speed

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Soccer Speed: Small Sided Games May Not Be Enough

  Soccer is a sport that involves a lot of repeated sprints at various intensities during a match. With that in mind, coaches are very interested in the most effective ways to train soccer players. In the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Djaoui et al have a really interesting study that looks at the maximum speed demands of soccer players in both matches and in small sided games.   Small sided games are a conditioning tool used in several...

Hamstring Training: Sometimes Old Favorites are Better

Hamstring injuries are an issue with athletes that have to sprint, which is most of them. With that in mind, strength and conditioning professionals are always searching for better ways to train these muscles in order to help prevent these injuries.   In the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Rey et al conducted a study looking at the effectiveness of two bodyweight hamstring exercises on hamstring fitness. The authors studied three junior elite soccer teams (average age around 17...

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...

Hamstring Training Results In Stronger Hamstrings: Is That Enough?

sprint

Hamstring injuries are the bane of sprinting athletes. This is true in almost every sport that requires athletes to sprint. Not only are these injuries disabling, but once you suffer them you are more susceptible to suffering them again. There have been a lot of theories of what causes these injuries; everything from running mechanics, to flexibility, to strength imbalances, to strength levels.   Today the thinking is that it has to due with the eccentric strength of the hamstrings....

Hamstring Training: More Than Leg Curls

sprinting

The hamstrings, glutes, and lower back are an important chain of muscles for athletic performance. Not only are they important for performing movements that involve hip extension and knee flexion, but they are also important for preventing hamstring and non-contact ACL injuries.   Having said that, not all hamstring exercises are created equal. Athletes that are trying to improve performance or prevent injuries need hamstrings that are strong in the lengthened position. This means largely avoiding leg curl variations and...