Archive for Rehab

Becoming a Robot Part II….Improving Mobility

Posted in Health, Performance with tags , , , , , , on February 21, 2012 by razorsedgeperformance

Yesterday we talked about how mobility restrictions can really be hurting the way you move, which in turn can hold back your performances. Today i’ll share a few videos of things you can add into your dynamic warmup or interset rest periods to start enjoying the benefits of quality movement.

 

 

 

Try these out and see what happens!

 

It’s About Getting Better!

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Building and Assessing Your Foundation

Posted in Performance with tags , , , , , on November 7, 2011 by razorsedgeperformance

I think it’s always good to be aware of what makes up the foundation of your health, movement, training, etc. Generally with health we can get into nutrition, social and emotional factors of weight, diet, training, and body image, and training factors like muscle imbalances or rest and recovery.

That’s a lot to get into, so I just want to focus on the physical body and the way it moves. There are a lot of opinions out there about the different basics that make up a workout, and what level of function a person has within different movements.

Gray Cook and Lee Burton and the rest of the minds behind the Functional Movement Screen have come up with a great resource to assess the way a person moves, and direct further attention to the areas of need. It is not the be all and end all of performance training but a good starting point.

I want to take a different approach and talk about an exercise/movement that can serve both as an assessment and practice for developing many of these basic movement patterns. In fact, I know it’s something that Gray values very much in his work for these reasons.

It is called the Turkish Getup and is an exercise that comes from the Kettlebell world. It’s important to note that it is also possible to do the exercises with a dumbell, so if you don’t have access to kettelebells regularly, don’t lose any sleep over it. In a nutshell, the TGU is an exercise where you start in a supine position (laying on your back) with the kettlebell overhead, and must work your way up to your feet, with the kettlebell above you at all times.

Here are some points as to why I love this movement so much. It utilizes some of the key aspects of body control that everyone should possess. The ability to roll/twist, keep your shoulder blades stable throughout a complex movement, use your glutes to create stability and movement, and an ability to keep your torso rigid through coordination of your core muscles. Having a person go through the TGU can either show me areas where they are weak, or give me an opportunity to have them ‘figure out’ through some cueing, ways in which to develop these basic characteristics.

Here are some brief pointers about the journey from supine to standing…

Step 1

Start with the kettlebell above you, with your arm extended, and your shoulder packed in tight. Bend the leg on the same side of your body as the kettlebell is, and have your foot flat on the ground. The other arm and leg are both extended. NOTE: The arm that starts extended should ALWAYS stay extended, and the foot on the ground should stay in that place for the whole movement.

Let’s imagine the kettlebell is in the right hand.

When you are ready, you are going to ‘crunch and punch’ the kettlebell up, while also rolling onto your left elbow.

Step 2

You are going to reach up again with your right arm, and extend your left arm underneath you, so you are resting on your left hand, both arms extended.

Step 3

You are going to push your right foot down  into the ground, contract your glutes and hamstring, and try to fully extend your right hip. This full extension is crucial for providing space for the next step

Step 4

With your hips up in the air, you are going to try to pull your left leg under your body and place your knee on the ground between your left hand and right foot. Your upper body should look like a T.

Step 5

Now you are going lift your torso so its tall, with your right arm back overhead, and left arm at your side. You are also going to turn your left knee so it is facing forward again and you are in a half-kneeling position.

Step 6

Now you need to pushoff with your legs and rise to a standing position with feet beside each, and arm still overhead.

Step 7

Now repeat all of steps 1-6 in reverse, to get back to the starting position properly.

Here are a couple videos I have made to show the technique. Notice that there should always be a slight pause between each step, so that a proper foundation can be set before proceeding with the next movement. With this move we are looking for stability in each position, not speed.

It’s About Getting Better!

Want Free Physio?

Posted in Health with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2011 by razorsedgeperformance

How many times have you heard a friend or training partner complain about some body issues? Tightness, Soreness, numbness, weakness, you name it; I hear it all the time. But the problem is, who is qualified to fix it? Of course you’ll run to the physio or a well qualified personal trainer, but what if I told you that you can fix many problems yourself or at least reduce the risk of further injury? Well you definitely can. As long as you’re willing to spend 10-20 minutes, multiple times a week maintaining your body, many little problems can be avoided. Think that’s tough? Think about how much time you’ll waste later when you’re walking with a cane or needing to replace important parts of your body! Not only that but most of these things can be done in front of the tv.

Didn't Maintain

So now to the good stuff, what exactly are you supposed to be doing? First of all, you need to go to an amazing website put on by physio guru Kelly Starrett, HERE named mobilitywod. Not only is Kelly a genius, but he’s down with all that crazy stuff that us athletes and weekend warriors put ourselves through. His site, MobilityWOD is a site where he posts a video and/or blog post every day with a daily maintenance task we’ll call it. It’s generally a new body part or movement pattern each day and comprises of foam/ball rolling, stretching, band resisted activation or stretching and various other techniques. If you don’t have a strong grasp of anatomy and physiology, he may talk over your head a little bit but there is so much to learn nonetheless.

A few things you’ll probably need. First, a small collection of tools will help you do most of these things. You’ll need a small ball, preferably solid. Start with something like a tennis ball and work up in stiffness to a lacrosse ball. Then you’ll need a foam roller if you don’t already have one. Also, for many of these things he uses certain bands. I will leave links below where you can find all of these things. For now, start watching and learning! There are over 280 videos already and I’m sure something will fit in with one of your issues. Make sure to follow his timing guidelines and test/retest everything to make sure you’re doing it right and it’s working. Remember, if you’re not getting better, you’re probably getting worse!

NOTE: Keep in mind that this site is not a substitute for a trained physiotherapist for serious physical issues. If you have significant issues that need help, be sure to contact a sports doctor or physiotherapist.  Also, if you do not feel comfortable doing things on your own be sure to seek help.

It’s about Getting Better.

Superbands

The Grid-

These are two products that I like specifically, but other foam rollers and bands will do the trick. You can check out perform better for all kinds of fitness products!

Breaking Down Barriers

Posted in Health, Performance with tags , , , , , , , on March 24, 2011 by razorsedgeperformance

We talk ad nauseum about different strategies to get the results you need for improved performance. Sometimes you need to spend more time working out, and sometimes you need to cut back on your time but increase your intensity. For a lot of people, both of these strategies become too much. We break down and become exhausted and possibly injured. You know the more often you work hard, the better you become, but your performance reduces drastically as the week goes on. So what to do?

                                                                                                                       

Here are 5 strategies to increase the frequency of high intensity work.

1)  Build Your Stabilizers.

     By this I am simply talking about 3 major areas that control much of your movement. Upper back (scapulae) region, hips, and core are very important areas to build up some strength to keep you healthy. If you cant use these areas properly, you will never have enough stability to maintain proper posture during major lifts. Also, these tend to be the muscles that get overloaded first with a hard workout. If they aren’t strong, they will be sore all week and keep you from repeating some lifts later in the week.

2) Dynamic Warmup.

   A great dynamic warmup helps open up all of the joints that you jam up while sitting at your desk all day. It stretches certain muscles, activates others and teaches you appropriate movement patterns. Add in the benefit of increasing body temperature, and you have a great foundation for a great lift.

3) Post-Workout Shake.

Very few people take advantage of the post-workout nutrition window. If you don’t know what to mix, find a premixed solution like EAS Myoplex, Cytosport Musclemilk, or Dymatize Xpand Post. If you take in the right nutrients post-workout, you improve your rate of rehydration, glycogen replenishment, and muscle synthesis. Add these 3 things together and you’ll improve the way you feel and perform the day after a good workout.

4) Self-Massage.

Whether it is a foam roller, The Stick, a tennis ball, or TriggerPoint Therapy products, self-massage does amazing things for recovery. First, the pressure on your muscles from the different implements provides a relaxation effect to lower the resting tension in the desired area. Second, the act of massage improves blood flow to the area, clearing out the byproducts of exercise and bringing in fresh nutrients and oxygen. Not only is this good to keep the muscles you just used from getting overly tight or sore, it is also a great way to work on some of your postural issues. Think of it as me time, to keep your body primed for action.

5)  Nutrition.

If you want to do quality work, feed your body with quality food. Don’t look at the people who are already 6% bodyfat and eat at mcdonald’s for your nutrition recommendations. They do well DESPITE their diet, not because of it. If their body is burning up fuel like its nobody’s business, then they can even use junk as an energy source with little negative effect. You’d be kidding yourself though if you thought that they wouldnt benefit from nutrient rich, quality foods instead. Don’t waste your time. Eat well.

Do the behind-the-scenes work if you want to train hard ALL WEEK. 4-6 weeks of quality work can bring some absolutely amazing results to anybody!! It’s About Getting Better.

The Art of Self-Massage Part 2

Posted in Health with tags , , on July 29, 2010 by razorsedgeperformance

In Part 1, we talked about the importance of self-massage for increased health and performance. Now, we will go over some of the different tools available to use on your own.

Foam Roller

The foam roller is probably the most important of all the tools because it can be used all over your body. Made of dense foam, round foam rollers usually come in a 1 ft. and 3 ft. versions. The 1 ft. version is great if you need to take it with you anywhere, like to the gym or travelling. Use the weight of your own body to put pressure on the area in contact with the roller, and voila, you can roll back and forth over the area you need massaged. The foam roller is especially good for the back, lats, piriformis, and IT band, although almost anything can be released on it.

Massage sticks

There are a few different versions of massage sticks out there, most notably ‘The Stick’ and ‘The Tiger Tail’. They are essentially the same thing, with the texture of the stick being the main difference. These tools are great for more focused attention to certain trigger points or problem areas. Personally, I prefer using a massage stick on my quads, hamstrings and calves.

Balls

The final category of massage tools includes any ball you can find. I have seen use of golf balls, lacrosse balls, tennis balls, softballs, and generic rubber bouncing balls. Using something like a golf ball or softball allows you to get even more focused than the previous two methods. The downfall is that the discomfort becomes greater as the focus gets deeper. There are certain places in the peroneals, feet, rotator cuff, piriformis, and calves that can be hard to reach properly without using one of these balls. You can find these at any sports store.

Those are the most common ways to perform self-massage, and anyone serious about fitness or high-performance sport should have all 3!

You can find all of these at Perform Better!

http://www.performbetter.com/SearchResult.aspx_Q_CategoryID_E_363

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