Strength training is the Vaccine To Running Injuries!!
So the COVID-19 situation seems to have calmed down a little locally and people are slowly returning to a new normal! Gyms and Sports clubs have opened and we have been able to return to the sports we love. What impressed me throughout COVID was the increase in amount of people that were exercising. In my opinion this was one of the most positive effects of COVID.
Most people started walking, jogging and running more (others preferred carrying out home workouts, usually made up of circuits). Unfortunately, this lead to an expected increase in injuries 6-8 weeks into the "lock-down". This was because of fact that most people that were not conditioned to the activity as it was a new habit. Others, like a number of amateur runners, believed the common myth that running is enough as far as exercise goes as the body will get stronger by just running.
“Don’t let your engine outpace your chassis” - How to build an injury-resistant body and prevent running injuries
Runners are often very good at running, but when the topic of strength training comes up, many runners, well, run away from it, mostly because they believe it will make them heavier and therefore more prone to injury.
This is however, is thankfully a complete myth, in fact quite the opposite is true. Supplementing running with strength training exercises will not only help you prevent injury, but it will also make you a stronger, faster, and a more efficient runner.
One of the major reasons that runners get injured is because their bodies are unprepared to handle the physical demands of the activity. Tissue overload then occurs, either because of a sudden introduction to the sport, or a relatively sudden change or increase in training mileage or intensity (like hill repeats).
When it comes to building an injury-resistant body, this analogy is useful, “Don’t let your engine outpace your chassis”, meaning don’t let your aerobic fitness (endurance built up by running) outpace your structural fitness (bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles).
If you do, you’re setting yourself up for injury.
In fact, runners need weight training even more than you may realise. Strength work accomplishes three big goals for runners:
1 Prevent injuries by strengthening muscles and connective tissues, to better handle the loads while running.
2 Run faster by improving neuromuscular (nerve-muscle) coordination and power.
3 Improve running economy by encouraging coordination and stride efficiency. Improving your upper-body strength can also boost your running efficiency. With a stronger core, you’ll be able to maintain a stable upper body, minimising side-to-side movement – and better hold your form at the end of a run when you begin
to tire. And by developing strength in your arms, you’ll improve your arm drive so you can inject more power into your stride, especially uphill.
That’s why we’ve put together a set of resources to help you introduce some strength training into your running programme, as well as explain why and how it can help.
You can download the full set of resources, including an exercise programme, top tips for running-specific strength training, a myth-buster sheet and an infographic giving strength-training guidance.
As usual, if you have any concerns or questions on this topic, please feel free to get in contact with us either directly or through our website or social media channels.
We’re here to help.
And please feel free to share the link to this blog post with anyone you think can benefit from these resources.
Let us know if we can help you in anyway!
Thank you and stay safe,
Working from Home?
We are currently living in unprecedented times! On one side staying home keeps us and people around us safe and healthier from COVID-19, but at the same time is making us less active. This can have its own repercussions on our health.
It turns out that a lack of exercise in our lives is a silent killer. The World Health Organisation lists physical inactivity as the fourth biggest risk factor for death in adults across the world.
The latest research shows when it comes to heart disease, leading a sedentary life is as great a risk factor as smoking and obesity. In fact, inactivity in terms of disease risk, is more dangerous than being overweight.
So if you, like many people, spend long periods of time sitting, this is particularly bad news, as it increases your risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer.
The most current research has shown that even normal weight individuals that are inactive, are at risk of developing disease. There is a molecular pathway that is essential to burning fats, that shuts down with inactivity, and that subsequently increases your risk of developing heart disease.
For this reason we've produced a range of resources to help you be more active at home and work to reduce the risk of suffering from some of the consequences of long periods of desk work including neck, back and wrist pain.
The first of the series is STRETCHING and therefore we are encouraging you to click here to download our Stretching Sheet that you can carry out regularly throughout the day.
Contact us should you require further information or if you have any questions. Remember we are also offering online consultations.
Thank you and stay safe,
Posture Matters! Here's why...
We’ve probably all been told to “stand up straight” or to “stop slouching”, at some point in our lives.
What most of us may not realise however, is how damaging a bad posture can be not only to our physical health but in many other aspects of our mental health and wellbeing, and even more so as we age.
It’s also a habit we tend to fall into at an early age, which makes it even more important to remedy as quickly as possible. That said, it’s never too late to start!
Unfortunately, modern lifestyles are becoming increasingly sedentary, whether that’s through the use of transport instead of walking, or sitting at desks or computers for long periods of time, or binging for hours on Netflix, or gaming and social media, or most likely, all of the above to some degree.
But all these factors, mean that our postural muscles are being used less and less, which means they tire more easily when they are used. That in turn makes it harder to maintain a good posture when you are standing or sitting, so you slump, slouch more or lean on walls, tables or bus stops when standing.
Think about it when next catch yourself standing around.
The relationship you have with your postural muscles may have flickered out over time but the end result is that poor posture puts your body at risk for spinal wear and tear and chronic pain.
Not only that, having poor posture can affect your health in many ways, some of which may surprise you. While the obvious consequences are the deterioration of your neck and spine and associated ligaments, muscles and tendons, the less obvious consequences are headaches, decreased flexibility, loss of mobility, nerve entrapment, poor balance (potentially leading to falls), bad digestion, difficulty breathing, reduced energy levels, and even negative self-esteem.
It’s surprising how widely the impact of poor posture can stretch.
The good news is that bad posture is just a habit we’ve got into, and as we know, habits can be broken.
Musculoskeletal practitioners like physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors and massage therapists can all help by giving you specific exercises to help you strengthen weak muscles and stretch tight ones, thereby improving your posture.
Getting that perfect spine isn’t always achievable or a quick fix, but small changes to daily routine, becoming more body conscious and performing exercises a couple of days a week will go a long way to helping improve your posture, reduce the risk of injury and prevent pain.
We can advice regarding stretching and strengthening exercises that will help you to start to correct that posture.
We also offer guidance on the correct set up of your workstation and how to reduce your risk of getting into poor postural habits.
As usual, if you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to get in contact with us. We’re here to help.
Stay safe and healthy,
Game On: Avoiding Injury in Football
From the die-hard fans to the devoted players and little dreamers in backyards everywhere – it’s unlikely that you’ll manage to escape the craze that comes with the start of the football season.
Even if you’re not normally a football fan, you’ll likely find yourself drawn to the excitement. After all, this is a game that has the power to bring together people from all walks of life.
Just like the Olympic games, football transcends race, religion, culture, and nationality to unite us in a singular interest. It has become an international language with a staggering 270 million people playing in games across the globe.
It’s a sport that inspires the kind of collective joy that can only come from sharing a truly remarkable experience. And that alone is worth celebrating.
Alas, the game we love does not come without consequence. Unfortunately, football injuries are all too common.
Muscle injuries are a frequent occurrence among football players. This type of injury is associated with a burst of acceleration or sprinting, sudden stopping, lunging, sliding or a high kick.
Ankle and knee injuries are also very common. This injury occurs when ligaments are strained, during cutting, twisting, jumping, changing direction or contact/tackling.
Groin pain, in particular, is a widespread occurrence, with 1 in 5 players experiencing an injury in a season.
Surprisingly, nearly half of all football injuries can be avoided.
It’s true, preventing injury is possible. In most cases, injuries are caused by an underlying weakness or imbalance in the muscles of the leg, core, and pelvis.
Specialized exercises and training programmes designed to address the areas that are most vulnerable to injury during a game can dramatically reduce your risk of getting injured.
Your physical fitness is the single most important factor in preventing football injuries.
For instance, studies have found that --
- Strength training can reduce the incidence of injury by nearly half (47%) compared to players who did no specific strength training.
- 51% of hamstring injuries can be avoided with good proprioceptive programmes.
- Among players who participated in pre-season proprioceptive training 3x a week, there were 7x fewer ACL injuries and an 87% decrease in the risk of ankle sprain.
- Neuromuscular training for the knee can reduce the incidents of serious knee injury by 3.5x.
Whether you are an avid player or prefer to play part-time as a pastime, injuries can be bad news. But a little knowledge and preparation can go a long way.
If you want to understand more about any of these aspects, get in touch with us. A good preventative programme incorporating both strength and neuromuscular/proprioceptive training can help keep you in the game.
If you’ve already suffered from a football injury or your kids, family or friends have suffered from one, contact us for an assessment or advice.
Stay safe and healthy,