The end of the year is flying in so lets look at the top ten blog posts (according to number of views).
Most of the blog posts I write stem from a conversation I had that day on the training floor either at WG-Fit or out at a workshop in one of my friends gyms. Mostly when I write it is pretty much a cathartic effort where I take the topic and try get it out of my cluttered and disorganised mind and into some kind of format that makes sense.
When I check the stats and receive feedback that my ramblings make sense to you, my readers, well that pretty much makes my day.
So in reverse order, here are the top ten most read posts of the last 12 months:
Yesterday one of our Muay Thai lads was chatting to me before his warm up. He’s a very fit, well rounded young athlete, who’s always open and honest about his aches and pains and will implement any advice given to help him get back to strength. The kind of athlete that every coach dreams of having.
I wish I’d been more like him when I was younger, maybe I wouldn’t be such a beat up old wreck if I’d spoken out a bit more instead of being plain stubborn!
Anyhow, yesterday he told me about some elbow pain that he had developing.
This isn’t uncommon in the striking arts as there is such a prevalence of elbow extension compared to flexion. After all, you knock the opponent out by straightening your arm, not bending it! So very often we end up with a muscle imbalance happening and then pain.
Now, I’ve no intention of going into the anatomy of the elbow, there’s a very smart dude by the name of Eric Cressey who’s done a better job than I could on that in a 6 part series on elbows.This is the link to part 1, I trust you’ll figure out how to get 2,3,4,5, and 6 yourselves from there. I have all 6 parts printed off in a folder, they are that good.
But what about our boxer?
Well, he’s not going to stop punching the pads, nor is he going to give up his push ups.
So we need to add in a little something.
And my go to for this is probably the only isolation exercise I prescribe on a regular basis:
Find out what that is HERE
How’s your foot?
Is it being all it can be?
Serious question. Is it?
Why do I ask? Why is this important?
Well, lets go to an analogy. Lets talk about cars for a while.
The part of the car that makes contact with the road is the tyre, the wheel, this all backed up by the suspension.
It’s be a poor racing driver that neglected the tyre choice, tyre pressure and suspension set up of his vehicle. He could tune up the engine, add turbo’s, change the fuel mix adjust the gear ratios and exhausts all he wants, but if the part of the vehicle that contacts the ground isn’t in perfect working order, only a portion of the power will reach the tarmac, and god help him when he hits a corner!
Read more HERE
This week I’ve been on a bit of a rant about the role of Strength and Conditioning in the Martial Arts.
By the term martial arts I include everything from Boxing to Ba Gua, MMA to RBSD, Kung Fu to Kickboxing and Karate.
I don’t really care what system or style you follow, I do care about how effective you are at putting it into practice. And to get the most out of the arts, regardless of your goal, you need a physical body to back you up.
In my gym on any given day I may have guys training for the ring or the octagon, others training purely for the Art and others who train because it may one day save theirs or their families lives.
This last one is my favourite I spent ten years working various nightclub doors in a variety of countries. Now I have two small boys, 5 and 2, who need their Daddy, and god help anyone who threatens them.
Anyhow, before this gets a bit intense…..
Find out what the top 5 exercises are HERE
Today’s post is about power.
Specifically it’s about putting as much shocking, traumatic power as possible into the body of another human being.
In other words we are going to talk about one of my favourite subjects, throwing a punch.
In fact the entire post is inspired by an incredible photograph taken by the awesome Mrs Cecile “Ce’s the Day” Gordon.
Here it is (please click on the image to open Ce’s website where you can see more of her excellent fight photography…)
Cian Foley introduces his fist to his opponents Liver…
Have a look at that shot. Not only has she caught the punch as it sinks into the body, but she also beautifully illustrates the anatomy of Cians back. He is notorious for his powerful body shots, and this image tells you exactly why.
See the Lat?
See the Teres Major?
See the Lower Traps?
You want to hit hard? These are key players.
Read More Here
Like a lot of my posts, today’s is born out of a conversation I had in the gym with one of our members.
This particular member is new to Wild Geese and is training under Paul Cox in the martial art of Eskrima. He was recommended to us by colleague of his in the Garda (Irish Police service for my international readers) who has trained with us on and off for a few years and has found the Filipino Martial Arts to have been extremely useful to him more than once in the execution of his job.
Now on this given day Paul was away training under his instructor, so one of the more experienced students was running the session under my supervision.
The member in question is no stranger to the gym, albeit new to martial arts.
This lead to a brief conversation before I had to run off to my regular clients.
Like many who take part in “regular” gym training, they become stiff, uncoordinated and awkward in their movement.
Read the rest HERE
Today is Monday, that means in your regular gym, unless WGF is your regular gym, the place will be wall to wall bench press.
So it’s a great opportunity for you to get your squat on.
No matter what your training goals may be, the squat will help you reach them. It is more than an exercise, it is a fundamental movement pattern, it is a mobility drill, it is a stability drill.
Read more HERE
Over the weekend I was over in Galway as a guest of the inimitable Sarah Smith, owner of Galway Kettlebells, where I taught my bodyweight training workshop.
The workshop is always a blast to teach, each time I run it I’m more than impressed by the level of questions that get asked.
On this one though I got a doozy.
A 17 yr old martial artist was on the course, a bright wee lad who is relatively new to the whole fitness / strength & conditioning world.
So often the best questions come from those with the least knowledge, and like I said, this was a corker.
“So why exactly is core strength so important?”
Usually I am asked about developing core strength, this is the first time I’ve been asked one of the most important of all questions, “Why?”
Find out why HERE
After last weekend teaching two full and intense days of Self Defence workshops, this weekend was all about the family and especially my two wee men.
We took them out to Dublin’s National Aquatic Centre for well over two hours of swimming, floating, waves, bubbles, slides, trying to drown daddy and shark attack (where daddy is the shark).
Needless to say we all had a ball and the lads were in bed early!
When I wasn’t being a shark or a climbing frame or a diving board or a floatation device, I was being observant. So, was my wife.
We both noticed two things:
- The sheer volume of people that were unhealthy looking
- A massive discrepancy between the sexes for taking responsibility for their health.
Now, before I continue, all we are basing our opinions on is mere observation. Things like bodyfat, muscle mass, posture, mobility. The wife would include swimwear choices in this, but that’s her thing…..
It got me thinking. Why are the lads looking better than the ladies?
Read the rest Here
Over in the ever entertaining world of facebook I’ve been watching people debate, argue or simply ask about the correct height that you should swing your kettlebell to.
In this post, I hope to answer this question and provide enough info to stop the nonsense chatter that and opinionated misinformation that is currently flooding the interweb.
So, how high should the swing go?
The answer, the ONLY answer is this:
Find out HERE
The Turkish Get gets a lot of love.
There are those around who harp on at it ad nauseum. They’ll tell you all sorts of hyped up hyperbole leading you to believe that if you were only allowed to do one exercise, it’d be the Get Up.
Well, they’re not far wrong.
It won’t cure you of all your dysfunctions.
It won’t make you indestructible.
It won’t cure cancer.
But here’s a few things about the Turkish Get Up that I absolutely love:
Read the rest here…..
Thats the top 10 most read. I can only thankyou for taking the time to read them.
In the next post I’ll give you the top 10 most shared, which I think is a bigger deal as it means you didn’t just read the post and forget it, but took the time to share it amongst your friends.