Functional Movement Brace Instructions & Tips

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The Functional Movement Brace (FMB) is a fitness product that helps stabilize your spine. When wearing the FMB, your body stays in alignment allowing you to workout without fear of injuring yourself.

The Functional Movement Brace can be used with or without the accompanying PVC pipe. Entry level exercisers should wear the FMB and PVC pipe during most exercises. And when shifting towards harder exercises, for example the Kettlebell Swing and Olympic Lifts, it is easier to leave the PVC out.

How to use your FMB:

Begin by taking the Brace out of the package. There are 3 parts inside. The larger portion is the portion that will fit onto your back like a backpack. The second smaller portion looks like a belt, BUT IS NOT necessary for all users. If you feel that you need additional support while you’re wearing the FMB than this belt will come in handy. The third and final piece is your PVC pipe.

For the main “backpack” piece there are three adjustment sites. The two “arms” adjust exactly the same, which is by Velcro on the inside of the strap. This will adjust for users’ different shoulder widths and arm sizes. The third and final adjustment site is on the back “spinal” portion of the main piece. This is also attached by Velcro, but the Velcro is on the outside. Adjusting the “spinal” strap higher will tighten the FMB under the arms. This spinal adjustment site is necessary when using the FMB without the PVC pipe, for example with Kettlebell Swings, Olympic Lifts, and when used ergonomically, for instance when sitting at your computer chair.

With the “belt” piece, the Velcro will attach to the “spinal” strap of the “backpack” portion from above. If needed, place this “belt” strap underneath the “spinal” part adjustment piece of the “backpack” portion. Both straps on the “belt” piece can adjust to increase or decrease circumference size around the waist. The “belt” should fit snuggly like a normal belt, bringing the FMB closer to your head, back and hips. The “belt” strap is only necessary when the PVC pipe is being used.


Things to remember with the Functional Movement Brace and exercise:

  1. As with all exercises, only perform an exercise if you can keep perfect form. It’s okay to drop weight, reps, sets, or perform the exercise at a less difficult level
  2. The FMB with the PVC pipe should fit snugly along the spine and touch along the back of the head, the center of the back (where it is attached) and to the lower back
  3. Adjustments to the shape of the FMB should be done while it is off of the user

High Heel Health

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High Heel Health

High Heel Health


The story today is about high heels. And yes, guys wear shoes with heels too so its not just a problem for females.

Sexy? Yes! But, lets look past aesthetics for a minute and talk about the high heel and your health.

“Statistics show that high heels are one of the biggest factors leading to foot problems in women, with up to a third suffering permanent problems as a result of prolonged wear.” – Osteopathic Association.

Permanent problem? From a shoe? How does that even happen?

A High Heel 2” and higher causes your weight to shift forward in your shoes, making your body compensate by leaning back. It can cause plantar fasciitis and strain in your hip, knees, and back.

Weight-shift When Wearing High Heel

Weight-shift When Wearing High Heel

Heres even more information on the effects of high heels

You may not be ready to give up your high heel just yet. So, here is how to reduce the impact on your joints while keeping your feet in a high heel:

Stretch (calves and low back)

Reduce the height of the heel

Choose softer insoles

Wear heels on days that you will be limiting your walking or standing


Think about your health when choosing a shoe to wear.

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

New Year Lifestyle

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Work Hard

Lifestyle: Work Hard

The New Year brings new goals: a time to focus on the things that you have been neglecting or want change.

Personal health tops many lists, especially after the Holiday Season.

Trying to improve yourself is fantastic. Make sure to set both short term and long term goals, and make sure they’re attainable. For example, losing 2 – 3 pounds a week (depending on your starting weight) is a great goal and these numbers show a healthy weight loss.

Also, make it easy on yourself to attain these goals and turn them into a healthy Lifestyle. Working out in a group setting can be fun, can push you harder than you would have pushed yourself alone and it brings a social aspect to what many people think of as “work”.

In my group classes, I introduce new Fitness Toys occasionally and you can see both the Ab Wheel and Battle Ropes in the pictures above. It keeps workouts fresh and fun, which makes people want to keep working hard towards their goals.

And lastly, you can start/continue a training program at any time. The girl doing Medicine-ball Squats in the back has continued to workout even though she’s 5 months pregnant!!! Its great for her, its great for her baby and she has decided to make Health a Lifestyle.

So get your butt out there, set some goals and make 2014 the year that you change Health from something you think about occasionally to a Lifestyle.

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before


Easy Dinner- Delicious & Nutritious

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Easy Dinner

Easy Dinner

Its always a good idea to eat healthy. But, I know that this can be hard sometimes, especially during the Holiday season.

So, after this week long period I like to get back to healthy and balanced meals.

Keep it simple with this dinner option.

Spinach salad topped with olive oil & vinegar and grilled, sliced salmon (15 minutes)

Couscous (8 minutes)
Butternut Squash Soup (5 minutes)
Sliced pieces of baguette (1 minute)

Its easy. Delicious. Nutritious. And a fun option.

Try new, healthy foods. Eat clean.

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before


Jack Knife On A Stability Ball

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Jack Knife -- Stability Ball

Jack Knife — Stability Ball

You will need a stability ball for this exercise.

The Jack Knife exercise is great for your Core. Its hard enough just to stabilize your body on the ball, but we’re gonna add some movement to make it a harder exercise.

Begin with your hands under your shoulders, your back straight, bring your belly button to spine, your feet on the ball (hip width apart) and your knees straight.

Jack Knife Starting Position

Jack Knife Starting Position

While keeping your back straight and maintaining balance, roll the ball forward bringing your knees towards your chest.

**The biggest mistake people make with this exercise is that they allow their back to round when rolling the ball forward. Keep your head, mid-back and low-back in a straight line while attempting this exercise**

Stay balanced. Stay Focused. And just roll with it!winky emoji

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before


Forward Step Up

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Forward Step Up

Forward Step Up

The Forward Step Up is going to work all parts of your legs, as well as your core and your arms.

Grab a small step, a bench or if you have it, a box that can support your weight.

Square your body to the box, meaning you’re facing the box. You should have your feet facing forward and hip width apart. And you should be standing in a tall posture. You should also be 3 – 12 inches from the box, depending on your height.

Draw your belly button towards your spine before movement and follow these steps.

  1. Place your right foot on the box. And make sure that your both feet are flat
  2. Shift your weight onto your right foot, while maintaining your tall posture
  3. Stand up on the box by mostly using your right leg to push your bodyweight onto the box, reducing push-off from your left leg
  4. Finish by standing on the box
  5. Maintain your tall posture throughout the movement
  6. Your opposite arm should swing in conjunction with your legs
  7. Step down using your left leg first

Breathe out while bringing yourself onto the box and breathe in while stepping down.

For the Forward Step Up, start by alternating which leg steps up. To make this harder, do all of your reps on one leg first and then switch legs. To progress further, only allow one foot on the box throughout the entire movement, even when you’re standing tall on the box. If this becomes too easy, start adding weight.

Start on a small box and as it gets easier, work your way up. Only make the box higher if you feel comfortable and you’re able to maintain good posture and form. 

Have fun with it!

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

Your Second Brain

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Our Second Brain

Our Second Brain

Do you remember having to stand up in front of class when you were younger and getting all those butterflies in your stomach? Or getting ready for a sporting event, even when you’ve prepared for months, waiting for the starting whistle and you get that jittery feeling deep in your gut?

Well, theres a network of neurons in our gut that is so extensive some scientists have nicknamed it our second brain.

The second brain, which can operate independently of the brain, contains more neurons than the spinal cord! This large system of neurons enables us to ‘feel’ the inner world of our gut and its contents.

Nearly every chemical that controls the brain is also located in the stomach region including hormones and neurotransmitters such as: more than 90% of the body’s serotonin (the Happiness neurotransmitter) and 50% of the body’s Dopamine (the Reward neurotransmitter).

The gut is probably responsible for more than just the butterflies in our stomach when we experience excitement, fear and stress says Dr. Gershon, Chairman of Columbia University Medical Center.

Just think about what you put in your stomach on any given week. For an average person, they’re ingesting coffee, sweets, genetically modified organisms, alcohol (which is actually a poison), healthy calories, plus a lot of things we don’t see like bacteria.

From our guts perspective, eating is laced with danger. In severe cases, our second brain triggers diarrhea or alerts the brain to initiate vomiting.upset tummy

So the gut does much more than just handle digestion or cause the occasional nervous feeling. Doctors are starting to realize that this second brain partly determines our mental state and plays key roles in certain diseases throughout the body.

Leading scientists believe that the second brain could have ties to Obesity, Diabetes, Autism, Chronic Depression, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and may also have an effect on Ulcerative Colitis and Krohn’s Disease.

This is the reason to eat and drink cleanly. Take care of your gut and it will take care of you. Watch what you put in your body. Your body was designed to deal with harsh environments, occasionally. Help out your “second brain” and it will help you.healthy eating

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

Forward Ball Roll

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Forward Ball Roll

Forward Ball Roll

This is a great exercise for your core. Like the Plank exercise, this will work on stability and strength of your core.

You will need a stability ball for this exercise.

You’re going to put a portion of your bodyweight on the ball, and because it will want to roll about, you will need to stabilize your core against this natural ball movement.

Start in a kneeling position with your forearms situated underneath your chest and also just behind the apex of the ball. Your hips should be flexed forward, but your back should still have its natural curves with alignment between your low-back, mid-back, and head.

You should also have your belly button drawn in throughout the Forward Ball Roll.

Roll the ball forward and stop at the point just before you lose form. Go to this end point and hold for 3 seconds, then return to the starting position. Breathe in when rolling the ball away from you and breathe out when rolling the ball back towards you.

Keep the weight evenly distributed between your two forearms and knees.

Perform 3 sets of 15 reps, at a tempo of 3 seconds to roll out, hold at the furthest position for 3 seconds and take 3 seconds to roll back to the original starting position.

Focus on your core. Focus on emoji

And Remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before


The Front Squat

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The Front Squat

The Front Squat

The Front Squat is a progression of the bodyweight squat that we went over before. Its a great full body exercise and especially good for your legs, thighs and butt!

You’re gonna start out with your feet shoulder width apart. If you need a reminder on squatting cues, look for them here.

The only real difference from the bodyweight squat is that you’re going to add weight. And the weight is going to be added to the front of your body, thus the name Front Squat. And hold the weight right under your chin, near your collar bone. Start out light and then work your way up.

The cool thing about the Front Squat is that because of the placement of the weight, it will be easier for your back to be in a correct position and for your weight to be evenly distributed between the balls of your feet and your heels. All good things!happy emoji

Try out 3 sets with 10 reps in each set.

If you have any questions lemme know.

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

Skin Health & You

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Healthy Skin

Healthy Skin

Up until a few years ago I didn’t care much about my skin. I could be in Tahoe in the winter, snowboarding in the freezing cold or working out hard and showering afterwards thinking that I had done enough for my skin. But, when I started to pay attention to the dryness on my face, hands and feet, I noticed that I could feel and look better.

Guys think that lotions and creams are only for females, but when we males start using lotion, girls will start noticing us for healthy looking skin and not for Scaly Hand Syndrome.

Choose alcohol-free hand sanitizers, soap-free cleaners and moisturize your skin to keep it from chapping.

Its getting into the colder weather and the skin is more prone to small cuts, dryness and sensitivity, so keeping the skin hydrated is a must.


There are several types of moisturizers you can choose from, according to your skin’s needs. Lets dive in:

Humectants, such as glycerin and lactic acid, attract water and help skin retain moisture. Emollients, such as fatty acids and ceramides, soften and soothe. Occlusives (known as “barrier creams”), such as petrolatum, dimethicone or lanolin, leave a film on the surface of the skin and seal in moisture.

Most products contain a combination of humectants, emollients and occlusives, so it’s easiest to choose a moisturizer based on your skin type–there are formulas for oily or acne-prone skin (look for “oil-free” and “non-comedogenic” on the label), sensitive skin, and dry or mature skin.

You’ll also notice that moisturizers have different textures. (Occlusives tend to be the heaviest of the bunch.) Lotions are light, and creams are a little more substantial. For anyone with dry or extra-dry skin, you want something that has more substance-it’s better to use a cream, which tends to protect skin better than lotion advises Dr. Chaturvedi, Dermatologist.
Also, what you eat and drink is a vital part of skin health.

Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits in winter especially the ones which are rich in protein, antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, B1 and B2 .

Try out these foods: low-fat dairy products (yogurt), whole grain products, eggs, meat, legumes, green leafy vegetables and fruits high in antioxidants (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and plums).

And of course drink plenty of water= Hydrate!

Drink water. Keep moisturized. Eat healthy.

And remember:

 In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before