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Sep 14, 2014

Are you 'running into problems'?

Iliotibial band (ITB) Friction syndrome is one of the most common causes of lateral (outside) knee pain that we see, especially in runners. It’s also probably one of the most frustrating problems both for myself and for the patient. It is largely an overuse injury due to the repetitive nature of activities such as running. It often starts out as a little ‘niggle’ however gradually worsens & worsens until it quite literally will stop you in your tracks.

(READ FULL BLOG HERE)

Categories General Issues Knee Tags knee pain ITB running overuse ITB friction syndrome physiotherapy massage exercise

Aug 5, 2014

Your City 2 Surf 'preparation' guide

Isn’t it so EXCITING that City 2 Surf is only 5 days away!?! It’s easily the best day on Sydney’s fitness calendar & my favourite day of the year to run a muck (literally) in Bondi. For me this day marks the beginning of the end of winter… It’s usually always sunny, people rock bright clothing & some of the most incredible costumes, there is music, people dancing, face paint & people lining the sidewalk cheering the runners on. It’s almost as if for a day everyone in Sydney is one big happy fun fit family!

So many of you have been training for this day, getting up early & braving the cold for early morning running sessions and heartbreak hill sprints. This weekend you get to see all of your hard work pay off & then there is the celebratory breakfast (or brunch) with a few celebratory beverages of course! Nothing says congratulations like a jug of fresh Pimms punch!

When it comes to being prepared, what you do over the next 5 days is almost as important as what you have done for the last 6 weeks. Don’t fall off the wagon in the home straight, just follow these couple of basic tips so you are super super prepared come Sunday.

READ FULL BLOG HERE

Categories Exercise & fitness General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags running City 2 Surf event race day preparation exercise fitness Sydney Bondi

Jul 2, 2014

Counting down to the City 2 Surf

It’s that time of the year again…. The foot race that stops a nation…and by nation I mean thousands and thousands of Sydneysiders.

It’s one of the most renowned fitness events on the running calendar, boasting 14 grueling km through the winding hills of the Sydney’s eastern suburbs. It also just happens to be one of my favourite days of the year. Over the past few years I traded in my running shoes for blue body paint and a smurf outfit, choosing to cheer people from the sidelines with beverage in hand rather than actually run the race. This year however, I’ve signed up to the pain train.

For many preparation for the big day is well and truly underway; for those of you a little more like me plans to prepare are in place but the actual act of it hasn’t quite started yet. Don’t stress, yesterday marked 6 weeks till the run and that is more than enough time to get some miles in those legs and make sure you are more than ready on race day.

READ FULL BLOG HERE

Categories Exercise & fitness General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags running City 2 Surf exercise training fitness race day

Apr 7, 2014

5 of the best workouts to get your ticker going

Are you sick of spending hours slugging it out at the gym? Feel like  you ‘don’t have time’ to workout effectively? Would you like to burn some serious calories in just 30 minutes?

Yes all of the above is possible. In fact its proven to be better for you to perform shorter workouts at a higher intensity. Imagine if you could squeeze a killer workout into your lunch break so you could be home every night to tuck your kids into bed? That’s some serious brownie points with the wives fellas…

How? Well I’m glad you asked….. Here are 5 of my absolute favourite workouts to get a serious sweat in a short space of time. I’ve mixed it up a little with some weights and cardio ideas for you!

1. STAIRS: One of the easiest and most challenging cardio workouts you can done. This is always a go to for me when I’m traveling… hotels have stairs & lots of them! 30 minutes of solid stair running is a gets the ticker going but also uses all those ‘big muscles’.. think glutes, hamstrings, quads which is a great way to sculpt those pins. Ladies do you want long lean legs?

(Read full post HERE)

Categories Exercise & fitness General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags workout exercise fitness training running weights gym cardio

Feb 5, 2014

Why TRX training is 'trending'

There is always new ‘trends’ when it comes to the health and fitness industry… whether its dance style aerobics, crossfit, hip hop yoga ‘raves’ or high intensity interval training. When push comes to shove most of these varieties of training have positives and negatives; some more positives than others of course depending on what you are aiming to achieve with your health and fitness goals.

Suspension training or TRX as many people know it was created by the NAVY seal as a form of ‘functional training’ that allowed the troops to stay in shape wherever they were in the world. Our bodies were designed to move and shake in many different planes. In the past traditional weights training has seen very linear almost robotic movement patterns based around machines that allow a single joint to move in a single plane.The body needs to be trained as the body shall be used!

What does suspension training involve? TRX training moves the body in many planes integrating fluid motion and ‘real life’ movement patterns. The main idea behind this form of training is using our body weight to determine the resistance level depending on how close or how far away you are from the anchor point. This allows you to easily control and manipulate the difficulty and intensity of the workout.

READ FULL BLOG HERE

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Categories Exercise & fitness General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags TRX suspension training functional movement workout core stability strength training exercise gym fitness

Curious about Crossfit?

Crossfit is literally taking over the world..  Ok so maybe that’s a little exaggeration but seriously crossfit gyms are EVERYWHERE. 6 months ago most of the fitness world probably thought this was just going to be another ‘fitness fad’, kind of like Zumba the ‘calorie burning dance fitness party’ that would trim and tone your buttocks; or my personal favourite the ‘power bracelet’ that promised improved athletic performance and endurance. Crossfit, despite its fair share of negative press seems to be ever growing in popularity.

Crossfit is a form of strength and conditioning that utilises functional movements and Olympic style lifts performed at high intensity.The demands of a crossfit workout are quite unique in that many of these ‘functional movements’ require unrestricted full range of movement; at multiple joints with perfect technique in order to prevent strain and injury. While many people may be under the impression that crossfit has a greater tendency to harm than other forms of exercise we must consider that all high intensity sports from rugby to running are prone to both traumatic acute injuries and overuse injuries.

FULL BLOG HERE:

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Categories Exercise & fitness General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags crossfit workout exercise training injury prevention olympic lifting

Dec 2, 2013

Injury proof your legs

Don’t you just love leg day? That burning feeling in your quads as you complete the your last set of jumping lunges, or the aching in your calves as you reach the top of your last stair run. How good is the feeling the next day when every muscle in your legs groans as you bend down to pick up the morning paper…. Call me weird but I love this feeling. Sore is the new sexy….. right?

Post exercise soreness, or DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is your muscles response to unaccustomed strenuous exercise. Like anything our bodies are programmable.. do the same workout everyday very quickly your brain and muscles will learn how to cope and surprise surprise it becomes easier. That’s why the fitness world is constantly calling for us to shock our body, do something new, progressively overload your workouts etc etc.

When it comes to our ‘lower limb chain’ its GREAT that you can squat double your body weight or that you can deadlift 150kg BUT are you including enough of the basic stability exercises to complement this ‘lets get massive quads workout’?

In my opinion there are a few stock standard exercises that should be regulars in your legs program to keep your biomechanics in check. These exercises if performed at least a few times a week will help injury proof your legs.

READ FULL BLOG HERE

 

Categories Exercise & fitness General Issues Tags legs workout strength core stability foam roller exercise DOMS injury prevention weights stability

Nov 5, 2013

Want to be a better surfer?

My boss is a surf addict. Literally. It’s obvious from the moment you walk through the doors of the physio practice; surfing shots litter each and every wall, surfing magazines are front and centre in the waiting room and most of the patients come armed with an up to date surf report about which beach has the most ‘pumping’ waves just in case we have a few hours off over lunch! I personally couldn’t call myself a surfer; Among surfers I’d be known as a ‘gremmie’ or a really bad surfer. Sure I can stand up and catch a wave on a ‘foamie’ but then again I’m pretty sure Ross’s 7 year old daughter can do that too so I’m not getting too excited. It’s on my bucket list.

Surfing, like any sport requires a certain level of fitness, strength and ‘stability’ in order to meet the demands placed on your body. Have you ever actually tried to duck dive under a huge swell of white wash? It’s not exactly a walk in the park especially when you have to do it half a dozen times each time you paddle out. I guess the point I’m trying to make here is a lot of people assume going surfing for a few hours is an activity of leisure, when really it’s a pretty challenging workout, particularly if the surf is pumping and you’re carving heaps of gnarly barrels. (I’m so onto this surf lingo)

Do you want to be a better surfer? Then it’s time you conditioned your body to be one.

Want to know how? READ FULL BLOG HERE

Tags surfing strength training fitness conditioning exercise workout core stability

Oct 17, 2013

HIIT your fitness peak this summer

I was chatting away on the phone to my darling mother the other day about this, that and the other when our conversation took its usual progression onto health / medical related topics. Mum always has some insightful new information about the latest study or trend in the medical world to share with me and it’s often something obscure like how mushrooms can actually provide humans with their daily vitamin D requirements. This particular calls topic was high intensity interval training and for the first time I think I was actually more knowledgeable on the topic that mum was.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a form of exercise that is growing in popularity in the fitness industry. No one has time to be slogging it out at the gym for 2 hours every day, which I guess is a good thing because research now shows that just 20- 30 minutes of high intensity exercise is actually better for you, both for fat loss and cardiovascular gains!

What does this form of training involve? If you think about it it’s kind of self explanatory… Short bouts of HIGH (not medium) intensity work where you literally bust your guts and push yourself to your limits, followed by a short period of rest and away you go again. The work to rest ratio is the key component of the training and it will be determined by what you are setting out to achieve.

(READ FULL BLOG HERE)

 

Categories General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags HIIT High Intensity Interval Training training exercise aerobic fitness fitness summer work/rest training

Sep 29, 2013

The road to becoming an Iron Man

Imagine the fittest person you know… and by fit I don’t just mean your mate who can run 20km with ease or your boyfriend who squats 100kg.. Now multiply that by 10 and you have Adam Becker. I’m not kidding this guy is on another level of fit. Mentally and physically he is the fittest person I know.

A few weeks ago he asked me if I wanted to do a running session with him. I considered it until I found out it was 100 x 100m efforts on the clock. The other option was 28 x 1km efforts. I’m not sure which is worse all I know was that there was no way I was attempting either session with this crazy kid!

I first met Adam when he playing footy down at East’s Rugby. He is now the manager of Parc Ftness, a small boutique gym chain in Bellevue Hill and Rose Bay, a personal trainer, Cranbrook rowing coach and IRON MAN.

I caught up with him following his first Iron Man in Japan a few weeks ago… (where he came 2nd in his age group I might add) to chat about his training scheduale and how he came to be the fittest human in the eastern suburbs.

(READ FULL INTERVIEW HERE)

 

 

Categories Athlete Interview General Issues Tags Iron Man training exercise running cycling triathlon Adam Becker East's Rugby Parc Fitness physiotherapy EastSports physiotehrapy

Sep 15, 2013

Stairway to heaven... or hell?

Spring is finally here; we have already been blessed with some ripping ‘summer like’ days, the mornings are lighter, the ocean is getting a little warmer (I braved my first swim on the weekend!) and it’s even starting to smell like spring! I LOVE this time of the year!

Naturally spring means it’s time to start thinking about shedding our winter coats (literally) and getting in shape for summer. Ladies that means we need to get out butts moving so we can flaunt our bikini bodies! In my opinion stair running is the perfect workout to get your heart rate up, burn some serious calories, tone up those pins and the best part… that feeling of soreness the next day that reminds you just how hard you worked!!!

The eastern suburbs of Sydney is packed full of great sets of stairs that are a challenge for even the fittest of the fit… Supersize your workout this week and give some of my favorite sets of stairs a whirl.

Cooper Park: Located in Cooper Park at the top of Bellevue Road in Bellevue Hill these are a great little set of stairs to knock over a great workout. It’s not the longest flight of stairs you have ever seen but they are short, steep and your quads will be well and truly burning by the time you get to the top.

(READ FULL LIST HERE)

Categories General Issues Health and Wellbeing New Category Tags stairs cardio workout running Coogee Stairs Cranbrook Stairs exercise health

Jun 2, 2013

Do you suffer from Cramps?

Cramps have got to be one of the single most uncomfortable, uncontrollable experiences EVER, usually because they tend to arise at very INCONVENIENT times… like when there is 5 minutes to go in a crucial rugby game…or when you’re fast asleep cosy under the blankets and bang your calf goes into spasm and you’re thrust into the cold pulling your foot this way and that way to try and stretch it out. Sleep ruined.

By definition a ‘muscle cramp’ is an involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscle. Often they can be accompanied by a visible or palpable hardening of the muscle.
Lasting for anywhere between a few seconds up to 15 minutes often one will experience multiple cramping episodes before they finally resolve.

Cramps can take on several different forms however for the purpose of this article I’m just going to focus on what are known as true cramps.

True cramps involve a muscle or group of muscles that work together to produce or bring about movement of a particular body part. These can in response to several factors.

READ FULL BLOG HERE

Categories General Issues Tags cramps muscle spasm exercise stretching electrolytes magnesium massage

Abdominal 'Stitch' 101

I was recently at a dinner party with some of my most dear friends… conversation was flowing over red wine and slow cooked lamb (which was unbelievable I might add).  Amongst the gossip, general banter and chat about the budget (NOT who actually talks about that over dinner) we got into a discussion about training for upcoming events such as the city 2 surf, half marathons and general gym sessions… and this question emerged…. What is an abdominal ‘stitch’?

Now I’m a physio and I found myself trying to explain to my friends what it is, however realising it’s actually an unusual phenomenon to explain… So I will attempt to dispense this information (hopefully in a way you can all make sense of) now…

Unfortunately  there is no one definitive explanation for this somewhat frustrating experience that turns your Sunday afternoon sweat session into a stop start stroll that barely gets your ticker going! There are, as always, several proposed and very convincing theories!

An abdominal ‘stitch’ known in the medical world as exercise related transient abdominal pain (ETAP) is the name we give to that sharp, often agonising pain felt just under your rib cage that literally stops you in your tracks (usually during running or high intensity exercise)

READ FULL BLOG HERE

Categories General Issues Tags stitch abdominal pain running exercise runners stitch

Mar 18, 2013

What's the latest on Lauryn Eagle's sports agenda?

I first met Lauryn back at school when we roomed together on a rep hockey trip to lovely bathurst! Loz has an infectious sense of adventure and together I think we caused our coaches a few headaches managing to get ourselves in some pretty silly situations..

I hadn’t seen Loz since my school days but was lucky enough to bump into her recently whilst doing some physio coverage at a rugby 7′s training camp.  Already an Australian professional boxer, waterskiing champion, TV personality, part time model Lauryn is now eyeing off a spot in the National Women’s 7′s Rugby team.

Eastsports Physio chatted with Lauryn a little more about how she stays healthy and happy whilst juggling several sports and a busy social life.

(READ FULL INTERVIEW)

Categories Ankle Athlete Interview Back General Issues Guest Blog - Nutrition Health and Wellbeing Knee Neck Shin Pain Tags Lauryn Eagle boxing waterskiing Women's 7's exercise Lady Luck

Feb 24, 2013

Why you should set a date with Yoga

I have done a little bit of yoga in my time, and by a little I mean I could probably count the number of classes on two hands. So really I’m a dead set amateur.

Yoga draws upon a completely different type of strength and mindset than that needed to run 10km or lift heavy weights in the gym. And this form of training is so important when it comes to balancing your body.It’s no suprise that some of the in the class struggling the most were the biggest, muscliest guys who probably spend alot more time in the weights room than working on the flexibility side of their training.

(READ FULL BLOG)

Categories General Issues Tags yoga flexibility proprioception strength muscles relaxation meditation health exercise injury prevention

Jan 31, 2013

The latest fitness fad.. Have you tried SUP'ing?

In the early 2000s some Hawaiian blokes decided that standing up on their surfboards on flat water with a paddle would be a great way of developing their surfing skills when the surf was flat. 10 years later its emerged as a global phenomenen thats taken to our shores as the latest and greatest fitness fad. Stand up paddleboarding or SUP'ing for short is a great way to add a little zest to your boring, monotonous exercise program, and the what better way to do it than in your bikini on a hot summers day!

(READ FULL BLOG)

Categories Ankle Athlete Interview Back General Issues Knee Neck Shin Pain Tags Standup paddleboarding SUP fitness exercise summer workout

Jan 24, 2013

Why pre-season training is important.

Yep It’s preseason… that time of the year where you dig out your muddy old footy boots, lace them up and head to training. The worst part about it is it normally involves ALOT of fitness, beep tests, hill sprints, time trials etc etc. And I can’t even imagine what the first session of full contact is like.

Training in the 6-8 weeks prior to a season is crucial not only to the sucess of the athlete but to that of the team. So why is pre-season important? (READ FULL BLOG HERE)

Categories General Issues Tags pre season injury prevention fitness match fitness exercise

Jan 15, 2013

How to survive exercising in the heat.

For ALOT of people summer sparks the beginning of their newfound fitness regime, especially post Christmas when your feeling just a little guilty about how much Christmas pudding you ate.

n Australian summer can be a hot one, and so far this year its been humid too. These may be great conditions for your tan but exercising in such heat can take its toll on your body. Luckily we have been designed with an inbuilt cooling system and this unmatched ability to sweat allows us to (most of the time) adequately regulate our core temperature during extreme environmental conditions.

Here are a few easy tips to exercise safely in the heat. READ FULL  BLOG HERE

Categories General Issues Tags heat exhaustion heat stroke summer exercise

Aug 10, 2012

Tips to surviving City2Surf

Raceday is almost upon us. Its just 2 sleeps to the 2012 City2Surf, and for many this can mean the end to months of early morning training sessions and gruelling heartbreak hill sprints. Don’t let all this preparation come undone by not being organised!

Sunday morning will be CHAOTIC.. that really is the only work for the thousands of runners that will be congregating on mass in Hyde park waiting for the starters gun to get their pack on the move.

Follow these few simple tips to avoid any last minute unnecessary stresses.

  1. Raceday Pack: Get the essential admin out of the way before leaving home. Fasten your bib securely to the front of your shirt as you wont be allowed into the start arena without it!
  2. Hydrate: Ensure you have adequate water on board pre race and also make use of the water stations throughout the course. When you sweat you lose vital electrolytes and vitamins that you need to make sure you replace! Only after you have consumed a sports drink or hydration gel of some description can you line up for your first beer!
  3. Fuel Up:  Eat your last big meal about 12 hours before your race.. yes this is the perfect time for a large bowl of pasta with your favourite sauce (probably best to avoid creamy ones here).  On the morning of a race you should eat something at least an hour before. Try something high in carbohydrate, and avoid oily foods that can be slow to digest!
  4. Dress appropriately. Sydneysiders the weather forecast isn’t favourable an estimated chilly 17 degrees and showers! But remember; always dress as if it’s about 15 degrees warmer, as your body temperature will rise as you run. Just make sure you have something warm to put on at the end of the race.  Wear tried and tested clothing; this is not the day to experiment with your newest funky runners!
  5. Warm up: prepare your muscles for what you are about to put them through. Stretch important muscles groups including hamstrings, calves and quadriceps. Be limber but don’t ware yourself out before the start.
  6. Pace yourself: It’s very easy to get caught up with the hype at the start line. Set your own pace, don’t use all your energy at the start of the race... you still have heartbreak hill to conquer.
  7. Killer playlist: If your like me, running does not take place without some seriously good tunes pumping in my ears. Lose yourself in the music but stay aware of other runners around you!

And finally....Look for the smurfs: As you wind into rose bay make sure you collect an energy drink from your favourite blue smurf! They will be dancing the day away just across from Pier restaurant!

City 2 Surf is easily one of the greatest days Bondi has to offer, enjoy and endulge yourself post race with delicious food and a beverage or two! Fingers crossed for some sunshine.

Good Luck Runners!

Categories General Issues Tags City2Surf Running Raceday exercise hydration

Jul 30, 2012

Why Swimming is great for your health

It's finally beginning to feel like we are teetering on the edge of some warm, sunny weather..... I hope!  The mornings are getting slightly lighter, albeit still a bit nippy.. BUT it’s not too early to start thinking about making a splash and introducing some swimming into your exercise regime.

There is a general consensus that swimming is an ineffective form of exercise when compared to weights training or running, but it all comes down to what you're trying to achieve.

If weight loss is your sole goal, then I would tend to agree that swimming may not be the best way to shed some kilos, but for maintaining fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle swimming is a perfect cross training activity. You don’t have to rely on it exclusively!

 

Not convinced?

  1. Its easy on our joints: Unlike pounding the pavement the buoyancy of water counteracts the effect of gravity, making swimming a low impact exercise form that’s great for your joints. When you're completely immersed in water, you're only responsible for 10% of your body weight, the pool takes care of the other 90%. This is extremely important as we get older and we begin to develop wear and tear particularly of our weight-bearing joints such as our knees.
  2. Healthy Heart: Yes swimming is great for our ticker! and an excellent form of aerobic conditioning for our entire cardiopulmonary (heart and lungs) system.
  3. Strong Spine: Swimming conditions certain muscle groups that are important in maintaining posture, particularly those around the shoulder and through the mid back.
  4. Weight Loss: you can make swimming an incredibly challenging workout. Add in some intervals, mix up the strokes and use your kick board and pool buoy to get a full body workout that can burn some serious calories.
  5. Tones your muscles: Water is denser than air, just to propel yourself though it you are working against resistance which does wonders for your upper body tone. ( Girls don't worry you WILL NOT get big broad shoulders from swimming 1-2 x per week)
  6. Makes you longer and leaner: Swimming requires the co-activation of many different muscle groups and can assist in stretching out some of the short dense muscles that we build during weight training.
  7. Asthma sufferer? The moist environment can help reduce exercise induced asthma with some studies showing an improvement in the overall condition by encouraging breathing control and improving lung function.
  8. Muscle recovery: Following a land workout doing an easy swim session can help assist with muscle recovery and relaxation and can also reduce post exercise soreness.
  9. Rehabilitation: Pool based activity and swimming is often a great rehabilitation exercise for people recovering from certain injuries such as knee surgery or a back injury. (Speak to your physiotherapist if this applies to you)

Not sure where to swim?  Don't let the weather spoil the fun, Cook and Phillip and Macquarie University are two great indoor facilities. If your lucky enough to be a member of Royal Sydney or the SFS both pools are heated and open all year round. For those brave enough Bondi Icebergs is an option, its cold and sometimes a little choppy... And when its open Boy Charlton provides a picturesque start to the morning!

So as the mercury rises this summer make a splash in a pool near you! You may actually enjoy it...

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Categories General Issues Tags swimming exercise fitness rehabilitation

Jul 22, 2012

Why you should always make time for a warm up...

Everyone is guilty of skipping their pre exercise warm up routine... especially when time is a factor. I can safely say for me that’s several times a week!

Coaches, trainers, teachers all tell us to warm up and stretch before exercise but do any of us really know why warming up is so important?

Warming up is preparing your body for activity, gradually raising your heart rate and increasing blood flow to the muscles. Warm up generally involves a low impact exercise such as walking or jogging that is completed before stretching and strenuous vigorous exercise.

Many people assume that when advised to warm up this means stretch, however this is not entirely correct. The stretching component is only effective if completed when the muscles are already warm. There are no benefits to be gained from stretching a cold muscle.

Pre exercise stretching should be done dynamically, meaning actively moving muscles through their available range as opposed to the static stretching that you may complete at the end of the workout.

When warming up for a specific sport, some movements with in the warm up should involve those muscles or body parts that will be used in the sport. For example rugby warm up includes agility drills, speed work, ball work as well as a contact warm up with pads to prepare the body for tackling.

By increasing blood flow to muscles you are raising both the body and deep muscle temperatures, this allows for improved muscle efficiency, quicker reaction times and improved muscle flexibility. A warm up has also been shown to improve oxygen delivery to muscles and assist with flushing unwanted waste products out of the muscles.  A small amount of evidence also suggests that an adequate warm up can also prevent post exercise soreness.

Warm up not only prepares our body physically but also assists with mental preparation and helps your mind ease into your workout. Your body goes through a great deal of stress during strenuous activity, warming up the mind increases your chances of winning the mental battle during the hardest parts of your exercise routine.

What would my typical warm up be?

When I make time for my warm up it typically consists of hopping on the exercise bike or cross trainer, with minimal resistance and at a comfortable speed for around 5 minutes. By then my heart rate is elevated and I’m just beginning to sweat. I then spend a further 5 minutes dynamically warming up key muscle groups; hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps, calves and lower back. Some good exercises are walking lunges, side and front hip swings, star jumps and lumbar rotations.

Next time you hit the gym, make time for a warm up. You will get more out of your workout because your muscles and your mind know what’s coming!

Categories General Issues Tags warm up exercise stretching injury prevention

Jul 15, 2012

Is your bike setup a cause for injury?

Last week, in an attempt to mix up my exercise regime I went to my first spin class for a very long time.  45 minutes of gruelling hills and sprint tracks and I walked out acutely aware of my aching quads, sore stiff upper back and tender buttocks!

Cycling is promoted as a great low impact knee-sparing form of exercise and when compared to pounding the pavement this may stand true. However given its repetitive nature, with riders averaging 5000 revolutions per hour, you open yourself up to a spectrum of overuse injuries particularly affecting the knees.

Whether you’re riding to the local store, in your week spin class or in the Tour de France your bike needs to fit you! Not only can this help prevent overuse injuries from occurring it can make you a more efficient and faster rider.

Here are a few things every rider should check about their bike setup

  1. Size of the bike: picking the right frame is the first step. If the frame is too big you won’t be able to correctly adjust the other features!
  2. The seat/saddle height. When sitting on your seat your heel should rest on the pedal at the lowest position with the in a knee slightly bent position. Having the saddle too low places extreme pressure on the knees and predisposes you to pain at the front of the knee (patellofemoral pain)
  3. Saddle tilt: the seat should be set at a level position. Tilted down and you will feel like you are constantly sliding forward, tilted back and you will decrease your ability to generate power through your pedal strokes.
  4. Find the right saddle... and wear padded pants! There are many shapes and sizes, male and female, gel or leather. Find one that’s comfortable for you, a couple of hours on the wrong seat could leave you with a very sore behind!
  5. Handlebars:  this is a little bit of trial and error. They should be positioned to allow for comfortable use of all controls and handlebar positions whilst minimising the strain on your back, shoulders and wrists. Having the handlebars too low or too close places excessive pressure through your upper body and can predispose you to injury.

If you are a regular ‘spinner’ some of these settings obviously can’t be changed. You can however adjust the seat height and handlebar height to suit your specific needs and to ensure you have the best possible riding posture.

So remember we all have different body shapes, biomechanics and preferences so everyone’s bike set-up needs to be unique. Try making these adjustments to avoid the recipe for injury; riding too far, too fast or too soon and on the wrong bike.

Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for my blog on the common injuries in cycling.

P.S. GO CADEL

Categories General Issues Tags cycling bike bike setup EastSports Physiotherapy exercise

Jul 1, 2012

The Magnesium Factor

Has anyone noticed how ridiculously big the vitamin/supplement section of the pharmacy is these days? There is literally a pill for just about everything; women’s multivitamin, fish oil, glucosamine, vitamin c, CoQ10, garlic, Echinacea... I could be here all day!

I personally have never been much of a vitamin taker... However last week, following the advice of several I began taking a magnesium supplement.

Magnesium is known by users as the great relaxer and taken most effectively before bed each night. I’m not going to sit here and tell you I have noticed any miraculous benefits YET but what I will tell you is that I haven’t slept this well in a very long time. (READ FULL ARTICLE HERE)

Categories General Issues Tags magnesium health exercise supplement cramps

Jun 24, 2012

Don't let shin splints sideline you...

It’s just over 6 weeks to one of the busiest, most popular running events on the Sydney calendar... City2Surf.. a gruelling 14km run from hyde park through the scenic eastern suburbs to beautiful bondi beach.. seriously what else would you do on a sunny Sunday morning???

So no doubt the training programs are in full swing, my inbox has been inundated with emails in the last week advertising running groups, training programs, get the most out of your city2surf etc etc..

For the experienced regular runner 14k isn’t that big of an ask, but for the amateur this can be a challenge and one definitely requiring a little pre event training..

So rookie runners as you dive into your training the first and most important thing you ensure you do is stay injury free.. that can be easier said that done particularly from this painful little sucker known as shin splints, which is likely to rear its ugly head when your training program undergoes a bit of a shake up.

Source: www.medicinenet.com

This is all you need to know about shin splints.

  • Its an overuse injury usually due to increasing frequency and intensity of workouts too quickly.
  • Caused by repetitive stress and inflammation of the tibialis posterior muscle: this important little muscle runs along the inside of the shin and attaches on the inside of the arch of the foot. It serves to support the arch and stop it from collapsing as you run.
  • In the early stages pain usually lessens as you warm up and you often can complete training.  In severe cases pain will prevent training from taking place altogether!!!
  • Don’t have a ‘no pain no gain’ attitude as this could wind you up with stress fractures... trust me walking boots are not comfortable or fashionable for that matter.
  • Diagnosis can be made though a thorough examination by your physiotherapist. Further imaging can be arranged if required.
  • Certain people are predisposed to developing shin splints. And its often often due to biomechanical insufficiencies in the lower chain (we are talking flat feet, weak pelvic and core stability, tight calves and lack of flexibility in the ankle) Other contributing factors include poor footwear and training loads.
  • Short term pain relief involves use of ice, anti inflammatories, foot taping and relative rest.
  • Change up your workouts : stationary bike, water running and swimming are low impact and allow you to maintain cardiovascular fitness while giving your shins a rest
  • Get a rehab program... certain stretching and strengthening exercises may need to be commenced to ensure shin pain doesn’t re-appear when you get back into training.
  • Ease into running generally when symptoms will allow and gradually increase intensity and frequency over 3 to 6 weeks.

If any of this sounds like you I suggest you re aquaint yourself with your favourite physio... That way you wont be the only sydney sider spectating at this years City2Surf!

Categories Shin Pain Tags Shin splints exercise running city2surf physiotherapist