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CONTRIBUTORS Ardour, Kira Nguyen
photography Jesse DeYoung (cover photo), Ardour, Nina Reed
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EDITOR’S NOTE The year has kicked off to a great start. The magazine continues to grow and it’s awesome to hear all the great and encouraging comments from our readers. What I absolutely love the most about this magazine is the people I get to meet. From learning from their knowledge and experience, being inspired by their stories and philosophy to collaborating on cool projects, the ride has been totally worth it. Let’s keep it going. This issue, we have the totally awesome Mike Aidala share his insight on how we can elevate our movement and lives through a holistic way of thinking. Using movement as a catalyst to achieve a state of increased awareness, a state of flow, to help you not only become a more advanced mover but how you engage with the world around you.
We also have great tips from strength and mobility coach Ornagh Lee, an inspiring story from Kira Nguyen that teaches us that no matter where we are in our lives, there’s no better time to start than now, and a lot of great insights from the amazing mover Brian Carew. This one is surely a goodie. Lastly, I want to have a serious conversation with you. Not in a bad way, in a deep way. I want to get to know all of you personally and engage in deep conversations about movement. That’s why I decided to start a Facebook Group for the Mover Mag community. A place to take your movement practice to another level and to meet more like minded people who are passionate about movement. I also want to hear directly from you and find out more about what you want to see in upcoming issues. Let’s get the conversation started. Join us at movementcommunity.com Keep Moving, Michael Ruiz Co-Founder
CONTENTS february 2017 â€˘ ISSUE 04
time to break free Instead of embracing the moment, often times we focus on where we wish we were in our movement journey. Itâ€™s time to break free.
brian carew Filled with so much insight, Brian Carew shares with us why we should move and a great and simple approach to movement.
show up and move Getting past her traumatic event into a beautiful life of movement exploration, Kira Nguyen inspires us with her story.
mike aidala Mike Aidala is on a mission to help others live life to the fullest by bringing a holistic style of thinking to their movement and lives.
ornagh lee from team ardour As a Gymnastics Strength and Mobility Coach, Ornagh Lee shares practical tips to get stronger and increase our mobility.
b r e a k f r e e
Photograph by ardour â€˘
t i m e t o b r e a k f r e e We all have an addiction. We’re addicted to our thoughts. Thoughts about the what ifs of life and the incessant longing for the things we don’t have. We fantasize about a better future where we are making more money or in many mover’s cases, when we could finally move like Ido Portal or nail that hollow body handstand. Sometimes we find our selves dwelling on the past thinking about the things we could of done differently, wishing we would of started sooner or regretting decisions that have put us further behind. It’s important to realize that obsessing over our thoughts will rob us of the beautiful gift we have right in front of us. The present moment. The past has already been written and our future has yet to unfold. If we don’t pay close attention, we will let this moment slip by. It is the present moment that really matters. It is our only reality where we experience our existence and make the choices that will truly affect our lives. The truth is that to be free and fully alive, we must live in the present moment. In this very moment, we have the privilege to move, to breathe, to embrace what we have and how far we’ve come and to work towards the things that we truly desire. More often than not, we spend too much time focusing on where we wish we were in our movement journey. It’s time to break free and accept this moment as it is, without judgement or fear. In our movement practice, let’s immerse ourselves in exploration, being mindful of our bodies and the present moment, grateful for the ability to move and remember to always have fun.
Embrace the movement.
Movement, Calisthenics, and Yoga practitioner.
Brian Carew is a student and practitioner of yoga, calisthenics, and movement exploration. After several years of purely weight training, with the sole intention of attaining aesthetics, Brian reoriented his focus with the goal of becoming more functional, mobile, and body aware. During the summer of 2015, Brian began experimenting with yoga and calisthenics, with special attention to hand balancing. Fast forward to Spring 2016, after graduating from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops BC with a Respiratory Therapy Diploma, Brian became a full-time Registered Respiratory Therapist at Vancouver General Hospital. His eyes were set on Vancouver with hopes of finding a community of movers. Quickly, Brian became an active member of a movement-based meet up group, named “Movimiento Originale” (Second Beach Sundays). These weekly meet ups offered him many connections and exposure to even more aspects of calisthenics, yoga, functional movement, gymnastics, circus, and capoeira. Hungry for more exposure, Brian began volunteering at YYoga Downtown Flow in hopes of consolidating a more consistent yoga practice. It wasn’t until the Fall of 2016 where he would be introduced to a studio by the name of Dharma Movement Company; a space to explore all avenues of the body: yoga, pilates, and movement. Brian immediately started taking movement lab classes (taught by Slava Goloubov), and was shortly after asked to join the DMC team to work the front desk. Currently Brian is solidifying a balanced practice of bodyweight exercises, flow based movement training, and asthanga yoga with a focus on hand balancing. His practice regimen currently consists of training 2-3 hours 5 days a week, and weekly 1 hour one-on-one sessions with his Mentor, Slava Goloubov. Ultimately, Brian has the goal and intent on teaching movement flow and hand-balancing.
What draws you to movement? I think what draws me most to movement is 1) the potential for endless expression, and 2) movement is for everyone. Since movement is a generalist endeavor, there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong way of doing it (of moving with your body). The point is to explore the body’s capabilities, possibilities, limitations, etc. Undoubtly there are more aesthetically pleasing ways of expressing certain flows, transitions, static holds, and so on, but one fact remains in regards to movement: there is no right or wrong. Secondly, If you have a body, you can move (and you should). For many years, I was obsessed with attaining only aesthetics. I ignored flexibility, mobility, mental health, and overall proper nutrition, and as a result I found myself rigid, unhappy, unbalanced, and not attaining any measurable goals. With movement I was able to feel uninhibited. I could have it all: strength, flexibility, mobility, and balance. This motivated me to invest in my mental health by founding a daily meditation practice, while additionally putting in the appropriate time into nutrition and meal planning. I’m driven to move, and inspired by its many capabilities, thus I was motivated to be more productive in other aspects of my life. Once I gave up the struggle for aesthetics and committed my time to fortifying my practice, I attained the body I always wanted (you gotta love the irony).
When and how did you start your movement practice? I would have to say it all began with handstands and being exposed to Ido Portal a few years ago. After a friend sent me a video of Ido Portal moving, I knew right then and there, in that very moment, that THAT was what I wanted to do. The freedom he could express in his body, and the breathtaking feats
of strength and flexibility are what inspired me to start exploring movement. Handstands are what led me into the world of bodyweight training and calisthenics. My movement practice only came about after exploring handstands and then becoming curious about other ways of moving my body.
Why should we move? What has it done for your life? Why should we move? Why shouldn’t we move? I think we should move simply because we can. But for some that is not enough, and for whom that may apply, I offer you some personal insight. For me, moving has brought more than a healthy body and a clear mind. It has allowed me to appreciate what a body (and mind) is capable of doing if you are disciplined and dedicated to practicing something consistently. As you can imagine, this type of attitude has transitioned into other areas of my life (nutrition, mental health, work, etc). It is motivating to know that when you put in consistent work, you will attain consistent results (sometimes quickly, sometimes very slowly). As a practicing Registered Respiratory Therapist, I work closely with patients in the intensive care unit, many of which who have suffered life altering spinal cord injuries, which have left them in a state of paraplegia or quadriplegia. Those people cannot move, or at least not to the degree that they used to be able to. Again, I say we should move because we can. Some are not so fortunate.
What does your training look like today? Today I have established a balance between bodyweight training, movement/flow training, and asthanga yoga. My training is at the mercy of the skills I want to attain and the goals
I have set. Currently my primary goals are forming movement flow patterns, and attaining some flexibility goals (for example: full front and side splits).
What are the main areas that you focus on in your movement practice and why? Currently my main focuses are press to handstand, Ido Portal inspired movement flow, and increasing my overall flexibility and mobility (with careful focus on splits training and shoulder opening). I will be the first to admit my practice is unorthodox. Secondary to dabbling in so many forms of movement, I see myself as a generalist who is continually learning and striving to acquire a more capable, able, and adaptable body. But, what does that mean? I want to be ready to move in any which way, whilst making the transition and or flow seem effortless. Up until a year ago, I neglected flexibility and focused only on strength. In the world of movement, brute strength will only take you so far. One cannot acquire grace without flexibility. Thus, I believe it is essential to invest time in a stretching
and mobility routine. Mindset is also a very detrimental factor to take into consideration. It is easy to get caught up in the physicality and shear appearance of movement. After all, the focus is the physical body moving in space. But, if you donâ€™t have clear intentions and appropriate goals, one can easily find themself frustrated with their practice secondary to stagnant progress. I think the most valuable lesson I have learned, in regards to mindset, is to be prepared to check your ego at the door. There is no quick and easy way to become a master of movement (or a master of anything for that matter). You will fall and you will fail, time and time again. You must learn to love failure, welcome mistakes, and look forward to barriers. Only in failure can we find out how to better ourselves. Everyone wants to be able to pull out the fancy tricks: handstands, planche, levers, ring work, QDR, various hand-balances, etc, but these cannot be approached as isolated achievements. They often coincide and affect each other. For example, a properly aligned handstand requires shoulder opening, and glute and hip engagement. All of these three areas must be aligned to perform a
proper handstand. I think its integral to not get caught in the mindset where your only goal is to attain a skill without understanding the mechanics of the movement. This is a place where progress is slow and injuries are common.
Movement is such a broad and expanding word for many, how do you define it? I think the best way to define movement is a combination of body awareness combined with a general desire and curiosity to push beyond conventionally formed beliefs about what it means to be fit and how our bodies should move. There is an endless list of disciplines, from which an even longer list of dos and don’ts exist, that will try and convince you that their way is the right way. Movement allows us to see past the barriers of right and wrong, and explore what is. What can my body do without the constraint of what is the
right way to do it? Movement is putting that right or wrong thinking aside, and finding out what your body is capable of as you go along. Movement is having an open mind to all the various ways of expressing a skill or flow. Personally, I feel movement is synonymous with freedom in that it allows you to not be confined by one definition (yoga, calisthenics, gymnastics, capoeira, crossfit, etc). That being said, there is nothing wrong with committing yourself to a certain discipline, in fact I strongly recommend it. What I am saying is that movement allows for one to explore without so many rules, and thus it allows us to create something new.
Where should one get started if they’re new to movement? A great question, and I have a simple yet very effective answer: start anywhere. In fact, start with what catches your eye the most. There
is no right starting point, especially in regards to movement. Some may argue starting with certain modalities may be more beneficial than others, but I believe starting with what area attracts you the most is more beneficial and here is why: As I mentioned previously, my movement journey began with a curiosity to explore hand-balancing. My urge to learn handstands and hand-balancing kept me motivated to stick with my practice despite many arising barriers (mental and physical). Inititally, I had no intention on exploring movement, but hand-balancing open the door to so much, and thus I explored other disicplines. Starting with something you like and are fascinated by will spark a fire of motivation that carries over into other areas of practice, and it will breed more confidence and reassurance throughout your movement journey.
What is the best advice you would give to someone who is passionate about becoming a better mover? Start moving. Right now. Today! The beauty of movement is anyone can do it. The more you move, the better you become at it. Research, tutorials, and teachings will offer much insight, but there is no better teacher than trial and error. That being said, if you have no idea where to start and you are an absolute beginner, there is a plethora of online resources to be found on Google or YouTube, which will provide a lifting off point. I am a selftaught mover who utilized YouTube tutorials as my first teacher. Additionally, I would suggest, to both beginners and those who have developed a practice, to utilize the power of goal setting. What would you like to obtain through movement exploration: strength, flexibility, focus, balance, all of the above? Lately I have used a fairly simple goal setting technique where I set 3 long-term goals (to be accomplished in 3-6 months), and then make
a list of smaller goals and progressions that will allow me to accomplish the larger ones. For example, my goals from 1 year ago were: 1-minute handstand hold, 10 second straddle planche, and 10 muscle-ups. Next, I started a handstand training routine, implemented pull-ups (and pull-up variations) into all my workouts, and lastly, I began research on planche progression training. This goal setting technique kept me focused, motivated, and allowed me to track my progress. My favourite part of this entire process is that achieving the goal is not the point, nor completely necessary. The point of this goal setting technique is to get you moving and exploring, because I find people often feel the most resistance with the starting phase. It is well known that establishing new habits and routines is difficult. By setting goals, and putting time and effort into a schedule, you will feel more obligated to commit to the routine. So, to put it simple: start moving (right now!) and set some goals.
Leave us with your final thoughts. If there is anything you leave with from reading this interview, I hope it is a reassured feeling that you can be a mover if you so choose. My philosophy towards movement is if you can move, you should move. People often get caught up in the idea of performing cool skills and displaying great feats of strength (as I have mentioned before). But, there is something much more profound in the practice of movement and body awareness to be found than simple showing off your talents. As your practice deepens, you will begin to establish a relationship with yourself and a greater appreciation for the individual that you are. Establishing a better diet, looking better physically, and feeling better overall will then become by products of the practice. Stay curious, find the many wonders your body and this world have to offer, and stay moving my friends.
3 Photograph sequence by Amanda Riches â€˘
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move KIRA NGUYEN Athlete & Performer IG: @kiradium â€¢ FB: /kiradium kiranguyen.com
Photography by nina reed â€¢
I am not a dancer. I am not a gymnast. For my first 22 years on Earth, I never participated in sport or physical activity of any kind. After growing up in Hanoi, Vietnam, I moved to the USA when I was 12 years old. The next decade of my sedentary life was focused on school and piano. When I turned 21, I had a life altering car crash that sent me to the intensive care unit for a month. And another month under close supervision in the hospital. People often ask about my near death experience and from what I vaguely recall, I didnâ€™t think about anything at all because I was in and out of a comatose state; hardly cognizant and morphine-infused. My traumatic brain injury permanently stripped my sense of smell and hearing from my left ear. As I begun to heal, I reflected on my life and decided that I wanted a new one. I gave up the engineering career that I worked so hard to attain.
As I looked for outlets to cope with my depression and the foreign changes in my body, I took my first dance class. I tried a random dance class here and there at different studios for two months before I settled on my first home studio. Tease Pole Fitness Studio was not known for dance classes, it was a pole fitness studio that also offered a few fitness classes for crosstraining. Sometimes in between classes I saw ladies come and go from their pole workout and my curiosity grew stronger. So I tried a pole class and hated it. But I kept coming back partly because I was bored, partly because I couldnâ€™t figure out how these women were hanging precariously to a vertical metal bar with just one leg. And slowly, before I realized it, I had fallen in love with being inverted and spinning daringly through air. I became obsessed and went to every class I could and learned from every teacher at Tease. My training took off. Two years later, I competed and placed first in the 2014 Colorado Pole Championship.
Pole fitness was a gateway drug into the movement culture that I immerse myself in today. Flexibility always came easy to me, too easy and I didn’t know why. I wondered what else could I do? And I began looking at bodyweight movement classes like yoga, gymnastic strength training, aerial arts, ballet, parkour, bouldering and recently tricking. I realized all these things made me just as happy as pole did — and more well-rounded. Pole fitness requires mostly upper body strength and no jumping power. But in parkour, ballet, and tricking, I learned to fly through the air without using any apparatus; this made me feel even more empowered. I could never stick to one discipline. My inquiring mind and body yearns to learn how capoeiristas bend their bodies in angular planes, or how ballerinas make the strenuous balances, jumps, and pirouettes look glidingly effortless. Or the creative way a parkour practitioner transforms their environment into their stage. The power of a tricker to spin three full rotations through the air by simply jumping. Of course fear is always going to be a difficult challenge to overcome when your environment lacks the soft, padded floors of a gym, or the imported Indonesian volcanic bamboo wood floor that you always do your handstands on. But with incremental progressions and a little bit of creativity, I’ve learned to intelligently conquer my fears. Anyone can if you’re smart about it.
Mind you, it didn’t occur to me that all these different disciplines existed until I dove further into my practice. As I continue to uncover and explore each different discipline, I start to wonder about a new one that I’ve recently seen or learned about. For instance, the first time I watched a tricker working on his skills, or the first time a particular dancer caught my eye. Rare occurrences like these ignite a spark in me as I marvel at their ease, grace, and power. These individuals are catalysts that propel my training, my teachers in whatever capacity possible. Sometimes, that means I can only watch from afar, on the sideline as they practice and perform. But if I am lucky, some of them turn out to be great teachers who are willing to teach me what they know. I hope to be able to pull everything I’ve learned from capoeira, tricking, dance, ballet, and improv to create my own freestyle. I’ve gotten good at mimicking many movement patterns and choreography, yet I am not quite comfortable creating my own flow. If you are just starting out with your own movement journey, or perhaps you’ve taken a long break and it seems too overwhelming to even begin, my advice to you is to show up and be consistent. You don’t have to wait for the perfect time, you can start right now. Perfectionism leads to procrastination, which leads to paralysis.
Photograph by matt fricovsky â€˘
mike aidala a pioneer of personalized movement training in NYC
Tell us a little bit about your background and experience with movement? My background with movement is varied. I grew up as an active kid playing all types of sports but finished high school as an all-state football and all-league basketball player serving as a co-captain on both teams. I went on to play college football and post-graduation competed in Olympic Weightlifting and Stand-up paddleboarding. After working stints with the strength staff of the NY Jets and interning at Exos (formerly Athletes performance) I started training and managing a strength and conditioning facility in NY. After about two years, I left the United States in search of lifeâ€™s big questions and began what I called an alternative graduate studies
program. I sent out to travel the world and study all ways to be happier and healthier. After about a year of adventures that included teaching English and surfing in Costa Rica, skiing in the Austrian alps and exploring Easter Island, I was ready to come back stateside. At that point I dived deep into yoga, which soon led me to teaching and then partnered acrobatics and calisthenics. I currently work with clients using my varied background to help them achieve the movement goals they have for their own practice.
What has movement done for your life? Movement has given me a freedom of expression and provided me with another outlet to explore myself and all that life has to offer.
Youâ€™ve spent your life seeking a state of awareness through movement, what does awareness mean to you? Awareness to me is defined as where I am putting my attention. One reason I love balancing is because it forces me to constantly be conscious of my attention. This ability to focus not only helps in complex movement skills but also helps in everyday life and increases my ability to enjoy the world around me. This way of focusing can also be described as a state of Flow, a positive psychology term that describes a state of being, best compared to athletes being â€œin the zoneâ€?. I look to achieve this state by balancing my skills with an appropriate challenge to force myself into a state of increased awareness, flow. The possibilities for this type of awareness to be trained are endless, you just need a creative mind and willingness to try. Some examples I like are focusing on each individual tooth as you brush your teeth or eating with my non-dominate hand. The key is constantly being varied in
your approach to how you push your own individual awareness. Increasing your ability to enter a flow state will not only help you become a more advanced mover but will also help all areas of life from how you engage with people, yourself and the world around you.
How important is your mindset when it comes to movement? Mindset is extremely important when it comes to movement. I strongly believe in the mind body connection and if you can tap into your mindset you can have greatly accelerated results when it comes to obtaining certain skills or goals. In my opinion, the ability to motivate yourself and clear your mind of distraction is one of the most underrated qualities of strong individuals. These qualities are critical in the movement practitioner. An example is someone working to balance their first free-standing handstand. They can have a mindset of luck which would be minimal consciousness of their body and they
Photograph by Jesse DeYoung â€¢
will most likely fail their body up into the air with minimal success. Or, they can approach the movement with the mindset of a surgeon. Taking the time to focus on where they place their hands, the rotation of their elbow and where they place their gaze etc. This is a much more conscious approach to their handstand and their practice will reap the benefit of such a focused attention. This process however takes time to build up. Each individualâ€™s brain can only hold so much information and just like their muscles, 34
it takes time for it to grow and for more information to be processed. If you give yourself to much information at first, you will short circuit and usually not find much success. If you are able to grow in controlled progressions your ability to improve will enhance greatly.
What is your philosophy for life and how do you apply that to movement? I strive to be the happiest and healthiest human I can be in all areas. I want to
feel good in my body and mind and help others to feel the same. My movement and everything I do in life goes through the lens of, “is this helping me or hurting me?” I ask myself the question, “why?” a lot.
You’ve created the MAST method, what is it all about? The MAST method is a unique training method that involves a large variety of movement modalities to create a well-
rounded mover, athlete and healthier human being. It is a way of living and striving to be the best individual you can be through training.
What are some of the things that make your training unique? My training in unconventional. I constantly push the boundaries and limits of what my mind and body can achieve to test and explore myself. I think it’s important to challenge yourself www.movermag.us
Photograph by Lisa Haefner â€¢
in all areas of life. For me personally, I have a few baseline levels of strength, flexibility and skill I want to maintain and I do maintenance work for those. After that, I enjoy my hard work and get out into the environment to use my movement! Hiking, skiing, surfing, climbing, partner acrobatics, SUP, basketball…the list of things I love to do outside are endless. To me it doesn’t make sense to just move for the sake of moving. I want to be a better mover so I can enjoy all the things I find fun in life.
You talk about how your dedicated clients understand that it is not all about the handstands or flips, but finding an inner knowledge that allows deeper connections to the mental, occupational, environmental, spiritual and emotional aspects of our lives. How does someone begin to navigate these deeper connections? It really isn’t about the handstands or backflips, being able to do these skills does not greatly enhance your life. What does enhance your life is the process it takes to learn these skills
and the inner knowledge you gain from focused practice on and with yourself. The best way to begin to navigate these deeper connections is to become conscious of them. Work towards becoming a conscious witness to your life in all of these areas. I would recommend to view your life as a pie chart with each piece of the pie containing aspects of a healthy life such as; physical, emotional, occupational, mental, spiritual and environmental. Then take a moment to see which areas of the pie you have been filling up the most and which you may want to spend more time on. The first step towards making a change is to understand the change you want to make.
You’ve helped people bring a holistic style of thinking to their movement and their lives, why is that important and how does someone go about making this shift in their thinking? Having a holistic mindset is critical to enjoying a whole life. I often use the analogy of a car. If you’re only worried
about the outside appearance of your car and never took the time to inspect the engine, brakes or interior, how well would you expect that car to run. Looking at a car holistically makes a lot of sense, people don’t want their cars to break down so they take care of them. Unfortunately, many of us treat ourselves worse than we treat our cars. Understanding the complexity and uniqueness of yourself as a human being will lead to more respect, and we can only truly love and care for something we respect.
You’re on a mission to share that addictive feeling that only comes from living life to the fullest, what is your definition of living life to the fullest and how do you assist others in reaching this point in their lives? Living life to the fullest is different for everyone. My definition is to be able to have the freedom to live a life I choose. This freedom comes from a lot of hard work with the results being a strong and flexible body, mind and spirit.
I help others reach their own definition of “living life to the fullest” by first taking the time to define what that is for them. We then work together to outline a plan for them to achieve their goals. What is the most important advice you would give someone who is just starting out with their movement practice? Find a good coach and move! Too often I see people always looking for the quickest way to gain the next trick, the best movers are the ones that move and move a lot. It’s easy to get caught up researching or finding inspiration but there is no substitute for doing.
Leave us with a final thought. “I do my thing and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, And you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped.” ― Frederick Salomon Perls
MIKE AIDALA Traveling and online personal movement and performance coach, Holistic lifestyle coach Instagram: @mike.aidala www.MikeAidala.com
Photograph by Hunter Oâ€˜Brien â€˘
ornagh lee team ardour At Ardour we’re passionate about moving better. With a focus on comfort, range of motion and our signature understated design, we create clothing that is tested by movers and designed for you. To move better is to live better and to that end we have partnered with movers and educators from a range of disciplines to help spread our message. From gymnasts and freerunners in Europe, to dancers and educators in the US and Germany, our team not only excel in their chosen fields but also embody our ethos. We’re thrilled to have someone of Ornagh’s skill, dedication and drive on Team Ardour. A trained gymnast, Ornagh is not only constantly improving how she moves but also helping others in their quest to move better.
Photography by ardour •
Name: Ornagh Lee Nickname: O or pops by my family Title: Gymnastics Strength & Mobility Coach From: Ireland Born: Dublin Height: 5’3” Weight: 55kg Instagram: @ornagh_morechalk Website: www.morechalk.com Favorite move: Handstand walking Power move: Muscle-ups / single arm strength Years moving: All of them. Some I worked a lot harder than others though! Training frequency: 5 days a week Training duration: 2 hours Movement philosophy: Get strong and try new things. Start to love what your body’s capable of.
How did you get started with movement?
accomplish and not be so fixated on how it looks.
I guess it started with gymnastics as a kid and later with CrossFit when I discovered gymnastics. As you know a lot of movement training is that of gymnastics, so I was lucky to have such a foundation. I went on to coach on the Crossfit Gymnastic seminar staff for Europe and now I have opened up my own studio where focus on gymnastic strength and flexibility! I just want women in particular to become proud of what the body can
Youâ€™re a strength and mobility coach, what are some of the things you first assess in your clients to begin their fitness journey?
I use really basic body weight movements such as the squat, lunges, etc., and for upper body strength I use pull ups and push ups to asses their strength levels. Through this you get a good grasp of where there mobility and flexibility is also.
I let all my clients know that movement, strength and flexibility is a journey. It can be slow and frustrating, but to learn to enjoy every moment of it and watch their quality of life and what their body becomes capable of grow. What are some of the fundamentals to gaining strength? The most important factor for building strength is progressive overload. I do this by alternating between increasing the weight & increasing the number of repetitions.
What are some practical ways we can build muscle? Much like strength, progressive overload is going to be youâ€™re best friend. You need to give muscles a reason to grow (adapt). For building muscle, I try to get people as strong as possible in the 8-10 rep range. What are the benefits to having bigger muscles? Well first off you will be stronger, and as long as body fat remains the same
you will also look leaner and ‘toned’ with more muscle on you. What are some of the fundamentals to increase mobility and flexibility? My favourite method for increasing mobility is loaded stretching. Nothing comes close to it. Also, having patience and understanding when your body is ready to push and when it needs a break.
What has been the primary contributor that has gotten you to where you are today? Being a gymnast as a kid, certainly gave me a great base for all my training. I’m really thankful for it. I’m also lucky to have met and learned from some of the best gymnastic coaches in the world like Coach Sommers and Dave Durante.
What are some practical things we can start today to develop more mobility and flexibility?
If someone was starting their movement journey today, what is the number one advice you would give to them?
Start to move more. Lunge, squat, run, jump, hang, twist, etc. to start. Then you can begin to incorporate more specific drills/exercises. My first off favourite movement for everyone is a Jefferson curl.
Realize that it will take time. Don’t rush it, enjoy it and have fun with the process. Training is a privilege, not a chore. Nothing motivates me more than when I remind myself of that.
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Photograph by ardour â€˘
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