A lot has changed since I played sports, only 10 years ago. Outside of football, most sports are played competitively to some degree year round. While this is great for young people to stay active and spend less time in front of screens, it changes the way they train since there is now limited offseason time. In some unfortunate cases, some aren’t even training at all. Actual gameplay and training are very different and should each be optimally implemented throughout the year. Unfortunately, I believe one is hammered into the ground while one is wildly neglected.
Mobility vs Flexibility and why strength not stretching may be what you need.
Human movement is more than meets the eye. A “tight” muscle or difficulty getting in to a position may require more (or less) than your traditional static stretch. In fitness, you may hear the terms mobility and flexibility used interchangeably, but there are significant differences between the two, and can help us understand what we need to improve. Before diving into the differences, let’s define two terms, which will help us understand this better.
How important is strength for baseball players? It is arguably the most important aspect of the game, particularly pitchers. Are enough baseball players utilizing their training time to improve this pivotal aspect of their game. It seems so much time can be spent on technique coaching, weighted balls, and other drills, that the motor that drives the pitch gets neglected. Here we will break down how work in the weight room impacts a throwing athlete and how we make that motor more powerful.
One of the most common and most popular accessory exercises on lower body days are leg extensions on a selectorized seated machine. You may have heard someone say they use the leg extension machine, but shy away from squats due to “bad Knees.” This however is a common misconception. When it comes to individuals with any type of knee discomfort, leg extension are perhaps one of the last exercises that should be considered.
Maximal strength can be defined as muscles producing the greatest amount of force possible. A test of maximal force will occur at a slow speed. Testing a one rep max would be the best example of this, however, even up to a 3 rep max could fall under maximal strength. It is commonly known that powerlifters, bodybuilders, and football players train this way as it seems to apply most directly to the sport. When it comes to sports such as cross country, soccer, marathon running, track, etc, the common idea is that lighter weight is ideal or even that strength training is unnecessary. I like to make the case that heavy compound lifts are an important part of any sport. Even if your “sport” is being a great mom.
The undisputed most common reason we have inconsistent or even nonexistent training routines is lack of time. American adults rarely have the time to set aside 90 minutes a day for 4-5 days per week. One major issue is that we’ve have been given the impression that this kind of program is necessary to make any kind of strength/mass gain/fat loss progress. There are several ways that we can condense a very effective program down as far as frequency(days per week) and duration(time per session) of training.
Agility is a term we hear around when speaking of sport's performance training. It is often affiliated with true athleticism outside of just brute strength in the weight room. Perhaps you've seen the video of an athlete moving through the agility ladder with his feet barley visible because they are moving so fast. This remains the common mainstream perceptions of agility training. Does this however, actually make athletes more agile on the field?