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Archive for November, 2006

Pilates or Yoga?

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

This should be a short blog. The answer is BOTH. The trunk, hip and pelvic strengthening of Pilates and the general stretching of Yoga make for a perfect combination of exercises. There are pros and cons to both. Pilates equipment sessions are expensive and Pilates mat classes can be overly challenging. Yoga is much more affordable, but the classes can be too large for proper supervision and correction of technique. My advice is to take several Pilates classes and incorporate the core strengthening into Yoga. Also, make sure you choose small Yoga classes if possible so you don’t get lost in the crowd. For Pilates buffs, I recommend learning some of the basic/traditional Yoga stretches and adding them to your Pilates warm-up or cool-down.

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Young, Female and Susceptible

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

This blog goes out to all of my friends and patients with daughters who play sports. There is a higher rate of ACL injuries in girls who play soccer and basketball compared to boys. The ACL is an important ligament in the knee that stabilizes the leg during rotational movements. One theory as to why females are more susceptible to ACL injuries than males is based on hormones. Estrogen and relaxin increase the laxity of the knee ligaments and place teenage girls at a disadvantage on the field or court. There is some disagreement as to when during the menstrual cycle girls are most susceptible. One study found that injuries occurred during the menstrual phase of the cycle, while another study found that, during ovulation, females were three times more likely to injure the ACL. Either way, coaches can help prevent these types of debilitating injuries by training their female athletes properly.

Here are the top three things that coaches can do:

1. Work on strength training for the hamstring muscles. These muscles imitate the ACL action of keeping the tibia (lower leg) from shifting too far forward over the femur (upper leg).

2. Teach proper landing techniques and cutting maneuvers. Girls should be taught to bend at the hips and knees as they land and to maintain proper alignment of the knee cap over the second toe.

3. Do balance training (proprioceptive training). Check out This Site for more information and great training ideas.

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