content top

Foam Rollers – Effective Self-Massage for Athletes

Foam Rollers – Effective Self-Massage for Athletes

Often, when one feels stiff or has an injury he/she tries to stretch the affected area. The issue is, a knot that cannot be stretched. Stretching will only tighten a knot. Think of this as putting a knot in a rubber band and stretching the band by pulling on both ends. You will notice that the knot begins to tighten and becomes harder to remove.

If I recommend only one piece of fitness equipment for athletes or for the general population that piece of equipment would be… a foam roller. Foam rollers are incredible due to the self-myofascial release they allow. Foam rollers help to restore the quality of muscle tissue and the soft connective tissue also known as fascia, which can become knotted due to injuries, disuse or lack of stretching. These knots or adhesions cause pain and reduced flexibility. Foam rollers restore order within the body.

Youth’s and children, in particular, can reap the benefits of rolling out the body because their muscles can become extremely tight at this stage.

Foam rollers, unlike massages, are very inexpensive while being effective.  Many fitness professionals consider the foam roller the “poor man’s massage”.

Overall, foam rollers are extremely effective for injury and knotting while also remaining cost efficient.

Read More

Attenion Parents: Make Sure Your Child Is Being Coached Correctly and Not Being Bullied!

Parents, Do not allow your children to be bullied by a coach. If  you ever see your young athlete not being coached in the appropriate manner that he or she should be, then get them out from under this person’s power and control immediately.

I’m sure by now you have seen or heard about the video of  Rutgers University basketball coach Mike Rice verbally abusing and physically assaulting his players. As a parent, a Youth Fitness Specialist and a sports enthusiast, it sickens me to watch this kind of  bullying from a person in an authoritative position. Humiliating, assaulting, intimidating and belittling is absolutely no way to coach or teach an athlete. In my opinion, Mike Rice should never coach another basketball game again at any level. Hopefully more people will be punished at Rutgers University over this entire situation, however that’s not the topic of my blog so I will stick with how to coach athletes properly.

There are basically four categories I group athletes into when I train them. These categories are based on the athlete’s motivational level and skill level. I train each individual based on the needs of  the category that they fit into.

Highly motivated/high skilled athletes are very inspired. Delegating responsibility to them keeps them inspired.  Low motivated/high skilled athletes need to be inspired. It is important to enforce and re-enforce how wonderful I think they are and let them know how great they are.  Highly motivated/low skilled athletes tend to be very hyper and like to have fun. They must be guided though, or they are likely to hurt themselves or someone else because they are so energetic. Low motivated/low skilled athletes need to be directed. They usually tend to be more shy and don’t respond well to being singled out, even with positive praise. The one size fits all does not work with teaching young athletes and should not be applied.

Far too often, people think that because a coach understands the sport he or she will be a good coach. This couldn’t be further from the truth as demonstrated by Mike Rice at Rutgers University.

Read More

Why Are Fitness Machines bad for Children?

Why Are Fitness Machines bad for Children?

I am sickened whenever I see children working out with boring fitness machines. Not only are these machines not fun, but they are not functional. In fact, they are actually detrimental to long-term athletic development. These machines don’t improve one’s ability to master daily movement skills and they definitely don’t help create better athletes.  They work in one plane of motion and generally use just one or two muscle groups per machine. Quite often the child is not even taught how to use the equipment correctly. Several times – the seat isn’t adjusted to the right height and as the weights are increased, the form goes to hell.

Even if all adjustments are made correctly and the load being lifted is correct, they still do very little to teach the child how to use the body as a whole. How often does a person really sit down and open his legs with a great amount of force. How many times in one’s life does a person actually even press or pull a heavy weight with their arms from a seated position (unless unfortunately they are chair bound).

It’s bad enough when an adult uses these machines, but when a child uses this equipment he is putting himself at risk for injury. Therefore, the body does not learn how to work as a whole unit. Imagine jumping up as high as you can using just your leg muscles – you won’t get too high off the ground. If you swing a baseball bat or a tennis racket with only your arms do you think the ball will go far? What kind of pain do you think you’ll develop in your shoulders and back?

Now before Cybex, Life Fitness and all the other fitness machine manufacturers get angry – I will say that sometimes these machines are useful. However, that is usually just for certain rehabilitations, the elderly and for those that have a major strength or balance deficits. Able bodied individuals and especially children in particular, need to learn how to perform exercises using several muscle groups at once and in different planes of motion. All of the muscle groups need to learn how to fire off as one cohesive unit.

 

 

Read More
content top