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From tragedy to triumph: Michelle's story

When Michelle Kong-Rosario finally emerged from all the surgeries and complications following a motorcycle crash, fitness was the last thing on her mind.

Before she could focus on herself, Michelle had to deal with the enormous emotional toll of losing her boyfriend in the accident. She also had to learn how to walk again on her prosthetic leg.

“There were complications that led to me losing my leg,” she said. “The process was very long. After two months in the hospital, I was in in-patient rehabilitation for another two or three months to learn how to walk again with a prosthesis. Then it was out-patient rehabilitation. It took me about a year.”

This past year marked 20 years since the accident, and it was only recently when Michelle, a 42-year-old mom, started focusing on herself again — her fitness, her strength and her body. Unfortunately, that only led to more frustration.

“I’ve been through so many different gyms that left me in pain or injured, and that would put me out of commission,” she said. “I would be out for two or three months.

“I’ve worked out on my own, I’ve hired personal trainers, I’ve been to classes,” she said. “And each one of them, when I talked to them about my leg, they said they could help me and I always ended up injuring myself more. By the time I came to Max [Velocity], I was pretty frustrated, pretty tired. Everybody tells me they can help me, that they’re going to create this whole program for me, but nobody really does. But when I came here, things changed.”

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This past November, Michelle finished second in Max Velocity’s Fall Fitness Challenge. Contestants were scored on attendance, consistency with their nutrition habits and check-ins and performance in their baseline workouts. Michelle recorded the second-highest rep total in her initial workout and the fifth-highest improvement in her retests. She was also 80 percent compliant with her nutrition habits and 100 percent compliant with her weekly check-ins with her coaches.

“It took me by surprise,” she said. “… That challenge was a great way to measure that I am improving, I am doing better taking all these classes.”

Michelle has even bigger goals for this year, as she is now training for a mini-triathlon, a bike tour and a full triathlon in 2019. After seeing her amazing results, Michelle’s husband is thinking about joining her at Max Velocity.

“He wants to get himself onto my level,” she said.

Would you like information about our next fitness challenge starting Jan. 28? To learn more, follow this link.

3 mobility drills all lifters should be doing

If you're serious about increasing your fitness and staying pain- and injury-free, you have a few options.

1) Watch all the mobility exercises flying across your Instagram feed, pick a few of them randomly, do them and hope they help. Not the best strategy, unless you enjoy wasting time doing exercises that may or may not be beneficial to you.

2) Make an appointment with a professional trainer who is qualified to assess movement. You would then undergo a movement assessment and receive a customized corrective exercise program. In most cases, such a qualified professional can narrow your prehab and mobility work down to 10-12 minutes of exercises that, if performed consistently and progressed properly, can improve your movement patterns and create a strong, stable based to support your fitness activities. 

(Wait, what? Your gym/trainer doesn't perform any assessments when a person comes to train with them? Run, don't walk, out the door. Just be sure to perform some ankle mobility drills and calf activations first.)

3) If you're new to movement assessments and corrective exercise and don't really know where to begin, Dr. John Rusin has done all the work for you. He's combined some of the best ideas about human movement into three catch-all mobility drills that address the vast majority of problems we see in the fitness population: hip and adductor tightness, poor thoracic spine mobility and an inability to brace the core pillar and co-contract around the joints to create stability.

You can read all about and watch these go-to mobility drills ===> here.

The best part about these drills is that each one addresses multiple mobility restrictions and trouble spots by incorporating movement. Unlike your garden variety static stretches that you see the Guy With The Giant Biceps doing for hours at your local fitness chain, these drills combine mobility with core stiffness and movement -- which is exactly what your body needs when you lift weights, play sports or perform a conditioning workout.

Here's a great example, which combines a corrective exercise popularized by Functional Movement Systems (which we use to guide our programming at Max Velocity) and renowned baseball trainer Eric Cressey (whose methods we follow religiously in training our young baseball players).

Save yourself some time and try these simple, easy-to-perform mobility drills and let us know in the comments what differences you see in your training. And if you need help, or would like to receive a complimentary movement screen by a certified FMS professional, make an appointment here.