The Truth on Fitness
The Cybex Research Institute, under the guidance of Dr. Paul Juris,
has the directive of discovering the scientific truths that verify the information
disseminated to the fitness community and the products engineered by Cybex International.
In this section, "The Truth on Fitness", the Institute will examine a variety of
pertinent fitness topics, and present credible basic science and evidence-based
conclusions that will help our readers make smart decisions about their own fitness
methods and practices. To learn more about the truth on fitness, click on a link
With an understanding of the definitions related to the core as well as tests currently utilized to
measure core function, now it is possible to attempt to determine what aspects of core function hold
any significance toward injury prevention or functional outcomes. Are we mystified by the core, or
is there evidence to suggest that it is truly critical to function?
In Part 1 of this series, a definition of the core and differentiation between core strength and core
stability was provided. Many have claimed that the core is critical to athletic performance, by
potentially decreasing injury rates of the lumbar spine and lower extremities or by aiding in the
transfer of power from the legs to the upper body. Because of this, various tests have been developed
in an attempt to measure core function. In addition to testing, many of the activities in these
protocols are commonly promoted as exercises to increase core strength or stability. Part II will
critically examine many of the popular methods currently used to quantify core function.
Recently, the fitness industry has been obsessed with the core. Almost every piece
of fitness equipment or workout plan promises to deliver ‘six pack’ abs. Many in
the industry have begun to emphasize how a strong core is critical for increasing
one’s abilities to perform activities of daily living, improving athletic performance,
and even preventing injury. Is the allure of having a six pack mystifying us about
the importance of core training? If core focused exercises alone won’t lead to a
six pack, will they improve functional outcomes? To read the full article click
on the title above.
Among the many concepts that exist within the functional training continuum, one
of the more common is the notion of specificity. In a sense, this may be the defining
characteristic of functional training. To read the full analysis presented by Dr.
Paul Juris, click on the title above.
In today's functionally oriented fitness world, there is a growing sentiment, that
amongst strength machines, selectorized training devices are inappropriate, while
cable-based systems are the method of choice. The crux of this argument is rooted
in the belief that strength, gained through movements which are defined by the machine,
does not transfer to daily skills. User-defined movements, some have argued, will
result in more "transferable" strength gains. To read the full article click on
the title above.
Trends in the fitness industry come and go, but one has captured the attention and
stayed with the public like no other; functional training. Exercises promoting benefits
to specific functions have exploded in our gyms with a seemingly endless myriad
of methods and exercises being offered. The functional training movement continues
to grow at a rapid pace gathering new converts daily. However, the movement itself
may be based more on opinions and beliefs rather than on empirical scientific evidence.
Dr. Paul Juris, Executive Director of the Cybex Research Institute,
asks the question "What is functional exercise?" To read the full article click
on the title above.
Of the many highly scrutinized exercises used in fitness and rehabilitation settings,
the one subjected to the strongest opposition is the leg extension. Opponents of
the leg extension claim that the exercise imposes too much stress on the connective
tissues of the knee joint. Various other concerns lead detractors to proclaim the
leg extension "off limits". Adding support to the anti-extension movement are those
who argue that leg extensions are simply not functional, given that isolated movement
about the knee bears little resemblance to normal functional activities. Some theorists
have insinuated that such strengthening is actually detrimental to motor performance.
Others have even commented that they "would never waste their time doing leg extensions."
How did such strong opinions opposing the leg extension come to exist? To read the
full article click on the title above.