Strength & Conditioning
Ever wondered what happened to that niggle that ‘magically’ went away? Sometimes resting, cross training or cutting back is enough to allow the body to catch up and adapt.
For the most part, however, this niggle is the start, or next part, of the imbalance occurring and is the warning sign that this is happening. If this is not addressed, then another part of the body takes over the role of the niggly (dysfunctional or overused) muscle and compensates for whatever is not working effectively until the niggle ‘disappears’.
This pattern continues until there no muscles left in this chain of movement that can compensate for this series of dysfunctions, which is when the pain gets worse and eventually forces you stop.
This is usually the point at which people book in to see me for a sports massage.
What I will do
Whether you book in for a sports massage or a strength & conditioning session, I will first look at your alignment:
- Head position
Are your ears in line with your shoulders and, if not, is that because your neck or shoulder/chest muscles are imbalanced (usually a bit of both)
If they look slouched and this isn’t addressed by the previous step, I’ll skip this and move onto the next step
- Pelvic alignment
In 99.9% of people I see, their pelvis appears misaligned, sometimes rotated and/or mostly anteriorly tilted, and sometimes off centre. The pelvis itself is usually fine, but the muscles that control the movement of the pelvis are imbalanced
If the shoulders looked slouched on the previous step, I’ll show them how to engage their abdominals correctly (this is not just drawing the belly button to the spine), and see how their shoulders lift
- Feet position
I look to see in which direction they are pointing, which gives a really good indication of any further imbalances between the hips and the feet
Viewing the body as a whole gives me a snapshot of what is going on and usually indicates the best place to start your session. One or two sessions of soft tissue release (massage techniques) and muscle engagement (correct strengthening exercises) to understand what you need to work on, can help make you a better runner for life.
We can then discuss whether you can or want to continue working with me on a weekly basis, or have a ‘check up’ session every 4-6 weeks to ensure your posture and technique is still as it should be and to help you progress to the next stage/level.
Things to note
Nothing is supposed to hurt or ache when you run, and you shouldn’t feel sore the day after a run. If any of this is happening then you should address this yourself and/or with the help of a professional physical therapist, and/or strength & conditioning coach/trainer who knows what they’re doing when it comes to postural alignment.
Only once your pelvis is neutrally stable, or you are working to address this, should you be increasing your running, whilst including adaptation, strength and conditioning sessions.
Specific or tailored advice will differ depending on your overall health and fitness, your experience with running and whether you are currently experiencing any niggles.
If you are new to strength training and not having regular massages, I would recommend you book a sports massage initially as it’s important to address the restrictions and tightness before trying to apply load. If you’re not sure what will be best for you, please contact me to discuss your options.