Category Archives: goeller

Feet Matter! Correct Over Pronation Now and Avoid Problems Later

Karen Goeller, CSCS

Pronation is the action of the foot as it roles inward upon foot contact with the ground. This action acts as a shock absorber for the foot and rest of the body. Over pronation occurs when a person’s foot rolls inward and their arch flattens while performing weight bearing tasks. The foot may appear normal while sitting, with a noticeable arch under the foot, but over pronation becomes evident when a person stands or walks. Even people with normal foot structure can develop over pronation as a result of excessive foot stress and improper arch support.  

There are many possible causes for over pronation including walking on hard surfaces for extended periods of time – either barefoot or with flat shoes, heredity, obesity, an imbalance between the posterior and anterior leg muscles, or tight gastrocnemius and soleus muscles among other causes.

Since over pronation causes the person to walk along the inner portion of the foot, this poor alignment may lead to injury in the foot and ankle among many other areas of the body. Problems such as heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, knee pain, back pain, and other medical issues can be the result of over pronation.

Gymnasts are at risk of over pronation because they train barefoot and often do not use proper landing mechanics. The over pronation becomes more of a problem when gymnasts either tumble or land with their feet in the over pronated position. If a gymnast is accustomed to standing or walking in the over pronated position, she will land from dismounts with the same poor foot alignment. The gymnast lands from some skills with a force of up to 16 times her body weight. Landing with such an immense force in an over pronated position, especially when it is on a daily basis, may cause severe damage to the gymnast’s body, ending her career.

There are various methods used to identify over pronation. One method is to look at a person’s shoes. If the shoes are more worn on the inside of the sole, then over pronation may be a problem. Another indicator would be to make a footprint by wetting the foot and stepping onto a towel or any surface where a print can clearly be seen. If there is no dry spot to specify the arch there may be a need for special foot care. The footprint may also be performed in a gymnastics facility by using chalk on the foot and stepping onto a clean mat.

One recommended form of treatment for over pronation is to wear supportive shoes, but the alignment problem should still be corrected for long term foot health. Because a gymnast trains barefoot, corrective exercises may be the best treatment besides wearing supportive shoes while not in the gym. There are many exercises that can help strengthen the foot and improve lower body alignment. Here is one simple conditioning exercise for the feet that can be performed with a towel.

Towel Pull: Place a towel flat on the floor. Keep the heels on the floor and place the toes on the edge of the towel. Next, pull the towel towards the body with the toes so that the towel gathers under the feet. Make sure the foot remains on floor as the toes pull the towel. This exercise may also be performed while sitting in a chair, but gymnasts will be able to relate the standing exercise to landing technique faster than the seated version of this exercise. Once the gymnast is able to perform several repetitions of this exercise, a small weight such as one pound may be placed on the towel.

It is imperative that coaches assign safe and effective exercises and teach proper landing mechanics in an attempt to prevent some injuries. Coaches must watch their gymnast’s feet, knees, hips, and posture closely during each landing performed, whether the landing is from a simple jump on floor or a dismount from bars. It is important to encourage gymnasts to keep their knees in line with their middle toes (where the shoe laces would be if they were wearing shoes) and hips upon foot contact with the mat.

One simple drill for landing mechanics and alignment involves the use of a mirror. The gymnast should stand in front of a mirror with her feet parallel to one another. The gymnast should then slightly shift her weight towards the inner and then outer portions of the feet while watching her knees shift laterally. This should only be a slight shift, but it will be the difference between a safe landing and an injury. This mirror drill will show the gymnast how the foot alignment greatly affects the entire lower body. The gymnast will see and feel the difference between proper and poor alignment. The ankles, knees, and hips must be in line with one another.

Another method of teaching proper alignment is a common exercise used in the fitness world, the Squat Exercise. The gymnast should perform the squat exercise without weights to learn the proper form before she uses light dumbbells. This exercise will help bring awareness of proper landing mechanics and once weights are used it will help her with lower body strength.

And finally, after the Squat Exercise is mastered, gymnasts should perform the “Stick Drill.” This drill involves dropping down from a spotting block or mat stack and landing in the proper squat position. Start with a low stack until gymnasts master the proper position. For best results, gymnasts should practice ¼, ½, and parallel squats. A gymnast must be able to stop the force somewhere between the ¼ and the parallel squat positions.

For safety and success, gymnasts must learn proper foot alignment and perform appropriate strength and sport specific conditioning exercises. And keep in mind that injuries are NOT necessarily part of the sport. Many aches, pains, and injuries may be prevented when the training program is carefully constructed and the athletes are carefully monitored.

One more important note: The gymnast should not perform these or any other drills, exercises, or skills if they feel pain, are ill or injured, or are being treated by a medical professional.

Karen Goeller, CSCS

More information on over-pronation at the below websites.

Education.Auburn.edu/news/2008/june/flipflop.html

Sportsinjuryclinic.net

PacificCollege.edu

Foot.com, DeerfieldFoot.com

Heel-that-pain.com

SportsMedicine.about.com

TheFreeLibrary.com

USAG Safety Manual Page 31

NSCA Performance Training Journal Volume 7, Issue 1 Landing Mechanics

Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning Exercises

Wikipedia.org Flip-flops, OurHealthNetwork.com Pronation

Books are Nice Gifts

www.amazon.com/author/karengoeller

Books are nice gifts… Check out Karen Goeller’s sports, fitness, and children’s books. And be sure to check out the book on her life story after a cancer diagnosis.

Books by Karen Goeller

Titles include: Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning, Handstand Drills and Conditioning, Gymnastics Journal, Gymnastics Coloring Book, Fitness Journal, Strength Training Journal, Fitness on a Swing Set, Swing Set Workouts, Legs Plus Workouts, Lymphedema: Sentenced to Life in Bed, Missy’s Voice, and More.

Karen Goeller on Tweed Talk

Karen Goeller on Tweed Talks
Karen and Pedro Tweed go way back. Pedro, Crystal, and Karen talk about Karen’s books, the quarantine, bullying, and other subjects. Karen and Pedro have known each other for over 30 years through the gymnastics world. Goeller and the Tweeds all work in the film industry too. Listen to this relaxing and fun interview. And check out Karen Goeller’s books on Amazon.

goeller-tweed-interview

Karen Goeller’s Latest Interview

Screenshot (107)In this interview with Mindy Sheier of Gamut Management, Karen and Mindy discuss how working in the film industry with a disability is very challenging,  books, health, sports coaching, and other topics.

Karen is a signed Actor/Model with Gamut Management. She is available for film, tv, photo-shoots, book signings, consulting, and more.  Here’s the interview,  https://youtu.be/oVitWpxhmN8

Contact Mindy at Gamut for film, tv, and modeling projects. www.gamutmanagement.com. Click on the Contact tab.
Contact Karen for book signings and consulting work.
business-card-goeller-june2018

 

When Gymnasts Return to Training after the COVID-19 Pandemic

From a sports-science point of view, there are specific training points we must remember when we return to training. I recommend the following for our gymnasts.

We should start slowly. We all want gymnasts to regain all they lost, but it will be a process. The same process as when a gymnast returns from an injury. We must be extremely patient with each gymnast’s limitations and hesitation in performing skills, physically and mentally. Many will have new fears and others will have become very weak. De-training, loss of strength, happens in children pretty rapidly.

As coaches, we must remember that when competitive gymnasts first return to the gym they should not be doing their highest level skills. They must spend time conditioning to regain the strength they lost. That may take six weeks. Most have not been doing effective conditioning at home to maintain or build the strength necessary to perform the skills they competed or were learning.

This really should be an industry-wide recommendation in order to prevent a high rate of overuse injuries within their first six-eight weeks. I recommend assigning conditioning and basic skills on every event in addition to the careful and deliberate warm-up. A rotation of conditioning, flexibility, balance, and visualization may be wise.

And I recommend that every gymnast perform beam complexes, alignment, and balance drills long before asking them to perform flight series, challenging skills, and routines. I would say at least two to three weeks of balance work should be practiced for beam in order to keep the gymnasts safe and comfortable. And then mix in the balance work with skills once the gymnasts look comfortable on the beam again.

Please keep in mind that it may take gymnasts a few weeks just to regain their ability to focus. The last thing we want is an accident, especially due to a lack of focus. The training should be structured, but not intense in the beginning.

Most gymnasts likely lost flexibility during their time off. Performing over-splits or doing manual stretching should be avoided. Allow your gymnasts to regain flexibility with careful stretching. Nerve gliding may be useful for many gymnasts to help ease them back into flexibility. For example, in the pike stretch ask them to point and flex five times then stretch. Allow your gymnasts to repeat the point-flex motion in each exercise.

Coaches, we really should allow our gymnasts to ease back into the sport, mentally and physically. Be patient and remember that progress in this sport is faster when the gymnast is well-conditioned and has a good state of mind. Mr. Wang who worked for me when I had my gymnastics club said, “gymnasts must have good emotions.” He was right.

Best of luck to all of the dedicated coaches and gymnasts when everyone returns to the gym. I hope the sport makes a come-back financially and continues to grow in popularity.

Let me know how I can help you. I am available through email, social media, zoom, phone, and in-person when we open gyms again. There aren’t too many CSCS’s in the USA with 40+ years of experience coaching gymnastics.

By Karen Goeller, CSCS

business-card-back-blk-2018

Happy Holidays!

Just a quick note to say enjoy I hope your holiday season…

Spend time with friends and family, enjoy the colorful lights and decorations, or just relax with your time off from work. No matter how you choose to spend this time, I hope you enjoy it.

Yes, I do have many products and services that would be nice gifts. Here are some links in case you are looking for gifts.

www.PortersGifts.com (Sports and Fitness gifts and apparel.)

www.GymnasticsTees.com (Gymnastics gifts and apparel)

www.amazon.com/author/karengoeller (Sports, fitness, and inspirational books, journals, and coloring book)

www.GymnasticsBooks.com (Gymnastics books, journal, coloring book)

www.GymnasticsJournals.com (The most useful gymnastics journal)

www.GymnasticsDrills.com (Gymnastics drills and conditioning exercises)

www.HandstandBook.com (Handstand drills and conditioning exercises)

www.LegsPlus.com (legs Plus workouts, exercise every major muscle group within a quick, effective workout.)

www.SwingSetFitness.com (Exercise outdoors with a playground swing. Quick and very effective.)

www.SwingWorkouts.com (Workouts using a playground swing. Have a blastr getting in shape!)

www.LymphedemaBook.com (You’ll be inspired when you see how I went from bed-ridden cancer patient to who I am now. A cancer diagnosis and life afterwards.)

Goeller on Wiseguyz Show

What an incredibly fun night as a guest on the Wiseguyz Show!!!
Here’s their website,  https://wiseguyzshow.com/

Here’s the facebook interview link,  I’m on at the 34-minute mark. https://www.facebook.com/annette.deceglie/videos/10216649695387027/

Here’s the link to the audio/radio. I’m on at the 34-minute mark, https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-d444t-a8cc18

Wiseguyz facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewiseguyzshow/permalink/2352407611654993/

 

And be sure to listen to my Quick Podcasts here, https://karengoeller.wordpress.com/karen-goeller-podcasts/

 

Goeller’s Next Radio Interview

My next radio interview! https://m.facebook.com/groups/1597117707183991
wiseguys-ad-radio-goellerGo to www.DDVRadio.com and scroll down to Wiseguyz show to listen live Wed, Feb 13th 8PM-10PM. https://wiseguyzshow.com/

Podcasts… Karen Goeller’s Podcasts

cropped-karen-hs-bluetop-websq.jpgNow Karen Goeller’s podcasts are on one page so that you can see the list and listen without searching through the blog posts. Most are quick, between one and two minutes in length, but all offer a bit of useful information.

Enjoy listening! https://karengoeller.wordpress.com/karen-goeller-podcasts/

Please share the podcast page and click the LIKE button on the blog posts and pages.

 

No Need to Eat 100% Healthy 100% of the Time

No need to eat 100% healthy 100% of the time. Yes, you heard right. Karen Goeller, CSCS, the person who has been teaching people about health, fitness, and strength for over 30 years just said that!

cartIf you try to eat 80%-90% healthy, you’ll likely be satisfied and remain close to your ideal weight. But first, define healthy.

In my opinion, healthy foods are food from the produce, fish, and meat sections of the supermarket. That’s fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Yes, potatoes and yams included. Just stay away from the boxed meals, fast-foods, and junk foods.

Try really hard to snack on high-quality foods rather than cookies, candies, and other processed foods with low or no nutritional value.

And yes, I DO eat bread and a high protein-omega-3 pasta made from legumes. I personally enjoy Oat Nut bread and Barilla pasta in the yellow box. The Ezekiel bread is high quality too. And of course, your beverages count. Keep the sugar and syrups OUT of your coffee!

So try this. next time you go to the store, be sure that 8 or 9 of every ten items in your cart are actually healthy items. I personally only eat 80%-90% healthy. Remember to define healthy before you make changes.

Good luck… Stay healthy!

karen-legs-plus-book-2018And if you want to start exercising, try the LEGS PLUS workouts. www.LegsPlus.com

P.S. Follow your doctor’s guidelines for you if you have a specific diet. Discuss all changes with a medical professional.

 

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