Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mythical Methods?

The Myth of Core Stability.
By Eyal Lederman

A critical review of core/spinal stability practices and claims. Great article.

The conclusions from the article:

-Weak trunk muscles, weak abdominals and imbalances
between trunk muscles groups are not a pathology just
a normal variation.

-The division of the trunk into core and global muscle
system is a reductionist fantasy, which serves only to
promote CS.

-Weak or dysfunctional abdominal muscles will not lead
to back pain.

-Tensing the trunk muscles is unlikely to provide any
protection against back pain or reduce the recurrence
of back pain.

-Core stability exercises are no more effective than, and
will not prevent injury more than, any other forms of
exercise or physical therapy.

-Core stability exercises are no better than other forms
of exercise in reducing chronic lower back pain. Any
therapeutic influence is related to the exercise effects
rather than stability issues.

-There may be potential danger of damaging the spine
with continuous tensing of the trunk muscles during
daily and sports activities.

-Patients who have been trained to use complex
abdominal hollowing and bracing manoeuvres should be
discouraged from using them.


Lederman, E. The myth of core stability. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies (2009).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Gluteus Maximus

Just read Dispelling the Glute Myth by Bret Contreras over at T-Nation. I do like Bret's progressions to take some basic single-joint exercises and overload them. While I like many of the concepts of the article (I agree that the glutes are a key), the one important point I take away is sprinting. Maybe this is because I've posted about this in the past, but I think coordinated macro-movements are the bread and butter, especially in my context.

The most important message I take away here is in Bret's bulletpoints in the article are:

• A sprint activates 234% more mean gluteus maximus muscle than a vertical jump.

• Due to the increased glute activation, sprinters commonly experience "butt-lock;" whereas repetitive vertical jumpers experience "quad-lock."

• Hip extension exercises that mimic sprinting have horizontal or anteroposterior directional load vectors, involve hip hyperextension, and include reverse hypers, back extensions, hip thrusts, pendulum quadruped hip extensions, and pull throughs.

The important point to take away from this thought-provoking article is to get sprinting more. Lots of quality things happen when sprinting is part of one's training, much beyond just better glutes. Bottom line is, if "functional" is the way to go, then let's practice moving functionally.

Couple previous thoughts on sprinting:

#16 is one to look at here. The reference is at the end of the article.

Acceleration and Absolute Speed


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Simplexity 2

Do This, Not That! by Dan John and Chris Shugart.

Aaaaaahhhhhhh... like a breath of fresh air... (sound effects: light breeze rustling through the leaves and birds harmonizing a beautifully peaceful song)