strength and conditioning

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Big Buildings Need Solid Foundations

The principle of progression says that fitness and sports need to be viewed as a series of steps, each of which builds on what came before. The idea here is that by following this principle, you have athletes with a solid base in terms of skills, athleticism, and fitness. Failing to follow this principle results in some serious gaps in fitness and skills and limits athletic development because of those gaps. It may also contribute to injuries due to weaknesses...

Are Hex Bar Deadlifts Better?

hexagonal bar

In recent years, the hexagonal deadlift (i.e. the trap bar) has gained in popularity with athletic strength and conditioning circles. The argument is that it puts the body in a safer position to perform the deadlift and may allow for more weight to be lifted. Some coaches swear by this exercise.   Like a lot of “new” things, there is resistance to this. In the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Lockie et al compared the conventional deadlift to the...

The Prone Kettlebell Row

The prone kettlebell row is an exercise that develops the muscles of the back, shoulders, arms, and core. It requires the athlete to develop balance and muscular endurance to perform. It also has the flexibility of being able to be programmed as a strength, hypertrophy, or conditioning exercise.   To perform this exercise you need a kettlebell and some open space. Get into a modified push-up position (what my military friends call the “front lean and rest” position), with the...

Controversial Thoughts on Baseball and Speed Training

first base baseball player

I’m not going to lie, I’m going to annoy some people with this post. This is a “food for thought” post. That means that I’m going to point some things out, but I’m not going to solve them with this post.   If you’ve been in the strength and conditioning field for more than a few months, you’ve heard of the principle of specificity. This principle says that you adapt to training according to the way in which you train....

Real World Agility and Basketball

Real-world agility for basketball   As I’ve said in other posts, to me agility is about applying strength and conditioning to the sport. So this is a lot bigger than a handful of movement skills that are lateral or backwards, this is going to incorporate a lot of sport skills. With that in mind, today’s post is going to be about agility training for basketball. In this post I’m going to cover some thoughts on offensive skills. We’ll look at...