I received a question regarding a previous video where I showed how to use the upright row as a shoulder rehab exercise.
Yeah, I know it’s supposedly a ‘bad’ shoulder exercise that’s often declared taboo.
But, when you understand the principles of how the shoulder functions it actually makes sense.
Anyway, I was asked if the upright row should be used as an actual shoulder rehabilitation exercise or as an injury prevention exercise.
I thought it was a great question and so here’s my answer:
So, what do you think?
What’s your biggest takeaway from this video?
If you’re interested in taking your skills in correcting muscle imbalances to the next level then be sure to register for the Muscle Imbalance Specialist Program before the April 12th deadline.
And, I won’t mind if you ‘like‘ this post or click one of the share links below so it can reach those who need it most.
But, ONLY if you feel it’ll really help someone out ok?
In yesterday’s article I shared 5 absolutely HUGE lessons I learned about dealing with muscle imbalances and injuries.
The reason I’m sharing these with you is because I was recently thinking back to my early days in the fitness industry…
…I had left my former life as a grocery clerk (a job I had for 10 long and frustrating years) because I was completely miserable and wanted more for my life then standing around for 40 hours a week in a check stand listening to customers fuss and haggle whenever they thought an item was 5 cents less than what was charged.
Not to mention having an absolute pain-in-the-ass manager that culminated in what I now call the ‘goatee incident‘.
But, I’ll save that story for another time as it was absolutely crazy!
Anyway, after the ‘goatee incident‘ I walked out of that job in the middle of my shift and began my career as a personal trainer soon after.
I remember feeling so much excitement because I was now going to live my passion for helping others transform their lives through health and fitness.
Unfortunately, that passion began to die a slow and painful death when most of the clients that came to me didn’t quite fit the ‘apparently healthy‘ fitness classification that my textbooks and personal training certification courses had only permitted me to work with.
None of my ‘training‘ prepared me to help clients (or myself and my own injuries) with injuries from muscle imbalances.
So, after investing a lot of time, energy and money in my education I learned some assessments and exercises for identifying and addressing muscle imbalances but I only grew more frustrated when they didn’t turn out nice and neat like I was taught.
I realized that there were a couple of problems:
1. No System- While I learned a bunch of individual assessments and exercises there wasn’t an actual method for which ones to use, when to use them and in what order.
Instead I was left on my own to try and figure it out. Of course, this led to inconsistent results with my clients.
2. No Principles- I quickly discovered that each client had their own unique needs and that even those who had the same type of injuries didn’t all respond the same way to the same exercises.
There’s just no one-size-fits-all set of exercises that works for everyone.
Exercises are just TACTICS you use but when they don’t work you’re basically screwed unless you understand the PRINCIPLES that govern it all.
Principles will always let you know the exact exercises and training methods each client needs to ensure their success.
So, today I’m going share with you 3 ‘lost’ principles I’ve learned about dealing with muscle imbalances and injuries:
When I was starting out working with clients suffering from nagging pain and injuries due to muscle imbalances I dealt with a LOT of frustration because so many of the exercises and stretches I learned in my personal training certification courses, text books, workshops and at the physical therapy clinic where I also worked weren’t working.
I’d take courses and learn all kinds of assessments for the neck, shoulders, back, hips, knees, mobility, stability and such but they didn’t teach you which ones to use in what order or when.
I also learned corrective exercises and stretches to help with anterior pelvic tilt, rounded shoulders, forward head posture, medial knee rotation, foot and ankle over pronation or supination and many others only to see that they weren’t really helping.
It got to the point where I nearly quit the fitness industry for good.
Fortunately, I found a mentor who taught me something I had never learned in all the books, courses and experience…
…He taught me the principles of correcting muscle imbalances.
See, it’s one thing to learn a bunch of exercises and stretches for this and that but each client has unique needs and therefore what works for one person with an injury doesn’t work for everyone else with the same injury.
Exercises and stretches don’t teach you this but principles do.
And, I wanted to share some of the most valuable lessons I learned from my experience so you don’t have to go through all the same problems I did in trying to figure it all out on your own.
So, here’s 5 huge lessons I learned:
There are a LOT of different opinions and opposing views on squatting particularly for those dealing with injuries to areas like the low back, hips and/or knees.
There are those who feel squatting is unnecessary and should be avoided…
…There are those who believe people with low back or knee pain must avoid squatting or can only perform modified versions.
There is controversy over which foot position and stance is most effective…
…and on it goes.
So, I put together an in-depth analysis of the squat and some tips to look for when assessing your clients.
In the video you’ll learn:
=>The effects of squatting on lower back and knee pain
=>How to teach the squat for clients with low back pain for pain free squatting
=>Whether or not the way your client squats is setting them up for improved function or dysfunction
=>The difference between foot position and the pros and cons associated with each (toes out vs toes in)
Plus quite a bit more info I packed into this one.
I think you’ll get a lot of valuable content from this video:
I’d like to know what you think.
Go ahead and leave me a comment below and let me know
I’ve been getting some questions lately on how to correct muscle imbalances causing anterior pelvic tilt and low back pain.
Obviously, hip flexor tightness is a major cause of muscular imbalances involving lower back pain and injuries.
The problem for many people is they don’t know how to correct the imbalances.
So, I put together a 4-part video series to help low back pain sufferers who aren’t getting results despite doing hip flexor and lower back stretches and various abdominal, lower back and corrective exercises.
Part 1 shows you 3 simple self-assessments you can perform to identify if you have muscular imbalances involving the hip flexors :
The shoulder is one of the easiest areas to develop muscular imbalances given how much mobility the shoulder provides without a whole lot of stability.
One of the most important lessons I learned for addressing injuries was to identify the causes which in most cases are muscle imbalances.
And, the biggest mistake I see fitness enthusiasts and some physical therapists make is treating the injured area itself.
Why is this a mistake?
Because the area where you feel pain is often a symptom but not the actual cause of pain.
For example, lower back pain is rarely caused by the low back itself. It’s often the result of muscle imbalances that force the low back to take the brunt of the stress which causes pain.
In the video below I answer a question from someone suffering from years of intense neck, shoulder and arm pain. He’s tried various neck and shoulder rehabilitation methods and treatments but nothing seems to be working
There’s 5 shoulder rehab exercise tips I cover that most doctors and therapists are NOT aware of:
I just answered a question from someone suffering from a combination of muscle imbalances that have resulted in shoulder pain, neck pain, lower back pain and TMJ.
This is an interesting case in the way her pain patterns have manifested on the same side of her body.
But, I have to warn you…
…This video is unlike ANY of the others I’ve done before.
I’ve always addressed what makes the most sense to fitness professionals and fitness enthusiasts–the PHYSICAL issues like muscular imbalances, corrective exercises, conditioning exercises, strengthening exercise and stretches.
However I have never mentioned the other contributing causes to so many pain patterns…
If you’re wondering what UFO spaceship abducted me and scrambled my brain worse than a 3-egg omelet at ‘Lenny’s’ watch the video and I’ll explain exactly what I mean.
This isn’t some ‘airy-fairy’ stuff that has no validity. It’s very real indeed.
You’ll also discover:
–>The link between shoulder, neck and low back pain
–>How emotions can create muscle imbalances and trigger shoulder pain
–>The most common blockage that leads to shoulder and neck pain
–>Why physical corrective exercises may not be enough to eliminate pain and what else to look for
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.
Why or why not?
I recently received a question on shoulder rehabilitation exercise tips for shoulder impingement.
In a previous video I demonstrated how to reduce shoulder muscle imbalances and improve shoulder mobility in minutes so in this one I focused on some topics that most rehabilitation exercises for muscle imbalances of the shoulder fail to properly address.
In the video below you’ll learn:
–How to identify 2 common types of shoulder injuries so you’ll know which muscle imbalances to address
–The biggest mistake with pulling exercises in rehab and gym settings
–The most common mistakes physical rehabilitation programs make with shoulder rehabilitation exercises
–The dangers of rotator cuff strengthening exercises used in most physical rehab programs
–3 ranges needed to properly condition muscular imbalances of the shoulder
So, what did you think?
Leave a comment below.
I just got an e-mail from a runner who’s been suffering from lower back pain for the last 15 years.
His rehabilitation program isn’t helping much and he asked if I could help him out.
So, I shot a video revealing 3 hidden lower back pain causes that are commonly missed in physical rehabilitation programs and some tips to help eliminate them.
Here’s the main topics I share in the video:
- Why anterior pelvic tilt is not always caused by a tight psoas or tight quadriceps
- Why stretching tight muscles is not the answer
- How stress can lead to psoas weakness and poor running performance
- The 1 ‘thing’ that can cause weakness of the psoas in runners (and it’s not the musculoskeletal system)
- How most physical rehabilitation exercises often make lower back pain worse rather than better
When people hear the word, “muscle imbalance“, they think “tight muscle” so let me stretch it.
This is kind of right, you need to stretch it but why does the muscle imbalance come back after you stretch it?
Because there is much more to eliminating muscle imbalances permanently than just stretching tight muscles.
That is mistake #1 when it comes to muscle imbalances.
Let me go through a few more that you or your clients might be making.
#2 – Not Looking at Fascia
We all know someone that has plantar fasciitis.
There is a good chance what they have been given to address their plantar fasciitis is stretches.
Many times this will provide temporary relief but the pain comes back. The reason why, is people try to address plantar fasciitis like it is a muscle issue even though it is fascia issue.
This is one example but there are numerous other examples in the hamstrings, biceps and IT band.
In order to address muscle imbalances, you need to address fascia in the body like it is fascia and not muscle.
#3 – Not Taking Breathing Serious
Only focusing on breathing out during exertion and breathing in during relaxation phases of exercise are important to keep a steady blood pressure in clients but breathing is so much more than that.
Proper breathing assists in spinal extension and flexion and helps pump cerebrospinal fluid up to the brain and back down through the (central) spinal canal.
Proper breathing is also needed to properly stabilize the spine and trunk during functional movements which helps to reduce the likelihood of injuries to the lower back or extremities.
Most people do not breathe properly and as a result overuse the muscles of the chest and neck which leads to chronic neck pain and stiffness, decreased blood supply to the brain, headaches and other more serious problems.
Proper breathing needs to be integrated into core exercises in order to relax the diaphragm, the accessory muscles of the chest and neck.
It needs to be integrated into dynamic exercises in order to assist in movement efficiency and proper movement patterns.
Breathing also needs to be incorporated into stretching and self massage in order to get the maximum benefit from the stretch or self massage plus relax surrounding muscles and fascia.
#4 – Core Training Is More Than Just Abdominal Training
Over the last 13 years, core training has evolved tremendously. With more research being done on the continuum of core training when it relates to clients that are rehabilitating an injury, improving fitness results or maximizing performance goal.
Core training has become synonymous with abdominal training. And, abdominal training has become narrowly focused on crunches and other non-functional movements that lead to poor posture, decreased core stability, muscle imbalances and injuries.
The core is the body’s center of gravity and origin of movement made up of approximately 35 muscles that attach to the spine and/or pelvis.
In order to achieve optimum core function it is vital to identify which core muscles are imbalanced and employ a targeted program to address these muscles and integrate them within functional movements.
There area a lot more examples of mistakes exercise enthusiasts and health & fitness professionals make when it comes to muscle imbalances but I think you get the point from just these four examples.
What are some other mistakes you’ve noticed when it comes to addressing muscle imbalances?
Leave me a comment below.
Next time you come across a tight muscle, remember, there is more to just stretch it out in order to get rid of it for good.