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Sports Anemia

Sports anemia is not a true anemia. It is an anemia-like condition that is normal in endurance and ultra-endurance athletes, which is widely considered to be a normal adaptive response to endurance exercise, which manifests as endurance athletes having lower hemoglobin levels (Hb) than non-athletes. These athletes will often look slightly anemic compared to others and this decrease in plasma Hb levels can range from 5% in recreational runners to 20% in elite marathoners. There are two mechanisms for this pseudoanemia and the latter described is the best explanation for a chronic low hemoglobin level.  Read on:

Sports Anemia – Ground Up Strength.


Scalene Muscles Trigger Points and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

The scalene muscles are three paired muscles of the neck, located in the front on either side of the throat, just lateral to the sternocleidomastoid. There is an anterior scalene (scalenus anterior), a medial scalene (scalenus medius), and a posterior scalene (scalenus posterior). They derive their name from the Greek word skalenos and the later Latin scalenus meaning “uneven”, similar to the scalene triangle in mathematics, which has all sides of unequal length.

Trigger points in the scalenes can be a source of interscapular pain (pain between the shoulder blades) and medial scapular border pain. This may be blamed on the rhomboid muscles. They may also refer pain to the chest, which can be mistaken for angina.





Read on:

Scalene Muscles Trigger Points and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

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Rhomboid Major and Minor Trigger Points

The proper names for the muscles we call the rhomboids are Rhomboideus Major and Minor or the Rhomboidei. Although two different muscles, they are very difficult to distinguish from one another and perform the same actions together. They run obliquely downward from the spine to the inner edge of the scapula, on each side of the middle back and connect the vertebra in that area to the medial border of the scapula. They are largely covered by the more superficial trapezius muscle.

Trigger points in the rhomboids refer pain nearby to the inner edge of the scapula, which manifests as a superficial, aching pain between the shoulder blades, closer to the scapula than to the spine. Snapping, grinding or crunching sounds when the scapula is moving may mean that the rhomboid is involved3but it can be difficult to distinguish exactly when the rhomboids are causing between the shoulder blades pain because there are actually ten other muscles which also refer pain to this region, among them are the scalenes, infraspinatus, serratus anterior, and levator scapulae.




Read on…

Rhomboid Major and Minor Muscles: Location, Actions, and Trigger Points –

4-Point Thoracic Mobilization

Use this thoracic mobility drill as one part of a general mobility routine. It combines thoracic rotation with thoracic flexion and is done from a sitting position.

For full exercise instructions see 4-Point Thoracic Mobilization at Ground Up Strength.

Anatomical Direction Terms: A Glossary and Reference

In anatomy,  biomechanics,  kinesiology,  etc.,  anatomical direction terms are words like distalproximallateral, and medial.

These terms are widespread many texts concerning anatomy,  human movement or athletic performance.  The following article provides an explanation for the many directional terms including definitions and examples:

Anatomical Direction Terms: A Glossary and Reference

How Muscles Are Named

This article describes the underlying process for naming human skeletal muscles and the meaning of the various terms that are used in naming muscles.  Incuded are Latin and Greek word roots that signal location,  action,  orientation,  etc.

How Muscles Are Named

Extensor Digitorum Muscle: Location, Actions, and Trigger Points – Ground Up Strength


The extensor digitorum,  also called the extensor digitorum communis, located in the extensor compartment of the dorsal forearm,  extends the middle three fingers and weakly extends the wrist. Trigger point in this muscle can send pain to the back of the hand, fingers, elbow, and the volar wrist (inside part of the wrist) depending on the specific extrensor fibers the TrP is located in.  Read more about the location, actions, origin, instertion, and trigger point syndromes of this extrinsic grip muscle:


Extensor Digitorum Muscle: Location, Actions, and Trigger Points – Ground Up Strength.

Dystonia Explanation

Dystonia is a disorder of movement which causes involuntary twisting actions,  other repetitive movements or abnormal postures. These can be brought on by sustained muscle contractions or spasms and may be painful,  affecting a single muscle or group of muscles. Dystonias can occur in the arms,  legs,  neck,  face,  or all over the body.  Dystonias that affect specific area are called focal dystonias. These conditions affect over 300, 000 people in the U.S.

In dystonia, the neurological mechanism which helps muscles to relax does not function properly resulting in muscles contracting even when they are not in use.  Read on…

What is Dystonia? – Ground Up Strength.

Cheap DIY Medicine Ball

By Matt Wiggins

By now you probably know that med balls are a great tool to use in your workouts.  You can do complex training,  make bodyweight calisthenics harder,  complete intense cardio workouts,  and even build awesome athletes with them.  So time to get a med ball,  right?

Holy cow they can be expensive. And there’s a ton to choose from. Regular sized ones (like a basketball).  Big ones (like a beach ball). Little ones (like a softball).  Ones that bounce.  Ones that don’t bounce. Light ones (2-3 pounds).  Regular weight ones (~10 pounds). Super heavy ones (40-60+ pounds).

And the price – holy cow.  How can a freakin’ ball cost in the hundreds of dollars?

Well, let’s forget all that and just build our own.  Read on…

How to Build Your Own Medicine Ball Out of Scraps, Sand, and Duct Tape 

Homemade Sandbag for Strength Training

By Dave Lemanczyk

The first step is to get the sand for your project.  The perfect sandbag is like the perfect house;  it must have a sturdy foundation in order to stand the test of time.  Your sandbag will consist of mason sand and these bags are found at any home improvement store.  You can buy them in fifty pound bags for no more than four dollars each.  For starters,  I personally recommend you buying three,  fifty pound bags of mason sand.  Next,  you need to find,  acquire,  or buy a military duffel bag.  Read on…

How To Make A Sandbag to Train With!

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