Dani LaMartina

https:www.mergeperformancept.com

Dani is a Doctor of Physical therapy, CSCS, nationally qualified women’s physique competitor, and elite level powerlifter in the 123 class. She's the first to admit she pushes the envelope with training, which uniquely allows her to blend principles of rehab with a love for all things iron. Creativity, relationships, and trust drive her to empower coaches and athletes with tools and education from a PT who understands training demands. She can be reached for remote PT services, consults, and training at Dani@MergePerformancePT.com.

 
The Beauty of Quiet Technique
The Beauty of Quiet Technique
If you're looking to be strong, improve durability, and look better, quiet technique will get you there with less wear and tear. Here are implications and executions of this technique using a variety of exercises.
The Anti- Tin Man Romanian Deadlift
The Anti- Tin Man Romanian Deadlift
Implementation is the easiest part of this exercise because you are using only your available range and not approaching this with a “must have the mobility of a 12-year-old gymnast” mentality. Here's your chance to access planes and ranges of motion that most of us forget even exist.
My Left Glute is Not Activating
My Left Glute is Not Activating
Anyone who’s actually said this and FELT this lack of power knows how frustrating it can be: Despite the EBP nerds saying, "Well, the hip is extending, so the glute must be firing." If you have felt the empty feeling, you know that you’re not firing on all cylinders.
Tendinopathy Edition: Programming Variables to Consider When Returning to the Squat
Tendinopathy Edition: Programming Variables to Consider When Returning t...
When it comes to returning an intermediate-advanced lifter to a heavy compound, there are often more factors at play than we initially think. Perfect mechanics probably aren't enough to get you back to where you need to be.
The Most Underrated Exercise You’re Not Doing for Shoulder Health
The Most Underrated Exercise You’re Not Doing for Shoulder Health
Do your shoulders hurt at the bottom of the bench? If so, what are you doing to fix it? This exercise may help.
Control What You Can
Control What You Can
I’m hoping that by the time this article gets published, things are on their way back to normal, but in the meantime (and even if they are), there are a few key tools I’ve given my clients to help them to mentally move forward (not just survive) when we feel a lack of control.
Top 6 Mistakes Powerlifters Make Health-Wise
Top 6 Mistakes Powerlifters Make Health-Wise
I see the same mistakes made over and over, and these mistakes are absolutely huge when it comes to being able to keep training progressively.
Structuring a Rehabilitation Plan
Structuring a Rehabilitation Plan
Physical rehabilitation is as much about the mind as it is the body. The right attitude is the first step to putting a stable, consistent rehabilitation plan in motion.
Programming Through Injury: Good, Better, and Best Options
Programming Through Injury: Good, Better, and Best Options
Programming through injury doesn’t need to be nearly as complicated as we make it. It's not really all that different than programming a regular training block for a movement with a few differences.
Don't Ignore Systemic Interplay
Don't Ignore Systemic Interplay
If we want to help people, we have got to stop picking camps and start putting the client first. Here's a prime example of how to do that with a focus on the respiratory system.
The Most Underutilized Kettlebell Exercise You Should Be Doing
The Most Underutilized Kettlebell Exercise You Should Be Doing
We think of the Kettlebell Windmill as a largely upper body exercise, but I’d like to make a case that it’s one of the most underutilized exercises to promote hip loading and control bilaterally.
Romanian Deadlifts Revisited: How to Appropriately Apply The Hinge
Romanian Deadlifts Revisited: How to Appropriately Apply The Hinge
There’s an assumption (known or unknown) that everyone has the proficiency to perform what we see “if we just lower the weight.” That’s quite the caveat with a lot of assumption, especially when it comes to movements like the Romanian Deadlift.
Understanding Groin Injuries: Complex Groin Injuries
Understanding Groin Injuries: Complex Groin Injuries
When a doctor who knows how I train gave me his diagnosis, I had no idea what to do because I hadn’t met anyone that had this constellation of stuff. Neither had he. The best foundation we came up with was based on the same principles in the previous articles.
Understanding Groin Injuries: Tendon Injuries
Understanding Groin Injuries: Tendon Injuries
Tendon injuries suck. The healing process for tendon injuries is slower than it is for muscle tears. If you ended up rupturing your tendon, you may require surgery. But there are still some things you can do in terms of rehabbing certain tendon injuries...
Understanding Groin Injuries: A Muscle Tear
Understanding Groin Injuries: A Muscle Tear
The biggest thing you need to take away from muscle tears is that the healing process is largely chemically based and physiologically mediated in order to remedy the mechanical disruption and restore (again) mechanical strength.
Understanding Groin Injuries: A Primer
Understanding Groin Injuries: A Primer
I’m not going to lie, I’ve had a number of injuries through my training, but Dave was right: groin injuries are a different beast, and the nature of the beast is going to depend more fully on what actual tissue was affected.
Keyboard Warriors Need to Stop!
Keyboard Warriors Need to Stop!
People with similar issues can respond differently to the same treatments, so having multiple solutions is a great way to increase the likelihood of success. As for arguing about different solutions with experts on the internet? Not so great.
How Irradiation Can Be Detrimental
How Irradiation Can Be Detrimental
Even though Instagram makes neural irradiation look cool, please take a moment to stop and ask yourself: What is it, and why are you doing it?
A Basic Lifting Skill Review: Grip Strength
A Basic Lifting Skill Review: Grip Strength
Every seasoned lifter appreciates how easy it is to lose simple habits in pursuit of getting stronger. One such habit: Getting a good grip.
The Intent of Recovery
The Intent of Recovery
Intelligent training does NOT need to be pussyfooting around HARD training. It also doesn’t need to be pushing you to a point where you have to “deserve” a rest day. Attending SWIS 2018 and listening to Dr. John Rusin and Christian Thibedeau, I thought it would be great to revisit this topic.
 The Value of Accessory Work
The Value of Accessory Work
I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to moving a weight that makes me “feel good” about training, versus doing a movement that requires less weight on the bar because it exposes weakness.
I'm Hurt, Now What?
I'm Hurt, Now What?
The answer may surprise you.
4 Things Your Body Needs to Stay Symmetrical
4 Things Your Body Needs to Stay Symmetrical
As a PT, I made the mistake of letting go of these good habits. By ignoring issues when they arose, I put my body in a compromising state.
Movement Patterns Beyond One Plane
Movement Patterns Beyond One Plane
If you’re looking a little shifty, if you’re feeling aches and pains on your competition movements, if you want a longer shelf life, if you want to feel athletic instead of “locked in” all of the time, finish your sessions with this. I promise you'll move and feel better.
The Best Advice I Can Give to Future Physical Therapists
The Best Advice I Can Give to Future Physical Therapists
If you want to make a career out of working with strength athletes, there's one thing that's more important than everything else.
The Second Phase of Injury: Changing the Plan
The Second Phase of Injury: Changing the Plan
I needed to know I wasn’t going crazy for wanting to know where things were scarring down, and I needed to know what to expect based on the injury itself. So I broke the mold a bit.
The Acute Phase of Injury: What Just Happened?
The Acute Phase of Injury: What Just Happened?
Once you’ve started the waiting game and it has sunk in you’re out of training for a while, there are definite ways to set yourself up for success. This is something I'm currently experiencing myself after tearing the adductor longus tendon from my pelvis.
Four Simple Mistakes to Avoid to Stay Injury-Free
Four Simple Mistakes to Avoid to Stay Injury-Free
These are what I’d consider the biggest mistakes in letting injury dictate your ability to train.
Back to the Platform After Injury: David LaMartina's Lessons from the Rehab Process
Back to the Platform After Injury: David LaMartina's Lessons from t...
There are so many layers wrapped up in recovery and getting back to competition. These are the key points that Dave had to embrace if he wanted to keep training for the next 10 years.
Back to the Platform After Injury: The Three Main Components of David LaMartina's Rehab
Back to the Platform After Injury: The Three Main Components of David La...
In order to get to the point of actually getting better and taking rehab seriously, a lifter must be willing to shift from short-term to long-term focus. Here's what we did and how I think most rehab for strength athletes should be structured.
Back to the Platform After Injury: The First Steps
Back to the Platform After Injury: The First Steps
Dave LaMartina is one of the hardest working lifters I've met, and has proven over many years that he is willing to train through just about anything. After significant injury led to him stepping off the platform, he reached out to me, and this is how he came back.
5 Training Staples for Your Off-Season
5 Training Staples for Your Off-Season
When the time rolls around to start prepping for your next competition, you'll wish you'd used your off-season wisely. Here are the five things you should focus on to provide the most improvement, longevity, and resilience.
Common Behaviors of Lifters Who Know How to Improve
Common Behaviors of Lifters Who Know How to Improve
Lifters who succeed share a lot of qualities — and so do lifters who fail. I'd challenge you to honestly evaluate how closely you fall on the spectrum of each of these qualities.
Mirage Chasing
Mirage Chasing
We seek enough, for what? To prove we did something? That we’re good “enough” at something? I'm fighting every day to overcome this and you should too.
Meet Report: USPA Pikes Peak Open 2017
Meet Report: USPA Pikes Peak Open 2017
I was setup better from this training cycle than any other. I easily made weight, had a coach with complete confidence in me, and a training partner that celebrated every step. But the meet had a different plan for me.
Peaking When Things Feel Off: Quick Corrections Before A Meet
Peaking When Things Feel Off: Quick Corrections Before A Meet
Only five days out from an important meet, I don't have much time to fix the issues I'm having. For this reason I'm approaching the idea of a pre-meet deload a little differently.
Applications and Benefits of Tempo Training
Applications and Benefits of Tempo Training
Tempo training has the potential to be highly specialized to meet whatever metabolic demands, fiber type, or performance goal an athlete wants to develop.
Utility of the Overhead Press
Utility of the Overhead Press
Looking at lats, thoracic mobility, and the ribcage during an overhead exercise can tell you a lot about a person's pattern, position, and movement quality.
Rehab Done Right: 7 Mistakes of Injury Rehabilitation
Rehab Done Right: 7 Mistakes of Injury Rehabilitation
If you anticipate an extended period of time off, there are lots of things you can do right to avoid common mistakes. Your goal should be to come back stronger and tremendously benefit from time away from heavy weight.
Combatting Shoulder and Elbow Pain from Low Bar Squatting
Combatting Shoulder and Elbow Pain from Low Bar Squatting
Where you lack motion or motor control, your body will pass down the chain to the next moving part that can buy you an extra bit to help you get into position. This is dysfunction.
Identifying Hip Impingement Causes and Solutions
Identifying Hip Impingement Causes and Solutions
If you Google "hip pain at the bottom of the squat," you're going to be left more than a little confused about what the cause might be and what you should do. Let's sort through all of the information and advice.
How Is Dave Tate Still Doing Dave Tate Things?
How Is Dave Tate Still Doing Dave Tate Things?
Every medical professional gauges how much slack on the leash they can give you without negative effects because everyone’s threshold is a little different. What’s Dave’s? And why?
10 Big Lessons 2016 Taught Me
10 Big Lessons 2016 Taught Me
Your numbers will be subject to so many external variables, but your character is forged by intentionality.
I Can’t Touch A Barbell Without Hurting: Train or Take Time Off?
I Can’t Touch A Barbell Without Hurting: Train or Take Time Off?
If you try to ignore an injury, you're going to end up in one of two places: with compensated strength or accumulated injury. Is continuing to train, but simply using lighter weights, the answer?
Rebuild the Squat from the Bottom Up: Your Ankles May Be Shutting Off Your Glutes
Rebuild the Squat from the Bottom Up: Your Ankles May Be Shutting Off Yo...
If you've addressed pelvis position but your mobility, mechanics, or pain aren't changing, consider that your neurological reference center may need to shift. Shift it to your heels.
Impostor Syndrome — Identifying the Less Admirable
Impostor Syndrome — Identifying the Less Admirable
Training was so important to me. It covered my insecurity and kept me distracted from the ugliness that was brewing underneath.
Training for Movement — 4 Easy Program Fixes
Training for Movement — 4 Easy Program Fixes
Having mobility issues? While direct work in the traditional sense will certainly help, so will continuing to train, if you plan correctly.
Are You and Your PT Compatible?
Are You and Your PT Compatible?
Beyond skill-set, a physical therapist's personal belief system, communication style, vision, and philosophy are just a few things you should consider when searching for the perfect match.
Boss of Bosses 3 — My First Meet Representing elitefts
Boss of Bosses 3 — My First Meet Representing elitefts
Representing this team is so much more than a logo or a brand. I didn’t perform the way that I wanted to on the platform, but sleep deprived and emotionally distracted, I can say I still represented.
5 Keys to Fixing Your Hip
5 Keys to Fixing Your Hip
Three days before my heaviest deadlift of the meet training program and I couldn't even bend down to grab the bar. Here are the techniques I used to mitigate my issues and make it to Boss of Bosses 3.
Troubleshooting Knee Pain While Squatting
Troubleshooting Knee Pain While Squatting
Although it’s hard to generalize knee pain, here are several things I commonly see in a clinical setting. You can attack these issues in a number of ways.
5 Barriers: Why You're Having A Bad Experience with PT
5 Barriers: Why You're Having A Bad Experience with PT
Get the most out of working with your rehab expert so you can move better with less pain.
How Can I Get Stronger?
How Can I Get Stronger?
Whether you're healthy or coming back from injury, try incorporating these things to increase force production and longevity.
Motor Patterning and PRI — Finding Solutions to Hip Shift and Dysfunctional Movement
Motor Patterning and PRI — Finding Solutions to Hip Shift and Dysfunctio...
Using a number of methods, here’s a look at what I did to correct a host of problems hindering my performance and health.
Women and Imposter Syndrome
Women and Imposter Syndrome
The more I reflect, I realize how much I have permitted this fear to dictate to the extent to which I engage in certain opportunities or cultivate a niche for myself as an educated, strong ass woman who wants to get you healthy.
Assessing Your Dysfunction — Finding Why
Assessing Your Dysfunction — Finding Why
Still searching for your quick fix? You won't find it anytime soon.
Dominance in Movement: Controlling the Dimmer Switch
Dominance in Movement: Controlling the Dimmer Switch
Remember: you don’t do “life” under a bar.
Dominance in Movement: Finding the Dimmer Switch
Dominance in Movement: Finding the Dimmer Switch
How many of you feel “broken” or immobile when you’re not under a bar? How are you accommodating?
Rehab and Training: Forward-Thinking Prevention, Retrospective-Thinking Treatment
Rehab and Training: Forward-Thinking Prevention, Retrospective-Thinking ...
You're always going to be in one of the three phases of training. Your goal is to find a way to stay in Phase One as long as possible while avoiding Phase Three at all costs.

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