Month: December 2016

Reasons Why Shoulder Stretches Are Important

Daily Burn talks about that feeling of having tight knots in your shoulders. Most of us tend to have that uncomfortable sensation if we’re stressed out. Anger, anxiety, and certain emotions have an effect on our head, neck and shoulders.

Chronic stress will be accumulated over time and it leads to awful and tight knots in our upper body. How do we combat this? This yoga sequence was specifically designed to relieve stress and tension.

5 Yoga-Inspired Shoulder Stretches

Amanda Valdes-Mosier, a head yoga instructor at Laughing Lotus in New York City, breaks down five different tension-taming asanas (poses) so you can have a soothing reset to your day. Read more..

Having flexible shoulders is a must. It’s an important part but it’s often neglected. These help us perform daily tasks like reaching, lifting, and performing other movements. It also increases body strength and range of motion.

If you experience pain after heavy lifting, it’s most likely because of your lack of flexibility. Flexibility is responsible for decreasing the amount of load that your bones, ligaments and joints have to go through.

The Importance of Having Flexible Shoulders

The shoulders are very important, and oft neglected, parts of your body. Your shoulders help you with everyday tasks, they help you reach for objects, lift objects and they also help you perform exercises. Read more…

Fitday says that there’s only one good reason why stretching is important for the shoulders. It is used mainly for upper body strength but few people know how to use their shoulder muscles.

Daily activities use most of upper extremities like the arms, and lower extremities like the leg. But it never utilizes the shoulder muscles. You can make it different this time.

Why Shoulder Stretching Increases Upper Body Strength

But even in an everyday activity like this, the muscles in your shoulders get very little use and, therefore, do not get strengthened at all. However, there is a very simple way to change that. Read more…

Bowflex shares these helpful moves for your upper body: 

When you’re done with shoulder stretching exercises and you’re ready for some gym action, it pays to know Liquid Grip. Whether you’re about to do some awesome lifting, or any exercises that involve using strength from your hands, arms and shoulders, you’ve got to check this out.

It’s not only because of its new formula. It is totally great for enhancing your grip in terms of performance. You don’t want your hand slipping or giving in to the weight during your exercise so this is a definite solution for you! 

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How to Fix Your Lower Back Pain: Episode 240

We drop into MovementRX this week to talk all things mobility with Theresa Larson and Anders Varner.

We dive into lower back pain and how you can identify and fix the source of the pain in the body. Fact: 8 out of 10 humans (both athletes and couch potatoes alike) have some sort of lower back pain, and most of the time the pain is caused by some sort of imbalance or weakness somewhere else in the body.

Theresa and Anders bring to light some “oh shit” points on how our daily habits can be the cause of our pain. They also debunk some assumptions around mobility, and physical therapy.





For more:


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The Power of Breath and Temperature W/ Brian Mackenzie – Episode 239

What’s good Shrugged crew. This week we are coming at you with a familiar guest, Brian Mackenzie (@iamunscared). For those of you who don’t know him, Brian is the founder of CrossFit® Endurance, the author of Power, Speed, Endurance, and works with some of the top athletes in performance sport, such as CrossFit®, surfing and endurance athletics.

We dropped into RVCA headquarters to chat with Brian about a performance metric that is so often not talked about, breath. We dive deep into how you can use breath as a tool to control the nervous system, and bring your training to the next level by simple learning how to tap into your breathing pattern

We also get into how Brian is using things like ice bathes, sauna, and the unique combination of the two to control the body. We brought Brian on the show to chat about performance breathing, but naturally, we couldn’t stop at that. We get into training philosophy, nature integration, and a bunch of topics to get your gears turning in a new way.





For more:

Find Brian at his website Power Speed Endurance

Past Episodes with BMac:

  • Episode 82 – What All CrossFitters Should Know About Running w/ CrossFit Endurance Coach Brian Mackenzie
  • Episode 176 – Should You Go Hard, Easy, or Rest Today?
  • Episode 106 – Olympic Gold Medalist Rower Erin Cafaro and Brian Mackenzie of CrossFit Endurance

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What You Need To Know: Rock Climbing Tips For Woman

ChicksWithPicks is a great source of information when it comes to rock climbing. The page tells us how it’s great for women to be exposed to certain kinds of training that’ll be beneficial when it comes to health. It gives women the capacity to learn new movements and concepts.

Implementing these workouts in their routine will surely create a positive change. This 8-week training program is going to give you a detailed step by step how to initiate your training.

Training Program, 8 Weeks

It’s incredibly beneficial for all the Chicks to be introduced to new movements and concepts for training, and initially implementing these in a regular workout in almost any fashion will create positive change. Read more…

These are the 10 things that you need to learn before you actually challenge the mountains. When you go through with it, be sure to be equipped with enough knowledge about the activity.

This is one athletic adventure that can seem to be out of people’s leagues. Sure, it’s quite a difficult achievement but it’s something that you can accomplish.

The 10 Things You Need to Know

Hiking—sure. Biking—no problem. But rock climbing? That’s one athletic adventure that has always seemed slightly beyond our reach. Read more… says that if you want to try this activity, you can do these tips and get yourself ready in no time. This is something that you can try and it will positively give you great results!

If you’re after the physical and mental abilities, give this one a try. You’ll never regret it!

Want to Try Rock Climbing? 5 Tips (and Tunes!) to Get You Up the Wall

Looking for a fun new hobby that challenges both your physical and mental abilities? Give rock climbing a try: The indoor/outdoor sport — which involves making your way up a wall by way of tiny cracks, crevices and outcroppings — can give your body and your brain a complete workout. Read more…

Howcast tells us about Solving Problems Based on Body Type:

Liquid Grip has got the edge for you. If you’re craving for ultimate performance and fitness level, this liquid hand chalk can totally help you out. Our product has long been revered for its performance during athlete meets and competitions.

For the best climbing chalk, turn to this one. Liquid Grip is the ultimate rock climbing chalk that even pros seek out. Our liquid hand chalk solution is the best choice for improving your grip.

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True Speed Training W/ PJ Nestler – Episode 238

If you like to go fast, this episode is for you.

This week we interview PJ Nestler at Velocity Sports Performance. PJ works with some of the top athletes in the game, ranging from top MMA fighters to athletes in the NHL and NFL. We stopped by his facility to pick his brain about speed training, and the misconceptions around this training adaption.

Little known fact- most people who are doing “Speed Training” are in fact not actually hitting it like they could. There are a few reasons why, but the big one is simply because true speed training doesn’t actually feel like a balls to the wall training session …like say, a tough Weightlifting session or an intense metcon.

PJ and Andy nerd out on the science in this one and bring to light how to tackle speed training effectively, and how you can apply it into your programming. We chat about how to know when your body is ready to hit a speed training session, what type of movements and protocols you can use, and a bunch of other gems around getting fast.




For more:

PJ also has a special offer for the Shrugged listeners.

If you are a BJJ competitor or anyone looking to take on a balanced strength and conditioning program, he’s put together a 12 week program to help you get more athletic on the mat.

You can learn more about the program here



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Training for Wakeboarding

Rusty Malinoski has been a professional wakeboarder for more than 12 years, and while many in the sport have retired by his age, Malinoski, 32, said his CrossFit training has put him at the top of his game.

Wakeboarders often blow out their knees or suffer other injuries because of the high-impact nature of the sport. The man nicknamed “The Bone Crusher” has broken the same arm eight times, and he works hard to strengthen his 200-lb.-plus frame so he can keep riding.

“Definitely … the time I’ve spent in the gym off the water is what’s kept me in this game for so long,” says Malinoski, the first wakeboarder to land a 1080 in competition.

Kyle Rattray, owner of Florida affiliate Clermont CrossFit, says founding partner Malinoski is a testament to the efficacy of CrossFit.

Rattray claims Malinoski is in better shape now than he was five years ago.

“If he’s in better shape, I don’t really know what he’s going … to be capable of in four or five more years,” Rattray says.

Video by Sean Kilgus.

6min 49sec

Additional reading: “The Angry Surfer” by Hilary Achauer, published Aug. 17, 2013.

Burnt Offering

On the night of Sunday, Nov. 13, a fire broke out just a few blocks from CrossFit Westmount in a three-floor commercial structure that housed two restaurants and the 1,000-member Victoria Park Health Club (called Vic Park).

The four-alarm fire brought more than 100 firefighters to the scene in Westmount, a suburb of Montreal, Canada. Everyone was safely evacuated, but the businesses would be closed for months. According to the Montreal Gazette, workers doing clean-up the day after the fire said the fitness facility was under 24 inches of water.

When he heard about the destruction, CrossFit Westmount owner Tom Schabetsberger picked up the phone.

He told the owners of Vic Park their personal trainers could use his space free of charge to train their clients. Schabetsberger offered his small space for their group classes as well, telling them if they could be flexible with their schedule, he’d try to make things work so their members could continue to be active.

Westmount-Achauer-Tom Schabetsberger-SM.jpg Tom Schabetsberger, owner of CrossFit Westmount.

Schabetsberger had taken over CrossFit Westmount in July 2016. The 3,500-square-foot affiliate was struggling at the time—membership had dipped to 50 members. Schabetsberger bought the affiliate and began the hard work of connecting with the community. He visited local coffee shops and took time to get to know the people in the area. In four months, membership doubled.

Schabetsberger’s friend David Sciacca, the owner of CrossFit MAC in Montreal, said the owners of Vic Park were shocked at first.

“They saw any gym in the area as a competitor,” Sciacca said.

“What I liked about it is (Schabetsberger’s) view is … ‘We’re both in the same game trying to get people active, and whether they are active here or they are active there, we are trying to get them physically active,’” Sciacca said.

“They were thrilled that I would be willing to give them access at no cost,” Schabetsberger said. “They took me up on the offer immediately, and within a few hours some of their trainers were in scoping out the place for their private sessions.”

Now, 12 trainers from Vic Park use the gym to coach their private, semi-private and group classes for about 40 members of the temporarily shuttered gym.

“I have made some great new relationships with trainers and athletes from Vic Park,” Schabetsberger said.

Schabetsberger-2.jpg For the love of fitness, Tom Schabetsberger opened his 3,500 square feet of space to a business many would consider a direct competitor.

Once inside the doors, the members of the nearby gym got a firsthand look at CrossFit. After observing the workouts firsthand, some athletes decided to join CrossFit Westmount.

“One of their trainers who was an ex-CrossFit coach and athlete is now inspired to get back into CrossFit and will be training to compete in the masters division, and one of their trainers who is a football coach may start using the gym to coach his teams during the offseason,” Schabetsberger said.

Schabetsberger’s gesture did result in a few new members, but that’s not why he offered his space.

“He could have easily solicited those athletes,” Sciacca said, “he could have created a promotion enticing them to join CrossFit Westmount, he could have even poached coaches, but instead he opened his CrossFit box to the community and helped them remain active.”

About the Author: Hilary Achauer is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health and wellness content. In addition to writing articles, online content, blogs and newsletters, Hilary writes for the CrossFit Journal. To contact her, visit

All images: Courtesy of CrossFit Westmount

Coaching Philosophy & Strongman Training W/ Logan Gelbrich – Episode 237

This week on BARBELL SHRUGGED, we head up to La La Land to kick it at Deuce Gym with Logan Gelbrich. Logan is the owner of Deuce, an open air CrossFit box in the heart of Venice, California. He also leads the CrossFit Strongman Course and is a modern renaissance man when he is not leading the Deuce Gym tribe. In this episode we discuss:

  • How Strongman training can be applied for any level of athlete
  • How to be a master in your specific fitness modality (gymnastics, weightlifting, etc.) while also having a dynamic view on training as a coach
  • How to build a coaching culture that is focused on growth
  • How to have an intelligent relationship to intensity in your training based on your current level of fitness and lifestyle



For more:

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Fit at 56: Lucie Hobart

Lucie Hobart is 56 years old and says she has no idea what age means anymore.

“I started CrossFit when I was 52,” she says, “but here I am … four years later, so I’m 56, and I know I am the healthiest today that I have ever been in my entire life, which really blows my mind.”

Mother to James Hobart, CrossFit Games Affiliate Cup competitor and a member of CrossFit’s Level 1 Seminar Staff, Lucie says her perspective on aging has changed since she started CrossFit.

When James noticed his mom was complaining about more aches and pains as she got older, he knew it was time to help her make a positive change.

“What CrossFit … can provide for masters athletes is perhaps the single most important piece of information that we have to offer,” James says. “I think that’s who CrossFit is really meant for.”

Now, Lucie has achieved things she never thought possible—such as getting her first strict pull-up.

“That has to be so far probably the biggest milestone in CrossFit,” she says. “To be able to pull up my own body weight.”

Video by Michael Dalton.

9min 30sec

Additional reading: “For the Ages” by CrossFit Media, published Oct. 16, 2016.

How To Become A Great Basketball Player

The body needs the right fuel to build good muscle for optimum performance. This is where protein comes in. However, it’s not just that nutrient alone. There are other nutrients that make up an ideal diet and build the physique of a top athlete.

Diet Secrets Every Basketball Player Should Know

Your body uses water not only to hydrate your workout but also to build and repair muscles. Your muscle tissue is, itself, up to seventy-five percent water. Keep your muscles healthy and growing with adequate hydration. Read more… says that these are the good nutrition habits for excellent basketball players. These athletes are aware that diet plays an epic role in being successful in their field. As you can see, most of them exhibit muscular builds and they have low body fat percentages. Their structures are evident of this and it allows them to move explosively on the court.

It’s just that it can get quite challenging to build muscle and stay under 10% body fat. You’ve got to have a solid diet and weightlifting plan in order to achieve this.

The 5 Nutrition Habits of Explosive Basketball Players

Basketball players: the determining factor between becoming a good player and a great player is your diet. From my experience, I have noticed a trend in the way these athletes eat. My athletes, who develop amazing physiques, all share the following five superior dietary habits. Read more…

Live Strong has a meal plan for these athletes. Check it out!

We know that this sport is tough. There’s going to be repeated sprinting, jumping, and short rest periods. It gets difficult at times; especially the kind of training their body goes through. While practice is party of the preparation, food is also an essential part.

You need to know the right kind of food that will feed your muscles right. It should be a wide variety of nutritious options that’s going to meet your needs.

Meal Plan for Basketball Players

Most carbs should come from healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and milk to maximize vitamin and mineral intake. Lean red meat, skinless poultry, seafood or beans can help you meet your daily protein needs. For heart health, include healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds. Aim to eat five to seven times throughout the day. Read more…

It’s important to have a strong grip when it comes to playing this sport. It allows the athletes to have a better control over the ball. Aside from that, there’s a slim chance of the ball slipping through their fingers.

Basketball is fast-paced so using our liquid hand chalk solution is essential during the game. 

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