Best of September 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 September 2016.
This month we also read, watched, and listened to a ton of incredible information from the front lines of the human performance world. We hope that you enjoy this information as much as we did, and you’re able to learn some things that will be of benefit to yourself and/or the people that you work with!
Here is our Best of September 2016.
- More and more research is coming out supporting physical therapy and rehab as a superior form of treatment to surgery for some common musculoskeletal injuries. Recently we’ve seen this in regards to rotator cuff injuries, and now with mensical tears. This month, researchers found that surgery was no more effective than exercise therapy for young, fit patients who have torn their meniscus:
- A new study by Benjamin Lee and Stuart McGill shows that short-term specific isometric exercises can effectively increase core and torso stiffness for a short period of time. This has important implications for decreasing injuries and increasing performance:
- Can how well we move affect our self-confidence? New research suggests that, especially for certain populations (in this case adolescent girls), the answer is yes. Creating programs to teach youths better movement may not only help reduce injuries/pain and increase athletic development, but also help with self-confidence:
- A couple of interesting new research infographics from YLM Sports Science on the many benefits of eccentric training, why screening tests are not good predictors of injury risk, and a comparison of ice baths vs. whole body cryotherapy for recovery:
- People oftentimes feel that their shoulder pain is due to some restriction, and if they only had more mobility, all of their problems would be solved. While full shoulder ROM is important, just cranking on the shoulder may not be the best approach. Andrew Millet explores shoulder anatomy, soft tissue restrictions, and some things we can do to create strong, stable shoulders that are capable of maintaining full mobility:
- While this article first came out almost six years ago, the author updated it this month, giving me the opportunity to share it with you guys. In this monster of an article, Paul Ingraham explores why pain is so weird. Specifically, he looks at how pain is a function of the brain more so than injured tissues, and why our sensation of pain can oftentimes be much worse than the actual “problem” from which it stemmed. This article is a must-read for anyone who works with those in pain, or anyone who has experienced chronic pain and would like to know more about it:
- We’re huge fans of the Barbell Physio, Dr. Zach Long, and the work that he puts out. This month, he joined forces with many of our other favorite people in the rehab/performance game to bring a list of 18 of the best TRX rehab exercises. The TRX straps have often fallen into the “functional fitness” nonsense, and because of this, many people dismiss how useful they can be for creating strength and stability. I personally use them regularly and I think that you guys will too after trying some of these exercises:
- Recent research has shown that getting out of pain may not be as much about picking the right rehab exercises as it is simply staying away from provocative stimuli and then doing meaningful movement. There may not be a specific “key” rehab exercise, or set of exercises, to unlock each problem. Greg Lehman presents a better way of approaching physical interventions, but he also looks at when specific interventions are most helpful:
- If this article had been on anyone else’s website besides Tony Gentilcore, I probably wouldn’t have clicked on it. But knowing the TG-trademarked quirkiness, and the brilliance that underlies it, I went for it, and it did not disappoint. In this article, Anthony Yeung explains why Jason Bourne is the ultimate well-rounded physical badass, and why he rules the action hero world. But beyond that, he presents a damn good blueprint for becoming your best physical self. He talks strength/power/speed, mobility, conditioning, aesthetics, and much more. Embrace your own potential for badassery and check this article out:
- While strict pain science advocates will fight against the importance of biomechanics in pain, injury, and performance, we aren’t 100% sold yet. We believe that biomechanics, and good movement patterns, still do play an important role in each of those areas. And the kinetic chain is an important aspect of describing and understanding biomechanics and movement. PT and strength coach Dan Swincoe explores the kinetic chain and the role that it plays in creating optimal movement and strength:
- Rubber bands are one of the most underrated tools in the gym, and no, not simply for mobilizing joints and stretching muscles. They provide a unique form of resistance than can make you strong, stable, and powerful. Dr. John Rusin shows us how to utilize bands for dynamic warmups, corrective exercises, power and strength development, and some wicked metabolic finishers:
- Cardio tends to be one of the least understood, and therefore, most oftenly screwed up aspects of our training programs. Gone are the days of slogging away on the eliptical for 45 minutes, and skipping cardio for fear that it will stymie our gains is laughable at this point. But what should we be doing for cardio? The always on-point (and badass athlete herself) Meghan Callaway explores the biggest mistakes surrounding cardio, and how to fix them:
- Brett Bartholomew trains some of the NFL’s very best athletes. And when the difference between second-string and pro-bowl are so minute, you have to know what you’re doing. Bartholomew certainly does, so that’s why it was such a treat for him to write this post. He presents nine great tips for getting the most from your strength training, regardless of whether you’re a superstar athelte or an average joe:
- Fatigue begins in our mind well before it takes place physiologically in our body. Many times, as soon as we get the signals of fatigue, we begin taking our foot off the gas, and we end up not training/performing as well as we could. Neck Heil explores this concept, and why having the knowledge that fatigue is more mental than physical allows us to begin pushing it back and controlling it so that we can perform our best:
Excellent Podcasts & Videos
- Aaron Alexander from the Align Podcast sit down with the always-entertaining and thought-provoking Tony Gentilcore for a conversation on stability, mobility, and good movement. They explore how to facilitate proper movement and physical growth while also providing a common sense approach to training, performing, and staying healthy:
- Dr. Quinn Henoch is one of the best in the game at wading through the complexity of research to find a simple solution, and then explaining it in a way that anyone can understand. In the videos above, Henoch explores some of the most common mobility myths. First, he looks at foam rolling and what it’s actually doing, why it’s important, and how to incorporate it effectively into our preworkout routine. He then takes a look at what static stretching is actually doing to the body, why it may not be so beneficial, and what we can do instead to increase our range of motion:
- The Movement Fix‘s Dr. Ryan DeBell sat down with Gymnastics WOD founder Carl Paoli for a really interesting conversation. They discuss the rise of CrossFit, creating gymnastics training for heavy lifters, learning complicated movements and balancing strict technique with doing what it takes to get there. They finish the podcast with a deep discussion on self-awareness, having the freedom to create, doing simple things as well as you can, and more:
- We really enjoyed this episode of the Finding Mastery podcast with Michael Gervais and watermen-extraordinaire Kai Lenny. They discuss learning the psychological game from a young age, being your own best friend, and pursuing perfection. They also dive into achievement vs. purpose, staying calm when things turn bad, developing a deep relationship with nature, and much much more! For anyone interested in the mental game or the pursuit of mastery, this is a must-listen-to podcast:
- The guys from Barbell Shrugged get together in the gym to discuss all things technique. They explore what it means to train in the right positions, the idea of overfocusing on technique, and how to find a happy medium. They also look at the art of teaching technique to others, something that can be difficult even for the best coaches:
That’s it folks. I hope you enjoyed our Best of September 2016 and can use this information to further your own (and the people you work with’s) pursuit of higher performance! As always, we appreciate your feedback and comments, so either comment below or hit the contact button up top and shoot us an email. If you enjoyed this edition of our Best of the Month, or any of our other awesome original content and compilations, please subscribe to our free email service below!
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