Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Right Way To Work Out

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

Work Out Like An Athlete

What is exercise?

Any activity above a resting threshold that creates a positive physical change that enhances fitness and health, and does not undermine one to enhance the other. Read more...

What you'll need?

You will need a foam roller, kettlebells, and possibly a few other products.

What is SMR (self-myofascial release)?

In simple terms, when the pressure of the body against the foam roller is sustained on the trigger point or fascia, the GTO (golgi tendon organs) will “turn off” the muscle spindle activity allowing the muscle fibers to stretch, unknot, and realign. Read more...

Some examples of SMR with a foam roller:

Calves (Gastrocnemius/Soleus)
Place foam roller under the mid-calf. Cross the opposite leg over the top of the other to increase pressure. Slowly roll calf area to find the most tender spot. Hold that spot for 30-90 seconds until the discomfort is reduced. Especially beneficial for runners or those who regularly wear shoes with elevated heels. Switch legs and repeat.

Lie face down and place one thigh, flexed and abducted, over the foam roller. Slowly roll the upper, inner thigh area to find the most tender spot. Hold for 30-90 seconds until the discomfort is reduced. Switch legs and repeat.

Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL)
Lie on one side with the foam roller just in front of the hip. Cross the top leg over the lower leg, placing that foot on the floor. Slowly roll from the hip joint down toward the knee to find the tender spot. Hold for 30-90 seconds until the discomfort is reduced. Switch sides and repeat.

Sit on top of the foam roller, positioned on the back of the hip, crossing one foot over the opposite knee. Lean into the hip of the crossed leg. Slowly roll on the posterior hip area to find the tender spot. Hold for 30-90 seconds until the discomfort is reduced. Repeat on other side.

Latissimus Dorsi
Lie on one side with the arm closest to the ground outstretched with thumb facing upwards. Place the foam roller under the arm in the axillary region. Slowly roll back and forth to find the tender spot. Hold for 30-90 seconds until the discomfort is reduced. Repeat on other side.

Thoracic Spine
Lie on the floor with the foam roller behind the upper back. Cross arms to opposite shoulders. Raise hips off the floor and slowly roll back and forth to find the tender spot. Hold for 30-90 seconds.

Note - Avoid rolling out the low back due to dangers of injuring the spine.

Why mobility drills?

What we want is range of motion prior to activity. Joint viscosity, warming of muscles, lengthening, injury prevention; not flexibility, more injury, or diminished power output. This is done prior to cardio, core, or strength training, but after SMR. Read more...

Standing Mobility

Ground Mobility

Assisted Mobility

For these you can pick up a stick from a hardware store or even use a broom stick. For the band, you can use a pull up band or a stretch strap.

Why do we need to correct posture?

Correct posture positions our body in a state where we can maximally move functionally, create maximal power output, at the least likelihood for injury. Read more...

Some examples of correcting posture:

Why your glutes matter

How to correct posture

What is integrated strength?

A combination of dynamic flexibility, cardio/respiratory, core, balance, power and resistance training.

Examples of integrated strength:

Home body weight work out with multiple progressions

An advanced kettlebell work out

Read Mastering Kettlebells and get some experience with kettlebells before trying this.

Crawl patterns

One of the movements we use most often with beginners are crawling patterns.

Why end with stretches?

Now it's time for flexibility. We do this only after we've completed all of our strength, core, and cardio work. Do this prior and you risk injury and diminished power. It may feel good because it stretches muscles and makes them relax, but it then makes it dangerous to pursue high intensity work because of stretched relaxed muscles. A common mistake of many who engage in fitness, to static stretch prior to activity.

Static Stretches

Assisted Active Isolated Stretches

This is different from normal static stretching. You'll need a rope or stretch strap.


Sam Yang from an early age has been obsessed with connecting the dots between martial arts and efficiency, health, mindset, business, science, and habits to improve optimal well-being. For more info, join his newsletterYou can also connect to All Out Effort on Facebook and Twitter.

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