Bodyweight Air Squat With Glute Activation

In this post:

Transcript:
Hey it’s Nick Ortego here. I’m going
to show you how to do air squats with
enhanced glute activation, without any
extra equipment. The way that we do it:
get a little bit wider than shoulder
width stance. Feet could be parallel or
angled out a little bit from there I
want you to ground into both the heels
and the forefoot and then push your legs
out as if you’re trying to spread the
ground apart. As if there’s a crack in
the ground right between your
legs and you’re trying to spread the
ground apart. So you apply force that way
push the knees out let the hips sink
while you’re continuing to push the feet
and the knees out. It looks like this and
I’m pushing out as I push it up and from
the side it looks like this. The heels
stay grounded. I’m using a push of
the heels, pushing the heels down as I
push the legs out to come up. Trying to
keep the torso as upright as I can.
Trying to sink as deep as I can into the
squat. When you’re doing the air squat
you don’t have to worry so much about
keeping your spine upright because
there’s no compressive load going
through the spine like you would with
weight across your shoulders, If you were
squating with weight across your
shoulders. Give that a try.
You got any benefit from this, leave a
comment below. You like to get more
content not available on the blog or the
regular YouTube channel, then click the
link that’s connected to this video,
you’ll have a chance to sign up for the
Run Better Now VIP club.

Author:
Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.
Also find more on the Nick Ortego Fitness YouTube Channel

How To Release The IT Band With A Lacrosse Ball

In this post:

  • Use this technique as a quick fix for IT Band pain while you address the underlying imbalances that lead to IT band issues.


Transcript:
Hey it’s Nick Ortego here. I’m going
to show you how to use this ball. It’s a
little Yoga tune-up ball. You can
also use lacrosse ball. Gonna show you how
to use it to do some release techniques
on your IT band. The IT band runs down
the side of the thigh, connects into some
hip muscles, also connects crosses the
knee and connects into the tibia. So this
could be a good quick fix if you have an
IT band syndrome or pain on the side of
the knee. But if you are having that
you’re gonna want to check out tightness
in your quads and under activation in
your glutes. It kind of picks the
problems that are causing the IT band
issues. But this is the good little quick
fix, makes you feel better immediately
usually. But it’s not gonna fix the real
problem. Typically what you do, let’s say
I’m gonna roll my left. Lay down, place
that ball on the side of my thigh, yeah
and then kind of roll into it. You can
see the ball is on my thigh, pants out of the
way, just kind of go get into it bring it
up a little bit higher. Roll into it and
then the more I roll, we get a little bit
into the lateral quads, lateral quads on
the outside there. You just want to find
any places that have a knot or
a tightness, sensation of tightness and
tension.
I just roll into it. Bring this foot
over and just breathe. What you want to
do is segment by segment hold it for a
few seconds maybe 20 to 30 seconds at
every little segment up and down the thigh. I always continue to breathe. If you
get to a point where it’s so painful
that your breathing stops, that’s a sign
that you’re going too hard. You want to be
able to maintain your ability to breathe in
a slow natural way. If it feels kind of
painful, a good way to make the pain
release a little bit is to slow down
your breathing. Try to breathe
consciously, very slowly. Give that a try,
let me know how it goes. If you got any
benefit from this video, leave a comment
below. If you’d like to get content not
available on the blog or the regular
YouTube channel, then click the link that’s
connected to this video you’ll have a
chance to sign up for the Run Better Now
VIP club. Thank you.

Author:
Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.
Also find more on the Nick Ortego Fitness YouTube Channel

Bent Over Cuban Press Exercise

In this post:

Transcript:
Hey it’s Nick Ortego here. I’m gonna
show you how to do an exercise. I call it
bent over Cuban press. It’s really good
for activating the spinal extensors in a
stabilizing way,really good for creating
balanced strength around the shoulder
girdle. The way we’re gonna do it is
without weight. I’ll do light dumbbells. It’s
one of those things you probably most
people will get a good bit of a workout
from it without any weight at all. And
then you’d want to start with very light
dumbbells like even those little pink
one pounders you see in the group-ex
classes at the gym. So you start with the
hips hinged and I’m gonna link to a
video about hip hinging at the end of
this one on the end screen. But hinge the
hips,
that means the spine is straight and now
rounded, knees are slightly bent. From
there I let my arms hang down even with
the shoulders.
I bring the elbows back to about
shoulder height or a little bit higher.
They’re not down by my side they’re out
to the side like this and then,
externally rotate the shoulders, and then
push my arms up similar to a pressing
motion, except the gravity’s not pushing
me this way. The gravity is pushing me
this way. I activate all these
muscles in my upper back, stabilizers of
the shoulder girdle, to do the exercise.
So it looks like this: elbows up, hands up,
hands forward, elbows back down, hands
down. boom boom boom boom with the
dumbbells. It looks like this.
Try a few sets of 12 with no weight once
you feel comfortable with that using a
mirror. Making sure that you’re keeping
the arms up in line with the rest of
your torso, and if you got any benefit
from this video leave a comment below. If
you’d like to get more content not
available on the blog or on the regular
YouTube channel, then click the link
that’s connected to this video you’ll
have a chance to sign up for the Run
Better Now VIP club.

Author:
Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.
Also find more on the Nick Ortego Fitness YouTube Channel

Lat Stretch In Doorway

In this post:


Transcript:
Hey it’s Nick Ortego here. I’m gonna show
you how to use a doorway to stretch out
your lats. What you want to do is find a
doorway. Stand adjacent to the doorway
this way. Reach one arm up and over grab
the inside edge. Take your other hand and
push this hand. Pushing my body away.
I’m stretching the lats here I’m using
the bottom arm to push away try to hold
that stretch for five breaths. You can do
it on both sides, using the other side of
the door frame. Here using my bottom
hand this hand, push. Trying to stand at a
90 degree angle
to the doorway, perpendicular. Five
breaths each side, give that a try.
Got any benefit from this video, then
leave a comment below. If you’d like to get
more content not available on the blog
or the regular youtube channel then you
can click the link that’s connected to
this video. You have a chance to sign up
for the run better now VIP club. Thank
you.

Author:
Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.
Also find more on the Nick Ortego Fitness YouTube Channel

Supine Serratus Anterior Activation

In this post:

Transcript:
Hey it’s Nick Ortego here and I’m
going to show you how to activate the
serratus anterior muscles. They’re muscles on the ribcage.

They wrap around and attach to the inside. They wrap around
the ribcage attach the inside edge of
the shoulder blade. They’re key
stabilizers of the shoulder girdle and
then they anchor the shoulder girdle to
the rib cage. If they’re under active, the
muscles that attach the shoulder blade
to the spine and especially the neck
are gonna have to pick up their slack.
Which creates too much neck tension. If
you’re doing upper body movements and
you always feel like you’ve got too much
neck tension going on in these upper
body movements, that’s a good sign that
your serratus anterior is probably
under active not pulling its weight so
to speak. So a good way to activate the
serratus anterior is lie down on
your back, straight arm and have my
thumb pointing up this way. I’m gonna
feel where my serratus anterior is with
my other hand. so from here what I’m
doing is feeling where those muscles are.
I’m just holding my arm here I may not
feel any activity in those muscles. Then
what I’m gonna do is pull the shoulder
down away from the ear and then
straighten the arm and we’re gonna try
to keep the shoulder down away from the
ear as I reach my arm up by the ear. And
what I want to be doing is what you see
is because I’m not letting the shoulder
rise up and making the shoulders stay
down. The shoulder blades gonna have to
to give me that range. The shoulder blade
is gonna have to tilt backwards. The top
side of the shoulder blade is gonna go
toward the floor. The bottom side of the
shoulder blade is going to come away
from the floor as I’m keeping the
shoulder down, keeping the lower back
from coming up. So I don’t want to, I
don’t want to start using spinal
extension to get that range. Lower back’s
down, feeling the muscles that I’m trying
to activate.
And if I start to go higher and higher
keeping the shoulder down away from the
year I’m gonna feel those muscles kick
in. I’m feeling it right now.
You can kind of see the shoulder blade.
It’s tilting this way, posterior tilt to
the shoulder blade. I work on getting my
thumb to the floor
with the shoulder down away from the ear.
Once I’m able to do that, I have a fist I
work on getting the fist to the floor,
then I work on getting my whole arm to
the floor or my wrist to the floor. Give
that a try, a few sets of 10 on each side.
Got any benefit from this video, leave a
comment below. Like to get more content
not available on the blog or the regular
youtube channel? Then click the link
that’s connected to this video you’ll
have a chance to sign up for the
Run Better Now VIP club. Thank you.

Author:
Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.
Also find more on the Nick Ortego Fitness YouTube Channel

How To Activate The Serratus Anterior Muscles In Down Dog

In this post:


Transcript:
Nick Ortego here and today I’m
going to show you how to activate the
serratus anterior muscle while you’re in
down dog yoga position, so the serratus
anterior muscle, these little
finger-like muscles. You can see them
from the front side here, but they
basically attach on the ribcage and they
also attach to the inside border, the
medial border of the shoulder blade,
the scapula. So they’re kind of like
under. They lie underneath the shoulder
blade and wrap around the back of the
rib cage, and they’re big time shoulder
stabilizers. By anchoring the shoulder
blade to the rib cage, which is huge for
all of your movement patterns that
involve the upper extremities, the arm,
the shoulders. A lot of times in down
dog you get some substitution patterns
where the upper traps are getting tight.
The rhomboids between the shoulder
blades are getting tight and carrying
excess tension because the shoulder
blades aren’t anchored to the rib cage.
So there’s a way to do the downward
facing dog that activates those and the
way that you do it is as always you make
sure your hands are facing forward,
middle fingers point directly forward.
Hands are about shoulders distance apart, they can be a little bit wider. I like
to take them a little bit wider and then
as you’re grounding into your arms
elbows are straight you create force
where you’re rotating the elbow creases
forward, The elbows don’t flare out to
the side like this for down dog.
Rotate them forward as you push,
you keep that rotation going so it’s
kind of like with your arm you’re
thinking about rotating movement.
But your hands are planted so
you’re not gonna be pushing your hand
forward you’re gonna be pushing your
hips back. From the side it looks kind of
like this. Hands are planted, rotate. See
once I do that I’m already getting a
little bit of activation there. Tuck the
toes lift the hips up, and this is key:
let the back of your neck relax. So that
you’re not gonna be activating the upper
traps muscles back here and what you’ll
see is this is the down dog position, but
if I really engage the rotation and then
at the same time push my hips up and
back, as if I’m pushing the ground
forward. Back of the neck is relaxed. You
can see this is where I’m just kind of
like letting the elbows flare out, not
engaging the shoulder rotation. Plant the
hands straighten the elbows at the back
of the neck relax and then and again.
I try to hold that throughout the five
breaths or however long I’m in the
downward facing dog position. You can
kind of see those muscles activate,
big-time shape shoulder stabilizers. Give
that a try. If you’ve got any benefit from
this video leave a comment below if
you’d like to get any content not
available on the blog or the regular
YouTube channel then click the link
that’s connected to this video you’ll
have a chance to sign up for the run
better now VIP club. Thank you.

Author:
Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.
Also find more on the Nick Ortego Fitness YouTube Channel

Serratus Anterior Isolated Activation Exercise

In this post:


Video Transcript:
Hey it’s Nick Ortego here. Gonna show
you how to activate the serratus
anterior muscle. Muscle that attaches to
the ribcage and attaches to the inside
edge of the shoulder blade, wraps around,
goes under the shoulder blade, attached
to the inside edge. Key muscle in
anchoring the shoulder blade and
therefore the shoulder and arm to the
ribcage and the thorax. If it’s not active
enough, it tends to manifest in a lot of
different shoulder problems. One of the
main functions of the serratus is to
protract the scapula. What I’ve found though
is that if you try to load up this
movement like with planks or holding a
dumbbell or push-up position, the PEC
minor tends to get overactive. If you’re
having trouble activating your serratus
anterior, there’s a good chance that your
PEC minor is already overactive, so
anything you do that also loads the PEC
minor is gonna just facilitate the PEC
minor taking over. So what I like to do
is just lay down on the when you’re back
elbow out to about shoulder height, with
the arm rested on the ground. Find the
serratus anterior it’s on the edge of
the ribcage. In someone who has a good
development, there you’ll see like some
little fingers, something like that. And
what you want to do is let your arm just
lay there and elbow just about even with
the shoulder, hand resting on the floor
if it’ll go there. And then you think
about tilting your shoulder blade the
top side of the shoulder blade back into
the floor.
And the bottom side of the shoulder
blade tilting it away from the floor so
we’re effectively taking the PEC minor
out of the mix.
Another way to think about it is that
I’m slightly pushing my wrist into the
floor and slightly lifting my elbow away
from the floor so it looks kind of like
this. You can see the activity here. You
can place your fingers in that area and
when you activate the muscle you’ll know
that you’re activating that muscle
because you’ll feel the muscle firm up
like a contracting muscle. That’s what it
looks like. Also try to be sure that
you’re not activating your lat
right here. The lat is pretty inactivate.
If I do activate the lat you’ll see that
that going on or feel the lat.
May feel the teres major as well up on
the shoulder blade. But all this, you try
to let it stay relaxed. The upper trap,
try to let it stay relaxed and just
activate that serratus anterior
Tune your attention into that area. It’s
good to place the hands there. So just
isolating the activation of the serratus
anterior before you integrate into them
into any other movements. Try to do a lot
of reps usually like three sets of
twenty several times a day just to get
that frequency of the serratus anterior
firing. Got any benefit from this video,
leave a comment below. If you’d like to
get more content not available on the
blog or the regular youtube channel, then
click the link that is connected to this
video you’ll have a chance to sign up
for the run better now VIP club.

Author:
Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.
Also find more on the Nick Ortego Fitness YouTube Channel