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Five Exercises for Head, Neck, & Shoulder Pain

Scapular Depression

The main contributor to head, neck, and shoulder tension/pain is mostly due to poor posture. Poor posture can develop from working an office job that requires prolonged sitting. The over utilization of technology such as computers and smartphones leads to poor posture, as you can imagine, with the head down, shoulders forward, and rounded back. Participating in sports and activities that require the body to be in different positions such as cycling, for example, can also be a contributor. Furthermore, it could be from an old injury that was sustained in the past that may have forced the body to compensate in a way that allows the body to continually function on a daily basis.
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Cure Stress and Inflammation, the Natural Way

Running man with knee pain

Forest fires are unbelievably powerful, capably dangerous, and yet necessary. They clear forests of dead trees, break down and return nutrients to the soil, remove weak or disease-ridden trees, and ultimately improve wildlife habitat. Inflammation within our bodies parallels this act of nature in nearly every way. It is a physiological response with stigmatically negative connotations similar to a forest fire, yet it is a response that’s absolutely necessary for protection and healing. Without an inflammatory response, a tiny cut or cold could become deadly, and without a forest fire, a forest could become plagued with disease and stagnant germination. However, not all inflammation is good and a fire in the forest is not always necessary. Acute inflammation may be rolling your ankle or having a sore throat, more of an immediate response. while, chronic inflammation could be your daily stressors from work, lack of sleep, or a poor diet, more long-term exposure.
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Nutrition 101: Reading Labels

Nutrition Label Blog

Are you one of the many people who have a love-hate relationship with grocery stores? They are wonderful, because they are stocked full of the foods that can keep our bodies alive and healthy. On the contrary, there are endless options that can damage our bodies without us realizing it. It can be frustrating when you’re excited to start practicing healthy eating habits, only to be bombarded by options on the shelves making a multitude of ambiguous claims. …all natural, gluten free, whole grain… Suddenly, you enter panic mode and grab what looks like the healthiest option or just end up filling your cart with what you are used to. No wonder many of us are confused what we should eat! Below are a few tips to help you develop confidence in your ability to make smart choices at the grocery store by understanding how to read labels.
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Four Elements Essential to your Training Regimen

Barbell

There are many ways to vary your training regimen, but we’d like to focus on four that are commonly overlooked: have a plan/program, and prescribe multi-joint, multi-planar, and unilateral lifts. These four components can help provide a well-balanced routine throughout the week and add much needed variability your body needs to adapt.
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Clear the Haze: Key Components of a Good Diet

Healthy Meal

Nutrition is a vital component of health and fitness. They, truly go hand in hand. Much like fitness, there is no one size-fits-all meal plan that can fit the needs of everyone. Inevitably, most people will start rummaging through the abyss of google for a diet to meet their needs. Seeking answers from multiple sources often seems like a good idea at first, but it usually takes a turn for the worse when everyone claims to have the answers, and yet each suggestion conflicts with the next. … Intermittent Fasting, No wait, eat every 3 hours… Eat whole grain, unless you follow Paleo then don’t eat grains at all… Diet is extremely individual. Moments of success can lend clues to lead you in the right direction. Your body weight, energy level, and performance can all be indicators of your diet is working. Check out our guide to test your nutrition.
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Office Ergonomics

Allie Henderson on phone with proper posture

Low back pain, slouched shoulders, neck pain? The guilty culprit? Spending so much time in poor posture! There are many causes for these aches and pains, but a good place to start is taking a look at how we position ourselves at work. Since so many people spend their days sitting or standing at a desk, it is crucial to know how to set up our workstation properly. The following are some recommendations to set up your workplace properly so you can improve those painful muscle imbalances.

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The 5 Most Common Flaws With Deadlift Form

If we could only choose three exercises for the rest of our lives, the deadlift would be among those three (and probably # 1). In our opinion, it is the one of the most functional exercises you can do while stimulating more muscle fibers both anteriorly and posteriorly than any exercise. Coincidentally, it releases anabolic hormones like nobody’s business and helps improve posture, further enhancing dopamine production; two great reasons to deadlift on top of the profusion of other positives. Think about it, when you bend down to pick something up like a couch when you’re moving, groceries when you’re shopping, or a kid when they’re having a temper tantrum, the deadlift prepares you for those daily tasks. Hate being in the gym? Don’t have enough time to exercise every angle and muscle in your back? Then the deadlift, although exceptionally difficult, is your answer. If your form, the load and intensity are right, the deadlift will build more mass than cable rows, lat pull-downs, and dumbbell rows combined. However, the deadlift is one of the most abused exercise we see everyday as trainers.
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Build a Better Butt

Glute Bridge

How-To: Glute Bridges

Prepping for a bikini competition or wanting a nice shaped butt for summer? Looking to increase glute and hamstring activation for your lunges, squats and deadlifts? Or maybe you’re looking to reduce your low back pain and gain more glute strength? Hip thrusts/hip lifts/glute bridges are gaining a lot of attention in the fitness world right now. It is great for building glute strength, stability of your knees, & to shape a perfectly round butt!
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Turkish Get-Up How To

Kettlebell in the air ready to start Turkish Get-Up

The Turkish Get-Up (TGU) is a great, complex functional movement that utilizes multiple muscles groups. Moreover, it’s a movement that demonstrates both stability and mobility. This exercise commonly utilizes a kettlebell in one hand while the elbow is extended and shoulder is flexed throughout the whole movement. TGU is a great exercise to perform in the gym if you’re pressed for time and it doesn’t require much equipment or setup. Traditionally, TGU is used with a kettlebell but a dumbbell will suffice if you don’t have access to kettlebells.
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Foam Rolling 101

Allie Henderson foam rolling

Why should you foam roll?

Surrounding our muscles, bones, and organs is a network of connective tissue called fascia. Unlike our muscles which are more elastic in nature, fascia is more plastic in nature, made primarily from dense fibers of collagen. From a musculoskeletal point, fascia helps support efficiency of movement, reactive forces, and injury prevention. However, muscle imbalances, overuse, stress, and injuries can create “knots” or entanglements within the tissue, causing restriction of movement. We often refer to this areas as trigger points.
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