Best of June 2016
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best new performance-related research, articles, podcasts and videos that we found on the internet over the past month. By no means is this list exhaustive, just some of the things that we came across and liked from June 2016.
This month we really took a critical look at the way that we’re deadlifting and how to get the most out of it without having pain/injury. We also explored why “the art” aspect of S&C is so important, what using models and metaphors means to our understanding of pain and movement, and why the autonomic nervous system controls much of our ability to feel/perform our best. We learned why “functional training” may not be so functional and why PT’s and other practitioners should be incorporating S&C principles into their programming.
We learned about the lats, shoulder pain and low back pain, and saw the importance of the cues that we use when training movement. We also learned why viewing your life as an epic video game can lead to personal growth, and we listened to one of the most epic podcasts of all time on human consciousness, creating true happiness, and the Hero’s Journey. June was an awesome month for new information (too much even to include in this), and we thank all of you guys for continually exploring the performance world and sharing with the us your discoveries!
Here is our Best of June 2016.
- Does practice really make perfect? Is more practice really the difference between being good and being great? Does starting at a younger age ensure that you’ll be better? A new study seems to point to the answer to all of these questions as being “not necessarily”:
- For the past few months, Craig Pickering has been doing a sports science roundup for HMMR media, looking at some of the latest research and what it means to us as coaches, athletes, and practitioners. His sports science monthly is a great resource and something you should look for each month. Here’s June’s edition:
- Many people believe that in order to increase strength, you have to have sustained contractions under heavy load. A new study however, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, showed that this might not always be the case. They found that the best way to improve strength ( in this case in untrained individuals) is actually through short explosive contractions. This has implications for many different populations:
- While the science is pretty clear at this point as to the importance of sleep for performance, here’s yet another study showing the negative effects of chronic sleep restriction on elite-level athletes:
- There’s a huge ongoing debate in the world of performance nutrition as to whether or not vegetarian diets can fuel athletes as well as an omnivorious diet. A new review looked at specifically how these two diets affect performance. What they found might surprise you:
- A couple of interesting new research infographics from YLM Sports Science looking at whether squatting or hip thrusting has a better effect on sprinting, and why splashing cool water on your face while competing in the heat may increase performance:
- This month, Bryan Mann explored one of the most important issues in the performance world today. In our science- and technology-obsessed world, we may be losing the most valuable aspect of good coaching- the art. While tech and research definitely are advancing our ability to understand and monitor the body, they should never be the sole means by which we determine what’s best for our athletes. Regardless of what aspect of the performance world we’re talking about, science should only be the foundation upon which we build our art, with technology simply being one tool to help aid that art. Mann does a great job of unpacking this issue as it relates to S&C:
- How big of a role does the autonomic nervous system play in our everyday experience and our ability to train and perform at our best? Some would argue that it controls everything about our experience, while others would say that’s way overblown and that it’s more about pushing yourself and hardwork. This month, Seth Oberst and Ben House brilliantly explore the ANS and what happens when it becomes dysfunctional. This is one of the best articles that we’ve read explaining the global effects of autonomic dysfunction and what it means for training, good movement, how we feel, and much more:
- Tony Bonvechio is one of the best in the game. Not only is he an elite-level powerlifter, but he’s also a high-level coach and an awesome source of quality information. This month he reflected on his last ten years of lifting weights and came up with ten valuable lessons that he learned in that time. These are things that we can all benefit from, regardless of what level we’re at:
- Whenever I’ve taken my nootropics, had a good night’s sleep, and possibly had too much coffee, I head on over to Todd Hargrove‘s site to stretch my brain and expand my view of things. While everyone else is arguing over methods and models and which individual idea is “correct”, Hargrove consistently hits the nail on the head by looking at the big picture of things and how we should be approaching the incredible complexity that is the human body. In his latest article, he explores the nature of using models to explain pain and movement. No one model is correct, but by connecting a variety of different models, at different levels, we can come as close as possible to a level of understanding:
- Tight lats can be a huge factor in creating shoulder pain. Dr. Dan Pope explores why this is the case, and how kipping-style exercises may only exacerbate this tendency:
- The deadlift is arguably one of the most important single exercises that we can do. But performing it well can also be an incredibly complex task, even for the seasoned lifter. And unfortunately, the cost of not deadlifting well for many is intense tightness, pain, and possibly even serious injury. Bulletproof your deadlift with these 10 commandments from Joey Percia:
- There’s been a big push as of late for physical therapists and other practitioners with a comprehensive view of movement, dysfunction, and injury, to take a bigger role in the strength and conditioning world. It makes total sense as mobility, stability, pain science, biomechanics, and a number of other PT-related topics are taking a central role in the world of physical training. But, while this revolution is taking place, there’s also a ton that PT’s and traditional rehab specialists can be learning from the S&C world. This month Jarod Hall looked at why PT’s should be understanding strength training concepts and incorporating them into their programming. Taking this approach not only is the best way to get patients back from injury and stronger/more resilient than before, but it also makes for a seamless transition between rehab and performance training:
- A patient comes in with painful lumbar flexion. Classically, we label them as flexion-intolerant, maybe assume that they have some disc involvement, and we give them extension stuff. ANd while this may work for some, this approach isn’t truly getting to the bottom of why the person has pain with flexion, and it’s not fixing that root problem either. This month, Sian Smale gave us a great article looking at the complexity of flexion and low back pain, how to assess it to truly get to the root cause, and then what we can do to fix it. Everyone who works with low back pain patients should read and take notes:
- Because we’re huge fans of the deadlift (and we’ve seen a lot of deadlifting-related issues lately in the clinic), we decided to include another awesome article on the subject, this time from Todd Bumgardner. He takes a cool approach in this post by dissecting the deadlift into it’s three major phases, looking at common weaknesses for each, and what to do to fix them:
- Functional training is almost as hot right now as Hansel (sorry just watched Zoolander 2), and the more bosu balls, straps, and unstable objects, the better. But is “functional training” really functional? More and more evidence is pointing to the fact that turning our rehab space into a circus is not the best way to train functional strength and movement. In his latest article, Dr. Scotty Butcher shatters the functional training myth and explains why foundational strength training, along with task-specific training, is really what’s going to create the best results:
Excellent Podcasts & Videos
- One of the hardest parts of training anybody, whether it’s in a rehab setting, in the gym, or on the track/field/court/etc.., is getting them to understand what we want them to do. The cues that we use can make a huge difference in how people learn, train, and ultimately, perform. Dr. Perry Nickelston sat down with Nick Winkleman for a conversation on cueing (specifically external vs. internal), working with elite-level athletes, and much more:
- Aubrey Marcus has Nerd Fitness founder Steve Kamb on for an epic podcast. Increasingly, people are realizing that to become their best selves, they need to be both nerd and jock, exploring the imagination and the mind while also becoming strong and fit physically. Both of these guys are pivotal figures in bridging that gap between the thinkers and the movers. By turning workouts and fitness into an RPG-style game, Kamb is helping many people to get motivated and empowered to get as fit as possible. They also discuss self-development, trying things for the sake of trying things, and learning to become comfortable outside of your comfort zone:
- Shoulder pain is incredibly common, yet getting to the bottom of what’s actually causing it, and then fixing it, can sometimes be difficult. Many different structures refer pain into the shoulder, making it even more difficult to accurately diagnose and treat. On this physioedge podcast, Dr. Chris Littlewood breaks down shoulder assessment, when to image, when to refer for injections/surgery, and how to treat rotator cuff tendonopathies. This is very informative (you may want a pad and pen for this one) and worth listening to for anyone who works with shoulders:
- Play is one of the best ways to get a good workout, keep the body mobile, stable, and strong, and have a ton of fun. Yet in our culture, play is usually just reserved for kids, while adults are forced to slave away on the treadmill if they want a “good workout”. Luckily this is changing as people are beginning to understand the massive benefits of play for adults. This month on the GMB Fitness podcast (episode #100), Ryan sits down with Mark Smith for a conversation on play. Mark runs Asylum Fitness and uses play with his clients as a form of fun and exercise. They discuss the benefits of getting outside, playing games, and creating fun challenges in the natural environment, and why behaving like children may be exactly what most of us need:
- While admittedly, this podcast has very little to do directly with athletic performance, it’s just as worth your time as everything else on this page. Joe Rogan and Russell Brand (after years in the making) finally sat down this month and had a brilliant 3-hour long conversation. They dove into human consciousness, mindfulness, fame, yoga, the path towards enlightenment, and much, much more…
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