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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

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    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:

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      Book Review: The Running Injury Recovery Program by Bruce Wilk

      For those of you who run – and suffer from running injuries (which I presume is most of you) - this book may be of interest to you.

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        How Pain Works, Part III – Nociception

        Larger version below!

        Larger version below!

        The science of pain is actually very interesting, and involves everything from chemistry to cultural studies and everything in between. It can get complicated, but we’ll keep things simple and understandable while remaining as accurate as possible. Here we will start with some of the basic science of how potential pain is detected and transmitted through the body.

        If you missed the last few “How Pain Works” articles, visit the pain education sectionContinue Reading

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          How Dance Illuminates the Mind – The Brain Areas of Dance

          Myself - enjoying that tribal, visceral, joyous experience of dancing with friends.

          Myself – enjoying that tribal, visceral, joyous experience of dancing with friends.

          Today marks the beginning of National Dance Week here in Canada, so I thought it would be fun to write about the neuroscience of dance!

          Dancing beautifully integrates complex movement and motor learning, rhythmic musical synchronization, creative emotional expression, and interpersonal communication.

          Because of this complexity, studying the neural basis of dance is a challenge – but one with important implications.

          Uncovering the neural mechanisms of dance can offer insight into the most complex workings of the human brain, revealing applications to rehabilitation and therapy. It’s even suggested by some to be part of the “next wave” in neuroscience, studying complex behaviour like art rather than simpler phenomenon.

          So how do we study the neuroscience of dance?

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