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Learn more about Rehab, Sports Medicine & Performance

ankle

PDFThe September 2016 newsletter contains information on preventing ankle sprains.  Mike O’Hara, PT demonstrates exercises to prevent ankle inversion.  Meet Fenton Fitness member Gay Adams and read her story on staying strong during a difficult time, and learn about the suitcase carry–a better alternative to weighted sidebends.

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Newsletter PDFThis summer, take time to remove your shoes and do your feet a favor.  In his article Tenderfoot Training, Mike O’Hara, P.T. covers four simple steps to better foot and ankle function.  Jeff’s story about women on weights explains why strength training leads to better body composition and Amy highlights a few members who have used weights to see big results.  We round out our issue with fracture facts that everyone should know.

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A recent article in the New York Times by Gretchen Reynolds* covers the latest research on lower extremity function and aging.

As any physical therapist can attest, the older you are, the more likely you are to suffer a tendon injury or an overuse pain problem in the foot or ankle. Movement analysis of older runners reveals that they use the lower aspect of the leg less than younger runners. Forward propulsion and deceleration become more hip dominated activities. Based on the movement analysis data, the researchers in the article suggest older runners preferentially strengthen the muscles that control the ankle and foot.

The research validates the need to train your legs with the foot in contact with the ground.   In rehab and fitness, it is called closed chain training and it produces the carryover to real life performance and durability (no injuries) you need to age gracefully and stay independent.   Many older gym goers have balance deficits and mobility restrictions that draw them to strength training in a non-weight-bearing seated position. They miss activating the muscles that are crucial for walking and moving well. Step ups, lunges, and squats all involve the muscles of the foot and ankle and should be a big part of every training program. Knee extension, leg curl, and that hip in and out machine –- not much help…

To read the article, click on the link below:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/09/09/why-runners-get-slower-with-age-and-how-strength-training-may-help/

-Michael O’Hara, P.T., OCS, CSCS

*“Why Runners Get Slower With Age (and How Strength Training May Help)”, Gretchen Reynolds, September 9, 2015, New York Times.

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