You’ve probably heard of knee valgus, but might not know exactly what it is and how detrimental it can be to your fitness goals. Knee valgus is prevalent in the fitness community, especially in younger athletes or those with little experience in exercising. It can be an indicator of various weakness throughout the body and can even increase the likelihood of injuries.
Contrary to what some believe, female athletes do not need to train all that much different than male athletes. Just like males, females need to be strong, jump high, and run fast. With this said, there are some unique differences of female athletes – some of these are blatantly obvious, others are not. Even with these differences, only subtle modifications are necessary, while leaving the bulk of the training program intact.
There are two very important reasons for baseball players to include back training into their strength and conditioning program – injury prevention and improved performance. By strengthening the muscles on the backside of their shoulders, baseball players are able to better decelerate their arm when throwing, reducing the stress placed on the shoulder. The back also plays a large role in creating power in both batting and throwing. With the help of a well-designed training program, that incorporates a healthy amount of back training, a baseball player can expect to hit the ball further, throw the ball harder, and stay healthier in the process.
If you have ever spent a winter driving in Minnesota, you can appreciate the need for traction. When you’re on ice, you can have all the horsepower in the world, but if your tires don’t have traction with the road, you’re going nowhere. The human body is no different. You can have a ton of strength in your hips, but without a strong and stable ankle, much of that power will never reach the ground. And, like a Honda Civic in 12 inches of snow, you’ll be going nowhere quick.
Self-Myofascial Release (SMR), commonly known as foam rolling or self-massage, is a term that describes soft tissue techniques used to improve the elasticity of the fascial matrix running through our bodies with the intent of increasing mobility and restoring authentic pain-free movement. A secondary benefit of SMR is its ability to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness after a workout. There are many ways to perform SMR, but the most common is rolling across the targeted area with a foam roller or another firm object.
If you are an endurance athlete – specifically a runner – chances are you are either currently training for your next event, or rehabilitating a recent injury. If we were to play the odds, you are more likely to be in the latter category. Research shows that up to 56% of runners will experience an injury in any given year that will keep them out of training for a period of time. Of these injuries, up to 75% are due to overuse – in other word, no contact. This is an alarming number, as non-traumatic injuries are almost entirely preventable.
The thoracic spine can be defined as the 12 vertebrae of the middle and upper back which join the neck to the lower back. This area in the middle of the back has the propensity to become tight and immobile in a large percentage of the adult population. This is a direct result of the hunched over position many office workers put themselves in on a daily basis (changes are you are doing it right now). Not only does this not look appealing, it can play a big role in neck and lower back pain, as well as overall health and function of the body. Virtually everyone – from busy office executives to professional athletes – can benefit from improved thoracic mobility and using floor slides are a great way to do just that.