Runners are prone to injury, especially when they start running again after a long period of rest or suddenly increase the frequency, intensity or duration of their training. Sometimes running injuries can be traumatic and sudden, while others gradually occur and worsen over time. It is very tempting to ignore those minor pains and odd symptoms that you are feeling, but here are some warning signs that runners should not neglect. Read more
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)