Hi! I’m Ryan

More formally, I’m Donald Ryan Hodge, a Southern California native and founder of Kinection. I started my health and wellness journey at the young age of 11 as an obese middle school kid. My weight motivated me to learn about calorie counting, diet plans, and workout routines hoping to make quick changes to my body. In high school I began playing water polo and eventually became team captain. During that time, I started to learn about yoga, meditation, and various training programs that promised to improve athletic ability. I also first began my coaching career as a youth water polo and swim coach, and started coaching my friends through work outs enjoying seeing their joy in achieving results. While playing water polo at the University of Arizona, I was part of a collegiate club team that took 3rd place at nationals. Even though I dealt with various shoulder injuries in high school, it was during college that I had my first shoulder surgery for multiple labral tears. This experience catapulted me into the study of rehab, corrective exercise, and injury prevention. While getting my degree in nutrition, I began working with athletic trainers, physical therapists, and strength coaches at my school to better understand how all these practices worked together. After graduation, I worked for Velocity Sports Performance in Manhattan Beach aiding at NFL Combine camps for elite NCAA athletes and learned about elite level strength and conditioning, athletic training, and program design. Eager to work with different populations, I began working for Beach Cities Swim Club as their head strength and conditioning coach instructing youth athletes in on-land training programs that improved their swim training sessions. I also worked for BRIK Fitness, a high-end private gym in Redondo Beach, alongside amazing physical therapists and celebrity coaches like Brian Nguyen, and coached a range of clients varying from Olympic athletes to celebrities to special needs to business executives. During my time at BRIK, my own back issues became a challenge, and I dove deeper into manual therapy and treatment modalities. I studied with numerous chiropractors and physical therapists in the South Bay while attending massage therapy school, and began to implement manual therapy into my programming. I was soon hired by the Human Garage in Venice as department head for the Rehab and Training department, as well as motion mechanics. In 2018, I decided to expand my reach and found Kinection. Throughout my career, I continue to study tirelessly and stay on the cutting edge of fitness and holistic wellness with the most innovative information, methods, and tools. As I constantly learn and grow my own practice, I apply the most direct, efficient, and integrative plan to get my clients to their goals.

Some of the many modalities I have studied: Yoga  (hatha, ashtanga, vinyasa, bikram, kundalini, and variations) / Gymnastics / Parkour/ Animal Flow / Primal Movement / Functional Range Conditioning / Kinestretch / Pilates / Martial arts (boxing, karate, tae kwon do, ju jitsu, tai chi, qigong) / Bodybuilding / Cross-fit / Powerlifting / Olympic lifting / Kettlebell training (Russian Hard Style, Sport/Girevoy) / Ultimate Sandbag / TRX / Battleropes / Indian clubs

Recreational/Competitive sports: Swimming / Water polo / Basketball / Football / Golf / Surfing / Snowboarding / Skateboarding / Mountain biking

Why?

I believe in a holistic approach to health and wellness based primarily around a daily movement practice. In the process of teaching better movement, I eventually guide my clients to better nutrition/lifestyle choices, meditation/mindfulness practices, and sport specific training based on each clients’ interests and long-term goals. My philosophy is that everything in life is connected and every individual client has a unique background and set of needs to reach their goals. The condition/environment that each client has come to me in has to be changed in some way, shape, or form over time to produce the desired result. That means that everything from mindset, lifestyle, nutrition, and movement need to be looked at as a continuously evolving practice. Because of my background, training, and skill set I specialize in everything related to moving and improving movement. Due to the way our society has evolved (or deteriorated in some ways), movement and mobility are greatly compromised and thus a great entry point to work with clients on a daily basis. I can hypothetically work with someone every single day (I have done so with some clients) and work on improving specific mobility deficiencies all the way to complicated skill development. The majority of people I work with are starting with some kind of pain (whether it be acute injury or chronic pain) and are looking for rehab and guidance to regular training activity. Because I see clients so regularly, it is much easier to also consistently talk about mindset, lifestyle, and nutritional habits. Thus as we are developing client movement skill, we are also holistically improving various other areas of life at the appropriate pace of each client. Many of these areas of holistic health development will have another specialist who I can refer to, or a guided protocol I can help guide them through personally.

Outside of private training clients I also educate my fellow coaches/therapists in the fitness industry. This looks like teaching these professionals various aspects of assessment, training, and health practices that they aren’t currently using to further improve their practice. I aim to bridge the gap from therapist to coach in a way that makes them seamlessly work together for each client’s unique needs. 

I do this work because I am beyond enthusiastic about helping people better themselves in any way that can improve the quality of their lives. Because of the way our society has developed, I believe that one of the most impactful ways of intervention with people is through improving movement (and eventually everything else they are open to improving). It brings so much joy to my heart to see people feel the benefits and improvements of moving better and getting out of pain and getting stronger. My own personal history of dealing with injuries, over-training, and health development has challenged me to constantly look for better methods for improving all aspects of life. Couple this with all of the people and experiences that I’ve encountered in the area of physical training, health, and wellness, and I have an incredible amount of passion to continue learning and innovating in the fitness and wellness space with longevity. I can’t overstate the importance that all of this development is seen as a never-ending journey that constantly flows from learning to teaching.

programming

Programming is completely dependent on background, assessment, and goals. Even if working with two athletes in the same sport on the same team there may be different mobility requirements, position specific requirements, and strength imbalances that will be unique to each athlete. That means that although everyone needs similar “basic” strengths/skills or movement patterns, there is always another level of person specific tasks that need to be trained for resiliency and longevity.

Teaching other coaches/therapists all these different nuances of programming to unique needs ON TOP OF long term program cycling & goal development is an art that can always be improved upon. I feel that by teaching these concepts to other coaches, we as a community will constantly evolve our programming, coaching methods, and strategies to more effectively help our clients over time.

Manual Therapy

I use a wide variety of modalities to improve any possible movement disfunctions that could be related to the issue a client is dealing with. Any modality I use is going to be directed by the assessment and the various underlying factors that correlate to a specific issue. Movement disfunction can be related to structure, chemistry, and energetic systems, so I always use a holistic approach beyond the standard focus only on structure. Additionally, after any therapeutic intervention I use there will also always be movement/mobility homework for clients to do in order to stabilize and progress away from the issue for good.

I want to teach other coaches/therapists the wide variety of assessment/corrective techniques I use if they are unfamiliar with them. If they are already familiar with all my techniques (doubtful) then I give coaches/therapists very helpful insight as how to use all these helpful tools together in a systematic way that will speed up client results and improve the coach/therapist’s practice.

i give back

I love philanthrophy! I have done work with special needs kids in the past as well as charity work outs. I am looking into getting more involved with special needs again either in an aquatic setting or gym/rehab setting. Heart disease, cancer, and mental health are also areas I am passionate about helping because of other family members’ issues.

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