Fixing Low-Back Pain by Restoring Hip Function Part 2


Strength in Conditioning for Friday, April 10, 2015

Low back pain is often caused by excessive movement of the low back during squats and deadlifts.  When hip movement is dysfunctional the low back moves when it should be stable (going into excessive flexion or extension).  Part one of this series looked at improving hip mobility by assessing hip motion and applying traction to decompress the joint-capsule.  Part two will examine ways of improving hip extension.

3 Steps to Restoring Hip Function

#1: Improve Hip Mobility
#2: Restore Hip Extension
#3: Restore Hip Flexion

Restoring Hip Extension

Athletes that have trouble fully extending their hips (standing at the top of the deadlift without arching the low back) often have a postural pattern that involves tight hip flexors and weak glutes/abdominals.

By relieving hip flexor tightness, activating the glutes, then integrating hip extension with core stability you can restore hip function and avoid low back pain.

A: Tight Hip-Flexors

Tight hip flexors can misalign the pelvis tilting it forward (anterior pelvic tilt).  This postural pattern prevents full hip extension and contributes to overextension of the low back.  Both the superficial quads and deep hip flexor (psoas) can limit hip extension and decrease your ability to fire your glutes.

“Extension-based back pain typically is worse with standing than with sitting.  The hip flexor shortness and insufficient glute contribution leads athletes to substitute lumbar extension for hip extension in movements such as deadlifting, jumping, throwing, or any other task that requires hip extension.” – Eric Cressey



Try this hip flexor stretch for the quads and psoas.

B: Glute Activation & Joint Centration

While stretching the hip-flexors may help, proper glute activation is required to stabilize the head of the femur in the hip during hip extension.  The glute max posterior tilts the pelvis and is the primary hip extensor. Overactive hamstrings move the head of the femur forward in the hip socket during hip extension restricting range of motion and increasing the chance for anterior hip pain.

If your hamstrings are always tight they may be doing the glutes work to extend the hip.  By retraining the glute max to function as the primary hip extensor (single-leg glute bridge), you can relieve chronic hamstring tightness and low back pain.

The single leg glute bridge inhibits the deep hip-flexor, while teaching athletes to extend the hips with their glutes – instead of their hamstrings and low-back.

C: Glute Acivation & Anterior Core Stability

The quadruped hip extension activates the glutes and trains the abdominals to stabilize the pelvis for better anterior core stability.  This is a great exercise to learn how to stabilize the low back while extending the hip on one side.


The quadruped hip extension is a great core stability exercise that integrates hip extension with lumbo-pelvic stability.

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

15 Minutes
Commando Push Ups with Dumbbells
5 Rounds
 500 Meter Row
300 Meter Run
3 Minute Rest
LIFE: 3 Rounds | 250 Meter row + Run Small Lap + Walk Small Lap


SIC FITness Class at Asics Tonight


Strength in Conditioning for Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tonight SICFIT Scottsdale joins forces with Asics in the Scottsdale Quarter to bring strength in conditioning to the community. This is a great opportunity for a fun and healthy night out on the town with friends, coworkers, or the entire family!

Stop by ASICS at 6:30pm to participate in our free outdoor fitness class. Then, stroll the Quarter, shop, and enjoy dinner and a movie!

SICFIT Scottsdale will be hanging out with our friends-in-fitness at ASICS every 2nd Thursday of the month through June.

Send this link over to your friends and family who you want to join you this and every Thursday!

Coaches Choice
Handstand Push Up
Atlas Stones
5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1
Pull Ups
Push Ups
1 Mile Run or Row for Time


Guest Week: Don’t Take No For an Answer


Strength in Conditioning for Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ar SICFIT Scottsdale, we are relentless with our students in every aspect of health and fitness: nutrition, proper technique, mental toughness, consistency, sleep, hydration. The list goes on and on.

Now it is time for our students to be relentless with their friends and family who need to make a change in their lives. It is time to not take no for an answer. It is time to use whatever means necessary to get your loved one out to SICFIT Scottsdale or SICFIT Chandler for Guest Week.

Guest Week, running next week (4/13-4/17), is an opportunity to show these folks how SICFIT can transform their body, mind, and soul.  Throughout all of next week, you and your guests have unlimited access to our classes – FOR FREE – when they come to workout with you!

Guest Week is all about helping your friends and family see that their best-self is just a little bit of effort away. Looking forward to meeting your guests!


Dynamic Warm Up + Band Mobility
5-7 Minutes to Built Heave 5 Rep Dumbbell Deadlift 31×1
4 Rounds
8 Dumbbell Deadlift
5 Burpee Long Jumps
6 Touch-n-Go Shuffle Runs
2 Minute Rest
30 – 20 – 10
LIFE: Russian Kettle Bell Swing + Air Squat + Box Step Up
FITNESS: Heavy Russian Kettle Bell Swing + Jumping Air Squat + Box Jump
SPORT: Full Kettle Bell Swing 55/35 + Goblet Squat 55/35 + Box Jump 24/20


Single Limb Training Trains More Than A Single Limb


Strength in Conditioning for Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Single limb strength in conditioning exercises may seem like they are isolating one body part at at time, but this is far from the truth.

When we work one limb at a time – such as in the box step up or single arm kettle bell row, like we have programmed today – we are also placing functional stress on the core, strengthening it as well.

The core’s primary anatomical function is to stabilize the spine as we move the body through space or manipulate load. When we intentionally throw the body off balance with single limb work, we ask the core to work double-time to keep our bodies in a solid position.

According to Andrew Read, Master RKC and contributor to, “the role of functional training should be to get the body to work better when we ask it to perform.

Single limb work is one of the most functional exercises we can perform, as it trains the body to move and stabilize itself in a way that it is naturally designed to do.

Jenn D of CrossFit Scottsdale


Single Leg & Arm Exercises
Jump Rope
Calve Raise
Pistol Roll Downs
Arm Circles
Arm Raises
8-10 Seated Dumbbell Single Arm Press
8-10 Seated Single Arm Kettlebell/Dumbbell Row
8 Single Leg Step Up | Add Weight to Front Rack Position Each Round
8 Single Leg Lunge | Add Weight Each Round
1-2 Minute Rest After Each Set
Tabata Mash Up
5 Rounds
Push Ups
Sit Ups
Air Squats


My all American neighbor, SICFIT Scottsdale athlete and Notre Dame Prep student Casey Cooper.

“They say that our heroes are all gone, that we don’t know our neighbors and that they don’t make them like they use to.”

Well, I beg to differ. I happen to know of a young man, who lives in my neighborhood that trains at SICFIT Scottsdale, knows how to fly a plane, can throw a four seem fastball for the Notre Dame Saints and loves life. He has a contagious smile, big heart loves his family, his Country and his community. This young man is Casey Cooper and this is his story. His parents John and Christy Cooper along with younger brother Jesse and sister Mackenzie are his biggest fans and supporters. If you see him in the gym, at school or on the baseball diamond be sure to shake his hand, thank him for his leadership and wish him continued SICcess.



Writer Tom Scanlon: He’s not quite at the “Top Gun” level yet, but Casey Cooper is well on his way. The future is up in the air, literally, for this North Scottsdale resident who attends Notre Dame Preparatory. At a time when many teenagers are playing video games that simulate flying, Casey is actually doing it; he made his first solo flight last year and in mid-February was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol. He began flying when he was just 14 years old. “My parents, John and Christy, knew that I wanted to fly and they purchased me an explorer flight for my 14th birthday to see if I enjoyed it,” he said. “I currently have nearly 30 hours of flight time. I need to get up to a minimum of 40 hours before I can receive my private pilot’s license.” His passion for flying goes back to an even younger age, when he was around 8 years old. “My grandfather flew Cessnas before I was born and I had heard some of his stories about flying,” he explained. “Another influence came from my neighbor, Lt. Col Charlie Black. He was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. He has known me since the day I was born and I have admired him for years.” Casey loves the rare combination of freedom and responsibility in flying planes. “When you fly, you feel like you can go anywhere you want and you can see anything from up in the air,” he said. “The sense of responsibility I have when I fly is amazing; everything has to be perfect and any error can impact the flight. It’s nothing like driving, where I can hop in the car and just go. I have to preflight the plane, check the oil and gas, talk to the ground control and then to the tower. After all of that is complete, I can take off and get into the air.” His goal is to continue improving as a pilot and to become subtler with the controls. He notes that the slightest movement of the yolk can affect the direction of the aircraft. The bigger the movement, the bigger the effects, so it’s important to steer gently to avoid making changes that are too big. When it comes to studying for a career in flying, math and science are key courses for young people interested in the not-always-friendly skies. “Science is important,” Casey noted, “because a pilot needs to know the clouds that are nearby because the clouds can make the flight very turbulent. When flying, knowing the angles of the banks is important because if they are too big or too small, then turns will be steep and fast or shallow and slow, depending on what the pilot does.” But Casey Cooper is not all flying, all the time. He may have his head in the clouds, but he’s also in honors and advanced placement classes, the president of NDP’s junior class and founder of NDP’s Aviation Club, as well as a member of the school’s baseball team. That said, the Civil Air Patrol, an Air Force Auxiliary, has also become a big part of his life. “At our meetings, we teach cadets how to drill and classroom instructions,” he said. “We often do search and rescue alongside the Air Force. My new ranking as second lieutenant changes me from a non-commissioned officer to an officer. I will go from being a flight sergeant to being a flight commander. This transition gives me more leadership opportunities when it comes to teaching and organizing activities. I will no longer be in charge of marching the cadets, as that will be given to the new flight sergeant.” No surprise, his favorite flick is “definitely ‘Top Gun.’” When he watches it, Casey likes to imagine himself doing the same thing when he’s older. He also watches “Air Aces” on television, a show about some of the greatest pilots that have flown since World War II. He hopes to be a military top gun himself, post-high school. “After I graduate from NDP, my ultimate goal is to go to either the Air Force Academy or the Naval Academy, which I consider to be the best flight schools in America,” Casey said. “From there I plan on going to flight school to become a fighter pilot and serve my country.” Casey has a younger sister, Mackenzie, who is 15, and a younger brother, Jesse, who is 12. His parents have been very supportive of his flying, making time to get him up in the air as much as possible despite everyone’s busy schedules. They often listen to Casey talking to the tower through a mobile app, which allows them to hear radio calls from any airport in the world. And what does North Scottsdale look like from the air? “Looking at NDP and the area around Scottsdale is like looking at a model city,” Casey said. “Everything looks much smaller and it gives me a better perspective on the size of everything compared to being on the ground.”

See more at: “Your cleared for takeoff”


Guest Days at SICFIT Scottsdale


At SICFIT Scottsdale we believe in motivation. Do you have a friend who has been saying “I need to get into shape”. Or maybe that special someone who is a little intimidated by the intensity of our workouts? April 13th through the 17th is your chance to invite them, as this week at SICFIT Scottsdale is GUEST WEEK! We want you to extend that invitation to them to try out a free class. If you bring a friend you train for FREE! And remember…You just might be saving their life. Check out our schedule by clicking here. See you in class!

USAW Level 1 Sport Performance Coach Certification


Strength in Conditioning for Monday, April 6, 2015

Are you looking to add the USA Weightlifting certification to your resume? Or perhaps you want to become more proficient in your Olympic Lifting? No matter which camp you fall into, you won’t want to miss the SICIFT Scottsdale’s two day USAW Level 1 Sport Performance Coach Certification on April 11th and 12th, 2015.

With the rapid growth of strength in conditioning facilities offering the highest quality coaching available, our staff has decided to make it a standard to have this certification and to make it readily available for anyone wanting to learn the OLY lifts from the pros. That is why we asked for long time coach Patrick Cullen- Carroll to come out and teach the course.

Register HERE to reserve your spot today!
OLY Barbell Complex
3 Deadlift + 2 Hang Power Cleans + 1 Push Press
1 Round of Complex EMOM for 10 Minutes
5 Push Press EMOM for 8 Minutes
5 Front Squat EMOM for 5 Minutes
Pick a # 5-10 and Complete EMOM for 5 Minutes


Fixing Low-Back Pain by Restoring Hip Function Part 1


Strength in Conditioning for Friday, April 3, 2015

Whether you are just trying to ‘get through’ another grueling workout, attempting a ‘PR’, or working on your technique – the last thing you want on your mind is an achy back.  While low-back pain has many different causes one of the most common problems in the gym is a faulty movement pattern where the low back moves instead of the hips.

When the low back is repeated over-extended (deadlifts, overhead lifts) and/or taken into excessive flexion (rounding at the bottom of the squat) inflammation and pain become more common.

Hip Extension = standing posture, lockout position of the deadlift, low-back position during overhead presses

Hip Flexion = both legs at the bottom of the squat, front leg/hip position during a lunge, pulling one knee to your chest while standing

Here are the first three considerations you can immediately test and correct to restore hip movement.

3 Steps to Restoring Hip Function

#1: Improve Hip Mobility

#2: Restore Hip Extension

#3: Restore Hip Flexion

Poor hip mobility and faulty movement patterns cause the low back to take on the work of the hips. The low back needs to be stable as the hips move into both extension and flexion.  Excessive arching of the low back (extension) and rounding (flexion) are common causes of low-back pain.

#1: Improve Hip Mobility

Lack of hip mobility causes movement to occur at the low back.  The low back should be stabile as the hips move into flexion and extension.  The bottom position of the squat takes the hips into flexion.  This position requires good hip flexion and rotation to prevent the hips from rounding and the low back from flattening (losing its normal curve).

“Loss of function in the joint below–in the case of the lumbar spine, it’s the hips–seems to affect the joint or joints above. In other words, if the hips can’t move, the lumbar spine will. The problem is the hips are designed for mobility, and the lumbar spine for stability. When the intended mobile joint becomes immobile, the stable joint is forced to move as compensation, becoming less stable and subsequently painful.” – Gray Cook


 A quick way to restore hip mobility for hip flexion/extension and rotation is traction to decompress the joint-capsule itself (hip traction series).


Assess your hip flexion, extension, and rotation before applying the hip traction series.  Retest your range of motion afterwards. 

Part two of this three-part blog will focus on improving hip extension.

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

Related Resources

Gray Cook: The Joint-by-Joint Approach by Mike Boyle (link)
FlexibilityRx: Hip Mobility Sequence (link)

Partner Stretch
Band Mobility .
Hang Power Clean
Push Press 10-12, 8-10, 5-8, 3-5, 1-2
30 Box Ups Each Side
30 Second Side Plank Each Side
2 Minute Walking Rest
Row 1k + 10 Push Ups
Row 750 + 20 Push Ups
Row 500 + 30 Push Ups
LIFE: 3-5 Rounds | Row 250 + 10 Push Ups


What’s going on at SICFIT Scottsdale this April 2015


What’s happening at SICFIT Scottsdale this April 2015?

Wether you want to get off of the couch, look better naked or compete in your first race there is no better place than SICFIT Scottsdale especially right now! April is here and it has already sprung with temperatures getting up into the high 80’s and even a few days reaching above 90 degrees. So let’s get outside while we can! Starting this Saturday at 6am and repeating each and every weekend we will be leading a group up Pinnacle Peak. As an avid outdoorsman and master of thrill seeking fitness P.P.P or Pinnacle Peak Parkway for long have become a staple of my Strength in Conditioning and a weekly part of my my life. This 2.2 mile loop is perfect for everyone looking to get outside and get in shape before we spend the summer indoors.

With challenging vertical climbs and stairs on both the start and turn around points, this trail is for all ages and levels. The hike takes somewhere between 40 minutes and 2 hours. Bill Ditman holds the over and back course record in just over 30 minutes flat and when we walk it with the kids the course can take almost 2 hours. The path is very well manicured with a restroom at the base along with water and a volunteer post.

On Easter Sunday we will be meeting at base camp at 8am sharp to walk or run and enjoy a beautiful morning outside as a fitness community. Please bring closed toe shoes and a bottle of water. Wear a hat and sunglasses and put on your sunscreen.

The following weekend Saturday April 11th classes will be moved to North Site Park and are free for everyone including 8am Endurance, 9am all levels, 10am yoga and all kids and teens at 11am. SICFIT Scottsdale is the host facility for the USAW United States of America Weightlifting Sports Performance certification and will be doing continuing education for coaches.

April 13th through the 18th is “GUEST DAYS” so be sure to bring a friend, family member, neighbor, colleague or anyone who might need a LIFEstyle change and upgrade in FITness. We will have a leaderboard for the most guests brought in that week and the winner will receive some SICFIT swag and a private training lesson with one of our Coaches.

April 17th join our Gymnastics squad and receive 2 hours of in depth coaching and instruction on movements like the hand stand, muscle up and kipping pull up. The cost of this seminar is $25 and will be from 6:30pm-8:30 pm on a Friday evening. All levels and ages are welcome.

April 23rd It’s time for our signature Level II test the “Red” band. Show up and don’t quit as a participant, judge or volunteer. As always our level testing is a valuable piece of our training philosophy and gives students an opportunity to test themselves and against their peers. The show starts at 7pm be ready and warmed up by 6:45pm.

April 25th Please join our family in our annual tradition of attending “Pat’s Run” from Sun Devil stadium. This event brings joy and tears to my eyes in a way that I have never experienced before. My first Pat’s Run came in 2009 with both of my kids being pushed in our double stroller. The next year I carried Camille who was 3 years old at the time the entire 4.2 mile loop on my shoulders. A year later I decided to carry an #80 sandbag on my back and last year my son Kanon who was 7 ran the entire race in 42 minutes, makin me one proud Poppa and Coach. This is one of those events you won’t want to miss or wish you had remembered. We will carpool directly from SICFIT Scottsdale at 5:30 am or find your own way down and meet up at Coral 10 minute mile dressed in your brightest SICFIT gear.

Recipe of the month:

This is one of my all time favorite breakfast recipes that I just made for dinner last night. The kids will flip out and you don’t have to feel guilty about a single ingredient.

Banana Pancakes
2 ripe bananas
2 eggs whole
2 table spoons almond butter smooth
1/8 cup almond flower add more for thicker consistency

Mush all ingredients up with a fork until you see no more lumps.
Medium griddle or frying pan.
Light coconut oil spray.
Flip once.

*Add fresh berries, macadamia nuts, pecans or almond slivers. Light honey or real syrup. *We love to toss some light coconut milk over the top of everything.
Cook up some protein and slice some fruit and you have what I like to call the “Birthday Breakfast” so good you would ask for it on your special day.











With out you we would not be….. Please take a few moments this morning and write a simple, clean GOOGLE review. Especially is you found some of this information helpful and inspiring to living a greater LIFE. If you can fill it out by the end of the day you will be entered to win a private training session or t-shirt of your choice. Click HERE:

GOOGLE review.

Calendar of Events
April 4, 5, 11, 18, 25 Group hike at Pinnacle Peak Parkway 26802 N. 102nd Way
Scottsdale, AZ 85262 6am except Easter Sunday April 4th at 8am
April 4 “Run the Runway” 7:40am
SICFIT kids Easter Egg hunt 11:00am
April 5 Easter Sunday Pinnacle Peak 8am
April 9 FREE bodyweight class at Asics Scottsdale Quarter 6:30pm
April 11/12 USAW Olympic Weightlifting Course *GYM closed All Saturday classes at North Site Park 8,9,10 yoga, 11 kids & teens. All additional FREE classes.
April 13-18 GUEST WEEK *bring a friend and enjoy an extra class on us.
We will have a leaderboard for most guests and the winner will receive a shirt plus a personal training session.
April 17 Gymnastics clinic at SICFIT Scottsdale 6:30-8:30pm $25
April 23 Level II test 7pm
April 25 Pat’s Run register under Team SICFIT


Looking to fill the summer blues void? We got your kids covered so they don’t turn into whole wheat buns and become characters in “Clash of clans”.


Increasing Shoulder Joint Awareness and Stability


Strength in Conditioning for Thursday, April 2, 2015

Joint awareness and stability is essential for powerful, efficient, and safe weightlifting technique. The more complex the joint, the more concentration and control is required.

The joint with the greatest range of motion (and thus the greatest potential for poor position) is the shoulder.

Stability in the shoulder requires us to isometrically plug the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) into the glenoid cavity of the scapula (shoulder socket). This keeps the connective tissues surrounding the intricate shoulder joint safely contracted, so they do not become strained by load bearing exercise.

For some of, however, it is difficult to activate or even recognize this joint integrity.

(Interesting Anatomical Fact of the Day: Did you know we  have neurological sensors in our joints called proprioceptors that interpret information about joint angle, length, and tension?)

To help build our awareness (or proprioception) of shoulder joint integrity, and to strengthen the joint in general, we will be doing waiter’s walks as part of today’s strength training programming.

This exercise, combined with mobility work, and  will ensure that our shoulders are strong and pliable enough to safely perform all the shoulder exercises we do here at SICFIT Scottsdale.

4 Rounds
Front squat 10-12, 8-10, 5-8, 3-5, 1-2
20 Seconds Rest
5 Pull Ups
15 Sit Ups
20 Second Rest
20 Second Row 50%, 75%, 100%
2-3 Minute Walking Rest
3 Rounds
40 Meter Single Arm Waiters Walk
4×10 Leg Gels | Up and Down, Side to Side, Half Circles, Flexion and Extension
12, 9, 6 For Time
Burpee + Small Lap Sprint


Page 39 of 365« First...102030...3738394041...506070...Last »