Let me tell you a story- Tales of Jim and Bob

Once upon a time, Jim and Bob both started tennis coaching. Both were intermediate tennis players in their late 30’s and had decided to shift the beer belly and get fit again. Every week, Jim and Bob would play several games of tennis and go for a few runs.

One day, they both started to get pain in their knee when running and playing tennis. The pain lasted several days. Because of that, Jim decided the best thing to do was to rest from all exercise for a couple of weeks, then go back to training at the same intensity. At first it felt ok, but after several sessions, his knee was giving him grief again.

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Paul’s Tips: 2 Strength exercises all runners should be doing

Split squat by Paul intouchphysio
Split squat by Paul 

1. Split Squat
If done correctly, you should feel this fatigue the front of the thigh and the buttock muscles on the front leg.

1. Stand with one leg forward and the other behind you in a split leg stance
2. Preferably put the back foot on a small step or bench
3. Keeping the knee in line with your second toe and the torso straight
4. Bend the front leg until the knee is flexed to 90 degrees
5. Return to the start position and repeat

For progression, hold on to a weight in the opposite hand to the leg that is being worked.

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How do we balance physiological stress and mechanical stress?

Last time we learnt all about exercise LOAD and the role of mechanical stress. This time we complete the equation and discuss the other form of stress in this load equation and how we can modulate it to prevent injury.
LOAD = mechanical stress + PHYSIOLOGICAL STRESS
Modulating your workouts involves consideration of the mechanical stress applied during your previous workouts, current and future exercise, while constantly assessing what physiological stressors you have been exposed to during your work and personal life.

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The No.1 injury prevention strategy – Modulate your STRESS (Part 2)

Physiological stress: Friend or Foe?
When we fail to respond suitably to an emotional or physical ‘threat’, whether it be real or perceived, our body initiates a ‘Fight or Flight’ response and our adrenal glands release a substance called cortisol. This is known as the ‘stress hormone’. During this response, our body sends stored energy to our working muscles and also suppresses the functions of growth, repair, digestion, sexual drive and the immune system, so as to conserve valuable energy. If the ‘Fight or Flight’ response is turned on too often or we remain continually in a state of ‘Fight or Flight’, very typical in modern life, this can cause immense wear and tear on the cells of our body.

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How do you monitor the amount of mechanical stress applied to your body?

INTENSITY (how hard you exercise): Intensity is the most important factor to consider when monitoring mechanical stress and the main contributor to the occurrence of injury. The harder you exercise, the more mechanical stress you are exposing your body to, e.g. going from a slow jog to running faster, or lifting increasingly heavier weights. Harder exercise sessions should be introduced very GRADUALLY to avoid injury and enhance adaptation.

 

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The No.1 Injury Prevention Strategy – Mechanical stress: Friend or Foe?

It is around this time of year – approx. 6 to 8 weeks after implementing our New Year’s resolution to “get fit” – that injury is often experienced.  “I was exercising so well, why did I get injured?” is a question often asked when clients come in to see us at InTouch Physiotherapy. The answer is encompassed in your exercise LOAD and why it can be your best friend or worst enemy.

LOAD = MECHANICAL STRESS + physiological stress (I will talk about physiological stress in another post)

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