Long, Lean Muscles: Oh, the Irony


For years, I’ve been hearing claims that fitness methodologies such as Yoga, Pilates, and the more recent Bar Method create “long, lean muscles.” While I realize that much of these claims just amount to marketing terminology aimed at targeting naive women, I can’t help but think that many of the zealots involved in these regimens actual believe their own claims. Let’s examine the facts.

1. Muscles Have a Fixed Origin and Insertion Point

You can’t change where muscles begin and end – these are anatomically predispositioned. I suppose that if you badly break a bone, you could end up with shorter muscles after healing. And I recall stories of Russian sports scientists surgically breaking and reattaching muscles at different lengths along the bone with their experimental athletes to see if it altered their athleticism. Longer muscle moment arms have better leverage, can create more torque, and are better suited for strength, but shorter muscle moment arms shorten more rapidly and are better suited for speed, so there is a trade-off (THIS article addresses the relationship). But tampering with attachment points negatively impacts coordination, which is vital for sports performance, so to my knowledge this experimentation was quickly discarded.

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October Research Round-Up: Hamstring Injury Edition

Every month, Chris and I write the Strength and Conditioning Research review service. In this article, Chris has written a preview of the October edition. This edition comes out on Wednesday and covers brand-new research into hamstring injury. While many areas of sport science are currently moving forwards by finding errors in our earlier ideas, it is noteworthy that the majority view of hamstring strain injury prevention and rehabilitation seems very solid. Keep reading to learn more.

Can aspects of muscle architecture predict hamstring strain injury risk?

The study: Musculotendon variability influences tissue strains experienced by the biceps femoris long head muscle during high-speed running, by Fiorentino and Blemker, in Journal of Biomechanics, 2014

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Hip Thruster Update

Hi fitness friends!

It’s been just over a year since I launched the Hip Thruster unit, so I felt that an update was in order. Originally, I assumed that Hip Thrusters would mostly be purchased by women seeking better butts from their own homes, but there are now Hip Thruster units around the world in gyms ranging from dingy garages to pro sports team training facilities. Don’t get me wrong, I still think that Hip Thruster’s greatest application is in helping women build their backsides due to the possibility of daily band hip thrusts, but I also believe that every pro sports team should have several Hip Thrusters for ease of hip thrusting with the athletes (assuming space permits).

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October Strength & Conditioning Research Questions

Hi fitness folks! Do you know the answer to the October strength & conditioning research review questions? If not, you ought to subscribe to our research review service.

The review costs just $10 per month and is released on the first day of each month. If you sign up before the month-end, you will automatically receive the next edition both as a PDF file and also in two different e-reader formats, which are compatible with both Kindles and Apple devices. To subscribe, just click on the button below and follow the instructions…


The next edition will be sent out on Wednesday so make sure you’re subscribed if you want to receive it. We also have back issues available for purchase HERE. If you’re new to S&C Research, you might wish to buy the last few and get caught up, or buy our Background Product to build a good foundation. Below is the list of questions we tackle in our review this month.

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