Did you know that females of all ages and abilities face significant physical challenges when training?
Females have a significantly higher micro trauma (non-contact) pain and injury rate. Why you ask? The overall issue is that women have very poor pelvic stability and high quad. dominance. Females have weak, inhibited and most of the time nonexistent activation and strength in their glute. complex (Min., Med., Max.), abductors and adductors (Yes, males have these problems but they are much more pronounced in females). Females are born with this poor structure and over time these areas become very dormant, but doesn't stop is their every day movement, fitness and sports. This poor set up along with the female triad, Q angle and knee valgus combine to cause pain in the knee and lower back. This poor structure forces the the body into quad. dominance. Over time the quads. become very strong, tight and overused. Basically the knees and low back are the two areas that end up being the victim and are asked to do too much and it is just a matter of time before they give in.
Why should I worry about this if my goal is to lose weight?
Well... during the process described above the body spends a good amount of time protecting itself. While the body protects itself the focus on calorie/fat burn becomes a secondary process and rendering a workout more counterproductive than productive.
Obviously there is much more to this story and I would be glad to expand on this during a personal assessment but in the meantime here are a few things to do and not do:
1. STOP STRETCHING YOUR HAMSTRINGS SO MUCH! Yes… it feels good, but all you are doing is accelerating your chance of a hamstring pull. I have never seen a female that didn’t have great to excellent hamstring flexibility.
2. Minimize rolling and stretching the posterior chain (Back, Hamstrings, Glutes and Piriformis). These groups feel "tight" but are typically not tight. They feel tight due to the quad. dominance causing anterior pelvic tilt. Basically the front is so tight it is pulling you forward and lengthening the back side. Google “Lower Crossed Syndrome” for more info.
3. Roll and stretch your quads. and hip flexors
4. The IT bands are not the problem… It’s a quad. dominance problem.
5. Activate and strengthen your Glute. Complex, abductors and adductors. This will literally save your knees and low back.
6. Minimize Quad. Dominate exercises… (Squats, lunges, leg press, step ups etc…). Think about your “LEG DAY”…If you really think about it “LEG DAY” is actually quad., Calf and maybe hamstring day…Right? Well there are several other areas of the “LEG” that would appreciate some love (See #5).
7. Chance are all of the stuff described above is hiding and often doesn’t present itself until you have pain or injury caused by improper exercise/training and or high activity. Contact PROFORM to find the issues before they become more than they have to be.