Push-Ups and Burpee’s

Megan Hanriot CPT GFI CES PES NWC

1/5/2020

The most common things I hear when I meet new clients are, “Don’t make me do push-ups/burpees!”, or “I won’t train with you if you give me push-ups/burpees!”. Believe me, I get it! My biggest weakness in training is my upper body strength and the dreaded push-up.

However, I implore you to really think about what the whole purpose of seeking out a personal trainer is. Why tell me what you refuse to do if you are truly seeking change?

Right now, we are in one of the biggest months for the fitness and wellness industry because people are making resolutions to lose weight, eat healthier, and overall just be a better version of themselves.

In order to be a better you, don’t you have to challenge yourself? Don’t you have to really change?

When training clients, if they really physically are incapable of doing a specific task, it’s my job to give them an alternative version. Therefore, if you can’t do a standard push-up, we can elevate you so you can eventually work yourself down to a regular push-up!

Regression is not something to sneer at, nor is it something to be ashamed of. So remember that wherever you are right now is where you are meant to be. If you don’t challenge that standard and if you completely refuse to do things you struggle with, how can change really happen?

Push-ups and burpee’s are not the enemy and even if they are a challenge, there are ways to bring that challenge to whatever level you are currently. Once you are able to add the push-up and hop into a burpee, that feeling of being able to successfully execute these challenges is indescribable.

As a member of Sacred Roots Holistic Healing, I am proud to bring to you working out in a safe and educational environment. An environment that truly wishes to help our clients conquer their obstacles and really achieve the long-term changes they are looking for!

Please don’t hesitate to seek our help! For more content and instructional videos, check out my future blog posts and our app!

New Year, New Me

Kaleah McClain, FST LMT FMT NMRT.
01.4.2021

Congratulations on making it to 2021! You have leveled up! 😉

In all earnest, though, it is a new year with new opportunities and choices and responsibilities. I have often heard the adage from this article title, “New Year, New Me!” used fervently in this first month which then dwindles back to the eventual trudge towards “next year” or “tomorrow” or “one day”. My only question is what about today? Isn’t there opportunity and potential still dormant within that?

I hope that each of you feels the potential within yourselves this year. Each moment, each experience, each thought is full of hope for being something that adds meaning, intention, quality, and love to your life. My other hope is that you do not feel the need for a “new you”. While the saying has its purpose, I would like to add that “new” implies that the original was not good enough. I disagree entirely, the original is just as beautiful.

In sessions, if a joint could use a bit more mobility or a muscle group could function better, I like to tell clients “it looks like there is more potential within this area”. I hope that this new year brings more self awareness, self love, kindness, and vulnerability. I hope that you get the chance to explore your potential and find newness within the already worthy and amazing being that you are.

For me personally, I have changed the quote in my head. It’s no longer “New Year, New Me”, but rather “New Year, Growing Me”. Happy New Year, and happy exploring and growing to you, as well!

Wellness Outside of Sessions: Sports Tape

Kaleah McClain, FST LMT FMT NMRT.
12.7.2020

You may have seen athletic tape while watching your local soccer team compete, notice a friend had an injury supported with tape, or heard about taping in a recent “What We Do Wednesdays” series on our social media. We love using tape to support your health and stability outside of sessions. So, how does tape work?

Let’s start with the benefits of taping:
Supports weak muscles
Prevents overextending muscles
Prevents over-contraction of muscles
Supports ligaments and tendons that have been recently strained or sprained
Assists in decreasing swelling and fluid movement
Assists in tissue decompression superficially
Provides stimulus to encourage better movement patterns

When would this not be a good option?
Allergic reaction to tape adhesive (you can test a small strip for a few hours to be certain it won’t cause an issue)
Open wounds should not be taped as it can introduce bacteria to the area and when removing tape can remove any scabs that have been formed
Over a deep vein thrombosis (the decompression and extra fluid movement could dislodge a clot)
Anytime an infection or active cancer is present the extra fluid movement can spread the infection or cause issues with treatments
Anytime you have little or altered sensation in an area, tape should not be used because you aren’t able to monitor its effect as well

This can be a great tool for continuing to build upon the work done in a session. If you have any questions or want to try this out with one of us at the office, just let us know! We’d be happy to help you find something that helps us propel your wellness forward.

Proprioception: What is it? Ways to improve it!

12/8/2020
Megan Hanriot CPT GFI CES PES NWC

When I see new clients, they often define themselves as clumsy. Being clumsy is just something that is commonplace and thought of as a trait. However, being clumsy can mean that you need to build your proprioception.

Proprioception is how your body perceives the surrounding environment and how your body moves in said environment. Basically, it’s the ability of your body to gauge how to maneuver around a stick in your path, or how to go up and down steps.

If you are less aware of the environment surrounding you, then you lack proprioception. But, can you build up the proprioception you have currently? Of course!!

Many corrective exercise workouts are actually geared towards building proprioception. Whether it be using a stabilization technique, performing a task with your eyes closed, or jumping, you can actually improve how you perceive your environment.

While I myself have been known to consider myself as clumsy, I now try to incorporate all sorts of exercises to improve my own proprioception. Look for my videos about ankle stability and lower leg mobility if you want to start improving your own proprioception!!

For more content and instructional videos, check out my future blog posts and our app!

Low back pain and foam rolling

12/8/2020
Megan Hanriot CPT GFI CES PES NWC

So many people suffer from low back pain on a daily basis. Also, so many people focus on the lower back muscles as the culprit, but have you ever considered there could be other reasons? (WARNING: Please do not foam roll your lower back muscles)

One of the biggest reasons for low back pain is muscle imbalances. Maybe your quads dominate your daily movement, or maybe your hamstrings dominate. Maybe your lats are too tight. Maybe you sit at a desk for most of your day and your hip flexors are constantly shortened.

People tend to live in a constant state of unbalanced muscles and don’t realize this until there is a problem. Low back pain is a huge problem and it is one that can be gradually improved with a little daily maintenance.

The main spots to foam roll if you have low back pain really are dependent on your own imbalances. Each individual moves throughout their day differently. We compensate for muscle imbalances in various ways.

If you want to see some good spots for foam rolling to help with low back pain, check out my videos!

Hint: Some places to try foam rolling for low back pain are- Lats, Hip flexors, Hamstrings, piriformis/glutes (The piriformis is a muscle that is often tight and rests right on top of the sciatic nerve. If you are suffering from shooting pain due to this pinching, you can try this foam rolling technique).

Wellness Outside of Sessions: Inform Yourself

Kaleah McClain, FST LMT FMT NMRT.
12.7.2020

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” – Maya Angelou

We can only work with the knowledge that we have. To improve our lifestyle, pain levels, and outlook, there has to be a time investment to educate ourselves. It is an investment, but one that is well worth it. Let’s break this down in scenario for stretching:

You may recognize the need to stretch to maintain work in sessions, to aid mobility, or simply to give yourself time to yourself during your busy day. Remembering stretches from high school athletics, you do a few of those quickly as you are thinking about it.

What does that look like if you do some research? You acknowledge that those initial stretches were a good beginning point, and you do some research on further stretching for specific areas. You target those a few times a week and see some results.

After doing additional research, you consistently find studies showing dynamic stretching to be more effective and seek out programs that offer that. You are now targeting tissue that has felt restricted for quite some time and seeing results in mobility. The effectiveness of your routine makes it easier for you to justify taking time out of your week to continue.

With just a little extra effort put into education, the results of these habits magnified. This scenario is easily applicable to most other habits we are trying to incorporate. Best of luck finding improved ways to help yourself!

Wellness Outside of Sessions: Sustainable Habits

Kaleah McClain, FST LMT FMT NMRT.
11.30.2020

When receiving a massage session, completing a personal training session, or completing a nutrition consultation, the biggest challenge is maintaining and contributing to the progress made during the session. While a session can be a kickstart to reducing pain or achieving goals, the most life changing work happens during daily life.

How do we impact our health and wellbeing during our day?
Drinking enough water
Sleeping well and long enough
Eating well
Regular physical activity like stretching, exercise, and walking
Self massage like foam-rolling, cupping, heat/cold packs
Creating stress management techniques

One obstacle to lifestyle changes is lacking consistency. Habits are easier to break and difficult to create. As a way to make it easier, we have videos with stretching, exercise, foam rolling, trigger point release, and cupping available to members. Use the resources you have available to you.

If you need more help implementing new ideas, a great resource is the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. Best of luck discovering new methods to help yourself!

Postural Distortion

11/18/2020
Megan Hanriot CPT CES PES NWC

As a corrective exercise specialist, the very first assessment I give new clients helps me to determine how they move in their day to day environment and through this, their postural distortion patterns. Postural distortion patterns are defined as predictive patterns of muscle imbalance.

There are three common distortion patterns, pronation distortion, lower cross syndrome, and upper cross syndrome. Each of these patterns can either be exhibited by themselves, or people can have multiple at the same time.

With pronation distortion, the main issues are lower leg muscle imbalances and foot pronation, or flattening of the foot. Pronation distortion affects the ankles as well as the knees. In order to combat this, I have clients perform balancing exercises to challenge their leg muscles and ankle/knee stability.

With lower cross, you can see an exaggerated sway in your lower back, which tends to lead to low back pain. Here, clients benefit from learning stabilizing exercises and dynamic movements that encompass the thighs, glutes, and core. Many individuals with lower cross tend to spend more time sitting and less time on their feet, so it’s important to introduce walking as a regular daily activity.

Upper cross is characterized by a forward head and rounded shoulders. Special strengthening exercises can help to build up the muscles in your upper back to help pull your shoulders and head back in place.

Corrective exercise is about building and creating a stronger and more balanced body, but remember that before we strengthen our weak muscles, we lengthen the tight muscles. Keep on the lookout for my corrective exercise videos and remember to check my blog for more information on building a stronger you!

Wellness Outside of Sessions: Prioritize Mindfulness

Kaleah McClain, FST LMT FMT NMRT.
11.23.2020

“Go ahead and take a deep breath.”

We’ve all been in a massage session that perhaps began with that instruction. However, when is the last time that you stopped for a deep breath as you go about your day? When you get a massage you have the opportunity to take time out of your life to process, recharge, and recover. Why do we stop that process once we leave a session?

Especially as we are going through this difficult time, investing in ourselves is becoming more fundamentally vital. So much research is being released on meditation and “flow state” and the correlation with our productivity and fulfillment. While most of us are familiar with the benefits of mindfulness sometimes we don’t allow ourselves the moments to recharge.

As we experience abnormal amounts of trauma and loss during this difficult time, personally I find it more difficult to allow myself mindful moments to recharge or process. Part of this for me is that when things pile up, it feels like ten minutes will make no difference in the overwhelming feeling of crisis. One of my clients recently told me, “today I was told that I don’t need to thrive, and that was the nicest thing I’ve been told.” So, I challenge you. If you feel like you are in a tough spot emotionally, physically, mentally, sexually, or spiritually, please take one minute and complete these steps.

Take a deep breath
Tell yourself that you are magnificent.
Do not say “I am magnificent because….” There is no justification necessary.
One more deep breath

With just that, you have given yourself one moment, extra oxygen, one positive thought, and an opportunity to recharge. For more insight into mindfulness, I highly recommend Widen the Window by Elizabeth A. Stanley. This book specifically discusses training the brain during times of stress and trauma. It may not be our time to thrive. Today is our time to survive, and that’s okay. Stay well, friends.

Corrective Exercise

11/10/2020
Megan Hanriot CPT CES PES NWC
What exactly is corrective exercise? According to NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), corrective exercise is a technique that leverages an understanding of anatomy, kinesiology, and biomechanics to address and fix movement compensations and imbalances to improve the overall quality of movement during workouts and in everyday life.

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