The Life Center Chiropractic

Dr. Jeremy Brook, D.C., CCWP

Dr. Mike Isseks, D.C.  •  Dr. Kristyn Silver D.C.

Articles in ‘Movement Arts’

DO YOU HAVE FIGHTER’S SHOULDER?

August 20th, 2016
Dr. Mike Isseks Knock-Out Punch!

I’ve had a lifelong relationship with my shoulders and we’ve had some “bumps” along the road…some instability, pain, etc., from years of throwing, punching, and lifting, I’ve come to realize the importance of achieving a finely-tuned balance of strength, functional form, and flexibility. This realization came once I began practicing martial arts, Krav Maga in particular, about 10 years ago.

The shoulders are a complex area. A great thing about the shoulder itself is that being a ball-and-socket joint it allows for quite a bit of movement. On the flipside it can be one of the most troublesome and unstable areas of the body if neglected, especially for the martial artist. If we take a couple steps back…if you think about it, before you’re a martial artist you’re a human animal. The shoulder of a human animal was created under challenging conditions and environments which involved a full range of movement… such as hanging and climbing from trees, in addition to primal grappling and fighting. The main problem with the modern human animal/ martial artist is that they’re lacking the prerequisite mobility ->flexibility and strength.

I want to focus on some of the ways you can ensure that you’ll have powerful shoulders that will withstand the repetitive forces of punching and mixed martial arts movements without breaking down.

So…Let’s break it down. The initial fighting stance, or form, taken on by a fighter is a guarded posture, shoulders rolled forward, hands up as to protect the face, and an angled stance with the preferred foot forward. If you’re a mixed martial artist, you’re going to end up in pretty much every position imaginable at one time or another… standing, kneeling, on your back or stomach, but for starters it’s this common upright posture. For boxers, it’s their predominant posture.  Issues arise from months or years of this repetitive internally rotated shoulder posture causing a contracting and shortening of muscles in the front of the body and over stretching on the back side. As a result of this rounding, fighters often experience tightness and tension in their musculature system that results in a contracted resting standing posture. It’s like you’re in a fighting posture even when you’re not fighting.

Unfortunately, postural and structural imbalances leave the body more susceptible to injury. Before we throw punches, we need to have the proper initial pre-requisites for shoulder motion. Questions to ask yourself; do I have access to all of the necessary ranges of motion needed for a punch? Unless you’re someone who has advanced training in assessing human movement deficiencies, you may not know where to start.  Good template to follow is slowly move the shoulder joint through a variety of planes and motions. Flexion…Extension…Adduction…Abduction… Internal Rotation… External Rotation… And Circumduction. Then how does it move and feel when you push, pull, or hang? You may feel tension, restriction, fixation, compression.

If you answered yes to any of the above, you should get checked by your local alignment specialist. You’re simply not getting …

MOVEMENT POTENTIAL

June 13th, 2016
BLUE SPINECHECKERYou should be curious about each and every one of your joints’ potential. I know this may sound like the opening to a marijuana horticulture book rather than from a Chiropractor, but as a movement specialist and enthusiast I’ve cross-pollinated into different modalities of movement over the past year and discovered some fascinating new insights…the most important being… optimizing the “potential of motion” of your joints and especially the spinal joints truly is a spiritual endeavor. Here’s what I mean.

In the past year my movement nutrition palate has exploded from hand balancing with Ido Portal’s crew…to becoming a beast, crab, scorpion, & ape with the Animal Flow peeps….to the human movement optimization FRC/ KINSTRETCH trainings with Dr. Andreo Spina and his ninja instructors… to another teacher training with alignment wizard and yoga physicist Alex Crow…to the weekly strength and conditioning programing by Danny Lesslie of Deuce Gym… to checking and adjusting the spines and extremities of the active lifestyle lovers of Los Angeles…and most importantly playing on the floor with my 6 and 3 year old nieces…..(wow that’s a huge run-on sentence).

My goal in studying with these masters of movement was to discover and uncover new ranges of motion and to increase my kinesthetic lexicon. After incorporating all of these different styles of movement into my personal holistic body-mind training program I began noticing some movement deficiencies along certain pathways that had remained dormant for years. This was absolutely fascinating as it gave me the opportunity to “clean-up” dysfunctional joints and weak/tight muscles. And let me tell you…When I find dysfunctional joints I approach the “clean-up” process targeted strategies like Harvey Keitel’s character Winston Wolf, “The Cleaner” from Pulp Fiction.

You need an optimal surplus of movement in order to move and perform. The problem is most people are living in deficit. They're bankrupt in terms of motion and then they're borrowing motion from other areas and that's causing injury. And it's not a matter of if they're going to have a problem it's a matter of when and how big.

When you improve the range of motion to your dysfunctional and deficient joints, watch how much better you move… …think… breathe…and  even relax. Probably the most important by-product of this work will be increasing your body’s innate ability to adapt to different stress loads. Your tissues won’t buckle. Your body won’t buckle. After all… it’s only when your tissues can’t handle the “stress load” that injuries happen.

I’m gonna warn you that this clean-up practice that emphases your movement foundation and fundamentals isn’t sexy when you watch the videos on Instagram or Facebook. What is attractive and sexy is you when you dedicate a portion of your “practice” to cleaning up your movement deficiencies to make sure you have the prerequisites to perform your movement demands so you can kick ass on the yoga mat, in the gym, on the surfboard, on the slackline, on the court, and most importantly at home.

So here’s the homework. Commit …

MODERN VS. ANCIENT MOVEMENT ARTS

June 10th, 2016
Modern vs. Ancient Movement ArtsWe've come a long way since our time as cavemen & cavewomen...or have we?

Some of the movement practices today can be traced back to ancient times when those were forced to run, fight, and actually hunt food on their own. We as humans have evolved, but have we evolved to be sitting behind a desk for 8 hours per day? I think not. Proper joint motion and alignment is imperative prior to embarking on any of the following movement arts so be sure to get checked by your local motion and alignment specialist. Here's a few of these new workouts that are increasing in popularity, and some coincidentally referred to as "primal training".

THE OLD MACE.... upgraded from your basic club in the Paleolithic era, these predominantly metal weapons were used both while on horseback and by foot soldiers. They oftentimes included sharp objects at the ends with the ability to pierce their opponents' armor.

ENTER THE NEW MACE... while it resembles the old mace in the metal club aspect, the maces designed for training these days are predominantly steel and have a ball on one end (sometimes on both ends). There are a myriad of exercises that can be done with the steel mace and one can utilize multiple muscle groups in a short training session.

The combat arts of ancient times were ...let's say...lacking sportsmanship. Alright they were more like death battles. They would require brute upper body strength, unshakable grip strength, a kill or be killed attitude. Some of these included spear fighting, wresting, and death boxing.

These days the mixed martial arts take bits and pieces of ancient movement arts in disciplines like Judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu both allowing one to work on controlling the opponent. Of course the option to tap out is a nice alternative in assuring you'll see future training sessions  😉

These are just a couple of great ways to stay in shape while sticking to the roots of ancient movement.

- Dr. Mike Isseks

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