functional abs

ROLLING PATTERNS FOR ROTATION

Rolling is a fundamental movement we all learned how to do during neurodevelopment, it is the second milestone in neurodevelopment after head control.  Rolling combines the use of the upper extremities, core, and lower extremities in a coordinated manner to move from one posture to another. This is done from prone (face down) to supine (face up) and supine to prone. 

Rolling is commonly utilised in neurological rehabilitation but is just as important and effective in any rehabilitation programme, particularly for those who have dysfunction in rotational movements or who play rotational dominant sports.  It can be used as an assessment and it is also the corrective. There are several cues to help improve someone's rolling pattern and also regressions available.

It is a great method to assess for and correct inefficient movements that involve rotation of the trunk and body; weight shifting in the lower body; and coordinated movements of the head, neck, and upper body.

Upper limb rolling begins with the eyes and head moving in the transverse/rotational plane with the body being taken along for the ride - "where the eyes go the body will follow".  Rolling can be done either leading with the upper limb or lower limb, depending on your assessment findings and needs.

CORE EXERCISE #2 : DYING BUG

2nd core exercise in our top Four...

Start the video from 1min 12secs.

DYING BUG:
This is an awesome drill for core activation. The video pretty much says it all. I use this daily with clients and it's a great follow on exercise from the previous breathing drill. Also, don't forget to BREATHE throughout this drill! Exhale as your leg is lowering. Holding your breath is a cheat ;-)
Give it a go :-)

CORE EXERCISE #1 : BREATHING

Four of my top core exercises everyone should make a part of their exercise regime...

First up is...

how to belly Breathe adelaide and gold coast rehab trainer.jpg

BREATHING:

The first being BREATHING:
Before you laugh, yes, I did say breathing!
Simple right? Not really. Most of us (myself being a culprit at times) are dysfunctional breathers, this being due to stress; injury; emotional issues; poor health etc. We breathe around 20,000+ breaths per day, that is a lot of opportunity for dysfunction.

We use our core muscles for breathing; simplified our diaphragm & pelvic floor contract together on the inhale to create Intra Abdominal Pressure (IAP), this stabilises our spine & we recruit our remaining core muscles on the exhale.

The dysfunction comes in when we either hold in our stomachs for long periods (females being biggest culprits) or start taking shallower breaths. This makes it extremely hard for normal functional breathing and requires us to recruit our neck and chest muscles with every breath.

To learn how to work on your breathing keep reading. I would highly recommend ANYONE with lower back pain to focus on their breathing especially but really EVERYONE should be doing it...

Visit our exercise library and have a read through our Stability Exercises the first 3 exercises that come up which are about BREATHING.

NO. 4 AND FINAL OF OUR TOP 4 AB EXERCISES: FITBALL OR TRX JACKNIFE AND/OR PIKE

Jackknife and Pike on a fitball or TRX. A great ab and core exercise for hitting the abs hard!

Want to train your ABS in an efficient, functional way?

As mentioned in the previous Sit-up posts, you all know (unlike most personal trainers), I am no fan of traditional sit-ups. So here is the fourth and final of 4 alternatives that will hit your abs hard and give you that burn that you probably desire. As well as increase the function of your core area if done correctly.

No. 4 in our Top 4 ab exercises

4. TRX or Fitball Jackknife/Pike:
This is really two in one as the pike is a good progression from the Jackknife! 

Using either a fitball or a TRX for the Jackknife.
Hands on floor in a pushup position with shins and ankles on fitball (or feet into TRX straps). Push your hands away from the floor to activate your shoulders, gently push your ankles into the ball and drive your knees towards your elbows. Make sure you brace your core and don't let your pelvis sag down or raise up too much. Keep your shoulders stable so there is no movement through them.

The pike is very similar but instead of bending the knees, keep them straight, push your feet into the fitball or straps and reach your butt towards the ceiling, whilst still pushing your hands away from the ground. Keep your neck neutral, I could probably have tucked my chin in a little bit more in this video. 
Only lift your hips as high as is comfortable. Mine go pretty high but start by getting used to the movement first and making sure you’re moving through your hips and not your lower back.

These are both quite advanced moves so please only attempt if you have relatively good stability and strength.

Otherwise, give it a go! :-)


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overhead squat form

Spot the difference:  Left = good...Right = compromised joints

Spot the difference:  Left = good...Right = compromised joints

I often see pictures posted of people with loads of weight above their heads but in very compromised positions, both in the press & the Overhead Squat (OHS). A common trend is to hyperextend the upper back and compromise the shoulders. (This only overloads the lower back and hip flexors and stresses out the anterior shoulder muscles).

This can be for various reasons:

  • Lack of shoulder stability

  • Lack of thoracic mobility

  • Lack of pelvic stability

  • Lack of hip mobility

  • Lack of knee stability

  • Lack of ankle mobility

Any one of these things, or a combination, can change the OHS dramatically. Don't sacrifice form for numbers.

Just make sure if this is a movement you do regularly, particularly if it is loaded, that you can tick all the above mentioned criteria prior to load. Or at least be working on your weaknesses and immobilities that are apparent and improving them prior to load.

Nothing wrong with working the dowel rod guys. I don't know about you but I'd rather achieve a perfect or close to perfect dowel rod OHS whilst preventing injury than an ugly weighted one which causes dysfunction in the system.