Monday, November 29, 2010

One leg victory

The one leg squat demands balance, strength, focus, and most of all;  patience. A bench, step, or any solid fixture that is the right height for your body is what you need to get started.  If you do this exercise the right way for your body type, the rewards are guaranteed to follow; great rewards.


-Your back foot on the fixture should be a shade lower than your front knee
-Be strong and pronounced upright with your body
-Lower your body slowly (3 sec count) until your front leg is parallel with the ground
-Drive up with your front leg and focus on driving up with your front heel
-Eliminate locking your front knee as you drive up 
-Get 8 reps in with your just your body weight - no added weights to start out
-Switch legs and repeat

The winning formula is right here in the one leg squat.  You may struggle to find balance but this is how you find balance - by struggling.  



Saturday, November 20, 2010

Toss the Nerf

Reyn Guyer
Reyn Guyer.  The man who invented the Nerf Ball.  He first introduced a indoor volleyball game to Parker Brothers that included the soft, safe spongy ball in 1969.   The ball was the only thing that stayed on as an idea and the Nerf was found in households across the nation the very next year.

I give recognition to Reyn Guyer and the ball that created hours of sweat to my friends and family.  We threw it, dunked it, got hit by it, doused it in water, and routinely tagged my mom on her butt with it as she walked by.  

Nerf Sky Hook
The Nerf showed it's true 70's colors by always being in throwing range of someone inside the house.  Everyone in the family got plunked by the Nerf, including the dog.  The modified games of Nerf inside the home made for sweaty bodies and athletic shoes that attained that locker room smell. My brother used to make me put my shoes out in the garage every night and the Nerf was a major contributor behind this.

Nerf actually stands for; Non-Expanding Recreational Foam. Nerf, as we all know, expanded the product line which included my favorite, the Turbo Nerf Football.  This spiral-laden piece of sponge was made for jocks who can put some whistle behind it.  I use it to this day and love seeing and hearing it soar through the air to someone receiving it on the other end.  Catching the Turbo Nerf with one hand is pure joy in itself.  

Go outside and fizz one around.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bump and Run

This is a drill I use to cross train as it emulates what a defensive back and wide receiver experience over 50 times during a game. You will be tested on your balance, footwork, and physicality during this drill. This is a great cross training exercise for all athletes as it involves contact, finesse, and will upload your competitive juices.  Warm up properly before hand as you would with any exercise.

-Mark off 30 yards of space on a decent playing surface.
-Line up facing your partner 2 yards away in a ready position (as a DB)
-At the sound of "GO" you will become locked up with your partner for 5 seconds
-Use your hands and legs for power and stay in contact for 5 seconds - grind away!
-Count to five out loud together and release each other on "5"
-Your partner will now take off for the finish line
-Stay with your partner, ride his hip and do some light body bumping along the way
-Complete the run with your partner and walk back to the starting point

Physical Bumpin
You now have completed one full rep. Switch sides for the second rep and you are now on offense. Do it again. Lock horns for 5 seconds; be physical without inflicting pain and release after you both count to 5.

This drill will give you a small appreciation of what a DB goes through when being asked to cover a receiver for 60 minutes on the turf.

8 repetitions will create a warm lather of sweat on the body. Working together with your partner makes this drill fun and physical at the same time. Expect some soreness, a body bruise, maybe even a small cut. Some physical bumpin does the body good.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Green means GO

Interval training for the heart. Your heart not only can handle this type of training - it is begging you for it. Interval training strengthens your heart, replenishes its supply of oxygen, and increases your metabolism for 24 hours after your training. Anyone can do interval training from the daily walker to the elite professional athlete. "Heart smart" applies here. Think of your heart as if it was extending you a ongoing open invitation to challenge it.

Muscle memory not only relates to skeletal muscle but to your heart muscles as well.Muscles in the lining of your heart are cardiac muscles. In fact, most of your heart is made up of cardiac muscle. These strong, heart wall lining muscles have memory just like your skeletal muscles and it will remember what kind of training you put it through. The heart offers multiple rewards if you feed it with a smart diet and train it.

Simply put, the heart is the only fatigue resistant muscle in your body. Your skeletal muscles will experience fatigue during exercise but your heart keeps going. It does not rest. Ever heard a marathoner say his heart was sore and tired after a race? Don't think so.
Intelligently accelerate your heart rate with exercise. Pick up the pace for 60-90 seconds and bring it back down again. You will improve your lung capacity, build stamina during these short bursts and your cardiac muscles will be stimulated for growth.

Green means GO


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Quarter Hops

A great exercise for explosive power and balance.  Start off by assuming a strong squat position. Look straight ahead, lean slightly down into your squat, and in one movement explode with your arms and hips going upward and landing to the right a "quarter hop". Think of a directional compass and you have just landed on the east position. Get set for the next hop as you will explode and land in the south position..then west and back to north.

Two things to concentrate on and take ownership;
1. Explosion
2. Landing quiet

Do a set of four around the compass and rest. Do it again as you feel more comfortable with it. Work up to 3-4 sets at a time. You can reverse the direction (go left) the next time. Form is what you look for..every time.

Land softly in a squat position and absord the impact. Anticipate landing soft and feeling the ground catch you. Try and land on your midfoot to the balls of your feet.

Once you master the four directional hops you can move on to "half hops" which will be jumping from north to south in one move. This will require more explosion and demand more balance.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Protein Starting Lineup

Here are 9 foods that are protein rich choices and listed gram amounts.

1. Steak 60z. 42 g
2. Chicken Breast 3.5 oz. 30g
3. Tuna 6oz. can 40 g
4. Soy Milk 1 cup 6-10g
5. Egg-large 6g
6. Cottage Cheese 1/2 cup 15g
7. Tofu 1/2 cup 20g
8. Black beans 1/2 cup 7-10g
9. Almonds 1/4 cup 8g


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ice down

Ankle sprains -- a very common sports injury. It is considered an "acute" injury as it happens suddenly and causes immediate pain. Get ice on the injured area as soon as possible. Ice will reduce pain and inflammation. Ice is a vaso-constrictor which causes the blood vessels to narrow and it limits internal bleeding to the area. Think of ice in the same thread as a firefighter getting containment on a fire..calming it down.

Frozen tip; Freeze 3-4 dixie cups of ice and keep in your freezer. These dixie cups are great for ice massage to a injured body part or for the comfort of soothing ice.

Peel back the dixie cup so that the ice is exposed to the air. Make it look like a push up pop. Hold the dixie cup upside down and you can ice massage the area with ease. Direct ice allows for deeper penetration to the injured area.

The direct cold ice may be challenging to tolerate but your body will adjust in a couple of minutes. Ice for 8-10 minutes at a time 3-4 times a day and increase your intake of essential fatty acids until inflammation is controlled.


Dig your Dog

This dog I dig..
Dog owners are sure to smile several times a day while engaging with their dog. A wagging tail would alone in itself, aid the health of a dog owner. Dogs are like a working clock -- always there for you which you can bank on every time. The more you give your dog; the more you get back. With this in mind, I would wager to say having a dog lowers your blood pressure and stress without going out on a limb here..

I do not own a dog but I do know this; When I greet a dog for the very first time and bend down to give my warm exchange, this instantly makes me smile and feel good inside as the "doggie voice" comes out of me while I am petting away. This takes place about twice a week on average with myself. Dog owners get this feeling multiple times every day.

Let's toss in the loyalty factor here. Dogs teach people about love, loyalty, and true companionship. It is a dog's duty to do this and no other creature does it better than your dog.

Dig on your dog. Your dog will dig you back.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ball of Medicine

The english term Medicine ball, a "stuffed leather ball for exercise" was first added to the dictionary in 1895. They gained popularity and traction with Doctors in the 1920's as they were prescribed to patients that wanted to improve their level of fitness.

Prescribing medicine in the shape of a ball? Get me a script.

Medicine balls are now in different shapes, colors, and are used in a variety of ways to improve our fitness. I use the 4 lb. ball to dribble it as I would with a basketball (as it does bounce) and have a variety of sport movements to go with it.

Locate a cement wall you can throw these against with as much force as you choose. The ball was built to take a beating. Get slammin with it.
I teach a great strengthening exercise for baseball players and football quarterbacks with the 4 lb. ball. I have increased my arm strength significantly with this exercise alone. Eye-hand coordination will also show improvement.

Stand back 4 feet from the wall and lightly take your arm back to a loaded throwing position and toss it against the wall, catching it in the same motion and relatively easy to do. Go for 8-10 throws and come to a rest.

Be clean and confident in your throws. Form is what you are looking for. Do it with rhythm and balance. Emulate how you would throw the ball as you would in playing baseball or football. F O R M wins out.

Get medicated with the ball and take it with 10 glasses of water a day.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Coach Wooden

Wizard of Westwood
UCLA's legendary basketball coach, John Wooden passed away this year at the age of 99. He was a beloved figure, a tremendously devoted family man, and not only the best coach in all of collegiate athletics, but a man among men in how he treated life itself.

His quotes are inspiring and fundamentally sound to the most important aspects of life.

"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are." John Wooden, Legendary UCLA Basketball Coach

Coach Wooden won 7 consecutive NCAA Basketball Championships and 10 overall. He also coached UCLA to 88 straight wins which spanned over 4 seasons. I recall the day when the streak ended on a Saturday afternoon in South Bend, Indiana against Notre Dame and thought that this record would not be touched.  Bill Walton and Keith Wilkes were along for 73 of those wins in a row as well. Supremely stellar.
Visit the building blocks of his pyramid of success.


True Blue

My Mom schooled me early on about the benefits of eating blueberries as they would routinely make their way into my bowl of hot oatmeal or cold raisin bran growing up in Oregon. The berry has eluded me over the years as I will use this post as a reminder to get blue in my diet each and every week. The benefits are truly amazing..berry, berry amazing.

Here are 3 of the numerous health benefits that blueberries have packed inside. The internet has heaps of information on this dynamic fruit.

1. Antioxidant capacity - very rich in vitamin C, E, A, complex B and copper. A very effective immune builder and anti bacterial. This is a defensive mechanism in itself.

2. Ocular health - blueberries have proved to preserve vision and contain a special group of anti-oxidants called Carotenoids and Flavonoids that are essential for your vision health.

3. Brain health - researchers found that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging animals making them mentally equivalent to much younger ones.

A well respected Doctor once told me that the first line of treatment for any patient is food, and not medications. I will now think of blueberries as being in the front line of defense.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Teach it early

The most profound course I took in college was, "family communication". My Professor loved teaching this course and it showed within a few minutes of the first class. Professor Bowker taught this course with mastery and devotion and set out to reach the 25 or so students in our classroom twice a week one fall term at the University of Oregon.

I didn't really know what to expect from this course..I didn't even know this kind of course existed. What I came to learn more than anything is that this course sho
uld be taught at every level of education. It should be treated as a discipline in the same manner as mathematics, science, art, music, computer science, social studies, and other required core courses in our education system.

This course helped me appreciate, love, understand, and to have a open mind about who we are in life and how we can positively effect others in family..and not just our nuclear family either. Family has many definitions and members may come from all directions which Professor Bowker so eloquently spoke about. She owned this course and gave it life.

Teach it early, and teach it all the way through higher education.


Get Pushy.

2 wheel power

Here is a great sweat and a way to mix up your workouts. Find a flat or small grade incline to park your car. Have your workout partner turn the car off and put the car in neutral. Push the car 90 feet and then trade places. Concentrate on pushing with your lower body and drive low. Lightly tap the brakes for a increased load on your partner or increase the distance. When you get freaky with this exercise toss on a weighted vest and get after it.

You will get people stopping by and asking if you need help..until they realize you are training. School parking lots are usually vacant on weekends and a safe spot to do this.

Push for power and build your quads. You will activate hundreds of muscle groups when pushing your car with focus to your legs, butt, and trunk area.

Drive with your legs and butt
The quadriceps femoris is latin for "four headed muscle". The quad is a large muscle group that includes the four prevailing muscles on the front of the thigh. It is known as the strongest and leanest muscle in the human body.