Hamstring Length for Rowing Strength

There is a length to strength ratio in every muscle of our body. Rowers tend to strengthen their legs every chance they get: weight lifting, running, erging, rowing, etc. Unfortunately, most rowers don’t understand the importance of muscle length; therefore, don’t take stretching seriously. A shorter hamstring is weaker than a longer hamstring (the same applies to every muscle). Additionally, a shorter hamstring will pull on the athletes’ pelvis causing a change in position of the bone itself and every single muscle attached to it!

The pelvis plays a central role in rowing because athletes sit on it! Rowers are suppose to sit on their ichial tuberosities [sitting bones]; however, due to more strength and less length in their tissues {aka weaker hamstrings among many other muscles} the pelvis tilts, posterior tilts, over time. The more time that goes by (years) the more of a change in the position of the pelvis will occur.

One of the main reasons rowers experience pain/injury/setback in their legs, backs, shoulders is because their length to strength relationship is off balance. Start lengthening at the hamstrings to get a much greater and healthier amount of strength in the body.

Golden Slumber

Welcome back to Making Movement Matter. I think we can all agree that sleep is one of the most important aspects of recovery. And there’s a priveleged few that get to do it during the day, everyday: full-time athletes. Those that don’t have that privelege, it’s all about quality, making sure whatever time you do have to sleep that you go to sleep right away and wake up when your alarm goes off or when you can.

One thing I LOVE to do in terms of downregulating is rolling on the temporalis. Many people find it hard to downregulate in order to turn on the parasympathetic nervous system. A lot of athletes have paralysis by analysis of thinking too much, and maybe placing something directly on the head helps them reduce this. It certainly does for me.

Have a block or a book and a ball. I personally prefer and love the Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls for self-massage because I am a practitioner. Taking the ball, placing it on the temporalis. So, just in back of the temples. I am gently, being as comfortable as possible, doing small little yes’s, and no’s. Being very gentle and relaxed. Hopefully this will help you downregulate and get to sleep faster. Take care.

Calf me up!

Welcome back to Making Movement Matter! There’s so many parts of the body that we can stretch. And a lot of people don’t stretch or lengthen their tissues because they are either lazy athletes or because they don’t feel that they need to. No big deal, I don’t need to!

Check out the foot! Little bit of dorsiflexion, plantar flexion, dorsi, plantar, dorsi, plantar. Look at this. I am hanging out, completely relaxed. Not allowed putting your foot on the ground or on a closed surface. This is my relaxed foot. It’s in plantar flexion. It’s relaxed, yet there’s not 90 degrees. We are born with a 90 degree angle of the foot and the lower leg.

Guess what happens over time? If you are watching this video it has happened over time with you, because you sit, you wear shoes, you do this, you do that… and guess what happens. We shorten the muscles in our calves, our sarcomeres.

You cannot get away without stretching your calves. Stretch your calves everyday. Stretch your calves everyday. Stretch your calves everyday. So you can lengthen those tissues. Period. No athlete, doesn’t matter what sport you do, can get away without stretching their calves. Do it. Take care.


Don’t mess around with missed workouts!

Welcome back to Making Movement Matter. Have you ever missed a workout? Yes! Every single athlete in the world has missed a workout. Life happens, work happens, family happens, sickness happens, everything happens and it’s okay.

The ONE thing you do NOT want to do is try to make up for that missed workout. Your body can’t handle it. It’s called overtraining and you are at a much higher risk of overtraining. Why do you want to do that to yourself? Just take it off, X it out. It was never there in the first place. Move forward, you have many other days to check off.

And, as an FYI, if you missed two FULL weeks of workouts, truly the only fitness you would lose is like so minimal, 3-4%. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Enjoy the workouts you can do, the quality and don’t focus so much on the quantity if your crazy work schedule doesn’t allow for it or anything in your particular situation.

Do what you can, have fun and don’t try to make up workouts you missed. It’s all about wonderful recovery. Take care. Be good to yourself.

Twinkle toes in sport shoes

Welcome back to Making Movement Matter! A lot of times when people think about recovery they get the nutrition, the stretching, the mobility, the rest, the sleep; but, they don’t think about the equipment on their body. Equipment, like shoes and other things. We’ll talk about shoes.

Do your shoes actually fit properly? A lot of sport shoes are tight in the toe box. A LOT of them. If you take your insert out and put your foot on it and see if the feet fall off to the sides of the inserts. OR if you don’t have inserts, just draw a picture of your wonderful foot and cut it out to see if it fits in your sport shoe and see how much of the paper goes up on the sides of the shoe. It’s a tell tale sign you are crunching your toes/feet together.

You want to be able to twinkle those toes, wiggle the toes, when you are in your sport shoes. Unless you want corns, callouses, neuromas, morton’s toe, hallux limitis or rigidis, osteoarthritis, numbness, no blood circulation, or electrical flow. You don’t need any of that. Just kidding! You want all that. And you don’t want cold feet. Take care, have a wonderful day. Bye.