The Connect blog is where you will find practical, science-based information on injury prevention and recovery, improving your health and fitness and maximizing sports performance. Our goal is to share evidence combined with clinical and coaching experience to help you live, move and perform to the best of your ability.

IntroductionSplit squats are a versatile lower body exercise that is a staple in many strength and conditioning programs. There are a range of split squat variations depending on your stance, knee and torso position. This post will explore the effects of these variables and how to optimize the exercise for your goals.Muscles InvolvedResearch indicates that split squats primarily engage the muscles attaching at the hip regardless of positioning, making them an effective exercise for targeting the glutes and hamstrings (Song et al., 2023). It is also a valuable exercise for quadriceps training - especially when squatting is challenging or when

Beginning a fitness journey can be both exhilarating and demanding, particularly for those new to exercise. The cornerstone of sustained success in any fitness routine is rooted in motivation and consistency. Motivation to exercise can be influenced by many things, and there are techniques that can be used to improve it. This post dives into research-supported methods to maintain your commitment, ensuring you not only embark on an exercise program, but also maintain adherence in the long run.Setting the Right Goals: Understanding Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic and Process vs. Outcome/Performance GoalsGoal setting is a common method used to start an exercise

Diving into fitness introduces a world rich with specialized terms like "Lactate Threshold," "Ventilatory Threshold," and "VO2max." Understanding these concepts is pivotal for devising an effective workout plan. This post aims to simplify these terms for fitness enthusiasts at all levels.Understanding Thresholds and Their ImportanceAt the core of tailored endurance training plans are training zones, determined by key physiological markers: Lactate Threshold (LT), Ventilatory Threshold (VT), and VO2max. These thresholds indicate how your body responds to various exercise intensities, guiding you to optimize your training for maximum efficiency without risking overtraining.Training Zones ExplainedTraining zones are exercise intensity ranges targeting specific

IntroductionThe relationship between physical exercise and mental well-being is profound, yet often overlooked. Exercise is a powerful tool that offers significant benefits for mental health, transcending mere physical improvements. This post delves into how regular physical activity can be a key component in enhancing mental health, providing insights that are valuable for anyone looking to improve their mental health through exercise.The Broad Spectrum of Exercise's Mental Health BenefitsExercise's impact on mental health is comprehensive and multifaceted. Regular physical activity has been shown to bring about significant improvements in mood, self-esteem, and self-efficacy, as well as reductions in symptoms of insomnia,

What is DOMS?Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is characterized as a low-grade muscle injury, causing tenderness to touch or movement and overall stiffness. It typically occurs when individuals engage in exercises that are new or particularly intense, especially if the muscle is unaccustomed to the activity. This is commonly seen with exercises involving heavy eccentric movements, where your muscles lengthen under tension, like a steep downhill hike causing quad soreness. Symptoms usually worsen during the first 24 hours post-exercise and peak between 24 to 72 hours afterward (Connolly et al., 2003).What Happens at the Muscle Level During DOMS?DOMS involves mechanical

The barbell reverse lunge stands out as an excellent lower body exercise in the vast world of resistance training. It is one of many exercises designed to enhance performance, strength, and agility. The barbell reverse lunge movement is ideal for those looking to elevate their exercise by offering a unique blend of balance, strength, and coordination. This article will highlight the proper form and benefits of the barbell reverse lunge.Key Muscles for Barbell Reverse LungeThe barbell reverse lunge is a targeted movement engaging essential muscle groups: Gluteus Maximus (Glutes): The primary driver of hip extension. Quadriceps: Critical for knee extension,

To achieve their fitness peak, athletes often push their limits. However, it's important to be aware of the potential of over-training. Over-training and fatigue aren't just terms; they have tangible impacts that can stall an athlete's progress and health. It's essential to balance the push for training benefits with a keen eye on fatigue management for sustained success in sports.Striking the Balance: Training, Recovery, and Optimal PerformanceTraining adaptations, the body's response to exercise that enhances abilities, rely on a fine balance between the right amount of stress from training and recovery to avoid fatigue. Excessive fatigue can disrupt these adaptations,

Every runner, from those enjoying a leisurely weekend jog to those prepping for a major marathon, shares a common aspiration: enhancing their running prowess. Amidst the plethora of training advice and techniques, which ones truly propel you to your best? Explore the intricacies of Running Economy and discover its pivotal role in your running journey.What is Running Economy?Running Economy is not just about how fast you can sprint or how long you can endure. It's about efficiency. Specifically, Running Economy measures the volume of oxygen (VO2) consumed by a person at a particular speed. Think of it as the fuel

For those seeking to enhance muscular fitness, selecting the right weight to lift is only part of the equation. Understanding and adapting key elements like intensity, repetitions, sets, and rest periods is crucial to ensuring that each training session aligns with your goals. This guide will provide you with the information you need to create the right formula of training variables to meet your goals.Exploring Muscular Abilities: Muscular Strength: Visualize a powerlifter lifting a heavy barbell during a personal best deadlift. This is about generating the utmost force in a single effort, typically assessed as a one-repetition maximum. This type

Squatting is a fundamental movement in both daily life and athletic training, and has been the subject of extensive research. A pinnacle study by Bryanton et. al. published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research showed how squat depth and load influence how hard different muscle groups work during this movement. In this blog, we will review the findings of this research to provide you with insights on how you might want to approach squatting in your training. But before we dive into the technique and findings, it's essential to understand the anatomy involved and some key biomechanical concepts.Anatomy