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The best tips for preventing injuries and treating pain for triathletes and runners who want to keep their bodies in great shape while they are preparing for or participating in events.

injury preventionSummary

Triathletes and serious runners represent a population of athletes who are truly dedicated to the sports that they love. These people aren’t just interested in casual fitness workouts or doing the bare minimum needed to stay in decent shape. Triathletes and runners enjoy competing with other people, but more importantly, they compete with themselves. These athletes battle themselves by taking their bodies to the limit to achieve the feeling of exhilaration and accomplishment that comes with completing a marathon or triathlon after weeks of training.

Because of their tremendous amount of dedication, it is important that triathletes and runners have a plan of action to help them prevent and treat injuries. The nature of triathlons and long-distance running events means there is always going to be some wear on the body, but with the right treatments, it is possible to minimize this wear and make sure that it doesn’t interfere with training activities. Here are some of the best tips for preventing injuries and treating pain for triathletes and runners who want to keep their bodies in great shape while they are preparing for or participating in events.

Injury Prevention for Triathletes and Runners

Because injury prevention measures can help you minimize the amount of pain treatment you need, preventing yourself from getting hurt should be the first
thing you consider when you prepare yourself for triathlons or marathons.

Before you do anything else for injury prevention, you first need to familiarize yourself with the proper techniques for the type of event you are participating in. Without the correct form, the other things you do to prevent yourself from getting injured while running or competing in a triathlon won’t matter much.

Proper Form for Runners

Irene Davis, Ph.D., P.T., director of the Running Injury Clinic at the University of Delaware, says that running form is as changeable as a golf swing, and that retraining running gait can dramatically reduce the frequency of injuries for runners.

What specifically can be done to improve running form? There are several things that runners should pay attention to so they can cut down on the frequency of injury treatments, including:

  1. Stride length:If you are taking excessively long strides in an attempt to improve your time or pass up your competitors, you are creating instability in your feet and legs that could lead to injury
  2. Lining up your knees: Make sure that your feet are not going forward too far past your knees, which will put excessive pressure on them. Instead, your feet should drop behind your knees, which will help you maintain balance and power
  3. Relaxing your upper body: While you shouldn’t be hunched over when running, it is important that you have good posture as well as a relaxed core. If you have too much tension throughout your body, you may strain or tweak one of your muscles

One of the best ways to ensure that your running form is good is to take a video of yourself running and watch it to identify and critique any potential issues or problems. You could also find a coach or experienced running friend to observe your stride and provide you the same type of input.

injury preventionForm Tips for Triathletes

While triathletes have to do a fair bit of running, they also have to cycle and swim, meaning they have more concerns about form than those who only run. During the cycling portion of triathlon events, triathletes need to be sure that they have a proper bike fit, keep their knees in while pedaling, and grip the aerobars in a relaxed manner. By doing this, triathletes will conserve energy and ensure that they are pedaling as efficiently as possible.

Swimming might be the portion of a triathlon that requires the most attention to form. If you aren’t using the right form, you can quickly wear yourself out, since water has much higher resistance than you will encounter when you are biking or running on land.

To make sure that you are using proper form while swimming, first take care to ensure that your body is as horizontal as possible; this will reduce drag so that you can move through the water more effectively. Triathletes also need to pay attention to their breathing. Triathlete Magazine states that holding your breath is not an effective tactic when you are swimming; instead, you should steadily exhale from your mouth and nose while in the water, and try to inhale on every third stroke, which allows you to alternate which side you breathe on to help you improve your technique.

Other Injury Prevention Strategies for Triathletes and Runners

Although form is probably one of the most important ways to make sure you don’t get hurt while participating in a triathlon or running event, there are a few other things you can do to help reduce the likelihood that you will be injured while you are competing.

First, ensure that you have the proper gear. For runners, this means choosing shoes that fit your feet properly and will not cause irritation or foot pain after a long time spent running. Triathletes will want to pick the right bicycle to use for their event; picking a bike that is too small or too big will lead to some inefficiencies in cycling, which could cause an injury. For swimmers, gear is less important than form and body motion, but it’s still important that you have the right sized wetsuit or trisuit and goggles that will allow you to maneuver as effectively as possible.

One of the best treatments for triathletes and runners who are looking to prevent themselves from getting injured doesn’t have much to do with the act of running or cycling, because it involves recovery. By eating the right foods, getting enough rest between workouts, and using sophisticated tools for recovery, you can make sure that your body is better prepared to handle the challenges of distance running and triathlons.

Injury Treatments for Triathletes and Runners

Despite your best efforts, there will come a time when injuries are unavoidable. It could be the result of an accident, such as a mishap on the course or inclement weather conditions that cause you to slip and fall. Sometimes, the sustained wear and tear of putting your body through an event, and the training sessions that lead up to them can slowly build up until it leads to injury.

Whatever the cause of your injury may be, it is critical that you treat it seriously. If you fail to properly treat your injuries, not only will it negatively impact your performance, it could also make the injury worse, sidelining you from the activities that you love for a very long time.

To prevent this from happening, make sure that you are aware of all of the latest injury treatments for triathletes and runners so that you can use one that works best for your particular needs. There are a few different types of injury treatments that work best, depending on what kind of athlete you are and what sort of injury you have sustained.

injury preventionTreating Common Injuries for Runners

Running uses many different systems in the body, from the core muscles of the abdomen all the way down to the legs and feet. Because of this, there are many different injuries that runners can sustain, depending on the composition of their body and the way that they run.

One of the more common ailments that runners complain about is shin splints. Although the name of this bothersome condition might make you think that it relates to your bones, the reality is that shin splints can be caused by a number of different things, including weakness in the stabilizing muscles of your core or hips. To treat shin splints, it’s important that you understand what the root cause is and then come up with a treatment plan based on that cause. For example, if you have shin splints because your stabilizing muscles are weak, you may want to look at some types of massage therapy that can help you improve blood flow to these muscles so that they can get stronger.

Another type of injury that runners face quite frequently is runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is an issue that comes about because of irritated cartilage in the kneecap. According to Dr. Leon Popovitz, founder of New York Bone & Joint Specialists, one of the best things you can do for runner’s knee is to stretch out your hamstring or do leg lifts while you are at home. Runner’s knee is one of those ailments that tends to get worse as people ramp up the amount of miles they run, so it’s possible that you might not realize it’s an issue until you start training heavily for your event.

Treating Injuries from Cycling and Swimming

While cycling and swimming aren’t as high-impact as running, it’s still possible to injure yourself during these activities. Cycling, in particular, can cause some serious injuries if you are thrown from your bicycle or hit another object at high speeds.

Cyclists frequently deal with lower back pain. This is particularly troublesome for cyclists because they are usually leaning slightly forward on their bicycle, which can strain the muscles and tendons of the lower back. To deal with this issue, one of the best things to work on is strengthening your core. If your abdomen, hip, and upper leg muscles are stronger, it will help you better stabilize the lower part of your spinal column while you are cycling and will minimize pain. Another great way to treat lower back pain is with light cardio activity, which will help you promote blood flow throughout your back and other parts of the body.

injury preventionWhen it comes to swimming, the injury risks fall more along the lines of muscle overuse; it’s hard to trip or fall into something while you are in the pool, but there are still some risks. Swimmers are perhaps most susceptible to shoulder injuries because they use this part of the body consistently for the most common types of swimming strokes. Part of this is due to poor mechanics, but for those who are new to swimming or just started training for a triathlon, shoulder injuries can occur as the muscles get used to a larger workload.

A rotator cuff injury is one of the most common types of injuries for a swimmer. A rotator cuff injury can be treated by paying close attention to your mechanics and by taking some time to do cardio on land that involves other parts of your body, so that you can promote blood flow and help your shoulder heal more quickly.

One area where swimmers are uniquely vulnerable to injury is the neck. This is especially problematic for new swimmers, who aren’t used to the way that they need to raise their neck out of water and turn it to take a breath. To treat neck soreness or tenderness, make sure you take some time off and give yourself a gentle massage to promote blood flow whenever possible. Also be sure to stretch out both your neck and your shoulders, since these muscles are closely connected; if your neck gets tight, you might notice some tightness in your shoulders and upper back area as well.

Using the Right Injury Recovery Tools

Treatments for triathletes and runners are very important, but they need to be rendered with the right equipment. For example, if you are looking for a tool that
you can use to give yourself more efficient massage, you might consider a foam roller. This tool allows you to reach parts of your body in new ways, which can help you ease out the knots in your muscles that cause tension and soreness.

Also, remember that one of your biggest tools for recovering from injury is active recovery. Every time you workout, you are actually breaking down the body and making it weaker: the recovery phase is where your gains are really made. Some soreness and tiredness is always expected when you are training for an event that requires the kind of intensity that a triathlon or marathon does, but this doesn’t mean that you have to completely take a day off. A brisk walk, light swim, or ride on a stationary bicycle can all help with your active recovery efforts.

The Marc Pro: Perfect for Competitive Athletes

training techniquesTriathletes, runners, and other professional or highly competitive athletes all have one thing in common no matter what sport or activity they partake in; they need to have the tools available to help their body recover. One of the most modern of these tools is the Marc Pro, an electric muscle stimulation device which has been used by triathletes, baseball players, swimmers, runners, golfers, and other serious competitors all across the world.

Marc Pro works by sending gentle electric signals into muscles that are sore or tired. These signals produce a natural-feeling muscle contraction which increases blood flow, allowing for more valuable nutrients to reach the area. This muscle contraction also
activates the lymphatic system to get rid of the waste that builds up in muscles after they are stressed. Bringing in the nourishment and getting rid of the waste is the basis for muscle recovery and repair. The new Marc Pro Plus is also great for pain relief. Using the high frequency setting provides effective and temporary pain relief for the back, neck, arms, and legs.

Participating in a triathlon, marathon, or distance running event is a serious commitment. Whether you are new to triathlons or distance running, or you’ve been a triathlete or runner for many years, protecting your body is critical if you want to perform at a high level and prevent yourself from sustaining injuries that might affect you for a long period of time. Different athletes will need to focus on different parts of their body throughout their events, depending on their physical build and medical history. By learning as much as you can about how to prevent yourself from getting hurt, as well as how to treat these injuries after they occur, you can safely enjoy the challenging and competitive nature of triathlons and running.

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Learn about the common causes of back pain and explore suggestions for what to do so you can get the relief you need to live a more normal life. 

back pain reliefSummary

All kinds of bodily pain can cause issues for people, but back pain can be one of the most debilitating pains someone can experience. The human back is one of the largest areas of the body; it is the foundation from which people gain strength and the ability to do common motions that are needed in daily life as well as athletic performance.

The “back” people commonly refer to is comprised of many different bones, muscles, nerves, and ligaments that work together cohesively to provide support for the rest of the body. Dealing with back pain requires an understanding of where the pain is coming from as well as knowledge of how to treat the pain. This guide will help you learn about the most common causes of back pain and provide suggestions for what to do so you can get the relief you need to help you live a more normal life.

How to Identify Your Back Pain

Because the back is such a large area, pain in your back can come about in many ways.  On a broad level, however, there are three main types of pain that can affect your back: muscular issues, skeletal or bone issues, and nerve issues. It is important to understand that these three kinds of back problems are different from one another, and, as a result, they require a different approach to treatment. Upon analyzing the most common problems in each of these three areas, you will gain better knowledge of how to relieve pain that stems from these conditions.

Three Main Types of Back Pain:

-Muscular
-Skeletal
-Nerve

Muscular Back Conditions

Muscle aches and pains are very common for the person who uses their back muscles frequently, but everyone uses the muscles in their back to some extent. The muscles around your spine are used when you lean in a certain direction or bend over to pick something up. Some of the muscles in your back are even used when you breathe; they help allow the ribcage to expand and contract when you inhale and exhale. Athletes who perform throwing, grabbing, or twisting movements use their back muscles especially often.

One of the most common issues for back pain relating to the muscular system of the back is a muscle strain or sprain, such as when muscles get twisted, overextended, or slightly torn. Some of the major muscles in the back that are at risk for sprains or strains include the latissimus dorsi and the trapezius.

How can you tell if your back pain is a result of a muscular condition? If you have noticed that the pain began after a workout or athletic competition, or if your pain is centralized to one particular area and is sensitive to the touch, it is likely that you are dealing with muscle pain in your back. These are all signs that you have a muscular strain or sprain.

In milder cases, muscle strains can be treated using common home remedies: rest, massage therapy, and in some cases, over-the-counter medicines that are made to help relieve pain.

Skeletal Back Conditions

Most of the problems athletes experience involving skeletal issues can be tied to the spine or backbone.Without a properly-functioning spine, people would not be able to twist or bend their body. The spine also protects the bundle of nerves that eventually branch out to the rest of your body, which is known as the spinal cord. The spine is comprised of 33 vertebrae with small pads called intervertebral discs. Many skeletal back problems that cause pain are related to these vertebrae or the discs that separate them.

The most common kind of spine problems experienced by athletes results from abnormal spine curvatures, which can put pressure on the vertebrae and cause pain in different parts of the body as well as the back. Issues like scoliosis, kyphosis, and lordosis all commonly define spinal back problems that relate to an improperly-shaped spine.

Another very common skeletal ailment causing back pain for athletes is a fracture or small crack in the vertebrae. A spinal fracture is a serious injury that should be checked out by a sports doctor or physician, especially if the fracture is severe enough to have an impact on nerves of the spinal cord.

If you are dealing with back pain related to the spine, the most common symptom is a severe, sharp type of pain in a relatively localized area. You will most likely experience more pain when you try to move or engage in activities that involve the spine, such as bending over or twisting to one side. If some of your nerves have been damaged, you may also experience numbness or tingling feeling.

Because skeletal conditions involving the back are serious, treating these problems is best completed under the direction of a medical expert. In most situations, a big component of treating spine issues is stabilizing the affected area. This stability is what allows bone structures to heal sufficiently. Depending on the extent of your injury, some physical therapy may be required. In cases of serious spinal injury, surgery might be needed.

Nerve Back Conditions

Like skeletal issues, problems relating to nerves in the back are mostly centered in the spinal cord. The University of Washington says that the spinal cord is the main pathway used by nerves that send information from other parts of the nervous system to the brain. Nerves are what let the brain know that the body is experiencing pain and other sensations.

back pain reliefOne common nerve issue with the human back that can cause pain is what is known as a slipped or protruded disc. This is a situation that occurs when the spinal discs located between the vertebrae become misaligned and end up affecting a nerve of the spinal cord. Because of how large and far-reaching the human nervous system is, pain in the nerves can extend to several other parts of the body.

For example, sciatica is a condition where the sciatic nerve becomes irritated. According to Spine-Health, the sciatic nerve is the biggest nerve in the body. It starts out around the lower spine area but eventually branches out all the way down to the feet. If you have been experiencing pain, numbness, or tingling in your buttocks or legs and it does not seem to be tied to one particular part of your back, it is very possible that you are dealing with sciatica or another nerve issue.

Nerve damage may be the most difficult type of back pain to treat. In some instances, it is impossible to fully treat back pain that results because of nerve damage, especially if the damage is quite severe. Fortunately, there are some treatment techniques available for those suffering from nerve pain in their back.

WebMD reports that one of the most important things to think about with nerve pain and nerve damage is the underlying cause of these problems. For example, one of the most common reasons that you may experience pain as a result of nerve issues is diabetes. Instead of directly addressing the nerve issue, diabetes sufferers would be wise to address the core issues of diabetes, which relate to blood sugar levels.

There are also certain prescription drugs that can cause nerve issues as a side effect. Look into any of the drugs that you are taking to see if they have side effects that may cause nerve problems. The cessation of these drugs may help you reduce or eliminate back pain as a result of nerve problems. Proponents of alternative medicine also use treatments like acupuncture and meditation. As is the case with any serious back issue, it is extremely important that you consult with a physician or back doctor so that you can get an exact diagnosis of the problem and learn about some of the potential ways to treat it.

The Development of Back Pain Treatments

As technology has advanced, more and more healthcare institutions and physicians are turning to sophisticated treatments to help relieve the back pain their patients are dealing with. This is especially important when you consider that many of the most common drugs prescribed for pain can have serious side effects. For example, the common painkiller oxycodone is included on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of Schedule II controlled substances, which includes substances that have a high potential for abuse and may cause severe physical or psychological dependence.

back pain reliefWhat alternatives are available for treating back pain? Radiofrequency is one modern type of treatment; it sends an electrical current produced by a radio wave through small areas of nerve tissue. A similar kind of device that can be used for spinal cord issues is known as a spinal cord stimulator. A small device is usually placed under the skin of the back, where it can easily emit electrical currents throughout the nerves in the spinal column.

These modern treatments are great for nerve issues, but what if you are dealing with muscle pain in your back? One of the best options available to you is a muscle stimulator device like the Marc Pro. With a similar function as radiofrequency treatments or a spine stimulator device, the Marc Pro uses gentle waves of electricity to cause mild muscle contractions that do not put any strain on the back. These contractions help promote the muscle recovery process by bringing fresh blood and nutrients into the area and activating the lymphatic system to flush out all the waste. The Marc Pro Plus also features an additional mode of operation that is extremely effective at immediately shutting down pain and providing up to hours of relief.  Marc Pro devices have been used by professional athletes in sports like basketball, football, hockey, and baseball. Even those who compete in other activities that are taxing on the body, such as dancing and weight lifting, will find the Marc Pro Plus to be very valuable for helping to ease pain in the back.

Back Pain: A Serious Issue That Requires Serious Treatment

Whatever type of back pain you might be dealing with, it is important you come up with a plan to address the pain as soon as possible. An unhealthy back can cause problems for sports and physical activities, but it can also interfere with ordinary tasks like cleaning, getting dressed, and sitting down. Be sure to explore all of the options available to you so that you can get the type of treatment your back needs to feel better and maximize your performance, whether you are a pro athlete competing at a high level or simply want the flexibility and range of motion needed to have fun playing with your children at home.

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A look at several excellent muscle recovery techniques for athletes that are designed to minimize the amount of downtime required. 

Summary

muscle recoveryFor athletes, muscles are the foundation on top of which all success is built. Without strong muscles, it is impossible for any athlete to achieve the highest level of performance in their chosen field.

One of the biggest obstacles to improving muscle strength and increasing athletic performance is muscle recovery, the process in which muscles receive nutrients and repair themselves after intense use. While some recovery time will always be necessary for human muscles, there are several excellent muscle recovery techniques for athletes that are designed to minimize the amount of downtime that the muscles require. This means that an athlete has more time to spend improving their skills at their chosen sport.

“One of the biggest obstacles to improving muscle strength and increasing athletic performance is muscle recovery.”

Stretching Intensity

Stretching is among the best muscle recovery techniques for athletes because it improves the flow of blood to the muscles that are being stretched. In this way, it speeds up the recovery process by allowing the muscles to more readily receive the nutrients they need. Another valuable benefit of stretching is that it can improve the range of motion of a specific muscle, which means it is not only one of the great muscle recovery techniques for athletes, but that it can also help an athlete improve their flexibility and performance.

There are a few different types of stretches that are best for athletes. Two of the most common types are static stretching, which extends the muscle group to a particular point and holds it for a given amount of time, and dynamic stretching, which involves movement and works more than one muscle. These various stretches can each be beneficial for recovery in different ways.

Get Enough Rest

Although many competitive athletes aren’t fond of the idea of limiting their activity, adequately resting muscles that are being worked out is one of the most critical muscle recovery techniques for athletes. When the body is asleep, it goes through several important processes that repair muscle tissue and restores balance to the rest of the body. Sleep is especially important for those athletes who want to improve their muscle mass; some medical specialists believe that a lack of sleep can actually contribute to the loss of muscle mass, based on the hormonal changes that occur while a person is asleep.

Even the most elite athletes in the world do not neglect their sleep. Tennis legend Roger Federer is known to sleep between ten and twelve hours a night, as does basketball star LeBron James. In late 2014 it was reported that three-time Super Bowl champion, NFL quarterback Tom Brady, goes to bed at 8:30 PM each night to make sure he can get enough sleep to wake up early and work on his skills.

Improving Blood Flow

The nutrients contained in the body’s blood are important because they eventually get sent to muscles that are recovering, allowing them to begin the process of restoring muscle fibers to make them stronger than they were before. Without sufficient blood flow, muscles will not receive these important building blocks, ultimately limiting their growth. Some of the muscle recovery techniques for athletes that can help contribute to blood flow include stretching and maintaining a diet of healthy foods that do not contribute to blocked arteries or veins.

Another great way to make sure that blood flow is sufficient is through cardiovascular exercise such as running, swimming, walking, or biking. Research shows that cardiovascular exercise can help reduce blood pressure, and it can also remove bad cholesterols from the blood that can end up narrowing your bloodstream. This is one of the main reasons that most athletes decide to incorporate cardiovascular exercise into their routines, even if they are focusing on strength training.

Getting a Massage

muscle recoveryMany athletes get massages frequently to alleviate tense muscles,so their bodies feel better and don’t give them as much pain.Receiving a massage can be one of the best muscle recovery techniques for athletes because it helps make the biological process of muscle recovery more efficient. In a post on The New York Times’ blog entitled Well, scientific research showed that people who received a massage had lower levels of cytokines, a compound that causes inflammation, and higher levels of mitochondria activity, which helps convert glucose into the energy that is important for cell repair.

Remember, if you are an athlete looking for recovery through massage, you don’t need to go to a professional each and every time. Learning a few different massage techniques and applying them yourself after a workout or competition can help you get many of the great benefits of massage without having to make an appointment with a massage therapist. There are plenty of massage products on the market as well, which are designed to work specific areas.

Eating Enough Proteinmuscle recovery

Getting the protein that is needed by the body is extremely important for muscles to recover, since protein is made up of some of the essential amino acids that the body needs to successfully repair and build up the fibers of the muscles. The reason that protein is so important for muscle recovery is because, after intense resistance exercise, the body increases its rates of protein synthesis and breakdown as the process of muscle recovery begins. Unless more protein is put into the body to help adjust for this accelerated rate of synthesis, it can lead to the loss of muscle mass. The best sources of protein are lean meats and fish that do not contain an excessive amount of fat, such as chicken and tuna. Nuts and beans are great protein options as well.

So, how much protein is needed for athletes to ward off loss of muscle due to elevated levels of protein synthesis? There is no single answer, but a range of 0.6 to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight is generally an acceptable amount. Many athletes supplement their regular diets with drinks or snack bars packed with protein so that they can keep their levels high enough to help their muscles recover and grow larger.

Drinking Enough Water

Water is important for many of our bodily functions; it is no wonder, when you consider that most scientists agree that the average adult human body is 55 to 60% water. While most athletes already know that staying hydrated is important during performance or training sessions, some may forget that drinking water is one of the best muscle recovery techniques for athletes today. This is because drinking water helps fill up the cells and prevent them from falling victim to protein synthesis. Hydration is also important for facilitating digestion, so that the body can receive all of the nutrients that are needed for proper recovery. Water helps contribute to a healthy digestive process.

The standard suggestion for water consumption each day is 64 ounces or about half a gallon. However, some athletes may need to drink more than that to be adequately hydrated. A good tip for drinking enough water each day is to take a reusable water bottle with you to work or school so that you can space out your water drinking and maintain hydration throughout the day.

Consuming Coconut Products

muscle recoveryWhy are coconuts considered valuable to the muscle recovery process? There are a few common reasons why coconut-based drinks and foods have become so popular with today’s athletic community. First, coconut products contain compounds known as medium-chain triglycerides, which are fats that the body can absorb into the bloodstream more easily than other types. This makes it an ideal form of fuel for the muscle recovery process.

Coconut water is becoming a popular alternative to traditional sports drinks for athletes, because of its effectiveness at restoring hydration after a workout. Coconut water contains electrolytes and plenty of potassium, which means that it is one of the best muscle recovery techniques for athletes who want to reduce their downtime between workouts. Many athletes have decided to stop drinking the traditional sports drinks on the market in favor of coconut-based juices and water drinks.

Rolling Your Muscles

Rolling your muscles is a great way to release tension in your body by removing knots in areas like the legs, arms, and sides. This can be done with a specialized foam roller, a medicine ball, or other similar devices that are meant to move easily along the muscles. There are different kinds of techniques employed for muscle rolling depending on the areas and specific muscles that need to be rolled.

When you roll your muscles, it results in better flexibility and less painful movement of the muscles in question, because you break up tightness and knots that cause stiffness and pain. Muscle rolling is one of the great muscle recovery techniques for athletes because it helps restore range of motion and eliminate the tightness and pain that often comes with inflammation as a result of intense competitions or training sessions. Muscle rolling is also a good recovery technique because it gives you more control over the specific areas that you target for recovery, which can provide highly effective relief.

Spacing Out Your Routine

Most serious athletes have some type of routine set up that alternates between conditioning, which gives the body strength to complete the necessary athletic actions, and practicing, where the athlete works on improving skills that they use in their sport.

muscle recoveryNo matter what kind of routine or split athletes decide to engage in, it is important that enough time is left for rest. This is particularly true for those athletes who engage in a lot of strength training, as muscles that are trained intensively will need at least 24 to 48 hours of recovery before they should be trained again. If an athlete neglects to properly account for rest days in their routine, it can negatively impact performance since the target muscles will be overworked. For this reason, most athletes decide to vary the days on which they train different muscles. The specific amount of rest that each of your muscles needs will vary depending on your body and your specific schedule, as well as how long you have been training.

 

Using Recovery Techniques

Thanks to forward-thinking specialists, many devices have been created over the years using technology to assist athletes with their muscle recovery.

Tools like the Marc Pro and Marc Pro Plus take advantage of natural biology to give athletes a recovery boost. These products work through electrical muscle stimulation, which elicits a muscle contraction through the use of a gentle electric pulse. This muscle contraction helps to improve the way nutrients are delivered into recovering muscles, and waste from the recovery process is delivered out of the muscles. The Marc Pro Plus is also a valuable pain relief tool; the contractions can help improve the flow of blood into a muscle that is stiff or sore, which allows the muscles to relax and recover faster.

Whether you are dealing with pain or simply want to help improve your recovery time between workouts, electrical muscle stimulation is one of the best options available. Electrical muscle stimulation is especially valuable as one of the best muscle recovery techniques for athletes because it is completely customizable. Adjusting the intensity levels on the Marc Pro and Marc Pro Plus devices, you can control exactly how strong the impulses are so that you get the stimulation that works best for your body.

Although recovery might not be the most exciting part of what an athlete does, it is still a critical element of making sure that the body is in sufficient shape to compete and train properly. Without effective recovery, muscle growth and athletic performance will both be limited. In the worst situations, this may even lead to a muscle strain or injury. Following these muscle recovery techniques for athletes will help you do a better job of recovering, which will minimize your downtime so that you can devote more of your time to getting better at your chosen sport.

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Improve your understanding of the latest trends, techniques, and tools being used in the world of fitness.

Summary

strength trainingThe world of fitness is constantly changing. As a huge industry with collective revenues of over $40 billion per year, fitness clubs, personal trainers, and exercise scientists are all constantly working toward providing people with the latest and greatest techniques to improve their health, boost their self-confidence, and help them attain high levels of performance for both training and competition.

Fitness enthusiasts and athletes alike must make sure that they are always up to date on the latest training techniques and tools that are designed to help them attain better performance and health. While reaching your peak level of conditioning will always require some effort and dedication on your part, you can make the process easier if you decide to use the right type of tactics and exercise techniques.

To help you improve your understanding of the latest techniques and tools that are being used in the world of fitness, we’ll break down the trends into four major categories: nutrition, cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and recovery. By understanding and employing the current best practices in each of these areas, you can get more out of the hard work that you put in when you train or compete.

Trending Nutrition Techniques

As has been the case for several years, when people think of trending nutrition they usually relate the concept back to one of the several fad diets that become popular through word of mouth or online communication. Naturally, these diets tend to go in and out of popularity over the years. Their effectiveness depends largely on the individual person following the diet and their specific nutritional needs.

Another big trend in nutrition over recent years is the rise in popularity of recovery nutrition products. In 2013, the market for nutrition products aimed at those participating in endurance sports went up 64%. From drinks designed to provide proper hydration after exercise, to refueling snacks designed to promote muscle recovery, food products in the sports recovery niche are very popular in the fitness community these days. Although these products can be very effective to help you recover and feel better after exercise, remember that they are not all as excellent as they should be. Take the time to look carefully at each label and learn about the potential effects of the listed ingredients before you decide to make the product a standard part of your diet.

The biggest way to take advantage of new technology and research in the field of nutrition is to consult with a specialist who has the knowledge needed to evaluate your dietary needs and make suggestions based on your body and any other medical conditions you may have. A nutritionist can also help you plan meals that are satisfying and fulfilling.

Popular Cardiovascular Training Methods

Cardio is a style of exercise that has been employed by casual fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes alike for many years. Thanks to the development of new exercise equipment, people can enjoy cardio in more ways than ever before. Rowing machines, for example, allow for a unique cardiovascular exercise that is challenging and customizable depending on a person’s interests. Because of its hybrid nature and flexibility, rowing machines are becoming popular in fitness clubs in many locations.

cardiovascular trainingAnother popular trend in cardiovascular training is known as HIIT orhigh-intensity interval training. The basic premise behind HIIT is that by fitting a more intense workout into a smaller window of time, you can more quickly get your heart pumping to achieve the same level of exertion.

There are several different styles of HIIT cardiovascular exercise that have become popular. For example, Tabata is a variation of HIIT that requires just 4 minutes; it is broken down into eight segments that consist of 20 seconds of extremely high levels of exertion and 10 seconds of lower-intensity exertion. The idea of Tabata originated from a study conducted by Japanese doctor Izumi Tabata, based on work that he did with Japan’s speed skating team. Dr. Tabata found that repetitions of a cycle of intense work followed by a short period of rest were more effective for exertion than sustaining a moderate level of intensity for a longer period of time.

Smartphone and fitness tracking technology, in particular, has had a big impact on cardio exercise. There are a number of motion trackers that can be worn on the wrist, arm or leg to help people see exactly how many steps they have taken or how far they have walked in a single day. The rise of these products has occurred alongside the trending desire for people to be able to include fitness as an everyday part of their life, even if they do not have dedicated time available to go to a gym.

For those who enjoy cardiovascular exercise in groups or with many other people in an interesting setting, themed running events are becoming a popular trend as well. Whether they are runs in costumes to celebrate holidays, or while dousing other runners with colored powder, theme runs add a bit of lightness to a very traditional form of cardio exercise.

Strength Training

If you are an athlete looking to improve performance during competitions or if you are simply looking to improve your functional strength and reduce fat, strength training is very valuable.  Overall, strength training is becoming more popular, especially with women. Although more females are recognizing the benefits of strength training, there is still work to be done to put an end to some of the myths that permeate this part of the fitness world.

strength trainingMany of today’s strength training enthusiasts are putting an emphasis on easier, compound exercises that work many muscles at once. By doing this, people who are looking to increase their overall strength level can gain a well-rounded improvement in both strength and muscle tone. Lifts like the bench press, deadlift, and squat are all enjoying more mainstream popularity; decades ago these workouts were considered to be reserved for serious bodybuilders only. These lifts are often incorporated into basic exercise plans that have only three or four different workouts per session, which is great for someone who needs an easy plan to follow.

Creative strength trainers are also coming up with ways to use workout equipment and devices in unique ways. For example, heavy rope training is one unconventional strength building method that is quickly catching on with athletes and casual gym-goers looking for a change from their normal routines.

Part of the huge rise in the popularity of strength training has come as a result of circuit classes that blend several different styles of workouts together, from standard lifts to cardiovascular movements. Circuit classes have also become something of a social fad. Their popularity has led to the creation of a culture that is dedicated to improving fitness through these kinds of workouts. People who attend the same group workout sessions are often able to create a strong bond with one another by sharing the successes and obstacles of their fitness journeys.

Home-based workout videos are also becoming popular. Many people prefer working out in the privacy of their own home, and while these types of videos have been around for many years, the rise of video sharing devices and online platforms has improved the market for self-directed training videos in the last decade. Popular home workout video company, Beachbody, has been bringing in hundreds of millions in revenue each year, in large part due to the popularity of its video workout programs and the dramatic success stories that the company advertises alongside them.

Recovery Trends: The Advancement of Science

tens unitIt could be argued that exercise recovery is the field where trends have developed most rapidly over the past few years. Professional athletes, recreational enthusiasts, and those who are interested in fitness on a more casual level are all looking for a way that they can minimize recovery time so that they don’t have to be off the field or out of the gym for an extended period of time.

One of the contributing factors behind the advancement of recovery products is the development of the science that relates to recovery. Exercise scientists now have a much better understanding of the process of recovery, which means they can create products that are designed to help people recover from exertion in a natural way.

In particular, ingesting protein for recovery has become a highly-touted strategy for reducing conditions like delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). A research study from 2008 found that consuming protein right after a strenuous workout could be a treatment for DOMS. As a result of this kind of research, plenty of protein drinks and snack bars have found their way into gyms and health food stores. In fact, in 2015 the worldwide market for protein is expected to surpass $24 billion. Many people believe that meats like poultry and seafood are the best sources of protein, but there are plenty of alternative plant-based sources that are also becoming popular because of the rising costs of animal-derived protein in developed countries.

In other areas of recovery, new tools are being developed to allow muscles to receive the nutrients they need to heal more Marc Pro Heroquickly. For example, foam rollers have become a staple in the recovery world, as they allow people to roll out tough knots in their muscles so that their muscle fibers can heal quickly. These lightweight rollers are very portable, which means that people can easily bring them in a bag when they head to the gym for a workout.

The MarcPro and MarcPro Plus devices are two more great examples of these modern tools for promoting muscle recovery. Both devices use gentle waves of electricity, which allows muscles to more effectively receive the nourishment that they need to promote recovery. The Marc Pro Plus, in particular, has been designed with the additional ability to shut down pain for immediate relief. With less pain and faster muscle recovery, you can spend more time competing or training to improve your athletic skills or overall level of physical health.

It’s important to note that just because these ideas are trending in each of these four particular fitness areas, it doesn’t mean that they will or will not work for you. Success with fitness comes from having an understanding of your own personal style and coming up with a plan that fits your needs and habits. The best way to increase your physical fitness or improve your abilities in a given skill or sport is to get advice from a specialist and try out several different techniques so that you can find a regimen that works well for your needs.

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Learn the scientific process behind muscle recovery and the three most critical things to keep in mind when you are looking to facilitate efficient muscle recovery.

muscle recoverySummary

The human body contains hundreds of different muscles: according to the Library of Congress, the exact number of muscles in the body is between 650 and 840. Muscles are an essential part of our physical makeup; they are what allow people to do physical activities and move in the way they want. It is the goal of many people, whether for cosmetic reasons, health purposes or athletic competition, to improve the condition of their muscles so they can perform better at a variety of physical tasks.

In order to train muscles to become stronger and grow larger, it is necessary to initiate a process called hypertrophy. MedicineNet.com describes hypertrophy as what happens when microscopic tears take place in muscle fibers, stimulating the body to send nutrients to the area so the muscle fibers can rebuild themselves and grow stronger, thanks to an increasing number of smaller fibers known as myofibrils. As this process is repeated, the muscles grow stronger.

Many athletes, and people who are looking to improve their muscular conditioning, focus on strength or endurance training as the key to progress. While it is true that this training is important, many athletes and fitness enthusiasts forget to incorporate muscle recovery as an important component of getting healthier.  There are several critical things to keep in mind when it comes to muscle recovery. In this guide, you will learn the scientific process behind muscle recovery and the three most critical things to keep in mind when you are looking to facilitate efficient muscle recovery.

What is Muscle Recovery?

In a nutshell, muscle recovery is the period when your muscles recover from the strain they are put under when you workout or engage in athletic competition. A paper published by Dr. Len Kravitz and Young sub Kwon at the University of New Mexico provides an in-depth explanation of what happens when muscles recover. The trauma experienced by the muscle fibers leads to the activation of satellite cells on the outside of the muscle fibers. These satellite fibers then fuse together with the old muscle fibers, making the muscle stronger. As the satellite cells fuse together, they become a source of new nuclei that muscle fibers can use to synthesize more proteins, which help promote efficient muscle growth.

The reason that many athletes or exercise enthusiasts don’t pay close attention to muscle recovery is because it simply is not as interesting a process as when a person is training or engaging in athletic competition.  Use of muscles occurs during exciting times like sports games, boxing matches, or training sessions in the gym. On the other hand, muscle recovery happens while a person is physically inactive, such as when they are sleeping or sitting down at a sedentary day job.

 

muscle recovery

Dieting for Muscle Recovery

You already know that the foods you eat have a distinct impact on the way that your body works. Proteins, for example, are very important substances for people who are looking to facilitate muscle growth. This is because of a specific type of amino acid called a BCAA or branched-chain amino acid. BCAAs can help prevent the deterioration of muscle tissues during exercise, since they are the only kinds of amino acids that are oxidized for energy.

When it comes to muscle recovery, the best foods to eat are the ones that help your muscles go through the scientific recovery process more effectively. There are several kinds of nutrients that help the muscles recover after intense activity. Some of the most common foods recommended for people who want to improve their muscle recovery include:

  1. Cherries, blueberries, and other healthy fruits
  2. Hot chocolate and chocolate milk
  3. Whole-wheat rice and pasta

Above all, it is important that you keep a balanced diet and eat the types of foods that will give you the nutrients your body needs to promote muscle recovery. If you have more in-depth questions about how to create a balanced diet to promote muscle recovery, get in touch with a nutritionist or physician who can help make suggestions about what exact kind of diet is best for your needs.

Getting Sufficient Rest

The second of the three critical elements to muscle recovery for athletes is allowing yourself to get enough rest. Being rested is important because the process of muscle recovery cannot begin while there is still strain being placed on the muscles. They need to be resting in order for the satellite muscle fibers to get to work binding with the muscle fibers to create stronger muscles in your body.

muscle recoveryExactly how much rest do you need between workouts? Personal trainer William R. Sukala says that while moderate and low-intensity aerobic exercises like walking and swimming can be performed on a daily basis, when it comes to weight lifting and other activities that can leave your muscles sore, you should give yourself at least 48 hours between workouts. If you are new to weight lifting or are getting severe soreness after a workout, you may even want to give yourself a full 72 hours of rest. This will give your muscles plenty of time to recover so that you can be sure that you go into your next workout or competition ready to perform at your highest possible level.

Another key aspect of getting proper rest for muscle recovery is getting enough rest every night. You have to make sure that your body is sleeping sufficiently so that you are able to physically and mentally perform. The amount of sleep you need depends on how old you are and what kind of lifestyle you lead, but most experts estimate that around 7-8 hours should be sufficient for an average adult.

For athletes who train and compete very often, more sleep may be necessary. ESPN reports that high-level professional athletes like LeBron James and Roger Federer sleep about 12 hours a day, including naps, to help them perform at the highest possible level. If you are required to train or compete physically almost every day, more sleep may be necessary in order for you to keep your body in the best possible shape through adequate muscle recovery.

Using the Right Recovery Techniques

  1. Massage therapy: massage therapy has been considered a valuable method of muscle recovery for many years because of the way that muscles respond when they are massaged. Through massage, a person can relax their muscles and potentially move some nourishment and waste in the area, which in turn helps muscle fibers get the nutrients they need to keep growing and strengthening during the muscle recovery process.
  2. Rolling your muscles: this is similar to massage therapy but has its own specific techniques and equipment. Muscle rolling is also known as self-myofascial release. It helps your muscles maintain sufficient motion so that they can contract and expand properly when you are working out.
  3. Over the counter medicines: these are usually taken on an as-needed basis by people who have trouble with particular parts of their body. Medicines for pain and inflammation may help cut down on soreness; however, side-effects are also possible. Some research has shown that acetaminophen will suppress the protein synthesis response that naturally happens in skeletal muscles after a workout.

Another very cutting edge modern technique for promoting muscle recovery is using electric pulses to stimulate muscle contractions. The Marc Pro and Marc Pro Plus are great examples of how a device for muscle stimulation can be applied to help with muscle recovery. On its most basic level, the Marc Pro is used as a way to activate nitric oxide, which serves to dilate blood vessels in your muscles and allow them to more easily transport nutrients into the muscles and waste out of the muscles to expedite the recovery process. Best of all, the Marc Pro is totally customizable, which means you can decide exactly what type of treatment you want depending on how much stimulation you need and what feels good for your body.

muscle recovery

Final Thoughts on Muscle Recovery

Muscle recovery isn’t glamorous; and you will rarely see highlight reels of muscle recovery when you are watching television.  However, recovering from strain placed on your muscles during competition or exercise you partake in is just as important as the training you do to get better at your sport or activity or to increase your strength and endurance.

If you aren’t already paying attention to your muscle recovery, you should start by incorporating these three critical elements into your regular workout regimen. Once you get more familiar with ways that you can enhance your muscle recovery, you can then begin to alter your recovery strategy to make sure that the recovery tactics you use are cut out for your body. Trying new things and experimenting with different types of muscle recovery tactics are great ways to improve your recovery. It will require a bit of extra time and thought, but you will find that this effort is well worth it when you are enjoying greater gains in the gym and better performance on the court or field.

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