SPorts Performance

What are the best cardio workouts for the over 40's?

A better question would be...what is the best way to structure a conditioning program for the over 40's? Which would then prompt the reply, what are your goals? Your goals ultimately determine what your conditioning program needs to look like. If you play 5-a-side football regularly then your program will look different to someone who wants to run 5k fast. They, in turn, will look different to someone who takes part in BJJ. What they all have in common is that they are based on a strong aerobic base and less volume than you did in your 20's. stair run

DOMS - what is it?

DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness is something that everyone has experienced regardless of training history. You don't even have to have trained to experience it. You have just decorated the bedroom and you have sore shoulders, that soreness is DOMS. Often thought of as a sign of a good training session, nothing could be further from the truth. In tech speak the pain is caused by an increase in the acute loading that is sufficiently above your chronic loading level that you aren't ready for. You react to this in an adverse manner that is painful.  The unwanted pain of DOMS is a secondary reason why you should build up the volume and intensity over a period of weeks. The primary reason for the gradual build-up is to reduce the risk of injury. DOMS is painful but it isn't an injury. A good rule of thumb is to use increases of no greater than 10% per week.    

It's that time of year when flushed with the desire to get back to it after a bit of a break over the festive period can result in you getting injured. Avoiding injuries is paramount to any kind of sustainable progress, even more so as we get older.  Given that you are always likely to pick one up at some point it rather than fire back into things after the holidays it's a far better idea to ease yourself back into things.

I did this myself November and wasted about 3 weeks of training, though thankfully no injury. I say thankfully as I was coming back from a slight quad tear. It took me 3 weeks to realise that I needed to adjust things down. The rest period I had just had was on the back of having peaked as well as the quad tear. As a result, I had the general deconditioning that occurs after a rest period plus there was the normal drop in performance from the peak itself.

injured athlete

Foam rolling went through a phase a few years ago where it seemed to be essential in any warm up. It has now fallen out of favour and isn't seen as essential to a warm-up anymore. Foam rolling was never essential to any warm-up but I still think there can be a use for it. I find it useful when used at home if feeling stiff/sore and it makes it easier to ease into larger ranges of movement. My preference is still not to do any foam rolling in a warm-up. This is based primarily because there often isn't a foam roller about or there isn't the room. foam rolling

Training equals rehab, rehab equals training is a phrase that was coined by the American physio Charlie Weingroff. For me, the phrase means that rehab and training do not stand separately from one another. They are a continuum that blends seamlessly together. Parts of the rehab process sit at one end of the spectrum and parts of standard training are at the other the rest sits in the middle being neither one nor the other. Properly progressed rehab should resemble basic strength training and properly performed strength training has an injury preventative aspect.

Are you missing ankle mobility? Having sufficient range of movement in your ankle is important. If you want to run fast or jump high having good ankle range of movement in dorsiflexion is essential. This is not just in the sporting environment but simply to walk well we need good ankle mobility. The movement that important is the ability to pull your toes towards you. A lack of dorsiflexion is linked with increased injury risk with achilles tendinopathy and patella tendinopathy having been shown to be impacted by a lack of ankle mobility in dorsiflexion.

Talk of hill sprints can bring a bring a wave of nausea over even experienced runners.  This is even worse for the novice runner but used appropriately they are a fantastic tool. Hill sprints can help develop your running technique as well as the obvious conditioning benefits. So how do you add them to your repertoire to get the most out of them? Hill sprints

Plyometrics are an often misunderstood and misused form of training, think box jumps in a Crossfit WOD. We make use of them in the mid to late stages of our lower body rehab. But why do we use them? Their main purpose is to teach you to be more explosive or to create faster ground reaction times. That is to hit the ground and come off it again as fast as possible. This is essential in any sport that requires you to run or jump.  

Man performing plyometric drills

"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 probl ems 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.