Tip of the Week: Building those Pecs
To increase both your strength and definition in your chest, start your workout by “pre-exhausting” the muscle. To do this, start your chest workout with 3-4 sets of machine chest flys(low-moderate weight) and then move on to a flat bench press…preferably dumbbells. Although you will not be able to lift as much weight as your normal dumbbell press, by pre-exhausting the muscle you will eliminate smaller muscles (front deltoids and triceps). This forces you to utilize your primary chest muscles (pecs), thus allowing you to work the chest to failure and yield maximum results. Try this for at least 4-6 weeks, when you resume your normal chest workouts, you will find that you will be able to handle more weight.
Your feet may be the problem!
Vacations to warm places are great and I feel fortunate that I am able to go on them. For the most part I try my best to disconnect from work, but since I love my job, there are some parts of my mind that are always thinking.
I was just away on a beach vacation, and given that most people walk around barefoot, I was once again reminded of how many people have flat feet (structurally there is no arch) or overpronate when they walk (functionally their arch is not working properly).
So I think to myself: do all these people wear orthotics? Do they even know what orthotics are? Do they exercise? Do they realize that some of the pain they are inevitably feeling is originating from their feet and is preventable? Do the women realize that their “oh so dreaded, ugly and soon-to-be painful” bunions could have been prevented (bunions are more common with women)?
For the individual, I am unable to answer these questions but for the masses, I can. I know most people either have no clue that they have structural/functional foot issues, don’t realize there are simple corrective solutions and the pain they are experiencing in other parts of their body could be originating from their feet. Your feet are the bottom of the kinetic chain (body parts that are linked together) and if there is a problem with your feet, body parts above may suffer. Think of it this way: if the bottom floor of a building has problems, are you confident that the upper floors are safe?
If you exercise, and have flat feet or overpronate, you are exposed to even bigger issues. Your feet act as shock absorbers and if they aren’t working, you are essentially driving your car without shocks…how do you think that’s going to end up for the rest of the car parts??? I hope you are getting my point!
If a patient presents to my office complaining of foot pain, ankle pain, knee pain, hip pain or low back pain, the first thing I check is their feet and arches. Next I check their gait (walking pattern). If you have flat feet or overpronate, proper custom-made orthotics should be strongly considered and may be the solution to your problem. Orthotics may be the preventative health tool that saves you a lot of grief. In simple terms custom-made orthotics are inserts that are made to correct your specific structural or functional foot abnormalities. If you have a shoulder problem, I can’t just get a device put it in your shirt and be rid of it. But if you have a problem caused from your feet, I can put you in an orthotic and the problem is solved.
Here’s a list of conditions that may be caused by your feet and corrected, prevented or helped by the use of custom made orthotics:
- Low back pain
- Hip pain
- snapping hip
- Knee pain
- Iliotibial band syndrome (runners knee)
- Patella femoral syndrome
- Plantar Fasciitis (pain on the bottom of your feet)
Dr. G’s Tips:
- If you have low back, hip, knee, ankle or foot pain, make sure your feet are examined as the possible cause
- If you have flat feet (no arch) or bunions, consider custom-made orthotics
- Regardless of what anyone tells you, wearing orthotics will not help you “grow an arch”. Therefore if you need orthotics, you will always need them
- Custom-made orthotics should be moulded or cast from foam or plaster (Until I am shown otherwise I am not a believer in the electronic scanners….my opinion, they simply wow the patients)
- Go to a reputable practitioner to get assessed for orthotics and to actually get your orthotics made. If you were not moulded for orthotics, then they aren’t custom made
- Depending on your usage, have your orthotics checked every couple years
- Sport or exercise orthotics are not the same as casual or dress orthotics. They have different requirements and should be made of different materials, therefore the same orthotic should not be used for both purposes
- Although they do make orthotics for high heels, I would not recommend them. High heels are not good for your feet and no device can correct that…..ladies it’s the price you pay for fashion..be aware
Get Assessed, Get Diagnosed, Stay Healthy
Massages for enhanced performance, by Cindy Fabro
If you are an athlete, professional or amateur, or even if you are a person who likes to exercise, getting regular massages may help you perform better. Vigorous training can lead to tight, sore muscles, which may add unnecessary stress to joints, ligaments and tendons that assist the muscles in our bodies and help us move. Muscle tension can lead to a decrease in range of motion, inflexible, rigid muscles and muscle ‘knots’. All of which can increase the chance of injury. Consistent tension in muscles can also lead to a decrease of oxygen to the muscles, which can leave you feeling achy and tired. Keeping your muscles hydrated, oxygenated, relaxed, and flexible, can help you perform at your peak.
Just like any professional athlete, you need to properly take care of your body to help you avoid injury and perform at your best at every event. Drinking water, stretching, warming-up and cooling-down are things we need to do in order to take care of our bodies. But did you know that getting regular massages could help you train more effectively, perform better and recover more quickly? Deep tissue massage can help relax tight, sore muscles, keeping them flexible and supple, flush out built up toxins and work out muscle knots and trigger points. Massages also promote circulation to the areas being worked so tight muscles get the oxygen they need as well as nutrients important for muscle repair. Massage can break down built up lactic and uric acids as well as other waste products that can accumulate and cause discomfort in the body.
Massages may also be beneficial during a specific sporting event. Before an event starts, it can help warm up the body, increase blood flow to the muscles and help relieve any tension of the muscles that will be involved in the exertion, in turn, helping you perform better. During an event, massage can help with any tightness or cramping that may occur and help support recovery and after an event, it can help flush the system, relax the muscles and aid in repair of tissues that may have been slightly damaged during the event. One thing to remember: massages shouldn’t replace your regular routine but should be utilized more as an addition to it.