Imagine this science fiction scenario: While preparing your client for a set of back squats, the Training Scene Investigators (TSI) interrupt with a spot check. After your client has undergone a DNA mouth swab, a quick noninvasive laser muscle biopsy and a family history interview, the agents issue a comprehensive report.
Observing sport is a great way to appreciate human structure and function. High-level athletes teach us a lot about optimal performance—and even dysfunction. Watching skilled athletic movement at the collegiate or professional level stimulates us to ask questions and scrutinize our existing training methods. This article identifies a need to introduce warding patterns as part of a well-balanced training and conditioning program. Practicing warding patterns elicits adaptations that are authentic to our physiology and can transfer to sports and daily activities.
In a world where thin is in, scientists are suggesting that thicker thighs could mean better health. A study published in the Harvard Men’s Health Watch newsletter (www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mens_Health_Watch/2012/January) involved 2,816 apparently healthy men and women aged 35–65. Each participant was measured for height and weight and for thigh, hip and waist circumference. Subjects were tracked for 12.5 years on average.
Mind-body wellness professionals will benefit from keeping up with current research on the use of mind-body approaches for pain management. One of the most common reasons people turn to complementary and alternative therapies such as yoga, massage and relaxation therapy is for pain relief. One-third of American adults suffer from chronic pain; therefore, discovering nonpharmaceutical methods for pain management is a public health priority.
Two distinct mental strategies used to manage pain—focusing attention externally and re-appraising the pain—involve different brain pathways, according to new research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The study appeared in the journal Anesthesiology (2011, 115 , 844–51).
Everyone from elite athletes to average clients can benefit from learning more about breathing or reprogramming the way they breathe. More specifically, by teaching them techniques that emphasize diaphragmatic breathing, you will help them meet their exercise goals. newsletter_teaser: Check out this great article from the IDEA Online Library, and learn how improving poor breathing patterns can go a long way toward helping clients excel in their physical pursuits.
In our high-stress, hurried world—filled with financial pressures, information overload and “terror alerts”—many people feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. Add to this emotional tension the physical stress of sedentary lifestyles with long hours spent hunched over computers and, all too often, the result is a serious pain in the neck. Chronic neck pain is linked to a host of related disorders, including headache, jaw soreness, and pain radiating into the shoulders, upper back and arms.
Hip pain. Clients of all shapes, sizes and ages complain about it. Hip issues can be as simple or as complex as each individual, and a good personal trainer knows how to assess for mobility and function and when to refer out to a physician or physical therapist. Recently there has been a lot of buzz in physical therapy and sports medicine circles about a “new” dysfunction of the hip called femoroacetabular impingement (FAI).
According to a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine (2011; 165 , 1033–40), sports participation among high-school girls has increased 900% since 1972. Alongside increased participation, however, come higher numbers of injuries, with soccer and basketball the most offending sports. To combat injuries, more fitness professionals and coaches are integrating solid warm-up plans prior to practice or competition.
Improving inefficient gait patterns is often a focus among fitness professionals working with older adults. Walking problems can diminish independence and increase injury potential. A recent study suggests that regular stretching of the hip flexor muscles can improve gait patterns among this population. The purpose of a study published in PM&R (2011; 3 , 324–29) was to determine the effectiveness of a 10-week hip flexor stretching program on walking patterns among 82 older adults.