Eating healthy does not have to be boring, and this meal never does me wrong. This is a very quick post, however this meal needed some spot light!
It's my spin on a Chicken Stir-Fry. It's so simple yet so tasty.
Another plus is it really only takes a few minutes to make.
Something I like to do is cook chicken breast for a few days in advance. I do this with my rice as well.
Now, whenever I am craving this meal, I just sautee (in cooking spray, but you can use olive oil or coconut oil) any vegetables I want. I usually choose peppers (green, red, yellow, doesn't matter), onions, and spinach.
While that is cooking and almost done I add some low-sodium soy suace.
I let that cook for a minute and then add in my chicken and rice. When you do this everything get's that soy-saucy, stiry fry-ey flavor!
That's it! It is an amazing, extremely fast, healthy meal.
Poor shoulder and scapula mobility and stability, mainly in overhead flexion, is something many people deal with but not too many may realize it.
Our shoulders are used for pretty much everything we do, so there are many causes to why you may be having pain or lack of mobility (poor posture due to sitting in a desk, overuse, etc).
In this article I'll go into how to check if you lack overhead shoulder mobility and ways to restore mobility to the way it should be.
Assessing the mobility of your shoulders is fairly simple, however there are a few points you want to make note of.
This image is a rear view of the right scapula.
This is a good assessment to test your scapular mobility. Keep your palms facing each other and elevate your hands overhead. You want to make sure you are not extending your lumbopelvic area - keep a tight core. Too much extension in this area will cause compensation and skew your results. Another thing to watch out for is thoracic extension which will also cause compensation and give you poor results.
Things to look out for: which arm is not traveling as far back; and is either arm sticking more laterally (abducted) than the other?
The primary scapular motion is upward/downward rotation. As the arms are elevated overhead, as in this assessment, your scapula is rotating upward.
What is causing my limited mobility?
The inability to fully elevate your arm overhead is, more than likely, due to soft tissue (muscle) restrictions. Other culprits could be bony and/or capsular limitations, but like I just said, soft tissue restriction will probably be the case.
Muscles that can limit shoulder flexion are:
To better understand why these muscles are limiting overhead shoulder mobility, let's look at where they originate and attach.
Pectoralis Major/Minor - Pec Major originates from the sternum and clavicle bone and attaches on to the humerus in two locations. Pec Minor originates on the anterior portion of the third and fifth ribs. It attaches to the coracoid process of the scapula.
Anterior View of Pectoralis Major/Minor
Latissimus Dorsi - It originates from the lower thoracic vertebrates, lumbar and sacral vertebrae, and the iliac crest.
This is a huge contributor to the lack of overhead shoulder mobility.
Posterior View of Latissimus Dorsi
Teres Major - It originates on the posterior, lower portion of the scapula and inserts on the humerus.
Posterior View of Teres Major
Subscapularis - Originates on the anterior portion of the scapula, and attaches on the humerus as well.
Anterior View of Subscapularis
As you can see, most of the muscles mentioned attach to some portion proximal portion of the humerus.
As you raise your arm overhead, your humerus is in motion. Tightness in any of the muscles listed will limit the range the humerus can travel.
So, we must restore those muscles to normal length, ultimately improving the mobility of the joint.
fixing the issue
You're going to want to use a foam roller & lacrosse ball to target these tight areas. Watch the video attached to see my routine.
Once you've done these, go ahead and re-test your movement and see if there has been any improvements.
If you targeted the correct areas, there more than likely should be improvement. Once you find those tight spots, go ahead and sit on them for a while.
Once mobility has been improved, let's go ahead and do some stretches to aid in restoring the muscles to normal length.
Horizontal Adduction Stretch (Cross Body Stretch)
•Absolutely love this stretch. The key here is to step away from the band to add some tension, loop your hand through, then externally rotate your arm (palm up). This will allow you to get a nice stretch in the rear of your scapula.
Latissimus Dorsi Stretch
•I know I look different in that photo, lol. I didn't have a pic of me doing this stretch so I can explain it.
•Before you get in that position above, cross your relaxed arm across your body and hold your scapula against down. Then get into that stretch as shown above.
Pec Major/Minor Stretch
•Once again, didn't have a pic of me performing this stretch.
•This is similar to the first stretch, except this time we are turning the opposite way to stretch our pec.
•Make sure to externally rotate your arm (palm up). Once I am in position I like to tilt my head away from my extended arm. This allows for a brutal stretch throughout upper pec and into the neck.
There you have it! Start working on this today and notice immediately difference in your shoulder mobility.
Until next time!
Core training not only helps you sculpt your abs, but it is very important in preventing injuries.
I remember in elementary school during P.E. class we had to see how many situps we could complete. One kid finished over 180 I believe, where I got around 60. I was so sore the next day I could only imagine how the other kid felt!
What is core training?
The area of the body, which is commonly referred to as your core, is your midsection and it involves all the muscles in that area. Your traverse abdominis, erector spinae, and obliques.
These muscles work as a stabilizer for your entire body. So, you can imagine, if these muscles are weak then it'll cause a lot of problems.
Keeping these muscles strong can do wonders for your posture and provide more strength for other exercises.
Benefits of core training
Weightlifters especially need to have a strong core. Doing exercises like squats, deadlifts, and rows already assist in making the core strong, but doing direct core work helps decrease the chance of injury. Handling heavier weights on compound exercises, like the squat, requires you to have a very strong core!
Another huge plus is core work helps bring in your sick pack! Who doesn't want that?
sample core workout
•Rope Crunches - 10-15 reps with a moderate weight.
•Lying Leg Raises - 10-15 reps. Just body weight to start.
•Russian Twists - 16-20 reps. Can use body weight or added weight.
I recommend training your core two to three days per week, never repeating it two days in a row.
Try mixing it up with various exercises to keep it fun.