Category Archives for "strength"

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 Safely Exercise When Pregnant

Remaining active during a pregnancy may help reduce some discomforts and help prepare the body for delivery. Acute exercise generally increases oxygen uptake, heart rate, stroke volume, cardiac output, and lung volume during pregnancy. Remember to complete the “PARmed-X for Pregnancy” health screening prior to participation in a prenatal fitness class or other exercise. Medical clearance should be obtained prior to exercise for women who were sedentary prior to pregnancy or have a medical condition.

Benefits:

  • reduced backaches
  • reduced constipation and bloating
  • may help prevent gestational diabetes
  • improved weight management
  • increase in energy
  • improved mood
  • improved posture
  • better sleep patterns
  • development of muscle tone
  • promotes strength and endurance
  • better coping with labour

Contraindications to Exercise:

Absolute Contraindications:

  • hemodynamically significant heart disease
  • restrictive lung disease
  • incompetent cervix/cerciage
  • multiple gestation at risk for premature labour
  • persistent second or third trimester bleeding
  • placenta prevue after 26th week of gestation
  • premature labour during current pregnancy
  • ruptured membranes
  • preeclampsia/pregnancy-induced hypertension

Relative Contraindications:

  • severe anemia
  • unevaluated maternal cardiac dysrhythmia
  • chronic bronchitis
  • poorly controlled Type 1 diabetes mellitus
  • extreme morbid obesity
  • extreme underweight
  • history of extremely sedentary lifestyle
  • intrauterine growth restriction in current pregnancy
  • poorly controlled hypertension
  • orthopaedic limitations
  • poorly controlled seizure disorder
  • poorly controlled hyperthyroidism
  • heavy smoker

Warning Signs to Terminate Exercise Session

  • vaginal bleeding
  • dyspnea before exertion
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • chest pain
  • muscle weakness
  • calf pain or swelling
  • preterm labour
  • decreased fetal movement
  • amniotic fluid leakage

Exercise Recommendations:

Aerobic Exercise

Frequency: 3-4 days per week (women who exercise less than 2 days or greater than 5 days may increase their risk of having a low-birth-weight baby) 
Intensity: Moderate intensity exercise is encouraged for women with a pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) of less than 25 kg per squared meter. However, women with a pre-pregnancy BMI of greater than 25 kg per squared meter should engage in light intensity exercise.
Time: More than 15 minutes per day is recommended. Individuals may gradually increase the duration to a maximum of 30 minutes per day of moderate intensity exercise for a total of 120 minutes per week. A 10-15 minute warm-up before exercise and 10-15 minute cool-down of light physical activity after a training session is recommended. 
Type of Exercise: Use large muscle groups in dynamic, rhythmic physical activities.

Resistance Exercise

One to three sets of 10-15 reps with approximately 2-3 minutes rest in between each set is recommended. Engage in light to moderate resistance exercises. The following are sample routines according to different trimesters from Brad Schoenfeld (NSCA). 

References:
http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/exercise-during-pregnancy/
https://www.nsca.com/uploadedfiles/nsca/resources/pdf/certification/quizzes/quiz_pack_articles/october_2011_33.5.pdf
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How to Program: Linear vs. Non-Linear Periodization?

Designing a work-out program for yourself? There are many different ways to create the ideal program that suit your fitness levels and fitness goals.

PERIODIZATION

Periodization entails systematic planning of various aspects of a training program through progressive cycling during specific periods. The goal of periodization is to optimize fitness levels while reducing the risk of injury. There are different components to the basic structure of a periodization cycle.

CYCLES 

A macrocycle is a complete training period that may be 1, 2, or 4 years in duration. A mesocycle is a period or multiple periods within a macrocycle aimed to develop a single training block. The mesocycle may consist of a preparatory period, a competitive period, and a transition or rest period. A microcycle is a structural unit that makes up a mesocycle. It details weekly plans for progressive overloads specific to the goals of the mesocycle. For example, four 4-week microcycles will equate to a 16-week training program or one mesocycle.

TYPES

Linear periodization progressively increases in intensity with minor variations in each microcycle. Beginner athletes typically utilize this type of training where the program starts with a higher initial volume then progresses to a lower volume as intensity increases. This traditional model has a greater focus on developing general strength and requires longer training periods. For example, an individual may be only focused on building muscle mass in a hypertrophy phase for all of their workouts within a week.

Non-linear periodization involves varying the intensity and volume within each week over the course of a training program. This allows individuals to train different muscle features within the same week. Non-linear programming is ideal for experienced or elite athletes. For example, an individual may incorporate workouts aimed at developing strength and power at the same time. This model also provides flexibility in scheduling for individuals as the goal of non-linear periodization is to complete the workouts whenever possible, instead of completing the program in a fixed number of weeks.

The red chart depicts a non-linear periodization within a week that varies the type of training, sets, reps, and recovery time. Conversely, the blue chart details a linear type of periodization where the first couple of weeks are aimed at focusing on strictly resistance type workouts with the same sets, reps, and recovery time for that designated time frame. A hypertrophy phase and a maximal strength phase follows accordingly.

PHASES

Four common types of phases in a training program are: hypertrophy, strength/power, peak, and recovery.

Hypertrophy involves building muscle mass. Exercises are completed with short rest periods and high volumes. Strength and power are completed with a reduced volume, but an increase in load and rest time. Peaking involves low volumes, higher loads, and long rest periods. Finally, recovery uses low volumes and low loads.

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How to Warm Up For a Bigger Bench Press

The bench press is one of the key complex exercises to build upper body strength and mass. It involves the pectoralis major, triceps brachii, anterior deltoids, traps, back, and glute muscles. Check out the following blog post on how to properly perform the bench press: https://insyncphysio.com/strength-training-for-dragon-boat-paddlers/


Warm up prior to any exercise is key as it raises the heart rate and circulation of blood to the muscles to prepare for an increase in activity. Complete the following steps before performing light reps on the bench press to warm up effectively for a bigger bench press:

1) Self-Myofascial Release: 

Foam rolling decreases tissue density and muscle viscosity, while increasing blood flow into the muscles. Apply moderate pressure to the chest, lats, and tricep muscles. Do not roll over joints. Pause on any tender spots for several seconds. 

2) Dynamic Warmup:

a. Side Lying Windmills: Lie down with your back on the floor with one leg extended and the other leg crossed over your body with the knee bent at a 90 degree angle. Extend both arms in the same direction as the knee that is pointed to the side. With the top arm, slowly raise it in a circular motion over your chest to reach the opposite side. Then bring the arm back to meet the other arm. Do not move either legs through out the motion. Repeat 10 times on each side.


b. 4-Point Clock Reaches: Loop a closed elastic band with mild resistance around your arms above your wrists. Kneeling on the ground, keep your spine in neutral posture with your inner core muscles engaged. Imagine there is clock face numbered 9 to 3 O’clock on the ground in front of you. Begin by reaching the right hand to 12 O’clock and then back to the start position. Continue to 1 O’clock, 2 O’clock, 3 O’clock and then backwards up to 12 O’clock again. Repeat 5 times on each side.


c. External Rotation: Position your elbow by your side, shoulders relaxed and your posture in spine neutral. Holding on to a resistance band use your other hand to help it out to the end range of external rotation. The opposite hand is doing all the work pushing the band outward that is being held by your other hand. Then let the hand holding the band slowly return to the start position. Repeat 10 times on each side.

d. Push-ups: Start in a plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart, then lower your body downwards until your chest nearly touches the floor. Keep your elbows tucked in and engage the core to keep a neutral spine. Bring your body back up by pushing upwards with your arms. Repeat 5-10 times.

3) Central Nervous System (CNS) Activation

a. Chest Throws: Stand perpendicular to a wall with feet shoulder-width apart. Holding a medicine ball level to your chest, use the momentum provided by your upper body, throw the ball, and catch it when it bounces or is tossed back to you. Repeat 10 times. 


b. Ball slams: Stand shoulder-width apart, raise a medicine ball above your head. Using the momentum from your whole body, throw the ball downwards towards the floor. Repeat 10 times. 

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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.

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How to Squat Properly

Squats are an excellent way to target the full body and to build significant strength. It heavily relies on your thighs, calves, lower back, arms, and abs. Some key benefits include building muscle, burning fat, increasing endurance, and improving proprioception. However, proper form is needed to avoid back or knee pain.  
HOW TO SQUAT WITH A BARBELL:
Starting Position
1.      Stand with feet approximately shoulder-width apart, toes pointing straight ahead, and knees aligned over second and third toes.
         As much as 5-8° of external foot rotation is allowed in the starting position, some consider this normal anatomical position.
2.      To perform the high-bar back squat, rest the barbell on the shoulders, behind the neck, with hands grasping the bar wider than shoulder-width apart.

3.      To perform the low-bar back squat, rest the barbell on the middle trapezius region with hands grasping the bar wider than shoulder-width apart.
         It is important to note adequate shoulder mobility (external rotation) is required to hold the bar securely.
Movement Pattern
1.      Slowly begin to squat down by hinging at the hips and then flexing at the knees.  
2.      Allow glutes to “stick” out behind the body as if sitting into a chair.
3.      Keep the chest up and the cervical spine in a neutral position. Avoid excessive cervical flexion, extension, or anterior translation (jutting the head forward).
4.      Squat to a depth that can be safely controlled with no movement compensations.
         Common movement compensations include knee valgus (knock knees), rounding or arching of the low-back, an excessive forward lean of the torso, and overly externally rotating or pronating the feet.
5.      To rise back up, contract the gluteals and place pressure through the heels as the knees and hips are extended.
6.      Stand up straight until hips and legs are fully extended. Fully contract the gluteals in the standing position for maximal muscle recruitment.

FOR BEGINNERS:

1. Place the big ball up against the wall and have your lower back against the ball
2. Roll up a towel, place it between your knees and shimmy your feet out slightly in front of you.
3. Make sure your knee is in line with your second toe, squeeze the towel and keep your core engaged.
4. Squat down until your knees are at 90 degrees and hold that for 10 seconds.
5. Do 3 sets of 10. Rest for 5 seconds between each rep.

For reference:
http://www.ptonthenet.com/articles/biomechanics-of-the-squat-4016

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Quick and Easy Foot Exercises for Bunions

A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe and it is a frequent cause of foot pain. The tissues around the joint cause the big toe to rotate toward the smaller toes and result in pain, redness, or swelling. Bunions may arise from a number of factors such as inherited foot type, flat feet, or excessive pronation. Rheumatoid arthritis (gout), tightly worn shoes, or foot injuries can further exacerbate symptoms. Weak muscles in the foot and calf may also contribute to bunion-related pain and movement issues. Strengthening these muscles with the exercises below can help stabilize body movement and support the arch of the foot from rolling inwards. Additionally, wearing proper shoes, cushioning pads, orthotics, and avoiding activities that add pressure to the bunion can help provide relief for the foot.

FOOT EXERCISES
Perform the following exercises barefoot. Begin exercises from a sitting position to a standing position on two legs, then using one leg and alternate. Hold each repetition for 5 seconds. Repeat exercises until muscles become tired.
A) Toe Lift: plant your heel and front of the foot on the ground, then lift all the toes upwards

B) Toe Spread: plant your heel and front of the foot on the ground, then lift and spread the toes. Try to push the little toe downwards when spreading the toes.


C) Heel Raises: stand with your knees bent, then raise your heel off the ground while keeping pressure on the big toe.

Check out the following video on a single-leg balancing exercise to strengthen the lower body: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1qMS4ew2eE

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2016;46(7):606. doi:10.2519/jospt.2016.0504
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Strength Training for Dragon Boat Paddlers

Dragon boating season is beginning in the lower Mainland as teams get out and train on the water for upcoming races. However, one of the key components integral to a team’s success in competition is building individual strength.  A typical dragon boat stroke consists of a “catch” phase which targets the shoulders and arms and a “pull” phase which relies on strong back muscles. The following exercises can be included in your workout routine to develop a powerful dragon boat stroke.

CATCH Phase: Arm Muscles

Strong shoulders, biceps, and triceps are needed to enter the water effectively while grabbing as much water as possible. Develop strength in these areas with dumbbell overhead presses, dumbbell shrugs, bicep curls, and bench presses.
Image: T-Nation
To Do a Proper Bench Press:

1) Set up by positioning your eyes directly under the bar and lie flat on the bench
2) Adduct your scapula and raise your chest
3) Grasp the bar with an equal distance from your left hand to the center of the bar and from your right hand to the center of the bar (use the rings on the bar as a guide)
4) With a big breath, brace your core, and unrack the bar by straightening the arms
5) Lower the bar to the middle of your chest by bringing the elbows in at an approximately 75 degree angle
6) Once the bar touches your chest, push the bar upwards until the elbows lock and the arms are straight
7) Breathe and repeat the bench press

PULL Phase: Back Muscles 

The latissimus dorsi is a large, triangular-shaped muscle located on the back that is crucial for a paddler to pull as much water as possible. Strengthen this muscle with overhead pull downs, seated rows, bent over rows, and pull-ups.
Image: Isaac Insoll
To Do a Proper Pull-Up:

1) Hang from a pull-up bar and grasp the bar about shoulder-width apart with palms facing away from your face
2) Retract and adduct the scapula
3) Pull yourself up while bringing your elbows down to the floor until your chin passes the bar
4) Lower yourself all the way down, breathe, and repeat the pull-up

Variation: Add weights to your pull-ups using a dumbbell between your feet, a belt and chain with added weight plates, or a weighted vest. Start by adding a very small weight such as 5 lbs and attempt to do 2 or 3 reps for 5 sets. Increase your weight load during the following week by adding another 5 lbs and attempt to do 2 or 3 reps for 5 sets. Continue adding to your load as your strength improves.
Check out this video for some GREAT paddling stretches after an intense water workout:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2gwmXBsdag
InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.