NFL coach Tom Zheng shares his recommendations on the way to discover your health benefit

In a sport as contact-intensive as soccer, Tom Zheng's job is to ensure that each San Francisco 49ers player performs optimally from a biomechanical perspective, with an emphasis on reducing the rate of non-contact soft tissue injuries.

In his third season as a functional performance therapist for the 49ers, Tom Zheng says the most rewarding aspect of the job is observing and monitoring a player's physiological improvements from week one through the end of the season, in part because of the reconditioning programs he and the functional performance staff is tailored to each player.

While most of us are not world-class athletes, some of the same training principles apply, namely knowing when to drive through or back, along with proper recovery. The holiday season is sure to throw many on their hips, which will lead to a rush of traffic to your local gyms as we all try to stick to our New Years resolutions.

Tom Zheng shared his tips on how to start your fitness journey, get the most out of your workout, and stay consistent.

Girl-In-Puffy-Jacket-Walking-Through-Park-Fall-TimeRuslan Khismatov / Shutterstock

Start moving

The main difference between someone who works a nine-to-five and someone who is an athlete for their profession is just the amount of movement and stress that you put on the body. If you sit for more than eight hours a day, you are stuck in a sitting position. So what happens is that your muscle fibers really get used to it from being in this position for hours, but they also start to shorten and limit a lot of movement in the joints that a person should normally be doing.

Your body should be able to twist and turn. You should also be able to put weight on the joints. If the joints lack freedom of movement, open up to stress now. w, if the hinge isn't working, pull on these muscle fibers a little harder than they should.

The best I can say is to break the sedentary lifestyle. Exercise all day if you can and do different types of movements, not just walking. You always want to make lateral movements, rotational movements. I'm a big fan of regularly stretching and changing seating positions throughout the day. For example, instead of just sitting on a chair, let's say you sit on an exercise ball that allows you to rotate your pelvis up and down. This prepares you a lot more than just warming up before you start the lift and run.

Fitness couple with shin splints balancing on one legAlfa photo studio

Start slowly and get away

You don't want to just jump into a new workout routine because you want it to last. It's like dieting. You jump on a diet, you make this drastic change in your intake, and you will lose a good amount of weight at first, but then it will slowly decrease. When you return to your normal diet, you will have that weight gain again. The same goes for any new exercise program - you want to start slowly and build your base. You want to sleep well and make sure your body is comfortable. So maybe don't jump into the weights right away. Bring in a little exercise. Maybe stretching, yoga, or crawling; something that requires you to put your whole body in but not put a lot of strain so you don't have setbacks.

You want to start working on what the sedentary lifestyle did to your body so that when you are ready to do weight lifting, running, even the Zumba class that you wanted to take to burn fat, you will become you have a smoother trip, it will take time, and you will be less likely to say, “you know what? I've been doing this for two weeks. I feel super sore and tired. Let me take five days off. ”Five days become a week, then two weeks and then it goes no further. Start slowly and go from there.

Man sleeps soundly and comfortably on the sides of the bedValery Sidelnykov

Getting enough sleep and fuel are crucial

You want to build a pyramid. At the base of the pyramid is sleep, because that's where much of the repair for your body takes place, both muscularly and in your brain. Only then does your brain produce new neurons in your hypothalamus during deep sleep and this helps with both short and long term memory. Sleep is really the only time your body is repairing your muscles. Without getting enough sleep, you can exercise as much as you want, but doing so will make you tired, have a negative effect on your appetite and your recovery. Yes, sleep is the most important thing.

Think of nutrition as the second level of this pyramid. If you don't properly fuel your body, you won't get the mass growth or muscle fiber adjustment you desire because you will only get what you put in. It's like taking your BMW to the gas station and filling up with the poorest quality gas in there. It will run, but it will not run optimally, and in the long run it will negatively affect the car.

Since the pandemic, it has been common for your sleep to be negatively impacted from working from home and postponing your entire schedule. You are more indoors and junk food is more accessible. However, the greatest benefit of being at home is that you have the time and space. You can do things on the side that you normally couldn't do in an office. You can do a few corrective things, you can stretch, roll out, do yoga, and the like throughout the day, which requires a little effort and some exercise will not only help physically but also mentally.

Masseuse-Using-Massage-Gun-On-ShoulderCool Hand Creative / Shutterstock

Know how to use recovery products

I would recommend foam rolling as a warm-up exercise before training. A good rule of thumb is to always get some exercise first, getting the blood flowing, and getting the muscles moving. Then you want to do a little of that self-myofascial release, either with a recovery tool like a theragun, a foam roller, and after that you want to go through a dynamic warm up just for you to get your body through something that gets all of your joints moving, brings your body neuromuscular system for running so you can coordinate complex movements.

It's also a good idea to do static stretching after your workout and then apply the same principles. Let's say you did a heavy day of squat. I know it's so easy to say, “Okay, I've put my work into it. I'm fine and I'll go home and sit down. ”The problem is that your muscle fibers stay the same length when you sit down. w that you've created micro-cracks, a lot of lactate and biological waste will be left there. That's why you're so sore for the next few days. You can tone down a lot of this by stretching the primary muscle groups you've been exercising, applying self-myofascial relaxation to them, and as a personal favorite, I always try to correct alignment before working out after a sedentary activity. Chances are your hips, shoulders, neck, and back are a little out of place.

Muscular army personnel are tired and are experiencing a training plateaualessandro guerriero

When to either scale or push through

Here's another good rule: if something doesn't feel stable or you feel a sharpness with any kind of movement, it's not just a general pain. Let's say you've had a busy day running. It's pretty normal to have sore calves, hamstrings, and quads. However, if you have a sharp sensation in your calf while climbing stairs, this is a general warning sign and you may want to take a few days off, do some frosting and soft tissue work. t in the environment, but in the environment. Much of it is just body awareness.

It is similar for professional athletes. When you feel like something is out of place or you can't do something - sometimes they have to get through it, depending on what time you are at the moment, what sport you are doing, but at the end of the day , you want to do all you can to mitigate something that is going to upset you for a long period of time. If that means missing out on a day of training, that's perfectly fine.

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