Posts Tagged football

The Powerful Combination of Physio and Fitness When Coming Back From an Injury

Being injured and in pain is the worst. It holds you back from performing activities you enjoy and even everyday tasks can be tougher to do to the standards that you’re used to. There are often also mental hurdles to overcome when trying to come back to sports or the training that you love.  

When you sustain an injury that needs physical therapy, this means that one or more of the body’s systems was not robust enough to handle a particular stressor it was up against at the time. 

This could be because of an exercise choice, too much of a particular activity over time, not be ready for the particular activity or simply fatigue that leads to less than ideal movement quality. There can be many reasons. Either way, the body was not resilient enough to fend off the stressor and it broke down. The best way that we know to build up resilience against injury is through fitness.

One of the biggest challenges that we can face when trying to navigate an injury and resume regular movement or training is knowing exactly what’s appropriate to do. When can we begin to veer off the rehabilitation road and flow onto the training highway?

The answer lies in a connecting the various professions that have the most to offer at ALL stages of your journey. Specifically, your physiotherapist and your strength and conditioning coach or trainer. 

For a long time there’s been a gap between physiotherapy and strength and conditioning when there is so much to gain when these worlds collide and there is a combined focus and collaborative effort towards not only getting you back to the activity that you most enjoy but also making sure that you are even more unbreakable in the future.

When you’ve been injured, you’ll need a physiotherapy lens at the site to examine the damage extent, get you out of pain and on the road back to function. Towards the end of treatment, your strength coach or trainer then merges into the game to deliver fitness strategies that should result in you needing fewer trips to the physiotherapist and the long term result of building resiliency against future damage.

The fact of the matter is, your physiotherapist can get you out of pain and back to normal, but they’re often not equipped with the tools to get you far stronger than you were and need. It may very well have been (and often is) a lack of strength and readiness for the activity that led to the injury in the first place.

Your strength coach can get you better than you were, stronger, faster, fitter and less damage prone, but they cannot directly apply the same healing and rehabilitation strategies.

Both of these skill sets have the same goal; to apply a certain stimulus and provoke a certain adaptation that results in you getting a little better. They just exist at different ends of the continuum.

Often, if you’ve been hurt what you need is some combination of the two skill sets working with you at the same time for best effect. 

Danny James, Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at Central Physio & Performance Fitness
Danny James, Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at Central Physio & Performance Fitness and can be reached at danny@centralperformance.com.au

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Should We Really Bother Foam Rolling So Much, Really?

For all the jazz around foam-rolling these days it may be surprising to know that the underlying mechanisms are still not well understood and there is a paucity of high-quality and well-designed studies available.

Some of the proposed mechanisms of effect may include:

1. Reflex neural inhibition

2. Increased stretch tolerance

3. Mediating pain-modulatory systems

What we do know is that foam-rolling appears to be effective for producing short-term gains in flexibility without reducing performance. And while the benefits to muscle function have not yet been established, there does seem to be a demonstrable reduction in post-exercise muscle soreness as a result of post-exercise rolling.

So, from the research that we do have, it’s safe to say that foam-rolling is perhaps not the miracle saviour for poor exercises choices or not moving enough that we once thought it was.

Reference:

1. A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Foam Rolling on Performance and Recovery. Wiewelhove, et al. 2019

2. The Science and Physiology of Flexibility and Stretching : Implications and Applications in Sport Performance and Health. Behm, 2018.

Danny James, Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at Central Physio & Performance Fitness
Danny James, Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at Central Physio & Performance Fitness and can be reached at danny@centralperformance.com.au




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Why Should We Train Through A Full Range of Motion?

We’re often asked about the benefits of going through a full range of motion with your strength exercises. Here is why we recommend that you do and what it means for your training.

1. You get a more complete stimulus and development across the full length of the muscle. We know that muscle fibres don’t always run the entire muscle length from origin to insertion. We also know through the specificity principle that strength gains are specific to the joint angles that are trained so it is important to cover as much of the movement arc as you can. A full range of motion allows greater activation of as many fibres as possible and better strength and hypertrophy gains.

2. Technique standardisation. When you go through the same, top to bottom range for each and every rep, you can be sure when you are progressing and not simply changing form to accommodate the load.

3. Length and strength in long positions. Research has been piling high with the benefits of loading in long muscle lengths (such as in the bottom position of a squat or stiff-legged deadlift, pull up, or bench press where you feel the greatest stretch). This enables strength gains specifically in those ‘stretch’ positions where typically we are not able to produce as much force. Loading into lengthening (eccentric loading) also allows greater overload as well as flexibility improvements.

4. Less injury risk. There is a greater dispersal of stress across more joint systems and larger excursions of motion mean that less load is needed to provide an overload. This greatly reduces the likelihood of a training-related injury.

There certainly are circumstances were you might consider reducing range, such as:

1. To provide a greater overload in a particular joint position thereby effecting a specific muscle or group of muscles. Less range means more weight can be used so caution is advised here. This is to be used sparingly and mostly for the advanced lifter only.

2. Specific sport application – half squats have been shown to have carry-over to running and sprinting activities.

For the most part, the bulk of your training should emphasise taking the joint through as much pain-free range as is controllable and the muscle through full stretch to full contraction. It might mean you’re using a little less load however the benefits hugely outway the risks:

  1. Reduced risk of injury which can set your training back
  2. More complete development of a muscle and strength in weak positions.
  3. Consistent technique and clairty of progress.

References:

Altering the length-tension relationship with eccentric exercise : implications for performance and injury. h

Full Range of Motion Induces Greater Muscle Damage Than Partial Range of Motion in Elbow Flexion Exercise With Free Weights

Specificity of a limited range of motion variable resistance training

Why do full range of motion exercises not increase strength at all muscle lengths?

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Is Your Phone Ruining Your Sleep?

Are you having trouble falling asleep?

A tonne of research has shown us that the use of electronic devices prior to sleep time can wreak havoc on our ability to fall asleep.

It turns out that the short-wavelength blue light emitted from smartphones, tablets, and other devices disrupts proper melatonin production.

Melatonin is a hormone released primarily by the pineal gland that regulates sleep-wake cycles. It is released at night and in conditions of prolonged darkness as a signal to the body that its night time.

Figueiro et al. 2012 looked at a small sample size of 13 individuals who used self-luminous tablets to read, watch movies and play games prior to bed.

The study concluded that light from these self-luminous displays 2 hours prior to bedtime diminished melatonin production by about 22%, possibly affecting circadian rhythms and normal sleep cycles.

Some things you can do to help not only get a good night’s sleep but help get to sleep in the first place include:

1. Develop a ‘POWER-OFF POLICY’ before bed

Switch off your electronic devices at least 1-2 hours prior to bedtime.

2. Develop a ‘Wind down’ routine before bed

Slow down and de-stress as much as possible before bed. Some other suggestions include taking a walk, meditating, reading a book, gratitude journaling.

3. A quite, cool, and dark place

Reduce any distracting noise, avoid warm clothing or bedding and aim for a temperature of approximately 18 degrees Celsius.

4. Avoid coffee, heavy meals and liquids before bed

Limit feelings of fullness, digestive discomfort and sleep disturbances due to late-night bathroom trips.

Danny James is the Head of Personal Training and Strength and Conditioning services at Central Physio and Performance Fitness, located in Surry Hills in the Sydney CBD area. danny@centralperformance.com.au

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Recovery (part 4): Compression Garments

Although a relatively recent addition in Australia, Compression Garments (CG) have rapidly become quite the fashion statement, initially designed to promote recovery from hard training and competition and subsequently to help improve performance.

Compression Garments are a type of tight-fitting form of clothing made from elastic material providing a gentle compression of the limbs. Some of the reported positive outcomes include:

  • Help Thermoregulatory control (maintaining correct body temperature)
  • Provides greater joint-position awareness
  • Enhanced local blood blow
  • Enhanced removal of post-exercise waste products
  • Enhanced muscle oxygenation
  • Reduced muscle oscillations
  • Reduced swelling
  • Reduced creatine kinase concentrations 
  • Reduced perception of post-exercise muscle soreness and fatigue

There is also the possible placebo effect and psychological aid of wearing CG and perceived recovery and performance improvements to be factored in, as anecdotally athletes often speak positively of their helpful effects. The magnitude of physiological recovery improvements observed in the literature are similar to what has been seen with cold-water therapies or light exercise.

While the research currently has shown some recovery benefits from wearing CG it should also be noted that a great deal of the research is of poor quality and clouded with inconsistencies.

It should be added that there is also the risk of bias due to sponsorshipship and potential financial gain.

While there have been some benefits shown and no observed adverse effects on performance or recovery with their use, there is still also no reliable criteria for best practice.  

It is therefore suggested that if CG are used they should be used as an adjunct to more proven and reliable recovery enhancing modalities such as enough quality food, good sleep hygiene, as well as fatigue and stress management strategies. Currently, the research is not strong enough to provide conclusive recommendations.

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What To Do To Help Recovery

The four main components that we address when building a high-performance program are mindset, movement, nutrition, and recovery. With this post and the few to follow we are going to look at some things that you can do to influence an often overlooked but vital piece of the performance puzzle, recovery.
First up, here is a general overview.
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”Every training element has a point of diminishing returns. Our job (the coach’s job) is to find it shift emphasis and cycle back at the optimal point in time.” ~ Derek Hansen
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It’s important to understand that physical (and mental) exertion is a stress input that requires a recovery process and ultimately triggers a particular adaptation. Within the training realm, your workout is the stressor event. After a difficult session, there is an alarm reaction in the body caused by working out that results in a mobilising response, creates an inroad to your recovery and an acute performance decline. After this, a rebuilding period is required for the body to build back up to baseline and beyond in order to withstand future training inputs.
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The rebuilding or recovery stage is made up of the physiological events that occur between workouts and is helped along by good nutrition, enough sleep and various other activities that we’ll talk more about later.
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 If you’ve done enough to recover from your training inroads and adapted to a higher ceiling of resilience, you’ll notice a small increase in performance (faster time, longer distance, heavier weight etc). It can be said then that you’ve completed the cycle and gained a positive adaptation from your training.
You’ve gotten a little better, and so the cycle continues. Apply an appropriate and recoverable stimulus, and repeat.
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Stress + Recovery = Adaptation
…or 
Work + Rest = Success

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As you can see, improving performance is a delicate balance of measured training and healthy supporting habits to maximise the result of your efforts. Recovery is the necessary bridge between the work that you do and what you get out of it. You don’t progress from simply training alone.
 
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There are two parts to recovery: Rest and Regeneration.
Rest is an entirely passive strategy, involving a deliberate attempt to minimise planned movement and the mental and emotional duress associated with aiming one’s efforts at a long-term training plan.
Rest is aimed squarely on achieving physical and psychological recharge.
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Regeneration involves active, movement-based strategies used to minimise fatigue, replenish energy systems, encourage tissue healing and function, re-sensitise to the training stimulus, and speed up the recovery process.
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Some of these strategies include manual therapy, stretching, low-stress aerobic activity, and cold therapies to name a few.
 
We will discuss some of the strategies in the next instalment.
 
Stay tuned…
 

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3 Things You Must Have Before You Begin A Training Program

Spring usually marks the beginning of an increase in gym traffic as many people begin to shake off the winter dust and head into the gym ready to shape up for the summer.
Unfortunately, much of this enthusiasm will wain early and the majority of well-intentioned and under-prepared trainees will fall off the path and never achieve the things that they could have.
Here are three things that we suggest you explore with yourself honestly and objectively, and address, before you begin your fitness journey, in order dramatically increase the chances of success and having your efforts come to fruition.
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1. A Reason WHY: 
Having a specific and meaningful purpose behind your training can serve as a strong foundation, and a fallback reminder for when times get tough, of what you truly value and why it’s important to do all the little things that are necessary, inconvenient and oftentimes uncomfortable in order to reach your goals. This is particularly important during the initial (and most challenging) period of trying to establish new habits and lifestyle change.
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The things that we say to ourselves, matter.
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So make sure that you anchor all of your actions off of a clear and powerful purpose and you will dramatically increase your chances of staying the difficult course towards success. As Roy Disney once said: ”When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”
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2. A Plan
This one would seem like common sense but surprisingly the majority of gym-goers are entering the gym with no clear goal or plan of action and often end up performing whatever exercises come to mind at the time. The problem with this approach, however, is that:
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Random training yields random results. Period. 
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The old ‘something is better than nothing’ response is no excuse either. Particular training goals will have a very specific set of requirements that are guided by proven scientific principles and practical application.
Simply doing what you feel like is a road that leads to nowhere in particular, very quickly.
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A plan will give you a direction to send your best efforts, guard-rails to keep you on track against the many options and distractions as well as feedback on results. Your program should also have both short and long-term considerations in mind, starting from where you want to be, working back to where you are now and broken up into smaller, more manageable chunks of training time.
This provides the flexibility to change course throughout the process based on results and offers many smaller, specific and more attainable goals along the way that inject a bolstered focus and motivation to your training that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Remember, random training yields random results. If this is not an area of specialty for you, getting a plan built by an expert in the area of program design can save you significant time, effort and frustration.
The same way that we rely on a mechanic to oversee the safe and efficient running of our vehicles, a doctor to oversee and provide guidance on our health and well being, it’s also valuable to seek help from an exercise professional who can guide you in the right direction with a clear plan of action.
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Having the right plan will work far better than having no plan at all and leaving all of your progress to wishes and guesses. Ultimately, the benefit of having a plan is that it provides clarity and focus. Discovering your why will provide you with a vision of what you want to attain, a plan will provide you with the clarity of what needs to be done, and the focus to address the small daily actions that will add up over time.
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Wishes and guesses: the preferred strategy of every unsuccessful person you know.

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3. A Support Crew: 
A support network of people who care about you, respect your goals, and who genuinely want to see you succeed is a hugely underrated component to success in any endeavour. There are going to be challenges and you will likely stumble from time to time along the way and having good people around you who’ll lift you in those difficult times might just be the very thing you need at the time to keep going.
Having somebody to be accountable to also helps, and this can be a training buddy, a coach or a friend to whom you can announce your intentions to, and check in with on a regular basis to hold you to your word.
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Remember, nobody has to understand or agree with your goals, but it is important that you gather around you people who respect and support your choices. Your environment matters and mediocracy loves company. Choose your support crew of coaches, training partners, and friends wisely. Find people who will push you and pull you up on your excuses. People you can lean on without relying on, and who you genuinely enjoy being around.
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If you’re looking to get started and would like to do it right, reach out to us here.

Danny James is the Head of Personal Training and Strength and Conditioning services at Central Physio and Performance Fitness located in Surry Hills, Sydney. danny@centralperformance.com.au

Danny James is the Head of Personal Training and Strength and Conditioning services at Central Physio and Performance Fitness, located in Surry Hills in the Sydney CBD area. danny@centralperformance.com.au

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When To Change Exercises And Why

When it comes to choosing which exercises to use in your strength training program, we encourage trainees to approach exercise selection with a balance of both pushing and pulling movements for the upper and lower body. This gives you a more complete development and greater overall balance and movement proficiency in a variety of different movement demands.

This usually involves targeting movements and body parts from multiple angles which, aside from symmetry also helps to:

1. Accumulate needed training volume, which is an important factor for building muscle size and strength.

2. Sculpt and shape the body towards ones desired proportions if training goals are more aesthetic driven.

3. Target unpractised or lagging movements and strengthen specific contributing muscles.


We’ll often have new clients show us the strength programs they’ve been using and have put together themselves to get some feedback. Often we’ll see included almost every known exercise variation for a body part that you can imagine in an attempt to cover all angles. This is a fine idea in theory, however, there are a few things to consider when trying to cover all possible angles and one of those considerations is something that I like to call variation preservation.

 

If you use all of the most productive or favourite exercises in your program, you will have too few exercise variations to choose from or to progress towards once you’ve reached training a plateau and are no longer making the kind of progress you used to on those exercises. The human body is an amazingly efficient and adaptive organism and certainly will, over a short period of time adapt to a given training plan, and this is where you’ll begin to see your progress slow and eventually stop altogether.  When this happens, you will need some strategic deviation and a variant go-to exercise that still gives you similar qualities, while offering a fresh stimulus again, and all without losing any of the progress you have built up to this point.

 

Another more obvious problem with this ‘do everything’ approach is that you may end up doing way more than you need with potentially overlapping and redundant exercises, and subsequently using up more of your valuable recovery ability, that could go towards repair and building.

 

One of the possible solutions that I often suggest is to do fewer total exercises and more total sets of those exercises. Specifically, pick fewer exercises, but make sure that you use mostly your high return movements and keep a few of them in your back pocket for a later program. Doing more total sets of fewer exercises allows greater focus to be had, and for the beginner lifter in particular, more high-quality technique rehearsal.

 

For example, a typical upper body pushing program might look like the following:
  • 5 total exercises per session,  3 sets of each exercise, 2 pushing sessions per week (30 total sets)
  • Combination of flat, incline, barbell and dumbbell exercises on both pressing days
You could instead try performing the following: 
  • 3 total exercises per session, 5 sets of each on each exercise  (30 total sets per week)
  • Flat or Incline exercises only for 2-3 training cycles
  • Barbell or dumbbell exercises only for 2-3 training cycles

You’ll notice that with option 2, you can manage the same total weekly training volume and focus it towards fewer exercises. Option B also offers a complete pressing program and leaves you with plenty of effective variations to utilise once progress begins to slow or stops.

 

It has been well documented that strength adaptations can drop off at around the 3-4 week mark using the same schedule. From here you may try changing the grip that you use, the set & rep scheme, the rep speed, and even the rest period between sets. Any of these as well an intermittent deload week can provide enough of a small change and a fresh stimulus, and still be fairly consistent enough to make continued improvement. After approximately 2-3 training cycles, however, it may then be a good idea to swap out those exercises and bring in the reserves.

 

In closing, try not to do every exercise possible – leave some high-return favourite exercises on the bench for variation preservation, to call in when you need fresh options to go to and for continued success in your training.

Have options.

Do less and do it better.

DJ

 

If you like us to take a look at your training programming or would like some help with building one, reach out to one of our performance specialists and we’ll point you in the right direction. 

 

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The Deload

One of our strategies to manage fatigue and keep our athletes progressing and healthy through periods of overload training is to peak each training block with a deload week.

A deload week serves to:

  1. Reduce cumulative fatigue while providing enough of a stimulus to conserve most training adaptations.
  2. Promote a restocking of energy stores, tissue healing and recovery of many of the body’s systems.
  3. Reduce lethargy due to inactivity, and reduce soreness that can occur with a new training cycle.
  4. Increase sensitivity to the training stimulus and prepare the athlete for another productive training cycle.

What can you do?

  1. Provide enough of a consistent overload to garner cumulative adaptation and fatigue to need a deload in the first place.
  2. At the end of each overload period (typically between 3-5 weeks) train one week with reduced loading. Working with 50-70% of your usual training volume and intensity works well. Half sets, half reps, half load.

Specific needs will vary depending on the individual athlete and training type.

Deload week for miss @bellaogrady ?? . One of our strategies to manage fatigue and keep our athletes progressing and healthy through periods of overload training is to peak each training block with a deload week. . ?????? . A deload week serves to ? . 1️⃣Reduce cumulative fatigue while providing enough of a stimulus to conserve most training adaptations. 2️⃣Promote a restocking of energy stores, tissue healing and recovery of many of the body's systems. 3️⃣Reduce lethargy due to inactivity, and reduce soreness that can occur with a new training cycle. 4️⃣Increase sensitivity to the training stimulus and prepare the athlete for another productive training cycle. . ?????️‍♀️?‍♀️⚡️??? . What can you do? ?? . 1️⃣Provide enough of a consistent overload to garner cumulative adaptation and fatigue to need a deload in the first place ? 2️⃣At the end of each overload period (typically between 3-5 weeks) train one week with reduced loading. ?working with 50-70% of your usual volume and intensity works well. ??Half sets, half reps, half load. . Specific needs will vary depending on the individual athlete and training type. ?️‍♀️@bellaogrady ? @dannyleejames #deload #rest #recovery #weightlifting #olift #olympicweightlifting #clean #powerclean #sprinter #hurdles #track #athletics #movement #flexibility #mobility #stability #strength #power #speed #physiotherapy #performance #fitness #health #exercise #training #surryhills #sydney #australia

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