How Exercise Ruined My Body

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I can’t tell you how many times my muscles and joints have sprained, torn, dislocated, stiffened and ached — all in the name of exercise.  Sure, I know many of my injuries are part of the risks of contact sports like wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai, but many of them weren’t.  Most of them were actually injuries that wrecked my body after routine runs and lifting sessions at the gym. In the past I would take a week or two off, heal up and jump back into training, but I noticed that a couple months down the line, I would fall into the same types of injuries. This is when I realized, there was something seriously wrong with the way I was approaching my health and fitness.

I’ve seen and heard it several times (myself included) where the injured client says “I hurt myself while [XYZ] training and so I’ll have to take a break before I can go back at it.” The problem with this statement is that often times, this is exactly where the train of thought ends. You get injured while training or exercising and that’s life. Rest up, heal up, tough it out and then get back to training. Simple right? Sadly, no. What if instead of that simple injured, rest, heal and back to training formula, people took it a step further and asked “is there something wrong with my training that led to my injury?” Or how about “is the way I’ve learned to exercise and move ruining my body?”

Many people associate their injuries with some uncontrollable bad event that happened with their training, but not many enough associate their injuries with consistent and improper form that has been occurring throughout their training and day to day movements.

Do your knees hurt after long runs? Does your lower back ache after deadlifts and squats? Do you have neck pain after shoulder exercises? All of these issues can be prevented with learning and relearning  proper fundamentals in biomechanics and exercise form.

What to do next?

(1) Think about the last time you had an injury or pain after exercise and reevaluate whether it was caused by a random unfortunate event, or if it could have been prevented with better exercise form and training

(2) Continue reading future movemo posts along better mobility and injury prevention training

(3) Check out Kelly Starrett’s new book, Becoming a Supple Leopard

Tips for the next blog installation on better mobility and injury prevention during exercise: Midline Stabilization

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Movemo Challenge: Fit For Love

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Photo Credits : Destination Photographers CandidTales

Movemo fans, meet Zara and Jonathan.  Rarely, do I ever highlight friends and family, but their Fit for Love story was too good not to share.  A couple months ago, they asked if I could help them with some fitness tips before their wedding in November (congrats again!).  Immediately I thought they were asking for tips to lose weight and get leaner before the big day.  I was blown away by their request, because instead of asking for some fitness tips for their own personal health, they asked if I could share tips to improve the health and fitness of those they cared most about – their friends and family.

Cheers to Fit for Love – a series of quick fitness exercises that Jonathan and Zara’s friends and family can try out to improve their health, energy and fitness before the big day.  Dare to move more and dare to love.

Movemo Challenge: Fit for Love Part 1

Shoulder Taps

Position yourself on the floor in a push up position.  Keep your core tight and try your hardest not to sag your hips or arch your lower back.  Envision your head, back and hips creating a perfect line.  Once you’ve achieved this plank position start moving and shifting side to side as you keep one arm posted lift the other to tap your shoulder.  Continue these shoulder taps for 10 to 20 reps.  This exercise will help strengthen your core as well as your triceps and deltoid muscles in your arms and shoulders.

Squat Thrusts

Keeping yourself in plank position, now switch more of a lower body exercise as you keep both your arms planted and push off both feet and thrusting them forward to about the same position as your hips.  Perform a mini-squat then immediately push back off and extend your feet back into the full plank position.

V-sits

This exercise is a little tougher and requires a bit more core strength, but it is a create exercise for working out your upper and lower abdominals.  Laying on your back fully extended, raise your upper torso and legs simultaneously and use your hands to tap your feet or ankles.  Make sure your arms and feet meet halfway (don’t cheat and raise your legs 80% of the way so your upper torso only has to raise 20%) to make the most out of this exercise.

Movemo Challenge: Fit for Love Part 2

Exercises (Level 1)

Torso Elevated Plank

Using a bench or elevated step, get into a plank position with your face faced down and your weight resting on your forearms and toes.  Keep your back of the head, back, hips and leg as straight as you can and hold that position for 10-20 seconds.  By elevating your upper torso on a bench or step, it makes the exercise easier, allowing you to build strength and endurance until you’re ready to take it up a notch.

Bulgarian Split Squat

This is a split squat, only with your rear foot elevated on a bench or step.  Lifting your rear foot higher increases the range of motion, which makes the exercise a little tougher than a traditional split squat.  Try 10 of these on each leg for a total of 20 split squats.

Dumbbell Push Press

Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand holding them at your sides of your shoulders.  Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed forward, knees unlocked.  Push your hips back slightly and then snap your hips forward.  Use the momentum of your hips to push the weights up and off your shoulders straight above your head.  Lower the weights and go right into the next repetition.

Exercises (Level 2)

Exploding Plank Push Ups (Torso Elevated & Lower Body Elevated)

From a plank position, slightly lower your body then push off, explode and get some air time.  Brace your arms and chest for impact as your reset and continue to perform exploding push ups.  Perform this 5-10 times.

Jumping Bulgarian Split Squats

Adding a bit of dynamic action, from the single squat position, push off and explode into a jumping split squat.  Perform this 5-10 times on each leg and switch.

Dumbbell Cleans to Push Presses

Start from a full squat position with the dumbbells resting on the ground.  Keeping your back straight, lift up from the squat while holding onto the dumbbells.  At the top of the motion, load the dumbbells to your shoulders and perform a push press just as before.  Repeat 5-10 times.

Movemo Challenge: Fit for Love Part 3

Frankensteins:

Lay on your back with legs fully extened and place both hands on your thighs.  Using your stomach and core strength try sitting up while sliding your hands from your thighs all the way toward your ankles (or top of your feet if you can reach that far).  Perform ten of these.

Arnold Press:

Load both dumbbells onto your shoulders, press the dumbbells up and above your head and then lower them down until your arm makes a 90 degree angle.  Once lowered, rotate your arms inward to the middle of your chest and try and clap the dumbbells together.  Then bring them apart, load the dumbbells straight with your shoulders again and perform the press. Perform 5-10.

Side lunge to inverted lunge:

Reciprocate between side and inverted lunges. When performing a side lunge, make sure to keep your back straight and core tight. Try to lunge and lower to where the top of your thigh becomes parallel to the floor. Repeat 5-10 times per leg then switch.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please email Matt at matthew@movemofitness.com.  That’s it for now.  Please stay tuned for next month’s installment of Fit for Love Part 3.

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Fit For Foster Care – A Movemo Fundraiser For New Yorkers For Children

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Two years ago, movemo was founded to help others move more and stay healthy so they can continue to move the world.  We’re still working our butts off to make sure that happens, one small victory at a time .

From February to March, Movemo Fitness partnered with New Yorkers for Children. Can you imagine growing up without a parent or guardian’s love or guidance? The majority of us are fortunate  to have that support, but a small percentage of the nation’s children don’t even have one parent or guardian to guide them. That percentage translates to thousands of homeless and uncared for children. Thanks to child advocate communities like New Yorkers for Children they provide the care and even the resources for these children to be able citizens. It is also ensured that kids get a nice little present and lots of wishes on their birthday.

Through our partnership, we offered fitness classes at JKM Fitness Studio and gave our friends, family and community a great reason to stay fit and make an impact in the lives of New York’s foster children.  The proceeds we collected from our fitness classes went to programs implemented by New Yorker’s for Children.  These programs open the door for foster children to have the opportunities that any other child would have access to.  After teaching eight fitness classes and helping 70+ friends and family become a little fitter, we fund raised nearly $600 for New Yorkers for Children.

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My Love Affair…With Fitness

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(Photo above: P.S. We’ve been bicep kissing WAY before Kaepernicking…)

Your eyes meet. They flash that smile. You feel your heart race.

Remember your first crush? Remember the spark of adrenaline when you were with them? Remember the way you wanted to know everything about them? The way you couldn’t wait to talk to them? The way you wanted to spend everyday with them? Yeah, you do.

There is this ingrained formula we tend to follow when creating relationships. The initial introduction. The excitement of meeting someone new. The general enjoyment of being in their presence. The continual involvement to be in their presence. Finally, you get to the point where they begin to be part of your everyday life.

When we like someone, it’s human nature to want to know everything and anything about them. When we enjoy our time with someone we try to incorporate them in all that we do. The relationship then becomes hard to hide and the want to share how awesome they are and how awesome you feel when you’re with them becomes the hot topic in every conversation.

I found this same formula apparent in my “relationship” with fitness.

Yeah, you can say it. I had a fitness love affair.

I met fitness during an enlightening part of my life. I was rediscovering myself and exploring different avenues to channel my energy. Fitness was there to comfort me. The more I involved myself with fitness the more I realized small changes in the way I perceived and lived my life. I was happier, more energetic and motivated to take on challenges.

However,  most people enter their fitness relationship skipping the general enjoyment part. They often associate fitness as this obligation they have to do in order to live a certain life or look a certain way. We read magazines and blogs about how fitness is a lifestyle. And in order for fitness to become part of our “lifestyle”, we need to incorporate it into our everyday routine. I guess this is the part where fitness becomes a little daunting. Just like any other, commitment is often the telling factor of a relationship’s endurance. And to most, the thought of measuring our commitment is a bit scary. Will I be good enough? Can I actually do this? Will I be really happy? Am I doing this for the right reasons?

For me, my commitment to fitness was found through the discovery of self worth. I realized that when my body was healthy I was healthy. So making the commitment to fitness came naturally. Now I realize that’s not the case for everyone. But if we take a step back and truely ask ourselves what commitment to fitness means to us, what it stands for in our lives, then we can begin aligning our fitness goals to our lifestyle.

Guest Post Submitted by Michelle Dela Cru

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How Can We Help You Move More And Move The World In 2013?

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So the team at movemo have come back from a long break and we’re ready to get 2013 rolling!  Last year, we worked our butts off researching and writing for you to help create fitness ideas, methods and principles that were effective, enduring and empowering.  In addition to our blog, we also contributed our writing and ideas to RedBook, Under30CEO, Ideamensch, Pick The Brain, TeachersatRisk, GovLoop,SheKnows, Nurse Talk Radio, Health Magazine, and the Huffington Post.

We want to do more and would love to hear from you on how we can do that.

But first, let’s recap on a short list of some our greatest articles from last year:

Eating Well

  • 35 Ways to Eat More Vegetables
  • Green Smoothies Infographic
  • Infographic: Which Dietary Supplements are Worth Taking?
  • 10 Simple Kitchen Hacks
  • Korean Zucchini Pancakes
  • Eating Healthy in an Unhealthy World
Moving More
  • The 7 Basic Human Movements
  • 4 Essentials for Strengthening Your Core
  • 10 Things I didn’t Know About Gyms
  • 3 Misleading Fitness Phrases I Wished We Stopped Using
  • How To Strengthen Your Core Even More
  • Lifts for Stronger Butt, Hips and Legs
  • Why the Fitness Industry is Failing You
  • The Hierarchy of Fat Loss
Moving More to Move the World
  • The NYC Bridge Challenge Movemo Fundraiser
  • Kickboxing for Rural Kids
  • 50 Inspiring Health and Fitness Quotes
  • How to Create a Habit
  • Why I’m Committed to Health and Fitness

Even with all this material on improving your fitness so you can change the world, we still don’t think we’ve done enough.  We’re committed to you, our amazing friends, family and co-workers and so we’d like to know what else you would like to learn about fitness and health in 2013.  We know there’s so much more to learn and we’re all about sharing more knowledge with those who are moving our world forward everyday.  Let us know and we’ll get started on researching, writing and even making new fitness videos for you.  Leave us your comments below, facebook us or even email Kevin and I at kevin@movemofitness.com or matthew@movemofitness.com.

Thanks for being such great fans and readers of our work and cheers to a daring 2013!  Move more, and more the world!

-Kevin & Matt

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