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Get Your Butt in Gear – Glute Activation

September 10th, 2014

Many athletes have difficulty activating their glutes. This can lead to a number of issues with the foot, knee, hip and lower back. Not only can a lack of glute activation lead to injury, but it can also limit your performance. Here are some exercises to help with glute activation:


1. Prone Leg Lifts

Prone leg lift

a) Lay flat on your stomach with your forehead resting on your hands.

b) Squeeze your glutes first, then lift one leg at a time.

c) Only lift your leg as high as you can without letting your hips rotate up.

d) Do 3 sets of 10 on each leg.


2. Glute Bridges

Glute Bridges

a) Lay flat on your back, bend your knees and keep your heels on the ground.

b) Engage your core, squeeze your glutes and then lift your hips up towards the ceiling. Make sure your hips stay even and then come back down.

d) Do 3 sets of 15.


3. Band Side Walks

Band Side Walks

a) In standing with knees slightly bent, put a resistance band around your lower legs above the ankles.

b) Walk side to side, keeping an upright stance with your core engaged.

c) Do 3 sets of 20 each way.


If you would like to learn more, please come and see me, Certified Athletic Therapist at The Urban Athlete.

Jessica Patterson, M.A., CAT(C)

Glutathione – The Great Protector

August 6th, 2014

What if we could each have our own personal body guard protecting us from unwanted chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, cataracts, dementia, diabetes and more?  Even better,  this personal body guard could also help slow down, even reverse the physical process of aging?

The good news is, each cell in our body has this ‘protector’ already.  It is a key player in the body’s antioxidant network, in fact, it is often referred to as the ‘Master Antioxidant’:  Glutathione.

Glutathione is a combination of the three amino acids:  Cysteine, Glutamate and Glycine.  It’s role is to protect our cellular components from damage by free radicals.  It helps support cellular function & integrity.
Free radicals are naturally produced as a result of metabolic processes in the body, and generally, our bodies are able to keep these in check by using its defense of antioxidants (vitamins, minerals and ‘thiols’ (glutathione & NAC for example) to neutralize them.

However,  as we age, our production of glutathione decreases.  Add to that our exposure to environmental toxins, consumption of processed foods, certain medications, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, smoking, sedentary lifestyle etc… and we set ourselves up for an onslaught of these destructive free radicals.

There are several chronic diseases that are correlated with deficient levels of glutathione.  Conditions such as muscle weakness , fatigue, heart disease, cancer, parkinson’s and dementia are a few that can be prevented or treated by supporting the body’s glutathione levels.
Producing and maintaining a high level of glutathione is key to preventing disease.  So, how can we help our bodies make and keep this great protector?

1 – Supplementation:  One of the best ways to increase levels of glutathione is through intravenous (IV) supplementation.  Glutathione delivered through an IV provides this essential antioxidant directly to cells and prevents its degradation in the digestive tract. *Glutathione is not absorbed well orally and should not be taken in capsule form (such supplements are useless).

2 – Exercise:  Incorporating daily activity such as walking, jogging, cycling or other sports for at least 30 minutes a day helps boost glutathione levels which in turn supports detoxification and strengthens the immune system.

3 – Consume fruits and veggies such as broccoli, kale, collards, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, garlic, avocado, squash, spinach and tomatoes.

4 – Use high quality whey protein (cold pressed, organic) is best.

5 – Incorporate Liver supportive herbs in your diet such as Curcumin and Milk thistle to help prevent glutathione depletion in the liver.
These are a few natural remedies to keep you protected with sufficient glutathione.  For more detailed information, or to inquire about IV glutathione treatments at The Urban Athlete, feel free to contact Dr. Vincenza. email:

Dr Gavin Steers Team to World Chamionships

July 3rd, 2014


At the urban athlete, the team prides ourselves on our slogan “athletes treating athletes”.  My athletic background was in the sport of Sprint canoe racing where I was a member of the Canadian national team for 12 years.  My career highlights include competing at 7 world championships and the 1996 Olympic Games.

This experience in canoe has allowed me to take that knowledge to the sport of dragon boat racing, a sport that has many technical parallels as sprint canoe.  Over the last 15 years I have had the pleasure of coaching local teams in Toronto up to the 7 time World champion women’s national team.

I get tremendous pleasure in teaching technical aspects to the paddling stroke and more importantly the mental side of sport.  Training and racing at the highest level is not an easy accomplishment.  The goal in competing is to have your best performance on race day.  Many athletes struggle with this, often leaving their best efforts on the practice field or in training.

This summer I will be coaching a team from Toronto competing at the World championships in Ravenna, Italy in early September.  We have been training very hard for many months in preparation.  We are excited to represent Canada and hope to bring home some hardware.

If you are in pursuit of some athletic goals this summer and feel that you are not able to get the most out of your training and competitions, I can help you with the mental side of sport as well as any neuromuscular complaints you may have.

We look forward to seeing you this summer at the Urban Athlete

Increase Performance Through Pilates

June 4th, 2014

Athletes from all walks of life are discovering that Pilates is an amazing form of exercise to add to their conditioning program.  Pilates exercises focus on correct spinal and pelvic alignment for a basis of movement.  From there, athletes can improve strength, power, and agility through exercises that challenge unilateral movement, rotation and core stability.  By training the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine, athletes can provide a base of support to become more “pliable” which can help prevent injury.

From weekend warriors to elite professionals, athletes looking for a competitive edge are discovering that Pilates helps you:

  • Hit the ball farther
  • Run faster
  • Jump higher
  • Correct muscle imbalances
  • Prevent injury

Pilates has greatly increased my core strength and my overall flexibility. I’m more agile than I was before and that’s a big deal in my line of work. It has definitely become a crucial part of my training program.” Chris Simms NFL Quarterback

Pilates workouts are an excellent conditioning tool for the NBA. The strength, agility and performance of my players have increased and Pilates has become such an essential part of our workouts that we take a reformer to our away games. I even have a Studio Reformer® for my own home use.Lawrence Frank Head Coach, New Jersey Nets

If you are wondering whether Pilates is right for you, contact Dr. Darlene at

Dr. Darlene Buan-Basit is a chiropractor, acupuncturist, Pilates and yoga instructor who works with athletes of all ages.

She also works with pre and post natal moms, and seniors. She specializes in exercise rehabilitation of chronic conditions such as scoliosis, fibromyalgia, as well as acute conditions like disc herniations.

Dr. Darlene teaches a Therapeutic Pilates class for people needing strengthening on Thursdays 6:30pm at the Urban Athlete.

Pilates Based Rehabilitation – A proven method to bridge the gap between pain and activity.

May 5th, 2014

Can you Exercise While in Pain?

People tend to limit, or eliminate exercise when they are in pain.   However, that does not need to be the case. As a Chiropractor and Pilates instructor, I specialize in training people with pain. I focus on educating when to push past the pain in order to develop strength, and when it is time for rest and for manual therapies.  Using Pilates as part of a rehabilitation program helps to facilitate recovery.

How Does Pilates Help?

Pilates is a form exercise that encompasses a wide variety of specific movements.  This group of exercises focuses on proper alignment, stability and muscular balance. Because of this, Pilates is well suited for people dealing with pain or with acute injuries.  Actually, Pilates has deep roots in rehabilitation.  The creator of Pilates, Joseph Pilates, developed his exercises while rehabilitating dancers.  The Pilates equipment was designed for rehabilitation.  They allow people to go through full ranges of motion even if their injury makes them unable to withstand gravity.

Is it for You?

At the Urban Athlete, Pilates instructors work closely with client’s chiropractors and physiotherapists in order to facilitate their recovery, and refer for medical management such as surgery. People who benefit most from combined treatment/rehabilitation include those with disc herniations, scoliosis, fibromyalgia, arthritis, as well as acute injuries. By examining and treating individual’s pain first (using adjustments, acupuncture, Active Release Technique and physical modalities like laser) people can exercise safely with more confidence and less pain.

Modern Day Pilates Research

The science behind Pilates exercises are demonstrating how Pilates work. In a recent Randomized Control Trial, the individuals in the specific-exercise-training group reported a significant decrease in low back pain (LBP) and disability, which was maintained over a 12-month follow-up period. Treatment was with a modified Pilates-based approach and determined to be more efficacious than the usual care in a population with chronic, unresolved LBP.1


Because Pilates is both rehabilitation and fitness based, it has been the secret of many professional athletes, dancers and seniors who continue to excel in their lives!

NEXT NEWSLETTER…will review the science behind Pilates base conditioning.

Dr. Darlene Buan-Basit is a chiropractor, acupuncturist, pilates and yoga instructor working with athletes of all ages, pre and post natal moms, and seniors. She teaches classes and also provides private pilates training and exercise rehabilitation.


1. Rydeard R, Leger A, Smith D.: Pilates-based therapeutic exercise: effect on subjects with nonspecific chronic low back pain and functional disability: a randomized controlled trial. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2006 Jul;36(7):472-84.

Improved recovery with Compression Garments

April 3rd, 2014

Dr. Shaun Batte

You all have seen them; compression socks, leggings and even arm sleeves.

These “Compression garments” were the focal point of a recent research article published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.  The conclusions are a result from compression garments warn during or after intense exercise.

The Results

The research shows that most people experience:

1) Accelerated recovery of strength and Power during workouts (66% of participants)

2) Reduced amounts of muscle soreness following activity (69% of participants)

3) Reduced Muscle Damage (66% of participants)

Does this Improve Performance?

To date, compression garments have not shown a direct improvement in performance, however indirectly some assumptions can be made.  If someone is experiencing less muscle damage and soreness following a workout coupled with improved recovery times, that person is much more likely to continue an intense training schedule injury free and dodge the associated motivational fluctuations.

How Does This Compression Work?

-       It creates an external pressure gradient, thus reducing the space available for swelling

-       It Enhances blood flow

-       It improves the removal of waste products

-       It reduces damage due to vibration attenuation

-       It improves neural input

-       all the above mentioned lead to a reduced inflammatory response and accelerated restoration

Unfortunately the research is lacking in the following.  We do not yet know which fabric is best, how much compression is most effective, how long one has to wear the garments for optimized results etc.  These are big shortcomings, but given the findings about, I think it is well worth the investment in a pair.

Compression socks come in various sizes, strengths (compression) and colours.  Proper measurement of feet and calves are required to determine what pair is correct for you.  Some extended health insurance programs cover socks that are dispensed by a Chiropractor.

Let me know if you have any questions or feedback.

Dr. Shaun Batte




Hill, J., et al. Compression garments and recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage: a meta- analysis. Br J Sports Med 2013:0:1-7

Valle, X., et al.  Compression garments to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness in soccer players. Muscles, ligaments and tendons journal 2013; 3(4): 295-302

Sperlich, B., et al.  Squeezing the muscles: Compression clothing and muscle metabolism during recovery from high intensity exercise.  PLoS ONE, April 2013, Vol 8 (4)


The 3rd Annual Alive and Well Detox Program 2014

April 2nd, 2014

With Dr. Jennifer Castle, ND and Dr. Vincenza Rotulo, ND

“The Alive and Well Detox program was a WOW and has had a lasting impact on my life and well-being. The best result of the program is that I have become a knowledgeable and healthy eater and the effect has been felt and appreciated by my whole family. I was rejuvenated, re-energized and the glow has remained.” Sally M.

Find out more…

The 3rd Annual Alive and Well Detox Program

This year you will get the benefit of having two Naturopathic Doctors at your service! Dr. Jennifer Castle, ND will be back alongside Dr. Vincenza Rotulo, ND for these amazing group sessions and we are ready to help get you feeling your best! Dr. Jen is excited to be coming back for this special program, to see familiar faces, and to meet some new ones!



This program is for everyone – those who have never detoxed before and those looking to take their cleanses to the next level. We cater this program to each person.


Benefit from 3 empowering group sessions at The Urban Athlete:

Detox Fundamentals- WEDNESDAY May 14th 6:30-8:30pm

Detoxing in “Real” Life- WEDNESDAY May 21st 6:30pm-8:30pm

Finding Balance Inside and Out- WEDNESDAY June 4th 6:30pm-8:30pm


Some topics we will discuss include:

-Diet changes and supplementation for safe detoxification

-The importance of managing stress

-Sleep hygiene

-Exercises to enhance detoxification

-Environmental toxins and how to keep you and your family safe

-What toxins are hiding in your household cleaners and personal care products


With each session you get 90 minutes of learning that lasts a lifetime PLUS a 30-minute Pilates-style breathing and stretching bonus session with our very own Dr. Darlene Buan-Basit, DC – Chiropractor and Therapeutic Pilates Instructor.


PLUS….Chef Gabe from Chef Revolution will be with us in session 2 serving up delicious detox friendly finger foods and in session 3 you will go home with organic skincare product samples!!  


You will also receive a detox cookbook, a comprehensive detox manual, and more special recipes.


This program is a tried, tested, and true way to safely rid your body of toxins and have more energy than ever before!


Enroll now by calling 416-481-8880 for $185 (plus the cost of supplements) -SAVE by enrolling with a friend. DEADLINE to enroll is May 7th.


Questions? We’d love to answer them – or


Looking forward to hearing from you!

Dr. Vincenza and Dr. Jen


Spring Has Sprung – Its Time to achieve your Workout Goals

April 2nd, 2014

Are you tired of talking about the weather? Tired or running on the treadmill because it’s too cold and icy to run on the roads?  Has this unrelenting Toronto got the best of your motivation to exercise, pursue your goals?  I can tell you, you are surely not alone.  If you are carrying around a few extra pounds, feel like your fitness has diminished like a dirty pile of snow in the mall parking lot, fear not, there is hope to get you back on track to be your best this spring and summer.


As an Injury Specialist who works with active and motivated individuals like you, I am beginning to see some injuries come to the clinic from “overuse” in recent training or from “underuse” from the winter.  Caution is the key when getting back to the level training and competition you are used to.  Here are 5 tips that can be used to avoid unnecessary injuries that could delay you enjoying the warm sunny days ahead:

1) Ease Back Into It

Allow 48 hours between the same activity- For example. Run every other day and do resistance training on the other days.  You want to avoid the “too much, too soon” trap. We are used to being a certain level of fitness, during this long weekend you may have lost a ‘’step” and need to ease back into our routines.

2) Have a Goal – Make a Plan

Design a work out routine for the week.  This is similar to the first point.  It is prudent to be specific with the time, intensity and duration of the workouts we choose.  If it includes cross training activities and weight training workouts then they should be written down to have a specific goal.  This will help with any motivation issues that may still be hanging around from you coming out of hibernation.  Your sense of accomplishment from completing those workouts will allow you to create momentum for the weeks to come.

3) Use a Training Log

The best-designed training programs can be useless if we don’t keep record of the workouts.  By writing down your workouts, you can keep track of the workloads, distances, and number or workouts completed in a week, month and eventually a year.  When I was training for my sport of canoeing, it was valuable to add some comments of the quality of the workout, how I felt in terms of energy, hours of sleep that night etc. The more information you add to your journal, the more you will know yourself as an athlete.  The best workouts you have are attached to your mindset you have going into in and during the workout.  If you are competing this year in competition, knowing what your best mindset is to achieve your best performance on the day can be achieved and not just hoped for on the day.  After all, that is always the goal, to be able to perform our best on competition day!

4) Listen to Your Body

Aches and pains are a normal side effect from training, but we want to avoid an ache or pain to progress to an injury that may sideline us from sticking to our carefully designed plan!  A pain that last for more than a week without relief is general rule of thumb that it should be looked at.  The therapists here at the Urban Athlete are all on “your team” and will work with you to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan to get you training pain free once again and on the road to completing your goal.

5) Consistent Sustained Training Will Get You the Best Results

You have most likely heard the expression- “Plan your work, Work your plan”.  A little effort in the design of your workout schedule with your trainer, work out partner or yourself will prove to be your best strategy to meet your exercise goals this year.  Completing your workouts as they are designed, no more, no less, with your best effort will lead to you increasing your loads, speeds and distances.  You will feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment as your training log gets filled with your efforts.

Good luck this spring. We are on your team and your partners in your sporting and activity goals!

Dr. Gavin Maxwell – chiropractor

1996 Olympic Athlete,

World championship coach in dragonboat racing.

Dandelions – A Nutritious Flower

March 5th, 2014

dandelion-300x225Spring is around the corner.  Can you feel it?!

Soon (and I agree, it can’t come fast enough) the snow will melt to reveal a variety of greens and colourful flowers announcing the arrival of this long awaited Season.  Of all Spring flowers, the most pervasive and perhaps dreaded is the Dandelion.

Dandelions are seemingly ineradicable.  They can flood your lawn, survive between cracks in a sidewalk and take root in the smallest places.  We use pesticides, lawn mowers and the more labour intensive garden hoe to attempt to wipe them out.  The fact is that dandelions are as healthy as they are hardy.  Among numerous health benefits, they help improve liver function.  Pesticides on the other hand and lawn mowers (which cause more pollution than cars) are directly toxic to the liver (using a garden hoe is obviously most environmentally friendly, but poses a greater risk of muscle injury and pain!)

So if we can’t make these pesky flowers go away, how can we use them?

All parts of a dandelion can be consumed.  The root is used to treat conditions such as anemia, kidney disease, jaundice, respiratory infections and gallstones.  It is high in antioxidants and phytonutrients that help prevent tumor growth.  Half a cup of dandelion leaves contain more calcium than a serving of milk!   In fact, about half of cup (100g) of leaves contain a host of wonderful nutrients:

9.2g carbs; 2.7g protein; 3.1mg iron; 397 mg potassium; 187mg calcium; 36mg magnesium; 14,000 IUs Vitamin A; 66mg phosphorus.

The best tasting dandelions are the ones picked before they are flowered, generally in April to May (Less than 4 weeks away!).  Take caution in where you collect dandelions to avoid unwanted toxin exposure.  Choose ones that are far from the roadside, in a pesticide-free yard, field or wooded area.  Of course dandelion root and leaves can also be found at the market and is available as teas, tinctures or capsules.

So pick up a fork and enjoy these nutritious greens instead of exterminating them!

For recipe ideas and additional information on the many health benefits of dandelions, please contact

Dr. Vincenza Rotulo N.D.

Is Jaw Pain Gnawing at You Ability to Bite Into That Juicy Apple?

March 4th, 2014

We can help!

I commonly treat patients with neck pain or upper back pain who are surprised to hear that we can help their jaw.  Often times addressing the postural or neck pain issues are enough to positively affect the jaw indirectly.

The muscles that open the jaw are on the front of your neck.   The openers are what enable us to “open wide”, speak properly, and yawn without pain.   To feel these muscles stretch, look to the ceiling with your teeth clenched?  Do you feel that stretch at the front of your neck?  We are usually more familiar with the “jaw closers”.  The closers include muscles like the temporalis muscle (temple massage target) and the massater muscle (the muscle Pat Quinn used to pulverize his chewing gum).

Does my posture affect my jaw?

Poor posture is often associated with a forward head position.  This often creates tension type headaches because of the shortened and over-active muscles at the base of the skull, but also creates a strain of the muscles at the front of the neck.  This occurs so that we can still keep our eyes looking forward but results in imbalance of the muscles surrounding the jaw whereby the closers contract and the openers become lengthened resulting in jaw pain

For most posturally related reasons for jaw pain manual treatments can have a significant effect.  For arthritic jaws, manual therapy is still successful at preventing progression and treating pain.

If jaw pain has been nipping at you, bite back.  Come in for some Active Release on those tired and dysfunctional jaw muscles and experience the relief you’ve been waiting for.

For more information on the details of what a typical jaw treatment consists of, or for some preventative tips, please email me at

Until next time,

Dr. Shaun Batte


505 Eglinton Ave. West Suite 302 Toronto, ON M5N 1B1.
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