4 points to understand Imbalances & Injury prevention

April 27, 2021 in ATHLETES, General, HEALTH, P:REHAB

Balance is often a misplaced concept in meaning, popularly only limited to a qualitative, quantitative and challenging description of a movement. However balance is based on fundamental sensory information, these regulators are critical and dynamic components for movement. It transcends to optimal biological function. It approach not only relates to qualitative evaluation of how the movement is made, it explains how and why movement is managed. Imbalances or “the lack of relation of corresponding things” have a direct connection with injuries and its prevention. Find out why.

1. A magnificent piece of “integrity” artwork

Our own biological and structural design has the ability, above all, to “keep us in the game” at all costs. Under that survival concept balance or the right relation of proportions applies to health and our ability to move.
The incredible adaptations and mechanisms of the neuromuscular system to maintain body integrity are far beyond one can imagine. Balance truly defines what is seen as well as what remains hidden to the human eye. Adaptations and compensations arefixings” that lead us to decreased performance and function, discomfort, acute and chronic pain, injury and even disease from a health view. Long story short, instead of treat the cause, lets fix the consequences.

The true mission of our own organism existence is, above all to “keep us in the game”, maintain above all this magnificent piece of biological artwork. But be aware that what we see does not necessarily explain how, through which way it happens nor be sure that stands for what is thought to be unless studied or analyzed. To keep it simple if detrimental consequences and symptoms appear it can be too late.

2. Cause vs consequence

From a locomotion system perspective, often imbalances can not be identified until they show visible consequences and patched motor patterns are consolidated. These motor control dysfunctions can be caused by micro-traumatic, trauma, fatigue, injuries, neurological inhibitions, sedentarism among other factors. Those processes have different and relative time spans, as a matter of fact are not optimized learning processes. Each one has its own timing and learning curve. For example an athlete might trigger early consequences due to increased physical activity and structural demand, meanwhile for a sedentary or low active individual, consequences can appear delayed in time, where chronified or persistent harmful stress is an additional risk. In both scenarios alike the examples are in equal condition relative to its activity, developing imbalance adaptations with potential negative and harmful consequences if no investment towards an outright performance and functional capacity is taken.

3. Finding balance

Find out the cause, prevent the cascade of failure and avoid its negative consequences. Imbalances can be detected on few fronts before consequences appear, a high standard of a Strength & Conditioning program has the ability to assess, test, retest, track and provide the accurate feedback and line of action. Actually this application ain’t new and is a mechanism implanted in almost all information processes, even machines, at all levels. Its a fail safe mechanism, a loop of precise information gathered to find out what needs to be known providing a platform for decision making.

Not everybody will have the skills and success when finding a hidden treasure as well as not everyone has to have deep understanding about exercise science, muscle function and performance. If you are not into Exercise Science, contacting a professional to guide you and assist you is a good option for helping you find out the cause/s and not to fight the consequences. If consequences are already in place, a qualified professional can guide you to regulate and even revert overtime the symptoms, consequences and optimize function.

4. Prevention is efficiency

Strength & Conditioning are programmed interventions and methodologies targeting physical or skill fitness aiming to develop a selected set of attributes. Strength & Conditioning programs are composed by the integration of multiple fitness attributes and its physiological adaptations to serve a purpose. This interventions have as a goal to improve performance and function, Develop systematic interventions, Assess performance and progression and Reduce injury risk.
With in these goals the 5 pillar ATHL S-Core fitness spectrum of Balance, Strength, Metabolism, Endurance and Recovery have an important role. The ultimate goal of reduce injury risk is related to provide within the general program the beneficial, physiological and structural adaptations needed. This approach will help to reduce the risk of injury upon a certain toll or demand with detailed individualized evaluation to control prescription, progression and the tolerance efficacy of the prescribed exercise.

When prevention is applied on larger scale the imbalance concept has wider impact and the lack of relation spreads and affects all body systems which can ultimately lead to health conditions. Preventive Strength and conditioning programs within a prevention scope will focus on health, normal readiness and functional capacity before enhanced performance goals take place. Therefore it is important to assess and find out, if its unknown, whats your performance and functional capacity to adapt a plan to your needs and optimize exercise potential.

About the author:
Albert Piñol – MSc in Physical Activity and Sports Science, MSc in Exercise Physiology, DHE Snowboard Coach, DE Mountain Guide and Mountain Bike Coach. Specialized in exercise physiology, hypoxia, neuromuscular system and motor skill development. IG: @albert_pinol

3 tips to improve time management and exercise

April 13, 2021 in ATHLETES, General, HEALTH, P:REHAB

Certainly commitment and continuity are the most common prevalent challenges to success in an Exercise and Strength & Conditioning program. If you are either new to an exercise program or you already are an athlete, the step to built habits and/or optimize certain functions can be largely determined by the motivation and nature of your goals. Lets breakdown the “I have no time excuse”. Lets unveil the 3 secrets to approach the challenge of success.

1. Find out your true reason

Exercise. Ok but when? Finding out the true reason is key factor, is to know, why you want to, have to or need to engage an Exercise and Strength & Conditioning program. The reason/s why, will actually fuel the mainstream of your motivation. Is it to get in shape and improve your performance? is it to improve your health, energize your daily living? or is it to improve functionality, hold those back injury problems or reduce injury risk? All of them are truly rock solid start points.

It is known, and backed up by science, that exercise and Physical Activity have beneficial outcomes. Often even, exercise benefits out weights the risks. Your WHY has to answer you need, solve a problem or achieve and reach your goal.
As a matter of fact, we probably do not have to delve deep to find out a true reason, strong enough, to find out time to exercise and increase physical activity.
Get to know more and learn about your physical activity or sport can be strong motivational factor. Not every one enjoys, sports and practice, in this case the awareness of risks and consequences to maintain and enjoy your daily life can spark the light bulb. Perhaps understanding the benefits of exercise and training and how they contribute towards health and performance unlock some precious minutes to invest in your life quality.

Time is a precious in our life and how time is spend or invested is up to us. Time management will always be conditioned by priorities, preferences and personal motivational factors. The “I cannot do” it already known, but the question and the kindle about this is what can you actually do to reorganize priorities accordingly to you needs and find out time to schedule to your benefit?

2. The art of goal setting is not much of a secret

Now that you organized and managed to have time, now that you decided to use time into something worth it, how you are gonna make the most it?
Set your goals in an S.M.A.R.T criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound). Going S.M.A.R.T. will help you increase efficiency and efficacy and drastically increase the final outcome of your quest.
To help you go and stay S.M.A.R.T. in a physical activity direction few considerations must be assessed an set in coordination with goals and needs. What items should you consider?

(1) Health condition
(2) Long term goals
(3) Short term goals
(4) Time availability

Consulting an Exercise Science professional can be useful in order to organize, highlight and underestimate each scenario and design and transfer an S.M.A.R.T. assessment  into a progressive strategy and Strength & Conditioning plan.

3. Calendar and accountability

Exercise potential does not lie exclusively to gym and training facilities. In fact exercise, almost to all extent, can be performed anywhere, anytime. With or without equipment. An exercise program accessibility is unprecedented to the priorities organization, time management and the will of everyone. A calendar of sessions is a useful tool to organize and put down all aforementioned into action..
ATHL PLUS plans allow you to customize your program goals and sessions to help you fit them into your weekly schedule giving you a customized calendar based on your selection from 20 to 40 minutes per session.
ATHL PREMIUM plans are designed to adapt to your current schedules and goals and sessions get personalized upon time availability and commitment.

An organized Strength & Conditioning program facilitates the engagement, the motivation and overall goal progression. Online coaching adds up a valuable flexible factor. It does not only allows you to exercise anywhere, anytime within your weekly schedule, it adds up program progression and accountability increasing positive behaviour towards program success. Therefore an organized structure helps find alternatives if changes happen, self-reward, self-commitment and perseverance, self-reminding and accountability. Health, Injury Prevention and Performance just a step closer.

About the author:
Albert Piñol – MSc in Physical Activity and Sports Science, MSc in Exercise Physiology, DHE Snowboard Coach, DE Mountain Guide and Mountain Bike Coach. Specialized in exercise physiology, hypoxia, neuromuscular system and motor skill development. IG: @albert_pinol


The 5 things you should know about Exercise Science

April 8, 2021 in General

“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” This quote is referenced to no other than recognized historical figure from classic Greece, Hippocrates of Kos. He was a Greek physician who lived from 460 to 370 B.C. It might  be considered one of the earliest references to what we call Exercise Science today.

Exercise science is a theory-based, research-led discipline that aims to understand the interaction of multiple fields as Kinesiology, Biomechanics, Biology, Physiology and Medicine. Often Exercise Science will be involved in fields of Pedagogy and  Sports for its teaching/learning processes, educational goals, behaviours acquisition/change, health and performance.
Once upon a time, exercise was a valuable factor, recognized for whom who has been considered the “Father of Medicine”. Many things have changed since the old Greek civilization, however our physiological response to exercise not so much. Despite our civilization progression and knowledge at this present time, exercise often seems to be in a second plan. Learn the 5 things you need to know about fitness.

5 things you should know about

The goal of this post is to provide useful awareness about Exercise science applications and how they might fit, contribute and benefit your lifestyle. An good idea of what Physical activity, Exercise, Fitness, Strength & Conditioning and Sport are will provide the right approach to identify your needs and goals for a better life experience. Although they might seem the same, they are not.

1. Physical activity

Physical activity is ALL the body movement that requires energy expenditure. Movement is generated by the skeletal muscles. Physical activity includes exercise as well as other activities which involve bodily movement and are done as part of playing, working, active transportation, house chores and recreational activities. Physical activity can contribute to physical fitness, mental well-being and social interaction. Knowing that physical activity engagement has different levels as: Sedentary, Low active, Active, Very active. Physical activity and exercise are not the same. Although Physical Activity is beneficial it might not provide the benefits you actually need.

2. Physical exercise

Physical exercise is a task or an activity deliberately planned, structured and repetitive that seeks to improve or maintain an adaptation contributing to enhance performance or health. Worth to mention that this purposeful orientation of improvement must not have a negative contribution to health. Therefore maintain balance between benefits and detrimental effects is decisive. Exercise has extensive beneficial applications in Health, Injury Prevention and Performance.

3. Fitness

Fitness is understood as your body state of being physiologically capable of handling challenges above a resting threshold of activity. In other words your readiness to succeed. Fitness has variety of applications and perspectives depending on its approach and outcomes: Physical fitness, Health fitness or Skill fitness. Each one has a related set of attributes to have and achieve which ultimately relate to the ability to perform. ATHL S-Core® fitness spectrum is composed by 5 components including BALANCE, STRENGTH, METABOLISM, ENDURANCE and RECOVERY.  Fitness has multiple application in for Health, Injury Prevention and Performance. orientations, where each one targets different outcomes.

4. Strength & Conditioning

Strength & Conditioning are programmed exercise interventions and methodologies targeting the fitness spectrum. Strength & Conditioning is composed by the integration of multiple fitness, physiological and structural adaptations to serve a purpose. An Strength & Conditioning program and ATHL S-Core®  function is to orchestrate and coordinate an organized fitness program for Health, Injury Prevention or Performance scopes. Strength & Conditioning provides a framework that aims to satisfy the requirements and needs with an outright profile for a specific scenario under 4 main principles:

+ Improve performance and function
+ Develop systematic interventions
+ Assess performance and progression
+ Reduce injury risk

5. Sport

Sport are those physical activities under rules. Sport and regulations can be recreational, amateur or professional under a competitive or sanctioned scenario. For this reason Sport and Sport Science have an specific category within the biology of physical activity. It is well known in the professional sports that Strength & Conditioning is a valuable and indispensable tool to achieve adaptations that increase athletic performance to increase probability of success in competition as well as taking advantage of all 4 Strength & Conditioning main principles.

Exercise is not, but does “magic”

Science has proved over the years the practical application and benefits of Exercise and Strength & Conditioning for fitness with Health, Injury Prevention and Performance orientations. Exercise and Strength & Conditioning programs are powerful tools.  Since we ,as humans, are regulated by the same physiological processes Exercise and Strength & Conditioning applications are broad inclusive., however physiological and biological functions ain’t different.

“Exercise science helps to improve and enhance life quality and performance. Exercise targets biologic processes.”

Exercise and Strength & Conditioning programs provide the answer and solution to “How”, “When” and “Why” to exercise under the approach of  “what” to achieve. Individualization will play an important role due to single individual, groups or team requirements, needs and goals, with exceptions and adaptations to particular cases of injury and clinical conditions. Ultimately, exercise targets biologic processes to induce adaptations, leading to progression, improving physiologic profile and enhancing capacities over time to whatever end, Health, Injury Prevention and Performance, is set. From climbing the Everest, win the match or attain, return to play to seek a longevity state of health the exercise potential is there.