Coach Alicia Fong

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Health tip for week Feb 21st

Open and Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises

This week’s health tip is about learning to choose exercises.

The selection of exercise should be based on movement patterns rather than individual muscles or muscle groups.  Movement patterns or exercises can be classified as occurring in an open or closed chain kinetic chain.

What is open and closed chain exercises?

Open Chain Exercises:

  1. Distal segment moves in space.
  2. Independent joint movement; no predictable joint motion in adjacent joints.
  3. Movement of body segments only distal to the moving joint.
  4. Muscle activation occurs predominantly in the prime mover and is isolated to muscles of the moving joint.
  5. Typically performed in non weight-bearing positions.
  6. Resistance is applied to the moving distal segment.
  7. Use to external rotary loading.
  8. External stabilization (manually or with equipment) usually required.

Closed Chain Exercises:

  1. Distal segment remains stationary (fixed in place)
  2. Interdependent joint movement; relatively predictable movement patterns in adjacent joints
  3. Movement of body segments may occur distal and/or proximal to the moving point
  4. Muscle activation occurs in multiple muscle groups, both distal and proximal to the moving joint
  5. Muscle activation occurs in weight-bearing positions
  6. Resistance is applied simultaneously to multiple moving segments
  7. Use of axel loading
  8. Internal stabilization by means of muscle action, joint compression, and congruency and postural control

For example, looking at the photo below.  The movement is the same but the left picture (a squat) is closed chain and the right picture (leg press) is open chain.

All movements can be open or closed chain.  The key is to train what is functional to you.

Let’s bring back the example above.  The squat is more functional because most individuals will be doing this movement everyday.  You sit down.  You pick something up from the floor.  Every time you go to the bathroom, you squat first to sit on the toilet.

And now let’s examine the leg press. How does the leg press exercise carry to real life situation and how often?  Perhaps, sitting down and pushing an object away.  This will probably happen once a week.

In this example, you will want to pick the squat as part of your exercise routine.

Most upper body movement will be open chain exercises and lower body will be closed chain exercises due to functionality.   Therefore, pick exercises based on movement patterns and make sure they are functional.

If you are still confused about open and closed chain exercises, come to our “Strength Training Integration” seminar this coming weekend Feb 26th and 27th at AF Performance Center.  We will be discussing in detail the kinetic chain, practicing all of the exercises you can think of, and going over exercise programming.

To sign up, go to or call at (310) 895-5385.



February 21, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Health tip for week Feb 7th

Stay away from TOXINS because they are killing our health

I attended a seminar this weekend on toxicity.  And I was blown away by the information.  We are all toxic to some degree because we live in a toxic environment.  Chemicals are everywhere – in our homes, in our offices, in our gardens, and in our bodies.  This toxicity is making us fat and unhealthy.

We are bombarded with external toxins: paint fumes, industrial solvents, car exhaust, plasticizers, household cleaning products, pesticides, and food additives.

It is believed that new born babies today are exposed to as many as 287 of the 413 toxic chemicals being studied by the researchers at the Environmental Working Group (EWG).  The 287 toxins included 180 chemical compounds that have been shown to cause cancer in either animals or humans.

So how do the toxins make us unhealthy?  No matter how the toxins get into your body, through the lungs, stomach or skin, they all meet at the liver at some point.  From there, it get sent to the kidneys and colon for elimination, become trapped in bones, muscles, tissues or other organs or they get locked in the liver itself or they get stored away in fat cells. Fat cells don’t get broken down easily so the toxins literally weigh the body down.  As toxins accumulate, you begin to experience health problems like allergies, colds, migraines, and infertility, or major disease like cancer and diabetes.

Detoxification is a must to clean our bodies.  There are several types of detoxification treatments.  However, because we live in such toxic world, we are exposed to toxins daily and regularly consume poor-quality food contaminated by pesticides and animal proteins that have been injected with chemicals such as antibiotics and growth hormones.  Detoxification must be a constant bodily process, in order to stay healthy.

There is a lot we can do to reduce exposure to toxins.

  • Stay away from personal care products that have chemicals like shampoos and make-up products. The following cool website shows all of the toxins that reside in your home:  It is so helpful, fun and informative.  Please, check it out and play with it.
  • Eat organic food or buy food with the lowest in pesticides.  For a list of the cleanest and dirtiest food, click here.
  • Stop eating sugar, especially anything with high-fructose corn syrup.  Beware that the food industry is trying to change the name to “corn sugar”.  It is the same bad thing.
  • Use green or environmental friendly detergent for laundry.  Same goes to dry-cleaning. Go to eco-friendly cleaners.
  • Avoid eating fish.  Most fish are contaminated especially farmed fish.  Click here for a list of fish  and how much mercury each fish has.
  • Don’t drink tap water.  It has fluoride.  Fluoride is one of the most poisonous substances on earth.  It tends to accumulate in the body, particularly in the bones, thyroid gland, and brain.  It lowers IQ.  And therefore, use a shower filter.  Your skin is the largest organ and so your skin will absorb the fluoride and chlorine when taking a bath or shower.
  • Don’t use Round-Up.   Worst chemicals.  It will stay in the air and you will be breathing it.
  • Don’t use Teflon-coated pots and pans.  To find out why, click here.

There is no point of going through any detoxification treatment if we continue to get expose to toxins on a daily basis.  The key is to eliminate or at least reduce the toxins as much as we can and then detoxify, so we can really stay healthy for a long time.

February 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Health tip for week Jan 31st

Drinking CHAMOMILE TEA has many health benefits.

Chamomile is an herb that comes from a flowering plant from the daisy family.  It is one of the oldest favorites amongst garden herbs and its reputation as a medicinal plant shows little signs of abatement. It has been used for centuries to cure a number of health problems.  Drinking it daily or often has many health benefits.

Insomnia and other sleep disorders

Chamomile tea’s most well-known benefit is as a sleep aid. It is known for its relaxing and soothing properties and is often taken before bedtime to aid in a good night’s sleep.

Cold Fighter
Chamomile has immune boosting properties and helps in the fight against colds due to its antibacterial properties.

Anxiety and panic attacks

Chamomile tea relaxes the nerves.

Wounds, burns, and scrapes

The Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks used chamomile flowers in a poultice and applied them to wounds to speed healing. They must have been on to something.  In one study, rats given chamomile extract in their water experienced faster wound healing times.

Skin conditions

Skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, chickenpox and diaper rash.  Chamomile contains phenolic derivatives, which have an antiseptic, anti-inflammation and healing quality, which is most helpful in relieving skin irritation.

Stomach Soother

Chamomile is helpful for a variety of stomach problems like stomach flu and ulcers. It has been found to contain strong antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory constituents.  It soothes stomach aches, eases the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, promotes elimination, and assists in overall digestion. It is often found in teas for digestion in combination with peppermint.

Menstrual Cramps and muscle spasms
The ancient Egyptians used it to soothe menstrual cramps and now science is catching up. One study found that drinking chamomile tea raised urine levels of glycine (amino acid), a compound that calms muscle spasms. Researchers believe this is why chamomile tea helps menstrual cramps.

Hemorrhoid Help
One study found that chamomile ointment was helpful in the treatment of hemorrhoids.

Diabetes Management
Chamomile tea is being studied for its beneficial effects in the management of diabetes. New research studies show that the tiny daisy like flowers may have a chemical that will decrease the complications of Type 2 diabetes. This chemical has an affect that increases the ability of the cells to allow sorbitol to pass through the cell wall. In Type 2 diabetes, the sorbitol builds up outside the nerve cells and eyes causing pain and blindness.

Reduce Dark Circles Around Eyes and under-eye puffiness:
Eye fatigue and dark circles are relieved by Chamomile tea. Dip 2 chamomile tea bags in warm water. Remove the tea bags from the water after 5 minutes and let them cool to room temperature. Then place them on the eyes at night as a compress.

February 1, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments