ACL Injuries and New Guidelines for ACL and Knee Injury Prevention

The anterior cruciate ligament, or “ACL”, is an important knee stabilizer especially for athletic activities like cutting, pivoting, and changing direction.  It is estimated that 100,000 to 250,000 ACL injuries occur every year in the United States. ACL injuries can be costly including surgery, rehab, and time lost from sports, exercise, or work. There are…
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Rotator Cuff And Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

What you need to know about your rotator cuff and shoulder impingement syndrome. What is the rotator cuff? The rotator cuff is a group of 4 muscles that originate on the shoulder blade and insert onto the head of the humerus. See the rotator cuff pictured below: The 4 muscles of the rotator cuff can…
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Is Your Headache Coming From Your Neck?

Is your headache coming from your neck? There are a number of different types of headaches. The International Headache Society has 14 different classifications of headaches! Some of the common types of headaches many people have heard of are migraine, sinus, tension, and cluster headaches.1 Headaches are common and almost everyone will experience one or…
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The PT and Strength Coach Relationship: A Match Made in Heaven

How a Coordinated Relationship Between Your PT and Strength Coach Can Benefit Your Training (2/21/18) Last week my colleague Dr. Anthony Falco discussed how you could see a physical therapist without having to see a doctor first. Doing so can save you a significant amount of money in your process to heal your ailments. With…
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Saving Money with Physical Therapy? That’s Crazy…or is it?!

Did you know you can come to see a physical therapist without having to see your doctor first? In New Jersey you have direct access to your physical therapist. This means that a physician referral or prescription is not required to see your physical therapist. If you have back pain after shoveling the driveway or…
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Do I Need Meniscus Surgery?

What is my meniscus? Do I need surgery if I tear my meniscus? The meniscus is a structure in our knee joint that provides smooth joint motion, shock absorption, joint stability, and nutrition to our knee joint. Each knee has a medial meniscus and a lateral meniscus. Together the medial and lateral menisci also enhance…
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Using Basic Movement Patterns To Improve Aerobic Capacity In Athlete

Using Basic Movement Patterns To Improve Aerobic Capacity In Athlete Last week, Dr. Anthony Falco discussed the basics of heart rate training and how to properly calculate your resting heart rate and maximum heart rate. Once you determine these numbers you can properly utilize heart rate monitors to enhance your training. In athletes, this can…
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How to Track Your New Year’s Health Goals

There are 2 Simple ways to use heart rate to track fitness progress: The start of a new year is often a time when people will start a new fitness or health goal. One important factor that aids in meeting goals is having a way to measure progress. Heart rate can be a simple metric…
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The Opioid Epidemic

The opioid epidemic has received a lot of attention over this past year, and for good reason. In 2016, there were 1,901 deaths in New Jersey due to opioid overdose (See an interesting article and interactive map here).(1) In New Jersey there have been nearly 6,000 deaths due to opioid overdose since 2004 and the…
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Triple Extension: What is it and why should I care?

Triple Extension: What is it and why should I care?

All sports require the ability to perform powerful and fast hip extension. Whether accelerating while skating in hockey or competing in the long jump, powerful extension will improve performance and power development. There are different ways to develop power including weightlifting and plyometric jump training. Knee extension and ankle plantarflexion are also required for maximal power development. The combination of hip extension, knee extension, and ankle plantarflexion are termed “triple extension”.

The main muscle groups involved in triple extension are the gluteus maximus at the hip, the quadriceps at the knee, and the gastroc/soleus complex at the ankle. Look at the pictures below of an athlete performing a vertical jump. In the first picture you see the athlete in a squat position in preparation to jump as high as possible. In the second picture you can see the athlete's hip and knee are fully extended and ankle plantarflexion.

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Pic 1-Pre load to jump  Pic 2-full triple extension at top of jump

Triple extension development is not only for athletes. Going up steps and getting out of a chair require the same muscle groups and joints to perform to complete these movements. See the pictures below as an example.

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Notice the hip and knee extension demonstrated in the standing position in the above picture and compare it to Pic 2 above.

Part of maximizing triple extension is assessing and ensuring full range of motion is capable at the hip, knee, and ankle. Below you will find a few mobility drills to improve and maintain full range of motion at the hip knee and ankle to maximize the triple extension position.

Kneeling Hip flexor stretch:

Keep the abs tight, squeeze the butt muscles and feel a stretch at the front of the hip


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Kettle Bell Swing

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Hamstring stretch with a band/strap

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Ankle sit backs/tibialias anterior stretch:

Gently sit back and feel a stretch on the front of your shins

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Alternating stationary lunge

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Try adding these mobility and active warm up drills to your warm-up before a workout or training session. As always, if you are having pain while training or working out reach out to us so we can help you get healthy and stay active!

Gerry will follow up next week for his favorite moves to carry-over these basic concepts on triple extension to performance training and how he uses triple extension to maximize an athlete’s power potential.