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Stretches and tips to put your best foot forward video captions

Conversations with Dr. Aw - Outdoor exercises for foot and ankle

Hi everybody.

It's James Aw here for a regular session, fitness fun with Fox and Aw.

I'm joined with my usual compadre Brendon Fox who is the fitness expert, he is enjoying the beautiful outdoors right now in his cottage and I am, also in my home studio, so that I can show all the different movements.

A lot of you folks have talked about, hey the weather is so much better.

Why don't we do some exercise outdoors?

We're trying to give some practical tips of things.

You could easily do outdoors not like in the house.

We thought today, we talk about the foot and ankle which is a very common complain as a doctor I basically see this all the time.

I like to look at the foot.

At three different points, the forefoot the midfoot and the highfoot.

The forefoot typical complaints are osteoarthritis, gout, certain autoimmune diseases.

You know the midfoot more kind of flat feet, high feet, pronation, supination arches.

That's when you might see a chiropodist podiatrist to help you with your biomechanics.

Heel pain is also very common.

People get bone spurs plantar fasciitis, and inflammation at the bottom of the feet

So alot of us, as we are more sedentary or gaining weight, or doing things that can put extra strain mechanically on our foot and ankle its always great to come up with some tips and tricks in terms of strengthening muscles and ligaments, and also to keep those joints healthy.

So with that I'll hand it over to our expert, Brendan fox. Over to you Brendon.

Excellent, thank you very much.

So the feet, are our first point of contact with the world when we're walking and having good feet can prevent aches and pains it can also help you perform better in sport, recreational activity, and everything else.

So the first thing we want do is help you understand how you optimize for yourself when it comes to exercises for the foot and ankle.

So what I got up here is an assessment that everybody can do at home, to better understand your feet.

And then, later on, we go into the exercises.

I will tell you exactly how to customize based on these assessments.

So, the first assessment here is for your ankle.

Now, you can see this image here, you can line up a pan or a credit card, or a business card along the ground, and if you slide it sideways, it shouldn't touch both the lateral ankle bone and the bottom lateral foot pad of your foot at the same time.

As you can see on the image on the left with a pen.

That's a normally aligned ankle.

That's ideal because all the segments are stacked in a strong position.

What you might find if you assess this yourself is you might have, a ankle that's inward thats called pronated ankles.

And you can see in the image in the blue circle.

That if you slide in the credit card, there's a gap at the top because the ankle is collapsing inward.

So the credit card is touching the foot of the bottom but it's not touching the ankle bone at the top.

That's a pronated ankle.

If that's you you're on team blue, okay?

Now below that image we can see an outward collapsing ankle.

So if you slide the card in, its touching the ankle bone but not the bottom of the foot.

So that's a supinated ankle and outward collapsing ankle.

You'd be on team magenta, okay? As far as ankle alignment goes.

So I want you to remember what team you're on, because I'll show you how you can customize the exercises to best match your individuality.

So that's a quick little assessment for the the ankle alignment.

Now the other thing we want to consider are the arches, okay?

So if you stand and you just eyeball this, you'll have a pretty good sense of your tendency as it applies to longitudinal arch alignment, okay?

Or the midfoot alignment.

So you see in this image a normal arch, kind of looks like the image in the gray Circle, okay?

If you're just standing in a position like you see the image in the background, you just eyeball what your feet look like.

Now, you can see in blue, low arch, you can see there's a very little arch there on the underside of the foot, almost nothing at all.

So you want to eyeball it and see, do your feet look like that.

And then, if it does your on team blue for the arches, and I'll show you how to customize later.

On below that you can see what a magenta arch looks like.

Now, remember that this is standing cause a lot of times people assume they have high arches because they're lying or sitting.

This is when your weight bearing.

So you can see that's generally how a high arch will look.

So if that's you, you’re on team magenta, and we will later on address, how you can customize for that.

So, those assessments, I just want you to take note of where you're at, on each of them.

And we will show you in this segment how to customize for each.

Now the first thing we're going to do is we're going to loosen up the calf muscles because the muscles in the back leg are often very, very tight.

So one of the steepest and easiest ways to do this is if you put your foot up on the seat of that chair.


And you just take your fist and you just percuss like a meat tenderizer, percuss the back of the leg.

That helps to decrease excess density in those muscles.

Cause they often get very stiff because we're using them all day long when we are walking.

So this is a form of self massage, okay.

So folks, I just want to comment on the picture you're seeing because I'm doing my exercise indoors.

I thought I give you a couple of clips on how I like to enjoy the outdoors

So this is a quick picture of me at the lake, with a couple of my best friends, loon number one, and loon number two, and I have a son who loves to fish so we’re usually out there on the weekend and he teaches me how to fish and so anyways there you go.

Thats what the pictures all about.

Awesome, awesome!

All right so that was level one.

You could do 30 seconds or so just percussing the muscle out

now next we're going to do a standing calf stretch, okay?

So you might want to move the chair out of the way and you can do this with your hands on the wall, you just get into a stride stance.

One leg forward.

One leg back.

There you go, leaning forward.

Keeping that back heel down.

You'll feel the stretch in the back of the lower leg, the calf muscles, okay?

Now and that's great, that helps mostly targets the gastrocnemius muscle.

If you wanted to move the stretch down the lower leg a little bit.

If you just put a slight bend into that stretched leg, the back bend it about five degrees at the knees, feel that.

Yeah there you go.

You’ll feel the stretch move downward now so that gets more to the soleus muscle with that form.


And you can do 30 seconds a side.

One to three each.

All right now, if you are ready for it we can try out level 3, if you're ready for it.

It requires something to elevate the front of your foot on.

Perhaps a hexagonal dumbbell.

So it won’t roll away.

You could use a book.

You could use a weight plate.

So you're going to do the calf stretch once again.

But that time with the front of your foot elevated, yeah.

So the exact same thing.

Now James let us know how much more intense this variation is.

Yeah that was really close I almost can’t get the full extension but that really hurts.

I mean, its a good hurt.

Yeah, yeah.

I anticipate you're probably going to try this all the time and come out and show us pictures of wildlife at this point its getting intense.

Thats your trope card, I know you got pictures of wildlife.

Should my back be straight right now?

Yeah, keep your back straight push your hip forward.

The more of a forward lean you give it, the more intense, it's going to be.

So those are three techniques you can do to loosen up the calf muscles.

In most people the calf muscles are quite sore and tight because we're using them all day long, okay?

Now, the next thing we're going to do is we're going to focus on the muscles on the front of the lower leg, the shins, okay.

James where are we now? what is this?

So this is another thing I like to do in the outdoors.

I love to go hiking with my daughter.

So this a picture when my daughter and I were hiking just before the pandemic.

So this is my last trip that I did before the pandemic in December.

This is Doc mountain getting a great view of Sedona in Arizona so our thoughts and prayers are with our American collegues and friends down there are having a tough time in the southern United States with this COVID.

So our thoughts are with you, and can't wait to we get back to this beautiful nature and the beautiful people down there.

So anyway that's what that is.

Sending love to all of you.

So when you’re hiking we’re going to want good foot and ankle stability, to prevent a fall and exercising, the shin muscles is key for doing that.


For level one, I'm just going to have you sit on the chair.

So just sit on the chair for me.

And you're going to keep your heels down and you're just going to tap the front of your feet up and down like this.


Perfect now I have you doing this with your feet pointing.

For if you have ankles that collapse inward, if you were on the blue team for ankle alignment, I want you to do this with your feet turned in like you're pigeon footed.

That's going to help you target the muscles that are best for you, okay?

Now if you had ankles that collapsed outward you were on the magenta team for ankle alignment.

Then I want you to do this from a duck foot position heels together, feet pointing out and that's going to help exercise.

The peroneal muscle group on the lateral side of the lower leg and helps prevent rolling an ankle and helps bring your ankles back into more harmonious alignment.

Okay so we would do about 70-foot taps or about a minute of this exercise here.

How does that feel James?

It feels good.

Certain movements were defiantly tougher.

This movement was actually more difficult for more me, I don't know if that means something biomechanically but that was defiantly tougher than the other movements for me personally.

It might just be a movement that you're not used to right?

Alright, now how do you feel about level 2

You ready for level 2?

Lets do it!

Okay so Level 2

You're going to be bent forward with your hands on the seat of the chair.

Legs are straight, and you're doing the footpaths.

That's it.

If you want to give us a sideways view, excellent palms flat.

Now, keep your knees locked out.

That's rule number one, don't bend the knees.

That's the major form compensation people make and just tap your feet up and down from that position there.


And once again you go straight if you have good foot and ankle alignment.

If you have ankles that collapse inward, you go to the pigeon alignment, ankle, collapse outward, you’re pushing out more and that's how you can customize this movement.

Ok are you ready for level 3?

Yeah lets do it!

Okay level 3 you do this standing with your back against the wall.

So you're in a standing position.

Your back is against the wall and you just walk your feet forward about half a foot or so from the wall, keep your knees locked out the whole time and do the footpaths from this position here.

There you go.

This is harder.

This is significantly harder, there is a big jump from level 2 to level 3 so viewers who are with us right now we encourage you just start off at the easiest level and then promote yourself graduate yourself up accordingly cuz this can be a big jump to go into.

It's going to feel like somebody has a flamethrower to the front of your shins is going to be like a tidal wave of pain.

And this is pain from muscle you may not have exercised before but these help prevent foot and ankle postural aches and pains and helps you hike in places like Arizona.

I believe this was right?

Yeah super, I can really feel the progression on the last one for sure.


So James where are you going to take us next?

What's the next picture for us?

This is a picture of, so for those of you know me, for the last seven years annually I go to Africa.

So we set up these medical camps and do some research in the field.

And so one of the sites that we go to is in this salewa conservancy for the Rhino and this is a picture I took last year.

So it's really cool.

Like, you're basically go to his outreaches and that you could be driving to work and then you'll see these, rhinoceros and different wildlife as they go.

So my trip unfortunately had to be cancelled this year, I was supposed to go during when we had the pandemic.

So I’m looking forward to seeing my friends, the rhinos and my African collegues when all of this is behind us.

So, this is another little outdoor adventure for us.

And James you're very humble person.

You're very humble but I just wanted to, you know, honor and respect you volunteered a lot of your time around the world helping people out, helping the rhinos out so on behalf of everybody.

Thank you very much for all the volunteer work you do on the side.

Now we're going to do is we're going to go on to heel raises .

Heel raises so I'm going to have you bent forward with your hands on the chair, okay.

Yup just like that.

Now you're going to lift your heels all the way up and down now.


Lift the heels are all the way up and down.

So this is going to help improve fitness in the calf muscles and a little bit of foot and ankle stabilizers.

Now if you have flat arches you were on the blue team for arch assessment.

You do this pigeon footed, feet turned in.

Okay, so your toes are close together.

Your heels are wide apart.

If you have high arches, do this heels together, feet turned out.

So duck foot helps you target poroniels.

Pigeon foot helps you target the tibialis posterior muscle which attaches to the to the underside of the foot and helps pull those bones up and do a a healthy arch to help you create a more of a natural arch.

Okay so thats level 1.

Level 2 is to do this on one leg, bent over but on one leg only, there you go.

So one, legged calf raises.

Now, typically you could do about 25 to 30 five reps per leg here or about 45 to 60 seconds, 1 to 3 total sets.

And once again you can angle your foot to customize.

Foot turned inward.

Angled inward if you have low arches that helps you target tibialis posterior which gives you the foot and ankle muscler support you need.

And foot turn for the poroniels that helps prevent your arches from rising up too high.


Level three is to do this standing.

Level three is to do this standing up.

You can hold on to something.

If you need to or you can try to do it free standing.

If you go free-standing, make sure you have something you can hold onto if you lose your balance.

Otherwise, I tell people to press your palms together, because when you press your palms together, that increases core tension.

So you just lift your heels all the way up and down like that.

This is great because what's happening is there's a lot of micro shifting going on in the foot and ankle and you're training your muscles to be intelligent at preventing micro shifting for maximum stability.

So all those muscles are getting more accustomed to automatically stabilizing you.

You could customize this again, foot turned in if you have lower arch, foot turned out if you have high arches.

And then the super duper advanced version that I used with pro athletes.

Pro athletes like yourself James in my opinion.

Okay, is to do this with the eyes closed.

But I need you to do this standing next to the wall, so you can lean into it if you lose your balance.

Okay, just for extra safety.

When you remove the eyes, this gets significantly harder cause we're removing visual anticipation and so your brain can't anticipate stability demands.

It asks the muscles to do a lot more so this will definitely be a huge... Okay, James you okay there?

Yeah okay, I was just going to ask is the leg supposed to be completely straight or can you bend it like when you're doing these heel lifts?

Here's the thing, both variations are okay, if you bend the knee, you're going to bring me in knee stability demands, okay?

So you turn it into somewhat more than a knee exercise as well, for knee stability if the leg is locked out its focus is more of it on foot and ankle stability so it just changes the ratio of demands on your muscles.

If you have knee priorities and goals, you can do this with a bent knee.

Great question.

Only an intelligent person will ask a question like that.

Thank you, thank you for saying that every time.

What about, last question that will wrap up.

Does it make a difference if people should wear shoes or not wear shoes?

Does it make a difference in terms of getting the benefit of the exercise?

Yeah, I encourage people if you can do so without aches and pains do this without foot wear because then you're asking your muscles to do the work and I don't want your shoes to be taking away and doing some of the work for your foot and ankle, ok?

But some people they need shoes because they just at a level in their foot and ankle hygiene where they're very sensitive and they may get aches and pains.

So if you have to wear your shoes by all means wear them but otherwise if you don't have any special concerns, I would say do this without your footwear on because it increases the demands on the muscles.

Okay, great.


Well, thank you so much follks, thanks for tuning and hopefully there are some good tips and tricks for your feet.

Any parting words Brendan as usual, words of wisdom?

Yes, in the game of life, if you don't focus on the feet you can't compete.

You're walking around on them all day long.

So it's really helpful add a little bit of this stuff in.

You can mix it in at the end of your workout as a cooldown.

You can do it in your dedicated workouts, just mix it in.

You could take a quick time out and do some of this stuff at your desk if you need to, it's very versatile.

But ultimately, when you help to optimize your feet, you make you a better you and more resilient to do the best job you can and be the hero in your unique life story.

Amazing, perfect.

Okay, so thanks so much.

Thanks for tuning and I will see you next time.

Stay safe.

Conversations with Dr. Aw - Conquering Knee Pain

Hello, everybody, welcome back.

It's James Aw at regular sessions conversations with Dr. Aw, welcoming back Brendon Fox, who's a fitness professional because we had such great feedback on the previous sessions.

So we're hoping to turn this into a series and we're going to go back into movement.

So less talking and more moving.

So welcome back, Brendan.

Thank you.

It's great to be back.


So today, we thought it might be helpful to talk about the knee and why the knee is so important is about 25% of people usually complain about some kind of chronic knee pain, and also knee disorders, particularly osteoarthritis creates a huge disease burden for the general population.

And it's thought to affect knee arthritis and thought to affect about four to 5% of people globally.

A few more women and men tend to get knee arthritis, but even young people can get wear and tear, particularly in this new normal of immobility, and sitting at a desk all day in inactivity.

So with that introduction, I thought I'd hand it over to Brendon to talk to us a little bit about his perspectives about knee and, the different kind of programs that we can do to kind of strengthen the muscles and the ligaments around the knee joint.

So over to you Brendan.

Okay, thank you very much.

So I've done over 30,000 hours on the front lines, helping people like yourselves, prevent knee problems and help them resolve some of their knee problems.

So today's segment, we're going to be providing you with some do anywhere solutions that may help you resolve any knee issues, but may also help bulletproof you.

So before we get into that, I just wanted to show everybody, some quick anatomy to help you understand what we're dealing with here.

So we've got the skeleton here.

And if I zoom in, a lot of knee problems happen, because if you see this little, that's the little, that's the patella or the kneecap, it gets driven into the leg bone.

So that's a very common cause of knee problems.

And some of the main culprits, the muscles responsible for that, one of the big ones right here, that's the rectus femoris, and when it gets tight, it will push that kneecap into the leg bones and create excess tension.

So we definitely want to focus on loosening up that big muscle there on the front of the hip and thigh.

But also there's two muscles we're going to focus on that play a big role in preventing wobbly knees and preventing lateral stress on the knee.

And that's this the VMO muscle.

It looks like a teardrop, we're going to be doing something for that later on.

And then also on the upside of the hip, the glute medius muscle, it also keeps the leg bones in alignment so that we're not irritating the knee.

So we're going to focus on strengthening that the VMO and we got to loosen up the rectus femoris on the front of the quad.

Sound like a plan James?

That sounds fantastic.

I can't wait for you to activate all those muscles in me.

Okay, well, here's what we're gonna start off with.

We're gonna start off with loosening up the rectus femoris it's the number one culprit of tight muscles that contributes to knee pain.

So the first movement we're going to do this is level one.

So it's the beginner movement.

So you could do this one sitting in a chair.

And what I'm going to have you do here is you're going to take your fists, and you're going to percuss all along the top of the thighs like your drumming.

Okay, and this is going to meat tenderize that muscle, it's going to decrease the excess tension, think of it like tenderizing a steak so this can be done anywhere.

Even if you only have 30 seconds at your desk, you can do this for healthy knees.

Alright, so that's the level one.

Now if you want to get a little bit more advanced, there is a quadricep stretch you can do.

And James, I'm going to have you stand and hold the back rest of your chair.

Okay, just make sure your chairs firm.


Now I'm going to get you to grab your ankle up behind you.

So just bend your knee up behind you grab the ankle.

Now pull the leg up from behind you like that.


Now if you don't feel the stretch, pull the knee further behind you and upward and you'll feel a pull in the front of thigh.

James, do you feel that right now?

Right now, I defiantly feel it.

Feels good.

Okay, excellent.

So you would hold that for about 30 seconds or so and that's a good quadricep stretch.

That's level two for loosening up the quads.


For those who are daring and want the best results here.

There's a very intense quad stretch you can do from home, okay, and it's the kneeling orange quad stretch.

So James, I'm gonna get you to flip that chair around.

You're going to be kneeling on the floor with your back foot up on the chair, the seat of the chair.

Its always best to have a towel or something right?

I get to wipe myself and also to not hurt my knee I guess.


You just leave towels all around your house to wipe off you're sweating.


Yeah, you're going to be getting into a lunge kneeling position like this with your back foot on the seat of the chair.

Okay, good.

Now your backward, lean backward try to get your butt to your heel.

You can put your hands on the chair behind you.

Okay, there you go.

Lean further back.

And I'm going to get you to stop when you actually hear the muscles ripping, then we know we've gone too far.

I defiantly feel that.

Yeah, in all seriousness, though, you do have 30 seconds of this stretch here.

It's in my professional opinion, one of the most effective ways to loosen up the quadriceps.


That should be good there, James.

Okay, that's good.

All right.

So that's loosening up the rectus femoris muscle now we need to tighten up the glute medius.

Okay, the glute medius is on the lateral aspect of the hip.

So I'm going to get you to flip that chair around so that you can hold on to the backrest.

And you're going to be doing a standing side leg raise.

Yeah, so perfect.

Facing me not there you go.

Okay, that works there.

Sure. Excellent.

It was like that.

Yeah, that works.

Just lifting the leg straight up to the side.

Okay, that would be a level one.

Now, you only want to move from the ball and socket of the hip joint on this one here.

So try to minimize any torso compensations.


That's a level one movement.

Now for level two, you're going to be bent forward like this, with your hands on the seat of the chair, and you're lifting the leg up and out.


So bend forward, just like this.

Lift the leg up and out.

All right now from this angle.


It looks simple, it looks like not a big deal.

From a bend forward position, you're really gonna feel this, it's a big jump, you're now targeting the posterior medius.

And now the level three progression for those who are daring.

I want you to do a little pump at the top James just do a little you go all the way up, then you lower an inch back all the way up and then down.

Okay, there you go. Like. Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

It's gonna feel like somebody put a flame thrower on your glutes there.

Now, just for all the viewers.

How many of these do I do?

Are you supposed to do at home?

Like how many you can do?

Yeah, great question.

Only an intelligent person would ask a question like that.

We're gonna do 1 to 3 sets.

If you want to do it daily, one set, if you're going to go a couple times a week, then you could do three sets when you do it.

And for that exercise there, you do about 25 to 35 repetitions, or you just start a timer on your phone and you go for 60 to 90 seconds.

And then how long can we advise people to rest in between sets .

I advise minimal rest, which means that you want to take as very little rest as possible because that'll work your cardiovascular system for some additional fitness benefit.

So minimal rest necessary.

If you want to make it harder, you can take an elastic loop around your ankles, something like this, that would make that exercise harder or you can take like an ankle weight.

So those are some different variations to help strengthen the glute medius.

Are you ready for the third and final exercise James?

Oh, I didn't know there was another one.

I was walking towards the camera.

Okay, let's go.

You’re trying to tap out I saw ya.

Okay, so now we're going to strengthen the VMO muscle that's that teardrop muscle.

And it helps to maintain very linear knee alignment.

So you're not buckling your knee in, okay.

To prevent knee pain.

Now, for this one here, you're going to do an exercise.

It's called a peg leg need dip.

You want to be standing with one leg straight out in front.

I'll just show you quickly here what I'm talking about.

So I'm standing here.

Now I have one leg out in front like this.

And my standing leg.

I'm just going to bend it and straighten it, but I'm making sure that it's just going straight forward and back and that I'm not wobbling like this when I'm doing the movement.


Am I allowed to touch the chair supposed to do?

Yeah, yeah, level one, use the chair for help use a chair or a wall for help.

Perfect, that's level one.

And the goal here is to and you're doing that that spot on your knees tracking directly over the middle.

Your foot, that's what we want.

We don't want the knee deviating in or out.

So we want really good lateral stability in the knee here.

Now, for level two, and you would do about 20 to 30 reps, 60 to 90 seconds.

Level two press your palms together and do it hands free.


Oh, okay.

Yeah, there you go.


So a little bit more of a stability challenge.

Now, you're still... Oh I saw you, but you recovered well there.

A little bit of a hesitation.

I think your computer was wobbling.

Yes. I had a mini earthquake over here.

It wasn't you.

It was me.

I probably take full blame responsibility.

Okay, now we're gonna go to a level three.

A Level three is to do a miniature hop at the top of the repetition.

Then stick the landing and lower back down.

Okay, so it's just a little mini hop at the top.


Here we go.

Little miniature hop.

Stick the landing.

Oh, thats okay, maybe you're not ready for level three.

That's okay.

There you go.

I'm ready!

There you go!

Oh yeah!

You found your stride.

You found your rhythm and stride.

Now, this is an exercise I've used with pro athletes pro football, everything like that.

So if you can get that level, you're on the right track to make it into the NFL James.

You're on your way there.

Now heres the thing I’m going to... I think everybody wants to see you be challenged even more.

So maybe we come up with a level four for today.

There’s a level four?

Okay, let's go for it.

Just for you.

Just for you.

I want you to do the exact same thing you just did eyes closed.

This is going to increase is going to increase the stability demands.

Eyes closed now without vision.

It's going to require a significant degree more stability.

Oh, boy. Okay. Oh, man. Oh, yeah.

Well, there you go.

Oh, geez. Oh.

One more shot!

All right one more time.

Here you go.

You know what, you got great potential, I know, you're gonna get that level four.

Someday you stick with it.

So those are some simple drills people can do from home.

They're going to help you create healthy knees so that you can feel better.

And if you feel better, you're going to think better and just live better.

So those are some great, simple things you can do anywhere to mix into your routine.

Great, awesome.

So thanks again, Brendan.

Thank you all for watching.

When Brendan and I are trying to put together these series we want to keep it fun, easy, accessible, but also evidence based.

So good luck, everybody.

Remember start with the bottom number one working your way up to number two , number three.

And if you're number four, email, Brendan.

Okay, so with that we'll see ya at the next session.


Take care.

Conversations with Dr. Aw - Conquering Neck Pain

Hi, everybody, welcome back.

It's James Aw for regular segments with Brendon Fox, who is a fitness professional, going through some different stretches with some practical tips that we can all do safely in our home.

So today we thought we'd talk about necks.

So 10 to 20% of people complain of some kind of a neck disorder throughout their lifetime, wear and tear starts to increase as you get older, it can even be up to, you know, 20% of arthritis, even at the early age of 45, and over the age of 65, that percentage of osteoarthritis and wear and tear on the joints in your neck can actually increase even higher than that.

So it's very common.

I was even reading this stuff about young folks, because of so much people are looking on their laptops in terms of bad posture and bad positioning and ergonomics that they're starting to get early signs of degenerative diseases in the neck and myself.

Since I've been home, I must admit that even though I'm trying to ergonomically change the height of my laptop and do different kinds of things and taking breaks, and I'm starting to get some stiffness in the neck also.

So I think the timing is perfect.

For our in house.

Now that he's in house in house expert, who is known by one name now Brendon.

To walk us through some some great neck exercises.

So welcome back, Brendan.

Thank you.

Yeah, it's great to have you back.

So over to you.

Okay, we're gonna have some great do anywhere solutions for your neck, I'm going to be teaching everybody some of the tricks I've used with great, great success over the past close to 20 years now, just to help to relieve headaches, neck and shoulder tension, and help you feel better and function better.

So before we go into some of the tips, I'm just going to show you the anatomy here.

So we're going to be looking at this skeleton.

And one of the things that's important to understand is that if we look at the bones of the neck, and I just, I'm just going to take this shoulder blade, I'm just going to hide that, you can see that the neck follows the curve of the upper spine.

So we want to initially help straighten out the curve and the upper spine to make it much more effortless, to have good neck posture.

So that's going to be one of our priorities.

The other thing is, we don't want to have too much of a gap between the shoulder blades because if your shoulders are curled too far forward, then it's going to pull your neck out of alignment.

So we want to hit up some of those muscles there that you see the rhomboid muscles, we want to be tightening up some of those guys, because that will help it with neck tension.

And of course, we want to be tightening up some of these muscles, like the, the deep cervical flexors on the front of the neck, because they'll help to straighten up your neck posture as well.

So that's going to be the curriculum we're going to be going through here today.

Super that’s great.

So you want to put me through some of your regular torture tests.

You got it, you got it.

So we're gonna start off with what's called a thoracic extension.

So we're straightening up the curve of the upper back so that the neck is sitting on one level foundation.

Now for this one here, you do this one seated you hug a knee, because that locks your hips. then you reverse the curve in your upper back, you hold for five seconds, you relax and repeat, reverse the curve and your upper back, hold five seconds, relax and repeat.

So that's it there.

So you're actually just using all those muscles that will help straighten out that curve and the upper back and you can do this one, it's beautiful because you can do it seated at the desk.

And you can just do like 12 repetitions, or 60 to 90 seconds of effort.


So that is level one for thoracic extension.

Now, for the next one.

I'm going to get you to lay facedown on the floor James.

Just get this out of the way.

So if you want to make more of a intense effort, oh, there it is.

What are we doing?

You're gonna lay face down and you're gonna lift, you're gonna have your palms on the floor, beside your hips, okay, and you're gonna lift the upper back to lift your head and shoulders off the floor.

Okay, so just lift all the way up.

Now you're gonna walk there for five seconds, lower back down, and repeat.

So it's a similar move, but now you're fighting against gravity.

So it's going to increase the intensity.

That's level two.

Now level three.

James, if you can hear me down there.

Level three.

I want you to we're not going to have your hands on the floor.

You're going to put your fingers in your ears, elbows out to the sides like this.

Now lift up, keeping your arms off the ground at all times, lift up and hold, there you go.

So that's increasing the leverage.

So your muscles have to work even harder, perfect.

So those are three drills you can do.

And I always do these first when we're addressing the neck, because if you don't address the rest of the spine, then the rest of the spine is still throwing your neck forward.


Now we're going to go on to the next grouping.

Okay, so the first exercise we're going to do to help.

So we want to prevent slouching like this, because that's gonna throw your neck forward if your shoulder blades are way too far apart, so we want to kind of stretch out the front and tighten up the back a little bit.

So I'm going to get you to lean through the doorway.

And you're going to slide your arms up and down as you're leaning through the doorway.

So this is doorway slides.

Okay, so move forward, slide your arms up and down, you should feel a stretch in the front of the chest.

And you should feel some tension in the upper back, particularly those muscles between the shoulder blades.


Now, James, I'm going to get you to come out of that really dark, creepy room.


We're going to go on to level two.

All right, now, we're going to be doing a similar motion with your back flush against the wall.

This is wall slides.

So you're going to have your arms look like the letter H, then go into the letter V.

And yet the key here is to keep your wrists and elbows on the wall as best you can.

Now if you can't keep your wrists and elbows on the wall, then you have to regress back to level one, you're not quite right, ready yet.

For level two.

That's okay.

So that's the level two progression, it's, you're gonna feel we're using the drag of the wall for resistance.

So you're gonna feel it's surprisingly really effective.

And I get people that typically do 25 to 40 reps, or as many as you can in 60 to 90 seconds.

All right, James, you ready for level three?


Alright, let's do this.

I'm going to get you to do the same exercise.

But you're going to be sitting on the ground with the bottoms of your feet together and your knees out to the sides.

Kind of like you're doing a groin stretch in yoga.

Yeah, there you go.

Now, you're gonna do the same movement, the H to the V, there you go.

And, surprisingly, you know, for those who are viewing the video, it doesn't look like this is a big jump, but it is that's gonna force you to being in that postural position is gonna force the muscles to work way harder.

How does it feel James?

Yeah, its alot more difficult.

Yeah, much, much more difficult absolutely. Okay, that's good there. Let's go on to the actual neck stuff.

Okay, thank you.

This is a next segment correct.

Those first two seg- those first two parts are crucial for getting maximum results in minimal time for your neck health.

Now what we're going to do is this, this is a warm up before you go into the neck, I get people, you rub your hands together like this, warm up your hands.

Now you're going to wipe from front to back, take your hands off and repeat.

So we're just shifting the tension in the connective tissue from the front to the back, just to help to reverse some of that postural tension.

This one feels good.

So if you're watching the video, I encourage you to to join in with us and just see how this one feels.

It gives a nice break right there, you really feel a little looser right away.

Thats relaxing.

So yeah, that's the neck wipes.

You can do it anywhere.

Now we're going to go on to level one for neck posture, you're going to interweave your fingers like this.


Then you're going to place them behind your head, and you're going to extend your head straight back in your hands while your hands remain an immovable barrier.

Then you relax and repeat.

Now the key is keep your chin level.

Don't be tilt, tipping up or anything like that.

So you're doing, you're extending your head straight back in your hands for five seconds, relax and repeat.

Now and you can do this one sitting standing, it's easy to do at your desk, if you're just going to do a couple neck things, you can just do the neck wipes, the neck extensions, and that's going to help to stack the bones and help reduce pressure on the arteries and the muscles and get everything back into a more harmonious state.

Now we're going to go on to the next one.

This one's a little bit more intense.

I'm just gonna show you this one it's called a Wally.

Okay, so for this one here, I'm going to stand and the back of my head is touching the wall.

I have my feet, their foot forward, pointing upward.

And I'm leaning into the wall and I'm holding myself up with a back of my head, the back of my head is the only thing touching the wall.

If the wall wasn't there, I'd fall backwards.

So that there is the wall lean, you would do it for 60 to 180 seconds.

Okay, that's it.

Both feets are up?

Both feet are pointing up?

Oh yeah.

I recognize your stall static cause I’m working you hard.

I know you know the answer to that one.

You need a hard head for this one.

Oh yeah!

You need a harder head for this one.

You should have used your sweat towel to give you some cushioning.

But yes, you fold a cloth into a square and put it between the head and wall.

Now I have to warn you.

When you come off the wall after doing this one for a long time.

Often it can, you might feel a little woozy and tipsy because the blood goes through much better once you stacked everything.

So you might get a little bit of a rush.

But that's normal.

In fact, if you get that it means you kind of needed this drill, because you've opened up the circulation by stacking everything.


Now, the level three is to put your fingers in your ears and push your elbows back the whole time while you're doing the wall lean.


Yeah just like that.

The other thing is, while you’re walking me through this can you remind people about the importance of breathing?

So I find that sometimes when you do this, you're so concentrating on the activity that you forget to breathe right?

It sounds ridiculous.

But I find that that sometimes happens.

Yeah, yeah.

I mean, you want to be able to make sure that you're not creating anxious tension through the rest of your body.

So just focus on taking relaxed breaths, breathing through the belly.

And I just focus on deep relaxed breaths here.

And that should be good for something like that.


So that would be the level three, the wall lean.

Now are you ready for a level four perhaps?

Let’s do it, I’m ready.

There's not normally a level four.

I use level four for professional fighters and professional football players when I've been training them.

So if you want to try your hand at it, I can give you a quick little challenge here.

Okay, now, for this challenge.

You're going to need a Swiss ball or a Bosu ball.

Ok I’ve got one right here.

Viewers at home.

This is a Swiss ball.

He's got a Bosu ball.

All right now, I'm going to get you to do this.

You’re going to take that thing.

You’re going to roll the back of your head on it.

And you're going to hold yourself up with the back of your head in a Glute Bridge.

Okay? And we're gonna see how long you can do that with the bosu ball.

How long am going to do this?

Yeah, normally about 30 seconds is great.

30 seconds!?

30 seconds.

Yeah is ideal.

Arms crossed.

If you can't do it’s okay.

Alright you ready?

It’s way harder than it looks.

All right, keep those shoulders up, get those shoulders up.

That’s pretty good.

That's pretty good.

You know what?

I think you're ready for the next step.

You're ready for the next Olympics with performances like that, I think that was a solid seven seconds.

That was really,

You guys be careful with that one.

That one really puts a lot of strain back there.

Holy moly.

Don't try that one at home folks.

That one hurts.

That's a little, a little bit of very advanced, very advanced exercise.

So by all means, I just threw that in to try to make James look a little silly for everybody's comedy entertainment, but if you want to give that a shot, a little pro athlete exercise.

So that concludes our neck solutions.

We've got a tiered system here.

So I encourage you to maybe start at level one and work your way up as you feel comfortable to some of the different progressions.

You got three types of movements, three categories.

But all together those three as we saw in the anatomy video, they're going to put your body into prime anatomical position, they get all the joints lined up like gears in a machine, so everything moves better.

It takes pressure off of the arteries and veins for better circulation relaxes some of that excess postural tension.

And when you do those kinds of solutions for your neck, it's way more than just the neck.

Because once you start feeling better in your body, you start thinking better thoughts.

You're less anxious, less stressed out, and then you get along better with other people and it improves overall quality of life.

So it's think beyond the neck, the neck can do so much more for everything else in your life.

Great, awesome.

So well said Brendon, I think that's a perfect way to end this segment.

So thanks again, Brendon for all your expertise, and I already feel a bit better, my neck feels fantastic and ready to join the circus.

So stay tuned and stay safe and we'll see you at the next segment.