Intro To Running: How To Start, Pain Free!

            Going for a run is one of the most common forms of exercise for a multitude of reasons. Whether it’s for stress relief, weight loss, competition or just enjoyment, we have friends, family, and clients that run on a regular basis. So we thought we’d offer some insight on how to approach running and ways to avoid injury so you can get the most out of your run, no matter what inspires you.

One of the main things we want to impress upon you is the fact that everyone is or has the potential to be a natural born runner. But running has to be treated like any other physical activity, you have to train for it. If you’re someone who goes running periodically, meaning you take months off at a time, and in between you randomly go for an aggressive 3 mile run, then it shouldn’t surprise you when your feet and shins hurt the next day and your hips feel like they’re locked in a vice. If you hadn’t done bench press for 2 months I doubt you would go into the gym and attempt your last PR. And if you did you’d be paying for it. So running is no different. If you want to be a healthy runner you need to put in the time to practice and prepare your body for the demands you are asking of it. This includes taking time in the beginning to acclimate your body and giving it time to get strong enough to handle the 3 or 5+ mile run you might just be casually trying to do every few weeks or couple of months right now.

But regardless if you are a casual runner or someone who starts every day with a morning run, we want to offer some tips for keeping those joints working smoothly and those muscles operating at their optimal capacity.

If you break down the movement of running it’s pretty straightforward: it’s the constant flexion and extension of multiple joints while balancing from foot to foot. It may not feel that way when you’re moving so quickly through the motion but feet, ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders are all repeatedly flexing and extending. In order to meet the demands of this locomotion it helps to prep your body and check the mobility of each of these joints. A great way to check this is by performing a bodyweight squat. This will test your ability to comfortably flex and extend both your hips and knees, as well as test the flexion of your ankles, which is referred to as dorsiflexion.

Some questions to ask yourself are: can you comfortably perform a proper squat? Are you able to maintain hip tension and stability through the entire range of the squat? Are you able to maintain balance and keep your whole foot on the ground with center of gravity in the front of the heel and an arch in the middle? Being able to do this will ensure that all of your energy is being spent on an effective run, and not wasted on trying to keep your balance or hold yourself up due to a lack of range of motion or hip drive.

With regard to mobility the last two things you want to consider are back tension and your ability to have proper shoulder extension. Sitting all day often leads to low and mid back tension and poor posture, which can easily affect your ability to rotate through the trunk and create core stability while running. This will most likely reveal itself with pain or stiffness in the low and mid back as you run.

While performing a dozen or so squats is a great way to warm up and check your mobility, also consider adding in a couple minutes of jump rope. This will get your feet and ankles ready for your run, warm up your balance, and give you a chance to engage your back and lats for good posture, as well as working on maintaining a neutral hip position with engaged glutes. Once you know your glutes are fired up and you have good mobility through your joints, do several short distant sprints and jogs to get everything primed and ready, and then start your run.

In no way is this a comprehensive list of all the things you should or need to be doing. It is more of a guideline as to how you should be thinking about running and how you approach getting yourself in the healthiest physical state to have successful and pain free runs. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or set up a consultation to discuss any particular obstacles or issues you might need help with. Thanks for reading!

Why You Have Shoulder Pain | Corrective Exercise Specialists

Although shoulder pain is not as common as knee or low back pain; a large percentage of us are effected by shoulder pain and can’t seem to figure out why. Most pains you feel are stemming from a muscular imbalance somewhere in your body, and if you let it go for too long it can lead to more serious injuries later on down the road.

The Anatomy of The Shoulder Joint

To avoid confusing you, I’m going to use simple terms to describe the basic functions of the shoulder joint. This will help you figure out which motion you are restricted in.

The shoulder is a “ball-and-socket-joint”; just like your hip. There are A LOT of muscles crossing, inserting, and originating from the shoulder joint; which makes it more prone to injury. If you have different tensions coming from different sides of the shoulder; you are more likely to experience some sort of shoulder discomfort.

Here are a few basic functions of the shoulder you will want to test out and see which one you lack mobility in.

    1. Overhead: Possibly the most commonly restricted motion of the shoulder; is to simply raise both arms straight overhead, without compensations. Compensations that may happen would be arching your low back to get your arm up past your head, or shrugging up your traps. If you have full range of motion and functionality; you should be able to raise both arms overhead; in-line with your ears WITHOUT compensation.
    2. Abduction (Lateral Raise): Having the ability to raise your arms straight out to the side without excessively shrugging up or arching your low back shows functionality of the shoulder.
    3. Flexion (Front Raise): Having the ability to raise both arms in front of you without compensations of your low back arching, or excessively shrugging up, also shows functionality and mobility of the joint.
    4. External Rotation

 

Note: these are not all the functions of the shoulder joint; but these are the five that you will want to assess to determine which range of motion you lack mobility in.

Most Common Muscular Imbalance Causing Pain

As a society, most of us lean towards a more sedentary lifestyle which includes sitting at desk for hours on computer, texting all day, driving excessively, and never holding our posture up.

This leads to our posture getting effected, and commonly the shoulder joint gets rounded forward and gets stuck in this position. Being stuck in Internal Rotation causes you to lose most of the functionality of the shoulder joint; also leading to weakness in the Rear Deltoids, Rotator Cuffs, and excessive tension within the Front Deltoid.

This will push everything inside the shoulder joint to move forward and lose the ability to bring the arms overhead, to the side, front, and back.

Where to Start…

The answer will be different for everyone, but a great place to start would be to work on loosening up your front deltoid by doing shoulder and chest stretches daily; along with using a lacrosse ball or foam roller on the restricted musculature surrounding the joint.

Strengthening the rear deltoids, external rotators, and working on posture daily would be a great way to start decreasing the pain you feel.

If you don’t know where to start; feel free to drop us a question below and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours!

 

 

 

 

Diets don’t work, DO THIS instead.

 

In today’s fitness industry, there are thousands of different types of workouts, diet plans, meal plans, and methods of nutrition thrown at you in every direction. It’s nearly impossible to dig through the pile of misleading diet ads, claiming they are the next big thing, when all we really want is the correct way to eat, so we can get the body we desire.

Innovative Health and Fitness is here to clear the air, and shine a new light on nutrition. We don’t preach or push certain diets or fads on our clients, we speak the truth, backed up by science. We believe in a flexible way of eating, not diets. Diets are short term solutions that lead to metabolic damage, and do not sustain long term results.

Let’s introduce you to tracking your calories and macronutrients. There is only one scientifically proven way to lose weight, and that is consuming less calories than you are burning throughout each day. Whatever diet has you on a non-individualized meal plan, is lying to you and ruining your metabolism. “Dieting” needs to be very individualized and specific to each individual, as many people have different metabolisms, lifestyles, and health issues that require different amounts of calories and macro’s.

What is a calorie? A calorie is the amount of energy found within the food you are consuming.

What is a macronutrient? A “macro” is the nutrients that make up calories, proteins, fats, and carbs.

1gram of protein = 4 calories

1gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories

1g of fat = 9 calories

With that information I just provided you, you will be able to achieve any goal you desire, and change your body composition into something you have always dreamed of. Whether the goal is to lose body fat, gain muscle, or maintain your current physique, you can achieve this without going on a “diet”, by just restricting calories, maintain calories, or adding more calories to your daily intake.

Here’s what I want you to do, I want you to download a free app called MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal will set up your calories based on your age, activity level, and goals. Ditch your old habits of going on a diet for the summer, losing a lot of weight fast, and gaining it all back by the time the New Year hits. This summer, do it right. Maintain your health and physique year round, and improve on it each year.

Track your weight weekly (if this doesn’t bother you, of course), and decrease, increase, or keep calories the same depending on what your weight is doing.

I can’t promise you that the app will give you the most accurate form of calories, as it is a computer, and does not know your actual metabolic rate. If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jake via the contact form below, and he will set up your calories for you. 

Get off the diet, change your life, and be flexible with what you eat!