The Flexion-Intolerant Low Back


Strength in Conditioning For Friday, July 24, 2015

Low back pain can be caused by a variety of different factors.  This can make it hard to pinpoint the root of the problem, as there are different approaches for assessment and treatment of low back pain.  Disc herniation, degeneration, and inflammation may or may not cause pain – making it hard to accurately diagnosis the problem.  A simple approach for investigating low back pain is to look at movement of the lumbar spine.

A useful framework for identifying and treating the source of low back pain is characterizing low back pain as flexion or extension related.

Extension-based back pain is aggravated by standing for prolonged periods and characterized by an overextended lumbar spine.  Flexion-based back pain is aggravated by prolonged sitting and characterized by excessive flexion in the lumbar spine.


This article will examine the flexion-intolerant low back.  Typically athletes are prone to being more overextended while office workers are prone to be flexion-intolerant and rounded through the lumbar spine. In both patterns it is important to mobilize the hips and thoracic spine so that the back is stable during movement.

What is Flexion-Intolerance?

Flexion Intolerant low back pain is characterized by symptomatic pain with movement, and possible referral pain into the buttock and/or down one side of the leg (sciatica).  Pain is worsened with sustained or repeated flexion.

Clues for Flexion Intolerance

  • Pain upon waking in the early morning
  • History of sudden onset of pain during lifting or bending
  • History of sciatica, buttock, or leg pain
  • Discomfort/pain getting out of a car/chair from sitting
  • Discomfort during tasks that require bending (tying shoes)
  • More pain in sitting than standing
  • Prolonged sitting during the day
  • Posture consisting of a flat back/posterior pelvic tilt
  • Relief with extension based exercises/pain with end-range flexion

Check back here tomorrow to discover four exercises you can do as treatment to find relief from Flexion Intolerance!

- Kevin Kula, “The Flexibility Coach” – Creator of FlexibilityRx™ –

Related Resources

Dynamic Chiropractic: Flexion Intolerant Low Back
FlexibilityRx: Improving Hip Flexion
Fix Your Own Back 

5 Rounds
Barbell Progression
3 Each: Deadlift + Hang Clean + Front Squat + Press + Push Press
Build to Heavy Single Hang Squat Cleans
LIFE: 5 Hang Power Cleans + 5 Front Squats
5 Hang Squat Cleans + 5 Push Ups + 5 Bar Over Burpees
4 Hang Squat Cleans + 4 Push Ups + 4 Bar Over Burpees
3 Hang Squat Cleans + 3 Push Ups + 3 Bar Over Burpees
2 Hang Squat Cleans + 2 Push Ups + 2 Bar Over Burpees
1 Hang Squat Cleans + 1 Push Ups + 1 Bar Over Burpees
LIFE: Barbell Only
SPORT: 135/95
“Baywatch 1994″
4 Rounds
Run Small Lap + 25 Bicep Curls


Two Day Intensive for Fitness Coaches and Gym Owners


Strength in Conditioning for Thursday, July 23, 2015

So you wanna be a coach? Or maybe you have dreams of running your own gym? Maybe you already are a coach or a gym owner and want to continue to learn and grow so you can offer your very best to your students?

If any of this sounds like you, we have a training program that will meet all of these needs and more! On August 8th and 9th, SICFIT Scottsdale will be offering our Instructor Training Program. During this jam packed two day intensive, we will learn, discuss, practice, and experience the ins and outs of coaching and running a gym.

And we’re not just talking about surface stuff either — the things you would expect like training clients, class management, instructing movements, injury prevention, and scaling. These topics will certainly be covered in great detail, but we want to introduce other aspects of being a coach or owner — the things that don’t get talked about in your certification courses. These topics include things like how to talk to the media, how to market yourself and your gym, how to put systems in place so your gym and classes run smoothly, how to get new clients and then keep them, and how not lose your mind in the process!

You will emerge from this two day intensive training with the tools in your tool box and the confidence you need to live your dream, passion, and purpose as a coach and/or gym owner — we guarantee it! Lock in your spot by calling 480-922-3253.

10 Rounds
30 Second Row at 50% Effort
30 Second Row at 75% Effort
Rope Climbs and Rope Squats

12 Minute EMOM
Even Minute: 10 Ball Slams
Odd Minute: 10 Ball Squats
4 Max Effort Pull Up Holds
300 Meter Run or Row
100 Sit ups
EMOM 3 Burpees!


SICFIT Takes Back Saturday


Strength in Conditioning for Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Hipsters can keep their First Friday. But SICFIT Scottsdale is claiming First Saturday for the Fitsters! Or should we say SICFITers!

Beginning in August, SICFIT Scottsdale is officially turning the first Saturday morning of every month into an open house. This is your chance to try our fitness style on for size and experience for yourself the SIFCIT Difference.

In each month’s open house you will get to workout under the instruction of one of our coaches, receive a tour of our facilities and learn about the services we offer, and get to meet our awesome crew of coaches, staff, and gym members!

Our very first free Saturday morning workout is less than two weeks away, on 8/1. Join us at 9am and experience first hand why SICFIT Scottsdale is the most elite gym in the Valley! Class starts at 9am but please come early and introduce yourself to us before class! We look forward to meeting you!

Please feel free to invite your family members, your kids, your friends, and your co-workers. We pride ourselves on being able to give every-body just the right workout for them! Send this link to the folks you would like to invite via Facebook or Twitter. See you next Saturday!


photo 1
10 Minutes of Jump Rope Variations
3 Rounds
20 Overhead Walking Lunges
7 Walk Out Push Ups
LIFE: Barbell or PVC
FITNESS/SPORT: Increasing Load
5×5 Back Squat
Death by 10 Meters



Paleo Style Summer Salad

Strength in Conditioning for Tuesday, July 21, 2015

It’s hot outside. We know. Its a a total bummer. But to be fair, the Greater Phoenix area does enjoy one of the  most beautiful climates on the entire planet eight months out of the year. Let’s think of our summer months as paying our weather dues for the rest of our absolutely gorgeous year, shall we?

Even though its hot and dry outside, we can make sure that we keep it cool and hydrated on the inside! The SICFIT motto for hydration is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water everyday. In the summer months however, we can take some additional efforts at staying hydrated by eating lots of watery whole foods. Check out this blog post for a list of those food items.

To help ignite your creativity on how to use these foods to create yummy meals and snacks, here is a super simple summer salad to ‘wet’ your appetite! (And yes, that watery pun was intentional!)

  1. Cook up some chicken breast or fish using the method of your choice.
  2. Dice into tiny bite size pieces some tomatoes, cucumbers, and jicama. (Option to add some kind of hydrating fruit like blueberries, watermelon, or mango.)
  3. Toss diced veggies and fruit a couple tablespoons of rice wine vinegar and a drizzle of sesame oil.
  4. Place cooked chicken or fish right on top.
  5. Layer sliced avacado on your protein on choice.

And Voila! A super simple paleo summer salad that is sure to keep you cool, hydrated, and feeling amazing! Enjoy!

Big, Dynamic Movements
10 Kettle Bell Swings + Farmers Carry
8 Kettle Bell Swings + Farmers Carry
6 Kettle Bell Swings + Farmers Carry
10 Second Plank + 10 Second Rest
20 Second Plank + 20 Second Resr
100 Lunges + 10 Burpees
50 Lunges + 10 Burpees
100 Lunges
100 Sit Ups
1K Row


8 Reasons to Plank Like a Rock Star

Strength in Conditioning for Monday, July 20, 2015

At SICFIT Scottsdale, it is never a question of whether to plank, but rather how long to plank for! We love this exercise for so many reasons but we totally get it that it can be quite the dreadful experience! So, to help you through today’s planking workout, we thought we’d share some of the benefits that come along with this exercise. When you are mid-plank today, instead of thinking about how badly you want to collapse to the floor, think about these benefits instead!

  1. Firms and tones the entire core — front, back, side, to side, this exercises hits it all!
  2. Reverses and prevents low back pain by strengthening the muscles that support out spine.
  3. Improves your posture by strengthening and toning your ‘stand-up-stright’ muscles called erector spinae muscles that run along your spine.
  4. Improves balance by increasing core strength. (Challenge your balance even more by doing side planks!)
  5. Measures progress easily by tracking your ability to hold this position for increasingly long durations.
  6. Cultivates mental fortitude, as the only thing preventing your from dropping to the ground is your own will power!
  7. Lifts your your spirit because let’s face it, it feels good to be strong and get stronger!
  8. Provides a simple challenge we can succeed at every day in almost any place or at any time!

Choose one or two of these benefits that speak to you and make them your focus during your planking today. Let this focus, combined with the positive energy of your coaches and classmates at SICFIT Scottsdale, be the fuel you need to be a plank rock star in today’s workout!


5 Minutes of PVC Work
Build to Heavy 3-2-1 Push Press
8 Rounds
2 Push Press
5 Touch and Go Shuffle Runs 10’
9 Lying Leg Lifts
1 Minute Rest
50 Mountain Climbers + 30 Second Plank
50 Mountain Climbers + 20 Second Plank
50 Mountain Climbers + 1 Minute Plank
1 Mile Run or Row


Your Unique Motivations


Strength in Conditioning for Saturday, July 18, 2015

Our motivations for working out are like finger prints.  We all have them, but no one is exactly like the other.

Whenever you are struggling with your motivation to come to a class at SICFIT Scottsdale, look down at your finger prints. As you gaze at the uniqueness of each one, remind yourself out loud of one of the reasons you put in so much hard work in the gym.

By the time you list your last motivation, you might as well start putting your gym clothes on, because we guarantee your feelings about hitting a workout will have shifted!

Thank you for making the culture of SICFIT Scottsdale infectiously motivating! We look forward to seeing you this morning for our Saturday morning classes!

2 Minutes: Jump Rope + Row
Run Big Lap
Handstand Progression
Ring Tucks & L-Sits
Tabata Mash Up
Sit Ups + Push Ups
500 Meter Row
50 Air Squats
500 Meter Row

The Rotary Glute Bridge for Rotary Stability



Strength in Conditioning for Friday, July 17, 2015

The glute bridge is a fundamental movement for training hip extension. The glute bridge with posterior pelvic tilt (pelvic lift) is often used in physical therapy and chiropractic clinics to treat low back pain.

The glute bridge is a great pre-workout exercise that teaches the glute max to function as the primary hip extensor.  Athletes with low back pain often recruit the low back and hamstrings instead of the glutes during deadlifts.  The glute bridge also stretches the hip flexors.

The Rotary Glute Bridge

The rotary glute bridge is an exercise that Eric Cressey posted in the video shown below (I have renamed the exercise).  The exercise builds on the traditional glute bridge using the outstretched leg to challenge the abdominal obliques to prevent rotation of the low back.

Anti-movements like the front plank and side plank train the core to resist movement.  The front plank trains anterior core stability, the side plank trains lateral stability, and the rotary glute bridge trains rotary stability.

Avoiding Lumbar Rotation

One of the biggest sources of low back pain is excessive rotation of the lumbar spine.  Runners need to prevent rotation during forward movement and golfers need to rotate through the thoracic spine while stabilizing the low back (preventing rotation).

When the hips or thoracic spine lose mobility – excessive movement occurs at the low back.  While the thoracic spine and hips are built for mobility, the low back needs stability.

It is important to both train rotary stability at the low back and avoid excessive lumbar rotation during low back stretches.

Strength coach Mike Boyle notes, “The biggest mistake we have made in training over the last 10 years is an active attempt to increase the static and active range of motion of an area that requires stability. Most, if not all, of the many rotary exercises done for the lumbar spine were misdirected.”

Physical therapist Shirley Sahrmann in Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes, explains that, “Attempting to increase lumbar spine range of motion is not recommended and is potentially dangerous. Our lack of understanding of thoracic mobility caused us to try to gain lumbar rotary ROM, and this was a huge mistake.”

- Kevin Kula, “The Flexibility Coach” – Creator of FlexibilityRx™ –

Related Resources

Dynamic Chiropractic: Stop Stretching – or at Least Stop Stretching the Lower Back Into Flexion and Rotation
Eric Cressey: Supine Leg Whip for Hip Mobility and Core Stability



10 Minutes of Jump Rope
EMOM Add Burpee Each Minute
10 Minute EMOM
3-6 Atlas Stone Lifts
100 Push Ups
75 Air Squats
50 Sit Ups
25 Burpees
900 Meter Run or 1k Row
LIFE: 2 Rounds | 25 Reps of Each


Food as Fuel is Tonight!

Strength in Conditioning for Thursday, July 16, 2015

Got questions about what your nutritional game plan should be? Confused about what exactly the paleo diet is? Wondering what some strategies are to get your family on board with clean eating along with you?

We will tackle all of these questions and more at tonight’s Food as Fuel nutrition seminar at SICFIT Scottsdale. In this dynamic and interactive information session, not only will you learn the ins and outs of paleo nutrition and how to make it work for you and your family, but you will leave with a renewed sense of motivation and commitment  to keep it clean in the kitchen!

This one hour class, beginning at 7pm, is free for our members and their friends and family. The more people surrounding you who treat their food as fuel, the more successful you will be at sticking to your nutritional guns. Bring your inner circle to this seminar and that circle is going to get clean, lean, and mean in the gym!


Partner 2K Row
Alternate Every 200 Meters
Turkish Get Up
4×8 Goblet Squats
3 Rounds
500 Meter Row
21 Kettle Bell Swings
12 Pull Ups
LIFE: Ring Rows + Russian Swings
FITNESS: Jumping Pull Ups + Russian Swing 55/35
SPORT: Kip + American Swing 55/35


The New Your Starts With Your First Week… And It’s Free!


Strength in Conditioning for Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We are in the business of changing lives here at SICFIT. We’ve helped people lose weight so they feel more confident and more energized. Others we have coached through rehabbing old injuries that they thought would keep them out of the game for good. And we have seen countless members undo the effects of their previously unhealthy lifestyles.

Changing lives isn’t only our business, it is our passion. And we happen to be really good at it! But we don’t want to just tell you how good we are, we want to show you! This summer, SICFIT Scottsdale and SICFIT Chandler invite you to join one of our locations for one week of free training!

If you’re ready to change your life, take full advantage of this offer! We’re not promising miracles in a week, but what we are offering is the opportunity for you catch a glimpse of the YOU that you can be. Refer to the flier below for our phone number and call us today to schedule your free introductory session at either location.


Coaches Choice
6 Rounds *Slow
8-10 Single Arm Dumbbell Row
8-10 Stiff Leg Dumbbell Deadlift
10 Strict Sit Ups
2 Minute Rest
3 Minutes
6 Rounds
5 Strict Pull Ups
30 Seconds of Lunges
60 Seconds of Single or Double Unders
1 Minute Rest
LIFE: Ring Row + Positioned Lunge
5 Minute EMOM
1st Minute: 6 Burpees (Or Sub = 5)
2nd Minute: 7 Burpees  (Or Sub = 5)
3rd Minute: 8 Burpees (Or Sub = 5)
4th Minute: 9 Burpees (Or Sub = 5)
5th Minute: 10 Burpees (Or Sub = 5)


Mike Billera has earned SICFIT Scottsdale’s Athlete of the Month Honor’s


Congratulations Mike Billera on earning SICFIT Scottsdale’s Athlete of the Month Honor’s. 

You are the most consistent minor we have had in our program to date.
You Show up and never quit,
you always have a smile on your face and most
importantly you are extremely respectful and polite.
Thank you for your hard word and dedication
to your own personal health and fitness.


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