Tag Archives: inflammation

Improve Your Life with Core Training

20 Feb

side-plank-mel-1-crop1First of all, understand that when I refer to your core, I’m not only talking about your abs (although your abs are certainly part of your core).

Everybody thinks they want six-pack abs… I get it.  You may be one of those people who suffers through endless sets of planks and situps to achieve your dream of washboard abs.  Good luck with that.

Actually, your core musculature extends from your shoulders through your hips, and contributes to sports performance, balance, posture, strength and power, mobility, and longevity.

Here are some of the benefits of core training – and a strong core:

Be a Better Athlete

Core training can improve your performance in virtually any strength or speed sport.  A strong core allows you to transfer more power to your limbs, which translates to more powerful throwing, kicking, running, jumping, etc.

Better Balance

A strong core is important – whether you’re an athlete or not – because strong core muscles keep your torso in a more stable position whenever you move, whether you’re playing sports or just doing everyday activities.  Core strength helps you avoid injury by making your movements more efficient.

Alleviate Back Pain

Core training can both prevent and control lower-back pain, according to Canadian research.  For individuals with back pain, core exercises that emphasize isometric contraction (exercises that keep you still, like planks, side planks, etc.) are good choices.  At our facility – in addition to those types of exercises – we also favor rotational and anti-rotational exercises.

Better Posture

Stop slouching! Simply stated, core training can help you stand up straight by improving your postural stability.

Improve Your Agility

Research shows that core training – and improvements in core strength – translates to better performance on agility tests (acceleration, deceleration, change of direction) than traditional body-building moves.  At our facility, we focus on training movements – not muscles – for all of our customers, athletes and non-athletes.

Reduce Inflammation

Scientists have found that core training can reduce inflammation markers by as much as 25 percent – not far from the result you’d get from anti-inflammatory medications – including enhanced recovery, well-being, and general health.

Live Longer

Mayo Clinic researchers concluded that increased waist circumference is associated with an increased risk of premature death.  In a review of several studies, they found that men with waists of 43 inches or larger had a 52 percent greater risk of premature death than guys whose waists were 35 inches or smaller; and each 2-inch increase in waist size was associated with a 7 percent jump in death risk.


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Post-Injury Rehabilitation and Reconditioning

26 Oct

Following an injury, a well-designed and -supervised rehabilitation and reconditioning program is important to help athletes return to action.  Certain principles should be taken into account when considering this process:

  • The healing tissues must never be overstressed.
  • The athlete must adhere to the rehabilitative process, as outlined by the sports medicine team.
  • The rehabilitation program must be evidence-based.
  • The program must be individualized to the athlete and his or her specific needs and goals.
  • The rehab/sports medicine team must work together to help the athlete return to unrestricted competition as quickly and safely as possible.

Sports Medicine Team

The sports medicine team is responsible for educating coaches and athletes about injury risks, precautions, and treatments.  The relationship among members of this team requires effective communication to ensure a safe environment for the injured athlete.  Members of the sports medicine team include:

  • Team physician
  • Athletic trainer
  • Physical therapist
  • Strength and Conditioning professional

Types of Injury

There are several types of injury, including macrotrauma (broken bone), dislocation (complete and partial), contusion (bruise), strain (ruptures and tears), microtrauma (overuse injury), and tendinitis (inflammation of a tendon).  Each injury requires specific rehabilitation strategies to allow return to function.

Tissue Healing

After a musculoskeletal injury, there are generally three phases of tissue healing.  Although severity of the injury within each phase may differ for each tissue type, all tissues follow the same basic pattern of healing.

  • Inflammation phase is characterized by pain, swelling, and redness.
  • Repair phase occurs as number of inflammatory cells decreases.
  • Remodeling phase is consistent with increased tissue strength.

Goals of Rehabilitation and Reconditioning

  • The goal for treatment during the inflammatory phase is to prevent new tissue damage.  A healthy environment is essential for new tissue regeneration and formation.  Rest is required to prevent further injury.  Exercise involving the injured area is not recommended.
  • The treatment goal during the repair phase is to prevent excessive muscle atrophy and joint deterioration of the injured area.  Low-intensity isometric and balance exercises are indicated at this point, since strength and flexibility are usually impaired.
  • Optimizing tissue function is the primary goal during the remodeling phase.  Exercise options include joint strengthening; exercises that prevent full range of motion, followed by exercises that allow free range of motion (as tolerated); and stretching and balance exercises.

Designing strength and conditioning programs for injured athletes requires the strength and conditioning professional to examine the rehabilitation and reconditioning goals to determine what type of program will allow the quickest return to competition.


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