Fix This in Your Athlete Daughter for Knee Health

People often ask when kids should start lifting weights and that’s a complicated answer that has a lot of variables in it. When should my child start exercising is a really easy question to answer though. The answer is now. There is a misconception that exercising always means lifting weights. Although weights can be a VERY useful tool, the real goal is refining movement and there’s no time where that isn’t useful.

For girls, this is especially true, since they are much more likely to get injured in their lifetime due to poor movement mechanics. It’s not because women are less coordinated or play riskier sports, it’s due to the way their knees connect to their hips.

Due to this Q Angle (see dotted line in the above diagram) being greater in women than in men, they are already prone to having their knees cave in. Women generally have wider hips, as you can see this affects how the knees connect to the hips. This leads to issues with jumping and squatting, but is especially dangerous when they land or decelerate.

This is why the incidence of non-contact ACL injuries is so much greater in women than in men. Without proper practice, it is unlikely to change naturally, so something needs to be done.

  1. Mindful Movement. Have your daughter focus on keeping the knees out while doing squatting, jumping and landing movements. Teaching them the proper position slowly will help it apply to moving faster. These are the basics. These are slow and easily controlled. Start here.
  2. Challenge the Movement. Once you see that she can keep her knees spread on a squat, challenge it with additional weight. A goblet squat is a great option here. Another option is to challenge with bands that are forcing the knees to cave in. This will provide an easy cue to push out and will also strengthen the muscles of the hips that need keep the knees from caving in. This is a suitable progression and mastery here should be seen before it can be reliably put to the test in athletic situations.
  3. Force Absorption. The greatest force your athletic daughter will be forced to deal with isn’t the additional weight of the goblet squat or band tension, it is the force when they are dealing with a quick deceleration. Athletes spend a lot of time practicing running and jumping, but very little time is usually spent on stopping and landing. Work with your daughter on absorbing these forces well on sprints that have a defined stop point with proper deceleration and use box jumps, depth jumps and broad jumps to make sure that as your daughter lands she is landing with her knees in line or outside of her feet.
  4. Or just sign up for our kids class. It’s every day after school at 4 and we’ll work on these things.

Work on these things with your daughter. Help her to stay healthy and happy and strong and injury free. Feel free to email corey@coreblendtraining.com with any questions.

Questions About Kids Training

We get questions all of the time about our Youth Athletic Development class. I’m going to take this blog to answer some of the questions I get asked most often. I’m calling it an FAQ on YAD.

Working on Leg Strength

When is the class?
The class is Monday through Friday at 4pm.

How long is the class?
The class is one hour.

Is my child old enough for the class?
Sure. It’s really less about age and more about attention span. If they have the attention span to do an hour long class then they are old enough to participate. The class is about meeting kids where they are developmentally, so there’s no level that is too basic.

Sled Pushes are an Easy Way to Train the Legs for the younger ones

Will this help my child get faster?
Absolutely. The class is based around improving athleticism and speed is a big part of that. It’s not the only goal of the class, but in my opinion, doing only speed work would be a disservice. Often the reason for their lack of quickness is their weakness, poor motor control, poor fitness, or poor mobility. As such we need to take a holistic approach and try to improve all of the qualities that affect athleticism.

Explosive Work

I think my child should do more speed ladders. You don’t use them enough in your program.
That’s not a question. Here’s a YouTube video about how I don’t like the speed ladder. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFwdYto_LTw

What are your qualifications to work with children?
I have an undergrad degree in Physical Health Education and am certified to teach PE in the state of Georgia.

I was probably saying something really important

I don’t want my child lifting weights. I don’t think they’re ready.
Your child won’t lift weights until we feel like it’s appropriate. We challenge different movement patterns and sometimes weight is a way to do it. We also challenge them through additional reps, slow tempo, faster tempo or while focusing on other movements. Based on the research available, there is no reason to worry about a child lifting weights under the supervision of specialists. It does not stunt growth. It does not damage growth plates and often it is easier than bodyweight movements. The forces put on a child during controlled weight lifting (such as found at Core Blend) are much lower than those found in sprinting, jumping, landing, gymnastics movements and sports, so we have no fears in this area. We only want to challenge a child with weights when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

My child is old enough to lift weights. Why isn’t he?
We don’t feel like your child’s movement pattern is refined enough to add additional weight yet. We are confident that with additional time and work they will be ready and they will make better progress long term because we were conservative.

I’m worried that we won’t make it right at 4. Will my child be penalized for running late?
No of course not. They’ll miss out on one exercise and have an abbreviated warmup, but they’ll get a great workout in.

Hill Sprints Improve Acceleration for the athletes, and skin tone for the trainer

Do we have to sign up for specific days?
No. We need to know how many days a week your child will show up for pricing purposes, but they can show up whichever days are convenient.

Do we have to sign a contract?
No. We don’t have contracts.

Do we get a discount for additional family members joining the class?
Yes. We have a family discount that applies to classes or personal training.

We’re going to miss a few days, will we lose out on those sessions?
No. We will roll them over for you.

My Experience with Reese’s Massage

Now that Hoffa Massage Therapy is up and running I’ve been able to use Reese as a massage therapist regularly for the last six months. I’ve used him for my clients, for my wife and for myself and I think there are 5 reasons that Reese gives the absolute best massage. 

  1. Reese is strong. For some reason I was scared of this part. I don’t know what I was picturing, it’s not like Reese accidentally rips the door off of hinges when he goes to open them, but for some reason I was worried he’d accidentally push too hard and break something. Instead, because he has the strength of 10 men, he just does all of the massage work effortlessly and tirelessly. Where other therapists would need to really lean in, use an elbow, or worse of all just give up on stubborn knots, Reese just kneads his way through them.
  2. Reese is knowledgeable. Reese really knows his stuff when it comes to massage. It was frustrating when he couldn’t go out to dinner for about 8 months while he was studying for massage school, but now his devotion to his study has really paid off for me. He’s incredibly knowledgeable about the human body and is constantly studying to continue making himself better.
  3. Reese is well versed. Reese was a professional athlete for well over a decade and has received every sort of recovery treatment you can. This shows when Reese stretches a muscle while he massages, it shows when he brings in special tools for stubborn areas and it shows when he refers people out for a different style of treatment. Reese is my go to authority when I need to know how to treat some small issue.
  4. Reese actually works out. Reese knows about exercise and what sorts of movements I do, so in addition to knowing where I’m likely to be tight, he knows when I need to do more or less of a certain exercise. This knowledge has been invaluable not only with my own training but when I send him my one on one clients for a touch up.
  5. Reese is stubborn. You don’t get to be a world champion without having some patience and willingness to work. When my shoulders were tight and I couldn’t figure out why, Reese was on the case. He didn’t stop poking and prodding until he actually solved the issue. It meant that he went past our hour spending time continuing talking to me, but it was worth it to him just to figure out the real cause.
  6. BONUS REASON One of my biggest pet peeves from therapists is they always ask what I want to work on then they do an extra thirty seconds on that area before going into the same massage they always do. With Reese, he was willing to spend the entire time on the areas that actually bothered me. I thought the knots in my back were just a permanent part of life until I had enough time with Reese for him to fix them.
Strong, Healing Hands

Recovery and Restoration

The road to improved performance and health is best illustrated by how you take care of your body. Not only with how you approach nutrition and your training regimen, but also in how you rest and recover. This should be an integral part to your strategy. 

Rest and recovery allow the body (joints to tissue) proper time to recoup from the workout so that your body is able to perform optimally the next time it is challenged whether in the gym, competition or life.  Research shows that most individuals spend very little time or attention on helping the body effectively recover. Your body needs your assistance in returning the vitals (heart rate, blood pressure, etc) to normal levels, and your tissue (muscles/fascia) to a pre-workout state.  Just because you think it does not mean the body gets any benefit. 

Effective recovery starts with the cool down process after your workout and should include components that will not only stretch muscles/fascia, but will also help you down regulate the nervous system. Down regulation helps your muscles relax, brings your vitals back to normal and improves your overall stress level. 

When muscles and fascia are properly stretched not only does it feel great, but also there is improved hydration and circulation at the cellular level. This is where the recovery really starts and where you can optimize the process.  This is why professional athletes spend an enormous amount of attention in how they approach recovery. Stretching and caring for the fascia and joints is an integral part to their performance.

One type of manual therapy that most pros now use is Fascial Stretch TherapyTM, which helps their fascia remain healthy, and speeds up their recovery. 

Benefits to FSTTM Stretching:

Improve Range of Motion and Mobility  

Improved Performance –  (healthy fascia handles force transmission; better mobility)

Increase Rate of Recovery (better hydration/circulation at cellular level, improves rate of recovery)

Decrease Risk of Injury 

Improve Joint Health (decompresses joints)

Improve Circulation (blood flow improved throughout tissue/body)

Improved Hydration (better circulation delivers fluids)

Decrease Stress (physical and emotional state)

Improve Sleep (more relaxed state; sleep more deeply)

So if the pro athletes find stretching and tissue care important so should we.  Instead of waiting until your feel bad or injured, get in front of it and stretch, relax and recover. It might be the missing piece to the puzzle on reaching your fitness or health goals.  

Camp Hoffa Throws June 20-22, 2018

 

Join Reese Hoffa and his staff of coaches at the Hoffa Throws Academy Summer Throws Camp. Stay for 1, 2, or all 3 days of throws instruction.

We will focus on making you a better Shot and Discus thrower!

Click Here to Register

When: June 20 – 22th

Where: 1260 Greensboro Hwy, Watkinsville, GA 30677

Time: 9 AM – 3PM

Other: Lunch provide each day

Cost:
1 Day …………$100
2 Days …………$200
3 Days …………$300

Start the process to become a spinning athlete in the Shot and Discus

Improve glide technique

No matter your skill level, you can improve

Questions? Contact Reese at 706-254-3333 or email hoffathrows@coreblendtraining.com

Click Here to Register

 

4 Simple Tips for Better Weight Management

Weight loss can be an ongoing challenge and determining where to start and sifting through all the information available online can be tedious and more often than not you will leave yourself feeling even more confused as to where to begin and what to do. In terms of where to begin let’s start with some fundamentally important concepts of what you can start working on that will yield great long term results.

1. Eat More Protein.

A goal you should focus on to begin is eating good quality lean proteins with every single meal throughout the day. Aim to shoot for about 1-2 palm size servings every single meal. Protein has a high TEF (Thermic effect of food) meaning it requires more energy to simply breakdown and process the protein being consumed. Essentially, your body burns more calories to utilize this nutrient. Protein is also the least likely macro nutrient that can get stored as body fat when compared to fats and carbohydrates, it is still possible to store of course if you are overeating total calories, however much less likely. While you are in a fat burning state, your body goes catabolic. This means that you are breaking down tissues to use for energy, hence fat burning. When your body is in a catabolic state it will not only burn fat but can also utilize muscle tissues for energy if needed. Increasing protein intake while cutting unwanted body fat will help preserve your hard earned muscle. The more muscle you have on your frame equals more calories burned throughout the day. Win win.

2. Prioritize resistance training over just cardio.

Resistance training will stimulate the formation of new muscle tissues. As above, the more muscle mass you have the more calories and fat you will burn in the long term. You will also burn a higher amount of calories on days off from the gym because your body is recovering from its previous training session and in need of additional energy to grow and recover.

3. Limit processed carbohydrates.

Substitute white breads, enriched pastas, sugar filled drinks, most cereals, sweets, and white rice with more vegetables and fruits, preferably berries. Controlling blood sugar and insulin levels low is essential for fat to be mobilized and be used as fuel to burn.

4. Drink more water.

Shoot for minimum of 1-1.5 ounces of water per kilogram of bodyweight. Limit alcohol consumption, and focus on restful sleep.

A Note on Contracts

We don’t do written fee contracts lasting months at a time, here at Core Blend. We are committed to earning your business month after month. You should stay at our facility next month because we’ve provided value, not because you signed a contract. We advertise our actual price and don’t use a contract as a way to artificially decrease our price. We don’t see a reason that it’s beneficial for our clients to sign a contract, so we don’t make them. We’re committed to providing the best exercise experience possible, we’ll let other people worry about sales tactics.

Why Doesn’t Corey like Running Shoes at Core Blend?

New members often come into the gym wearing running shoes. It makes sense. I get why people do it. Running is exercise. They are coming to exercise. They should wear running shoes. Makes perfect sense. There are a couple of flaws to this kind of idea though and I have a couple of different solutions.

First, let’s talk about why this is an issue. Running shoes are really good at decreasing the amount of force going into your heel when you run. Most people do a heel to toe stride, so a lot of the force goes from the ground up into your foot at the heel. Your running shoes are designed with a big foam pad there to absorb that force. This is great for runners.

The issue is when you’re NOT running and instead trying to squat or deadlift or do something else athletic inside Core Blend (or whatever non Core Blend gym you’re mistakenly going to) your goal is to put force into the ground. The same material that is keeping your body from feeling the impact from the ground is now keeping your body from being able to exert force into the ground. You may have a coach repeatedly telling you to get your weight on your heels during the squat, but if you’re in running shoes they’re missing the point and so are you. You are instinctively going to feel like you can’t push through your heels (because you can’t, at least not very efficiently), so of course you are going to lean forward and push through your toes instead.

So now  you’re stuck in a lose lose situation. Squats feel unnatural, your coach tells you you’re doing them wrong, but it doesn’t really feel like you can do it the way they’re telling you to. So what’s the answer? I have a few different solutions:

  • Go Barefoot.
    • Pros
      • This is by far the cheapest option. No additional steps are needed to do this. Just slip off your shoes after getting loose and then put them back on after your last set.
      • This works incredibly well. Here’s Jordan Clarke deadlifting 650 pounds barefoot. Here’s a photo of me squatting 435 barefoot. You would be shocked at the number of people i’ve worked with that hit large PR’s just by me cueing them to push through their heels after taking their shoes off.
                          
      • It can actually make coaching the lift easier because you can see whether or not the athlete is rooting into the ground properly and pushing through the foot in the right way.
    • Cons
      • You can’t transition as seamlessly from one exercise to the next. If you’re doing a superset of Squats and Box Jumps, this wouldn’t work nearly as well. If you were doing a squat or a deadlift as part of a larger circuit, it’s not realistic to take shoes on and off constantly.
      • People will worry that you will hurt your foot if something gets dropped on it. You will have to endure this completely unfounded concern, as if the person offering this advice is wearing steel toed shoes in the gym. That 45 pound plate is going to crush a foot whether you’re barefoot or wearing running shoes. This isn’t really a con…it’s just a pet peeve of mine.
  • Get Lifting Shoes
    • Pros
      • Easily slid on and off for lifts. Just put your running shoes back on for the rest of your workout.
      • These shoes should be the best option for big lifts. That’s what they are explicitly designed to do.
    • Cons
      • As Louie Simmons says “Don’t have $100 shoes and a 10 cent squat.” At least in the beginning that money might be better spent on additional coaching time with an expert. Barefoot works well enough for a long time.
      • The shoes might not be the most comfortable way to lift for you. Some people prefer a raised heel, some prefer a flat sole.
      • You might need/want different shoes for different exercises. I’ve met guys that deadlift in one pair of shoes, squat in another, and have a third pair for cardio. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it can get expensive.
  • Get Multi-Purpose Shoes
    • Pros
      • These shoes work really well for a wide variety of exercises. I squat, bench, olympic lift, row, ski, push a sled, and play sports in mine. You wouldn’t need to change shoes during your workout and they would work very well.
      • These will be about the same price as a pair of running shoes, so if you just buy these instead of running shoes next time, you’re not looking at an additional expense.
      • Examples of these would be shoes from No Bull, Nike Metcons, or Reebok Nanos. I’m sure there are more. If you’re confused, pop me an email or swing by the gym and I’ll answer questions.
    • Cons
      • These shoes are by definition not THE BEST at any one activity. That shouldn’t be an issue for most people though. For the broad fitness done in warehouse style gyms, these will be fine.

So there you go. Hopefully this helps your lifting and fitness.

You Can Be Fit

The person that you know that effortlessly fits exercise into their week? They enjoy it.

Our role as trainers at Core Blend is to help you find that form of exercise that you’ll look forward to. We want you to exercise for the rest of your life and the best way to do that is to make sure that it’s enjoyable. So many people are busy trying to sell the EXTREME workout, or shove you into a one size fits all box that they forget that you showing up every week for the rest of your life is the real goal.

No matter what your goals are and what you enjoy doing, we can help you. If right now you think that you don’t like working out, we can find something you do like. I’m positive of it. You can enjoy exercise and you can be fit. A lot of these blog posts run longer, but this message is about as simple as it gets. You can be fit, and we can help you get there.