GIFT Weeks 28 & 29 Looking at the upper quadrant, mass & momentum, throwing

The last two weeks have been jammed packed. We have shifted to the neck and scapula and now the action of throwing.

We have discussed how the scapula can lock down the thoracic spine and by using an assist assist approach, to loading and unloading the scapula, we can reduce the tension around the neck and upper back and improve the chain reaction throughout the body.

In GG2 we systematically analysed Transverse, Frontal and Saggital plane motion from head to toe. This approach looks is a strategy to release stiffness as opposed to using successful motion to gain more successful motion. The scapula release had a profound improvement on hip motion and improved neck rotation.

The neck series has started and we have started with increasing saggital plane motion using bilateral hand drivers and eye drivers. Very simple techniques and I look forward to using them in the clinic.

Gary described the influence of mass and momentum on CRB. In clinic we want to visualise where the centre of mass of the body will be with movement. I can then use FMR to control that mass and momentum and use it tweak more successful motion. Using mass and momentum around the pelvis as a driver led us onto the concept of “rotation”. This is knowing how the pelvis rotates and translates along the three cardinal planes of the body.

Understanding rolation allows us to control the 6 degrees of freedom of the body via the pelvis. By doing a TRAZMA analysis we can complete the picture with Rolation.

This week we really focussed on throwing. We learnt what the transformational zones of throwing are and what the deceleration – acceleration whip means. In a left handed thrower, the right foot plants into the ground to allow the hand to whip around and throw the ball. The right leg planting allows the pelvis to rotate, followed by the trunk, and finally the hand. Without planting of the right foot a throw is not possible. The is called the deceleration – acceleration whip.

The probable suspects for shoulder injuries are the ankles, hips and Thoracic spine. Remember where the pain is felt is often now where the problem lies. Find the cause of the pain through analysing CRB.

I look forward to next week, where we build our knowledge of running biomechanics and using progressions in rehab to running, skipping, hopping and variations of these for triplane rehabilitation.

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Week 11: The power of tweaking in SFT

This week we have learnt assessment and treatment techniques for joint restrictions. A valuable assessment tool is to place the limb in a one plane position, Drive in another plane and tweak in another plane. By Tweaking in another plane, I can find which plane position is successful, drive the relative joint motion, and as motion is gained in the joint, slowly tweak out to the unsuccessful plane position. I can then convert the assessment to a treatment technique.

The learning opportunity highlighted the difference between driving the body to achieve a specific motion at a joint as opposed to driving for authenticity of gait. If the goal is to drive the body to get a specific joint to move, it is not necessary to drive in an authentic gait motion.

The learning opportunity also highlighted assessing the knee. If driving with bilateral hands, look at the effect on the knee in each plane to determine its compression with in the knee joint. Consider the gravity, centre of gravity and mass and momentum.

The hamstrings will be influenced by the motion of the tibia. If there is relative internal rotation of the knee, the lateral hamstrings are recruited. It is vice versa for external rotation of the tibia.

The course is creating a clinical reasoning process for assessment and treatment. Everything we have learnt is now coming together. We have looked at the role of proprioceptors. What types of proprioceptors exist in the body, and how we want to stimulate them in our treatment exercises.

It appears the Saggital, Frontal and Transverse tweaks must be understood to progress further in this course.

Week 8: TZ1 and subtalar and midfoot joint motion

This week we covered the techniques to mobilise the subtalar joint and mid tarsal joint on the treatment table. These joints were mobilised by understanding how these joints connect and influence each other in weight bearing. These techniques were easy to use, and performed in as close to the normal hip and knee position as possible.

Using techniques on the treatment table fail to include the forces of gravity, ground reaction forces, mass and momentum when in weight bearing positions.  We can use environmental aids and in standing positons to best replicate normal funciton, and then mobilise the joints of the foot.

 

To be able to select the best position to place the body and then drive the body to get the desired chain reaction we can use TRAZMA analysis. In this analysis we look at what the bones are doing and what the relative joint motion will be. This is a key analysis to help confirm the correct drivers and body positions are used to get the desired chain reaction.

 

This week we covered balance and how we can mobilise the joints to get better stability with motion. There are many positions to use to test balance and they all involve movement, instead of standing still on one leg. 

 

We are one week away from Gift Gathering 1. There is a good build up of skill before the gathering. Time to test it out. 

Triathlon gear for your first Ironman

Making a decision to do your first Ironman must be taken seriously. It requires 12-6 months of training, through 3-4 different seasons. One of the first choices to make, before you start training, is what Triathlon gear you choose to use.
Be ready to be shocked, as there is more than you might first imagine. The ideal is to have good quality Triathlon gear, which will last you 12 months of training. If you choose to continue racing Ironman you can upgrade. There is a noticeable difference in performance, comfort and longevity of more expensive Triathlon gear.
What do you need? In summary, you need triathlon gear for the Swim, Bike and Run. The most expensive items will be your Triathlon bike and Triathlon wetsuit. You will need additional gear for colder climates for each sport. There is also nutritional supplementation, transitional and race day kit e.g race belt, transition box, and bike box.
There are several websites which can provide Triathlon Gear at better prices (www.eurekacyclesports.co.uk and www.wiggle.co.uk). These are useful if buying simple items like bike computer, googles etc. For items which require correct fitting e.g. wetsuits, bike, and bike shoes, it is best to go to a reputable Triathlon Store.
Most athletes who take on Ironman have trained in one or more of the triathlon sports. In this case there will be less Triathlon gear to buy. If you are starting from scratch, you could spend the following amounts in each area of triathlon (estimates for good quality Triathlon Gear for 12 months of training) Swim £500 including wetsuit, Bike £2500 including bike and bike computer, Run £200, nutritional supplementation £200, Race day £300 including bike box. Additional expenses would be flights and accommodation costs on race day, entry fee for the race (£500) and coaching.
Physical Edge (www.physical-edge.com)  hopes this information is useful. We specialising in helping athletes race Ironman for the first time. If you want to know more about coaching costs and training,  do get in touch with us and we look forward to talking Ironman with you.
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Maximising performance in the off season

In professional sport the ‘off season’ offers an athlete the opportunity to rest, recover and mentally prepare for the following season. In the off season an athlete will do strength training and fitness training so that they are in peak condition when the new season starts. In tennis the fitness and strengthening will carry them through the season, and allows them to focus more on match play and technique.

In the amateur we can see that the off season either never occurs, or that the athlete decides to increase the intensity of their training – and injuries occur. The off season needs to be structured to maximise the benefits for the following season.

The off season also offers an opportunity for injuries to be treated sensibly and for the body to be rested to allow natural healing processes to occur. The powers of rest cannot be underestimated. This will include having plenty of sleep; it will also include having ‘active recovery’ whereby the body continues to exercise, but in a much lower intensity so that injuries can respond to treatment and heal.

Structure your year to peak for your events and also to have an off season. Your physiotherapist and trainer can work closely together to design an off season which will help heal your injuries and also maximise your potential for the following season OR for achieving an extra goal.

Personal Training Series: “Don’t care, get over the finish line”, can lead to injury

Some athletes are bloody minded and will do anything to win. Some clients only see the goal at the end but don’t think about the process of getting there. In physiotherapy I see many people who have trained incorrectly because they focus only on the event they are racing and not on how to train to get there.

Having a personal trainer and a physiotherapist work with you can vastly improve your chances of reaching your goal, with minimal to no injuries. The training process can be designed specifically for the goal and the exercises required to achieve the goal can be taught correctly.

When designing a training programme there are many variables to consider such as: exercise technique, timing of training, intensity of training, the environment of training, progressions of training, and even what is happening in an individual’s life. Having a team to work with you takes away the need to think. The professionals also have the experience and the knowledge to give you the best training advice.

When working with a physiotherapist and trainer you can contact them at any time. They can talk to you when you get injured, when you have questions about your training, and when you want to know what to do if you get injured. Having this team is like being a professional athlete, and provides the greatest chance of success.

I have seen amateur athletes start training, and progress doing extremely well without any help; then they reach a certain mileage in training and their body starts to break down.  At this point it is too late to change technique and training regime because the race is within a few weeks. Treatment is then about first aid care – doing everything possible to keep that person training despite the risk of increased injury, and the fact that the race is now in jeopardy. There are many emotions which accompany being in a position of unknown at race time. A person with injuries does not know how the body will react during the race; the target or goals in that race no longer apply; and all those weeks / months of training have been put at risk. To cross the finish line is often the goal after an injury has occurred. A plan then needs to be made to race the following year with correct training principles, guided by the personal trainer and physiotherapist.

It helps to get the right advice to train. Speak to your physiotherapist – who works closely with a personal trainer – to create a winning team.

Personal Training Series: Coaching your way to a healthy lifestyle

Health is an area in many people’s lives which is neglected. To live a healthy life requires taking action, as with other areas of your life, to get results. There is a wealth of information from professionals and websites offering the know-how to live a healthy life. So why are we not all healthy?

I have found – as with other areas of my life – that you need coaches. Coaches not only motivate you and keep you on track; they also provide you with the most recent information about living a healthy lifestyle. A coach can put a plan in place which is easy to follow, adaptable to your lifestyle, and is measurable over time.

In today’s world, you can approach many different types of professionals to get this help, but I have found that it works best if just one person takes overriding responsibility for you achieving your results. Generally the coach who can help you is the one who lives the life they teach. In health there is a holistic approach and there is a Western medical approach, and I think a combination of the two is needed. The areas that may be included in assessment of your health are: your medical history; your lifestyle habits; your physical training habits; and your mental approach.

I am a physiotherapist and I work closely with personal trainers developing healthy lifestyles for clients. I am able to draw on the help of medical professionals, such as doctors and surgeons, and also holistic professionals, such as Pilates instructors, homeopaths and counsellors. Personal trainers have a wealth of skills which they can use with their clients including lifestyle coaching, physical training, nutrition and exercise goal setting.

This series of blogs is designed to give my perspective, as a physiotherapist and someone who lives a healthy lifestyle, on how you can avoid injury when working with a trainer. The blogs are separated into common scenarios I see as a physiotherapist in my clinic. The aim is to assess those clients we see and to learn more about injury prevention when working with a personal trainer.

In the following weeks there will be 20 blogs which will give a comprehensive outline of how you can work best with a personal trainer and a physiotherapist. Please call or contact us via email with any questions you may have about these blogs.