Category Archives: Rehabilitation

How One Injury Changed My Life Forever

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What my bicep looked like when it started to show bruising from the tear.

When I tore my bicep it was surreal. I suffered major injuries in the past (spinal damage, torn groin, hips, knees…), but this one was different. This one made an impact. It got my attention.

 

My whole life was based around winning. Beating my previous best. It was like that in school when I failed to get a 4.0 in undergrad, but then climbed up the flag pole to snag the 4.0 in grad school.

Or when, after being told for years that my legs were too small (the judges always told me I needed “Better quad thickness and better quad separation.”) and then, five years later hearing the same judges yell at me saying, “Stop working your legs! They got too big!”

“Yeeessss!” I thought, “I did it!” What I had done was turn my greatest weakness into my greatest asset.

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There was always success. Even when I failed I would work harder and hardewr until that failure finally became a success. There wasn’t anything I couldn’t do if I didn’t apply myself and outwork everyone else.

But, when I suffered that bicep injury, I realized that I was missing an important lesson. The lesson was so obvious and so glaring that I wondered how I never saw it before.

Here’s that story:

My bicep had just been ripped off. I felt it tear in half like a carpet being torn from its mesh backing. I could almost hear the rapid fire of muscle fibers breaking away as my bicep was ripped from its tendon.

I was in disbelief. I couldn’t accept it.

“I just tore my bicep,” I thought, “No. Yes. No. Yes. No! Yes!”

The answer turned out to be Yes. It was a complete proximal tear of the long head of the bicep tendon at the musculotendon junction. Um, Tony, what’s that mean? Here’s what it means: My arm muscle tore from the tendon near the shoulder. This is unusual because typically the tendon tears off the bone, not tearing from the muscle itself. It’s probably the worst kind of tear because there very little tendon still connected to it to the muscle. This makes it almost impossible to reconnect it.

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Image courtesy of Dr. Nabil Ebraheim

It’s like this: if you look at a piece of steak, there is that really hard, tough fiberous white material on the outside. You know, the hard stuff that you cut away with your knife because it’s impossible to chew. That’s like your tendon. It’s strong. If you were to sew that with a needle and thread to another piece of steak, then you’d get a really good connection that would hold. Buuuut, if you were to cut away that protective hard fiber and then sew the loose steak to another piece of loose steak, then it would likely just fall apart. It would be like sewing together lumps of chopped meat. It just isn’t going to work.

I went in to the surgery knowing that there might not be enough tendon to hold on to and we might have to close it up and leave it as unrepaired. But, I was fortunate that there was juuuust enough good tendon left on the muscle and we were able to reattach the bicep muscle. Only, it wasn’t where it used to be. Instead of attaching to the shoulder like it used to be, we had to reattach it to the upper arm bone (the humerus. And no, it isn’t funny). This was done by pulling the bicep muscle up as high as high as we could, sewing a “tack” to the end of it, drilling a hole through the upper arm bone (humerus) and looping it through the hole. OUCH!

I was told there was maybe a 30% chance that the repair would hold. I was in a sling for 6 weeks. Day and night. Even when I slept. I wasn’t even allowed to wiggle my fingers lest the bicep muscle engage and get reinjured. I had to learn to do everything one-handed. With my non-dominant hand! Man, o man. That was a challenge. But I actually liked the challenge. I learned to button my shirts, tie my shoes, put on my belt … all left-handed. I really had to use my brain differently and I swear it made me smarter!

After surgery and months of rehab, the bicep actually held.

I was humbled. And I was… grateful. Yep, that’s right. Grateful. Crazy, huh?

But that’s a story for another day… find out the secret to overcoming this injury and how it literally changed my life.

Chug on over to our YouTube channel, subscribe to my blog and link up with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the real info and … quite a bit of fun! Glad to have you walk this journey with me.

About Tony and Out Run Your Fork:

I’ve been involved in healthy living almost my entire life. It’s not just about personal training or nutrition. It’s not just about getting ripped or 6 pack abs. It’s not just about weight loss programs or diets. It’s about YOU.

At Out Run Your Fork we make fitness fun! Our Personal Training and Nutritional Programming are designed with YOU in mind. We cater to each individual and custom tailor every program to fit your specific needs. Whether it’s overcoming an injury, lowering your cholesterol or looking for a kick-butt workout we’ve got you covered!

Unlocking the power of your genetics we use real science to identify the traits that cause you to gain weight. Your program is then designed according to your busy lifestyle, individual food preferences, and unique genetic profile. It’s the perfect combination to help catapult you toward becoming the best you that you can be!

So give us a call to set up your free, no-obligation Personal Training or Nutrition session today. We guarantee you’ll change the way you feel about working out!

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Avoiding Injury With Mobility Work

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 4.42.33 PMOk,  imagine this: You’re in the pool playing volleyball with the kids in the pool club. You’re having a great time, the sun is out, the sky is clear blue and everyone is having a good time. It’s super hot outside, but you don’t feel it because the pool water is the perfect temperature. Ahhh, heaven!

You get to take the next serve set after winning the previous point. You’re winning and feeling a little more than confident. You smile as the ball comes at you again, but it starts falling a little shorter than you anticipated. You thrust off your back foot to lunge for it and *pop!* … You feel a pain in your groin. It gets worse but you keep playing. You finish your gamed think it just needs a little rest so you lounge out the rest of the day. The day passes and as the sun begins to go down the pool starts getting ready to close up. You get up to gather all your loose belongings and *ouch!* … your groin hurts. Really bad. Holy chips. What’s going on? This is more serious that you thought…

Injuries happen to all of us and if left untreated can hang around for a looooong time. But what if there were a way to help prevent these types of injuries? Well, the good news is: There is! Mobility training combines stretching and functional movements to keep muscles loose and to identify fix deficiencies. See this example of mobility training using a sledgehammer.which is kind of fun.

Why Mobility Training? When we are born we have full mobility: flexible joints, full range of motion, no impingement or tightness. But as we age we slowly lose our pliability. Now, I’m not talking about aging as a 40, 50, 60-year-old person and up. I’m talking about 5 years old, 10 years, 15 years and further.

So many things happen over time that cause us to lose mobility. Small injuries and mis-steps cause up scar tissue to build up and may have caused you to walk differently or move differently, favoring one side over the injured side. The effect is we never we train ourselves to move quite the same again. Our bodies are amazing mechanisms that constantly compensate for various deficiencies.

But trauma isn’t the only way to lose mobility. Repetitive movements can cause elongation in one muscle and tightness in the opposing muscle. The two most prominent examples for all of us are:

Repetitive strain injuries of the wrist, fingers and hands as a result of typing, texting, and similar repetitive movements. Typing type of motions use the “flexors” of the fingers, hand, and wrist.  More than 95% of us don’t take the time to work the “extensor” muscles. These are the muscles that open the fingers, hands, and draw the wrist backward. Overtime the extensor muscles get weaker and the flexor muscles get stronger. This causes constant tightness in the forearms, elbow, hands, fingers and wrists.

In order to “fix “this in balance it is recommended for different types of massage, rolling, and strengthening of the extensor muscles. A quick and easy way to exercise the extensors is to wrap a rubber band around The fingers and Open your hand and spread out your fingers as far as you can. Do this repeatedly and I guarantee you will feel the burn. Those little guys really good worked and they’ll be protesting at first.

A second example is the computer and electronics usage syndrome. Slight rounding of the shoulders forward slight pitching forward of the head. The chest muscles and shoulder muscles get very tight from the slouching we do over our electronic devices and computer keyboards. At the same time The upper back and neck muscles get very weak from not holding your posture correctly.

So how do we fix these issues? In part, mobility training.  Here a few example of what you can do to increase flexibility and mobility in your hips. The movements below are mainly for hip mobility. They can be held for 10-30 seconds or you can slowly work through the range of motion for 10-30 reps.

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Now, a word of caution: if you’re already suffering from an injury you should NOT engage in any physical activity program without consulting your doctor. You might make it worse by further injuring the body part or you might be further weakening a deficient part of your body that might seem unrelated… but it is really the root cause of the problem.

I’ll explain more in my next article and include pics and videos to demonstrate various mobility training movements.

Leave a comment below to let me know which body parts you’d like to see me address first.

Until Next time…

5-4-3-2-1 BLAST OFF! Our Grand Opening and Fitness Fair Is This Weekend!

Come one, come all! Help us celebrate our GRAND OPENING and FITNESS FAIR this weekend. June 6 and June 7 from 10 AM to 3 PM.

Fun and prizes with local businesses such as chair massages from Hand and Stone, giveaways and coupons from GNC, food from our friends at FIt Fuel Prep and more! Admission is FREE! ‪

Avoid The Flu This Season



Nasty little stomach flu

Ok, quick post. This sucker got me last night and I haven’t slept yet. Preventative maintenance for avoiding the flu: wash your hands frequently and boost your immune system by getting plenty of rest, eating right and supplementing with echinacea, probiotics and vitamin C. 

Short and sweet. Forme, the battle continues. Wish me luck!

Rehab a Troubled Groin

Tony performs one arm kettle bell swings

If you’ve ever suffered an injury you know exactly how long the process could take. And the older we get the longer it takes. Trust me… I’m finding out.

These exercises in the video or not for a fresh injury. The squats on my kettle bell swings are shallow and wide. Are use hip thrust as much as possible and work on my coordination. With the kettle bell squats you’ll notice how I don’t go too deep it’s only to parallel and I stays as upright as possible. I also use the hip adductor machine. I’m very careful not to allow my hips to stretch too far open.

There’s a couple of other videos that I’ll feature in the next article; some stability exercises for the feet knees and hips.

A healthy dose of stretching opposing muscles, working stabilizers and slowly adding in compound movements as your strength and stability improve are all good advice for rehabilitating any injury.

For more information contact us and speak to myself or one of our qualified trainers.

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Bosu ball for stability

All Hail Louie Simmons!

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Westside Barbell Logo

Ok, he’s not God, a King or a Prophet, but Louie Simmons is a favorite of mine. Ever since my friend Freddie turned me on to Louie’s training style my life improved dramatically. Thank God that even after 25 years of of expertise I have always remained teachable and hungry to learn.

Here we go: For years I have had fiive – count them, FIVE, herniated or bulging discs in my lower back. Anytime I did anything those nerves would get pinched, flare up and I would be in EXCRUCIATING PAIN every minute of every day for at least three weeks. Now, I have an abnormally high tolerance for pain (or I’m just unworldly amounts of stubborn), but every breath felt like someone was sawing a knife in the core of my soul. Lying down didn’t help. Stretching didn’t work. Walking was a no-go. Nothing made it stop for even a second. Nada. Zip.

I learned Louie Simmons philosophy and my friend Freddie and I began training. With Freddie’s guidance (yep, He was my trainer) and Louie’s expertise we had a long distance rehabilitation program in the works. Within two weeks my sore shoulder, knees and elbows stopped hurting. After 6 months I was deadlifting and squatting more weight than I had ever lifted in my entire life and I felt great – at 42 years old!

Now, I’m not going to get all googly eyed and profess my love for Louie Simmons, but I am truly grateful for people like him who have overcome extreme odds and have then used their experiences to have a positive impact on the world.

You can read more about Louie Simmons and Westside Barbell. Please leave us a comment here and let us know what you think.

*Disclaimer: I have no monetary interest or connection to Louie Simmons or Westside Barbell.