training time: tim rudd
No ifs or buts: Excercise the glutes
Here is one very simple thing trainers can have athletes implement to instantly increase the player’s athleticism. Get the athletes butt in gear! What do I mean? Simple. Get their glutes (butt) contributing more in all activities. One simple thing they can do is become more “Glute (butt)-conscious.” Get up and walk around with their hands on their hips and voluntarily engage their butt muscles. As they walk around throughout the day they should take a few moments to periodically and consciously engage their glutes each time their foot contacts the ground. The more they do this, the more they will strengthen the mind to muscle connections and the better their glutes will function. Athletes should also be encouraged to do Glute bridges from the ground by holding each rep for 10 seconds for three total reps. This is a great way for them to feel the contraction from the glutes. The athlete should visualize each vertebrae of the spine coming off the ground like a train leaving the station and the same thing on the way down, visualize the train coming back one vertebrae at a time. This ensures that the extension of the hips comes from the powerful butt muscles, not the compressive forces in the lower spine. It’s also important that athletes are taught to brace their abs by asking them to create intra-abdominal pressure by tying an elastic band around their stomach, or trainers can put their hands around their waist and cue them to expand the band with their abdominals throughout the Glute Bridge. The key is to have the athlete create this stability around the whole corset of the core anterior, posterior and sides. ✪ Tim Rudd is an IYCA specialist in youth conditioning and owner of Fit2TheCore.
health watch: daniel kamenetzky
Running pain? You might need a foot map The analysis of the interaction between the foot and the ground during running is critical in understanding many of the injuries associated with this activity and its efficiency during competition. How does the first contact occur during landing? What is the total area that contacts the ground in each instance of the supporting phase? Which one is the angle between the longitudinal axis of the foot and the direction of the movement? These are a few of the questions that I try to answer as a Kinesiologist helping to solve injuries associated with the running technique. The understanding of the foot’s pressure distribution in function of time during running allows, for example, to 1) infer the most likely distribution of pressure in different joints of the leg; 2) know the stresses that the foot is suffering; 3) know the applied forces that affect the movement; 4) know the amount of time the athlete is in contact with the ground. Several tools are available to measure plantar pressure. Qualitatively, videography still is the cheapest and most valuable. We can observe the contact progress and establish angles and areas of the foot in contact with the ground in function of the time. However the most modern technology allows for a quantitative measurement at the same time. This produces a “map” and the exact numerical value of the pressure in each area of the foot in function at the time. Different formats can be used to create the map, such as a mat to walk over or an insole worn inside the shoe. These new technologies increase our possibilities to understand the athlete’s technical and physiological executions, and their consequences for performance and injuries. ✪ Daniel Kamenetzky is a sport methodologist and kinesiologist for the staff of Sports Medicine For Young Athletes.
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April 18, 2013