Physical Therapy

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.

Ankle Sprains, Part 1

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Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries in American high school athletes, occurring over 300,000 times per year. Ankle injuries rates are highest in sports that combine jumping near others and rapid direction changes while running. The winter sports of basketball and wrestling certainly place strong and dynamic stress on the ankles, making this a good time to consider how to handle ankle sprains if they occur to you or someone on your team.  Read More

i'move Physical Therapist, Jeff Clark

Okay, so what is an Injury Screen anyway?

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What is an injury screen?

So something has been hurting lately – your back, neck, knees or what have you. You haven’t been able to exercise, shovel the snow or just simply get through your day without pain that limits you. Even if the pain doesn’t limit your activity, it still may be frustrating. What can you do about? Come to i’move for an injury screen.

Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers are highly trained to evaluate your musculoskeletal aches and pains. A “screen” is brief evaluation that helps identity the source of your problem and provides treatment recommendations. At i’move we won’t just tell you it is tendonitis, a disc problem or your meniscus…we will examine you to determine what movement dysfunction is causing or contributing to the problem. Knee pain is often due to a stiffness or weakness in the hips or ankles. Neck pain can be related to your posture or a shoulder problem. The source of your pain is rarely due to local problems alone. Even when you do have arthritis in a joint or a torn meniscus there are usually ways to improve your movement pattern, increase function and decrease pain.

We take pride in looking at the whole person and never putting on blinders just to examine a single body region. This whole person approach is a major component of why i’move has been able to develop such a strong and positive reputation in West Michigan. An injury screen is a great way to experience the i’move difference.

When you call by January 31, 2017 to schedule a screen we’ll offer it to you free.

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.

Physical Therapy. Have you had it yet? Was it excellent?

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“Did you have Physical Therapy yet?”

Physicians often ask patients if they had physical therapy (PT) for their problem. Years ago PT was considered a commodity, it didn’t matter where or how you had your PT it just was PT. Contemporary PT has changed. Physical therapy schools are better and more competitive, post-graduate training has exploded. Residency and Fellowship programs are flourishing. Like any profession, all PT’s aren’t equal. The healthcare consumer can no longer ask themselves, “Did I try PT”, but “Did I have excellent PT.” The PT’s at i’move are excellent. They work at i’move because they want more from their careers, they want to push themselves to greatness and they want the same from their clients.

How do we achieve this elevated level of care?

First, it starts with the whole person. We acknowledge the connection of the mind, the body and the spirit. We know the ankle bone is connected to the shoulder bone. Just because your shoulder is bothering you doesn’t mean that you have a “bad shoulder.” The shoulder blade sits on the rib cage, the posture of the rib cage is changed by the movements of the head and the legs. It all matters! The human body cannot be divided into segregated regions; we are whole beings with a series of interconnected parts and systems. Movement of one body part nearly always activates physical and mental chain reactions throughout the whole system. Physical therapists and doctors are often guilty of zooming in too closely on where it hurts; at i’move this will not happen.

imv-pt-6381Secondly, excellence is achieved through advanced training. All PT’s graduated from PT school, which is a pre-requisite for licensure. The most important differentiating factor is what the PT did after graduation. Our PT staff is loaded with years of experience, advanced certifications, doctoral degrees and fellowship trained manual and movement therapists. It truthfully is not the exact certificate or credential that matters most but the provider’s mindset toward professional development and career growth. At i’move we have worked hard to create a positive, productive and professional environment that feels great for both our team members and our clients. We know that if our employees are not happy and healthy we cannot achieve those same results with our clients. If you have not experienced the i’move difference, I highly encourage you to give us a try. We are different and you will notice it from the minute you walk in the door.