Core Performance Essentials by Mark Verstegen

Core Performance Essentials by Mark Verstegen

Author:Mark Verstegen
Language: eng
Format: epub, azw3
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Published: 2006-05-14T04:00:00+00:00

Remember The Karate Kid? Mr. Miyagi, the wise martial arts instructor, made his young student Daniel LaRusso paint his fence and wax his cars. For days this went on and Daniel wondered if he was ever going to learn karate. When he confronted Miyagi, the old man asked him to demonstrate the various motions of painting and waxing and then attacked Daniel from all angles. Using the same motions, Daniel easily defended himself and quickly realized that he had not just been painting and waxing but stabilizing and strengthening his shoulder muscles and mastering these vital, functional movements.

If you’re involved in martial arts, this program will help by stabilizing your shoulders—and I won’t make you wax cars and paint houses. Even if you have no desire to become the next Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris, you must strengthen this area to perform everyday activities from cleaning to passing objects to filing to, yes, waxing and painting.

Most of us don’t realize how hunched over we are from sitting at computers and traveling in cars and airplanes. People tend to think that this affects only the elderly, but that’s not the case. The next time you’re people-watching at a mall or airport, pay attention to the position of their thumbs. If they’re rotated in, pointing toward the body, that means their heads and shoulders have moved forward.

Unless those people do something, I guarantee that they will soon have rotator cuff and back problems, which will limit their ability to participate in the daily activities of life.

As people age, they tend to flex forward, as if the chest is caving in. We want to do the opposite, almost as if there’s a fishhook inserted under the sternum, pulling us up. This will allow the shoulders to fall into place and help give perfect posture.

We’re not trying to be military cadets, standing at attention. Instead, think of this as standing or sitting tall in a comfortable position, always elevating the sternum.

The exercises in this program will require you to bring the shoulders back and down, but you’ll want to make it a daily habit. To make lasting change, we want to lengthen the chest and strengthen the muscles of the upper back. Think of pulling your shoulders toward your back pockets. This posture is the exact opposite of the shoulder shrug, the same motion that you make when you say, “I don’t know.” That’s what a sitting lifestyle does to you. If you create a habit of bringing your shoulders down, you’ll be amazed at the results. People will find you more confident and think you’ve lost weight because you’re no longer slouched over. They might even think you’ve grown. There have been instances of adults following this program and gaining up to an inch of height from standing tall and bringing their shoulders back, as well as improving hip and core stability.


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