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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Eliminate Shin Splints with 2 Exercises (That you haven't heard of)



Eliminate Shin Splints while creating World-Class Ankles, Resistant to Injury and Pain by Carving out Mobility within the Ankle Joint and Strengthening the Shin.

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (AKA Shin Splints) are often falsely treated at as an overuse injury that you simply need to rest, manage or live with.

Please take 2 minutes and it could save you time, money and pain while improving performance!

This article will teach you the theory as well as how to implement Weighted Ankle Rotations and Tibialis Raises. 


Weighted Ankle Rotations




Weighted Ankle Rotations Set Up


Tibialis Raise




The fundamental approach to this unique ankle exercise is Strength through Length. Read more on this approach and How to Create Lasting Mobility 👈

Implementation

Both of these exercises can be done alongside any other training program, or in season! Use as needed, however, I have found the best results when adding these exercises to my routine twice per week. 

(1-3 times/week)

Tibialis Raise 
Start by leaning against a wall, and simply raise your toes up as high as possible towards the ceiling. You want to squeeze the muscle. The movements should be slow and controlled, as seen in the demo video!

3x15-20 (single leg if needed)

Weighted Ankle Rotations
For this exercise, you need a weight of some kind (a dumbbell works great) and a strip of Theraband (less than 10$). Most gyms will have something you can use! Simply strap the weight as seen in the video. It is important that you start light! You want to feel a burn, not be struggling to control the weight!

3x10/leg

Theory

You might think you can take care of your ankles by simply stretching out your calves and do calf raises. This is the general approach most people (including me) get exposed to if you sprain an ankle or have problems such as Shin Splints. Often even this is neglected within programs!

There are a couple problems with this:

  1. This does not address the muscles responsible for ankle Dorsi-Flexion. (Tibialis Anterior, EHL, EDL, Peroneus Tertius) 
  2. This does not strengthen the Tendons and Ligaments within the ankle.

Training the calves without the antagonist muscles (Tibialis Anterior) will cause a muscle imbalance. This results in pain and overuse of the muscles in the shin (Shin Splints). 

But what if I don't have pain or shin splints?

Balanced muscle groups will always allow for greater performance of BOTH opposing muscles. If one side is weak, your body will inhibit the force a stronger muscle is able to produce, in order to reduce the chance of injury.

Your body is smart!!

Send this article to someone you know who suffers from shin splints or sore, tired feet! 

Thank you for reading,
Matt


Email: koenig.matthew546@gmail.com
WhatsApp: +1 204 891 6851


References




Note:

The information above is not a substitute for medical advice. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, it is always better to see your doctor before starting any type of rehabilitation to ensure you are properly diagnosed.


Saturday, September 14, 2019

5 Benefits of Sled Training


A Sled is a versatile tool that can make you Stronger, more Powerful while making you Healthier!


Here are 5 benefits to sled training, each with its own routine.
I have made each routine very simple and easy to follow. There are only 3 exercises to learn!
These routines can be added into your training schedule, or be done in season. Much of what I learned about sled training came from Ben Patrick, check him out for more info!


Before we dive in let me point out 3 keys to remember when Sled Training

  • Push through the feet, toes
  • Maintain core stability
  • Do not train through pain

1) Build up Tendons and Ligaments 

    This is done by stimulating the structure in a healthy way. Tendons break down due to:
    - Ageing
    - Reduced blood flow
    - Overuse
    - Direct trauma

    Sled training is unique in that it will not allow you to do the exercise with a load that is too heavy since you will not be able to move it. 
    The routine will focus on high volume, with the load being increased as needed.
    Tendons and ligaments do not receive the same blood flow as muscles, use the sled to drive as much blood as possible into the tendons and ligaments.
    Sled work increases isometric and concentric strength of muscles. When your muscles are loaded the connected tendons are also stimulated to strengthen. 
    We use this method to strengthen athletes joints, see How to Cure Knee Pain

    Goal: 

    Push as much weight as possible for the required distance. Avoid Pain!

    Dosage: 
    Up to 6 days per week 

    Routine:

    Bear Crawl - 2 minutes 
    - Go as far as you can

    Sled Drive - 4x50 meters
    - Focus on lengthening steps

    Reverse Sled - 4x50 meters 
    - Focus on shorter quicker steps

    ⬇️A great way to complete the routine is to superset the two exercises see here⬇️




2) Conditioning


    The low impact and lack of eccentric phase make sled work a great way to improve conditioning.
    When working to improve conditioning (for court sports especially), fatigue and overuse injuries can be a problem. 
    If I were coaching a team I would actually try to reduce the amount of running my team would do as much as possible. Instead, I would use a sled to condition them. 
    Athletes in a season already run in games and practices. There is no need to make them run hundreds as lines as well. 


    Goal: Complete the distance with as little sets as possible, before focusing on increasing load.


    Dosage: 

    3-4 days per week

    Routine:

    Bear Crawl - 2 minutes 
    -Go as far as you can

    Forward Sled - x200 meters 
    - In as few sets as possible
    - Long steps
    Reverse Sled - x200 meters 
    - In as few sets as possible
    - Small, quick steps

3) Active Recovery (Or Warm-Up)

    The reality is that the most effective ways to recover will always be sleep and nutrition

    Active recovery is more effective than many of the common recovery methods you might be using such as foam rolling, icing, heating and many others. These methods are all designed to stimulate blood flow to the muscles. Read more here from PJF Performance (NBA Trainer) on recovery.
    Active Recovery increases blood flow better than all of these methods. It also does not numb the area to pain like icing or hurt like foam rolling often does (I have always found it difficult to consistently foam roll as it involves pain and discomfort).
    Pushing or pulling a sled does not have an eccentric phase. The eccentric phase of an exercise is the lengthening of the muscle while being under load. This is when micro-tears to the muscle happen, casing soreness following activity. The sled only has an isometric and concentric phase so it will not make you sore the next day!

    Goal: Complete the routine, without exhausting the muscles. Increase blood flow.

    Dosage: 

    Following intense activity

    Routine:


    Bear Crawl - 2 minutes 
    - Go as far as you can

    Forward Sled - x200 meters 
    - In as few sets as possible
    - Long Steps
    Reverse Sled - x200 meters 
    - In as few sets as possible
    - Short, quick steps

4) Power Development


    For power, we want low volume, paired with high intensity. To increase maximum power you want to be well-rested in between sets, allowing for each rep to be done with maximum effort. We aren't as focused on the length of your strides so much as just moving the sled as fast as possible
    You want to use a weight that is heavy enough that is challenging, but that you can still move with some speed.

    Goal: Move the sled as fast as possible. Use an appropriate load. We want long explosive strides.


    Dosage: 

    1-2 times per week

    Routine:


    Bear Crawl - 2 minutes 
    - Go as far as you can

    Forward Sled Sprint- 3x10 meters 
    - Allow for full recovery in between each set
    - Max Speed
    Reverse Sled Sprint - 3x10 meters 
    - Allow for full recovery in between each set
    - Max Speed
    * This routine is a great lead up for max sprints *



5) Strength


    Strength can be improved similar to power. Although your focus is not to move the sled as quickly as possible. You want to have lots of rest with minimal volume but work up to pushing the sled with as much added load as possible.

    Goal: Move as much weight as possible for the required distance. Increase the load as needed.


    Dosage:
    1-2 times per week


    Routine:

    Bear Crawl - 2 minutes
    - Go as far as you can

    Forward Sled Sprint - 5x10 meters
    - Allow for full recovery in between each set

    Reverse Sled Sprint- 5x10 meters
    - Allow for full recovery in between each set


    Add any variation of this routine into your training today!


    Final Thought

    The sled is versatile because it can mimic walking up or down slopes with added resistance. Humans evolved walking on uneven terrain. The shoes we wear now, along with the flat hard ground are allowing our feet, lower legs and knees to be weak! Read more here

    Stay tuned. I will be posting information on how to get the same effect as a sled, without any equipment!
    How will you use sled training into your routine?

    Thank you for reading
    Matt

Email: koenig.matthew546@gmail.com
WhatsApp: +1 204 891 6851







References: Read and learn more on Sled Training at the following links



Note:
The information above is not a substitute for medical advice. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, it is always better to see your doctor before starting any type of rehabilitation to ensure you are properly diagnosed.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Stretching is Overrated! - Create Lasting Mobility


Yes, you read that title right.

Let's start by going through a quick checklist:

Do you/Have you...

  • Feel tight or muscle-bound?
  • Had injury-prone joints?
  • Had pain or weakness in certain positions?
  • Feel like you can't live without a foam roller?
  • Heard someone say(or have said) "You can't be super strong and mobile"?
If you answered "yes" to any or all of these questions (especially the last one) then this article is for you! (I can't remember a person who answered "no" to all of these)

Don't play yourself and be the person who sticks to the same routine expecting different results...


Before we dive in, it's important to remember that context matters with flexibility, mobility and training. I challenge you to be open-minded, you have at some point most likely been given some information regarding mobility, flexibility and strength that is only half true.


This article will teach you (4-6 min read):

  • The difference between flexibility and mobility
  • Answers to common questions or debates regarding flexibility
  • The benefits of increasing your functional range of motion
  • How to create lasting mobility
  • How to apply the concepts you will learn to your sport


The difference between flexibility and mobility

I want to start by clearly defining the difference between the two.

Flexibility refers to the ability a muscle has to lengthen. The more a muscle can lengthen, the more flexible the structure is.

Mobility refers to the range of motion of a joint. The more freely a joint can move through its range of motion (ROM), the more mobile the structure is.

In short, flexibility refers to muscles, and mobility refers to joints.

In the world of sports and performance, we want shorter stiffer muscles that are more explosive and can produce more power. We want more mobility as it reduces the chance of injury and improves performance.

Mobility is enabled from muscles that are strong through their ROM. This takes the pressure off of the joints,  allowing them to move freely.

You gain access to mobility through stability in each position. For example; getting lower to the ground during activity.

"Should I stretch before or after (or both) activity?"

You might have heard that it is counterproductive to static stretch before a competition. This is true. Current studies today show that static stretching can reduce peak power by up to 30%. 

I would go as far as saying that static stretching should not only be avoided pre-workout/competition but after as well!

Conventional stretching can provide temporary relief of feeling of tightness, but you will soon feel tight again.

I am not saying you should never stretch post-competition, but it is important to realize that it should not be used as a means to improve mobility. Intensive static stretching following heavy lifting can lead to muscle damage.

So how does that work?

For this concept to be better understood, I want you to think about your muscles like an elastic band.
Imagine what would happen if we take an elastic band, stretch it out to its full capacity and hold it there for an extended period?



The band will eventually lose some of its strength to recoil or snap. As athletes (or anyone wanting to be stronger) we do not want longer, looser muscles that cannot produce optimal power.
Instead, we want shorter muscles that can produce high amounts of power quickly through their full range of motion.

So what does this mean?

Static stretching is essentially forcing your muscles into positions they do not want to be in. Flexibility without strength can actually increase the chance of catastrophic injury because the athlete will not be able to stabilize their joints.


So, then why is more mobility beneficial?

There are two reasons:

1) Injury Prevention


Having proper mobility within your joints allows your body to properly balance the forces travelling through it.


A common example of this is poor ankle mobility. Having poor ankle mobility does not allow for the structure to absorb the force it needs to. The force is then absorbed through the next closest structure, the knees. This often leads to knee problems such as tendonitis, degenerative tendons, cartilage or sometimes torn ligaments/tendons.


2) Increased Performance


Increased Mobility = Greater Range of Motion = More Functional Range for Power Production

To understand this concept better, let's revisit the elastic band example...

Take one band and stretch it back 10% of how far it can stretch.

Then, take the same band and stretch it back 90%. Which one will fly a greater distance?
The one you stretched further (more potential energy) will 100% of the time.

Take a look at the world record standing box jump. He squats all the way down to produce the most amount of force. He can produce force in his end ranges of motion.





While this is an extreme example, the point is that an athlete can be mobile and powerful at the same time. 

You earn positions which require more mobility, through improving stability at that position. You need to earn your positions!




How do I create lasting mobility?


The most effective way is to train for Strength through Length. 

Train your muscles to be strong at their end ranges of motion. Start with a light weight, or body weight and control the load on the way down, allowing the load to pull you deeper into the stretch. Then, contract the muscle, lifting the weight back to the original position. These loaded stretches will strengthen the muscles while providing more mobility within the joint.

Why is this the case?

Let's think for a moment...
Your body is an amazing machine that can adapt itself to perform, but also to protect itself.
If you have ever had a pulled muscle, you know that the affected muscle will become tight. This is to protect the structure from further damage.

So...

When muscles are weak in certain ranges, the same thing happens. They tighten up to protect themselves, restricting the range of motion of the joint. Once you create the strength needed to safely control loads in end ranges, you will see your muscles loosen up and your joints will move freely as they are protected by the strengthened muscles.


So what can you do?

Now that you are educated, let's look at four specific exercises that can lead to greater lower body mobility.

Check our Instagram page here to see more

Elevated Heel Squat - Hips, Quads, Ankles 

Instagram Post & Write Up




Seated Goodmorning - Hips, Groin 

Instagram Post & Write Up





ATG Split Squat - Hips, Knees, Ankles 

Instagram Post & Write Up





Jefferson Curl - Posterior Chain 

Instagram Post & Write Up




How does all of this transfer to my sport?


Well, this is quite a simple answer. When training for a specific sport, we want to strengthen and lengthen until our body is strong through all the positions our body might end up within your sport.


Therefore, I do not believe that it is beneficial to be able to perform the splits as a basketball player, although a dancer or hockey goalie might need to be able to.




This doesn't mean that it's counterproductive to be able to do splits as a basketball player, as long as that range has been achieved through proper strengthening.

Thank you for taking the time to read until the end. If you know someone who could benefit from this information please share!
As always, questions are encouraged. I recommend you send me videos of you performing the exercises above for me to coach your form!

Let's get to work,

Matt Koenig




Email: koenig.matthew546@gmail.com
WhatsApp: +1 204 891 6851












Note:
The information above is not a substitute for medical advice. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, it is always better to see your doctor before starting any type of rehabilitation to ensure you are properly diagnosed.










Monday, September 2, 2019

How to Cure Knee Pain - Bulletproof Knees

Learn how to Cure your knee pain for good.



In this article, you will learn


- What is tendonitis (jumpers knee)
- What causes tendonitis and chronic knee pain
- How to treat your symptoms and ultimately cure your condition
- How to maintain healthy knees moving forward


Many of you who have dealt with knee pain in the past or are currently suffering will be able to relate with my frustration with the information that is out there.
The common answer you have been told when dealing with knee pain is often:

- Rest 
- Ice
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Stretching (sometimes)
Go ahead and google it here

The problem with this approach is that it just focuses on treating the symptoms, rather than actually curing the condition. 

Rest alone will not solve the problem. If you return to activity without addressing the damage and weakness of the structure, your pain will return. 

Stretching does not stimulate the tendon to grow stronger.

Understanding  "What is tendonitis and what causes it?" will help you understand what your body needs.


Disclaimer:

This article is not for treating acute injuries which involve structural damage. Always see a doctor to properly diagnose the issue first.


What is Tendonitis?

Tendonitis occurs when a tendon is subjected to high amounts of trauma and becomes inflamed and weakened. The fibres in the tendon become messy instead of smooth and linear. This causes pain, discomfort and weakness. Tendons do not have the same anatomy as muscles and do not receive as much blood flow. 




What causes Chronic Knee Pain and Tendonitis?


I will keep this as easy to understand and as brief as possible. There are a few main causes of tendonitis in the knee. See below.

  1. Poor Biomechanics - Tightness in certain joints such as the ankles, knees and hips, can place the body into positions that disproportionately add more force on the knee. This added stress can lead to overuse and ultimately tendonitis.
  2. Muscle Tightness/Imbalances - Tightness in your muscles in the lower body, or muscle imbalances (certain muscles much stronger/weaker than others) places more force on the tendons, rather than your muscles. This causes overuse of the structure leading to tendonitis.
  3. Overtraining - This might be the most common cause of tendonitis especially in young people. If you are not allowing for adequate rest, your tendons will slowly become broken down, weakened and inflamed.

How to Cure Tendonitis in the Knees.


Here is what you can do to begin improving the health of your knees. It is very important when rehabilitating or training to NEVER TRAIN THROUGH PAIN. I cannot stress this enough. It is entirely counterproductive to train through pain. 
Keep in mind that everyone is at a different stage of tendonitis. Some of you might have debilitating pain, some might not have and pain at all until you train or compete. You need to listen to your body and find the proper balance of rest and rehabilitation. There are levels to this!




Phase 1


Rest - This one is easy, rest! It is important to allow the area to settle down. It might take a couple days or a couple weeks until the pain has subsided enough to begin rehab. Some of you might be able to skip this step and move right into phase 2 if you can perform the movements pain-free!

Stop Overtraining - This is similar to "Rest". You need to stop the activity that is causing the overuse. This can be hard for us athletes to do but if you want to reach 100% again and ultimately reach your athletic peak, you cannot do this with compromised knees! It is important to move through phase 1 and 2 before returning to competition. RESIST!

Phase 2


Mobilize and strengthen surrounding muscles and tendons - Common practice is to stretch out your hamstrings, calves, glutes and quadriceps muscles. while this is a short term remedy and might alleviate some of the pain, static stretching is simply not going to provide lasting results. Stay tuned for a future article on how to create lasting mobility.  Below is a routine that will mobilize your joints, strengthen your muscles and build healthier tendons. 

This routine will focus on:

  • Strengthening the surrounding muscles
  • Creating lasting mobility in your joints
  • Strengthening end ranges of motion (strength through length)
  • Pumping as much blood into the area to stimulate growth and recovery (tendons have poor blood flow!)

*Repeat each day at least 2 days each week. Continue to repeat until you are pain-free!*

Day 1


Reverse Sled / Uphill Backpedal / Deadmill - 200 meters
Reverse Step Up - 3 sets of 20/leg
Quad Stretch - 3 sets of 30sec/leg

Day 2


Reverse Sled / Uphill Backpedal / Deadmill - 200 meters
Jefferson Curl - 3 sets of 10-12



Phase 3


Maintenance - Perform this routine once you are pain-free! Add this into your regular strength training routine!
Important: Even though you are pain-free, your tendons are not fully healed yet. If you stop doing the exercises or you return to competition, you will eventually be back where you started!



Day 1



Reverse Sled / Uphill Backpedal / Deadmill - 200 meters
Reverse Step Up - 3 sets of 20/leg
Tibialis Raise - 3 sets of 20
(Single Leg) Calf Raise - 3 sets of 20


Day 2



Reverse Sled / Uphill Backpedal / Deadmill - 200 meters
Jefferson Curl - 3 sets of 10-12
Nordic Hamstring Curl - 3 sets of 8-10



Day 3


Reverse Sled / Uphill Backpedal / Deadmill - 200 meters

Cable Curl - 3 sets of 10-12/leg
ATG Split Squat - 3 sets of 20



Day 4


Reverse Sled / Uphill Backpedal / Deadmill - 200 meters

Sissy Squat Progressions / Sissy Squat Advanced  - 3 sets of 20
Tibialis Raise - 3 sets of 20
(Single Leg) Calf Raise - 3 sets of 20




Please share with someone struggling with their knees. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments you might have. I love questions! I encourage you all to send in videos to me of yourself so that I can coach your form.



Thank you for reading,



Matt Koenig




Email: koenig.matthew546@gmail.com
WhatsApp: +1 204 891 6851












Note:
The information above is not a substitute for medical advice. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, it is always better to see your doctor before starting any type of rehabilitation to ensure you are properly diagnosed.