Monday, 20 May 2013

STR Videos

I found this series of videos on the application of STR to a wide variety of muscles when we did STR on my course. They were really helpful then, and having just watched a quick snippet now, they still are quite helpful.

Mostly passive techniques, it's a really helpful reminder of how to access and stretch some of those more difficult muscles to get at and into, let alone remember how to open up.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Does K-Tape really work?

Kinesiology tape seems to be one of those mysterious practices that evokes either mild disbelief or resounding, almost evangelical enthusiasm. Having spent a little time learning how to apply the tape and using it in one or two situations, it is strange how it seems to work. Personally I've used the tape to reduce knee pain and help treat a wrist problem. I've also used in on swollen foot to good effect and sore shoulder. So I have to say I'm quite enthusiastic about the potential benefits K-tape offers.

A case study on shows some very impressive results using K-tape on a serious bruise. The pictures say it all!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Can you touch your toes?

I mentioned is a previous post, albeit with an exclamation mark, that I've long since given up on trying to touch my toes. Let me tell you the whole story and explain why I'm working on regaining the ability to get closer if I can.

Years ago I hurt my back. Can't remember what I did, but it hurt. I even passed out one night from the pain of trying to stand up straight. Nothing structural showed up on x-rays, and to be honest I think the doctors gave up looking for a solution. With rest, exercise and help from a chiropractor things improved, but it took a fairly long time, and I've had bouts of back pain but never as bad.

About 6 years or so later I was in Chicago on a conference and got up one morning and decide to stretch a little. I reached up to the ceiling and down to my toes, and ping, my back pain returned. It was agony, and for the next few days I walked gingerly and took painkillers and did what I could to sort things out. I vowed not to try to touch my toes again!

The problem is, bending is a significant part of daily life. A lack of flexibility can be a real hindrance, more so when it comes to playing sport. And I know I lack flexibility. I can no longer do the kind of deep squat I could do years ago, and I want to try at the very least to stop the slow drift towards being totally inflexible, maybe even reverse it!

Enter Gray Cook. Having done an excellent weekend on dysfunction with  Chris Newton at NLSSM, I bought Cook's book The Athletic Body in Balance. Reading the book opens up a whole new thought process about functional movement and flexibility. Realising that I need to work on my flexibility is not a new realisation, and doing Cook's movement screening was a salutary and sad confirmation that I'm not as balanced and flexible as once I was. My complete failure to be able to do a deep squat, even a fairly shallow one really, suggests it's time to get serious about flexibility. But I don't want to risk my back!
Havg done an excellent weekend on dysfunction with

Progression is therefore key. If you are like me and struggle to reach your toes comfortably, then you need to find your starting point and go from there. In his book, Cook, shows a simple toe-touch progression that starts with your toes elevated by an inch or two. It's a surprisingly interesting and eye-opening exercise to do, and surprise, surprise i can actually touch my toes without having to run to the medicine cabinet and look for ibuprofen and and ice-pack!

So, if you're interested in reading a really good book about movement, balance and conditioning, then have a look at Gray Cook's book. It's even endorsed by Andy Roddick!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Ideas for wellness in the workplace

If you're looking for ideas for promoting wellness in your workplace, then you might like to have a read of this article for inspiration.

Somme of the ideas are very simple, like setting boundaries about email, others require a bit more effort and maybe even using an outside provider.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Useful stretching website

Not just useful for all the information about stretching, there's stuff about sports and rehab too. But when it comes to stretching, this a pretty comprehensive website. Videos, even software, are all available to view or purchase through the site.

One useful freebie is the stretching tips e-book. More of a leaflet, or monograph than a book, it's a helpful run-down of the important fundamentals of stretching. There are sections on specific sports and injuries, and a section for professionals.

I have two of Brad Walkers books on my shelves, one on injuries and one on stretching, which are both really helpful. The website is an equally valuable resource, maybe even more so with the videos to watch so you can check the form of a stretch.

Visit the website and explore!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Hip extension and running

Interesting piece about the role of hip extension in running gait over on the Kinetic Revolution blog. Not just useful for those who run, but also for anyone who could do with working on getting those extensors firing!

Also useful for reminding runners that they should not ignore core stability.

From a therapy perspective there's quite a lot to be gained too. For example, when you find a tight rec fem, do you just treat that or do you go on to check hip extension too? How often do you find that tight flexors are coupled with weak extensors or misfiring glutes? Many clients will spend the vast proportion of their day in a flexed position. They sit at a desk, sit on the sofa, and even curl up in bed. So, working on hip etension may be a key component of their treatment.

The post also has a couple of videos for hip flexor stretches and glute activation exercises.