General Fitness

Track and field athletes have a couple different options for warming up before training or competition. One popular protocol involves dynamic stretching, and a study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine recently tested its potential on 12 healthy volunteers.
 
Subjects applied four 30-second sets of dynamic stretching to ankle joints. Measurements taken before and after the warm up showed increased range of motion immediately after stretching. The effect lasted for 15 minutes without changing the mechanical properties of muscle tendons.
 
 
General Fitness

Brain versus brawn. A Finnish study of older men and women links these two attributes with a finding that greater muscular strength is associated with better cognitive performance. The research was published in the journal European Geriatric Medicine.
 
Scientists measured the handgrip strength of 338 men and women with an average age of 66. Subjects were also tested on chest press, seated row, leg extension, leg flexion and leg press exercises. In addition, they took a battery of neuropsychological tests. Although handgrip strength alone was not a good indicator, the sum of upper and lower body muscle strength did correlate with better brain function scores.
 
 
General Fitness

Hamstring injuries can sideline many types of team sports athletes. What can you add to your training to reduce the risk of sitting out the big game? A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests 4 weeks of Nordic hamstring exercises can help.
 
Twice a week, physically active young adults performed 3 sets of the Nordic hamstring exercise for 6 to 10 reps. Measurements taken before and after the 8 experimental sessions showed an average 9% increase in hamstring peak torque, a 13% increase in eccentric peak torque and a 22% increase in fascicle length, all without significant changes to muscle thickness.