Posts Tagged ‘power’

Note: This post is courtesy of NLSP intern Andrew Murcia. Andrew graduated from Penn State with a degree in exercise science and has been with us since December of 2015 assisting with training of all of our athletes, with a little help from DJ Khaled.

 

DJ Khaled Success

 

Greetings and salutations everyone,

Andrew Murcia here and I’m channeling my inner DJ Khaled to give you some major keys to more effective and efficient deadlifting.  So read and apply these tips carefully because THEY don’t want you to lift better, so we’re going to lift better.

The theme for today’s article is all about the setup for your deadlift.  The quality of your deadlift pulls is largely determined by your set up.  Compound movements like deadlifts are all about how much leverage you can exert over the bar.  In other words, you must control the weight rather than allowing the weight to control you.  With that said, here are some major keys to remember when we deadlift.

 

MAJOR KEY’s to Remember:

1) BRACE YOUR CORE

Occasionally we will see a rounding of lower back from some athletes at varying points of the deadlift.  This results from a lack of proper core bracing. This is one of the more common issues with beginners, and can be one of the more abstract/difficult concepts to understand.

Deadlift form

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One of the things I enjoy most about being a strength coach is the challenge that comes from figuring how to best address the needs of the athletes I train. I’ve always been good at (and enjoyed) problem-solving, and a large part of my job is exactly that. I know it sounds weird, but I look at every athlete I train as a problem to be solved. Every athlete is unique, in that they all have different strengths and weaknesses, and may have different goals as well. Most people will fall into one of a few general templates, but everyone has their own little athletic quirks, so they all require individual attention to make sure their program is as effective as possible.

Terrell Owens was such a clown

Some athletes apparently require a lot more attention than others…

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Every athlete I train undergoes an initial evaluation and then periodical re-evaluations every 6 weeks to monitor progress. A few of the things we test are squat strength, deadlift strength, vertical jump, 20 yd dash, 5-10-5 agility test, and broad jump. Having measured all these things hundreds of times, I’ve started to notice some interesting patterns and come to realize that the broad jump might be the best indicator of overall athletic ability. 

I don't give a shit how much you can bench. What's your broad jump?

I don’t give a shit how much you can bench. What’s your broad jump?

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The Problem

There’s really no way to sugarcoat this, so I’m just going to go ahead and say it:  many strength and conditioning programs for girls aren’t very good. And this is a shame because it prevents many young women from fully realizing their athletic potential, potentially costing them college scholarships. For whatever reason, the majority of training programs for young women seems to be more oriented towards traditional “speed and agility” work, with less of an emphasis placed on overall strength and power training. So basically, lots of cones and ladders and TRX, and not a lot of squats and deadlifts. This is a mistake.

5 pound bicep curls? On a Swiss ball? Stop it.

5 pound bicep curls? On a Swiss ball? Stop it.

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Although the sports world has largely accepted strength training as an effective way to improve sports performance, there are still a few hard headed old-schoolers who refuse to believe that increasing strength will improve athletic ability. This is a ridiculous notion. Baseball coaches seem to be the most reluctant group to acknowledge the benefits of strength training. Often, this is due to the incorrect beliefs that lifting weights will make you inflexible (it won’t), or hurt you (it won’t if you do it right). But some coaches simply don’t believe that weight lifting will improve any aspect of sporting performance, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Yeah, being strong has nothing to do with being good at sports. Just ask Bo Jackson.

Yeah, being strong has nothing to do with being good at sports. Just ask this weakling named Bo Jackson.

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Check out my latest article published on T-Nation.com – Contrast Training for Power and Explosiveness

t-nation squat

One of the sillier notions regarding the act of hitting a baseball is the idea that batters should “swing down on the ball”. I remember having this cue drilled into my head as a young hitter, and I still hear it from time to time nowadays. The reasoning that coaches give for this is the fact that a downward swing angle will create backspin on the baseball, which will help the ball carry farther, whereas an upward swing path will create topspin, which will result in less distance.

In fact, there’s even a batting tee endorsed by Ken Griffey Jr. called the Instructo Swing, which forces players to hit down on the ball. If you don’t have a downward swing path when using the Instructo Swing, you are rewarded by smashing your barrel into a piece of blue metal.

That's a homerun swing if I ever saw one...

That’s a homerun swing if I ever saw one…

But if we look at Ken Griffey Jr’s real-life swing, do we see that kind of downward swing angle? If you’re good at reading context clues, you already know the answer.

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