Muscle News Daily April 21 2014, 0 Comments

Strength, flexibility or abdominal bracing? Which has the best overall effect on long term recurrent low back pain?

Do you prescribe abdominal bracing to your recurrent low back patients and clients? A new study set out to see if it was the right recommendation. The study involved 4 groups over 10 years. The groups were divided into strengthening, flexibility, strengthening and abdominal bracing, and flexibility and abdominal bracing. 

The results found that the abdominal bracing groups fared much better. Another interesting finding was that the frequency of exercise showed more favorable responses than the duration or intensity. 

If you are looking at providing the best advice for recurrent low back pain patients or clients, recommend exercising more often while using abdominal bracing. 

For crying out loud, can see stop doing sit ups with the feet held down already?!

These findings go out to all those people i still see in gyms doing sit ups. The study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research looked at sit ups and curl ups, with the feet restrained and unrestrained. There were looking at the muscle activity of abdominal and hip flexor muscles. Curl ups with the feet restrained produced the most abdominal activity. However, sit ups and curl ups with the feet restrained also produced a significant amount of hip flexor activity. 

To best test abdominal activity endurance, curl ups with the feet unrestrained may be the best strategy to use. Not to mention the increased compressive and shearing forces on the spine from having the feet restrained in sit ups. 

The holy grail of weight loss revealed! Can you really spot reduce with exercise?

Got some flabby arms? Then start doing some arm weight training. That's usually the logical thinking. But is it right? An interesting new study set out to answer that. They did high endurance resistance training on the non dominant leg for 12 weeks. 

Although body mass, body fat percentage and lean mass was not changed at the whole-body level, there was a 5.1% reduction in body fat mass. Whats surprising is that there wasn't any change in fat mass change in the trained leg. However, there definitely was a reduction of fat mass in the upper extremities and trunk. 

Moral of the story? Just exercise. Fall in love with the process. Don't expect changes in the body part that you are working. Most trainers and health professionals already know this. Spot reducing isn't something you can rely on. 

Deep friction massage for tendinopathy. Still got some merit

This systematic literature review looked at the efficacy of deep friction massage for tendinopathy. The study wasn't able to do a meta analysis due to study differences in outcome tools, body location studied, and study design. However, the takeaway is that there is excellent anecdotal evidence for using deep friction massage. Most of the studies involved some form of mobilization or manipulation along with deep friction massage, showing that using this technique as a stand alone may not get the same response as using it in combination with other treatment strategies.