Kevin Wince Interview

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Kevin Wince Interview

Fitness Expert, Kevin Winces gives workout tips, along with ways to increase income for therapists.

As healers, massage therapists can often fall in to a rut in terms of taking care of themselves. What exercises do you recommend to help keep the mind and body sharp?

I would particularly, since they are constantly bending over, recommend leg exercises and lower back exercises, as well as shoulder exercises, since those are the muscles they are going to use quite a bit. And then, exercises that a lot of people who lift weights and train don't do which they should do: wrist exercises, wrist curls, and gripping exercises. Their hand grip and the strength of their wrist have a lot to do with the deep tissue massage.

Would you recommend weight-lifting exercises or non-weight-lifting exercises, like push-ups?

Actually, both. Personally, I alternate between workouts. I have two workout days per week per body part. One day per week I use weights for one body part, and the next exercise day during the week I use isometric movements, like sit-ups and push-ups, and things of that nature. So they need to incorporate both, so that they can have a lot of variety in their workout. What ends up happening when you do the same exercises over and over again, your body develops a memory system, kind of like when you recharge your battery before it needs to be recharged. Your muscles develop a memory and your body will adapt to it, so that after a period of time, you won't benefit from it at all. To avoid muscle memory, you have to keep the muscle confused. Alternate between training with weights and isometric movements -- don't incorporate them into the same workout. If you are working on your chest on Monday with weights, then Thursday use isometric movements on your chest.

Why does this muscle memory form?

It's just a matter of doing the same thing over and over again. When you first start weight-lifting, you feel very soar. You can feel a burning sensation indicating that you have done something. But what works today will not work tomorrow as you progress. So, you keep the muscles confused so the body doesn't have time to adapt to one routine.

Massage therapists are increasingly concerned about Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and Arthritis. What kinds of exercises can massage therapists do to increase or maintain the strength of the muscles in their

The exercises will help because you're building up strength, especially in your hands, your fingers, your wrists and your fore-arms, so it will stave off carpel tunnel. As you know, carpel tunnel has a lot to do with repeated movement over a period of time. So, in combination with certain vitamins and supplements, exercises will stave off carpel tunnel or things of that nature. Of course, incorporate healthy eating and things of that nature. There are also things off the shelf that can be used to promote joint health , if that is a concern.

Promoting a healthier lifestyle though exercises and diet is obviously in the best interest of massage therapists and their clients, but selling people on exercise can be tough. Everyone knows you sho

Exercises are preventative medicine. You see a lot of people in the chiropractor's office. Some are there from injury, but a lot of people are there from back aches from normal life. If a man has a pot belly, that puts a lot of strain on the lower back, and causes back stress. If a woman has poor posture and is crouched over, that puts a lot of pressure on the spine. Many of them are in there constantly for corrective measures. Similarly, a lot of people need massage to alleviate stress in their upper back, lower back and shoulders simply because they have week muscles in their abdomen. You have other muscles in your body, such as in your back, that end up over-compensating for those weaker muscles. And that's how we end up with muscle strain. It's a lot like when an athlete gets an injured left ankle. They end up favoring the right ankle while the left ankle is healing, and often end up with a pulled ham string on the right side from over-compensating for the left side. And that's the way the body works. So exercise is, on one side, to keep your weight and blood pressure in check. On the other hand it is preventative medicine, for your entire health.

To turn things around a little bit, what are the greatest benefits for athletes from massage?

Well, deep tissue massage helps to cool down muscles after strenuous massage . Professional athletes who work their muscles beyond what a normal person would do need massages to help cool down and prevent cramping and torn muscles. Athletes have to cool down. Track runners: You will see them getting massages before an event. And as soon as they finish their race, you will see them off to the tables to get massages because the more muscle you have, the more tendency you have to get cramps and therefore tear muscles.

So, the primary benefits would surround athletic events, not necessarily during the course of the week?

Well, before and after as far as muscle health and not tearing muscle, but any time of the week for relaxation because a lot of athletes will need massages just from their muscles tightening up because of the stress. Some people's shoulders will tighten up, or they will get headaches due to stress. So, yes, there is a great benefit during the week to get rid of stress and avoid muscle spasms caused by stress. But that carries over to many jobs. If you're in a car a lot, or you're hunched over a desk a lot, that can cause stress in those muscles, and massage is important in terms of keeping those muscles healthy.

So, we can put together a list of leg exercises and we know that we can do that one day a week, and then another day focus on weights for the legs. What would be a good example of using weight for you

Anything from doing the traditional squats or doing some kind of walking lunges. Squats, which are what you see most guys doing in the gym, put a lot of stress on your spine. Women and guys who are more interested in toning and muscle strength will do what I call walking lunches, which is where you put a weight across your shoulder, and instead of squatting down you step forward, bend your back into the ground, lift up, and do the same thing in a walking motion, alternating legs.

Rowing seems to be gaining popularity. Would that fall in to the shoulder weight category?

Rowing could fall into the weight category, because there are weighted rowing machines, so throw rowing into the weight lifting category.

So what would be a shoulder activity without weights?

A lot of isometric exercises. For instance, hold your arms straight out, level, and hold them there or slightly rotate them for as long as you can possibly hold them. You can stand between a doorway and push out on either side of the door frame like you're Sampson, trying to bring down the pillars of the coliseum. Push-ups will work your shoulders.

Do you recommend that massage therapists focus on light-weight with a longer workout, or heavier weights with a shorter workout?

I recommend lighter weights for more repetitions. Typically the people who do heavy weights are power lifters. That's why you see the heavy lifters in the Olympics are very strong, but fat. You want to go for tone and muscle endurance. That's what they need: muscle endurance primarily. So, light weights, heavy reps. Or, there's a type of exercise I'm going to be talking about on my website soon. I want to do a video on it. Depending on which exercise it is, I do either 12 seconds or 30 second repetitions. Just take 30 seconds to do one rep. And by doing that with each movement you have to use extremely light weight and focus on slowing down each motion. The whole purpose behind doing light weight with many reps is you want to keep stress on the muscle for as long as possible. Momentum takes away a lot of the effect of the exercise. If you have a tendency to swing, you take away a lot of the benefit of that motion. If you remove momentum you can totally focus on the movement. Let's say you're doing a bench press. Lowering the weights down to your chest would take you 15 seconds. Pushing the weight back up again is another 15 seconds. So it's a thirty second rep. Of course, you may only be able to do three or four of them, but you're keeping stress on the muscle for a minute and thirty seconds to two minutes at a time. It completely burns you out, but it gives you great muscle tone, muscle strength and a lot of muscle endurance.

Most people seem to be under the impression that the more weight the better. You're saying that's not the case, and that very small weights can be more effective?

That is definitely not the case. You end up injuring yourself and it's really a testosterone effect, from guys going to the gym and wanting to lift more weight than the last guy to impress whoever. Use the light weight and, importantly, a strict form. Don't let gravity or momentum assist you. Take it painfully slow.

How do you determine what weight to use?

Look for something with which you can do 7 to 8 reps, with good form, in a set. Or, with the 30 second rep, you end up having to cut that weight in half.

So, trial and error.

Right. And as you get stronger, you're going to have to add weight. Remember, we want to focus on endurance over strength. I've attempted a massage before, and I know your readers will appreciate that your fingers will start to tire after a while. That is where endurance comes in. And of course, the strength will come with time. With endurance training, the strength will come, but you need to train overall, focusing on the forearms, the wrists, and the hands. And also focus on the lower back just because they are standing and leaning over patients all day long.

You keep mentioning the areas on which to focus. Are the abdominals important?

You need to consider that the human body acts, in all things, with a kind of balance. The abdominals will compensate for the back, and the back will compensate for the abdominals. If one is weak, the other will be strained from trying to compensate. Another important muscle is the ham string, which is the muscle that runs down the back of the leg. It's going to be stretched all day long for massage therapists.

Which exercises, specifically, would be best?

The walking lunges will hit ever muscle in the legs, including the calves and ankles. The walking lunges would be best.

How can Pilates benefit Massage Therapists?

Pilates was invented by Joseph Pilates. In many ways, it's more difficult than lifting weights because you are using your own body weight. There's a greater range of motion and you are incorporating more of your tendons and ligaments. If you're doing a bench press, you are moving straight up and down. If you're doing pilates, you're incorporating more of the whole shoulder because you have to hold everything in line and in form. It's not just straight up and down. In a lot of ways, pilates is better. It incorporates good movement. You can do bench presses and have strong chest muscles, but there is nothing that you do in your every day life that mimics the movement of a bench press. There is nothing you do in everyday life that mimics the movement of a shoulder shrug. But when you do pilates, there is an entire range of motion, mimicking a lot of the motions you use in every day life.

In surveying our customers, it seems that one of the big problems is that customers don't want to go to gyms, and don't want to buy large pieces of equipment. You invented a compact system of weights

While enlisted in the US Navy, splitting time between life in the military barracks and life on board a naval submarine, I constantly struggled finding a way to stay in shape. So, my mission became to develop an affordable, space saver weight set that would fit in any room of your house, apartment, office, or college dorm.

A recent interview we conducted indicated that massage therapists can increase their revenue by 30% simply by offering resale products like tools, coupons, etc. Do you think weights would be an approp

I think it would be completely appropriate. If you are in the industry of health, it's holistic. If you can get your customers to start lifting weights and working out, you will find them building a healthier self-image, and that will lead them to be better customers. By selling those types of things in your salon, you give your customers the appreciation that fitness and health go hand - in - hand. Massage, health and fitness go hand in hand. You won't find a single professional athlete who doesn't get a massage every day, and who doesn't use weights every week. So, whether it's your weekend warrior, your everyday athlete, or your professional athlete, massage and fitness are vital to a complete picture of health.

Thank you Kevin.

Thank you. And tell your readers thanks for their time too!

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