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Coach Sommer

Senders - A Dynamic Leg Strength Series

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Donar
I can tell you that specific toe flexion resistance training, rolling of the bottom of the foot, and possibly use of a metatarsal arch support for a while during rehab to reposition the bones while you develop foot strength (I know, that sounds funny to me too) and stability with the exercises I will describe will make an enormous difference. I have fixed my falling arches permanently with this. Running and jumping rope in my five fingers also helps a ton, but my arches were already pretty well fixed when that started.

Exercises:

1) resisted toe flexion. Get a piece of 1/2 inch PVC or maybe even 1/2" copper which is a bit thinner. You can use anything that's about .5" thick and at least 4" long. Tie some sort of string to the center of whatever you are using so that it has a loop on it. Now attach light bands or even regular rubber bands to this loop and to an anchor point. Could be under your other heel or around a chair leg or couch leg, whatever it is just needs to stay stationary however you make that work. Now you take your right foor (for example) and put the pipe or whatever under your toes, drag it until there's a bit of stretch on the bands, and then plant your heel firmly and use your toes and the bottom of your foot to do curls. Work with fairly high reps, starting with maybe 10-20 and working up to 50-ish. Then add resistance until your reps drop to around 15-20 and work up to 50 again. Do with both feet. This strengthens the intrinsic muscles of the foot that help maintain your arch by providing compressive force that keeps the bones in place and allows the foot to act as a spring.

2) resisted inversion with dorsiflexion. Put your right heel on a bench or chair while standing, with most of the foot hanging off. Hang a book bag or plastic bag or whatever off of the top of your foot with the toes pointed and out to the side a bit. Now point your knee about 30-40 degrees to the right. Now, without moving your knee, pull the top of your foot towards the ceiling. This will cause dorsiflexion AND inversion. This strengthens tibialis posterior, which helps support the medial arch of the foot at the navicular bone by pulling directly up.

3) Resisted eversion with dorsiflexion. Same instructions as #2, but instead of pointing the right knee to the right you will point it to the left. You will find yourself in a sort of modified side kick position. Now lift the top of your foot straight towards the ceiling. This will cause eversion with dorsiflexion. This strengthens the peroneal muscles, which help support the arch from the inside to the outside of your foot and also protect you from the most common ankle sprains.

Same reps for 2&3 as #1, leg can be bent or straight however you like it. Add resistance in the same fashion.

Slizzardman,

great post! I just tried the first exercise and I love it.. Thanks a lot! I will definitely add this to my exercise regimen.

I've already started doing eversion + dorsiflexion and inversion + dorsiflexion exercises similar to the ones you mentioned and I think they are very important for ankle prehab.

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Coach Sommer

Slizzardman,

Great suggestions. I look forward to trying them out.

3runMX,

You may contact Kit directly through the GB Forum. His user name is "kit laughlin".

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Alexis Solis
Slizzardman,

Great suggestions. I look forward to trying them out.

3runMX,

You may contact Kit directly through the GB Forum. His user name is "kit laughlin".

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

Great suggestions indeed!! Slizzardman, you know this info is greatly appreciated, thanks a lot! Will try this exercises as soon as I finish posting this! :mrgreen:

Coach Sommer, I'll definitely contact him, thanks a lot to you too!

All the best,

-Alex

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Joshua Naterman

No problem everyone! I hope this stuff helps. I have no idea what Kit does, but if you find out which of his materials has the info please let me know so that I can purchase it.

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Alexis Solis
No problem everyone! I hope this stuff helps. I have no idea what Kit does, but if you find out which of his materials has the info please let me know so that I can purchase it.

I've sent Mr. Laughlin a private message. If he answers, I'll let you guys know! Again, thanks a lot for the exercises slizzardman!

-Alex

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Kit Laughlin

Coach, this new reply can be moved if you want to start a new thread—it was a reaction to the Senders video on p. 1 of this thread.

My question: what advice do any of you have for rehabbing pulled calf muscles? On a workshop I was teaching in Chattanooga recently, I pulled a calf muscle doing what we call "bounding" work: using concrete stairs (standard height risers, and deep treads). What we call bounding is a sprinter's exercise: with exaggerated arm and opposite knee lift, we 'bound' up stairs, two, or three, at a time, trying for as much height as possible, alternating legs each step.

The other exercise done at the time (but which was not involved in the muscle pull) were squat jumps from the full squat position, from balls of feet, up onto 24" high concrete steps, of which there were 30, forming a side to a hill.

Anyhow, I pulled a calf muscle quite severely that day, and pulled it twice more over the ensuing three weeks—once by jumping onto a Reformer bed from a wood floor (doing a reduced intensity version the senders that started this thread) and once more hopping up onto a set of chinup bars that were only 6" above head height. Each time I thought the leg had recovered; clearly it had not.

So, I can see that I need much more of this type of activity, but I will be very interested to hear anyone's views on how to rehab, then recondition this muscle before I start again: I do not want to pull it again, if I can avoid it! Thanks in advance, KL

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Alexis Solis

So, I can see that I need much more of this type of activity, but I will be very interested to hear anyone's views on how to rehab, then recondition this muscle before I start again: I do not want to pull it again, if I can avoid it! Thanks in advance, KL



I found these videos of Neal Reynolds (a sports injuries physiotherapist). He doesn't show any exercises, but he gives great tips!



This woman does show some exercises:


I hope it helps Mr. Laughlin!
Wish you a speedy recovery! :mrgreen:
-Alex

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Foghorn

Kit

I had the same problem about 18 months ago. I tore my calf muscle doing sprint drills similar to what you described. I also managed to re-injure it twice in fairly quick succession before doing some rehab research to resolve it for good.

The good news I have had no further issues with my calf muscle and have continued doing the sprint drills and sprinting on a regular basis since then. So the opportunity for re-injury has been there.

To avoid re-injury two things are needed good rehab and excellent mechanics when doing the drills you described.

Rehab

What worked for me was regular deep tissue massage and calf stretches/strengthening.

Deep tissue massage the injured area regularly, almost on a GTG basis i.e. whenever the thought pops into your head. This will be painful but very beneficial as you need to break the scar tissue. Having watched some of your videos and knowing some of your background I know that this isn't news to you.

Calf Stretching/Strengthening - assume the position for single leg calf raises on a step or similar (depending on the severity of the injury you may need to do it as a two legged version initially). Lower the heel to stretch the calf but stop before pain occurs i.e stretch as far as you can without pain. This should be done in short holds but moderatley high repetitions (you will know what feels right). Gradually the range of pain free motion will improve. Once full range of motion occurs keep working calf rasies to stregthen the calf muscle further. Nothing ground breaking here but it worked a treat.

Exercise Mechanics

This is the really important part. It is almost certain that poor mechanics caused the muscle tear in the first place. It only has to be on one repetition that the mechanics breakdown for the injury to occur. A dorsiflexed ankle position is vital for when the leg is transitioning between ground strikes. This loads the achilles tendon correctly and also allows for faster recovery (i.e quicker positioning) of the leg in preparation for the next impact. There are numerous drills that help to reinforce this action. Just remember whenever sprinting or doing sprint related drills dorsiflex the foot. Get this technique fine tuned with light loads prior to dooing heavy work.

Also ensure that the ball of the foot takes the impact and eliminate heel strike completely. Then you should be good to go.

I hope this helps your recovery and prevents future injury.

Just a final thought, I have recently found that NLC's that Coach Sommer recommends are fantastic for strengthening and prehabbing calf muscles.

Cheers

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Coach Sommer

Kit's answer regarding an effective protocol for dealing with the condition that many of us (myself included) erroneously call "flat feet" was outstanding and I have separated it from the rest of this thread and moved it over to the joint prep forum section where it is now a sticky.

http://www.gymnasticbodies.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7587#p67832

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

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Joshua Naterman

Foghorn did a good job of describing the general rehab process.

You want to start off by controlling the inflammation and working pain free isometrics ONLY. No loaded range of motion work is allowed until all inflammation is under control and pain has subsided considerably. Pain free unloaded ROM work is ok and a good idea. This is phase 1 and generally lasts 2-3 weeks but that's a general guide. With the right treatments (hot/cold contrast work, great nutrition to support tissue healing, heat lamps directed to the area to speed up chemical reactions, etc) this can be reduced, and with really crappy compliance it can go on for quite a bit longer.

Phase 2 is increasing ROM back to full ROM. This is where very light eccentrics and, in my opinion, very lightly loaded ROM work in general, are what you want on the exercise side. This includes somewhat gentle PNF strengthening exercises. Always pain free, this is very important. Ankle circles, light calf raises, your stretches like Foghorn mentioned, etc. You don't move on to anything else until ROM is 100% of pre-injury levels and virtually pain free.

Phase 3 is general strengthening, and this is where you will progress to bodyweight calf raises and then slowly shift over to single leg calf raises. Multidirectional raises are fine, and probably a good idea. This is also where your squats, deadlifts, and any other controlled tempo work gets worked back in. You don't move on from this until your controlled strength is back to 100%. Obviously this has to be done in a pain free fashion for it to count.

NOW, after phase 3 is complete, you want to start working in sport specific stuff. Don't jump back into plyo work, start off with more ballistic calf raises and move slowly to ballistic single leg calf raises. When those don't bother you for sets of 30-50 and feel fairly easy you should be ready to start doing two foot rope jumping (when bilateral dynamic calf raises for at least 50 reps aren't a problem) as a reintroduction to plyo work, with single leg jump steps getting worked in when you are capable of the same calf raise reps unilaterally.

This is going to take some time because you almost certainly ripped part of the musculotendinous junction between the gastrocs and the achilles tendon. You shouldn't expect to start phase 4 sooner than 6-8 weeks from the first day of phase 1 considering the history that you have shared and it may be a bit longer, but I'd be very surprised and a bit concerned if you weren't able to start phase 4 by 12-14 weeks out.

Personally I would use the heat lamps as regularly as you can in combination with sipping protein to ensure positive nitrogen balance for as long as you can each day throughout all phases of rehab, but that's definitely a personal opinion.

Don't start soft tissue work until somewhere in phase 2 and keep it gentle. More frequent gentle sessions will produce much better results than harsh sessions. A combination of ART stretches and some sort of graston or gua sha or whatever you want to call tool-assisted soft tissue work will probably be your best friend.

Good luck with the recovery Kit! I'm sure you'll be bouncing around before you know it.

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GoldenEagle

For anyone working on this dynamic movement. Be sure to exercise the anterior tibalius(the muscle next to the shin). Shin splints occur because this muscle isn't developed as it should be.

 

The anterior tibalius acts like a shock absorber and is used when you are landing on the balls of your feet.

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Andrew Graham

 @Rayne-William

 

 

 

This isn't entirely accurate... 'Shin splints' are merely a 'Jo Bloggs' term for acute pain in the Ant.Tib.  A less than adequate mobility in the ankle joint plus a weak base of support (collapsed arches) results in a bad relationship of how the recipricol inhibition of the lower leg muscles work.

The biggest problem I see is a tightness of the gastroc/soleus/post.tib. This makes movements like gate, lunging and squatting a problem since with a tight calf, we are missing dorsi flexion!...This can lead to or stem from a plethora of movement compensations upstream.

 

If you have tight calfs and you try and sit in a full squat position, arms folded over your knees, you will notice that you use your Ant.Tibs to stop yourself falling backwards. In this position, we get an unwanted over-activity of the Ant.tib (and peroneals) and an inhibition of the posterior calf muscles. I've had rugby players who when performing movements like the deadlift/front squat/power cleans complain of anterior shin pain just because the muscle was constantly over-active in dorsi flexion...they would temporarily relieve it by sitting on their heals and stretching the Ant.Tib. 

 

Now, how does this apply?? Well, to maintain the length tension relationship between muscles...you need...yes you guessed it....correct length!!...THIS IS KEY!

 

if you are someone who has Ant.Tib pain, exercising this muscle is the 'last thing' you want to do! It is not under-developed, but it's overactive and compensating for bad synergy due to tight calfs, I don't like the word 'stretch' so i will say LENGTHEN THE CALF's to improve dorsi flexion AND LENGTHEN THE ANT.TIB to inhibit the over-activity.

 

You will know when balance has been restored because the 'burning' and 'splinting' sensation will disappear. ;)

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Timothy Aiken
 

That is correct. The heels come in contact with the ground during walking, but should never contact the ground during running or jumping. To do so negates the elasticity of the arch of the foot and the achilles tendon.

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

 

 

This video seems to be a direct contradiction of coach's words. When pursuing higher level skills, are the heels still never to come in contact with the floor? Also, how does that apply to skills coming from round off back handspring or whip?

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Coach Sommer

You misunderstand.  The achilles flexes under load, however the athlete is not consciously trying to do so.  He is attempting to remain extended.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Timothy Aiken

Are you saying the focus is more so about the tension of the achilles and constantly pressing through the toes, rather than whether or not the heels actually contact the floor?

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Dave Marshal

very useful

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Luke Searra

Extremely interesting thread

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Ferdinand Berr
On 18. November 2011 at 5:17 AM, Coach Sommer said:

Kit's answer regarding an effective protocol for dealing with the condition that many of us (myself included) erroneously call "flat feet" was outstanding and I have separated it from the rest of this thread and moved it over to the joint prep forum section where it is now a sticky.

http://www.gymnasticbodies.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7587#p67832

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

I just saw this - I myself have some flat feet and am currently dealing with shin split issues on both legs. The quoted link unfortunately doesn't work and I couldn't find the respective thread..does anyone know, if this thread still exists?

I'd be extremely grateful for any rehab and prehab advice regarding those shin splints. I think the Front Split course and the Lower Body workouts from F1 certainly help, but perhaps there's more specific stuff to do, especially when it comes to my over-pronating feet, which (at least I guess so) are part of the reason for the issues.

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Ferdinand Berr

Sorry, but I have to push this! I'd really appreciate input on how to help with my flatfeet in order to (p)rehab those ugly shin splints. I feel like FSS already does a great job with this, but it's obviously not tailored to this specific problem.

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Suzanna McGee
5 hours ago, Ferdinand Berr said:

how to help with my flatfeet in order to (p)rehab those ugly shin splints.

Do all the intrinsic muscles strengthening, such as short foot, pulling with your big toe, spreading your toes, etc… Especially the "short foot" exercise will help you to strengthen and lift your arch. Also, check many of the videos of Dr. Emily Splichal, she is a foot and movement specialist. She has tons of great foot information. Here is her YouTube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC3GtL5VFexKMbC1F-tIr7g

 

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Ferdinand Berr

Thanks so much(: I'm going to look into all this stuff and incorporate it to my training! 

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