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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Missing mobility that can help boost your pull-up workouts

Missing mobility that can help boost your pull-up workouts

Lifting, Spine, Tactical, Upper Body
Missing mobility that can help boost your pull-up workouts Upper back, or thoracic, mobility is a key maintenance issue for the overhead athlete. The thoracic spine plays a vital role in keeping the shoulders out of pain and working correctly. A loss of mobility here can cause painful compression of the rotator cuff muscles or make your lat muscles have to work overtime for pull-ups. And if repping pull-ups isn’t your thing, consider the unattractive humpback you’re likely to develop if you neglect mobility work here! Assess While plenty of videos online show ways to increase thoracic mobility, it’s important that you first determine if you have a deficit. That way, you can monitor your progress and choose effective exercises. To measure your thoracic mobility, use the Seated Rotation Test.…
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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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How to treat your own back pain (and when you shouldn’t)

How to treat your own back pain (and when you shouldn’t)

Spine
How to treat your own back pain (and when you shouldn’t) "Here's what you should do about low back pain…" Tell someone you've thrown your back out again, and this is the typical advice you'll get. Friends and family mean well, but without knowing the cause of your pain, there's not much that anyone can tell you confidently that will apply to your situation.  Unfortunately, finding someone who knows how to help you often takes effort. You should do it, but we know life gets in the way. If the pain isn't that bad or doesn't show up very often, you might put it off. But this would be a mistake because the next time back pain shows up, you might not have the time or energy needed to give…
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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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A fix for stiff ankles – your knees will thank you!

A fix for stiff ankles – your knees will thank you!

Ankle-Foot, Lower Body, Tactical
A fix for stiff ankles - your knees will thank you! Originally published in: The Raider Patch: Magazine of the U.S. Marine Raider Association Do you wear boots for work?Have you been a member of the military?Have you rolled or sprained an ankle in the past?Have you rolled one ankle more than once, or rolled both ankles?Can you stand on each leg for 10 seconds with eyes closed and without falling over?  If you answered Yes to even one of these questions, Congratulations! You're likely the winner of some knee pain, compliments of stiff ankles. Everyday activities such as squatting, going up or downstairs, and running require full motion at the ankle to avoid compensation by other joints in the body. When the ankle doesn't move as it should, other…
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