Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Midweek Post: Books, Iso's and Orthotics

If you're looking for a fun quick read for a few days, try out Dhani Jones new book.  I'm about all the way through it and it was a fun read.  I loved his show on TLC which was him traveling to other countries, spending a week there, learning there sport and culture, culminating in him competing in the sport against locals.  It is a cross between his thoughts, travel diary, sport/culture and different training styles for each and how they benefited his play in the NFL.  The Sportsman: Unexpected Lessons from an Around the World Sports Odyssey.

I've played around this week with Jay Schroeders Deadly Seven Iso's.  You hold a squat, push up, right and left lunge, chin up, good morning and finally inverted row for 5 minutes.  Obviously you're not going to be able to go 5 min.  You accumulate as much time as you can, rest and keep going.  I only did 3 min.  The only one I made it through without stopping was the squat.  The upper body stuff was extremely hard for me.  I was pretty surprised at how sore I was the next day.  I really liked the fact, that I could feel my weak spots being challenged.  An old shoulder dislocation from rugby has always made my left scapulae do funny things and feel weaker/less stable.  I think this will be a valuable tool in the toolbox to iron out some dysfunction.

I recommend the iso push up and inverted row for all chiropractors to help protect your shoulders.  Doing side postures on people day in and day out can lead to some shoulder problems down the line.  Protect yourself.  

I often hear people say they don't like orthotics and they use the analogy, if you had back pain would you put them in a brace and say don't move.  Well, obviously I wouldn't.  But a good orthotic, isn't about  stopping motion, it's about stopping excess motion.  If I had a shoulder dislocation and had a to play a contact sport, I would wear a brace that stops extreme end range motion for sure.  Same thing with a good orthotic.  Professional Golf, I was told by a biomechanist in Boston, doesn't allow the use of orthotics unless for a medical condition, because it's considered a performance enhancement.  Food for thought.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dehydration and Positional Vertigo

I'm not sure why it seems to work this way, but when I see a certain condition, I start seeing a lot of it.  One patient will come in with plantar fascia, first one in months, then I will get quite a few more.

Lately, I have been seeing quite a few patients with positional vertigo.  Positional vertigo is the feeling of dizziness, sometimes nausea, coming from a certain position.  Could be laying down, could be sitting up, could be laying only on the right side.

 I started doing some research.  There are a few maneuvers that seem to help people.  Epley Maneuver being the most common.  The most interesting note, what I've seen help pretty quickly, is hydration.

Positional vertigo may be a result of being dehydrated.  I've seen it help a few right away.  If you have dizziness with positions or know of someone that does, tell them to drink up.  Hydrate.

On a side note, I always tell patients to drink a lot of water after getting treated.  I've now come to realize I have to give specific numbers after learning one patient thought 30 ounces was a lot of water.  For the record, 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Random Thoughts, Tips and Ideas from Train Out Pain in Grand Rapids, MI

 This is just stuff I've read, am doing/observing or thinking about.

Weak VMO's contribute to calf problems.  Runners that continually have tight calves check the VMO for adhesion's and strength deficits.

Invest in a heart rate monitor if you're interested in your own fitness or conditioning levels.  I think knowing your resting heart and knowing if it's improving from your own training is vital.  I've been using the Polar RS100.  No complaints so for.

The name Joel Jamieson kept creeping up in my seminar in Boston when energy systems were mentioned.  I am reading through his book Ultimate MMA Conditioning.  Great book, I highly recommend it in terms of understanding the energy systems.  Don't let the title fool you, it can be applied to all sports. A more complete understanding of the energy systems is my goal for the last 6 months of this year.  He has an awesome video post on his blog  I was really impressed he put it up on his site.  Basically, you can watch him give a lecture on energy system development and philosophy from a seminar he did in Virginia.  Here is the link. ENERGY SYSTEM

With runners and sprinters, make sure the t9-t11 area is free to rotate, when this is fixated, they will get much more arm crossover trying to create the rotation.

Two other books I'm just starting are Special Strength Training For Coaches by Verkhoshansky. It's a long awaited item by many strength coaches as it was in Russian for a long time.
The other is Adaptation in Sports Training by Viru.  It's my goal like I stated early to really, really understand whats going on in terms of adaptation physiologically in the body with different training styles and how it can be manipulated.  Energy system for patients and athletes is vital for performance and health.

Here's a hint,what were taught in school about different times correlating with the creatine phosphate, anaerobic and aerobic system is quite wrong.  The aerobic system is more important then we ever thought.

Cal Dietz strength coach at University of Minnesota has started using time periods instead of Reps.  Cool concept.  You do as much work as you can in a time.  So each rep is fast.  He may use 3 seconds, 5 seconds, 20 or 40 sec.  It all makes sense in time under tension, speed of movement and intensity.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rib Mobility and Movement Checks from Shirley Sahrmann

One of the big take aways I took from Shirley Sahrmanns lecture a few weeks ago in Boston was the importance of monitoring posture and movement.  For those of you that don't know, Shirley is one of the smartest manual therapist out there.  I own two of her textbooks, that I refer back to often.  Her first book, actually influence the way I treat and evaluate patients and athletes.

She must have stated 3-4 times over the course of her two hour talk about how she can't believe in today's society we don't have regular movement checks, but that we have twice yearly teeth check ups.  She extrapolated on what health benefits teeth bring, then extrapolated on what health benefits proper movement brings.  Hard to argue about some of that. 

Her lecture was titled "The Role of Hip Movement in Low Back Pain."  One of the key points I took away was measuring rib movement.  I really, really like this concept.  Like the quote says, "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it."

She suggests that you breath all the way out, measure your rib circumference, then take a deep inhale.  Measure again.  Optimal rib movement is 3 inches.  I was at 1.5 inches then and 2 inches now. Lately,  I have had less midback tightness.  Circumstantially, I PR'd in inverted row reps recently.

 Improve joint function, improve movement quality, improve strength.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Perkins The Human Machine (HUNGRY BEAST)

Want to see the inner circle of an Elite Athlete? There are some universal similarities no matter what the sport. Dedicated athlete, great equipment (when needed), smart strength coach, consistent soft tissue therapy, great nutrition and quality supplements. Don't look for the differences in why people are great, find the conditions that are the same across sports and emulate those. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Understanding Isometrics for Athletic Performance

One of the topics I was able to learn more about in my seminar in Boston was the use of Isometrics in strength and conditioning.  Isometrics are a very intriguing topic for me as it can be used by novice and elite athletes for benefits.

First, muscle activation can be defined as 3 phases.  Concentric, (shortening of the muscle), Isometric (no change in length) and Eccentric (lengthening of the muscle).  This is termed triphasic.  So in every dynamic repetition there is an isometric component.  

There are two general types of Isometrics.  Yielding Iso's and Overcoming Iso's.  A Yielding Iso is where the athlete is trying to keep himself from lowering the weight or lowering the body.  Holding a lunge position, holding a push up and holding yourself up in a chin up position are examples.

Overcoming Iso's would be trying to overcome an object.  Pulling as hard as you can against a barbell that can't move.  Pushing against a wall.  Pushing or pulling on a barbell that is set on pins in a squat rack for a deadlift or a squat, would be two great examples.  

Ray Eady, strength coach at the University of Wisconsin, talked extensively how he uses Isometrics, athletes can develop better deceleration with the use of Yielding Iso's and acceleration with Overcoming Iso's.  Overcoming Iso's are Central Nervous System (CNS) intensive and should be used as you would a Max Effort type exercise.  

Some of the research Coach Eady presented was that Iso's can contribute up to 5% more motor units.  That it can be used to increase strength effectively at desired joint angles.  Greater strength gains when combined with a dynamic movement.  When combined with a dynamic movement you use the iso first as a potentiator, recruiting more motor units then normal, then do a dynamic movement to take advantage of this.

Some examples presented were as varied as you can get depending on goals.  Hold the isometric for 7 seconds, rest 30 seconds and then go into a dynamic exercise.

Hold a yielding or overcoming iso for 20-40 seconds to work the hypertrophy angle.

Hold a joint angle for 8 seconds at several different angles to work on strengthening a injured bodypart or muscle.

Hold a yielding iso for max time to work on ROM using eccentric quasi isometric (EQI) principles.

A common parameter Coach Eady presented was 7 seconds iso/1 rep/6sec iso/1 rep/5 sec iso/1 rep...ect   So he was combining isometric with full movement in an endurance type parameter.

Isometrics have many benefits, but there are a few drawbacks.  There is a quick adaptation period, so shouldn't program them in for longer then 8 weeks.  They require a lot of concentration, what you put in, is what you get out.  They are hard to measure in terms of strength gains and progress.

Isometrics are a great tool to add into your strength training arsenal.   Use wisely and they will help develop a healthier more athletic patient/athlete.  

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Motivation: Movie Training Montage

This was just fun to watch. First one to list all the movies shown in the comments section I will send a free bottle of Pure Nutrient 950. (You have to have a US mailing address)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Isometric Single Leg Deadlift

The concentric portion of this exercise. The athletes were doing heavy triples followed by box jumps. The isometric was using the sets/reps of 3 sets 7 sec holds. 60 seconds rest. They were often paired then with a high velocity exercise in the form of some type of jump following completion of the isometric. The theory behind the iso is that it really builds and recruits the motor units. These are very taxing.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fascial Fitness Seminar by Thomas Myers in Boston

Thomas Myers is the author of Anatomy Trains.

A book about the way things are connected from the sole of your foot to the top of your head.  There are several "trains" that make up the body.  It's a great book and has been profoundly influential on how we look at, treat and train the body.

If you haven't read it.  Get it.  It's great.  He was one of the reasons I signed up for the seminar I took this past weekend in Boston.  I wanted to hear and learn from him for awhile.  I will talk about a few other's later this week or next.

First, Myers has about as much influence on our knowledge of practical application of the newest fascial information you can find.  He can go off a bit on some interesting tangents...ala Paul Check and get into the spiritual side of body work ect...but it's hard not to listen.

So here are some notes and thoughts from the lecture.

1/2 of what we know will be wrong in 20 years.  The problem is we don't now which half.  So always keep an open mind.  Stuff that doesn't work but should, stuff that shouldn't work and it does.  There will never be an absolute.  Don't get stuck with that mindset.  Example,  "Five years ago, I would have stood up here and stated absolutely, fascia does not contract!  We now know that fascia does contract and has a profound impact on contractions.

Look at the posture of depressed people.  They are stuck on the exhale. Breath out as hard as you can and hold that posture.  Feel the tension and compression in your body.  We know there is a serotonin problem.  But could there possibly be a breathing problem?   Fascially, look at the pecs, scalene, SCM and get that diaphragm fully engaged.

He thinks a lot of the ADHD we see in kids these days is coming from a lack of people not inhabiting their body correctly.  How I took it was the things like art, music and sport are being taken away and there isn't enough stimulation neurally to get a proper release.

Fascia is stronger then steel.  Just sounds cool.

Women with hysterectomies have a destroyed fascial pelvic floor.  (from my own thoughts, the diaphragm will have to be free along with the psoas to help stabilize the inner core)

We now know when you lift a weight or pull on a muscle.  That muscle is only doing about 50% of the load. Other structures around the joint are being used.  This is most evident with the lower leg.

That knot you find about the medial top shoulder blade from the levator scapulae will not improve if posture remains a problem.  He calls it the forward head strap preventer.

A new gem I learned is that a muscle will have different tendencies of dysfunction.  It can be eccentrically loaded which will be painful and people will complain about the pain.  You can also have a concentrically loaded where it is again dysfunction but will not be painful.  Eccentrically will be long and tight.  Concentrically will be short and tight.  Very interesting.

Very interesting point.  Myofibroblast can pull significantly on the extracellular matrix.  Extracellular matrix is everything that isn't a cell to put it simply.  The environment that you cells live in.  Fibers and glue ect....Now the real interesting point is that athletes have more myofibroblasts then non athletes.  What we don't know is if there born that way or is it because of training.  I would tend to be on the side that it can be trained for.  (not sure how)  Everything we are learning lately is that we are in control, epigenetics ect.  Now how much more can we get?  That will be something to keep your eye on.

These myofibroblasts are heavily present in the thoracolumbar, crural fascia.  They are also super prevalent in Dupuytrens Contracture in the palms.

From research there are to types of fascial individuals.  Viking fascia and what he calls temple dancers.  Viking people are stiff and temple are loose.  The theory is that it takes more energy because of the friction and stiffness to move and thus creates heat.

He gives this little test to see what you are naturally.  Flex your wrist down and pull your thumb towards your forearm.  The closer you get your thumb to the forearm the less Viking you are.  If you get your thumb to your forearm, your what he calls a temple dancer.  Fluid and less stiff individual.  I am somewhere in the middle, more temple dancer I believe then Viking though.

He believes we are in the Fascial Health decade and that's where the research will be.  70's was power, 80's aerobics, 90's neural coordination, 00's core.

Fascia transmits force globally.  Fascia listens with it's many sensors.  Fascia has 10x more sensors then a muscles.

Fascial fitness was the title of his lecture.  Train the long myofascial slings.  Don't isolate muscle.  He think this is a horrible idea.  (I personally do believe there is a time and place for isolating a muscle)  What he is getting at is that the body is one piece.  When you start doing leg extensions...ect.  You are training your body to not be fluid, not be a spring.

Stretch in multiple variations.  He actually has some cool fascial stretches that I will discuss at a later date.  It would be to hard to explain without pics or video.

Cultivate elastic rebound.  An example is doing push ups off a wall.  Stand, fall into the wall and push to a standing position.  Train preparatory counter movement.  Think jumping.  ( this was big concept with many of the strength coaches I listened to over the weekend)

It takes 6-24 months for fascial changes.  I believe he was speaking about permanent changes that need no intervention for global patterns.

He gave an interesting example of a nationally ranked older German weight lifter that took a vegetable brush and brushed it all over his body before he attempted big lifts.  He said it turns his fascia on through enhanced proprioception.  This will be an interesting experiment.  You see it all the times in sprinters before they get in the blocks.  They are hitting their quads, glutes, saying "Wake up!"

Facial health comes down to posture, nutrition and hydration.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Motivation - 2nd place!

Their is nothing wrong with Silver. It's the mindset that you will accept 2nd and never strive for gold. It's the settling for less then your best when you get comfortable with good and not great. This video does contain a few swear words.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Magnesium Supplementation for Asthma

Magnesium deficiency is definitely a problem with athletes and those that have a sub par diet.  Sub par being not eating, nuts/vegetables everyday.  I've read the numbers as high as 80% of general population when tested, is deficient and the fact that is involved in over 300 functions in the body shows that it's pretty significant.

I was talking to a fellow therapist that had used magnesium to treat anything that had to do with muscular "spasm."  He had results with leg cramps, which I've seen.  Also, he had some success with such conditions as irritable bowel and migraines.  These I've never even thought to mention or think about.  

The one condition I found some research was with Asthma.  Asthma seems to be on the rise.  I seem to see more and more kids with inhalers.  I don't think I had a single kid in my class in high school who had one.  

Regardless, asthma  can be a serious condition for many people.  This study looked at 55 people that were given 2x a day Mg supplementation vs a placebo.  Total supplementation per day was 340mg.  This study lasted 6.5 months.  Pretty decent size and length.  

There were two objective markers and also subjective.  The people rated their quality of life.  Both objective markers for gaging bronchial activity improved and the subjects reported better quality of life.  

For athletes dealing with asthma Mg supplementation is a must in my opinion.  Make sure you supplement with a quality Mg as this is one ingredient that is easy for supplement companies to skip on quality.  Check out PURE Magnesium.

Here is the original Research on PUBmed.