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Joel Martin, PhD
Research & Education

Dr. Martin has a background in biomechanics, motor control, and strength and conditioning. He's dedicated to improving the health and well-being of others through education and research.

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Dr. Martin earned his Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University in Kinesiology, with an emphasis in biomechanics and motor control.  He holds an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.S. in Kinesiology from the Pennsylvania State University. Since 2016 he has served as the program director for the MS in Exercise, Fitness and Health Promotion degree program at George Mason University. His research interests are primarily focused on improving the health of emergency responder populations. Dr. Martin has been the author a number of articles published in peer-reviewed journals and is actively involved with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He is currently serving on the NSCA Virginia advisory board and the executive council of the NSCA special interest group for tactical strength and conditioning. He has the following certifications:

  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)

  • American College of Sports Medicine – Certified Exercise Physiologist (EP-C)

  • NSCA Certified Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator (TSAC-F)

  • United States Weightlifting (USAW) Level 1 Sports Performance Coach

  • Functional Movement Screen (FMS) Level 1

  • NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist (NASM CES)

  • NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist (NASM PES)

  • Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach (Pn1)

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Dr. Martin has been published in a number of leading journals in the field of Kinesiology. His current projects are focused on improving the health and movement of individuals across the lifespan.

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Emergency Responders

  • Effects of the duty belt on biomechanical correlates of low back pain

  • Relationship between fitness and ability to perform occupational duties in professional firefighters

  • Effects of load carriage on gait and postural stability

  • Influence of sleep on health and occupational performance

Gait and Balance

  • Influence of sleep quality on gait and balance

  • Effects of partial vs. total sleep deprivation on gait and balance

Unintended Consequences of Social Distancing on Health

  • Effects of demographic variables on physical activity and sitting time during social distancing

  • Influence of physical activity and sitting on depression and anxiety during social distancing

  • Relationships between lifestyle determinants of health (physical activity, nutrition, sleep) during social distancing

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Currently working with the following populations:

  • Professional firefighters

  • Law enforcement officers

  • Army National Guard

  • ROTC

  • Healthy, young adults

Home: Publications


Recently Published Articles

Home: Publications

Accuracy of 5 Common Age-Predicted Maximal Heart Rate Equations

August 2020, International Journal of Exercise Science


Areas of Instruction



Develop an understanding of the mechanics governing human movement.


Exercise Programming and Prescription

Utilizing an evidence-based approach to develop individualized exercise programs.


Strength and Conditioning

Applying scientific principles from biomechanics, physiology and nutrition to optimize human performance.


Research Methods

An introduction to the basic principles of research methods in Kinesiology. 

Topics covered are research designs, measurement theory, evaluating research quality, reliability, validity, sampling and scientific writing principles.


Movement and Fitness Assessment

Covers common evidence-based movement and fitness assessments that can be used to develop an individualized exercise program for various populations.


Motor Control and Learning

Appraisal of motor learning theories and neuromuscular system function related to human movement across the lifespan.

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SMART Lab Research

The SMART Laboratory consists of three state-of-the art facilities where faculty and students conduct evidence-based research in the areas of lower extremity injury prevention, neuro-mechanical assessment of lower extremity, concussion, and sports performance. The SMART Lab also offers performance and fitness assessment services to the public.


SMART Lab Clinic

The SMART Lab now offers performance and fitness testing services to the public. Whether your goal is to lose weight, improve your athletic performance, reduce your risk of injury, assess your health, or track your fitness, the SMART Lab has the state-of-the-art equipment and services you need:

  • Maximize your training potential

  • Improve your results

  • Measure your body composition

  • Pinpoint causes of running pain

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Get in Touch

Contact Joel Martin, PhD to discuss his published work, teaching, collaboration opportunities or for any other inquiries.

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