Friday, February 27, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
The least trained movement in most programs is dorsiflexion. Simply pulling your toes towards your shins. Dorsiflexion plays a huge role in sprint mechanics as it gets you ready for ground contact. It places the weakest joint in the leg, the ankle, in the most stable position. It places the gastroc/soleus complex under stretch so that allows more speed and power upon ground contact. It also places the fascial linkages in the posterior chain under stretch. This will pull the leg back under the hips quicker during the flight phase, which minimizes breaking forces. Minimizing breaking forces means you spend less time on the ground, which means faster sprint speeds! So don't neglect dorsiflexion.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Your jaw closes every time you swallow. When it's efficient, you don't even think about it. If there is a bit of muscle incoordination it will become a chronic pain site. This muscle incoordination can come about from many reasons. Any type of contact sport can lead to premature contact called interference. Ever been hit in the face? Been in a rugby scrum or had your bell rung playing football? Even just grinding at night can lead to interference.
So when you have this interference, problems occur. Your body senses this early contact on the back molars and contracts a muscle called the Lateral Pterygoid to slightly shift around the interference. As we stated early every time you swallow your jaw closes, so if there is interference, every time you swallow that lateral pterygoid muscle will contract. So you know have a hyperactive muscle.
This muscle also has influence on the disc that you have in your TMJ complex. It pulls the disc forward. Another problem arises when this muscle is hyperactive is that it can actually pull the disc in front of the jawbone. This will give you the "pop" sensation you may feel or hear when you open the jaw wide. The ligament that is playing tug of war between the disc and lateral pterygoid muscle also goes under a lot of stretch stress and can be another sight of jaw pain. This hyperactive muscle can also cause sinus pressure and pain behind the eye ball.
So the easiest way to try to calm this viscous cycle is to get the lateral pterygoid to relax. Make sure you wash your hands first! No use in getting rid of jaw pain and catching a cold. Open as wide as you can place your middle finger on the back of your upper molars. Play around with the area and slowly rub around. You will probably find many tender areas. Keep applying pressure as you slowly open and close your jaw. Do this a few times a couple times a day. It should help reset the tonicity of the muscle and stop the pain cycle.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
A friend asked me the other day if any of the US athletes cared that I worked on other countries every now and then as they are the competition. He kind of viewed it as giving up a competitive advantage. I thought I knew the answer, but to make sure I asked some of the US athletes. To a tee, they all said the same thing, "No, I want to be the best, because I'm the best, not because someone may be hurting. If they can beat me on the ice then they deserve to win. I want to win because I've prepared, I've worked and I'm the best, I don't want to slide into first.
Being around Olympians all the time you realize a few things. They work harder and are more dedicated then 99% of most people and they all possess the spirit of competition. They love to compete. I've also come to realize that it holds true for anyone great in their profession. The better they are, the more likely they will help you out. They possess a confidence in their own abilities so they don't have a fear of yours. The small minded inferiority complex that you may see in someone that lacks a true belief in their ability to succeed isn't there. They have a peace about them. They don't fear competition. So ask yourself, do you fear competition or relish it. If it's the latter, chances are your great at what you do.
A very big congratulations goes to Train out Pain athlete Shauna Rohbock. Shauna and her brake men Ellana Meyers pushed and drove themselves to a silver medal in the womens bobsled this weekend. World Championship medals are hard to come by, you have to be consistently great over 2 days and 4 runs. Many athletes will compete their whole careers and never achieve this. Way to cap a great season!
Friday, February 20, 2009
Box Jumps are a great way to implement a Dynamic Effort work load. They are relatively easy on the body but they keep the athlete from getting slow. It's a great way to get the body moving explosively after doing heavy squats or deadlifts. As the athlete progresses up in height, it also is a great hip flexibility gage as you will have to really be able to open up the hips to get to maximum height.
Shown here is Alex Sprague US National boblsed member training in Koonigsee, Germany.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Congrats to Train Out Pain athlete Valerie Fleming for breaking the Olympic Training center Pull up record. Val pulled 40K (88lbs) at a body weight of 75K. Whats even more impressive is that this is one of the main lifts that the sport of Luge trains at.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Can stretching the lats make you a better runner? Perhaps. It's been well documented that a forward head posture causes a shorter stride length. One reason that forward head posture can creep up is that the body must displace it forward to keep it in balance as the shoulders roll forward. In our flexion dominated society, a pretty easy thing to do. One of the main muscles that can contribute to the forward shoulder is the latissimus dorsi.