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Category Archives: Exercise and Training

Study: Strength Training and Proprioceptive Training Prevents Injuries

Does strength training prevent injuries?

Does strength training prevent injuries? Hint: yes.

Researchers in Denmark recently reviewed the current research on exercise programs for injury prevention, and crunched some numbers to see what does or doesn’t work.1 What did they find?

Strength training reduces sports injuries by about 68%, proprioception training reduces injuries by about 45%, and stretching programs do not reduce injuries reliably. Interestingly, combined programs only reduced injuries by about 35% (all of which included strength training)Continue Reading

Interview with Israel Halperin – Athlete, Trainer, and Researcher

I’m excited to share this interview with Israel Halperin – an MMA & Thai Kickboxing athlete, trainer, and researcher. He’s competed, trained, and studied internationally with many prominent figures in his field.

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Cobra Classic MMA fight, California – 2001

Israel’s perspective is a balanced one. While remaining practical and relevant for his athletes, he keeps his biases in check through his humbling research experience. I’m proud to know him personally. In this short but informative discussion Israel shares some of his insight on training athletes.

Enjoy!Continue Reading

Improve Movement by Training Movement – Not Specific Muscles

runningA pervading idea in the fitness and therapy industries is that altered or “dysfunctional” movement is simply the product of specific muscle weakness (or imbalance). The solution, of course, is to find the weak muscle and strengthen it. The result: correct movement, and therefore decreased risk of injury and chronic pain.

Is this true? Can strengthening specific muscles improve movement form or technique?

As usual, things are a bit more complicated than that. Let’s gather insight from a few research studies, using one of the most common examples: gluteus medius strengthening for running mechanics.Continue Reading

Does exercise order matter? Reviewing the research

what should you do first? last?

what should you do first? last?

People tend to focus on a lot of silly details when it comes to designing exercise programs. Many of them don’t matter.

But some do!

One of the details that may actually matter is exercise order. A review article recently published in the journal Sports Medicine summarized the current research on this topic. 1 Most of the findings are intuitive, lining up well with conventional gym-wisdom. However, there were a few findings that go against popular belief.

Let’s quickly summarize:

Continue Reading

Outdated Pain Theories, Part III – Muscle Imbalances & the “Core”

- do imbalanced muscles pull you out of place?

Part I discussed why persistent pain can’t always be explained by “pain signals” from damage and degeneration.

Part II picked apart the idea that pain is perpetuated by poor posture and abnormal body structure.

If degeneration, posture, and structure aren’t good explanations for persistent pain, then maybe the problem isn’t mechanical – maybe our muscles aren’t working properly?

This time, let’s take a look at muscle imbalances and core instability – two similar ideas that are currently insanely popular in the fitness industry and physical therapy (my own profession).

Supposedly, muscle imbalances push and pull us in awkward ways, and weak core muscles cause spinal instability. Both of which are thought to cause persistent pain (if you’ve read part I and II, you may already see some problems with this).

What does science have to say?

Continue Reading