Analysis Roundup #24: Arduous vs. Mushy Meals, the Finest Hamstring Train, and Therapeutic massage Weapons and Flexibility


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It’s estimated that there are over 2+ million scientific papers printed every year, and this firehose solely appears to accentuate.

Even for those who slim your focus to health analysis, it could take a number of lifetimes to unravel the hairball of research on vitamin, coaching, supplementation, and associated fields.

This is the reason my crew and I spend hundreds of hours every year dissecting and describing scientific research in articles, podcasts, and books and utilizing the outcomes to formulate our 100% all-natural sports activities dietary supplements and inform our teaching companies. 

And whereas the rules of correct consuming and exercising are easy and considerably immutable, reviewing new analysis can reinforce or reshape how we eat, prepare, and dwell for the higher. 

Thus, every week, I’m going to share three scientific research on weight loss plan, train, supplementation, mindset, and way of life that may enable you to acquire muscle and power, lose fats, carry out and really feel higher, dwell longer, and get and keep more healthy. 

This week, you’ll study whether or not the consistency of the meals you eat impacts weight reduction, the very best isolation workouts for coaching your hamstrings, and if utilizing a therapeutic massage gun improves flexibility.

Consuming exhausting meals could increase weight reduction.

Supply: “Texture-based variations in consuming fee affect vitality consumption for minimally processed and ultra-processed meals” printed on July 6, 2022 in The American Journal of Medical Diet.

Some scientists speculate that one of many causes consuming ultra-processed meals causes weight acquire is that it tends to be softer, which suggests you sometimes eat it extra rapidly. And while you eat extra rapidly, your “starvation hormones” don’t have sufficient time to speak fullness, which regularly means you overeat.

To check this concept, scientists on the Singapore Institute of Meals and Biotechnology Innovation had 50 folks eat 4 completely different meals on 4 separate events to evaluate how completely different textures and levels of processing have an effect on meals consumption.

The meals the diners ate had been both soft-textured and minimally processed, soft-textured and ultra-processed, hard-textured and minimally processed, or hard-textured and ultra-processed. In every situation, the diners ate till they had been comfortably full.

The outcomes confirmed that diners ate extra soft- than hard-textured meals as a result of they may eat it extra rapidly.

The diners ate probably the most energy through the soft-textured ultra-processed meal, adopted by the soft-textured minimally processed meal, then the hard-textured ultra-processed meal, and at last, the hard-textured minimally processed meal. This sample was the identical for the speed of vitality consumption (energy consumed per minute) in every meal.

Regardless of these outcomes, the diners felt equally full after every meal. Additionally they consumed about the identical variety of energy all through the rest of the day, no matter which check meal they ate. That’s, after they ate fewer energy through the check meal, they didn’t compensate by consuming extra later within the day.

The findings from a number of different comparable research bolster these outcomes, too. 

In order for you assist controlling your urge for food and limiting your meals consumption whereas weight-reduction plan to drop extra pounds, it’s wise to get the vast majority of your energy from meals that require a little bit of chewing. 

After all, most complete, nutritious, minimally processed meals like fruits, greens, beans, seafood, and meats match this description, so that is actually simply extra purpose to prioritize these meals over nutritionally bankrupt fodder. 

(And for those who’d like much more recommendation about which meals it is best to eat to succeed in your well being and health targets, take the Legion Weight loss plan Quiz, and in lower than a minute, you’ll know precisely what weight loss plan is best for you. Click on right here to test it out.)

TL;DR: One of many causes complete meals enable you to keep lean is that they’re often more durable and require extra chewing. This forces you to eat extra slowly, which helps forestall overeating.

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Seated leg curls are probably the greatest hamstrings workouts you are able to do.

Supply: “Muscle Recruitment Sample of The Hamstring Muscle groups in Hip Extension and Knee Flexion Workout routines” printed on March 31, 2020 in Journal of Human Kinetics.

There are two foremost methods to coach your hamstrings: hip extension and knee flexion.

Workout routines that contain transferring your stomach away out of your thighs, such because the deadlift, Romanian deadlift, and glute bridge, prepare hip extension, and workouts that contain bringing your ankles nearer to your butt, such because the seated and mendacity leg curl and nordic curl, prepare knee flexion.

So many decisions . . . however which is greatest in order for you huge gams?

That’s the query scientists at Jobu College wished to reply on this examine.

The researchers had 7 untrained males do 4 exercises on 4 separate events, 3 days aside. In every exercise, the weightlifters did 1 of 4 workouts:

  1. Mendacity leg curl
  2. Seated leg curl
  3. Donkey kick with the knee bent at 90 levels
  4. Donkey kick with a straight leg

In every exercise, the weightlifters did 2 units: 1 set of three reps and 1 set of 30 reps.

The outcomes confirmed that the leg curl variations skilled the hamstrings greater than the donkey kick variations and that the weightlifters may generate extra drive and activate extra muscle on the seated leg curl than the mendacity leg curl.

In different phrases, the seated leg curl was the best train for coaching the hamstrings, much more so than the mendacity leg curl. Right here’s a graph illustrating the variations:

Hamstrings Exercises MRI Results

The researchers believed this was as a result of the seated hamstring curl trains your hamstrings via a full vary of movement (ROM) when totally stretched, which tends to be higher for muscle development.

As compared, mendacity leg curls prepare your hamstrings via a full ROM however not when totally stretched, and workouts like deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, and good mornings prepare your hamstring when stretched however not via a full ROM.

Cool cool cool, however does this imply the seated hamstring train is the one train it is best to do in your hammies? 

Not essentially.

Compound workouts that let you carry heavy weights and successfully implement progressive overload ought to at all times be the nucleus of a well-designed lower-body exercise. That’s why they take priority in my applications for women and men, Greater Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger.

Nonetheless, based mostly on the outcomes of this examine and others prefer it, it’s in all probability wise to decide on the seated hamstring curl as your go-to hamstring accent train more often than not.

(And for those who’d like much more particular recommendation about what workouts to incorporate in your coaching program to succeed in your well being and health targets, take the Legion Power Coaching Quiz, and in lower than a minute, you’ll know the right power coaching program for you. Click on right here to test it out.)

TL;DR: The seated leg curl is without doubt one of the simplest workouts for growing your hamstrings.

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Utilizing a therapeutic massage gun earlier than coaching makes you extra versatile.

Supply: “The Acute Results of a Percussive Therapeutic massage Remedy with a Hypervolt Machine on Plantar Flexor Muscle groups’ Vary of Movement and Efficiency” printed on December 10, 2018 in Journal of Worldwide Medical Analysis.

Therapeutic massage weapons have turn into more and more in style as a post-workout restoration gadget prior to now few years. 

Much more lately, therapeutic massage gun producers have begun claiming that they’re the right pre-workout instrument, too, able to loosening up tight muscular tissues and growing your flexibility with out hindering your efficiency.

Is that this correct or advertising bunkum?

To search out out, scientists on the College of Graz invited 16 leisure athletes to take part in two checks. In each, they strapped the athletes’ ankles to an isokinetic dynamometer, a machine that checks a joint’s vary of movement (ROM) and power. 

The distinction was that in a single check, the researchers massaged the calf of the tethered leg utilizing a therapeutic massage gun for five minutes and within the different, they didn’t (this acted because the “management situation”).

The outcomes confirmed that within the management situation, the athletes skilled no adjustments in flexibility or power after sitting with their toes in an isokinetic dynamometer. No surprises there.

After the therapeutic massage, nonetheless, the athletes’ ankle ROM elevated by ~5.4 levels with out dropping power (measured utilizing most voluntary contraction in newton meters, or Nm). Right here’s a desk of the outcomes:

Massage Gun ROM Change

It’s not precisely clear how therapeutic massage weapons improve ROM, although it’s seemingly attributable to two elements:

  1. Therapeutic massage weapons put strain in your muscular tissues, pores and skin, and fascia, which could alter the viscosity of the fluid in these areas, permitting you to maneuver extra freely.
  2. Therapeutic massage weapons could lower ache notion, permitting you to stretch additional with out discomfort.

Whatever the mechanism, the necessary factor is that these outcomes and people of an identical examine present that massaging your muscle with a therapeutic massage gun earlier than exercising will increase your flexibility with out thwarting your efficiency.

That is necessary as a result of many individuals stretch earlier than coaching, which can enable you to really feel looser, but in addition seemingly makes you carry out worse. Thus, utilizing a therapeutic massage gun is a viable different to stretching that gives all the advantages, with out the demerits. 

Let me add a rider to those outcomes: Whereas the examine confirmed that therapeutic massage weapons improve flexibility, they didn’t present this really improved efficiency, diminished the chance of harm, improved train method, or actually did something helpful. Thus, it’s not proof that flexibility is inherently good, but when inflexibility occurs to be a problem for you (maybe tight shoulders makes it tough to deliver the bar to your chest whereas bench urgent, for example), a bit of therapeutic massage gunnery is perhaps useful. 

TL;DR: Utilizing a therapeutic massage gun to therapeutic massage a muscle for five minutes earlier than coaching makes you extra versatile with out decreasing your efficiency.

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