July 18, 2020

12 Stretches to Get Rid of Shoulder Tension and More…

In today’s digest we bring you articles on 12 Stretches to Get Rid of Shoulder Tension, 4 Immune-Boosting Supplements You Should Be Taking Every Day, Dramatically Increase Flexibility and Mobility With This 6 Minute Warmup and Tip: 4 Perfect Drills For Mobile Hips. Hope you enjoy them…

12 Stretches to Get Rid of Shoulder Tension

As someone who spends a large part of my day hunched over a laptop, I am very familiar with shoulder tension. No matter how often I remind myself to sit up straight and maintain good posture, every now and then I look up and realize I’m huddled over with my spine rounded, shoulders high near…

As someone who spends a large part of my day hunched over a laptop, I am very familiar with shoulder tension. No matter how often I remind myself to sit up straight and maintain good posture, every now and then I look up and realize I’m huddled over with my spine rounded, shoulders high near my ears, and my neck in some wonky position so that my face is practically pressed against the computer screen. (I guess that’s my “concentrating” pose?)

When I’m not thinking about it (though, my Apple Watch’s frequent reminders to stand up do help a little), it’s very easy to revert to a not-so-ideal sitting position. Combined with my propensity to carry no less than two very heavy tote bags around with me most days, my shoulders are often tight and achey. A massage therapist once remarked how I was carrying so much shoulder tension she was surprised I didn’t constantly have a headache.

Turns out, I’m definitely not alone. “Stiff, tight shoulders are one of the most common complaints among all people today—especially anyone who spends extended amounts of time slumped at a desk or sitting behind a steering wheel,” Brad Walker, Australian trainer and triathlon coach and director of education at StretchLab in Los Angeles, tells SELF. “This position causes our upper back to round forward, our chest to tighten, and our shoulders to lift and compress, all leading to very poor posture and eventual shoulder pain and tightness.”

It’s not just poor posture, though, that can make your upper body feel super tense. “Your shoulders may become tight as a result of poor posture, muscle tension, overuse (for example, too many push-ups), or even stress,” Dan Giordano, D.P.T., co-founder of Bespoke Treatments Physical Therapy in New York City and Seattle, tells SELF.

Strengthening the core and upper body, including your back and shoulders, is a great way to improve your posture over time and help get rid of shoulder pain. And your shoulders specifically may benefit immensely from rotator cuff exercises, which strengthen and stabilize the small muscles that help keep the ball-and-socket joint in place. But if shoulder tension and tightness are what plague you, doing some shoulder stretches can provide short-term relief.

Also, it’s important to pay close attention to what you’re feeling. Tightness isn’t so much to be worried about, and stretching is a good way to improve that. Pain is another story. The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body (fun fact), which also means it tends to be unstable and prone to injuries. If you feel pain that’s sudden, sharp, or doesn’t start improving after a few days, it could be a sign you’re actually injured and should see a doctor.

If you’re just looking to stretch out your tight shoulders, try the stretches for shoulder pain below from Walker, Giordano, Rachel Prairie (corporate personal trainer and programming specialist at Anytime Fitness), and Jacque Crockford, M.S., C.S.C.S. (exercise physiology content manager at American Council on Exercise). They target the shoulders and the surrounding muscles, like those in the neck, chest, and back, which all can contribute to shoulder tension. Pick a few and add them to your recovery routine a few times a week or when you feel like you need them.

Modeling the moves is Caitlyn Seitz, a New York-based group fitness instructor and singer/songwriter.

12 Stretches to Get Rid of Shoulder Tension was originally published at http://onself.co/HFkyfhZ

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4 Immune-Boosting Supplements You Should Be Taking Every Day

Staying healthy takes a multi-pronged approach. It starts with regular exercise, a nutritious diet, adequate sleep, and stress management. Supplements can also help ensure you and your immune system are running at 100 percent when the day comes that you need them to be resilient against the world at large. Never has that been more…

Staying healthy takes a multi-pronged approach. It starts with regular exercise, a nutritious diet, adequate sleep, and stress management. Supplements can also help ensure you and your immune system are running at 100 percent when the day comes that you need them to be resilient against the world at large. Never has that been more clear than right now, when sickness is on everyone’s mind.

What many immune formulas have in common is their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are substances that neutralize free radicals to protect cells from damage. In other words, they keep cells healthy so your organs and body systems, including your immune system, can keep working correctly.

Here’s the good news: You don’t need to buy fancy or expensive supplements to harness antioxidant power. The best supplements for your immune system are actually pretty basic.

Here’s our guide for cold and flu season:

1. Bodybuilding.com Signature Vitamin C

Bodybuilding. com Signature Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most well-known and most popular antioxidants, and for good reason. This simple, affordable supplement delivers a big antioxidant hit to protect cells from free radical damage, helping to support a healthy immune system.*

Vitamin C is special because it also helps your body produce other things it needs, like collagen, L-carnitine, vitamin E, and neurotransmitters. Plus, it helps you absorb iron from veggies, so definitely take it with meals.*

2. Alpha Lion Superhuman Greens

Alpha Lion Superhuman Greens

Even if you start every morning with a kale smoothie that you could prop up a spoon in, it can be tough to get all the veggies and fruits you need. Consider a well-formulated greens powder your vegetable insurance. It gives you more kinds of superfoods than you’d ever eat on the regular, in one easy-to-drink beverage that doesn’t taste like your lawn. (Granted, a greens supplement isn’t a replacement for actually eating vegetables, since it doesn’t have the fiber you get from veggies in their natural state. The supplement’s main job is to provide extra nutrients.)

In Alpha Lion’s Superhuman Greens, you get fruits and veggies as well as sprouts, wheat grass, sea vegetables, spirulina—all kinds of stuff that’s super good for you but not normally in your grocery cart. And most super of all, it tastes great. Choose from Anabolic Apple and Manchild Mango.

3. NOW Zinc

Zinc is less famous than vitamin C, but it also provides powerful immune system support, making it another great addition to your supplement regimen.

Zinc plays a lot of roles in the body. It helps your skeletal, neurological, and endocrine systems work correctly, and helps with protein and carbohydrate metabolism, among many other jobs.*

It’s also a key component of ZMA, which you may already take for sleep and recovery. (If you do take ZMA, there’s no need to double up with an additional zinc supplement.) And as an added perk, since zinc defends against oxidation, it can be helpful for healthy aging.*

4. RSP Nutrition BioVite Multivitamin

BioVite Multivitamin

A good multivitamin is one supplement everybody should be taking, not just during cold and flu season, but to protect against nutritional deficiencies year-round. It’s especially important if you work out a lot, since between the extra wear and tear on your body and losing minerals through sweat, you just need more of everything.

We love this multi formula because it contains premium ingredients like methylcobalamin and Quatrefolic, forms of vitamin B12 and folic acid, respectively, that are easier for the body to absorb than other forms. It also has a blend of natural food-based ingredients to give you even more micronutrients.

BioVite includes full, optimal amounts of each active ingredient. You have to take three of these bad boys a day, but you’ll know you’re getting a potent dose.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

4 Immune-Boosting Supplements You Should Be Taking Every Day was originally published at https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/4-immune-boosting-supplements-you-should-be-taking-every-day.html?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=Social_content&utm_campaign=fb_articles&utm_content=immune

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Dramatically Increase Flexibility and Mobility With This 6 Minute Warmup

My biggest weakness is lack of flexibility. I just can’t get myself to take the time to stretch. In fact, I hate stretching. About 3 months ago, Dan Go contacted me about a way to increase flexibility, improve posture, and increase exercise performance…by doing a simple 6 minute warm-up. He saw a HUGE gap in…

My biggest weakness is lack of flexibility. I just can’t get myself to take the time to stretch. In fact, I hate stretching.

About 3 months ago, Dan Go contacted me about a way to increase flexibility, improve posture, and increase exercise performance…by doing a simple 6 minute warm-up. He saw a HUGE gap in the fitness industry and has come up with a methodology that gets results fast, even for stubborn non-stretchers like myself.

Dan runs a gym in Toronto, Canada and has perfected a way for all of his gym members to increase flexibility each and every workout…while prepping their muscles to lift heavier weights…all while reducing the chance of injury.

Dan Sent Me a Blue Lacrosse Ball in the Mail

A few months back Dan emailed me and told me to expect a small package (insert “that’s what she said” joke) in the mail. It was a blue lacrosse ball and a short note with a handwritten URL scribbled on it.


I went to my computer and typed in the URL and it led me to a video of Dan explaining the need for a better method to quickly increase flexibility without traditional stretching.

He explained and demonstrated this method in the video and I followed along with the lacrosse ball. After just one session I noticed a dramatic difference in both posture, range of motion, and how smoothly my joints felt when lifting weights. Instead of trying to explain it second hand, I’d rather have you get this info directly from the source.

The Perfect Warmup for Peak Performance
-by Dan Go

Today I’m going to talk to you about a perfect pre workout booster that MUST become a staple in your workouts.

BUT before I do that…I have one question to ask you:

Would you trade 6 MINUTES of your time to reverse the effects of aging and increase every marker (strength, speed, power, endurance and energy) of your body’s performance…

…while healing old injuries and making your body completely impervious to new ones?

If you just nodded “YES” then please keep reading.

Our society is very strange. In their quest to “look great naked” people will often go to great lengths and do whatever it takes to achieve their goal of having an awesome looking body.

But what they don’t realize is that while they are taking one step forward in looking great…they are usually doing things that keep them two steps BACK in terms of feeling great.

It’s like driving around for years in a souped up Lamborghini Gallardo, yet never ever taking the time to give it an oil change.

Eventually, that fantastic beast of a car will break down.

And this is EXACTLY what is happening with people in the gym today.

While they are driving around in their body’s they are usually held back by some sort of dysfunction that is keeping them in some sort of pain and hindering the results they could get from their workouts.

The TRUTH is that there is very a high chance that you are probably walking around with some sort of dysfunction in your body be it in your shoulder, knees or lower back.

And quite honestly…it’s NOT your fault.

Because while the mainstream fitness media teaches us how to look great they don’t do such a great job at teaching us how to PERFORM great.

That is why we are here today.

Today I’m going to show you an exact pre-workout sequence you can do right before your workouts that will enhance your strength, speed, power, flexibility, endurance and energy while healing your old injuries and protecting you from new ones.

This pre-workout sequence also has one very IMPORTANT function as well: To reverse your age related movement problems and have you operating at your physical best no matter what your age…

…all in under 6 minutes flat.

It’s called the Peak Performance Formula.

It’s an exact, science proven formula that will ultimately allow your body to work at it’s fullest potential every single day regardless if it is doing something menial like picking up a box or doing something intense like one of Rusty’s Visual Impact workouts at the gym.

It is the key to unlocking that potential reservoir of athleticism that you so richly deserve and the best part about it is: It only takes 6 minutes to complete.

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence” – Confucius

So take out your notebook and a pen of paper because no matter where you are starting from, we are about show you how to reach your bodies ultimate physical potential in the time it takes to brush your teeth in the morning.

Peak Performance Formula Step 1 – Get Your Self Myofascial Release On!

The is the first step of the Peak Performance Formula and one of the most important steps to do before your workouts.

In fact, many of the clients in my Transformation Center have called this a life changer.

What you don’t know right now is that a lot of those nagging pains in your body and the overall feeling of being “old” has NOTHING to do with age at all.

What it all comes down to is the quality of your Fascial Tissue.

What is Your Fascia?

Fascia (Pronounced as Fah-Sha) is an embryologic tissue which re-organizes long the lines of tension imposed on your body, adding support to any misalignment and contracting to protect you from further trauma (real or imagined).

To get a better idea of Fascia picture in your mind a sword.

Fascia is the sheath that goes OVER the sword (your muscle) to act as a protectant.
Fascia is your sheath protecting and covering EVERY single muscle on your body.

It has been estimated by researchers that if every structure of the body EXCEPT the fascia was removed, the body would STILL retain its shape.

Knowing this kinda gives you a better idea of how important its function is. Fascia covers the muscles, bones, nerves, organs and vessels right down to the cellular level.


One study has found that pain felt in specific areas of the body can be frequently related back to having actual adhesions in the fascial tissue. (Schleip R et al. ligament subfailure injuries lead to muscle control dysfunction” (M. Panjabi). European Spine Journal 2007; 16: 1733-1735)


You fascial tissue gets negatively affected by long periods of sitting (hello 9-5 job) and bad posture. Your fascial tissue gets even worse when you decide to do intense workouts ON TOP of your already dysfunctional muscle tissue.

Strains in your fascial tissue caused by the problems stated above will slowly tighten your body causing it to lose it’s overall physical capacity to perform under any stress and its one of the main causes of age related pain and dysfunction.

Why Do Self Myofascial Release?

The most effective way of improving the quality of your fascial tissue is through massage aka. Self Myofascial release (SMR)

Most people think that the only way to get a massage is by paying $75/session to your local massage therapist but what we recommend something a lot cheaper and 10x more effective.

SMR is the most potent way of locating your fascial restrictions, changing your posture and effectively improving the way your bodies biomechanical movement.

By implementing the SMR routine prescribed in this program you will not only enhance your bodies ability to move, but you’ll also increase it’s own propriorception or it’s awareness of itself.

Think of Self Myofascial Release as putting a BRAND NEW engine in your body’s chassis.

Or if you’re like me, think of the effect of doing Self Myofascial Release is like going from a driving a Toyota Corolla to tearing down the roads in that brand new Lamborghini.

Self Myofascial Release helps remove the “vice grip-like” pressure caused by restrictive fascia, eliminating symptoms such as stiffness, pain and spasms.

After several weeks of practicing SMR your body will learn new and incredibly improved freedom of movement that you haven’t experienced since you were a teenager.

While SMR is usually performed with a foam roller I’ve found something much more effective and chances you are probably have it lying around somewhere in your house.

Check out the video on how to apply an effective system of SMR into your workouts to reverse your age and replace that old body with a brand NEW athletic engine.

Peak Performance Principle #2 – Turn ON Your Body with Neuromuscular Activators

When warming up our bodies we use a little known but very effective method called Neuromuscular Activation.

What’s a Neuromuscular Activator aka. NMA’s?

NMA’s are exercises that only require your own bodyweight and they are used to wake up your entire nervous system.

Most secondhand warm up routines involve cardio machines such as the treadmill, stair stepper or stationary bicycle. These only address one part of the body, which is usually the lower body.

Neuromuscular activators are full body exercises that simultaneously warm you up while waking up your nervous system for the workout ahead.

Think of this approach like taking a shot of espresso but for your body.

Neuromuscular Activators Also Improve the Elasticity of Your Muscles

When you do an NMA you are essentially releasing synovial fluid into your joints.

Courtesy of Wikipedia: Synovial fluid is a viscous fluid found in the cavities of synovial joints. With its yolk-like consistency, the principle role of synovial fluid is to reduce friction between the articular cartilage of synovial joints during movement.

In short: Synovial fluid is like putting oil in your joints to help them move better for any type of physical activity and they also have a great effect on detoxifying your body.

All of these benefits lead to giving an entire jolt to your nervous system and priming your body for the physical activity that lies ahead.

The combination increased heart rate, full body movement, transport of various fluids and mental preparedness all contribute to that “espresso” like quality of waking up your body.

Peak Performance Principle #3 – Activate and Get Your Full Range of Motion with Dynamic Mobility Exercises

Dynamic Mobility Exercises are a form of stretching utilizing momentum from form, static-active stretching strength and the momentum from static-active stretching strength, in an effort to propel the muscle into an extended range of motion not exceeding one’s static-passive stretching ability.

In other words: Dynamic Mobility Exercises replace boring useless static stretches and utilizes short burst stretches to increase your muscles range of motion and activate your body’s true athletic potential.

Dynamic Mobility Exercises exercises are known as the “Anti-Aging” workout.

Now, this is not to say that doing them will make you look younger.

By anti-aging I mean that by doing them you’ll reverse the aging process of movement.

Years of corporate and family life will slowly inhibit your ability to move freely by creating poor posture.

The effect of movement aging is that soreness you feel after waking up or the pain in your shoulders when you work out. It’s that fear of injuring your lower back when bending down to pick up a heavy box

Dynamic Mobility Exercises reverses your aging process by effectively bringing your body back into balance with itself essentially giving it the exercises needed to heal itself and bring it back to its full physical potential.

Dynamic Mobility Exercises also do one other very important thing:

They make you become a supremely BETTER athlete.

Don’t believe me?

A study done by the US ARMY was performed 30 cadets in the US military who did 3 consecutive days of either mobility, static stretching, or no warm up and their effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) on their performance.

Tests were done on the shuttle run, underhand med ball throw and 5 step long jump.

Out of each of the modes of warming up with the dynamic mobility exercises helped the subjects perform BETTER on every test.

There were no increases from either the no warm up group or static stretching group.

The test proved CONCLUSIVELY that mobility drills before exercising enhanced every aspect of their athletic performance.

Another study conducted by the University of Wyoming and published in the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” June 2008 strongly supports the use of dynamic mobility exercises exercises before a workout.

They wanted to see whether introducing a dynamic mobility into a four week training program of 24 high level college athletes would have a positive impact on the following performance factors;

  • Power
  • Speed
  • Agility
  • Flexibility
  • Endurance
  • Strength

The athletes were divided into two groups. One group used static stretching and the other group used mobility exercises before daily practice sessions. The groups were tested for four weeks and measures were taken before and after the training session.

So what did they find in both groups? The research showed that the static group found NO improvements and some decreases in the performance factors stated above.

Whilst the dynamic group showed some significant results to help performance.

This group showed improvements in Enhanced Muscular Strength, including increases of;

  • Leg strength by 11%
  • Throws by 4%
  • Push ups by 3%
  • Sit-ups by 11%
  • Endurance – time to complete a 700m run was faster by 2.4%
  • Agility – jump time increased by 4%
  • Anaerobic capacity – time for 300 shuttle test was faster by 2%

Just by employing one month of mobility exercises to their workout programs these subjects increased their strength by up to 11% and increased their speed by up to 2.4% !!

After only one month of applying mobility exercises to their bodies every marker of athletic performance improved.

Dynamic Mobility Exercises Just Make You Feel Really Good

There isn’t scientific evidence to support this fact but just trust me on this one.

There’s a specific feeling in knowing and feeling the freedom that comes with ability to just move better.

Your body just feels awesome 24/7 because you are operating your full potential of movement. You are also reversing the posture related effects of living the corporate life.

You are able to get up without pain, throw without pain, lift without pain and just live life at a higher level.

Once you apply the Dynamic Mobility Exercises exercises to your body you will start to feel a freedom of movement that you have not felt since high school.

As you can see, it’s ALL strategy and every single piece of the puzzle makes a huge difference and it takes ONLY 6 minutes to complete or just about the time you take to brush your teeth in the morning.

In a couple days we’ll be releasing a COMPLETE program designed to hack your body and turn it into a high performance machine in ONLY 6 minutes regardless of your age or experience level.

The program is called 6 Minute Superhuman and it is scientifically proven to increase your strength, speed, flexibility, vertical jump power, endurance and energy while bulletproofing your body from injuries forever.

Are you ready to experience just how fast your body can be enhanced when you unlock the power of the peak performance formula right before your workouts?

Dramatically Increase Flexibility and Mobility With This 6 Minute Warmup was originally published at https://fitnessblackbook.com/dramatically-increase-flexibility-and-mobility-with-this-6-minute-warmup/

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Tip: 4 Perfect Drills For Mobile Hips

Movement is medicine. And if we’re not moving, we’re not getting better. Most us will sit for hours on end, train intensely for an hour or two, then go back to sitting for most of the day. Our hips don’t like this. They deserve better. Lack of movement and mobility in the hips can lead…

Movement is medicine. And if we’re not moving, we’re not getting better.

Most us will sit for hours on end, train intensely for an hour or two, then go back to sitting for most of the day. Our hips don’t like this. They deserve better.

Lack of movement and mobility in the hips can lead to:

  • Poor exercise positioning
  • Potential risk of injury
  • Lower back pain
  • Postural issues
  • Imbalances

There’s an ongoing debate about which mobility or stretching methods are “the best.” Some say you should never do static stretching because it will inhibit your performance and cause regression in your strength. Others say SMR (self-myofascial release) is a complete waste of time and offers nothing but temporary relief.

Here’s What We Do Know

  • Our hips are in a constant state of flexion. Whether we’re sitting at our desk or at the dinner table, our hips are flexed most of the day.
  • Our hips have multiple functions. Similar to your shoulder, your hips are a ball and socket joint with multidirectional movement and rotational functions. While flexion and extension are both important functions of the hip, they also adduct, abduct, rotate internally/externally, and stabilize. These key functions are grossly undertrained.
  • Consistent mobility work has a ton of ongoing benefits. You’ll feel awesome, you’ll get into better positions in the squat and deadlift, your risk of injury will decrease, and your posture will improve.

Mobility can be summed up as our joints’ ability to actively travel through their intended ranges of motion. It’s flexibility combined with strength and control. When it comes to hip mobility and adding it to your dynamic warm-up, here are a couple of drills you can try for yourself. Both use a foam roller to keep you honest with your technique.

Hip Rotations Over Foam Roller

  1. Hold on to something for balance and stand a foam roller up next to you.
  2. Bring your knee up towards your chest and open your hip so that your leg goes over the foam roller.
  3. Bring your leg around the foam roller, internally rotating the hip.
  4. Bring your feet together to your starting position.
  5. Do the same process in reverse.
  6. Keeping your leg bent, extend your hip back.
  7. Externally rotate the hip, bringing your knee over the foam roller.
  8. Adduct the hip, bringing it in toward your center.
  9. Bring your feet back together and repeat.

Use this as part of your dynamic warm-up. Do 1-2 sets of 10-15 reps each side.

Leg Whips Over Foam Roller

  1. Lay on your back with a foam roller next to your right hip. Bring the roller closer towards your knee if your hips are really tight.
  2. With your left leg bent, do a single-leg hip bridge. Your hips will remain off the floor throughout the set.
  3. With your right leg straight, abduct it out to your side, avoiding the foam roller.
  4. Bring your leg back to your center and bring it forward toward the floor. Don’t let your foot touch the ground. Then repeat this process.

Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps each side.

The next two drills are great for your active recovery routine. You can do them post-training, on your rest days, or sparingly throughout the day to give those hips some much needed attention.

Quad/Hip Stretch Against Bench

  1. Get on both knees in front of a bench with a foam roller or bar pad wedged behind your knees.
  2. Slowly lean back onto the bench on your elbows.
  3. For a greater stretch, rest your upper arms/triceps on the bench.
  4. For an even greater stretch, extend your arms overhead and reach behind you.
  5. You should feel a big stretch in your quads and hips.

Use it as your post-workout recovery routine. Hold for at least 1-2 minutes.

90/90 Stretch

  1. Get into a 90/90 position – both legs bent at 90-degree angles.
  2. With your chest upright, “curl” your belly button down towards your front knee.
  3. Hold this position for at least one minute. You should feel a good stretch in your front glute.
  4. Keeping your legs in the same position, rotate your torso so your belly button is squared up with your rear knee and hold this position for another minute. You should feel a stretch in your rear glute.
  5. After a minute, perform 10 external rotations with your back leg, driving your front knee to the floor.
  6. On the tenth rep, push both knees out wide to the floor and hold for 10 seconds.
  7. Rotate to the other side and repeat the entire process.

Focus on your breathing: 3 seconds in through the nose and 3 seconds out through the mouth. Use sparingly throughout the day and on your rest days.

The Cure for Hip Tightness and Mobility

Hip Mobility for Hardcore Lifters

Tip: 4 Perfect Drills For Mobile Hips was originally published at https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-4-perfect-drills-for-mobile-hips?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=article9008