Showing posts with label corrective exercise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label corrective exercise. Show all posts


How can running be good for your knees?

New research reported in the NY Times shows that running can actually be GOOD for your knees. In my experience, most runners experience knee pain and problems as a consequence of any of these three factors listed below. If you experience this type of pain, address these issues before they turn into a bigger problem.

Faulty alignment or movement patterns - The most common issues are feet that turn out and knees that move inward (knock knees). Your body is designed to optimally absorb the impact of running when your joints are properly aligned. If they aren’t, you will cause undue wear and damage over time. If you sit for long periods of time, I’ve got the corrective exercises and stretches to undo muscle imbalances that this causes at

Bad shoes - shoes need to be replaced every 3-4 months or 300-400 miles because the midsole loses cushioning. If you buy last season’s shoes at a discount store or website, the clock has been running on them, the midsole has started to dry and lose cushioning. Another factor is whether the shoe provides the right level of stability for you. Do you need a neutral shoe, a stable shoe, a motion control shoe? A knowledgeable salesperson or trainer can help guide you to the right shoe.

Prior injuries - This includes impact injuries, sprains, strains, twists, and the cumulative impact of the above. If you’ve had physical therapy, you probably need to continue some version of the program to prevent reinjury.

Contact me if you need more help, and visit for more information.


Posture and Movement Assessments

I have a confession to make. From the minute I first see you, I am watching your posture and the way that you move and looking for way to improve you. Are your feet turned out? Do your shoulders round? Or are they elevated? Is your head forward? Does your back arch? Do your knees move in our out? If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, you have muscular or structural imbalances that need to be addressed in your exercise program. In many cases, certain exercises should be avoided to minimize risk of injury, and other exercises should be included to help correct the imbalance. For example, someone with rounded shoulders should avoid overhead shoulder exercises and strengthen the muscles that pull the shoulders back.

Posture can be addressed statically, basically in a stationary position, and dynamically, while moving. In addition to casual observations of movement, several assessments allow us to do a more focused evaluation. Here are two of the most common:

Overhead Squat Assessment: This consists of a squat with arms held above the head. Here, I'm looking for whether the heels lift, feet turn out, knees move in/out, low back arches or rounds, or the body leans forward.

Single Leg Squat Assessment: In the single leg squat assessment, look for whether the feel flatten, knees move in or out, or the hip shifts. These observations indicate imbalances in the calves, thigh muscles, back, core and shoulders that should be addressed in training.


Stand Tall: Corrective Exercise for Your Upper Body

by Cary Raffle

One of my clients called it "The Wall Street Roll." You know the look, shoulders roll forward, they may seem shrugged, in some cases the head is forward and the back of the hands face forward instead of towards the side of the body.

Some of this may be inherited, but most of it comes from sitting hunched over a keyboard all day. Your shoulders get pulled around in front of you and they just don't go back to where they belong. Down the road, you might experience pain or injury as a result. Common problems include rotator cuff injuries, tendonitis and even headaches. At a minimum, you're not really working the right muscles when you train in poor postural alignment.

The corrective exercise strategy for this posture in pretty straightforward: stretching the muscles that pull the shoulders forward and strengthen the muscles that pull them back. Click here to link to a mini program that you can incorporate into your exercise routine. It is very important to use proper form with these exercises, so please pay careful attention to the notes in the program and let me know if you need some help with them or want a more in depth and personalized program.

Stay away from exercises that are going to make this worse. Earlier editions of this newsletter have covered the "ban" on behind the neck pulldowns, upright rows and behind the neck shoulder presses. Do these exercises over time, and you can kiss your rotator cuff goodbye. You generally also want to avoid incline chest press, front and side raises and overhead shoulder press, depending on the severity of the posture. In some cases, biceps curls - especially hammer curls - can cause pain if the biceps tendon is inflamed where it attaches to the shoulder. If you missed this report or want a refresher, scroll down.

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