Monday, January 24, 2011

addressing the hip issue

Many of my clients including myself suffer from what's commonly called piriformis syndrome. The piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the buttocks and referring pain along the course of the sciatic nerve. This referred pain, called "sciatica", often goes down the back of the thigh and/or into the lower back. Patients generally complain of pain deep in the buttocks, which is made worse by sitting, climbing stairs, or performing squats. The piriformis muscle assists in abducting and laterally rotating the thigh. In other words, while balancing on the left foot, move the right leg directly sideways away from the body and rotate the right leg so that the toes point towards the ceiling. This is the action of the right piriformis muscle.
I've found that in addition to stretching and myofascial release, strengthening of the adductors, extensors and flexors of the hip have been a great benefit. I do this by simple using ankle cuffs with a rubber band attached. I do the following program every 3rd day and stretch the piriformis, perform myofascial release on the glute medius, piriformis and I.T. band daily.
All the following exercises are done with the ankle cuffs on

1. Side step slowly for 10 steps in each direction, paying special attention to the foot stepping inward (that would be the left foot while moving to the right), this is a good opportunity to allow the abductors of the leg to work eccentrically. Do 3x.

2. Work the extensors of the hip by doing leg lifts (these are for your glutes, so your heel is moving backward toward the ceiling, I recommend leaning on something in front of you to keep your balance. Go slowly, try not to allow too much slack in the band as your heel moves up and down and really try to keep your hips square, this allows your glutes to work more effectively. Do 3x

3. Work the hip flexors by lifting the leg in the opposing direction, your toe is now moving toward the ceiling. All of the same rules apply, especially squaring of the hips, but this time place your back against a wall so you can support yourself in the squaring of the hips without over compensating. Do 3x.

I'm finding this routine very beneficial in terms of pain management and increasing my strength and awareness while running. I have a goal of 25 miles a week this summer (that's outside, so the pounding increases exponentially) and I know the only way I'm going to get there is to keep my hips strong and healthy. I'll keep all updated with progress as life rolls on.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Well, I'm still limiting my intake of meat and feel pretty good for doing it. I also got back on track as far as limiting my junk food intake and just feel a hell of a lot better, I can't handle the dairy or the processed carbs. In place of it I'm eating fruit and I know that there's sugar in fruit and I don't care........ I still haven't found anyone that gained enormous amounts of weight from eating too much fruit. In addition to that, I need snacks at night and if it's not fruit it's going to be something a hell of a lot worse.
Anyway, let me address the title of todays blog which is realignment. Due to my oblique strain I found myself completely out of whack on my left side, for today I'll address the shoulder issue. I definitely have some muscles in the shoulder which are not activating correctly and some muscles which have become excessively tight. Basically I'm unable to bench press and can't even do any wide push ups at all. I tried all the rotator cuff strengthening exercises but found no relief, I needed something to stretch my shoulder while lessening the activation of the large shoulder muscles. This is nearly impossible unless you have assistance and even though I work with a lot of PT's one is rarely available or that I trust enough to assist me. Some months back I remember leafing through a rehab magazine here at the studio and came across an advertisement for "the rotator". It looked interesting, simple and affordable and could tell right away from the design that it looked like it would work. I ordered it and let me just say that in the 4 days since I've had it, it's helped me 100%. Before stretching with the rotator I couldn't press a 30 pound DB 6 times on my left side. 3 days after using it not only did I feel the difference but I was able to press a 45 lb DB 15 times. I'm confident that I'll be getting back to my normal training weight very soon. This is a great device........It really works.
Coming up, I'll discuss the hip issues that are coming up for me and if I'll actually follow up on my threat to do some acupuncture.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I gotta make some changes...........

There's a couple of changes I'm making to which the title of this blog refers. I'm only going to write about one of them today and that one is about nutrition. Let me re-phrase that because what the word nutrition conjures up for me is images of guys in white coats wanting me to drink putrid green colored shit, or that crap they sell in delis that's thinly veiled as good for you because it's in a green container and there's a cartoon smiley face fucker on the bottle and it winds up giving me diarrhea.
Lets just say I need to make some changes in what I'm eating because I haven't been feeling too well lately, maybe just bloated, I just know that something was up and I needed to address it but sometimes it takes some time for me to figure out what might be wrong. I realized it the other day while I was preparing my food to take to work with me...... I'm eating too much meat, I'm not processing all this too well, thus the bloated feeling. At least this is what my internal self is telling my external self to do in order to achieve some balance, because balance is what I'm striving for in all areas.
So I did a few simple things:
1. Im leaving the meat out of that meal I bring to work with me, it's now just a sweet potato and broccoli (minus the turkey).
2. I'm not cooking meat at all at home.
3. I'm eating egg whites as my main source of protein (as a breakfast, and a meal I eat later in the day)
This is certainly not monumental by any stretch of the imagination but it does open me up to eating some different stuff,and as they say, variety is the spice of life, or so they'd me have me believe (whoever they are).
More importantly though, I feel somewhat rejuvenated, a little lighter........ I'm taking some action. So for now I'm going to stick with this program of a little more complex carbs and a little less protein, see how it goes and adjust as needed.
Next blog will be about how I'm attempting to re-align myself after the injury I sustained in jiu-jitsu. Be well!

Monday, January 10, 2011

class has begun.

The first IOT class took place last saturday 1/8/2011, it was a great success. I was really proud of all that attended. This is not an easy class, especially the kettlebell aspects and I was very impressed with everyone's willingness to venture in to unchartered territory with this stuff which included KB swings, KB cleans, KB clean and press. It's my hope that as I progress all will progress with me and we'll soon find ourselves in a studio of our very own dedicated to IOT.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

changes are afoot

I made a tough decision the other day, I gave up my jiu jitsu practice for the time being. The reason's are both physical and mental and even though I believe there are good reasons, I feel a little like a quitter. Basically I'm finding that I can't heal, the injury I sustained to my oblique, even though about 90% healed has had a devastating holistic affect (as all injuries usually do). My shoulder is hurt, my jaw is clenched (TMJ), I'm developing chronic piriformis syndrome....... not good. Emotionally I'm unable to let go and take each training day as it comes because of my physical issues, I'm stuck thinking about what may happen in class and worried about the after affects. This is a recipe for continued injury but I'm stuck due to the injuries themselves and I can't let go mentally because the physically issues have become chronic.
So for now I'm done.
On the flipside of things, I think about what to do to rejuvenate myself, and what my gut is telling me to do is to go back to bikram yoga. To get the stretch and the warmth, that drained flexible feeling that I only get from 90 minutes of intensity in a hot room, I'm going to push myself today to go to my first class in about a year.
I always give myself a hard time when I'm going through a change like this, instead of quietly adapting when it's time to do something different. This is a lot of what healthy fitness training is about, to adapt to yourself and listen to your body before severe injuries occur, to make the changes that your body and soul require. To change from the inside out.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


What should my new post be about? New year resolution? I could give a shit about it, new year......let me try to do some different positive stuff for 1 day instead of the old habits that keep me stuck (mind you, this would be an accomplishment but I wouldn't see it that way, I'd already be beating myself up for not doing it everyday). For instance, this blog, I should be writing every week.......only 2 posts in December (lame), I should be making a weekly video about some exercise technique or other, but I don't, I've been waiting for the NEW YEAR!!.......when everything changes, oh joy it is all different now. it's not, it's the same shit, the same struggles, getting older, taxes, errands, blah blah blah.
Again what strikes me about all this is that I lack consistency in the areas of my life that I really want to change. For me, it is about my business, for you, it may be your physical condition. If I want to move forward I must do it consistently otherwise nothing changes, except for the level of my frustration. You see, for me, I don't give up on my goals, I keep them tucked away in my brain and as time passes and I move further from achieving them the more my frustration builds. Knowing this about myself means that continuose effort is required for me to live with myself harmoniously. Wow, that sucks, I gotta work on letting go too!
Normally my last blog paragraph has a neat conclusive statement where I try to tie everything together, I just don't have it today, today I will leave it open ended, take it as you like.