Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
We have been talking a lot about the endurance sports over the past few weeks, so I decided to change tack a little bit, and give some attention to you golfers.
Golfing is an extremely challenging activity at the best of time, even more so when you have to divide your energy assignment between deep concentration and trying to manage the functioning of your body to deliver the best movement execution on every stroke.
The last thing you need to have to worry about is stiffness, limited mobility and limited range of motion (ROM) - all 3 energy drains on your energy supply.
Improving these 3 components of smooth and free movement does not happen overnight. It requires daily effort and attention, but the payoff is well worth the time invested.
So let's have a look at a few mobilization and ROM exercises you can incorporate into your program.
These exercises should be every day, before you hit your first ball on the course and when you have finished your round or your practice.
Deep squat, Heels up, arms up - an excellent exercise for increasing your Thoracic spine mobility and and your ROM through your shoulder girdle.
Freeze - Hold this position for 30 seconds up to 2 minutes and feel the muscles of the front area of the shoulder girdle opening. Excellent for those of you with a rounded posture.
Close gap - open - This technique drill will assist you to increase torso rotation and enhance dissociation between the lower and the upper body. It will also increase "communication" between the lower body and upper body.
Monday, June 27, 2011
- Postal lockout is over - thankfully. Amazing how much gets held up in this day and age when a service like "snail mail" is witheld. I don't think this is going to have the effect either side wanted, though - consumers don't like anything that can hold them hostage. All it's going to take is for a private, cost-effective and non-union delivery service to compete with them, combined with the inevitable beauracracy of a crown corporation... I think we're seeing the beginning of the end.
- On that note - with the Canada Labour Standards in place to protect all workers, public and private, what is the purpose of unions? Seems to me that more often than not, they just create more work in an effort to guarantee their members better (not equal) deals than the privately employed individuals.
- I didn't like how it was brought in, but the HST is a better system overall - I still haven't heard an accountant or economist say otherwise, and to me this speaks volumes. Besides, they're comitted (by law) to lower it to 10% if it stays, which means although you're paying more on some things, you're paying less on others. Furthermore - no guarantee that things that were PST exempt before will stay exempt. Anyone thought about that? Hopefully people will vote with logic, not emotion.
- Ryan Smyth is back with the Oilers. Good - they were an exciting team to watch last year, despite how poorly they did in the end... hopefully his veteran leadership will compliment some of those young guys' speed.
- Nathan Kotylak, the rioter who was trying to blow up a police car... had a tearful apology on television. Pheh. Would he have been crying and apologizing if he hadn't been caught? I doubt it. If he was truly sorry, he should have come forward before he was exposed, then voluntarily stepped down from the national water polo team. That, to me, would have shown he was willing to accept responsibility for what he did.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Today's entry, very short and sweet, is pulled directly from the Airdrie Echo.
It is the town paper for the small city just north of Calgary. It's tribute is for a departed friend, the late Tim Harriman.
We've introduced you to him twice before on Swimupstream/ Innovative Thinking, and anything like minded individuals can do to advance the legacy of someone who lived to give- well we'll take that opportunity.
Please read and be inspired by what can be done at an age where most of us have no idea who they are...
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I did, however, fall well short of receiving an A+ when it came to my transitions - they were horrible.
How many times have you hear these words, "My time would have been way better if I had not spent 8 minutes in transition". I have heard them many, many times.
Transitioning is one of those "details" which most triathletes "forget about" until they are in T1
(T 1 - swim to bike transition) and they are fumbling around trying to get out of the wetsuit, get the cycling gear on, recover a little bit from the swim effort and be quick through the process at the same time.
At this point I suddenly remembered why I had so diligently practised my transitioning so many times in the past - time passes very quickly when you are bumbling around your gear set up.
Lay out your gear as you would on race day. Go from wetsuit to bike gear and bike gear to run gear - as you would on race day. Develop a sequence which you will remember, and use - every time you race.
On your brick days, lay out your gear in your car, and as you finish your swim, get out of the water, into your bike gear, and onto the bike as fast as you can. The same applies to the transition from the bike to the run.
On race day, follow the routine you practised - to the letter, and see how your time improves with very little additional effort on your part.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
In today's post I want to look a few drills that will help you reduce the impact some of these problems have on your stroke and will allow you to swim more comfortably and more efficiently.
When it comes to drilling, it is not about how quickly you can complete the set or how fast and powerfully you can move through the water. Take your time, pay attention to the body and the position it is in. Remember: perfect practice makes perfect!
Drill #1: Zipper drill - For ensuring a high elbow position
Pretend you are pulling a zipper up from your hip (at the the end of the Pull through phase) up the side of the trunk to the arm pit (the Middle recovery phase).
By focusing on this, you will automatically maintain a good, high elbow position going into the Hand entry and Forward reach phase of the stroke.
Drill #2: Finger tip drag - Improved Thoracic spine rotation and stroke length
Finger glides require you try to drag the finger tips lightly along the surface of the water as your arm moves from the Mid recovery phase, to the Hand entry phase of the stroke.
This will again get your attention focused on your elbow and hand position, and challenge you to get a good "reach forward" in the Forward reach phase.
Drill #3: Stutters - Creates awareness of arm position before hand enters water
Instead of going straight into the Hand entry, I want you to momentarily hold the arm stationary, halfway through the stroke, and then allow it to enter the water.
Drill #4: Catch up - Enhance your ability to "glide" between strokes
Although often used, this drill is not executed very well.
The bottom line is that there should be only 1 arm moving at any given time during the stroke, meaning the left arm should be laid out ahead of you, while the right arm is going through the stroke.
When the right arm has completed the stroke, it replaces the position the Left arm held, while the Left arm goes through the stroke.
Purpose - Keep the entire body nice and long and elongated, and allow you to really focus in on your entire stroke.
Drill #5: Back lying kicking - Great as a beginner kicking drill
Using a kick board, lie on your back in the water and hold arms straght up over the head, grasping the board.
Now, focusing on generating power from the hips and not the knees, propel yourself along the lane by licking.
Keep your hips up and ankles as relaxed as possible, and when you master this, you are welcome to kick in the prone (face down) position.
Finally, we bring all 5 of the drills together and work on the stroke in its entirety. Always keep the individual drills at the forefront of your mind while swimming and pay close attention to the feedback your body is giving you.
Monday, June 13, 2011
- I like Tim Thomas. He's a great story, a hard worker, a "passion before technique" type of goalie that you don't have to be a giant, or a technical robot, to be successful in net.
- I don't particularly like Roberto Luongo. He's a decent goalie that's not as bad as some people say, but certainly not as good as others will have you believe. But more importantly, he never seems to accept any personal responsibility for anything - instead, justifying why he couldn't make the safe. Furthermore, although some of his comments are certainly being taken out of context (ie. what he's said about Tim Thomas' miss after the fifth game), you'd think he'd learn to just keep his mouth shut.
- I like the Sedins. Though their production may ebb and flow during the playoffs, the team is still getting the job done, and frankly - the dignified way they handle the endless criticism and juvenile attacks in the media impresses me even more and garners that much more respect.
- I like Burrows. But if he was on another team, I'd probably hate him. Same with Kesler.
- I don't like the "holier than thou", Pollyanna, "poor me" way the Bruins are acting. They're just as chippy, committing just as many hacks, dives and slashes as the Canucks - but for some reason, they're not being called on it by the officials or the media.
- I haven't been impressed with the referrees. However, I've tried referreeing and know that it's a lot easier throwing the stones than living in the glass house.
In the end, I'm not going to lie - I was cheering for the Canucks from the beginning, but having seen the way the (eastern based) CBC has been criticizing them non-stop, often (though not always) unfairly - I really want to see them win so that they can stick right down the throats of some of those same critics.~Guy
Friday, June 10, 2011
How many times have you heard someone say they would like to do something but they are too busy? Me, I hear it all the time. In the health and fitness industry hearing 'I'm too busy' is almost as common place and cliched as the 'just a second, I need to tie my shoe' shtick. You are never too busy for things that you want to do - it doesn't matter what it is, if you've decided that you want to do it, you will find a way to fit it into your life no matter what. 'I'm too busy' is not a reason, it's an excuse, and a poor one at that.
There are times in life, that even the most dedicated suffer through, when you're forced by either injury, obligation or some other reason to take time off from working out and whenever you get started again, you always wonder where you found the time before. That's the problem, you didn't find the time, you made the time out of the same amount of time that you currently have. The difference was that you made your health and wellness a priority.
So, the next time you hear someone say that they are too busy to workout, ask them what they are choosing to invest their time in besides their health and wellness, and maybe remind them that without it, their time is limited.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Last Wednesday, I carried out this very simple and basic evaluation of the triathlon group I coach. We spent a little bit of our first swimming session together looking at their mechanics and technique.
As promised, this week I will look at a few of the main areas that present challenges to most swimmers (in triathlon anyway), and next week I will provide you with some solutions to these problems.
- The head position in the water:
Ideal: We are looking for the eyes to looking down, neck in neutral and the water at the heads midline.
Reality: Often we see the face out of the water, or just in the water, eyes looking forward and the water at the hairline of the head.
We want to try to reduce the amount of tension being held in the neck and shoulders as much as possible.
- Breathing: (Image F & G)
Ideal: Head "rotates on the spine" to the side, ear remains submerged in the water.
Reality: The entire head is lifted out of the water
Not only does this impact your stroke mechanics, it also results in the hips dropping and increases the cost of swimming exponentially.
Whether you breath bilaterally or unilaterally is totally up to you.
- Body position: (All images)
Ideal: Hips just breaking the surface of the water, almost at same level as shoulders and the heels also just breaking the waters surface while kicking (feet plantarflexed)
Reality: Feet dragging below hip level, and hips below shoulder lever
Having good body alignment will allow for a controlled and even rotating of the hips from side to side
- Kicking: (All images)
Ideal: For triathletes, small flutter kicks from the hips, seeing feet move straight up and down with the heels just breaking the waters' surface.
Reality: Power kicking from the knees, scissor kicking with feet kicking away from the midline.
- Arm mechanics: (Image G & H)
Ideal: Arm exits the water at your hip and comes through remaining close to the body, the elbow remains high throughout the stroke
Reality: Arms exit the water at the ribs and are move wide outside the width of the shoulders
Have a look at your scoring and compare what you scored on the above areas. Think about these points while you are in the water, and next week I will give some drills and pointers to minimize the ocurrance of these deviations.
Monday, June 06, 2011
- Last year, they donated $1.5million to help build a new BC Children's Hospital...
- In the middle of the final round in the Stanley Cup playoffs, Henrik showed up at the birthday party of an friend's son...
- At the airport after winning game 2 in the same playoff series - who stopped to sign autographs for their fans? Not Roberto Luongo - nope, he went straight through. That's right... Henrik and Daniel.