Getting upstream: shifting from reactive to proactive

MikeD Injury Prevention, Performance, Physical Therapy, Strength & Conditioning 1 Comment

I must confess, sometimes I experience a sense of social media-induced frustration. This frustration is often easily remedied by not looking at social media, but sometimes it comes up regardless. What confounds this sense of frustration is that I know what I’m frustrated about and often struggle to find the words to explain what I’m frustrated about. Today, I found …

Geekery: Relative Stiffness and the Warmup (part deux)

MikeD Performance, Strength & Conditioning Leave a Comment

In that same presentation where Coach Boyle reminded us of the useful practice of stealing smart people’s stuff to use with our own trainees—the topic was conditioning (not to be confused with strength training)—he also posed the question: What if the way we’ve always done things is wrong?

When are you going to stop doing your PT exercises? (part two)

MikeD Strength & Conditioning Leave a Comment

So what about progression? In part one, we started looking at how injuries happen—since that’s how most folks end up “doing PT”. The focus was on tissue capacity. We looked at how that plays a role in injuries:

When are you going to stop doing your PT exercises? (part one)

MikeD Injury Prevention, Performance, Strength & Conditioning 2 Comments

There’s a fascinating phenomenon that exists within the world of recreational circus arts and, depending on the background of the artist, it sometimes happens beyond the recreational level: people “do their PT (physical therapy) exercises” before they train. I realize that on the surface of it, that may not sound particularly fascinating, but there is an element to this phenomenon …

My big takeaways from The Anatomy of Circus with Emily Scherb

MikeD Injury Prevention, shoulders, Strength & Conditioning 2 Comments

Last weekend, Emily Scherb—Physical Therapist for Circus Artist-Athletes and Anatomy Nerd Extraordinaire—was in Boston. That fact alone was amazing for those already acquainted with her awesomeness, however she took it up a notch and presented a series of workshops. I had the good fortune to attend a pair of her workshops: The Acrobatic Spine and Hip: At the Core of …

Exercises every circus artist/athlete should do: single leg hip bridge

MikeD Circus, Strength & Conditioning 1 Comment

So, I spend most of my day looking at other people’s butts. Wait. That needs more context so it doesn’t sound incredibly weird:

Injury Prevention in Circus Arts: an approach we need to talk about more (part three)

MikeD change, Circus, Injury Prevention, Performance, Strength & Conditioning 3 Comments

The Performance Continuum In many sports, particularly at the higher levels, there exists a continuum of care, so to speak. At one end, we have an athlete’s entry point: the sports medicine team (orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, chiropractors). They are the ones who perform the initial assessments and screens. From there, they hand the athlete off to the strength and …

Injury Prevention in Circus Arts: an approach we need to talk about more (part two)

MikeD Circus, Injury Prevention, Performance, Strength & Conditioning 1 Comment

Functional movement represents the basic foundation for long-term health and performance in any athletic endeavor (and, I would like to suggest that living as a human counts as an athletic endeavor). It is also a term that is wildly misused and misunderstood and has become tragically buzz-wordy in the fitness world.

Things that have me rethinking flexibility, mobility and stretching: breathing for better circus

MikeD Strength & Conditioning, stretching 1 Comment

Let’s begin with a brief recap of part one. Stretching can be an effective way of improving flexibility. (Sort of). Of course, by stretching, I mean static stretching where you hold a stretch for 30 to 60 seconds. And by effective, I mean that if you do it regularly, over time, you will see a modest increase in the passive …

Stretching: finally, some clarity

MikeD Aerials, Circus, Flying Trapeze, Performance, Strength & Conditioning Leave a Comment

I’ve been sitting on this thought for months, so this post really is overdue. After all, the literature review was published way back in January and it’s already May. Remember that New York Times article that made the rounds (and may well continue to do so) on the Book of Faces and other social medias? Remember how that played a …

Stable Hips for Circus

MikeD Aerials, Circus, Flying Trapeze, Strength & Conditioning Leave a Comment

One of the more common movement pattern limitations is the Active Straight Leg Raise (ASLR). In the Functional Movement Screen, this particular screen reflects the ability to raise one leg while keeping the other steady. This requires a combination of active flexibility of the hamstrings and calves and hip mobility along with the ability to maintain pelvic and core stability. In …

Manifesto 2016: ch-ch-ch-changes

MikeD change, Circus, Strength & Conditioning 2 Comments

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted. It’s time for that to change. In fact, many things are changing and I’d like to tell you about them. But first, a story: Not too long ago, I was at a party. All good stories start this way. At this party, I found myself involved in a conversation that started this …

What’s On Your Preflight Checklist?

MikeD Aerials, BodyMind, Circus, Flying Trapeze, Performance, shoulders, Strength & Conditioning Leave a Comment

Before pilots take their planes into the air, they run through a preflight checklist. The basic—yet critical—premise is that it’s better to check the condition of the plane on the ground so that you can minimize the chances of discovering undesired surprises in the air. Having a checklist is handy, but more than that, it’s vital for the pilot to …

By Anatomography (en:Anatomography (setting page of this image)) [CC BY-SA 2.1 jp (], via Wikimedia Commons

Exercises Every Aerialist Should Do, part two: thoracic mobility

MikeD Aerials, Circus, Flying Trapeze, Performance, shoulders Leave a Comment

You know, there’s a piece to this expanding and wonderfully complex puzzle that is the healthy flyer/aerialist/circus artist that has been nagging at me for the past couple of months because I realized that I haven’t included it and yet, it’s such a foundational and important piece. (Wow. That was quite a long sentence.) The thing of it is that …

photo credit: sanderling photography (and thanks to Ryan for being a good sport!)

The Desk Job Double Cross, Part One: Why Sitting Is Horrible For Flying

MikeD change, Performance, shoulders, Strength & Conditioning, Uncategorized 1 Comment

Here’s a fun paradox for you: one of the main goals of this blog is to provide you, dear flyers and aerialists, with some knowledge that will, ideally, lead to you becoming more aware of your body and how it works so that you might learn how to take better care of it as you pursue your ever growing passion …