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How To Fix Knee Pain

Knee pain can be idiopathic and can oftentimes come along without warning.

It can be a nuisance, particularly for those who are wanting to engage in active lifestyles.

Your first instinct will of course to see a specialist and discuss your options. If you can walk and be mobile, you will most likely be prescribed physiotherapy, which you will probably need to pay for.

Surgery will not be considered until you are above a certain age bracket, or unfortunate enough to have undergone a devastating injury where you are unable to walk.

This is not to say physiotherapy is your best option or not, people have a lot of success within these prescriptions.

BUT, before going to see an expensive physiotherapist, which I have mentioned before:

Physiotherapy focuses on the prevention of pain rather than improved mobility.

Potential Causes Of Knee Pain:

  • Weakness of the quadriceps
  • Weakness of the Hip flexors/ abductors
  • Isolated vastus medialis oblique (VMO) hypotrophy
  • Tight quadricep(s)
  • Tight hamstring(s)
  • Tight calf/calves
  • Weak or poor ankle mobility

If you are mobile and able to move freely, improving these deficiencies could well be key to your knee pain being resolved.  

Weakness Of The Quadriceps

To improve the strength of the quadricep, without putting tension on what is probably an already sore knee you could perform leg extensions. Leg extensions specifically focus on the quadricep engagement.

Dependant on the severity of your pain you could start with the weight very light and isolate one leg at a time, making sure you try to get a big a range of motion as possible that is comfortable for you without feeling any pain.

Weakness Of Hip Flexors/Abductor Muscles

The most effective way to improve in this area, is to increase the range of motion by undertaking mobility exercises.

The simplest method, which requires no equipment is a seated straight leg raise.

How to perform:

Sit on the floor in an upright position, with one leg extended and back straight.

  1. Hug the other knee to your chest.
  2. Engage your core and turn the other leg slightly outwards.
  3. Begin to slowly lift your leg off the ground.
  4. Hold for one second and then slowly lower leg to the ground.
  5. Perform 2-4 sets per side until failure.

Start off slow and if you feel a pinch or sharp feeling in the front of the hip, stop immediately and see a rehab practitioner to assess your hips.

The abductors can also be strengthened by using another body weight exercise, which can again be performed without any equipment. The exercise is a supine side leg raise.

How to perform:

  1. Lie down on your side on the floor. Your spine should be in a straight line, with this line followed all the way down to the bottom of the leg.
  2. Place your arm straight on the floor under your head or bend your elbow and cradle your head for support. Place your left hand out front for extra support or let it rest on your leg or hip.
  3. As you exhale, gently raise your left leg off the lower leg. Stop raising your leg when you feel the muscles flex in your lower back or obliques.
  4. Inhale and lower the leg back down to meet the right leg. Stack your feet again.
  5. Repeat 10-12 times, then switch to the other side.

VMO Hypertrophy:

The VMO (Vastus medialis oblique) is better known as the tear drop area of the quadricep. If this area is not properly developed, then this can be a cause of knee pain.

This area can be strengthened with correct training protocol but cannot be specifically targeted.

Increasing the strength in this area will come in the form of compound exercises and quadricep isolation exercises such as squats and leg extensions.

Make sure you are training your leg muscles effectively, with high rep ranges and higher volume.

When performing squats, an elevated heel will allow more tension to be placed on the front of the anterior section of the upper leg and therefore improve the strength and size of the VMO.

Any exercise which initiates hypertrophy in the quadriceps will be beneficial.

The quickest way to resolve the issue of tight quadriceps, hamstrings or calves is simply by stretching them to lengthen permanently.

This will not be an overnight fix, but more a subtle change which will take place over several months.

Tight quadriceps:

  • Lying quad stretch
  • Standing quad stretch
  • Kneeling quad stretch

Tight hamstrings:

  • Lying hamstring stretch
  • Sitting hamstring stretch
  • Standing hamstring stretch

Tight calves:

  • Downward dog
  • Lunging calf stretch
  • Lunging calf stretch

Another area of the body which is closely linked with balance and therefore a potential decrease in knee mobility and pain is within the structure of the ankle.

Weak Or Poor Ankle Mobility

Consider that if you were turn your toes in and out, the ankle either flexes or extends.

If you have had an ankle injury in the past which is has not healed properly, then every movement on foot you make could be causing the knee to invert or be under constant tension because of this.

Therefore, ankle strengthening, and conditioning realignment exercises could be a vital part of releasing any tension which is being placed on the knee because of the imbalance.

Ankle mobility exercises:

Soft and uneven surface balancing

  • Take a bosu balance trainer (Or just half a bosu) and start by standing on it with both feet.
  • Slowly raise one knee so that only one foot remains on the bosu platform.
  • Once the knee is at a 90-degree angle, remain balanced for 30 seconds.
  • You may find yourself moving side to side, but this is all part of strengthening the ankle
  • If you are unable to do this, stand next to a wall or something stable to grab onto when balancing on one foot.
  • If you do not feel confident or comfortable balancing on one side, then you alternatively stay on both feet and try catching a medicine ball which can be lightly thrown to you by a partner. This will shift your bodyweight when catching the ball with less chance of you falling.

A regular stretching routine for flexibility/mobility should be considered whether you are suffering from injury or not. Focus on prevention and not reaction to injury.

Looking for a specific programme dedicated to the relief of knee pain?

Feel Good Kness Programme

>>For more information, posts, training programmes and training tips visit my website tjhealthandfitness.com

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Easiest Way To Lose Weight: 1 Simple Method

The simplest method to lose weight.

No science mumbo jumbo.

No complicated formulas.

No huge changes.

Just some conscious effort, awareness and a few minutes of your precious time a day.

This is how easy it is to lose weight...

Work out how many calories you need a day to maintain weight.

Eat less than that everyday.

That is actually all you need to do.

Does it matter if you eat 2 bowls of asparagus and have avacado on toast versus a bowl of coco pops and a bacon sandwich?

If weight loss is the only thing you want to concentrate on, then no technically it does not matter.

Eating unhealthy food all the time isn’t good for various health reasons.

You don’t need me to tell you that. But if you want to lose weight initially, then over time start to consider some healthier options, this is a really good place to start.

It as nowhere near as overwhelming for you, to change your diet completely and swap all your shitty foods you enjoy for a tons of salad.

How To Work Out Your Calorie Intake:

1. Download MyFitnessPal from the AppStore

Tap here to be redirected to MyFitnessPal website

2. Enter your details and relevant data

3. Correctly input your activity level

4. Consume how many calories it tells you to eat everyday.

5. Lose weight successfully!

The green number is how many calories I need a day to maintain my weight.

To begin with you will be required to provide:

  • Age
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Activity level
  • Your goal (Lose weight)

The number comes up right there in green.

All you need to do is hit that target.

If it’s set to lose weight it will give you the number of calories you need to consume per day, to lose weight.

All you need to do is count them calories.

Do not cheat by trying to estimate them on how they look appearance wise.

Actually weigh your food or scan the barcodes and it will tell you the nutritional information and number of calories.

Make sure you put the right quantity or serving size in when inputting the data of each food item.

When you decide to become more advanced and confident with it, you can start working out your micronutrient percentages:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Fat

10 Simple Fat Loss Tips

On the right hand side at the top half of the screen you’ll see the percentages which I have personally set for myself.

Then you will know how many calories and what percentage of each micronutrient you will need. All of which will be worked out for you by typing it on or scanning the barcode on the food label.

The app is absolutely FREE.

It is very simple to use.

As a long term strategy, more requirements will be needed such as vitamin intake, knowing the difference between good and bad fats, regulation of blood sugars etc and a whole host of other variables which is more complex.

This is somewhere to start for absolute beginners that are overwhelmed by all the different perspectives and information out there.

You might read this and you’re knowledge may be way beyond this.

This is for the people who are not sure where to start.

Once you have worked your calorie intake out after a few weeks or so you won’t need to type it in as much, because you’ll already know how many calories are in your foods.

But you have to earn that knowledge first by typing it in for a bit.

Any questions? Contact me directly.

>>For more information, posts, training programmes and fitness tips visit my website tjhealthandfitness.com

6 Life Changing Reasons Why You Should Start Boxing

As far back as I can remember, I was always ‘hot headed’ and let my mouth get me into stupid situations.

I have been punched in the face more times than I can remember.

I have punched back, but I have had my ass owned more than a couple of times.

I was angry growing up, angry at the world and trying to find my way and trying prove something to someone.

Was it myself? Or was it for people that had walked out on me? Maybe I was scared and lashing out? Whatever it was, It got me sparked more than just a couple of times.

After years of contemplating and wanting to scratch that itch, I realised that I needed to learn to make some changes and learn how to fight properly, so I took up boxing.

During this time I have learnt many more skills than simply ‘learning to fight’.

1. Becoming Mindful

When you are learning to fight against an experienced opponent, it takes about 2 minutes to realise that you truly have no idea what you are doing.

Even though I’d been punched a fair few times before, being in a situation where you have nowhere to run and hide with a set of rules quickly makes a situation very very real.

Your mind goes into fight or flight mode.

But there’s no option of flight.

So you stand and fight.

This becomes transferable into real life situations, which are not necessarily revolved around fighting but in situations where you face adversity or stressful situations eg. Job interviews, meetings with your boss, public speaking etc.

You gain this ability to be mindful and confident in the moment which requires you to be prepared.

2. Learning Discipline

Learning martial arts teaches you discipline.

Learning an ‘art’ requires focus, strong mentality, willingness to learn and of course both physical and mental strength.

Letting your guard down or not putting in the work can leave you sprawled out on the ground.

Like life, if you aren’t punching back then you are simply leaning on the ropes and taking a beating.

If you don’t want to constantly lose, you need to learn some form discipline in all areas of your life.

This could be making sure you move every day, letting go of vices holding you back, improving your nutrition etc.

3. Learn To Control Anger

This can work in two different ways.

If you are in training and punching the heavy bag, then you actually physically relieve built up stress.

Some prefer breathing and/or meditation which also has huge benefits.

But to really ‘release’ that tension through the bag is one like no other.

Then there is learning to get hit without losing control.

If a boxer gets hit and loses concentration and goes all out attack, an experienced opponent will use this to their advantage and pick them off due to their lack of focus and discipline. They will inevitably step forwards into a calculated punch.

Each time life comes at you with a new challenge, you need to be able to calmly approach the situation and resolve it logically and not emotionally.

Or, like the boxer, you will end up leaving yourself vulnerable and open to more mistakes.

4. Improved Technique

How many times have you heard someone say ‘I don’t want to get into a fight because I just end up seeing red and I could really hurt someone’.

This actually is quite the opposite of what is likely to happen.

People talk shit. They are just scared.

‘I just see red’

This falls under a similar category to controlling anger whereby the more focused and controlled you can operate, the better your technique will be with a higher likelihood of you winning the bout or situation you entail.

With better technique and practise, becomes better results.

Can there a be more accurate representation to the fundamentals of progressing in life?

5. Anxiety Goes Away/Confidence Builds

As someone who was raised somewhat inefficiently, going through countless traumatic experiences of which a lot were unavoidable I spent most of my childhood and my 20’s anxious and depressed.

Going through stages of feeling good, then feeling 10x worse again and raging against the world.

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, I have always been ‘angry’ and trying to prove something to myself.

The reality is, and Mike Tyson said the same thing when people asked why he was so angry, is because he like me was scared and lashing out.

I was scared of life, what came next and not believing I would have the strength for the next battle that came my way.

Having a victim mindset.

Why always me.

Knowing that I am physically able to defend myself has brought a whole new confidence to me psychologically which allows me to walk towards my problems and face them.

To slip and to punch back.

Rocky Balboa famous quote

6. Fighting skills transfer into real life world skills

Understanding these different skills and how they transfer into real life is way more important than ‘being good at boxing’ for me.

I have no intention to become a professional heavyweight boxer.

My intentions were to build my confidence and learn about myself, which I knew and believed I would before I started.

The first time you spar someone is scary, but then you get hit and realise you are still ok. You are still standing, you are not made of glass and you (hopefully) will learn from each punch that catches you.

Not only that, but you will learn to punch correctly and accurately, figuring out what works for you and how you can outwit your opponent.

Life is complicated.

It is way bigger than a boxing ring.

Boxing will not solve all your problems.

But if you commit to learning and understand these transferable skills, you will stand yourself in good stead for future challenges that inevitably present themselves.