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"My glutes aren't firing" is something that I hear all too often. What makes you think that your glutes aren't firing? How did you come to this conclusion? Did a therapist or trainer tell you? Did you read it on the internet that sitting at a desk all day will mean your glutes aren't firing? It is then associated as the cause of a number of problems from back pain to illiotibial band syndrome.   glute bridge exercise

Any return to running program is rarely a straight line. Returning to running after an injury is a frustrating process, there is little point in pretending otherwise. The injury now means you can't run or can't run as much as you would like to. On top of this, you have a rehab program to follow that all seem like a waste of time. The first step in speeding up the rehab process is to embrace it. Start looking at the rehab period as an opportunity to develop a more robust body and come back stronger and, potentially, faster.

Your running warm-up is a great chance to prime yourself for a better quality run.  Warming up for exercise will always improve performance as it allows you to prepare for the harder work to come. Anything that raises your temperature and heart rate is a good thing but getting your warm up for running right is even better. A well-used form of warm up is the RAMP  style warm up. RAMP stands for
  • Raise temperature and heart rate
  • Activate the muscles to be used
  • Mobilise the joints
  • Potentiate or prime the body for the forces/intensities to be used

Last week I had a quick look at the benefits to runners of including strength training in their program. This week we'll look at when to schedule strength training in a running program. Where should you fit it in so that you get the benefit of having it in there but not have an adverse effect on your main activity, that is to say running?  

Strength and conditioning in sport are more common place over time. The role of the strength and conditioning specialist becoming more important as athletes look to maximise their potential. This makes a lot of sense from when we considier the benefits of being a stronger athlete. A stronger athlete will, in most cases, never be anywhere tapping out their strength in a game situation.  The conditioning side is about what is the appropriate type of work to be done. There is a lot to be gained from training the different energy systems but what ones are important.  Knowing what aspects to train and where to place them are very important. There is no point  in a marathon runner doing a Tabata session or a sprinter running for an hour.  Plyometric drills that can of great benefit when used correctly for runners of all distances.  

The first step in any injury assessment is what previous injuries do you have. The biggest predictor of future injury lies in your injury history. As a result looking into your injury history will play an important roll in deciding on what needs to be done. If you have previously injured your ankle, knee or hip these are areas we need to investigate in the injury assessment. We do this becasue of the scale of the impact they have on the way you move. Two of the more important things that we are looking out for in the clinic are asymmetries and pain.When we are assessing movement we are looking to see both how good it is and does it cause pain.

This isn't an uncommon thing to hear from anyone unfortunate enough to suffer regular ankle injuries. The likely hood that you have weak ankles is very low even if you are spraining one or both of them regularly. The cause of the problem is more likely one of poor communication between the brain and the muscles surrounding your ankle which results in a loss of what we call proprioception.