Friday, April 19, 2013

How Different Footwear Affects Adolescent Runners Performance

Iman Fandi
Have a look at how a group of researchers found that different footwear can significantly alter young runners foot strike and diminish running performance.

I posted it in our other blog. Please have a look here.

Please also see here.

*Picture (of Iman Fandi at 2013 National Schools Track and Field meet)  by richseow in

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pregnant Mum Comes To Kinesio Taping Course

We have a pregnant mummy coming to our Kinesio Taping KT 1,2 course over the last 2 days. Now, not just any pregnant mummy, Li Ting is a postgrad trained physiotherapist (who came along with hubby Mathias- also a postgrad trained physiotherapist).

Li Ting and Mathias sharing thoughts on Mechanical Correction
Giving mummy Li Ting a rest while modifying the taping technique
After some revision in the morning (for yesterday's KT 1), the participants proceeded to learn six Corrective Techniques for KT 2.
Abdulla, one of the participants who flew in for the course specially from Maldives showing the class his version of how he kicks....

Edmund wondering .....
Hey, take a photo of my button hole cut 
Jason explaining how black and blue go together
Let's see who can do this better
Class photo
A big thank you to all the participants. Next Kinesio Taping Level 1 and 2 course will be held on June 22-23 at Progress Healthcare.

Please also see this..

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Teaching Kinesio Taping In UM (Universiti Malaya)

There was a special request from Medi Lifesports (the Malaysian distributor for Kinesio tapes) and staff from UM (Universiti Malaya) for Gino to go to KL for a revision on Kinesio taping techniques and to also share new updates. So he caught the 8am flight to KL this morning to be in time for the late morning start.
Universti Malaya (U.M.)
It was mostly medical doctors (who were undergoing training to be Sports Physicians), physiotherapists and research staff who attended the revision tutorial/ practical and they fielded non-stop questions regarding specific techniques and conditions.

Hey, stop messaging and pay attention
Now, during the practical, everyone started paying attention.

After the taping, let's reassess and see if the right technique was chosen.

After lunch, it was time for a different workshop, showing when rigid taping is superior. And guess what? One of the Malaysian physiotherapist decided to teach Gino something too, until she found out that what she was suggesting wasn't working. 

Hey, I can tape better than you...
So back to showing them how it was done. 
This is how you do it

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Trigger Ball Workshop

Participants at a Trigger Ball Workshop learnt many techniques to find their trigger points and release them with the use of a trigger ball. The trigger ball is a simple tool to use for the release of tight muscles which are a result of sport or sitting for long periods at work.

Gino shared the common trigger points and the ways to use the ball to reduce the tension in muscles. This ball that resembles the durian makes a great travel buddy. You can use it on the go, anywhere, as soon as you start to feel muscle tension in your body.

Do email us at if you'd like to find out more about the courses and workshops that we offer.
You have to be on the ball!

Releasing the low back

Demonstrating the 'leopard crawl'

Enjoying this one...not!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Comparing Running Barefoot Versus Nike Free, Lunaracer And Own Running Shoes

Nike Free 3.0

This recently published article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine caught my eye as it compared highly trained runners running in four conditions namely, barefoot, running in a Nike Free 3.0, Nike Lunaracer 2 and their own running shoe. Well, good news if you have knee pain, but not so good news if you have ankle, foot, Achilles or calf pain.

22 highly trained, high-level runners (average 10km time of 33 mins) were chosen by the researchers. Each were given a pair each of Nike Free 3.0, Nike Lunaracer 2 and they had 10 days to run in them and barefoot to get used to them. In addition they also ran in their regular running shoes (on average 125-140 g heavier than the 2 Nike shoes given).

The runners were filmed and their running gait measured using 8 force plates. After a warm up, they did 10 running trials in each of the four conditions (running barefoot, Free, Lunaracer, own running shoe). Their average speed was fast, at 4.48 m/s (or 6 min miles).

And the results? Well, the study showed that running barefoot ia a lot different than running in shoes, but the different shoes did not differ much.

One real difference though was that the runners tended to have a shorter, quicker stride in the Nike Frees and Lunaracers compared to their own regular shoes (average cadence of 183.9 steps/ min versus 181.3).

Key differences between barefoot running versus running in shoes were numerous. Barefoot running elicited a shorter stride length than all shod conditions. There was also higher cadence than all shod conditions (average 187.7 steps/ min). Flatter foot placement at contact and greater ankle plantarflexion at toe off were also observed.

There were also less work done at the knee (24% less when barefoot compared to own running shoe). There was greater joint movements and more work done at the ankle though.

The authors summarized by adding that knee and ankle mechanics were different when running barefoot compared to all shod conditions, including minimalist shoes. Meaning that the minimalist shoe cannot entirely replicate the mechanics of running barefoot.

What does this all mean for you, the runner? Well, this article confirms that running barefoot mechanics are different compared to running in a well cushioned shoe. Running barefoot tends to reduce work done in your knees, but increase work done in your ankles.This means that barefoot running will help those with knee pain but may stress your foot, calf, Achilles and ankle more. So good for those with knee pain but not so great for those with ankle, calf, foot, Achilles pain.

The researchers also acknowledged that the Nike Free may not be really considered a minimalist shoe (given its elevated heel and cushioning available). Wearing a more "minimalist" shoe like the Vibram Five Fingers may be closer at replicating barefoot running although even ultra minimal running shoes will not be be a perfect replication to running without footwear.

Lesson here is that wearing minimalist shoes may not instantly replicate barefoot running. I personally feel your running form is more important. Please also see this and this.

Email me if you want a copy of the article.


Bonacci A, Saunders PU et al (2013). Running In A Minimalist And Lightweight Shoe Ia Not The Same As Running Barefoot: A Biomechanical Study. BJSM. 47: p 387-392.

*Picture from