Athletic Performance

kids playing soccer

3 Healthy Habits to Improve Athletic Performance

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kids playing soccerSports seem to be more popular than ever with many kids striving to make a high school team or earn a college scholarship. Parents spend large amounts of money to pay for their child to be a part of the best travel teams or receive individual instruction. Keeping kids healthy and performing at their best is key to their success. Here are three healthy habits to focus on to improve athletic performance:

1. Improve your sleep! Middle school and high school kids require 8-10 hours of sleep to function at their best. While at sleep, our bodies recover and rebuild. This is extremely important for athletes who are building muscle. In order to optimize sleep, a consistent schedule should be set. For example, trying to be in bed by 9:30pm and sleeping until 6:30am. Weekends or a late night of studying during the week can often throw this schedule off. Electronics before bed also can disrupt sleep.

2. Eat real food! With crazy schedules, planned meals are often an afterthought. Quick stops at the local fast food restaurant can become regular with nights full of practices and games. Work to plan ahead and have healthy alternatives available. The food we eat is what powers our bodies throughout the day. If we continue to provide our body poor nutrition, our performance will suffer.

3. Drink enough water! A good rule of thumb is drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. For a 150-pound person, this would mean drinking approximately 75 ounces of water daily. Even being slightly dehydrated during activity can impair both cognitive and physical performance! If you wait until you feel thirsty, you are already behind. It can be very easy to lose track of how much water you have consumed throughout the day. One solution can be to carry a water bottle around and mark down each time it’s empty.

While these three things may seem simple, very few middle school and high school athletes are able to consistently complete them. Completed consistently over time, these habits can fuel athletic performance improvement while also setting up great healthy habits for a lifetime.

personal trainer

The Benefits of One-on-One Personal Training

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personal trainerA personal trainer is someone who is knowledgeable about fitness and has the ability to effectively coach clients through workouts. Oftentimes, trainers will have an educational background from a university in a health-related field or have completed a variety of available certifications. But, with exercise videos all over the internet for free, why would you spend your money on a personal trainer? Here are the top 5 reasons.

1. A personal trainer will assess your movement patterns and create an exercise program that is designed for you. He or she will work with you to strengthen weaknesses which may have caused pain or discomfort in the past. Not every exercise is good for every person. A personal trainer will make sure you are doing the exercises that will get you the best results.

2. A personal trainer will work with you to set specific measurable goals that are important to you. Some people want six pack abs and bulging biceps while others want to be able to run and play with their kids. Each scenario requires a specific plan. A personal trainer will measure and track your progress to make sure you’re making progress towards your goal.

3. A personal trainer will help keep you safe while you exercise. Often, injuries can occur due to using equipment incorrectly, trying to use too much weight, or choosing an exercise that is not correct for your ability level. A personal trainer will monitor your workouts and teach you proper form to lower your risk of injury.

4. A personal trainer can provide motivation and accountability. Many people struggle to challenge themselves appropriately or stick with a current plan. Take a look at how many people give up New Year’s resolutions in the month of January! A personal trainer can motivate you in an appropriate and professional way to keep you going when you want to stop.

5. A personal trainer can often work around your busy schedule to make sure you still get in your workouts. Group fitness classes are often on a rigid schedule that may not fit with your life.

Hiring a personal trainer is an investment in yourself. What is your health and future worth? If you have struggled with not getting the results you want, hurt yourself exercising, or simply do not know where to start, a personal trainer may be perfect for you.

A Proper Warm-up on Race Day will Save You from Injury

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Renee Przystas, DPT, FAFS here at i’move, recently penned an article for the Grand Haven Tribune. The article gives pointers for a proper warm-up. It was written with triathalon athletes in mind but it’s a solid, quick read for anyone.

Optimizing Your Engine: Get race day ready with the proper warm-up

RENEE PRZYSTAS • JUL 7, 2017 AT 4:30 AM 
It’s mid-racing season for the triathlon world, and many athletes already have multiple miles under their legs. Although it may seem that training is starting to reach peak performance, and you’re feeling confident about your current condition, there is one component of the triathlon that must not be overlooked — the warm-up.

It’s easy to forget about the importance of warming up when you’re already struggling with getting in all the miles required within a week or are trying to cope with pre-race jitters the morning of the race.

Of course swim technique, bike fit, and running form are important, but if no warm-up is integrated during training workouts or races, you’re putting yourself at a higher risk of injury. A dynamic warm-up serves as benefit for prepping your muscular tissue to respond to racing demands and reduce risk of injury. Stimulating the muscles dynamically increases blood flow, activates important receptors in your body, and also excites your brain through the release of hormones. Here are a few quick tips to help you create an appropriate warm-up prior to your next training workout or race:

Create your warm-up to be global and individualized
Integrate all aspect of your body just as the sport of triathlon does. Include movements that get your ankles, hips, thoracic spine, and shoulders moving.

Plan the warm-up movements so they are similar to the movements you’ll perform during the race (or workout).
Swimming preparation could include rotation of the trunk/arms, overhead arm reaching extending side-to-side, and hip flexor stretching to help with kicking. Three-dimensional hamstring stretching, dynamic leg swings, and backward lunges are great for cycling. An example of running prep could include various runs such as high knees, toe in or out running, backward jogging, and lunges in various directions (forward, side-ways, backwards).

Spend time on the warm-ups specific to the duration of the workout
If you are doing a longer workout with less intensity, the warm-up should only be 5-10 minutes. If you are prepping for a fast 5k (short workout of high intensity), the warm-up should last a bit longer.

Take advantage of consistency
Your brain will recognize warm-ups that you have practiced during training. Remain consistent with warm-ups both during training as well as competition, adjusting intensity and duration according to the type of workout.

Be intentional about timing
Optimal warm-up should be completed with 10 minutes left till race start (or closer for a training workout). The physiological benefits of warming up, such as increased blood oxygenation, will still be active within this time frame.

Use Caution
Be sure not to overdue a warm-up. What you don’t want is to fatigue yourself from a warm-up that is too long or intense.

A triathlete is bound to thrive when they are injury-free and feeling confident with their training. During your next workout or race, reap the benefits through creating your own individualized warm-up. You may get a few ‘head turns’ from onlookers, but they won’t be laughing as you speed past them at your next event!

Renee is a sports medicine and women’s health physical therapist who has more than 10 years of experience in triathlons, including competitive participation on Michigan State’s collegiate team. She has competed in sprint distance to half ironman distance as well as multiple marathons.

i’move, MSA Form Unique Partnership in Grand Rapids

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i’move Partners with MSA in Grand Rapids

As many of you may already know i’move and Michigan Sports Academies (MSA) have formed a new partnership to serve Grand Rapids area athletes at the MSA Fieldhouse. MSA is the area’s premiere team sports organization with Volleyball, Basketball and Lacrosse leagues for athletes in junior high through high school. This is a natural fit for i’move as we provide Athletic Performance Training, Physical Therapy and Wellness Solutions for individuals, teams and companies. Although this is our sixth location – it’s our first in Grand Rapids and we’re thrilled to be there.

We think this provides MSA athletes with a unique opportunity. We’re not aware of any other program where the athlete has a 360° menu of services. They have their team, their sport, and their competitions along with the performance training and physical therapy care to help them feel great and perform at their best. We’re so glad to be a part of bringing this unique partnership to life with our MSA counterparts.

The good news in all this is of course it means our well-known Personal and Athletic Performance Training and Physical Therapy services are accessible to everyone in the greater Grand Rapids area. Our doors are open now, so you can schedule your appointment.

Athletic Performance and Personal Training Hours

Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

To schedule an appointment contact Will Zimmerman

Physical Therapy Hours

Monday 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Friday 3:30 – 6:30 p.m.

To schedule a Physical Therapy appointment call 616.847.1280 or email

Athletic Performance Trainingi'move Team Training


In addition to services for MSA athletes, i’move also provides Physical Therapy, Personal Training and Athletic Performance services for the entire Grand Rapids community. We also have Physical Therapy clinics in Grand Haven, Holland, Spring Lake and Rockford. The Flagship Spring Lake Cove Street location also offers Athletic Performance training, Personal training and adult fitness classes in addition to Physical Therapy.

Selecting the right Athletic Performance Training for your child?

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How do you select the Sports Performance Training for your child?

Start talking with anyone about Athletic Performance Training and it is likely many different opinions will be heard. Even at the highest level of professional sports, philosophy and techniques differ. With so many opinions how are you suppose to find out what is correct for your child? To help make this decision easier, here is a quick guide of what to look for.

Look for Credentials

Simply having letters behind your name does not make you a good trainer, but the best trainers have a passion for improving their own knowledge. Due to this passion they will seek continuing education and have certifications to prove it. Continuing education is extremely important as the field of strength and conditioning is rapidly developing, information learned as little as 10 years ago may no longer apply. Do not take advice from someone who is not on the cutting edge of their field. And remember, not all certifications are not created equal.

Ask to Watch an Athletic Performance Training Session

Environments between facilities can be drastically different. Picture loud music, heavy weights, and an instructor yelling at the top of their lungs vs. upbeat music, smiling faces, and a bubbly encouraging instructor . One situation is not inherently good while the other is not bad, but they are certainly for different people.

imv-vmp-final-6072Talk with your child about goals they have, talk sensibly about what type of environment they would be comfortable in. Remember, age, sport, and ability level should all go into the decision of what environment is best for your athlete. Many facilities may even allow a trial session before fully committing to a program.

Determine Cost

Training cost can be all across the board. Large groups of athletes are often trained together for as little as a few dollars per person. On the other hand personalized one-on-one training can cost upwards of $100 per hour. Experience level will also largely influence the cost of a session. Trainers just getting into the field will often charge much less than an experienced co-worker. So, the tough question becomes how much are you willing to spend?

Think through what the benefits of an individualized program with personalized attention may be for your athlete. Or would they better be suited in a group of their peers, feeding off the energy and motivation of others? Will they benefit from and experienced trainer? Usually the answer to all these questions falls somewhere in the middle. Remember consistency of any training is key, so be careful not to commit financially to something that is not sustainable.

We’ve worked with athletes at all levels from junior high to college to professional. Contact to learn more Athletic Performance Training at i’move.

Communicate, Celebrate and Connect with i’move

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Here at i’move, we focus on three things for our interactions with each other within the business and with our communities outside the business: Communicate, Celebrate, and Connect.

As we have grown over the last 11 years, our communication strategies have changed. We could write a message on the whiteboard in the staff bathroom if there was something our coworkers needed to know that day. Or we would draw a picture for the patients, so they would know what to do for their exercises at home. Dave’s pictures always were full of detail and precise body proportions; Marty’s looked like a scarecrow hula dancing.

Now we have this new website to better communicate with all of you. Some of the new features are:

  • Request an appointment for physical therapy or personal training
  • Directly contact your therapist or trainer
  • Stay informed about special events and periodic offers
  • This blog that will keep you informed of new research and treatment techniques, ideas for keeping yourself and your family happy and healthy, special offers and other topics guaranteed to educate and entertain.

We also want to use this website as a platform for Celebrating. i’move is up to 25 therapists now over 6 clinics, and they continue to add certifications and win awards. But we want to celebrate your accomplishments as well. You are achieving milestones after your time with us. Some of you have completed your first marathon, hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, returned to your sport, or resumed exercising after being unable to do so for so long. We are proud of your accomplishments and are honored to play a part in helping you reach your goals!

Finally, we want to use this new platform to Connect with you. We see our relationship with our patients not as one where you come in only after a doctor says you can, only after you have suffered an injury. Ideally, you see us as a partner in your function where you come in for preventative maintenance just like you do for your car. That may consist of injury screens, taking part in one of our many fitness classes each day, coming in a couple times a year to advance your exercise program, or seeing us in a direct access situation where we are your first stop after an injury.

These are exciting times for i’move, and we are thrilled that you have chosen to Communicate, Celebrate, and Connect with us.