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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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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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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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…
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Selection Injuries: The Good, Bad, and Ugly – Part 2 (Hip & Knee)

Selection Injuries: The Good, Bad, and Ugly – Part 2 (Hip & Knee)

Lower Body, Tactical
Selection Injuries: The Good, Bad, and Ugly - Part 2 (Hip & Knee) Originally published by SOFLETE. You can read the article on their website here. I was screening a group of candidates after several weeks of running-intensive training. One candidate, a highly proficient collegiate runner who would routinely finish runs well ahead of his peers, mentioned a worsening ache in his right thigh and knee. For a skilled runner who knows what muscle soreness feels like, it struck me as unusual that he would volunteer a seemingly insignificant complaint to me in this public setting. After further interview and orthopedic testing, it was clear that this was not a muscle or a knee problem. The candidate had developed a femoral neck stress fracture, a high-risk hip injury that took…
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How to Get Back Into Strength Training After A High Hamstring Injury

How to Get Back Into Strength Training After A High Hamstring Injury

Lifting, Lower Body
How to Get Back Into Strength Training After A High Hamstring Injury Regaining leg strength after a high hamstring injury (strain, tendinitis, or tear) can be a tricky process. Not only does running cause hamstring pain, but so does squatting…and even just sitting in a chair! Part of the problem is that the high hamstring tendon - located where your leg meets your butt - gets compressed around the pelvic bone (“sit bone”) every time you bend your hip or sit down. So, in the early stages of regaining hamstring strength after an injury here, avoid compression of the tendon over the pelvic bone. This could be simple hamstring curls performed while lying in a prone (belly) position. Avoid seated hamstring curl machines.  In later stages you can reintroduce strength…
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