The Plank: Everything you could ever want to know about this grueling exercise

What if I told you that the “7 minute killer core workout”, that includes hundreds of sit ups and crunches; is all sizzle and no steak? These exercises do not replicate the job of our core. The core’s main task is to provide stability to our torso and pelvis. Science has defined core stability as: the ability of passive and active stabilizers in the lumbopelvic region to maintain appropriate trunk and hip posture, balance and control during both static and dynamic movement (Reed 2012). The ability to stabilize the core, allows for increased function of our legs and arms.  To understand why this is the case, I just have to ask one simple question, “would you be able to squat more weight on a stable gym floor or on an exercise ball.  The answer is easy, the more stable something is, the greater amount of power we are able to generate. (To answer my own question with research,  Behm et al.  reported a 72% reduction in isometric leg extensor force production when going from stable to unstable conditions)

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Shoe Review: Saucony Endorphin Speed

Shoe: Saucony Endorphin Speed

Category- Light weight Tempo run and Race Day Shoe

Weight- Men sz 9 (7.8 Oz)/ Women’s sz 8 (6.8 oz)

Heal to Toe Drop: 8 mm

Stack Height (Heel/toe): 33 mm (Heel), 25 mm (Forefoot)

Preferred Surfaces: Track and Road

Cost: $160

My quick opinion: First lets start with the color options, If you wanted a 70’s and 80’s disco party on your feet, these are the shoes. I got to try these out the other day and I was pleasantly surprised. They ran true to size and while wearing them you could feel the soft yet responsive underfoot. In terms of weight you aren’t getting much lighter than these. If I was in the market for a new tempo shoe, these would be high up on my list.

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Pros:

  • Plastic plate increasing energy return
    • Although we are not getting the full power of the carbon fiber plate. The plastic plastic in this shoe definitely makes this an easier ride
  • PWRRUN PB foam Offers best of both worlds for TPU and EVA foam
  • Light weight upper maintained support even at high speeds
  • Bouncy feel
  • Color Options
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Cons:

  • Heel almost felt too soft at slower speeds and while standing around
  • Much different feel then you are probably use to
  • Does not have the greatest grip on them

Comparable shoe:

  1. Nike Zoomfly 3 (~$160)
    • At the same price point the Zoomfly offers a carbon fiber plate compared to the plastic plate in this shoe. However if you have a slightly wider foot a zoom fly may not work for you.
  2. Hoka Rincon 2 (~$115)
    • Hoka Rincon is another lightweight speed day shoe. Although it is significantly less expensive you miss out on the plate in the shoe and increased durability
  3. Brooks Hyperion Tempo(~$150)
    • Very similar shoe in terms of purpose, price, weight and fit.
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Who would I recommend the Hoka Rincon For?

This is going to be for our more serious runners who match their shoes purpose to their training day. This may also be a great shoe for someone who is beginning to explore the performance shoe category.

Front Vs Back Squats: Understanding How Bar Positions Completely Alters an Exercise

Bar Positioning is one of the most popular ways to alter the challenges and goals of a squat. The most common squat variations include front and back loaded sqauts. Both are effective at building strength in the Hips, Legs, and back; however the slight variation in weight placement can alter our movement pattern, muscles targeted and the amount of weight we are able to lift.

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