Tag Archives: mobility

Improve Performance With Single-Leg Exercises

6 Oct

Bulgarian Split Squat (down)

Bulgarian Split Squat (up)

At Athletic Performance Training Center, we know it’s important to incorporate single-leg exercises into an athlete’s training regimen.  We alternate, weekly, between bilateral and unilateral exercises, to improve strength, power, mobility, and balance/stability.

A new study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests that all athletes might need to do more single-leg exercises.  In the study, researchers discovered that both jumpers’ (e.g., basketball, volleyball) and nonjumpers’ legs were not equally strong.  The natural tendency is for athletes to shift their weight, to some degree, to their dominant leg.  According to the study, that contributes to a strength imbalance that can hurt performance and lead to injuries.

Try different single-leg exercises, like lunges (stationary or walking; forward, backward, or lateral).

At APTC, we favor the single-leg squatsingle-leg pressstep-up, and Bulgarian split squat (rear foot elevated).  Perform 2 or 3 sets of 10 repetitions with a weight that is challenging but reasonable.

As you might imagine, the same principle applies to upper-body strength training.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Effectiveness of Pre-Activity Foam Rolling

21 Jun

Repeated foam rolling is beneficial for increasing range of motion immediately preceding a dynamic activity (strength and conditioning, sport practices and games, etc.), according to research from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Fascia is a component of connective tissue.  Myofascia (which resembles a spider web or fish net) is a dense, strong, and flexible tissue that covers all muscles and bones, from  head to toe.

When normal and healthy, the fascia is pliable, relaxed, and soft.  It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction.

When fascia becomes tight and restricted, it can compromise mobility across the entire fascial chain.  This can be caused by physical trauma and inflammation — such as the “normal” micro-tears that occur in muscle — as a result of strength training and sport-specific activity.

Myofascial Release is an effective, hands-on therapy (think massage) that focuses on relaxing the deep tissue of the body, which can directly change and improve health of the fascia.  The purpose of myofascial release is to break down scar tissue, relax the muscle and fascia, and restore mobility.

Although foam rolling is associated with subjective and objective improvements in range-of-motion (mobility), these effects were not necessarily seen within the first exposure.  Consistent (repeated) foam rolling did, however, produce positive results.

Add foam rolling to your dynamic warmup regimen, prior to your training, practices, and games.  You can incorporate it into your post-workout/practice/game routine, too.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Train for Performance

6 Jan

performance-training-squat1For most young guys, “fitness” is about being as big as possible.  As we mature, we realize that fitness has little to do with the size of our biceps and more to do with how we function and perform.

Performance training involves determining what your body needs on a given day (based on your activities), setting performance goals, and creating – and executing – a plan of action that’s aligned with your goals.

Performance training is movement-based training, not muscle-based.

Performance training is about getting stronger, not bigger.  It’s about becoming more powerful, faster, and improving your endurance, mobility, and joint stability.

Trust me, you’ll get the aesthetics you’re looking for from training for performance.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Effectiveness of Pre-Activity Foam Rolling

23 Oct

rumble-roller-half-original-density-detail-2[1]Repeated foam rolling is beneficial for increasing range of motion immediately preceding a dynamic activity (strength and conditioning, sport practices and games, etc.), according to research from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Fascia is a component of connective tissue.  Myofascia (which resembles a spider web or fish net) is a dense, strong, and flexible tissue that covers all muscles and bones, from  head to toe.

When normal and healthy, the fascia is pliable, relaxed, and soft.  It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction.

When fascia becomes tight and restricted, it can compromise mobility across the entire fascial chain.  This can be caused by physical trauma and inflammation — such as the “normal” micro-tears that occur in muscle — as a result of strength training and sport-specific activity.

Myofascial Release is an effective, hands-on therapy (think massage) that focuses on relaxing the deep tissue of the body, which can directly change and improve health of the fascia.  The purpose of myofascial release is to break down scar tissue, relax the muscle and fascia, and restore mobility.

Although foam rolling is associated with subjective and objective improvements in range-of-motion (mobility), these effects were not necessarily seen within the first exposure.  Consistent (repeated) foam rolling did, however, produce positive results.

Add foam rolling to your dynamic warmup regimen, prior to your training, practices, and games.  You can incorporate it into your post-workout/practice/game routine, too.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Flexibility Training May Reduce Strength Development

29 Apr

429_2[1]Be careful about how much flexibility training you do, especially if you play a power sport.

Recent research from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research corroborates volumes of previous data, showing that flexibility training may reduce strength development.

In the study, Thalita, et.al., concluded that “combining strength and flexibility training is not detrimental to flexibility development; however, combined training may reduce strength development.”

Scores of previous studies have demonstrated that flexibility training elongates and relaxes muscles, diminishing their ability to generate strength and power, especially in the short-term.

Avoid pre- and post-workout stretching; opt instead for dynamic warmup, foam rolling, and movement-based cool down to enhance blood flow to tissues, and increase mobility and range-of-motion.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Improve Mobility: Make Your Workouts More Functional

28 Nov

functional_training3[1]

Physioball Weight Roll

We focus on functional training for our athletes.  That means movement-based — and not muscle-based — exercises make up the majority of every athlete’s workout.  In addition to developing strength, speed, agility, and athleticism, we want our athletes to improve mobility, balance, coordination, and stability.  All these components contribute to a more powerful, capable athlete.

Ultimately, the athlete’s training should reflect the demands and movement patterns of his or her sport.

Better mobility helps athletes reduce the incidence of injury, and also gives players a considerable advantage on the court or field.  Hip and ankle mobility are important for explosive movements like sprinting; accelerating and decelerating; changing direction; and blocking and tackling.

  • Unilateral exercises (those which load one side of the body at a time), like single-arm presses and single-leg squats, are probably more reflective of sports performance than traditional bilateral exercises (loading both sides equally).  We like alternating between unilateral and bilateral exercises, for a specific movement or muscle group, every other week, to build a stronger, more balanced musculature.
  • Perform more exercises standing, including standing on one leg.  When you sit or lie down to do an exercise, you’re not supporting your own weight and, as a result, you’re compromising the development of core strength and stability.
  • Get away from training on machines that “lock” your body into exercises that don’t require balance or stability, and those that don’t work multiple joints and muscle groups from different angles.  Opt instead for free-weight exercises using dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, or even sandbags.
  • Move through different planes of motion when you workout.  Lateral, transverse (diagonal), rotational, and anti-rotational exercises are great additions to any training regimen.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Improve Performance With Single-Leg Exercises

2 May
DSCN1897

Bulgarian split squat (up)

DSCN1898

Bulgarian split squat (down)

At Athletic Performance Training Center, we know it’s important to incorporate single-leg exercises into an athlete’s training regimen.  We alternate, weekly, between bilateral and unilateral exercises, to improve strength, power, mobility, and balance/stability.

A new study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests that all athletes might need to do more single-leg exercises.  In the study, researchers discovered that both jumpers’ (e.g., basketball, volleyball) and nonjumpers’ legs were not equally strong.  The natural tendency is for athletes to shift their weight, to some degree, to their dominant leg.  According to the study, that contributes to a strength imbalance that can hurt performance and lead to injuries.

Try different single-leg exercises, like lunges (stationary or walking; forward, backward, or lateral).

At APTC, we favor the single-leg squat, single-leg press, step-up, and Bulgarian split squat (rear foot elevated).  Perform 2 or 3 sets of 10 repetitions with a weight that is challenging but reasonable.

As you might imagine, the same principle applies to upper-body strength training.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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