Speed to Perform


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By Darelle Noel

Most people believe speed is something you’re born with and that you’re genetically inclined to be fast. But it has little to do with that – it’s a science. You can train your body to produce more force and the way you deliver force to the ground. And once that happens, it will completely change your perception of how fast or explosive you ever thought you could be.

Speed is an integral part of every sport and can be expressed as one of or a combination of Power(Elastic Strength) for acceleration, absolute speed and speed endurance. Speed is the quickness of movement of a limb generated by the athletes ability to apply force and generate it with great frequency.

(Force X Frequency=Speed)

Maximizing stride length and stride frequency is mainly influenced by the athletes stability, mobility, strength and technique. Having good hamstring flexibility and hip mobility improves stride frequency (the ability to strike and recover) and stride length is improved by developing muscular strength and explosive power i.e. olympic Lifts and Plyometrics.

Developing speed is a rather complex process that is controlled by the nervous system, learning the movements needed to develop speed and learning how to perform them are equally important. In order to move faster the muscles have to adapt and contract faster, The brain and the nervous system have to learn the motor skills to control these fast movements efficiently. Practicing the basic fundamentals of running will not only improve your running ability but also improve your brains ability to adapt and perform the movements quickly. Complex coordination and timing of the motor units and muscle groups must be performed beginning with slow speeds transitioning to high speeds to improve patterns. Maintaining some form of speed training on a consistent basis will ensure that your movement patterns and nervous system will stay in sync.

General Principles for speed development are:
•Work on your mobility to develop ROM, range of motion in your hips will drastically effect your speed and assist in preventing injuries.
•Improve flexibility to improve your turnover ability.
•Perform explosive and plyometrics movements such as jumping, hopping and bounding to develop explosive power that translate to running.
•Implement skill development for sports specific speed. IT HAS TO TRANSLATE TO THE SPORT!!
•Train Energy System specifically to maintain and maximize endurance and speed over time.

FullSizeRender 21 Blog Post written by Darelle Noel, Athletic Gaines Performance Specialist.  I have had the good fortune to work with him at Catz Physical Therapy/Athletic Gaines Pasadena. You can find him on Instagram @dmn_1of1

What are Shin Splints?

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By Michael Joseph, DPT Student

Definition and Risk Factors:

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS), better known as shin splints, is a common athletic injury caused by repetitive stress to the tibia. MTSS is more prevalent in activities involving a great deal of running and jumping, like distance running, sprinting, basketball, tennis, gymnastics, and dancing; it is also common in military personnel. MTSS can be caused by many factors stressing the tibia, including: periostitis (inflammation of connective tissue surrounding bone), periosteal remodeling, tendinopathy, and dysfunction of muscles surrounding the tibia, like the tibialis posterior, tibialis anterior, flexor digitorum longus, and soleus muscles. Risk factors for MTSS include flat feet and/or over-pronation, repetitive running and jumping, excessive hip range of motion, smaller calf girth, and a body mass index above 20.2.

Symptoms:

Symptoms include pain of the middle and lower thirds of the medial shin. Individuals may experience pain during and/or after physical activity. During the early onset of MTSS, symptoms may be felt at the beginning of exercise, but may subside as activity continues. As MTSS progresses, pain may be felt throughout exercise and may linger afterwards.

Diagnosis:

A thorough physical therapy subjective and objective exam is usually sufficient to diagnose MTSS. However, patients may require further imaging or work up to rule out pathologies like stress fractures, exertional compartment syndrome, or peripheral vascular disease.

Management of Shin Splints:

Acute Phase:

The goal of physical therapy in the acute phase is to reduce pain and inflammation. This can be done through stretching, manual therapy of the injured tissue, taping, icing, and rest. For many athletes prolonged rest from their sport is not ideal. MTSS management may require “relative” rest, meaning their activity level may need to be adjusted but not stopped completely. This depends on the activity and severity of the pathology.

Subacute Phase:

The goal of physical therapy in the subacute phase is to modify training regimens and correct biomechanical abnormalities. According to Galbraith et al, reducing weekly training frequency and intensity by 50% will likely improve symptoms without completely stopping training. However, this depends on each patient’s case and may need to be adjusted. Training can also be augmented with low impact exercises, like swimming or cycling, to help maintain strength and cardiovascular endurance.


Create a Physical Change in Your Body and Movement

Another treatment of MTSS is to strengthen the arch of the foot and hip, and increase core stability; this will help to improve jumping and landing mechanics, as well as single leg stability. Specifically, strengthening the tibialis posterior and intrinsic foot musculature will help increase arch support and prevent excessive pronation. Improving hip extensor and abductor strength can help improve lower extremity mechanics. Stretching and eccentric strengthening of the calf has also been shown to be beneficial by decreasing muscle fatigue with running and jumping.

Changing running biomechanics may also be beneficial. A study from Leiberman et al, found that heel first strike during initial contact, when running, creates an impact transient equal to nearly three times the individual’s body weight. Not only is this incredibly inefficient, but this creates a large force traveling directly up through the tibia with each step. The impact transient with forefoot first strike during initial contact is seven times lower than with a heel strike. This evidence suggests forefoot running is more efficient and less injurious. 

FullSizeRender 15Blog Post written by Michael Joseph, DPT Student at Mount Saint Mary’s University. Michael is currently in his final Clinical Rotation with me at Catz Physical Therapy Institute.

Sources:

  1. Budde, Kari Brown. Physical Therapist’s Guide to Shin Splints (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome). http://www.moveforwardpt.com. Accessed May 11, 2017.
  2. Galbraith, R. Michael, Lavelle, Mark E. Medial tibial stress syndrome: conservative treatment options. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2009 Sep; 2(3):127-133.
  3. Lieberman, Daniel E., Venkadesan, Madhusudhan, Werbel, William A., Daoud, Adam I., D’Andrea, Susan, Davis, Irene S., Mang’Eni, Robert Ojiambo, Pitsiladis, Yannis. Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners. Nature. 2010 Jan; 463:531-535.
  4. Moen, Maarten Hendrik, Holtslag, Lenoor, Bakker, Eric, Barten, Carl, Weir, Adam, Tol, Johannes L., Backx, Frank. The treatment of medial tibial stress syndrome in athletes; a randomized clinical trial. Sports Med Arthrosc Rehabil Ther Technol. 2012 Mar; 4(12).

5 Things to Do Before Going on a Run

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By Meggie Morley, DPT Student

It is well known that exercise is crucial for living a long and healthy life, but recent studies have shown that running may actually be the most effective exercise for increasing life expectancy. In a recent study by Lee et al., it was found that running can increase a person’s life span by 3 years, and reduces the risk of premature death by 40%. The researchers also noted that the benefits are the same regardless of pace, mileage, drinking and smoking or being overweight.

Hopefully studies such as this one encourage people to take up running, so here are a few things to do before going on a run to boost performance and minimize the risk of injury. The idea behind these exercises are to warm up the muscles and joints before running as well as “turn on” the muscles we want to be active while running.

1. Warm Up

Start by simply walking for a few minutes to increase blood flow and prime the joints and muscles for motion.

2. Walking Lunges with Torso Twist-Works: Quads, gluts, hamstrings


Step forward with the right leg into a lunge. Place your right hand next to the right foot then twist your trunk to the left while reaching the left arm up towards the ceiling.

3. Planks with Knee Drive-Works: Abdominals, hip flexors


Hold a high plank with the shoulder directly over the wrists. Alternate driving the knees towards the chest ten times. Then perform ten knee drives toward the same side elbow and ten toward the opposite elbow in order to engage both the rectus abdominus and the obliques.

4. Bridges-Works: Abdominals, gluts, hamstrings


The gluteal muscles are crucial for generating power and maintaining proper biomechanics down the entire lower extremity while running. Do three sets of bridges with a focus on keeping the core engaged and lifting the hips with the gluts in order to prepare the muscles to be active during running.

5. Alternating Lunge with Medial Reach-Works: Quads, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, gluteus medius


Step forward with the right leg into a lunge and reach out to the left with the left arm. Perform ten lunges then switch sides. This places more demand on the gluteus medius, which is important for maintaining proper pelvis alignment during running.

FullSizeRender 9 Blog Post written by Meggie Morley, DPT Student at Columbia University. Meggie is currently in her final Clinical Rotation with me at Catz Physical Therapy Institute.

References

  1. Lee DC, Brellenthin AG, Thompson PD, Sui X, Lee IM, Lavie CJ. Running as a Key Lifestyle Medicine for Longevity. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases. 2017 Mar 30.
  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/12/well/move/an-hour-of-running-may-add-seven-hours-to-your-life.html
  1. Yamaguchi T, Takizawa K, Shibata K. Acute effect of dynamic stretching on endurance running performance in well-trained male runners. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 2015 Nov 1;29(11):3045-52.

Strength Training for Runners and Endurance Athletes

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Running is a big deal here in Pasadena, we have numerous running  &  tri clubs nearby, and a niche running store that specializes in finding the right shoe for your foot, running style and terrain choice.  The Arroyo Seco provides some nature and uneven trail surfaces while the Rose Bowl gives you a nice 5K loop that is traveled daily by runners, walkers and cyclists.  Annually, Pasadena hosts its own Marathon and being only a few miles north of Downtown, the LA Marathon is a common training goal for many runners to work towards.  When working with an endurance athlete, it’s important to remember that it’s always good to work towards strength.  Strength helps everything.  However, the opposite is true with power athletes, you don’t want power-lifters, weight-lifters, platesprinters or in my opinion, baseball pitchers going on long endurance runs, but everybody benefits from getting stronger.  Often times it will take some convincing to get your endurance specialist to buy into getting stronger because many runners believe building strength will add bulk.  Here are just a few fairly recent studies to support strength for improved endurance performance.  I will add to this list as I come across pertinent studies and articles. 

Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports 2013 Aug

Optimizing strength training for running and cycling endurance performance: A review.
B R Rønnestad, I Mujika

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2014 Mar

Mixed maximal and explosive strength training in recreational endurance runners.
Ritva S Taipale, Jussi Mikkola, Tiina Salo, Laura Hokka, Ville Vesterinen, William J Kraemer, Ari Nummela, Keijo Häkkinen

Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 2008 Jun

Maximal strength training improves running economy in distance runners.
Oyvind Støren, Jan Helgerud, Eva Maria Støa, Jan Hoff

Running Injury Management

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This is a guest post from Kevin Wentz, PT, CSCS.  Kevin is the Founder and Co-Owner of Catz Physical Therapy Institute and Sports Performance Center in Pasadena, CA.  He has been a leader in the sports medicine field since 1994 and has rehabbed the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, David Beckham, and Adrian Beltre.  I have had the good fortune of working with him at Catz since 2007.

Physical Therapy Management of Running Injuries

kevin head shot by Kevin Wentz Continue reading “Running Injury Management”