MPT Blog

Top Strength Exercises For Runners

August 23, 2023

Below are some of the top strength exercises that will help improve your running performance and help to prevent injury. Squat and Deadlift– These are compound movements they will help you improve your tolerance to heavier loads. When running, the ground reaction force is exponentially increased, so being able to handle heavier loads is important. Posterior chain strength is very important. This will help you maintain proper form during your run as well as improve efficiency, which we all know is huge. Leg extensions- This is a quad isolation exercise that will build not only quad strength, but patellar tendon resilience. This protects the knee and improves eccentric control – Upon landing, the knee has to be able to contract well eccentrically to absorb ground reaction force.  Leg Curl- This is a hamstring isolation exercise. Hamstrings fire concentrically and eccentrically while running. Performing these bilaterally and unilaterally will help to protect your knee and maintain symmetry. This is an important aspect of acceleration and deceleration as well.  Heel raises – Straight (Gastroc) and Bent (soleus) – This is an often overlooked exercise. These are crucial for force production, shock absorption and stabilization. Utilizing these muscles correctly can prevent a lot…

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Train Wreck or Training Wreck?

July 18, 2023

Many people come into my office and the first thing I hear is “Doc, I am a mess.” While I appreciate the euphemism, it begs the question. Are you a mess or is your training program/technique a mess? As we all know, technique is a big factor in injuries, stresses and strains. If your squat form (for example)  is a mess, then it likely won’t be long before you are complaining about something hurting. If you practice this poor form for long enough, then that nagging pain is likely to turn into an injury. This concept can be reiterated through any of the large lifts or movements. Make sure you are checking in on your technique from time to time. This can be done via a gym partner, mirror feedback, or video feedback. However you choose to be held accountable is up to you, but just make sure you are consistent with it. A concept that gets less publicity is training volume. This is as much a factor as form. Ever met someone who jumps from program to program? Or starts a new program and complains of back pain every time? Just because your programs are both 4 days a…

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Summer- Finally finished or just the beginning?

May 22, 2023

As the school year is coming to an end, we are all excited about what summer holds. Pool days, sleeping in, cook outs, etc. It is definitely important to enjoy the respite from school work and exams, or even to rejoice or reflect on how this past season played out. However, as an athlete, this may be the time to kick into a new gear. Summer brings an opportunity for healing, growth, and improvement. Training and recovery look very different from an in-season perspective vs an off-season perspective. If you have been around an elite team/coach, I am sure that you have heard the term “no off-season.” That is because the best players take that time to rest, but in a productive way. Training in-season is focused on game day. What do we as a team need to do in order to be at our best for game day? This may mean managing injuries/tweaks as the season goes in order to stay in the fight vs addressing the underlying issue. It also means the training load is going to vary depending on game day. For example, if a team plays on Friday night, Monday and Tuesday practices are going to…

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I can still workout, can physical therapy still help me?

March 30, 2023

“If you listen to your body when it whispers, you won’t have to hear it scream.” Physical therapy is typically thought of as an after the fact treatment that reduces pain levels. While this is true, that is a very small portion of what optimal physical therapy actually is. Here at Mission physical therapy, we focus on multiple aspects of performance in order to decrease pain, but also improve mechanics and movement patterns so that these issues don’t continue to pop up in the future. If you just focus on the symptoms, then you can’t address the real problem. Oftentimes, people wait until the problem has progressed, and they are no longer able to do the activities they love before seeking help. They compensate and change their movement patterns in order to continue an exercise/activity. Our bodies are incredible and will adapt as long as they can. But we all know what that leads to, and the painful circumstances that often follow. What we promote is listening to the warning signs that your body gives you, similar to a check engine light. Our bodies are amazing things, and if we just listen, we can prevent larger breakdowns. If we ignore…

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Living life at 1 rep max

March 27, 2023

“This is a term that refers to someone who is living life in such a way that the demands of their everyday life activities are at or near their max capacity.” What is 1 rep max living? This is a term that refers to someone who is living life in such a way that the demands of their everyday life activities are at or near their max capacity. At first, this does not seem like a big deal, but have you ever met someone who got so fatigued when they walked up the stairs they had to stop and catch their breath? Or avoided their child’s/grandchild’s event because they were afraid they would have to walk too far? Does carrying in the groceries or vacuuming the floor feel like a workout? These are all signs that you are starting to live too close to your “1RM” How do you know? Mission is able to screen for this as well as provide a plan for how to improve it. Yes, you can improve this! Research shows that the stronger a person is, the less functional decline they see. It also proves that resistance exercise helps to counter age related chronic disease.…

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