From Training Well

“Forging the Mind Body Connection” – Testimony From A Special Forces Soldier Who Does Yoga

yoga soldiers

“The practice of yoga – breathing, being present and letting go – taught me to allow things to happen naturally.” – Doug Kiesewetter, U.S. Army Special Forces

In this powerful article with video, a Cross Fit trained, Special Forces soldier describes how he was left in a shambles after his first yoga session. But he continued and stuck with the sessions, eventually finding that it allowed him to access untapped strength and new found mobility. Although he lost 30 pounds, his Cross Fit totals stayed the same! And he claims that his results were mainly because of the mental benefits he gained from yoga.

Yoga helped him forge a mind body connection that created a more clear frame of mind. He found he had an improved ability to assess life situations clearly and react more calmly and effectively.  His optimized mind body connection improved his life, his marriage and his ability to operate with his Special Forces brethren (who also have found mental strength and clarity at yoga class.)

It reminds me of the fact that the real purpose of Chiropractic is to reestablish the connection of the brain to the body through the spine. Your spinal cord is the real-deal mind body connection, orchestrating billions of signals from your brain cells to every tissue cell of your body. When your free moving spinal joints lock up or spinal cord gets kinked, interference is created in this vital connection, hampering the coordinated function of your brain and body systems. It’s the Chiropractors job to free up the locked spinal joints and un-kink the spinal cord so normal signal flow can be restored and Life energy can flow.

Innate intelligence 1

Respect that you have an innate, inborn intelligence within you that coordinates all the bodily and mental functions that keep you healthy and alive at any given moment. Chiropractic care and yoga share a common goal of creating a more optimized connection between all your body parts. The powerful result is greater awareness of your environment, improved mind body function, greater health, more resistance to disease, clearer thinking, and an optimal mind set of calm decision making and peaceful stress resolution.

It’s often said in Chiropractic philosophy that nature needs no help, just no interference. This is the new model of health and vitality. Trust your inborn, innate potential to grow, heal, function and express vibrant life through the regular practice of methods like chiropractic, yoga, clean eating, rest, and meditation. You’ll discover that you can enjoy your LIFE, and become more resilient when LIFE throws you the inevitable curve balls, challenges and obstacles.

Click here to read and view the Special Ops yoga article courtesy of Men’s Health Magazine. They also provide a do it yourself yoga routine to help get you started.

Click here to go to DrPete.com and learn how a chiropractic lifestyle can enhance the lives of you and your family.

And thanks for reading my blog. Please share it with those you love!

Renew your life logo

Special thanks to source:

http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/yoga-benefits-for-men

VIDEO: Innovative Exercises to Improve Your Low Back Strength

founder female

Click here to go right to video, but I would read this first!

I’ve added a few new exercises to my daily core routine and I’ve been getting great results with them. The exercises were designed by my friend and chiropractic colleague, Dr. Eric Goodman, and I’m enjoying improvements of my own in the strength and flexibility of my low back, hips and hamstrings. These exercises hit what we call the posterior chain of muscles which basically include the spinal erectors, gluteus maximus and hamstrings. Take a look at this guy…

posteriorchainchart1

 

Here’s a great video produced by Dr. Eric for World Surf League Pro Lakey Peterson (6th in the world!) I’ve been passing this video on to a few of my practice members and they are loving it.

A few important notes:

The first exercise is the squat with body weight. Because my focus is rehab for my injured leg, I do these slow and in control throughout. You should too. As Dr. Eric instructs, push that butt backwards and counterbalance with your arms. You shouldn’t feel it too much in the knees. Go down slowly only as far as you can and still feel strong and comfortable with no knee pain.

The second exercise is great for surfers and athletes, but I don’t recommend it as a beginner exercise. I do these after I’m warmed up and at a  slower pace. I’m not a 21 year old female surfer anymore!

The third exercise is the one where I want you to pay particular attention to Dr. Eric’s instruction. This one, called the Founder, is the basis for Foundation Training and it’s a wonderful exercise. It may look like a yoga posture but I assure you that it’s specifically formulated to strengthen the posterior chain. Some call it powerlifting for your deep core muscles and I agree. But you have to get the technique and form down.

founder1

The last exercise is an innovative variation of the standard plank called the 8 point plank. That’s because you are contacting the ground at your wrists, elbows, knees and flexed big toes. This may seem like an easier variation, and it is great for beginners, but believe me when I tell you that you can really feel this exercise where it counts – in your deep core.

8 point plank 2

Enjoy the video and give it a sincere try…you won’t be disappointed. Go to FoundationTraining.com to check out all of Dr. Eric’s cool videos and books. For any of you local people who need help with this, you know I’m always available in my office to check your form and make sure you get it right.

Click here to view video

A Unique Way To Feel Your Abs!

Seated_Vacuum

I have a great tip for you today that I’ve always known but just recently rediscovered based on a great article I read by Pilates guru Alycea Ungaro. Since my wife Lisa’s Pilates studio is connected to my chiropractic office, I constantly hear the instructors implying their clients to lift their abdominals  in and up as they contract them. But because I hear it all the time, I tuned it out, and forgot how important this verbal / mental cue is to really feeling your abs working completely with full stimulation.

Most people who exercise know the feeling of “crunching” the abs as done in the popular ab crunch exercise. A bodybuilder will do the same thing when flexing the abs in an abdominal pose or when you bear down on your abs when resisting a punch to the gut! This activates your six pack muscles, the rectus abdominis, as you flex slightly forward in this ab contraction.

What we want to activate to really feel our abs is the transverse abdominis (TA) muscles, your bodies deepest abdominal muscles that are your natural “weight lifting belt”. I love that some even call them your inborn “Spanx” muscles.

Here’s the anatomy…

Photo Aug 07, 7 45 32 PMPhoto Jul 06, 9 42 13 AM

Notice how the TA wraps around your waist fully like a girdle and fills the waist space from ribs to pelvis. When you learn to contract your TA muscles properly, you start to build tone in those muscles which creates a hollower waist for you, much like a strong cinching girdle.

So let’s review the cue you’ll tell yourself to help you feel these muscles contracting. That cue is pull your navel (center) IN AND UP! That’s right, you’ll feel your abdominal wall flatten and lift up into your ribcage. Much like Arnold in the featured image. Or, like this classic pose by Mr. Olympia, Frank Zane…

Frank_Zane_Vacum_Pose_3

You can try this ab vacuum maneuver standing, seated or lying supine. As you pull your center in and up, breathe out, and try not to use your chest and shoulders to pull up. You will immediately improve your posture with this move and stand a little bit taller. After a few reps, you should feel a nice burn at the sides of your waist and ribs.

One of my favorite places to complete a few reps is sitting in my car at stoplights on my morning drive around town. I get a good workout and the red lights seem to turn faster! I suggest you do sets of five repetitions holding for a ten count on contraction. As you breathe in, let your abs and waist relax as much as possible to get a full range of motion.

Even give this a try when you are doing any regular workout exercises as this awareness will help you brace yourself with proper form on many a variety of exercises. Let me know if you have any questions or need help finding these special muscles. I hope your waist size reduces as a result!

SLIDESHOW: Dr. Pete’s New Workshop Debuts at the Arnold’s Sports Festival

Arnold promo final

Scroll down for the slideshow

I’m so honored to be presenting my new workshop at the ICA Arnold Symposium on Natural Fitness & Sports at this years Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio on March 5-7, 2015.

To think that just 5 months ago I was lying in a hospital bed with a torn up knee and cracked ankle. And now I will be leading an enthusiastic group of health and fitness professionals in a workshop that is the culmination of all my experiences over four decades in the physical culture world.

We’re going to have a blast at this workshop, learning to tap our inborn strengths through focus, breathe and movement. So wear loose comfortable clothes and it might not be a bad idea to bring a towel!

Here’s a taste of what’s to come! These are the slides I will be using as part of my presentation. There’s some useful information in here and the slides will give you an idea of what we’ll be covering, but you’ll have to attend the event to get the details! Watch for pictures and videos of the workshop coming soon…

 

The Night I Met Jack LaLanne…

JAck LaLanne blog post

What a thrill it was when I looked across the aisle! I was in the Columbus Veterans Memorial Arena in Columbus, Ohio at the Finals of the Arnold Classic Bodybuilding and Arnold Strongman Competitions. I arrived early and had a great seat near the orchestra and stage.

As I casually turned my head, my heart skipped a beat as I caught glimpse of the only fitness icon higher on my own personal pantheon than Arnold himself.

I was sitting across from Jack LaLanne!

The “godfather of fitness”, the “first fitness superhero”, host of The Jack LaLanne Show from 1953 to 1985! A trained chiropractor and World War II veteran, Jack started his Oakland California gym in 1936, which served as the prototype for dozens of gyms throughout the country that bore his name. Upon his death, Arnold Schwarzenneger called him “an apostle of fitness” who inspired “billions all over the world to live healthier lives.”

So after my knees stopped shaking like a nervous little boy finally meeting his idol, I popped out of my seat to go over and say hello. I congratulated him on being selected for the Arnold Lifetime Achievement Award that would be presented to him later that night and he reminded me to keep doing my push ups! We snapped a quick photo and I returned to my seat to enjoy the awesome evening.

One of most admirable qualities about Jack LaLanne was his  PASSION! Passion to motivate people to take better care of themselves through exercise and nutrition. A passion to inspire people to smile and appreciate their lives so they could experience a happier and more productive life.

Take three minutes out of your day and view this inspirational clip from the Jack LaLanne Show about Unhappy People, where he explains how health and happiness comes from within.

Jack_LaLanne_-_Unhappy_People

Click here to view the 3 minute video on YouTube.

 

How Strong Is Your Core? Take The Test

Here’s one of my most popular videos from my YouTube channel. I’ve been using and teaching this basic test for many years and I still find it a reliable indicator of overall core strength and stability.

And the unique thing about it is that not only is it a test, it’s also a great training protocol for developing your core strength and stability over time.

Don’t worry about completing the whole test at first, I’d rather you stick to good form. You’ll feel your muscles shaking as you reach your limit of core activation, so go at your own pace and let each session build on the last until you can finally pass the test.

Here’s the test protocol, right click the photo below and download for reference if you wish.

core_strength_stability_test