Good morning kinematics – Author Interview

Earlier this month, we published “Effects of load on good morning kinematics and EMG activity”. In this study, Andrew Vigotsky and his colleagues examine how muscle activation and joint angles change with load in the “good morning” exercise in trained individuals.

Andrew comments on his research and his experience publishing with us.


PJ: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

AV: Within the world of research and academia, I’m a young’un. I’m currently an undergraduate Kinesiology student at Arizona State University, and am particularly interested in lower extremity biomechanics.

PJ: Can you briefly explain the research you published in PeerJ?

AV: Generally, how load affects exercise form and muscle recruitment is not fully understood, nor is the good morning. Thus, the purpose of our study was to examine how muscle activation (hamstrings and spinal erectors) and joint angles (lumbar spine, hip, knee, and ankle) change with load in the good morning in trained individuals. Although we weren’t surprised by our findings, they weren’t what we hypothesized. The only kinematic variable that experienced remarkable changes with load was knee flexion, which increased with load. This change in knee flexion is directly related to the change in hamstring length, meaning that participants’ hamstrings underwent a greater amount of stretch with lighter loads. And, generally, muscle activity increased with load. These findings have implications for both strength & conditioning and rehabilitation & injury prevention.

PJ: Do you have any anecdotes about this research?

AV: This was my first study, and it was a colossal learning experience. It’s given me a great feel for the research process, and I’m very excited for future endeavors.

PJ: What surprised you the most with these results?

AV: To me, the most surprising finding was that the kinematics of the lumbar spine, hips, and ankle were largely unaffected by load. I’d have thought that an increase in load would lead to more rounding of the lumbar spine, but this did not occur.


Photos credit Andrew Serrano

PJ: What kinds of lessons do you hope the public takes away from the research?

AV: I hope this research is able to provide a few contentions. Particularly, it is important for practitioners to realize that load ipso facto may affect how a movement is performed and how muscles are recruited, and the trends are not necessarily linear and intuitive. Also, the good morning may be an effective exercise in preventing hamstring strains in sport, especially sprinting; however, this requires a training study to substantiate, but in theory and given these data, it makes a lot of sense.

PJ: Where do you hope to go from here?

AV: I would love to do more research on this and how it relates to injury prevention and performance changes, but those studies are certainly not imminent. We’ve just finished collecting data for a few studies related to hip extension, foam rolling, sitting, and the Thomas test; I’m pretty excited about our findings.

If you had unlimited resources, what study would you run?

AV: Wow, that’s a tough one. I think I would run a massive RCT on the proclaimed dose-response relationship between sitting and “tight” hip flexors. I’d like to measure everything from muscle length (using MRI) to EMG/H-reflex of the hip flexors, in addition to passive hip extension stiffness using a dynamometer.

PJ: Why did you choose to reproduce the complete peer-review history of your article?

AV: I’m a huge believer in transparency. I’d like people to be able to see how my article evolved through, and was bettered by, the peer-review process, and I hope other authors can learn from my mistakes.

PJ: How did you first hear about PeerJ, and what persuaded you to submit to us?

AV: I first came across PeerJ this summer, with the release of Lombardo & Deaner (2014). Despite being a large OA proponent, I hadn’t heard of the journal before, so I did some reading and fell in love with PeerJ’s mission and ideology. I was just finishing up my manuscript at the time, so I thought I might as well support the “cause”.

PJ: Do you have any anecdotes about your overall experience with us? Anything surprising?

AV: I’m highly impressed by the responsiveness, competence, and quality of the PeerJ staff, editors, and website. As a former web developer and software engineer, I can appreciate the website’s features and ease of use. Clearly, a lot of thought went into the entire process and user interface, which is made evident by PeerJ’s user experience.

PJ: How would you describe your experience of our submission/review process?

AV: Fast and easy. Typically, I was my own bottleneck in the peer-review process. I’d typically receive new reviews back within 2-3 weeks, which is extraordinarily fast for peer-review. The submission process was a breeze to say the least. The forms were user friendly, and the upload page was extremely well done. I’ve seen other submission UIs, and there’s a night and day difference.

PJ: Did you get any comments from your colleagues about your publication with PeerJ?

AV: Yes! An acquaintance of mine commented that it was nice to see some exercise science research in PeerJ, and I’m apt to agree with him.

PJ: Would you submit again, and would you recommend that your colleagues submit?

AV: Yes, I’d certainly submit to PeerJ again, and I have already recommended it to a number of friends and colleagues in the field.

PJ: Anything else you would like to talk about?

AV: I would like to extend a special thank you to my advisor, Erin Harper, who enabled and encouraged me to carry out this study. And of course to my other co-authors, David and Bret, who were essential in completing this study.

PJ: In conclusion, how would you describe PeerJ in three words?

AV: Transparent. Fast. Game-changing.

PJ: Many thanks for your time!

AV: My pleasure!

Join Andrew Vigotsky and thousands of other satisfied authors, and submit your next article to PeerJ.

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