Sunday, November 2, 2014

Shoulder Routine to Get Ready for Fast Twitch Activation!

Training Fast Twitch Muscle Fibers
And Developing Strength with Speed



  RANDOM FACT!! Did you know that “Strengths” is the longest word in the English language that has only one vowel? 

As we know, fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibers are spoken about in many aspects of training for athletes and sports enthusiasts. This is to create a well-rounded athlete that encompasses Endurance, Power, Speed, Force, muscular and anaerobic endurance.  And…the only way we can improve is if we keep pushing our body past the limit of what it can already handle right?  But how do we do that without injury? How do we train certain systems like fast twitch muscle fibers? 

I have a history of shoulder injuries, and I was attacked with bilateral bicep tendonitis in March, which was severe enough to halt a lot of strengthening of my arms and shoulders.  It focused me in terms of biking but halted swimming and upper body strengthening.  It was painful and disappointing.





Once I recovered and felt good enough to push myself, I had a goal of performing some Olympic movements such as a clean and jerk in order to work my fast twitch muscle fibers.  I also wanted to use kettle bells in transverse movements and to start deadlifting heavier weight. I knew this would be key to improving my muscular endurance and force, as well at the fast twitch muscle fibers. 

Wall Ball: 18lb medicine ball thrown 8-10 feet up in the air 


ANOTHER FUN FACT!  When more than 100 athletes competing in the Olympics, 2 in particular were found to have a higher than average percentage of fast twitch muscle fibers.  Dara Torres and Greg Louganis.

This is the schedule I started.  I went very light the first week because the goal is, to move the muscle and direct blood flow to it while exercising it’s range of motion.  You want to feel the muscle working but you do not want to have pain.  You have to find a weight that is comfortable at a slow pace and for higher repetitions. 

Pushing the Sled followed by repetitions of KB squat to overhead press.  As you can see I improvise!


Week 1 Shoulder Exercises:
           
Exercise
Weight
Reps
Sets
Internal and External Rotation of Shoulder
Light resistance band, side laying, Cable Column
12-15
2-3
Empty Can
0-5
12-15
2-3
YTM’s
0-3
12-15
2-3
Short arc Shoulder Raises
5-15
12-15
2-3
Dips
Body Weight
12-15
2-3


Week 2 Shoulder Exercises

Exercise
Weight
Reps
Sets
Body Blade at Scaption.  Progress into ER/IR movement.
Makes those ends move!!
8-10 nice and slow or timed for 20”
2-3
Arnold Presses
Light weight 3-8lbs
12-15
2-3
Straight arm front and side shoulder Raises
Light Weight 5-12 lbs
12-15
2-3
Face Pulls
Light weight
12-15
2-3
Planks on Hands
Figure 8
Body Weight
12-15
2-3


Week 3

Exercise
Weight
Reps
Sets
Kb Thrusters with single arm
15-25 lbs
12-15
2-3
Deadlifts
¼ to ½ your body weight
12-15
2-3
Kb squat to overhead press
15-25
12-15
2-3
Wall Ball
5-15
12-15
2-3
Dips
10-15lbs
12-15
2-3


I felt like this was a great progression for me and I enjoyed the process.  I pushed my body at every week and made the exercise difficult of the prescribed repetitions were not enough.  I changed that aspect more than the weight.  I think this program is very interchangeable and is different for every individual based on their personal goals and their medical history.  Some programs could easily be replicated for two weeks at a time. 

Week 4 you’re there!

After I warmed up for 10-15 min, I walked into the gym and took the empty bar and broke apart the clean and jerk into different parts.  I worked on my deadlift form and the transition to the shoulders.  I performed from front squats with the bar racked on my anterior delts. I slowly added weight starting with 20lbs and did most of the same drills to make sure my shoulders felt comfortable with the movements.  I ended up staying with 80 lbs and performing about 60 reps total. 



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Healthiest Swimming technique for shoulder?



Swimming Technique and Injury
High Elbow vs. Low in Recovery Phase, What is Right?!




WHAT IS THE PROPER WAY TO REACH FORWARD IN THE WATER!?  HOW DO I PROTECT MY SHOULDER??  Recently, my focus has been on swimming technique and biomechanics of the shoulders and torso during the freestyle stroke.  It seems that many coaches, professionals, and colleagues have different viewpoints on how to perform the freestyle with not enough clarification to sway me one way or the other.  Do we have a high elbow, or do you throw the arm and keep the hand higher?  I need to figure out how to help my clients be safe, build strength the right way, and not exacerbate a problem and cause bigger issues down the road.  I also don’t want cause an overuse injury in the future. Working in rehab has made me scared about destroying my body now and regretting it later…

While working at the physical therapy clinic.... I have learned a lot about shoulders and their mechanics.  One thing being that the shoulder’s resting position is 30 degrees of abduction in the scapular plane.  Too much adduction and internal rotation as well as repetitive overhead motions can irritate the bicep tendon.  The Other problems in the shoulder, the Supraspinatus can become impinged under the AC joint.  Weakness in the shoulder along with overuse and injury can lead to other tendonitis, osteoarthritis, shoulder instability, etc.   Doesn’t this sound lovely?





I have been swimming in the pool and developed Bilateral Bicep Tendonitis!!  It leads to referral pain on the back of my arm, freestyle hurts, and I am “swimming” around trying to diagnose what about my form and training led to this problem.  Reaching behind me hurts, overhead action, we need to solve this. 

Problems I have with my stroke...  So I have been told my multiple people that as I finish my recovery and enter the water I cross my midline a lot.  Also, if my thumb was going into the water first I was creating a lot of internal rotation.  Torso rotation also has a lot to do with this.  If I was not rotating my body enough, my arm was traveled behind me causing the humerus to travel forward in the GH socket and create an impingement.  Before this, I had major trigger points in my shoulder and an injury to my rotator cuff muscles from a job where I had to twist open a valve to change a filter.  I believe the combination to all of these aspects, plus a lot of vigorous swimming and repetitive motion of the freestyle led to my shoulders giving out.   

So, in the mean time, I am putting together drills to go back to the basics and really slow down and teach myself form. One aspect of the stroke I am really picking apart is  how I perform the recovery phase, of the stroke.  Some people have told me to keep a high elbow while others will teach that throwing the arm and keeping the elbow lower than the hand is the way to go. 

High Elbow or low elbow? I have come across multiple key points that help build the defense of each technique.  Keeping a high elbow can help utilize more of the lats and upper back and take more stress off the deltoids and rotator cuff.  A straight arm though, generates more velocity and helps carry you through the stroke more.   This does put more stress on the shoulder though and puts more emphasis on the deltoids.  So, maybe both strokes aren’t considered right and wrong?  Maybe we just need to choose when to use them to out benefit almost like interval training, or changing where your butt is on your bike seat to use more hamstrings versus quads. 





I recently read a paper written by Theodore J. Becker Ph.D., R.P.T., A.T.e who titled his paper “The 'Coaches Guide to Bicipital Tendonitis”  His paper gave me an overview of how the shoulder functions during different aspects of swimming. 

Let’s look at the freestyle stroke and what happens to the muscles on your arm.  When your hand enters the water during the initial catch, your hands downward position (supination) followed by the immediate high elbow pull puts the bicep tendon in a vulnerable position. It presses almost out of the groove!  The bicep plays huge roles in the pull phase as it flexes the elbow, horizontally adducts the arm, and supinates the hand.  So…now I understand why I have bicep tendonitis. The bicep ligament is very closely related with the supraspinatus and Deltoid, which is probably why a deltoid and SS taping felt so good to my shoulder and I continue to find trigger points in them.    

So the conclusion!  Found and theorized on Triradar.com.  If you think about it, the straight arm method is going to give you more velocity and brings the momentum out of the pull phase into the recovery.  It is great over the short term, but uses more of the deltoid and rotator cuff and doesn't allow for more support from others.  The bent arm technique allows you to use your traps, lats, deltoid,  and moreover recruits more muscle groups to put less tension on the deltoid.  Sooooo......In the mean time, I am sleeping without a pillow, trying to keep my shoulders back and down, icing constantly, and am going to get better soon!  My therapist told me today, David...try not to analyze this so much.  you are looking for the answer so bad that you are giving yourself 20 things to think about when you go swim instead of trusting your instinct, listening to how your body wants to move, and just swimming!  I am going to try that next week and just go with the flow.  


  

Monday, February 17, 2014

NYU Treatment of Multisport and Endurance Athletes Course.

NYU School of Medicine Approach to Treating The Multisport and Endurance Athlete
Across Age, Gender, and Injury


I'm registered and ready to go to this course!  This is going to be a great time as I'm excited to learn more about how to help others and myself.

I think the best part of this lecture will be learning about the injuries that are associated with long endurance type events.  I believe that many people train and compete like they are invincible, and then when they sustain an injury they don't understand why it takes so long to overcome, or they ignore it which then worsens the problem.  There are many risks associated with multisport events and learning how to go about training for them properly as well as nourishing yourself, protecting yourself, and discussing different perspectives is important.  

I will include a blog post in the future about my time there and I cant wait to share the information with my clients and with you all!



Friday, February 14, 2014

Body Aches and Pains

Body Aches and Pains
Where are they coming from? 
How to help combat what Society has thrown at you and 
hoy my lectures from traveling to a couple companies can help!



Exercise and Stretching!  It's as simple as that.  The last couple of months I have traveled to different companies including Trident in New Milford, CT, Odyssey Logistics in Danbury CT, and soon Kimberly Clark in New Milford, CT to discuss how simple it can be to reduce chronic pain with stretching and exercise.  Also, people don't know what pain is or where it's coming from!  Or, they don't realize what type of pain it is and are too stubborn to deal with it.  Men are famous for this, as their mentality is "I'm tough, I can deal with it," and a week later they are incapacitated.  



When I traveled to these companies and spoke to the employees, I explained to them how sitting at a desk, constantly being on the phone or texting, or repetitive movements can cause these postural problems!  I think seeing these pictures and the lecture slides made them realize they know certain people who look like this!  Or, they might be susceptible to these problems with the certain type of work they perform at their company.  



Did you know that for every inch that your head moves forward its an extra TEN pounds of pressure on your neck, shoulders, back and spine?  That's a lot of force to be putting on the nerves in the back of your spine.  You will find that your upper back will stiffen, leading to less range of motion of your arms, your neck will be sore along with your arms and hands, and soon you will be an old lady or man that looks like a hunch back.  



Like I said before, people don't understand what pain is, and therefore don't know how to treat it.  I put this slide together to show people that a trigger point, or as people would call it a knot, in your neck can lead to pain traveling up and around your ear to the front of your head!  The "X" is where the knot is and the blue is where pain can travel.  Moral of the story, people think they are having a migrane and take a bunch of advil when in reality it is a knot in their neck from a postural problem, and until they correct the way they are holding themselves up it's not going to change.  I also had a slide of how back pain can really be caused by tightness in the front of the hip from sitting too long! Until you fix the problem in the front of the leg, your back pain isn't going to get any better even with ice and advil.




When you are hungry what do you do?  YOU EAT!  When you are thirsty what do you do?  YOU DRINK!  When your body hurts what do you do?  MOST people lay down, don't move, and take pills.  This is you body asking for help as it wants to move and to be stretched out!  Simple stretches like these can cure headaches, chest pain, etc.  Some people go to the ER thinking that they are having a heart attack and it's really a tight Pec muscle that is causing the pain.  Think you have Carpal Tunnel?  Scroll back up and see the referral pain patterns from the pec minor in the slide above



 

Here I am at Odyssey Logistics in Danbury CT showing employees how simple hip strengthening exercises can be and how low impact they are on your knees.  This is a simple cure for many ailments which can be easy and fun to do with a partner.


What was nice about this company is they gave their employees 2 different time slots to come to the lecture.  They could either come at 12 or at 1 depending on their work load.  I spoke with about 20 employees that day and even though that was a small fraction of the company, I hope word will travel and more will be informed about these topics.