I was never a "water baby" - that is - I was never a kid that jumped into water whenever I saw it. I only wanted to get wet if I was dirty, sweaty, or super hot. This followed me into adulthood, so choosing swimming as a workout was not something that happened for me. That is until I was forced to. By age twenty I had injured my knee significantly twice. These ACL knee injuries (anterior cruciate ligament) had ended my soccer career prematurely. I had to wait a few months for ACL surgery, but wanted to stay active, so I did early morning walks with arm motions to get a whole body workout and I started swimming.
I hated swimming. I hated it as I packed my swimsuit & towel, traveled to the pool, dressed, walked onto the pool deck, jumped in, and swam the first lap. Do you see the trend? I hated it. But by the second lap it wasn't so bad. It was a quick and very intense workout for me. 20 minutes and I felt like jelly afterwards. All without any impact or pain to my knees! The workout was, in fact, so difficult for me that my cheeks tingled afterwards. Anyone else? Probably not.
Flash forward to over a decade later and swimming is high up there on the things that I really miss about LA. Swimming laps outside midday on a sunny day is one of the most meditative and mind clearing experience I have. I get a whole body, no impact workout to balance out my running, hiking, biking leg workouts with inclusion of arm and abdominal conditioning and my mind gets to wonder through future ideas and possibilities as well as reflecting back on experiences and relationships. Oh and my cheeks don't tingle anymore.
So give swimming a try!
Want to make sure you're healthy while swimming? Wonder what swim strokes are right for you? Wonder if you're stroke technique could lead to an injury? Wonder how much to do? Necessary stretches and strengthening? Let's chat. (Also possible future blog post topic - what do you think?)
Already swim? Where is your favorite place to swim?
Together - Let's Get Moving.
New video out!
In this video, Doctor Elizabeth (Liz) Bottrell PT, DPT, FAAOMPT of Artisan Physical Therapy in Los Angeles, CA demonstrates a quick and effective yoga sequence for runners. Whether running your first 5k, training for a marathon, triathlon, or an ultra, you need to stretch. Stretching takes time and knowledge. In this video, you'll learn a quick vinyasana or flow yoga sequence that efficiently stretches your hamstrings, calves (gastrocnemius & soles), and hip flexors (Iliotibial band and iliopsoas) to maximize your time, as well as incorporating abdominal strengthening and control and cross training strengthening for the pectoral muscles and triceps. This fast routine, also trains balance, breathing, and improves motion in your back and abdominal muscles!
You can repeat and hold longer as needed. Do not hold your breath!
Pay attention in the video because you need to make sure you know which muscles to stretch. Follow-up videos will show specifics for a few other essential muscle groups for runners to stretch.
Try it and let us know what you think.
Do you have difficulty completing work due to back pain with sitting?
Does your low back pain limit your social life with things like sitting at a restaurant, driving, and sitting through a movie.
Low back pain with sitting is common with disc and muscle injury.
To get yourself feeling better, try these 6 simple tips:
- Use the back rest on your chair
- Sitting up is hard!
- Give those muscles a rest by allowing your back to use the support of the backrest.
- Don't sit at the front of your chair
- Keep your chair close to what you are working on, so you can stay all the way back in the chair.
- Use an extra and portable back support
- Chairs are often not designed ergonomically for ideal posture.
- Chairs are not one size fits all! Our bodies differ wildly in shapes and sizes from one person to the next.
- You should maintain the same amount of curve in your back while sitting that you have while standing.
- To assist with this, I recommend some thing like the Wonder Roll, which you can find online at www.wonderroll.com. It changes support quickly and easily while being portable, yet can stays in place on your chair with a simple strap.
- Take frequent breaks
- Let your body heal and get stronger, by planning and not sitting longer that your back can tolerate.
- If it starts every 30 min, get up every 25 minute, etc.
- Make sure your hips are flexible
- Remember the song you sang about the human body? "The back bone's connected to the hip bone, the hip bone's connected to the thigh bone..." (You get the point).
- Stretch the back side of your hips both the muscle and joint, so your back isn't being strained.
- Increase the strength and endurance of your low back muscles
- If your back muscles are tired, they will do one of two things.
- They will start to complain and be your source of pain.
- They will stop working and let you go into poor posture thus putting bad stress onto the passive structures in your back: discs, ligaments, and joints.
- If your back muscles are tired, they will do one of two things.
- Watch your posture
- If you saw your posture from an outside perspective, you might be horrified!
- Set regular reminders in your calendar and alarms on computer and phone to remind you even when caught up in tasks and projects requiring your full mental attention.
- Give permission to those around you to remind you when you are sitting with poor posture, so you spend less time there and thus strain your disc, ligaments, and muscles less.
Thanks for reading. If we get enough interest, we will make some videos about how to sit with less back pain. Leave a comment about how it works for you and what tips you use.
Let's Get To the Source, and TOGETHER, Let's Get Moving!
An Upper Body Strengthening Clinic for Climbing Injury Prevention and Performance
Sound interesting? Join Liz tonight at Stronghold Climbing Gym in Los Angeles for an interactive clinic on upper body strengthening for injury prevention, performance, and longevity for climbers. Climbing can lead to overuse problems and muscle imbalance injuries. In this clinic you will learn principles and specific strengthening exercises for shoulders, elbows, and hands, to reduce the likelihood of such injuries occurring and to learn safe ways to strengthen.
It's tri training season again. And this year I need to try - that is "tri" - harder! Why?Read More
Liz Bottrell, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, manual physical therapist and owner of Artisan Physical Therapy in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA explains what manual therapy is.
Manual therapy, or "hands on," evaluation and treatment improves motion, mobility, decreases stiffness, tightness and pain, as well as improving circulation and speeding healing. The healing hands lead to areas of injury and work them out. It is a place where science and art meet.
Do you want to get better as soon as possible? Do you want to see an expert? Have you not seen the results that you hoped for with prior physical therapy. Maybe your therapist wasn't highly skilled in manual therapy. Liz is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapist (FAAOMPT) - her specialized manual therapy training and skills set her apart from other physical therapists.
See a manual therapy specialist and experience the difference in your day to day - the ease of movement, the reduced pain and stiffness, and improved muscle activation (read strength, coordination, and balance). All of this helps you sleep, walk, run, stand, reach overhead, and so on more easily and with less pain.
Combine quality and focused physical therapy with your needed exercises and necessary modifications and get ready for amazing results beyond what you though possible!
Want to have healthy shoulders and rotator cuff? Want to prevent injury when swimming, doing yoga, while weightlifting or crossfit? Want to rockclimb better? Want to play tennis and volleyball for years? Then take a couple minutes and learn a few strengthening exercises for the rotator cuff using an exercise band. The exercises are simple and easy to do wherever you are! No fancy or expensive equipment needed!
Have lingering shoulder pain, a prior rotator cuff tear, aching or weakness? Try these as some basic strengthening.
The rotator cuff is extremely important for basically all arm movement and certainly all shoulder motions. Make sure your rotator cuff is strong and has a lot of endurance to prevent injury!
For recommendations specific to your situation and body, contact Liz in Los Angeles or your neighborhood physical therapist. We are the movement specialist.
Let's get to the source, and TOGETHER, get moving!
Until next time,
My first blog post of the year highlighted some of the goals I had for the year. How are your goals coming along? Typing this question, alone, is making me want to stop and go back to recheck on all my goals and see what progress I'm making & if I'm forgetting anything!
The goal on the forefront of my mind currently is my goal to train and participate in a race this year. I'm so pleased to report I reached a milestone! I signed up! "What race?" you ask. Well, I am opting for a triathlon - the Nautica Malibu International Distance Triathlon - to be precise. Now I'm excited and nervous. I got a lot to learn about ocean swimming and I've got some training to do to hopefully "race" it.
What do I mean by "race" it? It has to do with your fitness level. I am fit right now in terms of overall health and wellness in disease reduction activity lifestyles and with respect to my body weight and composition. I could participate in the triathlon event and complete it, possibly even this week, but it wouldn't feel good. I want not to simply finish it - although I think it is a great feat. I want to prepare, train, and give it my all - to go fast - that is, to "race" it. Let's be clear when I say race or fast, I mean my fast (not going to be winning any races here)!!
I'd love to hear about what your training for in life, how you're learning to persevere and be disciplined, and elevate what you think you're capable of. For me this all fits into the bigger picture of learning to live more WHOLE-HEARTED (my theme for the year) and even helping people living healthier, more satisfying lives with my work at Artisan Physical Therapy. Also let me know what training questions you have!
Together - Let's Get Moving!
Do you have any new years goals? Some call them resolutions, but others of us are put off by that term. Goals, however! Those are worth having! Still others, including myself, select a theme for the year.
My theme for the year is: whole-hearted.Read More
Did you know that what you believe about pain and why you feel pain impacts your healing and health? It's true. Your understanding and beliefs can either help or hinder you!Read More
You should think of a physical therapist similarly to how you think of a physician or dentist. Regular check-ups can prevent bigger problems in the future, even if YOU can't identify a current problem.Read More