Exercise Tip: Side Bridge

In ALL, Movement by Mikki ReillyLeave a Comment

The side bridge is a great lateral flexion exercise for developing stability in the lumbar spine. It’s a safe and effective way to strengthen the obliques and quadratus lumborum. Muscles involved: Internal and External Obliques, Quadratus Lumborum and Transversus Abdominis Action: Lie on one side with your top hip stacked above your bottom hip. Raise yourself up until your body …

Reverse the Effects of Aging – Part 1

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One of the well-known consequences of aging is the loss of lean muscle mass. In particular, the type II muscle fibers (fast twitch) decrease the most – the ones we use for speed and quickness. In a recent study, researchers took biopsies of the Vastus Lateralis (one of the quadriceps, or knee extensor muscles) and found that individuals in the …

Add Foam Rolling To Your Program

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Want to increase your flexibility? The foam roller is one of the most effective self-maintenance tools you’ll find for releasing tension and improving your overall range of motion. We all accumulate tension in our muscles from over use, lack of stretching, and the aging process. Foam rollers release this chronic muscular tension and restructure your skeletal system in such a …

Exercise Tip: Swiss Oblique Crunch

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In a recent post I discussed the fact that exercises done on the stability ball develop the deep segmental muscles that stabilize the spine. The Swiss Oblique Crunch is a great exercise for recruiting those spinal stabilizers as well the powerful rotators of the torso: the internal and external obliques. Muscles involved: Internal Obliques, External Obliques and Spinal Stabilizers. Action: …

What’s For Dinner?

In ALL, Nutrition by Mikki ReillyLeave a Comment

In a recent post, I discussed the Evolutionary Fitness Diet, a diet rich in plant foods, protein and essential fats. So here’s an example of an evolutionary fitness dinner. I made sauteed kale (which I first boiled), sauteed sweet mini-bell peppers with red onion and a grilled turkey burger. The burger is 99 percent fat-free and made from free-range turkey …

What Is Evolutionary Fitness?

In ALL, Movement, Nutrition, Primal Lifestyle by Mikki ReillyLeave a Comment

I came across a compelling theory on fitness and nutrition, recently, that’s based on our evolutionary past. The idea is that our minds and bodies are a product of millions of years of evolution. And since our genes haven’t changed over the last 40,000 years, our DNA is that of the hunter-gatherers. Athlete/scientist, Art De Vany suggests that our genes …

Monitor Your Heart Rate During Intervals

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I often take my clients to the track at Santa Barbara City College for their first interval session. This is a beautiful stadium that’s located right by the beach and there’s a spectacular view of the ocean from the top of the bleachers. I’m a big believer in my clients doing cardio on their own. But for the first session, …

The Deadlift Is A Functional Exercise

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I was working with one of my clients on his deadlift recently. And after he completed a nice set of five reps, I commented that the weight was 235 lbs. Another gym member, who overheard our conversation, then asked my client if he was “powerlifting.” No doubt, the deadlift is a powerlifting exercise that’s used to measure strength at competitive …

Exercise Tip: Dumbbell Stiff-Leg Deadlift

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The Stiff-Leg Deadlift is a great functional exercise that strengthens the glutes (buttocks) and hamstrings for activities like running, jumping and skating, as mentioned previously. It can be done with either dumbbells or a barbell. Muscles involved: Hamstrings, Gluteus Maximus (buttocks) and Erector Spinae (low back). Action: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Keeping your …

The Leg Curl Is A Useless Exercise

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In the traditional gym setting, the leg curl is often considered a staple of lower body strength training. It’s an isolation exercise (a single joint movement), knee flexion, that’s used for strengthening the hamstrings. I believe this exercise is useless because you never use this particular muscle action, isolated knee flexion, lying on your stomach, in everyday activities and sports. …