Quote of the Week 3

July 31, 2011

“Patience is the ability to count down before you blast off.”

In this busy world, we can easily get into a big hurry. Don’t be afraid to take the time to breathe and relax. Allow yourself to think things through before you go through the motions to do an action. What do you think?

Graston Technique

July 30, 2011

WOW. 8 hours of Continuing Education today. This guy is exhausted! This was my first extensive CEU course, but it was really good. There were 13 of us at the course today and I think we all learned a lot. Graston Technique is a manual therapy technique involving the use of stainless steel instruments. It is a very effective technique and one that I think I will use for a long time! I am not huge into a lot of manual therapy stuff, but I think using these instruments will help to change my thoughts on this. It’s a crucial part of the rehabilitation process. Today we covered all of the background information and then we started getting into lab work. Our labs today consisted of the knee and thigh, hamstrings, hip and pelvis, foot and lower leg, and the lumbothoracic spine. Tomorrow we will cover the upper extremities and the cervical spine.

I can already feel the soreness starting to kick in.. gonna have to grab an ice pack or two in a few minutes..


As an athletic trainer, we are required to maintain certification and licensure  by pursuing continuing education units. The Board of Certification requires 75 CEUs over a three year period while the State of Illinois requires 20 CEUs over a two year period. Since getting certified and licensed in January of 2011, I have completed 6 CEUs and will add 12 more with the conclusion of this course tomorrow.

Really up through high school, I don’t believe in athletes specializing. I would prefer to see more 3-sport athletes and so I train high school athletes in a way that they are going to be ready for just about any sport rather than performing all sport-specific activities that will limit their ability to play multiple sports. This first week, I will hit on 5 exercises I believe ANY athlete should be doing:

1) The Hang Clean

Power, explosiveness, full body: the keys to the hang clean and the keys to athletics. The hang clean is an Olympic lift that requires special instruction. It’s not one I would suggest an athlete try to just start doing on their own. I love this exercise because it truly works every joint in your body!

2) The Kettlebell Swing

You know my thoughts on the kettlebell swing. Another excellent exercise that works multiple joints and a major hip exercise. Check out some of my previous posts on the swings!

3) Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat

This is an exercise that goes under multiple names. Mike Boyle refers to it as the Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat or RFESS. I have referred to it previously as the Bulgarian Split Squats. I use a 20″ plyo box to elevate my back foot and squat using my glutes on the front leg to propel myself back up. This is an excellent exercise for not only strength, but also balance. Single leg exercises are important for athletes because very little in athletics are done with both feet on the ground.

4) Box Jump

High intensity so beware. But many people look at the vertical jump as a very important component of “athleticism” and this is one way to work on that.

5) TRX Lunge

I think all there is to say here is this: Have you seen my previous blog this week?


I consider each of these five exercises important to an athlete. Find you a good coach to teach you and away you go!


July 27, 2011

Ready for one of the most controversial topics in all of fitness and exercise? Here we go…

The squat is one of the most fundamental movements a human can do. There are a lot of fallacies out there about this movement and much of
it has come from those in the medical field who has filled society with a ton of BS. There are plenty of people out there who say that squats are bad for your knees. This includes physicians who I’ve been told tell patients they should only do a ¼ squat. Going to 90o of knee flexion or even going lower is a major no-no to many.  If you do a Google search, you’ll find hundreds of links telling you why you should or should not squat. Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome to the first week of the new feature: Exercise of the Week! This week’s exercise is one that I’ve been meaning to try for some time, but finally I did it this weekend.

The TRX Lunge can be done two different ways. In their demonstration DVD, they show this movement with your hands holding onto the handles and you lunge with your leg moving away from the anchor point. It works pretty well doing it that way and it’s a fine exercise, but I tried it putting one foot into the foot loop and using that as my resistance. Read the rest of this entry »

Concussion Legislation

July 25, 2011

22 states have enacted legislation related to concussions and youth athletes over the last few years. Illinois has also introduced legislation known now as the “Protecting Our Student Athletes Act” and this bill now awaits Governor Quinn’s signature to make it law.

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) has released guidelines for concussion management over the last two years and the Illinois General Assembly looks to take those guidelines a step further by making them mandatory.

HB200 calls for each school district to develop policy within the guidelines that the IHSA has established. The IHSA released guidelines for the 2010-2011 school year stating that any athlete suspected of a head injury must be cleared by a licensed healthcare provider in order to return to play in the same day. During the spring of 2011, the IHSA released additional guidelines saying that any athlete suspected of having suffered a concussion should be cleared by a licensed healthcare provider before returning to play at all. Also, they now say no athlete should return to play same day if suspected of having suffered a concussion. This is consistent with the most recent international guidelines. Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s a post I originally wrote as my introduction over on TheConcussionBlog

I am currently a certified athletic trainer working in a physical therapy clinic and providing outreach coverage to high schools in the Metro-East St. Louis area. I graduated this past December with my bachelor’s degree in athletic training. People ask why I would choose a profession that is relatively low-paying and has the hours that athletic training often does. For a long time, I would say that it’s just what I love which is true. I love being around athletes, I love watching sports, and I have taken an interest into the healthcare of these athletes. But it goes back to high school for why I have become so passionate about this profession.

I suffered concussions in high school. Not a single one was ever diagnosed or even evaluated by a healthcare professional, but knowing what I know now I am certain I had at least 3 of them. Probably more than that. But even 4-5 years ago, we did not know very much about concussions. I “got my bell rung” but that was just part of being a football player. I can remember now two specific incidents where I am certain I had symptoms that went unreported. The first one was in a football game on a kickoff. I got hit from behind and my facemask actually got stuck in the ground. I got up a little bit dizzy and headed for the sideline—the opponent’s. I realized it quickly enough, but I developed a headache later. Again none of it reported. Then my senior year I was a catcher on the baseball team and took a foul tip off the facemask. I remember immediately everything going blurry and that lasted for several seconds. The headaches and some dizziness persisted for several days. The reason I did not say anything when it first happened was I wasn’t going to let an injury stop me being the catcher and so I played “tough.” I never reported symptoms to anyone because I didn’t feel like I could tell my coach and the athletic trainer was not at our high school very often for me to tell him. And I was like any other teenager: I hid things from my parents as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Top 5 List

July 25, 2011

This is going to be a rather short-lived new feature here. I’m going to highlight what I consider to be the most important exercises for a few different groups. I’m going to add several groups over the next few weeks. You will see some overlap, but that’s okay! Let me know if you agree or disagree and why! Check back on Fridays to see the newest list!

Here’s the order you’ll see these Top 5 Lists come out:

1) The General Athlete

2) The Football Player

3) The Baseball Player

4) The Gym Goer

5) The Distance Runner

6) The Female Athlete


Exercise of the Week

July 24, 2011

Another new feature I’m adding here on the blog! I will write up about a new exercise each week detailing the exercise, hopefully including pictures and/or video, and giving you an idea for a new piece you may like to add to your workout! Some of these exercises may be quite bizzarre while others are much simpler. Some may be based off rehabilitation while others are more from a performance standpoint or a weight-loss standpoint.

Let me know if you have questions on the new exercise and also feel free to let me know if there’s something you think I should feature!

Look for the first one this week on Tuesday July 26!

52 DC Recap

July 24, 2011

I originally started this blog in order to blog about the 52 Day Challenge that takes place on the Men’s Health forums. I have participated
in 3 or 4 of these challenges over the last couple of years, but have struggled to dedicate myself properly. I’m working on it and this challenge was better, but still a long way to go!

My goals for this challenge were:

88 Clean Eats (out of a possible 104)

30 Resistance Training sessions

20 Cardio Training sessions

2000 kettlebell swings

1000 squats

10 new exercises

17 CrossFit workouts

Losing 5% of my body weight

Here are my numbers at the end of the 52 days:

CE: 97/104/88 (110.23%)
RT: 30/30 (100%)
CT: 26/20 (130%)
PG1 (Kettlebell Swings): 2271/2000 (113.55%)
PG2 (Squats): 1135/1000 (113.5%)
PG3 (Learning New Exercises): 12/10 (120%)
PG4 (CrossFit Workouts): 18/17 (105.88%)
PG5 (5% Weight Loss): 1.1/9 (12.22%)

I should have been able to do a lot more kettlebell swings than that, but a wrist injury stopped me for several days. It probably had something to do with having done like 1500 swings in a week… I learned several new exercises during this challenge and they will all help me down the road.

For the next challenge, I need to focus on improving my eating and re-defining “clean eats.”

The next challenge begins August 10th!

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