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Power & Strength

Back Clinic Power & Strength Training. These types of conditioning programs are for both athletes and the general population. They can reach higher levels of personal power and strength, making them capable of achieving their personal fitness goals. Power is defined as the ability to generate as much force as fast as possible. It’s needed for athletic movements such as workouts (clean & jerk), swinging a bat, golf club, tennis racket, and running through a tackle.

Power requires strength and speed to develop force. Strength is the amount of force muscle/s can exert against an external load. One rep maximum test is performed where individuals assess the greatest weight they can lift while maintaining proper form. The movement’s speed is not important in a strength test. Dr. Alex Jimenez offers insight into various stretches and exercises and explains the possible risks of injury on strength training through his numerous article archives.


Planks For Spine Support and Back Pain Prevention

Planks For Spine Support and Back Pain Prevention

Regularly doing planks can support/strengthen the spine and prevent back pain no matter the fitness level. It’s estimated that 70% of adults will experience back problems and pain. One of the best ways to keep the spine healthy is by strengthening the core muscles. The more these muscles are built up, the healthier the body will become. The plank position activates the entire core taking the pressure off of the spine.

Planks For Spine Support and Back Pain Prevention

Core Anatomy

The core is the center of the body. It contains all the muscles surrounding the torso. These muscles work together to:

  • Stabilize the body during movement.
  • Prevent injury when engaged in physical activity/exercise.
  • Provide spinal support.

The core is split into two groups of muscles: The inner core and the outer core.

Inner Core

The inner core consists of:

Multifidus Muscles

Quadratus Lumborum

  • The deep abdominal muscle in the lower back sits on either side of the lumbar region of the spine.

Transversus Abdominis

  • Located between the lower ribs and the top of the pelvis.

Pelvic Floor

  • This base group of muscles stretches from the tailbone to the pubic bone.

Diaphragm

  • A dome-shaped muscle that rests below the lungs.

Outer Core

Rectus Abdominis

  • These are more commonly known as the abs.

External Obliques

  • These muscles are located on either side of the rectus abdominis.

Internal Obliques

  • These muscles are located below the external obliques, inside the hip bones.

Erector Spinae

  • These muscles surround the spine and extend up both sides of the vertebral column.

Planks and Back Pain Prevention

When the core is not strong enough, the spine and back muscles overcompensate to keep the body standing correctly. Studies have shown how planks effectively activate the muscles responsible for spinal stabilization. The exercise targets the entirety of the core and strengthens the shoulders and glutes. Strengthening these muscles improves posture, helping to alleviate back problems and pain. However, it’s recommended to talk to a doctor before beginning a plank regimen if back pain is present. If done incorrectly, they could aggravate the back muscles.

Proper Form

Choose an area clear of furniture where the whole body can stretch out. Follow these steps:

  • Begin with hands and knees on the floor.
  • Extend the legs back while keeping the elbows directly below the shoulders and the wrists below the elbows.
  • Keep the head down, looking at the space just above the hands.
  • Engage the abs and keep the body rigid.
  • Imagine a perfectly straight line from the neck to the toes.
  • Hold the position for 10 to 60 seconds, depending on fitness level.
  • Lower the body gently to the floor.
  • Make sure not to curve the back as curving means that the abdominal muscles are being engaged, and tilting the head up can strain the neck.
  • Both can lead to injury, which is why maintaining proper form is essential.

Plank Variations

There are variations of this exercise for different levels of physical fitness. Once the modified and full plank has been mastered, various planks can target other areas of the body. These include:

Side Plank

  • These involve shifting the weight to one forearm while extending the other arm into the air.

One-arm Plank

  • These involve lifting one hand off the ground, then alternating.

Single-leg Plank

Walking Plank

Reverse Plank

Anybody can work up to a plank at any age at any fitness level; it just takes time. Once achieved, it is a great way to keep the body’s core strong, healthy and helps prevent back problems.


Body Composition


Band Lateral Raise

The lateral band raise is an excellent workout for the shoulders. It works out the lateral deltoid, anterior deltoid, and serratus anterior.

  • Grasp one band in one hand.
  • Step on the free end with the opposite foot.
  • Right hand and left foot and vice versa.
  • Slowly extend and raise the arm until they are parallel to the floor.
  • Lower the arms in the same manner.
  • If the shoulders are healthy and strong enough, try adding dumbbells or kettlebells to increase the resistance.
References

Calatayud, Joaquín et al. “Tolerability and Muscle Activity of Core Muscle Exercises in Chronic Low-back Pain.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 16,19 3509. 20 Sep. 2019, doi:10.3390/ijerph16193509

World Health Organization. (2013) “Low back pain.” https://www.who.int/medicines/areas/priority_medicines/Ch6_24LBP.pdf

Youdas, James W et al. “Magnitudes of muscle activation of spine stabilizers in healthy adults during prone on elbow planking exercises with and without a fitness ball.” Physiotherapy Theory and practice vol. 34,3 (2018): 212-222. doi:10.1080/09593985.2017.1377792

Getting Fit and Staying Active

Getting Fit and Staying Active

Many individuals are trying to get fit and stay active through physical activity and exercise. Getting back to a previous fitness routine is an achievable and realistic goal. Fitness means having the energy and strength to perform physical activity and the body feeling as good as possible. Getting fit improves total health. But it does not require training like an athlete. Just walking for a half-hour every day can help individuals reach an adequate fitness level that helps them feel better and increase energy levels.

Getting Fit and Staying Active

Benefits of Getting Fit

Getting the body fit and in shape:

  • Increases endurance
  • Increases muscle strength
  • Delivers oxygen and nutrients to tissues
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Helps release toxins
  • Improves overall energy levels
  • Improves sleep
  • Handle stress better

Being fit allows the body to work harder without as much work, the mind is better focused, the body burns more calories, even when at rest, and proper weight is maintained. Fitness reduces the risk of falls, heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.

How Much Physical Activity Is Needed?

Experts say the goal should be one, or a combination, of these:

  • Moderate aerobic activity, like brisk walking, for at least 2½ hours a week.
  • It is up to the individual how many days to exercise, but it is best to be active at least three days a week.
  • Activity is recommended at least 10 minutes at a time. For example, an individual could:
  • Take a 10-minute walk three times a day, five days a week.
  • Take a half-hour walk three days a week.
  • On the other four days, take a 15-minute walk.
  • Take a 45-minute walk every other day.

Vigorous exercise is recommended at least three days a week for at least 10 minutes at a time. This activity makes the body breathe harder and increases heart rate. More vigorous activities, like running, could be included for at least one hour a week. This can be spread out 75 minutes, whichever way is more convenient for the individual. For example, an individual could:

  • Run for 25 minutes 3 times a week.
  • Run for 15 minutes 5 times a week.

Children as young as preschool age need activity as well. Encourage children ages 6 to 17 to engage in moderate to vigorous exercise for at least 1 hour every day.

Types of Physical Activity

Aerobic fitness

  • This makes the body breathe faster and makes the heart work harder.
  • Activities include walking, running, cycling, and swimming.
  • It is also known as cardio or cardiovascular training.

Muscle fitness

  • Muscle strength means building stronger muscles and increasing the length of time they can be used.
  • Activities like weight lifting, push-ups, squats, and resistance bands can improve muscular fitness.

Flexibility

  • Flexibility is the ability to move the joints and muscles through their full range of motion.
  • Stretching exercises can help generate flexibility.

Being More Physically Active

Moderate physical activity is safe for most individuals, but it’s recommended to talk to a doctor before engaging in physical activity/exercise. To help get started:

Make physical activity part of everyday

  • Make a regular habit of using stairs, not elevators, and walking, bicycling to do errands near home.

Start walking

  • Walking is a great fitness activity that most individuals can do.
  • Make it a habit to take a daily walk with family, friends, coworkers, or pets.

Find a workout partner

  • Working out with a partner can make exercising more enjoyable.

Find fun activities that you can stick with

  • Vary activities, so they don’t become boring and monotonous.
  • Use a calorie-burning application to determine how many calories are burned during exercise and daily activities.

Body Composition


Damaged Collagen

There are several reasons the body’s collagen production can slow down or become less efficient. The quality of the collagen made can decrease as well. Environmental factors can be avoided to protect collagen production; however, damage from disease and natural processes is inevitable. Aging is the most common cause of decreased natural collagen. As the body ages, collagen production and quality decrease. This leads to thinner, more fragile skin and achy joints. Certain chronic diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis cause collagen deficiency, leading to issues that include:

  • Joints
  • Blood vessels
  • Organs
  • Skin

To avoid collagen damage, avoid environmental factors like:

  • Smoking
  • UV exposure can accelerate the average rate of collagen damage that comes with aging.
  • UV exposure damage can also play a role in certain skin cancers.
  • Excessive sugar and fat intake increases inflammation and decreases protein synthesis.
References

American College of Sports Medicine, et al. (2009). Position stand: Exercise and physical activity for older adults. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 41(7): 1510–1530.

Anspaugh DJ, et al. (2011). Building muscular strength and endurance. Wellness: Concepts and Applications, 8th ed., pp. 111–137. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2004). Strength training among adults aged 65 or older. MMWR, 53(2): 25–28.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2008). 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (ODPHP Publication No. U0036). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Available online: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx.

Williams MA, et al. (2007). Resistance exercise in individuals with and without cardiovascular disease: 2007 update: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association Council on Clinical Cardiology and Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism. Circulation, 116(5): 572–584.

Walking For A Healthy Back

Walking For A Healthy Back

Walking for a healthy back. This simple form of exercise can:

  • Trim the waistline.
  • Elevate mood.
  • Reduce the risk of chronic disease.
  • Improve back health.

Chiropractors recommend walking because of the ease of the workout and the health benefits it provides. It is a simple, low-impact exercise that can significantly improve the body’s overall health in a short amount of time. It improves back health by:

  • Strengthening the muscles that support the spine.
  • Improves posture.
  • Facilitates strong circulation.
  • Improves bone strength.

Walking For A Healthy Back

Walking For A Healthy Back

Strengthens Muscles

  • Walking engages all of the muscles which keep the body upright, including the core, leg, and back muscles. Muscle strength increases, providing optimal support of the spine.

Optimize Bone Health

  • Bone is living tissue like the muscles, and exercise stimulates bone the same way as muscle, gradually increasing strength.
  • Studies have found that walking improves bone density and reduces bone loss.
  • Walking also helps reduce the risk of degenerative bone diseases.

Posture Improves

  • Poor posture is one of the most common reasons why individuals have back pain.
  • Poor posture affects mobility and places a significant amount of strain on the back.
  • Walking a few times each week engages and strengthens the back muscles keeping the body straight.

Reduces Weight

  • Many individuals have lower back pain that is caused by excess weight.
  • The added weight causes the front of the body to shift forward, placing additional strain on the lower back.
  • Walking reduces the load on the lower back.

Improves Flexibility and Range of Motion

  • Combined with stretching, walking improves flexibility and range of motion, making it easier to perform everyday activities reducing the risk of back injuries.

Improves Circulation to the Spinal structures

  • Walking improves blood circulation, delivers nutrients to the soft tissues, and removes toxins.

Added Benefits include:

  • Stress relief.
  • Better sleep.
  • Improved skin tone.
  • Lower risk of diabetes.
  • Reduced risk of depression.
  • Improved cardiovascular health that lowers the risk of:
  • High blood pressure.
  • Heart disease.
  • Stroke.

Before Exercising

Before beginning an exercise program, it’s essential to consult a doctor or chiropractor for individuals that have not exercised for a while or are dealing with underlying condition/s. They will educate and recommend how much exercise is appropriate given their current fitness level and overall health. To maximize the benefits of walking and prevent injuries:

Use High-Quality Tennis or Walking Shoes

  • Walking is much more enjoyable and safer when the body is comfortable.
  • Improving comfort levels is by using a pair of high-quality walking shoes or trainers.
  • They will provide proper support, cushioning, and adequate traction.

Maintain Proper Posture

Stay aware of body position when walking. A few key points to keep in mind:

  • Place the heel down first.
  • Then roll through each part of the foot, ending on the point of the toes.
  • Keep the shoulders back and head up.
  • Lift from the hips to reduce the impact on the lower joints.
  • Keep a slight bend in the arms and smoothly swing them back and forth.

Turn Walking Into a Healthy Habit

  • In the beginning, aim for at least 5 to 7 walks each week that last 25 minutes.
  • Speed does not matter as the objective is to get out and walk.
  • Once walking starts turning into a healthy habit with improvements in health, then start walking faster and longer.

Interval Walking

  • Interval walking involves short periods of high-intensity walking followed by a longer period of slow walking.
  • This increases cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength.
  • Begin with a 1-minute interval of fast walking.
  • This is followed by 2 minutes of slower walking.

Take On Easy Obstacles

  • Makes the walks more challenging by walking up or down a hill.
  • Walk over objects like tree stumps or rocks.
  • This increases calorie burn.

Add Hand or Leg Weights

  • Increase workout intensity by adding leg or hand weights.
  • They will help strengthen the arms, shoulders, and upper back.

Body Composition


Building Lean Body Mass

Lean Body Mass is the body’s total weight minus the fat. This includes all the weight of the muscles, organs, and total body water. The best way to develop muscle and Lean Body Mass is to adopt a resistance training program. As stronger muscles are developed, the size and amount of the muscle cells increases. The muscles then require more intracellular water, which allows them to function at optimal levels. As the muscles grow and take in more water, Lean Body Mass increases.

References

Morris, J N, and A E Hardman. “Walking to health.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) vol. 23,5 (1997): 306-32. doi:10.2165/00007256-199723050-00004

Nauman, Javaid et al. “Walking in the Fast Lane: High-Intensity Walking for Improved Fitness and Health Outcomes.” Mayo Clinic proceedings vol. 94,12 (2019): 2378-2380. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2019.10.020

Vanti, Carla et al. “The effectiveness of walking versus exercise on pain and function in chronic low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials.” Disability and rehabilitation vol. 41,6 (2019): 622-632. doi:10.1080/09638288.2017.1410730

Kettlebell Strengthening For Back Pain Safety

Kettlebell Strengthening For Back Pain Safety

Kettlebell training for the back muscles and back pain prevention can be part of a recommended treatment plan. When experiencing low back pain, many sports medicine experts recommend kettlebell exercise to strengthen the core and posterior chain. However, if not used correctly, kettlebell exercises can worsen back pain.

Kettlebell Strengthening For Back Pain Safety

Kettlebell

They are made of cast iron or steel and are named for resembling a tea kettle with an oversized handle. They can be used in one and two-handed movements.

Exercises and Movements for Back Pain

For individuals that are not experiencing back pain, kettlebell training can be excellent for maintenance and injury prevention. They strengthen the core and back muscles.

  • The kettlebell swing is an essential exercise and is one of the most important exercises when dealing with back pain issues.
  • A kettlebell is placed on the floor about 12 inches in front while standing with the feet a little wider than hip-distance.
  • The hips become the hinge.
  • Extend the arms down to the bell and grip it.
  • Begin swinging it up and down through the legs and then upward and outward to chest level.
  • The shoulders are to stay relaxed.
  • The hips are used to thrust and create momentum to swing the kettlebell.
  • Keep the spine neutral throughout the exercise to prevent injury.
  • The arms are to hold the bell only.
  • Don’t swing with the arms or shoulders, but push through with the hips.
  • The exercise can be swung up over the head but is not recommended for those with back pain.

Benefits

  • They are portable and don’t require a lot of space.
  • With kettlebells, an individual can train more easily than with barbells.
  • Kettlebell workouts provide strength training and cardiovascular fitness.
  • Once the proper technique is learned, individuals can set up a regular regimen at home.

Proper Form and Mistakes

Proper form is crucial. The primary movement most individuals have difficulty with is getting the proper hinging motion at the hip. Most individuals flex at the lower back and place increased pressure on the discs. Proper hip hinge motion means:

  • Keeping the low back straight
  • Flexing at the hip
  • Pushing back out with the buttocks when performing the swing motion.
  • When done correctly, an individual should be able to stop at any stage and hold that position.

Posture Form Tips

Form issues with kettlebells include:

Hip Hinge

  • When picking up the kettlebell, remember to hip hinge instead of squatting to maintain the back in a neutral position.
  • Drive the hips back in the same way when sitting down on a low chair.

Arching the back

  • If the pelvis is tilted too far forward, the back arches a lot.
  • This can narrow where the nerves leave the spine in the low back.
  • Keep the abdominals tight to prevent the pelvis from tilting forward.

Using the incorrect weight can also cause problems; this could be going too heavy or too light.

  • Too heavy increases the risk of straining the body and back.
  • A kettlebell that is too light does not provide the correct resistance to strengthen the muscles.
  • Another common mistake is overtraining. Specifically, individuals over 50 whose bodies don’t recover as quickly.
  • Individuals over 50 are recommended to spread out the workout days with more than one rest day.

Common Injuries

Proper training before working with kettlebells is highly recommended, especially for those already dealing with back pain. Individuals are encouraged to work with a physical therapist, sports chiropractor, or personal trainer who can teach proper techniques and specific exercises, observe the individual’s process, and make corrections. Improper technique can lead to:

  • Muscle strains.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Compressed or pinched nerves.
  • Added stress to pre-existing low back conditions.
  • Impact injuries to the wrist and forearm.

Body Composition


Exercise Ball Pikes

Exercise ball pikes are an advanced total body workout. Muscle groups worked out include:

  • Deep abdominals
  • Hip abductors
  • Quadriceps
  • Deltoids
  • Scapula stabilizers
  • Pectoralis major/minor

To do the exercise:

  • Start in a pushup position with the arms on the floor in front.
  • Lift the legs, so the tops of the feet rest on the exercise/stability ball.
  • Knees should be bent to start the movement.
  • Extend the legs out as straight as possible.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds.
  • Return to the starting position.
References

Common Injuries Associated with Kettlebells: ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal (March/April 2017) “Managing Risks of Training with Kettlebells to Achieve Optimum Benefits.” https://journals.lww.com/acsm healthfitness/Fulltext/2017/03000/MANAGING_RISKS_OF_TRAINING_WITH_KETTLEBELLS_TO.6.aspx

Weight Training To Strengthen The Back Muscles

Weight Training To Strengthen The Back Muscles

When back pain presents for a prolonged period, the back muscles reduce in mass but increase fat content, resulting in more stiffness. This leads to chronic muscle fatigue and results in chronic pain symptoms. Adding resistance to a workout routine in weight machines, free weights, and/or resistance bands helps reduce back pain. Studies have shown that specific therapeutic back muscle weight training is safe and can help relieve pain. A sports chiropractic specialist can recommend appropriate exercises for individuals and their specific condition/s to safely participate in strength training.

Weight Training To Strengthen The Back Muscles

Back muscles development

With time, back pain and increased fatigue can lead to a fear of moving the body and engaging in physical activity. This results in spinal deconditioning and instability. Weight training works on incrementally/progressively increasing the load that the back muscles can tolerate. This technique gradually improves the body’s ability and strength to perform regular daily activities without strain and in optimal fashion. Weight training improves whole-body health because:

  • Back muscles and core muscles increase in function and performance.
  • Muscles are strengthened.
  • Lean muscle mass increases.
  • The range of motion of the spine increases.
  • Body fat decreases.

Guidelines while using weights

When weight training, it is important to understand safety guidelines to help relieve back pain and not worsen or cause further injury. Weighted treatment exercises are for individuals that have been cleared by their physician or chiropractor and are specific to their injury and /or condition. Depending on the underlying pain source, weight training may not be suitable for individuals that have:

  • Severe pain.
  • Back pain that originates from:
  • Previous spinal surgery
  • Tumor
  • Nerve root compression
  • Neurological symptoms
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal fracture/s
  • Spinal infection/s

Medical professionals and chiropractors can accurately diagnose and determine if weight training is safe and which specific exercises to perform. Guidance from a trained therapist or therapeutic trainer is recommended for optimal results.

  • Weight training techniques to alleviate back pain are different from regular weight or resistance exercises.
  • Trained physical/occupational therapists and sports chiropractors can educate an individual on:
  • Correct techniques
  • Frequency
  • Type of training that will help an individual’s condition.
  • Therapeutic training can significantly reduce the risk of further injury and damage to the spine.
  • After initial training, individuals are encouraged to exercise to maintain back muscles and total body health.

Smaller weights build strength progressively

Effective ways to strengthen the spine.

  • Begin with small/light weights and exercise slowly.
  • Fast rapid movements or incorrect lifting and pulling techniques can cause additional damage to the tissues.
  • It is recommended to start with:
  • Low-load motor control exercises without weights activate and stretch the muscles and improve balance.
  • Simple stretches

Exercise machines can be recommended instead of free weights.

  • Exercise machines can provide safe, effective, and progressive resistance to the exercises.
  • The machines can help reduce/prevent injury compared to free weights.
  • The machines can maintain proper support on the back and spine.

It is recommended to combine regular walking activity with a weight training program.

  • Low impact aerobic exercises increase blood circulation along with essential nutrients to the muscles and soft tissues.
  • This promotes healing and reduces stiffness.

Training program and benefits

Gaining the most benefits from strength training, tips to keep in mind:

  • Warm up for a few minutes using heat therapy and simple stretches.
  • Try for 2 or 3 times a week for 30 minutes.
  • Focus on building strength in the core muscles – back, abdominals, obliques, buttocks, and pelvic leg muscles.
  • There is no need to join a gym or buy expensive equipment.
  • Work out at home with small hand weights, resistance bands, and body weight.
  • The therapist or chiropractor will inform the individual on which exercises to avoid, which require extreme or quick moves.
  • Slow, steady resistance training takes advantage of muscle lengthening exercises and muscle shortening exercises for strengthening.
  • If back pain presents with a sustained increase, take time off or modify the strength training exercises.
  • Some soreness is to be expected, but sharp pain is not. If any sharp, sudden pain presents while exercising, stop immediately.
  • Ice therapy can be beneficial after exercising to decrease inflammation and alleviate pain.

Record the amount of weight when beginning the training and note when progressing to a heavier weight. Consistent improvements in pain, flexibility, strength, and function will help maintain motivation. Consult with a professional sports injury chiropractor today to see if weight training is a suitable and safe treatment.


Body Composition


Carbohydrates and Muscle Growth

Simple carbs are a quick, periodic source of energy. Complex carbs are a recommended source of steady energy. Complex carbs are not as readily available for immediate energy as simple carbs are but are more efficient and healthier. Complex carbs offer sustainable energy, meaning the energy is constant with no crash like simple carbs. Because complex carbs have slow-release properties, they should be the largest component of daily energy consumption.

Carbs prevent muscle weakness.

Some glycogen is stored in the muscles. When those muscles are used during exercise, the body taps into the glycogen stores in that specific muscle. Lifting weights with the arms, for example, access the glycogen in the biceps. Athletes take advantage of glycogen by loading up on carbs by consuming a day or more before a workout. This maximizes the muscle glycogen stores. This delays muscle fatigue, making for a better workout and stronger muscles, and can improve athletic performance.

Carbs help muscles recover after exercise.

Recovery goes back to the glycogen stores. Right after exercising, the body needs to replenish its glycogen stores to prevent glycogen depletion. Glycogen depletion, when the stores run out, causes gluconeogenesis. What happens is the body forms glucose from new sources. This is to compensate for the lack of glucose from carbohydrates. This is when the body turns to sources like fat and protein to fill the need. Protein is the last line of defense when energy is required, meaning that energy is running low. When the body breaks down protein for glucose production, it takes what it needs from the muscle/s, causing them to shrink and break down.

References

Dreisinger TE. Exercise in the management of chronic back pain. Ochsner J. 2014;14(1):101–107.

Lee JS, Kang SJ. Strength exercise and walking effects on lumbar function, pain level, and body composition in chronic back pain patients. J Exerc Rehabil. 2016;12(5):463–470. Published 2016 Oct 31. doi:10.12965/jer.1632650.325

Michaelson P, Holmberg D, Aasa B, Aasa U. High load lifting exercise and low load motor control exercises as interventions for patients with mechanical low back pain: A randomized controlled trial with 24-month follow-up. J Rehabil Med. 2016;48(5):456-63.

Welch N, Moran K, Antony J, et al. The effects of a free-weight-based resistance training intervention on pain, squat biomechanics, and MRI-defined lumbar fat infiltration and functional cross-sectional area in those with chronic low back. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2015;1(1):e000050. Published 2015 Nov 9. doi:10.1136/bmjsem-2015-000050

The Difference Between Muscle Mass and Lean Body Mass

The Difference Between Muscle Mass and Lean Body Mass

There are different types of muscle from a biological perspective, however, there is no such thing as lean muscle. Lean suggests the absence of body fat. But the fact is that all muscle is lean muscle. It is important to build muscle mass as the body ages, however, it is more important to build lean body mass. Here is the difference.

Lean Body Mass

Lean Body Mass is the total weight of an individual’s body minus all the weight from the fat mass.

Lean Body Mass (LBM) = Total Weight – Fat Mass

Lean Body Mass includes the weight of the:

  • Skin
  • Body Water
  • Bones
  • Organs
  • Muscle Mass

Because Lean Body Mass consists of various components, any change in the weight of these areas is recorded as changes in lean body mass. However, the weight of the body’s organs will not change. Bone density does decrease with time and age, but will not significantly affect the weight of lean body mass. With lean body mass, 2 areas of focus include:

  • Body water
  • Muscle mass

Lean Muscle

Sometimes, individuals use the term lean muscle referring to the shape of the muscles. However, both types of muscle are lean and fat-free.

The difference between muscle mass and lean muscle

  • The strict definition of muscle mass is the weight of the muscles of the body. When individuals say they are gaining muscle mass, they typically mean that the muscles look and feel bigger.
  • Lean muscle mass on the other hand is a term often used when someone is referring to the weight of the muscles, not factoring in the amount of fat that could be present within a muscle.

Combining Lean Gains

Increases in Skeletal Muscle Mass are also an increase in Lean Body Mass. What tends to happen is individuals combine them as lean mass gains or lean gains. However, an increase in Lean Body Mass does not always increase muscle.

The Difference Between Muscle Mass and Lean Body Mass

This is because body water makes up a significant portion of an individual’s Lean Body Mass. For example, a body composition analysis of a 174-pound male.

The Difference Between Muscle Mass and Lean Body Mass

98.1 Total Body Water + 35.5 Dry Lean Mass = 133.6 Lean Body Mass

  • Water makes up more than 55% of total body weight
  • This is normal for healthy adult males
  • Lean Body Mass consists of three components, two of which are water.
  • Everything else grouped together makes up the individual’s Dry Lean Mass.
  • This includes bone minerals, protein content, etc.

Muscle gains contribute to Lean Body Mass gains, but so does water. The difference is that water levels can fluctuate throughout the day depending on:

  • Hydration levels
  • Diet
  • Physical activity

The muscle tissue itself contains a significant amount of water. Muscle tissue is comprised of up to 79% water. Research has shown that resistance training increases intracellular water in both men and women. This creates an issue when looking at lean gains.

  • Lean Mass gains can happen quickly, and the increases are mostly body water

Measuring Lean Body Mass and Muscle Mass

What not to do

Don’t try to use a scale to calculate changes in Skeletal Muscle Mass. A popular method used is to estimate muscle gain from the number on the scale and applying fitness websites/magazine tips. The problem with this technique is that estimating progress has many factors that can influence an increase in body weight. These include:

  • Undigested food or drink
  • Water retention/glycogen
  • Water retention/sodium

Most methods of body composition analysis divide the body into Lean Body Mass or Fat-Free Mass/Fat Mass. These include:

Each has its pros and cons with a difference in accuracy, depending on the technique used.

Using A Lean Body Mass Calculator

A lean body mass calculator computes various factors that include:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Gender
  • Age

It is the difference between total body weight and body fat weight. However, these calculations are more for helping physicians determine the appropriate amount of prescription medication/s or if an individual will be undergoing anesthesia and not a computation of overall body composition.

Paying Attention to Weight Loss

  • Paying attention to weight loss is an inaccurate reflection of lean body mass, muscle mass, or lean mass.
  • Weight loss, or gain, does not reflect overall health and body composition.

Body Fat Percentage

Body fat percentage is different, as far as, the healthy range for men and women. This can provide insights into the overall health of a person.

Key Points

  • All muscle is lean muscle
  • Muscle Mass aka Skeletal Muscle Mass
  • Resistance training/weightlifting workouts combined with added protein will generate a muscle mass percentage increase
  • Skeletal Muscle Mass is connected with Lean Body Mass
  • Everyone’s body composition is different, making the proportion of an individual’s skeletal muscle mass to Lean Body Mass unique.
  • Lean Mass or Lean body mass is the safest term to use to describe gains.

Which Is More Important?

  • When it comes to tracking muscle gain or fat loss, it all comes down to what tools are being used to measure progress.
  • If working with just a weight scale, an individual will only know their weight increases or decreases.
  • This is difficult to see the difference in weight gain from water, muscle, or body fat.
  • For individuals that want accurate measuring of their muscle gain and assessing their health, then body composition analysis is the key.

Body Composition Difference


Disclaimer

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, CTG*
email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com
phone: 915-850-0900
Licensed in Texas & New Mexico

References

Galán-Rioja, Miguel Ángel et al. “Effects of Body Weight vs. Lean Body Mass on Wingate Anaerobic Test Performance in Endurance Athletes.” International journal of sports medicine vol. 41,8 (2020): 545-551. doi:10.1055/a-1114-6206

Köstek, Osman et al. “Changes in skeletal muscle area and lean body mass during pazopanib vs sunitinib therapy for metastatic renal cancer.” Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology vol. 83,4 (2019): 735-742. doi:10.1007/s00280-019-03779-5

Ribeiro, Alex S et al. “Resistance training promotes an increase in intracellular hydration in men and women.” European journal of sports science vol. 14,6 (2014): 578-85. doi:10.1080/17461391.2014.880192

Ten Haaf, Dominique S M et al. “Protein supplementation improves lean body mass in physically active older adults: a randomized placebo-controlled trial.” Journal of cachexia, sarcopenia and muscle vol. 10,2 (2019): 298-310. doi:10.1002/jcsm.12394

Body Composition: High-Intensity Training or Bodybuilding

Body Composition: High-Intensity Training or Bodybuilding

High-intensity interval training or bodybuilding? Getting to the gym, choosing a strength-training method, and figuring out which method is right for you can be frustrating and confusing. With all of the options available, there�s just no easy way to figure out which training regimen is right. Here are two of the most popular training methods broken down. The principles behind each training method and how they influence body composition. The journey to getting healthy goes a lot smoother when knowing which training program will help reach optimal fitness goals.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Body Composition: High-Intensity Training or Bodybuilding
 

Not all training programs are the same

Bodybuilding is about physical appearance. This means big muscles and low body fat which is accomplished by heavyweight training workouts. High-Intensity Interval Training/HIIT workouts focus on performing high-intensity exercises in large volume repetitions quickly to raise an individual’s heart rate, cycling between high intensity and rest. This is accomplished by using:
  • Light weights
  • Bodyweight
  • Cardio exercises
It�s important to understand that different training methods will affect body composition differently. Body composition is about painting an accurate picture of what�s going on in the body. The key is to break down:
  • What each training program looks like
  • What it does
  • How to choose the program that�s best for the individual
  • Gaining Lean Body Mass
  • Losing Fat Mass

Bodybuilding

 
Bodybuilding at its core is about gaining muscle while minimizing body fat. Minimizing fat is a key to building a muscular-defined physique, and requires a detailed focus on protein and calorie intake. It is the emphasis on aesthetically increasing muscle size and reducing body fat. Bodybuilders focus on higher reps and lighter-weight workouts. This encourages muscle hypertrophy. Other factors in bodybuilding are:
  • Adequate cardio
  • Consistent protein intake
  • Calorie restrictions
  • These are important aspects of this type of regimen and building visually impressive musculature.
This impressive musculature is not only for looks, as it can help with fat loss as well. This is because resistance training/weight training can burn a lot of calories and lose a substantial amount of fat. A study by the Department of Exercise Science showed that 10 weeks of resistance training can reduce fat weight by 1.8kg and increase resting metabolic rate by 7%.  
 

Body Composition

For the average person, if the focus is on building visible muscle while keeping a low body fat percentage, bodybuilding is a great choice. Ideal body composition focuses on keeping fat content to a minimum without compromise.  

High-Intensity Interval Training/HIIT

 
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Body Composition: High-Intensity Training or Bodybuilding
 
Modern training programs like CrossFit utilize HIIT-style workouts. HIIT burns calories through workouts that significantly increase heart rate. The exercises are short, loaded with mini-breaks in between high-intensity sets designed to test cardio. The focus is on high repetitions. However, HIIT workouts are so intense that professional trainers recommend individuals only train 2-3 times a week, to avoid overstressing the body. There are bodybuilding exercises included like: However, they are done with different goals in mind. The priority of a HIIT workout is to reduce fat, improve cardio, and developing some muscle.  
 

Body Composition

Scientists from Ohio State University observed more than 40 subjects at all levels of cardio fitness. Over the next 10 weeks, the subjects completed a variety of HIIT workouts. The scientists realized that the individuals were developing a more capable cardio system, and their body fat percentages were dropping significantly.
  • If the goal is to get stronger and lose weight, then bodybuilding is the best option.
  • If the goal is to have stronger cardio and lose serious weight then HIIT workouts are the best option.
No matter what training program is chosen. Remember that achieving a healthy body composition that the individual feels comfortable with is the most important thing. Making positive changes and achieving optimal health is the objective. Both workout strategies can be incorporated into a regular strength training regimen. Both training methods can be challenging, but the health benefits are absolutely worth it. Contact us today to help figure out which training regimen will achieve optimal health.

InBody


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*  
References
Ross, Leanna M et al. �High-intensity interval training (HIIT) for patients with chronic diseases.��Journal of sport and health science�vol. 5,2 (2016): 139-144. doi:10.1016/j.jshs.2016.04.005 Westcott, Wayne L. �Resistance training is medicine: effects of strength training on health.��Current sports medicine reports�vol. 11,4 (2012): 209-16. doi:10.1249/JSR.0b013e31825dabb8
Kids and Strength Training

Kids and Strength Training

Strength training: The Centers for Disease Control have estimated that around 16% of six to nineteen-year-olds in the US are overweight or obese. This comes from inactivity, no movement, exercise, and poor diet. On the other end, young athletes search for ways to gain an edge, often falling victim to steroids and all of the negative effects they have.

This is where strength training comes in. This could be an answer to getting kids off the couch, moving, and offers a healthy alternative to the young athletes looking for that competitive edge. Fitness experts, doctors, health coaches, and parents say absolutely.

Strength Training

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. Kids and Strength Training

Kids’ strength training is very different than strength training for adults. This exercise program focuses on:

  • Controlled movements
  • Proper technique
  • Correct form
  • Uses more repetitions
  • Uses lighter weights.

This type of workout program can be done with:

  • Free weights
  • Weight machines
  • Resistance bands
  • A child’s own body weight

The focus for children in strength training is not to bulk up, as this is not weightlifting, powerlifting, or bodybuilding. Fitness experts agree that these types of training regimens are not healthy or safe for children. The goal is to:

  • Build strength
  • Improve muscle coordination
  • Enhance long-term health
  • Rehabilitate injuries
  • Prevent injuries

Added benefits of strength training can help young athletes improve performance through increased endurance.

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. Kids and Strength Training

Training Guidelines

It is fundamental to find a program that is safe and successful for children. Parents want a program designed specifically for kids supervised by a fitness professional with child experience, and most of all, it is fun. For strength training, there is not a minimum age; however, the kids should understand and follow directions.

Before starting a child on any new fitness program, check with their doctor or healthcare provider.

A training program should include:

  • A session should start with a 5-10 minute warm-up exercise/s like stretching and light aerobics.
  • Every session should end with a cool-down combined with stretching and relaxation.
  • Kids should not immediately be using weights until proper form and technique are learned.
  • Kids should start with their own body weight, bands, or a bar with no weight.
  • Using 6-8 different exercises that address all the muscle groups, begin with 8-15 repetitions.
  • Each exercise should be done with a complete follow-through of the full range of motion.
  • If the repetitions are too much with a specific weight, reduce the weight.
  • Repetitions and sets should gradually increase over time to maintain the intensity of the training.
  • Add more weight only when the child displays the proper form and can easily do at least 10 reps.
  • Workouts should be 20 to 30 minutes long, 2 to 3 times per week, to get the most benefit.
  • Make sure to rest a day between each workout day.

Safety

Strength training was not always considered an appropriate exercise for kids. Doctors and fitness professionals believed that it was unsafe for a child’s growing body because of the added pressure on growth plates or the cartilage that has not fully turned into solid bone. However, experts now know that kids can safely participate in a strength training program with proper technique and supervision.

As with any exercise/fitness regiment, safety measures need to be in place along with heightened supervision. Unfortunately, most injuries happen when kids are not supervised, not using proper techniques, or from trying to lift too much weight. Here are some safety precautions to remember:

  • Learning new exercises should be done under the supervision of a trainer/instructor, making sure proper technique and form are used.
  • Smooth, controlled motions should be the goal.
  • Controlled breathing and not holding their breath needs to be taught
  • Proper technique will help avoid injuries
  • The kids’ progress should be monitored
  • Have the children record the exercises they have done, how many reps, and the amount of weight/resistance.
  • If enrolled in a strength training class, a good ratio is one instructor per 10 students. With this ratio, the kids can receive proper instruction and supervision.
  • Kids should train in a hazard-free, well-lit, and properly ventilated facility.
  • Make sure the kids drink plenty of water during and after the workout
  • Fitness trainers/instructors will see to it that there are frequent rest and rehydration breaks

Keep in mind

In a strength training program for children, there should be no competitive drive. Instead, the focus should be on participation, learning the movements, and positive reinforcement. Set realistic goals and expectations for the child to understand that it will take time to learn these new skills.

Remember that kids do not increase muscle size until after puberty. Please make sure the kids enjoy the strength training sessions and that they are having fun. Keep in mind that kids can become easily bored. Therefore, use various exercises and routines, keeping them excited and wanting to learn and do more.

Healthy Habits

Getting kids interested in fitness early on can help establish a life-long habit of wanting to be and stay healthy. This includes a balanced diet, plenty of rest, and regular exercise. When done correctly, strength training can be a fun and highly beneficial activity.


 

PUSH Fitness

 


 

The Functional Fitness Fellas | What is it? & Who Are They?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtsD4VRk8_Q
PODCAST: Ryan Welage and Alexander Jimenez, both medical students at the National University of Health Sciences, discuss the several new approaches that they developed in order to help people continue to engage and participate in exercise from the comfort of their own homes. Using their advanced understanding of functional medicine, biomechanics, and nutrition, they undertake explaining simple methods and techniques for complex movement protocols. Moreover, Alexander Jimenez and Ryan Welage discuss how diet can be an essential element in overall health and wellness. Dr. Alex Jimenez offers additional guidelines with the Functional Fitness Fellas, among further advice. – Podcast Insight

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Treating Inflammation Naturally | El Paso, Tx (2020)

Methods in treating inflammation are the focus of this video. Dr. Alex Jimenez presents a discussion of natural ways to treat inflammatory cascades. Knowing what are the best supplements are presented. This is a safe alternative that is well researched.

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Sports Injury Site: https://chiropracticscientist.com
Back Injury Site: https://elpasobackclinic.com
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Functional Medicine: https://wellnessdoctorrx.com
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*AntiViral Strategies* – A Natural Approach At Boosting Your Immunity | El Paso, Tx (2020)

PODCAST: Dr. Alex Jimenez and his crew focus on making several facts about the COVID-19 pandemic clear. Currently, there is no definitive cure for COVID-19. But what can we do then you may ask? Dr. Alex Jimenez, chiropractor in El Paso, TX, and his crew presents Antiviral Strategies that have scientific substantiations from healthcare professionals around the world. In a moment where information is spread without scientific support, we must look into the research studies that have sound science evidence in order to understand non-fiction from what the true science has presented. These are difficult times and very scary times. We present a body of information present from the works of Dr. Alex Vasquez. His information at time cryptic and found in his writings do shed some light and direction which many of us can take in order to prepare for optimal support from our own immunity. The scientific community is clear. Again, at this time there is no cure for COVID-19. This does not mean we must not look at a way to optimize our immunity. Specifically, since there is much that has been studied in the ways the Antiviral Stategies can prepare our bodies. Dr. Alex Jimenez and his crew continue to discuss Antiviral Strategies and how these can improve our immune system. – Podcast Insight

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Why Choose Functional Medicine – The “Why” Explained | El Paso, Tx (2020)

PODCAST: Dr. Alex Jimenez, chiropractor in El Paso, TX, and Dr. Marius Ruja, chiropractor in El Paso, TX, ultimately discuss the reasons why choosing a functional medicine approach can safely and effectively improve overall health and wellness. The world has shifted in health care. There’s no time more than now which has started to look to the cause of disease as the present day focused on functional medicine approaches, methods and protocols. We discuss the “why” to choose the option of functional medicine in the present day health care system. Functional medicine focuses on natural treatment approaches to promote the healing of the human body. In this day and age, functional medicine may be essential to help improve our immune system. – Podcast Insight

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Back Injury Site: https://elpasobackclinic.com
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**Corona Virus Blessings** COVID 19 A Society Changing Moment | El Paso, Tx (2020)

PODCAST: The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated our country into a heightened level of awareness. We start with our families and we start in our homes. Dr. Alex Jimenez, chiropractor in El Paso, TX, and Dr. Mario Ruja, chiropractor in El Paso, TX, discuss their perspective on the COVID-19 pandemic as healthcare professionals. Following the CDC’s guidelines, including staying at home, and washing your hands, has been recommended to help control the COVID-19 pandemic, among other CDC guidelines. Dr. Alex Jimenez and Dr. Mario Ruja continue to discuss the changes that the world is going through as countries learn to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and other modern circumstances. – Podcast Insight

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Weight Loss Techniques – Push Fitness Center | El Paso, Tx (2020)

PODCAST: Daniel Alvarado of Push Fitness Center and Dr. Alex Jimenez discuss the complications of losing weight. How to keep a focus and how to work our to the sticking point. An Ernest Discussion. Dr. Alex Jimenez, a chiropractor in El Paso, TX, and Daniel (Danny) Alvarado, owner of the PUSH Fitness Center, continues to discuss the importance of weight loss and how people and athletes can continue the effort to stay healthy. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by 5 risk factors, including excess waist fat, high blood pressure, high blood glucose or sugar, high triglycerides, and low HDL or good cholesterol levels. Diet and lifestyle modifications, such as participating and engaging in exercise and physical activity, can ultimately help improve the 5 risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome and a variety of health issues, including diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Dr. Alex Jimenez and Daniel (Danny) Alvarado discuss how motivation is one of the most fundamental elements in the continued effort to stay healthy. Following a diet and lifestyle modifications that are unique to each individual can also help promote overall well-being. – Podcast Insight

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*Metabolic Syndrome* Explained (2020)- Advanced Discussion | El Paso, Tx

PODCAST: Dr Alex Jimenez, chiropractor in El Paso, TX, Kenna Vaughn, health coach, Truide Torres, Alexander Jimenez, and Astrid Ornelas discuss metabolic syndrome. The following podcast will focus on a deeper look at understanding metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a collection of conditions which can increase the risk of developing a variety of health issues, including diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Moreover, risk factors such as excess waist fat, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and low HDL levels. Diet and lifestyle modifications can ultimately help promote weight loss which can help improve metabolic syndrome and its associated health issues. Several different types of nutraceuticals, including Niacin or vitamin B3, vitamin D, DHEA, Nrf2, and green tea, among others. Weight loss is important to help improve metabolic syndrome. – Podcast Insight

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Back Injury Site: https://elpasobackclinic.com
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