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ASP Nutrition Tips: Hydration and Tea

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With all of the fads, trends, and options revolving around nutrition these days it’s easy to overlook the simple things that you should be getting in your daily nutritional intake. WATER.

Water splashing into glass

 

Dehydration is a something that affects a majority of the population. We recommend to most of our athletes that they ingest 75% to 100%+ of their body weight in ounces of water depending on their daily physical expenditure and the diet that they subscribe. For example – a 200lb client will drink approximately 200oz of water per day.

 

The benefit of such consumption of water is that it leaves little room for cravings of “quick energy” options, like Gatorade, soda, or excessive amounts of juice, high calorie/high sugar foods and so on…You will also reap the benefits of:

 

  1. Quicker recovery between exercise sessions

    • A simple solution to maintain consistency in exercise and sport.

  2. Lowers blood pressure

    • It would be a shame to try doing an intense workout with syrup in your veins and arteries.

  3. Decreases histamine levels

    • Allowing for optimal oxygen consumption during exercise to enhance performance

  4. Healthy regenerated skin and connective/muscle tissue

    • Helps to avoid injury and aid in repair

  5. Lowers cholesterol

    • Higher levels will contribute to high blood pressure and lower levels of performance

  6. Aids in digestion

    • Nothing is worse than working out with a full intestine!

  7. Flushes out toxins we get from food and exercise

    • Allows the kidneys and bladder optimal environments

  8. Contributes to joint, and spinal disk longevity

    • Essential with the stresses endured over time in life, exercise, and sport

  9. Helps control weight by avoiding unnecessary spikes in hunger

    • Water is an essential element that allows for basic cellular function.

  10. Helps us stay alert and energized throughout the day

    • Feel fatigued? Grab a glass of water first.

 

 

Ok, so you are efficient with your water intake. That’s great to hear. At that point it’s time to up the ante. To attain further benefits from your hydration efforts why not infuse your water with healthy natural properties to expel free radicals, enhance digestion and immunity, and promote blood quality. TEA.

tea-time

Here are a few for your considerations:

 

  1. Peppermint

  • Antioxidants, controls, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol, local analgesic, aids in digestion. Rich in vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E, and vitamin B.

  1. Dandelion

  • Antioxidants, vitamin A, skin health, good vision, carotene, potassium, vitamin E, C and K, and brain health. Inulin for pebiotic, reduction of blood sugar levels, body-weight, and cholesterol.

  1. Nettle

  • Reduces blood pressure and inflammation, minimizes skin problems and fights common cold. Treat sallergy symptoms, particularly hayfever which is the most common allergy problem. It has shown promise in treating Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, asthma, bladder infections, bronchitis, bursitis, gingivitis, gout, hives, kidney stones, laryngitis, multiple sclerosis, PMS, prostate enlargement, sciatica, and tendinitis

  1. Licorice

  • Treats the common cold, and many other illnesses and liver disease. It can be used as a demulcent. Also used for cough, asthma, and breathing problems.

  1. Burdock Root

  • Antioxidant, blood purification, insulin, laxative properties for digestion, and inulin for prebiotic, reduction of blood sugar levels, body-weight, and cholesterol. Vitamin B, E and C. E and C fight infection, cancer and help brain health. Contains minerals such as iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc, calcium, selenium, and phosphorous

  1. Ginger

  • Anti-inflammatory, carminative, anti-microbial, intestinal motility, effective against E. Coli, vitamin B, potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, helps control heart rate and blood pressure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Success on the Court!

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Congrats, boys, on a tremendous win! Physically and mentally you outperformed an elite opponent.

 

Paris led all scorers with 21 points and a major spark in the second half while Ivan hit the game winner with 0.8 to play. See article below and gain some insight into the leading scorers training ingredients.

 

 

#repostmonday @chefboyparis #athlete #basketball #oakland #soldiers #dreamvision #ASPEED #ASPnation

A video posted by AccelerateSP (@acceleratesp) on

 

In this resistance based power protocol we take between 40% and 60% of Paris’s max resisted sprint capability and apply for short/moderate bouts for long durations. The key is that the athlete can maintain that pace throughout the entire session with the HR in the appropriate ranges during the work/rest portions of the session. In this case Paris was running with 25lbs of resistance at a speed of 9+mph for bouts of 10 seconds with 50 seconds of rest. His hard work and perseverance has served him well!

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Drew “probably felt a little too good”

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Always good to see our friends doing well! Looking forward to the season! Scroll through the article below and gain some insight into a small piece of his off-season training at ASP.

 

 

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Drew setting up for some core elasticity work with our Split Stance Side High Throw

 

START
– Split stance with feet hip width apart side facing wall
– Head, shoulders, hips, feet all facing perpendicular to rebound wall.
– Shift arms laterally toward outside shoulder
– Outside arm level with shoulders

EXECUTE
– Lead hand is supporting underneath Medball and throw hand is behind Medball.
– Drive with full extension of throwing arm, maintaining elbow at shoulder height.
– Hips stay stable and side facing while rotation comes thoracically
– Repeat for prescribed repetitions.

FOCUS
– Rotate thoracically to throw Medball
– Drive off outside leg
– Maintain throwing elbow level with shoulders
– Thoracic rotation
– Hips and shoulders remain side facing rebound wall at end of motion

GOAL
– Upper body elasticity
– Upper body power

 

Keep up the good work!

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Repeat Sprint Ability

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Repeated-sprint ability (RSA) is the ability to perform repeated sprints with brief recovery intervals (Haugen et al., 2014) and is prevalent in most sports including basketball, football, and soccer.

 

Improving an athlete’s RSA requires an understanding of energy systems and how to stress those energy systems in a way that optimizes performance in sport.

 

In today’s blog, we will discuss:

 

(1) the history of studying energy system contribution

 

(2) some common misconceptions

 

(3) what we do here at Accelerate to develop RSA in our athletes.

 

Energy System Contribution: History of Study

 

During the 1960s and 1970s researchers began studying energy system contribution and interaction during maximal intensity bouts of exercise. Eventually, they came up with an energy system continuum in which one system was dominant within a particular range of time (see figure 1). Also, the power and capacity of each system was calculated so that the system likely to be dominating during a particular activity was given (see figure 2).

 

energy systems

Figure 1

energy systems by sport

Figure 2

 

 

 

Common Misconceptions

 

While insightful at the time, literal interpretation of energy system contribution has led to the misconception that they operate in an orderly and sequential fashion. Although certain energy systems are more suited to a particular exercise, this does not imply exclusivity (Gastin, 1993).

 

Research suggests that ATP (energy) is derived from each of the energy producing pathways during all exercise activities.

 

Because the aerobic energy system is slow to activate during exercise, it was thought that its contribution to sprinting was insignificant and that only the ATP-PCr and fast glycolysis energy systems were relevant. On the contrary, the aerobic energy system has been shown to play a role in even the shortest sprints and that all 3 energy systems make a contribution (Gastin et al, 1995).

 

The processes involved in supplying the working muscles during exercise are distinct yet closely integrated during maximal exercise. Although certain energy systems are indeed best suited for particular sports and exercises in terms of power output and duration, this does not promote exclusivity.

 

Energy System Contribution in a Single Sprint

 

A single, max effort sprint, is mostly (but not exclusively) influenced by the more powerful anaerobic energy pathways. The longer the duration of the sprint, there will be a greater utilization of the aerobic energy system. For example, it has been found that there is between a 28-40% contribution from the aerobic energy system for a sprint lasting 30 seconds. The aerobic energy system contribution is also considerable during shorter bouts of exercise, and has been reported to be around 30% during sprints over 12-22 seconds (Spencer et al., 2005).

 

It has been suggested that elite sprinters utilize PCr degradation and deplete their stores more than slower sprinters (Hirvonen et al., 1987). However, due to ATP production via glycolysis and the oxidative systems, PCr stores are not totally depleted within 5-10 seconds of sprinting. By studying blood lactate concentrations, literature suggests that anaerobic glycolysis will be activated during 2- to 3-second sprints, which are commonly performed during field-based team sports (Spencer et al., 2005). The idea that glycolysis during maximal exercise activates only after the PCr stores are depleted is no longer supported.

 

Energy System Contribution in Repeated Sprints

 

Energy system contribution in repeated sprints is slightly different than that of a single sprint. While the first sprint’s energy system contribution is described above, the following sprints’ energy contribution will be influenced by the number of bouts, duration of the exercise, and recovery between sets.

 

As the number of repeated sprints increases and as the duration of exercise is prolonged, there is a greater accumulation of blood lactate compared to a single sprint despite increased reliance on aerobic metabolism, and a reduced rate of glycolysis which will contribute to fatigue and diminished speed (Spencer et al., 2005).

 

A by-product of anaerobic glycolysis is lactic acid and a decrease of intracellular pH, which has been linked as a cause of muscular fatigue (Fox, 2008). Although extreme muscle lactate concentrations are evident after repeated sprint bouts of long duration, high concentrations are still apparent following shorter sprints as well.

 

As previously mentioned, PCr degradation is imperative to the first 5 seconds of a powerful sprint. In repeated sprints, the resynthesis of PCr will depend on the duration of recovery. It takes between 3 to 7 minutes in order for complete resynthesis of PCr (Fox, 2008). If recovery time is insufficient, power output will be decreased. As power is decreased, there is more aerobic contribution.

 

Developing RSA in our athletes: An ASP Case Study

 

 

Speed and speed endurance are essential physical characteristics for successful match-play in soccer (Bangsbo et al., 2007; Amonette et al., 2014). Elite soccer players have 150 to 250 brief intense actions during a game, indicating that the rates of PC utilization and glycolysis are frequently high during a game (Bangsbo et al., 2007). In order to sustain high the levels of activity an efficient reliance on oxidative pathways is required.

 

Our case study athlete is Marianna, a soccer player. In Marianna’s Woodway energy system development protocol, she is performing a series of 10 second sprints between 5-6 mph with a 30 second rest interval. The first repetition will be completed with 5 lbs. of resistance with each subsequent repetition increasing by 5 lbs. The set will be completed when the athlete can no longer achieve the target speed at a given resistance. The athlete will be given a 2 minute break and then will begin the next set back at 5lbs. resistance. The athlete’s goal is to complete up to 6 sets without a decline in power from set to set.

 

This force progression power protocol allows us to train several energy systems at once with the beginning of each set occurring well below maximal exertion, using Phosphocreatine and ATP stores. Each sprint repetition builds closer and closer to maximal exertion with the increase in resistance, thus tapping into the anaerobic glycolysis system. As the athlete completes the fifth and sixth sets, it is possible that they might be using some energy from the aerobic system as well due to the total duration of the workout (Spencer, 2005).

 

At ASP, we identify the physiological needs of the athlete in order to improve athletic performance. Although certain sports rely more heavily on a particular energy system, it is important to train multiple energy systems because most team sports require an athlete to perform repetitive bouts of low, medium, and high intensity sprinting with varying amounts of time, distance, rest, and recovery. By creating sound protocols and training methodologies, ASP stresses all of the athlete’s energy systems in a way that is most beneficial to each individual athlete.

 

Reference

 

Amonett, W., Brown, D., Dupler, T., Xu, J., Tufano, J., & Witt, J. Physical determinants of interval sprint times in youth soccer players. Journal of Human Kinetics. 2014; 40: 113-120.

 

Bangsbo, J., Iaia, F., & Krustrup, P. Metabolic response and fatigue in soccer. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. 2007; 2:111-127.

 

Hirvonen J, Rehunen S, Rusk H. Breakdown of high-energy phosphate compounds and lactate accumulation during short supra-maximal exercise. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 1987; 56:253-9

 

Spencer M., Bishop, D., Dawson, B. & Goodman, C. Physiological and metabolic responses of repeated-sprint activities specific to field-based team sports. Journal of Sports Medicine. 2005; 35 (12) 1025-1044.

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Low Back Pain Introduction (Part 1 of 3)

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At ASP we have clients who take part or compete in the super-G, extreme skiing, surfing, gymnastics, rugby and football among others.  What all of these sports have in common are highly compressive forces via impact or ground reaction, associated with forward flexion, rotation, and/or extension.

 

Sources of Injury

 

In the USA, low back pain is the 2nd most frequent reason for physician visits, the 5th ranking cause of hospital admissions, and 3rd most common cause of surgical procedures (Bakhtiary, 2005).  The majority of low back injuries are not caused by a single event, but rather a culminating injury event resulting from a history of excessive spinal loading (Liebenson, 2007).  Therefore, to understand the source of injury it is important to consider athletic activities as well as activities of daily life that repeatedly apply excessive stress to the spine.

 

Colored in blue are the intervertebral disks which act as shock absorbers between vertebra and colored in pink are ligamentous structures that help provide stability to the spinal column.

 

Regarding injury to the lumbar spine, there are three common mechanisms to consider:

-Compression or axial loading to the spine

-Shear resulting from torque or rotation in a horizontal plane

-Tensile stress produced from excessive motion on the spine

 

Structures & Symptoms

The first picture above displays a top view of a healthy intervertebral disk.  The annulus fibrosus is the sturdier outer portion of the disc, which houses the central aspect called the nucleus pulposus, a gelatinous mass in the center of the disc. Repeated flexion of the lumbar spine creates compression in the anterior region of the disk, as well as stretching or tension posteriorly.  With aging, the disks lose water content and become less flexible and also thinner.  The posterior aspect of the annulus fibrosus is the thinnest portion and if there has been any degeneration of that structure the nucleus pulposus may herniate and compress the spinal cord or the nerve roots (Moore and Dalley, 2005).  This is depicted in the second image with the nucleus pulposus migrating posteriorly through a weakened section in the annulus fibrosus and impinging on the spinal nerve.

 

Depending on the level of nerve-root irritation, symptoms such as pain, numbness, or weakness can radiate down into the posterior thigh, calf, heel, and foot (Kolar, 2005). L5-S1 and L4-L5 are the levels most commonly involved in disk herniation due to the fact that 75% of flexion occurs at L5-S1 and 15-70% at L4-L5 (Prentice, 2004).  Disk herniation at these levels can affect various lumbosacral nerves: superior and inferior gluteal (buttocks), sciatic (thigh), common fibular (foot), tibial nerve (foot) (Kolar, 2005).  In addition, a degenerative disk can cause surrounding musculature to tighten in order to support the low back.  These shortened muscles can also cause nerve compression of the lumbosacral plexus. For example, the piriformis muscle helps to stabilize the hip and when overly tight can compress on the sciatic nerve stemming from L4-S3.

 

A deep understanding of the associated anatomy is very important for proper preventative exercise prescription as well as diagnosis and rehabilitation.  Next week, we will discuss a few things we do at ASP to avoid or rehab the associated structures.

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Low Back Pain Introduction (Part 2 of 3)

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Sports such as football and skiing involve high compressive forces via collision impact or ground reaction.  This excessive loading of the spine under high velocity combined with a forward bent posture can cause vertebral endplate lesions or anterior intravertebral disk herniation (Rachbauer, 2001).  Forward bending greatly increases intradiskal pressure, causing fracture of the normal vertebral endplate.  In baseball and golf, athletes perform forward bending and rotation while swinging, which applies shear stresses to the spine that can lead to annular tears of the intervertebral disks.  In gymnastics and dance, vigorous lumbar flexion and extension movements produce tensile stresses on the spine, which can strain the surrounding lumbodorsal fascia, muscles, or ligaments.  In addition, repetitive hyperextension of the low back, which is common in numerous sports (football, gymnastics, diving, figure skating) can lead to the development of spondylolysis – stress fractures of the pars interarticularis (Jagadish, 2013).  With the various movements (flexion, extension, rotation) involved in sports combined with external loading, the lumbar spine can be damaged due to a combination of compression, shear, and tensile stresses.  It is important to take all of this into account when providing exercise prescription for each athlete’s respective sport.

 

ASP athlete and founder, Jack Cooney, understands, implements and practices first hand, the programming necessary, across all sports, to strengthen the posterior chain and involved structures that support the spine.  

 

Interestingly, a study on surfers’ low back pain, reported CT scans that showed no fractures or disk herniation and MRI studies that showed no spinal cord compression, acute disk changes, or ligamentous injury (Chang et al., 2012). This non-traumatic spinal cord injury is known as surfer’s myelopathy. The hypothesis is that the low back pain is associated with lumbar hyperextension and ischemia (lack of blood flow) resulting in tissue death of the great anterior radicular artery which provides the blood supply to the lumbar and sacral cord.  Lying prone on a surfboard in a hyperextended position with simultaneous paddling and maneuvering requires well-developed back musculature (Shuster, 2011).  Therefore, novice surfers may exert considerable forces on the spine if insufficiently trained muscles cannot protect the back.

 

At ASP we make sure that every one of our athletes is fully aware of their required posture for each exercise and the implications on the spine through positioning, breathe, and their individual bony structure.

 

Similarly as in sport, daily life, prolonged sitting and slouched posture can increase compressive forces on the lumbar spine exposing it to injury.  Sitting has been shown to increase intradisk pressure by approximately 40% when compared to standing (Howell, 2012).  Slouching results in backward rotation of the sacrum, causing dorsal widening of the L5-S1 disk and strain on the iliolumbar ligaments.  Both activities produce extended loading of the spine, decreasing disk hydration and separation between vertebra.

 

Lastly, certain body types are predisposed to injury such as flat back or scoliosis (congenital or functional), where the lumbar spine is in an unfavorable postural position.  The lumbar lordosis curve is necessary to evenly distribute the center of body weight load.  Studies have shown correlation between decreased lumbar lordosis and increased spinal nerve compression.  Using thermographic imaging, reports show less lordosis resulting in higher temperatures in the lumbar region, as nerve muscle stimulation was transmitted to the skin (Gong, 2011).  Also, sitting with a straightened back shows increased intradisk pressure by approximately 10% (Howell, 2012).

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Overcoming Injury: The Mental Edge

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Many athletes experience injury during the course of their careers.

 

And recent research by Ardern, C., Taylor, N., Feller, J., & Webster, K. (2012) suggests that negative behavioral changes can occur from anxiety of re-injury during and post-recovery, including:

 

-impinged performance manifesting as hesitation
-reduced maximal effort
-a wariness in the athlete of both unfamiliar and familiar movement patterns similar to that from which the injury occurred.

 

This cycle of events, in some cases, can actually increase the risk of re-injury and lead to a vicious cycle of physical and mental uncertainty regarding performance.

 

Accelerate Sports Performance’s extensive physical and mental assessment and programming takes into consideration not only the physical demands of rehabilitation, but also the mental rigors of returning to competition, recreational exercise, and functional daily activity. ASP’s clients, once recovered, often perform more efficiently than prior to their injury.

 

In the next blog post, we’ll take a data-driven look at the progress of Kayla Coloyan, a high school basketball point guard, who is 6 months post-op from ACL surgery and looking to return to play stronger than before.

 

ASP_WebPhotos-29

 

Full Citation

 

Ardern, C., Taylor, N., Feller, J., & Webster, K. (2012). Fear of re-injury in people who have returned to sport following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 15 (6), 488-495.

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Post Activation Potentiation (PAP) For Athletic Power

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BROAD JUMP

 

Stack has increased his broad jump measuring from an 8’10” in week 1 to 9’2” in week 2 to 9”6 in week 5 to 9’11” in week 7 and in week 9 hit 10’6.5” While putting on 7lbs of lean muscle. Not bad for the NFL, except he’s still in high school.

DEAD HANG

 

David Stack is performing a dead hang, constituting an important part of this complex pair which involves combining high load strength movements with biomechanically similar plyometric/ballistic movements as a means of taking advantage of Post Activation Potentiation (PAP), a phenomenon that refers to enhancement of muscle function as a result of its contractile history for short term and long term muscle function. This method of exercise application and development of athletic power has proven to be far more effective to either resistance training or plyometric training alone.

Stack harnesses the enhanced muscular and neuromuscular functional adaptations associated with PAP.

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THE BASICS OF THE STRETCH-SHORTENING CYCLE AND INCREASING POWER PRODUCTION IN ATHLETES

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Vertical

The stretch-shortening cycle is incredibly important to all athletes, occurring when a muscle or muscle group is rapidly stretched. In powerful movements and plyometric exercise, muscles go through three different phases of the stretch-shortening cycle: (1) eccentric, (2) ammortization, and (3) concentric.

 

The faster an athlete can switch from an eccentric load to a concentric contraction in their training, the more powerful and explosive the athlete ultimately will be during their competition.

 

Let’s dive deeper into understanding the science behind this important cycle.

 

ECCENTRIC PHASE

 

In a jump squat with counter movement, the eccentric phase occurs as the athlete lowers their hips back into a squatting position.  During that lowering motion, the body is stretching and preloading the agonist muscle groups, (glutes, hamstrings, calves) storing elastic energy to be used on a subsequent concentric muscle action, and stimulating muscle spindles.

 

The stronger we become in the eccentric loading phase, the more proficient those muscle spindles become at muscle fiber recruitment for the explosive concentric phase.

 

This is also why we focus so much on the loading technique at ASP.  If an athlete is using poor technique in the loading phase of the Jump Squat, then the wrong muscle groups are being stretched or the primary movers are not working as efficiently which will lead to a sub-optimal concentric contraction and jump, dissipated stored muscle energy, and the increased possibility of  injury.  One of the many ways that we train this eccentric phase is by implementing various lower body eccentric stability and relaxation exercises during the lower body elasticity portion of the workout.

 

By improving the loading technique and capability, we look to improve power from the following concentric action. During the stretch that occurs during the eccentric phase, muscle spindles fibers send feedback to the central nervous system telling the muscles to contract as a protective response to prevent tissue damage from further stretching. This means due to the reflexive response of the agonist muscles, the greater the stretch rate=the greater the muscle recruitment  (Kramer et.al., 2012)(Baechle et.al., 2000).

 

AMMORTIZATION PHASE

 

This is the transition phase between the eccentric muscle action and the concentric muscle action.  The ammortization phase is when motor neurons transmit to the agonist muscles telling them to contract.  This may be the most crucial phase in power production.  The quicker an athlete can switch from an eccentric contraction to a concentric contraction, the more power they will be able to produce.

 

If it takes too long for the muscle or muscle groups to transfer the eccentric force to a concentric force, the energy stored will dissipate and be lost.

 

tumblr_n1w8qvsouh1rkdacao2_400

 

CONCENTRIC PHASE

 

The final phase of the stretch-shortening cycle is the concentric phase, where the agonist muscles use the stretch reflex and stored elastic energy to contract and produce power.  This is often the simplest phase and the easiest to train.  Staying with the squat jump with counter movement example from earlier, this is where the agonist muscles that were stretched during the eccentric loading phase fire to apply force into the ground and ascend into a jump.

 

CONCLUSION

 

We always take a very controlled approach to training the stretch-shortening cycle through in every ASP athlete because:

 

(a) it is significant in power production

 

(b) it’s also very easy to load into an incorrect and/or dangerous loading pattern if the force or load is too great or improperly variable.

 

At the beginning of every workout we include the lower body elasticity section, starting with very basic loading positions, in order to not only gain eccentric strength but to remind our athletes physically and neurologically the correct position to be in.  This will aid in kinesthetic awareness, strength, and increased comfort when they progress to more dynamic movements in their training and in their athletic competition.

 

1.) Kraemer, W., Looney, D. Underlying Mechanisms and physiology of Muscle Power. Strength and Conditioning Journal. 2012, 34, 6, 13-19.
2.) Baechle, T., Earle, R. 2000. Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. 2nd edition. National Strength and Conditioning Association. 428-430 p.

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