How and Why You Need to Learn IASTM

Learn IASTMErson Religioso and I have a nice video for you discussing why and how we both started using instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM).  Like many people, I held out initially as I wanted to hear and see more.  However, the more I learned the more interested I became.

IASTM has now become a game changer for me and something I deeply integrate into my manual therapy techniques, and think you should too.  It doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive, or time consuming to start using IASTM.

In this video, Erson and I describe how and why they both started using IASTM, how we integrate IASTM with other manual techniques and exercise, the major benefits of IASTM, and then some brief technique demonstrations.

 

How and Why You Need to Learn IASTM

 

Learn How to Start Performing IASTM Today!

Erson Religioso and I’s online educational program will teach you everything you need to know to start using IASTM today!  IASTM does not have to be complicated to learn or expensive to start using.  Learn everything about IASTM including the history, efficacy, tool options, different stroke patterns, basic techniques, advanced techniques, and how to integrate IASTM into your current manual therapy skills and treatment programs!

IASTM Technique 2.0 has now be released with updated research, new content, and now includes how to perform cupping and use mobility bands!  Get started today!

large-learn-more

Functional Stability Training: Optimizing Movement is Now Available!

I am super excited to announce that Eric Cressey and I have just released our latest collaboration, Functional Stability Training: Optimizing Movement!  Many are familiar with the Functional Stability Training series of products that Eric and I have released, and we are happy to add the fourth program to this popular series.

We are really proud of this new product and know that you’ll be able to better understand and optimize movement in your patients and clients after viewing this program!

In Functional Stability Training: Optimizing Movement, Eric and I discuss why and how we focus on optimizing movement, then show how we integrate these concepts into our assessments, rehabilitation, and strength training programs.

 

Functional Stability Training: Optimizing Movement

functional stability training optimizing movementFunctional Stability Training: Optimizing Movement is designed to help you enhance your rehabilitation, fitness, and sports performance programing by enhancing movement patterns.  By addressing alignment, strength, mobility, and dynamic motor control, you can maximize your rehabilitation and training programs to reach optimal performance.

The body is an amazing thing.  It adapts extremely well to stress and daily demands to improve efficiency of the body.  In essence, the body is excellent at moving from point A to point B.  Unfortunately, the body often tries to find the path of least resistance.  Imbalances in mobility, strength, and dynamic stability can result in compensatory patterns.

Sometimes “efficient” does not mean “optimal.”

FST Optimizing Movement aims to help formulate rehabilitation and training programs designed to optimize how well the body moves.

Eric and I share our thoughts and strategies on:

  • Why poor movement patterns occurs
  • What we consider optimal movement
  • How poor movement relates to common injuries
  • How to assess movement patterns
  • How to design programs designed to enhance movement
  • How to regress, progress, and coach exercises to optimize movement

 

 

Save $30 During Our Special Launch Sale

To celebrate the launch of Functional Stability Training: Optimizing Movement, Eric and I are offering $30 off the program now through Sunday June 19th at midnight EST.  Don’t miss out on this great deal on our amazing new program.  Click below to learn more and start optimizing movement today!

large-learn-more

 

 

A New Exercise for Strength and Stability of the Shoulder

The PronatorThere is not doubt that we need a strong and stable shoulder to maximize performance.  I recently started playing with a new device called The Pronator.  It’s a device designed to strengthen the forearm musculature.  Honestly, this little thing is a fantastic device for grip and forearm strength, but I also started using it with my shoulder exercises and think this may be a game changer!

Take a look at the video below.

I see this very similar to performing bottom-up kettlebell exercises.  By having an offset weight, you need to work the shoulder in 3D to stabilize and move at the same time.  Pretty cool.  It essentially allows you to:

  • Develop stability in one plane of motion and strength in another
  • Train the cuff to fire and stabilize while moving the scapula

The product is brand new and very affordable at only $55.   I don’t often tell my audience that they need to buy a product, but I really think everyone should have this one.  I like it that much!

 

Black Friday Deals – Up to 50% Off Everything Starts Today!

It’s that time of year again!  The holidays are about to start!  As you start planning which stores you’ll be going to at midnight on Black Friday, I want you to be able to get a head start and announce that our annual Black Friday sale starts today and boy do we have some amazing discounts on all of of our products and websites!

Please see below for all the different discounts ranging from 25% to 50% off!  The sale begins today and runs until the end of the day on Cyber Monday, which is midnight EST on Monday 12/1/14.  Pay attention as most of the below will require you to use a special coupon code at checkout.  Happy shopping everyone!

 

Black Friday Deals

[hr]

25% Off all My Products with Eric Cressey

Functional Stability Training for the Upper BodyEric and I are putting all of our products on sale for 25% off, including all of our Functional Stability Training programs and our Optimal Shoulder Performance DVD.  This even includes our latest, Functional Stability Training of the Upper Body, as well as the past FST’s of the Core and Lower Body.  Your best bet to save is definitely to take advantage of the 25% discount with the complete FST bundle!

Use coupon code BF2014 at checkout:

 

[hr]

25% Off All My Products with Kevin Wilk

Kevin Wilk Shoulder DVDsKevin and I are also putting all of our products on sale for 25% off!  This includes our rehab protocols and DVDs on the examination and treatment of the shoulder and knee, as well as Kevin’s new DVDs on the rehab of shoulder instability and rotator cuff injuries.

Use coupon code BF2014 at checkout:

 

[hr]

25% Off IASTMtechnique.com

IASTM toolKeeping, the theme consistent, Erson Religioso and I are offering 25% off our online course teaching you how to perform instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization at IASTMtechnique.com.

Use coupon code BF2014 at checkout:

 

[hr]

25% Off ShoulderSeminar.com

ShoulderSeminar-comFor those that missed my massive sale in the fall on my acclaimed online program teaching you exactly how I evaluate and treat the shoulder, you are in luck.  I’m going to offer 25% off this as well at ShoulderSeminar.com

Use coupon code BF2014 at checkout:

 

[hr]

 

50% Off RehabWebinars.com

RehabWebinars-comLast but certainly not least, we are going to offer a HUGE 50% discount on a yearly membership to RehabWebinars.com, which has a mind blowing amount of awesome webinars from the best in our fields.  You won’t be disappointed.  The normal price is $199 a year but if you use the link below, you can get 1 full year and access to all the past webinars for $99.  After the 1st year you’ll start recurring the $199/year membership fee until you cancel.

There is no coupon code, you must use the link below:

 

 

Functional Stability Training for the Upper Body

My latest educational program with Eric Cressey, Functional Stability Training for the Upper Body, is now available!  

FST for the Upper Body is the third program in out Functional Stability Training system, adding to the popular Core and Lower Body programs.  When Eric and I started to brainstorm what we wanted to teach with these programs, we wanted to share our approaches to rehabilitation and performance training, but more importantly how we integrate the two together.  This makes the FST products a great resource for any rehabilitation, fitness, or performance specialist.

 

Functional Stability Training for the Upper Body

Functional Stability Training for the Upper BodyIn order to function properly, our body needs to be strong and mobile, but control and stabilization of this mobility is often less than optimal.  Unfortunately, stabilization is often overlooked in the design of rehabilitation and performance programs.  Traditional program design relies too much on mobilizing what is tight and strengthening what is weak.  We are missing the boat on stabilization and it’s effect on enhancing optimal movement patterns.

Proper function of the upper extremities is complicated and requires the arm to work in conjunction with the scapula, thorax, cervical spine, and core to provide mobility, strength, and power to the entire body.  Any deficits in stability throughout the body’s kinetic chain can lead to injury, dysfunction, and a decrease in performance in the upper body.  FST for the Upper Body aims to help formulate rehabilitation and training programs designed to optimize how the upper body functions.

By addressing alignment, strength, mobility, and dynamic motor control, you can maximize your rehabilitation and training programs to reach optimal performance.

Think about a few of these:

  • Can the lumbopelvic and thoracic regions impact shoulder function?
  • Can the cervical spine impact the elbow?
  • Can scapular position decrease shoulder performance?

The answer to all of these questions is ABSOLUTELY!  Functional Stability Training for the Upper Body discusses all this and more, showing you exactly how you can assess and correct issues within the kinetic chain to optimize stability and performance of the upper extremity.

Here is an outline of the presentations and lab demonstrations that we perform.  Eric and I combine presentations with real life examples so you can see how we both manage specific individuals based on our assessments.  You get to see Eric and I at work together working with people:

  • How posture and position influence upper extremity function
  • Understanding and managing joint hypermobility
  • Understanding the elbow: functional anatomy, common injuries, and conditions
  • Elbow injuries: evaluation and management
  • Assessment and management of thoracic mobility restrictions
  • Assessment and management of muscles imbalances of the shoulder and scapula
  • Assessment and management of scapular position
  • Assessment and management of elbow epicondylitis

 

Optimal Shoulder Performance

For those that are familiar with Eric and I’s other education program Optimal Shoulder Performance, Functional Stability Training for the Upper Body takes this information to the next level by showing how we integrate the entire body to optimize upper body function.  

FST for the Upper Body integrates the concepts learned from FST for the Core and FST for the Lower Body, and serves as the sequel to their previous educational program, Optimal Shoulder Performance.  FST for the Upper Body is perfect as a stand alone program, but also builds off Optimal Shoulder Performance to help take your knowledge to the next level.  Putting the information from all of these products together will give you a complete understanding of how we approach our integration of rehabilitation and performance.

We had great reviews from the live filming of this program:

 

Special Sale Price This Week Only

Functional Stability Training for the Upper Body is available now and is on sale for $20 off to celebrate the launch.  

If you haven’t purchased any of the other FST products in the past, you can get all three FST programs for the Upper Body, Core, and Lower Body together in one bundle and save another $20.

These special sale prices are for this week only and end Sunday May 18th at midnight EST.  Click below to learn more and order before this sale price ends!

 

large-ordernow

 

My Recommendations on Choosing the Best IASTM Tool

best IASTM toolsOne of the major points that I wanted to get across in my new online program teaching you instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization is that the tools do not need to be expensive to start using IASTM.

There are a wide variety of different tools that you can buy to perform IASTM, ranging from $5 to several thousands of dollars!

Luckily for you, it doesn’t have to be expensive to get started using IASTM!   Don’t get me wrong, you absolutely get what you pay for with the different tools, however price should not be an issue that limits your ability to start using IASTM.  If you have $5, you can start performing IASTM.

Over the last several years I have tried almost every IASTM tool on the market.  There are many great ones.  I am going to review several tools that I personally use and recommend.  I am going to start from cheapest to most expensive and overview the pros and cons of each.  When people are not sure IASTM is for them, I recommend starting with a cheap tool.  Once you get the hang of it and see the many benefits, you’ll definitely want to upgrade.

Consider this article your resource to choosing the best IASTM tool.

Before you get too far into the below article, I should say that stainless steel tools are the best.  People always ask me “what is your favorite tool?”  The tool I am currently recommending everyone purchase is the EDGE Tool by Erson Religioso.  It’s great stainless steel quality, affordable, and very versatile.  Erson has been very generous and has offered all my readers $15 off the tool:

 

 

IASTM Tools

Buffalo Horn IASTM Tools

buffalo hornBuffalo horn is probably the cheapest and easiest way to get started with IASTM.  It is easy to find on the internet, cheap, lightweight, and effective.  If you are new to IASTM or just want to test it out, this is a great tool to begin with while being very budget friendly.  It doesn’t feel or resonate very well, the more expensive tools feel SO MUCH better, but buffalo horn is certainly an acceptable material to use for your first IASTM tool.  Certainly not the best option but I would rather you use a $5 tool than not perform IASTM at all.  If budget is your primary concern, start here, otherwise move down the list!

 

Jade IASTM tools

jadeJade is a gemstone and a definite step up from buffalo horn.  They come in many different colors, though there does not seem to be a big difference in quality between the colors.  I also like the shape in the image to the right, which gives you a few useful edges.  Jade tools are heavier than buffalo horn, but also more slippery if you get too much lubricant on the tool.  They certainly resonate more than buffalo horn but still not nearly as much as the higher cost tools, such as stainless steel.  Jade is more fragile than buffalo horn, so keep this in mind.  It isn’t the best if you are worried you are not going to be able to protect it well.  It is an option and another good beginner tool, but you’ll want to upgrade soon.

 

Bian Stone IASTM Tools

obsidian toolI would put Bian a mild step up from Jade.  They tend to be smooth but not shiny, so have a better grip to it.  I feel it resonates more than jade or horn, and actually have a decent feel to them, but again nothing like stainless steel.  Although not the cheapest, these are a great low-cost option and work well.  You will certainly feel a difference between these and the cheaper tools above.  These also are more fragile than other tools and should be protected like jade.  Don’t drop them!  Considering the mild increase in cost and the fragility of the stones, I again say this is a good beginner tool, but you’ll likely want to upgrade soon.  These are getting harder to find on Amazon too.

 

Polycarbonate IASTM Tools

The next class of tools takes a step up and now includes plastic, or polycarnonate tools.  These tools are more durable than all of the above tools and tend to be custom shaped based specifically for manual therapy.  The shapes also tend to be larger, which is a good thing.  I prefer polycarbonate tools over the above natural tools for their durability.

dolphin polyThere is a clear winner in polycarbonate tools in my mind, the Dolphin by IAM Tools, based in the UK.  This is a “training” version of their stainless steel dolphin tool, but trust me, this is not just a training tool.  I love the shape, edges, and ability to grip.  Plus it is a bit larger than the above tools so you can work many different body parts.  This a good tool, but still nothing like stainless steel.

 

Stainless Steel IASTM Tools

Last but certainly not least are the stainless steel tools.  Let’s get this out-of-the-way first – stainless steel tools are by far the best tools for IASTM.  I definitely feel everyone should have at least one stainless steel tool if they are serious about IASTM.

You can’t compare the feel, resonation, durability, or even the weight.  I like a tool with a little weight to it.  Stainless isn’t perfect.  My number one issue is often related to grip as stainless steel can get VERY slippery during a session.  That is why the tools I use tend to have some feature that enhances the grip.  It is also easier to be aggressive with a stainless steel tool, so if you want to be gentle with someone, I would recommend using a different tool, at least initially.

There are two tools that you should highly consider.

edge toolThe first is the EDGE tool.  This is my recommended tool.  I think everyone should own one of these and it’s a great tool to start.  Think of this as the Swiss Army Knife of IASTM tools.  It has a bunch of different edges and a great ability to grip using the middle hole.  At only around $100, it is pretty hard to compete and is often most people’s first stainless steel tool.  It is a pretty versatile tool.

 

hawk gripsLastly, another great stainless steel option is a set of tools from Hawk Grips.  If the EDGE tool is the Swiss Army knife of IASTM tools, the Hawk Grips tools are the entire top-of-the-line Craftsman tool set!  These tools look really, really, familiar, right?  They are based off the most popular Graston stainless steel tools on the market but Hawk Grips are actually better than those tools!  They added a nice hash grip surface on each that really makes a big difference.

Hawk Grips offers a huge variety of tools, including my favorite the HG8 and the VERY popular HG1 handlebar tool.  There are also a lot of smaller tools designed to treat every body part.  These tools are more expensive, but are quality.  If you are looking for an entire set of tools and a version of IASTM tools just like the most popular ones, this is for you.  If you are not interested in the whole package, they sell the tools individually so you can slowly build your set as your budget allows

 

What is the Best IASTM Tool?

I don’t think there is a clear winner for each and every person.  If you treat a lot of athletes, you may want the Hawk Grip tools as they are larger and have a great variety.  If you just treat hands and wrists all day, you may want a smaller tool.  If you just have $100 to spend, the EDGE tool may be for you.

In all honestly, I use several tools together, and I bet you will too.  Start with what looks best for you right now, even if just a piece of horn, and as you see the benefits of IASTM start to expand your collection.  I have every tool on this list and I actually use all of them based on my goals, different clients, and body parts.

If I had to pick one, I would definitely start with the EDGE Tool.  It offers the most bang for the buck and is probably the clear winner in my mind for tools everyone should own.

 

Learn How to Start Performing IASTM Today!

Erson Religioso and I’s online educational program will teach you everything you need to know to start using IASTM today!  IASTM does not have to be complicated to learn or expensive to start using.  Learn everything about IASTM including the history, efficacy, tool options, different stroke patterns, basic techniques, advanced techniques, and how to integrate IASTM into your current manual therapy skills and treatment programs!

IASTM Technique 2.0 has now be released with updated research, new content, and now includes how to perform cupping and use mobility bands!

large-learn-more

IASTM Technique Program Now Available!

Are you ready to start learning how to start using instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) today?!?  I so excited to finally have finished my new online education program teaching you how and why to start using IASTM quickly and easily!  Erson Religioso and I teamed up to bring you this program.

Update: IASTM Technique 2.0 is now out!  IASTM Technique 2.0 has now be released with updated research, new content, and now includes how to perform cupping and use mobility bands!

 

IASTM Technique

iastm technique 2 cuppingIASTMtechnique.com is my new website teaching you everything you need to learn to start using IASTM today.  It is jam-packed with over 35 videos and over 7 hours of content!  I have teamed up with physical therapist Erson Religioso to produce the content, as Erson has a ton of great knowledge and experience using IASTM.

If you are not using IASTM, think about these things:

  • IASTM is pretty effective.  You and your patients are going to see the benefit quickly.
  • IASTM doesn’t have to be complicated to learn.  You don’t need a length certification process to begin.
  • IASTM doesn’t have to involve crazy expensive tools.  We’ll show you what we use for tools, some for under $5!

Everything you need to start using IASTM is covered!  We break the program down into 5 different portions:

  1. Basic Principles – We start the program out telling you about some of the history and background behind IASTM, including some of the research reports on the benefits and efficacy of using IASTM.  Once you understand the “why,” we jump right into the “how,” showing you the basics behind tool selection, grip, scanning assessments, stroke patterns, and more
  2. Body Part Specific Techniques – Once you have the basics down, we now break down the content by body part, going over how we use IASTM from head to toe.  At this point, you are ready to rock and start practicing, but we don’t stop there (like some programs do…).
  3. Advanced Techniques – Here is where you will take your IASTM skills to the next level.  We talk about how to integrate IASTM with your other manual therapy techniques and how to use IASTM for several different pathologies, movement dysfunctions, and to enhance neurodynamics.  There are lots of great videos here including footage of real patients and case studies.
  4. How to Use Cupping and Mobility Bands – IASTM Technique 2.0 now includes functional cupping and mobility compression bands!
  5. Resources – Great, now you know how to use IASTM like a pro, head over to the resources section to hear our unbiased recommendations on what to use for tools and lubricant, as well as other educational resources.  Plus get discounts on all EDGE Mobility Products.

 

Learn How to Start Performing IASTM Today!

Erson Religioso and I’s online educational program will teach you everything you need to know to start using IASTM today!  IASTM does not have to be complicated to learn or expensive to start using.  Learn everything about IASTM including the history, efficacy, tool options, different stroke patterns, basic techniques, advanced techniques, and how to integrate IASTM into your current manual therapy skills and treatment programs!  IASTM Technique 2.0 has now be released with updated research, new content, and now includes how to perform cupping and use mobility bands!
large-learn-more

Kevin Wilk’s New Shoulder Instability DVD

wilk-shoulder-instability-dvd-3d-boxAs most of you know, Kevin Wilk is a good friend and mentor.  He and I do a ton of projects together and I can easily say that he is the best clinical educator I have ever seen.  Kevin has an amazing ability to take a ton of research and apply it to what we need to know clinically.

Kevin has just released his latest DVD on Current Concepts in the Treatment of Shoulder Instability over at AdvancedCEU.com.  This is the first in a series of new DVDs dedicated to specific clinical pathologies.

 

Current Concepts in the Treatment of Shoulder Instability

There are 3-DVDs of information on:

  • DVD 1 – Current Concepts in Shoulder Instability
  • DVD 2 – Principles of Nonoperative Rehabilitation of Shoulder Instability
  • DVD 3 – Techniques to Enhance Dynamic Stabilization

The DVDs were recorded during a recent live seminar, which I love because you get to see Kevin teaching in action.  This is where he is at his best, interacting with a group of people.

The DVD is regularly priced at $79.95 but is on sale for the release for only $69.95 this week ONLY (until end of day Sunday May 19th EST).  Kevin is a must see so if you haven’t had a chance to learn from Kevin, this DVD and the upcoming others in the series are going to be amazing for you!

Click below for more information, Kevin’s new DVD

slider-wilk-DVDs

Kevin Wilk DVD – Current Concepts in the Treatment of Shoulder Instability

Special $69.95 sale price until Sunday May 19th only!

[hr]

Pin It on Pinterest

Optin webinar graphic

5 Things You Need to Understand to Master Functional Rehab and Performance

Join Mike's Newsletter and gain FREE access to his webinar overviewing his system of integrated functional rehab and performance training, PLUS these bonuses:

1. My 1+ Hour Functional Rehab and Performance Webinar

2. My 36-Page Solving the Patellofemoral Mystery eBook

3. My Accelerated ACL Rehabilitation Protocol

Thanks! Check your email for more information and your FREE bonuses!