We have entered an era of renewed excitement regarding human space travel. The international community has lofty goals for the future of human spaceflight: returning to the Moon, sending crewed missions to Mars and other planets, and even colonizing space to save the human race when Earth is no longer habitable. These goals are beyond exciting, but before we can safely accomplish any of them, we must understand the biological consequences of space travel. For instance, it is well documented that space travel causes muscle atrophy, or deterioration. What causes this atrophy, and can how it be prevented?Continue reading “Do Humans Get Weaker in Outer Space?”
Packing a punch: Does strength indicate boxing performance?
Every sport has a different “ideal” body type, which is largely dictated by the muscle groups it focuses on training. Swimmers prioritize developing the muscles in their shoulders and backs, which allows them to propel themselves through the water with their arms. On the other hand, runners prioritize the hamstrings and quads in their legs, which allows them to generate greater force when pushing off of the ground. So, what is the ideal body type for boxing? Strength is clearly important when punching an opponent, but is it even the most important factor in boxing performance? Should either upper- or lower-body strength be prioritized over the other?Continue reading “Packing a punch: Does strength indicate boxing performance?”
Dolphin Magic or Dolphin Muscle?
Because of the film Bee Movie, many people at one point were intrigued by the idea that bumblebees should not physically be able to fly due to their large bodies and tiny wings. But, they fly anyway. Technology is advanced enough to study bee wing movement and determine that they produce enough lift to allow them to fly, disproving the previous notion. Similarly, Gray’s Paradox for a long time inferred that dolphins should not be able to swim nearly as fast as they do. But, they still consistently swim at speeds over twenty miles per hour. It was not until recent history that advancements allowed researchers to determine why they are able to reach such high speeds.Continue reading “Dolphin Magic or Dolphin Muscle?”
Heads Up and Eyes Steady – The Optimized Mechanism for Human Running
In the insightful words of Bruce Springsteen, we as human beings were Born to Run. Humans have never been a sedentary species. The tendency to constantly relocate for survival purposes required skill in obtaining food efficiently, which heavily influenced early human evolution. Humans with optimal body mechanics for running ultimately held an advantage in hunting and gathering for food, and over time, the human body adapted to these survival requirements and developed a self-optimizing mechanism for running. This implies that initiating the act of running activates certain responses in the body to perform most efficiently.Continue reading “Heads Up and Eyes Steady – The Optimized Mechanism for Human Running”
Muscle Loss Due to Aging
It is a well-known fact that as we get old, our bodies (sadly) deteriorate, leaving us unable to perform certain physical functions as easily as we could have when we were younger. In this article, the authors describe a study done to analyze muscle loss due to aging, primarily by examining two different age groups of humans. By conducting measurements on people over and under the age of 40 years, results show a clear difference in muscle mass and strength between the two.Continue reading “Muscle Loss Due to Aging”
High Heels: How They Can Affect You Even After You Take Them Off
Anyone who has worn high heels, or has even simply seen a person in high heels, knows that the foot is definitely not in its usual position in that kind of shoe – walking is more difficult and forget about even trying to run in high heels. Researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Vienna wanted to investigate if frequent, long term use of high heels caused lasting changes in the calf, in addition to the normal discomfort experienced by high heel wearers.Continue reading “High Heels: How They Can Affect You Even After You Take Them Off”
Gainz for Dayz: Conventional vs Sumo Deadlift
What’s the best way to pick stuff up and put it back down?Continue reading “Gainz for Dayz: Conventional vs Sumo Deadlift”
Why your Muscles Hurt after a Workout
How often do we cut our overly ambitious workouts short because of exhaustion or muscle soreness? Probably more than we care to admit. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself why your muscles hurt, especially a day or two after your workout? The simple answer is, you’ve put so much strain on your muscles that you aren’t used to, so they tore, and now your body has to repair the tears and build up more muscle, so the same thing doesn’t happen in the future.Continue reading “Why your Muscles Hurt after a Workout”
Are Muscle Loads During Irish Dance Unsafe?
Do you think your ankle can bear loads more than 14 times your body weight? Can you look graceful while doing it?
This question is one of great importance for many athletes participating in high-impact sports. Dancers of all kinds have strived, for years now, to perfect the balance of athleticism and grace that their competitive markets demand. Achieving this balance is no simple feat, and many dancers fall victim to injuries during their countless repetitions of high impact leaps and landings, and Irish dancers are no exception. Researchers have recognized the need for biomechanical analysis of muscles and joints of Irish dancers, and created a model to do just that.Continue reading “Are Muscle Loads During Irish Dance Unsafe?”