Friday, September 29, 2006

Still Rehabing..........

My low back is healing nicely. I can still feel the "wound" and still have plenty of awkward and vulnerable positions I encounter throughout the day. Strength wise my legs are coming back, although my legs feel as skinny as a Kenyan marathoner. It's been six weeks since my back injury and that is just enough time for the legs to get a little scrawny. Asthetic goals and functional goals do not always see eye to eye, but I'm convinced that in a couple more months my legs will come back up. That last two weeks I did throw in one session of static lunges with bodyweight and than this week with an 8kg. Man did that make me sore!!!

Here is a progression form the previous rehab exercises. They did their job and I am a believer in in these types of exercises when injured. My lumbar spine is more stable and feeling stronger although if I'm on my feet all day working with clients my back is sore by the mid-afternoon.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Low Back my case..the disc

Intelligent Quote of the Month:
"To me, the sign of a really excellent routine is one which places great demands on the athlete, yet produces progressive long-term improvement without soreness, injury or the athlete ever feeling thoroughly depleted. Any fool can create a program that is so demanding that it would virtually kill the toughest marine or hardiest of elite athletes, but not any fool can create a tough program that produces progress without unnecessary pain."
Dr. Mel C. Siff

This quote is great. My twin brother Keats recently put it in his excellent newsletter. If you have not signed up for his newsletter, you can do so at
I agree with the late Mel Siff. How easy it is to design a program that can easily SMOKE somebody. But how difficult is to design a program that get someone super strong yet with no injuries. Something to think about, espeically me with my back issues.

Disc Injuries -

The majority of disc injuries are caused by repeated flexion with rotation. I'm not sure this was my reason for injury, although with heavy deadlifts (which is what injured my spine this time)I know I lose lumbar lordosis. However the majority of disc disorders are caused by poor habits and lazy postures. I wouldn't consider my posture to be lazy, although I have established some poor work habits while working with my clients. Flexing my lumbar spine while doing bodywork, picking up dumbbells and weight plates with a flexed spine. Done once or twice is not a big deal, but done repeatedly day after day for years will destroy the integrity of the disc. I'm convinced that 95% or more of back injuries are result of bad lifting and postural habits. These injuries can be prevented with correct postural exercises and changing habitual movement patterns.

Spinal Instability -
Tissue is damaged from joint laxity, and joint laxity leads to instability. With decreased disc height comes ligament laxity which causes this instability. So when people injure their backs they often feel that there back is too tight, which is often a total fallacy. These same people will try to "stretch" out their pain and this often makes their condition worse. I have experienced this in my own body. The more I stretch my lumbar spine, the more I hurt. If I do too much Joint mobility, Z-heatlh, etc..., I hurt. Most people need more stiffness in thier lumbar spine, not less, especially if they are lifting weight and playing sports. The older I get the more I benefit from stability exercises in the lumbar area where the focus is maintaining a neutral spine.

Much more to come on this topic.......

Monday, September 18, 2006

Congratulations to Mark Reifkind, New Sr. RKC!!

My firend and colleague Mark Reifkind was just announced new Senior RKC of the amazing Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certification program. This school of strength has and continues to produce some of the best Strength Coaches in the world, and Mark is certainly one of them. Yoana and I want to congratulate Mark for his incredible achievement. Dragon Door and the RKC system are lucky to have a coach like Mark on board, check out his bio at the following web site.

Mark's Bio

You rock Mark!!!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Back on the Blog!

Finally life is starting to come back to normal as I am able to walk and do daily activities again. Almost am pain free :) It has been 4 weeks since I hurt my back and the time I have spent recovering has taught me alot about life and the importance of being good to your body. Accidents are one thing, but when an injury comes from over doing it and shere neglegence, it makes you questions things are little more strongly. Let's just say this injury has been a life changing injury on many levels, primarily spiritually, mentally and then physically. With the help of Derek Samuel, a mentor of mine and the best Physical Therapist I have ever met, I am back in training. Although this training is my rehab.

The primary objective of the therapy: to re-educate my abdominal and back muscles to maitain neutral spine during movement.

Exercise One: Standing Double Cable Pulldows (with arms straight)

Exercise Two: Seated SB Hip Flexion (maintaining Neutral spine)

Exercise Three: Seated SB Shoulder Flexion (maintaining neutral spine)

Exercise Four: Seated SB Hip abduction with theraband (maintaining neutral spine) *

* This exercise seems to be helping quite a bit. Being able to turn on my glutes (glute medius, TFL, and maximus) while keeping my lumbar spine from moving is a skill I need to keep me healthy. You would be surprised how such easy looking exercises become very challenging when you are injured. These exercises have made an immediate difference in gettiing me re-connected with my abdominals and spine again. For a while there I felt so disconnected and unstable in my low back. My body is able to tolerate daily movemetns and some flexion. The name of the game: take it slow, and use this as an opportunity to improve my weaknesses and build some health promoting habits. Thank yo God for giving me another chance with my back and with my life!!!