Importance of Vertical Pulling

Importance of Vertical Pulling

It’s Friday so let’s dig into the email and Facebook questions.

Here we go.

I got this question via email:

Why is it important to add vertical pulling to your exercise program?
– Fran

I asked the pull-up queen, Shawna Kaminski, to give this a go.  This is what she had to say:

Your body is designed to work in several movement patterns. To have a balanced physique that has less chance of injury, you want to work your body in all these movement planes:

  1. Horizontal Push
  2. Horizontal Pull
  3. Vertical Push
  4. Vertical Pull
  5. Quad Dominant
  6. Hip/Hamstring Dominant
  7. Elbow Flexion
  8. Elbow Extension

Your program should be designed in such a way that for every horizontal push exercise, you have a horizontal pull exercise. That goes for vertical push exercises and vertical pull exercises as well. Many programs heavily involve horizontal pushing (think bench press) and neglect pulling all together, or if there are pulling exercises, it’s often in the horizontal plane (as in rows).

It’s essential to balance the physique and avoid injury by including all planes of exercise in terms of volume of work as well.

~ Shawna Kaminski

Awesome, Shawna.

Thank you so much.

If you want to check out Shawna’s Pull Up program, you can check it out here.


Muscle Imbalances Revealed Has Blown Me Away

Some kind words about the last edition of Muscle Imbalances Revealed:

Your Muscle Imbalances Revealed Product has seriously blown me and my entire training staff away. I really mean that!

We have been absorbing it for the past few weeks.

You make us feel like muscle imbalance professionals!

Just the ability to talk to my doctor and physical therapist friends and wow them with my new found knowledge is priceless.

This is a MUST for every fitness professional. It makes you feel like a “newbie” again. Thanks again Rick for feeding my craving for brain food 🙂

Brian Kalakay, CFT, CTT


Working Gluteus Medius (GM) is a Fallacy!

With Gluteus Medius Exercises being released, this question is fitting.

Hey, can you share with me your thought on the belief that it is a fallacy that GM training will help with some issues of knee pain?

I hope my English makes sense since I am Danish

– Allan

 Training gluteus medius will help with knee pain.

Let’s qualify what type of a person it will help.

I don’t know of any research that says among the general public that has knee pain, if they do gluteus medius exercises, their pain level will change.

There is evidence in runners who have knee pain that if they perform an exercise rehabilitation program, it will improve their patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner’s knee pain).

This article talks about it:

Nakagawa TH, Muniz TB, Baldon Rde M, Dias Maciel C, de Menezes Reiff RB, Serrão FV. (2008). The effect of additional strengthening of hip abductor and lateral rotator muscles in patellofemoral pain syndrome: a randomized controlled pilot study. Clin Rehabil. 2008 Dec;22(12):1051-60.

In the article, they did not just do gluteus medius exercises.  They focused on exercises that improved quadriceps, hip abductor, and hip external rotator strength.

You need to think about this when designing an exercise program for a runner with knee pain.

Plus, there are several ways that you must strengthen gluteus medius. Doing clam exercises is not enough.

Before I leave to go to the next question, this was interesting:

Chumanov ES, Wille CM, Michalski MP, Heiderscheit BC. (2012). Changes in muscle activation patterns when running step rate is increased. Gait Posture. 2012 Jun;36(2):231-5. Epub 2012 Mar 17.

They say there might be a therapeutic benefit of increasing your step rate if you are an injured runner as you get better gluteus maximus and gluteus medius activation when you do so.


Just Sent You Your DVDs

A winner of the Assessment & Exercise contest was excited to hear he won and that I just sent him his DVDs.  Very cool.

Thank you Rick!

I am super excited to receive such a great tool to use with my clients!!

I greatly appreciate the support & work you put in to this & can’t wait to start learning.


Vaughan is 1 of about 118 people from 21 countries that have ordered their Assessment & Exercise DVDs.

Knee Section in Assessment and Exercise

Got a question about one of my sections in Assessment & Exercise:

Hi Rick,

In the section Knees and Toes you mentioned full range safe squats to do.

Is there a video demonstration of the Hands Together I – Finger Touch and Fingers to the Side Touch?

Additionally, one of my clients had an injury to her knee where there was swelling on the inner side of the knee.  What type of injury could that be? I believed she might have hurt it when performing lunges which she usually does without any issues. She previously had a knee injury.



Yes, I have one in my exercise library.  I will email it to you.

It is difficult to say what your client has.

Medial knee swelling can be caused by a lot of stuff.

I would get her to get it looked at to find out what it is.

If it is lunges that irritate things.  I would suggest performing static lunges that are 1/4 or 1/2 in depth.

August’s Injury of the Month: Gluteus Medius Exercise

This month’s Injury of the Month is not an injury but a category of exercises that I often use for the lower back, pelvis, and lower body injuries.

Since I refer to them often I thought it would be best to put them into a program.

This month is a double shot so you will also get the gluteus maximus program which will be coming out tomorrow.

That is it for this week.

Have a great weekend and we will talk to you on Monday.

Rick Kaselj, MSBest Gluteus Maximus Exercises