Posts in Fitness
Breaking Down the Myths of Youth Strength Training

Is my child too young to strength train?”..this is a question that every performance coach has heard at one point in time.  It's a question that comes up often. Although I’m not a parent myself, I understand where the concern comes from.  

However, concerns about damaging growth plates, "throwing off your shot" are often inaccurate.  Today I want to demystify some of these concerns and myths, and help set the record straight...It's time to let your kids be strong folks!!

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We Are Destroying America's Youth Athletes

Growing up, playing sports were some of my favorite memories.  I had the most fun,  made my most growth, and made some of my best friends playing sports.  Playing sports itself, is an inherently pure thing...After all, it's just a game. 

But all that has changed. Somewhere along the line, adults screwed it up. Adults decided to get involved and inject themselves the equation.   We decided that WE were the stars of the show.  Well that's great, because we are systematically destroying America's young talented athletes.  And here's how we're doing it. 

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Exercise Upgrade: Changing How You View These 4 Common Exercises

Out w/ the old, and in with the new...Today's post is a remix on some common gym exercises.   These exercises are all ones that you see just about any time you walk into a gym.  Some of you have probably been doing these same exercise since your 9th grade middle school PE teacher taught them to you. The problem is, as we've gained a better understanding about training, these exercises have become ineffective and outdated. My goal today is to show you alternative, and more effective versions of each of these exercises. 

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Warming Up: How to Do it Like an Elite Athlete, Part 2

Welcome back to the Ignite blog!  Today, I will be showing you part 2 of "How to Warmup like an Elite Athlete". For a recap, check out part 1 of this blog post.

In part 2, we will be covering the dynamic warmup.  The dynamic warmup is is the final part of the warmup and should properly prepare the athlete (you in this case) to train for that session. The dynamic warmup is broken down into 2 parts:  Movement Prep, and Skipping/CNS Prep.  We'll kick things off with the movement prep.

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Warming Up: How to Do it Like an Elite Athlete, Part 1

I've gotten a few people asking me lately about what I like to do and what I have my athletes do for a warmup before they train.  So I decided it would be a good idea to share that with you.  If you have ever trained w/ me before, you know how much emphasis I put on our warmup.  When people ask me why we should warm up, the analogy I usually use is:

"Well, you wouldn't just start your car, floor it, and speed out the driveway right?"

Even though some of you crazy Arizona drivers may have answered yes to that question, you get the point.  A comprehensive and progressive warmup routine is crucial....here's part 1 of mine. 

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Re-Thinking The Squat: 4 Biggest Squat Myths

HAPPY #SQUATOBER everyone!....

The squat has been, and remains one of the most popular exercises the strength training.  While it is certainly a great exercise with tremendous benefits, there a lot of misconceptions out there about the squat. I think the squat is misunderstood 

Well today, my mission is to clear up some of those misconceptions and help give you a better understanding, of what the squat actually is.

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Why You Should Be Training Your Hamstrings and my 4 Top Exercises

Training for hamstring strength is like having car insurance....You don't really see it every day, and you probably under appreciate it...but boy is it good to have when you need it. The hamstrings play a HUGE roll in overall function and injury prevention.  They are often forgotten in favor of the more visible quads and glutes.  Last year, in the EPL (the top soccer league in the world),  there were over 150 hamstring injuries alone!  

Unfortunately,  most people's definition of hamstring training is lying down and cranking out 15 reps on the leg curl machine.  That simply doesn't cut it. Today, I'm going to tell you why training your hamstrings is important, and my top 4 exercises to get you started!

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5 Ways to Train Like an Athlete

For me, one of the hardest transitions in my life was going from competing in sports everyday, to just being a regular Joe schmo.  Being an athlete is not only an identity, it truly is a lifestyle.  But why does that lifestyle have to end when you stop playing sports at a high level?

For the rest of our lives we are all athletes.  Things like chasing after our kids, or moving furniture, all take some level of athleticism.  To stay athletic, you have to train like an athlete.  Today, we are covering 5 ways you can be train like an athlete for life! 

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Re-Think Core Training: 3 Exercises to Replace Sit Ups

As the fitness and sports performance fields have evolved, so has the understanding of functional  exercise.  We are doing a better job of doing exercises that transfer to real life, and help us perform your best.  But one area that is still lagging behind is core training.

There is a gross misunderstanding of how your core actually works.  Tell me, how many times have you seen someone do a crunch on the football field?  Or how many times have you done a sit up as your playing with your kids?  I think it's time we re-think core training, and start doing exercises that improve our quality of life, and our performance!

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Bridging The Gap Between PT and Functional Performance

Having worked in PT clinics for about 5 years, I would often hear conversations between patients and therapists that would go something like this:

PT: Hey Sally, why are you limping?
Patient: My back is hurting
PT:  What did you do?
Patient:  Well my trainer made me do this one exercise...

PT: (places palm on face and dies a little inside)

And there you have it.  Sally's trainer didn't fully understand her injury history, and pushed her too hard, too soon.  There is obviously a gap in the transition from PT to functional performance. But why the disconnect? Well, we are here to explore how we can bridge that gap!

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Foam Rolling 101: How and When to Foam Roll

You know those foamy, tube things you see at the gym?...yeah those are called foam rollers.  Although gaining traction in popularity, foam rollers are still a very underutilized piece of equipment.

Foam rolling is an important part of a well rounded fitness program.  Leaving it out is a mistake that can lead to injury, and decreased performance.  Today we are going to go over those benefits, and I will show you my go-to-foam roll routine.

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Breathe Better: How Eric Christensen is Changing How We Breathe

16 per minute, 960 per hour, 23,040 per day....That's how much we breathe.  You could say breathing is life.  It's the first thing we do in life, and the last thing we do.They why then do we ignore it?  Why do we never train it?...Poor breathing patterns can lead to numerous problems such as chronic pain, and hormonal issues.   

Eric Christenson is here to help change all that.  Eric is a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) and the owner of Chandler Physical Therapy in Chandler, AZ.  Eric estimates that 85%-90% of his patients have breathing issues that effect their function.  If you've ever had persistent neck pain, chances are poor breathing patterns is one of the causes.  Eric's passion to change the way we breath runs deep.  So much so, that he wrote a book.  His book, "Breathe Better", addresses our society;s pervasive issues with breathing.  "Breathe Better" is scheduled for release.

In today's post, I interview Eric and we take a deeper look at his new book, Breathe Better, and give you some exercises to help improve your breathing.  Enjoy!

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The 4 Biggest Fitness Program Mistakes

Starting up a new routine at the gym can be like traveling through a jungle.  If you don't know where your going, it can be easy to get lost.  Thats why you need a map.  In this case, your map is a program.  Follow it, and you should reach your destination.

The problem is, some maps, have mistakes.  Just as some programs have mistakes.  They can lead you down the wrong path and in some cases injury and diminished results.  To be clear, there is no perfect program.  But there are also some common programming pitfalls that people fall into.  Here are some common programming error that you can avoid on your way to achieving your fitness goals.

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Patience and Perseverance: My Interview w/ Preston Hale

Welcome back for another Ignite Interview!  Today I interview another up and coming performer in the world of fitness and performance training.

I share my conversation with Preston Hale, III.  Preston is a performance coach based out of Chandler, AZ.  Preston trains primarily athletes, with a special emphasis on developing defensive backs in American football.  Preston uses his experience as a college athlete, and knowledge as a coach to provide very unique and high level training. He breaks down football movement like few can. 

Preston has taken a unique road to get where he's at, and is an example of perseverance.  He is also one of the most avid learners I know.  In our conversation we cover Preston's keys to success, his training philosophy, and how to handle the fear of making a career switch.  Enjoy!

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Smarter Not Harder: Are You Overtraining?

How many of you have had a stretch where you hit the gym HARD everyday for , and seen minimal results? ...Chances are, you were probably were overtraining. 

Overtraining is a problem....It has gotten worse with the proliferation of high impact, group fitness classes.  The idea that "more is better" and "no days off" is not true when it comes it fitness.  Overtraining can lead to injury and decreased results.  The good news is overtraining is highly preventable. All you have to do is listen to your body, and take these preventative measures. 

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Baller, Boss, and Bad*** Coach: My Interview w/ Sam Ostarello

One of my goals with Ignite is to become a network and resource for like minded professional.   A resource for coaches and fitness professionals who are doing great work, and pushing the industry forward. ....Today, I share my conversation with Sam Ostarello.  I met Sam earlier this year at the Complete Speed and Power Summit in California, an event put on by Athletes Acceleration. 

Sam is a performance coach based Based out of San Diego.  Sam services primarily athletes and also is a basketball skills trainer.  Sam and her company, Elite Performance  have quickly become one of the go-to names for sports performance training in the area.

In our conversation we explore Sam's experience traveling the world playing professional basketball, her philosophy on training female athletes, and some of the habits that make her successful...Without further adieu ladies and gentlemen, my conversation with Sam Ostarello!

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3 Things You Should Always Carry in Your Gym Bag

You can tell a lot about someone by whats in their gym bag...how prepared they are. What type of exercise program they're on.  How funky their gym shoes are...

Your gym bag is a sign of preparation.  Being prepared for a workout is kid of like being prepared for a test, or a game. The better the prep, the better the result.  This is especially true for people who travel a lot, and live life on the go.  Whether you're at home, or on the road, having these items will prepare you for anything that comes your way.

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3 Effective Ways to Improve Back Posture

Is it me, or is posture getting worse these days?...I might be a little biased, but it seems like a good portion of people I see have what I call "Mr. Burns posture".  If you grew up in the 90's, then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. If not, then please scroll down the page.  Oh that sexy rounded back look!

Tight thoracic spines (upper back)  are everywhere these days. I see them all over the street, and all over the gym.  From little old ladies, to bros that spend too much time on the bench press, its a problem....Well today, that all changes! We are going to dive in and look at why we have this problem, and some exercises to fix it!

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Exercise Rescue: Warm-Up to Stay in the Game

Ever started your car on a cold morning, then immediately backed out the driveway, slam on the breaks, and floored it out onto the street?...No? I didn't think so.  So why do that to your body??

Crazy thing is, I see at the gym all the time.  People walk in off the street, and immediately lift a heavy weight.  Not properly prepping your body for your workout is a recipe for disaster.  I realize most people live extremely busy lives, and that gym time is at a premium.  As a trainer, I get it, sometimes you only have 30 minutes for a workout.  So who wants to spend 10 of them warming up?  My hope is, that by reading this, it will become apparent that a dynamic warmup is a MUST HAVE in your fitness program

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4 Things To Do Today That Will Improve Your Health

Health is the key to happiness and success, at least that what I believe.  Our health is the most valuable asset we have, and should be our #1 priority.  It should be valued above all else....It may seem daunting, but being healthier isn't all that complicated.  You don't need some guru on TV to tell you how.  All its takes is small daily action steps, and consistancy over time.  Try these 4 small steps today, and be healthier than you were yesterday! 

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