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Tag: #functionalstrength

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!

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.

For the tactical athletes/mountain athletes/first responders out there who travel on and off the job, this is the perfect tool in any operational or downtime environment including your own home. This should be issued gear by a department/agency to their folks requiring a physical fitness standard for their position. This is what we needed back in the day living out of a suitcase, jumping on/off planes only to be disappointed by hotel fitness centers/local gyms whose equipment was lacking or a business schedule/location that didn't fit our work schedules.


CrossCore fills the implement training gap for clients of any age and ability. Easy to set-up, easy to learn/understand the concepts from the client's perspective and easy to cue for the trainer. Progressing and regressing exercise difficulty is easy and instantaneous compared to other strap-type trainers, the pulley device and rope adjuster are simply brilliant.


I really like the constant time under tension/load protocol with the slower rep tempo and "soft" transition between concentric and eccentric phases demonstrated in the videos. Perfect for those who are older, rehabbing, or for the beat up operator/athlete. I've found that protocol naturally creates a focus on the mind-muscle connection as well as motor control. On my highly recommended list for my peers, clients and family.

BK

Personal Trainer

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.

health benefits of doing squats everyday

5 Health Benefits of Doing Squats Everyday

Squat mastery is an important strength and longevity tool. As we age we lose our flexibility and mobility creating a cascading effect of physical decline in our lives. By squatting everyday using proper squat form a beginner trainee can reverse the effects of this natural decline by building muscle mass for overall strength and power.  There are many benefits to incorporating squats into a daily training effort. Use the jumplinks below for my top 5 Health Benefits of Doing Squats Everyday and squat instruction:.

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1. Create a More Functional Body for Everyday Life

benefits of strength training

The squat strengthens the coordination of both the upper and lower body in one exercise.  Getting stronger at this key functional exercise aids the trainee in being able to better perform everyday activities. When the overall guidewire system is improved it combats the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle which contribute to poor posture, chronic fatigue, increased blood pressure, weight gain and a slower metabolism.

2. Amp the Body's Fat Burning Ability

mitochondrial density

By building functional muscle the body increases mitochondrial density. The mitochondria are tiny cellular blast furnaces.  Increasing mitochondrial density amps up the metabolism. Every extra pound of muscle gained will burn an additional 50-70 calories.  If you gain 10 pounds of muscle, then your metabolism will burn an additional 500-700 calories per day. That additional muscle will also help in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism as well insulin sensitivity protecting against obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This aids in toning and tightening your body from your abs to your butt to your legs.

3. Improve Mobility and Balance

“For every inch of Forward Head Posture, it can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds.”   -Kapandji, Physiology of Joints, Vol. 3

A properly performed squat not only strengthens the legs it strengthens the muscle slings of the core that are critical to maintaining an upright posture and good balance. Hip and ankle mobility are also improved when using a full range of motion. Sitting for extended periods of time contributes to a degradation of overall posture and functionality. The result is a head forward position and deactivated hip flexors. For more information on Forward Head Posture see Dr. Erik Dalton's site. Lastly there is an improved cognitive awareness of the body overall. 

4. Prevent Injuries

Performing a squat over a full range-of-motion with a slow controlled speed allows the trainee to eliminate gaps of weakness. This technique strengthens the ligaments and tendons making muscle insertion points far more resistant to tearing.  This can dramatically reduce the chance of injury in everyday life.

5. Boost Sports Performance

Squats are the “King” of all progressive resistance exercises. When performed correctly with the requisite amount of intensity this one exercise gives a trainee great gains in strength overall. There are five bio-motor attributes that aid in better sports performance – strength, speed, endurance, agility and flexibility.  Speed and agility are directly improved when strength capacities are increased.

How to Do Squats Properly

Proper squat form is essential for reaping the immense benefits from this one compound multi-joint movement. A baby intuitively understands how to squat perfectly.

5 health benefits of doing squats everyday

The technical premise is to make squatting “all about legs.” Learn how to do a technically perfect ultra-deep bodyweight squat first then work through the subsequent variations of goblet squat, front squat and high bar/low bar barbell squat.

Below are the key technical points that apply to all squat variations and instructive video.

squat key technical points

When learning to squat it is important to first learn how to perform a technically correct ultra-deep no weight squat.  Life causes us to lose this innate ability; our strategy is to "relearn" and recapture lost "primordial wisdom." The goal is to perform full ROM bodyweight squats using pristine technique.

proper squat form

Crawl before you walk and walk before you run – how can anyone be expected to perform a perfect barbell squat if they are unable to perform a perfect squat with bodyweight alone? Check out the picture above and note knees over ankles, vertical shins, upright torso; pelvis is tucked under. This is our core technique, our foundational position for all subsequent squats. Using a support is a great way to start squatting and accomplish the key technical points stated above.  See the video below of proper squat form using the CrossCore suspension trainer​.

See 74 year old Dawn squatting using a suspension trainer called CrossCore using pristine form. This suspension trainer is superior to others on the market because of its patented pulley pin engagement system. 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

Dawn Massey above is a mother of 4 and grandmother of 7. Her flexibility and mobility have soared through consistent, focused daily practice. She can pull a 72lb kettlebell for 8 reps and can squat a 35lb kettlebell for 8 reps.

CROSSCORE SUSPENSION TRAINER

It is a game changer for home training!

After mastering the bodyweight squat the challenge becomes – how do we increase the squat payload while retaining the optimal squat technique we worked so hard to attain in our bodyweight squatting? A kettlebell or dumbbell can be held under the chin, or a barbell plate clutched to the chest to create additional squat payload. With the introduction of these payload-enhancing tools, great care needs to be taken to not allow the archetypical squat technique (ingrained in no-weight squats) to be corrupted, degraded or compromised. A technique we use to make this transition is to push the implement out in front of the body while lowering.  Eventually the low position becomes more comfortable and the trainee can hold the implement close to the body. Goblet squatting allows us to dramatically increase squat resistance by grasping these external payloads.

Take 15 minutes to incorporate squats into your daily routine. I recommend starting off with 2 sets of 10-12 reps daily to ingrain a new neuromuscular pathway. As your strength and mobility improve vitality increases. My clients find that tasks that seemed overwhelming or unattainable all of a sudden become easier to perform. The body finds a new synergy that allows it to overcome and improve overall movement. 

Take your squat and your training to the next level!

Marty Gallagher's Purposeful Primitive training techniques are used by the very best in the World to become stronger and leaner.

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