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Yours in health,
-Lonnie Lowery and Jonathan Mike, ASEP-Newsletter Editors
|Cooperation Among Allied Health Scientists|
This month I'd like to relate some thoughts on the
lack of awareness among allied health scientists. After reading some
interesting research proposals recently, submitted by nurses, I was
struck with the absence of exercise physiologists (and others) from the research teams.
One proposal specifically sought to analyze the impact of physical
activity and lifestyle in a corporate wellness environment. Another,
focusing on diabetes (a condition strongly improved with appropriate
exercise interventions), gave a relatively small nod to dietitians but
again did not include exercise physiologists (EPs). Although I can
appreciate the level of expertise required at high levels of nursing,
would it not be best to include exercise and nutrition specialists at
the highest levels on such projects?
To me, when an academic or a practitioner wants to answer a particular health question, particularly if
it has obvious trans-disciplinary components, she or he should
understand and/ or respect other disciplines enough to defer to their
expertise. Whether it's the magnitude or time frame for
expected adaptations (training results) during a study or barriers to
exercise compliance or unique physiological exercise-nutrition
interactions or new findings only obtainable from exercise physiology
laboratories and conferences, there are real advantages to including
Some educators have gone so far as to suggest "problem-oriented" rather than discipline-oriented research and curricula.
As someone who has studied in two disciplines and seen the differing
perspectives on given issues, I for one would seriously consider this
Of course, this boundary-crossing inclusion of specialists is a two-way street (or even four-way or six-way intersection). Exercise physiologists need to recognize and include nurses, dietitians, counselors and physicians where possible.
Indeed, as the least-licensed profession among the group (even if we
are perhaps the most research-focused), we need to make ourselves known
to health professions that otherwise may discount us because of our
lower profile "professional footprint".
So, this month I would like to call for greater awareness and respect among allied health researchers, just as I have done in the past regarding groups who grant specialist certifications to their constituent practitioners.
Human knowledge and public safety are best served when specialists with
years devoted to a given topic are invited to join in the process. .
Lonnie Lowery, PhD
|Ask the EP
Q: This month we change pace and offer another personal essay from our "Ask the EP" Assistant Editor.
Squatology 101- Part 1
Still today, many will state that "squats are
the single worst exercise ever invented for sports performance". Or
perhaps even better, that "squats are bad for the knees", or the
ridiculous claim that if you "roll your knee too far forward, you will
BLOW OUT YOUR PATELLA TENDON" ..and causes as much damage as it does,
etc, etc" - Are you serious? I hope that individuals making these
preposterous statements are joking. Let's examine this more closely.
Squatting, the bar has to remain over the mid-foot. Knees too far
forward would shift the bar to a position vertically forward of the
mid-foot; too horizontal of a back would do the same thing. Too
vertical a back would shift the bar behind the mid-foot, as would
insufficiently forward knees.
The problem with knees too far
forward is not only more torque on knees, but MORE IMPORTANTLY, it has
a detrimental effect on hip extension. This produces a more acute knee
angle and decreases the contribution of the hamstrings contraction to
Some people talk about loading the heels.
Although this statement alone is not specific enough to understand what
can occur during the execution of the lift. Many people try to load all
the weight on their heels. As result, this shifts the weight way too
much on the heels and therefore they start to fall back, although
stance, and bar position may be correct. Or the opposite can occur,
they shift too far forward on the toes, which shifts weight forward on
the knee and take away from hip extension, which is vital to the
overall lift. They must learn to distribute the weight on the entire
foot, while shoving the knees out upon the concentric and eccentric
Now, some well known coaches and trainers discuss how
the back tends to be the weakest link in the squat and posterior chain.
I tend to agree with this position, but it also depends on the amount
of weight used, and amount of volume , etc. If the back is the limiting
factor/can be a limiting factor/weakest link, then simply do the things
that enhance low back strength and core strength. Besides additional
core exercises, heavy SLDL's (stiff leg deadlifts) or heavy DB SLDL's,
Glute-Ham Raise and reverse Glute-Ham raise are excellent assistance
exercises for increasing low back strength, not to mention
Good-Mornings, which are more specific to squats (deadlifts too)
Rotating these exercises are tremendously helpful to squatting,
especially when heavy loads are involved.
It is important to understand the role of the
erector spinae muscles as well. They serve to lock the pelvis and lower
back together into rigid structures, to protect the vertebral column
from movement under load and prevent the intervertebral column from
excessive damage. As squat depth increases, and the torso assumes a
more forward tilt, the bottom of the pelvis, locked into the rigid
spine, tilts away from the back of the knee. If the hamstrings lack
adequate extensibility, they will exert enough tension on the bottom of
the pelvis to pull it out of its locked position in the lower back,
breaking muscular tension, thus this is one way the "rounding" will
If the knees move forward at the bottom of the
squat, then hamstring relaxation has occured, because they pull the
knee back. They insert on the tibia and provide posterior tension,
which has to increase (or at least should) with the squat depth as the
other attachment points on the pelvis tilts away. If the tension is
inadequate to keep the knees from sliding forward as the bottom
position, reexamination and thorough assessments have to be made. In
addition, when the knees travel forward at the bottom, tension is put
on the hip flexors as they insert of on the anterior superior iliac
spine. So the big muscles, rectus femoris, sartorius, and TFL cross
both the hip and knee joints and produce movement around each. So, in
the squat, their knee extensor function is the main concern, since
active hip flexion does not occur (hopefully). At the bottom position
though, if the knees move forward, tension is increased on these
muscles and their attachment at the hip and the knee angle is shortened
(more acute). Then the anterior superior iliac spine is therefore
pulled on tremendously and can produce tendinitis. Which is why some
people feel tension or perhaps uncomfortable pain in the hip flexor
area during or even after squatting.
Stay tuned next month for Squatology Part 2!
Jonathan Mike, MS, CSCS, USAW, NSCA-CPT,
Doctoral Student, Assistant Editor
Advertisements & Announcements
|Opportunities Related to Exercise Physiology
The Department of Kinesiology at the University of New Hampshire...
is currently seeking applicants for a tenure track appointment in
Exercise Science at the Assistant or Associate Professor level. ...more information...
Community Announcement: Iron Radio.org
has issued a call for brief submissions from EP students or
professionals interested in getting their first involvement in
legitimate Internet / pod casting settings. Opinions on professional
issues or micro reviews and recent research are welcomed. Students'
audio submissions (see National Public Radio (NPR]) and / or the Iron Radio.org web
site for examples) will be editor-reviewed by ASEP-Newsletter Editors
Dr. Lonnie Lowery and Jonathan Mike. The submissions should be 300-500
word essays read aloud and recorded with Windows Sound Recorder or
similar software and sent via email to Lonman7@hotmail.com. Iron Radio.org is not ASEP-affiliated.
Thank you for perusing our opinions, facts and opportunities in this edition of the ASEP-Newsletter.
American Society of Exercise Physiologists