Plot Twist!

 

By: Dr Dawn DPT

Plottwist

Plot twist seems to be a theme for me these days. Here’s my latest.

I was seeing the light at the end of a long knee injury tunnel. I built up strength through crossfit-inspired training and rowing, addressed my biomechanics, and lubricated some dehydrated tissues.  I slowly resumed my running and had worked back up to a solid 8 miles. I felt confident enough to sign up for a half marathon at the end of May. Passion, persistence, and positivity got me back on the trails!

Good-Running-Form

 

And then…I dropped a #45 barbell on my right foot during a warm up routine on Tuesday, March 18th at 7:30am. goodbarbellposture

I self-treated with LiteCure laser, Rock Tape, compression sock, and gentle range of motion for 2 days but when I still couldn’t put weight on it by Thursday, I went to urgent care for an x-ray. Verdict – no fracture but a type 1 crush injury that would most likely take at least  2-3 months to heal. Definite plot twist!

Dorsal view of right foot injury

Dorsal view of right foot injury

Medial view of right foot injury

Medial view of right foot injury

Litecure Lightforce Pro Laser

Litecure Lightforce Pro Laser

Rock Tape for edema and bruising

Rock Tape for edema and bruising

Me on crutches…putting on a happy face!

Me on crutches…putting on a happy face!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I became depressed and relived the moment of losing the barbell from my fingers over and over again in my mind. It was a stupid accident! But why?!? Why now?!? I was just getting my run mojo back and feeling good about it. I was starting to dream about triathlon again!! And then…a barbell dropped on my foot!!!

After several days of this moping, I stopped and yelled PLOT TWIST! I reminded myself this is not the end…just a bump in the road! So get over it!! I set up a treatment schedule for myself…and stuck to it. Laser, linament application, gentle range of motion, and taping everyday for the first week.

By week 2, I was down to 1 crutch and added in Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls to reintroduce proprioceptive awareness and normalize my hypersensitive touch sensation as well as initiate some space-making in the congested foot tissues.

balloffootonball

Ball of foot on the ball

Arch on the ball

Arch on the ball

skinrolling

Skin rolling dorsal tissues

toesonball

Toes on the ball

At

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of week 2, I was walking with a cane and started my Tuesday and Thursday morning workouts again, albeit modified. I did alot of floor work for my core with heavy focus on the obliques, kettlebell swings (yes, I grip the hell out of the bell even though I know I shouldn’t!), 1/2 Turkish get ups, and rowing on my Indo Row water rower.

Oh, and I spent more time on my left knee releasing and strengthening my tissue imbalances. My left knee is feeling better than ever!

Kettlebell Swing

Kettlebell Swing

Indo-Row Water Rower

Indo-Row Water Rower

 

 

 

 

Half Turkish Get Up (TGU)

Half Turkish Get Up (TGU)

By the end of week 3 I was fully off all assistive devices for walking and had very little limp. I added single leg work with Romanian deadlifts (RDLs) and step ups on a 20″ box. And I started really pushing my rowing with sprints ranging from 400 meters to 1600 meters (1 mile).

It has now been 4 weeks almost to the day that I was handed my little plot twist. After a few days of wallowing, I think I twisted my lemons into some great tasting lemonade!

I can row a 10k (6 miles) in under 50 minutes. My core is stronger. My left knee is stronger and more stable. My right foot tolerated a light, slow, short jog for the first time today! The light at the end of the tunnel is shining brighter! I guess plot twists aren’t so bad after all…until the next one comes along LOL!!

Advertisements

Coach Kimmie’s Half Marathon Training Plan

So when I decided I was going to train for another 1/2 marathon (WTF?!!), I determined I’d do it very differently than any of my previous distance endeavors. I was going to train for SPEED and with my OWN self-created plan! A distance goal is great but what about having a “time” goal as well? My previous 1/2 marathons have all been at least 2 hours 15 minutes to 2 hours 45 minutes in length. My goal is to finish this race in under 2 hours!!!

Traditional running programs/plans have us running 3, 4, sometimes 5 days + per week and maybe, JUST MAYBE 1 strength/cross training session and possibly a hint of selfcare activities like bodywork or rest.  I’ve done this in the past (because that’s what everyone says you should do!) and I usually 1) got injured 2) got burned out or 3) changed the plan about halfway through the training.  So it was high-time I made a change because I cannot afford to 1) get injured 2) get injured or 3) get injured!!

My week of training looks a little like this…

Monday & Wednesday are really long work days so it’s a no-training day. I aim to do a few simple core exercises, some light stretching and some specific Yoga Tune Up® therapy ball rolling. (www.yogatuneup.comhttp://instagram.com/p/kgA3XlrCkd/

Tuesday is a shorter work day (plus a big amount of administrative duties) so I do either sprint intervals OR a strength training session in our garage “gym”. Squat, lunge, plank varieties plus specific ab & upper body exercises are the foundations I build my strength sessions on. Sometimes I mix a lower body strength exercise with a short sprint. Example: weighted squat paired with a 30 second sprint then 30-60 second recovery

ImageImage

Thursday is my day “off” at Kinesis. No clients and I try to NOT do any work-related activities. (yeah right!!)  Thursday mornings I take an indoor spinning class and sometimes do a smaller strength session prior.  I also will occasionally use this day for my LONG RUN DAY depending on what my Saturday is like. Each week, I add between .5 and 1.0 miles to my last longest run.

Fridays I start work at 6am and finish between 3 and 5pm. If I have some leftover energy, I MIGHT squeeze in a 30 minute VERY specific lower body strength session. I do movements that really fire up my Posterior Chain. I LOVE working the back of my body! If you’ve worked out with me, you KNOW I’m all about Lats and Butts 🙂

Image

I also toss in a little plyometric work. Jumping, hopping, jumprope, box jumps, etc. http://instagram.com/p/ktCyMRrCm5/ Image

Saturdays are my preferred ‘LONG RUN DAY’. This is tricky because I work 8-12 and it’s usually kinda warm/hot after 12noon. However, after this last weekend’s Los Angeles Marathon HEATWAVE, I have zero room to complain! After an 8-10 minute general warm up, I usually take the first mile to settle into my run & get into my groove.  Miles 2, 3, 4 are usually fairly comfortable and I’m trying to run at a quicker pace the 2nd half of each mile than the first. **speed** remember?? So far, miles 4, 5, 6 have gone ok. I’ve only run up to 7 miles at this point. I have to really keep my mental game on cue or I’ll start losing focus. And I refuse to get in my own way! http://instagram.com/p/kyNBXmLCtf/ The #HTFU brand of clothing REALLY helps me stay mentally “right”! http://store.htfu.com/Reality_Check_by_HTFU_p/ss038.htm

Sundays – oh Sunday!!! I LOVE Sundays. I usually do another spin class and try to devote the rest of the day to rest, friends and other things that just make me feel rejuvenated and relaxed so as I move back into my week, I’m on track!

So that’s that. I just thought y’all might be interested in how I create my goals, my workout plans and to know I’m working hard JUST LIKE YOU… More to come as I progress through the training towards the Mountains2Beach 1/2 marathon in Ojai late May!!

Image~Coach Kimmie

De Feet Boss… De Feet!

By: Dr Dawn DPT

How many of you really think about your feet? No, I mean really consider those 2 (if you’re lucky) pieces of flesh at the end of your legs that serve as ground-body interface to transport you (again, if you’re lucky) from point A to point B? Most do not even think about the toes and feet until they demand some attention! They are taken for granted to be always at the ready. But what happens if they’re not happy? Cranky feet make for a cranky attitude in general! My feet are KILLING me! Don’t talk to me until I get these shoes off! Etc!

feetscreaming

Let me introduce you to your feet…the complex machinery taking up real estate just south of your ankles. There are 26 bones, 33 joints,  and over a hundred muscles/tendons/ligaments.

footbones intrinsicfootmuscles

Take a stand on foot health! Pay attention to standing posture. It is the first step to a healthier relationship with your feet and their interface with the rest of you.

Look at the potential chaos that ensues up the chain from a chronic toe out posture. malalignedskeleton

And chronic toe out posturing often leads to foot pronation which often leads to bunion formation.

pronationandbunions bunionbones

footalignment

If your car wheels were aligned like this, you would rush to your trusted auto mechanic for a realignment…ASAP! Otherwise, you might end up driving in circles and ruining your car tires as well your axles in the process. So why do you allow your pedal vehicles to point in a direction other than the one you intend to travel?

footalignmentLook at the photo to the right and then look in a mirror. Which set of legs and feet look most like your own? If you didn’t choose the center, you’ve got some work to do. And it does take work! Lots of it! Frequent corrections throughout your day during various activities. Your brain needs a neuro reset…an attitude readjustment so to speak. It is important that you remain persistent in your pursuit of a better stance. Remember, this habit stance may have developed years ago! It won’t change overnight or over a month.

earlyposturizing

Look at the toe posture on that young girl on the right. Oh and what do you think about the 2 photos? First thing I notice is the change in youth stance from 1981 to 2012! Yikes!!!

You better get started now! Katy Bowman, biomechanist, is a great resouce for further info on foot health: http://www.alignedandwell.com

Next entry: calf, ankle, and foot stretches to assist in the alignment process.

Anything… Everything

By: Dr Dawn DPT

How we sit, stand, walk, run, squat, carry, lift, push/press, sleep, and anything else we do on a repetitive basis affects our body composition and tissue health. Tissues here include bones, muscles, fascia, nerves, blood vessels… you get the picture! Our movements and positions either honor our biomechanical systems or they don’t. That is why it is sooooo important to practice “right” movement strategies throughout the day, not just while you are working out or doing your home rehab progam.

Anyone who comes into Kinesis for rehab, prehab, athletic conditioning, and/or core work hears this over and over again. But I believe one can never hear this too much. We all need movement corrections, even myself and Coach Kimmie! The goal is to spend more time in right movement patterns so our bodies can weather the times we revert to poor movement choices. No one is perfect! Spend time practicing… building myelin for future injury resistance.

In the meantime, enjoy the following video from one of my mentors Kelly Starrett. If you know Coach Kimmie and I personally, this video will ring true and sound verrrryyyy familiar!!!

It’s Genetic… NO, It’s Mechanics!

By: Dr Dawn DPT

If I had a nickle for every time a client tried to convince me their foot problems were genetic, I’d be rolling in the deep money! I won’t dispute the possibility of some genetic predisposition due to collagen fibers, bone structure, and other genetic markers. However, I take issue with the statement “It’s genetic, I have my mother’s (or father’s or uncle’s or grandmother’s) feet being used to avoid owning their bad habits and correcting biomechanical faults that can change the course of their foot health for a lifetime. A genome can not be altered (well, for the sake of this discussion it can’t!) but a mechanome can definitely be modified for the greater good.

“We are how we move” according to Katy Bowman, biomechanist extraordinaire. Read her timely blog on this topic here: Mechanome vs Genome. The moral of the story is you can do something, many things in fact, to address the issues with the tissues in your feet (or anywhere else in the body for that matter but today it’s the feet).

The most common malalignment of the foot attributed to genetics is the bunion. bunion anatomyIn reality, gait pattern, tissue tension, and poor shoe choices are the biggest contributors to bunion formation. Tight calves and hamstrings as well as walking like a duck (or ballerina) are the quickest way to achieving a beautiful (not) bony protrusion on the side of your big toe. Add wearing a shoe with a small toe box and a heel to push your entire body weight onto the ball of the foot and pow!

If we were meant to wear heels, our foot structure would look more like this:

foothighheelSo… what can I do? you may ask. I will tell you.

First: Wean down your heel height as much as possible and wear heels for special occasions instead of daily.

Second: Choose shoes with wide toe boxes to give your toes plenty of room to spread out. And help your toes find a new spread position by encouraging them with your fingers, spreading with toe muscle control, and wearing my new favorite toe aligment tool:

toealignmentsocks I wear these in the evening for about an hour or so before going to bed. WOW! What a stretch!

ytutoeonballThird: Use a myofascial release tool to loosen up the tissues in the foot and create space for blood flow, nerve communication, and mechanical efficiency. My favorites are the Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls. They come in several sizes but the classics are best for the feet. ytuballoffoot

Fourth: Stretch your calf muscles

katybowmancalfstretch

Fifth: Stretch your hamstrings/posterior chain

kbhamstringcalfstretch

Sixth: Fix your standing and walking foot pattern. If you are not a duck or a ballerina on the stage, please work on paralleling your feet one to the other.

footalignment

Your feet should line up similar to the middle set, feet in parallel to each other. Practice this in both standing and walking. The more you practice this preferred posture, the more comfortable and less foreign it will feel.

Seventh: Make an effort to do something for your foot health daily. Your feet and toes will thank you immensely for your efforts! You can create change! Your foot structure is malleable based on the mechanical stresses placed on it.

happytoes

The Importance of a “Plan” ~ Coach Kimmie

The Importance of a “Plan”

Do you go into your week with a plan regarding your exercise and movement?  Just like our “work” week has a fairly specified amount of time allotted for it, so should our “movement” week.  If I didn’t plan my weekly workouts just like I schedule each client or class, TRUST ME – they’d never get done!

“So Coach Kimmie, how do I plan my week?”

Write down all the types of movement you really like to do first. LOVE that TRX class on Monday? Write it down!  Prefer the Yoga Tune Up class at Kinesis on Tuesday or Wednesday? Write it down!! Commitment to what you love (or really like) will undoubtedly help create success. Once you have these in place, build the week from there.

We all know that there must be components of each of these in our general fitness scheme:

**strength**

**cardiovascular**

**flexibility/mobility**

We also know that there should be at least 1 day of no exercise or very light non-impact activity per week depending on our body’s needs.  And finally, we know that our body sometimes needs a little down time.

“So Coach Kimmie, what does a sample week look like?”

Monday:  off

Tuesday:  20-30 minutes of medium intensity cardio plus stretching.

Wednesday:  30-50 minutes of *strength training followed by 10-20 minutes of cardio.

Thursday:  Lower intensity strength & self-care day. **Pilates, maybe get a bodywork session, spend more time stretching or try a Yoga Tune Up class.

Friday:  20-30 minutes of interval cardio with stretching and Yoga Tune Up® therapy ball rolling for your specific “hot spots” afterwards.

Saturday:  low intensity cardio for 60 minutes and maybe a Pilates class or core series as well.

Sunday:  30-50 minutes of combined strength and cardio. Do a 1:1 ratio of strength and cardio movements.

Daily: spend 10-15 minutes stretching major muscle groups and using your self-care tools. Foam roller, Yoga Tune Up balls, foot wakers, etc.

Your week can obviously be different from what I’ve listed, but it has to make sense in your life.  If you know there’s NO WAY you can exercise on Wednesdays, then that’s your definite day off or you can focus on your flexibility/mobility program. If Sunday is always your family/relaxing day, then keep it that way.

The main things to keep in mind are:

1) When performing full body strength sessions, spread them out so you have at least 1 day between for adequate muscle recovery.

2) Be smart and work up to aiming your sessions just slightly out of your comfort zone.

3) Listen to your body.

4) Be aware of and use all the tools available to you! Physical therapy consults with Dr. Dawn, acupuncture/alternative options with Laura, bodywork with our fabulous therapists, etc….

Injury-free is the way to be!!

Ultimately, aim for 2-3 days of strength, 4-5 days of cardio, and 1 day off.  Mix these up into your life and you’ll be set up for success.  Remember, if our bodies are learning something new, there could be some crankiness coming from some muscles. If you’re really sore from the previous day’s workout, keep moving but maybe slow yourself down a bit and be good to your body!

Need help? We’ve got you covered!  One-on-one sessions can be spent figuring out your needs and customizing a plan THAT WORKS FOR YOU. FaceTime sessions are also available.

Notes:

*Strength training can be done with your bodyweight movements or with the use of free weights, TRX, dumbbells, or other weighted non-machine based equipment. If you’re newer to strength training, take a private session with our amazing trainers at Kinesis. We offer a 3/$150 Personal Training special if you’ve never had personal training at Kinesis.

**Pilates is considered strength training in my book.

You have the power to make it happen. ~Coach Kimmie 

Hell on Heels!

By: Dr Dawn DPT

Are you a slave to fashion? A real fashionista? Can’t give up your Choos? And yes, wedges are still heels!

Fashion Heels

Fashion Heels

wedgeshoeThere is a growing body of evidence, not to mention your own body you have probably been trying to ignore, that wearing heeled shoes is detrimental to your posture and biomechanics. The soft tissue imbalances created from faulty posture and biomechanics when the heel is in a raised position frequently lead to musculoskeletal pain. The World Health Organization (WHO) states “these debilitating conditions are painful for the individual, lead to the inability to work and to enjoy life fully, and are a cost to societies and countries.” According to WHO, millions of people are affected globally by musculoskeletal diseases/injuries.

Everything matters because everything is connected! What do you think happens to your knees when your heels are lifted throwing your delicate balance with gravity in a tail spin? And then your hips? Your spine? Your shoulders? Your head? Compensatory changes occur all the way up the chain to your brain.

highheelxray copy

So why do so many women (and some men) continue to punish their feet, knees, hips, backs, necks? Why haven’t more women just said NO! and demand a fashionable flat? We have to demand it and they will supply it! Right?!? Here’s hoping your heels find their way to the dumpster while you’re in search of an answer to your nagging body aches and pains. Throw on a pair of nice flats on your way out the door!

Fascianistas unite! Fashionistas watch out!!