Monday, 24 June 2013

Are your hamstrings really tight, or is it somewhere else?

I remember the moment when it suddenly struck me that not every short muscle is a tight muscle. I can't give you an exact date and time, it wasn't quite that sort of epiphany, but it was a jump in my understanding of soft tissues and how to treat them.

I was reminded of this today when I came across a short article over at Kinetic Revolution looking at the issue of tight hamstrings when the real cause lies the position of the pelvis. An anteriorly tilted pelvis can make the hamstrings feel tight when in fact the issue possibly lies with the flexors pulling the pelvis forward and lengthening the hamstrings.

Treating the hamstrings as tight could lead you to think that they need stretching, but that only exacerbates the actual tightness in the flexors. Release the flexors and the hamstrings will sort themselves out in all probability.

The implication here is that when you test the hamstrings, then you should be looking at the pelvis not just at how far the client can bring the hip into flexion with a straight leg. And of course you should also test the hip flexors.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

My Clinic

I blogged a while ago that I was opening a new clinic, and today's the day I'm making a start. I've been offered some space at the Robert Clack Leisure Centre in Dagenham. I'm of there this afternoon to sort out the room, take some advertising, and generally start to get a feel for the place. Not having done this before I'm not sure what to expect, but I'll give it a go!

My plan is to try and organise myself around some fixed times (Tuesdays and maybe some Saturdays) to start. That way I'm not having to go in for a treatment one day and then another, but I can do several back-to-back. If Tuesday works out to be a bad choice I'll have to review it, but again we shall see.

Setting a price per session is easy when you don't have to tell anyone and you don't have any clients! It gets a bit more challenging once you start signing people up. So I've picked my figure based on what I think it should be and what I would be prepared to pay. I'm also planning on offering some discounts and maybe special offers along the way.

My other thought is to offer some open events, like a free chat about stretching and flexibility, or maybe some short taster sessions. I've also done some CPD on K-taping, so I might offer that too.

I'm also planning a clinic at home using a rather nice looking log cabin in the garden rather than the lounge. I've set out the base and have gravitated towards a building. I just need to order it, build it, and get power to it. I think my wife will be quite pleased to get some of the equipment out of the house!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

COPA Show: Physicool

I spent the morning at the COPA Practice Show today. I met some really helpful folk and came some interesting stuff too. From software to CPD, there was an good mix of products and information available. Not the biggest show, but worth the visit.

When I've sorted out all the bits and pieces I collected, I'll blog about what I discovered.

One product that caught my eye was a cooling bandage. Physicool is a great, possibly better, alternative to strapping ice to an injury. The bandage is reuseable and rechargeable too. I tried on out, and while you don't get the instant sense of cold you get with ice, it develops over the course of ten minutes or so.

The big advantage of the bandage is that it covers a larger area and it provides compression as it cools. well worth a look.

Check out the website. There were some special offers available at the show, and I'm sure they are open to discuss prices if you're interested in buying in volume.

Monday, 3 June 2013

New Clinic Opening

Well, I'm finally getting to open my own clinic. Well a room at a local Leisure Centre to be precise, but it's a place to start! I don't know how much business it will generate, and I'm not solely relying upon it, but it's a good opportunity to get underway in a wider setting.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Lunge with a twist!

I like lunges as part of a dynamic warm up and even as part of a body-weight circuit for training purposes. My balance and flexibility isn't great, so I find that not only does a lunge provide a good dynamic exercise, it also helps me develop better balance too. Adding dumbells increases the resistance element, and adding a twist or even swinging arms can be great for dynamic warm up. But which way do you twist, over the front leg or away from it? you can do either, but there are some important considerations.

I was watching a short video about a range of different lunges (forwards, backwards, to the side and at 45 degrees) used to warm up before running. Someone raised a question about the impact of adding a twist for clients with an ACL injury history. Apparently twisting to the same side as the forward leg places the least amount of stress on ACL. Worth knowing if you have someone with an old ACL injury and they either come with an issue that shows up because they are doing a forward lunge with a twist, or if you recommend the exercise for some reason.

All this assumes that you can perform the twisting lunge without losing control or balance. If you can't do that, then better to learn how to do a simple forward lunge without falling over first before progressing to the more challenging twist. Otherwise you might be adding stress through poor control.