You’ve put in the work, spent countless hours rehabbing your injury and now it’s time to transition back into the gym. Sometimes that transition can feel a bit daunting, especially after recovering from a surgery or major injury. At FAST, we work closely with the physical therapists at Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy to deliver functional, transitional rehabilitation programs that are specific to your needs to help you get back to working out after completing physical therapy.

From one-on-one personal training services to semi-private training to intimate group fitness classes, we’ll work with you to help you build up momentum, follow proper form, as well as complete any stretches or exercises your physical therapist recommended.

Most of our FAST locations are conveniently located within the same building of Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy, which makes working out with us pretty convenient. Since there’s close proximity to your previous physical therapist, if any sort of pain or ache does arise while getting back into your workout routine, we can work to get you back into see your PT to check it out.

And if you’re not sure if FAST personal training, semi-private training or small group fitness classes are for you, we offer physical therapy patients a credit towards our services so you can confidently start your fitness journey.

With more than 100 varieties affecting the body in a multitude of ways, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in America. It does not discriminate as it affects those of all ages, races, and gender. Today, there are more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children suffering from the symptoms of some form of arthritis. Arthritis is not a single disease, but rather a way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. Those who suffer from arthritis experience swelling, stiffness, and pain leading to limited range of motion. Unfortunately, the development of this condition is a natural part of aging. The stress on the body’s joints over years and years of wear and tear causes structural damage and inflammation. Don’t give up hope and throw in the towel now, however! Exercise is a great way to prolong the onset and counteract the symptoms of this ailment. Those who suffer from the pains of arthritis know all too well that exercise may be the last thing they want to do when their symptoms flare up. Exercise should not be avoided and is actually beneficial when combatting this issue. Here we will focus on five tips to improve quality of life by exercising with arthritis!

Take the Time to Properly Warm Up & Cool Down

A proper warm-up will help to increase blood flow and temperature to the active sites of the body. The warm-up should emphasize moving the joints/muscles involved in the exercises you intend to utilize in that days training session. Start with slow walking movements such as pulling your knee to chest or small mini-squats. Pieces of cardio equipment such as a recumbent bike or elliptical work well to gradually ready the body for further exercise.

Once the workout is complete, don’t pack up for the day. Make sure you spend time stretching, rolling out, or using other recovery techniques once your workout is complete. By foam rolling or stretching the muscles surrounding the joints used that day, you will be able to reduce stiffness, soreness, and inflammation while maintaining an increased range of motion.

Focus on Full Range of Motion Exercises

Exercise selection is key when creating the perfect program to combat arthritis. Choose exercises which focus on moving through a full range of motion to help increase mobility. Be sure to gradually increase range of motion within the exercise as the body allows to reduce risk of pain or injury. Exercises such as lunges, deadlifts, and bent-over-rows are great selections in which you can ease into the full range of motion.

Keep Joint Impact Low

High impact exercises are detrimental to those dealing with arthritic issues. The impact will cause great pain and inflammation in the joint, leading to a decreased range of motion. Choose exercises which have low joint impact as they will help keep joint integrity high. Adding aquatic exercises such as swimming, deep water running, or aqua aerobics are a perfect way to increase intensity without adding impact to your joints. There are many benefits of exercising in water. In order to move through the medium, it’s found that water provides 4-42 times greater resistance. The buoyancy helps to reduce gravity’s effects on joints as water will support 90 percent of one’s body weight. Give aquatic exercise a try if you’re looking for a great way to reduce joint aches and pains.

Change It Up!

Variety is a great way to combat arthritis as well as boredom. One of the hardest things to overcome when starting to exercise is the monotony of doing the same thing over and over. Try a variety of forms of exercise such as yoga, Pilates, aerobics, resistance training, and a multitude of group fitness classes. Each exercise you choose will have a specific impact on the body. By changing up your mode of exercise, you’ll avoid putting too much stress on any one joint for too long a duration. Find the types of exercise you enjoy doing and stick with them. You’ll be more inclined to stick with your training regimen if you look forward to doing it each day!

Listen to Your Body!

The best thing you can do when exercising with arthritis is to be in tune with your body. Certain forms of arthritis will affect the body at different times of day. Identify when your body feels its best and try to plan workouts during that time. Also, gauge what is normal arthritic pain and what is unusual pain. If an exercise is causing a joint to become inflamed and painful, stop doing it. Never force a movement or push through the unusual pain as it could lead to further joint damage. If pain and inflammation are compounding after numerous days of exercise, be sure to utilize a rest to provide your body time to recover.

Bonus Tip: Consult a Professional

Navigating which exercises are most beneficial can be difficult. Never think you’re alone in the fight against arthritis. Don’t be afraid to contact a professional, such as a Physical Therapist or Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, to help you out.

We’re looking forward to being at the 2018 Walk to Cure Arthritis at the Phoenix Zoo this Saturday. Stop by the Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy and FAST booth to learn how physical therapy and/or personal training can help you navigate arthritis and get back to the activities you enjoy most.

After a grueling #poweredbyFAST workout, your muscles may feel sore. Try one of these five tips to combat muscle soreness and help your muscles recover—FAST!

Wade Haras, facility manager at FAST Old Town Scottsdale
Try adding turmeric to your routine. Turmeric contains the active ingredient curcumin, which is an antioxidant that demonstrates anti-inflammatory properties in conditions such as arthritis, muscle sprains and other injuries. Sip on some turmeric golden milk after a workout or mix it with water and apply to a sore area to accelerate the healing process.

Brandon Wood, facility manager at Litchfield Park
Foam rolling is great to aid in the muscle recovery process. Not only does it help to loosen up joints, it helps to relieve knots and is a form of myofascial release. At FAST, we offer stretching sessions to help reap the benefits of recovery day.

David Flanigan, facility manager at Surprise
Muscle soreness is not necessarily an indicator of a good workout. In fact, muscle soreness can impair athletic ability so should be kept to a minimum. To do this you should warm-up properly, progress workouts gradually, be careful when introducing new exercises into the workout, and train regularly.

Taking taurine and BCAA supplements before and after your workout can help alleviate muscle soreness. Recommended doses are 2 grams of taurine and 3.2 grams of BCAA’s three times a day.

Greg Stein, facility manager at North Scottsdale
I’m personally a huge believer in massage based techniques, so when I’m sore I always default to my foam roller! Spending 5-10 minutes ‘rolling out’ or massaging my sore muscles can make a world of difference. It helps to stimulate our mechanoreceptors, desensitize pain, realign our misaligned fibers and can enhance blood flow. All this leading to less soreness and a quicker recovery process.

Jonathan Castillo, facility manager at Tempe
On training days, end your night with foam rolling and stretching followed by a cold shower. This will prep your body for a relaxing and restorative sleep.

If you have ongoing or continued muscle soreness it may be time to turn to physical therapy. Visit Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy for a FREE injury assessment and to get you back on the road to recovery.

Post Attributed to Travis Cummings, CSCS, FAST Facility Manager

FAST provides Personal Training in Phoenix to athletes of all ages and skill levels. Our certified trainers create personalized workout plans that allow you to target specific areas and achieve your fitness goals. You can schedule a free assessment of your current abilities by simply going online here. To learn more about Personal Training in Phoenix, visit our blog!

Travis Cummings is our South Chandler facility manager. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Arizona State University, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He is passionate about helping his clients achieve their goals, and today he shares helpful tips on how to become a faster runner.

As a high school football player, I remember having a coach who had some serious wheels playing scout team quarterback. He outran the defense while yelling, “You can’t coach speed!” That was the mindset back then, but now I guarantee we actually can coach speed. The Strength and Conditioning Specialists at FAST have been helping young athletes of all abilities get faster through training and coaching. Here are five tips to keep in mind while accelerating your top speed.

  1. While accelerating (any time trying to get to top speed) lean forward about 45-60 degrees.Leaning forward will help make sure that when you push off the ground, you push your body forward, not upward.
  2. Keep your ankle dorsiflexed, or pulled up towards your shin. Doing this ensures when you strike the ground you have a more forceful and powerful stride, and less ground contact time. Greater force and less contact time equal a faster athlete. If this still doesn’t make sense, think of punching with a strong wrist versus a limp wrist. More force is going to be transferred to whatever you’re hitting with the strong wrist.
  3. Maintain powerful arm drive. A powerful arm drive will help your legs move faster and propel your body forward. Make sure your arms aren’t moving across your body, but rather from your hips to your lips.
  4. Minimize heel recovery (backside mechanics). Think of your leg drive while accelerating as being more piston-like, rather than cyclical. After you strike the ground, bring your foot forward as fast as possible. This will enable your foot to strike the ground again. You generate speed when your foot is in contact with the ground, not while you’re in the air.
  5. Think about pushing the ground back and away. A great coaching cue we use to help runners understand acceleration is telling them to think about pushing the ground back and away as they strike the ground. Doing this enables you to produce force in the correct direction to move forward faster.

Remember these tips while you’re accelerating and you’ll see noticeable differences. If you want someone to analyze your running form, and teach you how to maximize your running mechanics, contact your nearest FAST location!

Foothills Acceleration and Sports Training (FAST) is empowered by Foothills Therapy Partners (FTP).