By Laird Harrison
Last year I flunked a test at a health club. I was meeting with the owner about working there as a personal trainer. She wanted to get a taste of my style, so she pretended to be a client and I pretended to be her trainer. For warm up, I prescribed some dynamic stretches and a fast walk on the treadmill.
“Foam rollers!” She pointed at the brightly colored cylinders piled in a corner of the room. “You should always start your clients out on foam rollers.” Continue reading Can Foam Rollers Improve Performance?
By Laird Harrison
Just about everyone I know has at least flirted with a low-carbohydrate diet — Atkins, Zone, Paleo, Southbeach — and lots swear by the weight-loss effects.
But a low-carb diet for athletes goes against the standard recommendations of sports nutritionists. In fact, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) personal training text book recommends pancakes as a healthy alternative when traveling.
So I was fascinated to talk to some researchers at the ACSM Annual Meeting in May who have examined the effects of a low-carb diet for athletes. Continue reading A Low-Carb Diets for Athletes?
by Laird Harrison
Vivobarefoot has a clever marketing scheme: sell shoes by telling people to go barefoot.
Of course if you really want to feel the trail on the skin of your sole, you don’t need to buy anything.
But I personally only know two people who have overcome their fear of broken glass, thorns and gravel. I want the biomechanical advantages of running barefoot while staying safe from laceration.
That’s why I was happy to try out a pair of the British minimal shoe makers’ new Motus model, released last month and selling for $150. Continue reading The Motus: Versatility in a Minimal Shoe
Here’s a question that has piqued the interest of weightlifting and fitness geeks (there is such a thing): Which is better: TRX vs. traditional bodyweight exercises?
In a study presented last month at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Annual Meeting, the answer appears to be TRX. Continue reading TRX vs. Traditional Bodyweight Exercises
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has captured a lot of attention lately because of its simple message: If you exercise hard enough, you can get just as fit in less time.
Even the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services buys this concept to some degree. It recommends at least 2.5 hours per week of moderate exercise, but it also says a minute of vigorous exercise equals two minutes of moderate exercise. Continue reading High-Intensity Interval Training May Not Save Time
Quicker than you can say, “backlash,” thick-soled running shoes have sped to prominence on store display shelves everywhere.
Reacting against the minimalist trend, makers of maximalist shoes offer a softer ride. But a couple of new studies suggest maximalist shoes might actually cause more injuries. Continue reading Maximalist Shoes May Cause More Injuries
Want to get a performance boost with very little effort and almost no money?
Here’s a cute trick from the frontiers of sports medicine: instead of swallowing a sports drink, just take a mouthful, swish it around spit it out. Zoom! It will add pep to your step. That’s right. You don’t even have to swallow.
Continue reading Carbohydrate Mouth Rinse Boosts Performance
It’s TV. No, it’s cars. It’s fat. No, it’s sugar.
Last night in San Diego, the opening speakers at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) annual meeting showed just how tense the debate about obesity has become.
Keynoter James O. Hill, from the University of Colorado, called out TIME magazine and journalist Gary Taubes who separately have reported that a lack of physical activity has nothing to do with the world’s expanding waist line. Continue reading Losing Weight: ACSM Experts Explain What Works
If you’re thinking about quitting sports because you’ve gotten a few injuries as you age, think again. You might be exchanging your shinsplints for a heart attack.
That’s the implication from the latest studies on physical activity and aging. Continue reading Quitting Sports May Be as Dangerous as Smoking
If you participate in a sport where collisions happen frequently, you might want to take a concussion test now.
I’m not just talking about sports like football and boxing where hitting is the point of the game. In the NCAA, more concussions are reported in women’s soccer than in men’s football. It’s also one of the most common injuries in basketball.
And I have one friend who gave up bicycling after sustaining his eighth concussion — while wearing a helmet.
But why take a concussion test if you haven’t had a blow to the head? Continue reading Take a Concussion Test Before Your Concussion