program design

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Use The Kettlebell Floor Press For Upper Body Strength

There are a lot of exercises for upper body strength that we can use in an athletic setting. This week we’re going to introduce the kettlebell floor press as a great supplemental exercise for upper body strength.   To begin this exercise, sit on the floor. I like to have the athlete sit so that a kettlebell is just outside each hip. Grip the kettlebell handles and rest the kettlebells on the thighs. From here, lie back so that the...

Hard Work Is Not Going To Break You: A Rant

kettle bells

Hard work helps us to learn skills, to function in challenging circumstances, learn to resist fatigue, and teaches us how to play a sport with passion and intensity. Now, when I bring this up on social media someone always has to post something to the effect of “Yes, but we have to be careful with that message as too much hard work is bad.”   I have some concerns about these types of comments. My concerns center around the fact...

How To Use Pull-ups In A Team Setting

In a previous post (http://www.cissik.com/blog/2017/10/pull-ups-for-performance-and-injury-prevention/) I wrote about the importance of the pull-up exercise and athletic strength and conditioning. My perspective in that article was why it is important and how to build up the ability to do it. In this post I’d like to talk about how to use the pull-up in a program once someone is able to do pull-ups.   Once an athlete can perform 10-12 pull-ups, it’s time to use this exercise as one of the...

Think About Your Why: Picking Exercises

At the end of the day, the justification for using strength and conditioning for athletes boils down to two things; preventing injuries and improving performance. This is done in an environment where there’s never enough time and there are many athletes training at one time.   As coaches we lose sight of our foci (performance, injury prevention) a lot and we get distracted by exercises and methods that don’t necessarily contribute to either optimally especially given the constraints that we...

Squat Variations: Don’t Get Distracted

I wanted to use this blog to discuss a few different types of squat variations that we see in strength and conditioning. All of these types of squats have uses, but they also have shortcomings that the coach needs to be aware of. With this blog I’m going to (briefly) cover the techniques and cover some thoughts on integrating them into a program.   Front squats: First, I want to start with the front squat. In my long-ago Olympic lifting...