Category Archives: Muscle Physiology

How Does Foam Rolling Work? And Why “SMR” Should be Called “SMT”

Today, I’m going to share a discussion on Facebook that I recently had with Todd Hargrove and Greg Lehman. I’m not always confident with my understanding of things, but I’ve developed great “go-to guys” over the years when I’m seeking answers in various topics, and Todd and Greg are well-versed in areas pertaining to manual therapy.

I lift weights every day with a ton of strong dudes. Nearly all of them foam roll. I foam roll and use the stick and a lacrosse ball too. Are we all just a bunch of dumb meatheads falling prey to The Placebo Effect? Or is there more to foam rolling than meats the eye? Are we changing mechanical properties in the fascia? Or are there other mechanisms at play?

read more

Glute Science

Last week I made an appointment with a PhD Anatomy professor to visit his laboratory and examine the muscular anatomy of cadavers. I’ve seen cadavers in the past, but now that I’m much more knowledgeable, I got much more out of the experience. Seeing the glutes in this state really allows you to envision their functional roles and capacities. Here are six glute facts that I’d like to share with you today:

1. The gluteus maximus does its thang through myofascial force transmission

Having actually felt the fiber insertions of multiple cadavers, this is what stood out to me the most. The vast majority of glute fibers insert into fascia. Textbooks say 70-85% but it might be even higher. Only a small percentage insert onto the gluteal tuberosity of the femur.┬áSee the pic below – the red insertion portion shows how much of the glute max inserts onto the leg – the rest (blue) inserts into the fascia lata (especially the iliotibal tract).

read more

What You Need to Know About Rhabdomyolysis: Insights from the University of Iowa Incident

In the last Strength of Evidence Podcast Episode, Ms. Jenny Sinkler, Jon Fass and I discussed exertional rhabdomyolysis. I confessed to not being comfortable with my familiarity of creatine kinase levels following various training protocols. Just recently I stumbled across a brand new study involving the infamous University of Iowa incident from 2011. I decided to review the study along with a couple dozen others in order to educate myself on the topic. I’d like to share with you my findings. Near the bottom of this article is the information from the new study involving the University of Iowa.

read more

Titin and Myotilin Comin’ Through in the Stretch

This article is going to seem a little “out there” for most of my readers, but try your best to understand the information as it’s very important for exercise science and I will be referring to this article as time goes on. For the past six months I’ve really delved into the literature involving structural proteins. This has been a very intriguing process. First I will discuss some important concepts in musculotendinous modeling, then I’ll delve into some exciting new research involving titin and myotilin – two exciting proteins that play a huge role in athletic performance.

read more