Menu Close
peak athletic performance

BOSU Elite and Centerline Strength

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 BOSU Elite is the next generation of the BOSU balance trainer both created by David Weck. The BOSU Elite combines both the instability training of the original BOSU balance trainer with resistance and compression training.

How Does the BOSU Elite Work?

The unique dome shaped design of the original BOSU and the BOSU Elite create a training stimulus that safely upsets balance and challenges the center of gravity over the base of support at a reflexive level. 

Optimal centerline strength is the result of a properly functioning balance system. This 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.

Balance 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.”

When our balance system becomes impaired even slightly the body responds by trying to regain balance.  This causes the body to contort and morph into different positions to escape pain and discomfort. The result is muscle dysfunction contributing to poor posture.  Poor posture hinders the body's ability to function optimally both inside and out.  Below is a graphic showing how breathing is effected by compromised posture

bosu elite

Standing 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

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 provides a powerful dynamic elastic resistance when pressure is applied to the dome that combines the benefits of stability and resistance training. This creates resistance between your feet and the dome or your hands and the dome exciting untapped muscle fibers. When these fibers are activated the body can move more optimally with improved posture and performance.

bosu elite

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 aids 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.

The 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.

bosu elite

Why the BOSU Elite is Important? 

I was 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 that I had never experienced. 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. Incorporating this tool into training protocols helps to find optimal posture prior to training to avoid injury and maximize training sessions. It also aids the trainee in replacing detrimental postural habits and improving overall strength.  

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.

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.

What is WeckMethod Training?

David Weck, the inventor of the BOSU, takes a somatic approach to his inventions and WeckMethod training focusing on improving both internal and external balance to improve body biomechanics that aid in better functionality and athletic coordination. His innovative equipment and specialized training enhance the body's vertical and rotational movements.

WeckMethod training is based on four principles: bone alignment, fascial integration, spiraling and optimizing symmetry/asymmetry. The key to internal balance is tensegrity which refers to the balance and suspension of the bones within the soft tissue. According to David, 

"It's about balancing both sides of your body, balancing strength and coordination, balancing power and efficiency, and balancing athletic movement with proper body alignment.
Our training objective is simple: to provide everyone, regardless of age or ability, innovative techniques and equipment to help continuously improve athletic movement and sustainable functional strength."
peak athletic performance

The evolution of WeckMethod training for the BOSU Elite is a break through for sports performance. The muscle priming effect is immediate if executed properly. Daily use gives profound effects in movement and posture.

Below are testimonials from satisfied customers who appreciate David's improved design and features.

bosu elite

For more information on how to incorporate the BOSU Elite into your training, check out this 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 grade 3 spondylolisthesis (75% vertebral slippage L5/S1). 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.

CONSIDER ADDING a BOSU ELITE tO YOUR FITNESS EFFORTS!

Peak athletic performance by priming the body using WeckMethod principles!

BOSU Elite

Price: $199.95

Want to Learn More About the BOSU Elite?

WeckMethod.com has created several BOSU Elite videos that sold me on the tool. Click on the button below to discover the versatility of this unique tool!

Health Benefits of MCT Oil Powder

5 Health Benefits of MCT Oil Powder

I was introduced to the benefits of MCT oil a little over 15 years ago as a natural bodybuilder through Parrillo Performance Nutrition.  John Parrillo was one of the first to promote this super lipid to his clients as a product called CapTri.  The chemical properties of medium-chain triglycerides make MCT oil different from other saturated fat sources.  Unlike long-chain triglycerides which can be stored preferentially as body fat medium-chain fats are digested easily and sent directly to the liver as fuel. This means that the liver utilizes MCT oil like a carbohydrate for energy.  As you can see from the graphic a lot of metabolic work comes into play when digesting a long-chain triglyceride as opposed to a medium chain triglyceride. This unique chemical process makes MCT oil highly beneficial for several reasons.

keto zone MCT Oil Powder

1. Aids in Weight Loss or Weight Maintenance

MCTs aid in weight loss or maintenance because of their unique ability to be processed by the liver directly into energy making it a great carbohydrate substitute preventing spikes in insulin used for glucose processing.  In the absence of carbohydrates MCTs have a direct pathway via the portal vein to the liver from the small intestine to produce ketones as a substitute fuel.

LCTs, however, require the liver and pancreas to secrete substances that are necessary to break down LCTs into triglycerides. Triglycerides are then transported into the lymphatic system by chylomicrons. Any excess trigylceride that was not used for energy by the body is deposited back into the liver.  

2. Aids in Protecting Brain Health

The brain accounts for 20% of energy expenditure of the entire body and metabolic activity is constant over time. This requires a continuous source of energy that comes primarily from blood glucose.  When blood glucose levels get low the liver can break down stored bodyfat into ketones. Ketones easily pass through the blood-brain barrier for instant energy to the brain.

There is evidence to support that MCTs can have an incredible effect on brain health specifically reversing the effects of Alzheimer's and other brain diseases.  Aging reduces the ability of the brain to process glucose as brain food making brain cells insulin resistant.  In addition Alzheimer's damages the ability of brain cells to take in the glucose needed for proper functioning causing cells to die.  MCTs can bypass glucose metabolism getting energy directly to the brain and provide instant energy to brain cells without the assistance of insulin. 

Benefits of mct oil powder

3. Aids in Protecting Heart Health

MCTs have beneficial properties that could play a role in preventing atherosclerosis.  Research shows that MCTs lower lipids, oxidized LDLs, fat deposition, triglycerides and inflammation while raising HDLs by stimulating the metabolism. MCTs may even diminish the cholesterol-elevating effects of other fats.

MCTs are the only fats that do not increase platelet adhesiveness. In animal studies researchers have found MCTs have anti-coagulation effects that have been shown to lower serum cholesterol and reduce levels of cholesterol in the liver and other tissues.

benefits of MCT oil powder

A 2008 study revealed that long-term ingestion of moderate amounts of MCTs might reverse metabolic syndrome, which is the name for a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk coronary artery disease, stroke, and type II diabetes.

Karup, P. A. & Rajmohan, T. (1994). Consumption of coconut oil and coconut kernel and the incidence of atherosclerosis. In Coconut and Coconut Oil in Human Nutrition, Proceedings. Symposium on Coconut and Coconut Oil in Human Nutrition, sponsored by the Coconut Development Board, Kochi, India, March 27, 1994.

Siri-Tarano, P. W., Sun, Q., Hu, F. B. & Krauss, R. M. (2010). Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 91(3).

4. Improves Energy Levels and Mood

MCTs are metabolized in liver mitochondria. Mitochondria are little furnaces inside the cells and are the site of cellular energy production.  The energy created by the mitochondria is converted into ATP to be used for all bodily functions. Unfortunately, dietary fat cannot enter the mitochondria by themselves because the fatty acid molecules cannot make it across the mitochondrial membrane. Fatty acid molecules must be carried across the membrane by the carnitine shuttle in order to be converted into ATP. This makes makes MCTs a more bio-available energy source.  Since a 1 gram of fat burns at 9 cal/gram and 1 gram of carbs burns at 4 cal/gram, this also makes MCTs a more potent energy source. For more science on MCTs and feeding the mitochondria check out this article - "Feed Your Mitochondria and Boost Your Workout With MCT Oil, Says Study."

MCT oil powder benefits

5. Improves Digestion and Nutrient Absorption

MCTs are beneficial for balancing gut bacteria.  This has positive effects on digestive symptoms, energy expenditure, and the ability of the gut to absorb vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat. Healthy fats are required to absorb fat-soluble nutrients such as beta-carotene (a precursor of vitamin A found in plants like berries, squash and leafy greens), vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and lutein. The lack or absence of healthy fats in the body impairs nutrient absorption.

MCT oil encourages good bacteria to grow and heals the gut lining.[1] When you have holes in your intestine, toxins, bacteria, and food particles can escape and enter your bloodstream, putting you at risk for serious gastrointestinal (GI) disorders including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and food allergies. MCTs are also strong antifungals, antivirals, and antibacterials.[2][3]

mct oil powder benefits

MCT Oil vs. MCT Oil Powder

This supplement is a perfect addition to a ketogenic  nutritional approachs which favor low carb eating. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of this oil is gastric distress which has prompted manufacturers to create MCT oil powder.  MCT oil in powder form has many advantages.

  • Convenience – The powder form of this supplement is much easier to take on-the-go and incorporate in any beverage or meal.  The oil can be cumbersome and overwhelming taste wise.
  • Better Digestibility – The powder is easier on the digestive system which allows you to consume more at once.  This leads to higher energy and ketone levels.  A preliminary study on animals also suggests that the powder can improve nutrient digestibility.
  • Cooking Advantages – The powder is easier to add to recipes than the oil.  It adds a creamy texture to whatever it is added to instead of an oily texture.
  • Overall Health Benefits – When the powder is created using high quality fiber like acacia, it can contribute to normalized bowel movements, reduced inflammation in the gut and a longer sense of fullness.

Keto Zone MCT Oil Powder

Not all MCT oil powders are created the equal.  Generic powders have a better price tag but have quality tradeoffs as a result.  These tradeoffs diminish or negate the ketone driving potential of the MCT powder.  Higher quality MCT oil powders have the following characteristics.

  • The manufacturer uses a combination of C8 and C10 but does not use C12.  C12 is still an MCT but takes much longer to be converted into energy.
  • The manufacturer uses acacia fiber to create the powder form of MCT oil.  A low quality fiber such as corn fiber, maltodextrin and liquid glucose can spike your blood sugar and stop ketosis, effect your energy levels as the result of a blood sugar spike and trigger digestive problems.
  • The manufacturer avoids using fillers (corn fiber and maltodextrin psyllium husk), emulsifiers (soy/sunflower lecithin, monoglycerides and diglycerides), preservatives (BHA, BHT, TBHQ, sodium benzoate and citric acid) and thickeners (xanthum gum and glycerol).

Keto Zone MCT Oil powder by Divine Keto adheres to the highest quality standards in the production of their supplement for maximal results.  The ratio of C8 to C10 is 70% to 30%.  The manufacturer uses acacia fiber as its carrier powder and adds no extra additives or fillers. See the nutrient facts.

5 health benefits of MCT oil powder

Keto Zone Founder - Dr. Colbert

For the past 30 years as a practicing anti-aging medical doctor, speaker and author, Dr. Colbert has relentlessly been searching for the most complete and beneficial lifestyle. His passion for this lifestyle began with his own personal battle with a severe and chronic skin condition. He overcame this skin condition by changing his dietary habits and discovered that there were certain foods that aided the body in healing itself and functioning optimally.  After years of testing thousands of foods and individual ingredients on himself and on his patients, he developed what he called the Keto Zone Diet along with the Keto Zone Nutritional System. Dr. Colbert considers the Keto Zone System the most complete and effective wellness program he has found to date. This is because the Keto Zone is not just about entering ketosis, but it is a state of complete well-being. The Keto Zone is the point at which cravings are diminished, hunger is suppressed, energy is increased, mental clarity is present and sleep is deep and restful. Aside from the diet, Dr. Colbert developed a Keto Zone Nutritional line designed to aid individuals who want to increase energy and experience and overall better quality of life.

TAKE CONTROL!   GET HEALTHY!

Learn why the Keto Zone Nutritional Strategy might be right for you!

strength training workouts at home

Crosscore – The Best Suspension Trainer for Strength Training Workouts at Home

When it comes to strength training workouts at home, the CrossCore Suspension Training System is a superior tool to all other suspension trainers on the market. For the first time a home trainer using a portable training device can replicate the results derived from barbells and dumbbells by allowing the body to perform and move naturally without limitation. By being able to replicate the motor pathway and payload used in barbells and dumbbells the trainee can replicate the positive benefits of strength training. This is huge!

Barbells and dumbbells are the gold standard for maximizing absolute strength – why?

Stabilization

Instability causes muscle stabilizer activation

Maximum Muscle

Short movements with crude tools creates a maximum muscular inroad

Motor-Pathway Freedom

Free weights provide the ultimate variety, cut your own motor-pathway in space & time

Instead of being restricted by static straps as is the case with other suspension trainers, the CrossCore Suspension Training System uses all three planes of motion for real movement that produces better results. This gives the trainee a greater ability to tap into the functional benefits of strength training.

Strength is the "King" of the five bio-motor attributes. These attributes include: strength, speed, endurance, agility and flexibility. Strength can be further separated into three general categories.

Absolute Strength

maximum payloads, short distances, no regard for velocity

Explosive Strength

moderate payloads, long distances, maximum velocity

Sustained Strength

light payloads, extended durations, varied velocities

What makes the CrossCore Suspension Trainer different?

The unique, patented pulley pin engagement system gives the CrossCore a leg up on the competition. When the pin is in the CrossCore mimics other suspension trainers. However, when the pin is removed a greater level of instability is created, forcing the body into dynamic stabilization. Dynamic stabilization occurs when abdominals, spinal extensors and gluteal muscles work in coordination with each other and intra-abdominal pressure is regulated by the central nervous system.

stabilization

A CrossCore workout produces better results in strength and power because it taps into this state. This more closely mimics the core instability created in barbell and dumbbell training enabling the trainee to replicate free weight techniques using a suspension trainer. Our method of training utilizes intensity enhancing techniques that enable payloads to be amplified dramatically.

Is it possible to replicate barbell/dumbbell results using a suspension trainer? Yes!

Variable Payload

The variable payload ability is unique for resistance training. The CrossCore allows the trainee to make poundage changes during a set - heavier payload move closer, lighter payload move further away.

Muscular Imbalance

The dynamic stabilization created by the pulley is unique to suspension trainers. This aids the trainee in single-limb training to help correct muscular imbalance.

Motor-Pathway Freedom

The CrossCore aids the trainee to cut their own motor-pathway in space & time. This means that a trainee can replicate the techniques, payload and protocols of free weights ultimately providing the RESULTS of free weights!

How to Improve Dynamic Stabilization

Improving dynamic stabilization of the body starts with focussing on improving breath control. The first thing we work on with any new trainee on the CrossCore is how to use the breath to stabilize their core.  Helping people learn how to change from a chest breathing pattern to a belly breathing pattern gives them the ability to find a better postural position. This practice helps the trainee achieve optimal posture prior to executing a movement.  If the body is stacked properly a better mind-muscle connection can be achieved during each rep.  See “How do you find breath?” in blog post.

bosu elite

How to Execute a CrossCore Hardcore Workout

In the CrossCore Hardcore workout we employ the use of intensity enhancers to maximize the payload and minimize the training time.  The trainee completes one giant set that includes three components.

1

Absolute Strength

The trainee executes a specific dumbbell technique using the CrossCore with a slower, connected grind speed for 5 reps.

2

Muscular Imbalance

The trainee executes a specific dumbbell technique using one limb starting with the weak side first for 3 reps each side.

3

Explosive Strength

The trainee executes a specific dumbbell technique using an explosive push/pull for 3-5 reps.

This is what we call the "one and done" strategy. This technique has taken World Champion strength athletes to their absolute limit.  It is profound that a suspension trainer can replicate the results obtained from a hardcore dumbbell workout.

Below are video clips showing the key upper/lower body exercises that we consider as the foundation of the CrossCore Hardcore protocols.  All exercises are performed with the pin out and the same length pulley rope.  The length of the pulley rope can be adjusted to suit any size trainee as well as make push/pull angles more or less extreme.

Back Exercise

strength training workouts at home

The graphic illustrates the muscles being used in pulling exercises. Grip width and hand position determine which back muscles will be isolated to the greatest degree. For this demonstration a wide grip pull is used where both a two arm and one arm pull will be executed. Other variations include: a narrow grip pull (handles clipped together/palms facing each other) and a wide grip pull combined with a one arm rotational pull.

CrossCore Hardcore Pull

Chest Exercise

strength training workouts at home

The graphic illustrates the muscles being used in pressing exercises.  Again grip width and hand position determine which chest muscles will be isolated to the greatest degree. For this demonstration palms are facing down in a push up position where both a two arm and one arm press will be executed.  Other variations include: a fly with palms facing each other and rotational press.

CrossCore Hardcore Press

Leg Exercise

strength training workouts at home

The graphic illustrates the muscles being used in leg exercises. The CrossCore is an excellent entry level tool for anyone learning how to squat. The key technical points of vertical shins and torso can be taught prior to adding a load to the trainee. For this demonstration basic squat form is reviewed as well as one legged squat form. Other variations include: a side lunge and front lunge.

CrossCore Hardcore Squat

The flexibility of the patented pulley design allows for a multitude of exercise variations. The ones demonstrated above are but just a few. The pulley also makes CrossCore an excellent tool for training both mobility and flexibility in multiple movement planes as well as strength. It can be used across many disciplines from martial arts to baseball to golf to pilates to yoga.

CrossCore Rating

I would give the CrossCore Suspension Training System a 5 star rating for its versatility and portability.  It is the priciest suspension trainer on the market, however its patented pulley design and easy rope adjuster give the user many more training options compared to those of static straps.  The tool can be installed one of two ways:

1.

The anchor strap has a cam buckle on it that easily goes over a door.  Putting the cam clip and webbing over a door and shutting the door on it towards you provides the easiest, most stable option without any additional installation. When you pull the door shut towards you over the webbing with the clip on the other side you have complete stability.

2.

The second option is to install something like the Dimok X-mount Wall Bracket to the wall.  It must be mounted to the studs for stability. Once the bracket is installed a carabiner can be attached to the webbing with the cam buckle.  Click it into the bracket and you are ready to go.

strength training workouts at home

Maximize Your Training with the Magical Dumbbells in a Bag!

CROSSCORE SUSPENSION TRAINER

It's a game changer for home training!

Check out what Amazon customers are saying!

strength training workouts at home

Recap of CrossCore System Features

  • Pin Engagement System™ can be locked to stop the rotation of the pulley wheel when stable movements are desired
  • Unlocking Pin Engagement System allows pulley wheel to rotate freely and enables CrossCore® to act as a pulley machine by attaching a counterweight, such as a kettlebell, dumbbell or sandbag, to one end. Using two counterweighted CrossCore units spaced eight feet apart makes for one of the smoothest cable crossovers on the market
  • Rope Adjuster Device™ allows for true self-leveling handles / foot and arm cradles. No more readjusting the height of your handles in the middle of your workout
  • Handles/foot and arm cradles pad the feet and arms when performing certain exercises like knee raises and hamstring curls. These cradles open and close for a snug fit on the hands and feet so the user won’t slip out while exercising
  • The mountain climbing grade rope used for the pulley is rated up to 1,200lbs. The anchor strap with cam buckle is rated up to 1,800 lbs. The adjustable handles / foot and arm cradles with ergonomic grips and webbing are rated up to 1,800 lbs. Each handle has heavy-duty climbing-grade carabiner rated up to 2,000 lbs. The CrossCore is built to withstand any load.  The cam buckle is rated up to 750lbs.
  • Take it with you! Your CrossCore® system weighs about 4 lbs. (1.8 kg) and can go with you to the park, to the gym, on vacation or wherever for a change of pace, and it all fits into a convenient carry bag
  • Warranty: Pulley Unit 2-Years | Everything Else 1-Year
  • Ship Weight: 4 lbs.

For more training information on utilizing the CrossCore Suspension Training System. Please contact us at stacygallagher@functional-strength.org.

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.