Monday, December 28, 2009

Still Doing SLR's?

The Effects of Quadriceps Contraction on Different Patellofemoral Alignment Subtypes: An Axial Computed Tomography Study- JOSPT April '09

I know, sometimes the athlete is in so much pain & you have no choice. But if you think you're improving PF kinematics, think again. This study took a look at various types of patellofemoral alignment types & how quadricep contractions influenced them. The study comes to the conclusion that we functional A.T.'s knew all along...that it's the track, not the train.

There's a lot of cool stuff you can do with on ground function if you just can't get the athlete pain free weight bearing. I'll be giving some examples in future posts.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Great Book!

It's 18+ years old now, but I still find myself dragging it out for rehab ideas.

"Childrean & Sports Training" by Jozef Drabik, PHD, 1991.

Doc Drabik is a Polish P.E. professor who spent plenty of time in the trenches. From page 1 you can tell he knows what he's talking about. A lot of times now I find myself scratching my head & wonder if some of these academicians ever spent one day in a gym or classroom.

This is a cheap book that will give you tons of ideas.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Two N.J. Legends

Took a professional day this Friday to attend the MF Track & Field Clinic in Atlantic City, N.J.

I drove down with my friend Gerry Nisivaccia. Gerry holds a high school record for being the only NJ wrestler to win 3 consecutive state championships. He missed winning a forth when he dislocated an elbow during a match. Stuck his arm between his two legs, snapped it back into place, then finished the match with one arm. His opponent was so grossed out he couldn't concentrate and lost the match. However, the tournament officials would't let Gerry continue in the tournament. Coach Nisivaccia went on to be one of the most winningest high school wrestling coaches in NJ history.

The reason we drove down was to hear our friend Dave Costello speak. Dave is the boys/girls track coach at Viera high school, Fla. Retired, Dave moved down there about 5 years ago with every intention of playing golf & watching his son play baseball. When his son registered for school, his guidance counselor happened to be familiar with high school track. He asked, "Your dad wouldn't happen be the former track coach at Elizabeth high would he? And your uncle Frank coached at Maryland? Well, go home & tell your dad he is no longer retired". Dave is in his early 60's now, and I've never seen him more enthusiastic. He's already won two regional champioships.

I am proud to call these two guys my friends.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

AAAAAHHHHH-TWEAK OUT! (LLE MCL), Bottom up, Top down

forward/back hurdle steps
R rotational L stagger squat
SLS to 45deg. c/ foot everted

Santa, will you please bring me a new HD digital video camera? Mine really sucks.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Canine Training Partner

Who's the better training partner?:

Agree 100%. When my alarm went off at 4am my dog would start pulling the covers off me. Could care less if it was raining or snowing. Never complained about aches or pains. Ran with me step for step without a leash, just happy to be out there.

The researchers in this study were amazed how canes & walkers disappeared. Dogs get us back in touch with our primal side.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Lower Extremity Sling Shot

Effect of Medial Arch Support on Displacement of the Myotendinous Junction of the Gastrocnemius During Standing Wall Stretching, Jung, Koh et al; JOSPT 12-09.

John Madden was in the Oakland Raiders locker room back in the 70's giving his pregame speech, when the players started asking too many questions. He blurted out, "Don't worry about the horses, just load the wagon!"

That's a good analogy for function. Don't get tied down in what individual muscles are doing. DO make sure the athlete can load the wagon. If the athlete cannot sufficiently dorsiflex, one of the most powerful musculotendinous units in the body is not getting loaded. It can contribute to everything from tibial stress fractures to glenohumeral impingement.

This study found that in athletes with a pes planus foot, dorsiflexion improved an average of 6.4 degrees by supporting the longitudinal arch. A little adhesive felt in this population goes a long way.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Thanks to my GAIN buddy Steve Myrland for this link:

If you have never heard of Vladimir Janda, well, you probably do and don't know it. He is a Chek neurologist who invented a system of therapy to ameliorate his symptoms of polio. His theories form the basis of NASM. "Upper Crossed Syndrome", "Lower Crossed Syndrome", and "Pronator Distortion Syndrome" are all his terminology. The idea that certain muscles are inhibited & weak & need to be strengthened, and others are hypertonic & tight and need to be stretched.

The Australian method is openly dissed here.

Does anyone know if this DNS stuff has ever been put through the scientific method in the journals?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

We won't get fooled again!

Great tune by The Who.

Jack Blatherwick, strength coach of the famous '80 miracle on ice U.S. hockey team, reminds us to not just read the abstracts in these professional journals. Read the whole thing and dissect it. A good case in point:

"The effects of taping on scapular kinematics and muscle performance in baseball players with shoulder impingement syndrome" Yin-Hsin Hsu a, et al-
Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 12/09.

The reseacher came to the conclusion, "elastic taping (Kinesiotape) significantly increased the scapular posterior tilt at 30 and 60 during arm raising and increased the lower trapezius muscle activity in the 60–30 arm lowering phase (p <>

I believe it. An inhibited lower trap, and the tight pec minor that goes hand in hand contributes to external impingement syndrome. I'm all for anything that facilitates correction.

The problem is the sham taping they used- 3M micropore tape applied in the same manner, but without any stretch force.

What if they had used Leukotape with a pull instead? What if they had preceeded the test with my pec minor stretch?...with scapular FMR?...the tape & all of the above? What would that scapular tilt & EMG look like?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

ACL Tears & the Brain

"Anterior Cruciate Ligament Deficiency Causes Brain Plasticity, Kapreli et al."
AJSM, 12-09

In the April 2005 "Journal of Orthopedic Research", the ACL in mice was found to have a direct connection with the spinal cord, brain stem, & cerebellum.

This research inspired some Greek researchers to investigate this phenomenon in humans. Some key brain MRI findings in ACL deficient athletes:

-visual information contributes more to the configuration of movement.
-these athletes unconsciously "plan" their movement.
Is it safe to assume this phenomenon goes on with other joint instabilities? Let the others argue about what squat is good or bad or whether to suck your belly button in or not. We'll stay on the functional path.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lunch with Sal

Showed me some video of stuff he has going on in his gym, the Millburn-Short Hills Athletic Club. Like Tracy Fober, he also uses olympic lifting hybrids to enhance athleticism. He's got alot of female clients, and I like the way he goes buck wild on laying down that bone mass in this population.

He's also working on his own hybrid of an old Romanian core training gadget that is pretty cool.

It's Tricky old Run DMC Song, and my theme for today's blog.
Both Tracy Fober and Vern Gambetta recently made references to this article in the NY Times a few days ago:

It brings up an interesting point that Vern always drives home regarding function:


Of course I always give examples of remedial exercises to address specific issues, like my recent one on the pec minor stretch. However, it would be silly to believe that repeating any one stretch (even my own) would be a panacea. Rather than master the stretch its more important to understand the steps that came before it. Where were the hips in relation to the shoulder, what were my drivers? The article brought me back to my days when I worked with physically disabled students; where neuro pathways were destroyed & you needed to create new ones.

If the pec minor is ornery, there are also other issues going on. Inability to load the front side & some weak anti gravity muscles always go hand in hand. If you understand this, you can integrate this theme into the athlete's repertoire, rather than just coming up with a few ancillary exercises.