Category Archives: Exercise

IT Band- What a Pain!

The IT Band syndrome is a typical overuse injury that usually occurs to runners and bikers.  Running and biking can sometimes cause an overuse injury, such as, IT band syndrome, even in the most advanced or seasoned athletes.

IT Band

The IT Band, short for Iliotibial band,  is the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin.

IT Band
© Phil Date | Dreamstime Stock Photos
Do you have a Tight IT Band?

If it’s tight there will be pain and swelling on the outside of the knee, sometimes mistaken for a knee injury.

Always ask a doctor, but one way to tell is to bend your knee at 90 degrees and if the outside of your knee hurts then it may be IT band.

Some causes of IT band syndrome
  • uphill or downhill running
  • worn out shoes
  • poor running form
  • weak hips
  • knee turns in slightly when you run
 What to do?
  • Decrease mileage until it feels better
  • Change running route so that change directions
  • Try not to run on a slope or uneven surface
  • Apply ice and heat
  • Roll on a foam roller from hip to knee
  • Stretch- see below

Two of the best stretches that I have seen are  below:

  1. Dr. Geoffrey Alan Gray IT Band Stretch 
  2. Stretch- Stand with legs crossed and with “affected” leg behind. Lean toward unaffected side and hold.  Then Repeat.  If it’s the IT band then you will feel this stretch immediately
Notes

I am not a doctor, please see your doctor to determine the extent of your injury and for the treatment best for you.

Updated 4/23/2014 to correct misspellings.

3 Way to Tone Your Butt

Tone Butt

* Bridges w/ yoga block

1)  Lie on your back with a yoga block or something similar between your knees, The block should be several inches wide, so as to get the proper alignment of your hips and knees.

2) With your head flat on the mat, raise your butt off of the ground one vertebra at a time (peeling off).  Make sure not to lift so much where only your head and neck are on the floor.  You should still have your shoulders planted on the ground.

3)  Staying lifted, extend 1 leg out straight (yes, with the block still between your knees).  Make sure to keep your hips even and lifted.

4) Hold for 5 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.

5) After lifting with both legs, roll back down from your upper back , rolling through your spine to your lower back until you are back to your starting position.

6) Start again with from the beginning and repeat at least 5 times.

* Resistance Band Kick-Backs

1) Get on all fours making sure your shoulders are over your hands.  You can also drop to your elbows, like a plank.

2) Grab the resistance band’s ends or handles with both hands.

3) Put one foot in the center of the resistance band.

4) Kick back or push back with your foot then bend your leg back to the starting position and repeat by extending your leg for at least 10 reps.

5) Make sure your hips are levels throughout the movement and draw your navel into your spine to protect your back.

6) Repeat on the other leg.

* Hip Lifts on Stability Ball

1) Lay your back on the stability ball or any other surface. Your hips and legs should be off of the ball in a bridge (like a table top)

2) Without rolling back on the ball or moving your upper back…sink your hips down toward the floor and then lift back up.

3) Repeat for several reps.

4) Make sure your knees are in line over your toes and about hip width apart following that tract throughout the movement.

Variation

1) Lay on your back with your legs on the stability ball and your arms out to the side.

2) Put the soles of your feet on the ball with your legs bent.

3) Without moving the ball, bridge your hips up and down tracking your knees like explained previously.

4) Repeat

Notes:

Please consult your physician before doing any exercises and if something doesn’t feel right or hurts then don’t do it!

 

3 Things You Should Never do as a Baseball Player

Baseball

I love baseball, mainly because my son plays and partly because I grew up in a household where my family loved, watched and played many sports.

Over the years, during my undergraduate, post- graduate, and continuing education studies, I learned that when training for a specific sport you have to consider the energy system you want to train and sports–specific exercises that are appropriate.  This is my love and specialty and hopefully I can provide you with some insight.

Other Sports

It is my opinion  that other sports will help you excel in many areas, even on the baseball field.  But if you are doing certain exercises or participating in certain sports to help specifically with baseball or pitching …please note the following:

 Never Do These Things if you think they are going to improve your baseball skills:

1.  Long Distance Running or Endurance Events–  Long Distance running is great to develop endurance ,not only cardiovascular endurance but muscular endurance.  Baseball players do not need endurance to the extent that long distance running provides and developing muscular endurance will decrease speed and velocity . Here is a study to collaborate this: From the Journal of  Strength & Conditioning  Research (2008 Jan;22(1):230-4. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31815fa038)  “For baseball players, athletes who rely heavily on power and speed, conventional baseball conditioning involving significant amounts of cardiovascular endurance training should be altered to include more speed/power interval training.”

2.  Swimming–  Not only is this an endurance event but the motion will put extreme stress on your shoulder and can cause impingement.  According to the the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (1994 Dec;20(6):307-18) it concludes that the”repetitive nature of swimming can predispose the shoulder to mechanical impingement and microtrauma, which may lead to laxity, rotator cuff fatigue, and subsequent secondary impingement.”  Also in Sports Health.( 2010 Nov;2(6):519-2) states “that because of the great number of stroke repetitions and force generated through the upper extremity, the shoulder is uniquely vulnerable to injury in the competitive swimmer.” Swimming is fun and the water can be used for resistance to build strength for short periods of time- just be careful of overuse injuries.

3.  Only Play Baseball – Young players need to develop other skills like, agility, simply by playing…play tag, kickball or anything that helps you run and change directions quickly. National Strength and Conditioning Association exercise specialists suggest that “children between the ages of 5 and 8 should be exposed to a variety of movement patterns, which include arm and leg movements performed from a stationary position, jumping moves and exercise that promote spatial awareness. Skill mastery is enhanced between ages 9 and 13. Exercises that involve running through a maze of cones, moving in figure eight patterns and jumping and landing in a controlled manner are suitable for young teenagers, age 13 to 16.”  Early specialization leads to early peaks. Players improve their sport-specific skills more rapidly than those who participate in a wide range of activities.  However, those who develop deeper and broader athletic skills have a better foundation when they ultimately specialize.  While those who specialized early hit a plateau, the others improve as they dedicate more time to enhancing their sport-specific skill.( Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, May 2008)

Notes

Please consult your physician before participating in exercise or sports activities.  If you would like specifics on how to improve in your sport, I would love to hear from you!