May 23, 2017
Have you ever found yourself taking inspired action towards a
workout program or training regimen, only to wind up succumbing
to an injury that keeps you from progressing? Have you ever been
curious as to why some people get injured far
more than others?
Exercise scientists and anatomists have been writing for
centuries about the power of exercise as medicine, not only
for cardiovascular heath, optimal strength, and
blood circulation, but essentially for
a better quality of life, supported through a body that
can withstand the demands of our modern, sedentary, and even
sometimes even over-trained population.
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In the USA, where desk
posture and upper cross syndrome are affecting millions of men
and women every year, what are the fundamentals we can all do at
any age or athletic ability to progress our training, flexibility,
and fortify our muscles to prevent injury?
Injury Prevention Through DCT
Today on the podcast, we're learning about a training technique
called DCT or Dynamic Contraction
Technique, that addresses these questions and much more from
our friend, Licensed Physical Therapist and Founder of The
National Resistance Stretching Association, Nic
We're delving into new topics like flexibility
vs. flex-ability, how to properly train our muscles using eccentric
loading, and why Nic believes from working with thousands of
clients and some of the top stars in the NBA that we all have what
he calls a "second heart" in our lower extremities, and what
stretching this second heart can do for our overall movement
quality and wellness.
If you've ever had an injury or circulation issue that sidelined
you on your wellness journey, or if you've been looking for a way
to build up the proper range of motion without compensating your
joints, this is going to be an insightful and thought
Be sure to listen until the end of the show where Nic discusses
how to train flexibility using the ProFlex and RolFlex, and listen as he
uncovers the most common mistakes that people make when
training flexibility in new exercise programs.
He'll also finally answer the question that so many fitness
pros have debated for years:
When exactly is the best time to stretch? And
his answers may surprise you.
Stretching Your Second Heart
Can stretching mean more to our health than just
something we do to warm up, cool down, or
relax the body?
When was the last time you took time out of your day to focus on
your body and stretch? Whether you constantly work out, have an
active job, or work all day at a desk, stretching
has this incredible power to
heal our bodies.
At the age of 19, Nic Bartolotta was simply told by doctors that
after years of gymnastics and diving, there was no more cartilage
in his left knee and therefore no solution to his injury. However,
Nic didn't believe that was possible and turned to both alternative
resistance training to help him fix his knee. With passion and
continuous persistence, Nic is changing the way we see stretching
On today's episode of Wellness Force Radio, Nic will share
with us how proper stretching, leg movements, and exercise can help
power the "second heart" in our calf muscles aka the soleus
Get ready to heal, relax, and strengthen your body
through restrictive stretching.
Listen to Episode 113 as Nic Uncovers:
- How his personal background became a huge part of developing
his professional career in
alternative medicine and resistance training.
- The challenge to find the right answers in order to fix Nic's
- Common misconceptions about what stretching actually is and how
to properly do it.
- What is DCT and what are the benefits?
- What is myofascia and how can a massage heal other parts of the
body because it connects every tissue of the body.
- Which stretches can affect the myofascia or general
- The difference between the fascial tension and muscle
- Why the calf and the lower leg is considered "the second heart"
of the body.
- How to reach out to a professional to help you with restrictive
stretching and DCT.
- What you can do on your own to improve your restrictive
stretching and DCT ability.
- The wide use of DCT tools like the ProFlex even among
professional basketball players.
- Flexibility vs Flex-Ability: what's the difference and how does
Flex-Ability apply to everyone?
- What creates knots and muscle tension in our bodies?
- Common mistakes people make when beginning a new exercise.
- When is the best time to stretch?
3 Takeaways From The Show
- Physical movement throughout the day is important to ensure
that we're pumping blood from our calves (the soleus muscle) back
to our heart. Every time you run, jog, or just walk, you're working
your second heart.
- If we can learn how to treat our injuries on our own with
different tools on a daily basis, this can be more efficient than
going to see a physical therapist several times a week. Not that we
don't need to see a specialist if we do have an injury, but it's so
beneficial to our overall health when we have the ability to know
what our bodies want and need.
- Passive stretching is not as beneficial for our bodies as we
might have once believed. What's better for our bodies is active
stretching and always feeling at least a bit of tension in our
muscles when we stretch.
Power Quotes From Nic Bartolotta
[tweetthis]"The ability to be able
to flex a muscle is actually far more important than the ability to
lengthen a muscle." - Nic Bartolotta [/tweetthis]
- "When I initially started to work with clients, they would come
in with all of these beliefs about muscle tension and stretching.
Through this dialogue process, I would show and prove to them what
stretching is supposed to feel like and what's possible in the
body. After explaining all of that to them, they could never go
back again to their original thoughts about stretching." -
Nic Bartolotta on helping his clients to better understand the
process of stretching through DCT.
- "Most people believe that stretching is supposed to be painful
and that the sharp pain you feel when you relax into a stretch
is what you're supposed to accomplish. However, when you resist
with a muscle during the stretch and you don't relax, the muscle
actually protects you from that pain. That pain is your guideline
for how far you should go during the stretch." - Nic
Bartolotta on common misconceptions about
- "With this understanding of how tension can affect blood
circulation, you can turn your attention towards what it takes to
mitigate problems and injuries." - Nic Bartolotta from his
Stretching Your Second Heart
- "The calf or the lower leg is full of capillary beds and
vascular veins so when you walk, jog, or run, the soleus muscle in
your calf is pumping blood out of your legs and into your heart."
- Nic Bartolotta on why the calf muscle, the soleus, is
like our second heart.
- "If a person has edema, all they have to do is pump their
ankles a bit to get the blood in the soleus muscle circulating
again. However, if the soleus is so restricted with fascial or
muscle tension, it won't be able to pump blood to the heart and
that's when we want to use restrictive stretching and exercise."
- Nic Bartolotta on what can happen if the soleus muscle is
restricted and how restrictive stretching and exercise can
- "With the word, "flexibility," people think of someone who can
lengthen their muscles or be able to do the splits. However, if we
break up the word and change it into "flex-ability," flex means to
flex or to shorten a muscle. The ability to be able to flex a
muscle is actually far more important than the ability to lengthen
a muscle." - Nic Bartolotta on the difference between
Flexibility and Flex-Ability.
- "We can avoid traumatic injuries by looking at which joints
need to flex and shorten versus which muscles need to lengthen and
we get far more results when we do that." - Nic Bartolotta
on the importance of joint flexing vs. muscle
- "Going to physical therapy two or three times a week is good,
but to learn how to do certain things on your own and to be able to
do them a couple of times a day, is how you're really going to
change your body." - Nic Bartolotta on the power of taking
change into your own hands to heal your body.
- "Passive stretching is absolutely something that should never
be down before or after stretching. You should never completely
relax a muscle into a stretch. You should always hold at least a
little bit of tension in the muscle because that's going to tell
you whether or not you're beyond your range of motion. If you can't
contract a muscle, you shouldn't be in that position in the first
place. " - Nic Bartolotta on how we should be
stretching and how to do know if we're doing it
- "If I can go out there and change one person's perspective on
health, than I can affirm with myself that I'm doing the right
thing." - Nic Bartolotta's personal
About Nic Bartolotta
Nic Bartolotta is the founder of the national resistance
stretching association, and is a licensed physical therapist and
holistic health practitioner specially trained as a flexibility and
myofascial release expert. He is the co-founder of Range of Motion
Products, maker of the Rolflex, and the creator of Dynamic
Contraction Technique (DCT).
Nic got his start in alternative health as an injured athlete
when he was 19, and fell in love with the profession and
successfully resolved his own knee injury in 2001. So for the past
17 years plus, Nic has dedicated his life to learning about the
body and pushing the limits of human performance by applying the
principals of DCT to his own training and that of his clients and
patients, including NBA favorites from the LA Lakers, Houston
Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, and others
Resources Mentioned by Nic & Josh
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