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Injury / Injury Prevention

Vibration Boosts Effects of Foam Roller

Traditional foam rollers have become widespread in the fitness setting. Recently, some manufacturers have added vibration technology to their products. Does the added element provide any extra benefit? Researchers from California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, California, the National Academy of Sports Medicine in Chandler, Arizona, and Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, wanted to find out.

Abdominal Separation and the Female Core

Imagine a balloon—a standard latex party balloon. You put a tiny seed in it. A watermelon starts to grow. You pick up the balloon with the watermelon growing inside. You carry it with you all day. You sit with it, stand up with it, run with it, take it wherever you go. What happens? How long will that balloon hold up?
Now imagine the same scenario with a stronger balloon, a Mylar balloon, with reinforced seams.

Getting Better at Recovery

A growing body of research is shedding more light on the importance of resting after exercise—providing vital clues on measuring and enhancing the recovery process. These insights are welcome news to personal trainers and coaches who see the consequences of overtraining and inadequate recovery every day. This column discusses some of the latest research on assessing and managing recovery and advises on tactics that may help your clients recover from exercise.

Protecting the Aging Brain

Study after study shows that physical activity, diet and other lifestyle factors keep the brain healthy as we age—contrary to the popular notion that cognitive function inevitably declines in the later years of life.

A Fine Balance

No training program is complete without at least some focus on balance, an ability many people take for granted. We monitor the environment and our relationship to gravity quite automatically, thanks to the vestibular system, which helps us maintain our center of mass over a base of support. A properly functioning balance system allows us to see properly while in motion;
helps us orient ourselves to gravity;
determines direction and speed; and
makes automatic postural adjustments (Vestibular Disorders Association).

Mobility & Mindfulness

Suspension exercise continues to grow more popular, in part because of its versatility and adaptability. It’s especially effective for mobility because it provides gentle traction that improves muscle flexibility, joint support and spinal decompression.
The sequence below flows seamlessly, stretching all major muscle groups while augmenting joint mobility. It’s a great finish for any type of workout.

Turn Negatives Into Positives

I was a new group fitness instructor taking someone else’s muscle-toning class. “You’re not going low enough,” the instructor yelled at me from across the crowded room. As flames of embarrassment burned my cheeks, I dropped lower into the Romanian dead lift even though I had just come from teaching my seventh cycling class of the week and my body was spent. But this was what the class required, I rationalized, and I was fit—I should be able to keep up.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep up, and as a result, I gave myself a nagging lower-back injury.

Protein Supplements: Which “Whey” to Go?

Fitness professionals working with enthusiastic resistance-training clients inevitably face questions about protein supplementation.
Protein supplements are some of the most common and most popular nutritional products on the market today (Pasiakos, Lieberman & McLellan 2014). But with all this abundance, it’s easy to get lost in the colorfully stocked shelves and become confused about which types to buy, when to use them and how much to take.

Shoulder Pain and Injury Prevention

Shoulder pain and injuries make it harder to exercise and play sports. Damaged shoulders also limit basic functions, impair quality of life and disturb sleep (Acton 2011). What’s more, research suggests that almost a quarter of your client base will experience shoulder pain/injury at one time or another (Ghosh 2012).

Man performing exercise for seniors

Exercise for Seniors

Certain types of exercise for seniors can lessen the chance that you develop more severe problems from the physical challenges of aging.

Hit the Hips!

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).

How to Handle Exercise-Related Muscle Cramps

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:

Does Foam Rolling Really Increase Blood Flow?

One claim about the benefits of foam rolling is that it initiates an increase in blood flow to the treated area. But do those claims hold water? A study published in The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (2017; 31 [4], 893–900) aimed to find out.

U.S. Yoga Injuries Increasing

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.

Comparing Periodization Strategies for Women

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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