Ben working on neck and upper back strength and mobility

Ground Movement For Neck And Upper Back Strength & Mobility

I’m really enjoying this ground movement series so far. I hope you are too! Back to movement this week. This week I’m focusing on the neck and upper back strength and mobility. The workout is only a few minutes long so if you need more work just go through the sequence one or two times more.

The Workout

This workout uses flexion, extension, lateral movement, as well as rotation. Where the head goes the body follows. It’s absolutely critical that you have a healthy neck if you want healthy movement throughout the body. Unfortunately, most of us spend a lot of time with our heads fixed in a similar position for hours at a time.

This workout seeks to regain the mobility that has been lost due to disuse over time. Don’t force the workout. Take your time and work at it every day until mobility has been restored! I’d love to hear what you think of this one. In truth, this workout is for me too. Neck and upper back are one of my problem areas so I’ll be joining you with this workout on the regular.

Benjamyn Smith doing a ground movement workout

Ground Movement Series Episode 1

Hey hey! I’m launching a new series today! I wanted to do some videos of ground movement workouts that you could just let run and follow along with. There is no movement instruction, just the workout. This is my first video using voice-over for the workout so lemme know if you like this format!Continue reading

Benjamyn Smith Promoting Self Love

Start Your Fitness Journey Off With Self-Love

Despite the fact that I have been involved in health and fitness of over two decades, I have some real problems with the mainstream fitness industry. One of my biggest problems is how predatory it is. It’s easy to sell things to people who feel inadequate or who feel as though they’re lacking something and too often health and fitness marketing inspires this attitude.

Continue reading

Eliminate Pain With Somatics

Eliminate Pain With Somatics – Thomas Hanna’s Somatic Exercises

I have recently started learning about somatic exercises and have been blown away with my results. It’s something I’d like to dive deeper into but here are my initial impressions!

Somatic Exercises Initial Impressions

I have been sort of playing around with the exercises in Somatics by Thomas Hanna for a few weeks now and have had some really impressive results. My utility company job left me with a lot of chronic pain. Pain that I have been trying to eliminate for a couple years now.

I’ve had some success with exercises and self-massage, but often the results are temporary. This makes sense because the motor patterns that cause the pain are now habit. This is the problem somatic exercises seek to address.

Somatic exercises reprogram your nervous system to work the way it’s supposed to. By regularly practicing the 8 exercises in this system you can reset your brain and return to using your muscles properly.

While I am only at the beginning stages of exploring this system, I like what I have seen so far. I’m hoping to bring more videos on this subject in the near future to make these exercises more accessible for everyone!

Ben massaging his tibialis anterior

Ease Shin Splints With Tibialis Anterior Self Massage

I had a gentleman contact me on Instagram about a way to deal with shin splints. It just wasn’t working trying to explain it over text so I decided I’d just make a video on how to ease shin splints with a tibialis anterior self-massage! This is a pretty easy muscle to find and you don’t need any tools to get the job done, although they can help.

I’ll show you how to massage your tibialis anterior with your heel and also how to use a Theracane and Knobbler to get a little extra pressure if needed.

Shin splints aren’t directly caused by trigger points, but tight muscles in the front of the lower leg pull on the muscle attachments which is what causes the familiar pain of shin splints. By getting these muscles to relax you eliminate the tension that is causing the pain.

I’ll also share a simple exercise you can use to condition your tibialis anterior and help keep the pain from coming back!

Ben demonstrating proper breathing

Proper Breathing Is Essential For Good Health

We don’t think enough about proper breathing. But we probably should think about it more. Proper breathing is essential for good health. The fact that it happens all on its own is a big part of why we don’t think about it. But improper breathing can have a major negative impact on our health.

You Can Reprogram How You Breath

All the stressors of modern life encourage chest breathing, which is stressed breathing. Diaphragmatic, that is breathing lower in the abdomen, is more natural and healthy.

Chest breathing promotes increased muscle tension, lack of concentration, higher stress hormones, and increased cardiovascular stress. That is because chest breathing activates the sympathetic nervous system, which stimulates the body.

Diaphragmatic breathing, on the other hand, activates the parasympathetic nervous system. It encourages lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduced muscle tension, improved oxygenation, and lower stress hormone production.

If you’ve been a regular chest breather for a long time, as many of us have been, it has become habit. This means that it’s how your body normally breaths. This isn’t as it should be though. You normal form of breathing should be diaphragmatic.

In the video above, I’ll share a few exercises the help you differentiate chest breathing from diaphragmatic breathing. I’ll also share ways you can practice diaphragmatic so you can resume regular breathing throughout the day!