At Central Performance we see a lot of runners coming in either for physio treatment or running training with our running coach/physio superstar Ben Liddy. We know that runners love to run and can be like a bear with a sore head when they can’t run due to injury. One great, and often overlooked, way to both improve running performance as well as reduce the risk of injury is to add some strength training to your running training.
Traditionally it was believed that strength training won’t improve running performance as lifting weights will make people bulky and slow. However there is now good evidence that strength training improves running performance by increasing running efficiency. An increase in running efficiency means you to use less energy while running.
Strength training helps improve running efficiency by increasing the rate of force development (RFD) of a muscle. RFD is how quickly a muscle can produce force. The higher the RFD the quicker a runner is able to spring off the ground, reducing the ground contact time and therefore reducing the amount of energy they use.
Also contrary to popular belief, the best form of strength training for runners is not light weights with high reps to build endurance. Research shows that the most effective form of resistance training for runners is heavy weights with low reps and plyometric (power) training. Using heavy weights for low reps helps to increase neural drive to the muscle which helps to improve RFD. Plyometrics also help to improve RFD and power development. Plyometrics involve jumping exercises and help teach the body to use muscles and tendons like springs, reducing ground contact time and thereby improving running efficiency.
The best types of resistance exercises for running are compound exercises such as deadlifts, squats and lunges. These exercises use almost all the lower body muscles in a coordinated fashion.
Research shows that weight training twice per week causes significant improvements in running efficiency and performance. It has also shown that for competitive runners reducing weight training to once per week during the competitive season maintains the improvements made with twice per week.
Strength training also helps to reduce the risk of injury to runners and all other athletes. A recent review in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that resistance training can lead to a 66% decrease in sports injuries and a 50% decrease in overuse injuries. The below picture does a good job illustrating why strength training is important injury prevention for runners.
As you can see the soleus muscle, one of the muscles in the calf, needs to handle between 6.5-8.0 times bodyweight on ground contact during running. Having to tolerate such huge forces obviously requires a lot of strength otherwise the rsk of injury is greatly increased. A good guide for having adequate strength in the calf muscles is to be able to confidently do 30 single leg heel raises on each leg.
Tendinopathies are a very common type of running injury. They occur when the amount of load going through a tendon overloads the tendon’s ability to recover from it. Commonly occurring tendinopathies for runners are hamstring and achilles tendinopathies as both the hamstrings and calf muscles are extremely important in running. One of the best ways to improve a tendon’s capacity to handle load is by resistance training. Heavy resistance training provides a beneficial stimulus to tendons to help them build strength, remodel and allow them to adapt to high volumes of load put through them during running.
You can book online or call us on 9280 2322 for more info.
This post was written by Hugh Campbell, our senior Exercise Physiologist. He has extensive experience and has attended numerous post-graduate courses on running biomechanics and the role of strength training in runners.
If you’re looking for a great personal trainer in Surry Hills then Central Performance has you covered. Many people know us as a physio or rehab-oriented facility, however you should know that a large part of what we do every day is work with healthy individuals, who are completely free from injury, using tailored exercise programs to improve peoples overall health and sports performance.
Here are some key ingredients that set our exercise services apart;
• it’s all about you. Every exercise program we deliver is specific just for that client and is based on their individual goals, wants, needs, current fitness level and preferences
• exceptional trainers who really care about you. We really make the time and effort to get to know you, your likes and dislikes, what you want to achieve and what might be holding you back. We make sure your time with us is a real highlight of your day, not just just another exercise session.
• a warm and friendly environment where you feel you really belong, amongst a group of people who always want the best for you.
• a dedicated team working hand-in-hand around you to give you everything you need for success. Because our team of trainers and coaches work right alongside our phyiso’s, exercise physiologists and massage therapists, if you do have any injury concerns then help and advice is always on hand.
We work with people at every level of fitness and sports performance, from gym newbies to athletes competing at national and international levels. Whether your goal is weight loss, sports performance, getting your body back to the way you like it, or maybe you just feel sluggish and you know you’ve got to get moving again, we can tailor an exercise program just right for you. Spending too long at the desk and putting on some kilos, or maybe your doctor says you need to get your weight or blood pressure under control with regular exercise? We can help.
One of the most common complaints we see as physio’s is shoulder pain, and it doesn’t just affect athletes. While acute shoulder injuries often happen in collision sports or because of a sporting accident, people performing overhead activities such as lifting in the gym, throwing, racquet sports or swimming are also prone to shoulder pain.
Shoulder Impingement Syndrome is the most common cause of shoulder pain in the general population & with many types of sports activities. It can be very debilitating for people such as swimmers, racquet sports players and gym-goers. Throwing, bowling or pitching sports like cricket, baseball and softball are also common places to find shoulder impingement injuries.
Some occupations that involve lifting, carrying, and other repetitive tasks, especially if they are performed with the arm away from the side of the body, are also common causes of shoulder impingement. Even some common DIY tasks like painting walls or ceilings, repetitive drilling at shoulder height or above, and digging in the garden can bring on the pain.
As the arm is raised, the rotator cuff muscles keep the ball of the humerus tightly in the centre of the socket of the scapula. If this position is not maintained well, the tendons of the rotator cuff may be pinched between the top of the arm bone & the bony “roof” of the scapula. This can cause irritation of the tendon which can lead to inflammation, weakness and pain. Eventually it can lead to more significant problems like tearing of the tendon.
The classic presentation is a painful arc, which is when you feel pain as you lift your arm away from your side and up to your ear. This corresponds with the narrowing of the sub-acromial space, which is where the tendon gets pinched.
Many people also feel pain with twisting movements such as putting on a jacket or when reaching behind your back. When the inflammation is active you may feel pain at night and be unable to sleep comfortably on that side, and your shoulder can ache even when your arm is resting. Sometimes people describe a ‘locking’ sensation in the arm on certain movements.
Initially, avoiding painful activities to help settle your symptoms is important. If you have recently started or significantly increased your exercise regime you may just need to progress more slowly once your pain has resolved. However because most shoulder impingement is caused by an imbalance in muscle length &/or strength around the shoulder, you need to fix the underlying cause of your pain otherwise it is likely to return again in the future. This is especially true if you have had more than one episode of pain because recurrent pain strongly indicates an underlying imbalance within your shoulder, often within the rotator cuff muscles or the muscles that control your shoulder blade.
Keeping correct shoulder alignment relies a lot on keeping the right balance of length and strength within your shoulder muscles. Having a balanced gym program of pulling and pushing exercises is a great way to help achieve this. If you don’t normally go to the gym then you may need to do some extra strengthening for the muscles at the back of your shoulder, especially if you are an office worker and tend to hunch over your desk a lot. Shoulder and pec/chest stretching can also help.
If you have had a significant episode of pain, or several mild-to-moderate episodes recently, then you should get it checked out by a physio because you are very likely to have an underlying imbalance that will keep giving you problems in the future. Treating the pain when it is only recent and relatively mild is usually fairly simple. However, recurrent episodes can lead to more tendon damage requiring prolonged treatment, costly investigations such as an MRI, potentially more invasive management like cortisone, and much more time away from doing the things that you love.
In part 1 of this blog post series, I talked about the concept of the female athlete triad. Menstrual dysfunction, low energy availability and low bone mass can affect active women without the right nutrition and exercise plan individualised to their needs. Now in part 2 & 3 of this blog post series, I will discuss hormonal changes across the menstrual cycle that can have an effect on exercise and nutrition.
Every females cycle will differ, but assuming a 28-day cycle, there are 2 phases – the follicular phase (day 1 -14) and the luteal phase (day 15 – 28). Day 1 of the cycle is when menstrual bleeding begins.
During the follicular phase (day 1-14), the hormones progesterone and estrogen are at their lowest, with estrogen slowly rising until ovulation occurs on day 14. Testosterone levels are also raised slightly, so muscle building is optimised. Energy levels are at their highest in this phase, and your body is able to effectively use carbohydrates as an energy source in this phase, so you can reach higher exercise intensities during training. As estrogen peaks towards the end of the follicular phase, changes in collagen structure means tendon and ligament tears are more likely to occur, so its important to ensure you are particularly careful with your exercise warm ups and technique.
Increases in strength and energy during the follicular phase means you can take advantage of your body being able to use carbohydrates more effectively as a fuel source and to aid muscle growth and recovery. Think about including carbohydrate foods as a pre-workout meal and including high fibre carbohydrate sources with your meals. Some examples include a banana smoothie before your workout, and brown rice with stir fried chicken and vegetables for dinner. Sleep is also a key consideration during this phase, make sure you are getting enough sleep after your big training sessions to aid recovery!
Stay tuned for Part 3 of this blog series which will go into the hormone changes across the second phase of the cycle and the impacts this can have on exercise performance.
If you are interested in a periodised nutrition plan to suit your cycle and training demands, our sports dietitian can provide individualised guidance. Contact reception on 9280 2322 or head to our online bookings page to book in a chat with Kelsey.
Come & join us for a great evening where you will learn about;
1. maximising the benefits & safety of your gym training
2. how the FMS movement screen can significantly reduce your injury risk & keep you training hard every session
3. have your own FMS screen done & see how we use the results to tailor your program
SEMINAR PLACES ARE LIMITED SO RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY
At Central Performance we LOVE helping clients take their training, sports & fitness programs to the edge of their ability. The FMS screen is an essential part of how we tailor our programs to maximise our client’s safety while pushing them to their limits. So come along to this eye-opening session & see first-hand how the FMS screen highlights areas where cleaning up your movement patterns can let you train harder with more efficiency & less chance of injury.
HELP CENTRAL PERFORMANCE FUND CANCER RESEARCH
We believe in the benefits of exercise for every aspect of health, so we’ve teamed up with the CanToo charity for the night. This great charity promotes exercise & encourages people to challenge themselves with runs, swims & triathlons to help fund cancer research.
REGISTRATION IS EASY
To come along to the night all you have to do is visit our CanToo fundraiser page & donate $10 or more (the more the better!). We’ll contact you on the email you entered (this stays fully confidential) to arrange a time for your personal FMS screen.
The FMS only takes about 15 minutes. Some screens can be done on the night, but due to time limitations it would be great if you can pop in before the event to have yours done.
SEE THE BENEFITS OF THE FMS IN ACTION ON THE NIGHT
The night will be fun & interactive. It will include getting some volunteer’s up to work through some of the results from their FMS screen to show how we use the FMS to perfectly match your program to your ability & training goals.
There will also be some great lucky door prizes & lots of time to chat to our team about anything health & fitness!
Please feel free to call us on 9280 2322 or email us at email@example.com
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU FOR A GREAT NIGHT!
Medicine balls are great for increasing your power in rotational sports.
They allow you to increase your power in functional & sport-specific movement patterns such as rotation which is used in sports such as golf, throwing and tennis. At Central Performance we include medicine ball drills in the programs for many of our personal training & sports performance clients.
Medicine balls are also a perfect fit for end-stage shoulder rehabilitation programs, especially for clients returning to sports such s cricket, tennis or baseball. Their role in increasing power development is important for many adult fitness programs because research shows that power production is one of the first movement qualities that adults start to lose with age.
Follow the link below for a great video & recent post about how we use medicine ball drills in the clinic here at Central Performance;
You can also follow the link below for a great article on why medicine ball exercises should be integrated into your rehabilitation or fitness program. Or call us at the clinic on 9280 2322 for more info on training programs including med ball drills.
At Central Performance we use foam rolling with our clients & athletes every day. Often our new clients say they’ve seen foam rollers at their gym before but have never really known what they were for or how to use them. This is a shame because rolling is an important & effective part of exercise preparation & recovery, & once you learn how to do it it’s really quick & simple! And you can tell it works because basically every high-level athlete from almost every sport uses rolling in one form or another.
Foam rollers are a great tool for rehabilitation because they can help you self-release tight tissues on a daily basis. Tissues may be tight due to injury or from loading with regular training, & they can also get tight just due to lifestyle factors, e.g. working at a desk predisposes you to get tight hip flexors because your hips are flexed all day.
Foam rollers also have a big role to play in preparing your body for exercise sessions & recovery from training. This helps boost your exercise ability & sports performance, & is one of the main reasons elite athlete use rolling as an essential part of their training program. Better training sessions & faster recovery mean improved sports performance!
For more information feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org , or follow the link below for a great article from Mike Reinold outlining the benefits of foam rolling on recovery from training & enhancing performance.
Did you promise yourself last year that 2016 would be the year you get your body back? Have you been dreading your swimsuit & beach time over the holidays & promising yourself that come the new year you’ll trim down so next year is different? Well, January is here & we’ve got some great solutions to help you.
If you’re like most people you’re starting the new year with great intentions but need some help getting into action. The most common reasons our fitness plans don’t become reality include;
If this sounds like you then our Healthy Habits Coaching Group is exactly what you’ve been looking for. It’s a powerful combination of supervised exercise, nutrition advice & education to transform your lifestyle & bring you the health, fitness & body you want.
Or maybe you’re after a strong core & a real mind-body style of exercise? If this is more you then our Clinical Pilates program has you covered. Whether you choose our 1:1 or small-group sessions you will always have your own personalised program, specifically tailored for your current level of fitness, Pilates experience & goals.