Does Fasted Training Have A Place In Your Training Plan?

Traditionally, a high-carbohydrate diet is recommended for athletes, but the “train-low,compete-high” modality is becoming more popular. This paradigm suggests training with low carbohydrate stores (read: fasted) will teach your body to use fat more efficiently, while competing with high carbohydrates (read: carb loading) will provide a performance boost.

Our body stores enough carbohydrates for about 90-120 minutes of exercise. Although we’re usually using a mix of fat and carbohydrates for energy, carbohydrate metabolism  dominates at higher intensities. When carbohydrates run out, we derive most energy from fat, which is a much slower process. Enter the bonk: this shift results in fatigue and reduced intensity. Relying more on fat early on in exercise spares our limited carbohydrates and delays this dreaded bonk.Studies have found that training with low carbohydrate stores activates genes associated with your “aerobic engine” (good!) and increases fat utilization during exercise (also good!). BUT this didn’t actually result in improved performance. Training low may also reduce your ability to sustain high-intensity exercise, impair immune function, and increase muscle damage. These may all prevent you from hitting your goal!Due to the discrepancy between the molecular and performance effects, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Try 1 or 2 of your longer, low-intensity sessions per week without eating before/during the session. However, perform all high-intensity sessions after a low-fat, high-carbohydrate snack/meal or else you risk not being able to hit your target zone; if you can’t train at race pace, you can’t race at race pace!

Proper Posture and Optimal Dance Performance

“Hold in your stomach!” “Pull up!” “Engage your core!”

Every dancer has been given these types of corrections… but why? What is the purpose?

If not explained properly, many dancers (especially young or new dancers) may believe this correction is merely to provide the look of a slim or strong dancer. However, “engaging the core” or “pulling up” provides many functional benefits. Read more

Bike Back

On average, Americans spend 10+ hours per day sitting which is associated with a large percentage of people with low back pain (LBP). But what about YOU, the active population, the avid cyclist? Are YOU immune to LBP? Bicyclists are very dedicated to their sport even in the winter months when others tend to hibernate; however, LBP is one of the most common non-traumatic cycling injuries. Bicycling is known to be a relatively safe, low impact option for endurance athletes, but it is the sustained “flexed” position that can contribute to the onset of LBP. There is a simple yet very effective exercise that can help fend off this problem.
Press-ups work to maintain pain free trunk motion in all directions when we spend most of our work day and recreational time in a seated position. To perform a press-up, place your hands directly under your shoulders then use your arms to elevate your chest while trying to relax your back, abdomen, and leg muscles. When you are at the end of your available motion, as pictured above, exhale allowing your belly to sag. Following a brief 2-3 second hold, return to a resting position laying flat. Especially if you are new to this exercise, it is normal to feel pressure or tightness in the center of your low back initially; however, the discomfort should begin to dissipate after only a few repetitions. To help prevent LBP, perform 10 press-ups immediately before and after a ride. If your rides are typically greater than 2 hours, perform additional repetitions throughout the day. Consult your physical therapist if you are currently experiencing LBP or have a history of back surgery before trying this exercise.