#NationalFoamRollingDay

1. Lay on the ground with the foam roller placed on your mid back

2. Gently lift your hips so more of your body weight shifts to the foam roller to target a specific area

3. Gently rock back and forth to roll over the upper back. Careful not to go too close to your neck!

TIP: Placing your hands under the back of your neck can help you get more of the muscle belly

#WednesdayWorkout – One Arm Row

1. Starting in a hinged position with hips back and feet shoulder width apart. Hold a weight in 1 arm, with your thumb pointing forwards
 
2. Keeping the back nice and straight set the shoulder back so it is not rolled forward and pull the weight up towards your armpit. 
 
3. Slowly lower the weight back down and repeat. 
 
TIP: keeping the back straight will lower the chance of back pain and any activation of muscles that should not be activated. If you are having trouble with this, have the opposite knee to the hand that the weight is in on a box/bench to ensure proper form.

#FitnessFriday – Hinge A’s

This effective compound exercise helps improve shoulder stability and rotator cuff health. To increase the intensity level, use small plates, light dumbbells or resistance bands.

1. Start with your chest and torso on a workout bench, with your neck packed so it is not coming forward and putting strain on the neck (you can also do this with your bum against the wall and your chest on a 45* angle off the wall if you do not have access to a bench). 
 
2. Arms start down in front of you with palms facing each other.
 
3. Keeping the shoulders back and down, pull the arms down towards your side, while rotating your hands so your palms are facing forwards, you want to try for a gentle shoulder blade squeeze as you do this exercise. 
 
TIP: don’t let your shoulders roll forward, keep them down and back for nice posture and proper muscle activation. 
 
CHALLENGE: add a weight if this exercise starts to get easy!

#WednesdayWorkout – Side Plank

While the side plank is often overlooked in favour of the face-down plank, it’s an excellent exercise to strengthen the core and external abdominal oblique muscles to help avert back pain.

1. Start with one arm bent at the elbow with your arm placed directly under your shoulder, and your body in a line on the ground. Feet can either be stacked or one in front of the other.

2. Slowly lift your hips and knees off the ground so your body makes one straight line in the air and the only points of contact are the forearm and feet.

3. Hold this for 10-15 seconds and then relax down and switch to the other side.

TIP: you can lift from your knees and not your feet if you find it is difficult and slowly work up to trying a side plank from your feet. Make sure you keep your body in a straight line.

For the Love of the Race

For the Love of the Race

By Stephanie Nogueira, Registered Physiotherapist, BASc. AHN, MScPT

I have been racing Ironman triathlons for 10 years now and since then, not a year has gone by that I did not race a triathlon of some kind.  Taking that first step towards your first triathlon is often the hardest, however getting started is easier than most people realize and extremely rewarding.

Whether you are attempting a triathlon for the first time, or working towards Ironman, Ontario is the hotbed of Ironman competitions and Triathlons with virtually a chance to race on each and every weekend. To help with your journey, there are a number of clubs in the area that can help you get started in a sport you will fall in love with:

Triathlon Club of Burlington
Trisport Canada
Burlington Runners
Hikers Haven Oakville
SoTri – Southern Ontario Triathlon Club
MEC Burlington Meet Up

I love the pain, suffering and discovery of our limits, the challenges through training and racing and the fortitude to overcome them. Saying that training and racing for an Ironman is a ‘journey’ puts it into too bright of a light, rather it is a battle for self-resilience and strength to endure the anguish ahead, only to come out stronger in the end.

So, it is hard for me to come to terms with the fact that this year, I will not be lining up on the edge of the water towards an Ironman or Half Ironman finish. 2018 brings with it several new journeys, adventures and unknowns for me — many that will be taking time away from my ability to plunge deep into Ironman training.  Simply said, I don’t have the time this year to dedicate to Ironman training.  However, that doesn’t mean I won’t be racing.

At the back end of last year, I raced four 50km trail races, all within 6 weeks of each other.  Needless to say, I found something I really wanted to explore further and will be participating in the following 2018 race schedule:

• Strides Inside 6 hour Indoor Track race  – January 6th – Finished 1st place female
• Around the Bay 30km  – March 25th – 2:31:51 finish time
• Pick Your Poison 50km
• Mississauga Half Marathon
• Sulphur Spring 50km
• Talley in the Valley 12 Hour Day – 100km
• Iroquoia Trail Test – 34km
• Haliburton Forest – 80km  (50 miles)
• Run for the Toad – 50km
• Sticks N’ Stones – 50km

I look forward to new challenges in 2018 and one day, returning to my first love.

Never stop what you love doing.

Stephanie

Stephanie brings a breath of knowledge as an avid Ironman Triathlete competing in seven full distance Ironman races, including Brazil, Lake Placid, Penticton, Mont, Texas, Florida and countless half Ironman races.  She continues to participate in running races and is also a Classic Ballet teacher.

Stephanie believes in a functional approach to treating pain and movement dysfunctions, where her aim is to help athletes recover and achieve optimal function in their sport and in life. For more information or to contact Stephanie, please call at (905) 339-2333 or email her at stephpt@dynamichealthandperformance.ca

#Fitness Friday – Shoulder Exercise

This effective compound exercise targets those hard-to-hit back muscles and concentrates on shoulder and upper back strengthening. 

 
1. Start with your feet planted firmly into the ground with your legs shoulder width apart, push your hips back slightly so you are in a hinged position. Keep a nice flat back.
 
2. Holding the weights with your palms facing your body, start with your arms extended down in front of you
 
3. Slowly pull the elbows up, keeping the hands positioned towards the body, until hands hit chest height. Don’t let the hands go higher and try to keep the shoulders from raising up. Just the arms are moving, not the shoulders.
 
4. Slowly bring the arms back down to the starting position.
 
TIPS: Don’t hike your shoulders up, lead with the elbows and keep the shoulders low, the trapezius muscles shouldn’t over fire.

#FitnessFriday – Shoulder Setting

Setting or positioning the shoulder blade correctly not only helps improve shoulder pain and movement but also helps reduce tension and neck pain.

 

1. Start by laying on your back with 1 arm up in the air
2. Push your arm up towards the ceiling, hold it up and twist in a clockwise and counter-clockwise direction then come back to a neutral position
3. In the neutral positon, slide your shoulder down towards the ground, keeping your shoulder down away from your ear. HINT: Try to slide your shoulder blade down towards your bum, this way it stays in a set position.
4. Once the shoulder is down, twist the arm in a clockwise and counter-clockwise direction again, and push it back up towards the ceiling
5. Repeat 10 times, and then switch arms
Try to keep the shoulder down at all times so we are setting it properly, and not activating the trapezius muscle.
CHALLEGE: Add a weight when you do this, but start light!

#WednesdayWorkout – Single Leg Balance

A number of injuries can affect a person’s balance, leaving them feeling unsteady on their feet. The single leg stance exercise is an effective yet simple way to improve balance by working the stability of the hip with each leg individually.

 

 

1. Stand on a hard surface and slowly lift 1 leg off the ground balancing on 1 foot.

2. Hold for 10-15 seconds or as long as you can, and switch legs 

TIPS: 

Don’t grip the ground with your toes, keep the weight evenly distributed throughout your foot

Make sure you keep your hips level!

Pick a spot in front of you to focus on 

CHALLENGE: 

To make this harder try closing your eyes or lifting your leg higher in the air

#FitnessFriday – Dancer Hip Stretch

This simple, yet effective hip stretch, will help ease tightness and discomfort to increase mobility. Ideal for dancers and goalies, add this exercise to your warm-up routine!

1. Start with your left foot pointed forward and planted into the ground. Right foot will be on a box or step with the foot pointing forward. Standing tall with your legs straight, arms will be straight out to either side of you, and your hips pointing forward. 

2. Rotate your arms so that your torso turns and faces the wall (like you are giving it a hug). As you do that, point your hips straight so that they are facing the direction of your left foot, and rotate your right foot on the box so it is also facing the same direction of your left foot. 

3. From this position, bend your knees, keeping your hips back and only go as far as you can that is comfortable. 

4. Slowly come up from that position, rotate the arms and legs back to the starting position and repeat. 

5. Then switch so the right foot is forward and planted into the ground, and the left foot is on the box.

#WednesdayWorkout – Shoulder Pulleys

Pulleys are an effective shoulder mobility exercise to help improve range of motion with stiff shoulders.

1. Sit upright with 2 hands on the rope/belt at shoulder height
2. Pull the right arm down towards your leg, letting your right arm slowly raise up. Go to a comfortable position where you feel a gentle pull but no pain. Then return to the start position.
3. Repeat by pulling left arm down after this.

Try for 3 sets of 15 repetitions, stop if there is any pain!