injury prevention

Exercise of the Day: Calf Raises

It’s important to strengthen your calves and ankles. We use them everyday when we walk, run, jump or play sports. They improve our mobility and performance. Having weak ankles and calves can lead to injuries such as ankle/calf sprains, ankle fractures or even damage to your achilles tendon.

Having strong ankles and calves are especially important for runners because it helps your foot push off when you run and your knee flexion when your leg swings.

Aim to strengthen them a few times a week by doing these 3 exercises:

  1. Basic Calf Raise
  2. Internal Rotation Calf Raise (toes pointed inward)
  3. External Rotation Calf Raise (toes pointed outward)

Do 20 reps of each exercise.

They are so easy that you can do them at home, work or the gym.

Try it!

Follow my blog for more Exercise of the Day moves.

6 Incredibly Satisfying Stretches For Tight Hips

Every time you sit down, you’re actively shortening the muscles in your hips, which ultimately makes them feel stiff. Exercise that involves hinging at the hips (like spinning) can make this even worse.

Luckily, some simple-but-incredibly-satisfying stretches can relieve the tension and promote flexibility. Here are six of them, as demonstrated by Bree Branker, a certified yoga instructor and indoor cycling instructor atFlywheel in New York City. Note: You can hold them for as long as you’d like!

1. Figure Four: Lie on your back with your arms along your sides, your knees bent, and the soles of your feet on the floor near your butt. Place your right ankle over your left leg, just below the knee. With both hands, grasp your left thigh. Lift your head and shoulders off the ground, and bend your elbows to gently pull your left knee in toward your chest. (You should feel it in your right hip.) Repeat on the opposite side.

2. Standing Bow: Balance on your left foot and bend your right knee as you bring your right foot toward your butt. With your right hand, grab the inside of the right foot. Keeping your hips square to the ground, hinge forward slightly as you reach up and forward with your left hand, and lift the right foot up behind you until you feel the stretch in your right hip. Repeat on the opposite side.

3. Upward-Facing Dog: Lie facedown on a mat with the tops of your feet on the ground and your toes pointed behind you. With bent elbows, place both palms on the ground near your hips. Relax your shoulders as you extend your elbows, and open your chest toward the front of your mat. Take your gaze upward and press into the palms to lift your hips up off the ground. To increase the stretch, increase the arch in your back and press the hips forward.

4. Floor Bow: Lie facedown on a mat and bend both knees to bring your heels toward your butt. With your left hand, reach behind you to grab the outside of your left foot. With your right hand, reach behind you and grab the outside of your right foot. Arch your back as you simultaneously use your hands to lift your knees and chest up off the floor.

5. Supta Virasana With High Hips: Sit on your knees with the tops of your feet pressed against the floor, your toes pointing behind you, and your butt on your heels. Gently lean back and place your elbows on the floor about knees-width apart. Place your left palm on your left heel and your right palm on your right heel. Keeping your neck in line with your spine and your shoulders away from your ears, press your hips up toward the ceiling.

6. Bridge Pose: Lie on your back with your knees bent, the soles of your feet on the floor about hips-width apart, and your arms along your sides, palms facing down. Release the tension in your neck as your press into your arms and shoulders to lift your hips up to the ceiling until you feel the stretch in your hips.

https://www.yahoo.com/health/6-orgasmic-stretches-for-tight-hips-115132669368.html

All Hands on Fitness Articles Master Post

If you’re looking to read some more of my articles, here are a couple of my favorites:

Mobility:

  1. Getting Rid of the “Butt Wink”
  2. 3 Reasons Why Your Poor Mobility is Holding You Back
  3. 4 Big Benefits of Eccentric Training
  4. 4 Quick Tips to Fix Your Ankle Mobility
  5. You Are What You Repeatedly Do
  6. Crossing Over to Better Movement Patterns

Injury Prevention:

  1. Why Does Your XYZ Hurt? (Your Pain Explained)
  2. Fixing 5 Flaws in Your Running Form
  3. Revamping the Dumbbell Row
  4. Text Neck: Checking Your Phone While Sparing Your Posture
  5. Sturdy Shoulders (How to Spare Your Shoulders from Injury)
  6. 5 Exercises to Help Cure Flat Feet
  7. Why I Only Train My Core Isometrically, and Why You Should Too
  8. Check Your Ribs! 4 Exercises to Fix Your Rib Position
  9. You’re Injured–Now What?
  10. Your Butt is Affecting Your Shoulder Stability
  11. Where Does Your Knee Pain Really Come From?
  12. 5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Neck
  13. Train Your Brain, Not Your Muscles
  14. How Bigger Hamstrings Will Improve Your Athleticism and Prevent Injury
  15. 3 Reasons Why Your Neck is Always Tight
  16. Perfecting Your Plank
  17. Behind the Neck Exercises: Do You Need Them?
  18. A Guide to Better Oblique Training: The Transverse Plane
  19. 1 Things Athletes Could Learn from Dancers
  20. How to Improve Bodily Awareness and Proprioception
  21. Your Hips Don’t Lie…Or Do They?
  22. “Neutral Neck:” How to Avoid Straining the Neck While Lifting
  23. Just Say No to the Smith Machine
  24. The Muscles You’re Forgetting to Train
  25. Is Stretching Really Helping You?
  26. Perfecting Your Push-up
  27. Why You Need to Have a Big Butt

Training:

  1. Practical Uses of Variety in Training
  2. Contrast Training: How it Works, and How to Use It for Impressive Gains
  3. Changing Up Your Rep Scheme
  4. Channel Your Inner Athlete with Agility Training
  5. Up, Up, and Away (Exercises to Improve Your Vertical Jump)
  6. Sleep: The Missing Part of a Workout Routine
  7. Training for Symmetry: Using Bodybuilding Exercises to Improve your Lifts
  8. Your Grip Strength is Limiting Your Other Lifts
  9. Breathe Your Way to Bigger Lifts
  10. Breathe Your Way to Bigger Lifts (Part 2)
  11. To Belt or Not to Belt?
  12. The Ab Exercise You’re Doing Incorrectly
  13. Training Hard VS. Training Smart
  14. Training Simple for Maximum Results
  15. The Biggest Mistake You’re Making in the Gym
  16. Rest and Relaxation: How Often Should You Rest?
  17. How Often Should You PR?

Nutrition:

  1. Insulin and the Importance of Meal Timing
  2. Carbs Are Not the Enemy
  3. What is “Healthy” to You?
  4. Ending the 1,200 Calorie Myth
  5. What “Food” Means to Me

Enjoy :)

I’m just being safe. I’m going to be the cutest 30-year-old in a headband. I don’t want to go back to step one again. It’s not just about me. It’s about the team so I’m going to do my best to do anything I need to do to keep it that way… [I want] kids to know that they should not feel foolish wearing equipment that may draw wisecracks from other people. I’m throwing my pride to the wind.
—  Ali Krieger

@trainergorres: Neck strength is a big factor when it comes to concussions. Try this move today to help reduce the risk of a serious injury.
Neck Bridge - sit on the ground in front of a bench with your head resting on the bench. Perform a glute bridge, keeping the chin away from the chest and the nose pointed straight to the ceiling. While maintaining the bridge, push your chest out thru your shirt and your head into the bench.
Beginners 6 x 10 seconds
Intermediate 3 x 20 seconds
Advanced 2 x 30 seconds
#TrainWithTheBest #InjuryPrevention

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You’re Injured–Now What?

At some point in nearly every athlete or active person’s career, he or she will experience some injury, either major or minor. Whether you’ve torn a tendon or ligament, sprained a muscle, or you just have a nagging painful area that won’t seem to go away, you understand how frustrating it can be when you’re making a lot of progress and your body forces you to a screeching halt.

She does not look like she’s having a good time.

Unless it is a traumatic injury (broken bone or a complete muscle tear), many people will just bite their tongues through the pain and continue to train normally. Perhaps they’ll rest for a few days, or they’ll avoid painful movements.

If you’re currently suffering from some sort of issue, you’re probably trying to figure out what the safest approach is that will allow you to continue to make progress towards your goals.

Injury (or pain) can be a slippery slope. Often times, people will approach me saying “my XYZ hurts. What should I do about it?” First, let me start by saying that I’m not an Orthopedist, a physical therapist or a chiropractor. I simply work in an environment in which people have a pretty high injury risk if they’re not being careful, and I’ve had the opportunity to rack the brains of some very intelligent people who are much more qualified in this area than I am.

Here are some safe approaches to dealing with a painful or injured area without losing your precious gains that you’ve worked so hard to achieve:

  1. Get assessed! This is the number one, without a doubt, biggest priority. So many people put off going to a physical therapist or chiropractor for one reasons or another. Perhaps they’re afraid of what a doctor will say, or they’re just too stubborn. Alternatively, they’d prefer to deal with the pain on their own, and they exacerbate their symptoms. Often times, problem areas are a pretty quick fix, assuming you see the right therapist. Finding out what muscles are weak or under-active will be helpful in preventing other similar injuries down the line.
  2. Prioritize corrective exercise. I hear so many people complaining about pain, but yet no one wants to do anything to fix it. Instead, they will pop a couple Aspirin and hope it’ll disappear on its own. Sorry to rain on your parade, but that won’t work in the long term. Where there is pain, there is dysfunction. Injuries are very rarely caused by one isolated incident, but, rather, the culmination of months (or years) of bad movement patterns. Pain happens when your body says “Whoa, something needs to change. I can’t keep working like this.” Breathing drills are absolutely important to bring your body back to the parasympathetic nervous system. Correcting your posture will improve your mechanics. Strengthening weak muscles will lead to more optimal movement patterns. Do your shoulder stability work, core strengthening, and hip stability exercises. Without consistency, your symptoms will persist.
  3. Only lift with perfect technique. This goes hand-in-hand with number two. Don’t put more weight on the bar than your body is ready to handle. Injuries happen when you compensate.
  4. Don’t train painful movements. Figure out a way to work around the pain. If squats are painful when you pass parallel (full knee flexion), try doing box squats or lunges for a while. Are front squats bothering your wrists? Stick with back squats. When a movement causes you pain, you will, subconsciously and consciously, move differently. Your body is going to reflexively shift weight away from a painful area, so you might place more weight on one side of your body than the other, or recruit muscles you shouldn’t be recruiting.
  5. Focus on other areas of your body. While your ankle is bothering you, you may use this time to work on your pull-ups and your bench press. Try adding some gymnastics movements into your routine. If your shoulder is injured, now’s the time to improve your sprints and increase your back squat. Spend time strengthening the uninjured areas, so that you can still stay on top of your game.

Injuries are frustrating, but they’re not the end of the world. If you take all of the proper measures to treat them, you can be back to training normally in just a few weeks.

With an injury, the worst thing you could possibly do would be to ignore it and just hope it gets better on its own. Be proactive and help yourself! Remember, we all experience injury at one point or another, and you can still make progress while you’re injured. Always listen to your body and train safely.

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Yoga for Runners

Yoga and running go hand in hand. It doesn’t seem like it because they are on opposite ends of the physical activity spectrum, but they do. It’s the perfect combination of flexibility (yoga) and strength (running).

Why? The act of running causes muscles to shorten and get tight. While doing yoga makes your muscles get loose and lengthen.

I found a great article to explain more here 

Aim to incorporate yoga into your training routine 3-4x a week. It will really help to keep your body flexible which will help prevent injuries.

Check out my Pinterest Board here for great yoga routines including yoga for athletes.

Follow my blog for more fitness and health tips.

8 Yoga Inspired Stretches To Soothe Sore Muscles

So a couple months ago I made a commitment to ‘Yoga Every Damn Day’ and for the most part I have been even if it’s only for 5 minutes a day. I even did a 30 Day Yoga Challenge on Instagram last month. Why? Because it is extremely beneficial for an athlete like me.

I’m training for my 3rd NYC Marathon,(would’ve been 4 but 2012 got cancelled) and running all those miles makes my body stiff and sometimes sore.

Now that I do yoga after every run, I’m not sore the next day. Even after my most recent 22 mile run. It’s amazing!

It also helps prevent injuries.

So when I found this great infographic, I just had to share it. I do every single move on this thing especially the groin stretches and my body feels great afterward.

Give it a try. 

Try holding each pose for 4-5 breaths(20-30 seconds).

Reblog to Share.

Namaste!

Behold, the anatomical snuff box!

Why a snuff box you ask? Well, extension of the thumb forms a impression in the hand that many a delinquent have used for the snorting of unsavory substances.

That said, this area is important for assessing the swelling associated with scaphoid fractures.

External image

The scaphoid is one of the many carpal (hand) bones. A fracture of this bone is usually associated with a fall on an outstretched hand, also called a FOOSH. It requires around 6 weeks of immobilization for care and the wrist must be protected for an additional 6 months afterwards.

Ouch.

Though swelling is a solid indication of injury, wrists sprains and fractures look very similar externally and an x-ray is needed for a final diagnosis.

All in all, if you must fall, learning how to fall correctly can save you a lot of hurt.

Source:

“Rehabilitation techniques for Sports Medicine and Athletic Injuries, 5th ed.” William E. Prentice

Image credits:

http://teachmeanatomy.info/wp-content/uploads/Labelled-Tendons-of-the-Anatomical-Snuffbox-Hand-TeachMeAnatomy.png

http://www.wristsupportbraces.com/Images/category/icon/Scaphoid-Fracture.jpg

Running From Injury


Runners and other athletes have a high tolerance level for pain. So many of us ignore what could be a major injury in the making.

This awesome #infographic details the 5 most common running injuries, their symptoms, causes and treatments.

It also has great injury prevention tips.

Check it out and reblog to share with your Fitblrs and Runblrs.

It may help someone stay healthy. There’s nothing worse to a runner than an injury that prevents them from running.