Cossack Squat

The Cossack Squat is a great exercise for building strength and flexibility in the hips and adductor muscles.  It is a good exercise to work into your warm-up routine prior to working out. Start with your feet about 2 ½ times the width of your shoulder with your toes pointed outwards and your knees in line with them. Begin by squatting toward your right side. Slowly move your weight onto your right leg until your left leg is straight, resting only on its heel. Next, slowly shift your weight back to your center and then onto your left leg, repeating the movement.  Perform 2-3 sets of 6-12 repetitions on each leg.  You will notice that at first you may not be able to go down very far.  Just start where you are and try to get a little bit farther with each rep. Do not lean your body too far forward as this places added stress on the knees.  Instead, sit back and use your hips to handle most of the work.    ...

Goblet Squat

Squatting is a basic human movement.  It is also a movement that most Americans cannot perform properly or with ease.  To be able to perform a full, deep squat, a lot of things have to happen.  The ankles have to be mobile enough to allow the knee to travel out and over the toes.  The thigh muscles have to be strong to move and stabilize the knees and hips.  Your hips need to be mobile enough to prevent rounded of the low back at the bottom.  And you need core and back strength to maintain a neutral spine throughout the squat. THE MOVE The goblet squat is an easy way to improve your ability to squat.  Try performing this movement daily and reassess after a month and see how much stronger and easier it is to do.  You can do one quick set during your lunch break or add 2-3 sets into your workouts.  The idea is to be constantly developing the squat as a skill.  Your hips, knees, and back will end up healthier for it. The Goblet Squat Hold the dumbbell or kettlebell high against the chest Keep your chest up Have your feet slightly wider than shoulder width Feet can be turned out 0-30 degrees Sink down into the squat Drive your knee out while the elbows track inside of the knees Drive back up pushing through the heels Keep the chest up Goblet...

Functional Screen Series: Screen One – 6-inch Step-Down

As chiropractors that specialize in soft tissue treatments, we work with many individuals that have joint and soft-tissue restrictions. Finding spinal subluxations (spinal subluxation is when one or more of the bones of your spine (vertebrae) move out of position and create pressure on, or irritate spinal nerves) and soft tissue adhesions is like finding a needle in a haystack. The practitioners at Chicago Chiropractic & Sports Medicine focus on finding the relevant restrictions—the dysfunctions that are causing the most trouble. Functional screens are a way for us to narrow down the list of possible suspects, making treatments more efficient. We will be doing a series of functional screens over the next couple of months. Screen One is the “6-inch Step-Down,” which helps us to determine hip strength and ankle mobility. To perform the screen, find a 6” step (bottom stair, wooden box). Stand on one leg with the opposite leg toes pointed up. Slowly lower the opposite heal towards the ground. Lightly touch the heel to the ground and return up. Perform on the other side. This movement should be done in a smooth, coordinated fashion. You fail the test if you lose your balance, you are uncoordinated, or you fail to reach the heel to the ground. Athletes should use an 8” step. If you fail the Step-Down test, you may be lacking strength in your hip muscles (gluteus medius) or you may be lacking ankle mobility. One of the things you can do to help correct this is by adding the following exercises into your daily routine or before you exercise. If you feel that the...

Piriformis and External Hip Rotators

Strengthening the left piriformis (external rotators): Piriformis and External Hip Rotators Start by lying on your side; your left leg should be almost straight, bent about 10-20 degrees. Next bend your left knee to 90 degrees. Support your bent right knee with pillows. Then push your left knee into the table or floor, and then lift the left foot toward the ceiling, against gravity. Lift your foot as far as you can comfortably, without twisting your pelvis or hips. You should feel your lower buttock muscles activate/contract. Then lower the leg slowly. Repeat for 8-12 reps for 2-3 sets. If needed, brace with your abdomen and/or activate the pelvic floor muscles to enhance the exercise. Download Piriformis and External Hip...

Hamstring Tendinosis

By Dr. Jon Sebby, DC, ART Provider The hamstring muscle runs down the back of the upper thigh and is connected to the knee joint by a large tendon. Overuse, injury and stress can causes this tendon to become inflamed. Tendinitis is the inflammation or irritation of a tendon; tendons are made up of thick, fibrous connective tissues that connect muscles to bones. Hamstring tendinitis can be caused my overuse from activities such as running, biking or yoga. Tendons have only a limited capacity to become inflamed. Over time the swelling goes away but you are still likely to have pain from the repeated scarring of the tendon. In these chronic cases, we begin to refer to it as a tendonosis instead of the tendonitis that is associated with the initial inflammation. The tendon losses some of its blood supply and becomes weakened, leaving it more susceptible to injury. A.R.T. can help treat the scar tissue and improve the blood flow to the area. People suffering from hamstring tendinitis/tendinosis will likely have pain where the hamstrings attach to the ischial tuberosity (the bones that you sit on). It is important to get evaluated by a certified Active Release Technique (A.R.T.) provider. The A.R.T. practitioner can check for adhesions within the surrounding hip musculature to ensure that the hamstring is not being forced to handle excessive loads. In order for the hamstring to be allowed to heal it is also important to decrease the load/strain that the hamstring is placed under. If you are a runner or cyclist, you most likely need to temporarily trade running/biking for walking, swimming, or upper...

Staying Healthy On and Off the Bike

By Dr. Jon Sebby and Dr. Josh Akin It takes more than just spending time on your bike to reach your cycling goals. It requires listening to your body and implementing successful strategies to keep your body injury free. In you are feeling out of sorts or you are having a hard time coming back from a ride, you may have developed restrictions that are preventing you from efficiently riding. Many times, athletes equate poor performances with poor conditioning or training. To overcome the poor performances, athletes tend to increase their mileage and intensity. However, your performances and training volume are not always directly related. Often time athletes with good training habits develop overuse injuries because their imbalances and dysfunctions were not addressed. Adhesions in the soft-tissues and restrictions within joints can predispose athletes to muscular imbalances that can lead to injury. When athletes are training at a high level, these imbalances become magnified. Over time the body reaches a point where it is no longer able to adapt to the stress. A normal muscle and its fibers should be able to move independently of the other soft tissue structures surrounding it. For instance, when paint is left on a brush overnight all of the fibers tend to stick together. Soft tissue adhesions or fibrosis are essentially this, when muscle fibers stick to each other and other structures around it (other muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves etc.). Muscles cannot and will not function properly in this state and pain is one of the symptoms people may experience when enough build-up has accumulated. Fact is stretching will never release the scar tissue, which is several times stronger than normal tissue. Stretching and other types of non-operative treatment become successful...