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Gender Differences in Sweat Production

By Ryan Halvorson | February 17, 2011 |

The body’s ability to sweat is a necessary physiological function that regulates body temperature. But a study published recently in Experimental Physiology (2010; 95 [10], 1026–32) found that while men tend to have a highly efficient sweat response, women do not. The researchers, from the Laboratory for Human Performance Research at Osaka International University in Japan, separated 37 people into four groups: trained females, untrained females, trained males and untrained males.

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Reforming the Knee

By Nora St. John | January 18, 2011 |

If one of your Pilates clients developed knee problems and her doctor said the client needed to strengthen the muscles around the knee, would you know what to do? What if a client were diagnosed with patellofemoral dysfunction or were recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament tear? How would you design a Pilates reformer program to help the client heal and return to full function? The reformer is a great, multipurpose tool for improving function, correcting alignment and muscular imbalances and helping the body recover from injury.

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Are Bad Knees Inherited?

By Ryan Halvorson | December 14, 2010 |

A recent blog published in The New York Times (“Phys Ed: Are Bad Knees in Our Genes?” September 29, 2010) posited that genetics may play a role in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. The blog cited a study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine (2010; 44 [12], 848–55) that revealed similar ACL injuries in fraternal twin girls. Their older sister, while not part of the study, had also suffered a catastrophic injury to her ACL.

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What do you do if a client comes to you complaining of carpal tunnel issues?

By IDEA Authors | December 8, 2010 |

The traditional approaches of stretching, immobilization braces, corticosteroid injections and surgical release are not working because they seek to address the symptoms instead of addressing the underlying root cause of the problem. Clients always seem to come to us with their aches and pains. Sometimes the area that hurts is not the area that causes the pain. As a trainer, I am not qualified to make a diagnosis, so I would tell my client to see a doctor for a diagnosis and then offer to show the client some stretches to alleviate the pain and reduce the symptoms.

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Kick Off Your Shoes!

By IDEA Authors | August 16, 2010 |

I encourage my clients and running friends to try barefoot running whenever they can. They don’t have to be a “total convert” to gain some of the benefits. The strength that develops in the feet and lower legs, the lighter landing while running that reduces stress and the sheer fun of going without shoes is worth it.

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Plow Through Muscle Hypertrophy and Strength Plateaus

By Ryan Halvorson | August 16, 2010 |

A common goal among male exercisers is to increase muscle mass and strength. For many men, achieving this goal can be a struggle. IDEA author Lance Breger, MS, head private trainer at MINT Fitness & Spa in Washington, DC, suggests some out-of-the-box techniques to help clients overcome strength and hypertrophy plateaus.

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Your Feet, Your Shoes, Your Choices

By Alexandra Williams, MA | August 16, 2010 |

How often has a client or student approached you and asked, “What type of shoe would be best for this workout?” At the university where I teach, I am asked this question every quarter by several hundred students, all of whom have different needs, different feet and different histories.

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Functional Anatomy: From Theory to Practice

By Justin Price, MA | August 16, 2010 |

Anatomy. Many fitness professionals would rather read about something else. They know they “have to learn this stuff,” but the thought of studying the origin, insertion point and action of each muscle fills them with dread. And it just doesn’t seem that important when helping clients lose weight, build muscle or improve their function and/or performance. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The problem isn’t the actual study of anatomy—it’s the way in which anatomy has traditionally been taught.

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(Almost) Barefoot Running

By Ryan Halvorson | May 18, 2010 |

Several research studies and articles have emerged about the potential benefits of tossing the “tennies” and running barefoot. On the heels of these claims, many consumers and fitness professionals are joining the barefoot revolution. But what about potential road hazards, such as broken glass and sharp rocks? One company offers a slightly more protective alternative to the naked foot.

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Bone Up on Bone Health

By Ryan Halvorson | April 21, 2010 |

Maintaining bone health and avoiding fractures are important concerns for older adults. For those who have experienced fractures, research has found that the potential for a second fracture can increase fourfold. Help your older-adult clients remain strong and healthy with Own the Bone™, a Web-based registry that features tools for reducing future fractures.

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Heel-First Gait Pattern Best?

By Ryan Halvorson | April 21, 2010 |

Lots of research has emerged about the kinematics of running, fueling debates over footwear and strike patterns. A recent study published in The Journal of Experimental Biology (2010; 213, 790–97) sought to slow things down a bit and look at the energy costs of different gait patterns. “Our heel touches the ground at the start of each step,” stated David Carrier, biology professor at the University of Utah and lead study author.

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A Primer on Muscles

By Jason Karp, PhD | April 21, 2010 |

WWhen I was a kid, I used to show girls my biceps. Boys do silly things to impress girls. As adults, both men and women search for countless ways to make their biceps, and the rest of their muscles, look
appealing to themselves and each other. To most people, muscles are external structures, admired from the outside. But what lies within a shapely biceps is a wonderfully complex structure responsible for everything from metabolism to movement.

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Get Hip to Hip Replacements

By Ryan Halvorson | March 16, 2010 |

According to the Arthritis Today website (www.arthritistoday.org), 225,900 hip replacement surgeries were performed in the U.S. in 2004; this was an increase of 37% from 2000. If trends continue, that number will reach 600,000 in the year 2015. In order to regain strength and mobility, many surgery patients may seek the guidance of qualified fitness professionals.

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What Makes Bone Adapt: Gravitational Forces or Muscle Loading?

By Len Kravitz, PhD | February 16, 2010 |

Exercise professionals regularly exclaim the benefits of exercise for maintaining and improving bone mineral density and bone health. They describe the benefits of gravitational weight-bearing exercise (i.e., ground-impact activities, such as walking, running and jumping) and muscle-loading activities, such as weight training. However, scientists are currently debating which exercise intervention provides more beneficial bone health adaptations.

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Runner’s Knee and Faulty Biomechanics

By Ryan Halvorson | February 16, 2010 |

“Runner’s knee” is a term that describes a painful and sometimes debilitating ailment of the knee present in a quarter of active people. The condition is often associated with runners, but anyone who participates in activities requiring knee bending can become affected. The exact cause of runner’s knee—otherwise known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS)—has remained a mystery. According to research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, that mystery may now be solved.

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The Painful Lumbar Spine

By Stuart McGill, PhD | January 1, 2010 |

Myths and controversies regarding spine function and injury mechanisms are widespread. Consider the “cause” of back troubles, specifically the common perception that injuries occur during an “event.” Generally, statistics are compiled from epidemiological approaches, which ignore the large role of cumulative trauma. Despite a reporting system that tends to associate injuries with specific events, very few back injuries actually occur this way.

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Build Better Bones

By IDEA Authors | September 8, 2009 |

Women: You’re not usually complimented on how great your bones look, but bone fitness is important to keep you strong and to prevent osteoporosis. What can you do to enhance your bone health? Get the skinny on this topic from Jason R. Karp, PhD, owner of RunCoachJason
.com, director and coach of REVO2LT Running Team, a freelance writer and a competitive runner.

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The Bare Bones

By Jason Karp, PhD | April 29, 2009 |

When you were young, you probably heard the jingle “The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone; the thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone; the hip bone’s connected to the back bone . . .” That ditty could go on for some time, since there are 206 bones in the human body—from the large, thick femur that spans the length of your thigh to the tiny, thin stapes, a stirrup-shaped bone that transmits sound inside your ear. Your skull alone has 22 bones (no wonder my mother keeps telling me I have a hard head!).

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Physiology Refresher

By Catherine Logan, MSPT | March 31, 2008 |

You can probably remember studying for
your certification exam: What is the difference between a strain and a sprain?
a tendon and a ligament? an artery and a vein? the sympathetic and the
parasympathetic nervous systems? After the exam was over, you probably used or
heard these words yet forgot the exact medical definitions, the precise
functions or even the distin…

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Suspension Training: How Risky Is It?

By Nick Burns | May 6, 2007 |

NAVY Seals are legendary for their tiptop physical condition, but have you ever wondered how they stay fighting fit out in the field?Aaron Baldwin, 43, who retired in December as a master chief in the Seals, used to make barbells out of nothing more than plastic milk jugs, fresh concrete and a sturdy tree branch. "We'd make one weight and use i…

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