warmup

Warm Up and Rest During Competition

Warming up for your event is crucial. The more we age the more time we need to warm up.

The warm up is especially beneficial to our fascia/connective tissue. Ounce for ounce we have about the same amount of fascia as muscle. Fascia stretches when it is warm. Lack of warm up may cause injury to tendons, ligaments  and muscle itself, as each tiny muscle thread in cased in fascia.

Warm up can be anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes depending on one’s age and specific activity. Once one has warmed up, the body and its fibers stay warm for 15 to 20 minutes. During that time, feel free to sit down, or even lay down before your event goes off. This rest period allows blood from your limbs to distributed through out your entire body, and believe it or not, that short rest might give you the “kick” you need to finish the race in strong position. When you’re resting, try to relax your mind. Save your adrenalin for the starting line and the race itself.

iceland

Ice versus Heat

Currently there is an argument against ice concerning injuries. After researching the issue for many, many hours, and considering the fact that I have treated thousands of injuries myself, I believe ice is a great aid in managing pain, and getting athletes back in the game. I am “for icing”.

That being said, I find that many of my clients don’t know the rules of ice and heat. If you have an “acute injury”, meaning the injury is recent (1-72 hours) use ice only.  Inflammation in the body’s tissue is best served with ice. Heat might feel good while applied, how ever adding heat to inflammation will only exacerbate the situation within a few hours. Ice for the first 72 hours. Ice for 15 minutes on and 15 off. X3.

After 72 hours, move onto contrast therapy. Ice and heat. Alternating ice and heat, end with ice. Heat is great for chronic injuries. Pain that is chronic (that which happened months or years ago) to relax muscles and fascia. (connective tissue).

DO NOT take a hot jacuzzi after running a marathon. Take an ice bath or jump in the ocean for a dip.

Ice Pack Recipe: In a 1 gallon freezer bag: One part rubbing alcohol, 2 parts water. Drop into the freezer for at least 8 hours. Enjoy a slushy refreshing ice pack that lasts for quite a while.
Namaste.

lunges

Chronic Hamstring Pain

Chronic Hamstring Pain is a very common injury that I see in my office. While there are many possible causes of hamstring pain, I will address the Gluteus Maximus factor here in this article.

Glute Maximus is a very large and strong muscle. It engages when we go from a sitting to a standing position, when we run up a hill or climb stairs. Athletes often believe that doing lunges or squats strengthens and builds the Glutes, when in fact it is the quads that are doing most of the work.

To target the hamstrings we would need to strike the ground on our heals, and push back up on our heals. I recommend doing lunges just this way. Doing squats can actually “turn off’ the firing mechanism of the Glute Maximus, due to a neural phenomenon called Reciprocal Inhibition. Since the Glutes are of great strength, they need to be firing properly. When they are not, the hamstring group needs to work extra hard to support the load put on to it. When the load is too much, injury is likely.

Often only one side of the body suffers from “lazy glute”, sometimes both. Sometimes the Glutes both need targeted strengthening, other times the strength is there, the firing mechanism is just turned off.

One solution to engage Glute Maximus: TABLE TOPS. Get on all fours, raise opposite arm and leg straight out, balance and squeeze Glute. Hold for 30 seconds. Dorsi flex the foot to further target the Glute. Do this 3 times on each side of the body. Donkey kicks and Super Mans also target Glute, though I prefer working unilaterally, so one side of the body does not cheat for the other. Do this as part of your daily training warm up. Your hamstrings will thank you for it.