How do you recognize overburdening?The first signs of overburdening come from our muscles. The longer you sit still, the less blood flows into your muscles, which causes cramps. If you choose a position that your muscles don't like, the cramps will become even more severe and intense. Muscle cramps hurt and that is exactly what we want to avoid. If we don't pick up these signals or if we don't tackle them, we might end up having chronic pain. Do you already have a history of back problems? Then be extra careful!
A few problems, but above all, their solutions:
- Prolonged sitting: take micro breaks! Leave your coffee in the kitchen, so you have no choice but to get up, for example, and do some stretching exercises every hour.
- Lots of sitting throughout the day: take an active afternoon and evening break, or go for a morning walk: a great way to start the day!
- Poor posture: how can you optimize your sitting posture? Look for a posture that is as neutral as possible in which your muscles have the least tendency to cramp up. Tip: have someone take a picture (side view) while you are sitting and go through our list below.
How can you optimize your sitting posture?
Many of us have no choice but to sit down for prolonged periods of time, but the least we can do is optimize our posture. Discover our tips.
- Keep you shoulders more or less in a straight line above the hips or a little behind (preferably supported by your backrest).
- Do not sag in the lower or upper back (do not curl up in your chair).
- Do not push your ribs forward (avoid a hollow lower back).
- Relax your shoulders (do not lift your shoulders).
- Keep your ears right above your shoulders in side view (if you look straight ahead, you should see the top edge of your screen).
- Keep your elbows in a line under your shoulders (preferably with your forearms supported by armrests; you do this by sliding your keyboard close to you).
- Move the keyboard away from your screen. If you're working on a laptop, it's best to place your screen at a height so that you're looking straight ahead at the top edge of your screen. Ideally, you should use a separate keyboard that you can slide as close to you as possible.
Challenge your overly comfortable working posture!In other words, we have to try to make ourselves comfortable with as little equipment as possible. Are we going to wipe away all the consequences of sitting for a long time? Unfortunately not. At the end of the day, we are still sitting still.
We challenge you to make things a little less comfortable for yourself... Doesn't make sense? Well, by doing that, you challenge yourself to try other positions, which improves your posture. Now that you are at home and don't have to worry about people giving you a confused look, be creative. Try to challenge your posture by doing the following:
- Walk while you’re on the phone.
- Work standing up: do you have a party table somewhere? These are usually ideal in height.
- Work sitting on the floor, for example at your coffee table. Most of us will not sit comfortably, pushing us to get moving and try different sitting positions.
Help, my house is not a gym!
A well-equipped gym at home is not an option for most of us. And that is not necessary at all, because with little equipment you can already do a lot of things. With some creativity, you can also do a solid workout with everyday objects. For example, books or water bottles can perfectly serve as weights, cushions as an unstable surface and old bicycle tires as a resistance band.
Help, am I doing these exercises correctly?
We try to help you as much as possible through training schedules and videos. However, your physiotherapist will not be there to check on you... Or will he? With SQUADT we offer video consultations, allowing us to correct you remotely. We can go over your exercises and focus on your points of attention, compensations and progress.
In any case, look for a mirror and look at yourself while doing the exercises. Think about the tips and tricks your physiotherapist gave you in the past. Lost your way? Hang a print-out of your workout, with all the right poses, in the room where you do your exercises.
Help, how often should I do my exercises?
There is no golden rule. Ideally, you should repeat your exercises about 3 to 4 times a week. Do you only do your exercises once a week? Then your muscles will not get enough stimuli to make progress. In any case, do set a limit for yourself and don't overdo it. Give your muscles one day to recover every time. So alternate your days with cardio, strength (exercises) and, of course, the necessary days of rest.
Help, I've lost my motivation to do my exercises...
Doing exercises at home requires more discipline, that's right. But now is the perfect time to work on that. If you are with your physiotherapist, of course you have no choice but to do your exercises. Now you have the freedom to decide when to do them, for how long and how intensively. This freedom can be just as difficult to deal with... Believe us, we know!
Our golden advice: plan ahead! Make it a routine to do your exercises on certain days at specific times. In the morning before breakfast, for example, or in the evening before dinner. It’s entirely up to you. It could be a good idea to write your weekly exercise schedule on a whiteboard, for example.
Help, I really can't manage on my own...
Don't worry, we are still here to help you, so you don't have to do this all by yourself. SQUADT won’t leave you struggling! We can still do your exercises together via video consultations. Moreover, during the COVID-19 period they are fully reimbursed, so you don't have to worry about that. We got you.
Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment or more info!
Running is currently the number-one sport: you can start doing it from your doorstep, on your own, and all you need are running shoes. Ideal, right? Definitely! But at the same time, running is also one of the most stressful sports for your body.
We want everyone to keep moving (in this case: running) as long and as healthily as possible. Discover our 6 tips to prevent injuries.
1. Follow a customized running schedule
This way, you build it up gradually and you reduce the risk of overloading your body to a minimum.
- Progressively build up the number of training sessions per week.
- Progressively build up the number of kilometers you run.
- Progressively build up your intensity (how fast you run).
2. Stick to your schedule
Don't deviate from it and don't run extra kilometers (no matter how tempting it may be) to avoid overloading your body.
3. Keep track of your heartbeat
Don’t focus too much on speed, especially when you start running. Keep track of your heart rate instead and you will progress faster than if you force yourself to run a certain distance in a set amount of time... That speed will come! As a recreational runner, these are the 2 recommended heart-rate zones:
--> Fat burning & improvement of basic condition
60% - 70% of your maximum heart rate (if you don't know it, the formula (220 - age) is the best approximation)
In this zone you can still have a relaxed chat. You do feel that you are making an effort, but you can keep it up for a long time (it does not feel super intensive).
--> Improvement of your general training pace / efficiency
70% - 80% of your maximum heart rate
As a beginner, you certainly don't need to train in this heart-rate zone and in any case, in these times of COVID-19, this shouldn’t be the focus of your training. Running at a higher heart rate is mainly interesting when preparing for competitions.
4. Rest, rest and more rest
Allow your muscles and joints to rest. They need to recover to get back to full capacity for your next workout.
5. Combine your training with injury prevention and strength training
As a runner, it is important to control your stability and also to optimize your flexibility, strength and core stability.
After all, as you gradually increase your running, the strain on your body increases too, but it is also important to improve your load-bearing capacity.
6. Make sure you have the right equipment!
Check whether your running shoes are right for your body (overpronation, stabilization, etc.). At first, you may not notice much difference, but the right running shoes are essential in the long run (and to prevent injuries). Keeping track of the distance you have run, for example, gives you an initial idea of the condition of your shoes, especially knowing that manufacturers recommend running a maximum of 800-1,000 km with the same pair of running shoes.
Remember that even now, with COVID-19, you are not alone.
Don’t hesitate to ask us for advice! We are just a phone call, e-mail or video consultation away. Needless to say, given the situation, we hope that you run safely in the next few weeks… Stay home, stay fit!
We got you.
Connecting with your breathing makes you feel less rushed. You get an instant feeling of calm, just through that movement and breathing. Yoga introduces calmness and focus in your breathing, also during more physical cardio training.
“Movement creates breath and breath creates movement”
Let’s be clear: the type of yoga we teach is a physical form, namely VINYASA. All postures are connected in a flow. Whether you practice active or passive yoga, through the connection with your breathing and your focus, your work, household chores and tasks disappear into the background for a bit.
A key take-away you can get/find in yoga. The power to want something is more important than the physical possibilities. Such focus and self-confidence are not easy to find within yourself and in daily life, but yoga puts that door ajar for you.
Intensive sports are a great idea, but a general daily dose of exercise even more so. The flexibility of the joints, the length of muscles, the mobility of the body: these are all key factors for a healthy mind and body. Yoga is the ideal sport for anyone who wants to exercise and boost their flexibility.
- Muscle strengthening
Pushing yourself from one pose into another strengthens your muscles!… It is a misconception that yoga is only calm and relaxing. The atmosphere may be calm (the music, the lights in the room) but don't worry, you're guaranteed to huff and puff on your mat.
The main conclusion is: try it. you can read books and immerse yourself in the theoretical side of yoga, but ultimately you should really try it. Once you have rolled open your mat, only then can you understand the yoga craze. Or rather, why the craze is not a craze, but has become a craze because it feels so good.
Who doesn't want to move for an hour and still go home feeling recharged?
Want to try it out? You can enjoy a FREE trial lesson! For more information click here.
Through our years of experience in both sports rehabilitation and injury prevention, we have noticed that a significant number of injuries occur during the preparation of the upcoming soccer season. Important causes are the fact that the period in between seasons is sometimes slightly too long and the body is not always optimally prepared for the imminent strain of the preparations for the upcoming season with the team. Sometimes a running program is provided to bridge this long period, which provides a physical stimulus, albeit with less focus on the physical load. That is precisely where most injuries occur.
That is why SQUADT organizes its Pre-Season Soccer training courses.
These training sessions are not your standard soccer training, but consist of all kinds of exercises that get the body ready for soccer in a fun and enjoyable way.
- Speed - Acceleration
- Core stability and strengthening
- Functional movement mobility & balance
These training sessions are designed for every soccer player, male or female, who wants to prepare for the season ahead in a pleasant way while minimizing the risk of injuries. Participants in previous years indicated that they were much better prepared to start the season and had significantly fewer physical problems!
These training sessions are conducted by our physical coaches Thomas Cornelis (soccer player in the amateur 2nd division) and Davy Depoorter (Trainer at the Movement School of SV Zulte-Waregem), who have the necessary know-how and background to prepare the participating soccer players for the upcoming season.
These training courses take place at SQUADT, both indoors and outdoors (Windhoek 13, Waregem).
The training sessions take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m., from 4 June to 12 July.
150 euro for the full 6-week program.
If you are interested in registering your team or if you prefer a completely individual program, feel free to send us an e-mail and we will work something out for you.
Registration is required via email@example.com.
Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.
New products must first be perfected and are initially expensive. Later on, they become less exclusive and their prices go down. Thanks to the current price drop, height-adjustable standing desks meet the budgets of more companies - a logical and interesting evolution!
We are working longer hours and spending more time in front of screens, and we need to deal with the consequences of this development. This should never be at the expense of workers' health and well-being. In order to create and maintain a positive, dynamic work culture in your company, and anticipate any problems, you need an in-depth health policy, which must, of course, include ergonomics!
Height-adjustable standing desks are useful from an ergonomic point of view. They can be adjusted at any time to ensure a perfect seating posture. Working standing up also reduces the pressure on our intervertebral discs, thus protecting us against the low back pain that can occur when we spend a lot of time sitting down.
More and more studies are putting us face to face with the facts. Our sedentary life increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even premature death by 20% to 60%. To decreases these risks, we would have to exercise at medium intensity for more than an hour a day: unthinkable for many! Rather, the solution lies in spending fewer hours sitting down. And what can help us do exactly that? A height-adjustable standing desk!
At the moment, not all companies are able to invest in height-adjustable desks. However, there are intermediate solutions tailored to your company. Good office ergonomics strike a balance between movement at work - active - and effective support - passive - for prolonged periods of sitting. If we can achieve this, we are on the right track!
At SQUADT, as physiotherapists and manual therapists, we are committed to bringing these tips to your company! Through the interactive clinic "Pimp Your Posture" we work on raising self-awareness in terms of posture and movement among employees. We look for each employee’s intrinsic motivation, we take a closer look at their desks and we give personal advice. Our medical background is a big asset. In the end, together with your company, we work out a plan for a healthy and dynamic working atmosphere!
It is generally assumed that stretching prevents injuries and flexibility exercises are recommended for warm-ups and/or cooling-down programs.
However, when reviewing the scientific literature, we find many contradictory findings. Some articles claim that stretching has a positive effect on injuries, while others claim stretching has no impact on the prevention of injuries.
In addition, there is a lot of discussion about the way one should stretch: which stretching exercise is the right one, is ballistic stretching good or rather bad, how long should you stretch, and so on.
The first article on stretching tries to clarify the contradictory findings and discussions on whether or not stretching is useful. The second article discusses the stretching methods in more detail.< br /> What is certain is that when it comes to stretching, there is no clear-cut answer. Stretching is not always good or bad. Everything depends on the sport, the athlete and even the muscle in question.
How does a muscle work?To discover the effects of stretching, we need to understand how a muscle works.
During a movement, a muscle can provide strength by shortening. This is called a concentric contraction. An example is the thigh muscle (m. quadriceps), which contracts when kicking a ball (stretching of the knee).
On the other hand, a muscle can also provide strength by lengthening (excentric contraction), for example the thigh muscle, which ensures your knees slowly buckle rather than immediately giving out.
Once the muscle receives a stimulus from the brain, its strength is transferred via such a concentric or eccentric contraction to the tendon, which then sets the joint in motion.
When great or rapid strength is required, the body also has a specific system to make use of. During these explosive movements (e.g. when jumping), the muscle-tendon unit is stretched and then uses the energy stored to contract even more. You can compare this to a tense elastic that you let go of. In the literature this is called a stretch-shortening cycle (SSC). When you try to jump as high as possible, you will always first bend your knees (the thigh muscle works excentrically and stretches for a very short time) before jumping up. As such, you use the stretch shortening cycle to jump higher.
Less explosive movements or more cyclic movements are less complicated. In this case, the energy generated by various chemical processes in the muscle is immediately transferred to the tendon and joint to make a movement, usually concentric.
For which sport is stretching the most beneficial?If you look at the two systems, it is also logical that for the SSCs (jumping, sprinting, throwing,...) it is more beneficial to have a more flexible muscle-tendon unit than for the more cyclic movements (swimming, cycling, long-distance running,...). With the more cyclic movements energy would be lost if they were too flexible. The intention there is to enable the strength to turn into a movement as quickly as possible.
For sports that require a lot of SSCs, on the other hand, it is better to stretch more in order to promote the elasticity of the muscle-tendon unit. This involves storing as much potential energy as possible in the muscle in order to allow it to transform into kinetic energy (movement energy). However, there is probably an optimum level of this flexibility to carry out a specific task. In other words, if you have a very flexible elastic and you let it go, it won't fly far... So, for an SSC the muscle must be sufficiently stiff, but also sufficiently flexible. Stretching too much or being too flexible may also have a negative effect on performance.
Can stretching reduce the risk of injury?. Before discussing whether or not stretching reduces the risk of injury, it is important that we take a closer look at the muscle-tendon unit referred to above. There is a difference between the muscle that can actively contract and the tendon that can only passively transmit strength.
For SSCs (more explosive sports), the tendon absorbs some of the energy exposed to the muscle-tendon unit. However, when the tendon itself has less flexibility and is therefore rather stiff, less energy can be absorbed by the tendon, exposing the muscle to greater forces. This could then lead to muscle trauma. A tendon that is more flexible, on the other hand, can absorb more energy itself, exposing the muscle to less strength.
Bearing this in mind, stretching could therefore have a preventive effect if we could make the tendon itself more flexible.
The good news is that several studies actually showed that this is possible. Stretching influences the elasticity of the tendon, allowing it to absorb more energy over time.
However, when we look at sports with no or low-intensity SSCs, the reasoning is completely different. In these sports, the tendon does not need to absorb very high forces because they simply do not exist or because they never exceed the absorption capacity of the tendon. In these sports, stretching does not reduce the risk of injury. As discussed above, athletes may even experience a detrimental effect on their performance because the transfer of strength from muscle to tendon is less efficient if the tendon is too flexible.
So, should you never stretch when practicing sports such as jogging, cycling or swimming?. Here too, as you probably expected, there is no clear-cut answer. In each of the sports mentioned above, one has to look at the movements that have to be performed.
Concretely, we need to look at each individual muscle. The hip flexors of a cyclist should not be stretched too much as they always have to work in a shortened position. The hamstrings, on the other hand, sometimes do need stretching because the cyclist needs to be able to sit in a specific position (e.g. in a time trial).
In swimming, for example, we need to look at the most commonly used swimming technique. For example, breaststroke swimmers are more likely to benefit from a large inward rotation of their hips (endorotation of the hips) as this allows them to move more water and thus move forward faster.
A lot depends on the techniques used by each individual athlete. Many will remember Kim Clijsters’ slide, where she almost does a split to reach a distant ball. The muscles on the inside of her thigh (adductors) need to be very flexible for her to do this. For other tennis players this could be less beneficial or even disadvantageous as their elasticity would increase too much, which would negatively affect the SSC.
How come very agile and flexible athletes suffer muscle injuries?.
In practice, we see that very agile and flexible athletes sometimes get muscle injuries. This may seem strange as you might assume that someone who has a very flexible muscle-tendon unit has enough ability to absorb the energy.
The very simple reason why these athletes still get muscle injuries is that a stiffer muscle-tendon unit is not the only risk factor for muscle injuries in sports with a lot of SSCs, for example.
. In other words, muscle injuries are caused by a variety of factors. Fatigue, lifestyle, behavioral habits, metabolic processes, etc. may all influence muscle injuries. More research is required to clarify this further.
To stretch or not to stretch?As you have read above, stretching is anything but straightforward. You need to find a balance between optimum performance and avoiding injuries. It is assumed that the biological composition of muscles and tendons in terms of flexibility, among other things, is also one of the reasons why athletes from certain countries or even tribes are better at long-distance running or sprinting. The composition and flexibility of their muscle-tendon unit may be optimal for the efficient transfer of the energy that is supplied into a movement.
For top athletes we need to have a detailed look at each individual sport, muscle and athlete.
For recreational athletes and younger athletes, we can give some general guidelines for stretching:
Always try to stretch a little after exercising
When exercising, your muscles frequently contract. That is when the well-known actin and myosin filaments slide over each other. When you stretch after exercising, you pull these filaments apart, bringing your muscle back to its original length.
Don’t stretch too much just before sports with lots of SSCs:
If you stretch a lot just before sports with a lot of SSCs you will lose some of the ability to store energy in the tendon because the tendon temporarily becomes too flexible. As a result, you may become a little less explosive. It's a matter of finding the perfect level of flexibility to perform your sport as efficiently as possible.
Make stretching a key goal during growth spurts
During a growth spurt or immediately after, many injuries occur (muscle injuries or overloading of the attachment between tendons and bones) because the size of the skeleton no longer corresponds to the length of the muscles. After all, the skeleton is growing and the muscles must be given the time to adjust to these new dimensions. It is important to rebalance this as soon as possible in order to prevent injuries.
Wilson GJ, Murphy AJ, Pryor JF. Musculotendinous stiffness: its relationship to eccentric, isometric and concentric performance. J Appl Physiol 1994; 76 (6): 2714-9
Wilson GJ, Elliott BC, Wood GA. Stretch-shortening cycle performance enhancement through flexibility training. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1992; 24: 116-23
Ettema GJC. Muscle efficiency: the controversial role of elasticity and release of series elastic energy in skeletal muscle during stretch-shortening cycles. J Exp Biol 1996; 199: 1983-97
Witvrouw E, Mahieu N, Danneels L, McNair P. Stretching and Injury Prevention. Sports Med 2004; 34(7): 443-9
Witvrouw E, Mahieu N, McNair P. The role of stretching in tendon injuries. Br J Sports Med 2007; 41: 224-6
The revolutionary EXO-L ankle brace is ideal for people who often sprain their ankle or athletes who are inhibited in their sport by an unstable ankle. This brace is ingenious in its simplicity and completely custom-made based on a 3D scan. It provides support exactly when the ankle is at risk of a sprain, but otherwise guarantees complete freedom of movement. The ankle brace mimics the human anatomy and, just the way a seatbelt works, blocks one specific movement that prevents injury. EXO-L is the only brace on the market that allows the wearer to freely move their ankle. But there’s more! The brace is also extremely durable and, unlike other solutions, causes no tape or brace friction in the shoe.
During the weekend of 2 and 3 July, you can have an obligation-free ankle scan made and test this comfortable brace in various contexts to experience how it feels. And if you decide to order one, during this event you will benefit from an exceptional discount.
. For more information or to register, please contact Evelyn at firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to the Exo L brace, our physical coach will also present SportKompas , a talent detection test that aims to encourage children aged 6 to 12 to take part in sports and stay active.
From our experience, children tend to realize that they have made the wrong choice of sport as they grow older. Using a battery of 12 tests, we can give advice on which sport best suits their specific talents, enabling them to choose the right sport at an early age and thus increase their chances of success within that specific sport.
In a nutshell, SportKompas advizes children to try out a certain sports discipline, offering them the opportunity to nurture their sporting talents. During our taster sessions, children will receive a report with advice on which sport is most suited to their specific talents based on various tests (flexibility, strength, coordination and speed). If you would like more information about these tests, or if you would like to register, please send an e-mail to email@example.com
We are looking forward to meeting you on 2 and 3 July!
However, when exercise exceeds the athlete's load capacity, injuries can occur, which can sometimes mean that exercise needs to be restricted or is no longer possible at all.
In addition to this ‘overburdening’, there are also risk factors specific to each sport that can cause or accelerate injury. It is very important to be aware of these risk factors in order to prevent injuries.
The risk factors for certain injuries can be divided into two major categories: intrinsic risk factors and extrinsic risk factors.
Intrinsic risk factors are individual factors such as condition, flexibility, age, strength (endurance), mobility, technique, core stability, and so on. By responding to risk factors that can be influenced by, among other things, a good training program, good supervision and a healthy lifestyle, you can make your body more resistant to injuries.
Extrinsic risk factors, on the other hand, are not always easy to influence as they are environmental factors that you cannot always control yourself. Some examples include the condition of the pitch, weather conditions, footwear, etc.
In consultation with the physiotherapist/physical coach, the intrinsic (and if possible also the extrinsic) sport-specific risk factors can be reduced as much as possible.
The start of a new season should be preceded by a sound preparation, making it the ideal time to tackle these factors.
In order to map the intrinsic factors, we use SPARTANOVA. These are sports-specific tests that reveal the possible weak links in the body. Based on the results, we can set up a tailored individual prevention program for athletes to work on their shortcomings.
Together we work towards a balanced and strong body to ensure that athletes can enjoy their sport to the full with a minimal risk of injuries".
"I look at it positively: I was lucky. It could have ended much worse," says the elite runner from Kuurne. "So far my rehabilitation is going well. I owe a lot to SQUADT, the Centre for Sports and Physical Rehabilitation in Waregem."
We are SQUADT and you can assemble a Smart & Quality Driven Team to be on top of your physical health. If you want to recover or maximise your physical health as a patient, a client, a sporter or top sporter, you are most welcome at our basecamp Windhoek 13!