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Youth Strength Training

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Recent literature and studies have shown incredible evidence in support of Off-Season Strength & Conditioning programs. The Center's contracted schools are continually implementing year-round Strength & Conditioning programs into their school districts, which is helping to reduce incidence of injury and introduce safe, effective, movement patterns to provide all of our athletes a strong base for athletic performance. Here is a blog on the benefits and safety of youth strength training.

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Some of the documented and researched findings in support of youth strength training are coming from position statements from the NSCA, ACSM, AAP, AOSSM and MAYO Clinic. These statements are in favor of fundamental strength and fitness training that will prepare athletes for multi sport success with added benefits including:

            • Creating healthy body composition when training in conjunction with a healthy diet
            • Helping promote healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels
            • Increasing muscular strength, power and endurance essential for sports performance
            • Strengthening bones
            • Helping to reduce incidence of injury in sport and recreational activities


BalanceVestibularRehab 550x450 3I was struggling to come up with a blog topic this time around.  It seems as if I always come back to balance-related topics; whether it’s balancing your body through diet or exercise.  So here you have it, another discussion on balance!  This one in particular was very inspiring to me and hopefully will inspire you or someone you know as well.

I woke up Sunday morning and found myself hooked watching a special on CBS Sunday Morning (not a show I typically watch).  This episode was regarding a specific treatment called Rock Steady Boxing for those battling Parkinson’s Disease.  

Earlier in my schooling and career I performed research, had publications and became certified as an LSVT-BIG therapist for management of Parkinson’s Disease.  While watching this video on CBS, I couldn’t help but compare it to my background knowledge in Parkinson’s and training in LSVT-BIG, which closely resembles many of the treatment principles used in Rock Steady Boxing.



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Carbohydrates and You

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pastaHere is a great article on the role of carbohydrates in daily function.  It also has a quick and easy calculation to know if you are getting the right amount of carbohydrates in your daily life.  Additionally it has a nice breakdown of when to eat when preparing for your workout and post exercise.  For more nutrition information be sure to check out The Center's nutrition pages. 

http://www.extension.iastate.edu/humanscien



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Human Adaptations

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In January 2014, the popular Youtube channel Vsauce (Michael Stevens) posted a video where he tackles the question, “Why is your BOTTOM called your bottom when it’s in the MIDDLE of your body?” Check out the video for yourself at the following link: https://youtu.be/xKg9Vl_Wg5U

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 Michael’s exposition of this topic grabbed my attention when he highlights the uniqueness of the bulbous human bottom and how it plays a dynamic role in why we humans walk upright on two feet instead of all fours. Our bodies are remarkably well suited for walking upright and our prominent bottoms helps us do this. Subsequently, the rear end is anything but the bottom of your body. 

Let’s explore this linguistic conundrum. Using the word "bottom" to refer to your posterior is relatively new. The word “bottom” comes from words meaning; ground, foundation, the lowest part. If we consider our bottom to be the end of our body when we exclude the limbs, then indeed this does make a little more sense. The word “bum” predates the word “bottom” by quite a bit and is an onomatopoeia as it is echoic of buttocks slapping against a flat surface.  Considering this, it is not too far of a stretch then to see where we get our American English slang “Bum” referencing to a person who sits around all day or, in other words, a lazy or useless person. r bodies are remarkably well suited for walking upright and our prominent bottoms helps us do this. Subsequently, the rear end is anything but the bottom of your body.

So back to why our human rear end is so magnificent! For one, its shape makes us different and unique within the vast animal kingdom. Its particular shape comes from the glut med and glut max muscles (and fat). Evolutionary psychology suggests that our attraction to full firm bottoms on potential mates was probably naturally selected. People in the past who probably liked big bottoms propagated their genes quite well and had reproductive success! A rear end full of shapely fat is a reflection of health and youth.  And a great energy reserve. And reserve comes in handy with scarce food or during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Secondly, our amazingly designed bottom allowing us to be bipedal gives us the great advantage to keep our torso balanced while moving. The requirements supporting this demand lend us to significantly larger muscles in our bottom thus making us the superior animal in mastering our upright posture.

Another reason our prominent backsides can be credited for our survival would be its remarkable endurance capabilities.  Compared to horses and other quadrupeds, humans can reach impressive long distance aerobic endurance running speeds. In fact, the Man versus Horse Marathon held in the Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells every year has demonstrated that a human being can beat a horse in a race over a 22 mile distance (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_versus_Horse_Marathon).  Above and beyond other animals humans can sweat to release body heat, we have short toes for more efficient force over longer duration of running, we have short neck ligaments keeping our head perfectly stable while running, our uniquely designed Achilles tendon converts elastic energy into kinetic energy, and our tall narrow waists provide great counter rotation for our legs as they move through strides.  When we consider our Neolithic ancestors and how hunting and gathering was likely necessary for survival we can thank our impressive butts for its superior endurance when it comes to running. One of many things that makes the human body amazing!



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