Guest post from Lara our kick ass office manager and fitness coach on 1% Fitness by Mike Sheridan.
In keeping with great KDR tradition, we are constantly educating ourselves so we can offer our members Knowledge Driven Results. In October, I read 1% Fitness by Mike Sheridan and loved it! I loved it so much I wanted to share some take home points that YOU should absolutely put into your life.
What really interested me as I was reading this book, was not necessarily the workouts, but the daily actions, which all of us could incorporate into our existing daily routines without rearranging our entire lives.
Most of our members, spend much of their daily lives in a seated position. From car to desk to car to chair/couch to car to bleachers to car to chair. They come into the gym tight, achy, creaky & cracking, and often giggle it off as “one of those things” or “getting older.” But by adding in the following movements you will help to work on those foundations to be less creaky, less achy, more aware of your own body and how it moves.
Get Up & Get Moving (Walk More)
According to 1% Fitness, walking has been shown to “reduce inflammation, support brain health/ memory, mood & cognitive function, as well as lower the risk of dementia and depression; support heart health, glucose management and immunity.” It has been proven that it is not the duration, but the frequency which provide added benefit. In the book he even gives a number of studies to support this.
What is your ACTION?
Take breaks from the desk & walk to the bathroom, walk up the stairs, walk around the building (inside or out), park farther away, take longer to walk while shopping, take the dog for a quick 10 minute walk… it doesn’t have to be a hike up a mountain for movement to add up and make a significant difference on your mood and to your life. Just get moving!
Hold the Deep Squat Daily
In 1% fitness, Mike Sheridan poses this question: “why does a baby sit comfortably in this (deep squat position) for hours, while the majority of adults fall on their backs, get stuck in the bottom position or cannot get into it to begin with” ? The answer- because although we may do it a few times per week in the RAMP at KDR Fitness, we do not practice it often enough, so we are losing our ability. Baies squat multiple times a day and so should you!
Why should you care? Because the deep squat is one of the best ways to maintain knee & hip mobility as well as help to improve everyday movements.
What is your ACTION?
Practice the Deep Squat every day. If you are in your office/house, start by lowering your butt all the way to the floor. If you need assistance to hold that position at depth, then use the leg of your desk, the door frame of your office door or coffee table/kitchen table leg at your house.
If you cannot bring your butt below your hips, then elevate your heels, by standing with your heels on a ream of paper or a 2 x 4. Attempt to hold that position once per day, for 30 seconds and build onto your time every single day. Try holding this position while you are watching TV, reading, or even eating, no matter when, just make time once, every day and do it! Mike Sheridan suggests “after you get to a solid 2-3 minute hold without support (no table leg) then you can start with multiple sets or more than one session per day.”
Build a Solid Foundation—Focus on Your Feet!!!
Mike Sheridan points out that “Shoes are coffins for our feet,” they change the form & function of our feet over time by providing too much support &/or permitting unnatural movement—shoes can create weak arches as well as prevent the foot from (natural movement patterns) “flexing and flattening that maintains muscle and mobility.” I have heard Ben say this a number of times, but after sitting down and reading this book the point really hit home.
Why does this matter? Just like the foundation of your home, your feet support the weight of your body and all your movements… so embrace your feet 🙂
What are your ACTIONS?
Embrace being barefoot—when you are walking … kick off those shoes, feel the grass on your feet, spread your toes on the ground—wiggle your toes. Don’t immediately try to go hiking for 30 minutes barefoot in the woods and then give up on being barefoot. Start slow and build up, get use to the feeling & paying attention to each step. Or, join a gym like OURS that encourages you to work out barefoot.
Improve your foot mobility by pointing & flexing your feet by spreading your toes & flexing your ankles with ankle mobility movements.
Increase your Foot Strength by trying these three exercises (find more in 1% Fitness):
Invisible high-heels—start in barefeet, raise up on to your tippy toes and walk
Bounce Walks… bounce walk with your heel elevated slightly as you bounce on the balls of your feet
Side Rolls- rolls from the outside edge of your foot to the ball of foot with full toe point
These exercises will help strengthen your feet each day you do them, which will improve your overall foundation and may even improve your other ailments. So… let’s get Moving!
Are you ready to get moving? Let’s move into the New Year with no holiday weight gain and an extra $300 in your pocket. Click on the link for more information.
Have you ever used myfitnesspal before? It’s a free calorie tracking app and it’s the one we prefer our members to use. It may not be the BEST app out there, but it’s certainly the one with the most nutrition information.
But, how do you setup an account in it and how do you put in your macros? Watch this video to find out! In it, I cover:
How to setup an account.
How to adjust your activity level and what you should set it at.
What macros we like people to be at.
Inputting a sample meal.
What the check marks mean.
And a lot more!
Check it out and let us know what you think.
Do you want help losing weight? Are you tired of not seeing any progress? Let us help you – it’s what we do! Sign up for our 30-day for $99 trial. Click the picture below for more info.
In this article I am going to give you the answers to the following questions:
When should you go see your Doctor about knee pain?
How do you stretch your ankles and hips (the common reasons why people have knee pain when squatting and knee pain in general) to help you squat and move better?
The two different types of squats you can do and how to perform each.
And a hell of a lot more!
I hope you enjoy!
Quick Squat Tutorial
This is a real quick down and dirty squat tutorial where I go over the two types of squats – The power squat and natural squat.
Tests to determine what’s causing your squat issue.
There are three easy tests we use to assess someone’s ankle and hip mobility (mobility differs from flexibility). Mobility refers to how easy a joint moves, flexibility refers to how easy a muscle can move. Think gymnastics for mobility and yoga for stretching. For our purposes, we want good mobility, but as far as you are concerned the terms can be interchangeable when discussing the squat.
First test – Can you touch your toes?
This test assess your straight leg ankle mobility. If you cannot touch your toes this doesn’t mean you can’t squat, but it certainly tells us some stuff…mostly that you have tight ankles in a straight leg position.
Second test – can you squat, hips below knees AND hold it there for 10 seconds?
This test is pretty straight forward – Can you squat without pain? If you want to squat…you need to squat! This test allows us to assess your overall tightness. Specifically, we are looking at it from the hips down. Can you get below parallel? Can you hold it there? Bonus points if you can hold it there WITHOUT SHOES ON. Not a necessity, per se, but that is something to work towards. Some people can bounce down and up with no problem, we don’t want that.
Third test – Can you squat with hips below parallel AND keep your toes pointed straight ahead?
This is another pretty straight forward test – Where are your toes pointed once you get into the full squat and what do your knees do? Do your heels come up off the ground (tight ankles)? Do your knees cave in (tight hips)? Do your feet turn out (tight ankles)?
If you cannot perform any of those movements WITHOUT KNEE PAIN then skip down to the last video on this page – When should you talk to your doctor about knee pain with squatting?
Start at the ankles.
Most knee pain can be attributed to tight ankles. What exactly is a tight ankle/how do you know you have tight ankles? Well…you probably do. Tight ankles and a tight upper back are the MOST COMMON joint restrictions we see at our gym. World renowned Strength Coach Mike Boyle (arguably the guy who brought functional training into the mainstream) always says – “You can always improve your ankle and thoracic mobility.”
There are two ways you need to stretch your ankles – in a straight leg and in a bent knee fashion. You have two muscles that make up your calf (gastrocnemius and soleus – One likes a bent ankle, the other likes a straight leg) both need to be stretched in two different ways.
Then go to the hips.
Hip mobility is the next thing to tackle. Poor hip mobility will cause your knees to do some wonky things during the squat as well as possibly cause lower back pain if you are trying to force yourself into the bottom of the squat.
When should you see your doctor if squatting hurts your knees?
Understand something – Most, as in over 95%, of your aches and pains can be alleviated through proper exercise selection, rest and good coaching/program design. At the end of the day, it takes time to heal things.
Case in point.
Having said that – If you perform these stretches, a few times per day, for 30 days and you still have knee pain when squatting, you might want to consult your doctor. These are just STRETCHES/MOBILITY exercises. If you came to our gym with knee pain, we would use these exercises PLUS strengthening moves that target the hamstrings and glutes. But, that is too much for this article.
Here’s a quick video on WHEN you should go see your doctor about knee pain with squatting.
There ya go! I hope you enjoyed this article and that it helps you squat better without pain!
Do you have knee pain? Let us help you! Give us 30 days and we will show you how to fix your knee pain while also getting some weight off of you, improving your energy and teaching you a lot of things about your body you didn’t know!
Have you ever heard that “Squats are bad for your knees?” Let’s bust that myth RIGHT NOW because it is FALSE!
Where did this come from?
First of all – there are NO studies to support this statement. Zero. None. There are a number of studies that look at the loading forces on the knee through various squat depths, however, none of them conclude that squatting is “bad for the knees”. This is just one of the studies I found.
“Contrary to commonly voiced concern, deep squats do not contribute increased risk of injury to passive tissues.”
There is some talk about a Dr. Karl Klein who back in the 50’s looked at the rising knee injuries in college football players. He concluded that deep squats were what was causing the issues. Hmmmm….could it have been maybe that players played both offense AND defense? This story then got picked up by Sports Illustrated after he released his findings in 1961. Then the American Medical Association came out with their position stand on squat – stating that squats were bad for your knees and should be avoided.
And that folks…was the early death of squatting. Thanks to Dr. Klein, SI and the AMA we, as trainers, had to listen to our clients tell us how bad squats were for your knees..for the next 50 years. All this was based on NO SCIENTIFIC STUDY. That’s an important point to remember.
Squats aren’t bad of your knees…the way you are doing them is bad for your knees.
Saying squats are bad for your knees is such a silly thing when you think about it. Every time you get out of a chair/take a dump/get out of your car – that’s a squat. As human beings we were MADE to squat!
From an evolutionary perspective – if we couldn’t squat, we wouldn’t have been very good hunters. Ever try hiding standing up? Also…did you know that the first firing position initially taught to rifleman in the military was to fire from a deep squat? That’s right!!! It’s much easier for you to drop down into a squat position and get back up into a run then it is to lay all the way down on the ground, sight, fire, then get up. Maybe not in hunting a deer, but certainly in a fire fight against an enemy.
The reason this was taken out was because people were complaining of knee pain. I’ve worked for the military, they don’t just throw out an idea and hope it works. This was a position that was used for hundreds of years that had to be changed in the mid 20th century due to people sitting more and not having good mobility and/or strength to perform this task.
Then you have the biomechanics perspective – our knee joint is a hinge joint, it’s made to go from a full straightened position to a fully flexed position. Black, red, brown, white no matter your skin color, we are all built the EXACT SAME WAY. So, explain to me why entire continents of people can squat ass to grass (that means all the way down in fitness talk) with no pain? Often times when I throw this out to people, the answer I get the most of is – “because they do it often.”
Where does the problem lie?
The problem that arises when people try and squat, i.e. the reason why people’s knees hurt when they squat is three fold:
Their form sucks.
They have poor mobility in their ankles and hips which leads to their knees getting beat up.
They have an underlying pathology of pain like arthritis (even if you have arthritis you can still squat safely and effectively) or a torn meniscus or something along those lines
Bad form folks. Don’t be like Jonny “I don’t know Squats”.
That’s it for part one. In part we will go over the two different ways to squat as well as how to fix tight ankles and hips AND when you seriously just shouldn’t squat.
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1) Drink 8 oz of water per hour in an airplane. You get dehydrated when flying due to the low moisture content of recirculated air in the plane.
2) Men are made up of about 75% water via women’s 65%. This is due to more muscle mass in males.
3) Your sweat rate will vary depending differences in the environment (heat and humidity), exercise intensity, exercise duration, mode of exercise (the less accustomed to the activity, usually the more work and sweat loss) and type of clothing (water absorbency).
4) You can lose up to 100 ounces of water in an hour of intense exercise on a hot and humid day, or as little as 3 ounces doing yoga in an air conditioned room for an hour.
5) With age, thirst becomes a less effective indicator of the body’s fluid needs. Seniors who have relocated to locations where the weather is warmer or dryer than the climate they are accustomed are also more susceptible to become dehydrated. They need to drink water regularly. Dehydration in children usually results from losing large amounts of fluid (such as from play) and not drinking enough water to replace the loss. An infant can become dehydrated only hours after becoming ill. Dehydration is a major cause of infant illness and death throughout the world.
6) Water is essential to consume during competition in hot environments. But what about cold settings? Dehydration is not as deleterious because cardiac output (heart rate x stroke volume) is higher in colder environments, thus enhancing cardiovascular performance. This is thought to occur because core temperature is lower
7) To determine sweat rate, measure body weight before and after exercise (wearing no clothes), the amount of fluid consumed during exercise, and the amount of urine excreted (if any) during exercise.
Sweat rate varies from person to person due to body weight differences, genetic factors, heat acclimation ability and metabolic (energy production) efficiency.
8) What are the differences in herbal, vitamin, purified, spring, mineral and artesian water?
a. Herbal water features flavors derived from herbs that tout health benefits associated with antioxidants.
b. Vitamin water is fortified with various vitamins and other additives, including a sweetener that adds calories to the drink.
c. Purified water is usually produced by some type of distillation process.
d. Spring water flows naturally from an underground source.
e. Mineral water comes from a protected underground source and must contain some minerals. This is what I like to drink the most of.
f. Artesian water is drawn from a well that taps a confined aquifer (underground layer of water permeable rock, sand, clay or silt).
9) Sweat is 99% water and 1% other trace elements and electrolytes.
10) Monitoring the color of your pee is still a good indicator for hydration status.
11) Will drinking water help with weight loss? There is some evidence for men and women that water intake with a meal may help to promote satiety and take the edge off hunger. Water has no caloric value, however, stay away from flavored water as there is usually added sugar in that. Also, remember, water is the main vehicle for transport in the body as well as the catalyst for almost all chemical reactions in the body. Altering your fluid status would certainly cause detrimental effects to weight and would not help it in any way.
12) Sponging the head and torso with cold water or a water spray is a skin wetting technique. Although perceived to be performance enhancing, this practice has not been demonstrated to reduce core temperature or improve cardiovascular performance.
13) Expectant mothers and those who are breast-feeding need additional fluids daily to stay hydrated. Women at risk of gaining too much weight are encouraged to consume more water (no calories) and limit their consumptions of sweetened fluids (with calories).
14) Hyponatremia (“natremia” comes from the Latin word for sodium, and means “sodium status”) means subnormal levels of sodium in the blood. This may occur in prolonged cardiovascular events such as a marathon. Symptoms include vomiting, headache, bloating, swollen feet and hands, disorientation, undue fatigue and wheezy breathing. Fluid intake overload is the main cause of exercise-induced hyponatremia. An excessive loss of total body sodium is another cause or contributing reason. Medical intervention is necessary in order to clearly discern whether symptoms are from a heat disorder or hyponatremia.
15) The temperature of water does not affect how fast it’s absorbed into the body, nor does it make a statistically large different in calories burned, i.e. consume cold water to burn more calories. Yes, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that big of a deal.