Wednesday, March 27, 2019

WOD Wednesday #100

For time:
9 thrusters
1,000-m row
15 thrusters
1,000-m row
21 thrusters

Men: 65 lb.
Women: 45 lb.

I look at this one as a sprint, so the things I look at for limiting factors would be rack position on thrusters and distance on the rower. Dumbbells would be a good idea for a lot of people in my opinion. Now for equipment, we don't have rowers so we'll run.

Some of our track kids might do a 1,000, but most will probably do 600 or 800. Now since we're in Michigan, so we're ready to run in anything except ice. If it's icy, we'll probably scale to running jump ropes (alternating feet and focusing on the Figure-4 Runner's Pose) and dumbbells for everyone (to save on space/barbells rolling around).

Monday, March 25, 2019

How to be Healthier, Stronger, and More Active

If you are suffering from chronic pain, you know that is healthier, stronger and more active often seems unattainable. Fortunately, the key to a more active lifestyle is simpler than you think. Call our office today to find out how physical therapy can help you achieve levels of health and fitness you have only dreamed about.

A Healthy Lifestyle is Not an Accident
The keys to a healthy lifestyle are not a secret, but they do take work. Eating a healthy diet is something everyone can do regardless of their activity level. But physical fitness sometimes seems unattainable for people with chronic pain. Some try to mask their symptoms with anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving medications. Others simply give up on the idea that they will ever be active again. Fortunately, there is a third option. With the help of a physical therapist, it is possible to reclaim your pain-free, healthy lifestyle.

How Physical Therapy HelpsWhether you are suffering from lingering pain after surgery or an injury or your joints aren’t what they use to be, the purpose of physical therapy is the same. A physical therapist is a movement specialist. Highly trained to diagnose problems with walking, running, bending, stretching, moving, jumping or every other physical activity, these medical professionals can pinpoint areas of improvement and create customized physical therapy treatment plans that address each patient’s unique needs. Through in-office sessions and at-home exercises, patients build endurance, improve their balance, strengthen muscles and joints, and experience pain relief without unwanted side effects.
What to expect from your first visitYour body’s needs are unique. Instead of relying on a cookie-cutter approach to wellness, a physical therapist takes time to evaluate each individual’s pain level, movement abilities, balance requirements, and lifestyle wish list. You may be asked to perform basic movements such as sitting down, standing up, walking, lifting or other motions. Once he or she has a clear picture of what you need, your physical therapist will begin constructing a treatment plan to help relieve your pain and get you back on your feet.

Physical therapy in a nutshellTypically, physical therapy involves three phases – pain relief, strengthening, and functional integration. A lot of people are hesitant to start physical therapy because they are afraid it will hurt. In reality, one of the main goals of physical therapy is to relieve your pain while helping you get stronger in the process. Ice, heat, ultrasound therapy, stretching and bracing are all tools in a physical therapist’s belt to help you feel better.

Second, an active lifestyle depends on movement. That is why physical therapy targets specific movements that increase flexibility, balance, strength, and mobility. These exercises may be done in the office of a physical therapist, or many can be done on your own at home.

Finally, being healthy is a lifestyle, not a single event. The end result of physical therapy is living the life you want, free from painful limitations. That can only happen when you apply the concepts you learn in therapy to the outside world. Your therapist will help you do just that.

In the end, an active lifestyle is possible, even if you struggle with chronic pain. Stop waiting around to get better and take your fitness into your own hands.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

WOD Wednesday #99

21-15-9 reps for time of:
Dumbbell clean and jerks
Strict pull-ups
GHD sit-ups

Men: 35-lb. DBs
Women: 25-lb. DBs

STIMULUS:  With these ones, I think it’s best to have an understanding about movement standards and movement factors. Standards are universal and not made by people. Midline stability, loading order, and laws of torque are really the three to keep in mind in the weight room. Factors are things coaches add in a workout to make it difficult for an athlete to hold the standards (load, range of motion, fatigue, strategy, and volume are all man-made factors, not natural movement standards). You can keep your midline stable in a deadlift? Okay then let’s add 100 pounds to the bar. Still good? How bout 10 reps instead of 1. Still good? Now do 15 burpees as fast as you possibly can then see how your midline looks on deadlifts. Oh now it looks sloppy? Let’s downgrade one of the factors. That’s the best way to approach this one. Midline stability is probably the best standard to look at for this one. Go as smooth on c&js, as high on pull-ups, as far back on GHDs, and as fast between exercises as you can as long as you keep your midline from changing. When it does (inevitably), take a short break or decrease range of motion. This is a training workout that doesn’t necessarily have to be perfectly comparable-to in the future.

GROUP: As with a few days ago, I think any kind of bar work is better than rings for this kind of workout for most people. I could be wrong though. Static hangs, flexed hangs, and jumping negatives can work. Actually now that I think of it, best bet might be to do stations. 3 minutes of each, then 2 minutes of each, then 1 minute of each; just count reps on the one-minute round. This can help with lack of equipment too. As for the GHD, one of our teens a few years ago designed a 10-person double-sided GHD for us. Obviously this is awesome. I’ll post some details sometime when I see GHDs up again. A static tuck hold or tuck hang would probably be a good sub. 

INJURY: The rings could be useful if there’s an arm injury. Dumbbells are useful too – just use one arm. As for spinal stuff, I would try squats with a 5-lb. plate held out in front to sub for a GHD sit-up. Everything else should be fine.

I’M SCALING THIS WELL IF: my abs are the limiting factor in strict pull-ups, I am breathing somewhat heavy in the second round of clean and jerks, I feel GHD sit-ups anywhere but my lower back, and I feel like I have a little more in the tank after the workout is over.

Monday, March 18, 2019

PT Modalities - Spinal Traction

Effects of Spinal Traction:
  • Joint Distraction
  • Reduction of disc protrusion
  • Soft tissue stretching
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Joint Mobilization
  • Patient immobilization 

Indications (when a therapist will use spinal traction):
  • Disc Bulge or herniation
  • Nerve Root impingement
  • Joint hypomobility
  • Subacute joint inflammation
  • Paraspinal muscle spasm

Contraindications (when a therapist should NOT use spinal traction):
  • Where motion is contraindicated
  • With acute injury or inflammation
  • Joint hypermobility or instability
  • Peripheralization of symptoms with traction
  • uncrontrolled hypertension

Precautions (when to be careful and monitor use of use of spinal traction)
  • Structural diseases or conditions affecting the spine (tumor, infection, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis or prolonged steroid use)
  • When pressure of the belt may be hazardous (pregnancy, hiatal hernia, vascular compromise or osteoporosis)
  • Displacement of annular fragments
  • Medial disc protrusion
  • severe pain fully relieved by traction
  • claustrophobia
  • patients who cannot tolerate prone or supine position
  • disorientation
  • TMJ problems (search post TMJ disorder for more information on this pathology!)
  • Dentures.

Adverse Effects of Spinal Traction:
  • Prior symptoms may increase by the application of lumbar traction exceeding 50% of the patient's total body weight or by the application of cervical traction exceeding 50% of the patient's head.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Product Review: Draper's Strength Heavy Duty Pull Up Bands

Product Details:
  • Band Set Per Order. Light to heavy resistance (2-200 lbs) - To choose the best bands for your needs, check out the band tension chart in the images to the left.
  • A variety of exercises can be performed - for physical therapy, rehabilitation, pull-ups, stretching, strength training, powerlifting and etc.
  • Bands are 41" inches long and are made of high-quality latex material built to last for years.
  • These high-quality bands are very durable so you can use them for years to come.
Why Draper’s Strength? 
LIFETIME DURABILITY - built to last and maintain their elasticity over many years of training. The secret to extreme durability and muscle building tension is the continuous latex dipping process that creates 100's of micro layers in Draper's Strength bands.

MULTI FUNCTIONAL - used for ankle, knees, legs, thighs & wrists. Aids in weight loss. Perfect for strength-conditioning, coordination & balance; for assistive pull-ups/chin-ups in pull up bar/pull up tower and dip station with your pull up mate, Pilates, CrossFit, P90X, Slimin6, Insanity, TurboJam, isometrics exercises, monster walks, lateral walks, goblet squats, etc.

TOP RECOMMENDED CHOICE BY ELITE ATHLETES AND DOCTORS - For physical therapy to help in recovery from torn MCL, torn ACL, knee replacement, patella and meniscus rehab.

PERFECT LENGTH - All bands are 41” long so you can extend them from the ground to far overhead without damaging the bands.

safe way to train at any age and for any fitness level - beginners or experts.

LIGHTWEIGHT AND COMPACT- perfect for traveling and for exercising anytime, anywhere.

COST EFFECTIVE - No need for expensive exercise equipment. No need for any more exercise bands. Just switch to higher resistance or combine a few exercise bands together. 

Product Review:
These Draper's Strength heavy duty pull up resistance bands set is an ideal portable gym, that you can you at home, in a work place, or outside while you enjoy sunshine and pleasant wind. Each Draper's Strength band made from strong durable rubber. You can use them for many years and they will not lose their elasticity and strength. They beat molded bands in performance, strength and durability.

Since the bands are available in different resistance levels, they can be used by any sport enthusiast or athlete of any fitness level. There is also a mechanical advantage in resistance bands that resistance is maintained through every part of the motion while many similar free weight exercises are actually non performing work during parts of the lift when movement isn't against gravity at a large enough angle.With your resistance band training, every part of both the concentric and eccentric part of the exercise has resistance, resulting in better range of motion strength and more complete stimulation, this makes it idea for physical therapy applications, rehab, and overall linear training progressions.
This is a great investment for a start up gym! Instead of cables you can use these in many ways that a cable system can be used as well! Great for pull ups and of course to work on your explosiveness on squats, bench and dead lifts. I've seen these used for dumbbell presses as well.

With this band hung from my pull up bar I can get more reps in and it has increased the number of unassisted pull ups I can do. I've found that the green band is pretty equal to the assistance you would receive if a buddy was helping you with your pull ups, and you can change the amount of assistance by putting your foot through the band for more assistance or just using one knee for less. 

The thinnest, lower-resistance bands are best for pull-up assistance, general conditioning, rehabilitation, jumping, speed training, and beginner / light weight training. The smaller bands can safely raise the intensity of a weightlifting movement without adding additional weights to a bar. For the stronger lifter, they will also add considerable resistance to bicep and tricep exercises.  The mid-level bands can be used by stronger benchers, as well as for banded squats and other exercises involving the lower body, calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes.   Bands are lightweight, no-nonsense additions to your prehab/rehab/recovery regimen. They fit easily in a gym bag pocket, make good complements to other essential mobility tools.

The 5 pc Draper's Strength Band set comes with some attachment handles and is a nice bonus for the price which is less than $10 per band, or close to half the price of more expensive functional fitness "brands" but offer less or no difference in features and function.

Order your Draper's Strength Bands on AMAZON HERE:

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

WOD Wednesday #98

Deadlift 1-1-1-1-1 reps

STIMULUS: One thing to note is the limited sets here. I always had trouble understanding what the major difference is between having 7 sets of 1 as the workout and 5 sets of 1. Or whatever the rep scheme. My interpretation sounds obvious, but I think the reason comes down to volume. There is probably a reason why the CrossFit gods want to hold off on the two extra sets (especially when those could be close or at our absolute max. The more time we spend there, the more room for tweaks or injury. Now full disclosure, I have not seen the next few workouts yet, but seeing max efforts like this usually give me some serious nerves for the next day. So if you’re working to the max, plan it out, hit it, then call it a day.

GROUP: One rep maxes are tough to coach in a group for me. When I’m watching someone do sets of 3 or 5 or 7 or whatever, I can gradually see the form break down and can either correct them as they go or stop them mid-set. The 1-rep really tests to see not only how well the athletes’ movement patterns are, but how good your coaching is. If you want to let the reigns off and let the peeps life, be my guest. I think this is a great opportunity to coach the setup and fix the spinal flinch that can come from the first lift off the ground. Might not make as big of a deal in the deadlift, but a flinch in the clean could be the difference in getting a strong jump. 
If you know your group is not ready to do max effort deadlifts, or even if you just don’t feel like it, then check back a few days and see the workout scale for the 5-3-1 deadlift day. I’d include handstands in this time as well. Also, check the last one for comments on not worrying about rep scheme. 

INJURY: Go with the workout. If it’s back, then try something that would challenge the midline without too much moving. Tuck hold, extended plank (hold top of push-up then walk your hands as far out as possible and hold.)

Monday, March 4, 2019

Why You Should Be Using Different Grips

How you grip the bar or weights makes a major difference on what muscles are activated during a workout. Changing your grip can work muscles that previously were unengaged, enhancing your workout and building muscle.

Crushing is the action of wrapping the fingers around an object that provides resistance to your fingers bending. Your fingers are the primary exertion of force, such as when you shake someone's hand. A crushing grip is used when gripping a bar, pulling a rope, or performing a pull-up.

Find a small or medium-sized towel and place it in a bucket of water until it is soaked. Stack your fist one on top of the other while gripping the towel with both hands. Now “wring” the towel out by twisting and squeezing the towel as hard as you can. You will know you are done when the water is back to the original height. You can use a thicker towel or fold the one you have in half to increase the resistance.

Pinching is the action of grasping an object between the thumb and fingers. The primary pressure is exerted inward as the thumb and fingers are pulling towards each other. Pinching is not an exercise you naturally use to train in your average workouts and requires specific and intentional practice.

One of the most common and easiest pinch grip strength exercises is a weight pinch. Simply take two plates and place them back to back. Grip the outermost edge, letting the weight hang below your hand. Hold it for at least 30 seconds.

Support Grip:
The support grip is when you lift with your fingers taking on most of the load— most notably, this grip is used in kettlebell work, rows, and deadlifts. It is important to note that a true support grip means that the fingers should wrap almost entirely around the bar or object in hand. An open hand support grip can be utilized by gripping a bar or object that is large enough to leave a small space between the fingers and the thumb.

Farmer carries are a great way to increase your support strength. You are probably familiar with these if you have been in CrossFit for a long time. A great way to challenge yourself is to use a towel or a barbell grip wrap to increase the bar size, using an open hand support grip.TRY IT NOW:
Farmer carries are a great way to increase your support strength. You are probably familiar with these if you have been in CrossFit for a long time. A great way to challenge yourself is to use a towel or a barbell grip wrap to increase the bar size, using an open hand support grip.

So, what do you do with this information?