Q&A: Glute and hamstring exercises
Q: I have some questions about glute and hamstring exercises. I find these hard groups to target. For example, I’ve read so many great things about deadlifts…but my problem is that I can’t hold enough weight to get a good workout – my hands give out.
A: I’m assuming that you’re talking about Romanian (stiff leg) deadlifts where you start with the weight in your hands and bend at the hips to lower it. Some people suggest using an alternating grip to address grip strength but personally I’m not a fan of that because it puts uneven stress on your shoulders. I actually like straps for deadlifts. Something else to keep in mind with these exercises is that it’s a good idea to have about a 20 degree knee bend as opposed to straight leg because that helps to target glutes more than hamstrings. Continue reading Q&A: Hamstring and glute exercises
“Foam rolling is great, we have quickly become best friends” was a recent response from a client when I inquired about his progress with some foam roll exercises that I had recommended.
I can honestly say that I feel the same way. I didn’t feel that way initially mind you – we really had to work through some painful spots, but thankfully we were both willing to keep working at them, and soon enough it was smooth rolling. And that lead to happy running and skiing for me. But after a while the old white foam roller started to feel a little soft. Then one day, my wandering eye got the best of me – I just couldn’t resist that fancy blue foam roller, standing in the corner of the fitness store, so hard and rugged. Who could resist? Continue reading Introducing your new best friend, Foam Roll
Millions of North Americans are trapped in some stage of the weight loss cycle:
- Thinking about dieting
- Buying into a diet book/program
- Giving up on the diet
- Feeling bad about themselves for giving up
- Gaining weight
- Thinking about dieting…
Some people actually succeed and make the necessary and sustainable changes that lead to a new and healthy life. Unfortunately, most are stuck in some stage of that cycle.
Continue reading The One True Diet: Does it Include Donuts?
Raise your hand if this sounds like you:
You book a great week-long ski vacation somewhere out west. Maybe Heavenly? Lake Louise? Whistler? You can’t stop thinking about knee deep powder, and 3,000+ vertical feet, and runs that take half an hour to ski down. Then you start thinking about that, and you remember the last ski vacation you took:
This week’s post is a follow on to last week’s post with some basic information about low-back pain, covering some slightly different topics and getting into a bit more detail.
The post will primarily address whether and how much we should bend, extend and rotate our backs.
Dr. McGill has lectured and written extensively on why flexion is bad for our backs, and yet what exercise does your physical therapist give you to address your low back pain? Crunches! Somehow in the last 20 years it has become a universal truth that situps are bad but crunches are good. Take a look at these two photos. Continue reading Low back pain redux
I had the pleasure of spending two days at a Dr. Stuart McGill seminar about “Building the Ultimate Back”. Dr. McGill is a spine biomechanist at the University of Waterloo, an internationally renowned speaker about low back dysfunction, an equally renowned clinician, and the author of Low back Disorders and Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance.
Because Dr. McGill covered so much amazing information, and because back function is such an important topic, I have split this into three articles. This first article provides what I view as the 4 basic points he addressed.
Continue reading Lessons about low back pain (part one)
Time Magazine recently published an article that concluded exercise does not help with weight loss. That’s’ not entirely true, but nor is it entirely false: When it comes to weight loss, food is a bigger factor than exercise.
I am not saying don’t exercise. Quite the opposite. Exercise is crucial to living a long and happy life. If done properly, it can improve your mood, reduce back pain, increase self-esteem, improve your heart health, and help you to maintain strong bones and muscles as you age so that you can be one of those people who are still skiing and running in their 80s. I know I want to be one of those people.
Let’s not forget nutrition though. One of the most renowned experts in the field of sports nutrition is Dr. John Berardi, who has done great work in helping us understand the importance of what and when we should eat.
Continue reading Don’t forget nutrition
I recently talked to someone who gets recurrent low back pain. I tried to engage them in a conversation about strength and stability training, but was politely brushed off with a “I know what I need to do – I need to strengthen my abs”. A while later, I wished I had made one quick suggestion: “stretch your hip flexors”
Why hip flexors for low-back pain? Continue reading If I could suggest 3 things…