Thursday, December 5, 2013

Correcting Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Not sure where I picked it up, but I ended up with a pretty bad case of anterior pelvic tilt (I blame my bed…possibly bad form with kettlebells). BUT, I've been giving the exercises here a shot and so far, so good.

T-Nation | Trouble with the Tilt - Correcting APT

Sunday, April 7, 2013

What's the worst that could happen?

Usually when someone says that, it's an invitation to find out....

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Review: RumbleRoller Foam Roller

Rumble Roller Full Size Blue One Liner: If you need to upgrade your foam roller, this is what to move to!


Two things come to mind when you look at the RumbleRoller: the first thing, that you think when you open up the package, is, "what have I gotten myself into?" The second thing is what your guests will think when they see it in your living room - "what in the world is that?"

To start with the second question, the RumbleRoller is really a mutant foam roller that is extra-useful. The nubs on it act like little fingers to get into knots and whatever else might be bothering you. They also let you do two really awesome things that you can't really do on a normal foam roller:

  1. You can work side-to-side in addition to back-and-forth. If you've never tried this, this is really cool, especially when you start working on your neck (you can't do that with a normal foam roller!) 
  2. You can stop in mid-roll and let the nubs work their way into a trigger point.
The above points really do a lot to take some use out of your TheraCane. They also combine to make the RumbleRoller a lot of fun to use. I get a lot more use out of this than I did from my normal foam roller. 

About firmness - I debated the relative merits of the black (extra-firm) and the blue ("original density"). Having no clue about the difference and not knowing where to find one locally to try out, I decided that I'd be just as well to get the blue one. And I'm glad I did - the blue version is just about as dense as I'd feel comfortable with. To be fair, it's great for glutes, shins and my back - things that a normal foam roller just wasn't working well for. Then again, despite the control you have over the pressure, I think it might be a bit too harsh for my IT bands.

And that's an important thing to note: with a normal foam roller, I could get good use out of it for a couple things - namely the IT band and maybe something else if it was particularly tender. The RumbleRoller gets a lot deeper into things that you might not have realized that you could get to (like glutes).

This hasn't replaced the other two parts of the get-well triumvirate (TheraCane and tennis balls), but it has become the primary device I use.

The Good:
  • Very sturdy construction - I've only had this for a couple months, so can't comment on the manufacture's claims of it lasting basically forever, but I believe it
  • The nubs are really excellent at digging into trigger points that you might have missed before using a normal roller
  • One interesting property of the nubs is that they allow you to move not only up and down but side to side too - allowing you to really dig in where you need it
The Bad:
  • Honestly, the only thing that I can think of is it attracts dust like crazy
  • May be a bit too harsh for beginners
Recommendation: Once you've learned your way around what is good-ouch and bad-ouch, and your current foam roller ain't doing it for you anymore, I think the RumbleRoller will be a welcome addition to you setup.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Remember: Wrap Your Hands (especially when using MMA gloves)

by Mike

I'll spare you the site of my chewed-up paws, but I should like to remind everyone to wrap your hands when using the heavy bags.

This is especially true when you're using MMA gloves that have cutouts for your individual fingers - not only do you have to worry about cutting up your knuckles, but you also have to keep in mind the possibility of ripping the webbing between your fingers.

Having a nice layer of cloth between your tender, babylike skin and a shifting layers of persperation-wicking material that's cut just a little too big (so you can put handwraps underneath of course) makes all the difference....

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Review: Everyday Genius Institute: The Core Strategies of Genius

Review: The Core Strategies of Genius

Link to Amazon
Link to Everyday Genius Institute

One-Liner: The best introduction to Neuro-Lingustic Programming available - the techniques in here are applicable to pretty much anything you'd want to do in life.

Overview: This isn't strictly a martial-arts related review, but this The Core Strategies is a wonderful tool that could be used to help you achieve goals and overcome blocks in martial arts or anywhere else in life.

That said...I really dig this series and this book in particular. The Core Strategies in particular addresses some of the biggest complaints that I've encountered regarding NLP in general - the books read like computer manuals, it's difficult to get feedback and therefore know if you're on the right track or not, not to mention that the instructions seem to only make sense to people who are already familiar with the material. What the Everyday Genius series has done is to make what is essentially a seminar-in-a-box.

The ideal way to work through the book is to start with the appropriate video section - there's an introduction where Tim Hallbom and Taryn Voget walk though the background and high-level concept of the strategy and then Tim performs what would be a session with someone using that particular strategy. From there you read the appropriate section in the book and then perform the technique on yourself.

The strategies included in the book are:

  • Well Formed Goals - which allows you to look at goal setting in new ways - how to set goals, and sub-goals, that you are more likely to achieve
  • New Behavior Generator - a way to basically "install" new behaviors into you
  • Piece of Cake - a method to reframe difficult tasks that you may not have fun doing as something that you enjoy and that is easy
  • Eye Movement Integration - a way to overcome fear and anxiety
  • Mental Mentors - how to get advice about a situation from different perspectives
  • Circle of Excellence - allows you to more-or-less instantly feel confident and in control of  asituation
  • Motivation Strategy - sort of an 'energizing' way to get excited about your goals, even when the going gets tough
These are a well-curated selection of techniques and put together in a way that compliments and builds on the previous steps - and some of them may be techniques that you're familiar with already, albeit tweaked in a way that you might not be familiar with. For instance, the circle of excellence is basically any pre-class or pre-fight ritual you've done before, even if it's as simple as bowing in. However, the Circle of Excellence includes some ways to supercharge that and make it even more powerful. 

Taken in conjunction, this book present a really powerful way to obtain your goals. The best part is they are applicable to any goal you might have, both large and small.

The Good:

  • The multimedia approach to learning the techniques is great - before even thinking about the technique, it's presented in a friendly, conversational way and then followed up by a successful implementation - you can therefore model success before you try it yourself - one of the downsides of most other NLP books is that it's difficult to know what success looks like. Even though you haven't necessarily done it yourself yet, so you wouldn't know how it feels, seeing success really puts you on the right path
  • The book's graphic design is freakin' awesome. The writing style is great, but the graphic design and use of icons to represent various steps in the strategies really allows you to think about and 'internalize' the strategies in a different way. Using the icons to help anchor steps really makes them easier to follow than reading lengthy and wordy explanations 
  • The strategies presented here are meant to be used in sequence, to define goals in a way that's helpful to you, overcome limitations and internal objections to those goals and get you excited about the goals in ways you might not have thought of before

The Bad:

  • No page numbers in the book
  • Black edging picks up finger prints on a hot summer day

Recommendation: The Core Strategies is an excellent work that should benefit anyone looking to take whatever it is they do to the next level.