Practical Science on Movement and Pain

Author Archives: Todd Hargrove

Running and Hoops: Then and Now

I have always been amazed at how far basketball skill has come in the past fifty years. Today’s players are so much better than players from previous eras that it doesn’t even look like the same sport.

To put this development in perspective, let’s compare some footage over time. Bob Cousy was one of the top players from the 1950s. He was considered one of the game’s flashiest players, earning him the nickname “Houdini of the Hardwood.” Check out some of his “fancy dan” moves … Read More

Is a Standing Desk A Good Idea?

There has been a lot of discussion on the internets recently about the idea that excessive sitting is bad for your health. For example, a widely circulated article from the New York Times asked whether sitting is a “lethal activity.” The concern is based on several studies that have shown that the number of hours spent sitting per day is a risk factor for a wide variety of … Read More

Both Sides Now

When you train a particular body area with weights, stretching, mobilizing, or some other form of therapy, what exactly adapts to make an improvement? Is it something in the local area, like bigger muscles? Or longer muscles? Or smoother, more vibrant, luxuriously healthy fascia? Or is the adaptation centrally located, that is, in the central nervous system or brain?

One interesting source of insight into these questions comes from studies where . . . Read More

Home Base

When you are doing joint mobility drills or otherwise exploring movement at a particular joint, do you spend more time at the end ranges of motion where movement is stiff and limited, or in the neutral zone where movement is easy? Of course movement in each zone is a potentially beneficial way to map the joint for the brain. But often the … Read More

Guest Post on the Obsession with Symmetry at SaveYourself

I just did a guest post called “Is Symmetry Important?”over at Paul Ingraham’s excellent site You may remember Paul from one of his several well-written posts at this blog, including “Quite a Stretch” and the provocatively titled “Bamboo Cage.” Anyway, the basic idea in my article is that many body minded folks sometime get… Read More

Why Massage is Like Chicken Sexing

I’ve written before on this blog about how manual therapists can develop some very questionable ideas about exactly how they are helping their clients. Like thinking they can manipulate energy fields, chakras, chi or cerebral spinal fluid patterns. Interestingly, my own observation is that many therapists who believe the craziest things actually get some pretty good results! How could this happen? How … Read More

Central Governors Part One: Strength

What are your physical limits? What is your body capable of? How fast, how far, how strong, how long? In all likelihood you will never know, because your brain will probably never let your body reach its real limit. And that’s a good thing, because that will help prevent you from breaking bones, straining muscles, dislocating joints and maybe even killing yourself…

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Movement of the Week: Monkey Bars

I hung some gymnastic rings over a rafter in my garage. I wish they were in the living room because I really like them. Whenever I walk by I like to swing a little back and forth, left and right, in circles, with one or two arms. I think part of the reason I like swinging on the rings so much is that my ancestors probably engaged in lots of similar activity when they lived in trees. Read More