CrossFit and HIIT keep my clinic busy! Not just with functional improvers, but often with injuries. So are you legit?
I am a big fan of Crossfit and High intensity interval training, as they promote a challenging and functional training enviroment.
The activities often push you to the extremes, be it power and speed, range of motion, or endurance.
But all too commonly I see athletes who aren’t mechanically ready for these extremes (see are you Fiit for HIIT).
For example, if your mechanics won’t let you execute a half-decent squat without compensating, leaking stress, is it sensible to do 100 explosive box jumps at speed?
It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.
Granted, the perfect squat for example is hard to achieve and you shouldn’t mollycoddle people out of exercising. But it is vitally important to consider your limitations of flexibility, strength and control so you can work on them before leaping into the extremes.
So please, know your abilities, avoid injury and be legit to Crossfit!
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Alex Horne Chiropractic, too legit to quit.
The popular ‘high intensity interval training‘ workout boasts many benefits, but are you ready to HIIT it?
If you, like many, jumped straight into it, just consider the advice below which I offer my patients, courtesy of Joe McConkey (Boston Running Centre).
You’re ready for running HIIT workouts if you have:
- Been running 4-5 times a week for at least 4 months
- Regularly thrown in runs at paces 60 to 90 seconds per mile faster than crusing pace.
- Been completing a weekly long run of at least 50 minutes.
In terms of strength and flexibility, you should be able to:
- Hold a squat position for 90 seconds
- Grab and touch your heel to your butt whilst standing, feeling only a minor quad stretch.
Start with one HIIT session a week, and build up to no more than two in a 10-day period.
This advice is tilted towards runners so isn’t for all HIIT sessions, which can be adapted to any sport. But just think twice before you train intensively, and make sure you are FIIT enough.
Alex Horne Chiropractic, back with a vengance!
It appears ‘tis the season to slip a disc in London. Our Chiropractors have seen a string of disc injuries recently, relating to rowing and leg press machines.
Any position which creates high or repetitive forces to the lower back whilst bent forward puts your discs at risk of prolapse or ‘slipping’, such as with rowing or leg press.
Bear in mind that you could be doing damage before you feel pain, especially if you’re not stabilizing yourself correctly. Over time, cartilage fibers lose their strong crisscross pattern and become aligned, making them weaker and more at risk from tears or ‘slips’ (Check out more about discs).
Warming up properly with some gentler body weight exercises will help guard against these injuries, however, technique is fundamentally important for both activities. If you’re not sure how to do it, seek professional advice and in the mean time don’t push them too hard!
Leg press especially starts you off in a more difficult position, squats are safer because you will begin in a safer posture, i.e. standing.
If you need help or advice, you know where to find me.
Alex Horne Chiropractic – Don’t let it slip!
Many back pain sufferers know that catching 40 winks can be tough for your back.
“But why can rest make me sore?”
Between your vertebrae, there are discs made up of fluid and strong fibres helping to distribute pressures on the spine, for example during sitting, bending or running.
During sleep, the load on our spine is relieved, giving our discs a window in which to heal and hydrate. In the morning a typical spine is 1-2cm longer* (this can be up to 5cm in space!*) as hydration causes them to expand.
These lofty heights are lovely, however more fluid in the disc creates a pressure increase. Bending in the morning produces approximately four times more strain than during the day**, putting you at a greater risk of injury.
Discs have a poor blood supply, so rely upon rehydration and protein replenishment to stay healthy. Of all cartilage in the body, they wear down the fastest*, so ignore them at your peril!
We are largely immobile when asleep, so the facet joints, which are designed to move, can also feel stiff on waking. (Problems aren’t usually caused, but accentuated by sleep).
“So what do I do?”
Mornings are quite a delicate time. Your discs need to depressurise without being subjected to heavy strain or big stretches, but, at the same time, your facet joints like to be stretched out.
The best advice is to slowly expose your back to you body’s weight before subjecting yourself to any stressors. Continue reading Make a stand in the morning!
Should we be drinking like fish?
It’s a simple answer, and you won’t even need to keep checking the back of your underpants!
Feel the natural cycle of your body (and the cosmic energy of the universe BRO!) and just knock it back when you are thirsty.
Put it this way, drinking to the exact ‘recommendations’ of medical sources, 1.6; 2 litres (female; male) [NHS 2013] won’t hold true between Ronnie the pensioner and Terry the bodybuilder.
An exact figure would weigh up; water taken up from food/beverages versus water lost from climate, energy expenditure, diet osmolarity, body mass and individual thermoregulation variants.
But your body does this for you with a thing called THIRST! The problem of dehydration often comes when we don’t pay attention to those signals, especially in hot weather.
So it can be helpful to make sure you drink a certain amount per day, especially if you’re busy, but too much water will simply result in more excretion within the hour.
Coming soon: How to hydrate for your marathon (drinking like a fish part 2)