Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cycling: Off the Bike Training

Off the Bike Training
Free weights, machines, Yoga, Pilates, Kettlebells...which is best for a cyclist? Do any of them work?

The answers are 1. they all can be effective depending upon individual needs and 2. they all can work or be quite detrimental depending upon who supervising the training (and I hope it is supervised!)

For starters, you must have a proper initial evaluation, commonly called a functional movement screen, to determine your muscle imbalances, i.e. muscle weakness and muscle inflexibility. The next step is to determine why these problems exist. Is it trigger points/scar tissue binding these areas and preventing movement and proper neural flow, is joint dysfunction adding to the problem, is it your daily posture and lack of proper ergonomics? Once these areas are detected and the problems uncovered an off the bike training program can be designed to improve performance and prevent injury. 

What makes CycleLifeUSA so unique is that after I perform this evaluation, I work closely with Colin Shah (our Director of Fitness Training) and Josh Frick (our Bike Fit expert) to write a proper off the bike training program that will address your specific needs. Balancing your body will pay big dividends as you will notice a big improvement in your cycling.

The next several posts will address the specifics of this type of program.   Stay tuned..............

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Baseball Players and Shoulder Strength

Weak shoulders equals increased injury risk.

The study measured the preseason shoulder strength for all pitchers in a professional baseball organization over a five-year period (2001-2005). Over the course of the five-year period, 144 major and minor league baseball pitchers were analyzed using a specific protocol by a single athletic trainer. Prone internal rotation (IR), prone external rotation (PER), seated external rotation (SER) and supraspinatus (SS) strength were tested during spring training prior to each season. The players were then followed throughout the season for incidence of throwing related injury.

The study illustrated a significant association between PER, SER and SS strength with throwing related injuries requiring surgery. There was also some evidence for an association between the ratio of PER/IR strength and the incidence of injury.

"The shoulder and elbow are subjected to significant stresses during the pitching motion, placing them at risk for injury. By demonstrating an association between shoulder weakness and throwing related injuries, we hope that future injuries might be prevented by focusing strength training programs on those areas that are weakest," said Byram.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Baseball Injuries

New study finds major league pitchers 34 percent more likely to be injured than fielders

"Watch out if you are a Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher prior to the All-Star break. Pitchers are 34 percent more likely to be injured than fielders, according to a study presented today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Annual Meeting. The study looked into the epidemiology of MLB players' injuries from 2002 - 2008. It also found that 77 percent of all injuries to pitchers happen before the All-Star Game."

"The study found that upper extremity injuries accounted for 51.4 percent of all injuries. Lower extremity injuries accounted for 30.6 percent, while back injuries accounted for 7.4 percent and core muscle injuries accounted for 4.3 percent"

Pitchers had a 34 percent higher injury rate than fielders prior to the All-Star Game, according to the study.

"pitchers experienced 67 percent of the injuries to the upper extremity compared to fielders while fielders also had a greater proportion of the lower extremity injuries and injuries to other anatomic regions, according to the study."

"The study also noted that pitchers also spent a greater proportion of days on the disability list (62.4 percent) when compared to fielders (37.6 percent). But both pitchers and fielders spent significantly more days on the disabled list for upper extremity injuries than for lower extremity injuries."

"As for the timing of the injuries, 74.4 percent of all MLB players' injuries occurred before the All-Star break. Pitchers sustained 76.5 percent and fielders sustained 71.7 percent of their total respective injuries prior to the All-Star game. Seventy-nine percent of all shoulder and elbow injuries happened to pitchers before the All-Star game and 74.8 percent of all hamstring, quadriceps, groin and core injuries to fielders happened before the All-Star game."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sleep and Athletic Performance

:Yes, sleep is critical to performance! Here are the highlights of a MLB study:

"A Major League Baseball pitcher's natural sleep preference might affect how he performs in day and night games, according to a research abstract that will be presented Wednesday, June 9, 2010, in San Antonio, Texas, at SLEEP 2010, the 24th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. "

"Results indicate that pitchers who were morning types performed statistically better overall than those who were evening types."

"Individual pitchers showed a trend toward higher ERAs in the late games. According to Winter, this supports previous research showing that the peak performance time for most athletes is between mid-afternoon and early evening."

"This study may provide insight as to which pitchers would be best in a given situation based upon when the game is being played. For example, a critical game being played in the evening might be a better situation to pitch an evening-type pitcher versus a day-type pitcher."

"teams traveling from Western time zones to Eastern time zones were 14 percent more likely to win than teams traveling from east to west. Teams also won more than 60 percent of the games in which they had a three-hour "circadian advantage."