Reduce The Risk For Lower Back Pain

America is an injured nation. The total costs of low-back pain in the United States exceed $100 billion per year (1). I have seen this firsthand as a trainer. The majority of my clients have experienced back pain or currently have back pain. Back pain can be broken down into two categories: extension intolerant or flexion intolerant.

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3 Advanced Swiss Ball Exercises

The exercise ball, also known as the Swiss Ball, was developed in 1963 by Aquilino Cosani, an Italian plastics manufacturer. According to Wikipedia, the term "Swiss Ball" was used when American physical therapists began to use those techniques in North America after witnessing their benefits in Switzerland. And According to Dwight Schrute,

"This ab workout is specifically designed to strengthen your core. It has numerous health benefits, strengthens your back, better performance in sports, more enjoyable sex."

I agree with Dwight and the physical therapists. But is there any research to back these claims?

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Experienced Lifters Don't Need Glute Activation

Key Points

  • A glute activation warm-up may increase glute efficacy and improve hip mobility

  • The benefits of a glute activation warm-up may be short lived and not carry over to the next workout

  • Experienced lifters don’t need to perform glute activation in a warm-up, unless you enjoy it

Glute Activation Research

In a previous blog post, I wrote how beginners need to learn how to activate their glutes to their full potential (read here).  However, once the skill is learned, should glute activation still be recommended? And if it is,  is it worth the time? A study by Parr and others sought out to find the answer. Rugby players performed an explosive weightlifting exercise (high hang pull) at 80 percent of their one rep max after a dynamic or glute activation focused warm-up. Electromyography (EMG) was used during the exercise to see which protocol was more effective ( see jacked dude below) (1) .

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