When I first started thinking about Physical Therapy as a career, one of the selling points everyone told me was “You will never have to worry about not having a job”. For the history of Physical therapy this has been true. However, in a recent APTA Physical Therapy Workforce Analysis they put out that this may not be the case in the coming years.
Bar Positioning is one of the most popular ways to alter the challenges and goals of a squat. The most common squat variations include front and back loaded sqauts. Both are effective at building strength in the Hips, Legs, and back; however the slight variation in weight placement can alter our movement pattern, muscles targeted and the amount of weight we are able to lift.
Developing Neuromuscular Activation can be extremely beneficial for almost everyone. In the rehab setting, many people have inhibited muscles, whether it be from an injury or even inhibited hip flexors from sitting all the day. Muscle activation can also be very important for people who are preparing for training or competition. Performing muscle activation exercise can help “wake up” the muscle and help improvement performance while decreasing risk of injury. The beautiful part of Neuromuscular activation exercises is we can expect to see results occur much more rapidly than strength gains. These can also be used as a precursor to strengthening exercises and act as a primer. However, we should understand the limitations. Many times, but not always, exercises aimed at neuromuscular activation are not effective at improving strength or building muscle.