CORE TRAINING TECHNIQUES, INJURY PREVENTION TIPS AND MUCH MORE
ISSUE #21 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 Y E G F IT NE S S . C A
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BY BENVEET (BEAN) GILL
16 COMMON RUNNING INJURIES
31 INJURY PREVENTION IN CROSSFIT
BY AARON NORRIS AND ARRI MCWATT
34 DR. KARA OTUOMAGIE #IAMYEGFIT
BY DR. TYLER FIX
20 WINTERIZE YOUR RIDE
BY TIFFANY BAKER
23 STEVE SIR FEATURE 28 UNIQUE WINTER EXPERIENCES
36 42 INCHES OF SCARS BY JEFFREY HANSEN-CARLSON
45 BULLETPROOF CORE TRAINING
11 ACCESSIBILITY & FITNESS IN YEG
BY ANTHONY HARDER
ON THE COVER: STEVE SIR PHOTO BY JEFF KELLY ARCHIVE FOUR FORTY FOUR PHOTOGRAPHY
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editor’s note G
oing back as far as radio advertising, there’s always been a market for the dubious snake oil salesperson. There have always been people looking to sell us things that were never intended to work, merely to take our money. When someone is desperate enough to want to believe in anything, often a good marketing team is to blame for the inevitable purchase, and buyer’s remorse. These gimmicks are most often seen late at night on television during infomercial time, where some washed up celebrity is hawking the latest piece of equipment or pill during an hour long segment that becomes predictable. The first fifty minutes is spent showing you the capabilities of the machine, touting the results you desperately want, and making this machine something that is capable of achieving dreams. They go on to show you that it’s not just for one thing, but accomplishes many things, and is very versatile. They explain how you cannot possibly live without it, and then spend the remaining ten minutes repeating their phone number to call, and rush through a payment plan that is “ridiculously low” and usually takes 5 payments. This is quickly followed by a statement that if you buy now, you also get another one free, or something that goes with the dubious machinery or pill free of charge.
EDITOR TJ Sadler email@example.com DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Chan Rin CREATIVE DIRECTOR Joel Verhagen SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Patricia Doiron SALES MANAGER Angel Yu firstname.lastname@example.org
We know that these commercials are garbage, yet we still get conned into forking over our hard earned money for things that have little to no proof of actually working. Just the word of a friend’s cousin’s mother who tried it once. So are we really more educated with fitness and wellness than past generations? Or are we just bombarded with so much new “science” and ”research” touting this or that as the best new workout or wellness product on the market that we don’t know who to trust?
ACCOUNT MANAGERS Chris Liddle email@example.com
Social media is great for many things. It lets us connect with others in the community who have similar likes and interests as we do. It also keeps us up to date with what’s happening in the world. Sometimes this is useful. Other times not so much. When we are constantly faced with twitter posts directing to an article that will help with our diabetes or weight loss by trying this new diet, or performing this new workout routine, we often end up throwing our hands in the air because we don’t know who to believe.
Keri Bauer firstname.lastname@example.org
So while you scroll through your phone while waiting to pick up the kids from school or sitting at the doctor’s office, remember that the snake oil salesperson is still out there. Looking to get you to buy their latest gadget or “get-fit-quick” diet plan. Sometimes if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
John Bass email@example.com
Meaghan Becker firstname.lastname@example.org PHOTOGRAPHERS Jeff Kelly Patricia Doiron COMMUNITY AMBASSADOR Cody Yano EDITORIAL INTERN Melissa Lilley Printed in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
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No part of this publication may be copied or reprinted without the permission of YEG Fitness. The fitness and nutritional information in this publication are not intended to replace professional medical advice. Readers are encouraged to consult a health professional before beginning or changing in their fitness or nutritional activities. Opinions expressed in this publication are those of the contributor and not those of YEG Fitness or its employees and associates. Advertising in this publication does not indicate an endorsement by YEG Fitness.
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SKATING FUN AT CITY OF EDMONTON ARENAS Free Public Skating is available year round for everyone at arenas around the city. During our high season from September to April, we have additional opportunities including: PUBLIC SKATE For everyone.
PARENTS & TOTS SKATE (INCLUDING “STICKS & PUCKS”)
For parents and their 3-5 year olds. Half the ice is for Parents & Tots skating, and half for “Sticks & Pucks” (practice shooting at the net)
OLDER ADULT SKATE
Forolder adultsto skate and socialize.
EARLY MORNING FITNESS SKATE (ADULT ONLY)
Early morning fitness skating opportunity for adults (18 years +)
EARLY MORNING FIGURE SKATING
An opportunity for individuals to practice figure and choreographed free skating. Figure skates required.
OUTDOOR LEISURE ICE
Skating for everyone at the Meadows Outdoor Leisure Ice. Outdoor accessible change rooms are available 8AM-11PM daily and 7AM-9PM on Statutory Holidays.
18+ offered year round
Enjoy this public skate opportunity for City of Edmonton Recreation Centre members of all ages. Valid admission/membership is required. Shinny/Open Hockey is an admission-based program. Patrons may arriv e up to 45 minutes early to purchase admission for a spot to participate as we have a maximum capacity of 26 participants.
CHILDREN’S OPEN HOCKEY
Drop-in opportunity for children to use sticks and pucks. If participant numbers and demographics allow staff will provide organized play opportunities.
ADULT/CHILD STICKS & PUCKS
Designed for children ages 6-12 to have the opportunity to practice basic hockey or ringette skills. Children must be accompanied and actively supervised on ice by a parent/guardian. Minimum of a CSA approved helmet and gloves required for adults and children. The City of Edmonton also offers a Learn to Play Hockey program in partnership with NCHL (Non Contact Hockey League), which teaches the fundamentals of playing fun and competitive hockey through 12 on-ice sessions and 2 classroom instruction sessions. This is a registered program for adults 18 and over who want to learn how to play hockey. Costs $399+GST
Accessibility & Fitness in YEG BY BENVEET (BEAN) GILL ReYu Paralysis Recovery Centre Adversity is something that no one can escape. We all face it at some point in our lives. In 2012, I thought I had reached my quota of adversity seeing as in January I turned thirty, in April I left my ex-husband after a violent altercation, in June my dad left, then three weeks later (on Friday the 13th) I was paralyzed by a virus while on vacation in Las Vegas with my friends. 2012 truly was the worst year of my life, but it also put me on the path I’m on now and I wouldn’t trade it for anything…well maybe to have my functioning body back ha-ha. Learning how to live life in a wheelchair comes with a steep learning curve, without a handbook. One of the biggest issues I have faced in my five years of being a wheelchair user is ACCESSIBILITY, or the lack of it in YEG. Accessibility has a different definition to different people so trying to make the city accessible to all is a great feat, but we are on the right path. I’ve learned that the older parts of the city (Whyte Ave, downtown and 124 st) are far more difficult to navigate due to the age of the buildings, stairs, lack of curb cuts, and a steep slope on some sidewalks. Years ago, accessibility wasn’t in building code requirements so older areas got grandfathered in, meaning anyone with mobility issues will have a hard time accessing those businesses. A lot of the barriers in these areas of the city can be removed by simply adding a ramp, a power-assist door and welcoming people of all abilities.
Being a paraplegic, I have full use of my arms so when a business doesn’t have a power-assist door I don’t think twice about it as I can manage to get in and out on my own. My quadriplegic friends who have limited hand/arm function don’t have that luxury making the power-assist door essential. It is expensive but if you’re a business owner know, that something this simple can increase your inclusivity, making your business accessible to ALL. The first winter after my paralysis was truly an eye opening experience. When I was able-bodied I didn’t think twice about snow removal being an issue. Like most of you I would just step over the snow or ice, climb over the windrows and jump over the curb cuts that were piled high with snow from the graters. I would never complain about my neighbours if they didn’t clear the walks properly, but now my mobility is dependent on other people’s snow removal. Residential snow removal is one thing but commercial snow removal is another. Many times I’ve arrived at the gym, yoga or a shopping centre where the parking lot has not been cleared. Often, I would be so irritated I would just go home but now I have found my voice and will call the business from the parking lot and ask them to help me inside. They usually come outside with a shovel and the response “I’m so sorry, I didn’t even think about that” and it’s true, most people don’t think about
PHOTOS BY JEFF KELLY
ARCHIVE FOUR FORTY FOUR PHOTOGRAPHY
accessibility until they themselves or someone close to them have mobility issues. I’ve always been active and conscious about my health. I was in kickboxing, yoga, weight training and I loved running the stairs in the river valley, it took me a few years to gain the confidence to get back into these things and of course they all had to be adapted to my needs. Boxing and weight training were an easy fix as the UFC Gym in Sherwood Park welcomed me with open arms and helped adapt their Fight Fit class as well as move some equipment around so I could fit between them in my wheelchair. Finding an inclusive yoga studio was a nightmare. I did hot yoga for five years before I was paralyzed so I called the studios I used to go to and told them my situation, the response I received from numerous yoga studios was “sorry but we cannot accommodate your wheelchair in the studio” or “I’m sorry I’m not sure what you’re looking for or if we can help you here.” The barrier I felt in the yoga community is an easy one to fix by simply starting the conversation with “I’m not sure I understand what your needs are but if you could come in and explain it to me and talk to one of the teachers we would be more than happy to help you.” Being open and treating everyone equally will have a ripple effect in the community. One person CAN make a difference. Edmonton has come a long way towards making the city accessible but we still have a long
way to go. Physical barriers are all over the city and need to be addressed and changed so that ALL people can access the city’s amenities year round. One of these barriers is the pay stations in parking lots across the city. Many of them are on concrete platforms with rocks around them making them inaccessible to anyone unable to step up onto the platform. If you can get to the machine the problem most of us face is the screen being above our head, if you’re looking up at it, there is often a glare from the sun or lights making it impossible to read the prompts. There are a few positives to parking at EPark meters and city parking lots. The City of Edmonton allows any vehicle displaying a valid disabled placard to park at a parking meter for free for the duration of the meter. For example, one hour free at a one-hour time limit meter. The city has also designated November 21-25 as Accessible Parking Week with the tagline: “Lazy is not a disability.” One thing I have learned is that any activity or sport can be adapted; you just need a little creativity and patience. By making your sport/ facility inclusive and accessible you are helping to break down the barriers and change the stigma affecting people with disabilities. If you need assistance in adapting your program the non-profit organization that I co-founded with my trainer/business partner, Nancy Morrow, ReYu Paralysis Recovery Centre is more than happy to help and offer advice.
"Edmonton has come a long way towards making the city accessible but we still have a long way to go."
TRAIN YOUR BRAIN BY DR. BRIANNA BOTSFORD Keeping your body active and strong can prevent heart disease, manage cholesterol, maintain bone mineral density preventing osteoporosis, help manage blood sugars and prevent type II diabetes, boost your mood and benefit your mental health. Physical exercise can benefit your brain and memory, but what other kind of training can we do to maintain our brains? Mindfulness, gratitude and effective time management can improve your happiness, productivity and mental performance.
your spouse/significant other/child/ roommate each day, instead of asking ‘how was your day?’ ask, ‘what was the best thing about your day?’ Extra bonus points if you get can your family to ask YOU this question when you roll in after work. Changing this simple question allows us to reflect on the day with positivity, rather than a step-by-step list of mundane or frustrating events. Even if it was a terrible, rotten, no good day, this question forces us to find something, even if it’s very small, that was GOOD about our day.
People tend to think of mindfulness as a meditation practice but sitting quietly and finding your Zen can be tricky. While there are lots of apps, books and websites dedicated to helping you chill and ‘be present’, a simple journaling exercise to reflect everyday can help give meaning to how you’re feeling and allow you to identify behaviors that make you feel good, and those that make you feel, well, not so good.
Gratitude and finding things that we’re thankful for doesn’t have to be focused around the Thanksgiving holiday. Finding simple things that you’re grateful for every day leads to increased feelings of satisfaction and happiness. I always challenge my patients to find very simple things that they’re grateful for at the start of each day. This frames your day in a happy light and allows you to move forward with a smile. A gratitude practice can decrease feelings of anxiety, depression and can provide insight into what you value or should include more of in your day-to-day life.
Action step: After work or in the evening, journal 3 things that happened in your day that made you smile. These can be simple events like, ‘I hit the green lights all the way to work’ or it can be more eventful like, ‘I PR’d my back squat at the gym this morning’. Bonus points: When checking in with
Action step: Journal 1-5 things that you’re grateful for every morning. These can be simple things like your morning java or cozy apartment. Try to be specific regarding what you’re grateful for instead of noting general ideas or feelings. For example, instead of, ‘I’m grateful for my partner’, try, ‘I’m grateful that my part-
ner empties the dishwasher for me’ - or something like that. Bonus points: Communicate to a friend, family member or co-worker a reason that you’re grateful for them, or show them your thanks for something they do. Not only does expressing your gratitude give you a boost, it’ll also helps people around you feel appreciated and happy. When you’re balancing work, family, fitness and fun, it’s important to maximize your creativity. If you feel you’re having a hard time concentrating, focusing or staying on task at work, school or home use these tips.
Action step: Use the 25-minute rule! Break your tasks into 25-minute chunks. If you have a task that will take you more than 25 minutes to complete, determine how long you think it’ll take. Set aside 2-3 (or more, if needed) 25-minute chunks of
time and get to it. Set an alarm and after 25 minutes, get up, move around and take a quick break. No, checking your emails or your Facebook doesn’t count as a quick break. Stay focused. Checking social media or email is a separate task. Stay focused on getting one thing done at a time and schedule regular changes in your day for optimal productivity. A great tool to manage your productivity and organize your time is a Productivity Planner. Bonus points: Use the 1-minute rule (credit to Gretchen Rubin for this tip!). If you have a task that will take 1 minute or less to complete, hop to it right away! You’ll feel good for accomplishing something and that dreaded task, email reply, signature on a document, or transferring the laundry to the dryer will be DONE! Taking these action steps will help you to change your habits and your brain. When you practice things regularly, they become automatic - you notice things that make you feel grateful, happy and overall lead a happier more fulfilled life. When you’re getting things done efficiently and taking regular breaks you feel less brain fog, have increased concentration and improved productivity. Making small changes in what you do and how you think every, single, day is what leads to lasting changes in your brain and maintains your mental health.
PICTURE YOURSELF, AN INJURED ATHLETE. YOU WALK INTO OPTIMIZE PHYSIOTHERAPY FOR YOUR FIRST APPOINTMENT NOT KNOWING WHAT TO EXPECT. YOU HAVE SEEN OUR SOCIAL MEDIA & WEBSITE & ARE PRETTY CONFIDENT YOU’RE GOING TO GET A THOROUGH ASSESSMENT, SOME HANDS ON WORK & A HEALTHY AMOUNT OF THERAPEUTIC/CORRECTIVE EXERCISES. THIS IS VERY TRUE & THOSE COMPONENTS WILL ALWAYS BE A PART OF YOUR TREATMENT AT OPTIMIZE PHYSIO. HOWEVER, WHAT MANY PEOPLE ARE NOT AWARE OF IS THAT WE ARE ALSO EQUIPPED WITH THE MOST UP TO DATE, HIGH QUALITY & RESEARCH BACKED TECHNOLOGIES TO HELP OUR PATIENTS GET BETTER FASTER. THE FOLLOWING MODALITIES ARE ALL PART OF A FULL TREATMENT & ARE USED IN CONJUNCTION TO COMPLIMENT (NOT REPLACE) MANUAL THERAPY & EXERCISE!
Air Relax air compression therapy is a treatment designed to reduce inflammation and improve circulation. In a clinical setting this is often used to speed recovery after regular workouts or when recovering from injury. WHO IS THIS FOR? If you have a minor injury that still allows you to workout then this is a great modality to reduce post workout pain and inflammation! If you’re in competition season and don’t have time for stiff sore legs from DOMS then this is a great tool for you!
Shockwave therapy is a treatment used to break down scar tissue and calcification that develops after injury, as well as myofascial release of trigger points. This therapy will help to reduce inflammation, improve local circulation and decrease long term pain in an injury. WHO IS THIS FOR? Most common uses are achilles tendonitis, runner’s knee, tennis elbow and rotator cuff tendon injuries.
MECHANICAL TRACTION Mechanical traction is the use of a motorized machine set at specific, customized parameters to help mobilize the neck or low back in a lengthwise direction. This machine helps to reverse the effect of compressive forces on the spine and nerves exiting the spine by decreasing pressure. WHO IS THIS FOR? Traction is a great treatment option for disc injuries, sciatica and low back pain for those people who sit in a desk or vehicle for a living.
m obilize • stabilize • optimize
PHOTOS BY JEFF KELLY
ARCHIVE FOUR FORTY FOUR PHOTOGRAPHY
COMMON RUNNING INJURIES WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE ONE, AND HOW TO PREVENT THEM FROM COMING BACK. BY DR. TYLER FIX â€“ REDEFINED HEALTH
unning is great exercise, extremely accessible, and easy to do alone or with a crew. Runners are unique athletes and have their own challenges when it comes to injuries. Injuries are common and proper management is essential to limiting down time and achieving full recovery.
to speed recovery, it is important to have someone who is knowledgeable about these type of injuries so they can help get you back up to speed quickly and as close to 100% as possible.
When people have an injury they often want to know what it is and how to fix it.
These are generally more common, especially with endurance running athletes. Small overuse adds up. Thousands and thousands of steps with a little mechanical error add up to tissue strain similar to an all in one acute injury.
WHAT IS IT? Running most commonly results in lower body injuries such as hip, knee, ankle and lower back. Injuries can include tendon, ligament, and joint and muscle injuries. You will often hear things like “tendonitis”, “bursitis”, “strain” or “sprain”. Basically, “itis" means inflammation, and strains and sprains are the tearing of muscles and ligament tissue. In most cases these will heal without surgery and the goal is to get things moving properly and be strong enough to support that movement, return to activity, and prevent future injury. IS PAIN THE PROBLEM OR IS PAIN THE RESULT OF THE PROBLEM? The nature of the injury, is important, but why it happened is often more useful in terms of recovery and prevention. Naming it doesn’t fix it. It is important to recognize urgent injuries and those requiring surgical referral, but otherwise why something is happening is more helpful management wise. You already know your knee hurts. What you need is a solution. If you have trochanteric bursitis or the outside of your hip hurts, does that distinction matter? You probably don’t have bursitis because it is Wednesday, or because you run. Most injuries are only on one side, and both sides are probably running the same amount. Usually the bursa is inflamed for a reason. Something is working too hard, too much, not getting enough recovery, or working inefficiently. If we can find out why it is inflamed, a long-term solution is more feasible. Why running injuries happen falls mostly into two categories: • Acute/traumatic injuries • Repetitive overuse injuries. ACUTE/TRAUMATIC INJURIES
REPETITIVE STRAIN/OVERUSE INJURIES
A major difference is that these injuries tend to sneak up on you. They often start as a little pain/tightness at the start of a run or after the run and, if not taken care of, they tend to become more consistent and more severe. HOW TO FIX IT? By the time the injury occurs, management is similar. We want to restore ideal motion and strength to the area. Typically, without major structural damage you want to get moving and keep moving right away. Maintaining strength and mobility will mean less work after healing and should also aid proper healing. Rest, although possibly an important part of the treatment, typically will not correct a mechanical issue. Rest will allow tissue to heal, but it will not make you stronger or more flexible or improve mechanics. Rest is also something you can do on your own and probably don't need to spend time and money for someone to tell you to do it. We see a lot of people that have tried only rest and while it relieves the pain, the issue just comes back upon return to activity. MECHANICAL INJURY MECHANICAL SOLUTION Joints and the muscles and ligaments around them are healthy when they are moving properly (not too little, not too much) and strong. To restore either of these things you usually need some mechanical intervention. Typically in Canada this would include things like Physical Therapists who practice manual therapy, IMS or dry needling, Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, Chiropractic care, and manual osteopathy.
These injuries are much more common with explosive movements like sprinting, but can also occur in endurance runners. A muscle strain would be the most common type of this injury and they tend to be posterior chain muscles like hamstrings and muscles of the calf. Things like rolled/sprained ankles are also very common.
These types of practitioners can do a wide variety of things. Often you will get a referral to PT, Massage or Chiropractic, which could do any number of things. It is probably more reasonable to look for therapy type vs. practitioner. You could see a Physical Therapist who does primarily spinal manipulation or a Chiropractor who does mostly exercise instruction and soft tissue work.
Generally, having good functional mobility and strength should help prevent these injuries, but injuries do happen. In order
I would look for some sort of hands on/ manual therapy and exercise instruction as a minimum. That way you are working on
moving better and being stronger, which is safe, and covers your bases for most injuries. Common therapy to look for would be various types of massage or myofascial work, Active Release Technique, Graston and other instrument assisted soft tissue therapies, joint manipulation or mobilization and exercise instruction. Nutrition is obviously an important part of healing and should be considered, but is an article unto itself. Machines like shockwave and low level laser therapy can also be useful adjuncts for some patients. When the most conservative therapies like these have failed, things like Prolotherapy or other injectables like cortisone or PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) may be an option. PREVENTION AND PERFORMANCE Working just to limit the risk of injuries is often not satisfying for athletes. The goal is to keep tissues healthy, strong and moving properly, which should also help performance. Getting better vs. just working to stay the same is a big difference from a motivation perspective. At home, mobility work like foam rolling and dynamic stretching/activation, as well as strength training put different stresses on the same tissues used when running. Professional services like those mentioned above have similar goals as at home care, working on restoring or maintaining ideal mechanics, strength and movement. In my opinion, good therapy should complement what you can do at home, but do something that you can't do on your own. No one likes down time but with an effective plan you should be able to avoid many injuries and make a quick return when they do happen.
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WINTERIZE YOUR RIDE BY TIFFANY BAKER We’re Albertan. We’re tough. Alberta strong right? So obviously we choose to ride through four feet of snow, sleet, slippery ice, and frigid temps, up hill both ways, right? For some, yes. For me it’s a big H-E-double-hockey-sticks NO. So what do you do during our disproportionately long winter season? For road racers, racing starts informally in April. So training starts far before the snow melts. And you don’t have to have your sights set on early season races to want to maintain your fitness throughout the winter. No matter your goals, here are some tips as we enter the season of ice and snow! 1. What motivates you? Do you need the external motivation to get off the couch or are you self-motivated? If you need the former then try committing to group-based fitness. buy a punch card or have a friend swear to pull you off the couch by your hair if you try and flake out. Or make a list of Netflix series you’ve been dying to watch, or podcasts you haven’t gotten around to listening to yet. 2. Consider cross-training. If you’re like me and spent the summer focused on one sport, your body (and mind) could use some diversity. For the first part of the off-season change your focus to less aerobic activities, focusing on strength, core, and stretching. Only closer to the start of the season should you spend more time in intense intervals. Although if your cross-training involves racing a winter sport like cross country skiing, then you’ll need to maintain interval training and look to focus on different areas of strength. The beginning of cross country ski season is always a shock to my t-rex cyclist arms.
3. Reconsider your nutrition. According to Dr. Bri Botsford ND, “During the offseason your nutrition should change as your training shifts. The focus of your nutrition should be on adequate protein, specifically post-training. Remove any sports drinks or gels during workouts that are less than 90 minutes in duration (you don’t need the calories for short workouts). Focus on vegetables, healthy fats and proteins and limit sweets, treats and booze. The quality of your nutrition doesn’t change much in the offseason, but the quantity of food should decrease if your training volume is decreasing. 4. Think about maintenance. Visit a physical therapist for a functional movement analysis. This will give you info on your structural deficiencies and imbalances. From there you can have a strength and conditioning program created to fit your needs. This is also a great time to address those nagging injuries you experienced this season and just didn’t have time to address. Maintenance in the off season can offer significant improvements come next season. 5. Embrace your inner ‘fatty’. Looking for an excuse to buy another bike? Want to spend the winter on 2-wheels but not on a trainer? Then you need to get on the fat bike wagon because it’s a blast. Revolution Cycle has fat bikes you can rent to give it a try, a few times during the winter I organize women’s fat bike rides, and Women on Wheels continues group rides in the winter with many women on fat bikes. There are many ways to check it out and it’s a great way to continue enjoying the wintery outdoors. 6. Focus your training for next season’s goals. Have a lofty goal for next season? Something bigger than this season? Then the ‘off’ season shouldn’t be as off as you might think. Start with a baseline fitness test that is robust enough to give you a training plan for the winter, and then figure out how you’ll stay motivated (see #1). Programs like Trainer Road or Swift have a variety of cycling training programs
based on goals, time commitment, and time-horizon to completion. Even more effective is an individualized assessment from a sports physiotherapist and subsequent individualized training plan based on your body’s biology and your personal goals. Often times the biggest gains are made in the off-season. 7. Spin it to win it. Love biking but not winter? Motivated by group fitness? Or maybe you want to try cycling and think that stationery is the place to start before you try to attempt clips and riding in a group? Then spin classes are a good option. If you’re new to cycling (no road bike and/or trainer) then any of the city’s spin studios will give you a good introduction. You can even start practicing with clipless pedals. Those more seasoned, you’ll want to look for spin classes lead by cyclists who understand effective training plans. How you structure your spin time can have significant impact on the resulting fitness gains. Utilizing a heart rate monitor and/or power meter will ensure that you can tailor your efforts in each class. Or ditch all the accessories and simply pedal hard/faster when you’re told. Whatever motivates you! There’s no magic answer off-season training, it depends on your personal goals. If staying motivated with a group of awesome women sounds fun, send me an email. We have a group spinning together this winter and are always looking for others willing to help make a discouragingly long winter go by just a little bit faster. BY TIFFANY BAKER Women’s Cycling Manager, ERTC email@example.com
Coping With A Concussion BY GIRI SRINIVASAN Physical Therapist /Clinical Director Safe sport practices are an inherent part of sports and despite taking precautions, sport injuries are something health professionals deal with on daily basis. Concussions are no different! Therefore, as a responsible physiotherapist it becomes our top priority to keep up with current research, prevention and management of these incidences. Concussion may be caused either by a direct blow to the head, face, neck or elsewhere on the body with an impulsive force transmitted to the head. The staggering statistics indicate one in five sport-related injuries are concussions, and more than nine out of ten emergency department visits for sport-related brain injuries are concussion-related. 64% of emergency department visits among ten to eighteen year olds are related to participation in sports and recreation. Athletes younger than twenty years and females are also more likely to suffer concussion. The Government of Canada has released pan-Canadian Concussion Guidelines, including return-to-play and return-to-learn protocols, on the basis of collective research and stats. What you can expect to feel… • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head • Temporary loss of consciousness • Confusion or feeling as if in a fog • Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event • Dizziness or "seeing stars" • Ringing in the ears
• Nausea • Vomiting • Slurred speech • Delayed response to questions • Appearing dazed • Fatigue You may have some symptoms of concussions immediately while others may be delayed for hours or days after injury, such as: • Concentration and memory complaints • Irritability and other personality changes • Sensitivity to light and noise • Sleep disturbances • Psychological adjustment problems and depression • Disorders of taste and smell RISK FACTORS Activities and factors that may increase your risk of a concussion include: • Falling, especially in young children and older adults • Participating in a high-risk sport, such as football, hockey, soccer, rugby, boxing or other contact sport • Participating in high-risk sports without proper safety equipment and supervision • Being involved in a motor vehicle collision • Being involved in a pedestrian or bicycle accident • Being a soldier involved in combat • Being a victim of physical abuse • Having had a previous concussion REHABILITATION STAGES Graded exertion protocol: 1. No activity 2. Light aerobic exercises. 3. Sports specific exercises 4. Non-contact training drills 5. Full contact practices 6. Return to play
Never return to play or vigorous activity while signs or symptoms of a concussion are present. An athlete with a suspected concussion should not return to play until he or she has been medically evaluated by a healthcare professional trained in evaluating and managing concussions. Children and adolescents should be evaluated by a healthcare professional trained in evaluating and managing pediatric concussions. Experts agree that the best ways to prevent concussion are: • Play by the rules. Teaching young athletes to respect the rules of their sport is part of good coaching. • Wear the appropriate equipment for your sport and wear it properly. Always close a chin strap if your sport requires a helmet; many concussions occur during practice. • Examine the playing field for uneven areas or holes. • Make sure that end posts are padded sufficiently. • Practice good sportsmanship. Teaching good sportsmanship is part of good coaching and good parenting minimizing unnecessary aggression on the field. • Learn and use proper technique for your sport. Some sports organizations have taken additional action to minimize the risk of concussion by limiting the number of contact practices allowed during the season. Undoubtedly, physiotherapists help to stay fit & strong in sports training testifies prevention is best management!
Tech Pain & Prevention BY DR. MECCA FAYAD DC Instagram: @drmeccafayad Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that the average individual receives approximately fifty text messages per day? Or that on average we spend anywhere between two to four hours per day on our portable handheld electronic devices? Let’s face it, whether we’d like to admit it or not, most of us are glued to our cell phones, laptops, tablets and watches. While it might seem like it’s not a big deal, the physical posture we take on while staring at our tiny devices can have serious negative health effects. TEC H NE CK/ TE XT NE C K What the term actually means is forward head posture causing increased stress in the cervical spine (neck). Because of the overuse of smart phones and texting, people are looking down at their mobile devices for longer periods of time. You wouldn't put a 60-pound weight on your neck every time you look at your phone -- but that's the force you're putting on your cervical spine when tilting your head down. If our ears line up with our shoulders, the average human head weighs about 10 pounds. Recent research suggests that the more we tilt our heads forward and down, the more gravity dramatically increases the weight felt by our necks. So for example if we tilt our heads 30 degrees forward to look at our screens, it is like making our necks lift 40 pounds. A 60-degree tilt is equivalent to 60 pounds of force on the cervical spine.
I N S O MN I A The blue light emitted by screens on cell phones, computers, tablets, and televisions restrain the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle or circadian rhythm. A decreased production of melatonin makes it harder to fall and stay asleep. To make sure electronics aren’t interrupting your sleep, give yourself at least 15-20 minutes of tech-free transition time before hitting the hay. GENERAL PREVENTION I am probably on my devices more than anyone else I know. I am constantly checking emails on my phone, creating content for Instagram, completing patient notes or looking up the weather. I can agree in saying that it is nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues. So what efforts can we make to deal with a digital world? 1. Stretch your forearms: regularly stretch both the flexor and extensor muscles in order to prevent tightness and pain in the upper extremities. Stretching & movement also increases blood flow to muscles that have been in sustained positions for long periods of time.
2. To counteract the forward posture (nicknamed as the “iposture”) we hold for long periods while on our devices try a cobra stretch. Lie on your stomach with your palms facing down and positioned right underneath your shoulders. Pushing down with your hands, lift your chest as you exhale. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds. The symptoms one could experience from “Tech Neck” are vast. Neck pain, numbness, tingling and headaches are some of the most common issues that can arise. More serious long-term effects can also occur. Our cervical spines are shaped like a backwards C. This is called a lordosis. With sustained device usage there is potential for a loss of the natural curve of the cervical spine. Without the natural curve, a greater amount of stress is transferred through the neck. These stresses may lead to wear, tear and degeneration earlier than we’ve ever experienced in the past. TEX T THUMB Our thumbs tend to do most of the scrolling or typing on our devices, which means they incur the most stress. While “Text Thumb” is not an official diagnosis, tendonitis certainly is. Tendonitis occurs when tendons become inflamed due to overuse and repetitive activity. To prevent this condition try using the voice recognition feature on your device rather than manually texting. EYE STR AIN Overuse of our devices could also lead to sore, tired, burning eyes. Eyestrain occurs when our eyes get tired from intense use. A great tip is to use the 20-20-20 rule to prevent eyestrain from not only smartphones but from laptop usage as well. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
3. Take frequent breaks: the bottom line is to avoid looking down with your head bent forward for extended periods throughout the day. Any prolonged period when your head is looking down is a time when you are putting excessive strain on your neck. Micro-breaks allow our tissues to recover. Try to limit technology time to approximately 15 minutes. If you’ve been scrolling through Instagram and your fingers are tingling and your neck is burning.. it’s probably time to take a break! 4. Use pain as a warning! When your hand starts to cramp or your neck begins to light up with pain, that’s just your body’s way of telling you to take it easy. And you should listen! 5. If you are utilizing the above methods and are still noticing symptoms, then it’s time to seek professional help. Your qualified healthcare provider can help to identify issues that you may have overlooked.
SHOOTING THE THREE WITH
ST EVE SIR PHOTOS BY JEFF KELLY
ARCHIVE FOUR FORTY FOUR PHOTOGRAPHY
he Edmonton area has its share of talent when it comes to professional sports. Whether it’s players born and raised here like Andrew Ference or Jennifer Heil or those who were born elsewhere and chose to make Edmonton home like Jamie Sale and Othieno Chi Bey-El (EJ Parris), we have a small city feel, but were home to some of the world’s best athletes. We’ve even got a basketball star that NBA 3-point phenom Steph Curry couldn’t touch. Steve Sir was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1982 and moved to Edmonton with his family when he was 5. The sport came quite naturally to him beginning with the first utterance of the word “ball” while still a baby. It also ran deep in his DNA following in the footsteps of his father who was recently inducted into the Iowa High School Hall of Fame and had a great career at Winona State University before playing professionally in Belgium. When Sir began playing at the age of 5, he followed his dad’s advice and turned into a great shooter. Simple advice, like “bend your knees” and “hold your follow through” paid off for him as he entered school and played on his first community league team. “When I turned 15, I had some serious goals for myself,” says Sir. “I wanted to be one the best high school players in Canada and play Division 1 college basketball in the United States.” His cousin was playing Division 1 basketball at the University of Idaho at the time and Sir was able to watch his team practice during a trip down to Idaho for a tournament. He reflects on how strong and quick the players were and remembers walking away from that practice thinking how he was ever going to reach that level. That was an intense ex-
perience for a young athlete to see just how high the level was that he needed to be at and how much work it would take over the next few years to get there. At the age of 15, Sir made the decision to completely commit to the game. In high school, while most students were headed to Westmount Mall at lunchtime, he lifted weights. After school while most were going to a movie with friends, he practiced with the Ross Sheppard Thunderbirds team. After a quick dinner at home he’d then go across the street to Ottewell Jr. High to work on is game some more. “I would make anywhere from 800 to 1500 shots a night as these were similar numbers I saw elite high school players in the States saying their daily routines were so I wanted to match and exceed that,” he says. Sir credits a great deal of his success to having some incredible coaches when he was growing up who helped him understand that coming early, staying late and the things you did when no one was watching were what made you a basketball player. They also stressed that it wouldn't be easy and things wouldn't always go his way but these habits would help carry him through and in the end, give him the best chance he had at success. Like many committed athletes, Sir didn't have much of a social life in high school. The running joke at Shep was that his girlfriend was Spalding (the brand of the basketball he used). But his team won Provincials in his grade 10 and 11 years. His Alberta Provincial team won the gold medal at the U17 National Championships and he was named the MVP after scoring 47 points in the final. He followed that up setting the scoring record at the biggest AAU summer tournament (the Adidas Las Vegas Big Time Tournament).
Being featured in Sports Illustrated and SLAM magazine as an 11th grader proved to Sir that all of his sacrifices were paying off. “Today, when I talk to young people about the experiences that led me to shoot the ball and play at a high level, I tell them that you have to be willing to do all the thankless things people will never see and spend the time others are not willing to spend,” he says.
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It's easy to do when everything is going well, it's a lot tougher when you feel it's not getting you where you want to be quickly enough. This same advice can be used for everything from being successful at your job, to being able to perform a handstand. Success often times produces complacency and over the years, Sir has been able to keep chasing the goals he set for himself without resting on what he’s already accomplished. Sir finished up his high school playing career with the T-Birds and moved on to play with the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks in the NCAA. Remember that mention about Currie? Yep. Even he couldn’t break Sir’s college career 3-Point Field Goal Percentage record. If you follow basketball, you know that the scene in Canada has changed a lot over the past 10+ years. Gone are the days of good players needing to move to the US to finish their high school just to be seen by scouts. As a teacher myself at the same school that produced the Plouffe sisters, it wasn’t uncommon for us to have players move to the states for grade 11 and 12 to get noticed. More people are playing, watching and being involved in the game than ever before and this has created a great deal of excitement and opportunity.
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There used to be a stigma that Canadian players were too "soft" and couldn't compete with Americans but more players have earned their opportunities and have gone on to play and succeed at some very high levels. That stigma hasn't completely gone away yet because as a whole, Sir says that Canadians do not play as hard as American players but it has taken giant steps forward. Steve Nash kicked the door open for American coaches and programs to begin taking Canadians more seriously and when the NBA expanded to Toronto, Vince Carter and the Raptors provided players with the belief that they could one day play in the NBA. The scene for basketball in Canada is very exciting going forward. Unfortunately for Steve, the calls from the NBA never came, but he has played pro basketball throughout the past 10 years in various European and Canadian leagues. "When you describe to people the idea of travelling abroad to play basketball it sounds very exotic and fun,” he says. "Eventually it becomes … a job. It's a grind at times. You stick to it because ultimately you love playing the game." He’s recently honed his game to the relatively new FIBA 3x3 game. It’s been around for a few years but has only begun to really gain attention in our area of the world due to it being announced as an Olympic sport in 2020. This is Sir’s first year playing on the 3x3 World Tour but he has been familiarizing himself with it for the past couple years as it looked like a great challenge. Basketball Alberta has hosted Canada's longest running FIBA 3x3 tournament in Edmonton for the last 7 years with the idea that 3x3 would eventually become an Olympic sport. The easiest way to explain 3x3 would be to compare beach volleyball to volleyball. 3x3 is played outdoors with games being played up to 21 points or whatever team is winning
after 10 minutes. It is extremely physical, fast paced and a very exciting game that is blowing up in popularity around the world. Playing for one of the top ranked teams in the world, Team Saskatoon, with his three teammates Michael Linklater, Michael Lieffers and Nolan Brudel, Sir is continuing to make a name for himself in the sport. Their goals are to continue playing at a high level on the 3x3 World Tour, to represent Canada at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and help 3x3 continue to grow around the country. Training to play professional basketball is in most cases, like anything else on the professional level. It requires a great deal of effort and time dedicated towards doing the right things to have yourself ready to compete at a high level. If you haven't been doing the right things to prepare, it will stand out immediately when you join your team. When playing professional basketball outside of the NBA, you can get a phone call on a Monday, sign with a team on Tuesday and be leaving on a Thursday. It can be that quick. If you are one of the majority of players that signs a contract later in the summer or even into the fall, training camps have begun and you are joining a team that has already begun with preparations so the expectation is you had better show up in shape and ready to go or you could be turning around to go home very quickly. There are very different expectations for import players than locals (import players are anyone brought from outside that country's borders and every foreign league has a limit to how many imports a team can sign). Players often don't have time to feel the situation out and take their time getting ready. Teams expect results and if that isn't happening, other options for players will usually be discussed. The tricky part is that you don't know when the phone call or job offer might come and this can be very stressful not knowing where your end point is. That is the challenge however, not letting your training be affected due to this stress that often times, you can't do much to control. It is much easier said than done though, a lot of people pursuing playing abroad cannot handle that aspect of not knowing and still maintaining a heavy training schedule. Training has certainly changed for Sir as he’s aged in ways everyone goes through. It takes longer to warm up and the first couple steps in the morning can be a little rough at times. He bought into the idea of maintenance and recovery in college as he knew one day the problems that come with getting older would set in.
“An older teammate at San Diego State gave me the advice that even when I am feeling good, I should be on the treatment table or getting in the ice tub,” he says. Improving himself wasn't limited to what he did on the court so it was important to be proactive by finding ways to be at his best and always preparing for what was next. He’s been bugged over the years by his teammates for how often he stretches and foam rolls but he knows how he feels when he doesn’t do those things, especially now, so he makes sure to set the time aside and have that be part of his routine. How he trains hasn't had to change much. Like many athletes his age, he’s had his fair share of injuries and worked through them all. From a comfort standpoint, he still feels confident and prepared to play by training a certain way and fortunately, his body has held up to continue this way. “On the court, it's a lot of drill, competitive situations and conditioning,” he says. “There's no better way to train for basketball than playing basketball.” One thing that has altered training times for Sir has been having kids. There is no heading to the gym to train in the middle of the day anymore. It's fun for this dad being up in the morning getting the kids ready for the day and being home for bedtime. There are more early morning workouts and some later at night so being smart with his time becomes important but well worth it. Sir sees Canada continuing to make strides to be one of the top basketball countries in the world. It's an exciting time for basketball in Canada and there is no reason why this shouldn't continue. Once he wraps up his playing career, he sees himself being involved in the game from an instruction standpoint. “I have some serious goals I've set in that area that are beginning to take shape and will continue to push myself to accomplish them,” he says. He’s also looking forward to coaching his daughters in community league when they are ready for it. Some of Sir’s favourite basketball memories are waking up early Saturday morning and being a mix of nerves and excitement in the car driving with his Dad to play in community games that they had been waiting all week for. The student is becoming the teacher. And we’re confident that Canadian basketball will be in good hands.
Five Unique Winter Experiences in Alberta They don’t call it the “Alberta advantage” for nothing. Our province offers outdoor adventures that rival some of the world’s most iconic alpine locations—along with an array of unique experiences for adventurous visitors.
STARGAZE AT THE JASPER DARK SKY PRESERVE Light pollution is almost impossible to escape—in many places it’s left us entirely unable to see the night sky. Enter Jasper National Park, the world’s second largest DSP—dark sky preserve (the largest is also in Alberta, at Wood Buffalo National Park). Half of the iconic Banff and Jasper National Park duo, Jasper, nestled along Alberta’s western edge, is Banff’s wilder sibling, less visited and dark—very dark. Designated a DSP in 2011 by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, the preserve measures about 18,000 km2, in which no light alters the view of the stars. The town of Jasper itself is the only town in Canada to be entirely enveloped in a preserve, meaning you’ll get a great view no matter where you stay. If you want to make sure you’ve found the darkest sky, stay in a rented cabin as close to the southern side of the park as possible. For an out-of-this-world experience, travel to one of Jasper’s many lakes (like Pyramid or Medicine), which reflect the constellations.
WALK THE BUBBLES AT ABRAHAM LAKE
SKI THE WAPTA TRAVERSE
Bighorn Country—named for the native bighorn sheep—is home to one of Alberta’s best kept winter secrets. Manmade Abraham Lake is cold, bright blue (thanks to glacial sediment), and, in the winter, a window into a world of frozen bubbles locked under the ice. Thanks to strong winds off the North Saskatchewan River Valley, the lake surface is almost entirely free of snow, meaning you can get a clear glimpse of the perfectly formed methane bubbles, which provide a bit of a thrill thanks to their flammable nature. Don’t worry: The gas evaporates slowly from the top.
The Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) works diligently to maintain a series of backcountry huts across Canada, including five along Alberta’s Wapta Traverse. The Wapta consists of two ice fields that spread along the Continental Divide. Gliding up and over peaks and valleys, this is a ski mountaineer’s dream trip. The legendary explorer Conrad Kain made the first known crossing of the Wapta Traverse in 1910. The ACC arranges special packhorse tours between the huts in July of each year to celebrate his birthday.
The lack of deep snow on the lake also means it’s ideal for winter hiking and snowshoeing. The lake is just a 20-minute drive off the Icefields Parkway but a world away from the crowds of Banff and Jasper and one of the least developed parts of the region. Be aware that there are very few nearby services, and it’s best to plan a day trip to the region from Edmonton. Dress for the weather—winter conditions can be harsh and shift dramatically over time.
Still, the best way to do the Wapta is in winter—and to become a member of the ACC. Their low annual fee gives you access and special evening rates for all the huts, as well as flexibility in how you’d like to plan your trip. The huts’ beds are first come, first served, so you may end up cuddling up on the floor to sleep. Skiers hop from hut to hut along the traverse and can visit the ACC’s newest, the Louise and Richard Guy hut, which is open only to Wapta skiers over the winter months. Call the Alpine Club of Canada’s head office in Canmore, Alberta, in advance to discuss your skill level and booking options before arriving.
WINTER CAMP AT DINOSAUR PROVINCIAL PARK Dinosaur Provincial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site located east of the Rocky Mountain region, doesn’t rise into the sky like mountains. Rather, it’s a series of badland coulees that dip into the ground like a valley. Formed over centuries into soft sandstone, this part of Alberta is home to some of the world’s richest deposits of fossils and was part of the late 19th century's infamous Bone Wars, when paleontologists Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Cope battled to discover and name dinosaur remains before the other. Soft spires of stone have been carved away from the rock over time, leaving visible bands and fossils in the rock. Visitors to Dinosaur Park often make their own fossil finds and take them into the nearby Royal Tyrrell Museum for inspection, or mark them off to be recovered later. Its unique geography makes Dinosaur Park the ideal place for camping, even in the wintertime. The key is having the right gear (a strong winter tent, heavy sleeping bag, and many layers are all key) and coming fully prepared. Stock up on firewood, cooking supplies, and water in nearby Drumheller, and set up your tent along the edges of a coulee. With a fire going, it’s an inviting place to watch wildlife, hike and climb, and cozy up in a sleeping bag.
WINSPORT CANADA OLYMPIC PARK In 1988, the city of Calgary hosted the Winter Olympics. The legacy of those games lives on, partly through the infrastructure that brought winter sports within city boundaries. The most prominent example of that is Canada Olympic Park (now known as WinSport), which has become a prestigious training ground for winter athletes around the world. The complex boasts a ski jump, skiing and snowboarding hill, skating rink, cross-country ski facility, tubing park, and bobsled and luge tracks that the public can learn to use. While much of the facility has been updated since those 1988 games, the goal is to introduce visitors to winter sports through affordable opportunities to give them a try. It also benefits from its cosmopolitan, central location—it’s surrounded by hotels, easily accessible by car and mass transit, and located along the Trans-Canada Highway, which leads directly to Banff National Park. Fans of the movie Cool Runnings, look out: The movie was filmed at Canada Olympic Park, and you’ll be flying down the same bobsled track as that famous Jamaican team.
Sports Nutrition Lessons Eating For Health. Eating For Life. BY SUSAN SOMMERVILLE, RD Nutrition is an important part of life, and a balanced diet is key to optimal health and wellness. Athletes in particular can benefit from specific meal plans to help optimize performance and maximize their training. If you are an athlete looking to sharpen your game, here are a few nutrition tips to get you started. HYDRATION - HOW IMPORTANT IS IT? Fluid does not come from water only; it comes from the food we eat (i.e. fruits and vegetables) and other beverages we drink (i.e. milk, tea, coffee, etc.) as well. In an athleteâ€™s world, fluid intake plays a major role in training outcomes. In fact, training while dehydrated can have severe consequences: - Blood becomes thicker and the heart strains to pump oxygen to muscles and organs - Perceived exertion skyrockets and it becomes extremely difficult to push at the intensity needed to achieve results - Glycogen stores (energy stores in the body) are used up faster, making training less efficient - Dizziness, fatigue and decreased muscle strength sets in - There is an increased risk of injury Urine color can help tell you whether you are hydrated enough. However, another way to assess hydration is to weigh yourself before and after a training session. If there is weight loss, you should be drinking more during your training session. Electrolyte replenishment may be required with excessive sweat loss, especially when training in hotter temperatures. Hydration is key, but do not overdo it! Carrying extra fluids in the system can weigh you down, causing other defects in performance. FUEL - WHAT ARE YOU PUTTING INTO YOUR BODY? What you put into your body will dictate your performance results. Aim to fuel your system every 2-3 hours with balanced snacks and meals containing whole food proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. This will help you maintain a consistent blood sugar level for energy, focus and fuel during the day. Eating regularly helps protect and maintain body glycogen, a storage form of carbohydrate found in the muscle and liver. What happens when we train depleted? Our muscles and brain are deprived from their fuel source, causing an energy crash. Perceived exertion skyrockets, followed by poor concentration and accuracy. Ultimately, training on an empty tank leads to an elevated risk of concussions, tears, and fractures. 30
Adding protein at each eating occasion is vital in maintaining and building muscle. The quality of protein consumed also impacts muscle synthesis. Research indicates that protein with high biological value (containing high concentrations of essential amino acids) coming from animal and marine-based sources elicits muscle adaptation more efficiently. However, athletes that enjoy vegetarian or vegan-style diets can still produce similar results if their meals and snacks are planned and executed well, incorporating a variety of vegetable-based proteins. Adequate protein is not only essential for building muscle! It helps repair and maintain body tissues, promoting a strong immune system, while slowing down digestion to promote even blood sugars and reduce cravings. RECOVERY NUTRITION - WHEN IS IT WARRANTED? Post-exercise protein shakes and smoothies combining protein and digestible carbohydrates are a popular way to recover after training. However, not all individuals require a recovery shake. If you are sitting at a desk all day, then engage in planned exercise for about 60 minutes, you likely do not require an extra post-exercise shake on top of your regular meals and snacks. Aim to get your next planned meal or snack in within an hour of your exercise to help with recovery in this case. Athletes with high-intensity training programs will require calculated recovery nutrition after training. This is due to the high-energy expenditure and often multiple structured training sessions they are required to do each day. The protein to carbohydrate ratio is calculated based on the athleteâ€™s body composition, goals, and intensity of training. The combination of protein and carbohydrate is essential in replenishing glycogen stores and muscle tissue strategically within 15-30 minutes of training. A simple example is a recovery smoothie made with frozen banana, plain Greek yogurt or protein powder and milk/milk alternative. REST - WHY SLEEP 7-10 HOURS A NIGHT? Athletes require more rest than average to promote optimal whole body recovery. Maintaining a regular bedtime and sleep routine will help your body get into a healthy sleep rhythm. Here are some tips to promote healthy sleep hygiene to support optimal performance: - Avoid blue light from your iPhone, computer, and TV screens at least 1 hour before going to bed. The light emitted reduces melatonin release, compromising sleep quality. Try charging your phone outside the bedroom to avoid the impulse to look at it before drifting off. - Try to avoid drinking a large volume of liquid just before bed to prevent waking up out of deep sleep to go the washroom in the middle of the night. - Avoid alcohol before bed as it interrupts the quality of sleep, leaving you feeling more tired on the same amount of sleep.
INJURY PREVENTION IN CROSSFIT BY AARON NORRIS AND ARRI MCWATT OPTIMIZE PHYSIOTHERAPY & SPORTS INJURY CLINIC
PHOTOS BY CHAN RIN
VIVID RIBBON PHOTOGRAPHY ON LOCATION AT CROSSFIT ARMOURY
s physiotherapists, we are fascinated by the intricate movement of the human body. More specifically, working with people that are having issues with certain movements and helping to improve their overall function. This is also the foundation for CrossFit, as it is defined by constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. These movements include a combination of Olympic weightlifting, power lifting, and gymnastics. As with any full range of motion, high repetition, high speed movement, there is an increased risk of injury. The biggest threat to an individual occurs when movement technique falls apart due to lack of knowledge, athlete fatigue, or moving too much load. The main contributors to this are ego, poor coaching, and movement faults which are caused by a lack of mobility, stability and motor control. Ego: we couldn’t write this article and leave ego out of it, but we won’t go into much detail as to not ruffle too many feathers. We’re athletes, and we get it. But as far as injury prevention goes, never sacrifice the quality of a movement to push through more reps or to try and finish faster than your buddy who is crushing the WOD next to you. This responsibility first falls directly on the individual athlete. As soon as you walk into any CrossFit gym you will quickly learn that all egos must be checked at the door. With that said, its possible that in the heat of competition you may have a temporary lapse in focus. We’re all guilty of it! This is where the coach comes in. Many gyms strongly encourage that new members complete an introductory program prior to jumping into regular classes. This ensures that athletes have the basic knowledge, can perform all movements safely, and understand the appropriate scaling options. This is the first step in preventing any future injuries. The coach is also responsible to do all that they can to ensure movement is safe and that proper scaling is always used. Next, lets talk about what the CrossFit athlete can do to minimize the chance of injury. The basis for all CrossFit movements can be broken down into three movement archetypes: 1. Hip Hinge 2. Squat 3. Shoulder Press / Overhead Shoulder Position By maintaining good form in these three components of movement, your chances of injuring yourself is greatly reduced! These movements can be destroyed by lack of mobility, stability or motor control in the athlete. There are entire books out there on fixing the aforementioned issues however, in order to keep this concise and relevant, we will discuss these three archetypes and how they should look.
Hip Hinge • Neutral spine (back straight), core braced, slight bend in the knees, bend forward at the hips without moving the spine. If this is performed correctly, then you should feel tension develop through the posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings). • This movement pattern is crucial in performing the deadlift, clean, snatch, med ball clean, kettlebell swing.
Squat • Neutral spine (back straight), core braced, push the knees outwards over the toes (think “screw your feet into the ground”), maintain the weight on the heels, move your butt back first (think “sitting down”), maintain the knee position through the full range of motion. • The above movement pattern is crucial in performing the air squat, back squat, front squat, overhead squat, wall ball, thruster, squat clean, squat snatch, box jump.
Shoulder Press / Overhead Shoulder Position • Shoulder blades pulled back and down (think “put the shoulder blades in the back pockets”), arms fully locked out overhead, push the shoulders into external rotation (armpits forward), maintain a stabilized neck with good posture. • This movement pattern is crucial in performing the strict press, push press, push jerk, split jerk, overhead squat, snatch, pull up, toe to bar, muscle up, handstand push up, handstand walk.
If you are a competitive or a frequent CrossFitter and find you are having trouble achieving and maintaining any of these three positions then it is a good time to seek some help. Work with your CrossFit coach or a physiotherapist who understands the complex movements that are required. The key point in injury prevention is to never sacrifice your form to have more weight on the bar, or to move faster through a workout! If you feel like your form is falling apart on any of these movements then something must be modified. You are either dealing with a flexibility issue, have too much weight on the bar, or your movement pattern needs some work. The coach or therapist should be able to determine if your problem is related to mobility, stability or motor control, and then provide you with the tools you need to remedy this problem. As physiotherapists, we want to not only keep you doing as much as possible in the gym; but to get you back in the gym moving better, faster and stronger than ever before, with minimal chance of injury!
PHOTOS BY PATRICIA DOIRON
Dr. Kara Otuomagie AGE - 33
OCCUPATION - CHIROPRACTOR IT'S SUNDAY MORNING. WHAT ARE YOU HAVING FOR BREAKFAST? A mojito! A mojito smoothie that is – coconut water, an avocado, fresh mint, one pear, one lime, spinach, agave nectar to taste and vegan protein powder. WHEN YOU'RE HEADED FOR A WORKOUT, WHAT'S ON YOUR MUSIC PLAYLIST? I have an eclectic selection of music that I quite enjoy listening to because my husband produces electronic music and DJ’s as a past time. My summer anthem has been on repeat and took me to the finish line of my last half-marathon race. Camelphat – Cola is a must download. Throw in some gangsta rap and the playlist is complete #dontgetittwisted IF YOU COULD ATTEND ONE FITNESS EVENT THIS YEAR, WHAT WOULD IT BE? I absolutely love the Lululemon Seawheeze half marathon! By far, it is my all time favourite race! However, if the "powers that be" brought back the Nike Women’s marathon – that would be a close contender. WHAT'S THE BEST THING ABOUT THE FITNESS SCENE IN YEG? The camaraderie of all the athletes in the YEG fitness community is phenomenal. There is an energy and vibe that is so contagious - you are always bound to have a smile on your face before, during and after a workout keeping you wanting to get your sweat on even more! IF WE WERE BUYING, WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING? Where? I’ll be there in a Prosecco. WHAT'S YOUR ONE GUILTY PLEASURE? As a foodie, I chat about restaurants and food on a regular basis with my patients especially, when I’m looking forward to treat day (once a week!) Salted caramel ice cream with Skor bits is pretty delicious! WHAT'S ON THE TOP OF YOUR BUCKET LIST? My patients are always sharing with me what is on their bucket lists’ and they have done some pretty amazing things: the ‘majors’, 24 hour tough mudder, seal fit, solo death race and all things ultra and extreme! I am constantly inspired by their dedication, hard work and perseverance given they are seeing me because of an injury. I honestly would love to ‘do it all’ and right now I’m working towards the New York half-marathon and coming back from my own knee injury. WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO ON YOUR NEXT WINTER VACATION? My family travels to Jamaica every winter – it was the first place that my husband and I travelled to as a young couple 11 years ago. We loved it so much that we convinced our parents to do the same, and they loved it so much that it became a yearly tradition - we also had our wedding there last year! WHAT'S IN YOUR GYM BAG RIGHT NOW? (Takes a look). Gum, running socks, deodorant, Barre socks, a pair of APLs, Victoria Secret Chantilly Lace and Vanilla body spray, IOS lip gloss, running shorts, combination lock, hair brush, athletic tape, scissors, lacrosse ball, first aid kit, headphones, swim goggles, swim cap, Sage muscle melt, peppermint halo and pain release. WHAT WORDS DO YOU LIVE BY? No leave, no transfer. YEGFITNESS
Inches of Scars BY JEFFREY HANSEN-CARLSON
hen I was 23 I paid a plastic surgeon $7500 to liposuction my chest. My man-boobs were huge. I was starting to finally grow insecure with my obesity. Little did I realize that this surgery was one hell of an expensive Band-Aid. As a child and in my youth I was active. I played every sport and always made time, even as a little guy, to ride my bike. I loved my bikes. My mom was an avid runner and my family was always on-the-go and healthy. Everything about how I was raised would lead you to assume I would never let go. Never become very fat. I began to let go after high school. There was not a situation – a stressor – it was one bad choice that led to two, and three, and then suddenly a new lifestyle. A new series of habits. The weight piled on. Yearning for the freedom that the bicycle gave me in my childhood I bought a new bike and thought I’d ride myself skinny and fit. Just like that. I figured now that my man-boobs were gone I would have just enough confidence to be seen exercising again.
PHOTOS BY ARCHIVE FOUR FORTY FOUR PHOTOGRAPHY
When you are almost 300lbs there is nothing enjoyable about exercise. That bike ride lasted 10km and it did nothing but fill me with despair. My response to that bike ride was to let myself go even further. Let myself get even fatter. I was lost. The year following that defining bike ride was the darkest year of my life. I hated who I had become. ** When I was 25 I had had enough of me. It was at this time I came to terms with what I had known all along. It was my diet. But realizing I had to get a grip on my diet was not a defining moment. Accepting I was afraid and I needed help was. I decided I needed help and in more ways than just a meal plan. I needed someone to go through this with me because I was scared. I knew I would have to eat less, and better. I knew I would lose weight, I knew that if I stuck to my guns I’d be a success story. The transactional part of losing weight was a simple proposition. What I didn’t know then, and what I was afraid of but could not come to terms with, was what the transition would actually mean. What would this reinvention do to me, to my relationships, and my body, to my mind, and to my soul? What were the unintended consequences? I didn’t know the answers to any of these questions but something inside me seemed to suggest that what was going to unravel would be profound. Maybe painful. Extreme weight loss implies a dramatic reinvention of a person. Inside and out. ** I found a nutritionist. I made appointments and canceled them. I rescheduled them. I would sit in my vehicle in her parking lot and look through her clinic window and cry. Then leave. I sat on that tipping point full of fear for quite some time. One day I worked up the courage to sit down with her and make the commitment. I shook hands with the devil. I made a commitment to succeed during the transactional part of my weight loss but I sensed I was only getting half the sto-
ry. I was so out of touch that I convinced myself that my stubbornness could outwit whatever I was not being told. Hardly. I met with her every single week for 18 months. I lost weight every week with diet alone. I went from 300lbs to 151lbs. I was an exceptional dieter. Everything I put in my mouth was accounted for. It was an empty and lonely journey. There is no doubt that the devil gave me the tools I needed to lose weight. But the devil also was setting me up to be a broken man. ** At 151lbs I looked sick and when I realized I was going to be kicked to the curb to fend for myself I feared what I would do with this dietary freedom. I was scared again. The transactional part of my weight loss journey was drawing to a close and I was being forced to confront unknowns on almost every dimension of my life. With no more weight to loose I did exactly what I feared I would do. I binged. I starved myself. I bought a bike and rode not for enjoyment or good sport, but to extremes as penance. I look back at the period after I had successfully lost the weight and I can tell you I developed an eating disorder. It was destructive. My life was nothing but extremes that I could not control. You think I felt bad about myself when I was fat? Nothing compares to the guilt the morning after gorging on a 10,000 calorie dinner. My biggest fear then and still today is becoming obese again. ** I knew how to eat like a fat person. I knew how to diet. I did not know how to be normal. I had success hiring a nutritionist to lose the weight. I thought maybe I would try to hire another one to bring normalcy to my life. So, I tried. My first meeting with this individual was absurd. She talked about the Canada Food Guide. I got up and left. I needed someone who understood what I had just been through. Someone who cared more about how I felt about myself than what the Canada Food Guide said. I needed someone that saw that wound on my soul.
I struggled with this eating disorder for much longer than I care to admit. It was not until I met a lady at a wine and cheese party that things began to change for the better. She was a holistic nutritionist. She changed my life. She saw my struggle in a very real way and worked with me to stabilize the extremes. Her human approach and willingness to not talk about only what I ate and how much I exercised assured me that she truly appreciated the emotional side of the weight loss journey. Without her I would still have a debilitating eating disorder. I needed a counselor and she was it. ** I have told you I had liposuction on my chest because my man-boobs disgusted me. I have told you I could not lose weight by myself. I have told you that I had an eating disorder as a skinny person that I needed help to control. But there is more. Every relationship I had at the beginning of this story changed. I have different friends. I love different people. How I see my family and how they see me is not the same. I did not set out to create this sort of destruction, but it happened as a natural consequence of my reinvention. Some of this I am dealing with now. It’s hard. It’s very real. You go to my house today and you will see nothing of who I was. No pictures. No old pairs of fat jeans. I can’t stand my wedding photos. I have deleted me from my own story. This tears my mom apart. It hurts her every time I say it. My mom is a wonderful woman but she and I were closer, and she knew me better, when I was obese. ** Significant weight loss can ruin marriages and tear families a part. It’s like I did a bait and switch on my wife. My view is that who she fell in love with and married simply does not exist anymore. He should be as dead to her as he is to me. But is it fair? The pace of my change and the magnitude of it put a tremendous amount of pressure on my wife to keep up and adapt. She did a heck of a job but what she ended up with is not what she signed up for. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if she wishes I was not who I have become.
** When I was fat the guys I was friends with were not threatened by me. I was good company, confident, fun and easy to get along with. But, if we were just beasts and it was mating season, I would not be a threat. They knew it. I knew it. It was not discussed. And in no way did it underwrite bad friendships. It’s the nature of things. That too has changed. Men treat me much differently now. Women, believe it or not, do too but to a much lesser extent. I have seen obese men roll their eyes at me. Give me very suggestive body language that demonstrates they are not necessarily jealous but not necessarily impressed by the confidence I have in my body. If they only knew my story. ** There were defining moments as I entered the working world and developed my career that are etched in my mind. For good and bad. One of my first jobs in my late teens was at a credit union. I was a teller. I was fat. I remember enjoying chocolate one day, it was tasty, maybe I indulged a bit… To this day I will never know how he rationalized it but a senior manager at the bank pulled me into his office and told me I needed to do something about my man boobs, they were ‘distracting’ him. The biggest insecurity I have ever had was called out by a grown man - to a kid - in an office, during work hours. Within a week I was fired. Coincidence? Who knows. ** As I chipped away at university the job I held was at a warehouse. After working my ass off I was noticed, transferred to another location and promoted to management. I was thrilled. But, my new boss repeatedly used my obesity against me. He would do it in such cunning ways that to this day make me think he is a man full of hate. It was at this warehouse that I met my wife. We quickly became an item and people noticed. This manager openly questioned why my wife-to-be would fall for a fat guy like me. ** Fast forward. Since being humiliated. Since being fired. Since having my obesity used against me in the workplace I am in a very healthy and successful
place. I walk into a boardroom and people take notice. I lead a meeting and things get done. I have an idea and people mobilize. People want to know what I think. I find today that I need to remind myself of how vulnerable I once was in the corporate world. It was not long ago I was a fat nobody. Now I am a fit somebody. The mechanics of that link I can’t define but I lived through the transition and I can tell you it is real. ** It was not until nearly five years after I had lost the weight that I decided I trusted myself enough to invest in my new body. I looked fit with clothing on; I looked gross with my shirt off. I had skin sagging all over the place. I needed that fixed. On December 3rd of 2013 I had a tummy tuck. It was $32,500. I wanted it. I paid for it. But the agony of that recovery literally took me off my feet for weeks and weeks. I grossly underestimated the trauma of the surgery and how long it would take my body to recover. The bruising and swelling around my entire torso was so severe it drained to my legs and settled there for months. On multiple occasions I had to have a large needle stuck into my abdomen to draw stale blood out. The volume of swelling was so significant my body simply could not keep up. The drains and internal bleeding were both relentless. I seeped and oozed constantly for months. I would stand in the shower barely able to wash myself as blood ran down my legs and soiled the water in the tub beneath me. And I would cry. I would brave being seen in public only to discover my pants and shirt were soaked with my body’s filthy fluids. And I would cry. The agony of laughing, opening doors, sitting up, rolling over, even going to the washroom would bring me to tears on a daily basis. It was a bloody disgusting mess. It was not until one year had passed that I looked in the mirror and could assure myself that the money, the pain, the suffering may have been worth it. For the year immediately following my surgery I had a gut wrenching feeling that this surgery, my second cosmetic surgery, was also a waste of money. ** Now, as much as I wish my story ended
with the 40-inches of scars I paid dearly for, it does not. It’s a conscious decision for me every day to maintain the new me. Out here – fantastic. In here – there is a disconnect. It hurts. It still does. If I truly understood what losing all that weight meant, I don’t know if I’d do it again and that’s a humbling thought. But it’s one that needs to be shared so those with the resolve to reinvent themselves and lose the weight understand the end-game and don’t struggle as desperately as I did. ** I am very proud of what I accomplished but I don’t want to kid anyone. Losing the weight and becoming fit is the easy part. Healing your heart, and mind, and soul takes a lot of work. Today I eat properly because it feels good to. I ride my bike because the moment I turn those cranks I feel like a little kid again. I treasure my health and fitness more than most because I have felt what it’s like to have neither. I brought my body and my mind to hell and back and I never want to do that again. ** The contemporary discussion on weight loss is broken. We would rather talk about fruits and veggies than a mom who barely knows her own son. We would rather talk about lean proteins than the cost and trauma of cosmetic surgery. We would rather talk about good carbs than eating disorders. We would rather talk about nutrients than a jeopardized marriage.
It’s no wonder we are getting fatter. We have it all backwards. ** There is a dark side to weight loss and until we confront what is real, until we quit suppressing what is uncomfortable and might hurt to talk about, we are not facing the issue. There is way too much talk of exercise and fruit and vegetables and not nearly enough talk about people. ** I believe the extreme weight loss journey unfolds in two parts. The first is the transactional part; it’s easy. I don’t care how fat or unhealthy you are, at a primal level you know exactly what you need to do to improve your health. Eat right, use your body. Don’t smoke. Lay off the beer. It does not need to be more complicated. The second part, the emotional part, of the weight loss journey and this is where the rubber meets the road. I have 42 inches of scars from hip to hip and under each pec. But the scar I have as a result of my extreme weight loss that was slowest to heal is the one I have inside.
BALANCING WEIGHT TRAINING, CARDIO AND YOGA BY BREE GUHLE Master Joga Coach, RYT and Robbie Holmes; Owner of Alligator Alley Personal Training When it comes to developing a fitness routine, a common question that comes up is how to do I get everything in? How can I possibly get weight training, cardio and yoga into one week of exercising? Sometimes it seems like there arenâ€™t enough days in a week to accomplish all of these movements. Luckily there is a simple and effective way to bring each of these styles into one amazing full body workout. Instead of splitting your days doing weight training one day, cardio on Wednesday and yoga whenever you get a chance, combine them all into one! As a yoga and joga coach I inquired with trainer Robbie Holmes to get some advice on strength and cardio training. We both share the common thought that we don't need to sit on a treadmill for an hour, or do yoga for an hour but rather combine all movements into one full body circuit. Circuit training allows you to gain strength and mobility while still getting your heart rate up achieving the aerobic aspect of a cardio workout. We can add in strength moves from joga and a simple recovery movement at the end to give your body some love after working hard. Robbie believes a well-balanced training program focuses on improved balance and posture, muscular strength and endurance, aerobic endurance, core strength and flexibility.
PHOTOS BY JEFF KELLY
ARCHIVE FOUR FORTY FOUR PHOTOGRAPHY
HOW TO PERFORM: Pick a kettlebell you can perform all 6 drills without setting it down. Start lying face up on the floor and perform 1 getup to a standing position. Proceed to execute the next 4 drills adding 1 rep with each drill. Once you get to exercise 5, perform 10 reps. Without rest, perform the same series on the opposite side. Rest for 1min and repeat for 6-10 sets. 1. KB getup x1 2. Standing Windmill x2 3. Clean Squat x3 4. Snatch x4 5. Hovering Table to Crouching Down Dog x10 Finish with a recovery Quad Hip Stretch to 90/90
Robbie and I collaborated to make you a workout combining all three exercise types.
1. KB Getup From a lying position face up on the floor bend your leg and position your foot flat on the floor from the side at which you choose to hold the KB. Position the KB vertically over top of the shoulder locking out both the wrist and elbow. While maintaining a rigid arm, drive the elbow of the free arm and the heel of the bent leg into the floor in order to lift the torso upward. As you rise, quickly slide and anchor your free hand posterior laterally behind your hip with the fingers facing away. Once upright and stable, drive the heel of the bent leg into the floor to extend the hips upward. As you rise, pull through the free leg and place your knee on the floor and donâ€™t forget to square up your body so it is facing directly forward. Last step is to push yourself to a standing position using your legs as your stabilize the kettlebell. To get back down, follow the same steps in reverse focusing on control and a smooth tempo. My biggest tip for this drill is to not take your eyes off the kettlebell. Always look up and focus on whatever tool you have in your hand the entire time, this will help with control, posture and stability. 40
2. Standing Windmilll Begin with your kettlebell in the overhead position directly above your shoulder. Position your feet slightly wider than hip width and the opposite foot from the working arm externally rotated. Start by slightly rotating away from the externally rotated foot. Simultaneously start hinging from the hip reaching downward along the externally rotated leg with the free hand. At this point be conscious of your own personal range of motion and begin to pull yourself back up using the same vertical path and rotating back to the starting position. Be sure to focus on looking at the kettlebell at all times in order to maintain stability and control.
3. Clean Squat Begin by grabbing the kettlebell that is placed between your feet. With an internally rotated grip, drive through the legs upward while pulling the kettlebell in a vertical path toward your chest and shoulders. As you extend fully through the hips, quickly pull the elbow back under the kettlebell and catch in a racked position. Finish by dropping into a deep squat as soon as possible making your way back up into a standing position.
4. Snatch Begin in a standing position, holding onto a kettlebell midline with your arm fully extended. Proceed into a dynamic hip hinge, pulling the kettlebell back through the upper thighs as the upper body hinges down toward the floor. Accelerate back up, pulling the kettlebell in a vertical path close to the body. As it passes around eye level, give a slight punch to reposition the kettlebell on the backside of the wrist and continue to an overhead position.
5. Hovering Table to Crouching Down Dog Come down onto your hands and knees, heels lined up behind sit bones, knees hip width apart, wrists shoulder width apart, directly under shoulders. Push into toes and lift knees two inches off of the ground. Pull pubic bone towards your spine, pull front ribs towards back ribs, and lengthen chest forward, pushing into your hands. Once our full body is activated, take an inhale, as you exhale quickly behind to bring ribs back towards thighs, as you inhale move back into your knee hover. Move quickly with your breath through this movements 10 times. Repeat circuit 6-10 times.
After completing your full circuit, perform a recovery stretch. QUAD HIP STR E T C H • right knee is bent at 45 degrees and aligned with top right corner of mat • left knee is bent at 45 degrees towards the left side of mat • right sole of foot presses against left inner thigh, left foot is in plantar flexion and as close to the left glute as possible • take right thumb to right shoulder, extend elbow and reach hand towards ceiling, externally rotate right shoulder and place hand on floor behind torso • take left thumb to left shoulder, extend elbow and reach hand towards ceiling, externally rotate left shoulder and place hand on floor behind torso (this ensures proper distance between the hands without force, thus proper shoulder mobility) • weight is in both hands *fingertips pointing away from the body • inhale, press into hands into floor to open pec line and count 1,2,3 • exhale “F” sound, squeeze left glute, press left hip forward and press left knee into floor as though squishing a grape. Simultaneously press right foot into inner thigh (the idea is to get into the lateral side of the left hip flexor) repeat x5 90/ 90 • open up both knee joints to 90 degrees, dorsiflex both feet • lengthen spine to upright position and rotate on axis of spine until nose and sternum are aligned with right knee. • bring weight into right hand and manually push right knee down with left hand until the whole femur bone and knee are on the floor • walk hands forward, keeping head and chest up, shoulders away from ears • spread fingers wide and press forward with hands, lifting chest and simultaneously anchoring right bum cheek into floor. Imagine you're squeezing a grape between your front knee and the floor. • breathe Switch legs and start back at quad/ hip stretch.
ESSENTIALS FOR OUTDOOR WINTER WORKOUTS
If you love going for outdoor runs, winter can be bittersweet. On the plus side, the scenery is stunning and the cool air is refreshing. On the minus side, the slippery streets and frigid wind can leave you running straight for the nearest treadmill. Need help owning the elements this year? We got you. Check out these must-have pieces of workout gear you're going to need if you're exercising outside.
A Featherweight Vest Patagonia Women's Nano-Air速 Light Hybrid Vest $179.00 The Nano-Air速 revolution accelerates. The Nano-Air速 Light Hybrid Vest delivers for high-exertion athletes and cool-weather missions by combining 40-g FullRange速 insulation, a flyweight shell fabric and an airy, wicking knit for warm, stretchy, breathable performance.
A Stay-Put Hat TrailHeads Ponytail Hat for Women $24 Whether you run with a high pony or a low one, this TrialHeads lightweight beanie had can accommodate your needs. With two different ports for your ponytail, plus reflective accents and superior stretch, you're guaranteed a safe and comfortable run.
Gloves That Do It All Lululemon Run With Me Gloves $28 A large reflective strip on the outside of these gloves stands out to cars if you're running on the streets in low light. The company-patented Rulu fabric is both super soft and stretchy for a comfortable fit. Plus, they snap together for easy-to-find access in a purse or gym bag.
A Multipurpose Top Nike Therma Sphere Element $85 The Nike Therma Sphere Element Men's Long Sleeve Running Top features lightweight, warm fabric that helps retain body heat while remaining breathable so you don't overheat. A half-zip design lets you adjust your coverage and breathability as you heat up or cool down.
Upgraded Sweats UA Rival Fleece Joggers $49.99 With a fuller cut for complete comfort, these durable cotton-blend fleece joggers from Under Armour trap heat to keep you warm and dry outdoors this winter. Ribbed waistband with an external drawcord and articulated knees with pockets are great for a run in the River Valley or from the gym to your cold car.
The Right Tight MEC Mercury Thermal Tights $80 Technical tights for running or other fast-paced winter activities. A soft microfleece interior adds warmth, while ergonomic panels keep the shape trim. Sharp reflective elements let your whereabouts be known.
A More Stable Sneaker New Balance 990 $165 A lightweight leather upper with mesh gives this classic women’s running shoe its inimitable look, while a combo of premium cushioning and stability deliver the feel that keeps you coming back. It’s more breathable, sports a lace keeper to keep the tongue in place, and a has a new streamlined “N” logo.
A Travel-Ready Shell Arc'teryx Trino Jacket $270 A versatile, streamlined jacket for high-output training in cold, windy and mixed conditions, the Trino combines windproof, water resistant, breathable GORE® WINDSTOPPER® with the air permeable stretch performance of Atreus™. Composite Mapping Technology maximizes each fabric’s benefits. GORE® WINDSTOPPER® is utilized on the chest and tops of the arms for focused weather protection, and Atreus™ is used under the arms and on the back to optimize temperature regulation and freedom of movement. 44
Bulletproof Core Training BY ANTHONY HARDER L2 Fitness I think that itâ€™s safe to say that the majority of people still believe that the "core" refers to our anterior (front-side) abdominal muscles, more specifically the rectus abdominis, obliques, and transverse abdominis (TVA). I believe that we need to expand the definition of the core into two major functions: 1. The core is used to stabilize and position both the thorax and pelvis and assists in providing internal pressure to our system. 2. The core acts as a way for us to transfer force between our lower and upper body. These definitions vastly expand the list of core muscles involved and forces us to look at core training from a movement perspective rather than from each individual muscle. Further to that point, we have to understand how the joints of the body are supposed to optimally function in order to support these movements. The joint-by-joint approach, first laid out by Michael Boyle in Advances in Functional Training, describes how each joint of the body requires either stability or mobility to optimally function. Working from the bottom up that looks like the following:
Our bodies are stacked alternating between mobility and stability. If we lack mobility in one joint we will try to make up for the lack of movement in the joint above or below. Vice versa, if we lack stability at a joint our bodies will try to find stability in neighboring joints leading to decreased mobility. But wait! There's a catch! Each joint requires some level of stability in order for the core to optimally perform. For example, someone may perform a deep squat. At the end range of their squat they feel a sharp pinch because their femur (hip bone) has slid forward into the hip capsule due to joint laxity (instability). Performing mobility exercises to an already unstable system would seem counterintuitive. Each joint requires a certain level of stability for mobility to be beneficial. Thus enter the age of anti-movement core training.
Ankles - Mobility Knees - Stability Hips - Mobility Pelvis and L-Spine - Stability T-Spine - Mobility C-spine - Stability Scapulae - Stability Gleno-humeral - Mobility
PHOTOS BY CHAN RIN
VIVID RIBBON PHOTOGRAPHY ON LOCATION AT L2 FITNESS
1. Anti Extension Exercises
The goal of this exercise category is to resist extension of the spine, think arching your lower back. This is a foundational anti-movement skill required for building a strong, efficient squat and deadlift. If we can maintain a stable core position we will be able to efficiently transfer power from our lower body to our upper body. Master the basic and progress only when ready. PLANKS Works on both anti-extension capabilities of the core, plus stability and mobility at the shoulder blade and shoulder joint respectively. Progressions: Plank, Tall Kneeling Ball Rollout, Valside Body Saw, Ab Wheel Rollout. Cues: Keep sternum tucked to pelvis, squeeze glutes, keep a neutral spine and breathe.
2. Anti Rotation Exercises
This exercise category includes any exercises that resist rotation of the lumbar spine. You will notice quickly that your glutes have a great deal of responsibility for stabilizing your lower back. If they are not engaged it will be nearly impossible to maintain a neutral pelvic position. A N T I R O T A T IO N H O L D S These work by developing stability at the spine and the shoulder girdle. Progressions: Supine Hold, Tall Kneeling Hold, 1/2 Kneeling Hold, Standing Hold. Cues: Keep rib cage down, shoulders down and back with arms extended, squeeze glutes, stay tall keep a neutral spine throughout and breathe. CHOPS & LIFTS Works on stability at the hips and lumbar spine but promotes rotational mobility at the t-spine. Progression: Tall Kneeling, Inline Half Kneeling, Split Stance, Standing Dynamic. Cues: Keep hips square, pause with thumbs at chest height between each movement, stay tall and keep a neutral spine throughout and breathe.
3. Anti Lateral Flexion Exercises
This exercise category is aimed at preventing lateral flexion or "side-bending". C A R R IE S Works on postural alignment, full body stability and grip strength. You can get really creative with carries as long as good posture is maintained throughout the exercise. Progression: Anti-Lateral Flexion Cable Holds, Suitcase Carry, Farmer Carries. Cues: Stay upright with the rib cage down, do not cross over feet, stay tall and keep a neutral spine throughout and breathe.
4. Glute Activation Exercises
Your glutes have a direct impact on lumbo-pelvic stability. More often than not a lack of glute engagement results in poor core dysfunction. That being said, poor core engagement also results in underactive glutes. Rather than debating whether one is the cause of the other, just train both. Focus on the quality of contraction rather than the load moved, and try to prevent activation of supporting hip structures. Example: quads, hamstrings, QL, TFL, etc. Exercises: Glute bridge holds, lateral band walks, bird dogs, side bridge clamshell holds, banded hip thrusts, frog pumps.
At the end of the day core training is rather simple. You want to ensure that a stable posture is emphasized over increasing exercise difficulty, and you always want to remember to BREATHE.
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