Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Plantar Fascia and Foot Intrinsic Muscles

By Meghan Taff

The pendulum is swinging once again. A few years back it was determined that rearfoot (or heel) striking was dysfunctional in running gait and that mid or forefoot striking was more "natural". And as "Born to Run" would tell us, a more natural gait pattern would help us prevent injuries. While this is true in some runners, many other runners continued to struggle to 1) change over to this style of running and 2) get relief from their injuries after they've done so.

Our foot has 2 functions during the gait cycle. It has to be pliable during the heelstrike phase of gait in order to allow the foot the conform to the ground and absorb shock and then as the foot gets ready to transition from accepting our body weight to pushing off of the ground, it has to become a rigid lever or platform for us to push off of. This recent study suggests that by changing our gait pattern to mid or forefoot striking, we are preventing our foot from conforming to the ground, by bypassing straight to hitting on the mid / forefoot vs landing on the heel. In essence we skip over the stretchy phase of the gait cycle and go right into the rigid phase. Per the study, "A less elastic fascial tissue was more easily strained under loading. Tissue overstrain is frequently related to the incidence of plantar fasciitis."

I've always been a fan of making sure that the body has a nice balance between mobility, flexibility and strength around the joints. I find that more times than not, addressing these deficits within a runner have a nice way of correcting not only gait deviations like arch/knee collapse, or hip drop, but can also allow the runner to use a comfortable, more self-selected gait pattern. 

Click HERE to see our link for exercises to help with mobilizing and strengthening the plantar fascia and foot intrinsic muscles. 

Ultrasound elastographic assessment of plantar fascia in runners using rearfoot strike and forefoot strike

Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Case for Strength Training

By Meghan Taff

Strength training is imperative for endurance athletes. There are numerous benefits and really no draw-backs for having a consistent strength training routine during the training cycles. In the off season, strength training can be done more often to build a strong base and also help the muscles hypertrophy. Most endurance athletes fear hypertrophy, but know that it doesn't always have to equal size or bulk. The muscles can hypertrophy, or grow in number muscle fibers, and therefore increase strength. However, using circuit training to work key muscle groups as well as condition the cardiovascular system is a great way for athletes to not only get stronger, but avoid any unnecessary "bulking up" as they are still working the aerobic system moving continuously from one exercise to the next to keep the HR elevated. The increase in the number muscle fibers will improve the muscle's ability to use oxygen, which as we are all familiar with the concepts of VO2 max, will only help performance and recovery. Not the mention the benefits of strengthening bones as well as smaller, less utilized stabilizing muscles. All of which with help us prevent injury during the season as we start to ramp up the repetitive aspects of our sports (ie swim, bike, run).

Strength training still has a place during the competitive portion of the season, but can be reduced as the athlete moves onto the more sport-specific training. Conditioning younger athletes to learn and respect the benefits of strength training will only set up good habits for the future and thus ensure they have a long and fulfilling endurance career. Those of us that started later in life would also greatly benefit from beginning a strength training program ASAP. We may not have the skill set to perform the activity with good form initially and supplementing a good strength training routine will help prevent injury until we can master those skills. While you would never have a basketball player only perform weighted squats in lieu of practicing free-throws or form-specific drills, strength training is an important aspect of all sports. It can help with the neuromuscular or motor planning component (ie efficiency of movement) required to coordinate movements for a particular activity. 

Strength, injury-prevention, improved cardiovscular function and motor planning are just a few of the many reasons endurance athletes should be incorporating strength training into their training seasons. 

Read more about strength training for cyclists here.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Got GAS (Gluteal Amnesia Syndrome)?

Do you have GAS? 


Gluteal Amnesia Syndrome Or “I can’t find my butt syndrome" occurs when your glutes lose the ability or forget how to fire properly due to tightness in other areas like your hip flexors. 

If you have ever experienced Gluteal Amnesia Syndrome, here is an exercise for you! RIF's own Jamie Wong, PT has engineered the Single-leg Sliding Wall Squat to help reactivate your glutes and remind them how to fire properly.

1. Stand sideways to the wall. Press the side of your knee into the wall. 
2. Hinge at your hips, keeping your spine straight. 
3. Slide your knee backwards.
4. Make sure to keep your chest vertically aligned over your foot. 
5. Keep pressing your knee into the wall as you return to standing. 

*Hip-knee-foot alignment: Check to see that your knee is tracking in the middle of your foot, between your 2nd-3rd toe. 

Frequency: 2 sets of fatigue (both sides)

Try doing this as a warm-up before your activity, be it running, cycling, swimming, etc. 

Research shows that gluteal exercises are beneficial for reducing knee pain. In fact, a recent review found that middle-aged and older patients are unlikely to benefit from surgery to repair meniscus and cartilage tears in the long run. Rather, treatment with physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medicine may be more helpful.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Patient Spotlight - Sylvia Haultain

Sylvia first came to Revolutions in Fitness after sustaining a head injury and was looking for some help with concussion recovery and to regain her ability to enjoy her outdoor passions. Sylvia lives next to Sequoia National Park and loves hiking, cycling, and spending her time among the redwoods. 

Although her drive to and from Revolutions in Fitness was long (3+ hrs), Sylvia would not let that stop her from regaining her freedom and health! Sylvia had this to say about her experience:

"I came to Revolutions in Fitness because I wasn't ready to hang up my hiking boots. Their unique approach to treating the body as an integrated whole is exactly what I needed to get back to doing the things I love...RIF always gives me a feeling of unlimited potential for getting better, which is so motivating. It makes recovery feel like flow, rather than fight".

It was amazing to be a part of Sylvia's success and to watch her improve with every session. Her determination and willingness to follow Curtis' lead was nothing but inspiring. Congratulations on getting back to hiking, biking, and reveling in the great beauty that is Sequoia National Park! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Katie Kennedy - The Power of Kinesio Tape

Katie Kennedy, DPT helped her client Tom who was experiencing significant achilles pain by applying Kinesio Tape!

"The best Physical Therapy anywhere. And now Dr. Katie Kennedy does kinesiology tape art! Hurt my ankle and last week I couldn’t really walk. After some attention from Dr. Katie, walking is now fine and with some strengthening work, I’ll be back on my bike in no time!" 
                                         - Tom

Interested in experiencing the power of Kinesio Tape for yourself? 
Contact us: Phone: (650) 260-4743 | Email:

OR Schedule an Appointment Online HERE!

Monday, July 23, 2018

RIF's Ironwoman Meghan Taff

RIF Physical Therapist Meghan Taff recently participated in her first Ironman event in 3 years! Here is what she had to say about her time in Santa Rosa:  
The overall reason for my success was a great nights sleep leading up to the race. As an insomniac I never get those, so this was a pleasant, welcome surprise.

The swim was a great temp with clear waters. The only negative was sighting into the sun, which made the 2 lap course challenging at times. It was not my best swim, but I was able to turn that into an efficient T1.

The bike was a question mark. I knew my fitness was there after living in the penninsula for 2 years and training with Team Sheeper Triathlon, but the bike has always been my weakest leg as I came to that sport last. I knew I could PR, but doing it by almost an hour was a surprise. The wind picked up at the end and the roads were a little bumpy, but that made the transition to the run all the sweeter.

Santa Rosa is very spectator friendly, so being able to see my husband, friends, and coaches made it easy to push the first 2 laps. I faded quite a bit on the last lap, but still had my fastest Ironman marathon split.

I had been thinking 12 hours in my head, but tried not to focus on numbers this year. I really just wanted to have fun and enjoy the day since I hadn’t done a full Ironman for 3 years.

The stars aligned and I finished in 12:09. I couldn’t have been happier with the day that I had given the ups and downs that we all experience in life as well as training.

Here’s to IMSR 2019!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Event Announcement: "Increased Running Efficiency & Avoiding Common Injuries"


Improving Efficiency &
Avoiding Running Injuries

Join Meghan Taff (MPT, CSCS) IM Triathlete in a clinic

designed to teach you how to run more efficiently &

 avoid common running injuries.   

What to Expect:

  • Learn Mechanics for Efficiency and Performance
  • Understand Recovery & Prevent Common Injuries
  • Exercises for Managing & Improving your Running

Gain valuable information to get to the start line injury

free and finish your race strong.

$10 PARC Members / $15 Pre-Admission / $20 On Site

Space is limited so reserve your spot today at OR 650.260.4743 2741
Guest Speaker:
Special guest Heidi Buttery from 'Nutrition by Heidi'
will be sharing her “Top 5 Nutrition Hacks” for runners,
as well as provide her homemade “Aloha Ginger”
energy bars for sampling.