Our society is built around the idea that more is better. This concept or idea has overflowed into training and training for sports.
Athletes, especially high school athletes want to do whatever it takes to play college sports and potentialy pro. If they can train twice a day, seven days a week, then they will. Is this really the best method for athletic development and success?
When it comes to strength training a lot of programs have four day a week workouts. The four days are broken into upper and lower body days to allow rest from the previous day. For example, doing a four day a week split- you are training your upper body 2 days a week and lower body 2 days a week which totals 104 training days for those muscle groups. However, if you did three Total Body workouts a week you would train all muscle groups 156 times a year; 52 more times than a four day split.
So with that being said you can train less days and get more accomplished?
Yes, just think about it when in athletics do we only use our upper body for a practice or game?
So why would we train that way? Training our body as a whole best prepares our body for the demands of our sports. It also allows us to develop better agility and coordination by using multiple muscle groups and joints at once. This also requires more mental focus and elicits a more favorable training response for improved performance.
Cutting back on your days of strength training not only allows more rest but also allows more time for skill practice/development. Help make the most of your athletes time and energy by maximizing their workouts.
For more information regarding training for sports and overall athletic development contact Jamie at, Jswagler@SwaglerStrength.com
One big piece of preventing ACL tears is to focus on both the ankle and hip joints, strange as that may seem. Knees basically go where the ankles and hips send them, so 'prehabilitation' measures focus on those areas.
For the ankle, it is crucial that young athletes limit the amount of side-to-side movement that occurs in that joint. Either during one leg standing postures or when running, the more their ankles roll the better the chance it will push their knees either in or out during faster-paced athletic events. Kids who tend to roll their ankles a lot may be much more susceptible to knee injuries when they get bigger, faster and stronger in their later years.
The hip joint needs to both be flexible and strong to function correctly, making it a little harder to train. For the flexibility side, stretches that specifically target the hips may be needed for those with limited ability to do a deep squat. Very young athletes (ages 11 and younger) are almost never in need of these, but once the teenage years approach and growth spurts really kick in, more stretching may be warranted.
Strengthening the hips can be tricky, because most athletes with weak hip muscles have learned to move in a way that shifts the stress to their stronger leg and back muscles. You'd think a basic exercise like a squat would work the hips very well, but not for those who are leg-muscle dominant already. Isolated strength for the hip muscles plus relearning other exercise patterns, such as squatting, must both be done to stabilize and protect the knees.
Just as important in this equation is for young athletes to learn how to move properly. Being able to efficiently absorb the force of gravity when landing on a jump can lower your ACL tear risk substantially, and is relatively easy to learn for most focused and dedicated athletes. In addition, controlling momentum during stopping and cutting movements will further decrease your risk. These skills tend to take much more repetition to improve on, but it certainly can be done.
Although it is true that the younger someone starts improving these skills the better chance it will lower their future injury risk, it is never too late to build the strength, flexibility and movement skill required to keep your knees stable and safe.
SOURCES: British Association of Sports Medicine,
Foam rolling is a poor mans massage. Foam rollers priced from $30- $100 are a great tool to simulate a soft tissue massage. Don't waste your money on those electric massager's and go get yourself a foam roller (PeformBetter.com)
How do they work? By using your own body weight you will 'roll-out' the targeted muscle or muscle groups based on how your body is positioned. Through certain 'rolling' techniques you will be surprised how effective this simple foam roller can be. Beware, some area's of the body will be more sensitive and tighter than others which will cause some discomfort. This temporary discomfort will prepare you muscles for your workout, relax muscle tightness, ease post workout soreness, increase mobility and flexibility, and help prevent injuries.
Come in to Swagler Strength & Performance to learn more about how to foam roll!
Some sort of regimented exercise program is universally regarded to have a positive effect of our health. However a large percentage of our population still remains sedentary. Women tend to be less physically active in terms of moderate to vigorous activity. These trends become more apparent when women become pregnant, about 60% of pregnant women stay sedentary during their pregnancy. Pregnant women can exercise in moderation with a educated plan of attack. Safety of the women and her child are always first.
Here is a list of all the positive side effects of resistance training during pregnancy:
- Improved weight management
- Reduced risk of gestational diabetes
- Decreased risk of preeclampsia
- Better psychological well-being
- Improved fetal development
- Easier labor
- Reduced lower back pain
Exercising during pregnancy has it benefits as listed above, however, take notice to any warning signs while exercising to terminate exercise during pregnancy like:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Chest pain
- Calf pain or swelling
- Preterm labor
- Decreased fetal movement
- Amniotic fluid leakage
- Muscle weakness
- Dyspnea before exertion
If any of these symptoms occur during exercise stop exercising and see your doctor for further guidance.
Considering all the positive effects of exercising during pregnancy with moderation and following a proper routine it is suggested to not start resistance training once your pregnant. If you've been training and would like to continue a modified "safe" version, that is highly encouraged. In the next post we will discuss some exercises that are safe for th mother and the child.
Speed and acceleration are two different things. Speed is your maximum speed, while acceleration is how fast you can reach top maximum speed. Most sports do not directly rely on speed alone other than track. Most sports rely on "change of direction speed" where an athlete must accelerate, decelerate, then accelerate again. An athlete must be able to start, stop, and start again while maintaining good balance and body control. Four great exercises to increase an athletes acceleration are listed below.
Wall Sprints-Teaches good leg drive and running mechanics. Focus on triple flexion and extension.
-1-3 sets of :10 with :60 seconds rest
Broad Jumps- Builds leg power & explosion from a still position.
-1-3 sets of 5-10 jumps with :60-:90 rest
Arm Swing Drills- Teaches proper arm swing to teach good running mechanics.
-1-3 sets of :10-:30 with :30 rest
Sled Push/Resistance Starts- Builds leg strength & power. Teaches good leg drive, focus on triple flexion and extension.
-3-6 sets of 10-20 yard sprints with :60-:90 rest
If you need more help contact Swagler Strength & Performance to achieve your performance goals.
_ Plan to Succeed
Everyone has heard the saying, "People don't prepare to fail, they fail to prepare". This can be applied to many different aspects of life. We are going to apply it to training for sports. With any type of competition the goal is to win. The mind set of preparing to win is an excellent model to follow. This is why Combine360's testing presents the most advanced athletic testing available to the public. Combine360 tests everything you need to be a good athlete such as:vision, balance, flexibility, movement patterns, coordination, balance, body control, agility, speed, strength, power, explosiveness, character, mind set, communication skills, knowledge of nutrition, and how well the athlete takes care of their body. You name it, Combine360 covers it.
With this testing available to the public through a Certified Combine360 Trainer all athletes can develop a baseline. By developing this baseline the athlete will be more aware of their strengths and weaknesses. With that knowledge athletes can seek a trainer or coach to help develop a Combine Training program that will fulfill the athletes needs in order to create a well balanced and improved result. You never know where you're going unless you know where you are. Get tested and make your plan and stick to the plan to achieve success on the court/field.
Coach Swagler at Swagler Swagler Strength & Performance recommends his athletes to re-test every 6 months to make sure they are getting better.
"Testing also gives the kids the kids something to train for in the off-season. The off-season can be very long for some athletes and re-testing gives them the incentive to train hard and perform better every test."
Don't fail to prepare, prepare to succeed!
Coach Swagler's Combine360 Profile
Jamie Swagler,Performance Coach at Swagler Strength & Performance.