The purpose of this blog post is to provide people who participate in CrossFit or other high intensity work-outs with an opportunity to self-assess their potential risk of injury and identify any asymmetries or muscle imbalances they may have developed. There have been several studies that demonstrate certain factors correlated with an increase in injuries. These include age, sex, body size, flexibility, history of injury, etc. Although we cannot change many of these risk factors, we can certainly reduce our risk of injury by correcting muscle imbalances and asymmetries when appropriate. There are simple and effective ways to self-assess ourselves, and there are exercises out there that can help to correct them.Read More
Stretching is a very critical piece of preparing for and cooling down from a run, no matter the length or intensity.
Warm up stretching should be minimal and non-aggressive prior to running; followed by extensive and more aggressive stretching post-run.
Major muscles and muscle groups should be stretche
d at both times. These include: quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, hip rotators, shoulders and upper / lower back. These are all very important muscles involved in running. Keep them happy and they will keep you running happy!
Most of us runners like to get out there and just RUN. Right?!...
However, to be a really good runner, there should be a strengthening regime added to your running program to improve your performance and minimize your risk of injury.Read More
What is an over use injury?
- They are injuries that occur over time.
- They are a result of repetitive micro-trauma to tendon, bones, ligaments and joints (ouch!)
- They can happen when you first begin a sport or activity - or even when you do too much, too soon.
- They can also result from improper technique.
- With exercise or activity, muscles & tendons get stronger. This happens through the breakdown and build up of tissue. If too much breakdown is happening in comparison to the amount of rebuilding, these type of injuries can occur.
Dancers can prevent this from happening....
There are usually a few times throughout the year that a dancer may take a week or two off for various reasons - vacation, holiday, illness, etc. It is important to remember to ease back into classes or practice when you return. You can even try some strengthening exercises during your holiday when you are not dancing!
These strengthening exercises should use the same muscles you need in dancing, but work them in a different way. When you complete strengthening exercises it helps to keep you in shape and even strengthens your muscles for when you return to class or practice. This concept is known as cross training...
What is Cross Training and Why is it Important for Dancers?
- Cross Training is an exercise routine that uses several different activities, which varies your exercise routine
- Cross Training uses the same muscles in different ways. This helps to strengthen those muscles even more.
- Cross Training helps to reduce injuries while also maintaining and increasing strength and performance in the activity of choice.
As a dancer it is importance to work on endurance, leg/core/shoulder/upper back strength and flexibility outside of your dance classes and practices...
So instead of dancing 4-6 times a week, try to take a day or two off from dancing and try some cross training! You can work on strengthening, flexibility and endurance during cross training.
When arthritis attempts to slow you down, exercise will help to keep you moving.
Benefits of exercise for arthritic patients include:
- Helps to decrease swelling
- Exercise promotes weight loss
- Increases in energy and drive
- Reductions in Pain and stiffness
- Increases in strength, flexibility, and stamina
- Improved mental attitude and outlook
- Better sleep
Exercise routines for arthritis should be well balanced including strengthening, flexibility training, and aerobic conditioning.
Weight training is an example of strengthening exercises that will help build muscle to protect your joints. By alleviating the pressure on the joints and increasing bone strength, patients may have less pain and experience less effects of the disease.
Strength training should be done 3-5 days a week, with rest days in between.
HDTV’s, laptops, clothes…the amazing deals of Black Friday are upon us, and with all of this comes some potential pain too! While you are busy shopping and taking advantage of all the great deals, we often forget about ourselves and what we are doing to our bodies. Here are some quick tips to help you come out of Black Friday with only financial pain…
Remember it is a marathon, not a sprint! Black Friday is a daylong event and you need to pace yourself. This means you will want to sit and take rests as needed, especially those of you with arthritis in the back who may have increased pain with walking and standing.
Let's dig into Stretching...
No matter the length or intensity of a run, stretching is a very critical piece of preparing for and cooling down from that run.
- Warm up stretching should be minimal and non-aggressive prior to running. Follow the run up with some more extensive and aggressive stretching.
- Major muscles and muscle groups should be stretching at both times. These include: quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, hip rotators, shoulders and upper/lower back.
- Each of these groups are important and involved in running. Keep them happy and they will keep you running happily.
What about Strengthening?
Most runners have an urge to satisfy and want to get out there and just RUN, right? However to be a really good runner, you should supplement your running routine with a strengthening regimen to improve your performance and reduce risk of injury.
- Forward movement in running is partially generated by bending at the hip to bring your leg forward (pro tip: this is called hip flexion). This movement is accelerated by your gluts/buttocks contracting to extend your leg behind you (another pro tip: this is called hip extension).
- These motions also require stability to land on your foot properly with each stride - which is supplied by the total package that is your hip musculature. Good strength and control in your hips (and many other areas of your body) is one of the key components to good, strong running.
Check out the video below for some simple stretching/strengthening exercises you can do at home to get started. These are all compound exercises to improve (primarily) hip and knee strength.
Budd Coates, author of "Running on Air," is an inspiring runner, instructor and coach of competitive and non-competitive runners; Olympic hopefuls and everyday recreational runners. In his book, he describes the sequencing of the inhale/exhale and foot strike to avoid injury and improve performance. Simply put, alternate which foot hits the ground with each exhale.
Let's break it down...
When you inhale, your lungs expand and your diaphragm contracts...
When you exhale, your lungs retract and the diaphragm relaxes...
As the diaphragm relaxes, so does the entire core...
The core is at its weakest point when it's relaxed...
Your foot hitting the ground is the point of highest impact to the body...
Sequencing your foot hitting the ground with the time of exhale will put the point of greatest impact right when your body is at its weakest point...the perfect storm!
If you tend to inhale/exhale in a pattern similar to your left foot/right foot strike, you are always landing on the same foot with every stride you take. This creates a lot of impact on one side, and none on the other side - putting you at higher risk for injury. Budd Coates touches a lot on breathing techniques. One technique in particular, he likes to call the "Rythmic Breathing Effort" (RBE), which utilizes a 5 count, or a 3:2 ratio.
5 - number of steps in the sequence. Inhale for 3 steps (left--right--left) and then exhale for 2 steps (right--left). Because of the uneven number of steps in the pattern, your first step on the exhale cycle will alternate. This will distribute the impact evenly from left to right and minimize the likelihood that one side is experiencing all of the stress.
You can try it by marching your feet while reading, or better yet...try it out on your next run and report back! Read More