Archive for “Muscles” Tag

Core Training For High School Athletes

 

Training A High School Athletes Core

 

By Wil Fleming
 

Not very long ago AR Bloomington was fortunate to get IYCA Board of Experts Member, Mike Robertson, to do an in-service for our entire team and he really knocked it out of the park.
 

Mike’s selected topic was “Core Training”, needless to say his presentation changed the way that we both think about and train an athlete’s core.
 

The IYCA training system is at the forefront of training high school athletes, so I thought that I’d share with you my takeaways from Mike’s presentation.
 

First off let’s try to define what the core is. Some people suggest that it is only the abdominals (and specifically talk about the rectus abdominus and external obliques), others begin to include the spinal erectors, and others go even further.
 

We will go with a description that includes deeper muscles (multifudus, transverse abdominus). By including these muscles we will be able to get to a better and deeper model of core training that is more applicable to high school athletes.
 

Athletes use their core for specific purposes, Mike termed the 2 uses for the core as the 2 R’s “Re-Distributing force and Re-Directing force”. This simple idea is on the cutting edge of performance training and shapes how we train the core.
 

Re-Distributing force is the idea that the core should take stress off of the lumbar spine and prevent pain. A strong core in this sense will focus on the ability to maintain and get in a neutral spine and pelvic position.
 

By doing this athletes will have greater core stability in their movements. When a football player has a glancing blow they will not go down as easily because their core keeps them stable; when a tennis player is in an extended 1 leg stance returning a ball they will be less likely to get injured. In this way Re-Distributing force keeps athletes healthy, and is the basic part of core training.
 

Re-Directing force is the next step in core training, by using core stability to re-direct force athletes swinging a baseball bat will be able to transmit power from the lower body and turn it into rotation at the shoulders.
 

A weak core in this sense is like a poor power line. All the power in the world can be generated at the power plant, but if it doesn’t get to your house, you don’t have any use for it.
 

To train each of these try the following movements with your high school athletes:

 

Planks….With a dowel on your back
 

Nearly everyone has tried the basic plank, but by making 1 simple change this becomes a tremendous exercise for training re-distributing force. Place a dowel rod along your back while in a plank and have 3 points of contact with it: the back of your head, your thoracic spine and your pelvis.
 

In the region of your lower back there should only be the space of your hand in between the dowel and your back. This position is the neutral spinal alignment we look for. Increasing time and decreasing stability (through removing a point of contact) are two easy ways to progress this exercise). Increasing the angle (i.e. elevating the upperbody by putting them on a bench) is a great way to regress the exercise.
 

MB Side Throws
 

Medicine balls throws are a big part of the AR Bloomington training system at the younger age and should remain so as athletes reach the 14+ group. There is no better way to train athletes to re-direct force than through the use of MB throws.
 

Ensure that the athletes are getting rotation through their hips, remaining stable through their lumbar spine and then again rotating in their thoracic spine. Changing the cadence (adding steps or recoiling in a rhythm) can add variation to the program and add a degree of specificity that High School Athletes really enjoy.
 

 

Top 3 Speed & Agility With Young Athletes Mistakes – Part 2

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Speed & Agility With Young Athletes

It is very standard for Coaches and Training Facilities to both expect and ‘sell’ parents on the fact that the young athletes in their care will become decidedly better in only 6 or 8 weeks’ worth of training.

 

And in fact, they’re correct in saying so.

 

But not because their training system is somehow superior or because they possess unique talents as a Coach, quite simply, it’s because human beings are adaptive machines that alter (become better) under the strain of applied demand (training).

 

This is especially true for young people in the age bracket of 6 – 18.  This time of life represents a literal coming of age with respect to maturation and athletic ability.  The Central Nervous System is learning to master the art of movement, bones are growing more dense and muscles are becoming naturally longer and more powerful.

 

You could, quite literally, ask a 15 year old soccer player to run stairs 3 times per week for 6 weeks and show improvements to both their speed and power output capacity.  That doesn’t mean running stairs is an efficient training style, it just means that the human body is designed to accommodate the stress it is placed under by getting faster and stronger.

 

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Kids Fitness: Why they Shouldn’t Lock Out Their Joints

 

 

Kids Fitness Physiology

by Dr. Kwame M. Brown

 

This article will by no means be an exhaustive discussion of the evidence, but I look forward to elaborating as we get responses. 

 

Installment #476 in things I keep hearing people say:

 

“You should lock out the joints at the end of a (bench press, squat, etc)”.  The joints need stress to get stronger.” 

 

By this logic I should do the following:

 

1. Beat my head against a wall to protect myself from brain injuries (After all I am putting my cranium under much needed stress, right?

 

2. Yell at kids all the time and berate them to improve their self esteem

 

I think we can agree that just because something needs to get stronger, this doesn’t mean that all stress on that thing is good! 

 

I could just simply say that this is wrong, but it’s better for all concerned (especially kids) if we address the real problem.  The real problem is a combination of a lack of understanding of how joints work combined with a pretty loose application of terminology. 

 

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