Archives for posts with tag: WUOTW

Hey folks!

I hope everyone enjoyed the fantastic fall weekend we had. I had my yearly weekend of simultaneous awesomeness/depression enducing activities a.k.a. UMass Homecoming. It was awesome to see a bunch of old friends and spend the day outside, but it makes me miss college immensely.

Ahh.. The Glory Days

But it’s back to the real world (hey… at least I have a kick-ass job now). Last week I hit a 200lb x2 deadlift and it felt awesome. Knock on wood… My back has been feeling great and I’m looking forward to killing it this week for training. This week’s warmup is deadlift inspired. Enjoy!

1. Foam Roll hamstrings, glutes, and lats- Lengthen before you strengthen!

Foam rolling your entire posterior line will set you up for success before you deadlift. You can release any soft tissure restrictions and get your muscles prepped for work.

2. Scapular Pushups – Shoulder girdle warmup, rotator cuff strength, should stabilizer warmup

It’s kind of tough to see in the picture, but you want to get into a good pushup position and focus on isolating your shoulder blades. Pinch them together and push them apart keeping your torso tight and your arms locked. You can even take this elevated or on all 4’s if it’s challenging for you. Having strong shoulder stabilizers is more important than you may think for deadlifting.

3. Cable Pull Throughs- Glute and hamstring activators

Set your cable weight decently heavy, and grab the cable rope between your knees as shown. Sit back as if you were deadlift until you feel the stretch in your hamstrings and glutes. Forcefully stand up straight and lock out into full extension with your hips and knees. Make sure you’re squeezing your glutes to get there.

4. Box jumps- Dynamic movement, plyometric warmup

If you have knee issues, be extra cautious with box jumps, or exclude them completely. However, they can actually help with knee health. If you do them correctly, you learn how to absorb force efficiently, which is very important. Before your jump, sit back to load the hammy’s and squat into your landing. As a cue I give alot in my classes, box jumps should be quiet- no one should hear you land.

Now get deadlifting!!




Happy Monday!

Hope you all had a great weekend.

My weekend was super active. Saturday, my roommates and I hiked Mt. Monadnock. It’s one of my favorite hikes, however, we didn’t get to go up my usual trail. Since we went in the afternoon, our usual parking lot was full, so we had to start at the other side of the mountain. The hike was longer, less steep, and had less viewing points. But we did get a great view at the top.

The Roomies- acting like we like each other

After the hike we did something I’ve been waiting to do all season…. Get Kimball Farm’s epic apple crisp!! Unfortunately, we didn’t get a picture of it. We meant to, but we forgot because we were too busy demolishing it like we zombies on some kind of bath salts or something.

Probably what we looked like… except we had ice cream all over our face instead of blood…

Yesterday, I got the priveledge of participating in the Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk, and it was an amazing experience.

I went to support a client of mine- and when I got there, her husband came up to me, grabbed my face and thanked me for what I do for his wife. Moments like those are what my job the best job in the world. It will be a day I’ll never forget.

Any way enough about me… Here’s your warm up of the week!

1. Myofascial release under arches- SMR, ankle mobilization, posterior line mobilization, helps with prevention of foot cramps

Make sure to do this barefoot or with socks. You can use a golf ball, tennis ball, racket ball… anything really. Put as much pressure as you can handle and roll around the arches of your feet.

2. Toe to wall calf stretch- calf stretch, posterior line mobilization

Hold for 30-40 seconds on each side. You can also bend and straighten the knee for more of a soleous stretch.

3. Light Dumbbell/Kettlebell Deadlift

You can do this with your butt facing the wall so you can have some external feedback. Most important and getting your butt back and keeping your back neutral. Make sure to squeeze your glutes and stand up tall in part B.

4. Incline pushups- upperbody warmup, core activator, ‘push’ muscle activator, (good for bench press)

As with any pushup, make sure you don’t let your elbows flare to wide, and keep your hips from sagging. If your chest can’t touch the edge of whatever your pushing up on, you need to heighten your incline.

Have a great week folks!


Happy October!

It was a craptastic weekend weather-wise in Boston, but after such a fantastic summer, who can be that mad. I took advantage of it and did some indoor activities like eating, napping, and shopping. I thought I missed the change-of-season-everyone-is-sick-now boat but alas… My nose is running like a faucet and my head feels like it could pop at any moment


Anyway, here’s your warm up of the week! I don’t have pictures for you, but this week’s inspiration is yoga.

1. Child’s pose – (almost) total flexion, joint ROM, lower back stretch, lat stretch. I’m sure there’s other benefits… Yogis? Bueller?

Start in the standard position and then walk your hands over to one side while keeping your hips square. Repeat on the opposite side.

2. Cat/cow- spinal flexibility/mobility, spinal fluid movement, diaphragmatic breathing

It’s very healthy to get the fluid in your spine moving. Combine that with belly breathing… Talk about a strong core!

3. Walking down dog- shoulder mobility, upper back strength, posterior line stretch, calf stretch and ankle mobility

When you’re in this position, try to squeeze your shoulder blades together, lift your butt and drop your heels. Bend one knee at a time to calf stretch.

4. Warrior pose- hip mobility, leg strength, core strength

Make sure when you sink into the lunge position that your stance is wide enough so your knee doesn’t pass your toe. Create a pose that is as linear as possible.

Enjoy the week!

Yes yes it’s Tuesday. I apologize for the late post.

I’m sure you’re crying about it


Anywho, September proves to be a crazy month in the gym as everyone gets out of summer mode. But I’m not complaining! I love the extra energy. Today’s warm up is focused more for an upper body workout; emphasizing spinal and shoulder mobility and stability.

1) Foam Roll upper Back- Self myofascial release, t-spine mobility, posture corrective.

An even better position is to support your head with your hands and squeeze your elbows together. This really opens up between your shoulder blades and lets you get in there. One theory on strength training is that you have to lengthen before you strengthen. And the release is another form of lengthening and stretching your muscles. The upper back tends to be hypertonic (overactive) and really benefits from release on the roller. Plus it feels awesome.

2) Short ROM ab crunches on Stability ball

No need to put your arms over head, but you get the idea

I got this idea from Eric Cressey. A (serious) fitness professional doing ab crunches warrants a scolding for reasons I won’t go into today. Going from a neutral spine to a flexed spine 324 times is not ideal, however there are a few benefits from going from extension to neutral.  First and foremost, you get some good t-spine mobility, lumbar stability, and hey… a little direct ‘ab’ work never killed anybody.   (don’t quote me on that)

3) Overhead pulls on stability ball- lat activation, shoulder stability, t-spine mobility

Don’t let your hips sag

This one is pretty self explanatory. Doing it on a stability ball adds a little extra challenge. Although I haven’t conducted an electrode study (yet) I’d be willing to bet doing it this way gets a little more activation from your core and lower body stabilizers.

4) Band Pull apart- Scapular retraction, posterior shoulder pre-hab,  serratus anterior strengthener, shoulder stabilizer

Really focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together as you open your arms. Make sure the resistance is heavy enough to feel it but not heavy enough to limit your full range of motion.

5) Light Single Arm Waiters carry- Dynamic shoulder stabilization

Nia Shanks

Get the weight overhead and make sure your shoulder is packed and your elbow is locked. Take about 10 steps forward and back and then switch arms.



Happy Monday!

Let’s just get this one out of the way: We’re not going to talk about the Patriots. The end.

Anywho… We had an another amazing fall weekend weather wise and I hope you all got out to enjoy it. Alas, Monday has come again so here’s your WUOTW!


A) Foam roll Adductors – self myofascial release

Play the roller at a 45 degree angle in front of you and open up one leg to get your inner thigh on the roller. Roll extra slow in this area as it’s easy to go to quickly and miss some tension spots. Since it’s such a big area to cover, I suggest going from groin to mid thigh, then move the roller and go mid thigh to knee. Most people will feel more tension either closer to the thigh or closer to the knee. Make sure you find where you feel the pain and spend some time on it.

B) Single leg Glute bridges- hip mobility, glute activator, hip stabilizer

The SL glute bridge is harder than it looks and can be butchered if not done carefully. The idea here is to keep your hips square as you come up and don’t let your non working leg sag. This requires incredible strength and stability, so if you’re not there yet… go back to double leg bridges. This sometimes causes hamstring cramps, and that is not a good thing. Go back to double leg and make sure you’re feeling it in your glutes and not your hamstrings.

C) Bent to straight leg heel taps- core activator, anterior pelvic tilt corrective

Bring the straight leg closer to the ground

Keeping the upper half stable and making your lower body the levers will activator your lower core.  Keep your low back pushed into the floor to keep your abs on and protect your back.

D) Body weight walking lunges- movement prep, single leg stability, proprioception/coordination, lower body activation

Keep your torso as tall as possibly and drive through your front heel to stand yourself up. Make sure you take big enough steps so your knee doesn’t track over your front toe.