I find that almost everyone can benefit from increasing their thoracic mobility.
As sedentary lifestyles, cell phone addiction and toxicity/neurotoxin issues increase, it creates a perfect storm for poor posture, rounded shoulders (Protraction) and humpbacks (hyperkyphosis) and tight thoracic spine (midback).
The implications for this are beyond what most people might think.
If your posture is suffering then your thoughts will suffer. If your thought are low then your will feel low. If your posture is poor then your mechanics will be poor. If your mechanics are poor then you will end up in pain or injury at some point.
Do everything your power to maintain, improve posture and prevent the hunch back and a tight thoracic area. Here is a simple program that you can do to increase thoracic (Mid back) mobility. This will also improve shoulder function as well as the way your thoughts are processed.
I created a video for you as a solution.
You can do this pretty much anywhere.
If you don’t have any of the equipment handy, you can do the exercises that do not require any equipment and still get amazing results.
“I would highly highly highly recommend this program to anyone. Like I said, I’ve tried so many programs in a lot of different cities, most recently Boston, and I don’t think anybody has achieved what they have achieved here and what EarthFIT has achieved here in Beaufort, South Carolina so I feel like we’re really fortunate to have this kind of program here and I highly recommend you try it.
It’s quick, it’s efficient, it’s safe, and you’ll feel so incredibly good at the end of it. You feel amazing and you see the results and you… it’s not only physically seeing the results, but definitely mentally as well. You just feel better all over and again I highly recommend it.
Before I came to EarthFIT, I had tried a number of different gyms over the past 30 years, a lot of different programs and I’d love to mix it up. I did the crossfit thing, I felt strong but ended up hurting myself pretty significantly and knew I couldn’t go back to that but I had trouble finding a program that had great intensity that I could have fun with and still see a lot of results. You see results immediately to your body. I love to come here, you’re walking into a friendly environment, everybody knows your name, you get a nice greeting. It’s clean, it’s organized, it’s almost personal training and an environment where you can work of one another’s energy and push one another in the class. It’s personal training, because the trainers they know what you’re capable of as an individual, when to push you, when not to push you, they’re constantly on you for your form and you know, keeping you motivated.
I haven’t experienced a program that’s so quick, efficient, fun and you felt like you weren’t going to get hurt because that’s always a fear I think with anybody doing intense workouts and trying to change the body that you know fear of injury and here I really believe the trainers are so knowledgeable and they clearly have the great deal of experience and have gone through an intense training program themselves to understand exactly how to make this program as amazing as it is.”
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“The first movement that we talked about was the squat. Now I’m going into go into the second movement and once you start to learn how the body moves you will understand how to put these exercise in specific orders, but the first movement that we talked about was the squat, so we talked about sitting back on the heels, keeping the body straight, squatting properly. Now, the second movement I’m going to go into is a push up, and a push up is a pressing motion, so you could also do the reverse of that which would be on a bench pressing up. It’s a different modalities, there’s different aspects to it. Before someone does a press they should learn how to do a push up, and so let me explain what a push up is and how to do it.
First off, before you actually do a push up on the floor, you need to have the strength to be able to lift about 70% of your body, because when you get in this position, you are lifting roughly about 70% of your body so when I go down and I press up my chest and the muscles supporting it, the synergistic muscles have to have the force, the strength, to be able to move 70% of my body weight. If I can’t, the best option is to do it on an incline so you might have seen somebody doing wall push ups so where they are actually on the wall in a slight incline right like this (please see the video) where they get their body on an angle and then they do push ups. So, what you can do in that situation is, for example, put your hands on your bed and this will increase the incline and take the percentage of your body weight off. For example, if you increase 10-15% now you are decreasing the amount of bodyweight that you are using to press up and this is how you get stronger so you start on a high incline and then you start to come down. So you can start on… say your kitchen counter doing push ups 15-20 reps. If you can bang out 3 sets of 15-20 reps very easily then you are able to decrease the incline. So I would suggest about 10% each time you can do this on your stairs, right.
The other option that we have which is not great especially as you know we specialised in back pain relief is doing the knee push ups. Now the knee push ups is in this position but what we find is that most people end up sagging the butt and in this position that’ll be putting a lot of stress on the lower back so as long as it is done properly where the spine is completely straight, we can squeeze the legs together just to make sure we are stable, a lot of people end up crossing – this is not good. We want to press the feet together and then straight up and down and now this is taking a percentage of our body weight off the movement pattern.
So, the key here is that you have core strength. Alright, so the base of support for the push up are your toes touching the ground and your hands touching the ground. Your base of support is whatever touching the surface that is supporting you and the area in between. So, if you notice, in a push up the base of support are my toes and my hands, now everything in between has to stay solid and strong, if I don’t have the core strength I’m going to sink down. And this is where planking comes in, right? I can just stay here, tighten my abs and strengthen myself by doing that, but the back program which we have is what we have people start off on the base level to strengthen the area around the hips, the pelvis, and the lower back.
Once you are strong enough to get in that position, what I would recommend is doing 3 sets of 15 reps of push ups and getting to that point. And then you can start to make things hard on yourself, you can decrease the base support by bringing your feet together, your hands together, you can start to go on to a decline so I can put my feet up say my feet go up on a window seal here. Now I’m slightly declined and now I have more of my body weight that I am pushing up and so then you can start to play with exercises.
So the second exercise that we are talking about here is a pressing motion, specifically a push up. If you are unable to do push ups, you can also do a chest press: that is laying on a bench, you can also do laying on the ground with either two dumbbells or a barbel. It’s the same motion just you have a base of support now on your whole back and it’s not as core intensive.
Alright, so there’s the second exercise – the push up. We’ll go to the next one here in a second.”
The next exercise that we are talking about is the opposite of a push up, the reason why I say the opposite because there is antagonist and agonist muscles, and they’re the opposing muscle groups. So we did a pushup, now we are going to do the opposite which is a row. Now, doing this back to back is not always the best if you are just starting out because you are going to fatigue the muscles faster because when we talk about each movement, we’re talking about the working phase so when we do a pushup, we are using the chest but on the downward motion we are actually decelerating using our back and then when we come and do a row we are using our back muscles as well. So all these exercises that I’m showing you are the largest muscle groups that we are using in the body, and this is the best way to start of any exercise program unless you’ve been injured, and you need to start even more basic than this. But for the most part everybody can start of with these movements.
So, the third movement here is a row. We’re starting off: body straight as a boar;, this is a TRX row, again, it doesn’t have to be a TRX. Any tool can be used to do these movements. It just comes down to how much force, muscle force that you want to use to create the intended result. Alright, so the intended result here for me explaining to you is to get you to move correctly, then based on where you want to be you can decide how much weight you need to move, how many reps, how much volume you are doing, how intense you do it…
So when we do a row there’s a few grips that we can use. We have pronated, we have supinated, we have neutral grips (please see the video). So here I’m just showing you neutral grip position, we are going to pull our elbows in 45 degrees, notice my neck and my spine are in alignment and I’m doing a slow controlled movement like I’m bringing a bar to my chest. Say these TRX were stuck together, the handles were stuck together and I was bringing a bar to my chest and going back.
This exercise is very basic, very simple. You can incorporate 2 of the exercises that we’ve just talked about, so let’s go over that. The first exercise that we talked about is the squat, so now watch this exercise as I incorporate the squat to a row:
Come up and then row.
Now why would I want to do that? Well, I want to do that for a few reasons.
One, It allows me to go deeper to a squat yet more hip mobility and on top of that if you can see I start to breathe heavier so now this is what we called compound exercises. I started to use my legs, the largest muscle group in the body and my back the second largest muscle group in the body.
So as I do these exercises, my heart has to pump blood to my legs because it’s working and blood to my back so now my cardiovascular starts to activate and I get twice the amount of energy exertion which burns twice the amount of calories and this is where you can start to get an efficient workout. For example, at my facility here (EarthFIT) we do about a 30 minute workout and get better results than most people are doing anywhere, going at like an hour a day because it’s designed specifically for the most efficient, but we have a methodical process for building the person up to this point. So someone would never come in to our facility and start of with a squat to a row because we want to make sure that they’ve done numerous reps of the row and they’re proficient at it.
They might do a wide grip row one day, they might do a close grip row the other day, they might do supinated and they might do pronated. Until they’re proficient at that and they can go even further right now we spoke about the pushup when I’m on the floor Im doing about 70% of my weight. Well, as I move forward I’m now lifting more and more of my own body weight to get this row so, if I go parallel I’m almost lifting my full body weight right now. So I weigh about 180, so I’m rowing up at 180. When I come back here, I’m probably using about 60 or 70 lbs now. If I stand up even more really nothing is happening so this is just very basic, this could be a good starting point for someone who’s very weak just to get the thoracic spine and the scapular moving, those shoulder blades moving, and then continue to move forward and start to increase your strength that way.
TRX is a great tool because you can take it anywhere but you can use the cable row machine which are typically at every gym, but those are mainly the two main tools you’re going to see, which is a TRX and a cable row. Sometimes you’ll see they have the hammer strength rows where you actually put the weights on it or you can use dumbbells where you’re getting to the deadlift position and a row which is going to leave me into my next video.
This is another movement that is can be a little bit complicated for people because of how they’ve been moving for years previously, but the deadlift is essentially how you should be picking up everything off the floor. What deadlift means is that you are picking up dead weight from the floor.
So, dead weight would be something that is an ecstatic inertia so it takes a little bit more force to move that, right? So it won’t move unless acted on by an outside force. So that initial inertia to pick something up is coming from our body so we have to overcome the gravity and the weight of the object. So, before you start picking heavy things up, it’s important to understand how to move and to move properly.
And so with the deadlift, the first thing that we usually teach people is hip hinging, because back pain always comes from spinal flexion if you see my videos spinal flexion would be here (please see the video) so people rounding at the back and picking something up, just doing that right there I start to feel my back slightly, so imagine if I put more force there. So watch the difference: I’m going to hip hinge so pushing my butt back; my back is completely straight and now if I go to pick something up I can lift it up. Now, obviously if it’s on the ground, I’m not going to go that far, but that’s why we are talking about this specific exercises. I’m going to push my butt back and then squat down and now if I pick something up, I’m in perfect position and I can pick it up.
Now, notice I am right in between my legs with the something that I’m picking up… the reason being, if I could’ve pick something up out here; whatever I am picking up out here, say it’s 40lbs out here, that’s creating about 400 lbs torque in my back, and that is where injuries occur so we always want to keep the center of mass right underneath the center of gravity because the muscle force, or the force of the weight is going to go straight down which is what our spine was intended for. So force going straight down on our spine won’t cause any damage. If we go in to spinal flexion and all of a sudden have force and torque in our back then we can cause trauma to the spine that is where injury begin.
So, always moving with the hips keeping the back completely straight. The stronger you are, the more you can actually move outside of that parameter. So, if you are really strong and you go to pick something up, you can start to flex a little bit at the spine because you have more core stabilisation and the spine is more stable, but first thing’s first, is here: so most people can start out with their arms out to the side like this… what you are going to do is to push your butt back and just repeat pushing the butt back and focus on feeling your hamstrings. Push your butt back so you feel your hamstrings. We don’t want to see you coming forward, just coming to this position and then on the way up we are going to think about using the muscles on the lower back and the glutes to stand up. So forward and backwards and repeat.
And once you get this movement down, then we can start to use something like a kettlebell. Preferably I’d like to use a barbell because the barbell keeps your shoulders back more with the bar but say you want to pick something up like a kettlebell here, we are going to push out butt back, back nice and straight, bend your knees now, keeping our spine in alignment, and then perfect form picking it up.
And what happens is, most people don’t prepare for picking things up and then they just allow the weight to move them. So they’re just go to pick things up their body is limping and then they go to pick something heavy up and yank. All that force goes straight to the back and creates damage.
So working on the deadlift is going to be number 1 important thing. Remember first thing is hip hinging, keeping the back straight, if we need to go lower we start to bend the knees always keeping the back straight and then back up. And this is why the squat pattern is extremely valuable and important, because they are all synergistic and they are all work together.
This exercise is typically where I find people to be the weakest mostly because we are not doing this (arms up and down) all day. The only time that we are reaching for anything like that is maybe when we travel when we put our luggage up or when we reach for a cup, but these muscles are extremely important. There is a lot going around the shoulders and this is basically one that we want to focus on, because when we do need them it is important to have structure and stabilisation around this joints.
When people get older they start to have issues with the joints, when things get inflamed there’s a lot of muscles that cross, one muscle gets inflamed it creates a whole fire going on in the shoulder.
So this is a very simple exercise, the main thing here is to not have any force on the lower back. A lot of people pick up too heavy weights and then they start pressing, they arch their back putting a lot of force on the lower back. So simple things – knees bent slightly, hips back, back straight and then we are just going to shoulder press using just using our shoulders and again we can do it in numerous different ways (please see the video):
One would be pressing straight up with the weights facing out.
Another way would be here, pressing up and clicking together.
Another one would be coming from here and then up and out.
And so, you get the point, shoulder press is another one of those exercises that we would want to do to strengthen the overall body and to hit every aspect of the body that we might use out in real life, because essentially that is what we are training for, training to do things in life better, more efficiently, feel better about it, and stay injury free.
So, there you go with the shoulder press. I hope that helps, any comments or questions go ahead leave it below.
“According to a study published in 2013 by the Mayo Clinic, back pain is the third most common cause of doctor visits in the United States. And according to American Family Physician, only 25 to 30% of people seek treatment for their back pain. So if you’re experiencing back pain, you’re not alone.
Many back pain sufferers struggle with what’s causing their back pain, not realizing the 8 or more hours they spend sitting could be the main culprit.
The most common cause of lower back pain is postural stress. For this reason, lower back pain is frequently brought on by sitting too long, prolonged bending, heavy lifting, or even standing or laying down, all for a long time in a poor, rounded back position. According to Cornell University Department of Ergonomics, up to 90% more pressure is put on your back when you sit vs. when you stand. There are several reasons why, the first being that if you’re like most Americans, you habitually sit in ways that cause tension and imbalance in your back and neck. This applies to sitting at work, in the car, and at home.”
1. You’re looking down at your screen, phone, or desk, and your head tips forward. As your head weighs on average 10 lbs, any slight angle forward puts a strain on the muscles of your neck and upper back. The further forward that you lean your head forward, as well as how long you keep that straining posture, determines how much extra work your neck and upper back need to do.
2. Your shoulders are rolled forward. Some of the most common causes are a lack of lumbar support from a chair that’s too soft or one that doesn’t encourage good posture, a muscular imbalance where your pectoral muscles (chest) are stronger than your back muscles (common in men who like to work out their beach muscles more than their back), or habit. If you’re wondering if you’re guilty of this, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and let your arms hang down at your sides. If your thumb points forward, you’re probably balanced. If your palms are pointing behind you, you probably have an imbalance.
3. You’re leaning forward from your lower back. This posture puts even more pressure on the vertebrae of your lower spine (lumbar area), as it compresses your disks.
4. Your elbows are too far away from your body. The rule in lifting anything is that the more the object weighs, and the further your elbows are away from your torso, the more strain you put on your shoulders and upper back. Reaching your arms forward to type or write might not seem like much, but doing it 8 hours or more per day will take it’s toll.
5.You hold your phone to your ear. Many people multitask and talk on the phone while their hands are doing other things. Doing this for a few seconds isn’t going to cause an imbalance in your body, but anything more that that will cause tension on one side of your neck and upper back.
6.You sit for too long. Dr. Joan Vernikos, former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division and author of the Sitting Kills, Moving Heals, explains “We weren’t designed to sit. The body is a perpetual motion machine.” When you’re sedentary, your muscles get less oxygen and nutrients from your blood.
The rule of thumb is to frequent changing of postural positions and take movement micro-breaks for every 30 minutes of sitting throughout the work day. A helpful strategy is to drink lots of water: it keep you hydrated, which is healthy, and it forces you to get up and move in order to use the bathroom!
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In this video I break down the crux of what could be causing some of these issues. If you are looking to get healthy, stay healthy and clean up your body, in 2018 and beyond the info in this video just might be what you need to hear.
“Hey! What’s going on? So I wanted to do a video because I’ve been getting ton of questions, people have been messaging, calling, emailing me, etc. about a specific topic and it’s been going on for years and it’s been major problem which I wanted to address and this problem is getting worse and worse… and so I wanted to talk about a specific term which most people don’t really talk about but it’s called “Allostatic load”.
An allostatic load is basically a sum total of the stress that’s been put on your body… Now today we are in chronic stress meaning that we are chronically being exposed to toxins to stressors, jobs, traffic, coffee… all these things. And the reason why I say coffee is because coffee stimulates our sympathetic nervous system. It puts you in a fight or flight mode so if your body wants to recover you start to get tired and then you consume more caffeine, you go right back to that fight or flight mode when you should be in a recovery mode.
The sum total of all these stressors is what’s called allostatic load. Chronic stress can probably be contributed… most sickness that we are dealing with today is from these chronic stress – toxic exposures, parasite, electromagnetic frequencies, etc..
The first thing that I’m going with over today is:
#1 Limit toxic exposure. You cannot get better if you don’t limit your toxic exposure. – limiting the wifi radiation, processed foods, alcohol. Try to eat all fresh foods, no pesticides.
#2 Parasite Cleanse (All natural)- One of the people I always recommend is Hulda Clark’s parasite cleanse because it’s the most thorough, it’s natural… If you try detox and you don’t take care of the initial phase first, you could end up in the worst position. You could mobilise the toxins that are in your body but not excrete them out of your body and then it will get re-absorbed in some timeinto a worst place. So detoxing and parasite cleanse are extremely important.
#3 Improving your Micro-biome – Your micro-biome is your gut flora, it’s where most of your immune system lies… so strong micro flora will be extremely powerful for healing, for preventing diseases. It also helps to consume the toxins so if we eat fermented foods and you have heavy metals in your gut, the fermented food will eat those heavy metals up… Stay away from antibiotics. It’s dangerous to take too many antibiotics and personally I know that it can destroy your gut flora. Your gut flora is directly related to living in a longer, healthy and happier life. If your gut flora is down you’re going to be more depressed. If you are drinking alcohol all the time you know your micro flora is not good, we know that your gut flora is not good.
#4 Maximize Mitochondria. Mitochondria are the energy packs inside the cells of your body. We want to energise and maximise them and the first 3 things are going to help you do that… things that I recommend are the Wim Hof breathing, Red Light therapy, Resveratrol, Magnesium, and Detoxing.
#5 Spend more time in nature. The frequency of nature is in tuned and harmony with our body’s frequency. It’s healing. If you are exposed to toxins, if you’re being exposed to wifi, think of the tree as a healing wifi. It literally giving of good energy and studies have shown that blood pressure is reduced instantly, stress level, cortisol levels reduce instantly when you spend time in nature. So get more connected with the environment that we are used to being connected with. Right now we are used to being connected with a poisoning and toxic environment and it’s getting more and more poisonous and toxic. Use PEMF.
Most of these things can really impact your life. This is going to be vital for your children, vital for your health to really live a happy, healthy, stronger better life into the future because the load of toxins is getting greater, the exposure to wifi is getting greater and you need to know what to do for your friends, and your family to feel better so that you can spread the word, people will start to take action on these things and everybody’s frequency and vibration will be higher and guess what? Your raising frequency affects everyone around you… your frequency, your energy that you’re putting out there gets higher by doing some of these stuff… Focus on the positive, focus on the solution, be solution focused, not problem focused. You will feel better, you will get results, and you will impact all the people in your life around you.”
Today I see many people living sub-optimally and it doesn’t have to be that way, all you have to do is know how to navigate the toxic terrain of todays society to heal, recovery and be at peak performance.
Check out the video and if you think it can help someone else out go head and share it, if you have a question, leave it in the comment below.