Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What I Learned Recently: Deltoid as a Damper

Reading though a book last night, the author presented the idea that in Gait, the deltoid acts more as a stabilizer then as a mover.  The Arm swing is more to provide a shock absorbing system almost to allow the neck to be a stable platform.

The deltoid is an interesting muscle with its pennate fiber angle.  It is active in the forward and backward swing of the arm, but is active because of, not to create it.   It absorbs the rotation of the body to help keep the head level.

These ideas are based off research by Pontzer, Holloway, Raichlen and Lieberman.  Control and function of arm swing in human walking. 

I often find that patients have a hard time really engaging the deltoid and want to shrug or flex the biceps.  The Delt is a direct continuation with the trapezius, so it makes sense.  Also, the trapezius contracts just prior to heel strike in the gait cycle.  Another mechanism to help keep the head level and not allow the head to pitch forward.

Cool Stuff.  Reading through Born To Walk, by James Earls.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ancestral Health and Matt Smith Talk Low Back Pain

I thought this was an excellent talk on low back pain.  How obesity, exercise, physiology can all influence acute and chronic low back pain.  Sometimes just understanding a little of this can help those dealing with lower back pain.  "What exactly is going on?"

There are some awesome points on exercise and why one thing can work for someone and not for someone else.  Definitely worth the time to watch.

Monday, August 25, 2014

American Ninja Warrior Training

In case you have never heard of American Ninja Warrior, it's a show on NBC.  People run through an obstacle course that is intense on Grip and Core Strength.  This year the show has seen the first women and the first 50 year old make it to the finals.  It's a pretty fun watch in my opinion.  There are also a lot of people doing hanging challenges, so I thought I'd put some thoughts to this.

What I've taken away is the type of training that you must do to be successful.  What got me really thinking was a Bobsledder I know competed and while he put up a nice effort, didn't make it very far.   At 220lb I don't care how much you climb your grip isn't lasting that long.  So first thought, no more then 185lbs.  You are just working against yourself if your are heavier.  I'd say 165 is more the ideal.   So weight loss equals instants strength endurance gain.

Must be able to hang in the 1/2 lockout position for 3 minutes.  That would be elbows at 90 degrees.  Simple, but not easy at all.

Must be able to hang in the full lockout position for 3 minutes.  That is arms fully extended.

2 minutes of back and forth on the monkey bars.  Not only does this get used to the pattern of alternating arms, it's dynamic and endurance at the same time.

Be able to swing from a bar and try to reach out and land in front of of you with your feet.  8-10 feet is a good goal.  (I was surprised at actually how hard this was for me when I first tried)  It looks easy on TV.

Not many people will have a warp wall, but if you can run up to a 12 foot wall and propel yourself up, there is a good chance the warp wall won't stop you.

Run quickly over a balance beam or something narrow slightly off the ground.  The cement stand alone curbs work well.


Your forearm muscles will take abuse.  Make a peanut with some lacrosse balls and tape and roll those muscles for at least 5 minutes each, every day.

Bear Crawls will help to stabilize the shoulder girdle and get those muscles stronger to allow more intense training sessions.  They also act as a dynamic forearm flexor stretch.  Incorporate these into all your training sessions.

Kids parks make great training places.  Pull ups, monkey bars, dips.  Climb trees.  Ledges off buildings will hold new meaning.  Join a rock climbing gym if there is one in your area.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

More Random Variety on Your Weekend

I'm starting to think Foundation Training may be more then just simple glorified hip hinge.  Found this video interesting and after doing it feel my body enjoyed it especially after doing a few hours of riding my fat bike the previous day.  I'm going to play around with a variant of pushing my knees out against a resistant band instead of just pulling them in.

Speaking of fat bikes, I made the switch about a month ago.  Talk about fun!  The main reason is I can ride longer without elbow pain as the tire pressure is so low it seems to absorb more then my front shock.  Win.  Also, when it comes to fitness, for me if I can get a better workout more efficiently  (same with less time) that's a big win.  If you are dealing with vibration type pain in any joint and are a mountain biker, you may want to look into trying out a fat bike.

For people that run business out there, I found this article pretty on point.  When I first opened my clinic, I tried to do everything.  Then I started letting people who were around me have more responsibilities and it allowed me to focus more on just doing the stuff I love, Performance Therapy.
Operation Money Suck. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Assessing Movement DVD Review

I just finished up the 6 part digital download from Movement Lectures called Assessing Movement.  This was the video from the conference that Gray Cook and Stu McGill debated with Craig Liebenson  as moderator that was in Stanford in January.  

Cook and McGill are huge in the therapy and performance world.  What you find in watching through the videos is that they actually have much more in common in approaching patients.  What I appreciate from Cook is his system of analysis and what it means for him.  What I appreciated McGill is his "It depends."  Nothing is cookie cutter.  What is good for Paul may not be good for Peter.  Think!

It's a 2 part download.  1-3 and 4-6.  Each is 45 dollars.  Would you pay 90 dollars to hear 2 of the worlds leaders speak for 5-6 hours?  I would hope so.  I was seriously considering flying to Stanford and seeing this in person.  I'm guessing dropping around 1200 dollars so 90.00 was definitely worth it.

But, If you are on a budget and are familiar with both of these guys work (you have read their books) I'd suggest the 2nd DVD download, 4-6.  I seemed to take more from that.  I think it's huge they give you the pdf and thoughts and reflections in the extras folder.  Some good stuff.

This is a highly recommended product.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Random and Interesting

This is a lecture that Dr. Andreo Spina did with the Chicago Cubs earlier this year.  Functional Range Release.  Great info.

Do you think it is in the realm of performance therapists and strength coaches to pay attention or have knowledge of their female athletes menstrual cycle?  It can be a personal topic, but this paper may make you think its worthwhile information.  Association of Menstrual Cycle and ACL Injuries. 

As an update, I've been doing the Iranian Twisting Push Up every other day.  I'm in amazement at how it's making my beat up surgically repaired (made it worse) elbow is feeling.  For some reason it drives the elbow into a ROM that allows a capsular stretch.  I actually feel like I'm gaining ROM in it.  Pretty amazing.

I always take articles that are primarily designed to sell you a supplement with a grain of salt.  I found this one to be of interest though.  I always wonder what doing more reading on a computer or smart phone is doing.  Supposedly it's depleting certain compounds in our eyes.  The eye is a lipid rich organ and perhaps supplementing with Astaxanthin would help.  Astaxanthin for the eyes.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Change Your Shoes for Low Back Pain

I've been playing around with the concept that most therapy is built around the idea of movement variability.  Restoring variability, restores more motion, restores more freedom and thus pain free movement.

I started thinking yesterday about how I see certain patients and many people wear the same shoes everyday, day in and day out.  Most runners own one pair of shoes till they give out.  Most people that have an office job have one or two pairs of shoes, (usually the same pair in different colors).

I have lost count of how many people have told me they had "this pain" and they decided their shoes were old, bought a new pair of shoes and "this pain" went away.

"It's gotta be the shoes man!"

Most shoes vary dramatically, small heel, big toe box, supportive arch, minimalist shoe, vibram, name your brand, they will have differences.  Perhaps these difference can be used for an advantage.  If you are someone that stands at work all day and gets any sort of pain, but I'm thinking lower back pain mostly, try taking 2-3 pairs of shoes to work and rotating which ones are worn every few hours.

Over the course of an 8 hour day, lets see if you can make 4 changes.  Just like having a pebble in your shoe would eventually change your gait, perhaps the slight variation in shoes will recruit slightly different patterns.  Enough to make some muscles that were working hard to work less and make other muscles that were under working, pick up some slack.  Change the movement variability.

Perhaps the only thing accomplished is there will be a different proprioceptive feedback from the feet to the brain and that is the only thing needed.  Perhaps nothing will happen.  But, it should be a fun experiment and with out any downside.  I've tried it with one person successfully, so lets get a bigger experiment going.