Break For Injuries

sport injury

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE and today I didn’t train. I will tell you why, because I feel pain to my left shoulder and my 2 knees. 6 day ago, it was my leg day and you know, I hurt my right knee during a martial art session. So I used lightweight to train my leg.

Since around 6 months, I felt pain to my shoulder (shoulder impingement) because of the dumbbell overhead shoulder press and dumbbell bench press. Since 1 months, I hurt my right knee in a martial art sparring, because I wanted to avoid a punch and my leg (my knee) was in a bad position. I had 2 injuries . I searched an alternative exercise for the dumbbell overhead shoulder press and dumbbell bench press to decrease the pain and I found out. I wrote 2 articles about it. Click here and there .

Too much injuries

sport injury

As it was a leg day, I decided to do front squat with lightweight to not hurt to much my right knee. After my front squat session, I did leg press with one leg. After my warm-up set, I felt a pain in my left knee, it was like if someone hit my left knee with a knife, I stopped my rep immediately. It was the first time I felt this pain and I didn’t like it. I tried to do an another rep to see the gravity of the pain and I stopped my leg day here.

I did the half of my leg day’s program and I thought it was a good idea to test the new way to do dumbbell bench press without pain. When I was walking with the dumbbell in my hands, I felt the pain in my left knee. I did this dumbbell bench press variant and I validate it.

Usually after my workout, I eat my meal (my post workout is solid food). While I was eating my meal, I thought it was the time to make a break. 3 injuries is too much for me and I decided quickly to make a break of 1 month to really recover, because since 2015 I train regularly 6-7 days per weeks and the longest break I make was 10 days. Yeah, 10 days. When I realized it, I thank God of Light for his gratitude. And you know what ? When I slept, I felt I a little pain in the middle of my back. It means to do my front squat, my body compensated the weakness of my right knee with others parts of my body to be able to execute the movement.

Special recovery

Now, it’s the 6th days and I continue to write article for my blog and I learned what kind of injuries I have and I want to learn deeper about sport injuries because I scare to become like Ronnie Coleman. Ronnie Coleman is the best bodybuilder for me, it’s because of him I started seriously to train like a bodybuilder when I was on the streets. And now, see this living legend who can’t walk without a crutch, it’s too sad.

I want to have the best athletic body I can until I die, I’m more focus about sport injuries. More I know about it and more I can avoid it. Every day I do my stretching session and I do 2 special movements to help my left shoulder to decrease the pain. I will see on 15th July, if my recovery session is effective.

It’s important not to take lightly the pain of your body. I know a lot of people who had pains a few years ago and they had to do some surgery. Now, they can’t use their capacity at 100%.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries

anterior cruciate ligament injury tear

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

Knee is the largest and most complex joint of the body. There are 4 primary ligaments (with their muscles and tendons) and secondary ligaments for the knee to function properly. Here are the ligaments of the knee : there are 2 ligaments on the side the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and two crossed ligaments in the center of the knee, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).

Anterior cruciate ligament connects the front top part of the shine bone to the back bottom part of the thigh bone and keeps the shin bone from sliding forward.

anterior cruciate ligament

Injury

anterior cruciate ligament injury tear

There are several ways to have an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament :

  • The injury can be done because of a direct hit on the knee, which often happens in team sport.

  • The injury can be done without contact with an object in a situation where the knee forced to be in a abnormal position, which causes a tear in one or more ligaments of the knee. Or when an athlete in the race change direction. Or when an athlete make a hyperextend of the knee when landing a jump, which often happends in agility sports.

Diagnostic

In the majority of cases, the doctor is able to identify what is the injured ligament. But the knee can also be injured at the joint on the surface and in this situation, it’s more difficult to diagnose because of knee swelling. To make an accurate diagnosis, it will be necessary to use a MRI scan or arthroscopy.

Prevent

There are several fast, powerful movements that lengthen (eccentric phase) and shorten (concentric phase) a muscle. These prevention programs are for injuries without contact. These exercises are to improve the nerves/muscle control of the knee. These prevention programs use plymetrics, balance and strength/stability exercises.

Plymetrics

It’s a fast, powerful movement that lengthens (eccentric phase) and shortens (concentric phase) a muscle. The concentric phase increases the muscle power. Here is an example, an athlete who jumps from a box and immediately jumps into the air after touching the floor.

Balance

Balance exercices are done with the wobble or balance board. It’s also possible to perfom exercices by throwing a ball with a partner while balancing on one leg.

Strength/stability

To improve single-leg core strength and stability, there are excellent exercices such as jumping and landing on one leg with the knee flexed and momentarily maintaining this position.

Surgical treatment

In the past, there was a technique that consisted of stitching the ligament together but it was rarely successful. Currently, the technique involves reconstructing the anterior cruciate ligament by building a new ligament from tissue taken from one of the other tendons around the knee or from on organ donation. This tissue passed through drill holes in the thigh bone and the shin bone, and then ancored in place to create a new anterior cruciate ligament. Over time, this transplant becomes mature and becomes a new living ligament in your knee.

Recovery

recovery

Rheabilitation of the knee after the reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament requires time and work. To have a complete function, this can last between 6 weeks and 6 months depending on the severity and level of activity. Rehabilitation rate may take time depending on the specific requirements of the sport/physical activity of the individual.

The overall success rate of the anterior cruciate ligament surgery is very good. A lot of study show that more than 90% of patients are able to return to sport without symptoms of knee instability. It’s true that some patients complain of stiffness and pain after surgery, that is why it’s necessary to make an aggressive rehabilitation until the new surgical technique to reduce these problems.

Statistics

  • One of the most commonly injured ligament in the knee

  • Female athletes participating in basketball and soccer are 2-8 times more likely to suffer anterior cruciate ligament injury.

  • Athlete who suffer anterior cruciate ligament injury at increased risk of arthritis development later in life.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Variant To Avoid Dumbbell Bench Press Shoulder Pain

shoulder pain

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE ! I watched an Athlean-x’s video  and I learned some good stuff.

I wrote an article about to avoid pain when you do dumbbell press or overhead shoulder press because I have a pain when I do it. Click here to read the article  . I have the same problem with the dumbbell bench press. I have pain when I do it, so I write this article to continue this exercise without pain.

Bench press is one of the fundamental exercises to build muscles but with this pain, I wondered if I should continue doing this exercise because it hurt.

Problem

The reason for this pain may be a biceps tendonitis, a torn labrum, an inflammation or shoulder impingement (inflammation in rotator cuff). All these problem create instability during this exercise while we know that stability (body’s stability and dumbbell’s stability) is very important to perform the movement properly.

In the case of a torn labrum, labrum is tied to the biceps tendon or rather the biceps tendon is attached to the labrum. During the movement, it’s the tension of the biceps tendon that pulls on the torn labrum.

Solution

The solution is to change the elbows position. To do the classic bench press, the elbows are at between 45° and 90°, dumbbell held horizontally in the hands and you press up. To calm the pain, we’ll change the position. The technique is to tilt the dumbbells so that the dumbbell’s back are facing the ceiling.

Classic dumbbell bench press

dumbbell bench press

dumbbell bench press

dumbbell bench press

Variant dumbbell bench press

variant dumbbell bench press

variant dumbbell bench press

variant dumbbell bench press

Tilting the dumbbell’s back does 2 things :

  • This brings your arms closer to your body because you use a semi pronated grip. With this position your hands and arms make your shoulders have a neutral position. It’s the equivalent of barbell corner press which helps to reduce the pain caused by dumbbell press .

  • You use your triceps more than your biceps during the movement. With the classic position, you use your biceps to stabilize dumbbells than your triceps. With this position, you flex your elbows so you use more triceps to stabilize dumbbells than your biceps.

 

 

dumbbell bench press
Classic dumbbell bench press

 

variant dumbbell bench press
Variant dumbbell bench press

Using more triceps than your biceps will seriously reduce the pain or make it disappear because there is less tension through the biceps and it will less pull on the torn labrum. If you have biceps tendonitis or inflammation, this will seriously decrease the pain. Try this technique and you’ll see that it will be the first time you’ve been doing pain-free bench press for a long time.

When I had this pain during this exercise, I thought of 2 options :

  • Stop doing bench press because you can’t support the pain anymore

  • Use lightweight

Now that I know this technique :

  • I can continue to do bench press

  • I can keep the same weights and increase them

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Good Position For Abs

Action on lumbar curvature of the psoas muscle

Psoas muscles have other functions than to be powerful flexors of hip. They put the lumbar spine in lordosis, which increases the arch.

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Abs exercises (especially for rectus abdominis) must work with the round back (round your spine). It’s the opposite of other exercises.

For vertebral coil exercises, the mechanicals stresses on vertebral joints aren’t the same as for exercises such as squat, deadlift and other exercises with weight. For example, for squat, the spine isn’t arched at the lumbar level. The vertical pressure with the spine’s rounding pushes the nucleus pulposus intervertebral disc backwards, which can compress nerve elements and create sciatic herniated disc.

For abs exercises, it’s the opposite. If during the abs execution you forget to round your back with an intense contraction of abs and obliques, the powerful flexors of hips (psoas major) will increase the lumbar arch. This will move the intervertebral discs forward as they aren’t stabilized by the vertical pressure. Then an excess of pressure at the back of the lumbar vertebral joints can create lumbago or more serious, joints damage by compression and shear.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Adapt Your Training To Your Morphology (Part 2)

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

If you didn’t read Part 1, click here.

Legs

Improve your squat position

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

To reduce the lower back’s effort and limit the hamstrings tension, it’s possible to do like powerlifters by putting the barbell on posterior deltoids.

This technique decreases the cantilever and increases the power of lifting from the back. This allows you to lift heavier weights.

By using powerlifter of weightlifting shoes (solid raised heel) or a wedge under the heels, this reduces the cantilever by having the buttocks not too back by the advancing knees. This allows for greater amplitudes with the thighs flexion.

With that, we feel better the quadriceps work by limiting the torso’s inclinaison and the work of the gluteus maximus and spinal erectors.

The low barbell and raised heel combination allows you to lift heavier weights. This technique is recommended for rangy people and people with stiff ankles to correct their positioning at squat.

Front squat to target quadriceps

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

Front squat limits the torso’s inclinaison. This has the effect of reducing the work of the lower back, decrease the tension of hamstrings muscles and adductor magnus muscle.

On the other hand, front squat increases the cantilever, which forces quadriceps to make more effort to extend the thigh on the leg.

Which means it’s the perfect squat for thighs. But it’s not possible to lift heavyweights like the classic squat and it’s recommended to do it with heels elevated for better stability.

For rangy people, front squat is very hard to do. The torso of rangy people is more inclined, which make it more difficult to hold the barbell which may fall forward during the execution of the movement.

Spread the legs to less incline the torso

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

There is a squat’s technique to limit the torso’s inclination. This involves spreading the legs with the feet outward. Some powerlifters do this technique with the legs almost wide apart. With the legs apart, this limits the legs flexion.

To be able to squat with the legs apart, it’s necessary to have an adequate bone conformation of the hip joint and to be flexible of the thighs adductor muscle. Which means, it’s a technique that can’t be used by everyone.

The advantage of the big belly

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

Having a big belly for squat and deadlift allow to compress it against the thighs. This helps to limit the inclination of the torso and the back’s rounding. This has the effect of protecting the lower back and limiting the risk of herniated disc.

It’s for this reason that we can see a lot of heavyweight champion of powerlifting or weightlifting with a big belly. They take care to keep their belly fat with an excessively rich diet.

Different forms of knees

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

In bodybuilding, it’s important to take into account the different morphologies of the individual and especially for the knees.

Arched legs (genu varum) are not more risky than normal legs. For people with X legs (genu varum) or people who can overly extend the thighs (genu recurvatum), it’s often recommanded to not do leg exercises with very heavy weights.

Cases of genu valgum are often :

  • In people who were overweight during their youth when leg bones weren’t fully developed and still « malleable ». Legs are deformed because of the overload. Now, they have this X shape.

  • In women. The fact that women have wider hips to have children, this influences the femurs direction which are generally more inclined.

For people with genu valgum. If the genu valgum is to excessive, the joint would be overused. The medial collateral ligament would be extremely tense. The lateral meniscus, the articular surfaces coated with cartilage of the external condyle of the femur, and the external lateral tuberosity of the tibia would be subjected to excessive friction, which would cause pathologies of wear.

For people with genu recurvatum. These are people who are essentially very flexible named hyperlaxes or women whose muscular and ligamentous hyperlaxity is related to reproductive function.

Rarely pathological, knees with genu recurvatum can sometimes have some problems like the meniscus pinching. This can happen when the knees are rapidly expanding and the meniscus haven’t had enough time to slip, or during an exercise with a heavy weight that has forced the hyperextension of the thigh.

It’s for this reason that it’s recommended to people suffering from a genu recuvatum pathological never to totally block the knees at the end of extension to the squat or to the leg press.

Note

For 2 people who are the same size, it’s important to consider the torso-leg ratio.

anatomy body squat morphology knee big belly

Type A :

People with proportionally long legs and a short torso will have trouble doing a proper squat without tilting their torso excessively forward.

On the other hand, the short torso (which limits the cantilever) facilitates the execution of the good-morning, classic deadlift and Romanian deadlift.

Type B :

People with proportionally short legs and a long torso will have the facility to squat safety without tilting their torso excessively forward. It’s for this reason that the great champions of powerlifting squat specialist have this type of morphology.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Adapt Your Training To Your Morphology (Part 1)

morphology

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

In bodybuilding, it’s really important to take into account individual morphological differences. Especially for squat and deadlift.

Squat and deadlift have a different muscular work for a brevilineal person and a rangy person

A brevilineal person has a proportionally long torso and short limbs. An rangy person has a proportionally short torso and long limbs. This has nothing to do with height, muscle development or adiposity. Which means that a person can be a small fat rangy or a tall skinny brevilineal.

A brevilineal person have facility for squat because their short femurs makes that the torso is little inclined. This limits lower back and hamstring tension. As a result, the movement can be done in relative safety and the brevilineal person can almost exclusively focus on quadriceps work. It’s for this reason that almost all squat champions are brevilineal. An impressive example is that usually dwarves monopolize podiums of small categories in powerlifting.

Rangy people have more difficulty to do squat because their long femurs makes that the torso is very inclined forward. This puts hamstrings, adductors and gracilis in a dangerous position. Rangy people must fight constantly to not be out of balance forward.

It’s also important to pay attention to the back’s position to avoid rounding the back. Having the round back causes serious spinal injuries like the famous herniated disc.

Rangy people doing this type of squat leaning forward works much muscles of gluteus maximus which have the function of straightening the pelvis, torso and all erectors spinae muscles that try their best to avoid the rounding of the back.

As a result, the squat for long limbs is excellent for developing powerful glutes and lumbar spine. On the other hand it requires a lot of concentration for the positioning of the body during the movement. It should be noted that more weights are heavy, the more dangerous the movement’s execution.

For rangy people who really want to work quadriceps, it’s advisable to use incline machine like « hack squat ».

Difficulties change side

change side

For brevilineal people who are the kings of squat, there is a reverse medal. They have a lot of trouble to do deadlift.

Brevilineal people with short legs should bend their legs to take the barbell. Sometimes their femurs are almost horizontal and this position requires a lot of energy to start the movement.

On the other hand, rangy people can take the barbell with their legs half bent. With this position, quadriceps can us the maximum energy to start the movement. The morphology of the rangy people allows them to lift heavier weights than brevilineal people despite a tilt of the gluteus and erectors spinae muscles

It’s for this reason that almost all of the deadlift champions are rangy people.

morphology brevilineal rangy

morphology deadlift

Ankles flexibility

ankle morphology

The ankles flexibility has a great influence on the squat’s execution.

Ankles flexibility may be influenced by musculotendinous limitation (such as significant calves retractions) or bone limitation. For example, if the dorsal flexion (the fact of raising forefoot) is limited, the squat technique is completely modified.

The lack of ankles flexibility limits the shifting of the shins forward and the advanced knees. This makes it necessary to squat with the buttocks very back and the back leaning forward, which has the effect of working intensely the gluteus maximus and the spine erectors muscles.

Squat with an excessive inclinaison of the torso put dangerously tension on the back muscles of the thighs, adductors magnus, gracilis and increase the risk of muscle tearing.

It should be added that the positioning of the femurs below the horizontal has the effect of rounding the back, which increases the risk of vertebral damage. This squat requires a lot of concentration for the positioning of the body during the movement because the more the weigh is heavy and more the movement’s execution is dangerous.

Be careful, whether for the squat or the deadlift, having stiff ankles make it difficult to flex our legs even if the femurs are horizontal.

morphology deadlift

Finally, the cantilevered that is more important for deadlift than squat, this is requires quadriceps to provide more strength to extend thighs on the legs.

To read Part 2, click here.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you

-Steph

Power Squat

power squat

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

This movement is the same as the classic squat but the difference is that legs are really wider and the feet are outwards. This position allows to work the inner thighs more intensely.

This exercise works quadriceps, adductors (adductor magnus, adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor minimus, pectineus and gracilis), glutes, hamstrings, abs and iliocostalis.

Note

With power squat, the torso is less inclined that the classic squat. Some powerlifters like this technique to limit the work of the back. And other powerlifters prefer the classic squat to limit the work of the back by pressing their belly on their thighs.

squat foot stance position

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph