Category Archives: Topic of the Week

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?

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Do Sit-Ups Ruin Your Posture?

Every few weeks, someone will tag me in a Facebook thread where people are arguing about the negative effects of sit-ups or crunches on posture. Typically, someone will claim that people are already sitting all day long and then question why would we dare put them into flexed postures during their training. They’ll also claim that performing sit-ups or crunches leads to negative postural adaptations such as kyphosis and forward head posture.

Trust me, I understand the sentiments. On weekends, when I don’t train myself or any clients, I tend to sit for much of the day trying to catch up on reading and writing. I can certainly feel the effects of such sitting on my body. Do this day in and day out, and I’m certain that it will have a negative impact on posture and function.

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A Call to Action for S&C Writers: Quit Using the Term “Intensity”

If you’re a writer in the strength & conditioning profession, then chances are you’ve used the ambiguous term “intensity” many times over in your articles and blogs. I know I’ve been guilty of this on a few separate occasions.

But what does “intensity” really mean in strength & conditioning? Does it refer to effort, or load? What does it mean in the context of “High Intensity Training” (HIT Training) or “High Intensity Interval Training” (HIIT)? In these contexts, it refers to effort. Usually, when discussing cardiovascular/aerobic exercise, intensity is often represented as a percentage of maximal heart rate (MHR) – a slightly dodgy measurement of effort in this case.

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If You Could Only Do One Lift…

I can’t think of a question that comes up more in Strength & Conditioning interviews than, “If you could only do one lift, what would it be?” Most of my colleagues absolutely loathe this question, believing it to be absurd since nobody is ever in a position where they can only do one exercise for the rest of their lives. I, however, happen to love these types of questions. Taking the time to ponder this question helps coaches ponder the efficacy (capacity or power to produce a desired effect) and efficiency (the ratio of the output to the input of any system) of an exercise (or combination of exercises if more than one exercise is allowed).

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