Author Topic: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]  (Read 206326 times)

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Offline Hatchet Man

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2005, 15:33:04 »
And if you want to know more about ECS, you can look here:

http://www.physsportsmed.com/issues/1996/04_96/edwards.htm



Thanks for posting that, I lost my links to all the ECS info I have gather.  Even with all the medical terminology it is fairly straight forward.  The Base MO in Meaford (where I did my pretraining), knew quite abit about ECS.  He told me that they had sent 5 soldiers from the battle school there, down to Toronto for the pressure tests, as the had ECS as well. Not to hijack this thread or anything, but anyone reading this tread who exerpiences sharp pains in their calves (not the shins), when they run or march, you should be speaking to doctor.  The Doctor at the clinic told me that they have seen a number of army guys for ECS testing, and it was thier opinion that the Mark IIIs are contibuting factor.  So get checked out. 

Paracowboy, couldn't have put it better.  Hurt and injured are not always the same (Reminds of the line in GI Jane).  And I think there are quite a number of people who need to learn the difference between hard and stupid as you said.  Keep up the good work.

Offline paracowboy

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2005, 17:31:41 »
A word about something you mentioned way back in your earlier posts about muscle weighing more than fat. That's not actually the case...
I know, but it sounds better, if you know what I mean. It seems to make sense to people more than going into detail about mass and density and weight. A pound of feathers and a pound of bricks both weight the same, of course. But, I'm trying to get a message across in the simplest terms so that it reaches the broadest spectrum.

And, on that note, I think I've pretty much answered all the basic variations of the pms and e-mails I used to receive. I've covered PT, ruck marching, foot care, and attitude. I think this thread is done, unless other BTDTs have something to add.
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Offline paracowboy

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2005, 20:30:56 »
maybe one last point, to hammer it home. Let this sink in.

to all you recruits: Listen up. Quitters are a disease. They are weak, and weakness is contagious. You let a quitter's mentality into your head, and it will destroy you. Then, it will destroy your section. The DS will smell the weakness, and they will go into a feeding frenzy. They will turn up the Suck so high, the knobs will twist right off, baby. One person will quit, then another, and another, until only a few days into the course, over 10% of the class will quit. A week or so later, with the stench of weakness still there, nearly HALF of the class will quit. It all starts with one quitter. He quits, and then all the other weak ones see how easy it is to give up on oneself. Quitters must be shunned, once they refuse to accept encouragement.

Quitters will always have an excuse: "oh, my back/knees/>insert bodypart with an untraceable problem here< gave out."  Or "the staff hated me". Blah, blah, blah. It's all part of the same physical ailment: a lack of spine. Quitters are invariably too weak-willed to face the truth, and so will go to extraordinary lengths to lie to themselves. Lying to others is as natural to them as breathing. Dishonesty and weakness are part and parcel of the same character flaws, and neither can be tolerated in the Army.

Never, EVER, quit - no matter what. I don't give a rabid rat's @ss in a rolling doughnut what you do in life. Not everyone is cut out to be a soldier. In fact, very few have the parts. But whatever you do decide to do with your life, don't quit. Stick it out, and see it through - because there is nothing on Earth worse than a quitter.

And there is nothing on Earth better than over-coming what you thought was impossible.
...time to cull the herd.

Offline GNR

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2005, 09:50:25 »
I have to agree with PARACOWBOY, never quit.
If you are incapable the staff will toss your butt to the sidewalk, they don't need your assistance.

Don't mistake your fear for failure.  The course staff doesn't want you to fail, they want you to overcome and achieve what you thought wasn't possible.

Offline NavComm

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2005, 12:55:49 »
maybe one last point, to hammer it home. Let this sink in.

to all you recruits: Listen up. Quitters are a disease. They are weak, and weakness is contagious. You let a quitter's mentality into your head, and it will destroy you. Then, it will destroy your section. The DS will smell the weakness, and they will go into a feeding frenzy. They will turn up the Suck so high, the knobs will twist right off, baby. One person will quit, then another, and another, until only a few days into the course, over 10% of the class will quit. A week or so later, with the stench of weakness still there, nearly HALF of the class will quit. It all starts with one quitter. He quits, and then all the other weak ones see how easy it is to give up on oneself. Quitters must be shunned, once they refuse to accept encouragement.

Quitters will always have an excuse: "oh, my back/knees/>insert bodypart with an untraceable problem here< gave out."   Or "the staff hated me". Blah, blah, blah. It's all part of the same physical ailment: a lack of spine. Quitters are invariably too weak-willed to face the truth, and so will go to extraordinary lengths to lie to themselves. Lying to others is as natural to them as breathing. Dishonesty and weakness are part and parcel of the same character flaws, and neither can be tolerated in the Army.

Never, EVER, quit - no matter what. I don't give a rabid rat's @ss in a rolling doughnut what you do in life. Not everyone is cut out to be a soldier. In fact, very few have the parts. But whatever you do decide to do with your life, don't quit. Stick it out, and see it through - because there is nothing on Earth worse than a quitter.

And there is nothing on Earth better than over-coming what you thought was impossible.

Paracowboy, you are so right!

I suffered from shin splints after my first week at bmq. I went to MIR and they gave me some motrin and showed me a few stretches. When I returned with my chit to my instructors, one of them gave me a few more stretches to do. He was awesome! He suggested I do those stretches at every opportunity - which I did. I didn't miss any pt (other than my trip to MIR) or other classes over it and my shin splints went away.

Quitting wasn't an option for me. On the other hand there were a few whiners who every time they had a little bump they'd be filling out a VR. They did bring down the morale and I was glad that once they made that decision they were gone very quickly.

I was sent home after week 6 (very dissappointed) because I failed a PO. I am being recoursed for January. Nine people were sent home the day I was and one of them kept on saying *that's it, I'm never coming back". It made me so mad! I told her with that attitude she should just stay home. I never doubted I would be back and next time I'll be ready. My unit is keeping me busy and getting me ready for my return to bmq in January. I'm even more pumped up now than I was before!

Failure is a lesson. I believe we learn more from our failures than if we just breeze through life. Everything is possible, even joining the navy at age 45 :)

Offline paracowboy

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2005, 19:02:34 »
ya see, kids? It's about FORM as much as it is about NUMBER. 1,000 bad push-ups doesn't equal 1 good one. It carries over into everything we do. 1,000 un-aimed rounds will not equal 1 well-aimed shot.

Now, on to today's lecture. I actually watched a few youngsters run past my PMQ today, while sipping a cup of tea (I was havin' the tea, not them. Just thought I'd clarify that.) And I looked, really LOOKED, at the difference between these li'l puppies draggin' arse, and the Sgt. leadin' them with a big grin on his face. It's all in the form, and the efficiency of effort. As well, it's the fact that the body is used to it, and the mind is conditioned to shut off. But I can't help you with that. It comes with time, or it doesn't come at all. So here's what I CAN help you with: Running Form.

   As I've said before, you gotta relax everything above the waist. Tension in the upper body robs the lower body of energy. Unclench the hands, let the fingers hang loose, let the wrist hang loose, let the elbows relax. Loosen the shoulders and neck, even let the jaw hang a bit.
   How loudly are your feet hitting the road? You should barely hear them. Pretend you have to run quietly. This will make you land on the middle of your foot, not the heels or toes, and give you a shorter stride, which will give you greater stability and a quicker stride. If you land on your heel (like I do, too often), you are extending your foot too far out to the front. Your heel is acting like a brake, after all, that's how you stop isn't it? By pushing your leg out that far, you are using too much energy, and losing stability by not having your foot under the centre of gravity. You are using too much energy because your body isn't stable, and it recruits other muscles to stabilize you. Focus on running 'softly' (like ninja!), and thrust backwards. It's weird at first, kinda like shuffling, but it works.
   When I say "Thrust backwards," I mean to pull your foot backwards, the instant it makes contact with the ground. You should feel like you're barely skimming the earth. Rather than having the foot land, stop for an instant, then push off, as most non-runners do, your foot should barely touch the ground before it's in the air again. (Think "light," think "soft," young grasshopper!) This way, you're propelling yourself forward, not pausing then exerting backwards thrust. The less time your foot is in contact with the ground, the less energy is being wasted.
   Too many recruits and FNGs look like dogs romancing footballs when they run, all bent over at the middle. This is a result of weak abdominal girdles. You have to strengthen the abdominals, obliques, lower back, and core. Otherwise, you sorta 'fold' when you run, wasting energy. Pretend that there are wires holding your shoulders and head upright. This straightens your spine out, without causing undue tension, giving you less wasted energy and more breath. Push your hips forward a bit. Think 'tall'.
   Having said that, you also want to lean forward slightly, as I wrote earlier. You get the illusion of having momentum on your side. This also helps to shorten your stride, by having your feet impact closer to your body and under your centre of gravity. Now, the difference is , you're not leaning your upper body forward, you're leaning the entire body forward.
   When you breathe, let your body find it's rhythm, and breathe from the diaphragm, not the chest. Push air out with the diaphragm, don't try to suck air in with the lungs. The body will draw all the air in it needs on its' own, if necessary, it will knock you out to do so. By forcing the lungs to expel air due to constriction from the diaphragm, you force the body to draw in more air than it would by trying to suck air in. (I don't know if the explanation makes any sense to you, but...just do what I tell you damnit!)
   Don't bounce. If you're bouncing, your stride is too long, and you're wasting energy. You want to move forward, not upwards. Imagine that you have something over your head, and if you bounce, you'll bonk your melon. This will help keep your stride smooth, and prevent bouncing.
   If you find that you have some, or all, of these bad habits, don't try to correct them all at the same time. Your brain will over-load, and you'll start tripping over grid-lines. Work on one at a time. Run on a treadmill, in front of a mirror. It'll allow you to observe your own form. It'll also help you to see if your body is moving asymmetrically. If one arm moves faster, is bent more, or swings more, you have an imbalance in the Force. The weaker side will lead you to injuries. Work on improving that side with strength movements.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2006, 14:52:23 by paracowboy »
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Offline Mighty Mouse

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2005, 19:53:39 »
Hey Paracowboy (& co. with all your responses),

A good discussion and a lot of practical info and advice on running here. I run several times a week and love it. However, I have one problem with running...I could run a marathon on grass or trails, but I get shin splints within minutes of running on pavement. My question about BT is: what kind of surface do you have to run on?

Thanks,

Mighty Mouse
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Offline NavComm

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2005, 00:37:35 »
Hey Paracowboy (& co. with all your responses),

A good discussion and a lot of practical info and advice on running here. I run several times a week and love it. However, I have one problem with running...I could run a marathon on grass or trails, but I get shin splints within minutes of running on pavement. My question about BT is: what kind of surface do you have to run on?

Thanks,

Mighty Mouse

In Borden we ran mostly on pavement (which was what started my shin splints). Sometimes we ran on trails and up sand hills. The problem for me was not enough warm ups, so I just started stretching every opportunity I got in case pt was the next class. The shin splints improved and I was able to run a lot farther.

Paracowboy I'm happy I could prove your point about form.....I think  :-\  Although at this moment, I wish it had been some other recruit I was talking about  :crybaby:

Offline paracowboy

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2005, 00:48:30 »
I have one problem with running...I could run a marathon on grass or trails, but I get shin splints within minutes of running on pavement. My question about BT is: what kind of surface do you have to run on?
I'd like to tell you that it's mostly trails and grass. But that would be lying, and I try very hard to never tell those. At least, it was mostly pavement when I went through (pavement being a new invention). Any FNGs fresh from Basic able to provide some more up-to-date info? Or maybe Jungle is willing to chime in?

Some stuff for shin splints I did that helped: 1) place a towel on the floor in front of you. Place a heavy book on the opposite end. Now, pull the book towards you by 'scrunching' the towel under your toes. Curl your toes like they were fingers scooping a handful of peanuts of the bar. Repeat until the book is touching your toes.

2) Place a weight or heavy book on your toes. Lift your toes towards the ceiling. Lower and repeat.

These will help strengthen the thin sheath of muscle running along the front of your shin.
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Offline paracowboy

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2005, 00:54:58 »
i remember in grade school my PE teacher told use that sprinters would more their feet like you described, soft and light, as well as lifting their knees up higher to the point of looking dumb
yes. Sprinters focus on bringing their knees "up" rather than "forward". Which is one of the reasons I recommend hill and stair training. Sprinters also focus on bringing their heels "up" on the press off on each stride. They train often by kicking themselves in the arse with their heels as they step. Watch some sprinters warm up before a race. They bring their knees up to their shoulders, and their heels up to their butt cheeks. That's the form they need for explosive speed, and it's the form every runner should emulate (to a lesser extent - it would be exhausting to do that for more than a couple kilometers. The sprinters themselves are exaggerating the form they will use in their race.)
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Offline Scotty

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #35 on: August 16, 2005, 01:05:04 »
I can definately speak about how running lightly helps.

I use to run heavy, my feet would pound the ground.  One of the coaches on my football teach noticed this and worked with me before and after practice for a couple weeks helping me improve my form and run lightly. Doing stuff like kicking myself in the arse with my heels and lifting my knees real high while slowly jogging, like paracowboy just mentioned.

After 2 weeks of work, (3 days a week for 15 minutes before and after regular practice), I took 8 10th's of a second of my 40 yard sprint time - from 5.2 seconds to 4.4 seconds.  That may not sound like all that much but it's a huge improvement.  I went from one of the slowest people on the offense (excluding the fat lineman) to the second fastest.

I also noticed after I learned to run lightly that my legs didn't ache nearly as much after practices and games.

Offline paracowboy

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #36 on: September 03, 2005, 20:13:15 »
Below is a post from a while back. I'm putting it in here, because it has some extra detail on running that I've neglected to put in this thread, and it emphasizes the importance of rest and recuperation.

Quote
there is no "best exercise" as it all depends on your fitness goals. However, wannabe's, for your purposes, I'd recommend the basics - running, push-ups, sit-ups, and chin-ups. I say this for a couple reasons:
1) they work the entire body, and will help you burn fat and gain muscle in short order;
2) these are the movements you'll be required to perform when (if) you actually get in. The sooner you teach your body to adapt to these demands, the easier you're gonna find PT when (if) you actually get to an Infantry Battalion.

Start with performing sets of 25 push-ups, 25 sit-ups, and chin-ups to failure. Do many sets. Rest about 60 seconds between sets. Do them often. Don't go to failure every day. Do a few on your off-day just to move the lactic acid through the muscles. Do a coupl'a sets every day, but not to failure all the time. This is over-training. Take a day off once in a while. Mix it up, too. One day, spend an hour just puttin' 'er to yourself: do dozens of sets, resting only 30 seconds between. The next day, do a set of push-ups, chin-ups, and sit-ups every hour. The next day, do nuthin'.

Running, hmmm, your goal is going to be completing 10 kms in 40 minutes. You need to build up an aerobic base, so you want to divide your runs into 3 categories: long runs, sprints, & hill runs. Do one of each on a day, dividing your program into a 4-day cycle.
Day 1: long run. Don't worry about distance, go for time. Run for an hour to 2 hours. This is just to adapt your body to actually running. Relax your upper body completely, let your feet skim the ground. Shuffle. Just don't stop.
Day 2: Wind sprints/Fartleks. Find a known distance. Football fields are excellent. Sprint for 50 metres, jog for 100. Repeat. Go for approx 40 minutes to an hour. Work your way up to 100 metre sprints, 50 metre jogs. When sprinting, concentrate on lifting your knees, & the faster your arms move, the faster your legs will move.
Day 3: hills. Find a hill (or better, several). Run up it (them). Do it for about an hour.
Day 4; off. Do nothing. Nada. Nema.
Periodically, go for a 10 km run. Your times should decrease exponentially.

Diet: don't get caught up in the fads. Eat healthy. Stay away from junk food. That's it. Your body needs all the fuel it can get. FUEL, not crap. Proteins, fats, and carbs, Your body needs them all. Drink water. NOT pop. Water. Don't try to guzzle a gallon down at one time. Your body can only absorb 400 ml (.5 a litre, .5 a quart) at a time. Keep a water container nearby, and drink some every 15 - 30 minutes. Stay hydrated. You should be pissin' clear, or a light straw colour.

Rest: sleep. Sleep 8 hours a night. Your body needs to recuperate. That's when you get stronger. During your sleep. The time you are resting is the time your body is using to rebuild itself stronger in order to deal with the added demands you're puttin' on it. You don't rest, your body stops feeding on the fat and starts feeding on the muscle. The entire
body goes into a catabolic state. It stops feeding on fat, because it believes it need that stored energy for bare survival. You actually make yourself weaker by over-training. So, take a day off once in a while. But don't make it the same day, all the time. Unpredictability, as much as extra exertion, causes adaptation.

Remember - the last reps, and the last steps are the ones that make you stronger. The hard ones. The ones that make you think you're going to die.

When you think you can't do anymore, do more.
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Offline paracowboy

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #37 on: September 05, 2005, 19:01:17 »
Intensity
Okay, I've neglected an important point, troops. Intensity. Say it with me: In-ten-si-ty. And not the kind flashing out of my smouldering hazel eyes.
It is the intensity of your workout that will cause you to get stronger, or to improve your endurance. The intensity of your workout depends on several factors, including the number of sets and repetitions, the overall weight lifted, and the rest between sets. Or, for cardio, the number of miles covered, the amount of time it took to cover those miles, and the speed with which you covered those miles.

A muscle will only strengthen when it is worked beyond its normal operation. When it is overloaded. And since they adapt to stress placed on them, overloading must be progressive if you want to see improvement. That means, the more you can lift, the more you must lift. The more klicks you can cover, the faster you have to cover them, etc. (Using the guidelines in the paragraph above.)

Intensity components (weight/distance, duration, frequency) are somewhat inversely proportionate to one another. F'r example, if one component is decreased, increasing one or both of the other components may make up for this loss. For example, by training each muscle group every 4 days instead of every 3 days (decrease frequency), the number of exercises or sets may be increased (increase duration), or the amount of weight may be increased. Or all three, or any variation thereof. The same for running (which we all recall, I hate). Instead of running every second day, you decide to run every 3rd day. But, you decide to run further than usual, and faster, thereby increasing distance and duration, but decreasing frequency.

So, the key to fitness gains is INTENSITY. It doesn't matter if you lift 845 lbs for 10 reps for 3 sets if that doesn't push your body to overload. It doesn't matter if you run 35 kilometres in 30 minutes if that isn't difficult for you. (Absurd examples, I know, but you get my point.) The key to strength/endurance gains is in the last few reps or meters. The ones that you don't think you can do. Those are the ones that cause your body to adapt to the new demands. So, working out for an hour isn't doing you any good if it isn't causing your body to grow stronger. Running all day when you aren't getting your heart rate up is not going to improve your aerobic fitness.
   
A progressive intensity program seems to be the key factor in strength and/or endurance development. Weight training intensity also seems to be the key component for fat loss. Not only can anaerobic activity utilizes calories for several hours after training, but muscle mass increases calories expended at any activity level, even during rest. In other words, the more muscle you got, the more fat you burn, even doin' nuthin'.

What I'm getting at, here, kids, is the need for you to recognize when you're not pushing yourself and kick yourself in the arse. If you aren't breathing hard enough, add weight, shorten rest time, run faster. Not every workout should end with you puking.

But a few should.

In time, (and the more intensity you put into your PT, the shorter the time), you will find your workouts easy, and you will meet your goals faster.
...time to cull the herd.

Offline Jungle

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #38 on: September 05, 2005, 19:45:16 »
Just to add to the running techniques: When beginning on a cardio program, one should concentrate on "slow long distance" for example: 5 km in 30 min, or 10 km in 60 min. Doing this for a while will help the body prepare for more demanding exercises: INTERVALS !!!
There are two kinds of intervals you can (or have to) do: (not sure about the translation here) muscle endurance and aerobic power. Muscle endurance consists of sprinting a known distance, for ex. 100m, then recovering (jogging) 300 to 500m. By the time you sprint again, you should have fully recovered from the previous one. So basically, it's about one (sprint unit) to four (recovery units).
Aerobic power is two (sprint units) to one (recovery unit) so your cardio system is continually working up, without recovering. In both cases, repeat 4 to 6 times.
You need to do both occasionnally... on top of regular "fat burner" (slow long distance) runs.
And don't neglect upper body !!!  8)
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Offline Hatchet Man

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #39 on: September 06, 2005, 14:53:35 »
Just to add to the running techniques: When beginning on a cardio program, one should concentrate on "slow long distance" for example: 5 km in 30 min, or 10 km in 60 min. Doing this for a while will help the body prepare for more demanding exercises: INTERVALS !!!
There are two kinds of intervals you can (or have to) do: (not sure about the translation here) muscle endurance and aerobic power. Muscle endurance consists of sprinting a known distance, for ex. 100m, then recovering (jogging) 300 to 500m. By the time you sprint again, you should have fully recovered from the previous one. So basically, it's about one (sprint unit) to four (recovery units).
Aerobic power is two (sprint units) to one (recovery unit) so your cardio system is continually working up, without recovering. In both cases, repeat 4 to 6 times.
You need to do both occasionnally... on top of regular "fat burner" (slow long distance) runs.
And don't neglect upper body !!!   8)

Actually what your suggesting are both HIIT, with one allowing for more rest than the other.  Both would improve your muscular power/endurance and increase your ANAEROBIC capacity as well.

Offline CdnArtyWife

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #40 on: October 24, 2005, 16:20:19 »
I wrote this in another thread, and I have been asked by Paracowboy to copy it here.

I would like to give my 2 cents here, and if they are useful great, if not just ignore.

I am a civvie wife of a guy who learned how to run "the army way". We are now both learning how to run...the safe way. We are training for a marathon. I was a gal who, just three months ago, was very happy sitting on the couch with my bowl of super buttered popcorn. Hubby would try to encourage me to go for a run but I knew that meant run til my lungs exploded...then run home... No, that wasn't for me.

A friend introduced me to RunningMania.com I went out of curiosity and found that there was some people there willing to give sage advice for anyone with a desire to get up off the couch. So I started running on Aug 10th. I couldn't run more than one minute straight without gasping for air. Now I run for 10K and feel like I could keep going. I use 10:1's for training. 10minutes running, 1 minute walking. My friend and I introduced our hubbies to this way of running....and now the two of them are running better than they ever have for the army. NO run should feel like a "bag drive" if you have trained properly.

I reccomend anyone looking to improve their running abilities look into a proper training program...found in numerous places...but Hal Higdon has a really great set of programs for various abilities on his site. Training properly will increase aerobic endurance as well as reduce risk of injury....you don't want to be sent home from BMQ because you f*kt your knee or you have IT Band issues from trying to keep up...when, if you had built yourself up with the endurance in the first place, you would have had no issues. Running damages your body...recovery helps repair those damages and makes you stronger...that is why recovery is so important.

Build up your base...increase your endurance by adding one long run a week at a slower pace...so that your body can get used to running for 40-60 minutes (I can now run for 2 hours straight...less than three months from starting). Once your base is set, then you can start on the speed work (intervals, Fartleks, sprints) and hills to build up your overall speed/pace.

I run outdoors whenever possible...even in the cold pouring rain...(I like to run in the rain the best!) My hubby and I were talking about something like this yesterday...if you never train in adverse conditions...you will never be able to give your best when performing in adverse conditions....that goes for everything in life...from being in the military to running. (If I only ever run on a treadmill and come race day it is raining...I won't do so well in my race, cus I don't know what it is like to run in the rain. Whereas if I train when it rains, snows, or is sunny...I know I can still handle whatever is thrown at me on race day...I will have something to gauge it against.)

That is the end of my rant...take it for what you will...as I said...if it helps, bonus....if not, ignore it.
"For do not forget the soldiers that make up this military are solidly built characters hand hewn from everyday Canadian values: grace, integrity, physical and moral courage, and loyalty." ~ Maj Scott Lang

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #41 on: October 25, 2005, 11:16:22 »
CdnArtyWife, thanks for that. That's pretty much how I got running also. I have a friend who runs marathons and he told me to start off by running from one telephone pole to the next (I hadn't run in years) then walk quickly until I caught my breath, run again, and so on. Within a weekI was running around the block and in a few weeks was running laps at the track.

At first I saw it as a real chore, some necessary evil to get into the military but now I actually enjoy running. Go figure!

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #42 on: November 06, 2005, 14:12:04 »
Core Strength
   All right, there have been a few posts made about back pain in reference to various exercises and such, so we're now going to address the usual culprit in North America: a weak Abdominal Girdle (which is what it was called when I started researching it, and now it is called the "Core". Whatever, a rose by any other name still stinks up the house, and removes the wonderful aroma of gun oil.) So, in the interest of being cool and modern, I'll use the term "core."
   Norte Americanos are the worst sufferers of back pain in the world. Why? Because we're soft. We have an easy life, and it is human nature to revel in ease and comfort. So we don't exercise, we eat garbage, and if it isn't ready in 5 minutes, we won't bother with it. Then, we decide to get fit, go flat-out, and cripple ourselves. Or we let it get to the point where we throw our backs out picking up our children to play with them. Let's fix that for those wanna-be's, before they enlist, and screw up their chances, shall we? Actually, don't bother answering, because I'm gonna do it anyway.
   The core is where all movement in your body originates. Whenever you begin to do anything, from throw a jumping-spinning-side-kick, to pulling on your socks in the morning, it all starts in your mid-section. Your body's core - the area around your trunk and pelvis - is where your centre of gravity is located. (For those of you who only have to glance downwards to see it, without moving your head, you may want to start taking this thread a little more seriously. For your own health.) When you have good core stability, the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen work in harmony. They provide support to your spine for just about any activity. And without support to the spine, you're pooched.
   "Core strength" refers to the muscles of your abs and back and their ability to support your spine and to keep your body stable and balanced. Learn how to strengthen your core, you reduce back pain, you reduce the chances of spinal injury, and you get strong abs. Strong abs and a strong lower back allow you to exercise harder, lift heavier, run longer, and hump that God-awful rucksack further, thus allowing you to carry out the mission better. And you look better come swimsuit season. A little Brazilian wax job, and I feel no embarrassment in my daring little two-piece.
   In years past many athletes vigorously performed countless sit-ups as they visualised the emergence of a six-pack. (Back in the days when people thought 'spot-training' was possible.) Chasing the illusive washboard abs left little thought for the practical benefits of possessing strong abdominals. Form over function - appearance, not practicality. (My biggest problem with "body-building", but that's a rant for another thread and another time.) That was until two words began infiltrating the fitness industry, stopping everyone mid sit-up. Common sense. Okay, actually it was "Core Stabilisation" but I like my phrase better. Exercise should be about health, not looks.
   Core stabilisation refers to the ability of the abdominal (all of them, not just the ones you see when you eat straw for a couple weeks) and back muscles to work in unison and support spinal alignment. A strong core is vital in protecting the lower back and maintaining good posture. (Good posture is vital in promoting proper spinal alignment, you see how it ties together? It's a circular pattern - only you can decide if you want that cycle to be healthy or destructive.) This facilitates fluid movement of the limbs when the body is in motion. And that, Ladies, Gents, and Undecided, is our goal - functional strength that will maximize our performance as soldiers.
   Sit-ups alone are not effective. If you train only one, or even several of the abdominals, you are only partly training the core. In fact, the result is overly developed superficial muscles (rectus abdominus) and weak core stability. (Again, form over function. Like sticking a Geo Metro engine and tranny in a Lamborghini chassis. Useless, but looks cool.) It is the deep underlying muscles, the transverse abdominus (TVA), internal and external obliques and the entire back musculature that combine to make up our "core".
   The 'discovery' that traditional abdominal exercises target only the superficial muscles had gym instructors and physiotherapists getting people off the floor and onto the Swiss ball. The instability of the Swiss ball rapidly recruits stabilisation of the core muscles, improves balance, promotes mobility and aids in correcting posture. I am a big fan of it. In the world of body-building, we saw a re-emergence of the 'Dinosaur' work-outs. People began to get away from machines that do most of the stabilizing for you, and away from the various isolation exercises that only work one specific muscle. They began to work the entire body, or at least use movements and exercises that incorporate several muscle groups together. (I touched on this earlier in the thread - the use of compound movements, push-ups, etc.) It also reinforced the concept of cross-training, using several different forms of exercise to work the entire body in totally unfamiliar ways. Then we saw the emergence of Pilates. (The irony in all this is that we are returning to what the early pioneers of bodybuilding were advocating all along. Forget the chemically-enhanced guys on the covers of today's magazines. Look to Steve Reeves, Bill Pearl, Jack Lalanne for role models and work out advice.)

Everyone still with me? Groovy, that was the intro. Now we get into the science part. Stay awake, it's important for you to grasp the concepts behind this before we get into actual workout movements. That way, you'll realize why you should do things in a certain manner, and can identify when you inevitably screw it up.

Core Muscles
The major muscles of the core itself are:
Transverse Abdominis - The deepest of the abdominal muscles, this lies under the obliques (muscles of your waist). It acts like a girdle or weight belt, wrapping around your spine for protection and stability. This is the stuff you never see (at least I hope you never see yours. If you do, call a medic!), but is the most important, and most neglected.
External Obliques - These muscles are on the side and front of the abdomen, around your waist. They're the one that are covered up by "love handles". Although who loves having handles on their body, hanging and flapping, I dunno.
Internal Obliques - These muscles lie under the external obliques, running in the opposite direction. See how the body is designed? Everything has cross braces, and they all need to be strengthened.
Rectus Abdominis - The Rectus Abdominis is a long muscle that extends along the front of the abdomen. This is the 'six-pack' part of the abs that becomes visible with reduced body fat. If all you want is a visible six-pack for looks, all you gotta do is stop eating. If you want to have a strong body, keep reading.
Erector Spinae - The erector spinae is actually a collection of three muscles along your neck to your lower back. These are so often neglected, and so often blamed for back pain, when it's the front stuff that is usually letting you down. It's all inter-connected, and ignoring one part will cause the entire framework to collapse at some point.
Be sure to target all of these muscles in your strength training workouts. While ab muscles can't be separated (they all work together in each exercise), there are exercises that favour certain portions of the abs. As well as the muscles themselves, you need to strengthen the various tendons and ligaments that connect them to the skeleton. If you over-develop the muscles, and neglect the connecting tendons and ligaments, you're heading for disaster.

Core Strength and Back Pain
   When the core muscles are weak or there's an imbalance (typically, you work your rectus abdominis with crunches but fail to strengthen your TVA), a common side effect is back pain. Back pain is common because so many muscles have to contract and relax in order to allow you to stand and move. Tendons attach muscles to bones, ligaments hold your vertebrae together and muscles protect your spine and hold your body in place. If all of these are healthy and strong, you're good to go. But, if you have weak muscles, poor posture and/or excess weight, your back will be the first place you feel the strain.
   It becomes worse when you begin an exercise regime after a long lay-off, or start an entirely different program than you are accustomed to. It's so much worse when you start one like that necessary to enlist and serve. If you have a weak core, push-ups are brutal, since the incorporate the core to such an extent. Sit-ups are entirely different from crunches, and place a higher demand on the physique. Humpin' a damn ruck is sheer torture if you have a weak core. When you get that extra weight on your back, it completely throws your posture out the window, unbalances you totally, and places a sever strain on your lower back. Runnin' demands a strong core to allow you to maintain the posture necessary to run efficiently. Now, do you see why I've been harping on proper form throughout this entire thread?

G'head, read it again.
See?
Now ya getting' it?
Good, read on. We're getting to the exercise movements themselves.

to be continued...
« Last Edit: June 11, 2006, 14:57:55 by paracowboy »
...time to cull the herd.

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #43 on: November 06, 2005, 15:01:16 »
Using Weights for the Core

Ab Exercises
I'm calling it Ab exercises, but I'm throwing in stuff for  the erector spinae and obliques as well, in no particular order, just as they come to me.
Roman Chair - with the Roman Chair, you can use your own body weight to work the entire Abdominal Girdle. In the order listed, they work Abs, erector spinae, and obliques. Sit-ups: Lie on it with your feet under the ankle supports, face up, and do straight-leg sit-ups. Keep your hands either crossed on your chest, or with the finger-tips touching the ears. Do not cup the head. Once you can do a sufficient number of sets that way, pick up a 25 lb plate, hold it over your chest, and do them like that. Don't lower yourself to far backwards. Try to bring yourself down until you're horizontal, but no lower. Keep the movement slow and controlled, especially when holding the weight. Do them straight-legged as you're also working on strengthening the tendons and ligaments in the hip flexors. Hyper-extensions: Lie on it with your feet under the ankle supports, face down this time. Lower your upper body until you're at a 90 degree angle, head down. Raise your upper body backwards to the horizontal. Keep your hands either crossed on your chest, or with the finger-tips touching the ears. Once you can do a sufficient number of sets that way, pick up a 25 lb plate, hold it across your chest, and do them like that. Add weight as needed. Keep the movement slow and controlled, especially when holding the weight. Side-bends (Side-lifts? I dunno what to call them, honestly): Lie on it sideways, with your feet under the ankle supports.  Hold yourself parallel to the floor, or dip downwards slightly, then bring your body upwards as far as you can. Repeat. Once you can do a sufficient number of sets that way, pick up a dumbbell and carry on. Keep the movement slow and controlled, especially when holding the weight.

Chin-up Bar - Abs: Reach up and grab the bar in an over-hand grasp, thumbs either over, or under the bar, whichever you prefer. Using the abdominals and hip flexors, raise the legs to 90 degrees. Lower, and repeat. (You can incorporate this movement into your regular pull-ups if you choose. Working more body parts at once, burning up more calories.) Once you can do several, grip a dumbbell between your feet to add weight. (This also causes you to employ more muscle groups.) This movement can also be performed on that one particular stand with the back-rest and arm supports designed specifically for the movement, but it doesn't incorporate as many stabilizing muscle groups. Obliques: Reach up and grab the bar in an over-hand grasp, thumbs either over, or under the bar, whichever you prefer. While hanging there, curl your knees upwards, feet hanging naturally, in a sort of sitting position. Now, using the muscles in your entire side, but specifically the obliques, bring your legs sideways and upwards. Your goal is to bring the legs horizontal, parallel to the ground, but out to your side. If (unlikely, but if) your grip gives out before your obliques do, use wrist-straps.
Along with the leg raise performed here, you can also utilize a bench. Sit on a bench with your legs out in front of you, gripping the bench behind you with your hands. Raise your legs up and curl your knees to your chest. Straighten them back out, and ensure you keep your upper body upright at all times. To add to the difficulty, you can eventually start gripping a dumbbell or medicine ball with your feet.

Dead-lifts: Place sufficient weight on a barbell, lower it to the floor from it's stand. Now, with legs straight, (leaving a slight bend in the knees) bend over and grasp the barbell. Using only the muscles in the lower back and hamstrings straighten up. The barbell should hang naturally downwards the entire trip up, coming to rest across your thighs. Lower, and repeat. For an extra stretch, once you've built up to it, you can perform these standing on a sturdy box or bench, to allow the plates to go lower than your feet. There are several slight variations to this movement, and you can look them up to find the ones that work best for you. I prefer straight-legged dead-lifts as they are the hardest, and therefore, work the most muscles, and junk. My favourite variation, and one I've begun to utilize the most due to my back injury is this - Romanian One-Legged Dead-lift: standing with your feet close together, reach down and pick up a light dumbbell in one hand. Raise one foot, the opposite to the one in which you are holding the dumbbell, and straighten up, now lower the dumbbell to the floor again. That's one. By removing one foot from the equation, you are trying to maintain your balance, and with the extra weight in the opposite hand, it calls upon even more stabilizing muscles. Change feet after a 8 - 12 reps, and repeat. Perform this after regular dead-lifts and Good Mornings, which we'll get to next.   

Good Mornings: Place sufficient weight on a barbell, in a squat rack. (In fact, you shouldn't really need a squat rack for hits, since you should only be using enough weight to be able to pick it up and place it on your shoulders.) Get your shoulders under it, step back from the rack a good distance, now slowly, and under control lower your upper body face downwards, until your torso is parallel to the ground. And raise yourself back up. Good morning! Repeat. Your feet should be far enough apart to balance properly. You don't want to over-balance with your face down and a barbell across your neck.

Sideways Dumbbell Raise (or something, again, I don't know if this has a proper name or not. I saw an old boxer doing them years ago and he showed me how to do them properly.): Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, grab a dumbbell in one hand. Lower your upper body to the side, with the dumbbell running along the leg to ensure you aren't twisting too far. Try to bring your upper body as close to parallel with the ground as you can. Now, raise yourself back to upright. Once you've done a set, switch hands and do another set with the other side.

Cables: kneel in front of a cable stack, ensuring that you have either a long handle or better, the triceps ropes on the cable. Holding the ropes in each hand, with your fists about level with your ears, curl your upper body down, performing a 'crunch' in the kneeling position. Play with the weight stack until you find the one that's right for you. To make it more difficult, face away from the stack.
You can incorporate the Swiss ball in this movement by placing it in front of the stack and putting the ropes on the bottom pulley. Lie face up on the ball, with your feet spread far enough to give stability, but not so far that the stabilizing muscles are removed from the equation. Now, grip the ropes in the same manner previously, and perform a 'crunch' bringing the torso upwards, and the chest towards the pelvis. The extra stretch from using the ball, along with the difficulty of balancing, really adds the number of muscles used, hitting most of the core group.
...time to cull the herd.

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #44 on: November 06, 2005, 15:14:57 »
Ab Exercises - Floor
Bicycle - The Bicycle exercise is the best move to target the rectus abdominis (i.e., the 'six pack') and the obliques (the love handles ), according to a study done by the American Council on Exercise (whoever they are). To do this exercise correctly: Lie face up on the floor and place your fingers beside your head, touching the ears. Bring the knees in towards the chest and lift the shoulder blades off the ground without pulling on the neck. Straight the left leg out to about a 45-degree angle while simultaneously turning the upper body to the right, bringing the left elbow towards the right knee. Switch sides, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee. Continue alternating sides in a 'pedaling' motion for 12-25 reps.

Vertical Leg Crunch - The vertical leg crunch is another effective move for the rectus abdominis and the obliques. Lie face up on the floor and extend the legs straight up with knees crossed. Contract the abs to lift the shoulder blades off the floor, as though reaching your chest towards your feet. Keep the legs in a fixed position and imagine bringing your belly button towards your spine at the top of the movement. Lower and repeat for 12-25 reps. If you want, reach forwards (upwards) and form a triangle with your hands. Use the 'sight' formed to focus on your toes, and 'aim' at them while performing the movement.

Reverse Crunch - It may seem like the reverse crunch is for the lower abs but, remember, the rectus abdominis is one long muscle, so you can't separate upper from lower. To do this move right: Lie on the floor and place your hands on the floor or behind the head. Bring the knees in towards the chest until they're bent to 90 degrees, with feet together or crossed. Contract the abs to curl the hips off the floor, reaching the legs up towards the ceiling. Lower and repeat for 12-25 reps. It's a very small movement, so try to use your abs to lift your hips rather than swinging your legs and creating momentum.

Full Vertical Crunch - In a full vertical crunch, you really work the abs by involving both the upper and lower body. To do it right: Lie face up on the floor and place your fingers beside your head, touching the ears, and contract the abs to lift the shoulder blades off the floor. At the same time, press the heels towards the ceiling, creating a 'u' shape with the torso. Lower down and repeat for 12-25 reps. For you old-school guys, it's basically the "V-Sit".

Plank - The plank exercise (remember it from Gym class?) is a great way to build endurance in both the abs and back, as well as stabilizer muscles. To do it right: Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for 10-15 reps.

Oblique Abdominal Crunch - Lie face up on a mat. Flex your knees and bring your heels close to your buttocks. Cross your hands over your chest. Tuck your chin into your chest. Slowly curl your upper body towards your knees and rotate your body so that your left elbow moves toward your right knee. This should be a rolling, curling motion. Concentrate on strongly contracting your abdominal muscles. Hold this position for a moment. Slowly allow your upper body to curl back to the floor. Alternate between moving your left elbow to your right knee and your right elbow to your left knee.

Lying Leg-lifts - Lie face up on a mat. Place your hands beneath the small of the back, and raise your legs 6 inches to a foot off the ground. Hold. Hold. Hold. Hold. Release. Vary it by using your feet to spell words in the air, 6" off the ground. Scissor-kick, or splay the legs outwards. It's all good.

Everyone knows what a sit-up is, and how to do a crunch, so I'll just give examples of variations: the best over-all is the straight-leg sit-up with the feet unsupported. But, it's also the most difficult, and should not be done right away. Work up to it. It employs the most muscles and tendon/ligaments, but can cause more harm than good if you just jump not it. Don't neglect the decline bench for sit-ups or crunches and don't be shy about grabbing a 25 lb weight once you're ready.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2006, 15:00:11 by paracowboy »
...time to cull the herd.

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #45 on: November 06, 2005, 15:17:07 »
Exercises on the Swiss Ball
The Swiss ball (Exercise Ball, whatever your gym calls it) is a friggin' great tool for strengthening those never-seen-in-a-bathing-suit-so-they're-always-ignored, hard-to-get-to muscles (such as the TVA and erector spinae), as well as improving your balance and overall coordination. I use these after working the crap out of my abs, obliques, and lower back with conventional weight training movements. By that time, the visible, outer muscle groups are exhausted, and they recruit the interior muscle groups more and more to complete the task I'm demanding of them. Also, by burning out the exterior muscles with weights, I'm not in the gym for 3 hours using only my body weight. I can usually be in and out of the gym in 45 minutes, totally spent. (A not uncommon procedure, my wife tells me - in, out, totally spent, and way to soon. I don't know what she's talking about.)

Back Extension - Lie facedown with the ball under your hips and lower torso. Look around to make sure there are no Catholic priests nearby. On your toes or knees, and with your hands on the sides of the head or behind your back, slowly roll down the ball. Lift your chest off the ball, bringing your shoulders up until your body is in a straight line. It's essentially a version of the hyper-extension, except that it recruits more stabilizer muscles. Repeat 12- 16 times. Wait 30 seconds and do another set. And, once more. Make sure your body is in alignment (i.e., head, neck, shoulders and back are in a straight line), your abs are pulled in and that you are breathing continuously. Don't consciously hold your breath in any exercise movement.

Ball Balance - Lie facedown with the ball under your abs and hips, hands on the floor and legs straight. Hold that position for 20 to 30 seconds, keeping your body in a straight line, abs pulled in. Keeping your balance, slowly raise your right arm out to the side, taking care not to roll or allow any part of your body to collapse. Hold that for a few seconds and switch arms. Rinse, and repeat as necessary.

Hip Extension - Lie face up on the floor with your heels propped on the ball. Keeping your abs tight, slowly lift your hips off the floor (squeezing the buttocks) until the body is in a straight line. Your weight should be on your shoulders and trapezius muscles. Hold for a few seconds and lower, repeating 10 to 15 times. Do a few sets, resting 30 - 60 seconds between sets. To make it easier, place the ball under your knees rather than under your heels. To make it harder, cross your arms across your chest. To make it nasty, cross your arms across your chest, and raise one leg in the air slightly.

Ball Twist - Face down, lying on the floor, place your feet on either side of the ball (twisting your ankles so that you are 'hugging' the ball with them). Hold your body in a straight line with the abs 'pulled in,' hips straight and hands directly under shoulders. You are now in a push-up position, with your feet on each side of the ball. Slowly twist the ball to the right, keeping your torso straight, then to the left. Don't sag in the middle. Do as many as you can for 10 to 20 seconds, rest and repeat.

Ball Crunch - Lie face-up on the ball, feet flat on the floor, with the ball resting under your mid/lower back. Cross your arms over the chest or place them behind your head. Contract your abs to lift your torso off the ball, pulling the bottom of your ribcage down toward your hips. As you curl up, keep the ball stable (i.e., you shouldn't roll). Lower back down, getting a stretch in the abs, and repeat for 12-16 reps. Do several sets. Your shoulder-blades and neck should touch the ball on the down-stroke to get a full stretch. If you aren't getting a full extension, you won't get a full contraction, and you are cheating yourself out of an excellent movement. Hey, it's your call.

The Plank - Just like the one you used to do in Gym class, but using a Swiss ball. Roll over the ball face-down, until your hands are on the floor and the ball is under your knees or further down your shins. Eventually, you will have the ball under your toes. You should be in a push-up position with unlocked elbows. The spine is in a neutral position (that is, your hips are square and parallel to the floor). Contract your abdominals by drawing them toward your spine. Hold the contraction for up to 30 seconds. Increase the difficulty by walking further out on your hands. Now, make it tougher by raising one foot in the air. Now raise one foot and the opposite hand. Now bring 'em both in and do push-ups. Now do push-ups with one foot in the air, and your hands alternating - one hand under your shoulder, one hand up past your ear. Switch!

I don't know what to call this one - Lie face-up on the ball, feet flat on the floor, with the ball resting under your torso. Now roll over onto your side, with the ball under your armpit, and your weight on your ribcage and edge of the foot. Hold yourself  stiff, sorta like doing a Plank, but sideways. Hold the contraction for up to 30 seconds. Relax, and allow the body to sag until you're sitting sideways, and then repeat. Do a few sets.

Annnnd...collapse!

more to follow, over....
...time to cull the herd.

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #46 on: November 07, 2005, 09:30:59 »
message continues,

All right, so far we've discussed how to directly target the Core muscles. Now, let's look at how to indirectly target them. As stated above, every time you do something in the least bit physical, you're activating them. The problems start when they haven't been hit often enough. Like the calves, these muscles are used every day, and all the time. But, like all muscles, they adapt to the stresses placed on them, and try to as little as possible, or to adapt as little as possible. This is why we end up with back pain when we think we're only working our legs that day, or only going for a run. So, let's look at ways to hit them indirectly. This'll cause them to realize that they will be called on everyday, and they'll adapt to this demand.

Like I said waaay back in this thread, you want to get away from typical bodybuilding exercises and routines unless that "sport" is your goal. If your intention is not to appear to be strong, but rather to actually BE strong, you need to look at the big compound, multi-body part movements. If your intention is to have muscular strength and endurance, and to burn off fat tissue, you need to look at exercise routines that incorporate these movements.

Basically, the easiest way to decide how to make any weight training routine into more of a compound type one, is simply to avoid sitting down to perform a movement, and to avoid machines except towards the end of a workout. Do everything you can standing up. Now, you're constantly stimulating several muscles at once, especially the stabilizing muscles of the core.

For instance, and for example, the overhead triceps extension. The conventional wisdom has people seated in a chair with a big back to brace yourself against, and allowing you to spread your feet, very effectively isolating the triceps, and permitting you to use heavier weight. But, movements like this remove the stabilizers from the equation. The irony of movements like this, is that while making the exercise safer in the short term, it acts against your well-being in the long run by making you more susceptible to back injury.

So, don't do it sitting down. Stand up. Now, you have a weight behind your head, forcing you to balance and support yourself against gravity pulling you backwards and down. The stabilizing muscles are getting hit indirectly, the triceps are getting hit directly. You're involving several different muscle groups throughout the entire body - triceps, biceps, handgrip, shoulders, back, core, and legs. In addition to gaining strength, you're also burning more fat. It's a friggin' two-fer! And that's the goal.

Same holds with the traditional barbell curl - avoid the Scott bench (Preacher bench, whatever your gym calls it) and do it standing up. Now, the weight is pulling you forwards and down. This is putting more demands on the erector spinae, but still involving the entire core, and the legs.

Shoulders: avoid sitting - do the lateral raises, behind the neck press, military press, front raise, etc all standing. To hit the stabilizers a little more directly, finish a shoulder routine with ONE-armed dumbbell presses. Grab a dumbbell in one hand, stand up, place your other hand over your midsection, or behind your back to get it out of the way, raise the dumbbell to ear level, and push it towards the sky. Do it a few times. You feel that? All the way from your shoulder, through the upper back, to the lower back? Maybe a little creeping into the stomach and leg? Pretty nifty, no?

Legs: when you work the legs, you are hitting the stabilizers more than with any other body part. So avoid the machines here like the plague, until the very end of the workout. Squats. Do squats. Do lots of squats. Do many different variants of squats. Think about it - you're placing weight onto your back and that demands the body balance itself forwards and backwards as well as side-to side. Try this variant: place the barbell across your shoulders (with a fairly light weight), cross your feet at the ankles, and now squat. You can't use a lot of weight, but it demands more from the legs and a lot more from the stabilizers. Try this lunge variant - place your forward leg onto a bench and perform a lunge that way. Again, you can't use a lot of weight, but it demands more from the legs and a lot more from the stabilizers.

I'm not going into every single weight-lifting movement here in great detail, it'd take too long, and I'm a lazy man. It's sufficient to say, when designing your workout routine, try to find a way to perform every exercise with free weights as opposed to machines (dumbbells being better than barbells), and try to avoid sitting down when you could be standing up. This serves the added bonus of not having to wait around while Joe Cool-guy is sitting on the Pec-deck chatting to Miss Spandex, cutting into your work-out time. You also don't end up sitting/lying in somebody else's sweat puddle because he's too big a slob to wipe it down once he's finished.

This works not only for newbies to PT, but also for guys 'n' gals who've been gym-rats for a while. If you've been following the type of workout advocated in most glossy supplement advertisers masquerading as body-building magazines, try doing what I've said above. Avoid the machines and stand up for 3 weeks. Then go back to your last workout routine, and let me know if you didn't see a dramatic improvement in strength and endurance. You certainly should, since you're now making demands on more muscle groups AND the tendons and ligaments of the entire body. Typical body-building routines focus on the muscle, using lots of isolation movements, so the tendons and ligaments are not hit as often, as hard, or from as many different angles. But, they're vital for strength. By employing them more in this manner, they are also forced to adapt and grow stronger.

Experienced gym-rats may have to drop the poundage in certain exercises at first, which body-builders and competitive power-lifters are often loath to do, but it will come back fast, and the pay off is huge. You'll blow past previous sticking points, burn more fat, and not waste your time waiting for Joe Cool-guy to stop hitting on the chicks in painted-on "work-out" clothes.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2006, 15:02:21 by paracowboy »
...time to cull the herd.

Offline paracowboy

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #47 on: November 07, 2005, 14:31:52 »
I just realized some dumbass is going to perform every single exercise I listed, back-to-back for 50 sets of 30 reps each, cripple himself, and not be any use to the Army.

Do NOT do that. I listed so many different exercises so that people can pick and choose, mix and match. Find the ones that you can do now, and work towards the ones you can't. Add numbers of repetitions and sets as you gain strength and edurance. Increase the weight to increase the intensity.

But, ease into it. If your core is weak now, doing everything listed above is not going to help. It's going to sideline you for days, and possibly longer.

There are enough exercises there that you can mix 'em up and get several different workouts from them.

Any specific questions, again, don't hesitate to pm me.
...time to cull the herd.

Offline MacKenzie CS

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #48 on: December 05, 2005, 11:11:57 »
Do you have any dieting tips as well? Like I know protein is nessesary, but how can I get enough of it without walking around with a T-bone steak in my pocket, or spend 80-100$ per month on suppliments? :salute:
Chris
SIOL NA FEAR FEARAIL

Offline CdnArtyWife

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Re: Shin Splints, Blisters, and PT [Merged]
« Reply #49 on: December 05, 2005, 11:43:32 »
There is protien in more places than you realize..

Peanut butter, cheese, yogurt and legumes (beans, lentils, etc) are just the tip of the iceburg.

Read your lables, you will find protien in places you would least expect it. (in a slice of bread, for instance)

"For do not forget the soldiers that make up this military are solidly built characters hand hewn from everyday Canadian values: grace, integrity, physical and moral courage, and loyalty." ~ Maj Scott Lang