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STRENGTH EXERCISES
A General OverviewWith so many exercises to choose from in designing a program,it is important to know the factors behind ...
The MOST IMPORTANT exercise In any sport, the most important exercise isthe actual sport movement. If my sport is sprint...
Strength Exercise Classification Isometric (same length) Joint angle specific! Isokinetic (same speed) Research and Sp...
The most popular Dynamic exercises with concentric muscleaction Typical up/down weightlifting
Further Classification Non-specific Squats for a javelin thrower Bench press for a basketball player Specific Barbell...
Strength Topography Strength topography is the comparativestrength of different muscle groups in thebody. An athlete can...
Strength TopographyAnkle: Plantar Flexion/Dorsiflexion 3:1Knee: Extension/Flexion 3:2
Strength Topography Hip Extension/Flexion 1:1 Elbow Flexion/Extension 1:1
Strength Topography Lumbar Spine Flexion/Extension 1:1
Exercise Selection forBeginning Athletes Strengthen muscle groups, that, if weak cancause potential injuries. Neck in wr...
Exercise Selection forBeginning Athletes Train the large muscles in the core/trunk ofthe athlete. Specifically, the abdom...
Selecting Exercises forAdvanced Athletes Specificity becomes more important themore advanced an athlete is. Training dri...
How are exercises specific? The working muscles The type of resistance The rate of force development (RFD) The velocit...
Working Muscles The same working muscles used in the givensport movement should be emphasized in thetraining regimen Exa...
Type of Resistance Barbell (MostTypical) Compound Bands/Chains+Barbell Lighter bands are usually better for sports Ba...
Rate of Force Development The goal of training can lean towards: Increasing Fmm (low velocity/high forcemovements) This...
A practical question: 2 athletes of similar dimensions have equalstanding vertical jumps. They have differentFmm abilitie...
Velocity of Movement Performance will tend to improve relative tothe velocity of the performed movement The book recomme...
Velocity of Movement Strength exercises should not be performedwithTOO light weight and high velocity, ifthis is done, Fm...
Velocity of Movement TrainingTempo Tempo is not really discussed in this chapter Lifting tempos are broken down intoecc...
Tempo Recommendations Athletes tend not to like tempo and will oftendisregard it if you don’t enforce it Tempo doesn’t m...
Tempo Recommendations It is OK to use tempo in static lifts if you arealso using explosive exercises in yourprogram. It ...
Velocity of Movement During static lifts (bench, squat, presses,pulls, etc.) it can be a good idea to prescribe alifting ...
Peak Contraction PrincipleThe peak contraction principle isbased on adding more resistance tothe parts of the lifts that a...
Another Method of PeakContraction In this exercise, resistance is manually appliedin the most difficult part of the movem...
Accommodating Resistance Cam Based Machines Chains/BandsAttempting to maximize tension throughthe whole range of motion ...
So What? I am in favor of the ‘general’ theory ofstrength. Basically, no matter how you lift weights, youwill not be abl...
More General Theory Increase your muscle mass and power withpower lifts (squats/bench) and olympicvariants. Do your lifts...
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Strength Exercises for Sport Performance

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Lecture on strength training exercises that I gave as a lecture for Wilmington College students in HPE 345, Strength Programming for Sport. Taken from the text: Science and Practice of Strength Training, 2nd edition.

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Strength Exercises for Sport Performance

  1. 1. STRENGTH EXERCISES
  2. 2. A General OverviewWith so many exercises to choose from in designing a program,it is important to know the factors behind each exercise.
  3. 3. The MOST IMPORTANT exercise In any sport, the most important exercise isthe actual sport movement. If my sport is sprinting, I need to practice sprintingthe most. If my sport is volleyball, I need to actually playvolleyball the most. If my sport is arm-curling, then I need to practicearm curls the most. If my sport is underwater basket weaving, well….
  4. 4. Strength Exercise Classification Isometric (same length) Joint angle specific! Isokinetic (same speed) Research and Sports Medicine Isotonic? (same tone…not really) Tension in a muscle changes as the moment armchanges during the exercise Dynamic Concentric Eccentric Reversible
  5. 5. The most popular Dynamic exercises with concentric muscleaction Typical up/down weightlifting
  6. 6. Further Classification Non-specific Squats for a javelin thrower Bench press for a basketball player Specific Barbell pullover for a javelin thrower Push jerk for basketball player Primary Sporting Movement w/ resistance Throwing overweight javelins Rebounding drill with a weighted vest for b-ball
  7. 7. Strength Topography Strength topography is the comparativestrength of different muscle groups in thebody. An athlete can be extremely strong in onemovement, say bench press, but extremely weakin another, such as a barbell row. Estimated ratios exist between the differentmuscle groups in the body. For example, thehamstrings should be 2/3 as strong as thequadricep muscle group.
  8. 8. Strength TopographyAnkle: Plantar Flexion/Dorsiflexion 3:1Knee: Extension/Flexion 3:2
  9. 9. Strength Topography Hip Extension/Flexion 1:1 Elbow Flexion/Extension 1:1
  10. 10. Strength Topography Lumbar Spine Flexion/Extension 1:1
  11. 11. Exercise Selection forBeginning Athletes Strengthen muscle groups, that, if weak cancause potential injuries. Neck in wrestling/football Rotator cuff in throwing sports Hamstrings in running sports
  12. 12. Exercise Selection forBeginning Athletes Train the large muscles in the core/trunk ofthe athlete. Specifically, the abdominal walland spinal erectors should be trained. Lifts should be performed through the fullrange of motion. Use only submaximal efforts, do not “max-out” 3 year rule….
  13. 13. Selecting Exercises forAdvanced Athletes Specificity becomes more important themore advanced an athlete is. Training drills that are not relevant are oftendiscarded for the regime of an elite athlete.
  14. 14. How are exercises specific? The working muscles The type of resistance The rate of force development (RFD) The velocity of movement
  15. 15. Working Muscles The same working muscles used in the givensport movement should be emphasized in thetraining regimen Examples: Rock Climbers do not want to spend a lot of timedoing barbell squats Basketball/Football players do want to spend a lotof time doing barbell squats
  16. 16. Type of Resistance Barbell (MostTypical) Compound Bands/Chains+Barbell Lighter bands are usually better for sports Bands/Cords Bodyweight Pushups, Situps, Pistol Squats
  17. 17. Rate of Force Development The goal of training can lean towards: Increasing Fmm (low velocity/high forcemovements) This strategy is only useful is ESD is less than 50% (no modern coach in the west actually calculatesESD) Decreasing ESD (high velocity/low forcemovements)
  18. 18. A practical question: 2 athletes of similar dimensions have equalstanding vertical jumps. They have differentFmm abilities though. Athlete A squats 1xtheir bodyweight, while athlete B squats 1.5xbodyweight. For which of these athletes will improvingFmm in the barbell squat be more beneficial?Why?
  19. 19. Velocity of Movement Performance will tend to improve relative tothe velocity of the performed movement The book recommends training movementvelocities in the same velocity range as thegiven sport This is very impractical, hard to emulate
  20. 20. Velocity of Movement Strength exercises should not be performedwithTOO light weight and high velocity, ifthis is done, Fmm will not improve. Research shows that strength gains weremuch higher in bench press when the repswere done at 1 rep every 4 seconds or slower.Trying to move as fast as possible limitedstrength gains. (seems to contradictWaterbury)
  21. 21. Velocity of Movement TrainingTempo Tempo is not really discussed in this chapter Lifting tempos are broken down intoeccentric phase, isometric phase, andconcentric phase of the lift. An example of tempo would be 3-0-1. Thiswould mean the “down” part of the lift wouldtake 3 seconds, the isometric part would bedisregarded, and the concentric part shouldtake one second
  22. 22. Tempo Recommendations Athletes tend not to like tempo and will oftendisregard it if you don’t enforce it Tempo doesn’t make much sense when youthink about motor recruitment, but thepurpose of lifting is not always motorrecruitment; that can be left up to sportspecific exercises in some/many situations
  23. 23. Tempo Recommendations It is OK to use tempo in static lifts if you arealso using explosive exercises in yourprogram. It can be a good idea to use tempo only forthe eccentric part of the lift, such as a 5-0-1tempo. This way you can still have theathlete perform the concentric partsomewhat explosively.
  24. 24. Velocity of Movement During static lifts (bench, squat, presses,pulls, etc.) it can be a good idea to prescribe alifting tempo. The main reason for this is thatit is a variable that can be manipulatedthroughout the year to preventaccommodation
  25. 25. Peak Contraction PrincipleThe peak contraction principle isbased on adding more resistance tothe parts of the lifts that are moredifficultThis is effective in increasing strengthbut might have a limited value intransfer to sport abilities
  26. 26. Another Method of PeakContraction In this exercise, resistance is manually appliedin the most difficult part of the movement.
  27. 27. Accommodating Resistance Cam Based Machines Chains/BandsAttempting to maximize tension throughthe whole range of motion rather than onepoint
  28. 28. So What? I am in favor of the ‘general’ theory ofstrength. Basically, no matter how you lift weights, youwill not be able to emulate the muscle-tendon interaction present in most sportingmovements Therefore it is usually pointless to get carriedaway with strange weightlifting exercises,although it is good to switch things up for thesake of variety
  29. 29. More General Theory Increase your muscle mass and power withpower lifts (squats/bench) and olympicvariants. Do your lifts slow and controlled toincrease strength. Don’t worry about theweight room to increase speed, worry aboutthe weight room to increase force. Use sport specific exercises and plyometricsto address rate of force development andvelocity, but remember straight velocitycannot be improved.

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