Latest Entries »

 

I know for myself I have developed many different shoulder problems and the more I talk to other skier many have suffered rotator cuff surgeries and/or bicep tears. This sport demands us to have incredible range of motion and strong shoulders at the same time. The amount of torque that our bodies go through while holding not the most natural position.  We start to develop a lot of asymmetries and a lock up T-spine (mid-back). Resulting in a hypo-mobile lower back and causing chronic back pain.  Here are some exercises I have discovered from working with my Physical Therapist Christopher Johnson to help address these issues.

 

Most of these exercises are performed in a ½ kneeling position but all can be performed in full kneeling position (aka tall kneeling) standing or split stance. I recommend working from the ground up with ½ kneel or full kneel then to standing positions.  Click on the link below for the video.

 

Egyptian

  • Reach the same arm as leg that is down, palm up, back arm palm facing down
  • Looking at your palm, rotate and look at back while hand switching positions
  • If you were to think of doing the splits with your upper body this would be it
  • Repeat 5 “ish”reps and 1-2 sets

 

Benefits: Shoulder stretch,  and T-spine rotation, (increase your reach for the going around the buoys)

 

Halo

  • Using a small Kettlebell, grab on the horns (side handles) have it bottom up
  • Lift your left hand to the right side of your head, then to the back of your head so that the kettlebell is bottoms down. Let the right hand follow “naturally”
  • Allow the Kettlebell to trace a Halo around your head; trace it one direction then the opposite direction right after.
  • Repeat 3 “ish” reps 1-2 set; one direction then the opposite equals one rep

 

Benefits: T-spine mobility, Core activation, corrects any asymmetries

 

Bottom Up Single Arm Rotation

  • Start with Kettlebell in the same hand as leg that is down. Make sure you have a good balance of the bell first
  • Rotate and reach as far as you can without loosing balance while opening up shoulder
  • Repeat 3 “ish” reps 1-2 set

 

Benefits: T-spine rotation, Core activation, grip strength, shoulder mobility and strength 

 

 

Enjoy and let me know how it helps with your skiing

Ski you later

 

 

 

Many of you as water skiers have dealt with some type of injury and understand how the pain impacts you physically and mentally. Unfortunately, I can relate. Two years ago I dealt with a back/rib injury. For my back and rib to heal, I was prescribed to take a week off of work and have no physical strain on the body.

Almost two years to the date, I was prescribed to take time off from work again (this time three weeks) for a condition called Osteitis Pubis. Devastated to be in the same situation again, mentally I had to tell myself it is for the best, but my body struggled. Being a personal trainer, I am constantly moving. My body started craving movement. The first week of sitting on my “ice diaper” at night I would have night mares of exercising.  These were night mares! For theses dream were failing the Kettlebell Snatch text, and falling every time I would water ski.  As you could see my mind was freaking out without being able to move. This is when I started to feel like a “fish out of water.”

Desperate to get back into my normal routine, I did everything I thought would help speed the recover process. I did Pulse Electric Magnetic Field (PEMF), Chiropractor, Physical Therapy, Rolfing massage and Shiatsu massage. Having difficulty walking without pain, I decided to only do one of these treatments at a time. I was able to go Healing Foundations in Post Falls, ID for the PEMF treatments. PEMF helps decrease the inflammation and help with the increase of cells growth. After a full week of these treatments, I was able to walk with less pain.

Excited to be making progress, I soon started Physical Therapy. After the first time working with Christopher Johnson, a Physical Therapist at Olympic PT in Bellevue, I wanted to skip out of the office I felt so good. Instead of focusing on the location of the pain, he focused on the possible cause.   He noticed how my ankles have limited range of motion (ROM) and my hips were compensating for it. Understanding the kinetic chain, I completely recognize if one joint does not have the right ROM then another joint will start compensating.

He has taught me how to use the VooDoo Floss Band to help increase my ankle mobility. With the focus being my ankles, I am happy to say the pain has decreased and I have been able to return to some form of exercises (oh and the night mares have also decreased).

Through this experience I realize it is my responsibility to recover being smart with my progressions.  Knowing it will be slow progression and but it will be a healthy progression. Even though it has been extremely difficult being out of work and lack of any physical outlet, I am excited what I have been learning about the human body through this injury, how it relates to water skiing.

Besides learning more about the human body, I have learned the importance of empathy towards one another. There are many of us who have dealt with pain some more visible than others.  With being a trainer I always try to show empathy toward my clients. Having experience with chronic pain, my hope is to help others just like Chris has helped me. I see the value of one’s health and the joy it brings to others.

If you are a water skier who has dealt with injury after injury, or someone who deals with chronic pain, I will be posting some of the simple movement patterns that have helped me to recover.

With it already it being “water ski season,” I had been talking to Chris about my sport and how to stay bullet proof. Stay tuned for more post about the importance of shoulders for water skiing. See the amazing mobility and strengthening exercises I have learned from Chris Johnson!

 

 

 

 

SeahawksparadeIt has been a crazy week with the big win for the Seattle Seahawks. As I was watching the Seahawk’s victorious win, I felt like I was part of the win simply because I consider my home Seattle.  Having a home team win one of the biggest games in our culture, it created this pride within me. I started to be proud to be from Seattle, proud to be part of the 12th man, proud to be part of something big.

With the team’s return, the majority of the city shut down to celebrate with a parade welcoming our team home.  Having this new pride for our team and my new home, I wanted to be part of this big celebration. My co-worker and I were  able to escape the gym and adventure to downtown Seattle.  Like the millions of salmon swimming back their nesting home, every 12th man was making their way to the heart of the city.  Joining the millions my co-worker and I felt like we were swimming ups stream just to find a way to get close to the parade.  With our determination and creativity, we were able to make it and joined thousands creating the 12th man.

Being down there was an incredible experience. It was amazing to be part of the crowd, and how we all had one soul purpose, to celebrate the Seahawks and their amazing season.  Everyone waited patiently upon the team’s arrival and as I waited it hit me.  The 12th man creates a community of people coming together service a purpose, supporting our hawks.  The 12th man is more than just a cheering squad it being part of something that is big, with a big purpose.

We all want to be part of something bigger and better.  The exciting part there is something bigger and better than the 12th man just listen to what our Seahawks say what is it.

Competitions

Being a competitor, I love the challenge of any type of competition. The mental focus of syncing the mind and body to work together in the “zone” can be challenging at times. It is only time the mind and body are able preform at its best. This is what every athlete strives for, being in the zone at the present moment.

Planning water ski competitions schedule for 2014, I start to wonder how do I practice the zone during the off season? I find it extremely hard to practice this when I am not even out on the water yet. Though at the same time I see the mental challenge it creates and I am up for the task. As a water skier, I am always looking ways for improvement.  I am consistently competing against myself and  determined to progress to next level. Every time I am out on the water I treat as if I was at a competition, striving for my best.

Just like making my practice part of my competition, each day we all have the opportunity to make it a “game day.” What every you may be training for, approach each day with the mental tactic of  a competition. On any competition day we all have this mental approach of winning, transition this to everyday by attacking each workout routine or practice set with a winning mentality.  Even though it is not a true competition, your are competing against your old yourself striving for a new part of you. We can’t win every competition and not every day is going to be a fantastic thrilling day, but each day we will be seeking ways to improve ourselves. Make every day a “game day” and enjoy the present moment.

Game Day

It has been two full weeks of 2014 and I am still puzzled of what to post for the new year.  Reading other articles about tips for a successful new year , I was hoping for some type of inspiration. Yet as I start to think about all the goals I have for the new year I begin to feel this huge black cloud of anxiety start to follow me.  As I look back on the entire year of 2013 and everything accomplished this black cloud becomes darker and the pressure builds as I wonder of the unknown of 2014.

Last year was an amazing year and I have to admit I was not ready to let it go.  It was full of learning through incredible certifications, full of victory and defeat with water skiing, and full of meeting passionate people.  I was blessed to have so many opportunities throughout my career and water skiing.  The unknown can be scary or exciting and I am reminded you have the freedom to choose between the two.

Wanting 2014 to just as good or even better than 2013, I realize I only have the present moment.  It is the minutes, the days, the weeks, the months  and everything done in between that makes up a year. Hoping to accomplish many goals for 2014,  I am focused on my goals by dedicating each day as a stepping stone towards them.  With the simplistic approach of one day at a time, the dark cloud of anxiety vanishes,  I am able to have clarity and focus at the end goals.

Commit to 2014, commit to each day, commit to your goals.

How are you living 2014?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

Leon Brown

Due to the busy season of Christmas, I decided I am taking the month of December off from blogging.  I will be back in the New Year with fun exercise tips and nutritional guidelines.  Till then enjoy this crazy video of me water skiing during the winter.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Live with passion

There are certain events in life that create a powerful impression leaving a signature mark. This past weekend left its imprint on my life as I traveled to Vancouver BC to participant in Canada’s first Strong First Girya Certification. This was an unforgettable weekend and I will  keep the memories alive  by  implementing them into my career and my personal life.

The SFG certification puts mental strength,  physical strength, and spiritual strength to the test with three days of detailed intense training.  Part of the certification is to be able complete 100 snatches with a 16 kg kettlebell within 5 min.  There are many other things we were tested on over the duration of the weekend and not to mention the countless  amount of swings.  During this time I learned a tremendous amount of information to improve my clients training protocol while creating lifelong friends.

Snap Sista

However, the main impression taught is how strength is a skill with a deeper purpose.

Many times we would partner up for exercises and I would always find myself with someone who was strong in the areas I was weak or where I was strong in areas they were weak.  Working with each other we used our strength to transform our what could have been our Achille’s heel into a powerful force.  Together we became a mighty warrior by working through our limitations.

This is when it occurred to me that strength is not necessary where we are strong, but rather the areas where we are weak. Perfecting strength as a skill improves our limitations.  As I came to this conclusion, I started to realize the deeper purpose.

First I have to admit where my limitations lie to be flexible for growth.  Strength is having the humility to acknowledge weakness and the diligence to improve it.  When we recognize we each have different strengths to offer one another, it balancing out our own weakness, creating a stronger community.

Thank you Vancouver BC SFG for a strong community and an amazing experience.

Vancouver BC StrongFirst

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the week. Isaiah 40:29

A Legacy

A legacy is someone from the past who has created a new direction into other’s heart leading them to live their dreams.  Herb O’ Brien has left a influential legacy in the water ski world.  He had a vision for the sport and invited others to join his journey as he carved new ideas that led the water ski industry.  He was a very generous man and never hesitated to help a friend. Blessed to have meet Herb and ski at Radar Lake, I only hope I can create a legacy like his inspiring others to live their passion.  As skiers, we all carry  part of his legacy whether it be creating new skis or swerving right and left.  Keep his legacy alive by living your passion in celebration of life.

It has been a full year since his funeral and a full year wearing the bracelets that was given to all guests in memory of his generosity.  The bracelet resembles more than Herb’s legacy, the three beads reminds us all to live with hope, to have dream and to continue learning.

Hope Dream Learn

This beautiful gift called life gives us the opportunity to live a life of  legacy. Herb O’ Brien followed his dreams and  wanted others to be part of it

What kind of legacy are you leading?

RADAR LAKE

The Scary Truth

Yerba Tea vs Coffee

Yerba Tea vs Coffee

This week I have  been doing a little experiment by taking coffee out of my daily routine.  Scary I know!  Instead I replaced it with Yerba Mate Tea a South American tea that has about the same amount of caffeine as coffee but with healthier benefits. Only hearing this statement of yerba tea is a “healthier” choice in the fitness industry, I did my homework and researched a little about Yerba verses Coffee.

As I was sipping my new habit while surfing on web, I was shocked by the startling  truth of Yerba Mate Tea.  Researching on mayoclinic.com, I found reports of studies showing  people who drink large amounts of Yerba Mate over prolonged periods may be at increased risk of some types of cancer. Cancer! SCARY!!!  Ready to spit out the tea, I started looking up coffee to see if it had any heath benefits (since we all know I can’t live without some type of caffeine).  To my surprise the newer studies have shown that coffee may have benefits, such as protecting against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver cancer and it has a high content of antioxidants. WOW  great news! Now understand these studies studied coffee, no sugar or cream added. So what I thought was a “healthier” choice was wrong, but now I am happily enjoying the health benefits with my one cup of coffee. Everything in moderation.

In the fitness world there are many products that are coined to be healthy. Just like I was deceived with what I thought to be a healthier choice with yerba tea, the truth can be scary.  But once you know the true facts about something you are able to make the right decision.  There are many lies in this world blinding us from the truth, seek out the truth and you will find it.   John 8:32

Understanding the truth and having a well balanced life is the key to a healthy living.

Coffee  benefits new studies – http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/coffee-and-health/AN01354

Yerba Mate Tea studies – http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/yerba-mate/AN01774

A goal can be defined as the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.

Goals are used in many areas of life and are very helpful to improve the quality of life.  There are many key concepts to setting and achieving goals (read New years 2013 post for Smart Goals).  However the main key I have found to be successful with conquering goals is the power of will and daily belief.  No matter how long it may take you to accomplish your goals the fight to continue the path towards them may be less traveled, may be hard, and may seem impossible at times, but the power of will and belief will always lead you a step closer.  No matter how long it may take to accomplish your goals, never give up.  Daily you have a choice to take a step closer to your goals.

Willard 24kg TGU

Last year I had a goal to be able to do a Turkish Get Up, not only do Turkish Get Up but do it with a 24 kg Kettlebell.  At that time it seemed impossible since I could barely accomplish one with a shoe on my hand.  Yet I did not give up on my goal.  It took a full year of training daily and consistently practicing the get up.  It was an honor to  able to accomplish this goal with my good friend and Co-worker CJ Erkisonon on his last day at PRO Sport Club.  Thank you CJ for you help and support I could not have done this without your expertise. Clink on the link for the video.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 102 other followers