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Barbell Deadlift

The deadlift is an excellent compound exercise that targets the quads, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, lower back, traps, and forearms. If it´s not done properly, you can seriously injure yourself (such as a herniated disc).

Place the barbell on the ground in front of you and add plates according to your strength and fitness level. Beginners usually start lifting just the barbell, since a typical barbell weighs between 25 and 45 pounds on its own.

  1. With your feet shoulder-width apart, your toes pointing forward or slightly outward, and the barbell is at the midpoint of your feet.
  2. Bend your knees and hips and sit back as if you were going to sit, while you reach down to grab the barbell with hands shoulder-width apart.
  3. Grip the bar with both palms facing you. This is the normal or double overhand grip. You can use the mixed grip later when you can’t hold it with a normal grip.
  4. Push your knees out; don’t let them collapse in. Keep your back straight. Bend from the hips rather than from your waist. This is the starting position.
  5. Always make sure your back is completely flat and straight. If there is any kind of bend in your back, you need to do some flexibility work before deadlifting.
  6. Begin the movement by pushing through your heels and straightening your knees. Engage your hamstrings and glutes to pull the bar up.
  7. Raise your hips and shoulders at the same rate while maintaining your back straight. Keep your abs tight during the whole lift. The bar should drag along your shins on the way up.
  8. Come to a standing position with upright posture and your shoulders pulled back, don’t let your shoulders cave forward. Don’t bend backward at all, just stand up straight.
  9. Keeping your back straight, return the bar to the starting position in a controlled manner. Push your butt out as if you are going to sit down in a chair. Do not arch your back.
  10. Repeat until completing the prescribed number of repetitions.
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Foam Roller: Neck Relief

At the base of the skull is a small group of muscles that serves to control and stabilize the head. These muscles can become overworked and chronically shortened. As these muscles adapt to the shortened position they can begin to impede blood flow to the brain and can be associated with tension headaches and chronic neck pain. Releasing these muscles can provide relief from chronic pain and headaches.

Main instructions on how to foam rolling, here.

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Foam Roller: Upper Back Relief

A lot of people suffer from tightness in their upper back and shoulders.  Sometimes it feels like knots between your shoulder blades, while other times the pain might feel like it’s spreading from your upper back into your neck. The main cause of upper back and neck pain is a sedentary lifestyle, and extended use of computers, phones, and tablets. Upper back pain also easily leads to neck pain.

The key to foam rolling your upper body is actually to not roll much at all. Instead, use the roller to isolate smaller areas and allow them to release slowly from the pressure of your body’s weight on the roller.

If you need a reminder, read the general instructions on how to foam rolling, here.

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Foam Roller: Lats Relief

Sore, tight, or injured lats might make it uncomfortable to take deep breaths. Tight latissimus dorsi has been shown to be one cause of chronic shoulder pain and chronic back pain. Because the latissimus dorsi connects the spine to the humerus, tightness in this muscle can manifest as either sub-optimal shoulder function which leads to chronic pain or tendinitis in the tendinous fasciae connecting the latissimus dorsi to the thoracic and lumbar spine.

Foam rolling your lats is a simple process that helps and prevents. Please, read the general instructions on how to foam rolling, here.

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Foam Roller: Adductor Relief

The adductor muscles are the muscles that run along your inner thigh. Tight adductor muscles are a common reason why people feel tight in the hips. Tight adductors can inhibit your glutes which can affect compound movements such as squats and lunges. Keeping the adductors loose is very important for hip mobility and to obtain the proper form of lower leg exercises.

To foam roll the adductors, you are going to have to get into an awkward beginning position. But it works.

Read the general instructions on how to foam rolling, here.

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Foam Roller: Piriformis Relief

The piriformis muscle is a flat muscle located in the gluteal region near the top of the hip joint. This muscle is important in lower body movement because it stabilizes the hip joint and lifts and rotates the thigh away from the body. This enables us to walk, shift our weight from one foot to another, and maintain balance. It is also used in sports that involve lifting and rotating the thighs.

Tight or irritated piriformis can cause pain and spasms. There are a few different exercises that will help you relieve pain from piriformis, this particular truly works for me.

Also, foam rolling the gluteal area will relieve tension in your lower back ( an area we do not foam rolling). Please, read the general instructions on how to foam rolling, here.

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Foam Roller: Quads Relief

The Quadriceps can be subdivided into four muscles or heads: Vastus Intermedius,  Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis and Rectus Femoris. This group of muscles combined is the largest muscles of the leg. They are extremely crucial muscles aiding in important actions such as walking, running, jumping and squatting in addition to stabilizing the patella.

Tight quads? Don’t worry: foam rolling your quads is quick, easy, and truly effective. There are two main variations on foam rolling your quads: rolling both legs at the same time and rolling each leg individually. Neither is better, it’s really a matter of personal preference and what works best to release your fascia. If you’ve never used a foam roller before, or never foam rolled your quads, you might want to start with the two leg variation. It maintains an even pressure on both quads at the same time, distributing your weight onto to legs, and so it’s a little lighter. The single leg variation thereby exerts more pressure onto the fascia, so it’s better for those that have rolled their quads before, and know that their quads require harder pressure.

Please, read the general instructions on how to foam rolling, here.

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Foam Roller: Shin Relief

Running, jumping rope, box jumps, burpees… they can all lead to shin splints, a painful and incredibly annoying injury experienced by almost every single active person ever. Shin splints are often caused by inflammation of the sheath surrounding the tibia bone. Foam rolling can help release this inflammation (but don’t do this exercise if your shin splints are due to stress fractures).

Read the main instructions on how to foam rolling, here.

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Foam roller: Hamstrings Relief

Tight hamstrings are a common issue among all kind of athletes, no matter the sport. Even non-athletes suffer from tight hamstrings, especially professionals who sit for extended periods of time. Foam rolling the hamstrings is an effective solution for this problem.

Stretching may be more beneficial if foam rolling is done prior to the stretch. A study from 2014, Foam Rolling and Static Stretching on Passive Hip Flexion Range of Motion, measures the effects of foam rolling prior to static stretching. The authors found an increase in the hip range of motion after rolling on the hamstring then stretching, compared to stretching alone.

In my experience, tight hamstrings cause lower back pain. Countless times the pain is gone once I take care of my hamstrings. As foam rolling the lower back is something we should NOT do, loosen up your hamstrings is an indirect way to relieve pain and tightness in the lower back area.

Read the main instructions on how to foam rolling, here.

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Foam Roller: Calves Relief

You´ll hear/read foam roller is a self-myofascial technique. Ok, self-myofascial release is the term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. By applying pressure to specific points muscles return to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic and ready to perform.

Some of the basic, most obvious benefits are better movement and increased range of motion. These benefits can decrease the chance of injury and decrease recovery time after a workout.

We should start foam rolling our calves. From the shoes we wear to the way we sit in a chair, our calves are suffering most of the time.

I would like to introduce a new style of videos, please click play and be amazed how the letters fall from the sky, haha! No, seriously, I would appreciate your feedback.

Read the main instructions on how to foam rolling, here.

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Swiss ball lower back stretch

This is one of my favorite stretches to do on a Swiss ball. It feels good on your back but also gives your abs, chest, and shoulders a wonderful stretch.

Lie back over the Swiss ball with the ball centered under your thoracic spine.
Allow your back to gently arch over the ball. Reach arms overhead keeping your elbows straight.

Hold this position and enjoy.

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Lying Gluteal Muscles & Low Back Stretch

This is a real simple and effective stretch. May be used to reduce low back pain, Sciatic Nerve Pain & other symptoms related to improper biomechanics. It stretches Tensor Fascia Latae, Ilio-Tibial Band, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus and Gluteus Maximus.

Lie on your back and cross one leg over the other. Bring your foot up to your opposite knee and with your opposite arm pull your raised knee towards the ground.

Enjoy.

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