Posts tagged strength
Thankful for Continued Education

In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, I am most thankful for the opportunity to step out from “behind the desk” to immerse myself in the day of the life of a trainer. Understanding, appreciation and passion for this craft is a key component of what Iron Lion strives to provide to its clients. I’m pumped at the chance to climb my way to the top of the fitness ladder, in addition to the relationships we’re building amongst the best in the business. The most important point for us at ILP is to build client trust. We want you to feel safe yet challenged and we couldn’t do that without continuous education. 

Read More
Take Pride Tuesdays - No False Starts Here, Strictly Results!!!

The keys of success through Alex’s eyes are “finally finding exercises that challenge me without discouraging me.”Alex now looks forward to her time at the gym with her 5-day per week program "The coaches and other members have become friends that are borderline family. The support each member shows one another is so unique.  It helps reinforce my commitment to myself, my strength and my health” Alex stated.  You can now find Alex swinging the 64-pound kettle bell, deadlifting 205 pounds on the trap bar for homework, and randomly doing inchworms like a crazy person (it’s her favorite exercise, yes we know…. strange). “My body continues to surprise me, and I am lucky to share those physical wins with my Iron Lion Performance family,” Alex explained. 

Read More
Feel Good Friday: The Winning Mindset

Matters of mindset and mental approach have long been of interest in the world of athletics, but a recent abundance of research and literature on the topic has peaked my interest in how it can help all of us achieve our goals in and out of the gym.

Today, I’d like to mention a popular idea of Fixed vs. Growth Mindset, made famous by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck in Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, as demonstrated in the graphic below.

Read More
Stronger Feet for Stronger Deadlifts

Here at Iron Lion, you will hear the trainers cueing you to grip with your feet or to root your feet into the ground. Why are the feet so important? It’s because the feet spread over a surface, grip it and send sensory messages about it to the rest of the muscles, telling them how much strength to apply. Athletes and clients should be able to separate the toes, spread the floor and grip with the big toe, lighting up the muscles of foot and creating an arch of support or neutral foot. One exercise that really helps you feel this foot-body connection is the RDL.

Read More
Part 3: Scapular Stability and Neck Freedom (No More Neck Pain)

The best and safest way to get the student to connect with this postural relationship is with a standing body weight lateral and/or rear deltoid raise, followed by a seated row and push-up. In the push-up and row, I usually see a faulty neck pattern. One in which the student is leading with the neck. Instead of using the scapular muscles in a synergistic way, the trainee will compensate by using the neck as a stabilizer. The neck is supposed to be free and this compensation will lead to neck and shoulder tightness and impingement's.

Read More
How to Pack Your Head for the Deadlift, Squat and Swing

In my last blog, I discussed proper static neck positioning (without moving).  Now that you understand how to pack the head when you’re steady, you can progress to doing so dynamically (with movement). The neck must move in harmony with the rest of the body, or it can greatly affect how you lift. In this post, you will see this relationship within the deadlift, squat, and swing respectively. 

Read More
Neck Positioning and Strength Training: Part 1

Properly positioning the neck while exercising has engendered great discussion over the last couple of years. Issues pertaining to whether you should “pack” or extend the neck have been debated in the strength and conditioning field. But before discussing proper neck positioning during movement, you must initially learn to master positioning statically.

Read More
Loaded Carries

Loaded carries are essentially mobile planks. Once a student has mastered the plank and side plank, we add carries into the programming. When a student begins utilizing loaded carries, the weight of the kettlebell or other implement, is an important consideration. I typically use a kettlebell that is one size up from what a student can press, squat, and deadlift with a single leg. Each carry complements a certain exercise more than others. The overhead walk with the press, goblet walk with the squat, and one arm walk with the one leg deadlift. This builds strength endurance and stability before moving onto more dynamic movements.

Read More
How to breathe : The Power of Breathing

The ability to breathe efficiently and have control over one’s breath can be the key to unlocking strength, having more energy and managing stress (relaxation). Breathing is the facilitator of all human movement. Yet most people breathe incorrectly, which hinders their performance and can even cause chronic muscle tension and pain. 

Read More
Poise Under Pressure - The Turkish Get-up

The Turkish Get-Up is the epitome of poise-under-pressure. The head, neck, and torso align perfectly to form a harmonious postural relationship. In other words, our bodies are properly stacked during this exercise, allowing us great freedom and an enhanced capacity for global movement. In Michael J. Gelb’s book Body Learning, he wrote of the link between head, neck, and torso: “[The link] increases our store of potential energy, allowing movements to be undertaken in the most economical way possible, so long as the balancing mechanism is not interfered with. And it promotes the best possible functioning of the body’s life-support system (i.e. breathing,circulation, digestion) and of intelligence and emotions”. This is the exact relationship that occurs in a well-executed TGU. The Get-Up is the perfect blend of looseness and tension and encompasses all qualities of fitness, including strength, stability, mobility, flexibility, endurance and hypertrophy.

Read More
The Loaded Stretch - Stretching with a Purpose

 If you look closely at dynamic stretches, you will see they are the unloaded (no weights) version of strength exercises. If we maintain the same form under load, we will achieve optimal resting length. Also, if we think of the stretches as our weight lifting counterpart, we will ingrain that motor pattern. That stretch now has a greater purpose and will more readily transfer over to the squat rack or bench.

Read More