|Posted on August 15, 2014 at 12:00 AM||comments (2)|
Recently, I have seen an upswing in knee injuries — or knee pain, at the very least.
Whenever I have a client with chronic pain or an injury, the first thing I do is a squat assessment and a gait analysis.These assessments allow me to look for imbalances in the body. The key is to recognize the imbalance, then strenthen or stretch properly to correct the imbalnce and restore normal funtion and range of motion to the joints and muscles.
In almost all cases, when it come to knee pain, people are not training their inner thighs and not stretching their I.T. Bands(Iliotobial Band).
If your a regular weightlifter or runner, the I.T. Band gets stronger and shortens in length. The hip joint then can tighten as the IT Band pulls form its origin (the hip). This can also shorten the miniscus.
As this occurs, the leg starts to pull the knee to the outside because we haven't strengthened the inner thigh enough to balance the strength and tightness of the I.T. band and miniscus. This becomes a classic example of "runners knee."
Here are a few tips to add to your training to avoid runners knee.
- Strengthen your inner thighs. Try performing squats with legs wide and feet pointing outward (holding weight in your hands for more resistance). Or, kneel on a stability ball and squeeze with your inner thighs (like riding a horse).
- Use a foam roller to roll out the I.T. Band. Or, stand aginst the wall and hold your foot in both hands — then, with the knee bent at 90 degrees, lift your foot in front of you, and hold the stretch for about 40 seconds. Repeat three times.
- Anchor a band at knee-height, then place the other end around your knee. Place that foot behind you so your in a split-stance, with the back heel off the floor and knee bent. Then extend the knee pushing the heel to the floor. Repeat for three sets, 15 reps each.
Follow these tips and you should be able to keep your knees healthy.
|Posted on June 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM||comments (0)|
Take a workshop with Tai Chi experts David Cohen and Aaron Green June 28 to learn more about the “Science of Elastic Force” practices of Mark Rasmus.
The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Mid Atlantic Movement Art Studio, Aaron Green’s new Tai Chi school in West Virginia, as part of the school’s grand opening.
|Posted on June 10, 2014 at 12:00 AM||comments (1)|
|Posted on June 3, 2014 at 12:00 AM||comments (0)|
Last year, when I heard Mark Rasmus was planning a workshop within a one-day drive from my house, the only thing on my mind was, "How am I going to get there?"
The workshop was held in a cabin built on 50 acres in the Smoky Mountains. Just being there was meditative.
Attendees of Mark Rasmus' workshops get an open book on all things martial arts and meditation. This is a man who has dedicated his life to practicing a variety of martial arts and spiritual enlightenment — and now he spends his time passing on that knowledge.
I have been lucky enough to attend three of Mark's workshops. By the end of each workshop, everyone is exhausted from the multiple Fa Jin practices. The excitement grows as each person in the room bounces their partners five feet away. The skills Mark teaches are the rare, true Tai Chi skills everyone seeks to obtain. What's more amazing is that Mark can teach this material in a weekend.
Tai Chi practitioners who strive to add real skills into their Tai Chi toolbox, be it true martial skill or becoming more intuitive should take a workshop with Mark Rasmus. Find out more on his website, Science of Elastic Force, page, or "friend" him on https://www.facebook.com/Sifu.Rasmus" target="_blank">Facebook.
|Posted on May 27, 2014 at 12:00 AM||comments (0)|
During my Tai Chi classes, I always get asked, "Why do we breathe the way we do? And why do we practice push hands?"
The answer to both of these questions is related. Breathing properly allows for better energy flow, and better energy flow increases health and relaxation.
When practicing push hands and the Tai Chi form, we concentrate on breathing during movement. This teaches us to relax while having better energy flow and posture through the course of our day.
When we practice the form, we learn to keep our bodies in alignment. During regular daily activities, we should always be mindful of keeping our head, hips, knees and feet in line.
Even when we are not practicing Tai Chi.
|Posted on May 19, 2014 at 12:00 AM||comments (3)|
Sometimes we forget about the five elements of fitness:
- muscular strength
- muscular endurance
- healthy body mass index (BMI)
- cardio respiratory fitness
We need to have all of these to truly be counted as fit.
On weight lifting days, occasionaly use a bit less weight and go for rep count: three to five sets of 20 reps. Or if your doing three sets in five minutes, go for six sets in the same five minutes. This is a great way to overcome plateaus and work on muscular endurance.
For muscular strength, advanced lifters can pick 10 body parts for one workout. Lift as weight as you can safely for a one set, 4-rep failure. Do this three times a week for one week and you'll be surprised how much strength you can gain.
Weight training is important because it aids in bone density and gives up better connective tissue strength. The other benefit is that with extra muscle comes a better BMI.
Good BMI keeps us risk-free from certain diseases, such as high blood pressure and type-2 dabetes.
Hopefully everyone knows that cardio fitness is what helps keep the heart healthy. It also keeps our resting heart rate down so we don't over-tax our heart. With a strong heart, blood flows freely and keeps the rest of the body healthy.
Many people entirely forget about flexibility. (When was the last time you stretched?) By stretching, we keep our connective tissue pliable and our muscles long. This is important so the joints and muscles in the body have a free range of motion — and this keeps us injury-free.
|Posted on May 14, 2014 at 7:35 AM||comments (0)|
Learn how to gather, condense and pack chi into the body at a hands-on workshop with David Cohen from noon to 3 p.m. June 7 at Green Acres Center in Fairfax, Va.
Cultivating chi will provide the body with better relaxation and chi sensitivity for healing and martial application.
The fee is $30. Please register with the City of Fairfax Parks and Recreation Department by calling 703-385-7858.