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Mike Gittleson

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Subacromial Space Width

Posted by Mike Gittleson on Jan 8, 2019 9:38:05 PM

The shoulder has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body, it's mobility can also lead to shoulder joint problems. The bony process on the very end of medial part of the shoulder blade or scapula spine is called the acromion, it can be thought of as the roof of the shoulder. The acromion meets and articulates with the collar bone and forms the acromioclavicular joint. The separation between the inferior side of the acromion and the head of the humerus of the upper arm is called the subacromian space and is a little less than one half inch in what is deemed the normal population.

When performing repetitive tasks and fatigue begins to set in, the athlete adapts by re-positioning his or her joints to maintain performance and maintain the important subacromial space width. Space width is synonymous with shoulder function and safetyThe anterior and posterior deltoids, latissimus dorsi and other upper body muscles, when their strength is reduced causes scapula reorientation. Scapula reorientation keeps or increases the width of the joint space, which allows proper alignment of the shoulder socket during movement.

The shoulder is a complex joint and is affected by much of the musculature of the upper torso - understanding how fatigue causes adaptive functional anatomical changes....make sure when you train that you neglect nothing..... "Everything...affects everything", so Get everything Strong!

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Training on the Pendulum Shoulder/Incline

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Topics: Pendulum Shoulder/Incline, Pendulum Rack System, Strength Training, Muscular Strength

Finger Force Modification

Posted by Mike Gittleson on Jan 4, 2019 12:50:31 PM

The forces of grasping with your hand's fingers is highly coordinated. All 5 fingers are linked in order to optimally balance the hand during a grip.  The thumb in grasping objects can be considered an additional actuator during a hook or crimping grip by exerting a supplementary force of approximately 17% in the same direction as the index, middle, ring and little fingers are pulling.  The central nervous system organizes the association of the hands 5 fingers and balances the force output of each digit based on how an object is held. Finger force 'sharing' can be totally re-organized simply by the position of the thumb during activity.

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Using the Thumb to Modify Finger Force

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In training the hands it is all-important that the various hand gripping positions are addressed. Getting each digit Strong can make a difference of how well you do in sport, recreational activities and many other aspects of daily living.

The Pendulum Grip Cart was designed to maximize strength by consigning implements for specific anatomical ways that objects are generally held.

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The Pendulum Grip Cart

 

Topics: Pendulum Grip Cart, Pendulum Gripper, Grip training

Head And Neck And Diaphragm Muscle

Posted by Mike Gittleson on Dec 28, 2018 8:18:05 PM

The diaphragm is a sheet of internal skeletal muscle that performs an important function in respiration. When the diaphragm contracts the volume of the thoracic cavity increases and air is drawn into the lungs. Normal respiration is important, and can be affected by numerous factors such as age, environment, disease, an individuals lifestyle and even changes of posture. 

Due to an increased use of electronic devices, which expose everyone to poor sitting and standing habits, there is an increased forward head lean. Slouched postural positions reduce the diaphragms tension and movement, lowering respiratory functions over time.  The maintenance of correct head posture and strength is required to prevent functional reductions in this musculature, which will occur as we age.

Make sure head and neck training is inclusive in your fitness regime to live a healthy lifestyle.

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The Pendulum 4 Way Head and Neck Machine

Topics: Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Neck training

Some Rules Are Not Made To Be Broken

Posted by Mike Gittleson on Dec 21, 2018 1:39:14 PM

Important Manual Resistance Considerations:

  • When training manually all athletes must understand the rules of performing each repetition properly. The rules of Manual Resistance must be reviewed regularly!
  • The athlete should not only be capable of performing an exercise but have the ability to teach, as well as administer the exercise to others. 
  • Once an athlete understands how to execute manual resistance it demands the same effort and motivation as if trying to improve on a bench, squat, clean or any other strength training exercise.
  • When training manually to progressively overload it requires a strength measurement to track progress.  Taking a circumference, body composition and other physiological variables allows the coach and athlete to monitor results.
  • Remember when training the head and neck manually athletes should have clean hands especially during flu season.  Manual Resistance Rules

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Manual Resistance Rules

1). Each athlete must know and understand the rules.

2). The Lifter begins each exercise with the goal of 6-8 reps. This requires pacing, in other words, the first repetition is not an all out effort. The effort must be increasing for every subsequent repetition.

2a). The Spotter should allow the lifter to perform each repetition at the same pace or speed of movement. This will require different amounts of pressure by the spotter during the rep (because of leverage). The lifter will feel as though the resistance is similar at all joint angles (the resistance will feel smooth).

3). The lowering phase of every repetition should be slower than the raising phase. A guide in learning manual resistance is raise the involved limbs up in 1-2 seconds or at a 1-2 count and lower them in 4-5 seconds or at a 4 or 5 count.

3a). The Spotter must make sure that they feel more force by the lifter during the lowering phase of each repetition.

4). The Lifter should continually contract their target musculature during the raising phase and the lowering phase of every repetition.

4a). The Spotter must give feedback to the lifter to ensure there is always a constant contraction on every repetition performed. The spotter should identify any relaxation or loss of force by the lifter during the movement.

5). The Lifter should pause with pressure against the spotter's resistance at the top of every movement. Pausing with pressure and no relaxation is extremely difficult.

5a). The Spotter should insure the lifter is applying force at the top of the movement. The spotter must feel if the lifter is relaxing. The spotter must ease slowly into the lowering phase of the exercise. Slowly easing into the lowering phase or decent is extremely important.

6). The exercise is completed when the athlete reaches momentary muscular failure.

The Pause

A full second pause with pressure at the top of the movement is extremely important in manual resistance, the most often neglected part and overlooked rule of training..... The spotter must feel constant pressure and feel for any relaxation at the top of the movement before the decent begins, then communicate if it occurs to the lifter. This requires the spotter to slowly increase pressure as the lifter performs the lowering phase of each repetition. If the lifter is quite strong in relation to the spotter, the spotter on the first several reps says, "Let me take you down," making sure (even though it is not a maximal effort on the first few reps) that there is no relaxation during the movement by the lifter.

The 'pause' (Rules 5 & 5a) is a rule that should never be broken to Get Strong.


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Manual Outer Thigh 

Topics: Strength Training, Muscular Strength, Manual Resistance

Dumbbell Incline

Posted by Mike Gittleson on Dec 13, 2018 7:44:10 PM

The pectoralis major has two different heads, the sternocostal and clavicular, together they provide adduction and medial rotation at the shoulder joint. The incline press promotes the greatest synergistic activation of both parts of the pectoralis major. 

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Topics: Muscular Strength, Strength Training

The Number One Reason For Neck Training

Posted by Mike Gittleson on Nov 30, 2018 8:55:41 AM

University College London funded by the British Heart Foundations findings were set forth this year at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions conference in Chicago. They presented their findings for testing cognitive decline by examining the pulse of blood vessels in the neck. Three thousand one hundred and ninety one people between the ages of 58-74 were given ultrasounds on their necks and monitored for 14 years. Those with the most intense blood pulses which indicated irregular blood flow were 50% more likely to exhibit reduced cognitive functions. The participants in the upper 25%, whose blood reached their brain with the highest intensity were almost 50% more likely to exhibit cognitive decline in the next 10 years than all those studied. The results are so strong that researchers believe a 5-minute neck scan will predict future dementia risks.

People should exercise regularly, eat healthy, manage their blood pressure and cholesterol all which contributes to safeguarding vascular flow. Yet, nationally the significant importance of neck training is overlooked in exercise and rehabilitation. Healthy blood vessels maintain a healthy blood supply to all organs. Resistance training augments skeletal muscle fiber capillarization and more blood means more energy and oxygen, which most importantly makes our brain perform better. Without question muscle capillarization is essential to maintain metabolism, fitness, and function with aging. Make neck training something that is never neglected when Getting Strong and make neck training an essential part of exercise.

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At Hardpressed in Chicago...clients train the Entire System.

Topics: Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Neck training

Superficial Neck Flexor Substitution

Posted by Mike Gittleson on Nov 20, 2018 6:39:35 PM

There is more muscle in your neck than degrees of freedom. Degrees of freedom refers to the numerous ways you can move your head and neck through space, this is an important positive in daily living. If we wake up in the morning with a stiff neck we are able to function throughout the day by substituting the pained area with unaffected muscle groups. This ability to substitute occurs often post neck trauma in athletics, as well as, with incidences of whiplash.

Looking at EMG activity in the neck muscles of those exhibiting neck pain researchers found that there is more electrical activity in the superficial (sternocleidomastoid, anterior scalene) flexors during movement than in healthy individuals. This allows for reduced deep cervical flexor activity (longus capitis, longus colli) during neck flexion and is initially important if tissue is damaged and is problematic if continued long term.

Post recovery compensation and neuromuscular movement strategies can lead to poorer activation and atrophy.  Often over time there will be a re-occurrence of pain if rehabilitation was not done properly. The Pendulum 4 and 5 Way Head and Neck Machines address superficial neck flexor substitution. Adjust the Pendulum cam to any setting  from #12-14,  placing one's head on the face pad each repetition begins by applying pressure to the pad by pulling down and forward with the chin. An important process necessary in return-to-play and a fundamental part of Getting Strong. 

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Neck Training

Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Neck training, Head/Neck/Trap/Shop

Strengthening Health Issues

Posted by Mike Gittleson on Nov 16, 2018 10:12:43 AM

There are some 50 pairs of muscles and many nerves used to receive, prepare and move food to the stomach. Dysphagia is a medical term used to describe a difficulty that arises in swallowing. The problem is commonplace and can be related to health issues, the ageing process, disease, injury and more. One way therapists combat this problem is the Shaker Exercise. The Shaker Exercise is a head-lift and chin tuck from the supine position that consists of an isometric exercise of three consecutive sustained head raising movements for 1minute each with a 1 minute rest period between each head raising.

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The jaw-opening exercise (JOE) is also an exercise dealing with dysphagia where subjects open their jaws to the maximum extent and maintain this position for 10 seconds. This open-and-hold exercise is performed five times with 10 seconds of rest, which is counted as one set.

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The best deep flexor developer for strengthening, ageing, dysphagia and gerodontology is the Pendulum 4 Way (or 5 Way) Head and Neck Machine. Adjusting the cam to any setting #12-14, the user places their head first on the face pad and performs repetitions by applying pressure by pulling down and forward with their chin.  

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Setting #12 through #15 for Training Deep Neck Flexors

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Leading with the Chin Utilizing the last 4 Holes isolates the Deep Neck Flexor Muscles

Topics: Neck training, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Pendulum 5 Way Neck

Electromyography, The Bench Press, The Chest Press

Posted by Mike Gittleson on Nov 8, 2018 7:30:12 PM

The Public Library of Science (PLoS ONE) published, "A systematic review of surface electromyography analysis of the bench press movement task." After reviewing 3847 articles and looking at which muscles displayed the greatest activity during a standard flat bench press, they found the pectoralis major and triceps brachii had significantly higher action than the anterior deltoids.  Exercise intensity, mental focus, fatigue, velocity, stability all effect electrical activity with the tricep brachii showing the most fluctuation in increases and decreases. 

The Pendulum Vertical Chest Press has advantages over the standard barbell bench. When an athlete is seated properly on the Vertical Chest the strength curve does not have a sticking point unlike a flat bench.  If seat height is adjusted higher than normal on the Vertical Press there is shoulder relief with the exercise targeting the pectoralis major muscles. This is a tremendous advantage for returning an athlete post injury. Setting the seat lower than normal puts the stress on the anterior deltoid, which can be felt immediately. 

The Pendulum Vertical Chest Press is the ultimate upper torso machine that maximizes development and allows for step by step progress through rehabilitation. A terrific way to Get Strong.

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All-Pro Jake Long - Pendulum Vertical Chest Press

 

Topics: Pendulum Vertical Chest Press, Muscular Strength

The Pendulum Gripper And Powerlifting

Posted by Mike Gittleson on Nov 4, 2018 8:13:11 PM

In a study by Schoffstall et al., presented at Southeastern Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine Regional 46 Conference they observed nearly perfect correlations (r ≥ 0.97) between a competitive lifters hand grip strength and powerlifting strength. Powerlifting consists of the bench press, squat and deadlift, three common exercises in most sports programs. If you strengthen your hands while training these lifts, improvement accelerates beyond expectation. Add the Pendulum Gripper to your workouts to Get Strong.

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Topics: Pendulum Gripper, Pendulum Grip Cart