People in the fitness world often talk about “Ah-ha” moments, I know I have, but more frequently I get “maybe” moments that occasionally turn into “ah-ha” moments or are forever lost. Today I’ll list a number of my “maybe” thoughts with some of my evidence in hopes that you will either destroy or confirm my hypotheses.
1. Maybe I have been reading research a bit less then ideally over the course of my education. In my early days, I’d read the introduction, skim the methods, and then read results and discussion sections. This, in retrospect, was a great error as I should have paid more attention to methods to understand methodological quality. My friend Mark Young has recently posted a great piece about how to read the literature. Check it out. It’s more than abstracts and conclusions!
2. I wrote a few pieces talking about sports hernia in runners a while back and I have since been involved in some good discussion concerning the idea. In runners I wonder if this “runner’s hernia” (and the other grab bag of associated issues) is maybe a ground up injury. You see, many of the runners with whom I have worked after stints of long standing groin issues and some post-surgical sports hernia folks have had atrocious foot and ankle function and pronated a lot and very quickly. If we look at the subtalar joint as the “torque” converter that it is resulting in relative IR of tibia and femur with pronation, the active restraints that control transverse plane motion at the hip have to work over-time and do so eccentrically. What we know from repetitive eccentric contractions is that they damage the muscle, and those involved in high velocity eccentric contractions lose range of motion (this is evident often in baseball pitchers following a game). When this range of motion is lost, the muscles lose the ability to fire well to control femoral head position, close the SI joint well, and stress is transmitted elsewhere. With thousands of steps per day and tens or hundreds of thousands per week, ultimately the tissues will reach their threshold. Maybe it is a ground up issue.
3. Maybe we should think about a redesign of the entire fitness world. I’m all for having tools and using them, but can anyone tell me why a pullover is more effective on a stability ball than on a bench?
Or can you tell me why this guy is doing barbell curls and not working more on single leg stance and rotary stability?
Of course this is tongue in cheek because we already know that exercise can make you smarter.
4. Recently, thanks to Mike Boyle, I began to think that maybe we can blame shoulder mobility (or lack thereof) on why back squatting can be deleterious for the health of the lumbar spine. If you think about it, to properly address a straight-bar back squat an athlete needs a sizable degree of GH external rotation bilaterally. Not only can this be stressful to the anterior capsule of the shoulder, but those who lack this range of motion compensate by hyperextension at the lumbar spine pushing it to the end ranges of extension, and we know end ranges are generally not the best position for the disks.
There you have it. What are your maybe thoughts?