Tag Archives: education

3 Upper Body Strength Training Exercises That Improve Running Performance

ImageBy: Geoff Rubin, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

Our bodies interact as one integrated system. When emphasizing proper running form, we must look at the performance of how the entire kinetic chain is moving, from the toes all the way up. While running, your arms counterbalance the motion of your legs, resulting in saved energy. The swing of the arms helps drive the body forward so the lower body is not doing all the work. Having a strong upper body bolsters a runner’s form when fatigue sets in.

Incorporate the following exercises to build upper body strength in the weight room as to improve running performance. Many of the exercises below focus on unilateral or single limb exercises to replicate proper running form. They also emphasize balance at the shoulder joint, counteracting pronation of the shoulders from the blunders of a sedentary work environment.

1: Single Arm Body-weight Row

Image

  • How to do it: Use a TRX or barbells set at sternum height. Grab the bar/ handle with one hand using a neutral (palm facing in) grip. Walk your feet forward so that your body comes closer to parallel with the ground. Pull your shoulder back and be sure to keep your body in a straight line throughout the movement. Pull your chest to the bar keep your shoulders square the entire time.

  • How this helps: Rounded shoulders prevent proper running form by limiting the ability of the chest to expand. Incorporating more pulling exercises in your strength training program is one way to even out the chest by retracting and depressing the shoulders. This pulling exercise forces your core and upper body to maintain a square posture similar to the running motion.

2: Torso Rotation with Resistance Band

ImageHow to do it: Secure a cable or resistance band at waist height on your right side. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and hold the cable in front of you with straight arms—there should be tension in the cable. Brace your core. Maintaining an erect torso and without moving your legs, rotate your torso so that your hands (and the cable) move to the left while maintaining your original head position. Rotate back to the start and all the way to the right. Switch positions so the cable is on your left side, and repeat.

How this helps: Arm swinging requires movement and a level of rotation in your upper spine. Your body rotates like a pivot.” To ward off fatigue, “we need to make sure the thoracic (upper) spine is nice and loose.” – (Ali Gelani, M.S., CPT)

3) Alternating High Knees

ImageHow to do it: Stand in place with your feet hip-width apart. Drive your right knee toward your chest while keeping your left arm at a 90 degree bend as to connect the two sides and quickly place the leg and arm back to their starting positions. Follow immediately by driving your left knee toward your chest with your right arm bent at a 90 degree angle. Continue to alternate knees with the corresponding arms.

How this helps:  The action of running is a fluid forward progression with minimal trunk rotation. Incorporating the motion of high knees drives the hip forward contracting the quads while emphasizing a counterbalanced motion of the hands. This translates over to the pavement.

Let us be your one stop shop for fitness. Check out http://www.fitnesspropelled.com

Follow us on Twitter @ FPropelled

Like us on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/FitnessPropelled

 View us on Yelp @ http://www.yelp.com/biz/fitness-propelled-llc-scottsdale

 

Sources:
Jeremey DuVall, M.S., CPT

NIKKI KIMBALL, M.S.P.T.

Ali Gelani, M.S., CPT

Interval training, a must for reaching greater heights as a runner

Image “If you ever want to be a successful runner, you have to consider everything.” (Arthur Lydiard) All the more reason that just running more or longer simply doesn’t cut it in today’s ever growing popularity with running. Well, you must be asking, what am I supposed to do instead?   It is time for us to understand and implement the benefits of “Interval Training”.

 Interval training is defined as training in which an athlete alternates between two activities, typically requiring different rates of speed, degrees of effort. The University of Western Ontario, showed that with just six weeks of sprint interval training participants elicited jumps in VO2 max, running performance and lower heart rates as compared to regular endurance training.“You can train all the energy systems with interval training, including stamina, threshold, strength and improve your mental discipline” (Ken Rickerman). When you have the chance to get more bang for your buck, why wouldn’t you consider ramping up the intensity occasionally?

 Let’s put interval training into practice. Training intensity should follow the widely cited rule for endurance athletes, which is to do 80% of your training below your lactate threshold and 20% at or above it. In more simplistic terms, your lactate threshold is the intensity at which lactic acid begins to build up in your blood stream. As runners world puts it and I agree, “it’s all about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, but generally at a controlled pace”.

Examples of implementing interval training into common mileage distances:

  • 1 mile: .25 @ 4mph / .25 @ 4.5mph / .25 @ 5mph / .25 @ 4mph
  • 3.2 miles: 1mile @ 5mph / .50 @ 6mph / .25 @ 6.5mph / .25 @ 7mph / 1mile @ 6mph / .20 @ 5.5mph

  • 6.0 miles: 2miles @ 4.5mph / 1mile @ 5.5mph / 2 miles @ 4.5 / 1 mile @ 6mph

Image

Let us be your one stop shop for fitness. Check out http://www.fitnesspropelled.com

Follow us on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/FPropelled

Like us on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/FitnessPropelled

View us on Yelp @ http://www.yelp.com/biz/fitness-propelled-llc-scottsdale

5 Strength Training Exercises for Running Enthusiasts

Who knew that in order to increase running efficiency, lessen injury potential and develop more core and lower body stability that we need to incorporate “strength training” as opposed to just running more? Well, if you find yourself on the side of choosing to run more, you might want to consider adding a strength training component to your work out regime. Fitness Propelled has been examining preventative running practices, injury treatments and understanding common running injuries. Now, it is time to take our collective knowledge and become proactive by applying the exercises portrayed below. Recommended 3 sets of each @ time and repetitions listed.

1)      Reverse lunges with overhead presses:

Image

  • Hold a pair of dumbbells straight above your shoulders, with your arms straight and elbows locked. Step backwards with your left leg, and lower your body until your front knee is bent 90 degrees. Return to the starting position, and repeat with your right leg. That’s one repetition. 12-15 repetitions per set.

              i.      Muscles worked: quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus, shoulders, core

2)      Planks:

Image

  • Prop yourself up on your elbows with your feet slightly apart. Make sure your body is aligned, your abdominal muscles are tight, and shoulders are directly above the elbows and down and back, not hunched up. Hold this position for 45 seconds to one minute per set. Gradually add time as your core gets stronger.

                   i.      Muscles worked: core, lower back, shoulders

3)      Stability ball back extensions:

Image

  • Lie face-down on a stability ball with your feet spread wide for balance. Your elbows should be bent with your hands lightly touching the ground for initial support. Squeeze your gluteus and lift your torso up until your body forms a straight line. As you lift your torso, allow your hands to come off the ground, keeping your elbows bent. Extend your arms overhead. Hold for one or two seconds. Release your arms and then your torso back down to the start position. That’s one rep. Aim for 12-15 repetitions per set. No stability ball? You can do the movement on an exercise mat: Raise your thighs and arms off the ground while your torso stays in contact with the ground.

                   i.      Muscles worked: lower back, glutes, middle back, shoulders

4)      Kettlebell squats w/ rotational twists

ImageHold the kettlebell with both hands in front of your chest. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Push your hips back, and lower your body into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Press the kettlebell above your head to the right shoulder rotating through your abdomen, return the kettlebell to the original position and repeat to the left shoulder. 12-15 repetitions per set.

                       i.      Muscles worked: glutes, quads, hamstrings, lower back, upper back, shoulders

5)  Stability ball hip extensions or gluteus bridges

Image

  • Lie on your back on the floor, and place your calves on a stability ball. Extend your arms to your sides to help support and balance your body. Push your hips up so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Without allowing your hips to sag (keep with your body at all times), roll the ball as close as you can to your hips by bending your knees and pulling your heels toward you.

                  i.      Muscles worked: hamstrings, gluteus, core

 

Let us be your one stop shop for fitness. Check out http://www.fitnesspropelled.com

Follow us on Twitter @ FPropelled

Like us on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/FitnessPropelled

 

 

 

How do you go about preventing and treating running injuries?

Fitness Propelleds’ previous article was all about identifying and understanding some of the more common running injuries. In this article we will provide you with handy tools as to prevent those injuries from occurring and present a few strategies in order to treat injuries that have occurred.

Preventative Components:

1)      Stretching for the task: Examples

  • Dynamic (pre- run):  Leg swings: Hold onto a sturdy object, stand on one leg and swing the other leg forward and back. Do 15-20. Then swing that same leg side to side the same number of times. Each swing should build until your leg is close to its full range of motion.

Image

  • Static (post-run):  Kneeling hip flexor and hamstring: From a kneeling position, plant the right foot on the ground in front of you, so the leg is bent 90 degrees, with the knee and ankle aligned. Keeping your back straight, press forward into your right hip while keeping your left knee pressed into the ground, stretching your left hip and right hamstring. To increase the stretch to the left hip flexors, squeeze and contract the glute muscles of your left hip.

Image

2)      Cross Training: Examples (Infuse multiple modalities of training into your regime that will increase aerobic capacity and develop lower extremity stability, mobility and power) 

10 Minute Recumbent Bike Example: 

  • 2 min warm up resistance 4
  • 2 min resistance 8 (burst)
  • 1 min resistance 4 (paced)
  • 2 min resistance 12 (paced)
  • 2 min resistance 8 (burst)
  • 1 min resistance 4 (paced – cool down)

10 Minute Eliptical Example:

  • 2 min warm up resistance 4
  • 2 min resistance 6 (burst)
  • 1 min resistance 4 (paced)
  • 2 min resistance 8 (paced)
  • 2 min resistance 4 (burst)
  • 1 min resistance 4 (paced – cool down)

Treatment Strategies:

  • Every treatment program should always start with a conversation from a trusted medical professional. Rest, ice and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories should be applied to reduce inflammation. A reduction in inflammation improves the range of motion of an injured joint and will speed up the healing process.
  • Follow the re-integration 10% rule once you hit the pavement again. Increase your total mileage by no more than 10% each week.
  • Schedule those ever essential days off as to avoid re-injury and maintain running courses that avoid excessive downhill running.

 

Let us be your one stop shop for fitness. Check out http://www.fitnesspropelled.com

Follow us on Twitter @ FPropelled

Like us on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/FitnessPropelled

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Minute Recumbent Bike Example

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0in;
mso-para-margin-right:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

2 min warm up resistance 4

2 min resistance 8 (burst)

1 min resistance 4 (paced)

2 min resistance 12 (paced)

2 min resistance 8 (burst)

1 min resistance 4 (paced – cool down)

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0in;
mso-para-margin-right:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

Let us be your one stop shop for fitness.  Check out www.fitnesspropelled.com

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0in;
mso-para-margin-right:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

Understanding Common Running Injuries

ImageAs a rather new, however avid running enthusiast, I wanted to investigate common running injuries that many passionate runners will often face. It’s important that we identify these potential injuries in advance as to avoid injuries in our future. With the health benefits of running bountiful from controlling weight, improving cardiovascular function and help alleviate a host of chronic health problems; it is clear as to why running has become so popular. However, with all of these advantages comes a toll on our lower extremities. Studies suggest knee-related injuries are the most common, accounting for 26-50% of all lower-extremity injuries, the foot, ankle and lower leg make up the other 50%, with hip and lower back always susceptible as well (Ellapen et al.2013; van Gent et al.2007;O’Toole 1992).

Well, what are the most common injury causes?

– rapid increase in weekly mileage

– continuous high mileage (runners averaging 50-70 miles per week have a 50% chance of injury (O’Toole)

– abrupt change in running surface

– failure to follow hard training days with light training days

– wearing inadequate or worn-out footwear

– running on uneven surfaces

– returning to previous mileage too fast after a layoff

– history of previous injuries

– too much hard interval training

– muscle imbalances near a lower-extremity joint and/or inadequate muscular strength or range of motion

Check out the table below for listings of injury sites & type along with injury mechanisms

Image

Injury Site and Type

Injury Mechanisms

Knee: Patellofemoral pain syndrome

Patellofemoral pain syndrome, or “runner’s knee,” is pain originating from the patella (kneecap). (Lopes et al. 2012)

Knee/hip: Illiotibial band syndrome

Illiotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is a sharp pain along the illiotibial band, which lies along the lateral portion of the thigh, from the hip to the knee. (O’Toole, 1992)

Lower leg: Meidial tibial stress syndrome

Commonly known as shin splints, medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) is a pain on or near the anterior midline of the lower tibia, or shinbone (Lopes et al. 2012)

Lower leg: Achilles tendinopathy

Achillies tendinopathy (tendonitis) is a pain or stiffness along the Achilles tendon, caused by inflammation of the tendon and/or the tendon sheath. (Lopes et al. 2012)

Foot: Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a widespread running injury to the foot. (Lopes et al. 2012) The plantar fascia consists of thick connective tissue that supports the arch on the bottom of the foot, extending from the medial tubercle of the calcaneus (heel bone) to the metatarsal heads.

Link

5 things to look for in a personal trainer

The article “5 things to look for in a personal trainer” by Alisha Ebrahimji is a must read for prospective clients looking to hire a personal trainer.  Clients must look to hire trainers that addresses their individualized needs, will listen listen and modify their programs accordingly to address those needs. 

“They’re called “personal” trainers for a reason — they’re there to guide you to your personal fitness goals, and to do so, they need to fit with your personality.”  Couldn’t agree more!  Check out the link to the article to see the 5 qualities they recommend that a personal trainer has.