Why golfers BENEFIT so much from finding their heels

If you aren’t already, stand up, and notice where your weight is on your feet. I bet you that you are on your mid-foot and/or toes. Don’t worry, this is normal, but not ideal if you want to be a better golfer or stay out of pain.​

Now, try to lean forward completely on your toes. Ouch! That’s kicking in your quads and back. Then try to find 100% on your heels. That feels…weird. Off balance, but your quads and back is likely to relax.

What you’ve discovered is how weight distribution affects posture and muscle activation. As humans we tend to default to having our weight forward, which kicks in our back and quads (see the image below. Anterior tilt = weight on toes).

Anterior-Pelvic-Tilt.jpg

If we are stuck in this extended state, we are going to struggle to rotate. Our days out golfing are going to hurt instead of be enjoyable. Our ribs MUST be back in order for us to rotate (see THIS article for more info).

Our heels are a secret to unlocking our golf game. Heels will kick in hamstrings, glutes, and abs, which we all need in an effective swing. It will allow you to rotate freely while keeping you out of pain. This doesn’t mean you keep 100% of your weight in your heels as you swing so that you fall backwards. What I am describing is an even weight distribution, about 50% on your heels and 50% on your mid-foot.

tweak-weight-inside-foot.png

Next time you hit the range or play a round, try this out! You can benefit enormously from just a simple change like this. At Sandhills Sports Performance, we specialize in helping clients find their heels and turn on the right muscles. If you would like to learn more, click HERE to sign up for a FREE complementary consultation with us!

Get your FREE copy of “The 5 Best Exercises For Golf You Aren’t Doing”

Enter your email below to sign up.

We respect your privacy. Your info will never be shared.

Get Stronger Immediately With Your…Tongue?

​It has been shown in studies (Vico et al, 2014; Alghadir et al, 2015) that tongue position contributes significantly to postural stability and potential muscular strength. Why is this? It’s because the tongue is part of a myofascial chain called the Deep Front Line. Myofascial chains are lines of pull throughout the body which distribute strain, transmit force and affect the structure and function of the body. The theory of the myofascial chains help manual and movement practitioners explore how one structure affects other distal (further away) structures in the body.​The line we are discussing, the Deep Front Line, runs from your head to your feet and is one of the main stabilizing chains of the body. ​

FascialLinesDEEPFRONTLINE.jpg

In a proper position pressing up against the hard palate, it provides stabilization down the chain and the surrounding muscles will have less of a stabilization role and are able to contribute more to lifting the weight.
tongue-forces.jpg

The time you go to the gym or lift something heavy, try this out. Compare your strength with your tongue on the bottom of your mouth versus pressed up against the roof. Try to firmly (but not overly so) maximize the surface area the tongue covers.

Get your FREE copy of “The 5 Best Exercises For Golf You Aren’t Doing”

Enter your email below to sign up.

We respect your privacy. Your info will never be shared.

Back pain – Why it doesn’t have to be that complicated

Back pain has been a difficult area to manage long-term for many people. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Many physical therapists and trainers look at the back when that’s where the pain is, but that isn’t the most comprehensive approach. The thing is, the human body needs every joint to do its job, or else a change within one joint can cause a cascade of compensations down the chain.

Your major joints alternate between mobility and stability purposes so that the stable joints provide stability for the body to move through the more mobile joints. Low back pain will occur because it is trying to be more mobile to make up for lack of mobility through the hips. In the naturally asymmetrical body, our left pelvis is forwardly rotated and the right pelvis is backwardly rotated. As a result, our femurs (thigh bones) compensate and cannot express full, healthy ranges of motion. If they cannot do that, then the back begins to be more mobile than it should be, causing you pain.

This picture illustrates the position we are stuck in with the aforementioned natural pelvic orientation. So what should we do? A significant amount of back pain cases I see are resolved through training the hamstrings and obliques through proper breathing, particularly on the left side to pull our left pelvis back. If we can get a more neutral pelvis AND breathe well, then we are addressing the root of the problem. Proper breathing is essential because it will help facilitate activation of the obliques and reinforce good ribcage mechanics. In addition, our body will understand that if it can breathe through a new position, the position isn’t a threat and we can maintain that position long-term.

​And that is EXACTLY what we do at Sandhills Sports Performance. We treat the body as an entire functioning unit, not as separate parts. This is our approach in both our physical therapy practice and wellness program.

Get your FREE copy of “The 5 Best Exercises For Golf You Aren’t Doing”

Enter your email below to sign up.

We respect your privacy. Your info will never be shared.

Why you SHOULDN’T stretch your hamstrings

How many times have you spoken, thought, or heard the following sentence?

“Man, my hamstrings are so tight!”​

The next logical idea would be to stretch them out. You might bend over and reach for those toes, or maybe prop your leg up one at a time on a desk and feel that sweet relief.

The problem is, you just made you problem worse. That’s right, worse.

For too long the fitness industry has been a proponent of hamstring stretching to relieve tightness in your back and legs. However, what they didn’t consider is that the body naturally gravitates to a state of anterior pelvic tilt and lumbar extension. In layman’s terms, we live our lives with our backs arched and our ribs flared up. It’s comfortable, it’s familiar.

Anterior-Pelvic-Tilt.jpg

Take a look at the image above. If you have any back pain, hamstring tightness, or dysfunction in general, changes are you are stuck in this anteriorly tilted position. Look at the hamstrings – they attach on the back of your pelvis and knees.

So here’s the question: If we live in a state of constant anterior tilt and our hamstrings are lengthened, WHY are we stretching them?!

Imagine a rope that has two people on each end. If both people are pulling on each end, of course that rope is going to be very tight. Your hamstrings are that rope and they aren’t tight because they’re short and overactive, they’re tight because they over-lengthened and being pulled on all the time from both directions!

Here’s an even more interesting thought: The way to fix your hamstring tightness is to turn on your hamstrings. We need to restore them to a more optimal resting length so they can relax and your pelvis can get out of an overly-rotated state.

We are very fortunate to be able to implement Postural Restoration Institute methodology at our clinic, where we specialize in recognizing the patterns the human body falls into, just like this one. Every day we get to work with individuals who have this anterior tilt and we help them get out of it!

Get your FREE copy of “The 5 Best Exercises For Golf You Aren’t Doing”

Enter your email below to sign up.

We respect your privacy. Your info will never be shared.

Why all golfers must have reaching in their training

Why All Golfers Must REACH

Do you feel that your backswing or follow through isn’t what it used to be? Are you unable to dissociate your pelvis from your hips? Does your swing feel stuck even after hours of practice? Those are just a few examples of symptoms of a stiff ribcage. A lot of humans, golfers included, have stiff ribcages that limit proper breathing mechanics. If you cannot breathe into your posterior mediastinum (your back ribs), your diaphragm cannot function optimally. To compensate, you will likely kick in your neck to assist you in pulling in air, further stiffening the muscles around your ribcage.

The-Superior-Anterior-Middle-and-Posterior-Mediastina.jpg

The secret is this: The posterior mediastinum can unlock your golf game. If you can breathe into it, you have the ability to rotate your thorax and thoracic spine freely. A good golf swing involves a posteriorly-rotated pelvis with the ribs back, which allows for optimal rotation. A free thorax will equal a smooth, controlled swing without mobility limitations. A stiff thorax will force you to compensate and use improper muscles such as your back to make up for a lack of mobility where it should be (in your thorax).

Reaching is absolutely one of the most necessary movements a golfer can have in their exercise program. Reaching activities bring down your ribcage to force air into your posterior mediastinum. A great example of this would be a Wall Supported Reach. Notice how her ribs are down and just her low back is on that wall, opening up her upper back to take in air.

d-5.jpg

Correct breathing is the key to everything. Good respiration during activity will involve a inhalation through the nose and full exhalation through the mouth. Every day at Sandhills Sports Performance, I have every client do at least one reaching activity. It keeps them healthy, feeling good, and fires up all the right muscles.

Get your FREE copy of “The 5 Best Exercises For Golf You Aren’t Doing”

Enter your email below to sign up.

We respect your privacy. Your info will never be shared.

Why your core training is WRONG, and how to fix it

“Toning up the core” is a common concept within practices in the Health & Fitness community. Hundreds of sit-ups, planks for minutes, and extension-driven ab wheel rollouts are a few examples of exercises personal trainers or online resources will likely prescribe to you.

The problem is, you aren’t training your core effectively with those exercises. You’re either targeting one muscle group in the core (the Rectus Abdominis) or training a pattern of extension that you’re already stuck in, making your pain worse.

If I gave you a TRUE core exercise that involved correct respiration, you would be shaking and begging for mercy within 15 seconds. The “core” is not designed to just do sit-ups. Its function is to help you breathe and stabilize your body throughout the day.

Take a look at the following diagram of the core musculature:

Muscles_of_the_Abdominal_Wall.jpg

That’s a lot more than just your Rectus Abdominis, or your “six pack” abs. And you know what muscle works with all of these abdominal muscles for breathing? Your diaphragm, which is HEAVILY involved in core functioning.

19072.jpg

Your diaphragm is supposed to ascend and descend during breathing, and if our Obliques and Transverse Abs are not securing our ribcage down, we are setting ourselves up for dysfunctional breathing and pain since our diaphragm can’t do its job if the ribs are stuck flared up. Flared up ribs means less room for the diaphragm to move.

True core training involves breathing. Any good core exercise forces you to own a position and not compensate by extending your back or moving out of alignment. It’s transverse abs and obliques, all while keeping those ribs down so we assist the diaphragm in getting in a proper position.

This is what we do at Sandhills Sports Performance. You will never see anyone do a sit-up here!

So next time you do a core exercise, keep those ribs down. Get a full inhale through your nose and exhale ALL that air out through your mouth. Own the position, or else you aren’t owning your core.

​See the video below for a great core exercise that hits your obliques hard. Keep your pelvis posteriorly rotated, keep those ribs down, and breathe!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gu5U580aM8

Get your FREE copy of “The 5 Best Exercises For Golf You Aren’t Doing”

Enter your email below to sign up.

We respect your privacy. Your info will never be shared.

Sandhills Sports Performance is in Need of a Full-Time Physical Therapist!

Sandhills Sports Performance (SHSP) is in need of a full-time outpatient Physical Therapist (PT). We are a privately owned, Postural Restoration Certified Center in Southern Pines, NC. We are a unique physical therapy clinic that incorporates rehabilitation, strength and conditioning training as well as wellness-oriented programs. Our programs are holistic in nature, identifying the root cause of a problem verses symptom management. We are patient centered and home program oriented. We believe that education is the key to self-management, so our patients can return to a pain free functional lifestyle and understand how to help themselves. We’re looking for a thoughtful, energetic, hard-working individual that wants to work with our forward-thinking professionals. A preferred candidate has previous Postural Restoration training, but willing to train.

 

Full-Time Physical Therapist Description

Physical Therapist will provide exceptional service to patients who have impairments, functional limitations, disabilities, or changes in physical function and health status resulting from injuries, disease, or other causes. Also, to prevent the onset, symptoms, and progression of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities that may result from diseases, disorders, conditions, and injuries

Candidates must:

  • Possess strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Possess good problem solving and evaluation skills.
  • Be a “team minded” professional who embraces growth and challenges.
  • Work collaboratively with patients and staff.
  • Be able to plan, implement, and progress physical therapy treatment for patients.
  • Direct and supervise all treatment and physical therapy service, including numerous aspects such as manual therapy, TE, education, and modalities.
  • Provide consultant services to various entities as needed.

Requirements (ideal candidates have the following):

  • Minimum of Bachelor’s degree from an accredited Physical Therapist school.
  • Completion of all three Postural Restoration Institute’s Introductory courses.
  • Clinical rotations/education in specific clinical specialty settings.
  • Continuing education – minimum of 16 hours per year.
  • Have or ability to get ASAP a North Carolina Physical Therapy license.
  • Successful completion of National Board exam.

 

To apply, send resume & cover letter to Ashley Brooks at ashley@sandhillssp.com

Sandhills Sports Performance is growing. Two full-time positions open

Sandhills Sports Performance is growing. We are looking for a full-time Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist/Certified Athletic Trainer and a full-time Physical Therapist.

We are a unique PRI clinic that incorporates physical therapy, strength training and conditioning, as well as wellness oriented programs. We are looking for an energetic hard-working individuals that want to work in one of the few multifunctional PRI clinics in the US.

 

Full-Time Physical Therapist

Description                                                                                                                                       

Physical Therapist will provide exceptional service to patients who have impairments, functional limitations, disabilities, or changes in physical function and health status resulting from injuries, disease, or other causes. Also, to prevent the onset, symptoms, and progression of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities that may result from diseases, disorders, conditions, and injuries.

The candidate must:

  • Possess strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Possess good problem solving and evaluation skills.
  • Be a “team minded” professional who embraces growth and challenges.
  • Work collaboratively with patients and staff.
  • Be able to plan, implement, and progress physical therapy treatment for patients.
  • Direct and supervise all treatment and physical therapy service, including numerous aspects such as manual therapy, TE, education, and modalities.
  • Provide consultant services to various entities as needed.

Requirements                                                                                                                                  

The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • Minimum of Bachelor’s degree from an accredited Physical Therapist school.
  • Completion of all three Postural Restoration Institute’s Introductory courses.
  • Clinical rotations/education in specific clinical specialty settings.
  • Continuing education – minimum of 16 hours per year.
  • Have or ability to get ASAP a North Carolina Physical Therapy license.
  • Successful completion of National Board exam.

 

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist/Certified Athletic Trainer

Description                                                                                                                                       

The Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist/Certified Athletic Trainer will be responsible for a comprehensive program design, implementation, and supervision of clients of various ages and skill levels.

The candidate must:

  • Possess strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Be a “team minded” professional who embraces growth and challenges.
  • Possess the ability to work in individual, small group and team settings.
  • Have a thorough understanding of the physiological basis of exercise and the ability to evaluate, program/instruct according to the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Preferred or National Athletic Trainer Certification (NATA) and American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) or National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Preferred.
  • Understand and demonstrate proficiency in technical skill knowledge domains in order to provide services with their scope of practice.
  • Have the ability to administer and interpret results for submaximal cardiovascular and fitness assessments.
  • Work with PT staff to assist with plans of care and transition to personal training if applicable.
  • Possess previous skills in athletic performance
  • Be able to work with growth and development needs of unique client populations consisting of high school, college athletes, and adults
  • Maintain safety, maintenance, and cleanliness of facility

Requirements                                                                                                                                  

The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in the field of Exercise Science, Kinesiology, Health, Physical Education, Recreation, or other closely related discipline.
  • Valid CPR Certification
  • 2 or more years of clinical experience preferred
  • Experience in Postural Restoration preferred

Please send resume and cover letter to melissa@sandhillssp.com by April 28th, 2017

Non-Invasive Treatment of Pelvic Pain

holding-baby

CASE REPORT: 28 y/o FEMALE WITH POST-PARTUM PELVIS PAIN

Abstract:

Mrs. R is a 28 y/o female SAHM with three children ages 4, 18 months and 7 weeks. She reports a history of pubic symphysis pain, pelvic pain and R hip/SI pain which she rated at up to 6/10 at times. Mrs. R had previously been very active with running and triathlons and was able to resume normal activities not long after her first and second children were born. However, her pain persisted following this most recent delivery.  Based on her initial exam, physical therapy using Postural Restoration was indicated. Following treatment, Mrs. R reports that she feels 95% better, has nearly lost all of her pregnancy weight, has no pain, and is back to running and working out at home pain-free. This case details how PRI treatment at Sandhills Sports Performance can be an excellent alternative to help providers successfully manage their patients with pelvic pain.

History:

Mrs. R is a 28y/o female, mother of three. Children ages 4, 18 mo, and 7 weeks old. She reports R hip/SIJ pain, bilateral pubic symphysis pain and pelvic pain following the birth of her son 7 weeks ago.  All three of Mrs. R’s pregnancies were full term with natural vaginal delivery with no complications and with no pelvic floor tearing of episiotomies. In her previous 2 pregnancies she denies much lasting pelvic pain beyond 4 weeks. She notes that she was able to run a half marathon 10 weeks after the birth of her second child. Mrs. R is also actively breast-feeding.

Her functional limitations at the time of evaluation were pain with prolonged sitting, standing, lifting her baby or other children, bending,  walking/running, or attempTing home workouts.

Examination:

Tenderness to palpation at pubic rami and symphysis

Tenderness to palpation R SI joint

Increased lumbar lordosis

Bilateral rib flares

 

Mrs. R’s biomechanical assessment was as follows:

 

Right Left
Hip Adduction( Modified Ober’s) Limited Limited
Hip Extension ( Modified Thomas) Full Limited
Hip IR (seated) 30 30
Hip ER (seated) 50 50
Trunk Rotation (supine) LIM 50% LIM 50%
SLR 70 deg 60 deg
Lumbar Forward Flexion (standing) Fingertips to Floor Fingertips to Floor

 

Apical Expansion Limited Limited
Posterior Mediastinal Expansion Limited Limited

Treatment:

Mrs. R’s examination findings indicate that she has an anteriorly tipped and externally rotated pelvis bilaterally.   As well as limited apical and posterior mediastinal expansion. This forward pelvis position is indicated by her inability to adduct or internally rotate either hip. In this forward position, the patient should not be able to fully extend their hips,  touch their toes, or have a SLR test  of 90 deg based on the anatomical structure of the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex.   On Mrs. R’s Right side she has full hip extension, greater SLR than L and she is able to touch her fingertips to the floor. This indicates that she has some pathology of the R hip indicating Illiofemoral/pubofemoral ligament laxity as well as muscles of the pelvic floor to be in a positionally descended, hypertonic and in an inefficient position.

We were also interested in Mrs R’s breathing mechanics as limited apical expansion and posterior mediastinal expansion are indicative of a descended and posturally oriented respiratory diaphragm. This position also contributes to long and weak internal obliques and transversus abdominus muscles and an increased lumbar lordosis. Research shows us that the pelvic diaphragm position mirrors the respiratory diaphragm and so in Mrs R’s case both are in a descended and weak position.

Intervention:

12 Postural Restoration sessions were conducted to reposition and properly stabilize her faulty pelvis and diaphragmatic position.

The 12 sessions were conducted over a 12 week period and included the development of a comprehensive, specialized home exercise program which was preformed 1-2x/day.

The objectives of the home program and PT sessions were to:

  1. Reposition her pelvis and correct respiratory mechanics using PRI manual and non-manual techniques
  2. Provide specific neuromuscular stabilization to help maintain the corrected pelvic position during all functional activities
  3. Incorporate proper ways to sit, stand, sleep, carry/lift her children without shifting back into her dominant pelvic /respiratory position.

Outcomes:

Following PRI therapy Mrs. R reports significantly reduced hip, pubic symphysis and pelvic pain. As well as dramatic improvement in function

  • Pain decreased to 0-1/10
  • Pt reports 95% functional improvement
  • Functional improvements noted as an ability to stand, run and workout without pain, as well as lifting and carrying young children without pain
  • Pt returned to pre-pregnancy weight

Upon re-examination findings included:

No pain upon palpation of SIJ, Symphysis pubis or R hip/SIJ

Hayley Todd MPT

Contact Hayley at hayley@sandhillssp.com

 

SHSP adds Woodway Force Treadmill to it’s arsenal

In a continuing effort to offer the highest level physical therapy and sports performance programs in the Pinehurst area we’ve added the Woodway force treadmill to our facility. This treadmill is used by the most professional sports teams and elite military groups worldwide. This treadmill is unique in that it has no motor but rather a breaking system that forces the operator to optimally use ground reaction force to move the belt.

Force TreadmillForce Treadmill Display

Please check out the videos below of a mentor and former football coach of mine, Paul Robbins, demonstrate the use of the force.

 

 

12