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  • Muscle Function (18)

Ditching the Plank? Strength training is core training.

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Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: May 18, 2013

Background

The piece was part of a companion piece on resistance and “core” training for runners.  The thrust of that piece was that general resistance training should come first before gut-blasting 5 session/week plank marathon sessions should occur.

Purpose: core exercises are rampant and extremely hyped. They are much too popular and I think many athletes not working with strength coaches focus on the core and perhaps neglect other body parts.  A not at all new thesis is that many simple core exercises can be replaced by compound exercises that have other goals (e.g. train the legs) but still require great core activation.

deadlift down

 

(more…)

Dear Julie: In defense of the crunch

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Comments: 13 Comments
Published on: February 14, 2013

Dear Julie,

You wrote an interesting letter on your beautiful website (www.juliewiebept.com) to the coach of your girl’s gymnastic program.  You wished to

 

share with you and your staff how a decade or so of research is transforming our understanding of how we create a strong sturdy center that anchors all of our movements

As a father of two young girls (5 and 3) I really appreciated your views on healthy sports participation, concerns about body issues and the importance of fun in physical activity.  Like you I am also a physiotherapist with a special interest in spine function. I am also a chiropractor, was a spine biomechanics researcher, I completed a MSc in Spine Biomechanics with one of the authors of the references you cited (Stu McGill), I have published a few papers on trunk muscle function (here, here and here) during a variety tasks and was initially very interested in doing research on the lowly and often derided abdominal crunch (here and here).   I love talking about spine stability and how much of this actually old research (I don’t think it’s emerging, most has been around since the 90s) is applied to clinic or sport in ways that the research does not actually support.  I am also a former recreational gymastics coach and regularly “threw back tucks” after two beers at parties well into my twenties. (more…)

Quick EMG Review: Training the rotator cuff trains the scapulothoracic muscles

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Comments: 7 Comments
Published on: February 8, 2013

I had a discussion with a Physio friend of mine about a blog he wrote championing performing scapular stability exercises before rotator cuff exercises.  Because I am bit of a picky bitch I immediately thought that while I can see the clinical rationale for it I don’t think the muscles actually do this in practice and thus we had a respectable difference of opinion.  From some old EMG reviews I knew that some of the best exercises to train the lower traps (with out upper trap activity) were actually lame old rotator cuff exercises.  A couple of  years ago I made a few graphics that illustrated this (prompted by a similar discussion on Mike Reinold’s blog).

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Core stability and pain: Is it time to stop using the word stability to explain pain?

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Comments: 42 Comments
Published on: December 26, 2012

Purpose: To cherry pick a few research articles to suggest that even though our knowledge of core stability is very impressive its link to pain is poor.

Nutshell summary: People in pain have spines that function differently than those not in pain.  Many treatments can influence pain.  The spine stability model of low back pain does not explain how people have pain and takes an overly mechanical view of the pain experience.  No test has ever shown that a spine is unstable or how “increasing stability” would lead to a decrease in pain.  Thinking that our spines need more stability or control may be the completely wrong path in explaining how people have pain or how our exercises help them.   Our treatment “corrections” occur not via one specific “corrective” mechanism (e.g. improving stability) but rather through global non-specific mechanisms that our better explained by our understanding of pain neuroscience.  Making the shift from believing that “stability” is the issue with pain can thus free up to choose completely different exercise programs.  Exercise and treatment prescription thus become simpler.  We have preliminary evidence to support this view with the clinical studies that show benefits with the various exercise conditioning programs that train different schools of thought on stability or the just as effective programs that completely ignore any concepts of stability.

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A review of Charlie Weingroff, his course and the SFMA

Purpose: To provide a very selective review of Charlie Weingroff’s course and how it actually fits with a neurocentric view of pain and function.

Audience: Therapists and strength coaches.  Patients who  have trouble sleeping.

Related Links

1. Jeff Cubos discusses SFMA, DNS and Lorimer Moseley and they inform his practice style

2. My and Bret Contreras’ minor critical analysis of the Joint by Joint Approach

 

Overview

I took 2 days out of Charlie Weingroff’s course, Training = Rehab, Rehab = Training course here in Toronto from MSK-Plus.  MSK-Plus is a  continuing education company run by Dr. Glen Harris.  Dr. Harris has brought in a lot of great educators over the years and this course was not an exception. (more…)

Fascial NeuroBiology: An explanation for possible manual therapy treatment effects

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Comments: 3 Comments
Published on: October 28, 2012

Below is a guest post from Chris Beardsley in response to a recent post of mine that questioned the possibility of any manual intervention (this includes foam rolling) influencing the physical properties of fascia.  It is also questioned how relevant is to pain and dysfunction.

Research Review: An analysis of Robert Scheip’s paper on Fascial Plasticity

By: Chris Beardsley

more from Chris at his website: http://www.strengthandconditioningresearch.com/ (more…)

Fascia Science: Stretching the power of manual therapy.

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Comments: 32 Comments
Published on: October 26, 2012
Its not just fascia that is everywhere

Purpose:  Fascia is everywhere, provides a fantastic structural support for the body and has the ability to transmit force from force generating muscles.  But we as therapists tend to get ahead of ourselves and make statements about treatments and the body’s function that I am not sure make sense and haven’t made sense for the past decade that I’ve questioned it.

The fascial treatment fallacy. (more…)

The relationship between functional tests and athletic performance: Part I – The single leg balance test.

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Comments: 5 Comments
Published on: July 26, 2012

Background: Testing and assessing an individual is popular.  There is an old saying that if you aren’t assessing than you are guessing.  The assumption here is that the tests and assessments you do are somehow relevant and meaningful yet I would suggest that the majority of tests and the information gleaned from them hardly change (10% ish) a therapeutic approach once you have heard your patients history. I can have a patient with knee pain and run them through 30 different tests and the results of those tests may hardly change my treatment.  Tests have to provide us meaningful information that we can do something with. (more…)

Exceptions to the exceptional joint by joint approach

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Comments: 8 Comments
Published on: May 29, 2012

Exceptions to the joint-by-joint approach – by Greg Lehman with commentary from Bret Contreras.

by Greg Lehman and Bret Contreras

Quick Background: The joint-by-joint (JBJ) approach, popularized by Mike Boyle and Gray Cook (link here), is a method of categorizing how each joint should ideally function and what tendencies a joint might have toward dysfunction. It also suggests how joints interact with each other and might provide shortcuts to identifying shortcomings in a joint’s or system’s functioning in the cause or persistence of pain, injury or less than ideal performance.  The assumption of the theory is best illustrated with this quote from its original description:

Injuries relate closely to proper joint function, or more appropriately, to joint dysfunction. Problems at one joint usually show up as pain in the joint above or below.

(more…)

Postural correction and changing posture. Can we treat our patients like puppets?

Audience: Therapists and Strength Coaches

Purpose: To justify the use of a variety of exercises (even general exercises) for training, rehabilitation and injury prevention and question the application of movement specificity principles.

The Gist of this Post: Specificity of training is an important component of rehabilitation and strength and conditioning but I think the application of specificity can be taken too far when we attempt to mold our posture. (more…)

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