecs and lats (and your hip flexors, IT band, and calves, while you’re at it). The best posture is the one that is constantly changing. Remember that although lifting is the straw that breaks the camel’s back with respect to your shoulder problems, it isn’t the only contributing factor; lifestyle plays a big role.

More in the next post.

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Perfect Push Up

June 8th, 2011

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Mind Power

June 8th, 2011

IF YOU want to lose weight, convince yourself that everything you eat is highly calorific. It could lower your levels of a hunger hormone, potentially suppressing your appetite.

Alia Crum at Yale University and her colleagues gave 46 healthy volunteers the same 380-calorie milkshake but were told it was either a sensible, low-calorie choice or an indulgent, high-calorie one. The team also measured levels of ghrelin – a hormone released by the stomach when we are hungry – before and after participants drank the shake.

Ghrelin levels have been shown to spike half an hour before mealtimes and return to normal after eating.

Volunteers who thought they had indulged showed significantly greater drops in ghrelin levels than those who thought they had consumed less. The authors suggest that merely thinking that one has eaten something unhealthy can quell hunger pangs and perhaps help curb overeating

About Rolfing

About Rolfing

Rolfing® is a system of bodywork based on structural integration, developed by Ida Rolf...

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About Brad

Based in Bellingham, Rolfing practitioner Brad Jones has an office conveniently located in downtown Bellingham ...

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