10 years ago when a player was aching from the pains of labor, he would slap an ice pack on the necessary area. Today, scientists have created numerous ways to expedite the healing process. Cryogenic machines and hyperbaric chambers are just two ways for a player to get back in the game a little quicker than the natural body-healing processes allow.
When Terrell Owens confidently strode onto the field for Super Bowl XXXIX, to audible sighs of disbelief, the world stopped to take notice of hyperbaric chambers. Even after several doctors told T.O. that he wouldn’t overcome his leg fracture in time for the Super Bowl, he placed himself inside his own personal hyperbaric chamber and accelerated the healing process to the point that he defied medical theories. From that point on, many athletes have acquired personal chamber to attain the benefits they provide.
Hyperbaric chambers are nothing new having been around since the 1930’s. However, it is only in the past 15 years that they have become assessable. Originally used to treat divers suffering from the “bends” a sickness that comes on when divers resurface too quickly, the chamber can replicate the atmospheric conditions of deep water and assimilate raising to the surface in the correct manner. Where athletes take notice, is in the chambers ability to increase the bodies number of red blood cells. Red blood cells help to get oxygen to the working muscles during exercise or to the injured muscles during recovery and rehab. Traditionally gaining more red blood cells was achieved by training at altitude, where the oxygen is harder to come by, making the body create extra red blood cells to compensate. The hyperbaric chamber can recreate high altitude conditions, without having to head to the mountains. Similarly the purer oxygen levels experienced inside a hyperbaric chamber allows the body to deliver more oxygen then normal to damaged cells during an injury, thus speeding up the recovery time. The cost of a portable chamber is anywhere from $7,000 to $20,000 and is simple to operate which is increasingly making them an important component in an athlete’s training equipment.
Putting ice on an injury has long since been accepted wisdom in the world of sports medicine but standing inside a chamber where the temperature plummets to -184° F is new. Whole body cryotherapy is when a person steps into a cryogenic chamber for upwards of three minutes. The conditions experienced are extreme yet not severe enough to cause tissue damage. Cooling the body so quickly essentially tricks your body into thinking its experiencing trauma and as such it responds by releasing various endorphins. The effects are said to include a decrease in joint pain as well as various psychological benefits, attained by this rush of endorphins. Cryogenic therapy is very popular in Europe with a range of athletes using it to aid in recovery. The Welsh Rugby team based their preseason training camp at the Olympic Rehabilitation Centre in Poland, a place famed for its cryogenic chamber. Undertaking a vicious training camp, the squad used the chamber twice daily for two weeks, in an attempt to allow them to train more vigorously. The results were positie as the Welsh went on to finish third in the Rugby World Cup. Don’t rush out to install one in your house just yet, as the scientific evidence surrounding cryotherapy is still questionable. While many athletes feel better after the treatment, medical evidence shows little to supporting these feelings. However as many athletes struggle to shake injuries from their mentality, the opposite effect could worthwhile.
One of the most frustrating feelings is looking forward to baseball season all year, going to the first practice session, and then waking up the next morning unable to move your shoulder because of pain!
Every year, about this time, I hear that exact story from patients. In most cases, I have found that the participants didn't prepare themselves properly for the rigors of throwing. It happens at every level, and we are reminded of it this past spring training with the new Yankee acquisition
Michael Pineda. He showed up overweight and out of shape, and his arm speed was down. After only 2-3 weeks of spring training, he is out indefinitely with a rotator cuff injury.
The shoulder joint is one of the most complex in the body, and it is by far the most mobile one.
A freely moving shoulder can move almost 360 degrees and unlike your hip joint, that is a real ball and socket, the shoulder is almost suspended in its place by about 8 major muscles. All of these muscles need to be ready to throw effectively.
The easiest way to explain the mechanism of throwing is to break up the act of throwing into three phases: cocking the arm, acceleration, and the follow through.
The cocking the arm phase begins when you bring your arm back behind your body. To do this you use your bicep and triceps muscles as well as a group of three muscles, known as the rotator cuff muscles.
The three major muscles that make up the rotator cuff are the supraspinatus, the infraspinatous, and teres major. All of these muscles are located behind your shoulder, specifically above and below the shoulder blade.
The acceleration phase of throwing can be broken down into two parts. First, while your forearm and elbow remain still, your body moves forward with your shoulder, and the second part when your forearm and elbow whip the ball forward to release it. The main muscles needed for the acceleration phase are the pectorals or chest muscles and the latissimus muscle, commonly called the “lats”.
The follow through phase begins when the ball is released, and it is during this phase that the arm is forced to decelerate.
The most common injury that occurs during the cocking phase is the rotator cuff strain. The symptoms are an inability to raise your arm up and back, and the pain is usually at the top of your shoulder just under your collar bone, and sometimes right behind it.
Injuries occurring during the acceleration phase are usually associated with inflammation of the pectorals muscle and its tendon. The pain is usually found at the front of the shoulder and it is difficult with your arm at your side to reach back without pain.
Almost all the injuries from the follow through phase occur at the back of the shoulder. This area becomes stressed when the arm has to decelerate from the throw.
From evaluating these three phases of throwing, it is easy to put together a weight lifting and stretching program, to condition and maintain the shoulder before and during the season.
Your program should emphasize building your pectorals, biceps, triceps, latissimus, and rotator cuff muscles. This weight program should be performed three times a week, and on alternate days you should be stretching these same muscle groups.
During practices and before games it is imperative that you warm up your shoulder before throwing. You should stretch the major muscles of the shoulder and then perform short tossing using looping over hand throws about 15 feet away from your partner. Gradually increase your distance to 30 feet and start to throw the ball harder with the ball parallel to the ground and throw at 75% speed. If you are a pitcher, keep track of the number of pitches thrown, and for all players, ice your shoulder up for 15 minutes after the game. All this preparation is imperative for a healthy season, no matter if you play at high school or college level or if you are a weekend warrior.
Nike updates its popular FuelBand fitness tracker with a new limited edition"Ice" colorway that wraps the band in a frosty, see-through rubber that gives you a peek into the Fuelband's hardware. The new band will be available at Niketown locations in London, New York, and San Francisco on July 27th and London's Boxpark, the House of Innovation at Selfridges and Nike's 21 Mercer Street store in NY. The new band will also be available online at Nikestore.com on August 12th.
Microsoft and Nike are teaming up to create Nike+ Kinect Training, a new fitness platform that brings Nike+ and Nike Fuel to the Xbox. The home training system features workouts designed by Nike's best trainers and uses Kinect to read your body movement and give you real-time feedback to help correct your positions and movement during your workout. Available Holiday 2012.
It’s safe to say that most of our first introductions to exercise came through play and sport as little kids. In those times it didn’t register as a chore, challenge or necessary evil. Most of us just went out and played a variety of games with our friends. We played tag, basketball, handball, jumped rope, foot racing, stickball, hopscotch, football and the list goes on. We tended to gravitate towards the activities that we were just “good at” without much thought. Some of us opted to abandon sports all together. Those of us with some level of potential went on to play organized sports in school. Even fewer of us went on to play them at a high school varsity or collegiate level. Then there are the elite who go on to make sport their occupation on a professional level. One thing that is certain is that if you played a sport in the past with any type of proficiency you miss those fun days and may even reminisce of past successes. There is always a hint of nostalgia around the sport you loved and the good old days of playing something that you enjoyed.
There is no need to put down the gloves or hang up the cleats forever. You can gain the social interaction, exercise benefits and fun times that are associated with participating in sports as an adult. There are leagues and groups that you can join that are filled with people who are passionate about a sport and still play. The weather is beautiful and people are stepping out and indulging in some of their favorite sports, why not you? Maybe physically you feel light-years away from the specimen that you were in high school or college or maybe you have an old injury. Neither of those are reasons that you can’t incorporate the sport that you love in some way shape or form into a well rounded fitness regimen. It is true that you should go about it a little differently than you did when you were younger though. Here are five things to keep in mind as you play.
1. Incorporate dynamic stretching into your warm-ups. As an adult re-introducing sport into your busy life make sure that you stretch out using fluid movement. Do not reach for your toes and hold to stretch out your hamstrings. Instead swing your leg back and forth, or do a set of walking lunges. Use movements such as full squats and light jump rope to loosen up and warm up calves and legs for a pickup basketball game. This brings blood flow and elasticity to the muscles and lubricates necessary joints to prevent injury. Aim to build up a slight sweat in your warm-up before you engage in sport.
2. Do a separate and effective total body strength training program at least one time a week. Engage in strength and conditioning set up around two objectives. To prevent re-injury of an old injury and secondly to develop enough strength to safely play the sport that you want to play. This means training your entire body with movements that incorporate many muscle groups at once all working together. Most sports call on a vast variety of muscles that do not necessarily handle the type of forces that you will be exposing them to while playing a sport. Do exercises on an off day that utilize multiple joints. Ditch 3 sets of bicep curls for 3 sets of underhanded close grip pull-ups or 3 sets of squat curls. Focus on adding a little extra strength training focus on areas that were injured in the past.
3. Train up your core (center of the body) before beginning any new sport activity. All sports call for you to have great abdominal, lower back, oblique, and hamstring strength. Before you participate in a flag football league, play basketball, tennis make sure that you start doing some core training even at home. Incorporate kettle bells, planks abdominal / lower-back training and Pilates before you start playing.
4. Pay attention to your body. Playing hard doesn’t have to mean getting hurt. If you have been out of exercise and sport for some time your body is going to speak to you as you begin. Do not go back into playing and training that same way you did when you were in competition. Listen to what your body will tell you. Learn what a good pain is and what a bad pain is. Learn when to push it and when to sit it out. I would suggest that you do not engage in sessions where you weight train first and then play a sport later in the same day. Pre-fatiguing muscles that need to be strong while playing is a very quick way to pull a muscle.
5. Maintain the mindset of “active aging” and living limitless. You will gain confidence and conquer doubts in all areas by acknowledging your new found sport success. Take note and celebrate the success that you achieve while participating in a sport. The way that you feel, the camaraderie, plays that you make… all of it. This will help with the likelihood of your continued participation over time. Acknowledging successes will always bring more success. Get used to being successful out there and in life. Just being out there exercising and moving is a triumph in life where many have resigned to giving up!
This summer look into incorporating your favorite sport into your workout regimen. Take it slow and be deliberate. Join a league or round up some of your friends to make it happen. Take to heart and practice these 5 tips for re-introducing sports to your 2012 exercise plan and ensure that you’ve “Got Game” For life!
A key to an athlete's performance on the field is his diet off the field. We sought the expert advice of Michelle Weinstein and FITzee Foods for a few healthy recipes that will provide you with the proper nutritional essentials to compete at the highest level. Enjoy!
FITzee Fiesta Burrito
Yield 16 oz (454g)
1 ea spinach tortilla 12”
4 oz boneless skinless free range chicken breasts Raw
1 oz organic black beans washed and drained
0.5 oz organic corn
0.75 oz red bell pepper sliced
1.75 oz organic brown rice c
1 oz whole cherry tomato
0.5 oz green chiles diced
0.5 oz red onion sliced
0.25 tsp organic cumin
0.15 tsp organic dried oregano
0.25 tsp organic chili powder
1 tsp olive oil
0.75 oz jalapeno pepper Jack cheese shredded
0.25 tsp cilantro chopped
1 dash sea salt
1 dash organic black pepper
Contains: Milk, Wheat
1) In small sauce pan add .5 cup of brown rice to 1 cup of water and cook on low till all water is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside. You will only need 1.75 oz of rice. There will be some left over. (microwave rice works good too)
2) Lightly coat chicken with a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill over medium flame until internal temperature reaches 165°. Remove from heat and set aside. When cool enough to handle. Cut into 1/2" cubes.
3) In a sauté pan heat up remaining oil over medium to medium high heat. Add onions, red bell peppers, and sauté for approx. 1 minute. Except for the cheese, Add all remaining ingredients including cubed chicken and 1.75oz of rice, mix and heat.
4) Place tortilla on surface, add shredded cheese to center of tortilla and spoon on chicken/vegetable/rice mixture on top.
5) Carefully roll into burrito and enjoy!
Calories from Fat: 226
Total Fat: 25g (38%)
Saturated Fat: 25g (20%)
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 209mg (70%)
Sodium: 522mg (22%)
Total Carbohydrates: 69g (23%)
Dietary Fiber: 6g (26%)
Vitamin A: 25%
Vitamin C: 64%
High in Vitamin A
High in Vitamin C
High in Potassium
High in Iron
High in Carbohydrates
High in Fiber
High in Protein
Good Source of Calcium
EAS Myoplex Lite
EAS is one of the best-known brands in sports nutrition and their Myolplex Lite bars are currently one of the best selling energy/protein bars in the United States. Each bar contains 20 grams of protein and just 190 calories (40 calories from fat). They taste great and are filled with 22 vitamins and minerals that help satisfy your hunger as well as your sweet tooth, while providing optimal health maintenance. Winner of the 2005 Protein Bar of the Year, we suggest you try one of their many flavors. The staff at Got Game recommends the chocolate peanut butter crisp a favorite of New England Patriots CB Ras-I Dowling.
reGen Muscle Recovery
This recovery beverage is powered by its main ingredient, natural cocoa. Studies have
Anyone can get injured anywhere at any time, but being injured is just part of being an athlete. Athletes are constantly exerting energy, and in most sports coming into extreme physical contact.
Most athletes understand that their diet is a key factor in their performance, but what you might not know is that proper nutrition is vital to tissue healing and recovery.
Enhanced post-injury nutrition will not result in rapid healing, but if you do get injured, eating well every day of training will insure that your body will already be in great nutritional shape.
Optimal Nutrition Inc. is here to help your body through this tough time, and get you back to your optimal performance level. If you get injured, and aren't burning as many calories because you can’t work out as hard or play hard, ONI can watch your calorie intake for you. Contact Tsin-Tsin with any questions you may have!
George Kottaras, Milwaukee Brewers MLB
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Brad Roll, Strength & Conditioning Coach, Oakland Raiders
"As the Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Oakland Raiders, I have personally seen how Optimal Nutrition, Inc (ONI) has benefited every player who follows one of their meal plans. Every week each player receives customized meals, all of which have been accurately calibrated to offer the correct number of calories and macro-nutrient breakdown. The constantly changing menu items are creative yet also offer a traditional style of cooking. There are no empty calories or hidden fats in the meals. Most importantly, the meals are incredibly tasty. The high level of quality and attention to detail is impressive - it is the best service that I have ever seen. The players who understand the importance of their body will gravitate towards ONI - for their health & longevity of a prosperous athletic career."
Brad Gradkowski, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
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To see additional testimonies from Optimal Nutrition’s clients, CLICK HERE
To be at the top of your game, attention to every part of your body is crucial. One of the most neglected body parts is your feet. Your feet are the foundation of your body in almost every sport. There are 26 bones, 33 joints, 3 arches, 20 muscles, and over 7000 nerves in each foot!
Any injury to the foot, from an ingrown nail to a sprain or fracture, alters its mechanics and certainly affects an athlete’s performance. An excellent example is former New York Yankee pitcher Chen Ming Wang, who during the 2008 season injured his right foot while running the bases. Although his injury was healed, his foot mechanics were not, and he developed a shoulder problem because he had to alter his landing on the mound.
This article focuses on “plantar fasciitis”, an overuse injury