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Anatomy/Kinesiology

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Help for Hunched-Over Backs

By IDEA Authors | July 7, 2013 |

??Do you have a hard time raising your arms to wash your hair, putting dishes in an overhead cupboard or pulling on a sweatshirt? You may be suffering from excessive thoracic kyphosis.
ETK is a disproportionate forward rounding or curvature of the middle and upper back, also known as the thoracic spine (Kendall, McCreary & Provance 2005). Everyday movements and athletic performance can be limited by ETK, as this excessive rounding of the middle and upper back can affect the function of your breathing, shoulders, spine and arms.

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Transfer Your Energy: IDEA Personal Trainer Institute West

By Joy Keller | May 3, 2013 |

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Only at a fitness conference for personal trainers will you see people turning down the Doubletree hotel chocolate chip cookie. Not every person checking in for the IDEA Personal Trainer Institute West in Seattle bypassed the heavenly, sweet packet of fat and sugar, of course, but the front desk staff definitely had extras left over for the next crowd.

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Diastasis Recti: When the Abs Don’t Come Together

By Katy Bowman, MS | April 24, 2013 |

Things your clients may split:

a training session, with a friend
their pants, while doing a deep squat
their abdominal muscles

Sometimes an unnatural divide can develop between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle bundles, a condition doctors call diastasis recti. It’s usually associated with pregnancy, but it can happen to men and children in addition to moms-to-be. If you have clients suffering from diastasis recti, chances are they are going to be interested in how the separation came about and how they can fix it.

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Exploring the Amazing Heart

By Colin Carriker, MS | January 24, 2013 |

The heart is an incredible organ, not only delivering a constant, reliable stream of life-giving oxygen and nutrients, but also responding instantly to challenges like stress, cardiovascular workouts and high-intensity bursts of energy.

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Excessive Thoracic Kyphosis: Much More Than Just Bad Posture

By Justin Price, MA | December 6, 2012 |

Excessive thoracic kyphosis is a disproportionate forward rounding or curvature of the middle and upper back, also known as the thoracic spine (Kendall, McCreary & Provance 2005). ETK is an extremely common musculoskeletal imbalance brought on by prolonged time in some postural positions; exercise and/or activity choices; environmental factors; myofascial dysfunction; intolerances to food and/or other allergic reactions; and psychological stress.

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Our Dynamic DNA

By Charlie Hoolihan | April 17, 2012 |

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.

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Thicker Thighs = Improved Health?

By Ryan Halvorson | March 21, 2012 |

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.

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Whole-Body Training: Warding Patterns

By Michol Dalcourt | March 16, 2012 |

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.

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Yoga Can Help Neck Pain

By IDEA Authors | February 16, 2012 |

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.

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DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING & NECK PAIN

Diaphragmatic Breathing & Neck Pain

By Nicole Nelson, MS | February 15, 2012 |

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.

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Neuromuscular Warm-Ups Reduce Knee Injuries

By Ryan Halvorson | January 27, 2012 |

According to a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine (2011; 165 [11], 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.

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Psoas Stretches Benefit Seniors

By Ryan Halvorson | January 27, 2012 |

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 [4], 324–29) was to determine the effectiveness of a 10-week hip flexor stretching program on walking patterns among 82 older adults.

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Exploring Hip Pain: Femoroacetabular Impingement

By Chris Gellert, MPT | January 26, 2012 |

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).

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Fast Fact

By Ryan Halvorson | January 16, 2012 |

What is the ideal intensity for maximizing hypertrophy? According to A.C. Fry [2004, Sports Medicine, 34 (10), 663–79], maximal growth occurs with loads between 80% and 90% of 1-repetition maximum.

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National Posture Institute to Offer Free Webinars

By Ryan Halvorson | January 16, 2012 |

Fitness professionals looking for extended education now have a free resource. The National Posture Institute (NPI), an education organization that provides health and fitness programs, has announced that it will offer free monthly webinars. The webinars will teach health and fitness professionals and the general public how to perform exercises and design fitness programs.

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Fit Feet: The Professional’s Guide to Training South of the Ankles

By Katy Bowman, MS | October 24, 2011 |

Footwear is as essential to fitness as a bottle of water. And like all sporting equipment, footwear is rapidly evolving as research progresses and understanding of human biomechanics improves. Popular books like Born to Run by Christopher McDougall (Vintage 2011) and extensive marketing campaigns for “fitness shoes” have made healthy footwear—and maybe even no footwear at all—a hot topic on the hiking trails and in the gym. Chances are you or your clients have seen Vibram’s FiveFingers® shoes and have questions about starting a barefoot training program.

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Ease Shoulder, Neck Pain With 2 Minutes of Daily Exercise

By Ryan Halvorson | August 24, 2011 |

Do you have clients who experience neck and shoulder pain? Just 2 minutes of exercise per day can reduce that pain, say researchers from the National Research Center for the Working Environment in Copenhagen, Denmark. The findings were presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine and the 2nd World Congress on Exercise is Medicine®.

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Is There a Best Way to Build Muscle?

By Ryan Halvorson | February 17, 2011 |

It seems that each day a new study is published on best practices for building muscle. Many experts tout lifting resistance that is heavy enough to allow only 8–12 repetitions. Some experts believe a 3- to 5-rep strength-power protocol is best. Others argue for a much higher number of repetitions and less resistance. The endless…

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Got Bad Feet? It May Be Genetic

By Ryan Halvorson | February 17, 2011 |

Many people believe that musculoskeletal dysfunction is an inherited trait, and a recent research report on foot disorders seems to support that claim. The study, presented at the 2010 American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting, suggests that “bad feet” may be genetic. To reach this conclusion, the researchers analyzed information gathered from the Framingham Foot Study, which included 2,179 participants with common foot disorders. The mean age of subjects was 66.

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