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peak athletic performance

Peak Athletic Performance with the BOSU Elite

Balance is the key to all movement requiring the center of gravity over the base of support.  Peak athletic performance comes from being able to improve balance, strength and proprioceptive awareness creating greater functionality.  The unique dome shaped design of the BOSU ball creates a training stimulus that safely upsets balance and challenges the center of gravity over the base of support at a reflexive level. The BOSU Elite is the next generation of the BOSU balance trainer both created by David Weck. The BOSU Elite is not about instability training as its predecessor, but resistance training.

The original BOSU balance trainer’s dome is made of a pliable material that creates instability.  The BOSU Elite’s dome is made of a high-density material that is not as pliable.  It provides a powerful dynamic elastic resistance when pressure is applied to the dome that combines the benefits of stability and resistance training.  This excites untapped muscle fibers taking the muscles to a max force limit.

WeckMethod Training Overview

WeckMethod training focuses on improving both internal and external balance to improve body biomechanics that aid in better functionality and athletic coordination.  It combines innovative equipment and specialized training to enhance the body’s vertical and rotational movements.

Why Is This Important? 

A properly functioning balance system allows humans to see clearly while moving, identify orientation with respect to gravity, determine direction and speed of movement, and make automatic postural adjustments to maintain posture and stability in various conditions and activities.

This is achieved and maintained by a complex set of sensorimotor controls that include sensory input from vision (sight), proprioception (touch) and the vestibular system (motion, equilibrium, spatial orientation).  There is an integration of the sensory input coming from these three balance systems with motor output to the eyes and muscles.  Many different factors can disrupt or impair our balance from injury to aging or even psychological factors.  For more information on the role of these three balance systems see “The Human Balance System.”

How Does WeckMethod Training Improve Balance and Coordination?

WeckMethod training is based on four principles: bone alignment, fascial integration, spiraling and optimizing symmetry/asymmetry.  It utilizes a somatic approach which emphasizes internal physical perception and experience.  The term is used in movement therapy to signify approaches based on the soma, or “the body as perceived from within.”  The key to internal balance is tensegrity which refers to the balance and suspension of the bones within the soft tissue.

peak athletic performanceStanding on the surface of the dome challenges sensorimotor controls and safely upsets internal balance connecting strength to the centerline.  Both hemispheres of the brain are forced to communicate with each other and work in better harmony.  The left side of the brain is responsible for controlling the right side of the body and performing tasks that have to do with logic.  The right side of the brain is responsible for controlling the left side of the body and performing tasks that have to do with creativity.  When there is synergy between both halves of the brain the body can work more optimally.

BOSU Elite’s New Design Features

The BOSU Elite maintains the dome shaped design of the original BOSU ball, but the material composition of the dome has changed.  The new high-density material creates resistance between your feet and the dome or your hands peak athletic performanceand the dome.  This intensifies feedback to the feet or hands and gives a more powerful exchange of energy between the two.

The BOSU Elite’s high-density dome also creates more stability than the original BOSU balance trainer.  There is a dimension of instability to the dome, but because of the upward/outward resistance from the dome material it is easier to find a balanced position.  This aids the user in targeting and maintaining specific training positions that would be difficult to perform in the more unstable environment of the original BOSU balance trainer.

The new high-density dome design also includes features that aid the user in how to position their body and feet on the ball for maximal results.  Different foot and hand positions on the dome create different force vectors and training stimulus.

peak athletic performanceThe Power Zone with its honeycomb design creates a non-slip work zone.  It guides the user to the optimal training area on the dome to promote proper loading throughout the body and maximize the dynamic resistance.

The numbered Power Line guides the body positioning of the hands and feet on the dome for different variations of feedback, tension, ranges of motion and alignment.  A narrow foot position (place toes on the 2’s) will create a different training result than a wide foot position (place toes on the 6’s).  This allows for many different postural variations to be trained.

WeckMethod Compression Training

With a new training tool comes a new training focus.  This new training methodology focuses on resistance and compression.  It not only conditions your body for overall performance, but also helps to target the glutes and the dual function of the adductors as flexors and extensors.  By compressing the BOSU Elite’s dome an intense resistance is created that excites the nervous system to fire more force faster.  This builds TRUE core strength and primes your body to be lighter on the ground, faster on the floor and more powerful under the bar.

peak athletic performanceI was recently introduced to this tool and compression training protocols by its inventor.  This innovative training strategy opened a door to a tangible physical awareness and fluidity.  A very exciting thing happens when you jump off the dome after engaging it.  The feet feel light and bouncy and the body becomes more engaged.

This new innovative technique is called muscle priming and is a great way to prep the body before any athletic endeavor.  Priming sets are performed in less than 30 seconds.  The effect on the nervous system is profound as this method aids the user in harnessing the full power of the posterior chain balanced through the balls of the feet.  Previously untapped muscle fibers deep within the largest muscles of the body are engaged.  This enables the user to lift heavier weights, run faster and jump higher.

Check out David Weck’s video on Compression Training!

BOSU Elite Rating

I would give the BOSU Elite a five star rating.  David Weck’s innovative training dome has aided me in healing poor movement patterns created by a stage 3 spondylolisthesis.  The Elite’s unique training stimulus is helping me fix and access proper rotation of my right hip.  The soft tissue in response to the spondy rotates it out of alignment on a regular basis.  By accessing 4th/5th metatarsal on right foot the right hip stays in place longer.  I also practice wiggling those toes while driving which seems to help mitigate sitting for my long drives to and from clients.  The soft tissue wants to curl me up into a contorted position when I am tired.  It has been so great to be able to fight against these forces and improve my daily squat form.

peak athletic performance

 

How to Unlock Your Hip Flexors Review

How to Unlock Your Hip Flexors Review

“Unlock Your Hip Flexors” is a comprehensive program designed to strengthen and loosen your hip flexors.  Hip flexors are a group of muscles that work together to lift your leg or knee towards your torso or allow your body to bend forward at the hip.  These muscles include psoas major, iliacus, rectus femoris, pectineus, and the sartorius muscles.  The psoas muscle is a deep muscle that connects the spine to the leg and is the only muscle that does so. It runs from your lower back through the pelvis, passing to the front of the hip where it attaches to the top of your thigh bone.  The other muscles support the main stabilizing activity of the psoas helping us to maintain good posture.  When the hip flexors become tight the balance between anterior and posterior muscles is disrupted causing the pelvis to no longer be properly aligned.

Typically an anterior tilt of the pelvis is created when the psoas major muscle becomes tight.  This tightening can be the cause of many aches and pains in our body.  The psoas major is the only muscle that connects the upper and lower body.  It attaches to the diaphragm which connects it to your breathing.  In addition your major internal organs sit upon it.  tight hip flexor symptomsExtended periods of sitting or standing in a flexed position cause the hip flexors to shorten and become overactive inhibiting the glutes from firing.  When the glutes are not firing properly they weaken and lose their functionality.  This causes a dysfunction where the surrounding muscles take over compromising extension and rotation of the hips, stabilization of the pelvis, and movements of the thigh away from and toward the body.  The body’s kinesiology is negatively impacted when the range of motion in various joints becomes restricted.  Over time the body will compensate and shift its structure.  In severe cases this will lead to what is known as Janda’s Upper and Lower cross syndromes.  See article on the Janda Approach.

How Can Tight Hips Hold You Back?

I learned first hand the impact the hips have on the whole body when it was discovered that I had a stage 3 spondylolisthesis after a terrible car accident in 2012.  This is a spinal disorder in which a bone (vertebra) slips forward onto the bone below it.  The spondy was an old injury however it had taken its toll on my posture causing an extreme anterior pelvic tilt.  I suffered from many of the common symptoms of tight hip flexors.

  • Nagging joint pain in the legs, lower back and hips
  • Walking with discomfort
  • Bad posture
  • Poor digestion
  • Trouble sleeping

Other tight hip flexor symptoms identified in the Unlock Your Hip Flexors Program are:

Bulging belly syndrome – Studies/Experts agree that the psoas functions as a stabilizer and helps keep good posture.  It’s a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles. The real cause is likely to be tight psoas muscles, which cause the lower back to curve, pushing out the stomach. When the psoas works properly, it pulls the abdomen back, tucking the tummy in, adding to the appearance of a strong, flat stomach.

Fat Loss Inhibitor – As the body’s “fight or flight” muscle, your psoas is deeply connected to our natural survival instinct. It instantly tightens in moments of danger to either protect you (in a fetal position) or help you run, fueled by the release of adrenaline. However, with your psoas constantly tight, it’s as though you are in constant danger. When your body is stressed, it often switches into fat storing mode in anticipation of danger. [34-36] So, if fat loss is an issue for you, tight hips might be to blame.

Uncomfortable Sleep – Sitting all day causes your hips to become stuck in a forward thrust position. This leads to pulling on the lower back and decreased blood flow and circulation through the hips. This tightness results in physical discomfort, making it more difficult to fall asleep and more likely to wake up throughout the night. [30]

What to Expect from the Unlock Your Hip Flexors Program

This program goes beyond the simple static stretching so often recommended to solve tight hip flexors and introduces the reader to additional techniques including PNF stretching, dynamic stretching, fascial stretching, 3 dimensional core stability exercises, mobility exercises and muscle activation movements.

  • PNF stretching – PNF is an acronym for proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. This is a technique used to activate a specific muscle in order to relax the muscles around a joint so you can decrease the stiffness around a joint.
  • Dynamic stretching – This is a technique used to activate the muscle around a joint and then moving that joint through its full range of motion in a progressive manner.
  • Fascial stretching –  This is a technique used to stretch the fascia which is the connective tissue that surrounds muscles, bones, and joints.
  • 3 dimensional core stability exercises – These exercises target the muscle in all planes of movement so the core and abdominal muscles have good activation, endurance and strength.  This leads to a decrease in unnecessary damaging stress on joints
  • Mobility exercises – These exercises target movements and that help the joint function optimally. This allows a joint to move more freely.
  • Muscle activation movements – Due to all of our sitting and daily technology use, many of our muscles are not working properly. These techniques target those muscles that have turned off and reactivate them to help the body move more efficiently.

The key to success with these techniques is the sequencing.  Excerpt from Manual: “Done effectively the sequential flow works with your body to help relieve chronic pain, improve flexibility and increase strength and vitality. [38-45]”  The time-compressed simplicity of the 10 step program makes daily adherence easy.  In 63 pages Rick Kaselj and Mike Westerdal provide a comprehensive explanation of how the psoas functions and why it is considered one of the most important muscles in the body.

Creators of the Unlock Your Hip Flexors Program

I chose the Unlock Your Hip Flexors Program based on the two very well credentialed professionals who created it.  Rick Kaselj is a certified specialist in sports injuries and Mike Westerdal is a sports nutrition specialist, personal trainer and the founder of the popular strength training site, CriticalBench.com.  See Ricks bio below.

Rick Kaselj, M.S. (Exercise Science), B.Sc. (Kinesiology), PK, CPT, CEP, CES

Rick Kaselj specializes in exercise rehabilitation and fitness. He works in one-on-one and group rehabilitation settings, educating and training people who have been injured at work, in car accidents, and during sport activities.  He has combined his rehabilitation experience and passion for research to develop a variety of courses and presentations for fitness professionals, Kinesiologists, and healthcare providers. Rick has given over 302 presentations to 5897 fitness professionals across Canada and USA.

Where to Begin?

Have you answered “yes” to any of the symptoms above?  If so, then the Unlock Your Hip Flexors Program might be for you.  This revolutionary program can change how you feel about your body by increasing your range of motion and improving your posture.  This provides a synergy to combat inflammation and increase energy levels.

What’s Included?

The Unlock Your Hip Flexors Program includes a 63-page guide in pdf format and two videos. The combination of materials both educate the reader on why hip flexors are important and gives expert instruction on how to perform the recommended loosening and strengthening exercises.  The videos are very helpful.  The first one is instructional with the second video containing routines that you can follow on your own. Two bonus offers are included but optional:  “Unlock Your Tight Hamstrings” and “The Ultimate 7 Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet.”

Where to Purchase?

You can purchase the materials discussed above and make a real change in your health and body for just $10.  This program usually sells for $50, which means that you will receive almost an 80% discount. This promotion is only for a limited time. The good news is that this program comes with a 60-day money back guarantee.  If for any reason these resources don’t work for you, you can ask for a full refund, no questions asked. This risk-free warranty allows you to return the product within 60 days if you don’t see any change to your well-being.  Consider also purchasing the two bonus offers “Unlock Your Tight Hamstrings” and “The Ultimate 7 Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet” to amp your results.  Check out this link for “Unlock Your Hip Flexors.”

Program Rating

I would give the Unlock Your Hip Flexors Program a rating of 4 stars. It’s a good solid program that will guarantee results for people who actually perform the movements, it’s also relatively cheap and comes with a full 60 day money back guarantee.  I would not give it 5 stars because of the pushing of the add-on items after purchase (these could be all made into one more broad book). There are also too many unproven claims about the benefits of a well-stretched psoas.  However, this does not take anything away of the effectiveness of the actual program.

If you found this blog informative, check out another recent post on the benefits of doing squats everyday!  It gives step-by-step instructions on the key components of a proper squat and is a great adjunct to the Unlock Your Hip Flexors Program.

get a good night sleep naturally

Get a Good Night Sleep Naturally with Integrative Therapeutics Cortisol Manager

Do you suffer from insomnia?  According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine as many as 30-35% of adults complain of insomnia.  There are two types of insomnia based on the regularity and duration of the sleep disturbance and daytime symptoms:

  • Get a Good Night Sleep NaturallyShort-term insomnia:This type of brief insomnia lasts for up to three months. It occurs in 15 to 20 percent of people
  • Chronic insomnia: This type of insomnia occurs at least three times per week and lasts for at least three months. About 10 percent of people have chronic insomnia.

Chronic insomnia can have a negative impact on your health causing fatigue, inability to focus/concentrate, poor memory, mood disturbance and low motivation/energy increasing your risk of depression and high blood pressure

Why Are You Having Trouble Sleeping?

Many studies show that the hormone cortisol can play a major role in preventing you from getting a good nights sleep.  According to pubmed “Sleep loss results in an elevation of cortisol levels the next evening.”

Get a good night sleep naturallyCortisol, often referred to as the “stress hormone.” It is produced by the adrenal cortex in response to signals from the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, as part of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. When the body is exposed to acute stressors, cortisol secretion can generally help maintain homeostasis in the body.

What Happens When There Is Too Much Stress?

Our body signals the fight or flight response when under duress.  Prolonged stress exposure taxes the sympathetic nervous system and hinders the ability to return to a parasympathetic state.  The parasympathetic state is necessary for good sleep and a deep sleep state is necessary for our body to repair and heal itself.

Adrenal fatigue results when the adrenal glands are overworked and exhausted.  This causes the function of the adrenal glands to become impaired and unable to bring the body back to balance.  Signs and symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue include:

  • Mild depression or anxiety.
  • Multiple food and or inhalant allergies.
  • Lethargy and lack of energy.
  • Increased effort to perform daily tasks.
  • Decreased ability to handle stress.
  • Dry and thin skin.
  • Low blood sugar.
  • Low body temperature.

Quiz: Do you have adrenal fatigue?

What Is the Solution to Get a Good Night Sleep?

get a good night sleep naturallyIntegrative Therapeutics has formulated Cortisol Manager with stress-reducing ingredients and botanicals to promote relaxation, help alleviate fatigue, and support healthy cortisol levels. By balancing cortisol levels, Cortisol Manager can help reduce stress, which supports a restful night’s sleep without diminishing daytime alertness.

Cortisol Manager features:

  • Ashwagandha
  • L-theanine
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • Magnolia

Integrated Therapeutics takes great pride in providing strong scientific-based products.

Ingredient Sourcing:  Potential suppliers are required to submit a sample of their potential ingredient to the company for rigorous testing.  When an ingredient is received, it is quarantined.  Their laboratory tests samples for identity, microbial impurities, heavy metal content, pesticides, potency, and bioavailability.  This testing is repeated every time a material enters their facility, and at multiple points in the manufacturing process.

Formulation Development:  Their evidence-based approach and meticulous process focusses  on investing time and resources into developing formulations that have the support of today’s scientific community—not the latest ‘nutritional craze.’ This process includes months of research, rigorous ingredient testing, and quality assurance testing before a product is ready to be released.

Get a good night sleep naturallyGood Manufacturing Practices:  The company invests in cutting-edge equipment and manufacturing controls to ensure the safety of products and employees. This includes controlled security card access, temperatures, humidity and air pressure controls, HEPA filtration, and defined operation rooms to prevent cross-contamination.  Get a good night sleep naturallyThe company submits their products for review with both the NSF and Emerson Quality Program.  The supplement industry is NOT regulated by the FDA so this extra step is incredibly important for ensuring high quality standards.  See link for more information on NSF and Emerson Quality Program.

Truth in Labeling:  All product claims are verified.   Integrative Therapeutics established a process that requires published human studies to substantiate any outcome before ever making a claim about a product. It is a tedious process but necessary to ensure that clients will never be misled.

Customer Testimonials

I am an Integrative Therapeutics customer and have found their products highly beneficial for me.  Their potent, proprietary blends have provided support to both my endocrine and digestive systems helping me to get quality sleep.  On Amazon Integrative Therapeutic Cortisol Manager has received 757 reviews with 631 of those reviews being 5 stars (71%) and 4 stars (12%).  Below are some of the top reviews.

get a good night sleep naturally

It did receive 62 1 star reviews primarily from those that felt the product did not work for them.  There was one 1 star review that I wanted to emphasize that referenced a strong adverse reaction in people with autoimmune disorders.

get a good night sleep naturally

Conclusion

Insomnia can cause some serious side-effects to our circadian rhythms.  This disruption reeks havoc on our waking lives.  Consider determining if adrenal fatigue is contributing to your inability to get a good night sleep naturally.  If so, then Integrative Therapeutic Cortisol Manager might be a useful product for you to use to help better balance your endocrine system.