Category Archives: Injury prevention

FIT in Your Recovery

By: Megan Lambert

Previous posts have addressed topics such as foam rolling, voodoo flossing, stretching and flexibility, as well as active recovery techniques. Adding on to this theme, in the third part of the FIT series, we will discuss how to practically apply recovery techniques in your busy schedule.

5 simple ways to incorporate recovery techniques in your daily life:

  1. Take a break every 1-2 hours.

If your job includes sitting in an office chair or staring at a computer screen for eight hours a day, then this tip is especially applicable for you. Every few hours, make a conscious effort to stand up, walk around the room, do a few stretches. Give yourself a short break. Not only will your muscles thank you, but you may even return to your task more alert and focused.

  1. Carry a lacrosse ball in your purse or briefcase.

When you have a random five minutes at the doctor’s office or are waiting in the school carpool line to pick up your daughter, you could spend those five minutes scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Or, you could use a lacrosse ball to target sore muscles from your workout the day before!

  1. Carry a gallon jug of water with you.

Are you drinking enough water every day? One way to hydrate is to keep a gallon of water in your car. That way, when your water bottle is empty and you are out of the house, all you need to do is fill it up again and keep drinking.

  1. Foam roll or stretch while watching TV.

It is easy to get sucked into mindlessly watching television to unwind at the end of the day. And it is a good thing to unwind! But, what if you devote 20 minutes of the hour in a half you spend on the couch working on your flexibility and mobility? That 20 minutes will go a long way toward reaching your goals.

  1. Start your morning with a mobility exercise.

Before brushing your teeth, eating your breakfast, or taking a shower, begin your day by performing one movement that will benefit your body and help your mobility. Some examples include rolling the bottom of your feet on a lacrosse ball, performing 10 slow squats, and doing a hip stretch. This way, you set a precedent at the beginning of the day that you are going to resist the urge to ignore your sore muscles and help your body recover.

FIT in Your Warm-up

By: Megan Lambert

This is the second article in our three-part “FIT” series, which discusses practical ways to implement an exercise routine, a dynamic warm-up, and a workout recovery into your daily life. Specifically, this article discusses what to do before your starting your workout. We already covered how important it is to carve out time in your daily schedule to exercise, but did you know that it is equally if not more important to prepare your body for exercise?

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of warming up your muscles before activity as well as give you 10 simple movements that you can include in your routine.

Visit our website (www.indycorefitness.net) or contact us at (317)430-0063 to inquire about our personalized training programs and how we can help you reach your fitness goals!

Benefits of a warm-up:

Injury prevention

Just like a NASCAR driver wouldn’t begin a race without first warming up the car’s engine, so you should increase the temperature of your “vehicle” (your body’s musculature system) before beginning your “race” (your daily workout). By performing various dynamic stretches and movement patterns, you prepare your body for more rigorous movement. For example, performing body weight squats or sumo squats prepares your body a set of barbell back squats.

Improved mobility

The exercises found in a dynamic warm-up are based upon movement patterns such as squatting, jumping, rotating, etc. These are movements that citizens in our modern society struggle to complete on a daily basis. Dr. Kelly Starrett illustrates this point well in his book, “Deskbound.” Because of our modern society, many people sit at work all day, sit in the car, sit when they eat, sit when they watch TV…you get the idea. Because of lengthy amounts of sitting, basic movement patterns are inhibited. Therefore, a good dynamic warm-up will help counteract the biomechanical deficiencies that prolonged sitting can have on your body.

Decrease stress on heart

According to an article from the American Heart Association, “by slowly raising your heart rate, the warm-up also helps minimize stress on your heart.” Meaning, performing steady state cardiovascular exercise, such as using an elliptical or riding a stationary bike, can increase your heart rate gradually rather than suddenly or all at once. Various exercises such as jumping jacks, jump rope, and skips can also accomplish this goal.

Sample warm-up:

Jumping jacks

Standing hip circles

Arm circles

Inchworm

Carioca

Body weight squats

Jump rope

Open book stretch

Walking straight-leg march

High knees

H2O Analysis: the ins and outs of water consumption

By: Matt Nicholson & Megan Lambert

glass-of-water

Water makes up 45-70% of your body weight, according to Joan’s Salge Blake’s book, “Nutrition and You,” (2nd ed.).

Everyone talks about the importance of hydration, but how do you know if you should be consuming more?

Chris Kresser, a renowned natural health and nutrition professional says in his article entitled, “Hydration 101: How Much Water Do You Really Need,”

“There is no universal requirement for water intake, and your needs will vary widely based on age, gender, body size, health status, and physical activity levels.”

If the requirements vary, then what are his recommendations? He suggests utilizing your body’s thirst mechanism as an indicator for the amount of water to drink, instead of a specific amount.

In addition to the thirst mechanism, it is a good idea to monitor the amount of fluid you drink after exercise. One guideline according to Blake, is to replace each pound (lb) of weight lost during a workout with one pint (0.5L) of water.

Additionally, our Indy Core coaches recommend that you drink 8-10 ounces of water 20-30 minutes prior to an athletic practice, competition, or workout session.

What does drinking enough water do for your body?

  1. Increases energy levels
  2. Reduces fatigue
  3. Improves memory
  4. Enhances cognitive function
  5. Promotes quicker post-exercise recovery
  6. Improves joint lubrication
  7. Supports your body’s immune system
  8. Prevents overeating
  9. Promotes satiety
  10. Improves blood flow

Active Recovery – is it really necessary?

By: Megan Lambert

What do you do on your days off from the gym?

Do you lie on the couch and watch TV all afternoon? Or, do you go to the track and do a sprint workout, thinking, ‘this is recovery because I’m not lifting weights.’ Many people find themselves on either side this spectrum, but in reality, there is a third recovery option that is much more beneficial. To illustrate this point, read the following excerpt from chapter 11 (page 147) of Mark Verstegen’s book, “Core Performance.”

Most fitness programs take an all-or-nothing approach. When you’re training, you train very hard. And when you aren’t training, you do nothing. No matter the circumstances, you do it all or you do nothing.

The problem with that formula is that it fails to facilitate one of the most important aspects of training: the repair of muscles and cells. If you’re sore from a workout, for example, you have two bad choices: Go out and give yourself an equally brutal workout, or do nothing.

In truth, you need to combine quality work with quality rest to get the results you want.

…But regeneration is also a lifestyle philosophy, a recognition that you need to plan ways to recover – mentally and physically – in all areas of your life. You experience the benefit of work on the days you rest.

There is a big difference between rest – doing nothing at all – and “active rest.” In the latter, you take a break from serious training but still do things that benefit your body, such as playing golf, tennis, or basketball. Wednesdays and Saturdays are lighter days of the Core Workout, so you might use those days, and/or Sundays, to play your favorite sport. You’re not training per se, but you’re still getting the benefit of physical activity. Not only that, you’re having fun.

We call it active recovery, because you’re making a modest effort. There’s also passive recovery, which includes getting a massage and sitting in a hot tub or a cold plunge. Both elements of recovery are not only important but also necessary. And not only necessary, but equally important as working out. If you don’t give your body time to recover, it’s never going to improve.

In addition to playing sports, other active recovery options include yoga, Pilates, and low-impact dynamic exercise. To learn how to implement quality rest-day workouts into your exercise protocol, come visit us at Indy Core Fitness & Wellness. We would love to create a personalized program specific to you and your goals. Please visit our website (www.indycorefitness.net) or give us a call (317-430-0063) today.

5 Reasons to Exercise Before your Joint Replacement

By: Megan Lambert

Approximately one million hip and knee replacements are completed by surgeons every year, according to the Mayo Clinic website.

Although joint replacements are major surgeries, there are ways to prepare your body for these operations. For example, here at Indy Core Wellness & Fitness, we write specific exercise protocols to prepare clients for their replacement. These exercises are designed to improve muscle strength and stamina.

In addition to gaining strength, here are five major reasons you should exercise before going under the knife:

  1. You decrease the risk of post-surgery complications

The Wall Street Journal article entitled, “Are you Fit for Surgery?,” speaks to this idea. The thought is that when patients resolve chronic issues such as obesity, diabetes, and smoking, they are physically healthier going into surgery. So, they are less likely to have complications after the operation.

  1. You are less likely to need post-surgery inpatient rehab

A 2006 research study by Daniel Rooks of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center showed that patients who exercised six weeks prior to surgery were 73 percent less likely to need inpatient rehab after the surgery.

  1. You will save money

Less post-surgery rehab equals less money spent. Yay!

  1. You decrease your risk of post-surgery injury

After a hip or knee replacement, you will need to use more of your upper body strength to transfer yourself from one place to another. By strengthening the muscles of your upper body, you decrease the risk of falling while transporting yourself. Consequently, you also reduce the risk of injuring yourself while rehabbing from another injury.

  1. You better tolerate the surgical anesthetic

Cardiovascular training, which can include exercises such as walking, biking, rowing, using the elliptical, etc. strengthens your heart and lungs. Healthier essential organs help your body better tolerate the rigors of surgery such as the anesthetic.

Voodoo Flossing: the contemporary approach to injury

By: Megan Lambert

What is voodoo flossing?

Contrary to your first impression, voodoo flossing is a modern method of injury rehabilitation, workout recovery, and joint mobilization, not a medieval torture device.

In essence, it is an extreme form of compression. Pressure is applied to an area of the body using a thin, stretchy band like the one shown below.

floss

Once, lets say, your ankle is wrapped with the voodoo wrap, all you have to do is perform normal movement patterns. For example, one would walk forwards and backwards, do body weight squats and calf raises, while wearing the wrap.

After leaving the band on for up to two minutes, the band is removed and normal blood flow is restored to the area.

This modality is useful for athletes recovering from workouts, individuals rehabbing tendon or ligament injuries, and anyone striving to attain greater joint mobility.

Why do you use flossing?

It’s no secret that your body’s tendons and ligaments have a smaller blood supply than your muscles. These connective tissues receive less oxygen and nutrients from the blood, so when injury occurs, it takes longer for the tissues to heal. One way to help these tissues heal faster is by increasing the blood flow to the area. Enter voodoo flossing.

Wrapping the flossing band around the injured area limits the amount of blood that can enter the area. When the wrap is removed, the blood rushes back into that area of the body. Not only does this bring a greater amount of blood to the area than before, but it also brings with it more oxygen and nutrients.

How does Indy Core use flossing?

Recently, we used flossing to alleviate peroneal tendon pain for one of our clients. At the risk of sounding like a boring anatomy professor, this tendon is located on the lateral side of the leg and runs from the head of the fibula, down the leg and inserts near the base of the big toe. After examining his leg, we discovered that the source of the pain was in the peroneal and calf muscles, not behind in his ankle where he felt the most discomfort.

Consequently, we wrapped the band around his upper calf (like the picture below) where we felt the most scar tissue and tissue adhesion.

floss-2

After approximately two minutes of walking backwards and forwards and doing squats and stretches, the client took the band off and felt relief from the pain. This is just one example of how we utilize this modality in our practice every day.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for a video detailing more about flossing.

For more information about how you can utilize flossing in your workouts, call Indy Core at (317) 430-0063.

Foam Rolling: the inexpensive way to train like an Olympian

By: Megan Lambert

Simone Biles, Usain Bolt, and Michael Phelps have one thing in common.

Well, besides the fact that each of these athletes won gold medals in their respective events at the Olympics this summer. In training for the Olympics Biles, Bolt, and Phelps spent copious amounts of hours in the gym, on the track, and in the pool. However, each of these athletes also spent time utilizing techniques to help their bodies recover from workouts.

But, an Olympian is not the only person who needs to properly recover after an exercise session. The high school athlete, successful business person, and average weekend gym warrior do as well.

Have you ever completed a workout and then woken up the next morning feeling like your muscles are screaming at you? Muscle soreness cannot be completely prevented; however, there are ways to reduce the symptoms.

One inexpensive method is to use a foam roller.

Foam rollers

Foam rolling, also called self-myofascial release, is a process where you apply pressure to the muscle via a foam roller. Applying pressure where the muscle is sore, as well as above and below the affected area, causes scar tissue to be broken up, which allows the muscle fibers to heal correctly.

Foam rolling immediately after exercise, as well as the day after a workout, reduces muscle soreness.

To learn more about foam rolling techniques, watch the video below, which was created by health and fitness expert, Ben Greenfield.