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The Kettlebell Press is Important for Athletic Strength

The standing kettlebell press is one of the best kettlebell exercises for an athlete’s upper body strength. This exercise works the muscles of the shoulder, triceps, and develops a strong core to support the weight overhead. Additionally, as we’ll discuss later, it also allows for a great many variations. In this article we’re going to talk about how to perform the exercise, make some programming recommendations/examples, and talk about modifications.   Who needs to use this exercise: This exercise is...

Post-Activation Potentiation and the Nervous System: It’s Complicated

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There has been a lot of contradictory research on post-activation potentiation (PAP) over the last five to ten years. Briefly, this is performing a heavy, slow strength training exercise prior to performing an explosive activity (like a jump, throw, or sprint). The idea is that the heavy strength training exercise will increase neuromuscular recruitment, leading to enhanced performance.   In the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, Thomas et al performed a study to assess whether this approach...

It May Not Matter What You Train First

Is there a best way to organize an athlete’s training? In other words, should we do plyometrics first because they involve speed and technique? Then, should we follow that with slower strength moves that don’t require the same level of nervous system demands? Or, should we flip that to fatigue the nervous system by doing the slow strength moves first and then requiring it to perform something explosive?   Kobal et al have a really fascinating study that seeks to...

Eccentric Training and Sports Performance: Science Fiction

Eccentric training has been a mainstay of strength and conditioning for awhile. I like to use it with track and field athletes to help them become stronger when they need to be able to maintain their posture (during levering for jumps and throws or during footstrike for sprints). However, it’s possible that this type of training may have more application than that with sports strength and conditioning.   Munger et al conducted a study to determine the impact of eccentric...

Everything You Wanted To Know About Sprinting

There’s a great deal of focus on speed training and sports these days. Obviously it’s an important factor. Many people (and I was one of them) went to the track and field coaches to learn how to run fast and applied that knowledge to sports training. Over the last few years there’s also been an explosion of “experts” and “research” on this topic.   That said, often we’re trying to reinvent the wheel. I was reminded the other day of...