Exercise Induced Asthma in Athletes by Ryan Burkholder

[Ryan Burkholder graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University receiving a BA degree in Health and Human Kinetics. Ryan also ran Cross Country and Track for Ohio Wesleyan University. ] In the last twenty years, the prevalence of exercise-induced asthma (EIA) in teenage distance runners has increased dramatically. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways that has an affect 14.6 million Americans. Of that number, 10.4 million are under the age of 45 and 4.8 million in children. Asthma cost more than $4.6 billion per year in medical care and time lost from school and work. There is no known cure for asthma, but it can be controlled.(Gordon, 2015) EIA, more specifically, is an intermittent narrowing of the airways accompanied by the individual experiences wheezing, chest tightness, coughing with of presence of lung inflammation (Bernhardt 2016). EIA occurs when you are mainly working out and exercising. The time that people would experience these symptoms would be around 5 to 20 minutes after they started the workout or 5 to 10 minutes after a short exercise that has stopped. (DerSarkissian, 2016) EIA will mainly occur when you are in a cold weather or where the air is pretty dry. You should keep an inhaler on hand in case you have symptoms while you're working (Benaroch 2015). When an asthma attack does occur the best thing to do is to stop what you are doing and take the inhaler. If you do not have your inhaler the best thing to do is to take deep breaths, drink cold water, put your hands on head to open up your lungs, and remain upright. To potentially prevent an asthma attack from happening you should make sure you take your [...]

By | 2017-02-24T11:46:03+00:00 February 22nd, 2017|Training Info|0 Comments

Common Injuries in CrossFit and Methods of Prevention by Brandon Gremillion

[Brandon is a student at the University of Mount Olive majoring in Exercise Science. He is currently an Athletic Development Intern at Athletic Lab.] CrossFit is an exercise phenomenon that has sparked interest in many people and gyms across the nation. CrossFit was designed with the goal to, “build a program that would best prepare trainees for any physical contingency-prepare them not only for the unknown but for the unknowable as well” (Glassman, 2007). This sounds pretty good, right? It gets even better with the fact that CrossFit offers competitions on a reginal, national, world scale, and of course on a personal scale. As with any form of exercise there will be some downsides to a program; for CrossFit this is the gained reputation for its tendency to cause injuries. The reasons for injury in CrossFit are often a combination of poor technique combined with heavy loading. The overuse of a muscle can also lead directly to injury in an individual. Common injuries include but are not limited to the following: shoulder, low back injuries, knees, wrist, elbow, neck, chest, and foot injuries (Weisenthal, Beck, Maloney, DeHaven, & Giordano, 2014). Shoulder and low back injuries consume the majority of CrossFit related injuries. The common injuries of the shoulder include subacromial impingement, labrum tears, and rotator cuff tears (see Figure 1, 2, & 3 for common injury sites). The shoulders are mostly injured due to a result of a gymnastic movements performed during training (Weisenthal, Beck, Maloney, DeHaven, & Giordano, 2014). Examples of gymnastic movements commonly seen in CrossFit would be muscle ups and pull ups. A technique commonly performed during muscle ups and pull ups is “kipping” which if done incorrectly can severely damage the upper [...]

By | 2017-04-12T19:27:31+00:00 February 15th, 2017|Training Info|0 Comments

Low Bar vs. High Bar Squat by Zach Chokr

[Zachary Chokr is a senior at North Carolina State University majoring in Psychology, minoring in Sports Science, and a Certified Personal Trainer under the National Academy of Sports Medicine. He is currently an Athletic Development Intern at Athletic Lab.] The squat has biomechanical and neuromuscular similarities to a wide range of athletic movements. Thus, it is one of the most frequently used exercises in the field of strength and conditioning; and is a core exercise designed to enhance athletic performance. In addition, it is an indispensable component of competitive weightlifting and powerlifting that is regarded as a cardinal test of lower-body strength (Schoenfeld, 2010, p. 3497). For some reason, the first question ‘gym bros’ always seem to address is how much someone can bench press, but is that really defiant of your strength? There is no greater love-hate relationship than that of leg day; waking up in the morning with your legs so sore that you are forced to waddle helplessly like a penguin. But hey, on the bright side it shows you’re working hard and I commend you for that. I promise, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. On the more technical side, once you are familiar with the back squat, there are variations that can be performed to adjust the angles and torques placed on the joints that affect the force applied to the low back, legs, and hip musculature by shifting the location of the bar on the back which can provide specific advantages to your personal goals. By changing the location of where the bar sits on your back, you are also changing the bar’s center of gravity and where the load is placed through the body which [...]

By | 2017-04-12T19:27:36+00:00 February 14th, 2017|Training Info|0 Comments

The Importance of Isometrics in Preventing Injury by Brandon Gremillion

[Brandon is a student at the University of Mount Olive majoring in Exercise Science. He is currently an Athletic Development Intern at Athletic Lab.] It appears now that eccentric training is thought to be most effective in reducing the risk of injury to athletes. In a study of hamstring strains it is stated that “biomechanical observations suggest that eccentric contraction is a necessary condition for a hamstring strain injury during running and this claim is strengthened by the lack of strain injuries in concentrically biased sports, such as swimming and cycling” (Opar, Williams, and shield, 2012). Eccentric training improves the amount of force that a muscle can absorb which makes it a clear benefit to preventing injuries in athletes. If you have heard of Cal Dietz method to tri-phasic training you will know that every muscle action has three phases: eccentric, isometric, and concentric. An eccentric action occurs when the “proximal and distal muscle attachments move away from one another” (Verkhoshansky & Siff, 2009). An isometric action occurs when the “proximal and distal muscle attachments do not move relative to each other” (Verkhoshansky & Siff, 2009). A concentric action occurs when the “proximal and distal muscle attachments move towards each other” (Verkhoshansky & Siff, 2009). Training a muscle through a full range of motion is typically the best way to see improvement throughout the entire muscle. This just makes sense because if you are using the entire muscle then the entire muscle will become stronger. However there may still be a need to focus on each phase of the muscle action during workouts. “Most muscle strains occur in an eccentric contraction and are affected by muscle strength and contraction velocity” (Liu, Garrett, Moorman, & Yu, 2012). [...]

By | 2017-02-07T09:43:16+00:00 February 7th, 2017|Training Info|0 Comments

Exercise is Medicine by Lauren Cowley

[Lauren Cowley is currently a senior at the University of Mount Olive and will graduate in May 2017. She is an Exercise Science Major, and a former NCAA DII Soccer Player. She is currently an Athletic Development Intern at Athletic Lab.] We’ve all seen how it happens, January comes around and suddenly the gym is full of people, the streets and parks are filled with runners and walkers, all attempting to fulfill their new year’s resolution of losing weight or achieving the ‘new year, new me’ status. Then suddenly summer creeps around, and this all happens again with people attempting to lose weight with the aim to fit into that one dress, to look better on the beach on vacation, or even wanting to avoid the embarrassment of not feeling comfortable in summer clothes. First of all, I applaud each and every person who engages in exercise, for taking that step and going to the gym, or for a run, or even just a walk. For some, that’s the hardest step of all. Exercise has a multitude of established benefits with minimal negative side effects. These benefits include: weight control, improved body composition, decreased risk of obesity and diabetes mellitus, improved coronary benefits, lower blood pressure, decreased risk of osteoporosis and cancer, improved psychological wellbeing, improved overall quality of sleep and improved cognitive function. Exercise is extremely cost-efficient and is widely accessible at a societal level. Regardless of age, gender or physical ability, everyone and anyone can benefit from exercise. Which is why exercise is commonly regarded as medicine and regularly prescribed by medical practitioners. Through these extensive benefits, an improvement in overall health status and thus, a reduction in risk of chronic diseases and disability can be [...]

By | 2017-04-12T19:28:01+00:00 February 3rd, 2017|Training Info|0 Comments

The Effects of Eccentric Resistance Training on Muscular Strength by Lauren Cowley

[Lauren Cowley is currently a senior at the University of Mount Olive and will graduate in May 2017. She is an Exercise Science Major, and a former NCAA DII Soccer Player. She is currently an Athletic Development Intern at Athletic Lab.] According to the ACSM, “muscle contractions involve shortening and lengthening while the muscle is still producing force. The phase of contraction that occurs when the muscle shortens is concentric, whereas the phase of contraction that occurs as the muscle lengthens is eccentric” (Eccentric Resistance Exercise for Health and Fitness, n.d.). Throughout my education in the field of Exercise Science, I’ve always been interested in the concentric versus eccentric debate. Following a video I viewed recently, I expanded my knowledge of eccentric movement profoundly. It is essential to strengthen both concentric and eccentric phases of muscle contraction in order to sustain sport performance and prevent injury throughout the whole range of motion (Eccentric Strength Development, n.d.). It appears that recent training programs place emphasis on the eccentric phase of muscle contraction. The benefits of eccentric resistance training appear to be copious, with one major benefit being its effect on muscular strength. It produces augmented strength in the entire range of motion of each joint, greater strength across a range of movement speeds and amplified sport performance and muscular power (Eccentric Resistance Exercise for Health and Fitness, n.d.). An article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine investigated “the effects of eccentric versus concentric resistance training on muscle strength and mass in healthy adults” with the aim to determine whether eccentric resistance exercises were superior to concentric exercises in stimulating gains in muscle strength and mass. Their findings, following meta-analyses, were that high intensity eccentric resistance exercise showed more [...]

By | 2017-04-12T19:28:03+00:00 January 23rd, 2017|Training Info|0 Comments

The Achilles Heel of the Treadmill by Erin Ritterbusch

[This is a guest blog by Erin Ritterbusch who is currently an intern at Athletic Lab. Erin is a recent graduate of Auburn University where she received her Master’s degree in Exercise Science with a concentration in biomechanics.] Growing up, my dad, an orthopedic surgeon, always told me to be wary of the treadmill. I really never understood those implications until I delved into the biomechanics of running during my master’s program. Surprisingly, I was not able to find a lot of research articles on this topic. Anyone who has run outside as well as on a treadmill can attest to the fact that these are two very different feelings. However, does this mean that we are more susceptible to injury? I believe it does because we have to alter the way that we run in order to compensate for what is propelling this motion. When we run on flat ground, we are using our own momentum to push us forward to accelerate, to maintain, or to slow down. However, on a treadmill, the belt below us is pulling us backwards with every step we take. An article I came across on triathlete.com written by “The Gait Guys”, as they are known, made some very strong points about how exactly the treadmill affects your stride and muscles. To make a comparison, running on the treadmill is similar to running downhill. The backward motion of the belt catches the heel and pulls the forefoot onto the belt when your lead foot comes into contact with the treadmill belt. This accelerated motion demands a higher level of muscle strength in the anterior part of your shins. This is what causes such a prevalence of shin splints in [...]

By | 2017-04-12T19:28:20+00:00 December 16th, 2016|Training Info|0 Comments

The Importance of The Lumbopelvic Hip Complex by Erin Ritterbusch

[This is a guest blog by Erin Ritterbusch who is currently an intern at Athletic Lab. Erin is a recent graduate of Auburn University where she received her Master’s degree in Exercise Science with a concentration in biomechanics.] If I could take one thing I learned during my Master’s program and run with it, it would be the importance of the Lumbopelvic Hip Complex  (LPHC) (I basically had an entire summer class based around this concept). The level of strength and stability of the LPHC can make or break you in a sense. The LPHC plays a huge role in the body’s kinetic chain and connects the upper and lower halves of the body. The kinetic chain can be defined as the individual body segments, or links, are coordinated in their movements by muscle activity and body positions to generate, summate, and transfer force through these segments to the terminal link. (Kibler, 326). Essentially, this concept shows that forces produced by the lower body are transferred through the LPHC to the upper body. The LPHC, also referred to as your core, is made up of the lumbar spine, pelvis, and hip musculoskeletal structures. This complex acts as a transition from your lower to upper body by serving to transmit forces that are generated. For this reason, it needs to be stable so that it doesn’t cause different parts of the body to overcompensate, which can result in injury. The core is considered the integral link in the kinetic chain. All sporting movements incorporate the transfer of energy from one segment to the next in the kinetic chain model. Despite the skill being performed, it is paramount that athletes have the correct postural control when performing [...]

By | 2017-04-12T19:28:37+00:00 November 25th, 2016|Training Info|1 Comment

Posture & Performance Part 1 by Kyle Bois

[Kyle Bois is part of the Sport Performance Mentorship at Athletic Lab. He currently taking hiatus from pursuing his doctorate in Sport Biomechanics at Auburn University to better explore the world of coaching. His avid interest is in applying this combined knowledge toward athletic performance.] “Stop slouching! Sit up straight! Shoulders back! Good posture is important.” We’ve all heard it at some point growing up, from our parents at the dinner table or teachers at school: Good posture is important.  But what does “good posture” even mean? Not slouching? Your Head up, back straight, doing your best Marine impression? And WHY is good posture so important? The only answer I received: “…Because bad posture makes you look lazy.” I’m betting most of you heard something similar. While well meaning, and probably true, this doesn’t give posture the justice it deserves. The only question it answered was: “How can I give the appearance of a hard-working, upstanding citizen?” (see what I did there?) If you didn’t care about your appearance or were really after that 90’s Cobain look, you’d be left thinking posture is for the birds. Oh, the misinformation! Turns out that posture is the backbone of human movement and movement the backbone health. So if physical prowess, a mind like a sponge, and freedom from pain sound good to you, then posture matters. If you’re a competitive athlete, it really matters. Posture can be defined as: The strategy of what muscles are doing the correct things at the correct time, to effectively cope with the forces of gravity. Or, more loosely as: The organization of the arms, legs, and torso to accomplish a task with the least effort. Posture isn’t just standing up straight [...]

By | 2017-04-12T19:28:41+00:00 November 21st, 2016|Training Info|0 Comments

Rowing: does proper technique matter in terms of power production and does it help to prevent injury by Erin Ritterbusch

[This is a guest blog by Erin Ritterbusch who is currently an intern at Athletic Lab. Erin is a recent graduate of Auburn University where she received her Master’s degree in Exercise Science with a concentration in biomechanics.] The first thing I learned when I joined the club rowing team at my undergrad was that technique is the most important aspect of becoming a powerful and efficient rower. Not only does it allow you to produce more power, but also helps prevent injuries that can occur with improper technique on the rowing machine. The sequence of a stroke is the basis of good technique, which helps rowers translate to the water. The biggest misconception with rowing is that power comes from your arms, but in actuality, the majority of power comes from your legs. The beginning of the stroke is called “the catch”. The catch is then is followed by “the drive” phase, “the finish” or “release”. The last phase of the stroke is “the recovery” phase. These four phases are sequential in nature rather than simultaneous because they should be treated as one fluid motion. *It should also be noted that the drive and recovery phases are normally seen as a 1:2 ratio; meaning that the time spent to “recover” on the way up the slide takes twice as long as driving the legs back during the power producing phase of the stroke. Creating this rhythm allows for the continuous flow of the stroke and gives you true recovery time. Additionally, on the water, it will reduce any forward jolting of the boat, which can set back the number of meters gained during the drive. 1: The Catch 2: The Drive [...]

By | 2017-04-12T19:29:05+00:00 November 1st, 2016|Training Info|1 Comment