Monday, April 27, 2009

Grand Rapids Rugby Tournament

Congrats to the Grand Rapids Rugby Football Club. Coach Grahm and team President Justin Hickey, put together a great tournament. With the help of the team they put on a well run Midwest Regional Rugby College/Under 23 all star championship weekend. The only thing not in cooperation was the weather. Saturday saw flashes of lightning, which requires a 30 minute delay after each strike and sunday saw torential downpours. Regardless, the games were played. It was a lot of fun to help out and see rugby continue to grow in the midwest. Because of the weather the Grand Rapids vs Traverse City game was cancelled, so GR's win streak couldn't continue.

This spring the Gazelles have been dominate. They have won all their games by an average score of 69-9. It's a shame that this team won't get a chance to roll into the playoffs. They had a subpar fall, with out the numbers out to play as they do this spring, so they failed to qualify. But with the reemergence of this spring talent, they will be a force this year. Again Congrats to GR Rugby for putting on a great tournament and spreading rugby in the midwest!

Friday, April 24, 2009

squat swith wooden plates

When you want something badly enough, you will find a way. Making weights out of wood...crazy and inspiring.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ankling-Sprint drill

One reason many people experience achillies and shin pain is that they land on their toes while running. Their ankles are plantar flexed. When you land in such a way you tend to land with the center of mass behind the toes or point of impact. This can lead to achillies pain and also slow you down. A plantar flexed ankle leads to less knee flexion.

Ankling is a great drill for part of your warm up or on technique days. Simply stated, it's running and landing on dorsiflexed ankle, cueing "curl the toes towards your shin" before and after contact. Getting the ankle dorsiflexed as fast as possible after ground contact and knee flexed will speed up hip flexion.

So, dorsiflexed ankles will not only speed up your sprint times, but will keep shin pain and achillies pain at bay.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Back Extension w/Barbell in Grand Rapids

This is a home made back extension. A regular back extension or glute ham wouldn't give me the ROM I'm looking for. This is a great way to really develop the errector/glute/hamstring. The errectors play such a huge role in injury prevention and sports performance.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Kidney Function

This is probably one of the best explanations of the kidneys and what happens when there is a problem with the way they function. It comes from Michael Eades. A great nutrition blog. Enjoy!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Muscle Structure and What it Means!

There are several different types of muscle structure. Ever wonder what it all means? Why are there such differences and what does it mean for those that strength train? At it's basic level there is the tendon-muscle belly-tendon complex. From there it gets a bit more complicated. It starts with the angle the muscle fibers makes with the tendon. From there it can become even more complex with the number and length of the muscle fibers.

So with all these differences you can guess that not all muscles are designed to do the same function and work. Let us start with the four types of structure.
1. Parallel-fibered
2. Unipennate
3. Fusiform
4. Multipennate.

1. Parallel fibered muscles the fibers run parallel to the line of action.
2. Pennate fibers run at an angle to the line of action. They can be slightly pennate and strongly pennate. Strongly pennate has a larger angle to the line of action.
3. Fusiform is a type of pennate.

Parallel fibers can be short and thick or long and thin. Short and thick fibers will pull harder (greater force) but produce less speed and work over a short range. Long and thin will shorten rapidly (thus speed), can have force over a large range, but slight force. These muscles are more suited for concentric/eccentric work.

Pennate muscle can develop a large cross sectional area. Larger cross section equals larger force. These will not be very fast and work over small range. These are more suited to concentric work.

Later I'll cover what muscles are parallel and which are pennate. But for now, hope that gets you thinking along the lines of muscle structure and function.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Learning Is Never Wasted

If you ever get a chance to watch Slum Dog Millionaire, watch it. It's a pretty fun movie. It has, I think, a pretty cool message. No learning is ever wasted. You will never know when the weird things you learn will become useful and beneficial. That English Lit degree may become useful even if your job is now in finance. No learning is ever wasted. Ben Carson, the tremendous and gifted neurosurgeon credits his interest in classical music getting him into Johns Hopkins. They interviewer and he had a shared love of Bach. It separated him from all the other gifted and qualified candidates. It's one of the main reasons I think hobbies are so beneficial. Out of the blue you will learn something that may help you with your "career." So read and participate and pursue your hobbies, you will never regret learning something new, and in the process may help yourself in unimaginable ways.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hand Stand Push Up w/Reverse Ab

This is a fun little exercise. Just another exercise to throw in your library and try. It's pretty good at strengthening the shoulder girdle. It can be part of your anterior core progression. The keys are to keep your glutes and core tight, so the low back doesn't sway in. Try to keep your shoulder blades down and back. Always be careful with something like this. This isn't for everyone. The last thing you want is a face plant!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Biarticular Muscles

The biarticular muscles are very important when it comes to sprinting and in sport in general. Biarticular refers to the muscles spanning more then one joint. One joint muscle being monoarticular. In the legs the most important biarticular muscles are the hamstrings, rectus femoris of the quadricep group and the gastrocnemius. In the upperbody the biceps brachi and triceps brachi would be equivalent.

Biarticular muscles are important as they transfer energy from one joint to another. If all the muscles were monoarticular they would be ineffeciant as much of the energy would be thermal energy as they would have to work eccentrically. So these biarticular muscles transfer the energy generated by the monoarticular muscles. The rectus femoris slows down hip extension and converts it to knee extension. The hamstrings slows down knee extension and converts it to hip extension. The gastroc slows down knee extension and converts into planterflexion at the ankle joint.

The big energy generators in sprinting are the monoarticular muscles Glute max and the Quadricep group. So these should be trained for concentric power! The biarticular muscles are what transfers that energy into effeciant movement. So they should be trained with multiple movements not just concentrically. So needless to say the leg curl should be the last piece of equipment the athlete should be on.