Body Weight Exercise - Introduction

Hey all,

It's been a while since I made an actual post on here, my apologies. I've been a little bussy with a side project on squidoo. I thought it was about time I started working on the content here as well.

For the next few posts I'm going to be focusing on strengthening exercises that you can do with just your own body weight and a minimal amount of equipment. Right now I'm on a bus on my way to work, so I just wanted to give a little introduction to the series.

Body weight exercise is great. That sentence seems like it should have a bit more ummph to it, but the statement stands on its on. It's great. It requires little equipment, is basically free, and you can do it in your own home. For anyone in transit (staying in a hotel room, etc...) it can be used to tide you over until you can hit the gym again. No you won't get HUGE with body weight exercises, but you can expect to see improvements in strength, muscle tone, and balance.

For the next few posts I'll cover some common body weight exercises, common mistakes while doing them, ways to progress them, and a little bit of anatomy/biomechanics just for the fun of it.

As always, if you have any questions please don't hesitate to comment or contact me directly. Cheers!

Soft Tissue Healing - Content at Squidoo

It's been a couple of days since my last relevant post. I've been working on a few things, trying to make little improvements here and there. One thing I've done is started a squidoo account and started posting content there. It's a pretty interesting little site so I think I'd try it out for a little while. Here's a post on soft tissue healing that I just wrote for my squidoo account. It will likely find it's way to my healthy living page here in the near future, but in the meantime you can read all about it there.

I encourage any of you who do read this blog to let me know what you think. Is there anything you want me to write about? Follow me, tell your friends, I need to know I'm not alone out in the blogosphere. That's it for now. Cheers.

Technorati Claim

Forgive me folks, this post is neither personal nor health related. Just a requirement for technorati.

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Knee Injury - Sprains and Strains

Below is information for a handout I wrote when working in a clinic. It contains basic information about sprains/strains of the knee

General Information

The knee is a complex structure consisting of four strong ligaments – the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL), Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL), and the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) – cartilage known as meniscus, and a number of tendons the cross over the knee to allow for knee flexion and extension-most notably the patellar/quadriceps tendons.



The knee is the most injured joint of the body, with most injuries being a sprain to one of the four ligaments. Commonly knee injuries occur as a result of participating in sports. Other causes can be slips, trips, and motor vehicle accidents. Knee strains and sprains are caused by direct trauma.

Tips to Prevent Injury

Unfortunately, knee injuries caused by direct trauma, for example a football player getting tackled at the knees, are unpreventable. However, one way to minimize the risk of a strain, sprain, is to properly warm up before participating in sporting activity. Often a person will get injured because they are inexperienced or casual participants in sport and are not conditioned for the rigors of sport.

Exercise is also important as it will help retain flexibility in the knee and keep the muscles and tendons surrounding the knee strong to provide stability.

If you have a history of knee injuries then wearing a protective brace or taping before participating in physical activity is a good idea.

Treatment

Immediate treatment for a mild strain/sprain injury should focus on reducing swelling and pain with a combination of anti-inflammatory medication and following the R.I.C.E model:

Rest – take a break from activities that may aggravate the injury

Ice   – Ice the injury for 15-20 minutes on and off for about 2 hours to keep swelling down

Compression – keep pressure on the injury by using a wrap in order to push swelling away from the injury

Elevation – Elevate the leg above the level of the heart by lying down and supporting the leg with pillows or books to prevent pooling of blood and to keep swelling down

Strengthening exercises should be included once swelling has decreased, usually about 3-4 days.

Rotator Cuff Injury - The Basics and Tips

The rotator cuff is the main stabilizer of the shoulder joint of the shoulder and it allows the arm to raise and rotate, hence the name. The four main muscles that make of the rotator cuff shown below:


                                              Posterior                           Anterior


The infraspinatus and teres minor act as external rotators of the arm, while the subscapularus acts as internal rotator. The teres minor is also a weak adductorof the shoulder, while the supraspinatus acts as a shoulder abductor.


The majority of rotator cuff injuries are repetitive strain injuries that occur gradually, although some injuries occur because of a trauma such as a fall or accident. Rotator cuff injuries usually fall into one of two categories:

1.     Rotator Cuff Tendonitis – inflammation of the tendons of one or more of the above muscles

2.     Rotator Cuff Tear – tearing of one of the tendons of one or more of the above muscles 

The main signs of a rotator cuff injury are shoulder pain and weakness and this is aggravated when lifting objects above one’s shoulders/head. Poor posture can also put you at risk for developing a rotator cuff injury because as you slouch forward you place undue stress on the shoulder joint.

Tips to Prevent Rotator Cuff Injuries

While you cannot prevent trauma, there are things you can do to lower the risk of developing a rotator cuff injury:
  1. Exercise your rotator cuff. This will strengthen the involved muscles and help to better stabilize the shoulder joint.
  2. Avoid lifting heavy objects about your head. The safest level for lifting is between your waist (at your belt) and your chest. If lifting is to be done above the shoulders then ask for assistance or use a stool.     
  3. Take Breaks when your shoulders/arms feel weak or tired. Remember, most rotator cuff injuries are repetitive stress injuries and are caused by overuse. When you’re muscles fell weak and tired they are unable to stabilize your shoulder joint properly, increasing your risk for injury. 
  4. Listen to your parent’s advice and stand up straight. Your shoulders should be relaxed, back, and down. Avoid slouch forward.    

I Have Returned (much like the Jedi)

Hello world!

I am back from my honeymoon. I will post some relavant posts as soon as I can, but in the meantime, check out my wife's blog for pictures from Barcelona, and Marrakech to follow.

Also, if anyone has any ideas of topics they would like me to cover then please let me know. I'll gladly write on anything health related. Of course, if it's not something I've had much experience with I will have to research, but I'm cool with that - it'll actually be helpful for when I have to write my thesis.