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Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class

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Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class

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Are you and your body truly ready for what is about to happen next week? This is how I see it. You have booked a coach ticket using miles on Southwest to see your family in Milwaukee, connecting through Miami (3 hour layover), on a red eye. Your sister begs you to haul back all the sour dough bread and See’s candy you can carry-on so that she can give them as gifts to all of her neighbors. It is Christmas after all, so you agree (Note to Self: See Day 1 about learning how to say ‘No’). Then, when your favorite niece graciously explains that she will be giving up her fabulous Disney Princess canopy twin bed with the lumpy mattress for you to sleep in, I have a feeling that your body will be in need of a little TLC the next morning.

 

So when you wake up that next morning, gently roll out from under your pink canopy and down onto that ‘wall to wall’ luxurious pink princess carpet and slowly move through some of these stretches as your morning meditation and time for yourself.

[one_half]Then, when your favorite niece graciously explains that she will be giving up her fabulous Disney Princess canopy twin bed with the lumpy mattress for you to sleep in, I have a feeling that your body will be in need of a little TLC the next morning.[/one_half]

There is a lot of information and research floating around debating ‘To Stretch or Not To Stretch’. My personal belief and the philosophy that I follow with my clients, as well as my own body, is that stretches are useful and helpful  when performed on muscles that actually need to be stretched. Lengthening or over-stretching weak muscles often leads to further imbalances and joint issues. The challenge is that most people have no way of knowing which muscles in their bodies are actually in need of lengthening and inhibition versus which are actually long, weak, or taut and giving false feedback that they are needing a nice stretch. Sadly judging by sensation alone is never a reliable source. A great example of this comes from a client that came to me complaining that his hamstrings were always tight and painful and no amount of stretching would ever bring relief. After a quick assessment of his pelvic alignment and a flexibility screen of the muscles attached to his pelvis, we discovered that his hamstrings were actually too stretched, long and weak. He immediately started a prescription of hamstring shortening and strengthening, bringing about complete relief of his pain within a week. Not magic, just the physics of the body’s lever system. (For more information on stretch testing, check out this link to the complete trainer’s assessment.)art-seats2-420x0

So use these travel stretches as a body wake up, just like a puppy does his stretch and warm-up routine after laying down for an extended period of time. For full body mobility, I recommend moving in and out of each stretch initially. For example, for the hip flexors, lunging forward in the single knee, then coming back to your starting point.  Then as you find some of the movements are tight and difficult to move through, you can hold the stretch for 30+ seconds. Again, always stopping before any intense sensation of pain or pulling.

[one_half]The challenge is that most people have no way of knowing which muscles in their bodies are actually in need of lengthening and inhibition versus which are actually long, weak, or taut and giving false feedback that they are needing a nice stretch. Sadly judging by sensation alone is never a reliable source.[/one_half]

If you are home with a group of family or friends, try making it a fun activity for the entire family, getting the kids and granny to do them with you.  Nothing serious or intense, just a way of getting the blood flowing and joints moving. If weather permits, get outside and do them in a nearby park. Lastly, many of these stretches are designed to be done while traveling in coach on an airplane. On a crazy long flight and getting cramped up? Try some of these compact stretches to loosen things up a bit.

(Note: If you are not currently doing any type of exercise , injured or experiencing any type of body or joint pain, I always recommend consulting with a doctor or health professional before starting any type of new exercise program.)

For more information, or if you have exact questions on which stretches are appropriate for your body, feel free to drop me an email here at info@diakadibody.com.

Happy holidays and good luck making it to the Home Stretch!

1. Hip Flexors

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K10-_fJjaI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility alternate between shifting your weight forward then back, gradually increasing the range of motion as it feels comfortable for 12 reps per leg.

For a static stretch, try holding this for 30 seconds to begin with, continuing to hold the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

2. Quadriceps

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa-5xFRDPdY&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, you can start by alternating legs for the standing stretch, holding each leg for a quick second before switching for 24 reps. You can also use the toe on the wall stretch for mobility by lunging forward and back, gradually increasing the range of motion for 12 reps per leg.

For static stretching, when possible, use the kneeling toe on the wall version in order to relax your body during the stretch. Hold this stretch initially for 30 seconds, feeling for the muscle to relax and the fibers release.

3. Hamstrings

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z4ePzixMcA&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, i recommend slowly moving in and out of the bent over toe touch (5 count down, 5 count up), increasing the range of motion as able for 12 reps.

For a static stretch, when possible, use the floor version with one leg resting against the wall in order to relax your body during the stretch. Hold this stretch initially for 30 seconds, feeling for the muscle to relax and the fibers release.

4. Piriformis and Hips

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsZ_70O75Jc&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, I recommend sitting in the piriformis cross leg stretch (shin parallel to the floor) and slowly rocking forward into the stretch and back sitting straight up for 12 reps per leg.

For static stretches, hold these stretches initially for 30 seconds, feeling for the muscle to relax and the fibers release.

5. Lower Back, Hips Twist

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd8nxvs2R0g&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, alternately kick your legs across your body, pulling the knee across with opposing hand for 24 alternating side reps.

For static stretching, try holding the stretch for 30 seconds per leg to begin with, continuing to hold the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

6. Calves

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dqlu8IiC2KU&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, use the wall lean version of the stretch and rock back and forth between (1) your back heel down and leg straight and (2) your back knee bent and rolling up on your toes with heel off. Try 12 reps on each leg by alternating heel up, heel down.

For static, hold these stretches for a minimum of 60 seconds to begin with due to the density of the calf muscles. Hold the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

7. Chest

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0aJCziKCnI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, slowly twist your upper body and spine into the stretch and back out of it for 12 reps per side.

For static, try holding these stretches for a minimum of 30 seconds to begin with, holding the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

8. Neck

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ246W0pApI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

I recommend using this stretch as a static stretch only as opposed to a mobility movement. Try holding these stretches for a minimum of 30 seconds to begin with, holding the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

9. Latissimus Dorsi (Lats)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4y40FwPoFw&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

For mobility, I recommend rocking in and out of the stretch by alternately (1) shifting your hips with chest drop and (2) shifting your hips back front with chest up for 12 reps.

For static, try holding these stretches for a minimum of 30 seconds to begin with, holding the stretch for a longer amount of time if needed. Continue to breath throughout all stretches.

DIAKADI’s The 12 Days of Fitmas: Welcoming the holidays and year’s end as a time for relaxation and celebration, The 12 Days of Fitmas will teach people to take the time to enjoy the fun of the season, while reflecting on the year and looking forward to the year ahead. The series tackles the biggest problems that many face: stress, holiday parties, eating well, preparing for the New Year, and more.

“The holidays tend to be one of the most challenging times of the year for our clients,” says Billy Polson. “The stress, over-booked schedules, party foods, alcohol and travel plans wreak havoc on their workouts and their bodies. The 12 Days of Fitmas are our effort to help people not only survive the holidays, but thrive throughout them.”

Through The 12 Days of Fitmas, DIAKADI will demonstrate the belief that fitness is about far more than dead lifts, burpees and the spin class. Rather, fitness and health encompass all aspects of one’s lifestyle including sleep schedules, stress levels, deep breaths, proper fuel for the body, and enjoying life every day. DIAKADI will use video to demonstrate topics like “Ultimate Destination Workout,” ensuring that whether one is at a beginning or an advanced level, they will learn proper form and technique for the perfect workout regardless of location. The principals discussed in the series will be applicable beyond the holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Originally published at Patch.com.

Day 1: The Most Wonderful Yet Stressful Time of Year: Managing Holiday Stress Day 2: The Holiday Hunger Games: Holiday Party Survival Tips Day 3: The 80/20 Rule: By Damn, Enjoy the Holidays Day 4: Healthy Holiday Recipes that Don’t Suck Day 5: Planes, Trains, and Drive-thrus: Smart Choices for Food on the Go Day 6: Travel Stretches to Make Coach Feel Like First Class Day 7: Grandma Got Run Over by the Holiday Cold: Staying Healthy for the Holidays Day 8: The DIAKADI Destination Workout: Anytime, Anywhere, No Equipment Necessary Day 9: Silent Night: How to Stay Rested Throughout the Holidays Day 10: The Holiday Hustle: Getting Off the Couch and Out of the House for the Big Day Day 11: Start the New Year Off with a Bang Not a Bust: Do What You Love this New Year’s Day 12: When the Clock Strikes Midnight: Successfully Setting and Reaching Your New Year’s Goals

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The Best Exercises for Back Development

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The Best Exercises for Back Development

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10 Steps to a Hot Summer Body: Episode 10

Authors: Gina Gutierrez and Kelly Redanz

We are closing out our beach body series with one of the most important, yet often ignored sections of the body... the back.

In this tenth video installment of DIAKADI's 'Summer School with DB04 - 10 Steps to a Hot Summer Body', fitness performance coach Kelly Redanz speaks with DIAKADI Partner/Trainer Gina Gutierrez about the best exercises to maximize the muscle development of your back. 

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZQ3K-Go1zg&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]


Redanz recommends:

1. Negative Accentuated Chin-ups
2. Renegade DB Rows
3. TRX 1-1/2 Rows

For additional form notes on your back exercise program, check out these DIAKADI Video Blogs: 

How is Improper Form Limiting Your Results During Back Exercises?
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqPonGhGdkY[/youtube]

Getting the Most from your Back Exercises
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOz75sHsbrI[/youtube]

Good luck trying these changes to your current workout program design.

 

‘Summer School with DB04 – 10 Steps to a Hot Summer Body’ is DIAKADI Fitness Performance Life’s 10 part series detailing exactly what steps to take for fat loss, muscle building and looking your best this summer. The series will address nutrition, cardio exercise, and muscle development programs for full body development.

DIAKADI’s 10 Steps to a Hot Summer Body in 2014

Step 1: Avoid These Foods for a Lean Body Step 2: Eat This, Lose Weight, Build Muscle Step 3: Answering the Cardio for Fat Loss Question Step 4: The 3 Best Summer Ready Ab Exercises Step 5: How to Design Your Summer Body Exercise Program Step 6: The Best Exercises for Arm Development Step 7: The Best Exercises for Legs and Butt Development Step 8: The Best Exercises for Shoulder Development Step 9: The Best Exercises for Chest Development Step 10: The Best Exercises for Back Development

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How to Design Your Summer Body Exercise Program

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How to Design Your Summer Body Exercise Program

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10 Steps to a Hot Summer Body: Episode 5

Authors: Gina Gutierrez and Billy Polson

 

If you are trying to burn fat and build muscle, how many days of strength training should you be doing in your summer workout program? 
If you are looking for the maximum increases in muscle mass and strength, how many sets and reps are optimal?

In this fifth installment of DIAKADI's 'Summer School with DB04 - 10 Steps to a Hot Summer Body', fitness performance coach and DIAKADI founder Billy Polson speaks with DIAKADI Partner/Trainer Gina Gutierrez about the best way to break out your exercise days, set counts and rep counts for maximum summer body results. 

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmcb6TIeArs&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

Polson recommends:

For Beginners or Clients Wanting Fat Reduction:

  • Start with Full Body Part Days with Compound Movements (Squats, Lunges, Dead Rows, Pushups, etc)
  • Perform Each Exercise for a Minimum of 3 Sets of 10-14 Reps
  • Minimum 3 Strength Workouts per Week


For Maximum Muscle Mass and Strength Gains:
Try One of the Following Exercise Breakouts:

A: PUSH and PULL Days with 1 Large Legs Exercise per Day and Opposing Arm Exercises PUSH = Chest, Shoulder (Mid and Front Delts), Barbell Squats or Dead Lifts, and Biceps PULL = Back (Pull-ups and Rows), Rear Delts, Dumbbell Lunges or Step Ups, and Triceps

B: Individual Body Part Days (CHEST, BACK, SHOULDERS, LEGS) with Alternating Day Arm Exercises CHEST = Bench Press, DB Flys, Pushups, Cable Flys, etc with Isolated Biceps BACK = Pull-ups, Cable Rows, Barbell Dead Rows, etc with Isolated Triceps SHOULDERS = Dumbbell Press, Cable Laterals, Reverse Flys, etc with Isolated Biceps LEGS = Barbell Squats, Dumbbell Lunges, Romanian Dead Lifts, etc with Isolated Triceps C: Alternating One of the Above Style Strength Days with a Cardio/Strength Intervals Day DAY 1: CHEST Strength Day DAY 2: Alternate 1 Minute Cardio Sprints (Treadmill, Jump Rope, etc) with BACK Strength Exercises DAY 3: SHOULDERS Strength Day DAY 4: Alternate 1 Minute Cardio Sprint with LEG Strength Exercises (Week 2 swap which muscle groups are the Strength Days and which are the Cardio Interval Days)

  • Perform Each Exercise for 4-6 Sets of 6-10 Reps
  • Minimum 4-6 Strength Workouts per Week

For Information on the Ultimate Mass Builder 5x5 Workout, check out this additional DIAKADI Exercise Blog:

Make Incredible Gains in Strength and Muscle Mass – The 5×5 Workout Program

For Additional Ideas about Tweaking Tempos for Your Exercises, check out this additional DIAKADI Exercise Blog and Video:

Tempo Changes for Exercise Program Tweaks

Good luck trying these changes to your current workout program design.

Watch for 'Summer School with DB04 - Step 6: The 3 Best Exercises for Leg and Butt Development' for advice on the best bang for the buck lower body exercises.

'Summer School with DB04 - 10 Steps to a Hot Summer Body' is DIAKADI Fitness Performance Life's 10 part series detailing exactly what steps to take for fat loss, muscle building and looking your best this summer. The series will address nutrition, cardio exercise, and muscle development programs for full body development.

DIAKADI’s 10 Steps to a Hot Summer Body in 2014

Step 1: Avoid These Foods for a Lean Body
Step 2: Eat This, Lose Weight, Build Muscle
Step 3: Answering the Cardio for Fat Loss Question
Step 4: The 3 Best Summer Ready Ab Exercises
Step 5: How to Design Your Summer Body Exercise Program
Step 6: The Best Exercises for Arm Development
Step 7: The Best Exercises for Legs and Butt Development
Step 8: The Best Exercises for Shoulder Development
Step 9: The Best Exercises for Chest Development
Step 10: The Best Exercises for Back Development

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Posterior Kinetic Chain Exercise

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Posterior Kinetic Chain Exercise

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Who needs this exercise?

The Posterior Kinetic Chain exercise is a common exercise that Psoas Massage + Bodywork gives to many of our desk workers. This exercise is extremely useful for climbers as well because the forward, rounded posture of climbers mimics the posture of desk workers. This exercise helps your upper back stay toned and ready to combat the ever-strengthening muscles in your chest and neck that are continuously pulling your shoulders forward.
Performing the Posterior Kinetic Chain exercise on a regular basis will have the effect of keeping you closer to the wall while climbing, which will place your center of gravity in a more optimal position to allow your legs to take on more of the effort of climbing.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh0n2V35Q90&list=UU6XDdHQhGqPatJukwkYVeDA&feature=share&index=1[/youtube]
For the best results:

  • With the Wall Angel (exercise 1) try to keep your entire body against the wall while doing the movement - butt, low back, shoulders, the entire arm and wrist.
  • With each of the final 4 exercises hold the position for 30 seconds, breathe and try to relax your muscles.
  • The Wall Angel is way harder than it looks.
  • This shouldn't be painful, it should only be mildly challenging.
Note: if you are experiencing severe pain or numbness and tingling in your arms and hands see a professional before attempting this or other stretches. If you feel excess pain during the stretch, discontinue until checking with a professional.

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How is Improper Form Limiting Your Results During Back Exercises?

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How is Improper Form Limiting Your Results During Back Exercises?

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DIAKADI DIY Tips Series: Episode 6

Authors: Christian Pitkin and Billy Polson

 

 

 

If you are having trouble developing your back muscles, poor posture and form is often the culprit.  In this segment of DIAKADI's DIY Tips Series, Fitness Health Coach Christian Pitkin and Billy Polson discuss how some simple adjustments in body position and form can help clients to fully develop and strengthen the muscles of the back, while keeping the shoulders safe and correcting daily posture habits.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqPonGhGdkY[/youtube]

The DIAKADI DIY Tips Series: How to Correct Your Mistakes and Redesign Your Workouts, is a weekly blog series focused on helping clients recognize improper workout practices and consequently correct and improve their own workouts. Each episode will highlight advice from one of DIAKADI’s veteran trainers. Watch DB04 for weekly updates.

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Should I Be Doing Compound Exercises in My Workouts?

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Should I Be Doing Compound Exercises in My Workouts?

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DIAKADI DIY Tips Series: Episode 3

Authors: Josh Christopher and Billy Polson

 

 

 

Isolated body part exercises such as a bicep curl or seated leg extension definitely have a role in exercise programs for clients looking to repair muscle imbalances around joints or for body builders looking to develop specific muscle groups. But without progressing these isolated movements into multi-joint, compound exercises, especially when using machines, the body is never fully trained to handle the challenges of functional daily living, much less sports and higher intensity activities like running around with your 5 year old nephew.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpYaKaZZYLw&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg&feature=c4-overview[/youtube]

In this segment of DIAKADI's DIY Tips Series, fitness trainer Josh Christopher and Billy Polson discuss how compound exercises, such as dumbbell squats, barbell dead lifts or kettlebell swings, are often left out of individuals' workouts due to assumptions that these exercises are unimportant, dangerous or even scary to perform. But each of these functional movements are simply replications of movements we need to perform consistently in our daily lives.  Placing bags of heavy groceries in the car (dumbbell squats), picking up a heavy box (barbell dead lifts) and heaving that same heavy box onto a high shelf (kettlebell swings), are all common tasks that require strong muscle coordination and use of your body's entire kinetic chain. No matter what your goals, do not skip out on multi-joint exercises that work your entire kinetic chain and incorporate your abdominal and core strength in every rep.

For more information on squats, dead lifts and lunges, visit the DIAKADI blog DB04 and search for more videos demonstrating the proper form and safe progressions for each of these movements.

The DIAKADI DIY Tips Series: How to Correct Your Mistakes and Redesign Your Workouts, is a weekly blog series focused on helping clients recognize improper workout practices and consequently correct and improve their own workouts. Each episode will highlight advice from one of DIAKADI’s veteran trainers. Watch DB04 for weekly updates.

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Posterior Kinetic Chain Exercise by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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Posterior Kinetic Chain Exercise by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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At Psoas, we get a lot of cyclists, runners, lifters, and swimmers. But there's another important kind of athlete that we get on a daily basis - the desk jockey. As a desk jockey, it's just as important to take care of your body to fight the dysfunction and pain that can come with sitting at a desk all day. Shoulder pain, neck pain, headaches, etc., can be prevented with proper posture. But proper posture doesn't happen overnight! Take a look at this Posterior Kinetic Chain Exercise. Try to implement it into your schedule on a daily basis for a week to start. Let us know if you notice any changes after that week.-Adrienne + the Psoas Team

Posterior Kinetic Chain Exercise
Posterior Kinetic Chain

 

Who needs this exercise?

Most commonly, we see these forward reaching motions with those who work at a desk most of the day; but we also see these motions with musicians, restaurant workers, cyclists, electricians, pastry chefs and even parents of small children.

If you fit into any of these categories you will probably have a strong and tight chest and front of your neck. These exercises will help your upper back stay toned and ready to combat the ever-strengthening muscles in your chest and neck that are continuously pulling you forward.

For the best results:

  • With the Wall Angel (exercise 1) try to keep your entire body against the wall while doing the movement - butt, low back, shoulders, the entire arm and wrist.
  • The Wall Angel is way harder than it looks.
  • With each of the final 4 exercises hold the position for 30 seconds, breathe and try to relax your muscles.
Note: if you are experiencing severe pain or numbness and tingling in your arms and hands see a professional before attempting this or other stretches. If you feel excess pain during the stretch, discontinue until checking with a professional.

We are always available to consult with you regarding your pain and discomfort. To set up an appointment with one of our specialists call415.227.0331.

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Olympic Lifting with Trainers Allan Mateo and Ross Steiner

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Olympic Lifting with Trainers Allan Mateo and Ross Steiner

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In DIAKADI's recent Trainer Knowledge Sharing on Olympic Lifting, trainers Allan Mateo and Ross Steiner got together to give participants an excellent and thorough lecture-demonstration about Olympic Lifting, leaving lots of time for us to practice the lifts and their components.

Allan and Ross both coach sports teams in this style of lifting in addition to their work with individual clients at DIAKADI. Allan is himself a competitive Olympic weightlifter, and Ross is the strength coach for the Mission High football team, using the lifts to improve their athletic performance. Allan and Ross each have different approach to training in this method, and taking their differences as a positive thing, work together to help athletes learn to lift well and achieve similar goals.

So what exactly is Olympic Lifting? It is an athletic discipline for which there are competitions, including an Olympic event, in which athletes compete for a single maximum-weight lift of a barbell loaded with weight plates. Two lifts are required: the snatch and the clean and jerk. Both require coordination, explosive power of the legs, speed to quickly get under the bar, and core stability.

In the snatch, the lifter works to move the barbell from the platform to overhead in a continuous movement. The lifter pulls the bar as high as possible and then flips it, while simultaneously dropping into a squat position and locking the arms overhead. Finally, the lifter stands up while holding the bar in this position to complete the lift.

Watch the snatch in slow motion and check out Team USA’s Olympic coaching tips on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rZV5P3cAa4

In the clean and jerk, the first part of the lift is similar to the snatch, but what sets the clean apart is the lifter flips the elbows under the bar and catches it in the rack position after pulling it as high as possible. After arriving in a deep squat, the lifter stands up, continuing to hold the bar in the rack position. Finally, the lift is completed by jumping into a split squat while taking the bar again overhead, extending the arms into a locked position

Watch the clean and jerk being performed by an Olympic athlete here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bc-0lFV1KWQ

And read DIAKADI’s exclusive interview with the coaches here:

What first got you into Olympic lifting? What do you like about it?

A:  A couple of friends got me into it. I like both the complexity and explosiveness of the movement.

R: I first got into Olympic lifting via one of Jim Schmitz's books, Olympic Style Weightlifting. Then I went on to take private coaching from him. What I like about it is how much technique, strength, power and gracefulness is required to complete each lift.

What is the difference between Olympic lifting and other types of lifting?

A: Well, the exercise(s) are what strength coaches would consider to be complex movement patterns that require a certain level of attention to detail and proper coaching.

R: Olympic weightlifting is the combined weight total of two different lifts, the snatch and clean and jerk. Powerlifting is the combined total of the Squat Bench Press and Deadlift. Many people confuse the two and ask me if I could teach them how to powerlift. Two different sports.

What are the benefits of this type of training? Which populations benefit most?

A: As I said earlier both the snatch and clean & jerk are complex movement patterns, with that said, if you want to improve strength, power, build muscle, or improve your anaerobic conditioning; then these exercises are for you!

R: There're many benefits from Olympic style weightlifting, from all around improved strength, flexibility, body composition, balance and  coordination.

My favorite thing about weightlifting is the marked improvement on power output for my athletes. Most populations can benefit from some variation of Olympic style weightlifting but my preferred demographic is athletes looking to improve maximum power output.

To people without experience in these lifts, this style of lifting can seem intimidating. Do you think components of these lifts are useful for clients seeking general fitness? If so, how would you incorporate them into a program?

A: Yes! You can totally do complementary exercises that pertain to the Olympic lifts i.e. front squat, deadlift, and high pulls. However, before adding them in, the coach or trainer should familiarize themselves with the exercises, and ensure that the proper technique is adhered to.

R: Weightlifting can be intimidating but the general population can benefit from learning components of the lifts. My approach is to teach the power clean first, which is a great lift to teach the fundamentals of the full clean.

I would like to learn more. What are some good resources (websites, books, or local clubs) you'd recommend?

A: The NSCA CSCS book explains the technique very well with words and photos, but it's best to seek out a certified coach (NSCA-CSCS or USAW) to get practical experience you need to do the lifts safely and effectively.

About Allan and Ross:

Ross Steiner is a certified United States Weightlifting Association (USAW) club coach (Olympic style weightlifting), a BFS certified strength and conditioning coach, and is also the strength and conditioning coach for the football team at Mission High. Allan Mateo participates in Olympic Weightlifting competitions and is also a USAW Sports Performance Coach. See their full bios at:

Allan Mateo

Ross Steiner

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Mobilizing Upper Back & Stretching Pecs by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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Mobilizing Upper Back & Stretching Pecs by Psoas Massage + Bodywork

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Our pecs and back take a beating throughout the week. From simple actions, like sitting at a desk to more hardcore activities such as mountain biking and surfing, these body parts engage, enable and then tighten up with ease. Anyone who's ever had bodywork on their pecs knows exactly what I mean (ouch!). And if you can relate, then it's really important that you check out Jenny's latest Quick Tip exercise for your pecs and upper back. Not only is it important to stretch these body parts for simple bodily health and flexibility, but doing so will make it so that your therapist doesn't have to dig so deep to loosen up those pesky pec muscles! And that's something I'm sure we will all appreciate.

Who needs this exercise?   

People working at desks, on the computer or those whose work or activities require them to hunch over, such as artists, chefs, surfers or cyclists.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvpmJaaOgyw[/youtube]

For the best results:

  • Lay the foam roller on ground and sit right at its edge.
  • Lie down so that the length of your spine and your head are resting on the foam roller.
  • Use your feet to help support you by placing them flat on the ground.
  • Bring your hands up straight above your torso and then let them slowly fall to either side of your body. At this point, your arms should be at 90* angles. Some of you will be able to touch the ground with your arms. Don't push it if you cannot.
  • With your arms on either side of your body, move your arms down toward your hips and then up above your head, in a snow-angel motion (do this 10 times).
  • For the second stretch, straighten your arms above your torso again and alternate reaching each arm toward the sky (10 times for each arm).
  • Finally, bring both your arms behind you, straight above your head and alternate each arm reaching straight above your head (10 times on each arm).
  • Don't forget to breathe.

 Note: If you feel pain and/or numbness during the exercise, discontinue until checking with a professional.  

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DIAKADI Presents | How to Master a Handstand

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DIAKADI Presents | How to Master a Handstand

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If you are trying to build incredibly strong and stable shoulders, nothing does the job like a handstand exercise program. In this video, DIAKADI owner Billy Polson works with circus performer and athlete Polina Smith of Wholebody Transformations (Our resident handstand expert!) in learning the most important basic steps for starting a handstand workout program. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-mjfHeXIX0&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

To learn more about Polina Smith, check out wholebodysf.com.

To learn more about DIAKADI Fitness Performance Life in San Francisco, check out diakadibody.com.

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DIAKADI Presents | How to Properly Add Heavy Rope Training to Your Workout Program

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DIAKADI Presents | How to Properly Add Heavy Rope Training to Your Workout Program

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With so many people adding Heavy Rope Training to their workout programs, we went to our resident Power Ropes expert Tom Armenta for his advice. In this video, DIAKADI owner Billy Polson talks to Armenta about his total body integration rope technique to help clients prevent injury and tap into the power of their entire body when training with ropes.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB0lXTarXH4&feature=c4-overview&list=UUmVFpzoOajud7zArEm11NYg[/youtube]

 

To learn more about Tom Armenta, check out ArmentaFitness on Facebook.

Find out more about DIAKADI Fitness Performance Life in San Francisco.

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DIAKADI: Make Incredible Gains in Strength and Muscle Mass - The 5x5 Workout Program

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DIAKADI: Make Incredible Gains in Strength and Muscle Mass - The 5x5 Workout Program

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The 5x5 program is a great tool for increasing muscle mass, strength and power, especially for clients who have been stuck in the rut of traditional body building methodology for a while (ie. 3 sets of 8-12 reps week after week). In this video, Chris Dovale of A3 Training and Ross Steiner of Steiner Strength talk to DIAKADI owner Billy Polson about their philosophy, the basics of their 5x5 Training Programs and how both of them, as well as their clients, have seen incredible gains since starting the program.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ7-6QP0xIM[/youtube]

A3 Training 5x5 Program by Chris Dovale  (a3training.com)

My 5x5 Training Program is a 4 day per week training schedule. I suggest M/W/F/Sat or T/Th/Sat/Sun. Strive to be consistent with the days you train, always waiting 1 week to repeat each main lift. Conditioning may be done on off days or after your workouts. I recommend boxing or sprints, doing either for intervals. (30 sec ON : 60 sec OFF or 60 sec ON : 30 sec OFF, repeating for 15-30min.) Do conditioning 2-4 days a week depending on your body fat level. If you want to control your body fat while you are gaining, do interval training more often. If you don't care about some extra body fat and just want to get huge, 1-2 days a week is good. For those looking for maximum muscle gain, I suggest resting on the off days with little to no conditioning.

Day 1 Squat Day Day 2 Bench Press DayEd Yelp 3 Day 3 Deadlift Day Day 4 Overhead Press Day

Warm up before every workout and stretch after every workout. At the start of your workout, I suggest foam rolling and mobilization/movement of the joints that will be used in the exercise for the day. Then you can begin warming up for the day's movement. Start with the bar and increase by 25lbs until you reach your working weight for the week. Do 15 reps with just the bar when warming up. Then lower the reps to 5-10 when approaching your working weight. You don't want to be fatigued when it is time to move the heavy weight in your 5 working sets.

Every working set consists of 5 sets of 5 reps. (Doesn't include warm up sets).

Each week increase 5lbs for upper body lifts, 10lbs for lower body lifts until you reach the maximum weight you can lift for 5 reps.

I recommend staying on this program as long as it takes to get the size or strength you desire. If you are no longer progressing in strength on your main lifts, you should then switch your periodization schedule to another method. More than likely you just need to take the weights down 10-30% and start the process again to break through the plateau. One step back, two steps forward. You can also try taking a week off from heavy lifting (a de-load week).

Accessory Lifts: Accessory Lifts include bicep curls, triceps, dips, pull-ups and abs. You can integrate these movements in one of two ways:

1- Integrate the pushing accessory movements with the pushing lifts (ex. dips or tricep pulldowns after bench press) 2- Integrate the pulling accessory movements after the pushing (ex. rows after bench press, or pull-ups after military press).

Sample Program with Accessory Lifts

Day 1 Squat Day

  • Squats 5x5
  • Pull-ups   3-4 sets,  10 reps
  • Tom Armenta Action Abs  3-4 Sets, 10-20 Cable Rope Crunches

Day 2 Bench Press Day

  • Bench Press 5x5
  • Dips  3-4 Sets , 10 reps
  • Tricep Pulldowns  3-4 Sets , 10 reps
  • Abs  3-4 Sets, 10-20 Cable Twist Abs

Day 3 Deadlift Day

  • Deadlift 5x5
  • DB Rows 3-4 sets, 10 reps
  • Bicep curls   3-4 sets, 10 reps
  • Abs  3-4 Sets, 10-20 DB Side Bends

Day 4 Overhead Press Day

  • Overhead Press 5x5
  • Pull-ups   3-4 sets, 10 reps
  • Abs 3-4 Sets, 10-20 Hanging Leg Raises

This program is hands down the best way to grow in size and strength. As long as your daily diet is in a caloric surplus, and you are taking in enough protein (1-1.5g per pound of bodyweight), you will grow. If you are not growing while eating cleanly, you are not eating enough. If you are gaining more fat than you would like as you "bulk", then you are not eating cleanly enough. (Clean eating: whole foods over processed foods: examples: Eggs, turkey, chicken, beef, fish, veggies and fruit (3 to 1 ratio), steel cut oats, potatoes, rice (white or brown), almonds.)  Avoid simple carbs (i.e. pasta, sugar, crackers, breads)

If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to visit www.a3training.com and shoot me an email. Work smart/hard.

Steiner Strength 5x5 Program by Ross Steiner  (steinerstrength.com)

My 5x5 program is broken up into a Workout A (WOA) and Workout B (WOB) with a 3 day/week split (either Mon/Wed/Fri  or Tue/Thur/Sat).

Each program has "core lifts" that rotate each week.

WOA

  • Deadlift 5x5
  • Back Squat 5x5
  • Kelly Redanz Action 2Bench Press 5x5
  • Core Lift (Planks, Med Ball Chops, Leg Raises, etc)

WOB

  • Deadlift 5x5
  • Back Squat 5x5
  • Over-head Press 5x5
  • Core Lift

Week 1 :  Day 1 WOA;  Day 2 WOB;  Day 3 WOA

Week 2:   Day 1 WOB;  Day 2 WOA;  Day 3 WOB

Week 3:  Continue following this pattern of alternating programs.

(This gives the athlete a proportional amount of vertical to horizontal pressing.)

Once the athlete starts to get used to the volume, usually around 4-6 weeks, we add in your horizontal pulling movements (vertical pull or pull-ups, horizontal pull or rows) as seen in the workout progression below. The athlete will continue to alternate vertical pull and horizontal pull movement patterns as long as they are in the program. (Once the athlete can get over 12-15 pull ups then it would be beneficial to add weight to the pull ups to keep the volume around 6-10 per set.)

WOA

  • Deadlift 5x5
  • Back Squat 5x5
  • Bench Press 5x5
  • Pull ups 3x10 (or max reps to 10)

WOBallan mateo new

  • Deadlift 5x5
  • Back Squat 5x5
  • Over-head press 5x5
  • Bent Over Row 3x10-12

Finally, for intermediate/advanced athletes, I would include explosive lifts such as the power clean in their initial program (as seen in the progression below):

WOA

  • Power Clean 5x3
  • Back squat 5x5
  • Bench Press 5x5
  • Pull ups 3x10 (or max reps to 10)
  • Front plank 3x60sec

WOB

  • Deadlift 5x5
  • Back Squat 5x5
  • Over Head Press 5x5
  • Bent Over Row 3x10-12
  • Tall Kneeling Med Ball *Chops & Lifts 3x10

(*Chops and Lifts are a core exercise focusing on anti rotation. Athlete starts on the ground on their knees toes tucked. Keeping everything tight by bracing your abs and squeezing your glutes, start with a High to Low chopping motion (power on the down) ideally with an 8-10 lb med ball.  In the first set, complete 10 chops down on both right and left side. The second set is almost identical to the first set with the difference being the chop now starts from low moving to high into a lifting motion (power on the up).  During the third set, return to chops down.

These are just some examples of how I use the 5x5 program for general clients. Athletes and clients will keep their program going until the linear progression ceases to produce a gain in strength. At this point, more advanced methods of periodization can be introduced. Also, for advanced athletes and team training, I will pair some exercises together for conditioning and to increase work capacity while making efficient use of training time.

I am more than happy to talk about more advanced programming with athletes and clients if they have more questions. Check out my website steinerstrength.com or drop me a line at ross@steinerstrength.com.

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Getting the Most From Your Back Exercises and Proper Back Posture

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Getting the Most From Your Back Exercises and Proper Back Posture

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One of the most common strength training mistakes I see in the gym would be improper form during back exercises. Far too often I see people doing 'back exercises' without using their back at all. Pullups or rows using their arms and shoulders, without their shoulder blades moving at all. In the attached video, DIAKADI owner Billy Polson discusses some key stretches and technique pointers for making sure you are able to target and fully develop the muscles of your upper back, while maintaining proper posture and muscle balance for your upper body.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOz75sHsbrI[/youtube]

To find a large selection of advanced educational videos on exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle advice, check out the DIAKADI Youtube page (SFDIAKADITraining).

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Back Exercises for the Office

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Back Exercises for the Office

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Ever have a sore back while at your desk? Try these simple exercises to alleviate the pain! 1. Do the Twist

Spinal twists are a great way to relieve tension, increase circulation and improve flexibility and can easily be added to your seated back exercises. Keep your feet flat on the ground, spread about hip-width apart and inhale deeply, lifting up through the spine to lengthen the back. As you exhale, bring your right hand to your left thigh, twisting your torso to the left, and rest your left arm on the back of your chair. Make sure that you keep both hips on the seat of your chair, feet on the ground and your spine straight and tall. Hold the twist as you take three to five deep breaths and then come to center as you exhale. Repeat to the opposite side.

2. Don't Get Caught Sleeping

Stretch the spine while at your desk by resting your head on crossed arms on your desk, as if you were going to take a nap. Keep your feet flat on the ground, and gently push your chair away from your desk as you drop your chest towards the floor. When you feel a stretch, stop pushing your chair and hold for three to five slow, deep breaths.

3. Soothe Your Aching Shoulders

Give your upper back a break with a simple exercise. Sit up tall and straight with your feet flat on the ground and extend your arms straight out in front of you. Intertwine your fingers and then turn your palms so that they are facing away from you. Breath deeply and push your palms forward; however, make sure that your entire back remains in contact with the back of your chair. Keep your shoulders dropped down as you breath and push for three to five refreshing deep breaths.

 

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Mass Builder Workout

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Mass Builder Workout

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Here is a great Mass Builder Workout to get your beach muscles ready for the summer!  This is a total body workout that not only isolates particular muscles, but also uses other muscle synergies and stabilizer muscle systems to maximize results, increase intensity, burn more calories, as well as being time efficient.  Follow the exercise sequence and instructions below; pictures are there to help you understand and utilize the proper form.  Get started today!

Weekly Schedule:  This is a 6 day a week program.

Day1:  Shoulders

Day 2: Back and Biceps

Day 3: 20 min Cardio

Day 4: Legs

Day 5: Chest and Triceps

Day 6: 20 min Cardio

Day 7: Rest

Shoulders

1) DUAL DUMBBELL STANDING REVERSE FLY'S WITH SUPINE GRIP.

(rest 90-120sec, sets 5-10, reps 8-12, pace 2up 1hold 2down)

STAND IN SHORT STOP STANCE WITH SPINE LONG.  HOLD DUMBBELLS DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF KNEE CAPS WITH PALMS FORWARD.  BRING DUMBBELLS OUT TO SIDES KEEPING PALMS UP AND PULL THROUGH LOWER SHOULDER BLADES, NOT USING YOUR TRAPS.

2) STANDING SINGLE DUMBBELL SHOULDER PRESS

(rest 90-120sec, sets 5-10, reps 8-12/arm, pace 1up 1down)

IN A STANDING POSITION PERFORM A SINGLE 1 ARM SHOULDER PRESS WITH DUMBBELL AS THIS WILL GIVE YOU MORE CORE WORK.  PALM CAN STAY EITHER FACING FRONT OR TO THE MIDLINE.

3) STANDING DUMBBELL SHOULDER SWINGS (LATERAL AND FRONT)

(rest 90-120sec, sets 5-10, reps 8-12/pairs, pace 1up 1down)

STANDING WITH 2 DUMBBELLS , PERFORM ALTERNATING LATERAL AND FRONT RAISES. KEEP POSTURE AND SHOULDER RETRACTION THROUGHOUT THE MOVEMENT.

4) SINGLE CABLE LATERAL RAISES

(rest 90-120sec, sets 5-10, reps 8-12/arm, pace 2up 2down)

SET SINGLE CABLE TO LOW POSITION.  WITH A TALL STANDING POSTURE, PERFORM SINGLE CABLE LATERAL RAISES.

Back and Biceps

1) TRX/SMITH MACHINE INVERTED PULL UPS

(rest 90-120sec, sets 5-10, reps 8-12, pace 2up 1hold 2down)

USING EITHER SUSPENSION STRAPS SYSTEM (TRX) OR SMITH MACHINE/SQUAT RACK, HANG INVERTED WITH A PRONATED (PALMS DOWN) GRIP AND KEEPING BODY COMPLETELY FLAT PERFORM PULL UPS. KEEP SHOULDER BLADES DOWN AND RETRACTED AND OUT OF UPPER TRAPS.

2) DUAL DB DEAD ROWS

(rest 90-120sec, sets 5-10, reps 8-12, pace 2up 1hold 2down)

STAND IN SHORT STOP STANCE WITH SPINE LONG. HOLD DUMBBELLS DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF KNEE CAPS WITH PALMS DOWN. ROW DBS BACK AND UP TO SIDES KEEPING PALMS DOWN. PULL THROUGH LOWER SHOULDER BLADES NOT UPPER TRAPS.

3) SMITH MACHINE FLOOR ASSIST PULL UPS

(rest 90-120sec, sets 5-10, reps 8-12, pace 2up 1hold 2down)

USE YOUR FEET TO SPOT YOU.  HOLD BAR ABOUT SHOULDER WIDTH, AND SQUAT DOWN.  KEEP CHEST HIGH AND PULL, KEEPING YOUR FEET ON THE GROUND.

4) STANDING SINGLE DUMBBELL CURL 666 ALTERNATE REGULAR AND HAMMER CURL FORM EACH WEEK

(rest 90-120sec, sets 2-3/arm, 6 reps 6 sets 6sec rest, pace 1up 1down)

Legs

1) BARBELL/DUMBBELL FRONT SQUATS

(rest 90-120sec, sets 5-10, reps 8-12, pace 3down 1up)

DUMBBELL - STAND WITH FEET SHOULDER WIDTH APART.  HOLD DB AT SHOULDERS IN FRONT OF YOU.  USE A BENCH TO SPOT YOU FOR PROPER FORM IF NEEDED.  PERFORM A SQUAT, KEEPING YOUR BUTT BACK AND HAVE A SMALL ARCH IN YOUR BACK.  USE YOUR GLUTES TO GE T YOU BACK UP.  USING THE BARBELL REST IT ON YOUR SHOULDERS AND KEEP YOUR ELBOWS HIGH.

2) BARBELL STATIC SPLIT SQUATS

(rest 90-120sec, sets 5-10, reps 8-12/leg, pace 2down 1up)

PUT BARBELL ON YOUR BACK.   HAVE ONE LEG IN FRONT OF THE OTHER.  PERFORM A SPLIT SQUAT.  THERE SHOULD BE 90 DEGREE BENDS IN BOTH KNEES ON THIS MOVEMENT.  STAND BACK UP AND FEEL THE MOVEMENT FROM YOUR HEEL AND GLUTE.

3) BARBELL MULTI-DIRECTION LUNGES

(rest 90-120sec, sets 5-10, 3 full circles)

HOLD BARBELL ON YOUR BACK.  START WITH YOUR RIGHT LEG.  STEP OUT INTO A LUNGE.  YOU SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE 90 DEGREE ANGLES WITH YOUR KNEES.  COME BACK TO STARTING.  WITH RIGHT LEG LUNGE 45 DEGREES TO YOUR RIGHT.  BACK TO STARTING.  SIDE LUNGE TO YOUR RIGHT.  BACK TO MIDDLE.  REVERSE 45 DEGREE LUNGE TO THE RIGHT.  BACK TO MIDDLE.  REVERSE LUNGE.

4) DUMBBELL BENCH STEP UPS

5)      (rest 90-120sec, sets 5-10, reps 8-12/leg)

HOLD DUMBBELLS AT YOUR SHOULDER HEIGHT.  KEEP FOOT FULLY ON BENCH. STEP UP.  SLOWLY LOWER YOURSELF BACK DOWN.  DO SAME LEG UNTIL FINISH SET, THEN SWITCH

Chest and Triceps

1) PUSH UPS HANDS ON SWISS BALL

(rest 90-120sec, sets 2, reps 8-12, 1down 1up)

MAKE SURE BALL IS SECURE (IF YOU HAVE NEVER DONE THIS, PUT BALL AGAINST WALL FOR STABILITY).  HAVE FEET A LITTLE FURTHER THAN SHOULDER WIDTH APART. PLACE HANDS ON BALL AND DO A PUSH UP

2) INCLINE DUAL/SINGLE DUMBBELL PRESS

(rest 90-120sec, sets 5-10, reps 8-12, 2down 2up)

1ST HALF OF SETS WITH 2 DUMBBELLS, SECOND HALF OF SET WITH 1 DB.  WITH BENCH SET ON INCLINE PERFORM DUMBBELL CHEST PRESS.  SQUEEZE CHEST AT TOP MOTION.  AFTER YOU FINISH THIS, PUT 1 DUMBBELL DOWN AND THEN PERFORM SAME MOVEMENT WITH JUST 1 ARM .  FINISH WITH THAT ARM AND THEN SWITCH ARMS

3) SINGLE ARM CABLE HORIZONTAL FLY

(rest 90-120sec, sets 5-10, reps 8-12/arm, 2out 2in)

SET CABLE TO HORIZONTAL POSITION.  STAND WITH LEFT LEG FORWARD, TAKE CABLE IN RIGHT HAND.  STAND UP TALL WITH YOUR "HEAD AGAINST THE HEADBOARD" AND PERFORM A SINGLE CABLE PUSH.  USE YOUR CORE TO HELP WITH THE MOVEMENT

4) MACHINE ASSISTED CHEST DIPS

(rest 90-120sec, sets 5-10, reps 8-12, 2down 2up)

ON A GRAVITRON MACHINE - SET THE BAR TO A WEIGHT THAT YOU CAN DO 8-12 REPS ON.  BEND YOUR KNEES AND STICK YOUR BUTT OUT.  KEEP YOUR CHEST HIGH.  SLOWLY LOWER YOUR BODY DOWN AND THEN ONCE AT THE BOTTOM, PRESS UP WITH YOUR CHEST KEEPING LEGS IN SAME POSITION

5) SINGLE DUMBBELL SKULL CRUSHERS 666

(rest 90-120sec, sets 2-3/arm, 6 reps 6 sets 6sec rest, pace 1up 1down)

ON A BENCH TAKE DUMBBELL IN ONE ARM.  HOLD DUMBBELL STRAIGHT ABOVE BODY.  BEND AT YOUR ELBOW AND BRING DUMBBELL DOWN BY YOUR EARS.  DO 6 REPS, REST 6 SECONDS, DO 6 MORE, FOR 6 TIMES, THEN SWITCH ARMS

Authors:  Billy Polson and Mike Clausen, Co-Owners of DIAKADI Body

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