Category Archives: Training Basics

6 Tips for a Great Ski (or Snowboard) Trip

I suspect for some people, this article could be more aptly named “Ski Trip Survival”. Ski and snowboarding require a lot from your body. It is true that you have help getting up the hill, but that doesn’t mean gravity is doing all of the work for you, no matter what your non-skier friends might say. In fact gravity is the reason you need to be strong and fit to ski: You are battling against it! Unless you want to achieve terminal velocity that is. Racers may like that, but just about everyone else tends to prefer staying within highway speed limits. And of course the racers need even more from their legs and core to control that ridiculous speed!
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Reducing the Risk of Low Back Pain for Skiers

I had an article published in Ski Pro Magazine this fall, Reducing the Risk of Low Back Pain. For those of you who are skiers but not instructors in Canada, here is the link to the online version of the magazine:

Reducing the Risk of Low Back Pain.

The article is on pages 30 and 31, or you can get to it by typing “low back’ into the search field.

Lessons of the Hip & Spine from Dr. Shirley Sahrmann

This article was written after I had the pleasure of attending a two-day seminar with Dr. Shirley Sahrmann, author of Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes. Throughout the course, and then on the eight hour drive home, I had a lot of opportunity to really think about what I learned and its relevance. This article presents a combination of what I learned from Dr. Sahrmann, as well as some of the thoughts it provoked.

I don’t care how much you don’t move
This was a statement she made repeatedly throughout the course, and reflects the premise that it is usually the place that moves too much that is the problem. This is in keeping with her belief of exercise instead of manual therapy as the best approach for addressing movement disorders, because manual therapy typically addresses shortness.
Continue reading Lessons of the Hip & Spine from Dr. Shirley Sahrmann

The last words on Sodium, Soup and Health Check

This is another follow-up to my previous two posts about sodium and the Health Check label.

The first was about high sodium content of Heinz soups, and the second addressed sodium levels in products with the Health Check logo.

In short, I was driven to correspond with both Heinz and the Heart & Stroke Foundation (who run the Health Check program) after being shocked at the high sodium content of Smart Ones soup. This lead me to identify reporting irregularities in nutrition information posted online. I have received correspondence from both parties that do address this issue. I’ve included copies of both letters below. And for those who are in a hurry, here’s the tweet-sized version:
Continue reading The last words on Sodium, Soup and Health Check

Accepting Aging as an Athlete

I explained what I’ve written below to my neighbour as I walked by him on my way home from playing ultimate, and he started to chuckle. I asked what he was laughing about and he said “It’s fun watching you grow up”. This is my neighbour who used to be on the Canadian National Figure Skating Team, so he knows what athletes go through as their career (or in my case “career”) winds down.
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Just Say No to Your Cravings…Sometimes

I had an epiphany earlier today. Here goes: for most of people, weight loss is really very simple. I don’t believe it involves evaluating the many, many, many diets and nutrition plans out there. Success and failure can be had with any of them. There are some long term studies that show one version is marginally better than the other, but the reality is that the majority of people who try them, do not succeed. So we as a society have tried every possible diet under the sun but none of them work.

The epiphany that I had is that the reason we’re failing is so very simple. It’s not the program; it’s us. We don’t know how to say No to ourselves. Continue reading Just Say No to Your Cravings…Sometimes

Tennis Dynamic Warmup

I’ve just posted a new video on youtube of the dynamic warmup that I recommend for tennis players before they step on the court. It’s a brief set of dynamic stretches that prepares the body for the movements you will ask of it in the match. The five minutes it takes to run through these dynamic stretches is also a great time to work on your mental focus through means like visualization to ensure that you are mentally prepared as well.

Interested in learning more about sport-specific dynamic warm-ups? Then you may be interested in my free ebook, Creating Sport-Specific Dynamic Warm-ups. All you need to do to get this free ebook is sign-up below for my Sports Performance Newsletter and you’ll receive a free copy.

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It’s the small stuff

A good trainer will work to not only make you stronger, more fit, and less squishy, but also to help improve your overall movement and to contribute to healthy joints and tissues. We do this by working on symmetry, and focusing on stability and mobility in the right places. But typically, the time you spend working out is just not enough to counteract the habits we all have throughout the “other 23 hours of the day”.

What habits am I talking about? The way we stand, sit, walk, sleep, watch tv, and drive all impact our bodies. We all have habits that we do every day. Many of them seem to be so minute, and yet we do them so much that in fact we do them in huge volumes. That adds up and can have a big impact on our ability to move well. Do you know what yours are?
Continue reading It’s the small stuff

Golf Movement and Swing Assessment – Case Study: Will

I have a feeling there may be a lot of golfers out there. And I suspect just a few of them (read: most) are interested in improving theirs swing. And another small subset (read: large) are addicted to everything to do with golf. And that these people may just be interested to get a complete assessment of their swing, of the way they move without a golf club in their hand, and of the correlation between the limitations in the way they move and the problems they are having with their swing. And hopefully they will also be keen to do the few corrective exercises that will help them to improve their movement and their swing. I would think that those who don’t play as much as they want to because their back gets sore from a round of golf would be particularly keen on this.

I recently did a Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) assessment on a golfer friend of mine down in Massachusetts who gets up at 430 am every day to fit 9 holes in before work. Despite that incredible dedication to this game (addict?), he has struggled with low back pain of late, and his game has also been suffering somewhat. Take a look at what we found out from his assessment:
Continue reading Golf Movement and Swing Assessment – Case Study: Will

Golf movement and swing assessment TPI-style

Just back from the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Golf Fitness Instructor certification course, and since I’m a geek, I just had to try the swing assessment even though I’m still travelling. As part of the course, I have the results of my rotational movement assessment using the TPI screen; why not review some video of my swing and compare? As luck would have it, the cottage that I’m at actually has a set of golf clubs in the basement. I’m sure the owner won’t mind me taking an iron out onto the lawn. (Only one divot!)

The TPI assessment includes 11 tests and takes about 10 minutes. For non-golfers, I will integrate some of these tests into my current assessment that includes the Functional Movement Screen. For golfers, I will stick with the TPI screen combined with the swing 2 dimensional video assessment. Continue reading Golf movement and swing assessment TPI-style