Cannons and Canoes


Cannons and Canoes

One of my favorite quotes as it relates to power creation in the human body I read many years ago in Stuart McGill’s “Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance”. When speaking about how the body can generate the most power the book says, “You can’t fire a cannon from a canoe”. This image has stuck with me ever since I first read it and seems to simply explain how we need to address the athlete’s conditioning if we want to ultimately create maximum power. The absolute, crushing power of a cannon ball shot from a cannon is unmistakable. If you decided one day that you wanted to create a cannon with more power that could ultimately create more force, the first instinct would be to build a bigger cannon that used a bigger cannon ball. This is often the same instinct that we have as athletes when it relates to our sport. Getter faster on the bike means getting a better bike, a lighter shoe, a lighter wheel, or more aerodynamic frame. To get faster, runners want to get the best shoe and just run more miles. To get bigger muscles athletes think only to lift heavier weights and lift them more often. While all of these things do help to improve the performance of the athlete, the most important piece of equipment is often neglected: the body.
Let’s look back at our example of the cannon. What if all the focus was placed on building a bigger cannon and heavier cannon ball without paying much attention to the stability of the cannon. This is eloquently illustrated by thinking about firing a cannon from a canoe. If you put a powerful cannon on a canoe and fired it, the explosion would cause more energy displaced in the movement of the canoe rather than in the propulsion of the cannon ball. This same principle can be seen with athletes. Too often athletes are narrowly focused on big muscles and better gear, rather than focusing on the stability of their cannon. Remember that the more you stabilize the cannon, the more power you can create when shooting the cannon ball. Any loss in the stability of the cannon directly relates to loss of power in the firing of the ball. This is no different than the human body. If athletes lack proper stability then maximum power can never be created. This goes for every sport: golf, running, cycling, basketball, football, etc. Taking the cannon off of the canoe and putting it on the ground obviously yields better results. For the highly competitive athlete this needs to be taken one step further. Not only does the cannon need to be on solid ground, but it needs to be completely immobilized so that no energy is wasting moving the cannon when fired. This ultimate stability of the cannon allows for maximum force dispersed to the cannon ball.
For the athlete, this ultimate stability needs to be realized not only through the proper fitness training, but also through optimizing the stability of the internal health. Let’s briefly discuss these two:
Proper fitness training for the athlete needs to be very specific to what muscles and movements are involved in the sport. It also needs to build an athlete from the ground-up. This means making sure there is a proper base strength and muscular control from which power and strength can be built upon. It is far too common to see athletes who focus on power and strength, but have very poor stabilizing capacity and fine motor control.
Optimizing internal health is probably never even considered by the athlete as a way to ‘stabilize the cannon’. This is where I find true performance enhancement can really be achieved. Getting bigger, stronger, or faster is completely determined by an athletes ability to recover. This was discussed at length in a previous blog (read here: so we’ll keep it simple here. Just know that improving your overall health is the absolute best way to be able to train harder and recover faster. Using specified lab work, precise nutritional intervention, and high-quality supplementation can give athletes huge advantages in competition.
If you are a serious athlete that either wants to compete at a high level or stay in the sport for many years, start to consider that optimizing your health is the first priority to achieving those goals.

Smoothies vs Juicing – Which is Better?

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Benefits of shakes, sports therapy lake forest, nutrition lake forest

As we ring in the New Year, there will be a lot of resolutions made. While there are a variety of common resolutions, one that is consistently at the top is becoming more healthy. One of the easiest ways to improve your health is by eating more nutritious foods and eliminating foods that are bad for you. A great way to do that is by drinking fruit and vegetable smoothies. Another great way to get more nutrients is by juicing – drinking freshly pressed fruits and vegetable.

But which is better for you? Let me break down each of them.


Smoothies are great because you consume the entire fruit or vegetable when you drink the finished product. Because of this, you also get all the fiber that comes from a piece of fruit, which slows the absorption of the sugar into your body. Without the fiber, it can cause your blood sugar to spike.

However, there are some downsides to smoothies. Because a blade is used to chop up the fruits and vegetables in a smoothie, it puts heat and oxygen into the food and destroys some of the nutrients you are trying to consume.


On the other hand, when using a high quality juicer (more on that below), juicing keeps more of the nutrients in tact and delivers higher quality nutrients to your body. You can consume less volume, but still get a lot more nutrients out of the fruits and vegetables you are using.

However, because juicing eliminates the fiber from the fruit, it has the ability to cause your blood sugar to spike if you juice a lot of high-sugar content fruits.

Which is Better?

Ultimately, I believe that juicing is better for you than smoothies. Because you are able to get more nutrients and more high-quality nutrients out of the fruits and vegetables you are juicing, it is more beneficial to juice than to have a smoothie.

However, it’s important to note that there is nothing wrong with smoothies, you just get fewer nutrients out of it than if you were to juice.

If you want to start juicing, there are a couple options available to do so. The first is to purchase your own juicer. If you do this, it’s important you purchase either a cold press or masticating juicer. These keep as much of the nutrients in tact as possible, but are generally more expensive. The other common type of juicer is a centrifugal juicer. This type of juicer uses blades, so it eliminates the added benefits of juicing over smoothies.

The second option is to purchase juices. If you do this, it’s important that you know what goes into these juices (it should only be high quality fruits and vegetables). This can be a good option since juicing can take quite a while and it can be difficult to know what juices blend well together.

If you are interested in purchasing pre-pressed juice, we actually partner with Cold Press Juicery and carry the juice in our clinic. We highly recommend it for our patients who are looking to get healthier. If this is something you are interested in, please contact us at 949-916-9742.

Orange County Chiropractor Receives Readers Choice Award

OC Parenting Magazine names Dr. Vince DiSaia Orange County’s best chiropractor

Best orange county chiropractor, top orange county chiropractor, sports therapy chiropractorDr. Vince DiSaia, Founder and Clinic Director of Momentum Sports Therapy, has been named the “Best Chiropractor” in OC Parenting Magazine’s 2014 Reader’s Choice Awards. The award was given to Dr. DiSaia after he received the most votes from the magazine’s readers.

According to OC Parenting Magazine, “Over 39,799 votes were cast across 89 categories, resulting in this one-of-a-kind annual directory from the moms and dads of Parenting OC.” This is the 12th annual Readers Choice Awards hosted by the publication.

“I am honored to be named as this year’s best chiropractor,” says Dr. DiSaia. “I am constantly looking for ways to provide the best care possible for my patients and it’s nice to be recognized for that.”

Dr. DiSaia holds a Doctorate of Chiropractor from Southern California University of Health Sciences and has been in private practice for more than 10 years. He has also authored a highly successful book named Golf Anatomy, which has sold more than 30,000 copies worldwide, is available in over 13 languages, and has been featured in Golf Digest Magazine.

Located in Lake Forest, California, Momentum Sports Therapy specializes in caring for the entire patient. They utilize multiple avenues to ensure that all aspects of health are address. Some of these services include Chiropractic care, Active Release Techniques (ART), Functional Medicine, Sports Massage, Nutritional Counseling, Weight Loss, Fitness Training, and rehabilitation exercises. Every program is designed to ensure that a patient’s performance will be optimized while injuries are eliminated, without the use of drugs, injections, or surgeries. The clinic just celebrated it’s third year in practice.

“We believe that our patients should be able to practice the activities they love without experiencing pain or inhibition,” says Dr. DiSaia. “Too many injuries and conditions these days are treated with drugs or surgery as the first option, and we believe that patients should have access to less invasive treatments that can considerably improve their mobility and quality of life. True health is achieved by giving the body what it needs naturally rather than adding more bandaids and toxins. Your body is the most efficient healing machine imaginable and it just needs to proper direction.”

Momentum Sports Therapy is a full-service chiropractic clinic specializing in sports training and rehabilitation. Located in Lake Forest, California, the clinic opened in 2011 under the direction of Vince DiSaia, DC. To learn more about Momentum Sports Therapy or Dr. DiSaia, please visit the website: