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5 Reasons You Should Stretch In The Morning

5 Reasons why you should stretch in the morning

Woman sitting in bed

Growing up in the dance world stretching was essential for a successful dance career. I got in the habit of stretching every morning when I woke up and over time I noticed significant differences in my flexibility, mood, and concentration. I continued this habit for 7 years but once I stopped dancing my freshman year of college, I also stopped stretching every day. It was only a matter of days until I truly noticed the importance of stretching. I lost my flexibility and I did not have as much energy throughout the day. After prioritizing stretching once again, I was back to my energized self. Seeing these changes in myself, I wanted to share the importance of stretching by pointing out 5 major changes you will experience by setting aside 10-15 minutes every morning:

  1. Say goodbye to back pain and hello to better posture

Stretching reduces tension that has built up in your spine and back muscles. This will eventually help your muscles be more relaxed throughout the day and relaxed back muscles lead to better posture. If you suffer from morning back pains, devote a few minutes to stretching and over time you will see a significant difference. One product that I find extremely effective for stretching out my lower back muscles is the CoreStretch which I found on Medi-Dyne.com. Kiss that achy breaky back goodbye with some easy stretches demonstrated by GMB Fitness.

  1. Jumpstart your brain

After sleeping for hours, it is crucial to help jumpstart the blood flow into your brain. This will sharpen your concentration and cognitive activities throughout the day. Waking up your brain first thing in the morning is a crucial factor to be the best version of yourself and you will see significant changes in your reflexes and memory. You can find several different stretches to get that blood pumping at LiveStrong.

  1. Increase flexibility

Beautiful and flexible. Young beautiful young woman in sportswear doing stretching while sitting in front of window at gym

Stretching lengthens and relaxes your muscles which is more important than you think. Flexibility is crucial for athletes, but it is also important for everyone to be flexible to some degree. Flexibility is one of the first things you’ll lose as you get older, so it is important to stretch every day. My 94 year old great grandma still has her splits and I strive to be like her one day. Increasing flexibility by stretching decreases your risk for injury during your daily activities. If that doesn’t convince you, I have found that stretching lengthens your muscles for a longer/leaner look to your body. Increase your flexibility with a few of my favorite stretches found on Self Fitness. 

  1. Stress no more

A great way to reduce the amount of stress in your body would be to relieve the knots that have built up overtime. Stretching calms your body physically and mentally which helps decrease knots from forming. Waking up your body by a gentle stretch can significantly reduce stress levels by starting your day with an awake and relaxed mind. Use the time spent stretching to clear your mind and focus on your body only, enjoy those few minutes of not having to think about anything but yourself. Some of the best stretches to help reduce stress are found on Healthy Women.

  1. Mood booster

Stretching helps boost the amount of oxygen that enters your brain which ultimately decreases the lethargic feeling that normally occurs half way through the day. By releasing mental tensions first thing in the morning, your overall mood will increase positively. The more blood flow into your muscles, the more energy you will have to start the day. No more waking up on the wrong side of the bed because you’ll stretch out all the bad vibes before you even walk out the door. Try a few stretches from Psychologies.com to boost that mood.

All these benefits will come over time and it’s never too late to start stretching. I believe that to be the best version of yourself, you should devote at least 10-15 minutes in the morning to wake your mind and body up. I notice a difference and I promise you will too! It is a simple habit to get in to that has major benefits. Get your stretch on!

Young woman stretching and relaxing in the city before exercise

 

Medi-Dyne offers a variety of stretching aids to help you make morning stretching a part of your daily routine, such as:

CoreStretch

ProStretch Plus

StretchRite


 

If you would like to read more about stretching, check out these articles:

The Benefits of Stretching Before a Workout

Getting a Safe and Effective Tight Calf Stretch

The Benefits of Stretching before a Workout

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE EXERCISING

by Joe Humphries

It’s difficult to argue against the benefits of exercise; several studies have shown a correlation between exercise and life expectancy. According to a cancer.gov article, those who are physically active often live 3.4 years longer than those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. That being said, there are a few key principles that you should become familiar with before embarking on your fitness journey. The things that we do leading up to, and after, the gym will dictate how much we benefit from exercise. Good nutrition is essential if you plan on getting through a strenuous workout; so, fuel your body with healthy and nutritious meals. Also, be sure to stretch before you begin your workouts. Why is stretching so important? Well, there are a number of benefits; this is the perfect time to not only warm up your muscles but to also improve your range of motion. Taking a few minutes to warm up will allow you to get the most out of exercise and can help prevent injury.

two runners stretching

THE IMPORTANCE OF STRETCHING

What does stretching entail, exactly? Stretching involves mobilizing your joints. During this process, muscle temperature increases and the body’s nervous system becomes fully engaged. To better contextualize this statement, imagine starting up a car on a very cold day; you would want to make sure that your vehicle is primed and ready to go before embarking on your journey.

HOW STRETCHING HELPS WITH LACTIC ACID

Of course, stretching doesn’t stop simply because you’ve started a few working sets; to maximize your workout, you will want to stretch in between sets and after your workout. This form of stretching is referred to as “static stretching.” The name is derived from the stretching style, whereby you stretch and hold that particular position for a few seconds. Static stretching is great for reducing lactic acid build-up; if you’re unfamiliar with this term, lactic acid is that burning sensation that you feel after fatiguing a particular muscle. This burning sensation can be attributed to a build-up of lactic acid in the muscle, by stretching and holding that stretched position (usually 10-30 seconds) the lactic acid will begin to dissipate. Lastly, a post-workout stretch is great as the body cools down; stretching after a workout improves flexibility and reduces cramping.

THE BEST WAY TO STRETCH

Honestly, there is no one way to stretch; the key is to stretch properly, which could mean incorporating dynamic, passive, or active stretching into your workouts. So, let’s break these concepts down:

Dynamic stretching– this is where you move your body through a series of challenging movements, which will, in turn, increase your range of motion.

Passive stretching– this is where you incorporate equipment like ProStretch Plus, as well as body weight exercises, into your routine.

Active stretching– this is where you contract one muscle while allowing the other muscle to relax.

ProStretch Plus

GETTING STARTED

Although these concepts may sound challenging, they ensure that you get the absolute best out of your workouts. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle, or simply looking to get toned, stretching exercises are critical to your success. So, if you’re not already stretching before, during, and after your workouts, hopefully, this article has encouraged you to start.

 

Joe Humphries is a contributing writer and media specialist for Orangetheory Fitness. He regularly writes for health and fitness blogs with an emphasis on high intensity interval training.

https://www.orangetheoryfitness.com/


 

You may also like:

For additional stretching tips, read Getting a Safe and Effective Tight Calf Stretch.

For tips on how to avoid injury, read Scariest Word for Runners: Injury.

RangeRoller Sore Muscles After Tough Practices

Running with Kids covers using the RangeRoller on sore muscles for tissue massage after tough runs or training, and even after taekwando practices for IT Bands and tight calves.

Gear Review – Tissue Massage with RangeRoller

RangeRoller CalvesWe have incorporated Medi-Dyne’s Pro Stretch Plus into our cool down and stretching routine after runs (read my review here). But there is another Medi-Dyne tool in our toolkit, the original Range Roller, that has become just as important after strenuous workouts. The Range Roller enables soft tissue massages and accelerates the healing and recovery process.

My older son, who runs high school cross country and track, used a hard foam roller for tissue massages, and I had considered buying one. I opted for the Range Roller for several reasons, including deeper tissue massage, more versatile applications with the tool, and very portable (throw it into a gym bag or backpack). He has since converted to the Range Roller.

RangeRoller IT BandsRecognizing the importance of stretching and massaging, my younger son has been using the Range Roller after runs as well, but opened our eyes when he asked for the Range Roller after his Taekwondo 2nd degree Black Belt test (read about this 90 minute test that requires nearly 1,000 hours of preparation). We now use the Range Roller after runs (example: helps disipate lactic acid after threshold and anaerobic track workouts by improving blood circulation to muscles) and after Taekwondo practice (example: helps reduce soreness and repair tissue after Taekwondo sparring session by improving blood circulation to tissue).

What we like:

RangeRoller’s Unique Design

  • The original Range Roller measures 19 inches long and contains 6 narrow, deep rollers alternating with 7 wider, shallow rollers that turn freely as the Range Roller is gently and firmly rolled to massage tissue.
  • The tool is held with foam handles on both ends and flexes slightly as pressure is applied.
  • It is portable (bring along to a track workout, martial arts practice, or fitness center) and easy to store.
  • A smaller (16 inch) and larger (25 inch) version is also available.
  • The Range Roller can be ordered in your favorite color combinations (think sports teams!)

RangeRoller’s Materials and Quality

  • The Range Roller is manufactured of high quality plastic and dense foam, and can be gently washed with mild soap.
  • We are impressed with the overall quality of the Range Roller (design, materials, and workmanship) and expect to use it daily for many years to come.

RangeRoller’s Affordable Price

  • The Range Roller costs $25 at Medi-Dyne.com.
  • Less expensive (and more versatile) than foam rollers, and a fraction of the cost of sports massages!

Welcome to the Medi-Dyne Family Cho-Pat

Cho-Pat, a Welcome Addition

At Medi-Dyne we’re excited to be able to offer you a comprehensive selection of pain relief and prevention solutions that deliver relief, support, and performance improvement for the entire length of your body’s interconnective chain of muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments.

MD-Family

We look forward to providing you with innovative, easy-to-use solutions that really work! For more information visit www.medi-dyne.com, or connect with us @MediDyne.

Stay Off the Curb: Stretch with ProStretch Plus

If you’ve been relying on the curb for pre-run stretches, there’s something better. The ProStretch Plus enables you to stretch your tight calves, Achilles tendon, and plantar fascia more efficiently than a curb or wall.

ProStretch Plus reaches tough spots like the Achilles, and provides support for controlled stretching. This increases flexibility, range of motion and performance while helping reduce the risk of injury.

Stretching on a curb has limitations:

  • You must stop your stretch and begin again when adjusting the depth of stretch on a curb or wall.
  • To reach all of the areas of the lower leg, you must position yourself various times, in different stretching positions.
  • The curb does not offer a stretch for the bottom of the foot.

 

Stretching with ProStretch Plus is simple and more efficient than a curb or wall:

  • To adjust your stretch on the ProStretch Plus, you simply rock backward until you reach the depth of stretch that you desire— never stopping your stretch.
  • You can fluidly move from one stretch to another with ProStretch Plus; starting with an Achilles tendon stretch, to Gastroc and Soleous calf stretches, even to a hamstring stretch, and ending with a shin splint prevention exercise.
  • The added toe piece helps to place the toes at a state of tension, stretching the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot—something that the curb is incapable of doing.

Curbs are for tires, not feet. If you want to run and play with confidence, you want to stretch like a pro. ProStretch Plus “foots” the bill.

10 Minute Back Pain Relief: CoreStretch

10 Minutes of Stretching a Day Can Take Back Pain Away!

3 easy stretches that cover the stretch the entire interconnective chain of the core, including the; Lower Back, Hamstrings, Hips, Glutes, IT Bands, and Lateral Arm Muscles.

For best results, be sure that your arms are fully extended (not bent at the elbow) and your back is straight (not curved). Correct posture will maximize your back elongation and stretch.  If the stretch on your shoulder is too intense, lower the position of the handle by one notch.

LOWER BACK and HAMSTRING STRETCHES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HIPS (Piriformis), UPPER GLUTE and IT BAND (Illiotibial)

 

Advanced Lateral arm stretches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADVANCED LATERAL

Professionals Use ProStretch for Injury Prevention

Chain Reaction Injuries

Have you ever sprained an ankle only to find a week later you’re suffering from lower back pain? Then you’ve experienced first-hand how weak links put undue stress on stronger ones.

Weak muscles cause tighter (stronger) muscles to be recruited by the central nervous system in order to perform the same movement. The results are muscle imbalances and “chain reaction injuries”.

ProStretch for Calf Stretches

Pictured: The ProStretch Double (Original Wooden) on the pre-season game sidelines of the Dallas Cowboys. The ProStretch Double Wooden is the heavy duty version of Medi-Dyne’s popular ProStretch Plus. This bigger and stronger version is often used by pro teams, fitness clubs and clinics.

One of the most critical muscles to keep flexible are the calf muscles. Calf injuries or even just tightness can move in either direction of the body’s interconnective chain, causing Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, knee pain, tight hamstrings or even lower back pain.

Stretching with ProStretch products strengthens and stretches the calf muscles and ligaments in the calf muscles, plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, keeping the lower leg strong, balanced, and healthy!

To purchase a ProStretch, or for more information on chain reaction injuries and injury prevention techniques and tools, visit medi-dyne.com.

How Flexible Are You?

 Test your flexibility with the StretchRite.

How flexible are you? If you are a Coach, how flexible are your athletes?   What are you doing to increase your or your athlete’s flexibility?   Get the StretchRite advantage!

StretchRite is a device to help ensure that each athlete has the necessary flexibility to stay injury free during intense athletic competition. This device enables the athlete to do the type of stretching that normally requires a second person’s assistance.

Joe Dial, former World and American Record Holder for the Pole Vault, and Head Track Coach at Oral Roberts University says:

“Our Athletes are excited about stretching now that we are using the StretchRite program. Flexibility, strength, and leg turnover are keys to maximum performance.”

Read more reviews of the StretchRite at Running Supplement or medi-dyne.com.

TEAMS CURRENTLY USING StretchRite:

University of Arkansas
University of Arizona
University of Florida
University of Wisconsin
Kansas State University
Louisiana State University
University of Oregon
University of Kansas
Illinois State University
University of Nebraska
Oklahoma State University
University of Louisiana
Oral Roberts University
Texas Tech University
Texas A&M University
University of Texas
University of Wisconsin

Aches and Pains of a Beginner Biker

Craig DiGiovanni. VP of Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. Avid Runner. Marathoner. Wannabe Triathlete.

The word beginner in the title is important, because that is what I am.   Of course I have ridden a bicycle almost my entire life, but not for very long stretches of time at a constant speed.   I have recently taken up more serious cycling, both to help improve my running and to allow me to possibly compete in some triathlons.    Quite frankly, I have really enjoyed the process of getting out and riding more.   There is something very therapeutic about riding a bike, in addition to some great exercise.    Based on some research, it also is supposed to enhance my running times.

What I didn’t fully expect when I started biking was that the muscles I used would be quite different than those I used while running or swimming.    After running the OKC Memorial Marathon, my quads were by far the sorest muscles post-race. Cue the need for biking, which helps to build up the quad muscles.  However, my quads weren’t the muscles that ached the most following my first long bike rides.    The muscles that ached the most were in my upper and lower back.  Big surprise?   Not really.   Being bent over handles bars for a couple of hours is sure to put a strain on your lower back and even my upper back, right between my shoulder blades.

The reoccurring back pain and lower back muscle tightness I experienced quickly brought on a need for some back stretches.   The good news here is that I have access to one of the premier back stretching devices available, the CoreStretch. The CoreStretch’s simple but unique design easily targeted the stiff areas including my upper and lower back.   There have been some great reviews from cyclists about the CoreStretch, but now I really get it.   Not only do I see the additional need for core strengthening when it comes to cycling, but also for core stretching as an integral part of biking.

There were a few stretches that really helped me get rid of my post-cycling back pain. These included; the crossed hands stretch and also the lower back/hamstring stretch.   Those two in particular seem to give me the most relief for the areas that take the most stress while I cycle.   My future biking plans will definitely include pre and post ride stretching with the CoreStretch to make sure I get the most out of each ride both physically and mentally!

For more information on the CoreStretch or for instructional videos or brochures visit www.medi-dyne.com.

Plantar Fasciitis, a Reason to Worry?

This weekend I read an article about Seattle Mariner player Franklin Gutierrez suffering from Plantar fasciitis.  Last year it was Tampa Devil Rays’ Carlos Pena.  Next month it will probably be another player.

The article states this about Plantar fasciitis, “File this one away under ‘reason to worry’. That’s because this is one of those lingering problems you don’t want cropping up in an athlete whose biggest assets happen to involve the legs.”

If you’ve been keeping up with the Medi-Dyne Blog, you know that Plantar fasciitis doesn’t have to be crippling. The problem is that it doesn’t start off feeling like much of an injury at all.  For many, it can just be a dull—nagging pain, but the longer you leave it untreated the longer it takes to cure.  Even worse, untreated, it can put you in a cast, night splint, or even cause surgical intervention.

Prevention is always the “best medicine”!  If you’re on your feet all day (think retail, security, police, sanitation) or running for fitness (including soccer, basketball, lacrosse or triathlon) you should be doing two things to prevent Plantar fasciitis:

  1. Stretch!
    It’s been proven to work.  Stretching your calf, Achilles tendon, plantar fascia and toes 1 – 2 times a day works!  And it doesn’t take long!  5 – 10 minutes and that’s it.  The curb or stairs can work but the ProStretch Plus works even better and can be taken anywhere.Leave it in your path so you can stretch before work or school. Put it by your bed so you stretch first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed.  Take it with you – you can really use it anywhere. Stretching will quickly become habit and will keep you on your feet!
  2. Support!
    Heel cups or arch supports (otherwise known as orthotics) are important. There are some fantastic, podiatrist recommended products available at a significantly lower cost than custom orthotics that often work as well as the custom ones available through a doctor.  Youth in cleats or others who “live” in work boots should be investing in these for their shoes before they begin suffering.If you’re already suffering, stay away from the flip flops or sandals!  At least until you’ve felt better for a few weeks.  This will speed your recovery.

If you’re in significant pain, or have been suffering for a while see a Doctor.  This is especially important for youth who could develop Sever’s Disease.

Once Bitten, Twice Shy.

Craig’s Corner: “Wild” encounters on the running trails.

Craig DiGiovanni. VP of Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. Avid Runner. Wannabe Marathoner.

The sad story here is that I think I jinxed myself into getting bit.   Just yesterday, I was thinking about all my “wildlife” run-ins during my running and training this year for the OKC Memorial Marathon. I thought to myself, “I haven’t had an encounter with a coyote in a while.”  Well little did I know I would have more than one wildlife encounter in one morning.

Sure enough Sunnie, my running buddy and dog, and I started our run one morning and we weren’t 200 yards in when I hear this yipping and barking. We were close to where we head down to the trails we run on, and it sounded kind of like a dog but a little different.   Then…..the howling starts.  There must have been a pack of them and they were LOUD, PROUD and CLOSE.   Needless to say, our running route quickly changed.  (I was thankful at this point to have my Garmin GPS watch so it didn’t matter – we just forged a new path).

So change we did, and had a great run, although ultimately more than I bargained for.   The temperature was in the mid 50’s, no wind, the change in scenery was nice and ultimately my times were good. Of course, Sunnie managed to find more mud puddles to run in (she really is like a kid in that respect…almost magnetized to them) and post run she grudgingly readied for her bath.  You should see how pathetic she drops her head and tail and slowly walks over to her spot.   You would think she is on the way to her execution or something.  Now you are probably thinking this is where the “bite” comes in.    No, not yet. Sunnie only bites me when we wrestle and play.

After I had Sunnie cleaned up, I did my post run stretching and went inside.  I wasn’t inside but a minute when out of nowhere, Dracula (at least that’s what I named it) bites me on the back of the neck.   I quickly swatted Dracula, and then pulled what appeared to be a little spider (or something).   It fell off my hand onto the floor, keep in mind it is still early AM…and dark everywhere. Thankfully I have my head lamp on to hunt it down. Upon further inspection I realized that it was a tick!  Well that gave me the creeps, especially since it was still alive after being swatted to oblivion.   That didn’t last much longer though because I squashed it to beyond oblivion.

Anyway, I can only assume that my “alternate route” lead me to pick up a passenger—either running under a tree or from puddle-magnet Sunnie.    All day every little itch or prick I felt seemed to catch my attention. That particular spot where I was bit, well, I keep thinking about it and can almost feel it.  In the end, I think I can truly say that I better understand the saying “once bitten, twice shy”.   And shy I will be for some time wondering if I will jinx myself again, if I will soon be the victim of another “Dracula” after a morning training session.

ProStretch Plus: A True Innovation in Pain Prevention

Necessity Is the Mother of Invention

The ProStretch was originally developed by an auto mechanic who was rehabbing a knee injury.  Over time he realized that the brake shoe from a car was the best thing he could find for stretching out his calf muscles, while building flexibility and range of motion back in to his calf muscles and lower leg.   He became passionate about how well it worked, passionate enough to want to share his discovery. From necessity and passion was born The Original ProStretch.

ProStretch Joins the Medi-Dyne Family of Products

In 1998 Medi-Dyne acquired the Tuli’s product line.  In discussions with the original Tuli’s® Classic Heel Cup inventor, San Diego podiatrist Dr. Murray Davidson, we quickly learned how important stretching was to the health of the calf muscles and the prevention of the many injuries associated with the lower leg, including Plantar Fasciitis, Achillies tendonitis, calf strains, and  shin splints.  So we began to look for the most effective solution to provide the long-term relief and stretching that would complement the immediate relief provided by the Tuli’s Heel Cups and other Tuli’s products.  When we found The Original ProStretch in 2003 we knew we had found the best lower leg stretching device available then and for the next 20 years!

Building on Success

As is the case with all Medi-Dyne products, we constantly solicit feedback from medical professionals, professional and amateur athletes, and all users on ways we can improve the product, usage experience, and end results.  While the ProStretch (also known as the StepStretch in some retail outlets) was a great product, it had some shortcomings.

  1. One Size Doesn’t Fit All
    The Original ProStretch is great, but it is a “one-size-fits-all” product.  Unfortunately, people are not one size fits all.
  2. People’s Feet Are Getting Larger
    It’s true. Once, a man’s size 14 would have been considered the footprint of a giant. But what was seen as enormous is apparently becoming quite normal. The average man’s shoe has gone up a full size in the past five years. The Original ProStretch just wasn’t built to accommodate the growing majority.
  3. Room For Improvement
    Many people suffer from Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, tight calves or shin splints. These pain sufferers were in need of a solution that would maximize the stretch felt along the interconnective chain of the lower leg. We realized that we could improve the stretch by elevating the toes during stretch.

We went about re-engineering the ProStretch to be bigger, stronger, lighter, and customizable, while offering a deeper stretch.   When it was all said and done, the ProStretch Plus was born.   For a complete review of all of our ProStretch products visit: www.medi-dyne.com.

Trying is Believing

We have had more people fall in love with the ProStretch and ProStretch Plus than any other product, simply by standing on it.  Just check out these “before and after” user video reviews.

What makes the ProStretch Plus work so well?  A few things. It is biomechanically shaped to put your foot in the optimal stretching position to get the best results.   Combining that with the rocker bottom, you get the best calf stretch, along with progressive and constant pressure that gives you an unsurpassed lower leg stretch.

Nothing works better, not a curb, not a wall, not a slant board, nothing. The ProStretch has been medical proven to stretch the calf better than conventional methods – Please see the following study posted on our website, “Comparison of Two Methods of Stretching the Gastrocnemius and Their Effects on Ankle Range of Motion Karen Maloney Backstrorn, C Forsyth. B. Walden”.   You can also read unsolicited testimonials at www.medi-dyne.com.

For more information on the ProStretch Plus or ProStretch visit http://www.medi-dyne.com/estore/.

Golfers Increase Flexibility with CoreStretch

The term athlete has never more aptly applied to golfers than it does today. While strength continues to remain an important part of the game, power gained through flexibility and balance are now what put a great golf game within reach for many.

So what’s the key to achieving the level of flexibility and balance that will transform your game?

Core muscle group flexibility. Think about it. Your swing revolves around your navel, the area supported by the core muscles. Not just your abs but the entire core – your obliques, glutes, piriformis, hip flexors, and hamstrings. Your ability to get the most out of this major muscle group could mean a 20 yard or more difference in your drive.

Fitness expert and author Kelly Blackburn explains, “In your golf swing your hips and glutes provide a solid foundation for balance as well as supplying the mechanism for acceleration. A flexible core allows you to fully extend your swing and maximize power at impact as you rotate through into the finish position.” She suggests a simple flexibility test.

“Take a 5 iron and move into your backswing position. At the top of your backswing your left arm (assuming you’re right handed) should be completely straight and the club should be directly parallel across your shoulders. If it’s not you’re not alone but you are definitely losing power due to a lack of flexibility.”

But flexibility exercises that are not specific to the golf swing and its physical requirements, while helpful, will not provide the flexibility and balance that will deliver the power that golfers are looking for.

One device making a big impact with both professional and amateur players is the CoreStretch. Previously available only to physical therapists and athletic trainers, the CoreStretch has recently become available to all golfers. Unlike conventional stretching methods that force the back to curve, the unique design of the CoreStretch elongates the back enabling a deeper more effective stretch of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the core. The CoreStretch works on a three-plane swivel for up-and-down, side-to-side and twisting motion provides optimal stretching for three levels of fitness for the lower back, obliques, hip flexors, piriformis, glutes and hamstrings – enabling users to fit their individual needs.

Weighing about a pound, the CoreStretch is light-weight and collapsible, so it can conveniently be taken to the office, business travel or even kept in your golf bag so that it can be used daily, even several times a day in seated, standing or floor positions. The unique design of the CoreStretch ensures proper techniques so that users can achieve an effective, dynamic stretch that without the risk of injury.

Blackburn has begun recommending the CoreStretch to her clients, both professional and amateur as well as adding it to her Golf Fitness product line. “While there are other methods of stretching the core muscles, none provide both the position stability and portability of the CoreStretch. It’s become so popular that I’ve created an entire mulit-level game-enhancement program around the CoreStretch.”

For more information on building flexibility or the CoreStretch visit Medi-Dyne.com.  Also for Golfers: Tuli’s

Flexibility During Marathon Training: The Stink Scare

Welcome to Craig’s Corner: Running, Stretching, and Training Tips from Craig.

Craig DiGiovanni. VP of Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. Avid Runner. Wannabe Marathoner.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, being flexible helps you to stay quick on your feet… and may even keep you smelling better.   Yes, this is a bit of a tease, but it does have some relevance.

Just before dawn I was out for my morning run with my trusty sidekick Sunnie (my yellow lab and constant running companion).  About a mile into my run I caught a quick glimpse of something moving on the path ahead of me.  At about the same time that my eyes began to focus my brain began to register what I was seeing, the unmistakable white stripe on the black tail sticking up in the air.…..SKUNK!   A quick pivot put me into an immediate about face. Thankfully Sunnie hadn’t seen the skunk otherwise the chase would have been on and so would the STINK!

I am now running in the opposite direction. I get about 200 yards down the path when all of a sudden, Sunnie growls and takes off running toward the woods.  Yep, another SKUNK!    First, I yelled, “NOOO!  Heel!”  And then my fight or flight instinct kicked in… I RUN!!!!

Flexibility does not wait in situations like that.  You either have it or you don’t.   (Of course, the onset of a day’s worth of adrenaline didn’t hurt!)    A few strides later I smell that distinctive odor.  With miles ahead of me my only focus now was on an unavoidable tomato juice bath for Sunnie and the trashing of my favorite running clothes and shoes!   Not a happy runner at this point.

As I continue to run the smell seems to dissipate.    Not sure at this point if it is my wishful thinking or not, but I figured I might as well keep going.  Thinking the worst is behind me, I start to smell the smell again, and it’s getting stronger.   Putting two and two together I realize that it must be in front of me.   Thankfully the sun had begun to rise, bringing enough light to see the now too familiar, dreaded black tail ahead of us on the trail.  Cue the quick pivot change of direction again!

About a mile into yet another alternate route, I let down my guard and set in to enjoy the rest of the run.  But no!  Reminiscent (no pun intended) of a “B Horror” movie, the enemy kept popping up everywhere.  It was after this final sighting that I decided home might be the only safe place at this point.  Once I got there, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that neither Sunnie or I were casualties of the “Stink”.  All’s well that ends well.

But I did learn a few things…

  1. Flexibility is often needed when you may least expect it. This would include not only running from Skunks, but also avoiding things on your running path that come out of nowhere.  But you can’t rely on what you don’t have.  Therefore, flexibility preparation is critical.   If you don’t prepare, injury beware!
  2. As my grandmother used to say, don’t count your chickens before they hatch. There are many things that might affect your training sessions, so being able to adjust your plan is essential to success. Again, being prepared is key.
  3. If there is one skunk around, there’s a good chance there are more!
  4. Running isn’t just good exercise and mind clearing, it can also be a real adventure.

OK, enough about the “stink scare”.   Maybe next time I’ll take on less of a challenge.  How about Achilles tendonitis?

 

Shin Splints in Runners

If you are a runner, there is a very good chance that you have experienced shin pain.  The number one cause of shin pain in runners is shin splints. Athletes who are in the early stages of shin splints usually experience pain when their runs first begin, but then the pain tends to disappear as their run continues. It is common for their shin pain to return after exercise or the following morning.  If the condition remains untreated and worsens, the athlete will find that they experience shin pain more often than not.

The term shin splints refers to pain along the large bone on the front of your leg, called your shinbone or tibia. The pain results from an overload on the shinbone and the connective tissue that attaches your muscles to the bone. People with shin splints often complain of mild swelling, soreness, or pain along the inner part of their lower leg or at their shin bone.

What causes shin splints?

  • Incorrect or inappropriate training methods.  Abrupt changes in the intensity, frequency or duration of training can be a factor in the onset of shin splints.
  • Muscular imbalances or lack of flexibility which lead to muscle weakness and instability.  Shin splints can be the result when your body over-compensates for this.
  • Training excessively on hard surfaces.  Concrete is very hard on the body and running predominantly on it could result in shin splints.

How do I treat and prevent shin splints?

  • Rest – Depending upon the severity, it may be necessary to completely stop running for a period of time.
  • Support Your Arches – Arch supports in every day shoes can help cushion and disperse stress on your shinbones, providing immediate pain relief for existing shin splints and added support and padding that help to prevent them.
  • Increase Flexibility in Your Calf Muscles – Your calves play a large role in the health of your shins.  Stretching your calves daily and increasing your calf flexibility can help you reduce your risk of muscle imbalance injury.
  • Strengthen the Opposition – Adding strength training to your flexibility exercises is a good way to work all of the supporting muscles required for proper muscle balance.

Icing can help the pain

Ice Dipping– Fill up your tub half full with water, add frozen water bottles or a bag of ice to get the water ICE COLD.  Submerge your lower leg into the ice water all the way to your knees.  Hold it in there for 10 seconds, walk around, and wait at least 5 minutes and then repeat the process 3-5 times.

Ice Massage – Fill small paper cups with water and freeze. Use one of the paper cups to massage the exposed ice into the most painful areas of your shins for a minimum of 5 minutes. Make sure you do not let the ice sit on one spot for too long.
For more information on shin splint pain solutions or to purchase shin splint treatments visit www.medi-dyne.com.