Friday 160610

Shoulder press

Max effort push-ups, full ROM
Rest 1 minute
Max effort push-ups to 1 ab-mat
Rest 1 minute
Max effort push-ups to 2 ab-mats

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Most of you have screwed up feet, and don’t even realize it. Thanks to the crazy choices we make in footwear, our feet have become pathologically weak. We have created a nightmare situation, not only for our feet, but also for everything up the chain. 

Nanos Versus Stilettos

I am a self-proclaimed prima donna when it comes to shoes. I have more pairs of shoes than any man should. About 95 percent of the shoes that I own are intended for training. These shoes are designed to protect and support the foot, integrating performance variables over style.
Dress shoes and high heels are a disaster. Most are designed purely for fashion and don’t take into consideration the health of the foot. My blessed mother grew up in the 50’s when image was everything. She wore high heels nearly every day of her life. As a result, her feet were sore and painful for as long as I can remember.
Regardless of the type of shoe you wear, one thing is certain. Shoes cut your feet off from the world. When a layer of rubber is between your foot and the ground, the nerve endings that provide the brain with proprioceptive feedback and copious amounts of information are being neutered. It’s happening to all of us, and most of us don’t know it.

The Oven Mitt Experiment

From this day forward, and for the next ten years, I want you to spend every waking hour wearing oven mitts on both hands. You can only take them off to sleep. We’ll find a way to work around the awkwardness of it all, hire someone to text, type, and work hand-related jobs for you.
Ridiculous, right?
Think of the level of dexterity and tactile sensitivity your hands have right now. How much of that you would lose if you imprisoned your fingers and hands inside oven mitts? If the SAID principle (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands) is accurate, your hands would lose most of their sensitivity, and the brain would be deprived of feedback from your normal day-to-day activities. You would develop incapable, soft, sissy-hands from wearing the gloves.
This is exactly what we have done to our feet. Years and decades spent with our feet casted in our shoes have made them fragile and unstable.

The Feet and the Body

This article is by no means intended to replace the work of a professional in reflexology, acupuncture, or soft tissue manipulation. There is no better choice than to work with a professional if you are having feet issues of any kind. If you are lucky enough to find a good one, hang on to them like that girl you should have never dumped a few years ago. 
Many of these alternative practitioners believe you can access various organs and other body parts through the hands and feet. Acupuncturists routinely needle the feet because many of the meridian inlets and outlets of the body begin and end in the foot. Major acupuncture points for ailments like back pain, digestive issues, and kidney and liver problems reside in the foot.
The brain loves movement, and the joints provide the lion’s share of proprioceptive information for the brain to create the three-dimensional map we all live in. The world our brain perceives counts on all of the incoming information for accuracy and complex motor control.
The human foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles and tendons. The 52 bones in the feet make up about 25% of the bones in your entire body. Every day, all these complex structures are slipped into a $125.00 pair of sneakers and strapped into place, inhibiting the foot’s ability to move naturally. It’s a travesty.

Reconnecting With the Ground

My first discovery about how shoes impact my performance (besides my time in cleats) was when I started training for my RKC. With kettlebells, the relationship of your foot, the ground, and the force being produced needs to be unobstructed. Most tennis shoes are meant to absorb force, not direct it into the ground, which is why people training kettlebells often wear either Chuck Taylors or nothing at all.
When I took my feet out of my tennis shoes and started to train barefoot, my feet hurt. They were not conditioned to harder surfaces, and it took time to become comfortable. But once I did, my training experienced a radical upgrade in performance. Power production, movement quality, and overall efficiency improved overnight, simply because my relationship with the ground was no longer muted.  

How to Roll Your Feet

So what does a responsible strength coach do for his athletes to improve their performance? He buys a couple of driving range buckets, fills them with golf balls, and sets them on his desk.My athletes know to roll out their feet before every session. I need them to be physically present when they are training, so I help them turn their bodies on by waking their feet up. Here’s how we do it:
  1. Start in the center of the foot and work from outside to inside. Roll back and forth in the middle third of the foot for about a minute. Most people will notice that the center of the foot will be tender.
  2. Next, work the top third, from the base of the toes to the upper center of the foot. 
  3. Then work the lower third near the heel. 
  4. Last, roll the outer length of the foot, from pinkie toe to heel. Many of the reflexology points that pertain to the back run this line.
Spend about 2-3 minutes rolling out each foot, paying particular attention to areas that are tender. When you find a hot spot, lean on the ball. Make it hurt, but nowhere near tapping-out hurt. I typically sit in my office chair or on a bench and then lean on the ball.


  1. Kacey :

    Hey, you know what else is REALLY good for your feet???? YOGA!!! LOL. I’m just gonna leave this here…

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