Workouts to boost your corporate performance

Professional athletes must train hard and smart to be at their peak for competition. There are periods of hard training interspersed with periods of rest and recovery to prevent injury. This demanding career forces the athlete to sacrifice everything for performance.   The typical executive, by contrast, devotes almost no time to training and must perform on demand 10-14 hours a day or more.     Athletes must have: – Good vision: Besides 20/20 vision, the eye muscles must be able to move efficiently, stabilize their gaze, and change depth. That will translate into a better ability to predict the environment, which is directly associated with lower levels of stress. – Good balance: Balance is how we deal with gravity. Poor balance increases the danger of falling, which results in a certain amount of stress that will impact the forward progress of the athlete regardless of his sport of choice. -Agility: Learning a variety of movement skills is crucial to enlarging the map of movement options. If you have never practiced catching a ball while jumping sideways while looking the opposite way, and landing on one leg, chances are that the first time you try you will not be successful and may even injure yourself. Practicing it will allow the creation of neural pathways that will recognize that movement as a viable (non-threatening) option.   -Integration Skills: On top of all that, athletes are often in situations where they need a mix of everything at the same time. They need to integrate those different types of information into one relevant piece (in a sensory/motor sense) at a specific moment...
Golf : 3 reasons why playing hurts you

Golf : 3 reasons why playing hurts you

The nice days seem to be coming back, at least here in Minneapolis. With the first sunny days and mild temperatures, everybody wants to spend as much time as possible outside, doing all kind of activities. Golf players usually welcome those signs of almost spring as it means back to practice. Although golf isn’t a contact sport, it puts significant demands on your body – which can easily lead to golf injuries. There are many different angles to approach this. Some might suggest to work on your flexibility, others to warm up, or don’t hit too hard, and they are probably all right in their own way. Another angle is to realize that whatever you train for…becoming a better golfer, faster runner, faster swimmer, or better piano player…you train your brain. The brain’s first goal is to ensure your survival. It doesn’t care about making you a better golfer or runner. As long as survival is jeopardized by “threat” signals (conscious or not), your physical performance will be held back. What are the threat signals? They are the ones emitted by the sensors (mostly in your joints), perceived by the brain, letting it know what you are doing (standing, falling, twisting your ankle…) The brain analyzes these signals and decides if you are ready. If you are too stiff, or don’t have the muscle tone, or balance…it is assessed as too dangerous and potentially harmful. In the next stage, if you keep trying, the brain will try to stop you by sending signals of pain or stiffness in certain joints, to prevent further movements, as movements are associated with...
Why back pain keeps returning: The Vestibular System | Part II

Why back pain keeps returning: The Vestibular System | Part II

This is the second part of Dr Eric cobb’s article in ‘PT on the net”  from February 12th Meet the Vestibular System. (…)It is imperative to have a working knowledge of the human vestibular system because it plays a key role in the spinal movement symphony (Herdman & Clendaniel, 2014). Also known as your inner ear, the human vestibular system is one of the most brilliant bio-engineering marvels on the planet. It also happens to be one of the “oldest” portions of human anatomy and its pathways, because they are related to stabilizing our vision and body and orienting us against gravity, are among the first to undergo myelinization while we are still in utero (Tecklin, 2007). What does all of that mean? It means it’s a really, really important system! How Does It Work? The vestibular system has two primary “divisions:” The Semicircular Canals The Otolith Organs (Utricle and Saccule) Working together, these two divisions comprise 5 different receptors on each side of your head that work conjointly to keep you upright and moving through the world efficiently and safely. The semicircular canals are oriented at 90 degrees to one another (think X, Y, Z axes) and they are designed to respond to ALL head and neck movements. They are also in charge of an INCREDIBLY important reflex called the Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex. The otolith organs are designed to respond to linear accelerations in all planes of movement. The utricle senses horizontal linear movement (think railroad tracks) while the saccule senses vertical movements (think elevator). The Spinal Complaint Connection When you delve into the neurology of the vestibular system...
Why Back Pain Keeps Returning: The  Vestibular System | Part 1

Why Back Pain Keeps Returning: The Vestibular System | Part 1

This is an excerpt of an article from Dr Eric Cobb in PT on the net from February 12th of this year. I couldn’t agree more with him… “In the health and fitness world THE most commonly encountered limitation in training is spinal pain, immobility or lack of stability. In fact, low back pain is the most ubiquitous ‘musculoskeletal’ pain experienced around the world and is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old (AAPM Facts and Figures on Pain, 2014). (…)It would be logical to assume that there have been tremendous breakthroughs over the last 50 years in dealing with spinal pain. Unfortunately, this is not the case! The truth is that despite increasingly sophisticated imaging techniques and exercise protocols, MANY health and fitness clients continually struggle with chronic spinal issues. And, as we are all aware, one definition of insanity is, ‘Doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result.’ Perhaps it is time to begin thinking about spinal complaints from a broader perspective. One glaring problem in the current approach to dealing with spinal compromise is the ongoing insistence on evaluating and working with the back as a mechanical system rather than a NEUROmechanical system. The fact is that there is far more going on than meets the eye when we discuss something like spinal mobility, stability and strength. Spinal movement is a complex symphony of muscular activation and inhibition combined with the ongoing influences of the spinal structures themselves (vertebrae, ribs, etc), fascial tension planes, dermal adhesions, etc. And, most importantly, all of these structures are in a virtually continuous state of flux and adaptation as we move and are forced to continually re-orient against gravity. As a result, it is a bit naïve and...
Greatness is Practiced

Greatness is Practiced

Greatness is practiced, it doesn’t just emerge  spontaneously. In his book ‘The Talent Code’ Daniel Coyle talks about how excellence is built through excellent repetition, and excellent repetition is built through excellent practice habits. In human physiology, SAID is an acronym. It stands for Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand. It basically means that you get better at what you practice. Now the reason that this is so important is that we see tons of people coming into the health and fitness world with really no idea what they want to be good at. Or with a very clear idea of what they want to be good at thinking that they need to do a lot of other things that other people are doing in order to get good at this one skill. If you work out, look at your recent sessions and ask yourself if you are making yourself better at things that matter to you. Simple question. Is your practice taking you in the direction that you want it to go? Now that doesn’t mean that if you’re a football player, you only have to play football. You may need to do other accessory things. What you should understand is that there’s a high degree of specificity in the human nervous system. That whenever you’re training just generally you’re probably going to get general results. From what we just explained wouldn’t it make sense to consider training the vision and the inner ear for better balance? Do those elements really have applications? Think about… walking for instance. How far can you walk without an adequate balance? And how can you prevent injuries without a vision that gives you an accurate perception of the environment? If you are looking for a...
You Get Better At What You Practice

You Get Better At What You Practice

This is one of the fundamentals of neuroplasticity. If we practice many hours of piano, chances are with time we will get better at that complex skill. If we practice many hours of piano while sitting in a slouched position…chances are we will get better at that too. Replace the piano by a computer keyboard, and the effects will be the same…the skill now has become “typing on a keyboard with bad posture.” With time passing, we will have developed that skill so well that the bad posture will be integrated in our body. The obvious signs will show when you try to move too far from that practice. Touching the toes becomes uncomfortable or impossible, Arching the spine, or activating deep abdominal muscles is not in your memory anymore. Time to get back to the fundamentals… “You get better at what you practice” Introduce enough amount of a healthy practice to counter the inevitable time spent behind a computer (or TV, or…).     “We do not stop exercising because we grow old – we grow old because we stop exercising” – Kenneth Cooper We use our approach in neuroscience combined with Gyrotonic® to help people improve mobility. Book a free session with me here. Miguel...