In this solo episode, Leigh describes his Top 10 mistakes that he frequently sees in the gym and gives solutions and resources for gym users to use, to get the most out of their workouts.
Number 10: Sitting down to Exercise.
Number 9: Using a Treadmill
Number 8: Taking Your Mobile Phone To The Gym
Number 7: Quad Dominance
Number 6: Trendelenburg Sign
Number 5: Over Pronation
Number 4: Poor Posture
Number 3: Not Training The Core Effectively
Number 2: Not Changing Intensity Levels Over Time
Number 1: Not Having A Clearly Defined Goal
My Top Tips to Overcome The Top 10 Gym Mistakes
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Anatomy of Sports Injuries for Training and Rehabilitation, book, by Leigh Brandon
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How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy! book, by Paul Chek
The Golf Biomechanics Manual, book, by Paul Chek
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CHEK Approach to Swiss Ball Conditioning, online course
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[00:00] Leigh Brandon: So why is a trendellenberg sign a problem? So the reason it's a problem is because, like many situations of instability, it creates excessive wear and tear on the tissues as well as reducing strength, power and performance. If performed under enough load for long enough, it can lead to abdominal muscle tears. Tightness in the quadratic, slumboroum on the opposite side, that's a muscle, by the way. The muscle in the lower back. On the side of the lower back, it can cause injuries to the ankle, like ankle sprains, knee injuries, such as tears to the anterior cruciate ligament. It could be the medial collateral ligament. It can also tear the medial meniscus. It can create hip injuries and also injuries to the lumbar spine, particularly the lumbar discs and facet joints.
[00:54] Announcer: Welcome to the Radical Health Rebel podcast with your host, Leigh Brandon. If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a five star rating and the warm review. Your opinions are important and your ratings help grow the podcast and help educate people to lead a healthier, more productive, fulfilling and happy life. This video is your thing. Please check out the Radical Health Rebels YouTube channel, where you'll find fun bitesized clips from each episode. And now, here is Leigh, the Radical Health Rebel with this week's podcast.
[01:33] Leigh Brandon: Welcome. Welcome to episode 17 of the Radical Health Rebel Podcast. This week's episode is entitled the Top Ten Gym Mistakes. So in this solo episode, I'll share with you my top ten mistakes that I see on a regular basis by exercise enthusiasts when in the gym. I was fortunate enough to be first introduced to weightlifting at the age of 14, and I've been lifting weights continuously and consistently since I was 23, racking up around 4860 gym sessions. No doubt, early on in my workouts, I made some of the mistakes that I'm going to be discussing today. But fortunately for me, my extensive studies into exercise, anatomy and biomechanics has allowed me to iron out those errors in my own workouts and enabled me to play tennis in the last 18 or 19 years with very minimal injuries. I gained my first qualification in personal training back in 1996. I trained with CHEK Institute from 2001 to 2007, which included studying integrative movement science, and I also became a strength and conditioning coach in 2008. I've worked in more gyms than I can really care to remember, and I've worked with a wide range of clients, from those with serious lumbar spine pathology all the way up to Olympic athletes. So the purpose of today's episode is not to make anyone feel bad or to shame anybody, but to enlighten people to potential mistakes they could be making and to help people prevent injury and illness from their gym pursuits. And to make it more likely they achieve their health and fitness goals, allowing them the opportunity to live a more fun filled, healthy, productive, fulfilling and happy life. And I won't just be pointing out the negatives, I will be also providing solutions. So I will start at number ten and I'll work my way up to the number one error. So coming in at number ten is sitting down to exercise. For many years I've been frustrated when I see people at the gym sitting on a machine to exercise. Now, I would agree in most instances that it is better to do exercises sat down than do no exercise at all. However, I have problems with this which are firstly, most people wake up in the morning, they sit down to eat their breakfast, they sit down during their commute to work, sit down at work, go to lunch and sit down and have their lunch. They go back to work and they sit at their desk. At the end of the day, they sit down on the commute home, they arrive home and they sit down and relax in the evening. For most people that would include watching TV and then those who do go to the gym and good on those people for making the effort, sit down to exercise. So do you see the problem there? Now, it is great that those people are making the effort to go to the gym, but I guess the most obvious problem is that if using calories is a goal and there's going to be more on that later, then you will use less energy sitting down than you will standing up. So that's one issue. Exercising seated on a machine also means that they spend almost all of their working day seated. Now, the main problem with that is that sitting doesn't require that you stabilize your own center of gravity over your own base of support. So if you then face a situation in everyday life where you need to make or where you need to move quickly or change direction quickly, perhaps to avoid an accident, you don't just need strength or endurance, but you also need stability, balance and agility that you just will not develop on a machine. In fact, you'll probably reduce your stability, your balance and your agility by using machines. So there is a better way. Now, as humans we spend the first twelve months of life developing our nervous systems, our muscles, our joints, but particularly our nervous systems, to be able to stand and walk from an upright position on two legs. It's a very complex piece of software that allows us to walk and run upright. We are the only species that can walk and run efficiently on two legs that doesn't have a large tile behind us to help us to balance that weight. In addition, when the body is supported by an external object like a bench or an exercise machine, the deeper muscles of the abdomen that are often called the core muscles or the inner unit of the core are not required to activate as their job is to stabilize predominantly. But if an external object is stabilizing the body, the body will try to save energy. Now, that's a great thing if you're a hunter and gatherer without any access to supermarkets or nearby farms. But using machines will not activate those crucial inner unit core muscles. Machine training also requires much less neurological activity and coordination than it does to walk into the gym, even if you're using heavy weights. So in almost all instances when you use a weight machine, you are effectively deconditioning your body. So, machine weights at the gym will increase the strength of your big, what we call prime mover muscles, your outer unit muscles, your fast twitch muscles, but not your inner unit muscles, your slow twitch fibers, the ones that help you stabilize the body or more importantly, stabilize your joints. So with a strong outer unit and a dysfunctional or deconditioned inner unit, if you try to move away in everyday life anywhere near the kind of weight that you lift in the gym on a machine, or if you go for a run. You are at a much higher risk of an injury, as you're unlikely to be able to stabilize the working joints effectively whilst lifting a load or running, and you're not able to stabilize your joints effectively. Now, machine weights are functional for bodybuilders, as an example, as they do facilitate muscle growth more effectively than free weights. But even then, I would suggest that it's unwise to stick solely to machine weights. One of the reasons why it's not advised to stick solely to machine weights is something called pattern overload. Now, when movements naturally occur, or when we use free weights in the gym, each rep we do is slightly different. So the path of movement differs slightly from rep to rep, even if we can't see any difference with the naked eye. And this is because the body is smart and it will do all it can do to preserve energy and to move efficiently, and will therefore attempt to recruit different muscle fibers with each rep. This also spares the joints and the connective tissues from becoming overburdened or wearing out just one specific part, rather than showing the load across different parts. However, when we use a fixed resistance machine, the path of the motion is fixed often only in one, possibly two planes of motion. And this is what leads to pattern overload, where the specific muscle fibers, joints and connective tissues are used over and over, which leads to breakdown of those tissues. Another downside to machine weights is that because they rarely allow movement in more than one or two planes of motion and do not cross the midline, they do not help to balance the two hemispheres of the brain. So the right and the left brain, so they have slightly different functions. Crossing the midline during exercise, such as a woodshop type exercise, does help to connect both hemispheres of the brain, which allow for optimal mind body integration and performance. And talking of planes of motion. We live life in three planes. The sagittal plane, which is front to back, the frontal plane, which is side to side and the transverse plane which is when we move in rotation. Now, most machine weights only condition in one plane of motion and most of them predominantly condition what we call the sagittal planes. That's when we go from front to back or forward and backwards. However, most injuries occur in the frontal and transverse planes and I'm going to come and talk a little bit about that a bit later. And many people believe that this is because most people don't condition with exercises in those planes, so they're weak in the frontal and transverse planes. So as I said, I'm going to COVID that in a bit more detail later on and I will also give you my top tips for correcting these mistakes. So in at number nine is using a treadmill. What did I just say? Using a treadmill. Have I lost my mind? Well, no, I haven't. But that statement does come with some caveats which I will cover. And as I'm sure you're aware, a lot of people when they go to the gym, use the treadmill. So what's wrong about using a treadmill? Well, there are a few in my humble and personal opinion. The first one is that you can walk and run outside. It's much healthier to be outside most of the time. Most people living in big towns and cities spend very little time in nature getting the sun on their skin and breathing in fresh air. Generally speaking, buildings contain much higher levels of toxins than being outside, even in city centers. And that's why we have the term sick building syndrome and a reason why things like and this is another reason why things like lockdowns are really not a good idea, because it's much healthier generally to be outside because when we're inside we're bombarding ourselves with toxins. Another reason why a treadmill might be a less than optimal choice is because most treadmills use a motorized belt that moves under you. So what's wrong with that I hear you ask? Well, there are two main issues with that. Firstly, because the belt is moving under you, it doesn't require your hip extensor muscles, mainly your glutes, to drive your body forwards as you would if you were on the road or on the track. In fact, it almost does the complete opposite. Your body is actually trying to slow itself down on top of the belt. So if you're using a treadmill to improve running performance, it will actually create a faulty recruitment pattern in your running gait and may actually slow you down when running outside. And that's because running outside will require you to use your glutes to drive you forwards, but it doesn't on a treadmill. Now, if you use a treadmill that isn't belt driven, then you are forced to use your Glutes, which is a much better option. So there's a treadmill called the True Form and that's probably the most well known self driven treadmill. I've never used one, but they look pretty good. The second main issue with a treadmill is the type of balance required. So when we move along a stable, predictable surface, like a path or walkway, roadside or running track, or just walking to or in the office or at home, we're using what's known as the writing reflexes. Now, our writing reflexes help keep our ears, our eyes and our head level with the horizon and help maintain our balance and prevent us from falling when we're on a stable, predictable surface, we also have tilting reflexes. Now, tilting reflexes help maintain our eyes, our ears and our head level with the horizon and help us to maintain balance and prevent us from falling from an unstable, unpredictable or moving surface, such as when we're on a moving bus, a train, or travel later at the airport. Or it could be when horse riding, skiing, ice skating, or getting in and out of a wet bath or walking on icy ground. Now, for most of us, we do need some level of riding and tilting reflex ability and that helps us to prevent from falling. So it is good to train both modalities. However, if you're using a treadmill to improve running on normal ground, but you're running on a belt driven treadmill, you're training the wrong reflex profile, which may also reduce your performance potential. Another issue I commonly see with people who use the treadmills is how they use the treadmills. Now, what I commonly see people doing is holding onto the rails of the treadmill. Now, this causes another issue. So when we hold on to something, what it does, it downregulates the requirement to use our deep inner unit muscles of the core, which are required for stability. So when someone holds on to the rows of a treadmill, they're not training their body to recruit these vital muscles whilst walking and or running. So what is the knock on effect of that, I hear you ask? Well, if you're not stabilizing your joints, you will have more compression, torsion and shear forces going through your joints when you walk or run outside, which will lead to excessive wear and tear over time and increase the likelihood of injury. That's one downside. Another downside is that holding onto the rails will also reduce energy expenditure as less muscles will be contracting. So if someone is using a treadmill to burn calories and then they hold onto the rails because it makes walking or running easier, so that they can go further or faster or achieve a bigger number on the display screen, then they've made one step forward and one step back and haven't actually achieved any kind of benefit from holding on. The other thing I almost always see people do is that they hold onto the rails of the treadmill, but they also put the machine on an incline, which I'm guessing is to make it harder so they burn more calories. But when they put the treadmill on an incline and they're holding on, they then also lean back which completely negates the incline as they're now still perpendicular to the belt. And they're gaining no advantage from putting the treadmill on an incline because they're still walking at 90 degrees to the treadmill. In fact, it's probably a slight disadvantage because now because they're not perpendicular to gravity because they're leaning back so it's now easier and not harder, so they're using less effort and not more effort which I'm guessing was the decide effect of putting the machine on an incline. Another issue with treadmills in the gym is the electromagnetic radiation being emitted by the display screens that you often find in modern treadmills at the gym. Now if you're not sure why electromagnetic radiation is an issue, I will be covering that. Next, another downside to a lot of modern treadmills and their display screens as it forces the user to look down at the screen and puts them in a position of poor posture. And again I will be covering posture in a bit too. But don't worry, if you are a treadmill user, all is not lost. I will give you my tips on what you can do instead at the end so make sure you watch or listen all the way through the episode. Now coming in at number eight is taking your mobile phone to the gym. What? I hear you say no mobile phone? Are you crazy? How will I listen to my music, take pictures or videos of me working out? And how will I message my friends and keep up to date with what's going on on social media or check my emails from work? Okay, I get it. The thought of you being without your mobile phone for 1 hour is stressing you out already, I get it. But just hear me out here. So why am I suggesting not taking your phone to the gym? Well, firstly, most of us today, whether we realize it or not, are addicted to our mobile phones and addictions are not beneficial things. So this episode will be too long if I go into all the downsides of mobile phone addiction. Maybe that's for another podcast. But there are some other serious reasons to not have your phone with you at the gym. Firstly is the electromagnetic radiation that's emitted from your phone. What many people do not realize is that despite the regulators that regulate the telecoms industry suggest that mobile phones are safe for humans. The regulations were set in 1996 using much older, less sophisticated technology than we have today and they used a mannequin and not actual humans doing the testing. So there is much scientific evidence suggesting that these devices are not safe to use at any time, not just in the gym. In fact, this is an area that I've studied greatly, and I've read over 200 scientific papers on electromagnetic radiation and its effects on human health, and also on animal health and also on plant health, by the way. But I won't go into too much detail here again. I'll leave that for another episode. But suffice to say, there is strong evidence relating. Electromagnetic radiation with reduced immune function, alteration of the gut, microbiome, oxidative stress, brain damage, Alzheimer's disease, headaches, dizziness, nausea, chest pain, blood vision, strokes, pain, skin conditions, cardiac conditions, eye and nerve problems. Fatal damage when pregnant women use them, reduced memory hyperactivity, tinnitus DNA damage, particularly by 5g technology and also brain tumors, including gliomas and also lymphatic mammographies. Now, I could list a lot more issues connected to electromagnetic radiation. That's been proven by science, but I'm sure you get the point. In addition, when you have a mobile phone near to you, it also makes your muscles weaker. Now, I've tested this many, many times, and every time, apart from once, the person tested was significantly weaker when their mobile phone was held close to them and their shoulder strength was tested. So why would you want to be weaker at the gym? So maybe that's something that you haven't considered. Another thing to consider are the earphones that you use. Now, according to a study at York University, wired headsets do reduce radiation at the head significantly. But they note that the wire in a wired headset will still transmit the radiation along your body like an antenna, and the phone still emits radiation in your hand and or near your internal organs. So what that's doing saying that if you use wired headphones when you're having a phone call compared to having a phone next to your ear when you're having a phone call? Now, the other thing to discuss our Bluetooth headsets. Now, the thing is with Bluetooth is that because they are wireless and they give off radio frequencies, those frequencies are going straight into or onto your ear. Now, in both instances, your body is being exposed to the mobile phone radiation from the phone not just where the phone is, but at the level of your head. Okay? Now, I've tested the electromagnetic radiation, or the radio frequencies, I should say, that's emitted from Bluetooth headphones. And they make my electromagnetic field meter not only go into the red zone, but they go right off the scale. So they give off very, very large radio frequencies. So having them so close to your ear and your brain is really not a good idea whether you're in the gym or not. But again, don't worry. I will come up with some solutions for you. Now, if you're a health professional and you want to learn more about electromagnetic radiation and the harms to health, you can check out module one of my four module course, which is entitled Heal Them Education that also includes extensive modules on toxins, the microbiome and hormones. And for more information on that, you can go to my website, which is www. Dot heal themeducation.com another thing I see a lot of the gym is people spending more time looking at their phone than they do exercising. In addition, most people I see using their phone at the gym do so with terrible posture, most times hunched over like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Call me old fashioned if you like, but I think the gym is a place where you should go to improve your posture and not make it worse. And again, I'll explain a little more about posture later on in the episode.
[24:26] Announcer: You're listening to the Radical Health Rebel podcast.
[24:31] Leigh Brandon: Just a brief interruption to this podcast to talk about adult acne. Now, did you know that 40% to 54% of men and women older than 25 years will have some degree of facial acne? And that clinical facial acne persists into the middle age in 12% of women and 3% of men? I know only too well the devastating effects that acne can have on your confidence and your self esteem and how it can easily destroy your social life, your career, and your relationships. I know this only too well because I suffered from severe cystic acne from age 13 to 31 over an 18 year period. I visited my doctor on many occasions, and his only suggestions were acne creams, harsh cleansers, and antibiotics that weren't working and were actually making my skin worse. After 18 years of struggle and thousands of pounds invested in treatments that didn't work, through my professional education, I began to learn that what my doctor had told me was untrue and that diet was directly related to acne, plus other factors such as food sensitivities, toxicity, hormones, and balancing the body's microbiome. Putting what I had learned into practice, I managed to rid myself of acne over 20 years ago and have been helping others to do the same for well over a decade. By teaching people what foods cause acne, what food sensitivities each individual has, how to optimize their detox pathways, how to reduce environmental stresses and toxins, and how to balance hormones, especially those related to the mTOR pathway, a major causal factor with acne. I've been able to help many other adults overcome their acne nightmare, too. So if you would like more information on how to overcome your l acne, please go to www.skinwebinar.com. That's www.skinwebinar.com, where you can also request an Acne Breakthrough call with me to see if you are suitable for my Eliminate Adult Acne Coaching program, where you could once and for all learn how to overcome your adult acne. Now back to the podcast.
Now, coming in at number seven is quad dominance. So what do I mean by quad dominance? So when I say quad, I'm talking about the quadricep muscles that run the front of the thighs. So quad dominance involves performing exercises that include the legs where you use excessive amounts of the quadricep muscles and not enough of the gluteus maximus and or hamstring muscles. This often occurs due to weakening of the gluteus maximus and or the hamstrings. Or it can be just poor exercise technique. If it begins as purely poor exercise technique, then over time, there will be an imbalance between the strength of your quadriceps versus the glutes and the hamstrings. Now, the sad thing about quad dominance is that most exercise professionals working in gyms, very sadly, are not taught it in their training. So A, they don't look for it, but B, they also don't know how to correct it. It's not necessarily their fault, particularly people that have only recently qualified. It took me, I think I was probably seven years into my career before I came along, concepts like quad dominance. Okay? So don't be surprised if your gym instructor at your local gym doesn't know what quad dominance is, doesn't know how to spot it, doesn't know how to correct it. So why is it important to know about quad dominance? Well, if you are quad dominant, what it does, it places an anterior force onto the tibia or shinbone, and also the anterior crucifyurement, or ACL, that works to prevent these anterior forces. So the anterior crucial ligament, or the ACLs, I'll call it, from now on, is put under excessive load, which over time can lead to a tear of the ACL, which you commonly hear about with football or soccer players, and has ended or greatly affected many professional athletes careers. So I tend to see quad dominance occur in exercises such as lunges and squats predominantly. And in fact, I rarely see anyone at my local gym performing these movements without being quad dominant. As we know, ACL injuries are very common, as is quad dominance. And I will give you some tips on how to assess yourself and how to correct it, if you are like most people and you are quad dominant. And also, just to note, quad dominance is also more common in females than males. Coming in at number six is trendellenberg sign. A what sign, I hear you say. Yes, it's a long word. It's called Trendelenburg sign. So what is that, I hear you ask? Well, the trend dulinberg test was first used as a test for hip dislocation, but has become a good assessment tool to test for weakness in the gluteus medius muscle, which lifts the leg out to the side. And that movement is known as abduction. So, trendellenberg sign occurs when a person has weak hip abductor muscles, which lead to the inability to stabilize the pelvis effectively. When on one leg with a moving or standing still on one leg, what you tend to see with the Trendelenburg sign is the pelvis on the opposite side to the standing leg tilts downwards or drops downwards. If the person had normal strength of the hip hop doctors, the pelvis would remain level when on one leg. A Trendellenberg sign is commonly seen in gym users when they're walking, running, lunging or stepping. So basically exercises where they spend any period of time on one leg. And again, this is seen more commonly in females than males. And there are several reasons why that is, and I won't go into it, but there are several reasons why. So why is the Trend beg sign a problem? So the reason it's a problem is because, like many situations of instability, it creates excessive wear and tear on the tissues, as well as reducing strength, power and performance. If performed under enough load for long enough, it can lead to abdominal muscle tears, tightness in the quadratic, slum borum on the opposite side. That's a muscle, by the way. The muscle in the lower back, on the side of the lower back, it can cause injuries to the ankle, like ankle sprains, knee injuries such as tears to the anterior cruciate ligament. It could be the medial collateral ligament. It can also tear the medial meniscus. It can create hip injuries and also injuries to the lumbar spine, particularly the lumbar disc or facet joints. So it really is something you want to avoid doing. Sadly, it is something I see every single time I go to the gym. And I often see it just walking behind someone, walking down the street. And that is very, very common. And again, sadly, most exercise professionals are not taught this in their training, so they don't look out for it, they don't know how to correct it. So you may have a Trendellenberg sign and not know, so you won't even be able to correct it. But I will be giving you some tips and resources a bit later in the episode to assess it yourself and potentially be able to correct it. Now, coming in at number five on my top ten Gym mistakes is over pronation. So what is over pronation? Well, pronation means to rotate towards the middle or downwards. So, for instance, to pronate your hand, you would turn your palm to face the ground. Other parts of the body can pronate and supinate too. So supinate is the opposite. So that would be turning your palm to face up, like holding a bowl of soup. That would be to supinate. But what I see in the gym is over pronation of the lower limbs, the legs, the feet, the ankles. So overpronation, if not corrected soon enough, can lead to numerous lower limb injuries, including hallux valgus, which is when your big toe bends inwards towards the middle of the foot bunyans, which are normally coupled with hallux falgus achilles. Tendinosis, ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, anterior compartment syndrome, shin splints, medial cartilage damage, ACL tears, medial collateral ligament tears, conjure, melasia, patella, jumper's, knee, osteoarthritis, quadriceps tendinosis, stress fractures to the femur and Piriformis syndrome. So it's not a dysfunction that you want to be taking lightly. It's something that you like the others that. I've mentioned you really want to be preventing these a for injury prevention but also for performance. So I often see over pronation in walking, running, stepping, lunging and squatting. And sometimes, although less so, even in deadlifting. And remember, when you're deadlifting you're generally using a very heavy weight. To explain the concept further, let's look at gait which is the term used to describe walking, running and sprinting. So when walking and running there are two distinct phases of gait. You have the stance phase and you have the swing phase. So the stance phase is when the foot is in contact with the ground and the swing phase is when the leg is off the ground and it normally swings from the back to the front position. The stance phase also has three distinct phases although there are different explanations of different numbers of phases. But I'm going to stick to the three just to make it simple. You have the heel strike, you have the midstance phase and you have the toe off phase which are pretty selfexplanatory. I'm sure I don't need to explain those in any more detail. So let me give you a working example here. Imagine you're walking and as your foot hits the ground, which we call heel strike, you should ideally land on the outside of the hill. As you take your full body weight on that foot moving towards the midstance phase your standing leg begins to roll inwards or pronate under the load of gravity and your body weight and then begins to supinate the foot prior to toe off that leg after toe off then goes through the swing phase and the process continues. That's what we call gait. However, if you have over pronation your foot lands on the outside of the hill and as you go through the stance phase of gait, the foot rolls inwards. Too much and too much weight is now on the medial side of the foot and not evenly distributed across the width of the foot. This places excess stress on the medial side of the entire lower limb. So why does this happen? So why does over pronation happen? Well, overpronation happens due to a combination of potential reasons. Another term that can be used to describe over pronation is what we call medial rotational instability. So medial means to rotate inwards as we go through the swing phase of gait, the tibia and the femur. So the thigh bone and the shin bone externally rotate to place the heel in the best position for hill strike. And the tibia and femur internally rotate during the stance phase and then externally rotate again at the end of the stance phase to place the foot in the best position for toe off. Now ultimately over pronation is the inability to control the amount of pronation or internal rotation of that limb. So the question is what controls the pronation? Well, there are a number of factors. So here I will introduce the role that the pelvis plays too, because it is important to understand the pelvis can rotate antique and posturely on either side and can move, and normally do move independently of each other. At tow off, when the leg is behind, the same side of the pelvis is anteriorly rotated, which unlocks the sacruliac joint, which is the joint between the pelvis and the sacrum. This allows the greatest amount of mobility, which is exactly what you need when propelling the body forwards at toe off. At mid stance, the pelvis should be in a neutral position and have the same amount of rotation on each side. And at heel strike the pelvis. So when the foot is forward of the body, the pelvis on that side is postulated rotated, which locks the sacral react joint, creating optimum stability to absorb the weight of the body through that foot and ankle complex. Now, hopefully you're still with me. So why did I just tell you that? Whereas the pelvis goes into anterior rotation, it's coupled with internal rotation of the lower limb. When the pelvis goes into posture rotation, it's coupled with external rotation of the limb. So, to prevent over pronation, you need to have muscles strong enough to control anterior rotation of the pelvis and interior rotation of the limbs. So, which muscles are involved in those tasks, I hear you ask? Well, the muscles that control anterior rotation of the pelvis are the lower abdominals, along with the glutes and hamstrings. The muscles that help to control internal rotation of the femur are the small group of external rotators on the back of the hip and the posterior fibers of the pletius muscles. The biceps andris muscles also help to control internal rotation of the tibia when the knee is flexed, and the tibialis anterior helps to control the aversion or pronation of the foot and the ankle. What we must also take into account is the ankle is a slave to the hip, which means whatever happens at the hip will be directly reflected at the ankle. And the knee is a slave to the hip and the foot. So, whatever happens at the foot and the hip will be translated to the knee. So the main priority has to be to address the muscles at the hip and the pelvis to control pronation and media rotation of the limb. So, over pronation is something that I see every time I go to the gym and often see walking down the street. Again, most exercise professionals are not taught this in their training, so they don't know to look for it and they don't know how to correct it. So hopefully you're still with me so far. I hope you are, because what I'm going to do now is give you some suggestions on how you can assess yourself or feel if you are over pronouncing. And I'll also be a bit later on, I'll also give you exercise suggestions on to correct it but now I'm going to move on to number four. And coming in at number four is posture. The sad truth today is that most people have very poor posture and poor posture combined with exercise can lead to a number of injuries, many already previously listed. And poor posture also leads to unstable joints. Not only does poor posture increase the likelihood of injury, but it also reduces performance for many reasons. Poor posture, especially the hunched back, rounded shoulder posture, which is technically called an upper cross syndrome, will also affect breathing mechanics, which can lead to physical, mental and emotional issues as well as a decrease in performance. A lack of confidence and depression have also been linked to the upper cross syndrome posture, which almost everyone in the western world has due to prolonged time seated and the use of computers and mobile electronic devices. So it's sad for me when I see people with quite severe Uppercross syndromes performing exercises that will make their posture worse and do know too little exercises to help improve it. Injuries of the shoulder are common with exercises with this posture, particularly those that do exercises where their arms go overhead. Other postures, such as a layered syndrome where people have a flat lower back, they are much more at risk of lumbar disc injuries. Sometimes you might have heard the term slip disc. It's an incorrect term, but it's the same thing. And that can be a very serious injury that can take 18 months to two years to heal and that's with the right kind of guidance. The latest syndrome is very common and most people have no idea that they have a greater risk of disc injuries, lumber disc injuries, and have no idea on how to adjust their exercises to minimize the risk or how to correct those postures. Another posture which is less common these days is called a lower cross syndrome where someone has too much curve in their lumbar spine. People are often misdiagnosed as having what is known as a low cross syndrome when in fact they have a layered syndrome. This often happens when a clinician guesses or eyeballs the spine instead of using accurate measuring techniques such as enclosing tree. I've had a number of clients that have previously been wrongly diagnosed with a low cross syndrome and treated and made worse by other clinicians. A lower cross syndrome can lead to a number of conditions including spinal fractures known as spondylolysis, which can worsen into a complete break known as a spondylolisthesis, which often entraps nerves and can cause sciatica sacral, ieliac. Joint dysfunction when you get pain around the sacral joint is also more common with this posture. Again, most exercise professionals are not trained in this kind of information, so they are unable to assess posture effectively and make adequate suggestions for correcting posture in their exercise program. I will, of course, be giving you a few exercises that you can do which addresses these dysfunctions and also exercises that you should avoid if you have these postures. But next, coming in at number three is not training the core effectively. So I've already mentioned the core a little bit in this episode. But when I refer to the core, the core technically is everything in the body apart from the arms and the legs, that is the core. So the head and the body. But going a little bit deeper, the core can be split loosely into two sections, the inner and the outer units. And what I'm referring to here is the inner unit of the core. It's the inner unit muscles of the core that help to stabilize the spine, the ribcage and the pelvis and therefore they stabilize the upper and lower limbs. These muscles have been shown to activate milliseconds prior to larger, predominantly fast twitch outer unit muscles, contracting again, predominantly in the limbs of the arms and the legs. So what the inner unit muscles are doing is laying a foundation for the big mover muscles to do their things from a solid and stable base. Hence the saying you can't fire a cannon from a canoe. So if you've got weak core muscles, then you're not going to be stable and you won't be able to produce optimal strength and power. Most gym users have heard of the core, but I rarely, if ever see anyone performing any kind of effective core exercises. My experience is that most gym goers think of planks and crunches as core exercises. Now technically they are, but they fail to isolate the inner unit muscles of the core, which is often required for most gym goers. As I mentioned earlier, many gym goers use machine weights where no activation of the in unit muscles are required. So without optimal activation of the core muscles, the spine, the ribcage, the pelvis and the limbs are not adequately stabilized, which increases the likelihood of injury and reduces performance. Now in someone's inner unit muscles do work adequately, there is not necessarily any need to condition them specifically. However, in my experience, that is very few people that do have a wellfunctioning core. Now of the people I've tested, and I test clients that are obviously coming to me because they've got a problem. But I also test elite athletes and I also test health and fitness professionals and I would say somewhere between one and 5% of the people I've ever tested have optimal functioning in a unit of the core.
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[48:03] Leigh Brandon: Are you regularly suffering from painful bloating and wind that can be smelly and embarrassing? Are your bowel movements not as they should be, either constipation or diarrhea or possibly alternating between the two? Do you find the pain is bad enough but the bloating and cramps make you feel awful and are affecting your everyday life? Do you sometimes feel you can't eat properly because of the wind, bloating and pain, and has your doctor told you that you have IBS but unable to help find you a solution? Do you feel right now that you simply don't know what's causing your symptoms and whatever your doctor has suggested hasn't worked and you feel frustrated that you're still far from having a normal, flat, comfortable tummy? Have you invested a lot of time, energy and money into improving your symptoms and don't wish to waste any more? Do you feel frustrated and depressed and don't feel like you can take part in all the activities you enjoy and sometimes have to cancel attending events because of the way your tummy feels? Do you fear that if you don't get this sorted, you could end up with a much more serious gastrointestinal disease? Well, if so, what would help you right now is to understand the root cause of your digestive condition. Rather than continuing to try to mask the symptoms with OvertheCounter or prescribed medications. You need help understanding how factors such as nutrition, gut health, stress and toxicology affect the digestive system and how to optimize these factors. You need someone who can advise, motivate, and support you every step of the way, someone who has walked the path before and taught many others to do the same. What you need is my overcome Your Digestive Issues program might overcome Your Digestive Issues program can help you in the following ways. I will help you understand the root causes of your digestive problems and teach you how to approach the condition holistically via expert advice on nutrition and lifestyle factors to overcome your Digestive issues. Program. We'll start by ensuring you are on the right diet for you, based on your genetics or metabolic type and one that avoids the foods that are known to exacerbate your condition. We'll go on a journey step by step, learning all the necessary lifestyle changes required to achieve a flat, comfortable, pain free tummy. Each weekly 30 minutes coaching session will include advice, support and guidance specifically tailored to your needs and at a speed that is right for you. Once you're eating right for your metabolic type, you will begin to see changes in how your tummy feels, and we will also uncover all the necessary blocking factors that you may have. And you'll be taught how to reduce, replace, or eliminate all the factors that are causing your digestive problems. Ultimately, this program will enable you to achieve a flat, calm and comfortable tummy every day for the rest of your life. For more information about how to improve your gut health and to claim a complimentary no obligation gut health consultation, please go to www bodycheck Co. UK that's bodey chek and fill in the request form at the top of the home page and we'll be in contact to arrange a convenient time. Now back to the podcast. Another problem is that most people are unaware of something called visceral sematic reflex. Now I'm sure you're aware of the concept of visceral sematic reflex but may not have heard it called that term. And what it is is when someone sadly has a heart attack they often feel pain in the left side of the body going right the way down their left arm. So that's an example of a visceral somatic reflex that occurs when there's an issue with an organ, hence the term viscero. And the nervous system takes the information from the organ and transports that information to the brain and the brain sends a signal to the same levels of the spinal cord it receives the messages from. But instead of sending signals back to the organ, it sends them to the muscles that are innervated by the nerves at the same levels of the spine. Now what often happens in the abdomen when an organ is inflamed is it tends to inhibit or relax the muscles around the organ so that it doesn't put extra pressure on that organ. The last thing you want when you've got an inflamed organ is more pressure. Think of, you know, if your bladder is full, the last thing you want is someone poking you in your lower abdomen. So if someone has eaten something that causes intestinal inflammation, which is very common these days. Or they have constipation, which is very common these days. Or they're pre menstrual, which is very common in women of childbearing age. The inner unit muscles, the core will be inhibited and exercise except when in life threatening situations will not condition those muscles. So if you've got visceral sommatic reflex and you're doing a core exercise perfectly, those muscles still aren't going to be optimally activating and they won't be conditioning effectively. So not only do you need to do the right exercise with the right technique, with the right steps, reps tempos loads, etc for, but you also need to make sure that those muscles aren't inhibited. But viscerosomatic reflex, if we go into more detail, is really for another podcast because it is just such a massive, massive topic but I will cover that in another episode. Now coming at number two is not changing intensity levels over time. So I'm actually referring to a few things under the same roof here. So firstly I see that most people at the gym do the same or the similar routine day in, day out, week in, week out. They aim to work out at the same intensity, often using the same weight for each exercise that they've been using for months. Doing this will not result in an improvement and probably not even maintain the level of conditioning. My experience suggests that most gym goers do not carefully consider what changes in intensity they will do from workout to workout, from week to week, from month to month. You know, the question is are they aiming to improve endurance, muscle size, strength, power, speed, agility or balance? I'm guessing. Most people do not gauge how they feel from day to day and adjust their workout accordingly. For instance, if someone completed a deadlift session two days ago and they feel extremely sore and wiped out, do they take the no pain, no gain approach and attempt another big workout? Or do they listen to their body and maybe go for a swim or a yoga class? What I'm really referring to here is called periodisation. And periodisation is the careful planning of changes in intensity and volume over time to focus on different aspects of fitness and to focus on different aspects of fitness during different periods or phases of their training, and also to allow optimal recovery, growth, repair and increase in performance. And finally, coming at number one, the number one mistake is not having a clearly defined goal. And that really is an extension of the previous point. So you might accuse me of not possibly being able to tell, you know, whether a person at the gym has a goal or not. And you'd be right. I couldn't be 100% sure. But having spent 30 years in gyms, I can normally tell those that have a goal from those that don't, just from the way that they train. So why is it important to have a clearly defined goal? Well, it's not important or it's not just important to have a clearly defined goal. It's important to have goals for each exercise, each training session, goals for each week, goals for each phase of training, ultimate goals and life goals. Goals keep you motivated. Goals keep you with your eyes on the prize. And keeping your eyes on the prize helps to prevent procrastination and self sabotage. That keeps you going on the program, keeps you moving towards really what you want to achieve in life. Also, being clear on your core values is important. Knowing what you do and don't stand for in alignment with your goals. That's really what I'm talking about with core values. And living your life in accordance with your core values enables you to lead the life you want and the life that you need to live to achieve your goals. Ultimately, achieving your goals will lead you to happiness as long as you set the right goals and core values. So that's my top ten mistakes. But I want to leave you with my top tips. So my top tips for you are each year set or reevaluate your life goals. And I would also suggest your core values. So get clear on your exercise core values, such as how often you want to exercise, how often you want to do each different type of exercise. Be clear on how much rest you need to fully recover from your exercise sessions. Be clear on how much sleep you need to get the most out of your workouts. Be clear on how you need to eat to maximize your exercise recovery. Be clear on what achieving your exercise goals will do for you, such as more energy, be able to play sport, play with the kids, look better, perform better at work, have more confidence, et cetera. So the reason why you are exercising, or the real reason you're exercising, plan each workout in advance and set targets to achieve in each session. Plan different phases of training to focus on different aspects of fitness. So you might go through a phase of flexibility and stability. You might go through a phase of muscle growth, what we call hypertrophy. You might do a specific phase where you're trying to increase strength. So you might lift really heavy weights. You might go through a phase where you're trying to increase speed and power, where you're doing movements that are very fast. You might do a phase where you're improving endurance, so you're trying to exercise for longer periods of time. Now, it's really good to focus specifically on one goal at a time because you'll get more gains that way. Take recovery weeks every three to four weeks to allow physiological and psychological rest. And I think the psychological part is really important too. During recovery weeks, train at a much lower intensity, so I might train at about less than what I trained the previous week, or much lower volume, so I might do around 50 or even 33% less volume if I keep the intensity the same. Or you might choose to do completely different exercise for that week. So if you're lifting weights normally, you might decide, you know, on a recovery week you might do yoga and swim. So recovery weeks help to prevent plateaus and burnout and also help to aid progression. Find resources online or hire a coach to teach you how to assess and train the core effectively. Some great resources include books such as Paul Checks, how to Eat Moving Be Healthy or his Golf Spy Mechanics Manual. Or you might want to use my tennis spy mechanics manual that I wrote with Paul Check. If you know you have a rounded shoulder posture like the upper cross syndrome that I spoke about, then I suggest you try the Prone Cobra exercise. And again, you can find it in good books like the ones I've mentioned above. And also exercises like the single arm cable pull can help with that kind of posture too. Again, they are listed in the books that I've mentioned and I will put the details of those books in the show. Notes. With regards to over pronation, you can either video yourself walking, lunging or squatting and see if your foot and ankle rolls in towards the midline. If you can't film yourself, be very aware of your weight distribution through your feet. When you do exercises like the squats or the lunge, you want to make sure that the weight is going through the whole of the foot equally and the weight is not moving more towards the inner side of the foot or towards the ball of the feet or the toes. And that would suggest quad dominance if the weight is going towards the balls of the feet and the toes, rather than being more towards the heel of the foot, driving through the heel of the foot. Doing those exercises will actually help activate the religious maximus. If you do over pronate or a quad dominant or both, which often happens at the same time, you can check out the books that I've mentioned, or again, find a qualified professional to help you avoid what could be a painful and expensive injury in the future. I would highly recommend check practitioners. Again, I'll put details in the show notes, and I don't recommend Check Practitioners simply because I am one and because I teach Czech practitioners as one of the instructors at the Czech Institute, but because I've seen the results of that approach with myself and also with hundreds of clients over the last 20 years or so. To check for Trendellenberg sign, you can film yourself from behind whilst on one leg, or maybe doing lunging, or stepping up onto a box to see if the hip drops on the opposite side of the leg that you're standing on. If you do have a Trendellenberg sign, another great resource would be my book, which is called Anatomy of Sports Injuries for Fitness and Rehabilitation, and that includes lots of exercises that will help correct this. And again, I'll make sure I'll put all the details of the resources in the show notes. There are also some great exercises that can help with all these conditions on a brand new course that by time this episode comes out would have just been launched, and that is the Tech approach to Swiss ball conditioning. And again, I'll add details to the show notes. When going to the gym, ideally leave your phone at home, give yourself a little electronic detox for what's it going to be an hour, an hour and 15 minutes, and use your gym time as time for yourself without distractions. I find some of my best ideas are when I'm at the gym and I'm resting between exercises, so it might be anywhere between 30 seconds and three minutes that I might rest between exercises, depending on what type of exercise I'm doing. And that's when my mind just comes up with the best ideas. I find it a really valuable piece of time in my day where I can maybe because I've got blood really pumping through the body, my brain just seems to come up with some really good ideas in my rest periods. Now, if I had a mobile phone, I would be wiping out all that valuable time. If you must take your phone to listen to music at the gym, again, I'd probably say, Is that really true? I don't necessarily enjoy all the music at my local gym, but I'm there to work out. I'm not there to listen to music, but if you must take your mobile phone to the gym, make sure you keep your phone on airplane mode whenever it's near your body, not just when you're in the gym. And absolutely do not use Bluetooth headphones. You do not want to be microwaving your brain cells. What you can use are what's known as air tube earphones instead. Now, I've never used them. I generally don't use earphones at all. Obviously I use wired headphones for doing podcasts, but they're not plugged into a Bluetooth device. You might even wish to wear electromagnetic field protection devices such as bio geometry devices or those produced by Aeros. Check again, I'll pop details in the show notes. Try it walking or running outside. Being outside on the ground is much better for you biomechanically and you'll be breathing in less toxins. If it's snowing or it's pouring with rain, then I would recommend, if you've got access to them, a selfdriven treadmill like the true form that I mentioned earlier. So at least you have to drive yourself forward using your glute muscles rather than having to slow yourself down against the motorized belt. If you live in a large town or city, try and find a park or beach if possible to walk or run. If you use a treadmill as part of your warm up or cool down, why not run or walk to or on the gym? Please do not hold on to the treadmill if you are using a treadmill, unless you have hot food due to balance challenges and if it's necessary to do so. Again, if you're putting on an incline, please don't hold on if you're putting on an incline to make it more difficult for you. If you're holding on whilst you're on an incline, and again, unless you absolutely have to, you're not making the exercise any harder. You're not going to be burning any more calories, you're going to be actually deconditioning yourself compared to putting on an incline and not holding on. And if you're not holding on, you're going to be working much harder. Slowly wean yourself off machine weights if you are using them. I mean, if you're a bodybuilder, yes, you probably still want to use them, but I would still include free weight exercises as well. I would generally start with free weight exercises. And once you've fatigued your stabilizer muscles and you want more volume in your training, then maybe jump on chest press, leg press, those type of exercises to try and stimulate more muscle growth. But generally start using more free weights and cables to improve your body's function and reduce the likelihood of injury. You'll probably need to use less weight if you start using free weights compared to the weights that you're using on the machines. And also ask the staff at the gym to show you how to perform the exercise correctly. If you're not sure. Ensure you include exercises where your arms and or legs are crossing the. Mid line and include exercises that condition the body in all three planes of motion. Again, if you're not sure how to do this, the gym staff at your gym will be able to show you how to do that. You could always ask the gym staff to assess your core dominance, your Trend Lenberg sign, and whether you're over pronating. And fingers crossed, they did cover it in their training, and they will be able to help you. You might be pleasantly surprised if you're an exercise professional or health professional, and you want to learn more about some of the subjects discussed in this episode in a lot more detail, I would highly recommend checking out the Check Integrated Movement Science Level One. That is, of course, that I teach. And again, I will put a link in the show notes if you want to look further. If you're really serious about your own fitness, I am available for in depth consultations, biomechanical analysis and programs in central London, in Hartfordshire, and also in Lancashire, in England. So I hope that you found some of this information in this week's episode useful and that you will change at least one thing to improve your gym workouts. And if you know someone who would benefit from watching or hearing this episode, please make sure to share the love and forward it on to them. After all, the mission of this show is to help people lead a more funfilled, healthy, productive, fulfilling and happy life. And if you'd like to support the podcast, you firstname.lastname@example.org Radicalhealthrebel, where you can also receive lots of other exclusive premium content, including unedited full length ad, free video episodes, Ask Me Anything, Q and A sessions, and also free Radical Health Rebel merchandise. So that's all from me for this week, but don't forget, you can join me same time, same place, next week on the Radical Health Rebel podcast.
[01:09:35] Announcer: Thanks for tuning in to the Radical Health Rebel podcast with Leigh Brandon. You can find Leigh at www bodychek.Co.UK. Please hit the like button and share on your social media and with someone you feel will benefit from watching this episode. So together we can help them lead a healthier, more productive, fulfilling and happy life.