YouTube Update for Hips(ters)

Morning, Folks! We’re back on the YouTube Channel today, this time with a new routine to develop some strength in your hips. This routine has proven particularly effective for treating hip pain, as well as knee pain and the dreaded low back pain. We recommend you give this routine a whirl two times weekly, preferably after your main working sets on training days or on your recovery days. Enjoy!

Restore/Thrive Turns 1

The year that was. And what’s to come.

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74 blog posts. 32 YouTube Videos. 2,178 visitors.

363 days ago (the blog’s official b-day is 5/28/2016) we launched this site with one goal in mind: to speak directly to you, internet reader, and help guide you on the path to a better life. Whether you had an injury to rehab or were looking to get bigger, faster, and stronger, we’ve been putting down work to help you achieve your goals.

Year 2 promises to be bigger and badder: The gym opens. The first self-assessment and performance guide goes live. We can’t wait to share it all with you.

In the meantime, we thought it would be fun to link to a couple of our most popular posts from year one. If you’re a new reader, consider this a primer on what we’re all about. If you’ve been following all along, feel free to share with friends and family who you care about.

#1: “Why We Train”-Be Strong to Be Useful.

#2: “Are You Ready to Run:?Part VII”-Whether you run or not, if you sit more than 3 hours per-day, master this standard.

#3: “Treating Concussions”-The new standards for treating concussions.

#4: “Why I Hate Physical Therapy”-The genesis of the blog and the gym.

#5: “Research Update”-A convincing case for personalized medicine and hope for those of us trying our best to avoid dementia-related illnesses.

A big “Thank You!” is owed to all of you who’ve read, watched, and subscribed to our blog and YouTube channel. We hope you all have a great holiday weekend and spend a moment or two in silence to remember and be thankful for the good men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who paid the ultimate price for us to make the most of every day of freedom they purchased on our behalf.

YouTube Update 5/23/17

Helping the whole world run faster and hurt less.

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Morning, Folks! The beat goes on and we’ve got a great foot and ankle exercise up on our YouTube Channel for those of you looking to improve your running, be it for distance, or a field/court sport. This will be especially useful for you if you’ve been told you have flat feet or need an orthotic insert in your shoes to run, train, play without pain. Remember, your arches are not weight bearing surfaces. If they’re flat, they’re weak. And just like flabby arms, it is within your reach to shape them up.  Get after it and have a great day!

YouTube Update

A few thoughts on training

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Morning folks! We’ve got another post up on our YouTube channel. Today we’re talking training. Specifically, how do you improve your conditioning? While there are several ways to do it effectively, the approach we review today is one of the most simple and effective we’ve found to apply. Enjoy!

Are You Ready To Run? Part XIII

Crossing the finish line in our series.

The last stop on our journey to transform your body, your routines, and your running performance is here. If you’ve been hard at work to meet the following standards, by now you should have a solid hold on what your actual strengths and weaknesses are.

In cased you missed it, here are the first 11 standards we’ve discussed to date:

The Standards

#1-Neutral Feet

#2-Flat Shoes

#3-A Supple Thoracic Spine

#4-An Efficient Squatting Technique

#5 Hip Flexion

#6 Hip Extension

#7 Ankle Range of Motion

#8 Warming Up and Cooling Down

#9 Compression

#10 No Hot Spots

#11 Hydration

#12 Jumping and Landing

Specifically, can you jump and land with good mechanics? In essence, the running motion is a series of single-leg mini squats each time your foot hits the ground. The ability to maintain good posture and alignment in this instance has direct correlation to the health of your ankles, knees, hips, and low back.

Similar to our Squatting Standard, landing from a jump should demonstrate your ability to create a stable mid-line, produce torque at the hips, and control your foot and knee position as your feet hit the ground. If your feet turn out and your knees collapse in when you land from a jump, it’s a good bet your body does the same thing when you run. And there’s no amount of tape, arch support, or pain medication that will keep you from shredding your patellar tendons and grinding your knee cartilage to dust if you run like a duck (toes out) or a pigeon (toes in). Mastering good jumping and landing mechanics takes a huge injury risk off the table and helps you develop better strength through your posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings) as well as your feet and ankles.

Passing the Jumping and Landing Standard is a two part test. First, can you jump and land with both legs, maintaining good foot, knee, and spine position?

Test #1: Jumping Onto A Box

Starting Position:

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Sit back in a quarter squat position, loading your hip and hamstrings, keeping your mid-line engaged and back neutral.

Jumping

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Forcefully extended your knees and hips, pushing off the ground while your arms swing forward and upwards.

Landing

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Good landing position looks exactly like good squat position: your shins are vertical, your back is straight, and your knees are out with your feet pointing straight ahead. From another angle:

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Fault #1 (Knees collapsing inward)

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If you land like this, please stop it, while your ACL’s are still intact.

Fault #2 (Feet turned out)

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If you land like this, not only are you collapsing your arches, but once again you are creating an abnormal amount of torque in your knees that will grind those joints down at an exponential rate.

Test #2: Single Leg Jumps

Our second jumping and landing test will tell you if you’ve got good power in your lower legs and enough strength down there to control how your foot contacts the ground. Additionally, single leg jumping is the perfect antidote for weak feet and ankles, as well as a quality way to warm-up before you run.

Jump from your hips and minimize your knee bend

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Keep neutral position from head to toe

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Land on your forefoot and let your heel kiss the ground before hopping up again. Each landing should be performed with the foot straight and knee in a neutral position

Fault #1

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Arch collapses (foot turns out), valgus knee (inside of foot).

If you are struggling to meet these standards, I suggest two things. First, re-visit your squat form and begin a daily routine of squatting to ingrain good alignment for your lower body and trunk. When you can pass the Tabata squatting protocol we outlined, you should be ready to start training your jumping and landing mechanics.

Second, if you passed this standard, as mentioned above, both of these variations are great exercises to practice on a weekly basis. Maintaining good jumping and landing mechanics is a sure-fire method to help you run your best. And plugging in 30 squats and 30 single-leg jumps for each leg is an awesome way to prime the pump of your lower body muscles before you head out for your next run.


COMMENT RULES: If you are a real person, leave your real name. We are not a clearing house for solicitors so don’t do it here. Criticism and questioning is fine, that’s how we all learn and grow. Personal attacks, name calling, and the like ARE NOT COOL-if we catch you doing it you’re gone. Other than that, have at it folks! We love hearing from followers and newcomers alike and will try to reply to as many comments and questions as we can!

Are You Ready to Run? Part XII

The dietary staple your runs can’t do without

As we continue on in our series to make you the best version of your running self (we’ve put up enough posts on this topic that we’re rivaling the number of Air Jordan models that have been released), we’re going to talk about the simplest and most effective way to enhance your running performance.

Quickly, a review of the previous standards and some links for those of you who need to catch up:

The Standards

#1-Neutral Feet

#2-Flat Shoes

#3-A Supple Thoracic Spine

#4-An Efficient Squatting Technique

#5 Hip Flexion

#6 Hip Extension

#7 Ankle Range of Motion

#8 Warming Up and Cooling Down

#9 Compression

#10 No Hot Spots

#11 Hydration

A few questions for you:

Are you hydrated? Yes or no? It’s an easy but essential question to answer.

Are you drinking a minimum of 2 to 3 quarts of water each day?

Do you know how to check your hydration status?

How much performance are you leaving on the table by being dehydrated?

Some True Facts Related to Hydration

A 2 percent drop in your optimal hydration level can decrease your VO2 Max power output-the physical capacity that allows you to maintain your race pace from start to finish-by up to 11%!

You sweat out 3 cups of water through your feet every day. The average human loses 3 liters of water per day just perspiring, breathing, and peeing.

Water is the base of the aqueous environment inside of your body that allows a host of functions to occur: oxygen transport (fairly important if you want to breathe while you run), protein resynthesis (for muscle, tendon, cartilage, ligament and fascial repair), and hormone and antibody transport, to name a few. If you’ve got creaky knees from degenerative cartilage and you’re not on-point with your hydration game, you are accelerating the process of grinding your knee cartilage into a fine dust.

When you’re dehydrated while running, your body steals water from your muscles to keep your brain functioning-helpful in terms of keeping you from running into traffic, not so helpful in terms of keeping your muscles functioning properly. Chronic dehydration leads to muscle breakdown and a general loss of energy required to power that running motor of yours.

We’ve talked at length about tissue health and mobility. When you lack adequate hydration, those tissues get stiff, matted down, and stuck together. That quick roll of your ankle as you attempt to side-step a pothole in the sidewalk turns into an ankle ligament tear when those tissues aren’t properly hydrated and supple.

Application

A few simple practices will help you stay hydrated and optimized for running greatness.

First, a simple rule: you need electrolytes to absorb your water. Before you race out a buy the jumbo case of Gatorade at Costco, let me offer an easier, more cost-effective, and healthier approach. When you’re slamming back your Camelback water bottle throughout the day, add a pinch of salt. Otherwise that water will run right through your body instead of being absorbed by your tissues. I prefer Nuun hydration tablets, to add a little flavor to my water. If I don’t have any handy, a pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt (just about any brand) does the trick. When you’re eating food, salt your food and drink pure water.

Second, don’t count on the color of your urine to tell you if you’re hydrated. Spend $10 bfor a 100-count of Rapid Response Urine Dipsticks (RRUD). Dr. Stacy Sims has done in depth research into the hydration needs of male and female athletes, and has some specific markers to look for on your RRUD’s:

  • Look at the Specific Gravity (SG) marker:
    • Fully hydrated status is 1.005 to 1.015
    • When you approach 1.020 you’re 1 percent down from normal hydration status and approaching the threshold of a dramatic drop in performance
    • When you read 1.025, stop and drink up!
  • Leukocytes (LEU) indicate how well you have recovered from your previous training day. No change in color tells you no leukocytes are present. If leukocytes are present, the reagent strip will turn purple, the darker the more leukocytes are present. If this is you, hydrate, eat well, get some extra sleep, take some extra vitamins and minerals, and take note if your resting heart rate is higher than normal. It’s a good idea for you to take the day off from training if you find yourself in this situation.
  • Protein (PRO) will show up on the reagent strip in a tint of green. This is normal in the hours following training, but if the strip is green when you retest the next day, you need a lighter day of training or a day off all together.

The basics are the basics for a reason. If you don’t like drinking water, try the hydration tabs. If you refuse to drink water and think you’re immune to the effects of dehydration, we’re going to have to ask you to hand in your Adult Card. Handle yourself. Top-notch hydration practices are essential not just for running but to operate day to day like a normal human being. Drink up!


COMMENT RULES: If you are a real person, leave your real name. We are not a clearing house for solicitors so don’t do it here. Criticism and questioning is fine, that’s how we all learn and grow. Personal attacks, name calling, and the like ARE NOT COOL-if we catch you doing it you’re gone. Other than that, have at it folks! We love hearing from followers and newcomers alike and will try to reply to as many comments and questions as we can!

 

YouTube Help for Runner’s Knee

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Hey Folks! Voice (just about) fully restored, we’re back on the Restore/Thrive YouTube Channel with some tips for fixing that hot, steaming, dreadful Runner’s Knee Pain. As usual, I vetted this one on myself first as I was getting ready for my last Spartan Race. It is tried and true. Check it out here and have a great day!