Fix your fascia and mobility, and get back to living!
We sat down with La Jolla Sports Club trainer and Fascial Stretch Therapist, Matt Pippin, to answer members’ questions on Fascial Stretch Therapy, mobility and how it benefits each and every one of us. (Check out this video for a quick, in-depth intro)
First off, what is fascial stretch therapy?
Fascia is the specialized, connective tissue layer which surrounds muscles, bones and joints, providing support and protection, and giving structure to the body. Fascia is forever changing and shifting to whatever your present physical position or activity requires (sitting, running, cycling, etc). So why is this important to you?
If you spend hours doing anything, your fascial tissue will start to shift and adjust to make those positions easier. This sounds great in theory, unless of course you spend all day sitting at a desk or in a car. When you go to do anything other than those positions, your body is no longer moving efficiently, because your shoulders are hunched forward, pelvis tilted and knees collapsed inward. Now the problems start to arise. It begins with small nagging injuries that, when unchecked, turn into something bigger: Neck, shoulder, back, hip, knee and ankle pain. This is where Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST) comes in.
FST is a unique, pain-free, assisted-stretch technique focused on increasing mobility of the muscle, fascia and joints. By manipulating, lengthening and realigning your fascia, chronic pain and stiffness decreases, helping to enhance performance, flexibility and recovery.
How does FST fit into my daily routine, and will it help with my mobility issues?
After completing your first session, the therapist will begin to guide you on your own personal, self-care journey, highlighting areas that need attention. The human body needs daily maintenance to combat the rigors placed upon it in everyday life. Maintenance includes foam rolling, press and stretch methods, and mobility exercises. Hitting these problem areas everyday will allow you to reach your optimal mobility.
My trainer mentioned I have some asymmetries in my body- will FST help?
Absolutely. Asymmetries in the body are caused by your fascia being out of alignment. FST will first show you the asymmetries, then how to deal with them, both with the therapist and on your own. Once asymmetries have been addressed, movement patterns will become much easier.
I injured my lower back, but want to avoid surgery- how will FST benefit me?
Lower back pain is most often caused by lack of mobility in the hips and sometimes in your shoulders. By allowing the hips to function properly, less stress will be placed upon the lower back. Another benefit of FST is that all movements incorporate some form of traction, which helps decompress the spine in the lower back.
Are there any mental benefits to FST?
When someone is in chronic pain, the brain is always aware of and slightly preoccupied with that pain. Small simple tasks will become daunting and you might start to pass on all the physical things you enjoy doing. Whether it’s playing with your loved ones, a round of golf or a beautiful hike, your quality of life will start to suffer when chronic pain is around. Without these simple pleasures, depression and a lack of hope will start to set in. FST will help you take back your high-quality active lifestyle!
Fix your mobility — get back to the basics!
We sat down with La Jolla Sports Club trainer, martial artist, inventor and all-around good guy, Maurizio Tangari, to answer members’ questions on Primal Movement and mobility and how it benefits each and every one of us. (Scroll down for Maurizio’s favorite dynamic stretching / warmup)
First off, what are Primal Movements, and how do they apply to me?
Move like a baby! Crawl, roll, climb, jump, twist! Primal Movements are fundamental if you want to stay healthy and keep your joints injury-free. Parents put kids in a gymnastic class to do things that they can easily do by exploring the environment and natural playgrounds around them. Living in a bubble limits our body and our creativity. We go to the gym because we have forgotten how to use our bodies and the world around us like a natural gym.
Don’t get me wrong, if you want to be big and strong, lifting big is the way to go. Being strong and avoiding functional mobility, however, is not a good idea. Strength alone will not keep you from needing an inhaler after playing a game of soccer with your grandchildren—or children, for that matter. And strength alone will not reduce your risk of injury when you chase your dog around the yard.
Whether you play sports, or just want a better balanced level of fitness as you live your life, a functional fitness program may be the most efficient and effective way to increase your level of fitness.
I’ve noticed my mobility and range of motion have become limited, will functional movements help?
A mobility program is absolutely necessary on an everyday basis, not just at the gym, but all day long. Before getting out of bed, rotating the neck, shoulders, wrists and ankles will help us avoid little discomforts. After getting out of the car, perform some hip rotations and a few squats. And to avoid back pain and stress headaches at work, try a standing station. To close the day, I do a 20-minute joint mobility routine, which helps me destress my body from all-day discomfort.
For a great mobility program, check out Steve Maxwell on YouTube. There are no excuses to not give it a try.
I injured my back a few years ago, will primal / functional movements help me get back to where I was?
For sure, I would not recommend jumping right into a lifting program. The best way to stay in shape is by performing basic Primal Movements: squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, twisting, bending- there are hundreds of different variations of these functional movements!
I always suggest adding core stability exercises for helping back problems and reducing future injuries. This not to be confused with ab exercises. The pillar, or the core, represents the central part of the body, the torso and the hips. That is where strength and power come from and the strength of the extremities should not exceed that of the core. A truly strong core means that you have strengthened your entire center and taught it to work with the rest of your body, which will allow for more flexibility, agility, power and strength.
My golf / tennis game has been suffering lately, how will these benefit me?
For these types of sports, it is important to understand that there is a constant stress on joints caused from the same range of motion and powerful movements. These sports, more than others, need a specific program designed to destress joint on opposite angles and rebuild balance on the opposite side of the body. Using the same movement with constant power and range of motion on the same side of the body is not healthy in the long-term!
The reason why I like to use tools like Warrior Bags, Kettlebells, Clubbells and Revolution Rings is because all those tools have some important things in common: increasing strength without compromising mobility, increasing core-stability and balance and challenging your coordination. For me, the most important aspect in a training program is to make the workout routine mentally challenging- my programs are never boring and always different.
Thanks to Maurizio and everyone who pitched questions! Look for our last March Mobility blog, focusing on Fascial Stretch Therapy with La Jolla Sports Club’s own Matt Pippen. Until then, good luck out there! – Kevin.
Increase shoulder mobility with a few easy steps
In our second installment of the March Mobility series, we’re going to discuss a few easy things you can do to decrease shoulder pain, increase shoulder mobility and improve posture.
Last week, we mentioned that ‘When we are young, our bodies are graced with full mobility. Over the years, this mobility fades as we sit behind the computer, TV, in traffic and on our phones.’
Sedentary lives and excessive sitting has been called the ‘new smoking.’ Over time, slouching in front of the TV and computer can lead to kyphosis, internally-rotated shoulders, tension headaches and breathing problems, to name a few.
And if you’re reading this on your phone, it’s a safe bet that your neck is craned even further forward. SO… you’re a La Jolla Sports Club member, you’re into fitness- what do you do about it?
Cheat-sheet (which can be applied to all body parts):
1. warm up with dynamic stretching
2. foam roll
4. static stretch
Keep in mind your personal limits and range of motion, as you do not want feverish, ballistic, out-of-control movements. To get your shoulders primed for exercise, windmills (wide and narrow) and arm swings (by your sides and across the body) are both simple and effective. Aim for three sets at 10 repetitions each.
You’ll recall from our last blog that foam rollers are your friends, as they help open up tight and restricted muscles. After you have done your dynamic stretches, grab a foam roller and spend a few minutes on your back. Slowly work your way up from your hips to your shoulders and then roll on each side to release your latissimus muscles.
Tight pectoral muscles are an unfortunate byproduct of forward-head posture and internally-rotated shoulders. To loosen them up, grab a lacrosse ball or baseball and work into your pec muscles. These will be tender, so listen to your body’s limits.
At this point, you should be ready to work out, but keep in mind that the shoulder complex is incredibly… complex, and form is of the utmost importance (please, PLEASE do not lat pull behind your head). There are many great exercises to help strengthen your upper-back, correct posture and undo the negative effects of excessive sitting, so get creative and have fun! If you have any questions or concerns on form or exercises, ask one of your La Jolla Sports Club Personal Trainers.
Look for our next two installments of March Mobility, where we talk to Maurizio Tangari about Primal Movement and Matt Pippen about Fascial Stretch Therapy. Until then, good luck out there! – Kevin.
Increase mobility for better living
For more than a few of our La Jolla Sports Club members, golf and tennis reign supreme. Well… behind families and friends and… actually, that’s about it. Over the years, our personal trainers have heard plenty of stories about backs, hips and shoulders. The swings are restricted, the shots and drives less powerful, the hooks and slices more extreme. While it would be easy to rack this up to aging, there might be something else at play.
When we are young, our bodies are graced with full mobility. Over the years, this mobility fades as we sit behind the computer, TV, in traffic and on our phones. The good news, however, is that we can get it back. While we might not achieve 100%, we have the ability to create less pain, more movement and, in the end, healthier bodies.
Your body moves in patterns. Whether you are walking, squatting or putting something away, you are moving in a pattern. Your first step at regaining mobility is assessing your patterns (you can finally justify checking yourself out in the mirror). Do your squats shift to one side? Can you raise your right arm higher than your left? Do your ankles collapse while walking / lunging? My immediate guess is, Yes, you have at least one of these issues. We all do.
Once you have recognized these asymmetrical patterns, pick the most prevalent and start there. Let’s take the example of shifting to one side during squats. Maybe you have had a previous injury or you just plain favor the right foot. When you squat or run, you compensate by putting more pressure on your right knee and hip, which perpetuates weakness in your left hip. Your right side, overused, becomes tighter and creates extra work for your spine, which then leads to any number of problems. So… what do you do?
First, stop- one of the worst things you can do is strengthen an asymmetrical movement. Using the squats example, this could be caused by an overactive right hip / adductor, so in this case, start with dynamic stretching to help open up the joints and tendons.
You would then progress to foam rolling, warming up and then finally into squats, watching your form like an Olympic judge (note: ask one of our La Jolla Sports Club personal trainers if you ever need assistance or a helpful eye). After your workout, cool down with static stretching, holding your stretches for 20-30 seconds.
It is important to keep in mind that optimal range of motion is the number one goal for each movement. This will differ from person to person, so listen to your body and stay within your limits. It might take a bit to balance the body (yoga helps!), but when you do, you’ll add years to your health… and game. Good luck out there! - Kevin.
Being successful at anything means combining the idea of what you want to accomplish with the tools you need to get it done. That applies to getting fit, too. The La Jolla Sports Club offers all the tools you could possibly require to create the best, most fit version of yourself. But what if you’re not sure how to use all the fitness tools we provide? We meet that need, as well. Our Certified Personal Trainers will literally be at your side, challenging, supporting, and informing you every step of the way.
Rest assured, you are not alone. We welcome you, whether you have never stepped foot in a gym before or if you compete in triathlons. And our Trainers have the skill and experience to help you at any level. Our personalized service and friendly staff means we know your name and respect your personal fitness goals.
How qualified are our Personal Trainers?
Your health and fitness deserve the best, and that’s what we offer at La Jolla Sports Club. Our qualified and experienced staff of Certified Personal Trainers lives up to the reputation of America’s finest city, providing the finest of personal fitness training. You can count on our Trainers!
• Nationally recognized certification and complete continuing education courses on a regular basis. • Have at least a B.S. in a related field or several years of experience. • Well versed in both traditional and functional training techniques to help you meet and exceed your goals. • Diverse team available seven days a week to meet your scheduling needs.
What are the benefits of using a Personal Trainer?
One of the biggest overreaching benefits of working with a Trainer is that you have someone in your corner, someone who genuinely cares about your health and fitness. Combine that compassion with the knowledge and experience, and you’ve got a win-win.
• Education: You’ve got enough responsibility; you don’t need to know everything about fitness, too. Our Trainers are experts in movement science, exercise technique, program design, behavior modification, and nutrition. After an initial assessment, your trainer can devise a fitness program and a nutrition plan tailored to your health and fitness goals. • Motivation: The reason behind your fitness goals is crucial. Our Trainers meet you where you and help you rise to the next level…and beyond. And they help keep you on track every step of the way. • Accountability: Having someone to answer to is always a good thing. Our Trainers keep you in-line with your goals and do it without judgment. By helping to keep you accountable your workouts and healthy eating habits can become part of your life, even your new comfort zone. That consistency leads to accelerated results. In fact, you can even exceed your own expectations with someone supporting you along the way!
We know you have questions, and we definitely have the answers you need. Get a FREE 7-Day Pass and meet with a Trainer to see just how great your fitness journey can be. We look forward to greeting you with a smile at the La Jolla Sports Club.
Some people enjoy the energy of large group settings. Some people are more go-it-alone types. If you want the many benefits of cycling without immersing yourself in a Spin Class, the La Jolla Sports Club is the place to get moving. In January, we added new 25 new M3i Indoor Cycles to our club. These stationary bikes are the total package—latest technology, total comfort, and customizable challenge, at your service!
And if you like the idea of climbing on one of these cycles, but are new to this kind of workout and/or the technology behind it, put your mind at ease. Every member of our accessible, friendly, knowledgeable staff prides themselves on providing personalized support and assistance. Remember, we are the next-level club, the place where we know your name and help you get where you want to go on your fitness journey.
What makes the M3i Indoor Cycle special?
This cycle is the perfect blend of user-friendly high tech and good old fashioned sweat-potential. That’s because it is the very first of its kind to include a Bluetooth wireless technology. In just a couple steps, you can download a simple app and transfer your workout data from the M3i’s computer to your smartphone, tablet, etc. That means you can track your progress with every workout. And your results are private. Again, if you are not familiar with the technology, we are here to help you.
You’ll find these bikes comfortable regardless of your current fitness level and body type. • superior resistance system • Four-way adjustable pedals and handlebars (up, down, forward, backward) • adjustable seat • water bottle holder
Benefits of Indoor Cycling
For most people, one of the main considerations with the type of exercise they choose is the intensity of the calorie burn. Indoor cycling is a great way to burn some serious calories and get a jumpstart your fitness goals! One 60-minute session, can burn off 700 – 800 calories. Plus, the time you put in is equivalent to a 15-20 mile bike ride, all within the safety of our comfortable club.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll also get greater bone-density, which is especially important as we age. You’ll build strength in your legs and gluteal muscles, giving you more solid footing in your daily routine, not to mention a more attractive physique. You’ll strengthen your heart and increase your lung capacity, improving your overall health. And of course, there’s always that endorphin release—the hormones that give you a sense of wellbeing and improved self-esteem.
Combine all of these benefits with the fact that cycling is low-impact and a fit for people of any age and fitness level, and you’ve got a winning workout just waiting for you here at the La Jolla Sports Club!
We look forward to answering any questions you might have about our M3i cycles and how they can help you achieve your ideal version of a more fit and healthy you. Please call or stop by today for more information. We deliver personal service because you and your health deserve it! Achieve your best with us, and be your best when you leave. Stop by for a free 7 day guest pass and see why we’re the right choice for your health club in La Jolla.