Thursday, December 17, 2009

Calf foam roll discussed! Think - SEARCH and DESTROY mission. Find all the areas of tenderness and work them all out. Make an imaginary grid and systematically work your way up/down and side/side throughout the entire calf.

Oh and by the way...don't curse me while you're doing this. You'll be grateful afterwards when you're done.



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Intoduction to Foam Rolling!

Flexibility is a component of health/fitness that is commonly sought after. With a variety of different types of flexibility exercises (I hate the term "stretching") there is definitely a method to the madness when it comes to selecting the appropriate technique - at the appropriate time.

The rationale for foam rolling is discussed in this video. In future videos we will illustrate the progression of the different flexibility techniques as it applies to a particular muscle or group of muscles.


The SNOtrainer

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

NEW and improved!

Hey All...

Its been a LONG time since my last post (this feels a little like a confession!). However, we've been "in the weeds" with various new projects as well as making a number of updates to our websites.

With all these changes, it is our anticipation that you will find them to be not only refreshing, but also much more organized and easier to follow.

Please feel free to check out our latest updates by going to our main landing page which can be found at:

There you will be able to navigate toward an area/topic that interests you as it pertains to human movement/performance. There are a number of different venues for you to get updates and even interact with us (via blog, facebook, youtube, etc.).

We are so excited for our "new look" and we hope you "stop by" to see what we've been up to.

Thank you for your patience as well as your support in following our information.

In Health,
Alex Chemerov

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Foot/Ankle Mobility

It ALL starts from the ground - up. While the mountainous festivities involve the entire body, it is your foot/ankle complex that is absorbing all those terrain variations and causing the optimal chain reaction to occur at the rest of your body. The end result should leave us gasping for air and smiling at the end of the run.

In previous articles, we spoke about the importance of the foot/ankle complex ( It doesn't matter whether you opt for hard or soft boots, we ALL have to be able to flex our shins forward into the tongue of our boots. This motion is called dorsiflexion. When this happens, our calves are lengthened or put "on stretch." Limitations in dorsiflexion will limit how far the shin can move forward or flex. Now the body must begin to "look" for other options and this is when compensations take place. In the performance world, there are a number of things that will happen, for instance, the feet will turn out or someone will bend more at the hips or movement will just overall be restricted. On the slopes, there are also many other options that are less than desirable. WHILE I'M NOT QUALIFIED as a ski/snowboard instructor, my logic tells me that there are some VERY specific or common compensations that take place (possible "back-seat" skier, "hip-bender" skier/snowboarder).

To help begin to undo the negative effects of limited dorsiflexion, we will begin to mobilize the foot/ankle complex in a number of different planes. We will take common wall lean position and put a different twist to it. You may view it on the video below.

This technique may be used in a number of different ways, such as pre-workout, a pre-get on the slopes or a pre-anything. We usually perform 10 repetitions in all the directions illustrated.



Saturday, February 14, 2009

Balance is not just for gymnasts anymore!

The demand for balance is a requirement in every aspect of life – the slopes are no different. With the ever changing dynamics of skiing/riding, all the terrain options, various conditions, environmental factors, reckless snowboarders (wink, wink), our bodies need to be able to “read” and interpret all these factors to help us be more successful on our journey down the slippery slopes.

It is important to realize that there are different types of balance as it relates to human movement. To stand on one leg, in one place, is very different than hopping on one leg for 10 yards. The terms to define these examples are the difference between static balance and dynamic balance. By definition, to be “static” means to “show little or no change” or to “lack movement.” Conversely, being “vigorously active or forceful” or “pertaining to force related to motion” are definitions of being “dynamic.” Both are essential when it comes to human performance and nobody will deny the importance of balance when it comes to sliding down a mountain -- regardless if you have one or two planks under your feet!

“Snowboard specific balance taken too far!?” ATTENTION: This is NOT an exercise that we would recommend as it is for dramatization only!

After looking at each definition, there must be different ways to develop each type of balance? The common denominator between both types of balance is the role of the nervous system. The importance of the nervous system when it comes to human performance is undeniable since it controls all human movement – voluntary and involuntary. Think of it like the communication center in the body. It tells everything what to do! For example, our feet provide a vital link between the slopes and our movement system. Any terrain changes are “taken in” through the feet and the stimulus is sent to the brain. Assuming that both are speaking the same language, then a response is sent back down from the brain with a specific command. This is all based on what was interpreted by our body’s sensors, much like the operation of sensors in a car. If the sensors are not functioning properly due to immobility or a lack of stability, what kind of response can we expect? Training that incorporates both types of balance is like resetting your sensors and ensuring that your nervous system and your body are able to understand what is being “sensed” so you may get a desirable response from your movement machinery.

So treat yourself to a “tune up” and enhance this communication system. Even if you think you are already “firing on all cylinders,” you can benefit from the numerous adaptations and upgrades that take place from training that targets the function of the nervous system.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Do You SKi like a Robot?

Skiing and snowboarding involves a series of complex movements all lumped together. The end result should be smooth, fluid, efficient and most importantly – enjoyable! If you find yourself being stiff and unabsorbing, then the problem might be more related to your training and not your skiing or your equipment. Skiing and riding requires a total body response. The muscles work as a team or a network to help us accomplish the task of getting down the mountain successfully through various terrain options. That said, from a training standpoint, one should train by performing exercises that activate the entire body so as to have the most transfer onto the slopes as possible.

Unfortunately, many exercises and programs still attempt to train the muscles in isolation, which to the body and nervous system is "unnatural." Think in terms of training movements and not muscles (not that there is anything wrong with isolated exercise). Especially since your training is dictated by your goal. If your goal is to "winterize" your body and improve your on the snow performance, then sitting on a bench and doing preacher curls is probably not the best exercise (unless you are talking about apres ski!).

In an ideal world, your training should help your body solve complex movement problems, so that when you encounter them on the slopes (and in real life)...your body already has the reflexive solution. Remember, your movement machinery adapts to how you train it. If you train in a slow and rigid manner, then that is what it will do when you are on the slopes. To be fast and explosive requires you to introduce these variables into your program.

Start by observing your exercise selection. Are most of your exercises done while you are on your feet (like many activities) or are you lying on your back, stomach or even sitting in a machine? Except for the chairlift and off-mountain festivities, skiing and riding are performed (at least well) in the upright position!

“I can’t even pick up my skis, how can I survive the moguls!”

Very often our daily lives contribute to our “robot-like” movement. With so much time spent in the seated position and periods of inactivity, our bodies tend to become more and more rigid. No wonder why Helen Hayes said, “If you rest, you rust!” The goals of your movement program should help to undo the negative affects of life and not contribute to it. If you find that your body is not responding to your current movement-enhancing program, then there are a few adjustments that need to be made.

Since skiing and snowboarding involves flexibility, endurance, strength, power, agility, coordination, balance; then these components become not just a good idea but also a necessity in your training program. As winter enthusiasts, it is our desire to excel and enjoy every turn to the fullest while we are on our decent down from the summit. Get the most out of every trip on the slopes with the proper conditioning when you are off the slopes!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Myth 7 - Working out takes too much time!

MYTH 7 - "Working out takes too much time!"

Perfect time to speak about this with this time of the year and all the resolutions that people have. Happy New Year to All!

Since when did the amount of time anyone spends working out determine the caliber of a workout? I remember back when I was in the gym setting, I would see people in the gym for 2-3 hours (must be some workout?). You should see their "rest" in between exercises. Everyone chatting it up, hitting on one another and doing everything BUT moving (which I must add, that is why they walked through the gym door). I'm not saying you should be a social outcast, believe me...I love to engage in socializing as much as the next guy (or girl). Just don't tell me you spend 2 hours in the gym working out when in actuality you move for 34 minutes out of that 120!

The quality of your "movement session" is far more important that your time commitment. This does not mean that you cannot have a combination of BOTH variables (like a Long and Slow Duration Day). Time is just another variable that all of us have and are used to using to quantify "how much" of something that we do. We all have 24 hours in a day. How is it that some accomplish so much more in the SAME time period? Perhaps the quality of time they spend doing their "work" is far more productive than others? This can obviously be applied to anything in life, personal or business.

Ever hear that "they" say that you need to do 30 minutes of cardio BEFORE you even start burning fat? First of all, who is "they" and what makes "them" even qualified to speak about a particular topic of discussion. That would be like saying that the first 30 minutes of your drive to work, you don't burn any gas!? There are many myths that have been thrown around from this famous group that we all have heard a thing or two referred to as "they."

Start looking are your movement patterns and more importantly the quality of them. Throughout your day, how much of your movement is structured (IE, exercise) compared to unstructured (active lifestyle, sports, recreation, physical work, etc.). As a society, we all don't move enough and this creates a whole slew of problems (childhood obesity?).

Remember, time is just another variable. You can even use it to your advantage by eliminating your REST intervals in between your strength sets and now all the sudden you added another element to your strength program. By manipulating your rest intervals, you can enhance your current program, help you blast through a plateau that you may be in and right on topic, it will take you LESS time to get through your workout. Don't worry about have plenty of time throughout the rest of the day to get that in!