The Activcore Blog

Squat Misconception #1:  My Knees Should Never Go Past My Toes

In my previous blog post, Should I Be Doing Squats, I explained the benefits of training the fundamental movement pattern of squatting. When engaging in an exercise program, the way you move is vital for overall health and performance. Within the realm of your exercise techniques are the cues and instructions given by coaches, fitness trainers, physical therapists and physicians. You also have the interim reality of internet opinions weighing in. 

Keeping the knees behind the imaginary vertical line of the toes is a cue frequently given when instructing someone to squat. This “over-cue” may be the result of certain biomechanical studies — showing compression forces on the patella-femoral joint with a knees forward approach — that have since been extrapolated to all populations. What may be at issue here is the suggestion of a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching the squat.

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Should I Be Doing Squats? 3-Part Series on 'The King' of Exercises.

The squat exercise continues to have a dual identity in the realms of fitness, sports performance, and physical rehabilitation. On one hand, an exercise like the barbell back squat is in an elite category for its ability to build full body strength, especially in the legs. It has even been called the “King of exercises” by some enthusiasts. On the other hand, there is a polar opposite perspective in the industry where squatting is misconstrued as a negative exercise that increases wear and tear on the knees.

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What Types of Exercises Can Help Me Throw, Swing or Hit Harder?

So you want to throw, swing or hit harder. But how? I remember playing high school volleyball and one of my coaches used to yell “HIT HARDER!” And all I could think was “Well, if I could I would!”

Sure, there are plenty of things about your throwing, swinging or hitting mechanics that can be tweaked and fine tuned to improve velocity and power. However, much of your ability to do this comes from the strength and muscle control you’ve developed in the off season.

There are literally an infinite number of training regimens and workout ideas to pick from. Likely, you will rely on your coaches and trainers to prepare you in the best possible way.

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I've Always Been Tight, Why Don't My Stretches Seem To Get Me Anywhere?

You stretch, you feel better, and then the tightness comes right back. What gives?

Many of you have been told that your upper traps are like rocks, your hamstrings are like bricks, or your calves are the tightest your trainer has ever seen. Usually these muscles also hurt. And typically the first remedy is stretching. While stretches aren't necessarily harmful, there is a reason why you would seek out a physical therapist for help. You're still in pain even though you've been doing your stretches regularly. But why?

It all comes back to balance. Your body requires balance in many dimensions. You need balance between your left and right sides. You need balance between your core and extremities. You need balance from the contribution of your smaller muscles that stabilize the joints, versus your larger muscles that move the joints. You also need balance between being strong yet flexible, and being stable yet mobile.

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Now That I'm Playing Travel Baseball, Why Does My Elbow Hurt When Pitching?

First, there is a lot of evidence showing that pain on the inside of the elbow is only becoming more common in baseball players, particularly pitchers. So, you’re not alone here. The elbow has several structures that become irritated with overhead throwing:  the wrist flexor tendons, the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), and the ulnar nerve. The set of symptoms you have will vary depending on which of these structure is irritated, but all will create pain on the inside of the elbow that gets worse with throwing.

We never want to see a trend of increasing injury rates, so let’s unpack what might be going on here. There are a few main reasons why you are experiencing elbow pain...

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5 Reasons to See a Physical Therapist if You’re an Overhead Athlete

Have you ever wondered: What does a physical therapist actually do? Aren’t they just for people who have had surgery? Don't they just do massage? How can they possibly help me with my overhead sport? These are some of the questions we hear all the time from athletes.

Well, let's clear this up. Physical therapists are movement experts who optimize quality of life through prescribed exercises, hands-on care, and patient education. Some physical therapists pursue advanced specialization in helping athletes with overhead sports, like volleyball, baseball, tennis, swimming, gymnastics, and track & field events.

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Is the Overhead Shoulder Press Safe?

Overhead (OH) shoulder exercises are some of the most commonly performed exercises across all exercise and fitness domains. With the ever growing participation in resistance training and functional fitness, such as Crossfit, overhead shoulder exercises have become a staple in developing muscle and strength in the shoulders. These exercises can include a variety of movements from an overhead shoulder press, pull up, overhead squat, handstand, barbell snatch, clean and jerk, and multiple variations of exercises where your arms are in a position above your head. For the sake of this article, I am going to specifically address movements where you are pressing or holding a weight overhead.

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What Can Princeton University Athletics Learn From Activcore?

Posted by Activcore Physical Therapy & Performance on August 19, 2019 at 1:02 AM

Michelle Cesan, former Princeton University Field Hockey Player and member of the USA National Field Hockey Team, had been dealing with back issues for over a year. She reported, “Though I was able to get temporary relief through heat, massage and chiropractic means, nothing lasted more than a day.” Her coaches, trainers and doctors were unsure of the root cause of her symptoms, since both the MRI and bone scan were negative. Michelle was beginning to think she would have to live with the pain. That was until an Athletic Trainer from Princeton University recommended Activcore.

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How Do We Help Professional Hockey Players Develop a Smarter, Balanced Body?

Posted by Dr. Nick Passe, Physical Therapist at Activcore on August 6, 2019 at 3:38 PM

Three times a year, I have the exciting opportunity to teach about the power of neuromuscular activation to the Washington Capitals NHL Hockey Team.

The Capitals first installed Redcord suspension systems into their athletic training facilities in 2011; and since then, they have been utilizing the equipment and my training methods as part of their workout routine for NHL and farm team players.

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How Can Suspended Push-Ups Relieve Low Back Pain?

Posted by Activcore Physical Therapy & Performance on July 23, 2019 at 9:19 PM

Two physical therapy studies here suggest push-ups in Redcord suspension slings are superior to ground based push-ups for improving function of the lumbar muscles. Low back pain patients responded well to this type of muscle activation.

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