Coach Alicia Fong

Just another weblog

Health tip for week Jan 10th

Knee Pain:  what can you do?

Knee pain is usually a symptom.  The cause can be many, from lack of glute function, tight muscles surrounding the knee like the quads, calves or iliotibial band, patella is locked, and many other reasons.

Here are few things you can do to release some knee pain:

  • Foam roll your tight muscles, start with your calves and follow by iliotibial bands (ITB) and lastly quads.  Make sure you find spots that hurts and hold the painful spots for at least 30 seconds.  This is important because finding the spots is finding the trigger points in the muscles which is usually causing the muscles to shorten and therefore feels tight. Tight muscles will cause pain in the knee area.  Here is 2 videos of how to do self myo-fascial release including foam rolling.
  • Mobilize the patella.  Watch the video for this.  It’s easier to learn this by watching.
  • Do lots of glutes exercises. Glutes stabilize the knee.  When the glutes are not functioning, the knee has to do more work, creating more stress on the knee.
  • Rest and stop high impact exercises like running and jumping.  If you need to do something cardio, go biking or lift weights.  Lifting weights can be as much cardiovascular as running.  Just keep the weights low and do your set with less rest periods.  It will keep your heart rate elevated.
  • This is for the ladies:  Stop wearing high heels.  The heels put tremendous pressure on the knees.  Foam roll your calves.  Your calves will be tight from wearing the heels.
  • And of course, if none of the above steps help, then seek help professionally.  Go to a therapist.

I hope any of the above tips help.  Thanks for reading.

January 12, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Health tip for week Feb 8th

  • Always do some kind of flexibility prior to exercising.

What is the first thing that comes in mind when the word flexibility is used?  Stretching.  Well, flexibility is a lot more than just stretching.  There are many types of flexibility training:

  1. MyoFascial Release
  2. Static Stretching
  3. Neuromuscular Stretching (Contract-Relax, Contract-Relax-Antagonist-Contract)
  4. Active Isolated Stretching
  5. Dynamic Stretching
  6. Fascial Stretching
  7. Eccentric Quasi-Isometrics
  8. Neurodynamic Mobilization
  9. Self-Mobilization Techniques

This is probably more than you need to know if you are not a personal trainer; however, I listed them to give you an idea that flexibility training is much more comprehensive.

Let’s start by understanding the role of flexibility training.  It enhances performance, prevent injuries, and correct muscle imbalances.  Flexibility is the degree to which an individual muscle will lengthen.  Flexibility is the most neglected aspect of many fitness programs.

Poor flexibility creates many health problems and can be damaging to all structures within our bodies.  It creates poor posture resulting in mechanical imbalances in your back, hips shoulders and neck.  These imbalances shift your body segments out of proper alignment.  The results are stress, strains, even worse posture and stiff tight muscles which limit your range of motion and contribute to back, neck, and pelvis pain.  Many factors limit flexibility such as bones, muscles, ligaments muscular bulk and weight.

Many people in the fitness area do not understand well the role of flexibility for enhancing performance and prevention injuries.  The order should be flexibility first.  All my clients end up with some sort of stretching routine that I encourage them to follow daily.  It helps restore balance between opposing muscle groups.  It aids in stability of joint structures and reduces injuries.

Be aware that over-stretching is not always good either.  Over-stretching ligaments can produce unstable joints.  This can alter the normal length-tension relationships, which leads to synergistic dominance and faulty movement patterns.  This initiates the Cumulative Injury Cycle and places unwanted stress on the entire kinetic chain.

It is important to keep in mind a person’s body structure and his/her current state of flexibility, then design the flexibility routine accordingly.  The general rule is “stretch the tight muscles, don’t stretch everything for the sake of stretching”.  If you don’t know which muscles are tight, seek professional help.  Most trainers will be able to help you.

At AF Performance Center, we are offering 2-day Flexibility Seminar February 20 and 21.  This seminar is great for all trainers, physical therapists or anybody who want to learn about flexibility in depth.  You will learn all 9 different types of integrated flexibility listed above and more.  Call 310-895-5385 or visit for more information.

February 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Best warm up exercises

The best warm up exercises you can do prior to any training is self-myofascial release exercises.  You use foam rollers and tennis balls to release tension in your body.  You do want to release the tension or stress that your body has been holding.  By doing so, your body will open up or warm up and be ready to train hard while adding on more tension (working out can release stress psychological but can also add more tension to your body especially if the training is hard).   A person’s body can only take so much stress before it collapses.  Therefore, not only do the self-myofascial release exercises are better than sitting on a cardio equipment for 30 minutes as warming up but are better for your body and health.

All of my clients do these exercises prior to training.  Sometimes, they don’t want to get off the roller because they know they need it and they feel great afterwards.  It is also great for recovery after a hard training session.  You will get less muscle soreness the next day if perform after a training or few hours after training.

If you want to learn more about it, click here and check out the videos.

March 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment