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Injuries Commonly Seen in Combat Sports

by: Hiro Perera

In all sports, there is a fundamental understanding and expectation that participants will exert their bodies to the threshold of demand (and sometimes beyond this demand) in order to secure victory. However, when the body loses the ability to tolerate forces applied to it, we see injuries occur. This can be seen, for instance, when a jumper’s Achilles tendon cannot withstand the forces applied to it during a landing and inevitably strains or worse yet, ruptures. When you take into account that in combat sports, there is now an adversarial participant who is trying to inflict upon your forces to overwhelm you through striking, takedowns, and submissions, we can see that the risk for injuries may be more prominent in mixed martial arts compared to any other sport.

Recently, the Ultimate Fighting Championship Performance Institute (@UFCPI) did a study to determine what were the most common injuries fighters experienced, what was the mechanism for the injury, and whether there was a difference in injury types while competing versus training. The results were quite interesting. From June 2017-2018, the UFCPI managed and treated 220 individuals and 322 injuries (248 being sustained during competition). Injuries by body part were distributed in this order

Competition:

Area of Injury                                Injury rate

Head/face/concussions                  77.8%

Wrist/Hand                                      19.5%

Knee                                                   15.6%

Foot                                                    10.7%

Shoulder                                            9.7%

Lower Leg                                          5.3%

Elbow                                                 4.8%

Training:

Area of Injury                                Injury Rate

Knee                                                   37%

Shoulder                                            18.5%

Wrist/Hand                                      14.8%

Neck                                                    7.4%

Forearm                                             7.4%

Elbow                                                 7.4%

Ankle                                                  7.4%

It can be concluded that whether you are a combat sports athlete or enthusiast every body part can be considered an area of risk, with head/face/concussions being higher in prevalence during competition and knee injuries being higher in prevalence with training. More information on specific types of injuries, the severity of injuries from a discipline of fighting, and much more can be found in the link below. Having an understanding of which areas of the body are under greater demand and risk allows for a skilled clinician to formulate plans with their athletes to reduce injury risk and increase performance.

Reference: A Cross-Sectional Performance Analysis And Projection of the UFC Athlete. UFCPI

https://media.ufc.tv/ufcpi/UFCPI_Book_2018.pdf 

Breathing: Antidote to chaos – Part 1

By: William Valdes

Have you ever been in a situation where you were overwhelmed, stressed, and had no idea what to do? A kind of state of mind that feels like Best Buy on Black Friday and there is only one of everything – pure chaos. When presented with such times of hardship and uncertainty sometimes the best action we can do is step back and:

 

breath

 

Why is it that when we are in an anxious state, the simple yet powerful act of breathing can counteract this innate primordial act of stressing. Today I will briefly talk about how and why breathing is practically Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of our anatomical and psychological wiring. 

 

The Nervous system and breathing

The way we breathe gives us an opportunity to identify the connection between mind and body. Our breath is a window into our brain or subset called the autonomic nervous system (ANS) which is split into two distinct groups; sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. 

 

The sympathetic nervous system (rapid respiratory rate) :

This is our fight or flight response. This has been programmed into humans since the times of hunting and gathering. The good news is this kept us alive for many years i.e. getting chased by a saber tooth tiger. The bad news is our body does not know the difference between life or death situation or how you will feel right before giving a speech. Stress is Stress.

 

Inhalation: 

As we breathe in, we are bringing vital oxygen into our systems that need to be circulated throughout our bodies. Circulation is governed by an increase in the heart rate in which equals the sympathetic nervous system. From a neurological perspective, inhalation is governed by the sympathetic nervous system because as your body’s heart rate speeds up, your body needs to bring in oxygen to the systems overworking.

 

The parasympathetic nervous system (slower respiratory rate)

This, on the other hand, is our “rest and digest”.

Exhalation:

Now, let’s think about the opposite: exhalation. Oxygen has been moved throughout our systems, making its way to tissues and diffusing. Diffusing is caused via the complex interactions of gases in the blood into said tissues. From there, we are left with a decreased demand for our blood to circulate and a decreased demand for our heart rates to be high. So, reflexively, the parasympathetic system takes the wheel for the duration of the exhalation process.

Okay, so we went a bit deep on this one but I wanted to lay a bit of foundation for what’s in store. Breathing is vital not just for living but also for psychological well-being and anatomical build to name a few. We will continue this series with some exercises and also how more sporadic/sympathetic breathing patterns can influence muscles of the body. Also, I will teach you how to mitigate this as effectively as possible with zero equipment. Please share and comment below some of your approaches for reducing stress!!

Today’s Training Reality: More is NOT Better, Better RECOVERY is Better

By: Peter Beitia

Because lets cut the shit and call it like it is…

We’ve NEVER been more stressed out than TODAY. It’s brutal out there!

I’m no different. And neither are you!

Many of you have full-sized families all at home quarantined for over 15 days now, many of our businesses put on hold, and the inability to leave our houses. Yeap, safe to say…STRESSED.

There’s no shame in it. Having your stress amplified in times like this is NORMAL, but not being able to proactively combat these stressors is NOT.

Before we jump into WHAT do to do mitigate stress, let’s start off with a little addition by subtraction in your training, lifestyle and habits.

Here’s a shortlist of what NOT to do:

  • Have your eyes locked on the news ALL day
  • Discount the importance of SLEEP since you’re at home
  • Go overboard on your DIET, strictly counting calories in and out
  • TRAINING yourself into the ground as punishment

Let’s not forget about the power of continuing your self-care at a time where we truly need it. Those things that made you feel GREAT?

Yeah, those should be at the TOP of your priority list (along with staying safe and sane) during your new “normal” day in isolation.

A few things that have really helped me in this time (that truthfully I was doing BEFORE, but doing MUCH more now):

  • Daily walks of 10+ minutes OUTSIDE
  • Deep BREATHING and meditation morning, noon and night
  • READING for a minimum of 10 minutes per day
  • UNPLUGGING earlier at night (as hard as that can be)

But these are all simple lifestyle tips, what about TRAINING? Clearly you’re here because you are really into this shit, and YES this is still important.

But training has to be a little different now. Especially if you’re facing facility or equipment limitations compounding with the STRESS talked about above.

Now more than ever, training should be a TOOL to make your life better.

For many of my clients who are also challenges with the trials of today, here are some simple modifications I’ve made on their training programs:

  • Emphasize WARM-UPS and self-maintenance
  • Reduce absolute training INTENSITY
  • Reduce the TIME per workout to under 60 minutes
  • Increase PACE by reducing rest periods
  • Increase the FREQUENCY of training to almost daily work
  • NOT stress pushing the needle up a TON

To that last point, the key here during our time in isolation is MAINTENANCE. Not only of training but of the physique, movement patterns, and MENTALITY.

But we can only gain or maintain from a stimulus that you’re able to recover from. That’s where the FREQUENCY thing comes in.

Results matter, however, will not be achieved if you aren’t at your best, this includes doing all you can in terms of recovery. So make sure you’re FEELING GOOD like you should.

Equipment Essentials For ADAPTing @ Home

By: Peter Beitia

In this time of uncertainty, a little can still do a lot. With a few low-cost recommended pieces of equipment OR just your bodyweight, you can still train intelligently and purposefully instead of throwing random workouts together. Dive into daily action that supports your physical, mental, and emotional health with ADAPT @ HOME. Stay connected to nourishing your body and mind. Take control and PERSIST.

If you can’t make it to the gym to pick up equipment not to worry, here’s a list of minimal equipment we recommend:

***Note: Prices may fluctuate but will give you a ballpark and can be purchased for less than $150 apart from weights.

Mini Band set – $11

Jump stretch band #1 (light) – $13

Pull up bar – $29

Sliders – $9

Glute Loop – $11

Wood Plyo box, 3 heights in 1 – $45

Stability Ball – $20

Jump Rope – our favorite is the RPM Session which you can get for $55 and up. If this is out of your price range try this one (let us know if you like it).

Dumbbells – Amazon Basics start at $37 for a 35#. You can also get coated hex from CAP Barbell for a little more. You will need two of moderate weight for you for our upcoming free program.

Kettlebell – powder coat starts at $47 for a 35# or check out Kettlebell Kings for a great selection and free shipping! Choose a single KB of moderate weight for you for our program.

No, we shouldn’t expect ourselves to “perform” at home the same way we were in the gym just days ago. The circumstances are different, both in our setups and in ourselves.

And yet, there’s a difference between grasping for a way – any way – to move your body just for today and setting foot on a forward path. A path that allows you to feel small and steady growth; whether that’s a bit more control in your movement, a bit more strength and stability, or a consistent practice that keeps you healthy at a time when that’s more important than ever.

ADAPT @ HOME is my path for growth in any situation. The progressive designs, from simple to complex, let you start anywhere – with only your bodyweight, or a few simple items – and grow from there.

Our program includes a minimal equipment track using the low-cost items list mentioned above, as well as a bodyweight-only track exercise. As the access to gyms returns, the program will evolve to include more equipment. For now, it’s easy to do from anywhere.

Remember we can’t control what happens outside, but we can take hold of our daily movement and nourishment, as well as our outlook on life. Join us and Persist.