Posts Tagged ‘strength’

bosu

Unstable surface training has seen an uptick in popularity over the last 5 years or so, and has been touted as an effective way to develop athleticism. But is unstable surface training really a smart way to train? Maybe not.

What is Unstable Surface Training?

Unstable Surface Training (UST) consists of traditional strength exercises performed on a surface that is not hard or flat. Instead, UST utilizes implements like BOSU Balls, Airex pads, and Swiss balls. The reason why some trainers include UST in their clients’ programs is that it’s supposed to add a core stabilization component to traditional lifts like the bench press and squat. Basically, the body has to work harder to stabilize itself if the ground doesn’t provide stability.

"Unstable Training - It Makes Sense on Paper"

“Unstable Training – It Makes Sense on Paper”

(more…)

Advertisements
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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Every time I evaluate a new client, the first thing I do is run them through a posture and movement screen. Basically, my objective is to evaluate how the athlete stands, and how they move. This gives me a jumping-off point when prescribing corrective exercises and mobility/soft tissue work. When evaluating a baseball player – especially a pitcher – the first thing I look at is the shoulder girdle.

Pictured: the shoulder girdle

More specifically, I’m looking at the scapulae – the flat bones that sit on either side of the thoracic spine. One of the most reliable indicators of future shoulder and elbow health is scapular positioning. Ideally, the scapulae should sit right up against the ribcage and glide smoothly across it. But with throwing athletes, what we often see instead is this:  (more…)

The squat is a jerk of an exercise. Just like everybody who’s ever played poker has a “bad beat” story, everybody who’s ever seriously squatted has a story about a time when the Squat Gods treated them unfairly. Hip flexor pain, patellar tendonitits, interminable plateau periods,etc. Even just learning to squat properly can take an absurd amount of time, which gets frustrating in a hurry. If you’re currently in need of a program tweak to crack through a plateau or finally achieve proper depth in the squat, try these two exercises out.

squat

(more…)

I get that lots of people are completely fine with going to the gym day after day, doing the exact same program for years, and never changing a single thing. People are creatures of habit, and change can be intimidating. But if you’re going to spend the time and money to go to the gym, you might as well be improving yourself while you’re there. Going in every day and doing the exact same exercises, with the exact same weight, for the exact same number of sets and reps is not only tedious, it’s not really beneficial after the first couple of months. If your program doesn’t change, your body won’t change. And you might actually start to regress once your body adapts to your current plan.

(more…)

One of the biggest gripes I had while playing baseball in college was that our in-season training program was trash. By the time May rolled around everybody was skinny, weak, and threw a good 4-5 mph slower than at the beginning of the season. I noticed this during high school ball too, but I didn’t understand why it was happening. I figured that if you trained all offseason, that strength would just stay with you during the season. But unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

Once I got to college and started learning about the body and training, I realized that improper training methods during the season were what was causing this steady decline in performance over the course of the year. That, combined with a hefty dose of long-distance “conditioning” runs.

Here’s 3 big mistakes that people often make when training in season. I’ve omitted “Doing Nothing” because frankly, that should be common knowledge by now.

(more…)