Category Archives: Blog

The Benefits of Play for Adults and How to Get Started

Here’s a quick video I shot for the team at Primal Influence for their 30 Days of Adult Play Global Online Event!  The goal was to get more adults playing and sharing with the group all the different ways they played.  I was asked by Clint and Aimee to be a Play Advocate for the event, sharing what play means to me, the benefits of play for adults, and tips to get started. Check it out!  And if you want to learn EVEN MORE about play, my e-book has just released at https://unleashthepowerofplay.com.

Key Spinal Mobility Drills

Every month at Force Fitness and Performance, I pick out a “challenge” movement for our personal training crew. We all come together at the 1/2 hour mark through a session and work on something together to build movement literacy. I find this is a fantastic touch point to build community and share concepts ideas in the Semi-Private Personal Training format.

This month, we’re looking at Spinal Mobility. Your spine craves mobility – you are as old as your spine! Something that’s often overlooked in today’s training world is the ability to segment and move the spine in lots of different ways. As we continue to embrace a MOVEMENT CULTURE rather than a FITNESS culture, unlocking your spine is a key component and one way to break outside of the box ;).

How to Fix Scapular Winging PART 2! – Following Up with Tessa

Tessa and I received a TON of questions about our Scapular Winging video – how was she doing? How long did it take to “fix” her winging? Etc.  So, we shot a quick update video that explains my take on WHY scapular winging happens, what it will take to make a fix “stick”, and take a look at 3 more exercises you can add to your quiver when programming around scapular winging.  Enjoy!

Evaluating Your Movement Practice (Moms and Dads!)

 

I had a great conversation with one of my clients & friends Erik the other day about how we measure progress as Dads (and I think this applies to the amazing Mommas out there too!)  Classically, people point to objective measurables: weight, how much ya bench, etc.  But those numbers often don’t capture the essence of our WHY.  To be the best husband, father, and person we can be.

With that being said, here are five aspects I believe any movement practice that is going to have an impact beyond the gym has to have.  Use it as a litmus test to see where you’re at right now.

1.  Is it fun?

If it isn’t fun and joyful, not only are you suffering, but you are modeling for your kids movement shouldn’t be fun.  NOTE:  work IS fun, especially if it applies to something you are excited about learning or exploring.  Don’t confuse play as easy.

2.  Does it challenge you to be adaptable?

Conditions as a parent are always changing.  You have to be adaptable to your kids needs, changing schedules, and plans.  Your practice also needs to challenge you to be adaptable.  It needs to push you outside of your comfort zone regularly, while also not smashing you so hard that you can’t walk the next day or lift your kids up on your shoulders. There’s a sweet spot of adaptation here, and you need to maximize it.

Autoregulation – modify your intensity to how you feel on any given day.  Take into account stress, sleep, nutrition.  With practice, this will become automatic.  On days when you are less than your best, you back off of the intensity and do something more restorative.  On days you feel great, you go pedal to the metal.

Outdoors – get outdoors, as often as possible, in all weather conditions.  This is perhaps the quickest and most surefire way to develop resiliency.

Sign Up for an Event – sign up for an event like a Spartan Race, or a dodgeball tournament!  Put it on the calendar, and start working towards it.  Having an event to anchor you can help focus your training.

3.  Is it developing real world, practical skills?

It has to develop real world practical skills.  To that end, it focuses much more heavily on “doing stuff” rather than “isolating stuff”.  For example, climbing a rope vs pull ups.  Or climbing trees rather than bent over rows.  Picking up sandbags and carrying them around rather than simply squatting over and over again.  Create context for what you are doing.  Become a master of your domain.

4.  Does it integrate?

Can you do pieces of the practice throughout your day?  Does it give you the strength and skill to continue to interact and play with your kids?  You’re a parent!  Things are going to get messy.  Rather than having to block out separate time away from the family in order to “workout”, your practice should be something that can happen – anytime, anywhere.  Squat down and play on the floor.  Jump over the fence.  Pick up kids and run around with them.  Any practice time you do get alone should help you add to your toolbox so you can do even MORE with your family when the time comes. 

5.  Does it embody you in some way?

Does your movement practice leave room for self expression?  Is it as much a mental practice as it is physical?  Do you feel fulfilled and charged up by your movement, or does it leave you drained?  Do you feel open and creative, or like your just plugging away?  This metaphysical aspect of the practice is as important if not more so than the physical.  Your practice needs to be an extension of yourself.  So if you are fun-loving, and goofy, throw on some tunes and dance around with your kids (or by yourself).  If you are focused and caring, take that same focus and care to learning new skills and taking care of your body so you can continue to be a provider and caregiver for your family.  The list goes on and on.

I hope this gives you some insight into how I think about my own movement practice!  Tell me, does yours make the cut?  Are there things you want to change about it?  Or do you think my test is off kilter?  Hit the contact button at the top or send me a message on facebook to get the conversation rolling.

 

Shamma Sandals Warriors Review

I’ve got another great product review for you guys, and let me cut to the chase:  these are the best barefoot sandals I’ve ever worn, and perhaps the best barefoot shoe I’ve ever had.  Let me explain.

Before the barefoot craze hit us several years ago when Born to Run was released, it was almost impossible to find barefoot trainers.  I’d scour the internet for hours, and the best I could come up with were some Chucks and these Feiyvue’s.  Good shoes, but still not flexible and minimal enough to allow my foot to be a foot.

Then we had the golden era – the time when every company was trying to come up with a shoe to catch the barefoot trend.  Vibram Fivefingers were the first ones I heard of, but soon after I found Luna Sandals, Vivobarefoot, even Merrell, Inov-8 and New Balance were jumping in the mix.  I was so excited!  Finally I’d have lots of great options for footwear!

Until I started trying all of them.  I went through about 20 pairs of different types and styles.  Almost none of them felt truly “barefoot” to me.  They would either pinch my toes, create heel chord stiffness (due to overly tight straps), be MUCH stiffer in the midfoot than desired, etc. etc.  My search for the perfect pair of shoes maddeningly continued.

Now, it’s 7 years later, and I’ve finally found shoes worthy of putting up on a pedestal of great barefoot trainers.  And they’re not even shoes:  they are the Shamma Sandals Warriors.

I did a review for Shamma Sandals for their Mountain Goats over a year ago.  I liked the feel of the sandal quite a bit, but the ink bled into my feet when wet and they didn’t have as much carry over to more intense natural movement and play.  They were great, but scored a 4/5 for these drawbacks.  The Warriors solved these issues and more besides.

Benefits:

  • Power Strap allows for much more vigorous movement and play while the sandal stays glued to the foot.  (no more tripping over the front of the sandal!)
  • Velcro straps much more comfortable than other brands I’ve tried and are easy to take on and off.
  • Open toe box (AKA sandal) allows for natural toe spread and movement.
  • Very comfortable through the webbing of my big toe (something that I’ve had trouble with before)
  • Tan leather bottoms don’t bleed into feet (Note: I’ve seen a review where someone did have this problem.  All I can say is it wasn’t nearly as bad as the black bottoms I had before :))
  • Vibram soles are very grippy and do well in rain or shine.
  • Great flexibility through the foot while still providing enough protection to safely explore new ground.
  • So far, have held up very well under frequent and exuberant use (about 6 months so far!)
  • Cost is competitive with other shoes on the market.

Drawbacks:

  • Not really a drawback, just a note.  These still aren’t meant to be a replacement shoe for playing basketball and other sports.  Wear these for movement and exploration.  Wear the appropriate sport specific wear if that’s what you want to do.

Total Score:  5/5.  Get a pair!  You won’t regret it 🙂

And thanks to Shamma Sandals for the review copy!