ATHLETIC CONSULTING TRAINING REPORT - www.cbathletics.com
- "A return to ART: The view from a practitioner"
- "No Equipment Workouts: On the road or at
home, beginner or advanced"
- WHAT TO CHECK OUT ON THE INTERNET
Lee has redesigned the sport specific website. There are
many articles on a wide variety of sports. Pick your sport
and you will find a great article to help your conditioning.
He also has a new message board: http://www.fitprofits.com/forums.
Check it out if you have any sport specific training questions.
Finally, check out the biggest news of the site here: http://www.sportspecific.com/manuals.htm.
-ACTIVE RELEASE TECHNIQUES: FROM THE FIELD
time around ART (Active Release Techniques(tm)) is profiled
from the view of certified practitioner Michael Zappitelli.
Mike has previously contributed to the CB ATHLETIC CONSULTING
newsletter in ISSUE
7 & ISSUE
49. In this issue, Mike answers some questions about
ART in order to help interested athletes and potential clients
learn more about the popular method of injury rehabilitation.
The original ART article appeared in ISSUE
Mike, thanks so much for answering these questions. ART
is a very difficult rehabilitation technique to understand.
Can you start by explaining how you would identify problem
areas & scar tissue?
an MRI, ultrasound, or some type of scan would help a lot,
however experienced practitioners rely heavily on touch.
When examining by touch, muscles should have a soft, somewhat
smooth texture to them. When moving your fingers through
injured tissue, you will feel a non-uniform texture indicating
is best demonstrated when moving your hands across clothing.
When you do this on nylon material, the nylon rolls in front
of the area you are pressing on. This is how a normal muscle
should react. However, when you do this on cotton material,
your fingers catch the material, as would happen on a problem
area of a muscle. Experience is very important in being
able to properly identify scar tissue/adhesions.
Are there any pre-requisites for someone to have before
taking an ART course?
have not come across any formal pre-requisites. When attending
the conferences/seminars, the attendees were almost entirely
chiropractors, physiotherapists, registered massage therapists,
and athletic trainers. You have to have a pretty extensive
in anatomy. They don't slow down to teach you where everything
is; you are expected to know this already.
Can you briefly describe the course curriculum?
course curriculum consists of 3 days of intense theory/practical
Friday, and Saturday, 8-5. Sunday - Final Exam.
constitutes ~20% of the final mark and the remaining ~80%
is accounted for by "hands on" examination. You have to
complete an at-home written exam prior to attending to prepare
you for the seminar, and then the practical examination
takes place on Sunday. Attending these seminars was the
best thing that I ever did. I not only reviewed what I knew
from my formal education, but also learned many different
approaches to similar treatments. I learned more about soft-tissue
location in a couple of these intense weekends than in my
2 years of Massage Therapy in college.
Briefly describe the study material provided to you by the
material consists of 3 different manuals/binders and matching
video sets. The 3-binder/video set deals individually with
the UPPER extremity, LOWER extremity, and SPINE. Simply
put, each seminar will deal with only one section. For example,
one seminar will only deal with the upper extremity and
thus you would have to attend another seminar for the lower
extremity, and then another for the spine if you wanted
to practice ART in all 3 areas.
binder/video set contains anywhere from ~90-120 treatment
protocols dealing with every single soft-tissue (muscle,
ligament, tendon, nerve) for that section along with anatomical
pictures, references, and proper treatment movements and
techniques. Basically, you look at the anatomical structure
to be treated, find it's proper location relating to neighboring
tissues, read the treatment protocol and movement and then
watch the video. Visual, auditory, and tactile cues and
knowledge are all involved. It's pretty extensive.
Mike, can you briefly describe the test/evaluation?
the exam they will ask you to find and treat ~5-8 different
locations, all of which contain a muscle, ligament, tendon,
or nerve (or a combination of 2-3 of them). They evaluate
your touch, proper location of the tissue, and proper movement
of the tissue being treated.
Okay, moving on to a patient, say for example, someone has
scar tissue in the rotator cuff (teres minor), how would
this be treated?
would locate the teres minor, shorten the structure, take
a contact on it, and then lengthen the structure either
passively or actively. What you have to understand that
the problem area is not always located where symptoms are
being felt. A proper understanding of how certain structures
run and act in the body is necessary.
example, carpal tunnel symptoms are mostly felt within the
anterior side of the wrist, however, in most cases the problem
may stem from another area up the arm, more proximal to
the shoulder, if not within the shoulder itself. There is
no point in treating the anterior side of the wrist, if
that is not where the problem is.
What contact methods do you employ in treatment?
are multiple possible contacts depending on the structure's
location, size, and movement. Contacts include one finger,
multiple fingers, thenar eminence, etc. The contact methods
involve tension, not pressure and it is best that these
be demonstrated in person in order for someone to fully
understand what is involved.
What is taking place at the tissue level? Are you separating
ART, you are accomplishing a break up of any adhesions present
in the tissue. Certain muscle structures in your body have
multiple layers. These muscles work synergistically and
independently. If there were to be any inflammation present,
between layers of tissue, this allows a setting for a sticky
substance to settle.
best analogy is taking two pieces of paper, both covered
by glue, and sticking them together. Now, if you were to
pull apart those pieces of paper, you would notice that
there are a multiple number of strands clinging the two
pieces together. Now instead of the paper moving and sliding
independently of each other, when one moves, it will pull
on the other. When this happens within the muscles, if one
layer is not working because it doesn't have to be, it will
get tugged on continuously (repetitive motion) and eventually
lead to more micro-tearing and an increase in inflammation
is designed to break this adhesion up and allow the tissues
to work and slide independently more efficiently. As long
as the person does not injure this area again, they are
virtually fixed, for lack of a better explanation. Once
you fix the alignment of your car, as long as you don't
run into a curb, you don't have to fix it again!
How do you feel about ART? Do you have any success stories?
have to admit, this technique has been highly successful
in the 9 months that I have been practicing. It's not the
most comfortable for the patient, but my clients seem to
enjoy the benefits post-treatment. One client with plantar
fasciitis ran up to me after about 6-7 treatments exclaiming
that she danced for the first time in a long time on the
previous weekend. More importantly, this woman had been
seeing a physiotherapist for over 2-3 years. I have also
helped a woman be able to fully rotate her neck after a
car accident that had prevented her from doing so for 1-year
treatment really works (80-90% success rate). Keep in mind
that the whole part of ART is finding the actually cause
of the problem and to fix that, which may not
located in or near the symptom area. Remember, experience
is key. I hope that I was of some help. Being able to help
people with chronic injury is worth every penny spent on
is an honest, humble guy, so his praise of ART should give
hope to a lot of athletes and chronically injured individuals.
ART may be the solution, providing not only pain relief,
but also healing and full recovery from injury. Mike also
expects to receive more information from the ART organization,
and thus there may just be a 3rd installment of the ART
newsletter in the future. To contact Mike at his already
A. Zappitelli B.Kin, RMT, CSCS, CPT, CES
Conditioning and Soft-Tissue Management
Falls, ON, L2J 2K4
Schuler, fitness editor of Men's
Health, also has a positive tale to add to the ART story:
had ART done two years ago after suffering a shoulder injury.
This was a recurrence of a series of shoulder injuries that
started more than 25 years before. At the time I got ART,
I couldn't throw a basketball farther than 20 feet, couldn't
do a lateral raise with 10 pounds, and couldn't lift anything
overhead. After my first session of ART, while still in
the physical therapist's office, I was able to do lateral
raises with 25 pounds--more than I'd ever been able to use
in the gym!"
sure there was an adrenaline effect there, but to this day
I have far more strength and range of motion in my shoulders
than at any time in my adult life. I still take it easy
with my shoulders--if something doesn't feel right, I stop
immediately. So I rarely do flat presses with a barbell,
and never do military presses with a barbell. But I can
do behind-the-neck barbell presses with no pain or discomfort,
something that amazes me each time I try it. However, it
is an important point about how badly an inexperienced practitioner
could go wrong. The guy who worked on me, Ming Chew, has
been doing it a long time and really knows his stuff."
all this, ART is still a bit of a mystery, and it's very
hard to understand, even if you have an advanced degree
in the sciences of human movement. Fortunately, Dr. Mike
Leahy, the originator of ART, will be in Mississauga at
the SWIS symposium. His talks are scheduled for Friday,
November 16, 2001 at 5:30pm (Advanced ART) and Saturday,
November 17, 2001 at 10:30am (Introduction to ART).
fact is everyone should hope that they never have a reason
to need ART. However, it certainly appears to be a promising
therapy if conventional treatment does not help. For those
in rehab, good luck, and for those that are injury-free,
keep training and performing safely!
- CB ATHLETICS ON THE ROAD: WORKOUTS WITHOUT EQUIPMENT
to work out at home or while on the road" is a popular question.
For some people, extended vacations (i.e. the backpacking
student) or business trips can interrupt training and may
even set you back from the progress you have made. Similarly,
many people that are just beginning to exercise, or those
seeking a resistance-training workout for their home, want
a routine that can be performed without equipment. There
are several ways around these problems, so here are some
ideas, now it is up to you to choose the method that best
suits your goals and facilities.
The advanced lifter/athlete away from home.
honest truth: Suck it up and buy day-passes at the nearest
facility to your hotel. There are no magical exercises that
substitute for heavy squats, bench presses or deadlifts.
If you are a competitive lifter or if you are an athlete
training for your upcoming season, there really is no alternative
to your current routine that must be performed in the gym.
you can schedule your trip into a recovery week from training,
then you should probably splurge on a day-pass and go to
a gym twice a week while you are away. YMCA fitness facilities
can be found all around the world and are probably not too
expensive. They might be a little "rustic", but if you set
aside an hour or two, twice a week, you shouldn't lose a
significant amount of strength or mass at all (depending
on your eating habits and "leisure activities"). Real progress
in strength and size is not made with push-ups and crunches,
and without a gym setting, motivation is severely deficient
in most people. So if you have the chance, check out a new
gym while traveling (hey, it will add to your cultural experience).
The beginner lifter: At home or on the road without equipment.
training is, simply put, not the most effective way to train
for gains in strength, muscle mass, or decreases in body
fat. However, if your goal is to improve muscle endurance
(i.e. for a police recruitment fitness test), then using
your bodyweight is a great way to train at home.
your upper body, push-ups, pull-ups, and crunches are the
obvious exercises that come to mind. Simple modifications
of these exercises will add mental variety, a new training
stimulus, and greater effectiveness to your home workout.
While it is unlikely that you would want to work out at
home forever, you may be able to get a lot of mileage out
of bodyweight exercises that are listed below.
addition, there are many websites that have more bodyweight
exercises than discussed in the above article. Search the
Internet for "combat sport conditioning". These types of
websites are sure to have many exercises that will improve
muscle endurance and relative muscle strength with the goal
of improved combat sport performance and total-body conditioning.
push-up mimics the bench press and trains the chest, shoulders,
triceps, serratus anterior, and even the latissimus dorsi
("lats"). If it has been a long time since you did 100-200
push-ups in a workout, your upper body should be sore tomorrow,
even if you can bench press twice your bodyweight.
your hands on the ground shoulder-width apart (or slightly
wider). Keep your feet together and maintain a neutral spinal
alignment (with your head, neck, and back straight). Slowly
lower yourself to the floor by bending the elbows. Allow
your chest to touch the floor and then push up to return
to starting position.
The closer you keep your hands together, the more you will
train your triceps. As you spread your hands out, the movement
will stress the chest muscles more, but may also result
in a greater stress and pain at the wrist joint (if you
spread your hands extremely wide).
push-up places a greater emphasis on the shoulder muscles
(deltoids). Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width
apart and keep your feet flat on the floor. Elevate your
hips so that the body forms a V-shape. Lower your upper
body until the shoulders are even with the elbows and your
upper arms are parallel to the floor. Push up to return
to the starting position.
You can increase the stress on the deltoids and triceps
by taking weight off of your feet and transferring it to
your hands. You can do this by elevating your feet. The
higher you elevate them, the more stress on these muscles,
and the less stress on the pectorals. The ultimate is the
With A Plus
exercise is provided by Lori Gross, CSCS, of Human Performance
Specialists, Inc. This is an excellent rehabilitation exercise.
a normal push-up. At the top of the movement, push up maximally,
rounding the shoulders and abducting the scapulae. For beginners,
this exercise can be done while standing and pushing-up
against a wall.
is a twist on the traditional push-up and stresses the serratus
anterior muscle. This muscle is located on either side of
the body, adjacent to the abdominal area, just below the
chest and the lats, and wrap around the rib cage like large
stress the right serratus anterior muscle, place the right
hand elevated on a 6-10 inch block rather than on the floor.
The left hand is placed normally on the floor and hands
are slightly greater than shoulder-width apart. Perform
normal push-ups but try to push the most through the right
arm and use the left side only to stabilize the body. Perform
10 repetitions in this manner and then switch to the left
is an advanced exercise. Place each hand on a basketball
placed shoulder-width apart. Perform traditional push-ups
from this position. This push-up requires balance and stability
in the shoulder girdle, abdominals, and lower back. Don't
perform this variation unless you are experienced with the
traditional push-up and you have a strong mid-section.
exercise is also for advanced push-up performance only.
It requires two 6-inch platforms placed beyond shoulder-width
apart. Begin with your hands on the blocks. Push off the
blocks and let your hands drop to the floor (when the hands
contact the floor they should be shoulder-width apart).
Immediately upon landing, push up explosively in order for
your hands to reach the height of the blocks. Land with
your hands back on blocks. Limit your sets to less than
are difficult and demanding exercises even for people that
have been training for a long period of time. In fact, you
may not be able to perform a single repetition if you are
at the beginner stage. Thus, you will need to modify your
technique to address this weakness.
coaches recommend performing only the "eccentric" phase
of a pull-up or chin-up if you are currently too weak to
do a full repetition. For this, you will need a chair to
boost yourself to the top position, where you will start.
Now, slowly lower yourself for up to 10 seconds. From the
bottom position, boost yourself to the top position again
and then slowly lower yourself again. Be conservative here.
If you have trained very little, limit yourself to 1-3 repetitions
per set, and perform only 2-3 sets in your first workout.
Learn to control your body.
you are a little more advanced and can do a couple repetitions
in the pull-up, you can change your grip to get more repetitions.
By definition, a pull-up grip is wider than shoulder width,
with palms turned down. A chin-up grip is shoulder-width,
with palms turned up. The chin-up exercise is easier, and
the movement requires more help from the biceps.
is a basic exercise with little effectiveness for strengthening
the abdominals. However, if muscular endurance in the abdominal
area is your goal, then high repetition sets should help
you accomplish that goal.
exercise can have benefits. It is a challenging movement
when done under strict control. While it does stress the
hip flexors, there is no doubt that it still stresses the
abdominal muscles. Furthermore, hip flexors are a muscle
group that many athletes ignore in the gym, and thus adding
this exercise to an athlete's preparation phase may be of
can make your own at home with a very small wheel and a
thin handle to slide through the center of the wheel. This
movement is effective for improving abdominal strength and
balance, and may be of assistance in athletic preparation.
This makeshift equipment helps you to do abs properly while
at home or on the road (and it's cheap too!). Technique
can be found in ISSUE #56.
addition, for leg training that can be done at home, please
refer to ISSUE #29 that outlines the
"Neuromuscular leg training for athletes". Some of the exercises
done with proper control and technique, this leg workout
can produce soreness and adaptation for a short period of
training (i.e. the length of a vacation). It should also
help improve balance and motor control in single-leg activities,
although it is not guaranteed to lead to better sport performance
The advanced lifter/athlete at home.
may be some options for the serious lifter at home, however
you will need some "makeshift" equipment, meaning rocks,
sandbags, or any other heavy object. These can easily replace
Olympic bars and dumbbells for deadlifts, some pressing
movements, lunges, etc. Be creative, but at the same time,
be conservative. Don't overdo it on your first day of "dinosaur
training". After all, the mass of each rock isn't marked
liked the dumbbells in a gym. Try this website for more
information on "Dino training": http://www.brookskubik.com.
strength and conditioning coaches are also advocating "manual
labor" methods of conditioning, including:
ironic is that what was once considered daily activity is
now being prescribed as methods to increase athletic conditioning?
Your ancestors and parents might roll their eyes when they
hear you have included these in your training.
can also accomplish some serious single-leg resistance training
with minimal equipment. Check out the "Neuromuscular leg
training for athletes" article referred to in the previous
section. In addition, you can perform your speed and plyometric
workout anywhere, anytime (weather permitting). Check out
ISSUE #47 for more information or email email@example.com
for the very popular "Groin-specific speed & agility
training at home without equipment"
may be fortunate enough to have some objects around the
house (or tool shed) that qualify as heavy resistance relative
to your current strength. This may include cinder blocks
or other small and sturdy objects. If you do have some these
objects, then you may be able to perform rows, curls, or
shoulder presses. Be creative, but be conservative. Don't
place yourself at risk of injury due to unstable equipment
(for example, it's probably not wise to do shoulder presses
with your portable electric saw).
it is worth emphasizing, especially for a beginner, that
a single trip to a gym each week would add a lot to your
home-based bodyweight resistance-training program, especially
if your goal is to increase muscle mass and absolute strength.