My name is Andrew Vigotsky, and I am interested in explicating the fundamental mechanisms of human movement. My interest in human movement blossomed in ~2012, when I was competing in bodybuilding. At the time, I was working as a Software Engineer at Citymaps, but I often found myself wanting to read exercise science research rather than write code, so I left my position after several months to go back to school to learn more about exercise and the human body. Since then, I have published papers in areas ranging from pain science and rehabilitation to resistance training and biomechanical modeling. I am a strong believer in science advocacy, so I have created this blog in hopes that it will increase biomechanical literacy.
I'm currently a graduate student in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where I have a concentration in musculoskeletal biomechanics. My master's work aims to elucidate the relationship between the shear-wave velocity of muscle, as measured using Supersonic Shear Imaging, and muscle stiffness in vivo. My doctoral work, which is funded by the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program, aims to decompose and quantify muscular contributions to ankle joint impedance. I am completing this work in two different labs: the Neuromuscular Biomechanics Laboratory and the Neurobionics Lab, under Drs. Sabrina Lee and Elliott Rouse, respectively.
Before attending Northwestern, I graduated with a BS in Kinesiology from Arizona State University (ASU). It was during my undergraduate studies that I started getting involved in research; Erin Feser supervised me in ASU's Motion Analysis Laboratory, where I carried out a two data collections that resulted in three publications. Our studies investigated the effects of load on good morning kinematics and EMG amplitude, the acute effects of anterior thigh foam rolling, and the validity of the modified Thomas test. In addition to Erin's mentorship, I also grew close to Dr. Rick Hinrichs, who taught me a lot about biomechanics both inside and outside of the classroom.
While at ASU, I was also able to secure an internship under Dr. Bret Contreras while he was completing research for his Ph.D. Bret has had a profound impact on how I think about movement and sports science. Together, we have published over a dozen papers related to strength, muscle hypertrophy, and physical performance, and have much more in the pipeline. Moreover, he has introduced me to other great minds and researchers, such as Chris Beardsley and Dr. Brad Schoenfeld.
After graduating from ASU, I completed pre-requisites for graduate school (i.e., math, physics, and engineering courses) at a local community college while splitting my time between two laboratories: the Leon Root, MD Motion Analysis Laboratory, at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), and the Human Performance Laboratory, at CUNY Lehman. At HSS, I worked under Dr. Andrew Kraszewski to develop a 3D-mesh model of the gluteus maximus. At CUNY Lehman, I worked under Dr. Brad Schoenfeld to train participants and collect data for a training study, and I also designed and carried out a cross-sectional study that investigated the determinants of squat strength, which is currently in peer-review.