Hump Day Hustling – Weekly Research Summary – August 16, 2023

ACL spontaneous healing, bias check on “weekend warriors”, and much more in this episode of hump day hustling! Enjoy, and if you want to dive deeper with ICE Physio content make sure to check out our Upcoming Course Dates and Locations!


“Weekend Warrior” programming for the win?

Maybe in regards to cardiovascular anyhow!

N = 89,573 (Not too shabby)

This study published in July’s JAMA evaluated minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) across a week, classifying “weekend warriors” as those getting 50% or more of 150 minutes or more of MVPA in 1-2 days, “active regular” individuals as those spreading 150 minutes or more of MVPA across the week, and “inactive” as those achieving less than 150 minutes of MVPA per week.

Results: Similar risk reduction levels for a. fib, stroke, heart attack, and and heart failure between weekend warriors and “active regular” people.

Implications: Get in where you fit in but be mindful that you need to approach 3 hours of higher intensity exercise if you wait until the weekend or whenever most folks have their days off.

Limitations: No data gathered on anything related to the MSK implications of doing all your weekly exercise in 1-2 sessions.

Exercise & Pregnancy

Effect on placental composition

As if we needed any more support to support our soon to be mamas in their exercise journey this open access systematic review breaks down all the positives for the placenta and as a result, baby! Some exciting take aways:- Positive association between maternal upper arm muscle area and placental system A activity (which aids in transport of amino acids in the placenta)–> “increased maternal muscle mass, commonly attributed to the performance of consistent resistance exercise, may correspond with improved placental amino acid transport capability and subsequent foetal health and development.”

​Stronger moms–>bigger muscles–>better amino acid transport across placenta–>improved health for babe. “Our findings indicate that exercise may improve placental efficiency, rather than overall size which has previously been the most common measure of placental health.”

Placental efficiency is linked with things like intrauterine growth restriction and preclampsia, so improving that efficiency can help mitigate these problems. We know we need to keep moms moving in pregnancy and help them along in that journey, and this gives us another reason to shout it from the roof tops. Exercise helps mom, it helps baby, and it helps the whole ORGAN women create in pregnancy to work better.


Research on non-surgical healing continues to fascinate

Undeniably one of the most amazing and interesting resource themes in the past couple years has been the healing of full ACL rupture WITHOUT surgery. This recent open access piece in BJSM is the latest.

What’s cool here is they investigated a novel bracing approach where the patients were braced in flex (instead of extension)- creating closer approximation of the ends of the ACL. Less significant tears (G1) showed better healing early on the more significant tears- 90% of people showed some healing at 3 months.

Barbell Back Squat

Evaluating muscle involvement

This paper in August’s JSCR doesn’t really tell us anything we didn’t already know, but hammers home that what most of us learned in PT school was wrong: The muscles providing concentric force aren’t also the ones working the hardest to provide the eccentric/negative force of a movement. The brain is constantly upregulating/downregulating different muscle groups to produce a joint action.

N = 13 performing barbell back squats to depth at 85% 1RM

Findings: the muscle primarily involved in controlling the descent/eccentric phase of the squat are the hamstrings, iliopsoas, adductors, and tib. anterior. The muscles primarily involved in controlling the ascent/concentric phase of the squat are the quadriceps, glute max, and soleus.

Definitely food for thought on where our focus should be placed when using this movement in rehab situations, coaching performance, or both.

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PTonICE Rewind

Did you miss any of our ICE Physio podcasts last week? Well here you go!

Monday: “Impact training early postpartum” (Jess Gingerich)
Tuesday: “Hip thrusts versus back squats” (Mark Gallant)
Wednesday: “Intensity, muscle volume, and inflammation” (Jeff Musgraves)
Thursday: “Reconceptualizing vacation” (Jeff Moore)
Friday: “2023 CrossFit Games takeaways” (Kelly Benfey)

Upcoming ICE Physio Courses

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📢 On Virtual ICE next week we’ll be chatting “Exercise and mental health: How, Why, and When” with ICE faculty Morgan Denny! Not in our virtual mentorship program? Find out how to enroll and learn more HERE