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Staying in Shape

Ramon Engle

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Hey All, There is a book that I recently purchased on the recommendation of our set medic. The book is entitled "Foundation" and it proffers a new take on Core Strengthening. It actually sort of takes the current idea of "core" to task somewhat. I haven't yet begun to use the exercise regime it prescribes, but I have read it and it really stresses exactly what all you are saying Hip strengthening. Lance Armstrong used the program after his Cancer recovery and enthusiastically endorses it. Ill report back if I actually get down to using it.

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All of these exercises are great, but dont forget the importance of a good diet!


Tons of water, tons of fruit and veggies (getting a blender to make fresh juice in the morning before the gig starts, unreal how wired you can get off a couple pounds of leafy greens, protein and fruit)


This job is absolutely athletic so nutrition is key in making those core exercises really work to your advantage... plus if you eat well your brain is going to work better on set too!

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Do you have any better links to this book Foundation or an author?


What do the older operators do? I've heard stories about Larry's bike on Hugo. These are the people that have extracted longevity from this industry.

Just curious how old is older?

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I'm in my mid 40's and I feel alright. I do believe that a pint of beer at the end of a hard day does a world of good. My Rugby coach of many years said this long before the new fangled ideas of ice baths etc became popular. It gives you carbohydrates, B vitamins, relaxes the muscles and mind and tastes good.


BTW Larry is in his mid 60's and probably fitter than I am. I know he turned Vegan some years ago, and attributes a lot of his new found health and fitness to this. I don't think I am capable of turning Vegan, even if it meant an extended career.

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i cant believe that about culver ice! it looks like it may still be in the works, but i bet its closing...too bad.


i almost always have a beer after a few hours of jiu jitsu or sweaty work days. the carb reload really helps. gatorade and other sports drinks really are too much, theyre like melted popsicles, too thick and so sugary it burns!

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Hi all;


Here is simple test of state of your backs compression from yrs of this work and probably your fitness state.


Can u touch the floor with feet together ?


My back muscles are strong but shortened and so are hamstrings, not great and a recipe for injury. Maybe a little arthritis too just because of age. Can I still operate, sure but at my comfort range of what I can pull off. Is this true of everyone YES!


Rowling machines will stretch out your back in no time and help a lot.


Here is also my take on why; comfort. We build up skills in our world of wide angle industrials and suddenly a long lens commercial kills us because we're now 30-40-50 and out of shape. A long walk and talk with no breaks is enough to hurt.


So challenge yourself to speed and flexibility or you're really limited. As we all know tired immediately robs us of concentration and then you really can't shoot.


Stand up now and see if you can touch the floor, does your gut get in the way too? Even muscled fit people end up shortening their muscles so its not just age.


Have a good 2014.



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So called "Shortened muscles" tight hamstrings, poor range of motion in limbs due to tightness can often be very easily remedied with self maintenance/mobility protocols using the most basic of tools such as a lacrosse ball, a rumble roller and a couple of other nice goodies if you would like to splash the cash on fancier items.


For anyone that is suffering the next day after a rough job, or just generally wants to improve their physical state, feel less knotted up and tight etc... I would highly recommend they look into buying the following:




Go for the black large one, you'll hate it at first but the softer ones won't feel firm enough once you start using them regularly




This has a multitude of uses but it's especially fantastic at loosening up your hamstrings, nothing else seems to do it anywhere near as well as this from my experience combined with some time on the rumble roller.




A Lacrosse ball has a million and one uses for mobility, most helpful for rolling glutes, shoulders, or any smaller muscle groups that require a more precise approach.




This has been developed primarily to improve mobility in your Thoracic spine, it is fantastic for this, you know those tiny little muscles in your spine that just get fatigued and knotted sometimes after a hard day, then just don't seem to loosen up again?

This literally feels like the hulk sticking his thumbs into those little muscles, if you bear with it I think this is one of the best items I have ever used for maintaining a very health supple feeling spine, it works incredibly well.


Now.....how do you use it all?


For those who would like to learn more deeply about the subject matter of mobility and self maintenance, I highly recommend buying a copy of "Becoming a Supple Leopard" by Kelly Starrett: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Becoming-Supple-Leopard-Preventing-Performance/dp/1936608588


For those who just want to crack on with good basic protocols and then learn about other stuff later on here's what I would say can work really well for your typical Steadicam Operator who's feeling a bit tight and achy.


Basic Mobility/Myofascial release protocol:


1. Start with the rumble roller loosening up the back and hamstrings a little, roll your entire spine down to your lumbar up and down the rumble roller whilst pulling your head gently into your chest and keeping your upper body off of the floor, do this a few times until things start to feel a little looser.


2. Now do the same thing but cross your arms over your chest as if you are trying to hug yourself, try and reach as far around your body as you can, now work your way slowly down the roller and back up again then do another repetition gently rolling your back side to side across the roller to dig into the muscles across a different plane.


3. Move onto loosening up your legs one section at a time, work up from your calves, followed by your hamstrings and then onto your glutes/piriformis, then hip flexors, quads etc... The video below provides excellent guidance on how to do this and I would recommend covering all the areas that are shown in this demo:



4. For people just starting out with this, this should be enough to get on with in the first week or two, once you are comfortable doing all of the above mentioned in the text and the video you can move on to slightly more intense tools that can really dig away at knotted up tight tissues with a bit more oomph.


5. Now start using your Super-Nova tool on your hamstrings and glutes, it will feel a bit more intense at first than the roller, but it will really dig in and help relieve that tightness, work up and down in a straight line initially, then roll side to side on it on the hamstrings, then try rolling in a circular motion against the hamstrings, when you feel more confident and want to push it further, cross one leg over the top of the one with the supernova underneath to apply more weight onto the ball, it's also really good for when the rumble roller starts to feel a little too comfortable on your quadriceps or hip flexors and you want to try and dig a little deeper, use the same movements I described above for the hamstrings on your quadriceps and/or hips.


6. Working on the t-spine and other areas with the Gemini, Kelly Starrett gives a great explanation of how to use it here, it's pretty basic & straightforward to use, but be gentle when you first use it, it's damn firm and can be very intense when you are not used to it:




Wearing good quality compression leggings while you're working and afterwards, even to bed at night while you sleep has been scientifically proven to significantly improve recovery from exercise also, anything by 2XU is usually a good bet and not crazy expensive for what you get:




2-3 times a week of the above at a minimum and I guarantee you will be feeling a lot looser and less achy in general :) Oh yeah and compression tights....they're awesome.


Hope that was helpful.

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