REAL Performance Enhancement

We’re not talking about a pill, a powder, or any sort of supplement. In fact, you will notice that I will RARELY recommend any sort of performance-enhancing supplements.

The term “performance-enhancement” is commonly associated with steroids and other hormones athletes use to get the extra edge on their competition, but what are YOU performing? A 100 meter sprint, or just the simple movement of getting up out of a chair? (which is not as simple as it may look…)

A chiropractor that I work with in Newport Beach, Dr. Nona Djavid (who is a miracle worker), referred her patient Kathy to me. Kathy had hired a trainer to help get her in better shape and she really wanted to focus on her abs. However, any time her trainer would have her do an abdominal exercise her lower back would hurt. It would also hurt doing weighted squats. It would sometimes continue to hurt for days after…

Her trainer’s solution: Skip abs.

What?! This just sounded inexcusable to me (isn’t that what he was hired for?), so I had her come in for an assessment. The first video is Kathy doing an Overhead Squat Assessment. You will notice that her lower back remains arched throughout the movement, and she is slightly off balance (notice her toes lifting off the ground). It is hard for her to keep her hands overhead, and the whole movement is-for lack of a better term- uncoordinated.

Note: Besides demonstrating the exercise to her 1 time, she received no further direction from me besides “slow down”, which you will hear me say a few times.

Based on what I saw (low back, toes, blah, blah) I took her through a series of specific stretches, activation/deactivation techniques, and exercises. Our “workout” portion of the assessment only lasted about 25 min. Before you watch the next video please note: I did not have her practicing any squats of any kind during the “workout.” We simply encouraged certain muscles to calm down a bit, and others to kick it up a notch…

Notice how much more solid that looks? She is centered, balanced, and her back is in a much stronger position. Look how high those hands are at the bottom of that squat! Ladies and gentleman: THAT is Corrective Exercise! Keep in mind, these results are temporary unless she continues to work on the things that I showed her. She has.

3 weeks later, and Kathy has been training her abs pain-free!

Feels good to brag sometimes… 🙂

Do you know someone that has a hard time getting into better shape because their back hurts when they workout? Over the last 6 years I have learned a lot about how to retrain a person’s body to be able to perform complex movements without pain. You can find many trainers that know how to make you lose weight, but don’t you already know how? Eat less, move more! Right?! So if you are going to spoil yourself a little and hire a trainer, make sure you are getting your money’s worth! Hire a professional.

FYI: I do offer complimentary assessments. Just sayin’…


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  1. #1 by Dr. Nona Djavid on February 24, 2011 - 1:48 pm

    Thank you! I am excited to work with you on getting all my patients as healthy as they can be!

  2. #2 by Christine on March 1, 2011 - 12:21 am

    John – You know I believe in your ability to use corrective exercises to make a body work better and feel better.

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