07 Mar How To Beat Low Back Pain (A Bulletproof Plan To Speed Recovery And Forge A Strong Back)

I've got quite a backstory. Literally. I'll give you the abbreviated "cliff notes version" if you haven't heard me discuss this before. I had a major low back injury many years ago in my training career (*severe L4-5 disc herniation with persistent radiculopathy that required surgery. Indeed, it did require surgery after conservative measures failed and symptoms worsened quickly and progressively). Fast forward to today. My back is doing extremely well, although it will never be 100%. In my opinion, you are never 100% anytime you have had a major injury. What was one of the worst experiences of my life ended up completely reshaping my training and my entire life in many ways that go way beyond the scope of this article. My injury was one of the key factors that led to me becoming a physical therapist (although I have since retired my role as a active clinician). Today, I'm strength coach and movement teacher that integrates my education and background as a PT.
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28 Feb The Essential Guide To Warming-Up (How To Warm-Up)

How important is the the warm-up? How much time should be spent on the warm-up? What should you be spending your time on before a strength training session? I'll make a case to answer these questions for you in this article. Let me be the first to tell you, I'm not a huge fan of warming-up before training. If it were up to me, I'd skip the warm-up and just train. But, that really doesn't make sense. A well designed warm-up can increase muscle temperature, core temperature, and increase blood flow. Have you ever heard someone say they were "trying to get the blood flowing" before a training session? Well, there seems to be truth to that statement. But it goes deeper than that and there are other important reasons to warm-up.
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14 Feb 5 Specific Things You Can Do On Active Recovery Days

No doubt, you train hard. Hard training means you need to recover.

The question came up recently in a group discussion - "What do you do on active recovery days?"

It's an interesting question. I felt like I wanted to share it here and expand a little more.

Active recovery days are for recovering, they're not training days. As a highly regarded strength coach stated, "You don't get stronger by lifting weights. You get strong by recovering from lifting weights." The point is that recovery is very important for all of us, my fellow strength enthusiast.

First, we have to define what it is we're talking about.

What exactly are active recovery days anyway?

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19 Dec How To Deload (A Simple Guide To Deloading)

One question I'm asked a lot about is deloading. For me personally, deloading is one of the key contributing factors to my own training longevity. What I'll answer here are the key questions: what exactly is it, why you should use it, and how to keep it simple. THE SCENARIO Let's assume you've been training hard over the last several weeks. As a matter of fact, let's say you're just finishing a 6 week training cycle of a 5 x 5 program. What do you do after you complete the program? Well, the answer may depend on what's next or what your goals are, but in most cases after completing a structured program like this, a period of reduced volume and intensity is a pretty smart idea. That leads to the "deload."
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13 Oct Mobility or Stability? Making Sense Of An Ongoing Debate.

Mobility, mobility, mobility. We hear about it all the time and we all need more mobility, right? Mobility is very important and I'm even working on a new program right now to improve mobility (although it actually addresses much more than that). But what about stability and how important is stability in strength and performance training? Is mobility more important or is it stability that really matters most? First, let's get a clear definition of each. Both mobility and stability have to do with our joints and this is important to understand.
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13 Mar Warning! What You Need To Know About The Rounded Back Deadlift

Is it just me or does the the rounded back deadlift seem to be getting a lot attention these days? Does this technique have any unique advantages or is this a disaster waiting to happen? In this article I'll share my perspective on the rounded back deadlift and I think there are 2 scenarios here (I'll discuss them in a minute) with the technique, so make sure to read this through if you're infestered in the health of your back. Spine biomechanics is something I'm extremely passionate since I had such a crushing injury to my low back many years ago. While my back is in wonderful health today, it's a topic and an area of training that I will always have extreme commit to because of my unique situation and all that I had to go through to get back to the level I train at today.
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29 Nov The Overhead Press – Is It Bad For The Shoulders?

For whatever reason, I’ve had a lot of questions about the overhead press recently. Is the overhead press bad for the shoulders? Is this an exercise you should be avoiding? What are the benefits versus the risk? I’ll give you my perspective as both a strength athlete and physical therapist. I’ll talk about pressing in the context of using a barbell, which can be viewed as the most demanding on the shoulders.
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06 Mar 5 Unique Benefits of The Kettlebell Swing

KettlebellSwingFinishWhat makes the Russian style kettlebell swing such a unique exercise? Specifically, what makes the exercise so unique and effective for optimizing back health? It's so valuable, that I wrote a recent article for StrongFirst about my personal experience and how the kettlebell swing has greatly contributed to keeping my back strong and pain-free after a major injury years ago. But, what specifically makes this exercise different compared to other major lifts and exercises?
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