Hate Stretching? Stop “Shoulding” On Yourself and Start One of These Programs Today

Hate Stretching? Stop “Shoulding” On Yourself and Start One of These Programs Today

Lifting, Lower Body, Recovery, Running, Tactical, Upper Body
Hate Stretching? Stop "Shoulding" On Yourself and Start One of These Programs Today "I should stretch more," says at least one of my clients every week. While that statement may or may not be accurate, those choice words reveal a level of personal resistance that certainly doesn't help the cause.  Perhaps you "should" stretch. Stretching helps you move better in life and in your workouts. And a regular stretching routine can reduce that "old man" feeling when you get out of bed (by a lot). But suppose you're not naturally flexible, or you have nagging aches and pains. In that case, stiff muscles and joints are likely to protest your random stretching efforts.   In the same way that you might only eat veggies when trying to cut weight, stretching just…
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Can you rebuild knee cartilage?

Can you rebuild knee cartilage?

Lifting, Lower Body, Running, Tactical
Can you rebuild knee cartilage? I worked with a Marine coming off a long deployment with poor gym access. An avid lifter with all things barbell, he mentioned that he had started to develop dull, achy pain behind both kneecaps upon return to regular gym workouts. He also reported that his knee joints felt “swollen” the day after a heavy lifting session.  “I had X-rays, and they said I had some arthritis, that my knees had lost some cartilage. Can we do anything about that? I miss lifting like I used to,” he said.  What does cartilage do? Knee cartilage is a network of tightly packed cells and water molecules that form a thick, dense cushion over the ends of bones. Strong cartilage is firm, smooth, and slick, like the…
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Are my shoes (or boots) causing blisters?

Are my shoes (or boots) causing blisters?

Ankle-Foot, Running, Tactical
Question: Are my shoes (or boots) causing blisters? A common cause of blisters is shoes or boots that are too tight or too loose. One of our clients is a "seasonal" runner who routinely starts training for his annual running/physical fitness test about two months out. This year, he began noticing blisters on his pinky toes.  Though he ramped up his miles abruptly (going from 0 to 15 miles per week…in 2 weeks),  he denied experiencing foot blisters since way back in boot camp. He had, however, bought a new pair of shoes for his upcoming physical fitness test. Answer: Check the shoe’s liner 1. Remove the liner insert from the shoe and stand on it. The size and shape of the liner should match your foot all the way around.…
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Why do I keep getting shin splints when running? Three causes that you can fix.

Why do I keep getting shin splints when running? Three causes that you can fix.

Ankle-Foot, Lower Body, Running
Why do I keep getting shin splints when running? Three causes that you can fix. Shin splints on day 3…with 50 days to go. In her quest to race the Appalachian Trail, ultra-distance runner Liz "Mercury" Anjos took a hard-and-fast approach right from the start. "I know 69 miles [the first day] sounds crazy, but I promise it was part of the strategy. …why not put in some big miles while I'm fresh, right off the bat?" Anjos said. While she accomplished her goal, achieving the fastest time ever by a woman on the northbound route, a nasty bout of shin splints nearly derailed her race by day three. A quick pivot in strategy to lower daily mileage goals enabled her to continue racing and finish the 2,190-mile course without…
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Want to crush your New Year’s fitness resolutions? Try a past year review instead.

Want to crush your New Year’s fitness resolutions? Try a past year review instead.

Lifting, Recovery, Running, Tactical
Want to crush your New Year’s fitness resolutions? Try a past year review instead. Well, it's almost that time again for New Year's resolutions. What's yours? Get stronger? Run a marathon? Look great naked? Stats on New Year's resolutions - especially those that involve fitness - are quite abysmal. According to studies, while 60 percent of us will make New Year's resolutions, only 8 percent of us will achieve them. You've probably seen it first hand: gyms that are packed on January 2 are ghost towns by March.  So, if you've got a fitness resolution - or one on repeat from years past - how can you follow through and crush it this year? Inspired by a practice by entrepreneur Tim Ferriss, try a past year review first. By identifying what worked…
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How to manage a pulled hamstring caused by sprinting and limit downtime from running: A first aid guide

How to manage a pulled hamstring caused by sprinting and limit downtime from running: A first aid guide

Lower Body, Running
How to manage a pulled hamstring caused by sprinting and limit downtime from running: A first aid guide "Pop" You hear the sound followed by intense pain shooting along the back of your thigh that stops you dead in your tracks. You may have pulled or "strained" a hamstring muscle (there are 3). This injury occurs when the muscle fibers overstretch so quickly that they cannot contract to protect themselves in time. Hamstring strains often happen during a quick sprint effort, such as picking up the pace during a running workout or stopping short to avoid crashing into a slow pedestrian. Even a quick burst effort to chase after your dog on a breakaway from the leash can land you in some severe hamstring hurt.  While most hamstring strains will…
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How to choose a strap or sleeve for runner’s knee

How to choose a strap or sleeve for runner’s knee

Lower Body, Running
How to choose a strap or sleeve for runner’s knee If you have runner’s knee and think a brace might help, which one should you choose? Runner’s knee typically refers to irritation on the underside of the kneecap (patella bone). It sometimes includes other painful areas located on the front side of the knee.  The patella “floats” within a bundle of muscles and tendons, and is at the mercy of their actions. Mile after mile, small imbalances in strength, flexibility, or coordination can create micro-injuries to the patella, and it’s surrounding structures. Many runners find tendon straps or knee sleeves helpful to reduce the pain of runner’s knee until they can eliminate the underlying imbalance. Both types of compression devices can work, but which one should you try first? In…
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Why your shins hurt during formation runs and what you can do to keep going: A first aid guide

Why your shins hurt during formation runs and what you can do to keep going: A first aid guide

Lower Body, Running
Why your shins hurt during formation runs and what you can do to keep going: A first aid guide "Pain is weakness leaving the body" - said no one with shin splints, ever! Ever suffered from shin pain with running? It might be shin splints. While not usually caused by weakness, the pain of shin splints can bring even the best runners to their knees.  Shin splints are the common name for medial tibial stress syndrome. In this condition, the shin muscles and bone are overloaded by running and other impact sports. Most shin splints are caused by "too much, too soon." A rapid increase in running distance or volume without a proper conditioning base is usually to blame.  However, when you have to run in a group, shin splints…
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How to manage a twisted ankle even when you have to keep rucking: A first aid guide

How to manage a twisted ankle even when you have to keep rucking: A first aid guide

Ankle-Foot, Running, Tactical
How to manage a twisted ankle even when you have to keep rucking: A first aid guide If you’ve served in the military, there’s a decent chance you’ve twisted an ankle (or two) Ever twisted an ankle when you were rucking out in the field? The standard injury advice of rest and ice are generally incompatible with that environment.   Military members sustain up to five times as many ankle injuries as the general population due to the physical demands of the job.1 Combat boots and incomplete injury recovery (leading to re-injury) add to the risk profile. The problem? Just one ankle injury, such as a ligament sprain, sets a person up for more long-term issues such as instability, weakness, knee pain, or back pain.  While you might not be…
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Selection Injuries: The Good, Bad and Ugly, Part 3 (Shin and Ankle)

Selection Injuries: The Good, Bad and Ugly, Part 3 (Shin and Ankle)

Ankle-Foot, Running, Tactical
Selection Injuries: The Good, Bad and Ugly, Part 3 (Shin and Ankle) Originally published by SOFLETE. You can read the article on their website here. Shin splints are the worst! They are one of the reasons I became a physical therapist (to find a solution to my own problem), and are a leading, not-so-fond memory of boot camp for many a client through the years. The good news about shin splints is that once the cause has been identified (and eliminated), the pain disappears. The bad news? What if they’re not shin splints at all? How do you eliminate a problem if you don’t know what the problem is?  The importance of identifying the underlying problem - and not just the pain - has been a recurring theme throughout this…
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