Having Back Problems? – Benefits of Foam Rolling

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Foam-Rolling

As its name implies, a foam roller is a large “log” made out of foam that helps your body to warm up for exercise and recover afterward. Among its many benefits are:

    • Improved circulation
    • Increased blood flow
    • Releases muscle tightness
    • Breaks down knots in your muscles
    • Reduces pain

Black High Density Foam Rollers – Extra Firm – 6″ x 36″ Round

Using a foam roller is actually similar to getting a massage (only less expensive!). As you roll on it, fibrous tissue is broken down and circulation is boosted, helping to relieve tension and pain. When you perform various exercises with the roller it also helps to engage your muscles and build strength. Plus, because the foam roller is unstable, using it works your core muscles and helps improve balance. Many people wait to use a foam roller until they feel a tight spot in a muscle, then simply ‘roll’ it out. While this can be effective, it’s a mistake to regard the foam roller as only an occasional fitness tool. You can actually use it daily (even if it’s for just a few minutes) to help prevent trouble spots in your muscles from occurring.

Increase Your Range of Motion in Five to 10 Seconds

Foam rollers are often used by therapists and athletes to mimic myofascial release treatments, which are typically used to help reduce muscle immobility and pain. Their effects can be quite significant, as one study found that using a foam roller on your hamstrings may lead to statistically significant increases in range of motion after just five to 10 seconds.1 Separate research also found that using a foam roller reduces arterial stiffness, which may indicate improved flexibility, and improves vascular endothelial function.2 

Older women who used foam rollers for balance training also showed improvements in dynamic balance after just five weeks,3 adding scientific credibility to the use of this incredibly simple fitness tool. My favorite is to combine the Trigger Point Foam Roller with the Power Plate. The vibration from the Power Plate is a powerful synergy with the foam roller and I seek to do that twice a day when I have access to a Power Plate. This combination can radically increase your range of motion and flexibility.

Foam_Roller_Exercises

5 ‘Critical Rules’ for Foam Rolling

Master trainer Josh Stolz recently shared what he calls the five most critical rules for getting the most out of your foam roller.4

    • Drink plenty of water first: This helps to keep your tissues hydrated and more pliable during rolling, so drink a large glass of water first.
    • Use your roller for warm-ups and cool downs: Foam rollers are both a warm-up tool and a recovery tool. Try swapping out static stretches in your warm-up for foam rolling.
    • Slow down: Avoid rolling too quickly; your movements on the foam roller should be slow and concentrated.
    • Move in multiple directions: For best results, combine up-and-down, side-to-side and other directional movements to best work your muscles.
    • Do it regularly– preferably daily: As mentioned, using the foam roller daily is an excellent tool for muscle maintenance, injury prevention and pain relief.

Trigger Point Performance The Grid Revolutionary Foam Roller, Black

Try These Foam Roller Exercises

Once you get your foam roller, what should you do with it? Try these sample exercises from Q by Equinox:5

1. Lats

“Position yourself on your right side with your right leg flat, knee bent 90 degrees, your left foot flat on the floor. Place the center of a foam roller beneath your right arm pit, perpendicular to your body, and extend your right arm straight, resting your left hand on the foam roller. (Reach that right arm as far as possible to create more of a stretch.)

From this position, roll from your armpit about four inches down towards your waist, and back again, for 30 seconds to a minute. Switch sides; repeat.” 

2. Shoulders and Pecs

“Lie face down, resting your left forearm on the floor, legs slightly wider than shoulder width. Place one end of a foam roller under your right shoulder, extending arm straight out at shoulder height, forming a T with the roller. (Again, reach that straight arm as far as possible to create more tension.) In short movements, roll from your shoulder to right pec and back again, for 30 seconds to a minute. Switch sides and repeat.”

3. Thoracic Spine

“Lie face up with feet shoulder-width apart and flat on the floor. Center a foam roller beneath your mid-back or shoulder blades so that it is perpendicular to your body. (Note: You can move the foam roller up and down to target different areas of the thoracic spine while still doing the extension motion.) 

Extend arms out from shoulders at a 45-degree angle. Reach arms back behind you towards floor and back again for 30 seconds to a minute. Make sure that the lower back doesn’t extend—think about pushing the lumbar spine into the ground as you are reaching back.”

4. Calves

“Sit with legs extended in front of you, and rest your lower right calf on the center of a foam roller that’s perpendicular to your body. With hands on the floor, press your triceps to lift your butt off the floor, and then place your left foot on top of your right calf. Roll up from your lower right calf to the meat of your calf and back for 30 seconds to a minute. Switch legs; repeat. (Note: Also target the inside and the outside of the calf simply by turning the foot in or turning the foot out.)”

5. Glutes and Piriformis

“With your feet flat on the floor, slightly wider than shoulder-width, center a foam roller beneath your glutes. Lift your right leg and rest your right ankle on your left knee. Roll back and forth from the center of your right glute to the bottom of your spine for 30 seconds to a minute; switch legs and repeat.”

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How to Make Your Foam-Roller Workout Even Better

The benefits of using a foam roller are even better if you do them on a Power Plate, which is my favorite type of Acceleration (or Whole Body Vibration) Training equipment. Acceleration Training is ideally done using a platform like the Power Plate, which vibrates in three planes: vertical, horizontal and sagittal (front to back).

There is equipment out there that only moves in two planes but the three-plane movement devices seem superior. These micro-accelerations force your muscles to accommodate, resulting in dramatic improvement in strength, power, flexibility, balance, tone and leanness. Remember, you can perform many different types of exercises on the Power Plate, including foam rolling, and doing so will enhance your results. Combining the Power Plate and Trigger Point Foam Roller is something I do virtually every day when I am at home.

When you stand on the vibrating platform, each muscle in your body reacts in a continuous flow of micro adjustments, contracting reflexively.The up-and-down movement improves your muscle tone. The left-to-right, and front-to-back movements improve your balance and coordination. What’s truly exceptional about Acceleration Training technology is that it engages up to 98 percent of your muscle fibers—including the fast and super-fast muscle fibersSo, with Acceleration Training you get greater rewards and shorter workouts because you’re working muscle fibers every second.

I truly believe Acceleration Training technology represents a revolution in fitness science that can benefit virtually everyone, regardless of age or fitness status. However, even if you don’t have access to such technology, regular foam rolling is still an excellent strategy to add to your fitness program.

Credit: Fitness Mercola

Poetry Mondays – Great Expectations by Ryan Fu (The Hated Ones)

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ninja

I am going to let you down.

Not because I want to,

it’s because I have to.

I have to be better,

faster,

smarter,

than anyone else because

you want to see me fail. 

I know you want to look down on me

with your arms raised high to the Gods,

hovering over me

like you won life’s race

but you didn’t.

This is a marathon,

a dog fight,

where I embrace the Grind

putting my head down,

biting my on mouthpiece.

A world filled

with high school counselors,

misjudging me,

telling me my future,

but you’re not a fortune teller

because I control my destiny.

I am ready to write my own story.

I am ready to fail.

I am ready to disappoint you.

I am ready to be great.

I am ready to die.

Are you?

RYAN FU

Unknown

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What’s Eating Ryan Fu – Tom Brady & Manny Pacquaio, A Nation Of Winners (It’s all out fault)

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The NFL has suspended New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady for four games without pay in relation to the “Deflategate” incident in which the team was found to have used underinflated footballs for an advantage in the playoffs.

The Patriots were also fined $1 million and will forfeit its first-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft and fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft, the league announced Monday.

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His counterpart, Manny Pacquiao revealed in his postfight news conference that he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. with what turned out to be a torn rotator cuff, he has been criticized for his handling of the injury.

He has even been sued by disgruntled fans who say he kept the injury hidden to keep the fight on schedule and preserve his payday of over $100 million.

Some people have the sense that Manny Pacquiao sold out for the money. And by fighting with a torn rotator cuff, not giving himself the best chance to win, he somehow perpetuated a fraud on the public. 

However, you feel about these two superstars situation, you must realize that we had a hand in their downfall. We are a Nation of Winners and we hate Losers. We put them on the highest of pedestals then we believe that they can do no wrong. But that’s where our own hubris comes into play because our heroes aren’t Gods, they are just like you and I. They feel the pressure to be successful and be perceived as a winner.

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It fucking annoys me when one of our “heroes” falls short on our own standards, even though we didn’t have the courage to reach for the stars like they did. Then we get butt hurt when we realize they are just like you and I. Just normal people trying to be successful in their endeavors, feeling the pressures of being successful. So, let’s give these people a break because if we were in their shoes, we would have probably done the same thing.

Weekend Inspiration – Powerful Inspirational True story…Don’t give up!

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The Nature of the Beast By Ryan Fu (The Hated Ones)

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Fight-Club-HD-Wallpapers1

The Nature of the Beast

We are not all born equal

the unfortunate ones

will never get into a fight

but the rest of us

have spent an entire lifetime

in the ring.

Pushed,

Punched,

Pounded

Over

&

Over again. 

Failure after failure,

constantly getting off the mat

we continue to fight on

with a smile on our face,

asking for more

punishment.

We are resilience.

We are intrepid.

We’re all in it together.

Just crabs together in a barrel

fighting to live,

living to fight.

We don’t seek refuge,

we seek the next battle.

This is the nature of the beast,

an opportunity

to piss off the Gods.

RYAN FU

Unknown

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Physical Education for Schools in the 60’s – Do you think we should go back to the old system?

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Happy Flashback Friday!!! – Chop Suey! (System Of A Down)

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RAIN, EAT, REST, REPEAT – FOOD THAT BOOST YOU BRAIN POWER

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Here are seven foods you should add to your regular diet if you want to keep firing on all cylinders. These foods may not make you smarter, but they’ll help you stay sharp and think clearly–especially when you’ve been glued to your desk for 12 hours.

  1. Salmon. This is one of the best brain foods out there. Salmon is rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids that have been shown to enhance memory and cognition. Plus, Omega 3s have anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to reduce the incidence of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Shoot for three servings of wild Alaskan salmon a week.
  2. Flax. This plant-based source of Omega 3 is perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Not only does flax improve brain function, but it helps reduce inflammation and improve circulation. Flax also helps lower cholesterol and balance blood sugar, making it a great supplement to include in any diet. Sprinkle a tablespoon of ground flax seeds to oatmeal or add a tablespoon of flax oil to smoothies or salad dressings.
  3. Blueberries. These berries contain flavonoids–antioxidants that have been shown to help improve your ability to learn and enhance motor skills. Flavonoids also help prevent degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Add a cup to your morning oatmeal or to a smoothie. Or simply keep them on hand for a quick and healthy afternoon snack.
  4. Nuts and seeds. This perfect afternoon snack is a good source of both Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids, which improve brain function. Plus, nuts contain vitamin E, which has been shown to help protect the brain from free-radical damage. Walnuts are best for brainpower. Cashews and sunflower seeds contain an amino acid that helps boost serotonin levels and alleviate stress.
  5. Eggs. Eggs are a great source of choline, a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which helps you concentrate and recall information. Studies have shown that people with Alzheimer’s have depleted amounts of this important neurotransmitter.
  6. Dark green leafy vegetables. Kale, chard, spinach, and other dark green vegetables contain B-vitamins, including folic acid, which help shield your brain from the effects of aging. These veggies are also loaded in antioxidants that help protect against heart disease and cancer. Eat dark greens daily in salads or as a side dish.
  7. Chocolate. This treat is rich in flavanol antioxidants that increase blood flow to the brain, helping to protect brain cells. But the percentage of cacao is important–the darker the chocolate, the better. Enjoy a small square of dark chocolate after lunch for an afternoon boost.

Credit: Health Digezt

POWER FOODS FOR THE BRAIN: AN EFFECTIVE 3-STEP PLAN TO PROTECT YOUR MIND AND STRENGTHEN YOUR MEMORY

Motivation Monday – Karen McWatters (Boston Strong) Congrats to all the Runners of the Boston Marathon!!!

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When the first bomb went off, Karen McWatters was only a few feet from the blast. That blast took a great deal from Karen, but what it gave her would help make a difference in the life of a person she had never met.

Train, Eat, Rest & Repeat – Benefits of Squats

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barbell-squat
  1. Builds Muscle in Your Entire BodySquats obviously help to build your leg muscles (including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves), but they also create an anabolic environment, which promotes body-wide muscle building.In fact, when done properly, squats are so intense that they trigger the release of testosterone and human growth hormone in your body, which are vital for muscle growth and will also help to improve muscle mass when you train other areas of your body aside from your legs.

    So squats can actually help you improve both your upper and lower body strength.

  2. Functional Exercise Makes Real-Life Activities EasierFunctional exercises are those that help your body to perform real-life activities, as opposed to simply being able to operate pieces of gym equipment. Squats are one of the best functional exercises out there, as humans have been squatting since the hunter-gatherer days. When you perform squats, you build muscle and help your muscles work more efficiently, as well as promote mobility and balance. All of these benefits translate into your body moving more efficiently in the real world too.
  3. Burn More FatOne of the most time-efficient ways to burn more calories is actually to gain more muscle! For every pound of additional muscle you gain, your body will burn an additional 50-70 calories per day. So, if you gain 10 pounds of muscle, you will automatically burn 500-700 more calories per day than you did before.
  4. Maintain Mobility and BalanceStrong legs are crucial for staying mobile as you get older, and squats are phenomenal for increasing leg strength. They also work out your core, stabilizing muscles, which will help you to maintain balance, while also improving the communication between your brain and your muscle groups, which helps prevent falls – which is incidentally the #1 way to prevent bone fractures versus consuming mega-dose calcium supplements and bone drugs.
  5. Prevent InjuriesMost athletic injuries involve weak stabilizer muscles, ligaments and connective tissues, which squats help strengthen. They also help prevent injury by improving your flexibility (squats improve the range of motion in your ankles and hips) and balance, as noted above.
  6. Boost Your Sports Performance — Jump Higher and Run FasterWhether you’re a weekend warrior or a mom who chases after a toddler, you’ll be interested to know that studies have linked squatting strength with athletic ability.1 Specifically, squatting helped athletes run faster and jump higher, which is why this exercise is part of virtually every professional athlete’s training program.
  7. Tone Your Backside, Abs and Entire BodyFew exercises work as many muscles as the squat, so it’s an excellent multi-purpose activity useful for toning and tightening your behind, abs, and, of course, your legs. Furthermore, squats build your muscles, and these muscles participate in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity, helping to protect you against obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  8. Help with Waste RemovalSquats improve the pumping of body fluids, aiding in removal of waste and delivery of nutrition to all tissues, including organs and glands. They’re also useful for improved movement of feces through your colon and more regular bowel movements.

Credit: Fitness Mercola