Over the past weekend I had the privilege of attending the 2012 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute held in Alexandria, VA. I’ve been to Alexandria before and have had amazing stays at the Morrison House. Those stays have ranked among the best (Kimpton can thank me for the plug). Knowing that the IDEA conference was in the same area I felt inclined for the first time, in the 5 years that I’ve been certified, to attend. IDEA put together some of the greatest presenters I have ever had the joy of listening to and so I would like to share some of the key points and ideas that I have learned from them. Here we go.
“Nature’s Principles and the ‘Achilles’ Hip”
An organization that I find interesting, very knowledgable and have a great approach to health and fitness is the Gray Institute. I was able to listen to Lenny Parracino who was both awesome to listen to and had a wealth of knowledge through both his own experiences and with clients. His best quote of the session was that “We are complex but don’t make it complicated.” The body is made up of a very complex structure that contains organ systems, musculotendinous, cells, etc. that allow us to to do 7 movement patterns (something else new to me that I’ll talk about later). He also made valid points that “people put limitations on themselves” and “the body is smarter than your mind but the mind can outsmart the body.” The moment he said those words I thought of all of the injuries people have sustained like Adam Taliaferro (Penn State) and Eric LeGrand (Rutgers) that were both paralyzed. The former now can walk, the latter is slowly on his way but making great strides. Through listening to Lenny I know have a much more thorough knowledge of how the foot and ankle moves and how to assess the way a person walks.
“Can you walk without legs and arms? Well can you?”
Another high quality, insightful session was taught by Dan Hellman of the CHEK Institute. I attended two of Dan’s session, the first on rotation of the torso and the second on walking/gait. As I watched a video of a man walking without arms and legs (he walked on the ischial tuberosity or your ‘butt bones’) he made a profound and very true statement: “Gait is an expression of the core.” Some more key points from Dan’s lecture include that “life is twisting”. The seven primal movements patterns according to the CHEK Institute are pushing, pulling, squatting, lunging, twisting, crawling and walking. Ask yourself these questions: Did you back out of your driveway today when you were in your car? Did you turn to your side to pick something up next to you? Did you rollover in bed? Did you walk? If you answered yes to any of these then you twisted today. Dan also quoted Eugen Sandow who said back in the 1800’s that “You cannot have healthy muscles without having healthy glands.” That statement becomes important when Dan highlighted that the colon reflexes to the sciatic nerve distribution which would mean that an unhealthy diet and irregular bowel movements would lead to extra pressure in the sciatic region. Interesting to say the least.
My first trip to an IDEA conference had returned me refreshed, rejuvenated and best of all an increased wealth of knowledge and strive to continue to learn more about the topics that I felt most important to discuss. If anyone would ever like to discuss any of the information that I have learned, please feel free to contact me. I would love to talk!