The Importance of a “Plan” ~ Coach Kimmie

The Importance of a “Plan”

Do you go into your week with a plan regarding your exercise and movement?  Just like our “work” week has a fairly specified amount of time allotted for it, so should our “movement” week.  If I didn’t plan my weekly workouts just like I schedule each client or class, TRUST ME – they’d never get done!

“So Coach Kimmie, how do I plan my week?”

Write down all the types of movement you really like to do first. LOVE that TRX class on Monday? Write it down!  Prefer the Yoga Tune Up class at Kinesis on Tuesday or Wednesday? Write it down!! Commitment to what you love (or really like) will undoubtedly help create success. Once you have these in place, build the week from there.

We all know that there must be components of each of these in our general fitness scheme:




We also know that there should be at least 1 day of no exercise or very light non-impact activity per week depending on our body’s needs.  And finally, we know that our body sometimes needs a little down time.

“So Coach Kimmie, what does a sample week look like?”

Monday:  off

Tuesday:  20-30 minutes of medium intensity cardio plus stretching.

Wednesday:  30-50 minutes of *strength training followed by 10-20 minutes of cardio.

Thursday:  Lower intensity strength & self-care day. **Pilates, maybe get a bodywork session, spend more time stretching or try a Yoga Tune Up class.

Friday:  20-30 minutes of interval cardio with stretching and Yoga Tune Up® therapy ball rolling for your specific “hot spots” afterwards.

Saturday:  low intensity cardio for 60 minutes and maybe a Pilates class or core series as well.

Sunday:  30-50 minutes of combined strength and cardio. Do a 1:1 ratio of strength and cardio movements.

Daily: spend 10-15 minutes stretching major muscle groups and using your self-care tools. Foam roller, Yoga Tune Up balls, foot wakers, etc.

Your week can obviously be different from what I’ve listed, but it has to make sense in your life.  If you know there’s NO WAY you can exercise on Wednesdays, then that’s your definite day off or you can focus on your flexibility/mobility program. If Sunday is always your family/relaxing day, then keep it that way.

The main things to keep in mind are:

1) When performing full body strength sessions, spread them out so you have at least 1 day between for adequate muscle recovery.

2) Be smart and work up to aiming your sessions just slightly out of your comfort zone.

3) Listen to your body.

4) Be aware of and use all the tools available to you! Physical therapy consults with Dr. Dawn, acupuncture/alternative options with Laura, bodywork with our fabulous therapists, etc….

Injury-free is the way to be!!

Ultimately, aim for 2-3 days of strength, 4-5 days of cardio, and 1 day off.  Mix these up into your life and you’ll be set up for success.  Remember, if our bodies are learning something new, there could be some crankiness coming from some muscles. If you’re really sore from the previous day’s workout, keep moving but maybe slow yourself down a bit and be good to your body!

Need help? We’ve got you covered!  One-on-one sessions can be spent figuring out your needs and customizing a plan THAT WORKS FOR YOU. FaceTime sessions are also available.


*Strength training can be done with your bodyweight movements or with the use of free weights, TRX, dumbbells, or other weighted non-machine based equipment. If you’re newer to strength training, take a private session with our amazing trainers at Kinesis. We offer a 3/$150 Personal Training special if you’ve never had personal training at Kinesis.

**Pilates is considered strength training in my book.

You have the power to make it happen. ~Coach Kimmie 



By: Dr Dawn DPT™

Your posture follows you like a shadow wherever you go… Stand up for yourself… Stand with integrity… Sitting is the new smoking… Death by sitting… Take standing breaks…

There is lots of posturing going on lately… thank goodness!!! We are finally talking about the elephant in the room, the problem at the core of many injuries. Basically, posture is as posture does. In other words, it’s the posture you practice ALL DAY LONG that makes a real difference in your default posture… your go-to stance, sit, and exercise position when no one is looking, not even you!

Here are some examples of good and bad standing, sitting, and exercise postures. Which side of the fence does your posture fall… um…er… stand?


Side view of standing posture: Align your hips over ankles, rib cage over hip cage, shoulders overs hips, and ears over shoulders.


Front view: Stand evenly on both feet with your feet facing forward and parallel with each other approximately front hip bone (ASIS) distance apart.


Here’s a great benchmark test: Wall standing… where do you stand?

And now for your sitting (dis)pleasure: Are you more likely to find yourself looking like the left (poor) side or right side?

badgooddeskpostureEver been in this position waiting for someone or something?


And what about your posture as you go about your daily activities:

cookingposture Does this look like good posture to you?

standingatpoolpostureOr this?


Practice makes permenance. If you practice poor posture throughout your day, that is your default positioning no matter how many times you do a “posture” exercise. We MUST continually remind ourselves to remind ourselves about our posture ALL DAY LONG especially when we’re not exercising!

And don’t forget to remind your kids! They’ll thank you for it later… much much later…


Confessions of a movement specialist

By: Dr Dawn DPT

OK… I admit it… I have an injury. I am done hiding it… hiding is mentally and physically exhausting… and it hasn’t made the injury go away!

I did “something” to my knee almost a year ago. I say “something” because there was no clear injury moment that can be pin pointed. However, I know I foolishly engaged in catch up training last September. I went through a grueling teacher training for Yoga Tune Up® and then suffered a nasty upper respiratory virus. These two things set my Ironman training back a few weeks. SO… as soon as I felt well enough, I came back to my training with a vengeance! I put myself through my hardest run workout for my welcome back… and fools suffer! It all felt great during the run although winded. About 1-2 hours after the run, my left knee swelled to twice its size and I have been struggling ever since.

Initially, I ignored the pain and swelling (I know… stupid… and so not the advice I would give any client) believing it would go away. How could it not?!? I did nothing. Really. Except overwork an already compromised knee joint from 2 previous surgeries that I worked really hard to heal to the point of doing half ironman triathlons without any problems. Really.

Soooooo after months of ignoring the issue, pretending I was fine, running through the pain, cycling under my performance level, gingerly pushing off the pool wall with every turn, and deflecting all questions about my knee (are you limping? is something wrong? etc) I decided to start treating THE KNEE. Bodywork, ball rolling, LASER, kinesiotaping, and directed strengthening took the place of swimming, cycling, and running. I stopped socializing with my tri friends so I wouldn’t have to deal with their requests for a training run, ride, or

Everything helped a little bit for short periods of time but the pain marched on. And the knee began to pop and stick and click with every move. I couldn’t sit on the toilet (or anywhere for that matter) without deweighting my left leg and using my arms to assist. I was frustrated and depressed over my inability to heal myself. I was “this close” to seeing my knee surgeon for another clean up of an already minimal lateral meniscus and joint surface stemming from a nasty lateral tibial plateau fracture in 1995.

And then a miracle happened! Well, not really a miracle. But it feels like one!! The pain is slowly diminishing! So why now you may ask? Well… I finally began devoting 100% of my attention to my movement patterns. And I mean every movement. I began analyzing the way I stand, sit, walk, pick up a dropped item from the floor, etc all day long. It begins with my first movement of the morning upon awakening and my hypervigilance extends until I am lying in my bed and drifting off to sleep… only to begin again upon awakening. Yes… it is mentally and physically exhausting, but so was hiding it. At least now I am reaping the benefits of my hard work. The healing is in motion now that the motion is biomechanically in line with my joint’s best interest with every movement, not just during strengthening work.

I can’t say yet if I can really avoid the surgeon’s scalpel, but I am hopeful. I ran 200 meters twice last week without pain. I ran 400 meters once this week without pain. I can bend and straighten my knee (weighted and deweighted) without clicking, popping, and sticking. The stiffness that comes from joint effusion is gone. I can do a near full air squat without pain. I can swim and push off the pool wall easily with both feet. I cycle to work without pain. But I study and analyze every footfall, pedal stroke, knee alignment during motion, muscle activation sequence, etc. Healing is a full time commitment.  But I’m worth it! Aren’t you?!?

I am excited at the prospect of training again, in due time. Until then, every move I make, every step I take, I’ll be watching me…images-1

My smile at the end of a 6 mile run!

My smile at the end of a 6 mile run!

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Yourself

By: Dr Dawn DPT

How we do anything is how we do everything.

Everything is attached to everything and anything can cause anything.

An hour in the gym x 2-3/week does not offset the hours spent dishonoring your biomechanical structure. As my dear friend and mentor Jill Miller says: Your posture follows you like a shadow wherever you go, whatever you do! Take a good look in the mirror or your reflection in a store window as you walk by. Is your postural shadow creepy or classy?

Bow to the temple of your familiar:

rowinmirrorReveal your body blind spots through frequent introversion of attention during your daily movement rituals. The next time you are working out, focus completely on form detail vs your friend’s run down of last night’s or today’s or the weekend’s festivities!

Examine your body’s posture and movement strategies. A mirror is quite helpful but seeing and feeling from the inside through proprioceptive awareness is just as important.didyouworkhard

Self-explore your tissues with regular use of myofascial release tools. My favorite tools are Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls!



Posturize yourself! Stand on your 2 feet equally, feet under lungs and parallel to each other, rib cage over hip cage, head over shoulders. Lift your cell phone to eye level vs stooping your head and neck to your lap!

Excel at being a good posture example in your world.

Cultivate conscious breath control during times of added stress whether it be physical or emotional.


Thank yourself for showing up to life and fully focusing and refining your unique movement patterns.

And no, no one else can do it for you Homer! justdoithomersimpson

Cash is King… but what about my insurance?

By: Dr Dawn


I am often asked why I do not accept insurance payments at my practice. “Don’t you want more business?” “Is anyone willing to pay cash for physical therapy services?” “Why would I want to come to you instead of someone who accepts my insurance?”


The restrictions placed on my services by third-party payers interfere with my ability to help patients reach their goals. Additionally, the cost of collecting payment from third-party payers and the difficulties in negotiating rates with insurance companies undermine the financial viability of an insurance-based practice. For these reasons, I choose a cash-based model for my practice. It frees me to treat my patients as I deem necessary for full return to living their best life whether that be walks in the park or an Ironman triathlon. Every person deserves more than a perfunctory “return to functional status”. This is insurance speak for the ability to walk, drive, return to work, etc. It does not include return to sport and many claims are denied past the dreaded “return to functional status” determination.

And cash-based practice is often similarly affordable for the consumer as an insurance-based practice. Let’s take a quick look at the numbers!

Modality Appt Time Ave # of visits Ave Cost
Cash Full hour w/PT 1-2/wk x 4-6 wks $75-$150 x 6 = $450-$900
Insurance 15-30 minutes w/PT 2-3/wk x 6-8 wks $50-$75 x 8 = $400-$600

Please note that more quality time is being spent at each physical therapy visit in a cash-based practice which often results in quicker healing times for clients. More quality time with less overall frequency and duration… time as well as money is money my friends!

Also, many insurance companies do reimburse their beneficiaries for services rendered outside their plans. I freely offer super bills with all the necessary coding for self-submission to insurance companies. Most of my clients who opt to self-submit are reimbursed reasonably well depending on their actual policy guidelines. At the very least, many insurance companies will allow the out of pocket costs of cash physical therapy to assist in meeting the beneficiary’s deductible and/or out of pocket expenses for the year. Every person’s insurance policy is unique, and I advise everyone to know your policy guidelines especially for out of network providers. Many physicians and some physical therapists are opting for out of network status and trending towards cash-based practices, so most of us will encounter this new wave in healthcare.



I highly recommend adopting a healthy lifestyle where self-care is performed daily. This may include healthy nutrient dense food intake, exercise (strengthening/stretching/cardio of your choice), myofascial release, and practicing good postural alignment in all daily activities. This will limit your injury exposure. Use movement and food as medicine and    you’ll keep the doctor at bay!

Feeling Fuzzy?

By: Dr Dawn

Do you ever wonder what happens inside your tissues when you stop moving? For a day because you’re sick, for a week because you’re too busy with work, for a month because you’re injured, for a year or more because you have a chronic health condition? Don’t you feel stiff, sore, or tight when you don’t move your body regularly? Many wake up feeling this way just from not moving during sleep! There are multiple reasons and/or excuses people have for not moving regularly – it hurts, I’m tired, too busy, have an injury, etc. But NOT moving in some way – stretching, walking, massage, self myofascial release with Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls, etc – is damaging to your entire neurobiological system.

We are connected from our heads to our toes by a continuous webbed framework of fascia that thrives on movement. Our tissues were constructed to slide and glide one upon the other. Motion is lotion! When there is loss of movement, the system puts into effect minor chain reactions that eventually lead to major body break downs if left unchecked. Gil Hedley, anatomist extraordinaire, describes it best in his now infamous Fuzz Speech. Please be warned, there are cadaver images in the following video. Do not watch it if you have issues with cadaver visuals. But you can definitely still gain knowledge from just listening to the video! Gil speaks rather eloquently on the topic.

After viewing… get up get moving!!

Huge Confession And An Anxiety Attack! 5/11/13

By: Coach Kimmie

The last time you heard from me, I was in dire straits and felt like something worse than poop.

April 3, 2013 was the day I decided to make my strongest attempt to clean up my diet and my gut.  I weighed 179 pounds that day… I know, I know — that’s close to 180! And 184 was the heaviest I’ve EVER been in my entire life.


NEVER thought I’d share, but this photo was taken April 3, 2013. My face, neck, & chest areas were all puffy and I felt extremely uncomfortable. This is the culmination of several months of poor diet, stress, and less than optimal exercise habits. Yes, even the Coach can need some coaching…

So since then, LOTS of stuff has changed.  Within the first couple weeks of April, I really addressed my food intake on a grand scale.  I gave the boot to grains, eliminated cheese, dropped sugar like it was hot, and alcohol has been non-existent since that day.  Like I said, I felt worse than poop.

On April 19th, I started the Kinesis 21-Day Detox that our amazing nutritionist/functional medicine specialist Emily Glasser put together.  Along with my previous changes to diet listed above, I was taking supplements to cleanse, repair, rejuvenate, and support my system.  I ate only REAL foods prepared mostly at home, drank as much water as I could handle (not a new thing as I usually drink about 90-100 ounces per day) and had 2-3 Detox protein shakes. There wasn’t any of this bullsh*t about counting calories, measuring foods, or weighing myself daily on the Monster bathroom scale. If my food was lean protein, non-starchy vegetable, fruit, or nut-based, I was good!! I was allowed to exercise as usual or even a little less than usual at a moderate intensity and I listened to guided meditations.  I was allowed to eat as much of the veggies as I wanted and was to limit my newly found substitute “craving” foods (too much fruit, too much nut butter, just too much!) on an as-needed basis.  I also had a great support system (KEY ELEMENT OF SUCCESS). Dawn as well as the other 14 Kinesis clients on the Detox were so supportive!

We had our own Facebook group and we would post photos of our food or tips about cooking and recipes plus all sorts of helpful, encouraging info. Emily was simply fantastic and responded quickly to any email questions or concerns we had. She even organized a mid-way meeting for everyone to chat together and share stories about how they were doing.

All in all, it was a really great experience.

“So, how do you feel after this detox, Coach Kimmie?”

I feel like I have made a REAL change. Finally. Even though I had a stumbling block or 2 along the way this last month, I still feel like I truly came out on top.  I REALLY made some changes to my “food-itude”.

Case in point:

This morning on my way to Kinesis for a rockin’ Saturday (6 working hours with no break!) I stopped at Rainbow Acres to pick up some food for the day. It was 7:36am. I parked, got out of my truck, and the nice man says “we’re not open until 8.”

WTF!!! Immediately, I grabbed my growling stomach and yelled “but I’m hungry!” and promptly hopped back in my truck. Mind you, my first work hour is at 8am.  As I’m driving away, I realize my hands are shaking, my mind is racing like crazy, and my stomach is now HOWLING.  “What am I going to get?” “Where can I get healthy food at this time of day?” “I can’t be late to work!” “I’ll never make it 6 hours!” “I want to make a good food decision.” “Arrgghh!!!” (I really yelled arrgghh in my truck while I was driving…)  I was in the midst of a full-on, swirling-brain, hammering-heart, sweat-drenched anxiety attack. Why? BECAUSE I WANTED TO EAT SOMETHING HEALTHY. I did NOT want to FAIL my body and make a miserable choice for nourishment.   This moment, my friends, is how I KNOW I’ve made a serious change to my habits and to my psyche.   Wow.

This is what I came up with by visiting the Vons on Centinela. Fruit tray, and organic walnuts & blueberries.  I shared with the other kids at Kinesis 🙂


The distance between April 3rd and today (May 11th) is like the distance between Earth and the stars. Oh, and approximately 12 pounds were eliminated.

This was a photo from my most recent grocery shop experience at the Whole Foods in Venice.  I absolutely LOVED spending my early Sunday morning picking out my veggies, talking with the super-friendly attendants at the meat counters, and just taking my time instead of being so hurried and worried.  I got all sorts of fresh veggies, eggs, pre-made kale salad, boatloads of fresh meats, yes – gluten free beer!, coconut water & coconut oil, lemon juice, and there’s a head of cauliflower under there somewhere!!


So yes, I made it through the 21-Day Detox. I lost some weight, I gained a lot of confidence in my capacity to overcome cravings, I learned some lessons (that small piece of cheese and tiny bun on a great burger WILL f*** up your otherwise clean system!), and I’m continuously learning to love my body. Thank you to Emily Glasser, Dawn McCrory, and the stupendously supportive group at Kinesis who shared this journey with me. Let’s travel down this path a lot longer!!