Sunday, March 27, 2011

Core Strengthening Solutions

The core is defined as the lumbo pelvic hip complex. The core is where the body’s center of gravity is located and where all movement begins. An efficient core is necessary for maintaining proper muscle balance throughout the entire kinetic chain. There are 29 muscles that attach to the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex which allow for efficient acceleration, deceleration, and stabilization during dynamic movements, as well as the prevention of possible injuries. Many individuals have developed strength, power, neuromuscular control and muscular endurance in the movement system, which enables them to perform functional activities. Few people, however, have properly developed the deep stabilization muscles required for lumbo-pelvic-hip complex stabilization. The body’s stabilization system (core) has to be operating with maximal efficiency to effectively use the strength, power, neuromuscular control, and muscular endurance developed in the prime movers.

With a society that has more physical structural imbalances and susceptibility to injury than ever before there needs to be a systematic progression to exercise. Many people work on building strong prime movers of the body (muscles responsible for movement) before working on building a strong foundation (muscles responsible for stabilization of the skeleton). If the movement system musculature of the core is strong and the stabilization system is weak, the kinetic chain senses imbalance and forces are not transferred or used properly. This leads to compensation and inefficient movement. The result is lack of stabilization and excessive motion of the individual vertebrae, which may result in low back pain and injury. Training the muscles of the movement system before training the muscles of the stabilization system would not make structural, biomechanical or logical sense. This would be analogous to building a house without a foundation. The foundation must be developed first to provide a stable platform for the remaining components of the house to be built on. One must be stable first to move efficiently.

The way to build a strong foundation is through training proprioception. This means introducing challenges to the balance and stabilization systems of the body with the goal of increasing the ability to stabilize joints and posture.

Solutions for stabilization

1. Drawing-in-maneuver – The action of pulling the belly button in toward the spine

2. Maintain the cervical spine in a neutral position during core training improves posture, muscle balance and stabilization.

3. The stabilization system of the core requires sustained contractions of between 6 and 20 seconds to properly stimulate motor units. These muscles must be trained for prolonged periods to increase endurance and allow for dynamic postural control.

Click below for some sample core stabilization exercises:

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To improve core stabilization these exercises should be done with a slow tempo with 12 – 20 repetitions.

Rest 0 – 90 seconds in between exercises

Stay Strong,

Dr. Todd Rodman, DC CSCS

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pre-habilitation for the rotator cuff

Most people have heard of the rotator cuff and many have encountered an injury to those muscles. Whether you live an active or sedentary lifestyle rotator cuff injuries happen frequently because of their role in the shoulder. The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body and because of its tremendous mobility it suffers a lack of stability. The rotator cuff of the shoulder (there is one in the hip as well) is a group of 4 muscles whose primary role is to stabilize the humerus in the glenohumeral fossa and oppose the deltoids by depressing the humerus when the arm is being raised. When these muscles do not function properly the shoulder joint will become very unstable and it may be painful and difficult to lift the arm. Many Olympic lifting techniques and overhead strengthening exercises challenge these muscles to their full capacity which can lead to injury. With a few simple at home exercises you can strengthen the rotator cuff and decrease your chances of a sprain or tear. Pre-habilitation is doing rehabilitation exercises before there is an injury to ensure that you are doing everything you can to prevent an injury from occurring. If you already have a rotator cuff tear or shoulder condition you should consult your physician before trying these. If these exercises are too easy for you please email me at and I will send you more advanced rotator cuff exercises.

The following is a link to watch the videos and print the beginner rotator cuff pre-hab exercises:


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Website link:

Stay Strong,

Dr. Todd Rodman, DC CSCS

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What if "bad fat" is actually good for you

For decades, Americans have been told that saturated fat clogs arteries and causes heart disease. Men's Health explores another possibility.