Peristaltic Pulse Dynamic Compression by Liam Sutton

[This is a guest blog by Liam Sutton. Liam is a senior at Ball State University working towards his bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a concentration in basic and applied sciences. He hopes to attend Australian National University’s Master of Neuroscience program after graduation. He is currently participating in the Athletic Lab Internship Program.] Athletes have always looked for advantages in training and competition to obtain an edge over their competition. The scientific and performance coaching communities have ongoing collaboration in enhancing athlete performance; methods include using optimized training schedules, better nutrition, higher quality sleep, and emerging forms of therapy. The goals of these collaborations are to enhance performance of athletes by reducing fatigue and soreness as well as enhance and accelerate sport specific training adaptations. Elite athletes undergo rigorous training that leads to muscle microtrauma and inflammation, manifesting itself in pain, discomfort, and short-term performance decreases. Reducing, counteracting, and recovering from these body traumas is the primary goal of many emerging therapies aimed at athletes. The sport world is rapidly embracing therapeutic arts and sciences to obtain the benefits of recovery methods designed to combat the entire spectrum of fatigue related performance impairments. This is evidenced by national Olympic, business, and other organizational entities building expensive facilities designed around the research and implementation of recovery modalities and methods to enhance recovery and adaptation. One method that has received recent attention is muscle and limb compression. There are two types of compression therapy. Static compression uses specific garments designed to compress the limbs and torso, while dynamic compression involves manual compression such as a massage and mechanical compression using special devices such as sleeves that envelop limbs and inflate consecutively in compartmentalized cells. This [...]

By |2021-10-04T12:34:32-04:00October 4th, 2021|Training Info|0 Comments

Breathing Techniques and Benefits for Athletes by Subash Mathi

[This is a guest post from Subash Mathi. Subash is a Level-1 Badminton coach and holds a certification with the National Institute of Sports in India. He is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Sports Biomechanics and Kinesiology and participating in Athletic Lab internship program.] The manner in which you breathe has a lot to do with your athletic performance as well as your quality of life. Breathing powerfully affects every system in your body: cardiovascular, nervous, endocrine, lymph, immune, digestive, and of course, respiratory. Breathing properly can decrease stress and muscle tension, calm your nerves, sharpen your focus, minimize negative and distracting thoughts, reduce fatigue, and promote stamina. Unfortunately, proper breathing is often an overlooked component of athletic training.Evidence indicates that adopting a regular, long-term schedule of breathing practice could help improve the body’s ability to manage stress. Researchers have shown how performance anxiety can be split into separate components. The first is a mental, cognitive, component, represented by worry such as, “I am worried that I may not perform as well as I can.” The second component of performance anxiety is self-focused attention represented by: “I am conscious of every movement I make”, and a physiological anxiety component, represented by arousal (fast heart rate) and tension (feeling on edge). The ability to respond positively to anxiety reflects the level of control the athlete feels they have over a given situation, and their own response, “I believe I have the resources to meet this challenge”. This perception of control is important, because it reflects whether athletes see the situation as a threat or a challenge. This might ultimately change the way the athlete performs. The most obvious benefit is the immediate effect upon the [...]

By |2021-09-24T23:02:00-04:00September 26th, 2021|Training Info|1 Comment

Red Light Therapy: What it is and Uses for Athletes by Liam Sutton

[This is a guest blog by Liam Sutton. Liam is a senior at Ball State University working towards his bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a concentration in basic and applied sciences. He hopes to attend Australian National University’s Master of Neuroscience program after graduation. He is currently participating in the Athletic Lab Internship Program.] "The Armoury" from Red Light Rising in the Athletic Lab Recovery room. In the Athletic Lab recovery room, athletes have access to a red light therapy apparatus. This blog post is intended to educate Athletic Lab athletes on what red light therapy is, why an athlete would use it, and how to utilize it for optimal results.  What is Red Light Therapy?  Red light therapy is a form of light therapy that uses red and/or near infrared light to stimulate cellular energy production. While we can see red light, infrared light is outside the visible spectrum, meaning our eyes cannot pick it up. Our inability to see it does not lessen its effects; however, as both red and infrared light have been shown to have a variety of positive effects on the human body which can be harnessed to improve athletic performance and recovery. Research has shown improvements in sleep and many aspects of sport performance. Some literature suggests faster recovery from training. This article will address each of these elements, as well as look into what we think is the primary underlying mechanism of red light therapy so athletes who are interested will have a better understanding of what is happening at the cellular level. We will begin by going over how red light therapy can influence a state we spend about a third of our lives [...]

By |2021-09-25T09:41:03-04:00September 25th, 2021|Training Info|0 Comments

Concentric, isometric & eccentric training – Differences, benefits & examples by Elizabeth Criner

[Elizabeth Criner is a senior at NC State, currently working towards her bachelor's degree in sport management while also minoring in business administration, business entrepreneurship, and psychology. She is currently participating in the Athletic Lab Internship Program.] While exercising, your muscles go through different types of contractions. Contractions are when the muscles either shorten or lengthen. These contractions can be categorized into two overarching categories: isometric and isotonic. Isotonic contractions consist of two individual types: concentric and eccentric. Concentric contractions are when the tension in the muscle increases and the fibers shorten and contract. While isometric contractions are when you are making sure the angle of your joints do not change during the exercise, and the muscle does not shorten or lengthen. The final contraction is eccentric. This is when your muscles are lengthened. All of these contraction types can be useful when working out, and all can provide you with their own individual benefits. The middle ground for the three contraction categories would be isometric. This is because unlike concentric or eccentric contractions, the muscles are neither lengthening nor shortening. Isometric movements are when you hold a key position with little to no movement happening at all. These movements help generate force without changing the length of the muscles. They are exercises in which you stay in one position without movement, so this means strength will be improved in only one specific area. Some examples of isometric exercises include; handstand holds, holding a wall sit, hollow body hold, side bridge, holding at the top of a pull up, front rack kettlebell hold, and high plank. If you want to use isometric exercises to help strengthen your body, you will have to use multiple exercises [...]

By |2021-10-04T21:37:03-04:00July 5th, 2021|Training Info|0 Comments

Post-Exercise Recovery by Elizabeth Criner

[Elizabeth Criner is a senior at NC State, currently working towards her bachelor's degree in sport management while also minoring in business administration, business entrepreneurship, and psychology. She is currently participating in the Athletic Lab Internship Program.] The actual process of exercising might seem like the most important part of working out, but what comes after a workout can be vital in keeping you healthy. When working out, your body is put through the ringer. Muscles form tiny tears, fluids are lost, heart rate rises, and many other things happen to your body all at once. All of these issues must be repaired and restored back to normal, before your next workout. One must replace fluids and fuels lost during exercise, make sure body temperature and regular cardiovascular functions return back to normal, and repair damaged tissue (Peake, 2019). One must ensure all of these return to normal before the next training session or competition. If not, you will increase your risk of injury, by not giving your body time to heal. Intense exercise can disrupt the nervous systems, cardiovascular, renal, endocrine, and immune systems. The main goal of recovery is to restore homeostasis, replace fuels and fluids lost, repair tissue, and heal through rest. There are many different ways athletes can choose to achieve these recovery goals. Some examples include: rehydration, carbohydrate and protein feeding, stretching, massage, sleep, and much more (Peake, 2019). If athletes train too intensely and do not give themselves enough time to recover, then they can experience overreaching. In the journal article, “Recovery after exercise: what is the current state of play?” by Jonathan Peake, overreaching is defined as, “the buildup of training and/or training stress leading to temporary impairment [...]

By |2021-07-03T17:45:34-04:00June 30th, 2021|Nutrition Info, Training Info|0 Comments