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It is well documented that larger Q angles ( An angle created by the width of the pelvis in relation to the center of the knee joint) plays a significant role in the prevalence of ACL tears. Why do these larger angles cause ACL tears? a quick review of anatomy, physics, and human function can explain.


The key anatomical features that need to be understood when talking about the Q angle and ACL rupture are the Gluteus Medius, the width of the pelvis, the direction of the ACL, and the function of the great toe. Humans are biomechanically challenged in terms of the available lateral hip musculature needed to stabilize the pelvis during the single leg stance phase of gait. This problem is accentuated with the higher body mass indices associated with modern culture. Females specifically have a wider pelvis in relation to their height to allow for childbirth. Recall, that the ACL runs from posterior laterally to anterior medially in the knee joint. The great toe helps to stabilize the foot, and therefore the tibia, especially when standing on one leg. The use of cushioned shoes makes it difficult for the great toe to purchase the ground.


While we are bipedal in the strictest definition of the term, in lower extremity movement we function unipedally. There is a  phase in the human gait cycle in which only 1 foot is in contact with the ground. This is where the challenges begin.


These challenges can be explained by physics. A wider pelvis actually creates more of a rotational force that the Gluteus Medius has to stabilize when standing on one leg. If the hip and foot musculature responsible for countering this rotational force is not strong enough it requires one to laterally shift their center of gravity over their base of support to remain standing. Recall, that the base of support is only around the foot that is in contact with the ground. This lateral shift creates a valgus force at the knee joint. Adding to the problem is the lack of foot strength associated with modern culture. If the great toe cannot stabilize the foot The lower leg bone  collapses inward contributing to an increased valgus force at the knee joint. The ACL is designed to resist this valgus force. However, if the force is too great the ACL will tear.


The solution to the problem begins with the understanding that it is very important to train your lower extremity while standing on one leg. This helps to strengthen the mechanisms needed to allow for hip,knee and foot stability. Most multi-joint single leg exercises are very difficult to perform correctly. This is one of the reasons the Luedeka Body Weight Trainer was developed. It allows for all users to perform single leg lower extremity exercises with proper form and load. By developing single leg strength one will go a long way in preventing ACL tears.


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Do you ever ask yourself why back pain is so prominent? 8/10 Americans will suffer back pain at some time in their lives. That is a staggering number of people. Is there something about the design of the spine and the way it is used in modern society that makes it susceptible to degeneration? This author says yes, and the answer may be found in the spinal evolutionary mismatch.

Reviewing the anatomy of the spine makes clear that modern humans retain certain structure that is more adapted to quadrupedal motion.  The anterior longitudinal ligament of the spine is wider than the posterior longitudinal ligament. This design helped support a spine that was under tension caused by gravitational forces on the center of gravity that was positioned between the front and back legs. We have evolved to require more protection from the posterior longitudinal ligament. However, its smaller size does not provide the needed protection from the posterior spinal stresses associated with modern culture. Modern culture has created an environment in which we sit too much, exercise too little, are overweight, live longer and move improperly. This places more tension on the posterior part of the spine and stresses the spine in ways it has not evolved to be stressed.

The center part of the disc called the nucleus is positioned more center/posterior to compensate for the forces in the disc that would attempt to move the nucleus anterior when we were quadruped. Modern culture has created an environment in which we sit too much and bend forward at the spine to lift objects from the ground. Sitting and bending at the spine increase the compression forces anteriorly on the nucleus. This increased anterior force will cause the nucleus to move posteriorly over time. Without appropriate posterior longitudinal ligament restraint, the nervous tissue is vulnerable to impingement by the bulging nucleus.

The movable spine is made of 24 separate movable segments giving it great mobility. The muscle structure of the spine is designed to connect motion between the front and hind limbs during a time when we moved about the planet on all fours. The muscle structure is not designed to support significant mass or to be the prime lifter of heavy loads. As bipedal animals we require stability of our spines and it should be held in a straight and stable position when squatting. The tiny joints and muscles associated with the spinal column are not designed to lift heavy loads. Continuously using the spine to assist in lifting loads from the ground wears out the small joints of the spine. Over time these joints become arthritic and the associated degeneration can cause spinal stenosis.

Why is it common when learning to squat we attempt to perfect the hip hinge and lean forward at the torso? This very motion increases anterior disc pressure and it engages the erector spinae musculature as a prime lifter. The very things the spine is not evolved to tolerate. Think this is not true? Ask yourself, why can I back squat more than I can front squat? The forward position of the torso is a result of functional lower extremity muscle weakness, lack of hip joint awareness and poor lower extremity joint control. This muscle weakness and poor joint control make it much easier to bend the spine forward in an attempt to lower the center of mass within the base of support rather than to bend the hips and knees appropriately.


To prevent spinal problems avoid unsupported sitting for long periods of time, maintain a normal body mass index, maintain appropriate strength/body weight ratios, exercise with less spinal load, and learn to squat without “sticking your butt out”. Future blog articles will teach you to improve your core stability strength and how to squat properly.

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Power is the marriage of speed and applied force. The faster you can move your center of gravity accompanied by improved force production, the more power you will produce.

The benefits of improved power as it relates to human function are many. Being more powerful will increase athletic performance; on the other end of the continuum, it can decrease the risk of falling as you age. Research has shown that maximum power development usually occurs at approximately 50% of maximal ability to produce force. The 20 rep max level of resistance is correlated to be approximately 50% of the 1 rep max.The 20 rep max level of resistance is the perfect blend between force production and the ability to move the object providing resistance with speed.

You should train this neurological processing speed the same way you train muscle tissue; training at a percentage of one’s max processing speed as it relates to one’s 20 rep max. With the use of a metronome or stopwatch determine the best pace at which you can accomplish your 20 rep max. This baseline number will help determine an appropriate level for you to train your processing speed. To train for power you would then add increased levels of assistance to allow for even faster speeds. For example, if a person required the 1/4 inch band for assistance to do 20 reps of a particular exercise and they completed those reps in 20 seconds, then this becomes the baseline measure. To then train for improved power, one would use a slightly wider band that allowed 20 reps to be done in 18 seconds. As you get stronger, the 20 rep max level of resistance will naturally improve. If you become stronger and are able to move that load faster, you will then be more powerful.

 The following is an example of over speed training done on the Luedeka body weight trainer.

Toe Taps to Step

               Toe taps to the step help to develop the neuromuscular processing speed associated with running.

  1. ·        Stand facing the step. As quickly as possible alternate touching the left and right feet to the step.
  2. ·        Perform 10 contacts with each foot. Monitor the time it takes for the 20 reps to occur.
  3. ·        If unable to perform 20 contacts with your body weight safely, use an assistive strength band to off load your weight. The amount of assistance needed and the pace to 20 contacts will then become the baseline.
  4. ·        To over speed train the toe tap exercise, use an assistive strength band slightly wider than the baseline band.  If one was not needed to establish baselines, then use the smallest band for the over speed training.
  5. ·        Place the long band holders on the back upper horizontal frame facing backward shoulder width apart.
  6. ·        Place an assistive strength band under the arms and around the back as pictured. To make this easier, first stand on the step place the band, and then step down.
  7. ·        Begin the toe tap exercise. Tap the right and left foot to the step. Perform the movement as fast as possible.
  8. ·        Make sure the arms are used to help generate momentum.  The arm opposite from the leg that touches the step should flex during the exercise.



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Meet Jon Fried

When Jon Fried was born his parents were told to put him in an institution and forget about him. He was diagnosed with central nervous system developmental problems and a multiple of orthopedic challenges. Mark and Barbara Fried did not except that as an outcome. They sought another path. They explored new techniques in an attempt to help Jon improve.  This has been a theme throughout Jon’s life.

During Jon’s life journey it was discovered he loved the game of tennis. “He would hit the ball against the wall for hours on end” according to Barbara Fried Jon’s Mother. Tennis, it was discovered was one of Jon’s gifts.

Despite a very low IQ, Lack of lower extremity motor function, monocular vision, and lower extremity osteoarthritis Jon won the silver medal in men’s singles tennis at the world special Olympic games in Athens Greece in 2011. Despite being 53 years old Jon competes in the highest division and is still considered the best male Special Olympics singles tennis player in the United States.


Despite these challenges Jon works hard to maximize his potential. He exercises daily and is shown in the attached video developing his power. Jon is preparing for the Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles at the end of the month. CKC Fitness wishes Jon well in his world games quest for gold.

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Why is it important to think about what shoes you wear when you exercise? Because the type of shoe you wear While performing resisted functional training exercises affects your foot function. Poor foot function can cause a multitude of orthopedic problems including, but not limited to flat feet, knee arthritis, and even back pain. So, how do the different types of shoes effect your foots' function? Continuing reading to learn why.

Modern cushioned shoes are great at dissipating ground reaction forces and were specifically designed to decrease heel strike impact while running. There is continuing debate whether using cushioned shoes rather than our own natural mechanisms to dissipate this impact has been good for us. On one side of the argument proponents of minimalist shoes say that utilizing a more forefoot impact point allows us to use our arch in a natural way to dissipate ground reaction forces. This in turn increases our foot strength and makes us more efficient runners. On the other side of the argument those who promote cushioned shoes say that the stored energy in the shoe helps us move forward and decreases our lower extremity muscle fatigue allowing us to run longer distances faster. Current research has not settled this debate. Research shows that people are predisposed towards being a forefoot or hind foot striker while running, And it may be very hard to change this aspect of a persons running gait. Hence There may not be a single best choice for footwear for all.

The evidence is more clear when it comes to comparing cushioned shoes to minimalist shoes while performing resisted functional training exercises. Cushioned shoes isolate your great toe from the ground and make it very difficult to use the muscles on the bottom of your foot when a stable base is needed in most functional lower extremity exercises. Without a stable base Of support one's foot rolls inward causing the knee to follow and the whole lower extremity kinetic chain is disrupted. This disruption causes the patella to track over the lateral femur and compresses the lateral knee joint. It also functionally shortens the limb which can cause back problems.

Wearing minimalist shoes on the other hand, allows for the great toe and plantar muscles to function as it attempts to create a stable base of support. Having strong plantar muscles, especially the flexor of the great toe, helps maintain the medial arch of the foot when the lower extremity is under load. Having a stable base of support and a normal functioning arch has many benefits. Among those are improved knee cap tracking, increased balance, and more efficient lower extremity motion.

So the next time you perform your resistance training exercise think about the shoes you wear and the function of your plantar muscles.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Invention-Pictures-153-533x800_20151002-203038_1.jpgAn often overlooked exercise, the single leg squat, demands a come-back in the fitness community as it is possibly the best lower body exercise you can do, not only for the health of your spine, but also for its strength and balance building potential.  Moreover, with the proper set up and coaching, a single leg squat is an exercise everyone can do.  First though, it is imperative that you understand the value of the single leg squat.   Let’s start at the very beginning:

During motion in bipedal animals (like humans), the lower extremities are rarely doing the same thing at the same time.  Functionally speaking, since we alternate walking between one leg and then the other, instead of using both legs on the ground at one time, we are actually unipeds, using one leg at a time.  In essence, we create force with one leg and then accept it with the other. This form of motion creates unique challenges for our lower extremities, necessitating unique training with unipedal motion in mind in order to maximize our functional strength. 



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Squatting Properly:


The Fallacy of the Hip Hinge and the Function of the Patella

We’ve been squatting – perfectly at that – since we were babies, yet somewhere along the way in our weight lifting education we were taught not to let our toes go over our knees, and, as a result, we have lost the art of the perfect squat.  At risk isn’t just the “perfect squat,” at risk is the integrity and health of our spine and back.

If you go to any gym and observe people squatting you will observe, for the most part, a significant forward lean of the torso as one attempts to maintain one's center of gravity within their base of support. This occurs because it is widely taught that one's knees should not bend past the toes when squatting.

The claim to this myth is from a Duke University study from 1978 that revealed a reduction in shearing potential of the knee occurred when the knee did not go past the toes in the squatting movement.  By keeping the lower leg as vertical as possible, researchers believed such a movement was preserving the integrity of the knee. This theory – the idea that allowing the knees to move past the toes causes undue stress upon the patella and the ligaments of the knee – has been wildly maintained and still taught in many personal training certification courses.  It continues being demonstrated in gyms across the country.

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If you’re a man, you probably don’t want to read this article.  But you probably should.  Actually, a real man is willing to take a look at what he’s always done in consideration for a better way.  There is a better way to strengthen your chest and arms than bench pressing.  In fact, over time bench pressing can cause significant shoulder pain and dysfunction. 

It all started decades ago, with the popular floor press. In the 1930s the floor press evolved to a wooden “bench” or box with the use of a barbell.  By the 1950s bodybuilding was on the rise, and with it, the popularity of the bench press grew.  The bench press started becoming over-emphasized as a training exercise in the 1970s.  As a disproportionate amount of focus was placed on the bench press, the movement grew in popularity as a common benchmark of masculine strength.  For decades it has been considered the gold standard of upper body strength lifts. But it is not and should not be a standard of strength.

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Functional training is a buzzword in the fitness world.  According to Wikipedia, the resource most people will go to for a simple definition, Functional training is “an exercise that involves training the body for the activities performed in daily life.”  This definition of “functional movement” is dangerous because it is widely open to potential misinterpretation.  Functional movement should be thought of in relation to a movement continuum.

To get even more specific, the best assessment of whether a movement is functional or not is to determine whether or not it is conducted in a closed kinetic chain (CKC). Closed kinetic chain exercises are movements performed where one extremity is fixed in space and cannot move. During a CKC exercise, or functional exercise, the extremity stays in constant contact with the immobile surface, which is often the ground or the base of a machine.  Additionally, since CKC exercises are often compound exercises (they involve more than one muscle group at a time), they are known to be more beneficial to the body.  The human body was uniquely designed to function optimally in a closed kinetic chain movement.  The exception to this is for the upper extremity, where many movements are performed in an open kinetic chain (OKC).  Unfortunately, OKC training can compromise the integrity of the rotator cuff, leading to injury and a lapse in training. To optimize the “functional training” of you upper extremity we recommend that you program and plan with CKC exercise in mind.  


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The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential…these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence. –Confucius

The urge to reach our full potential is innate in each and every one of us, although, as Confucius wrote, not everyone pursues it with enough tenacity to unlock his or her own personal excellence. 

Personal excellence is possible for everyone, and at CKC Fitness we take new possibilities of potential seriously.  Today is the best day to start being the best you possible. We wrote this article on muscular genetic potential according to the potential assessment performed on the Luedeka Body Weight Trainer to inspire you to be your absolute best based on your natural body type.


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Get faster, by training faster. 

Nerve conduction speed is an important part of muscle performance.  The proper implementation of nerve conduction speed training can significantly improve overall athletic development. To optimize nerve conduction in your programming, you must first fully understand the physics behind what it is.


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We all know we need to train “functionally.”  It’s been a trend in the fitness industry for the past decade and to be quite honest, “functional training” is a sexy word to throw around.  The thing is, everyone talks about “functional training,” but ask a group of personal trainers why functional training is important and a large majority of them will not be able to give you a proper answer.

Let’s break down the actual importance of functional training so that you can be among the elite who know why we need to train functionally and how to better use it in our programming.  It all starts with gravity...

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Closed kinetic chain (CKC) training is the essence and foundation of functional training.   By establishing yourself as a CKC expert, the success of your business will dramatically increase.  There are five ways in particular that CKC training can transform your business and reputation. In this post we are going to dig into each of the ways CKC training can elevate your business.  But, before we address how CKC movements will transform your business, let’s first establish a baseline definition for CKC exercise:

Closed kinetic chain (CKC) exercise takes place with either the upper or lower extremity fixed on an immovable object. The associated muscles contract in an effort to move this object, unable to move the object, the muscular contraction causes motion in the opposite direction moving the bodies’ center of mass instead. This is how our lower extremities function when we move around our environment and this type of contraction is needed in the upper extremity exercise to decrease stress on the shoulder joint.

Now that you understand exactly what CKC exercise is, it is time to understand how crucial it is to the success of your business and the longevity of your career and reputation.  Let’s dive into the benefits of being a CKC expert…

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Why Are Shoulder Issues So Prevalent?


As fitness professionals we are always on the look out for ways to improve one thing and one thing primarily: that is, results.  In this business, if you don’t get results, you don’t have a business.   In this post, you will learn why shoulder issues are so prevalent, why you should care about the upper extremity mismatch and how this information will improve the results of your training sessions. Ultimately, a better understanding of the shoulder girdle, along with an understanding of the upper extremity mismatch, will enable you to more safely and effectively train the upper body without risk of shoulder injury.

Let’s start at the beginning, with an understanding of what exactly is meant by the “upper extremity mismatch”, which can be directly linked to the reason why so many people suffer with shoulder and rotator cuff issues:


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Lower Extremity Mismatch is an important concept to understand for anyone wanting to improve their fitness programming, whether it is for themselves or for clients / patients.  

During the process of bipedal evolution the structure of the human pelvis changed. The hips positioned themselves more in a frontal plane allowing for more lateral motion. (Lovejoy, 2009:326) This allowed for the stabilization needed for the single leg motions that make up the human gait pattern. The problem is that this mechanism was designed during a time when we were much smaller beings. As an aging and overweight population we are stressing this structure which leads to joint disease.


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About Us

The Luedeka Body Weight Trainer is the first functionally based all-in-one exercise trainer to incorporate the many scientific principles of progressive resisted exercise into functional closed chain training.

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CKC Fitness Systems
Crozet, Virginia 22932


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