Whether you are new to the gym or a long term veteran, the squat should be a key part of your weights program. The squat is one of the best exercises you can perform to develop total body strength, power and overall athleticism. However, there are still some common myths, misconceptions and overall confusion amongst gym goers which can dispel some from performing this exercise and reaping the raft of benefits the squat provides. Part 2 of this blog series will hopefully drive away some of those myths and get you squatting in no time.
Should knees go past your toes?
This is probably the most common myth between gym-goers. Someone somewhere along the way has probably told you that if your knees go past your toes, then you are risking hurting your knees.
So let's break down the facts.
It is true that when your knees go past your toes there is an increase in load through them, but this was found to be roughly a 28% increase. Your knees are very robust and can handle this increased torque quite easily. The real problem actually comes when you DON’T let your knees travel past your toes! When research later looked into the effects on the rest of the body when you don’t let your knees go over your toes in the squat (Fry et al. 2003), they found that the shear load through your lower back actually increases by over 1000%!
So the real question is this: Would you rather increase knee stress slightly with a full squat, or would you rather increase lower back stress significantly by not allowing your knees to pass your toes? Probably best to let those knees travel past your toes...
Take Home Messages:
If you have been having issues with your squatting (including knee, hip and low back pain) and would like to get your technique assessed - get in touch with the experts at Physio Fit! Call us on (08) 7226 9901, email email@example.com or book online below!
Whether you are new to the gym or a long term veteran, the squat should be a key part of your weights program. The squat is one of the best exercises you can perform to develop total body strength, power and overall athleticism. However, there are still some common myths, misconceptions and overall confusion amongst gym goers which can dispel some from performing this exercise and reaping the raft of benefits the squat provides. The following blog series will hopefully drive away some of those myths and get you squatting in no time.
Should your toes be forward or angled out?
You may have been told that you should be able to squat with your toes facing forwards, whereas you may have also been told that you should turn your feet out slightly. So who should you believe?
...The answer is both!
There are pros and cons to each foot position. A pro of squatting with your toes facing forward is that is requires a greater amount of hip and ankle joint mobility, which is going to be great for your overall joint health long term.
However this can also be a con, in that a lot of people do not have the required mobility, so squatting with their toes facing forwards places undue load through areas such as the lower back and knees which try to compensate for this.
Toes Angle Out
A pro for turning your toes out slightly (about a 30° angle) is that it opens up the hip and ankle joint and takes the emphasis off mobility slightly. It also gives us a slightly a wider base of support and places some muscles at a greater mechanical advantage, meaning we can lift more weight (who doesn't want to lift more weight, right?).
A con is that because it takes out the greater need for mobility, those specific joint ranges aren’t getting trained so the mobility can deteriorate further over time.
Take Home Messages
If you have been having issues with your squatting (whether it is to do with foot position or not), get in touch with the experts at Physio Fit! Call us on (08) 7226 9901, email firstname.lastname@example.org or book online below!
The most common question asked by clients about injury management is "Should I use ice or heat?"
Although the answer isn't always 100% clear cut, here is a helpful guide to assist you at home!
Should I use an ice pack or ice spray?
What about a heat pack or heat gel?
Again there is no specific right or wrong, but for home use, I would recommend sticking to your ice pack and heat packs. Other forms of ice and heat such as sprays and gels may be useful in different environments like out on the sporting field or in the gym, but when you are at home looking after an injury, nothing beats the simplicity of an ice pack or heat pack.
Acceptable forms of heat and ice:
Ice pack, ice spray, bag of frozen peas, heat pack, hot water bottle, wheat bag and heat gels!
Should I ice for 20mins on and off? What about 10mins every 2 hours...? Does the heat pack stay on until it cools down or get taken off after 15mins?
To be honest, research does not support any one given way of doing this so as a health professional I always advise that you just be consistent. Icing/heating for 10mins once every 3 days will probably not do much for your pain or discomfort. So where you can, apply ice or heat every few hours throughout the day if appropriate and work to fix the cause of your pain while your ice pack or heat pack looks after the immediate symptoms.
If pain and swelling still persists after a few days or you are not seeing significant improvement within a week, it is best to get the injury thoroughly assessed to get you back on track to a full recovery.
We are always here to help, so get in touch - whether that is calling our friendly team on (08) 7226 9901 or by emailing email@example.com!
If you're involved in football (soccer), then you've probably heard of the FIFA 11+ warm up aimed at injury prevention, but did you know that there is also a version for kids?! A recent study looked into the 11+ for kids to see whether it could reduce injury rates of young football players aged between 7 and 13 years of age - and it did!
Young players are at risk for injury in football and other sports that involve quick changes of direction, collisions, and falls. We know that the biggest predictor of injury is a previous injury so it is so important to prevent these from occurring, especially at a young age.
The 11+ Kids Warm Up
The 11+ Kids program takes about 15-20 minutes to complete, and consists of seven different exercises: three for unilateral, dynamic stability of the lower limbs (hopping, jumping and landing); three for whole body and trunk strength/stability; and one exercise on falling technique.
So what were the results?
The 11+ Kids groups suffered 48% less injuries, and 74% less severe injuries. It could have been even better too as the injury rates further decreased with increased program compliance. For example, the risk of injury was reduced by half in the high compliance groups (1.5 sessions per week) compared to the low compliance group (.6 sessions per week). Just as importantly, the coaches who took part in running the program with their teams rated the quality of the program as high and worth the time and effort!
If your child is struggling with injury or you'd simply like to get them assessed to prevent any future injuries, get in contact with the team at Physio Fit! Call us on (08) 7226 9901 or email any questions through to firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the most common things I hear as a physiotherapist working with shoulders is that my patients have previously been told that they have bursitis - an inflammation of the bursa between their acromion (the tip of the shoulder) and the humerus (the upper arm bone). Often these patients come equipped with a scan on their initial appointment and have previously tried EVERYTHING - they've had cortisone injections (which help for a little while before the SAME PAIN returns some time later), they've had massage, physio, chiro or a blend of all of these where often they have received soft tissue work around the shoulder aimed at easing their pain but nothing has succeeded long term and they are resigned to a life of shoulder pain and limited activities!
Sound familiar? Then this 5 minutes of reading will be an INVALUABLE INVESTMENT in yourself!
BUT, and trust me when I say this, you don't have to accept defeat and put up with shoulder pain whilst giving up doing what you LOVE!
Your shoulder pain can definitely be fixed! Likely you are still unsure whether to believe this or not, so let's start by discussing the anatomy of the shoulder and, from there, how effective, deliberate and individualised treatment can be your saving grace...
ANATOMY OF THE SHOULDER
As you can see in the diagram above, the only attachment of your arm to your body directly is via your shoulder blade! AND there isn't much room between the upper arm bone and the acromion, when you take into account a whole lot of tendons passing through that space as well. What this means for the bursa in your shoulder is that, at the best of times, there's not a whole lot of space for it! And to add to this when you raise your arm you decrease this space even more!
So to combat this and prevent your bursa from being continuously caught between these two bones your shoulder blade will rotate upwardly, creating more space and thus allowing you to have the incredible shoulder range you do!
It's impossible to discuss the shoulder without mentioning the rotator cuff, which is made up of 4 small muscles wrapping around your shoulder to form the shoulder joint capsule, but all you need to know for now is that their job is, ironically, not to rotate at all but rather to centralise the upper arm bone in the shoulder socket throughout all ranges of movement.
SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?
What this means for you is that the SOLUTION to your shoulder pain lies in the function of your shoulder blade! To overly simplify this, if you can improve the upward rotation of your shoulder blade throughout shoulder movements then you will increase the space for your bursa to move freely and, because the bursa is no longer being constantly jammed between the two bones, it will settle down and become pain free! And if you continue the rehabilitation work to improve the upward rotation of your shoulder, your bursa symptoms will be gone for the long haul!
This is why we say bursitis is a symptom and NOT a condition!
As you now understand, your bursa is inflamed as a result of being constantly squished between your arm bone and your acromion BECAUSE your shoulder blade is failing to complete its role correctly, which we aptly name scapular dsykinesis; now there's a real diagnosis!
If you haven't guessed by now, the reason most treatments you've tried have failed is because they are purely aimed at your bursa and thus provide only short term relief because, no matter what you do to calm down the bursa, if you then go and continually aggravate it by jamming it between those two bones it will eventually come back! Often sooner rather than later too!
It makes sense doesn't it?
We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below and if you'd like to find the long term solution to your shoulder pain then contact us on (08) 7226 9901 or book online!
We love to help people just like you to return to doing what you love, PAIN FREE!