The elephant in the room is that this study was performed using isometric maximal effort squats rather than a dynamic range of motion. If these findings are only relevant in static positions, the concepts could be useful in the post-surgical setting.
If what is true for these isometric findings holds true for dynamic motion, it would direct box height selection in Box Squats as well as point out the need for some athletes to cultivate additional recruitment at end range. Perhaps the use of Pause Squats or 1 and 1/4 squats at full depth for athletes (olympic lifters) who find themselves at angles approaching 140 degrees flexion.
Also, this could validate the use of partial depth squats and walkouts at above 1RM weight. . . interesting. . .
Here’s the link to the full text article-
I bought my beige Crocs at noon the next day.
objects. Four decades of technology and innovation have brought us motion control, arch support, inflatable parts-don’t forget the Reebok Pump, and heel cushions made of gel, air, foam and springs resulting in the modern running shoe. The result: nothing. Today runners experience the same injury rate as they did before these technologies were introduced.
This is a great topic because it is very difficult to demonstrate in a study the superiority of either barefoot/minimalist or the modern shoe. In my mind, the only way to demonstrate such superiority is to show a causative relationship resulting in greater injury prevention and improved performance. The data is there but great care must be taken in order to establish a causitive relationship. For instance an observational study that shows that those in worn shoes ran faster in a given race may do so because they run more often thus always having shoes that appear “worn.” Or, those same results may have been caused by the fact that people with injuries seek motion control shoes and it is the injury that is causitive, not the footwear.
Many intervention studies are flawed as well such as when a group of heel strikers is taught to run on the balls of their feet to see if they are faster and less prone to injury. Well they’re not faster and they often get hurt because in a short 2 week study they are thrown into taking the lion’s share of the impact in their untrained achillis tendon and gastrocs. There are many clever studies out there that demonstrate a causitive relationship. We’ll look at some that support and some that dismiss the utility of the modern running shoe.
2) It’s “natural” to run barefoot.
Again, it may be true that bare feet is natural but before you march your Reebok Pumps to your local shoe burning keep in mind that Leprosy is natural and so are poisonous berries. Nature has more interests than your health and safety. Until there is some data to sink our greedy little teeth into we’ll curb this line of logic under the “interesting but irrelevant” category.
It turned out that when subjects thought they were landing on the soft, high-tech material (Deceptive trial), the impact forces were actually HIGHER than in the Warning trial when they expected the cheap and ineffective material. And barefoot had the lowest impact forces of all. The other amazing finding, as is shown in the graph above, is that in the barefoot and cheap material trials, the impact forces get lower and lower as the subjects repeat the step, which shows a learning effect that is not present in the ‘Deceptive’ trial where subjects thought they were landing on a soft material. So this is remarkable – it shows how an expectation of impact can actually alter impact, and again, it supports what Benno Nigg and others are saying about anticipation of impact, with the ability to adjust muscle activity to defend some other variable.
Motion control shoe delays fatigue of shank muscles in runners with overpronating feet.
Cheung RT, Ng GY.
Running in new and worn shoes: a comparison of three types of cushioning footwear.
Kong PW, Candelaria NG, Smith DR.
Proprioception and stability: foot position awareness as a function of age and footwear.
Robbins S, Waked E, McClaran J.
Hazard of deceptive advertising of athletic footwear.
Does the picture of the guy in the headband look familiar? If you have a job it probably does. We live our lives in flexion. We wake up. We drive to our place of business and we hunker down over our work and drive home after a long day to have a meal and fall into a comfortable piece of furniture.
Whether you suffer from a stiff back and tight shoulders or you are an athlete who has difficulty maintaining lumbar extension during a heavy deadlift, intervening on this chronically flexed lifestyle will make you stronger, decrease your frequency of injury and help you remain strong and mobile into your later years.
In addition to causing aches and pains and diminishing the strength and functionality of the spine, increased thoracic kyphosis (flexion) is associated with increased mortality rates and subjective poor health in elderly populations. *
OK- I think you get the point now that slouching isn’t good but your mom has been telling you that for decades to no avail. What is useful about this posting is the solution: The Brugger Relief Position as pictured below is your tool to have balanced biomechanics in the context of your imbalanced lifestyle. This position is not intended to be held all day. It is a vigorous static exercise meant to tip the scale of your equilibrium back to neutral: 2 hours in a passive flexed position + 20 seconds in active extension = Balance.
Here’s how it works:
Best results when performed hourly (try setting your outlook calendar to remind you), or 8x per day and held for 20 seconds each bout.
1) Actively engage the muscles of your foot arches by pressing your toes down and scrunching the aches of your feet up and off of the arch support in your shoes.
2) Push your hips back.
3) Drive your chest forward. The image to use here is a hollowed back as though sitting against a beach ball.
4) With your elbows at your sides, rotate your hands away from your body and supinate your hands (turn them all the way upwards)- remember, this is not a relaxation position. This is work. That is why 20 seconds of effort can neutralize hours and even days of destructive habits.
5) While gazing directly forward, pull your chin back into your neck. When done correctly this will give you the appearance of having up to four chins.
6) This is the most important part; Lower Your Shoulders. They won’t go far, maybe a quarter inch down. You will know when you have it when you feel the muscles below your shoulder blades feel tight and crampy. You’ll also feel a stretch that goes up to the base of the skull.
7) Start from the bottom at your feet and redouble your efforts to push a little further with each step. You can always go a little further.
This is the best micro break around and it is effective even when only held for a moment. It directly addresses and counters the postural strains that had you needing a break in the first place. What I like about it is that it changes your posture without you having to consciously “sit up straight.” It changes the tone of your muscles so that through sustained efforts over time your natural resting posture is stronger and more erect.
*Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine
Publisher Springer Japan
ISSN 1342-078X (Print) 1347-4715 (Online)
Issue Volume 12, Number 6 / November, 2007