Ski Conditioning Class at Ballard Health Club

Tonight was the first night of the ski-conditioning class at the Ballard Health Club. Thanks to everyone who made it out!

As promised, Ski Conditioning Workout. Let me know if you have any questions about exercises. I can link to videos if you want.

Here are the “Baseline” exercises I showed at the beginning of class – that re-set your “intrinsic” or postural muscle system:

  1. Placing the hands on the border of the waist and exerting pressure outward against them (feeling the TrA activate in a ring around the abdomen, squeezing its contents laterally out against the hands).
  2. Performing #1 while inhaling and keeping the thorax and clavicles from rising, allowing the thorax to expand with the breath (and the diaphragm to contract downward).
  3. Leaning forward in standing (with “good posture,” of course), just to the point that the toes flex automatically (keeping the heels on the ground). Repeat slowly 10 times. AND, feeling the outer margin of the foot during walking.
  4. Practicing drawing the lower point (ramus) of the scapula in toward the spine (against resistance – a therapist’s thumb, for instance). AND, in the four-point position on hands and knees, keeping the scapulae abducted (spread apart) keeping pressure on the base of the thumb (hands flat).
  5. Sitting with “good posture,” and pressing quickly with both hands flat onto the top of the head, straight down the vertebral column.

(These are based on work by Czech physiotherapist Karel Lewit).

If you have any other questions/concerns about the class, send me an email!

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Ultimate MMA Conditioning – Review

Joel Jamieson has done the world of conditioning a great service in his book “Ultimate MMA Conditioning.” He provides a very concise account of the energy systems of the body, their role in different types of activity, and how best to train them.

While the title suggests that he’s focused on MMA conditioning, Joel does a really good job of making his discussion general. Energy systems don’t change, and the best ways to train them may vary in the particular movement used, but not in their fundamental attributes/acute variables (intensity, amount of time per rep or set, etc.).

I bought the book looking for precisely this sort of expert-view on energy system training theory and methods. Jamieson has been training athletes for many years, and has studied or consulted with many of the top strength and conditioning coaches in the world.

One of Jamieson’s main points is in regards to the misguided notion that “explosive” athletes only need to train anaerobically. While he doesn’t go into the evolutionary history of energy systems, the aerobic system is the oldest, and it is the one we utilized constantly (as Jamieson says in his lecture to a VA State Coaches group – “If you’re sitting here, you’re using your aerobic system right now). Anaerobic energy systems are evolutionarily younger, and develop in individuals later (fully maturing anytime between 7 and 18 years of age).

To further support Jamieson’s ideas, a recent paper by Apanasenko (“Maximum Aerobic Capacity for Work as a Criterion of Optimal Ontogeny“) says that aerobic work capacity may be the best criterion for judging the health of a human being. Apanasenko makes the great point that energy usage – bioenergetics – is the main factor in the functional range of an organism.

If you have any desire to better understand the fundamentals of energy system function or development, and how to train (including testing/benchmarking) those systems – buy the book!

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