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SMR Anterior Tibialis Foam Roll

The SMR Anterior Tibialis Foam Roll exercise helps to restore the shin muscles to normal resting lengths. This is an effective flexibility exercise to reduce the pain of shin splints.

  • Place the foam roller a few inches above the ankle joint and assume an elbow plank position. 
  • Elbows should be slightly below shoulders at the starting position. 
  • Slightly internally rotate the foot so that the muscle is on the roller, not the bone. 
  • Keeping the core engaged, slowly roll up the muscle from a few inches above the ankle to a few inches below the knee joint. 
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds (try to relax and breathe deeply). 
  • Slowly roll back down to starting position.
  • Repeat with left leg.
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SMR Peroneals Foam Roll

The SMR Peroneals Foam Roll exercise helps to reduce tension in the lower leg and improve ankle joint mobility.

  • Place your elbow on the ground, with the elbow slightly below shoulder height. 
  • Place the foam roll under the right leg, positioned under the middle of the outer portion of the lower leg. 
  • Take the opposite leg and lay it beside the leg on the foam roll, or to increase compression, rest the left leg on top of the right. 
  • Slowly roll up the peroneal muscles to a few inches below the knee joint. 
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds. 
  • Try to relax and breathe deeply.
  • Repeat with the left leg.
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SMR Gastrocnemius Foam Roll

The SMR Gastrocnemius Foam Roll exercise focuses on improving flexibility in the upper part of the calf musculature.

First Pass

  • Sit with the legs extended and place a foam roll under the back of the right leg just below the meat of the calf muscle (gastrocnemius). 
  • Hands should be by the hips with the fingers facing away from the body. 
  • Take the left leg and lay it on the ground beside the foam roll or to increase compression, cross the left leg over the right leg as shown. 
  • Keep the ankle relaxed. 
  • Lift the hips off the ground and slowly roll from the starting position to just below the back of the knee joint. 
  • Keep the chest up and shoulders down and back to avoid injury in the wrists and shoulders.
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds. (Try to relax and breathe deeply).
  • Slowly roll back down to the starting position and let the hips drop down. 

Second Pass

  • Turn the foot in slightly to target the medial gastrocnemius.
  • Hands should be by the hips with the fingers facing away from the body. 
  • Take the left leg and lay it on the ground beside the foam roll or to increase compression, cross the left leg over the right leg as shown. 
  • Keep the ankle relaxed. 
  • Lift the hips off the ground and slowly roll from the starting position to just below the back of the knee joint. 
  • Keep the chest up and shoulders down and back to avoid injury in the wrists and shoulders. 
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds. (Try to relax and breathe deeply). 
  • Slowly roll back down to the starting position and let the hips drop down.

Third Pass

  • Turn the foot slightly out to roll the lateral gastrocnemius.
  • Hands should be by the hips with the fingers facing away from the body. 
  • Take the left leg and lay it on the ground beside the foam roll or to increase compression, cross the left leg over the right leg as shown. 
  • Keep the ankle relaxed. 
  • Lift the hips off the ground and slowly roll from the starting position to just below the back of the knee joint. 
  • Keep the chest up and shoulders down and back to avoid injury in the wrists and shoulders. 
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds. (Try to relax and breathe deeply). Slowly roll back down to the starting position and let the hips drop down.

Repeat the entire series with the left leg.

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SMR Soleus Foam Roll

The SMR Soleus Foam Roll exercise should be incorporated into every endurance athletes flexibility program.

First Pass

  • Sit with the legs extended and place a foam roller just above the ankle on the back side of the right leg. 
  • Hands should be slightly behind the hips with the fingers facing away from the body. 
  • Take the left leg and lay it beside the foam roll, or to increase compression, cross the left leg over top of the right leg. 
  • Keep the ankle relaxed.
  • Lift the hips off the ground and slowly roll about halfway up the back of the leg to where the meaty part of the calf muscle starts (gastrocnemius). 
  • Keep the chest up and shoulders down and back to avoid injury in the wrists and shoulders. 
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds (try to stay relaxed and breathe deeply). 
  • Slowly roll back down to the starting  position and let the hips drop down.

Second Pass

  • Turn the right foot slightly to the outside to target the lateral portion of the soleus muscle.
  • Hands should be slightly behind the hips with the fingers facing away from the body. 
  • Take the left leg and lay it beside the foam roll, or to increase compression, cross the left leg over top of the right leg. 
  • Keep the ankle relaxed. 
  • Lift the hips off the ground and slowly roll about halfway up the back of the leg to where the meaty part of the calf muscle starts (gastrocnemius). 
  • Keep the chest up and shoulders down and back to avoid injury in the wrists and shoulders. 
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds (try to stay relaxed and breathe deeply). 
  • Slowly roll back down to the starting position and let the hips drop down.

Third Pass

  • Turn the right foot slightly to the inside to target the inner portion of the soleus muscle.
  • Hands should be slightly behind the hips with the fingers facing away from the body. 
  • Take the left leg and lay it beside the foam roll, or to increase compression, cross the left leg over top of the right leg. 
  • Keep the ankle relaxed. 
  • Lift the hips off the ground and slowly roll about halfway up the back of the leg to where the meaty part of the calf muscle starts (gastrocnemius). 
  • Keep the chest up and shoulders down and back to avoid injury in the wrists and shoulders. 
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds (try to stay relaxed and breathe deeply). Slowly roll back down to the starting position and let the hips drop down.
  • Repeat entire series with the left leg.
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SMR Plantar Fascia Foam Roll

The SMR Plantar Fascia Foam Roll exercise is a good way to relieve stress on the arch of the foot, leading to better ankle mobility.

First Pass

  • From a kneeling position, place the foam roller on the bottom of the foot just before the start of the toes.
  • Place pressure on the bottom of the foot and slowly roll towards the heel. 
  • If you find any tender spots, stop and hold pressure for 30-90 seconds.
  • Roll back to the base of the toes.  

Second Pass

  • Reposition the foam roller just before the start of the toes and move the knee slightly inward to roll the inner portion of the plantar fascia. 
  • Place pressure on the bottom of the foot (you can use the elbow on the knee for added compression) and slowly roll towards the heel.
  • If you find any tender spots, stop and hold pressure for 30-90 seconds. 
  • Roll back to the base of the toes.

Third Pass

  • Reposition the foam roller just before the start of the toes and move your knee slightly outward to roll the outer portion of the plantar fascia. 
  • Place pressure on the bottom of the foot (you can use an elbow on the knee for added compression) and slowly roll towards the heel. 
  • If you find any tender spots, stop and hold pressure for 30-90 seconds.

Progression: Place elbow on the knee for added compression.

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Circumference Measurements

Circumference measurements are a good way to assess girth changes in the body. It is important to get consistent measurements to accurately track changes. It is usually best to have a friend take the measurements. Make sure the tape measure is tight without compressing the area being assessed and that the tape measure is horizontal. If you don’t have a tape measure, you can take a piece of string to get the measurements and place the string on a tape measure or ruler to get a measurement in inches or centimeters.

  • Neck: Across the Adams apple.
  • Chest: Across nipple line.
  • Waist: Narrowest point below the ribcage/above hipbone.
  • Hips: Feet together, widest portion of the buttocks.
  • Thigh: 10 inches above the top of the knee cap (patella).
  • Calves: Maximal Circumference
  • Biceps: Maximal circumference, arm extended, palm forward.
  • Forearm: Maximal circumference of forearm, arm extended palm up.
  • Wrist: Narrowest point above wrist joint.
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Backpack The Grand Canyon Rim To Rim

Hiking South Kaibab Trail (Grand Canyon National Park

A backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon is on the bucket list of every serious hiker. Most rim to rim (R2R) hikers choose to start on the north rim at the North Kaibab Trailhead (8,241′) as it is 1,000 feet higher than the South Kaibab Trailhead (7,260′). Most hikers do the trip in 3-4 days depending on permits availability and fitness level.

North Kaibab Trailhead to South Kaibab Trailhead 21 miles

North Kaibab Trailhead Bright Angel Trailhead 23.5 miles

 

Resources

North Kaibab Trail Descripiton PDF

South Kaibab Trail Description PDF

Bright Angel Trail Description PDF

 

Athlete Testimonials

Jerry on North Kaibab Trail
Jerry on North Kaibab Trail

“After a failed attempt at age 61 to hike to Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch, I located James Fisher online in a query as to “how to learn to hike Grand Canyon”.  That started a life changing relationship.  With his personal coaching, expert and easily understood exercises and training schedule, I completed a rim-to-rim trip with a group the following year.  James has continued to be my coach for various events since.  He is my trusted source for training and general activity.” Jerry Porter

 

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Climb Kilimanjaro

Climbing Kilimanjaro can be the trip of a lifetime or an entrance exam into the world of high altitude mountaineering. While not a “technical” ascent, standing on the roof of Africa requires a huge reserve of endurance to complete the climb.

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The Kilimanjaro Performance Training Program includes everything you need to perform your best:

  • Dynamic warm-up to prevent injury and maximize performance
  • Cardiorespiratory Training For Sports Performance to build endurance
  • Integrated Resistance Training to improve balance, core strength and joint stability.
  • Flexibility to recover quickly and remain injury free
  • Performance Nutrition For Mountaineers to maximize performance and improve recovery time

Athlete Testimonials

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Dave G. on the summit of Kilimanjaro.

“I’ve been climbing big peaks for a number of years, but I have never had zero knee pain nor felt as capable at altitude as I did on my trip to Kilimanjaro in February.  James…thank you!  Unlike others I had worked with, James identified a long-standing knee stabilization issue.  The strengthening and stretching work we did eliminated the pain I had always encountered.  Also, my international work travel keeps me on the road upwards of two weeks a month. This was the case for the five months prior to my climb. James found ways to help me do all the work I needed, even while on the road when I seldom had regular access to a gym or mountains.  He also helped me improve my recovery routine, especially via specific nutrition, which made an enormous difference on the mountain.  At 57 years of age, I’ll take every bit of help I can on a big mountain like Kilimanjaro. James helped me find it, utilize it and make the most of it. Many thanks James. I’ll be back before my next big mountain trip.” Dave Gooder