Showing posts from April, 2017

Should Distance Runners Sprint?

Most runners have one big general goal: to race faster. So why do so few distance runners do speed workouts? You might be familiar with classic workouts that many runners use in their training such as tempo runs, track intervals, hill workouts, progression runs, marathon-specific long runs. But you might be surprised to hear that none of these workouts are technically speed workouts. Yes, they’re much faster than your easy pace and do improve your ability to race faster. However, they’re not actually “speed work.” True speed development is relatively foreign to distance runners because they are sprinter workouts, designed to improve maximal velocity, acceleration, or speed-endurance. Let’s make sure we understand what these terms mean—so we know how to use them to make you into a faster runner. Maximal velocity is your maximum speed. It’s how fast you can run if you try to sprint at 100 percent effort and reach your “top-end” speed. It’s helpful to know that even Usain Bolt, the…

Five Top Stretches for Swimmers

Strength and aerobic capacity decline with age. We can’t deny it but we know that if we continue to exercise we can slow the decline. Perhaps less talked about, but equally important to us swimmers, is that our flexibility also decreases as we age. This is due to an increase in something called a cross bridge, which are additional links between the collagen fibres at shorter intervals along the length. As a result the collagen in our connective tissue stiffens up. This in turn reduces the available stretch in the fibres. Fortunately, like strength, flexibility can also be maintained through the right exercise routine. As with many things to do with the human body and mind it’s a case of use it or lose it. In fact, things you already do to maintain your strength and aerobic capacity – such as swimming – will also help you maintain flexibility, but there’s more you can do: Use a variety of strokes in your swimming training. This will help maintain both strength and flexibility – and…

Do you have weak shoulders & core stability strength?

Begin with a tall neutral spine posture (imagine there’s a string pulling you tall from your pelvis to the top of your head). Then engage your inner core muscles below your belly button. Then Wrap a resistance band around your upper back and position yourself belly down onto the exercise ball. Reach the index finger to the wall in front of you with the thumb pointing up and hold for a few seconds. Repeat this 10 times on each side for 3 sets. To progress the functional core strength, reach the index finger in front and extend the opposite leg and heel back at the same time. Repeat this for 10 reps on each side for 3 sets each. This exercise is great for increasing functional core strength in swimming, climbing, ultimate frisbee, baseball, volley ball, basketball, Lacrosse and any sports that require strong shoulder and core strength.

6 Stretches For Anyone With Tight Hamstrings

If you run, bike, are desk-bound all day, or have been sitting in a car or plane traveling, your hamstrings could use some extra love and length. It not only feels good to stretch this commonly tight area, but hamstring flexibility is also important for the health of your back, hips, and knees. Here are six easy and essential stretches that target the backs of your legs. To avoid injury, it's best to do them at the end of a workout, when the muscles are warm. Tipover Tuck Hamstring StretchThis stretch is good for your hamstrings and also loosens tight shoulders.Stand with your feet hips-width distance apart. Interlace your hands behind your back. Keeping your legs straight, bend at the hips, tucking your chin and bringing your hands over your head.Relax the back of your neck, and if the stretch is too intense, release your hands, placing them on the backs of your thighs, and soften your knees. Hold for 30 seconds and slowly roll up to standing. Scissor Hamstring StretchEasy to do…

Strength Training for Dragon Boat Paddlers

Dragon boating season is beginning in the lower Mainland as teams get out and train on the water for upcoming races. However, one of the key components integral to a team’s success in competition is building individual strength.A typical dragon boat stroke consists of a “catch” phase which targets the shoulders and arms and a “pull” phase which relies on strong back muscles. The following exercises can be included in your workout routine to develop a powerful dragon boat stroke. CATCH Phase: Arm Muscles Strong shoulders, biceps, and triceps are needed to enter the water effectively while grabbing as much water as possible. Develop strength in these areas with dumbbell overhead presses, dumbbell shrugs, bicep curls, and bench presses.
Image: T-Nation To Do a Proper Bench Press:
1) Set up by positioning your eyes directly under the bar and lie flat on the bench
2) Adduct your scapula and raise your chest
3) Grasp the bar with an equal distance from your left hand to the center of the bar and f…

Exercises for Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief

If you suffer from sacroiliac (SI) joint pain, you know it’s a problem that can’t be ignored. Walking, sitting and even slight movements can amplify the discomfort. While certain motions may exasperate the feeling, did you know exercise can be among the best ways to alleviate your sacroiliac joint pain symptoms? Specific exercises and stretches can help you achieve significant relief from your pain. What Is It? First, it’s best to know why you’re experiencing sacroiliac joint pain and where it came from in the first place. The joint pain is called SI joint dysfunction. The SI joints are located in the low back, where the sacrum and right and left iliac bones join. Cartilage covers the SI joints, and when that is damaged or worn down, the bones rub together, leading to degenerative arthritis. That is the top cause of SI joint dysfunction. Another major cause of SI joint pain is pregnancy. Additional weight gain due to pregnancy leads to more pressure on the joints, and when ligamen…