October 23, 2011

A Twist To Some Common Exercises To Provide Variety To Your Training

While some movements may provide more bang for your buck than others as it relates to muscle activation throughout a given muscle, no movement will effectively stimulate all muscle fibers throughout a muscles entirety. Every little change you make to the mechanics of an exercise will ultimately affect the result of your effort. While some changes will produce more varying results than others, every little change that is made will result in a different outcome.

Below are some examples of modifications to common movements to help you stimulate your muscles in a different manner than they’re used to, which will undoubtedly stimulate continued growth. What these movements sacrifice in load, they make up for with variety.

October 16, 2011

Basic Water/Hydration Info As It Relates To Performance

This article will cover the importance of staying hydrated and the important role that water plays on performance, but will NOT talk about the different kinds of water (alkaline, reverse osmosis, etc) and which is best, simply because there is far too much literature out there with varying opinions. Some say that alkaline water is best, others say distilled, etc, and to cover them all goes beyond my expertise as well as the scope of this article.

The Importance Of Water

Considering that the body is comprised mostly of water, with literature suggesting the brain being between 80-95% water, blood being roughly 82% water, lungs being roughly 90% water, and muscles being 75% water, optimal performance cannot be achieved with suboptimal levels of hydration, as all the body’s functions depend on adequate fluid levels. As you can imagine water is pretty much the single most critical nutrient for health, growth, and development. Not only is it the most important nutrient in the body, it is also the most abundant. Water is critical to the balance of all the body's systems, including the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys and muscles. The onset of many symptoms and avert disease processes can be prevented with adequate water intake.

A 2% drop in body water can cause a small but critical shrinkage of the brain, which can impair neuromuscular coordination, decrease concentration, and slow thinking. Dehydration can also reduce endurance, decrease strength, cause cramping and slow down muscular response time.

October 2, 2011

The Hips, And How They Affect Performance

Repetitive stress injuries within the athletic population are no rarity these days, and amongst the most popular of them are hamstring and groin injuries.

Because of their dual role as both hip extensors and knee flexors, the hamstrings, and their ability to forcefully contract, will dictate just how fast one can run/sprint, as well as how high/far one can jump. As a result of their contribution to explosive movements, injuries to them are a hell of a lot more common to the athletic population, as opposed to the rest of the population.

Hamstring or groin injuries lead to the assumption that the hamstrings, or adductor muscles are either weak, or tight. Logical as it may seem, this is often not the case, as the injury itself is the effect, not the cause. Generally the cause for repetitive stress comes from imbalanced development of the pelvic musculature.

While hamstring and groin injuries are a greater threat to the athletic population as a result of a tilted pelvis, lower back pain is a legitimate concern for the rest of the population with the similar pelvic alignment. It’s likely that anyone reading this probably knows more than one person who is directly affected by low back pain.