Category Archives for "athlete"

Whole-Body Partner Workout

Looking to try something new for your next workout? Try these fun and challenging exercises with a partner at the gym or at home. 

1) Medicine Ball Pass: 

Lie on your back with a mat with your feet planted next to each others. Begin with one person holding the medicine ball, then both sit up by engaging the core, and pass the ball to the other person. Repeat back-and-forth passes by performing simultaneous sit-ups for 20 to 30 repetitions. 
                                                                                                                                  credit: Kami Price

2) Squat Seesaw:

Grab a resistance band with a handle on each end and stand face to face. Begin with one person performing a squat to bring the resistance band downwards, while the other person stands tall and brings the resistance band overhead by extending their arms. Remember to keep an upright body position through out the movement and engage the core. Repeat for 20 repetitions. 
                                                                                                                              credit: Travis McCoy

3) Push-up to Bent-over Row:

Partner #1 will begin in a push-up position by placing both hands on the floor shoulder-width apart while the partner #2 holds the ankles. Partner #1 will perform a push-up by engaging the core and glutes to lower their body towards the floor as Partner #2 holds their ankles by keeping their arms extended and back neutral. After Partner #1 has brought their body back up by pushing up, Partner #2 will then pull their partner’s ankles upwards to chest level to perform a row. Repeat 10 times before switching roles. 

                                                                                             credit: Kami Price

4) Single-Leg Core Rotation:

Stand tall side to side with your partner and hold a medicine ball. Raising the outer leg to a 90 degree angle for each person, engage the core, and rotate to pass the ball back and forth between your partner and yourself. Complete 10-15 passes before switching positions to raise the other leg and complete another set. 
                                                                                                                              credit: Travis McCoy

5) Plank High-Fives

Begin in a plank position facing each other by placing hands directly below your shoulders and body positioned in a straight line. Engage the core and keep the spine neutral, raise one hand while the other partner raises the opposite hand to high-five in the space between you and your partner. 

                                                                                                                            credit: Stephanie Smith
InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

What is PNF Stretching?

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, also known as PNF stretching, is a technique employed to improve muscle elasticity and range of motion. PNF is frequently used by therapists to restore functional range of motion and increase strength capabilities in patients who have sustained soft tissue damage or in post-surgery rehabilitation. It is found that consistent performance of PNF stretching and PNF stretching post-exercise may increase athletic performance by increasing range of motion. It is evident in literature that there are two types of techniques that can be utilized under PNF stretching.

The contract-relax method (CR) includes lengthening the targeted muscle and holding it in that position while the targeted muscle is contracted to its maximum isometrically for a period of time. A short period of relaxation and a passive stretch of the targeted muscle follows this initial contraction phase. The contract-relax-antagonist-contract method (CRAC) begins with the same procedure as the CR method. However, it takes a further step by contracting the antagonist muscle to the targeted muscle instead of passively stretching the targeted muscle.

How to Properly Perform a PNF Stretch:

Contract-Relax (CR) Method:

1) Stretch targeted muscle to the limit of normal range of motion. Contract the targeted muscle group for 5 – 10 seconds while a partner or immovable object such as a band applies sufficient resistance to inhibit movement of the muscle group.

2) Relax the targeted muscle group for 3 – 5 seconds.

3) Have your partner passively stretch the targeted muscle group by applying a controlled, deeper stretch for about 20 – 30 seconds into a greater range of motion.

4) Relax the muscle for approximately 30 seconds before repeating the above process 2 or 3 more times.

Contract-Relax-Antagonist-Contract (CRAC) Method:

1) Stretch targeted muscle to the limit of normal range of motion. Contract the targeted muscle group for 5 – 10 seconds while a partner or immovable object such as a band applies sufficient resistance to inhibit movement of the muscle group.

2) Relax the targeted muscle group for 3 – 5 seconds.

3) Contract the antagonist muscle (opposite to targeted muscle group) for 5 – 10 seconds.

4) After brief period of relaxation, have your partner passively stretch the targeted muscle group by applying a controlled, deeper stretch for about 20 – 30 seconds into a greater range of motion.

5) Relax the muscle for approximately 30 seconds before repeating the above process 2 or 3 more times.

Example of PNF Stretching for the Lower Body: 

Begin by lying on your back with one leg on the floor and the other leg extended and stretched into the limit of your normal range of motion. 

Contract the hamstring of the stretched leg and have your partner resist leg movement. 

Relax the hamstrings then have your partner passively stretch the leg past its normal range of movement.
InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

Diana in Europe!

Diana, who works front desk at both the Burnaby and Cambie InSync Physio clinics, recently returned from her trip to Europe! Diana and her dragon boat team, Dragon Zone Premier, had the opportunity to compete at the 2018 Club Crew World Championships in Szeged, Hungary as one of the five Premier teams representing Canada. Her team placed 6th overall in the world with 48.803s in the 200m Mixed Premier Standard Boat Grand Final, 5th overall in the world in 500m Mixed Premier Standard Boat Grand Final, and 4th overall in the world in the 2km Premier Mixed Standard Boat Final. 

Following her competition, Diana got to see the beautiful emerald waters of Plitvice National Park, hidden blue caves near the island of Hvar, and the historical city walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia. 

Diana also got to explore the ruins of Pompeii as well as the Roman Forum and Colosseum in Rome, Italy.

One of her highlights was seeing the rows of colourful houses on the island of Burano and watching a talented glassmaker create a horse made of glass on the island of Murano, Italy. 

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

How to Prepare for a Competition Abroad

Preparing for a competition in another country takes weeks in advance to properly adapt the body to new environmental conditions. There are a number of aspects to consider when travelling abroad such as the climate, elevation, pollution, accommodations, food, water, vaccinations, and emergency plans.

Jet Lag

Jet lag is when the body cannot adapt rapidly enough to a time zone change. This results in fatigue, poor sleep and performance. There are a multiple factors affecting jet lag such as the number and direction of time zones crossed, age, individual health, dehydration, stress, alcohol, and excessive food intake. It is estimated to take approximately one day per time zone crossed to re-synchronize the body. It is recommended to spend time outdoors once you arrive at destination to help adjust the sleep/wake schedule. To prevent jet lag, slowly adjust your sleep schedule a few days before travel and maintain adequate levels of hydration and nutrition.

Nutrition

Travelling in another country entails eating a wide variety of exotic foods. Avoid risk of food contamination by avoiding tap water with ice, peeled fruits, shellfish, and buffet style meals. Bring a water filter or water purification tablets. It is recommended to eat foods that are similar to the foods you would eat at home. Scout potential restaurants nearby and determine what to items to pack if necessary.

Avoid high-fiber foods before competition and limit fat as well as protein intake prior to activity. Consume carbohydrates such as bread, rice, or pasta prior to competition. Eat a large meal at least 3 to 4 hours before the competition to allow for adequate digestion. A small snack will take approximately 1 hour to be properly digested.

Emergency Plan

Ensure the coaching staff, medical aids, and/or you yourself are familiar with the medical personnel at the facilities as well as the ambulance and emergency procedures. Apply for the appropriate travel insurance. Remember to pack any required medications and a small first-aid kit. For any acute sprains, immediately rest, apply ice, compress, and elevate the injured part. This is known as the R.I.C.E. method.

Climate

For colder environments, wear layers of clothing with the innermost layer being made out of lightweight polyester or polypropylene, the middle layer made out of polyester fleece or wool, and the outer layer as protection from the wind or rain. Use clothing vents and adjust insulation to reduce sweat accumulation. Only wear the outer layer if it is windy or rainy.

For warmer environments, wear breathable, lightweight materials and protect yourself from the sun with proper coverage by wearing a hat, sunglasses, long sleeves or a thin jacket. Bring sunscreen and proper footwear.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Catastrophic traumatic brain injuries, including hematomas and cerebral edema, are the second most common cause of fatalities in football players and can occur in many other contact sports. When there is severe contact with the head, the brain swells and blood pools to increase the intracranial pressure. If treatment is delayed, displacement of the brainstem, known as a herniation, or respiratory arrest can occur. 

Types of Brain Injuries:

Diffuse cerebral edema, or second impact syndrome, primarily occurs in children when the athlete suffering post-concussive symptoms following a head injury returns to play and sustains a second head injury.
Skull fractures, although not always visible, can arise from a head impact. Skull fractures can cause swelling and tenderness, bruising around the face, and bleeding from the nose or ears. All skull fractures should be treated by a physician.
Intracranial hemorrhage is a pathological accumulation of blood within the skull activity and occur in different regions of the brain. An epidural hematoma occurs when the middle meningeal artery, located by the ear, ruptures due to a direct blow to the head. Blood then pools between the skull and the dura mater, a protective membrane that envelops the brain. The onset of symptoms are rapid and emerge within a few hours. The athlete may initially have a period of lucidity, but a decline in functioning is seen 2-3 hours later. 

Another type of hematoma known as a subdural hematoma is more commonly seen in adults over 45 years old and is associated with a tear in the bridging veins of the brain due to serious head trauma. Symptoms may include nausea, headache, or vomiting.  

Common Symptoms:

Common symptoms include: visible wounds, fractures, swelling, facial bruising, altered state of consciousness,  bleeding, stiff neck

Treatment and Prevention:

If any traumatic brain injury is suspected, then treat as a medical emergency and call 911. Refer the athlete for a CT or MRI scan to confirm bleeding.

Helmets are key in preventing catastrophic head injuries and reducing the severity of concussions. Athletes and coaching staff should be educated on the risks and symptoms of concussions or the head injuries discussed above. Proper technique in contact sports may significantly reduce the occurrence of head injuries.

Watch the video below on how to mobilize a stiff neck:

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

Exercising in the Heat

As the temperature beings to rise, athletes must be aware of the effects of exercising in the heat on the body and on performance. Heat loss during exercise can occur through four different processes: evaporation, radiation, conduction, and convection. As the body’s core temperature rises, blood is transported to the periphery for cooling. This leads to a deficit in the body’s central fluid, which results in a smaller stroke volume (volume of blood pumped from the heart) and an increased heart rate for a given exercise intensity. Splanchnic vasoconstriction, a reduction in blood flow to the internal organs, especially to the abdomen, attempts to compensate for the peripheral outflow. However, this may lead to gastrointestinal and kidney issues.

Heat Stroke:

There are various heat illnesses that an athlete may be susceptible to. Exertional heat stroke (EHS) occurs at a body temperature of greater than 104°F (40°C) immediately post collapse and central nervous dysfunction. Symptoms include: headache, confusion, dehydration/muscle cramps, gastrointestinal upset, profuse sweating, rapid pulse, low blood pressure, and quick breathing. To treat EHS, immediately remove equipment and excess clothing. Cool the athlete as quickly as possible within 30 minutes via whole body ice water immersion. However, if this method is unavailable, move to a cool area and rotate cold wet towels. Check for airway, breathing, circulation and continue to monitor vital signs until paramedics arrive. Cease cooling when body temperature reaches approximately 101-102°F (38.2-38.9°C).

DID YOU KNOW?

That heat-related fatalities occurring during sports have more than DOUBLED since 1975. (Source: Korey Stringer Institute)

Heat Exhaustion:

Heat exhaustion is another heat illness commonly experienced by athletes and occurs due to cardiovascular insufficiency and energy depletion that may or may not be associated with physical collapse. Individuals with a body mass index of greater than 27 or exercising at temperatures greater than 33°C are at a higher risk of experiencing heat exhaustion. Symptoms include: fatigue, nausea, weakness, hyperventilation, core body temperature between 96.8-104°F (36-40°C), and heavy sweating. Treatmentbegins with moving the athlete to a cool area and removing equipment or excess clothing. It is important to elevate the legs to promote venous return. Attempt to cool the individual with ice water or fans and rehydrate.

Heat Cramps:

Heat cramps are painful involuntary cramping that often occurs in the legs, arms, or abdomen. Athletes may experience these abnormal muscle contractions if they are prone to excessive sweating, not acclimated to the heat, have heavy clothing or equipment, exercising for prolonged periods without proper hydration, or experiencing muscular fatigue. Similar to the previously mentioned heat illnesses, treatment is to move the athlete to a shaded area, rehydrate with cold water, and stretch or massage the cramped muscle in its fully stretched position. Provide foods that are high in salt content to replenish lost electrolytes from sweating.

General Prevention: 

The best predictor of recovery is early recognition and rapid treatment. Enforce a gradual progression of exercise and acclimation to the heat. Educate athletes on how to recognize heat illnesses and be aware of when to cease activity. Hydrate and rest appropriately throughout training.
InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

How Do YOU Experience Pain?

Pain is a distressing experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage with sensory, emotional, cognitive, and social components (Williams & Craig, 2016).

Positive pain refers to non-injury pain that is exertional and related to reappraisal, whereas, negative pain is injury and damage-causing pain that is associated with catastrophizing. Catastrophisizing include feelings of hopelessness, inability to cope with situation, or ruminating on pain and injury, all of which may lead to avoidance behaviours that increase the risk of injury.  Negative pain is potentially correlated to neuromuscular deficits such as Achilles tendinopathy which reduces muscular endurance or meniscal tears which lower muscle activation. It can delay or prevent return to a sport or possibly lead to chronic pain development (McDougall, 2017).
Elite athletes are able to withstand higher levels of pain and make better use of pain in performing well in their sport.
What can you do to better cope with pain?

1) Education: better knowledge of pain and ways to reduce pain or anxiety

2) Goal Setting: specific, measurable goals that provides direction

3) Imagery: a method used in a rehabilitation setting to reduce stress hormones by anticipating pain 
4) Graded Exposure: exposing oneself to fearful situations to show no more harm


5) Social Support: increase support from family, friends, and teammates

6) Relaxation: reduce tension and anxiety with deep breathing and low-intensity activities
InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

Step Up Your Beach Volleyball Game

Beach volleyball is an intense sport that requires good stamina and strength. Training various muscles of the body (core, lower body, upper body) to become stronger will allow you to hit harder and jump higher. Easily train on the sand using medicine balls, sand bags, kettle bells, or resistance bands with these specific exercises below.

CORE:

1)      Scissor kick: Lie down flat on your back with your arms extended straight out to the side, palms faced down. Raise one leg from the ground and then back down. Switch to the other leg. Do 16 reps for 3 sets with 1 minute rest in between each set. Variation: increase the difficulty of this move by placing a resistance band over your thigh area.
2)      Extended plank: start in a plank position withour elbows a few inches in front of your shoulders. Straighten your trunk and legs so that they are in line. Hold your abs tightly for 45 seconds to 1 minute. One set.


3)      Medicine ball slam: Hold a medicine ball with both hands and stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Lift the ball above your head, extending your whole body and slam the ball into the ground directly in front of you. Do 10 reps for 3 sets with 1 minute rest in between each set.

LOWER BODY:

1)      Squat jump twist: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and squat down until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Stand upwards and jump up in the air. Rotate 90 degrees as you jump up and land on both feet back to the starting position. Do 10 reps for 3 sets with 1 minute rest in between each set.

2)      Glute bridge walkout: Lie down flat on your back with your knees bent at a 90 degree angles and feet flat on the ground. Drive your hips up to end range, careful not to over flare your ribs. Slowly walk your feet out, one heel at a time and then return to the starting bridge position. Do 10 reps for 3 sets with 1 minute rest in between each set. Variation: increase the difficulty of this move by placing a resistance band over your thigh area.

UPPER BODY:


1)      Push press: Use a sandbag, medicine ball, or kettle bell and hold firmly with both hands in front of the chest. Push your sandbag or kettle bell straight up to the sky over your head. Do 10 reps for 3 set with 1 minute rest in between each set.

2)      Push ups: Starting in the plank position, place your palms onto the ground under your shoulders and lock out your elbows. Dig your toes into the ground and keep the feet close together. Slowly lower your body down until you are a few inches off the ground. Then push your body up to the starting position. Do 10 reps for 3 sets with 1 minute rest in between each set.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.