Friday, May 11, 2007

Neural Tension

...was up yesterday: poor sleep, early wake-up call, irritable stomach, and higher reps the night before. So right knee was fired up and all the shoulder work didn't cool it off until almost 8pm. So no training yesterday. I was Jones'n for the DL but I erred on the side of caution. Knee feels great today, which is good cause I have to hit those specialty lunges. Should be fun.

And Footwear...

I love how many different shoes women have (generalization here). And I'm amazed at how they will stuff their feet into shoes that just don't fit well all for the sake of glamour and fashion. One of my female clients has been having issues and her feet are particularly sensitive. Since we've been doing Z, her big toes have straightened (no more hallux valgus), her posture improved significantly (none of those stupid-I-can't-stand-'em YTWLs either), and her strength has gone thru the roof. Back to the feet: one of the tenets of Z-Health is the importance of areas in the body with the most amount of joints for making propriocpetive change (spine, feet, hands). As I mentioned, her feet are paticularly sensitive. She'd been changing back and forth between flip-flops and Birken-uglies--I mean -stocks. We did muscle testing on her yesterday in her Tevas and she passed. Today in the Birks, and she failed. No more Birks. The soles are too stiff--in fact they barely move at all which explains why hippies have bad posture...(sorry--couldn't help myself)

Here's the deal: all the "support" shoes are actually expensive casts for your feet. They don't allow your feet to move so the joints that are supposed to articulate to allow the surrounding musculature to transmit force upon ground contact don't move at all. This means other joints over-work along with the surrounding musculature. Bad shoes can even lead to neck problems if left unchecked for a long enough period of time. (Airex pads, half-foam rollers, dyna-discs, and Bosu's are bad for you too for similar reasons, but that's another post altogether. Food for thought though...) Bottom line: Shoes like Nike Free's, Converse Chuck Taylor's, etc. with very little padding and a flexible sole are the best for, well, everything.


Blogger Mike T Nelson said...

Good stuff Geoff!

I just got a pair of solid black Nike frees about a month back and with a black marker and some black electrical tape they pass for work "dress" shoes. Since I've been wearing them at work, I feel much better. Any slight issue in my left knee has cleared up and my gait stays better longer.

I saw a client on Mon for his second Z assessment and just picked up some Nike frees and loves them.

I love my Nike frees!

"The smarter the shoe, the dumber the foot that lives in them"--???

Any tips to help get women out of bad shoes? I seem to have a more difficult time convincing them to make the switch than guys?

Mike N

12:47 PM  
Blogger Christine Petty said...

Well as a girl I can tell you, I wear comfortable squishy flip flops to work, but when I'm going out-- bring on the F*** Me Boots/High Heels that hurt my feet and make me walk funny.

Beauty is Pain gentleman! :)

But I don't wear bad shoes 24/7, I'm proud to say I lift in flat, thin soled wrestling shoes!

1:43 PM  
Blogger Mark Reifkind said...

ah, CP you have such a great attitude!

8:01 PM  
Blogger fawn friday said...


I am curious about the Z-Health. I have a few very stiff clients who could really benefit from SOMETHING. I know very little about it. The clients I worry about most are so restricted in the hams and hip flexors that I worry about back safety and knee health.

At the end of every training sessions (usually 2X weekly)I do PNF and assisted stretching with them. There has been some progress, certainly better than when we started (between 6mos and 1year).

I have looked at the Z-Health site, but there is a lot there. I train with Andrea once a week, but she is out of town until Thursday. Plus I want your advice as well.

What should I focus on first as far as learning how to help these folks? Is Z-Health something that could help people who are stiff for what seams like no reason? Do you have any other ideas?

One other thing, do you like the Nike Frees for Kettlebell training? Aloha! ~Fawn

6:23 PM  
Blogger Geoff Neupert said...

Deadlifting in "f-me" boots would be a bit of a challenge, Christine...

Fawn, Z-Health makes instantaneous changes in the CNS. 6mos to a year for barely any change in hip flexors and hams reminds me of many clients I've trained in the past. Z is great because the change you seek is in the CNS, not the muscle, which is the dominant paradigm in both rehabilitative and fitness worlds. Once you really understand that the CNS controls the whole enchilada, you become open to trying systems that deal exclusively with the CNS first. That's Z-Health. Go back and read some of my blogs if you can stand it and see how banged up I was pre-Z. I only have one issue now to clear up whereas I used to have many, not the least of which contributed to tight hip flexors and hams!

1:35 PM  
Blogger Geoff Neupert said...

Oh, and Mike, demos are worth a thousand words...

1:35 PM  
Blogger Mike T Nelson said...


I am here in the Twin Cities and I am more than willing to help in any way. Andrea and Brad Nelson are Z certified too as you know.

Yep, Geoff hit the nail on the head. A vast majority of the time, a simple Z Health drill does wonders for them!

Do you have the R Phase DVD/manual?
Feel free to email me directly at michaelTnelson AT yahoo DOT com

Mike N

8:39 PM  

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