specificity

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The Squat And Sprinting

sprint

  In a previous post ( http://www.cissik.com/blog/2016/05/athletes-need-to-squat/ ), I touched on the importance of the squat exercise for athletes. Continuing with this thought, Styles et al, in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, conducted a study to examine if improvements in squat strength led to an increase in short (5-20 meter) sprint performance.   The authors studied 17 elite professional soccer players (mean age around 18 years old, mean back squats over 165% of body weight). The athletes trained...

Athletes Need To Squat

A frequent topic of my social media posts deals with the squat exercise and its variations and how important it is for most sports. It’s important because it trains the bulk of the muscles of the lower body to work together, it strengthens the trunk, strengthens the skeleton, allows the athlete to learn how to exert force against the ground, and it’s performed standing up. In addition, it resembles a lot of sports movements.   The downside is that it...

The Guide To Program Design

We’d all like for our strength training programs to be effective and safe. This allows us to make gains from training and avoid wasting our time. To do that, strength training follows several fundamental principles. This post is going to begin by describing those principles. Then we will cover different approaches to organizing a strength training program. Finally, we’ll explore how to put everything together and include several examples.   Principles of exercise There are five fundamental principles of exercise...

Keep Pushing To Keep Making Gains

The overload principle is a fundamental one to both training for fitness and to the strength and conditioning training of athletes. At the root of the overload principle is the fact that the body adapts to exercise. If you think about it, no matter why you are exercising or what you are doing – this is why you exercise. Your muscles get larger, this is an adaptation. Your maximal oxygen consumption improves, this is an adaptation. It’s why everyone does...

Specificity: It’s Actually A Complicated Topic

agility training

The principle of specificity is an important one for the strength and conditioning coach, but it is also one that has limitations.  Traditionally specificity is defined as the body adapting to training according to how it is trained.  A very simplified example is that if you want to develop bigger biceps, you are probably going to have to perform exercises that train those muscles.  Relying on leg presses to increase your bicep size will probably be an exercise in frustration....