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Injury / Injury Prevention

Hit the Hips!

By Christy Stevenson | August 23, 2017 |

Eager class participants want to tap into their highest potential, and group fitness instructors have been acknowledging this by offering workouts that are more explosive, more powerful and fuller in range than ever before. However, intense, dynamic workouts demand a warmup that truly prepares the body. Specifically, you must target the hips—hip flexors, piriformis, glutes and hip rotators—to avoid possible tweaks from all those lunges, squats and burpees (not to mention repetitive stress from cycling and running).

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How to Handle Exercise-Related Muscle Cramps

By Ryan Halvorson | August 17, 2017 |

You’re running along your favorite path and then it happens: You get a cramp in your hamstring. While theories abound, there is limited consensus on why exercise-associated muscle cramps (EAMC) develop and how to get rid of them. A research review from the Brooks College of Health at the University of North Florida may clear up the confusion.
The review, published in Muscle & Nerve (2016; 54, 177–85), featured a series of studies analyzing the etiology and treatment of EAMC. Here’s what they learned:

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U.S. Yoga Injuries Increasing

By Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA | June 13, 2017 |

Yoga injuries in the United States are on the rise, particularly among older adults, according to data from hospital emergency rooms nationwide. Researchers from the Center for Injury Sciences at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB), Alabama, examined data from 2001 to 2014 to establish the injury risk involved in yoga participation.

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Comparing Periodization Strategies for Women

By Len Kravitz, PhD | April 12, 2017 |

Study reviewed: Bartolomei, S., et al. 2015. Block vs. weekly undulating periodized resistance training programs in women. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 29 (10), 2679—87.

If your clientele includes women looking to boost their muscular strength within a specific time frame, creating periodized weight–training programs for them is a great idea. The question is: How should you structure the program? Bartolomei and colleagues' study published in 2015 offers guidance on two possibilities.

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Preventing Golf Injuries

By IDEA Authors | March 22, 2017 |

As a golfer, you want to stay injury-free to practice and compete regularly, which ultimately lets you hone your skills and elevate your performance.
To help avoid injury and boost level of play, you need to understand how two key muscle and soft-tissue systems—the posterior oblique system and the anterior oblique system—affect the golf swing.

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The Big Payoff to Better Posture

By Ryan Halvorson | March 14, 2017 |

When I was a kid, my dad was a stickler for posture. "Sit up straight," he'd say as I slouched over a plate of pasta. Other times, he'd try a tactile approach. I'd be standing in line at the market or sitting in the bleachers watching my oldest brother play baseball, and out of nowhere I'd feel two thumbs dig gently into my upper trapezius muscles while the remaining fingers of each hand gripped my shoulders and pulled them back. All these years later, I'm the one cuing people to mind their posture.

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The Physiology of Sprint Interval Training

By Terence Moriarty, MA | March 14, 2017 |

If your clients haven't already asked you about it, they will. High-intensity interval training is a mainstay in personal training programs and group fitness classes. There are several reasons why HIIT is a good workout, one of them being its brevity. Research indicates that the four most common barriers to exercise are not having time, feeling too tired, getting enough exercise at one's job, and having no motivation to exercise (Brownson et al. 2001).

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Running Improves Brain Function in Young Runners

By Ryan Halvorson | February 16, 2017 |

Looking to boost brain power? You may want to lace up those sneakers and head out for a long run, suggest researchers from the University of Arizona.
While there’s been plenty of study on exercise and brain function, these UA researchers wanted to know if a movement requiring little motor-control precision—like distance running—could affect neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to form new neural connections. Most research to date has focused on older adults, but this study targeted younger minds.

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A Minor Issue?

By Joy Keller | January 23, 2017 |

When you work with enough clients, eventually you notice all the variations in biomechanics and anatomy. You may or may not remember from your fitness professional certification studies that only about half of people have a psoas minor muscle. When it's there, it lies in front of the psoas major and originates from the sides of the 12th thoracic vertebra (T12), the first lumbar vertebra (L1) and the corresponding intervertebral disk (Farias et al. 2012).

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What Is Plica Syndrome?

By Joy Keller | December 15, 2016 |

Clients sometimes experience general pain in the knee during or after an exercise session, and while it's not within your scope of practice to diagnose, a broad understanding of issues that affect this important joint can be helpful. Here's a snapshot of plica syndrome.
Plica is a fold of synovial tissue that's a "remnant" of embryologic development. The knee is initially divided into three compartments by membranes, which are then resorbed by the third or fourth month of fetal life (Scuderi et al. 1997).

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