Friday, August 22, 2014

Random and Interesting

This is a lecture that Dr. Andreo Spina did with the Chicago Cubs earlier this year.  Functional Range Release.  Great info.

Do you think it is in the realm of performance therapists and strength coaches to pay attention or have knowledge of their female athletes menstrual cycle?  It can be a personal topic, but this paper may make you think its worthwhile information.  Association of Menstrual Cycle and ACL Injuries. 

As an update, I've been doing the Iranian Twisting Push Up every other day.  I'm in amazement at how it's making my beat up surgically repaired (made it worse) elbow is feeling.  For some reason it drives the elbow into a ROM that allows a capsular stretch.  I actually feel like I'm gaining ROM in it.  Pretty amazing.

I always take articles that are primarily designed to sell you a supplement with a grain of salt.  I found this one to be of interest though.  I always wonder what doing more reading on a computer or smart phone is doing.  Supposedly it's depleting certain compounds in our eyes.  The eye is a lipid rich organ and perhaps supplementing with Astaxanthin would help.  Astaxanthin for the eyes.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Change Your Shoes for Low Back Pain

I've been playing around with the concept that most therapy is built around the idea of movement variability.  Restoring variability, restores more motion, restores more freedom and thus pain free movement.

I started thinking yesterday about how I see certain patients and many people wear the same shoes everyday, day in and day out.  Most runners own one pair of shoes till they give out.  Most people that have an office job have one or two pairs of shoes, (usually the same pair in different colors).

I have lost count of how many people have told me they had "this pain" and they decided their shoes were old, bought a new pair of shoes and "this pain" went away.

"It's gotta be the shoes man!"

Most shoes vary dramatically, small heel, big toe box, supportive arch, minimalist shoe, vibram, name your brand, they will have differences.  Perhaps these difference can be used for an advantage.  If you are someone that stands at work all day and gets any sort of pain, but I'm thinking lower back pain mostly, try taking 2-3 pairs of shoes to work and rotating which ones are worn every few hours.

Over the course of an 8 hour day, lets see if you can make 4 changes.  Just like having a pebble in your shoe would eventually change your gait, perhaps the slight variation in shoes will recruit slightly different patterns.  Enough to make some muscles that were working hard to work less and make other muscles that were under working, pick up some slack.  Change the movement variability.

Perhaps the only thing accomplished is there will be a different proprioceptive feedback from the feet to the brain and that is the only thing needed.  Perhaps nothing will happen.  But, it should be a fun experiment and with out any downside.  I've tried it with one person successfully, so lets get a bigger experiment going.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Things I'm Still Dumbfounded About

Every now and then you find yourself repeating several things daily.  Some however, I'm still in amazement that the information hasn't trickled down to the general public.  I was reminded of this yesterday.

Drawing your belly button in doesn't recruit more "abs,"  doesn't create more stability and in fact is counter productive to stability.  Just try to dumbbell curl with belly drawn in vs a brace.  

There is no exercise that will create that 6 pack.  Everyone has the 6 pack under a layer of fat.  Including me!  LOL.  That type of leanness is all diet and some genetics.  (perhaps some youth)

Running is not the only way you can keep the weight off.

If you have been stretching the same muscles for years and yet they still are always tight, guess what, it ain't working, so why do you want another stretch to do.

You have to move if you want to be healthy.  Literally move.  

You don't need to feel sore or like you died to have a good training session.  

Sleep is important.  Very important.  Skimp on sleep and eventually it will catch up with you somehow.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

My Thoughts On A Recent Bike Talk

I recently had the opportunity to take a bike seminar.  The topic was varied from bike fit to bikes itself.  The guys name was Jeff Noftz.  I missed some of the intro, but he at one point was a professional biking coach and still is deep in the bike community, especially on the east side of Michigan.  He has a heavy influence in eastern medicine with meridian therapy and I think this has strongly influenced his ideas with the bike.

My take on some of his points I've put in italics.

Some interesting things.  As a bike shop owner he basically said that in order of purchase importance, number one was wheels, 2nd was fork and 3rd was frame.  These are what allow you to bike fast.  The rest is just add ons.  A lot of cost is in components so good info.

He had some very nice points on fitting your shoe and cleat.  Don't look at the heel, line it up with just the forefoot.

Most people sacrifice power/speed at first by going with an unnatural position.  He feels that this holds you back at the end.  Essentially, you start riding and just want to go fast and generate power and do so in a bad postured position.  He thinks taking a better postured position to begin with and be slower allows a greater tail end of speed.  Sometimes this may take 2-5 years.   (Do athletes in their prime have this time? Also, is biking natural to begin with?)

From personal experience I don't think a bike fit should be done until after a minimum of 30 min of biking at a decent effort.  The body conforms.  Muscles stretch.  Blood flow increases flexibility.  What started as a reach becomes a comfortable position.

He basically raised almost everyone off their aerobars (this was all triathletes) by almost 2-4 inches.  He thinks you will be faster with better posture.  (I'm not sure I totally agree with this)

He came back heavily into Tai Chi on many points.  How this can help your biking.  Flow.  Relax.  Speed comes from relaxing.  Just like sprinting.  I do believe a relaxed athlete is a fast athlete.  Will this come from Tai Chi?  I don't know.  I have doubts that one discipline will carryover much to another.  As it never has in other things.  To be good at a sport, you have to do the sport.  He mentioned you don't get good at biking by biking.  (This is highly disagree with as biking is a skill, you get better at skill based sports by practicing skills)

This doesn't mean I don't think that Tai Chi and some other yoga type moves can't help.  It could be a big benefit to learn to move and relax but from a  nervous system angle.  Learning to feel muscles move and relax.  Exploring joint positions.  All this can be great things for recovery.  Recovery is crucial.

He talked about breathing a lot.  How important it is.  I couldn't agree more.  People pretty much suck at breathing.  No one practices when tired.  Learn to breath with the diaphragm when tired.  This is power, this is recovery, this is posture.

One thing we highly agree on was the over training of most athletes.  People want to train.  They think that this is how they get better.  True to a degree.  He came back and stated several times that most people never truly recover and are wasting their efforts.  (This is agree with highly.  I think most people are just spinning their wheels (literally and figuratively)  I believe endurance workouts should be so boring they are painful or so painful they make you nervous for days leading up to them and nothing in between.

People are not comfortable with either.  They love the hard effort the medium hurt.

He gave a few examples of drills to smooth out the cadence.  Mostly single leg drills.  Good things to do on a trainer in the winter.

He gave an example of people able to keep pedaling and bring their nose to the stem.  (While cool, my question is does this really matter?  I don't care about anomalies, I care about the normal of the elite.  Does this equate to such great core/balance that when accomplished equals less back pain or performance increase?  Doubtful).  

I didn't stick around for the individual bike fit so I can't comment on that to much, but I can say he is a very passionate cyclist that I wouldn't hesitate to ask questions about bikes or equipment.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Health and Performance

As I spent time today watching professional bike races in my hometown I can't help but look at how specific the body types become the better the racer.  Part is the old nature vs nurture.  We stay with the things we are good at. 

This applies to any sport.

The more we climb the ladder of athletic success in a specific endeavor,  the more likely we are to find overuse injuries and generally be less robust in life.  

The less robust statement is more of a question in my head lately then anything else. 
There is an epidemic of increase injuries in young people.   Ask any strength coach and performance specialist and they will tell you not to let a kid specialize.  It decreases athleticism and leads to injury.

Obviously at some point we choose a sport and pursue it to the extreme as moderation doesn't lead to success in athletics. 

My question or thoughts would be to integrate a training block in the off season that would be based off everything that isn't being trained.

For example,  I bobsleded as a side pusher for the US team for 2 seasons.  Sagittal work only.  Get big, get strong.  Run 30 meters pushing a sled as fast as you possibly can.  Aerobic work and rotational work amd tri planer work out.

I still feel I'm unglueing my hips from the lack of variety.

Just some thoughts as I watch the best at a specific activity.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Osteoporosis in a New Light

Osteoporosis: A Bone to Pick With Conventional Me…: