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.

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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!

been standing up from the floor

Standing Up From The Floor – 2 More Techniques

In my previous video, Getting Up Off The Floor, I shared a few ways you can get up off the floor. This week I wanted to share a couple more. I want to share base building and the side bent sit get up. Base building is probably the easiest way to get up from the floor while the side bent sit get up is much more challenging and can be a great hip stability exercise.

Standing Up From The Floor

Base building is a great place to start when practicing get ups. It the way infants learn to get up off the ground. It starts from a prone position, laying face down. First push your chest up off the ground with your elbows.

Then you’re going to bring your knees under you one at a time. Once both knees are under you, push up into a hand knee position. Now place your toes on the ground and push your hands back toward your knees. As your hands walk backward, drive your hips up into the air.

Once your hips are high enough that your weight is centered over your feet, just stand up. You can reverse this process to go back to the floor.

The side bent sit get up is much more challenging than base building. Start in a side bent sit. Drive your hips up off the ground until they’re fully extended.

Now turn your body so it’s facing in the direction your knees are pointing. Slowly shift your weight over the knee that’s in front. This will make the back leg lighter so you can move it. Once you’ve shifted your weight enough to free your trailing leg, lift it and swing it straight forward into a split squat position.

Take your time with this transition so you can ensure good hip stability. If you rush and use momentum, you may overlook mobility issues that you don’t know you have. Move slowly and gain control over the movement.

From the split squat position, come up to standing!