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Posted by on Dec 31, 2016 in Best of the Year

Best of 2016: Articles

Best of 2016: Articles

 

Over the last year we’ve read hundreds of  articles, some of which we’ve shared with you guys in our “Best of the Month” series. We’ve gone over all of those articles, and some others that we found along the way, and came up with what we feel are the best articles of 2016.

We looked for articles that either gave unique insights into a specific performance-related area, or that effectively challenged conventional dogmas, or that had directly applicable effects to our daily practices. This list is certainly not exhaustive, and there are, for sure, tons of good articles that we’ve missed, or that haven’t made it into this list for whatever reason. We apologize for that. But here’s what we came up with:

 

Your Beliefs are Wrong. Are You Willing to Change?  

by Steve Kamb

Two of our favorite articles from 2016 explore our belief systems and why we oftentimes get caught up in dogmatic approaches to fitness, diet, health, and athletic development. In this first article, from Nerd Fitness founder Steve Kamb, we get to see why essentially everybody is “wrong” when it comes to completely understanding how things work. Kamb’s message is to be more open-minded, be able to change when presented with new information, and stop badmouthing others who have a different approach from you. One of our absolute favorite articles of 2016:

 

 

Letter to My Younger Self

by Ray Allen

NBA Hall of Famer (and personal favorite player) Ray Allen retired this year from the game of basketball. As he was saying goodbye to the game, he also wrote an incredible article that was published in the Players Tribune. In his “letter” he advises his younger self of some of the obstacles that he would face as well as reassuring his younger self that all the hard work and sacrifice would pay off behind his wildest dreams. In doing so, Allen reflected beautifully on his career and his path to the top, while providing invaluable wisdom to any young athlete or anyone struggling to reach their dreams. Whether you’re a fan of Ray Allen or not, this is a must-read article:

 

 

What Type of Dogmatic Fitness Guru Are You?

by Dr. Scotty Butcher

No matter how objective and open-minded we try to be, we’re all susceptible to dogmatic beliefs. We all have our own systems of coaching/training/treating, and in some ways that’s a good thing. But with that also comes a lot of negative consequences as well. Belief that our approach is the only way, badmouthing others, and being resistant to new ideas that challenge our paradigm are all issues that can keep us from being our best and progressing our collective understanding of athletic development and sports medicine. Scotty Butcher brilliantly calls everybody out in this article. Hopefully after reading this, you will approach things with a clearer, and more humble mind:

 

 

You Don’t Need Core Stability or Core Strength

by Andrew Millet

Don’t be fooled by the title, this article by Andrew Millet is one of the best articles that we’ve read addressing what people mean when they talk about “strengthening the core”. He looks at the different roles that the core plays in movement and how to optimize them. Filled with videos and pictures, this is a doozy of an article:

 

 

Strong Starts in the Mind: The Benefits of Active Imagery for Lifters

by Luke Mitchell

You guys know that we’re huge proponents of the mental aspects of performance. We believe that all performance stems from the mind. One of the most useful mental tools to get the most out of your training and competition is active imagery. Most articles looking at imagery don’t address the science behind it, or give in depth methods for doing it. This article from Luke Mitchell is the most comprehensive post that we’ve read on the subject:

 

Understanding Mobility

by Dean Somerset

Mobility is one of the biggest buzzwords in the movement/athletic world these days. Many people however don’t really understand what mobility means. Is it the same as flexibility? What’s the difference between mobility and stability? Why do we need mobility, and what are the best ways to approach getting it? These are all common questions for people. We were super excited when we saw Dean Somerset‘s article addressing all things mobility. He clarifies mobility and presents it in an easily digestible way. Whether you’re curious to learn more about mobility or you’re a clinician/coach who wants a better way to explain mobility, this article is a great read and a great resource:

 

 

Revisiting the Spinal Flexion Debate: Prepare for Doubt

by Greg Lehman

For a long time in the coaching/movement/rehab world, spinal flexion has been public enemy number one. Traditionally, spinal flexion, and particularly loaded spinal flexion, equalled disc issues and pain. Greg Lehman decided to take a critical look at this belief and come to an objective understanding of the dangers (or not) of loaded spinal flexion. If you read this article with an open mind we promise that it will make you think about spinal flexion in a new way:

 

 

Fix Your Squat (Series) 

by Dr. Zach Long

This year Dr. Zach Long went deep in exploring and “fixing” the squat. He addressed everything from warming up correctly and the necessary mobility for optimal squatting, to fixing some of the most common problems that people have with their squat mechanics, to fixing the all-too-common hip pain that many people experience with squatting. All of these articles are great resources. If you enjoy them and want to learn more from Long about perfecting your squat, we suggest that you check out his awesome new Master The Squat program:

 

 

The Athlete’s Guide to Training Through Lower Back Pain

by Dr. John Rusin

Low back pain is one of the most common, and most debilitating, issues that athletes face. It makes movement tough, and lifting feel impossible. Because of this, we really enjoyed Dr. John Rusin‘s approach to addressing lower back pain, and finding the best path to working through it. He looks at some useful self-assessment tactics, mobility exercises to speed low back recovery, and methods for modifying workouts to still be able to train. This is a valuable resource for trainers, coaches, clinicians, and athletes alike:

 

 

Pain is Weird

by Paul Ingraham

This article is not new this year, but Paul Ingraham continues to update it and advance this resource to stay up to date with our ever-changing understanding of pain, so in a way it is a new article. This monster of an article explores pain science like few, if any, other articles have. And it’s free. Whether you’re in chronic pain yourself, or you work with people who experience pain, this article is one of the most valuable resources you can have:

 

 

3 Reasons Athletes Get Injured

by Mike Robertson 

Injuries are a part of being an athlete. No matter how good your mechanics are, how strong you are, or how skilled you are, at some point you will get injured. That being said, injuries are on the rise across the board, and many injuries are preventable. Mike Robertson brilliantly breaks through the complexity of injuries to come up with 3 major reasons why athletes get injured, and what to do about each:

 

Here are some more must-read articles from 2016:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want to thank everybody on this list for sharing your unique thoughts, perspectives, and techniques with all of us and for advancing the collective understanding of what it means to push the limits of human performance, fitness, and health! I personally have learned a ton this year, and I can’t wait to read what brilliant stuff you guys come up with in 2017! As always, we appreciate all of your support and your continued efforts to share our information with your own circle!

 

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