Hi my name is Ashley Agcaoili and I’m a chiropractor at Mobility Plus Sports Rehab in Downtown Seattle. Mobility Plus has been serving folks in the Downtown Seattle area since 2012 and I am excited to be bringing my knowledge and expertise to you, members of ZŪM Fitness!
We aren’t your typical chiropractors. At Mobility Plus, we strive to get people to move better to feel better by utilizing a comprehensive approach backed by evidence-based techniques so you can get back to doing what you love doing FAST.
At ZŪM, you can expect the same level of care. Regardless of the pain you are experiencing, I want to help you do what we preach every single day, “move better to feel better.” I will combine chiropractic manipulation with functional rehab tailored to your specific needs to get you back on your feet and back in the right mindset to move better, feel better, and move more.
Even if you aren’t looking for care or just need some advice on something you’ve been dealing with, I will be your in-house resource. I treat more than just back pain – I can help you to address the potential cause of your pain, regardless of the area, so you can be in a better position to fix it.
So, if you are looking to get out of pain, seek advice, or make an attempt to address your pain with a professional but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. I will be at ZŪM every Wednesday from 3-5pm and I hope to get you moving better and feeling better soon.
Sign ups will be on a day-of, first-come, first-serve basis and you can sign up at the front desk.
I’ve been working with people’s bodies since 1998, and to this day some people assume that working your core means doing sit-ups, crunches and the like. But at ZŪM we know better!
Sit-ups mostly target the abs (six pack muscles) and obliques. And while these are core muscles, they are only a small part of the entire core unit. Bear with me while I explain! The sit-up muscles are merely the superficial (close to the surface) stabilizers and mobilizers of the spine that assist with side bending, forward flexing, and rotating your trunk. But there is more to the core than that.
I’ll never forget meeting “Momma Love” on a spin bike in Westlake Park. It was September 30th, 2017 and I was instructing an outdoor spin class at rush hour in the public park. Why? Because Meghan Dahl (ZŪM pal and former Member Services Director and all-around good egg) asked me if I would, and no one can say no to Meghan.
Momma Love dropped her bags of personal belongings, jumped on a spin bike, pushing her many layers of flowing garments anywhere they would land, and pedaled like a woman on a mission to qualify for a grand tour. Momma Love needed this. She needed an outlet to release; she needed someone to witness her; she needed to sing, scream and let it all out in the middle of a public park. I get that. I think ZŪM members can relate at least a little to Momma Love and how good the release of stress through exercise can feel. I was happy to bring that to Momma Love on that day.
Becky and I met for the first time about a year ago to discuss her interest in training. She is the Managing Director for ACT Theater here in Seattle (go see Romeo and Juliet this spring!), and as such, has a very busy schedule. However, she explained how important it was to her to start moving more regularly. It didn’t take much time for us to get on the same page once we realized we have many outdoor activities/interests in common, and Becky dove right in. I’ve been increasingly impressed with her commitment and drive to put her health and well-being first, especially with such a demanding career.
Becky has really been hitting her stride this winter, so I felt the time was right to reflect on her successes, and I reached out to her about participating in our Succeeding and Thriving blog series. Becky was already familiar with this blog and it didn’t take much convincing. When I sent the set of questions to her for review prior to meeting up, I was surprised to get a response in less than 24hrs. What I read humbled me as her trainer, and I now just want to get out of the way and let Becky take if from here.
The Eastern Block countries get credit for all of the badass exercises. There’s the Russian Twist, where you sit on the floor and wield a medicine ball side-to-side in an arcing pattern, and the Bulgarian Split Squat, where you set a foot on a platform behind you and basically do a single leg lunge. The Romanian Deadlift is another cool Eastern Block strength-builder, and it’s our next key exercise in building resilient hamstrings.
You’ve probably heard the ZŪM team talk about the Big Climb or seen posters around the gym. I had never heard of it myself or participated in a cancer fundraiser before, but since my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in January of 2019, I thought I’d do my part.
The Big Climb is a stair climb up the Columbia Center — the tallest skyscraper in downtown Seattle. There are 69 floors of stairs, 1311 steps, and 788 feet of vertical elevation. Although it will be challenging, it really does pale in comparison to what cancer patients go through. All proceeds benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
I remember the day I learned about the next series of exercises. I was attending a continuing education course with a guy who was recognized and respected as an authority in sports performance. He said, “Nobody will strain their hamstrings if they master the hamstrings series on a physioball.” I’ve used these exercises with my clients since, but I refer to them as the Hamstrings Progressions on Swiss. The name makes it sound more like a sandwich than an exercise series, but I’ve found them to be potent for building resilient hamstrings.
A great way to start hamstring training, especially if you’re a beginner, is with incline walking. Hopefully your hamstrings are feeling loose and relaxed after the Seated Hamstrings Mobility exercise, and you notice a little more stride length and ease with each step. Your hamstrings and gluteal muscles (aka: butt, glutes, tush, ass, and my favorite, the booty) provide the strength to propel you forward in a long stride, and the power to propel you forward when you sprint.
Anybody who’s dealt with a hamstring strain knows they’re a royal pain in the, well, hamstrings. And probably other places like your hip, knee, or even your lower back as you change the way you move to avoid the discomfort in your strained hamstring, which can put repetitive stress in other places. This injury can be a nuisance that seems to take forever to go away, and can ruin your running program, soccer season, or hiking. It can even make a walk in the park uncomfortable.
The good news is that you can build resilience, strength, and mobility in your hamstrings with a systematic, low risk training approach, which we’re going to cover in this series of videos and blogs. Each video will give you pro tips and adaptations for each exercise so you can start with the appropriate exercise and progress your way to feeling ready to take on what you love to do. You’ll enjoy the power in your stride, the strength to climb your way up a mountain, and the freedom to run and play without worrying about injuring your hamstrings.