Posts tagged resistance training
Resistance Band Improves Glut Recruitment During Squat
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The squat, and its’ many variations, remains one of the best all around exercises for strength and power development. Its’ utilization of the majority of lower quarter muscle groups also makes it a foundational exercise for patients in our Boulder Physical Therapy practice. The complexity of the complete movement pattern can be a challenge for novice strength training participants and often we utilize modifications in the early training stages to optimize a patient’s mechanics. We have found a looped band around the knees is a great feedback tool to cue a patient into keeping their knees apart. A recent research trial examined the impact of this looped band during a barbell squat.

Foley and colleagues in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy analyzed both healthy trained and untrained participants during a barbell squat (2017). Researchers examined muscle activity and knee mechanics during both a body weight and 3 repetition maximum squat to failure. Each of the squats was examined both with and without a resistance band around their knees. Authors reported increased muscle activation of the quadricep and hip musculature during the squat with the band. Surprisingly, the looped band had a minimal impact on knee mechanics among this healthy population.

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Should I strength train before or after an aerobic workout?
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One of the most common questions we receive from patients in our Boulder Physical Therapy office is "what should I perform first, cardio or strength training, or should they be on separate days?"  This is a great question because most endurance athletes are concurrently performing high volume endurance exercise along with strength training each week.  Strength training has repeatedly been shown in the research to both improve performance and reduce an athlete's risk of future injury.  Earlier studies showed aerobic training limited performance gains in strength, hypertrophy and power using resistance training.  Conversely, newer research has shown significant strength gains are still possible with concurrent aerobic and resistance training.  

A new research article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examined the impact of 4 different aerobic training conditions on a concurrent weight training program (Ratamess et al. 2016).  The authors studied resistance trained men and put them through 4 different exercise protocols including treadmill running at 60% VO2 max for 45 minutes, 75% of VO2 max for 20 minutes, 90-100% VO2 Max for 5 sets of interval training, and finally 75% of VO2 max uphill (6-9% grade) for 20 minutes.  Each of these aerobic protocols was followed 10 minutes later by whole body resistance training exercise.  After each aerobic protocol, strength testing was compromised and the participants perceived each exercise as being harder than the control condition.  

It is not known, if a longer rest period between aerobic and strength training or the long term effects of this training schedule would have changed the results.  Endurance athletes are encouraged to allow for adequate recovery between aerobic and strength training workouts.  In season athletes, should prioritize their endurance training but may focus more emphasis on their strength training workouts in the offseason.