The “Power Position” is Present in all Disciplines- Kung Fu and Yoga Alike

If all this sounds like Chinese to you, let me put it in a simpler form.

The “Power Position” tells your body to recover, to learn this space, this is a safe zone and this is where the body should find comfort and recover.

The power position carries across many disciplines:

•The “Plank”plank

Samasditihi•In Yoga, “Samasdetihi”

 

 

•In Shaolin Kung Fu, the start and end position in all forms.KungFu recovery pic

•Bosu Elite , Flat jacks,  a supine plank position is the same as a standing upright power position.flatjacks bottom

They all have the same purpose, neutralize posture for greater stability and force transfer !

Coincidence?…NOT

GO for Life! ™jefitthumb2

In peace, health & with much love, 

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Establishing The “Power Position” and “Pelvic Perfection”

Everything begins and ends here. Let’s define the “power position”:

The “power position” creates the neutral basis for your body. Training in this position results in a stronger and more balanced relationship between center of gravity and base of support ..center base and base to ground leads to better gait mechanics.

Training on the BOSU Elite provides mechanical advantages for enhancing gait mechanics both neurologically and structurally which means you can get into positions and reach a range of motion that you were unable to achieve without it.

Power postion thisoneEstablishing the Power Position:

• Stand with your feet hips-distance apart and toes straight ahead
•Squeeze the glutes, a.k.a. your butt (pelvis tilts and shifts forward, hips externally rotate
•Engage the abdominals to lock that position in
•Tuck chin slightly, head as if “suspended from above”
•Think wide and low through the shoulders
• Flatten the curve in your lower back-think longhand wide through the lower back

Training stimulus results in…

*Dorsiflexion with inversion that creates a springloading effect through the body.
*Efficient Natural positioning at ground contact during walking and
*Creates an optimal mechanical leverage for efficient force transfer

Basically the BOSU Elite surface and the exercises in the power position help to cerate a tighter suspension within the system creating a coil like effect in the body that will transfer to a more enhanced efficient, stronger maximum engagement and force transfer through the spine. The spine then becomes a better transmitter of force and the hips become the fundamental driver and the hinge for force. Through this we are able to maximize core stability and hip mobility throughout the greatest range of motion and improve force transmission to/from the ground.

 

Better foundation,Better stability, Better squatting, Better motor skills, Better movement!

MORE BETTER EVERYTHING  : ) !

More on the “power position” to come …

GO for Life! ™joycethumb

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Get Off the Crack and Get Back on Track – SUGAR is a Bad Habit

SugarpicIt’s been a while since I’ve been on the subject of nutrition, almost as long as my recovery.  Don’t think that hasn’t been in the forefront while I’ve been recovering. In fact, what has enabled me to continue to recover as quickly is being mindful of my nutrition.  I will admit though I’ve not been perfect and probably caved in to more cheat days then I normally would give in to.. But hey, sometimes I am human.  So now that I am getting stronger on my track it’s time to reckon with those demons and banish them off the track.

Sugar does to your brain — the exact same thing smoking, alcohol and cocaine do.

Studies show that Lab rats prefer sugar to cocaine. When given the choice between sugar, cocaine and alcohol those cross-addicted rats always choose sugar.

Eating high-sugar foods lights up your brain on an MRI like a Christmas tree. The very same part of the brain that’s triggered by cocaine or heroine according to research by Dr. David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D.

The dopamine receptors are activated in the brain when sugar is consumed, and the more sugar that is ingested the more desensitized the brain becomes to the dopamine response and the more sugar is needed to maintain that high.

When the brain starts reducing its number of dopamine receptors in order to keep things balanced “downregulation” is the reason we develop a tolerance.

From there it’s a downward spiral…

Eating wheat, flour and sugar in processed foods spikes our sugar, then insulin. These are the hormonal disturbances that make you store belly fat, and then you are hungry for more sweets and starchy junk food and the cycle continues from there.

Sugar increases your insulin levels, which can lead to:

•OBESITY

•DIABETES

•HEART DISEASE

•IMPAIR BRAIN FUNCTION

•HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND HIGH CHOLESTEROL

•PREMATURE AGING

Controlling your insulin levels is one of the most important things you can do to optimize your overall health, and avoiding sugar is the key.

Bottom line, there is no fundamental difference between junk food addiction and drug addiction and basically, Oreos are legal crack. : /

GO for Life! ™jefitthumb2

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

VI: Getting Back on Track with Unstable Surface Training for Greater Stability

ropes bosuLike the name implies, unstable surface training is when you perform resistance or bodyweight training with all or part of you acting against a surface that it self is unstable. Stable surface training, is when you are simply standing on the ground or sitting on a regular bench or any surface that is stable.

Your core in general serves to protect your spine and prevent major injury and paralysis. When working on an unstable surface you’re always working on your core.pistol squats

Simulating an unstable surface environment in a controlled setting creates a shaking reaction. That shaking or balance reaction stimulates proprioceptors. Proprioceptors are position sensors in your joints.  This can improve sensory function, meaning that the central nervous system receives better feedback to improve the motor signals it sends out, Thus strengthening your joints and improving joint health.

bosu balanceFrom a neurological standpoint your body understands that if you improve joint health your ready for more tensile strength or more force to go through each and every joint in your body which means you can utilize more muscles on all sides of your joints to be able to recruit and co-contract to create a better more stable joint.bosu lunge

Joints connect bones and its primary function is to provide motion and flexibility to the frame of the body.  A strong joint provides stability for the overall framework of your body in motion.

By strengthening that signal, this allows for better coordination to send a more direct signal to get a stronger contraction and tell your body that it has the stability to protect you.

bosu pushupsSome great tools to incorporate into your rehab or workout are: Bosu balls (my favorite), stability balls, dyna discs and medicine balls.  Really you can create your own unstable surfaces to challenge yourself.

Also, the faster you go the harder the unstable surface gets, the more challenging it becomes to your joints and stabilizers.

Surge on!

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™jefitthumb2

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

II: Getting Back on the Track, The Journey Continues – Proceed With Caution

Thank you to Everyone who reached out with messages after my post a couple of weeks ago  … for sharing your honest journey with me and thank you for being a part in mine and making me feel like you’re holding my hand.. It helps :)

Doc says I can start swimming. PT has me on the Anti-Gravity Treadmill to simulate running. LOOK I am moving forward…

AlterG

It’s been almost 5 months since my second surgery though it does feel like a year and 4 all lumped into one. That said I intuitively picked month 4 as the turning point when things would start to seem less challenging rather than the uphill battle I feel I’ve been fighting.  The weight would magically start to disappear from around my hips and thighs. That bloated feeling would begin to wither away.  My clothes would start to fit more like it should and I would start to look and feel more like myself again.

As can be expected, I still have limitations and staying within them is like coloring inside the lines. Even though I feel better there are still warning signs reminding me to proceed with caution.

My current challenge is finding the balance between doing and not doing too much.  Allowing my body to continue healing while I continue to strengthen and start integrating functional movement.

Moving forward cautiously…

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

While STILL On the Road to Recovery VI- Muscle Balancing- Patience and Time is Required

BicepjbefitIt’s about a month since we last spoke.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been feeling a little stuck.  You know that feeling when things are moving so slowly that you think nothing is happening.   But that’s exactly where I need to be to heal.

And thank goodness film work has been keeping me quite busy and mentally occupied.

Here at week 14-post op my natural body strength is finally starting to come back to its senses  : )

As I have mentioned before, strengthening the muscles around the injured area is paramount to a safe and quicker recovery. And I have found quite a bit of things that I can do. I started integrating activities that would challenge my balance, work my stabilizers, and of course continue to strengthen my core. We’ll get into those soon enough.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on muscle balancing which means making sure that each muscle is working interdependently and doing their part in doing what each one is designed to do and working synergistically with the whole.  Sounds simple but really very complicated and takes a long time to achieve that balance, especially after 5 weeks non weight bearing plus.  Though the core work I’ve done throughout has made it easier and safer for me to do it’s still a process and the one I’m living through at the moment.

As proactive as I’ve been throughout the course of my recovery I am still reminded, by my body and my physical therapist that I keep around for adult supervision, that it takes TIME.  And though I want it yesterday I am at this point today: Accept here and now and find the message in each day and grow through this trying experience.

At 14 weeks, strength is starting to be restored and balance of muscles and stabilizers are coming back, but when I call on power I get no feed back. Nope, not there yet… Still more patience is required.

Cant rush through this, like anything it’s a process that takes time.

Thankfully, I have found plenty I can do while my body heals to keep my head right. There is no pain and minimal discomfort. More on that in blog to follow…

In the meantime, get back to work, stay positive, BE patient and

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

On the Road to Recovery IV- Cardio – Keeping the Heart Healthy when Using Your Legs is a ‘Hard Limit

What’s worse not being able to train your legs or not being able to do cardio?

Not being able to train both is catastrophic to both your metabolism and your heart health. Since both control your heart rate and both control the rate at which you burn fat, maintaining your weight or keeping body fat levels at bay can be challenging if not straight up difficult. (Continue reading for the answer…)

Finding ways to keep my heart rate up without using my legs was challenging for me.  Here are 2 ways I found to keep my heart up at least at a recovery rate of 120 bpm:Bouey

•The first was to put a buoy between my legs and swim with my arms for 30 minutes.

•The second, the arm bike, I would slap on my heart rate monitor and monitor my heart rate for 30 minutes to stay within a recovery heart rate fat burning zone.

armbikeThis is turn does a few things:
1. Put me in a recovery-training zone, which helps to speed up recovery.
2. Helps to circulate blood around the body, to the working muscles and into the healing area to once again speed up recovery.
3. Keeps my heart rate just high enough to burn a minimal amount of fat and train my heart without overstressing the body and again helping to speed recovery.

I can’t say this was fun but I was determined to keep some semblance of physical fitness throughout my recovery to make things easier on me both during and after.

It helped keep me focused and maintain a positive perspective and help attain that feel good serotonin release, even if just for a little bit.

The answer: Leg Training

When training your legs you can elicit both a rise in heart rate for a cardio benefit and strength training to maintain strength and lean muscle for a speedier metabolism and increased circulation for a speedier recovery.

Keep moving people.

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

On the Road to Recovery III- Meditation in Motion- Tai Chi..Exercise or Therapy? (Video Post inside)

BOTH

While in recovery, two times a week I report religiously to my Tai Chi class. I try to keep my schedule the same as much as I can.

My friend asks, “How am I able to do Tai Chi while on crutches?”

Med beadsI explain, I sit in a chair and I focus on the breathing aspect and use this time as a meditation.  Healing can be very stressful and at times even breathing becomes difficult.  Taking the time during my recovery to breathe and meditate has helped to keep me in a positive state.  I remind myself that this is temporary and soon I will be free.  The Rehab is actually shorter in duration than the 4 years plus that I have been living in pain.

CHI or QI means Life Force.  It is evoked by the intentful integration of body and mind.

Tai Chi Chaun or the Supreme Ultimate Fist is a mind-body practice. Tai Chi is considered a soft or internal form of martial art.

The breath, mind and movements are coordinated. The movements are usually circular and never forced, the muscles are relaxed rather than tensed, the joints are not fully extended or bent, and connective tissues are not stretched.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the combination of Yin and Yang creates a dynamic inner movement to move chi and blood flow to elicit a natural state of self-healing to help correct health imbalances.

The practice of Tai Chi as ‘meditative movement’ is expected to elicit functional balance internally for healing, stress neutralization, longevity, and personal tranquility.

The art has been associated with reduced stress, anxiety,depression and enhanced mood, in both healthy people and those with chronic conditions.
     Tai chi can be easily adapted for anyone, from the most fit to people confined to wheelchairs or recovering from surgery.

“What about the form, how can you do that, “she asks?

I sit up tall in the chair and move my arms as if I were doing the form and in my mind I feel as though I am.  When I complete the form I am relaxed and find that it is easier to breathe. I explain that if even for just that evening I have found inner peace and a feeling of serenity I will sleep better and wake up in a better and more positive state of mind to make it just a little bit easier to continue on my ‘Road to Recovery.’

This is ‘meditation in motion’!

Tai Chi Classes are taught at Kung Fu Connection Tuesday and Thursday nights @ 8pm

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™med bow

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

On the Road to Recovery II- Keeping the Strength at your Core (video post inside)

While I’m still in the transition phase from non-weight bearing to weight bearing, core strengthening and pilates is helping me to rebalance my entire system as I reintegrate myself.

Since exercise progression begins from a supported position Pilates is a great tool to assist me in going from 5 weeks of non–weight bearing to weight bearing, to open chain and later progressing to explosive movements…I’m not there yet.

By aligning my skeletal system, and strengthening my core, I am able to stabilize and move easier by alleviating excess stress on peripheral joints and other areas while I heal.

My limitation here is not to use my glutes and abductors, (butt and outer thighs) So I work around them to keep everything else strong while the affected area heals.  I also keep blood circulating and focus on breathing, this in turn will help speed my recovery.

Pilates promotes an even musculature throughout the body by stabilizing muscles around the joints. It also stresses spinal and pelvic alignment. The focus is on active lengthening of muscles and mobility of the joints, rather than traditional prolonged static stretching. All of which is critical in getting us to move the way we’re supposed to move to avoid injury, facilitate recovery and improve athletic performance.

The core is considered the “center” of the body and consists of the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. Recruiting this system helps to facilitate pelvic stability, muscle balancing, neuromuscular coordination, biomechanical efficiency, increased proprioceptive awareness and increased muscle-firing patterns as well as muscle activation.

A strong core provides a dynamic link between the upper and lower body.  By including stabilizing and strengthening moves at varying angles and ranges of motion it trains the neuromuscular firing patterns, musculoskeletal and fascial systems to work together more effectively and efficiently.

Gratefully, my friend and Pilates instructor, who owns Nomi Pilates has been helping me with this transitory phase.  Naomi Weyrowski thinks that “Pilates is a safe and effective workout to continue strengthening and stretching to help recover and also begin to hone in on having “conscious competence’ and begin to see the imbalances and weaknesses and misalignments in your own body and work to correct these faulty movement patterns.”

Naomi also thinks that with the Pilates principles, breath, movement, flow, precision and control, not only will it help speed recovery but puts one on to the path to overall awareness and quality of movement to prevent injuries in the future.

What I have found, is that the longer it takes to heal, the weaker you get, the harder and longer the recovery will take a toll physically, mentally and emotionally. By going into the surgery strong, maintaining and fortifying what I can keep strong, will help the recovery process to be easier and seem shorter.

Coming out of a prior surgery with a one-year recovery, I have another 6-month recovery ahead of me.  My biggest challenge… staying as strong and as positive as I can on the road to recovery.

Keep moving people and

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

 

ref article: http://physical-therapy.advanceweb.com/Features/Articles/Pilates-for-Injury-Recovery.aspx

The Road to Recovery – Do What You Can When You Can’t DO (workout video inside)

Over the years I can’t even tell you, pardon my being so blunt, the number of dumb excuses I’ve heard why people can’t workout.

You’ve been sidelined by injury, illness or limitations, the road to recovery can be long arduous, boring and depressing but you can make it easier for yourself by staying active and  keeping the rest of you strong.

People are always asking me to post workouts videos and my feelings were, there are so many already out there, why post another one when you can google any exercise you want to see.

I found no reason to post and share until NOW

My restriction is non weight bearing lower body for 4 weeks.  That seemed impossible to someone like me.  Here I post my first upper body circuit workout 2 weeks post op after my 2nd hip surgery this year : o

My point is this, there is plenty you CAN DO while you are recovering from an injury, a surgery or any thing that creates limitations for you, the trick is to work around it!

Do what you can to stay strong while the rest of you mends.  Keep moving what you can and get the blood circulating.  The stronger you are the faster you will heal : ) This will cut your recovery time make it that much easier to get back to where you were and stay in shape while you recover.

NO MORE EXCUSES PEOPLE!

Keep Moving

GO for Life! ™whoefoodscrutches

In peace, health & with much love,

 

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer