Archive for “Resistance” Tag

Resistance Bands and Olympic Lifting

 

Olympic Lifting and Resistance Bands


By Dave Schmitz

 

On September 10th, Wil Fleming wrote a very powerful article on “Olympic Lifting” that I found very thought provoking.

 

I agree with Wil that when you begin to discuss Olympic lifting with coaches, red flags immediately goes up about concerns for proper teaching, concerns for safety, and the stigma that Olympic lifting is only for the highly skilled or older athletes. For those coaches I understand their opinion and will not argue those points. Instead I will pose the question, is there a way to achieve some of the benefits of Olympic lifting without struggling with the teaching challenges or putting athletes at risk for injury.

 

As I read Wil’s article I continued to see a strong correlation between the benefits of resistance band training and Olympic lift training. Therefore as a follow up to Wil’s outstanding article, I wanted to touch on all 5 of Wil’s key points and relate them back to how resistance bands could assist young athletes and coaches with “improving” Olympic Lifting skill sets.

 

Please note that I am not suggesting you replicate Olympic lifting with bands but rather that you can get some of the neuromuscular benefits of Olympic Lifting by training with resistance bands.

I also feel that performing certain movement with resistance bands will carry over to helping young athletes become better Olympic Lifting candidates.

 

Type II Muscle Development

 

Elastic resistance is an ascending resistance that increases as the range of motion increases. As a result a young athlete quickly learns that in order to complete the movement using a resistance band they must accelerate out of their loaded posture. This mind set of acceleration is what not only recruits Type II muscle fibers, as Wil noted, but neuromuscular also teaches young athletes how to accelerate a force which is a key skill set necessary with Olympic Lifts.

 

Improved Coordination

 

Resistance band training incorporates the use of compound multi-joint movements like squat to press, hip hinge to high pull, and squat to row. All these compound movements require neuromuscular coordination to effectively complete the movement. Teaching young athletes these compound movements initially using resistance bands will provide them the neuromuscular training to learn how to coordinate movements similar to those required in Olympic Lifting.

 

 

Improved Power characteristics

 

Attaching a band around the hips to create a horizontal or vertical force vector will proprioceptively teach young athletes how to perform full hip and knee extension. Applying the hip attached set-up with bands while performing a dead-weight swing or board jump will reflexively teach the skill set of full hip extension and knee extension with an upper extremity arm swing. Using the band belt system will proprioceptively create a more vertical load while performing some of the band exercises shown in the previous video. In both cases it will allow young athletes to train the Olympic lifting skill of getting full hip extension and knee extension with an upper extremity driver.

 

View Band Belt System

 

Band Belt combo training

 

Improved Force Absorption

 

Absorbing the force of the bar when receiving it overhead or at the chest requires the core to reactively stabilize in order for the body to maintain its center of gravity over its base of support and avoid excessive lumbar extension which can often be the case with Olympic lifts. This same reactive stabilization is seen when doing any type of horizontal vector upper body band exercise with the individual facing away from the band attachment site. For instance a simple horizontal chest press or overhead tricep press requires the core to reactive stabilize to avoid excessive lumber extension during the initiation of the concentric phase of the movement. Using bands to teach young athletes how to dynamic engage their core while performing an explosive upper body exercise with bands will neuromuscular replicate the core reaction needed with Olympic lifting.

 

Success Elsewhere

 

Bands are rarely seen in a high school weight room being used to augment or help train movement skills. Instead they are used to simulate machine based movements or assist with body weight exercises like pull ups. One of the greatest benefits of resistance band training is its impact in proprioceptively teaching young athletes how to feel movement, train movement and ultimately store it into the body’s muscle memory bank. Once permanently embedded into the muscle memory, these movement skills will easily transfer into any other lift or activity that requires that particular movement skill like with Olympic lifting or more field specific foot agility training.

 

Foot Agility Training Video

 

Resistance Bands are by no means a replacement for Olympic Lifts. However, incorporating them into a strength and conditioning program will not only allow coaches more training options but will also teach young athletes a skill set that could bring them closer to incorporating many of the movement skills needed to successfully implementing Olympic Lifts into their training program.

 

Special Thank You needs to go out to Wil Fleming for creating the original article on Olympic Lifting. ~ Dave Schmitz

 

Using Weighted Sleds for Acceleration Work

 

Using Weighted Sleds With Young Athletes

 

young athlete acceleration training

 

By Jim Kielbaso

 

There are plenty of toys out there designed for speed development, but one of the most effective and easiest to use is a weighted sled. The research on resisted sprinting using these sleds is way behind the actual use of the device, but that’s usually how it goes. More recent information has shown that proper use of these sleds can have a positive effect on a young athletes ability to accelerate – one of the most important aspects of speed in many sports.

 

Most of the early research on resisted sprinting was focused on kinematics. They wanted to see if using a sled would change sprinting mechanics significantly enough to cause problems. Through experimentation of different loads, it turns out that using a relatively low weight (8-20% of bodyweight) will not have a significantly negative impact on mechanics.

 

The old research also focused on maximal velocity running instead of acceleration. The conclusions drawn from this research showed that resisted sprinting at maximal velocity (top speed) did not have a positive training effect and could actually have a slightly detrimental effect. Most of this was seen because the resistance caused longer ground contact times at top speed. The studies showed that maximal velocity training with no resistance may be better than using resistance.

 

A more recent study by Harrison and Bourke out of Limerick, Ireland showed that training with the weighted sled significantly improved scores on the time to 5 meters test. The study had subjects perform two resisted sprinting sessions per week for six weeks, using 13% of their bodyweight as the load. This load was based on an earlier study by Lockie et al that recommended using 12.6-13% of bodyweight. All subjects had experience with resisted sprinting and all were competitive rugby players. They weren’t using untrained individuals, making this much more useful information for sports performance coaches.

 

After warming up, subjects performed six 20-meter sprints with 4 minutes of rest between bouts. They did this twice a week for 6 weeks and had significantly positive results on their ability to accelerate.

 

This study, along with the experience of many coaches, provides evidence that use of a weighted sled may be beneficial for improving an athlete’s ability to accelerate. Of course, one of the keys to this kind of training is adequate coaching in the mechanics involved in accelerating. When training young athletes we often see them trying to accelerate without a proper forward lean or taking small, lower-power steps. The sled can be a helpful tool in the learning/coaching process because it can help an athlete get into a steeper forward lean without falling. It can also help an athlete alter his/her turnover slightly in favor of producing as much power as possible on the first 2-8 steps of a sprint.

 

An extremely important aspect of acceleration training with young athletes is the use of proper mechanics. Without quality instruction and the plenty of reps with optimal mechanics, the use of weighted sleds or any other type of acceleration training will be marginalized. A qualified youth coach who can analyze the young athletes movements and utilize individualized cues and feedback to improve mechanics is absolutely essential to this process. Lower-quality instruction will yield lower-quality results no matter what kind of apparatus, toy or method is used.

 

Knee drive is another important aspect of acceleration, and information from another study by Alcaraz et al suggests that a weighted sled may help athletes exaggerate knee drive. This could be a result of having to pull extra weight or the additional forward lean they observed. Either way, it’s a good thing and can benefit athletes who want to increase their acceleration performance.

 

Based on the scientific evidence and years of coaching experience, use of a weighted sled for improving acceleration performance is recommended as long as adequate coaching is available so mechanics are optimized during the process. I recommend focusing your efforts on the first 5-10 yards of a sprint since this is where the most benefit is seen.

 

We’re still kind of guessing in regards to the optimal load used, but you certainly want to keep it fairly low for most people. The research does not take into account the abilities of each of the young athletes, so a more powerful athlete may be able to use higher loads than 13% of bodyweight and still reap the benefits. Since the research suggests that resisted sprinting somehow strengthens the musculature at high velocities, using the heaviest weight possible without a negative effect on mechanics or joint rotational velocities seems to be the goal.

 

I also highly encourage the use of contrast training when using a sled. First, do a few reps without a sled, then perform 5-10 reps with the sled. Be sure to always perform 2-4 more reps without the sled to give the athlete the opportunity to “feel” the difference and allow the nervous system to adapt. This could simply be a trick, but it has been suggested that this kind of contrast training can actually get the nervous system to “up-regulate” with consistent training over time. When using resistance, the body is forced to fire harder on each step. Over time, using contrast training, the athlete’s nervous system may learn to fire harder all the time, not just directly after use of the weighted sled. This is still a theory, but the recent research suggests it may be exactly what is occurring.

 

Other professionals, including well-respected trainer Mike Boyle, use weighted sleds with much higher loads as more of a movement-specific strength training exercise. You can load the sled up and have athletes “march” forward, driving the knees upward, pushing backward as hard as possible and getting into a steep forward-lean position. There is no real scientific evidence that this works, but the principle of specificity would suggest that this could be a good way to add strength when the goal is to improve acceleration speed.

 

There seems to be enough evidence that a weighted sled works to warrant its use when training for improvements in acceleration speed.
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Because there is limited research available, we’re still searching for the optimal training volume and loads for young athletes, but some guidelines are being created through the literature and experience.

 

·2-3 days/week

 

·8-20% bodyweight as the load

 

·4-10 short-distance sprints (5-20 yards) per workout

 

·Relatively long rest periods between bouts (1 – 4 minutes)

 

·Utilize contrast training

 

·Possibly use the sled as a strength training exercise

 

Try using a weighted sled with your young athletes, and be sure to focus on mechanics.

 

While it is just one tool in a trainer’s toolbox, it does seem to have merit. As long as the athlete is giving high effort, using appropriate loads and practicing proper mechanics, you should enjoy the results of faster acceleration after a period of training.

 

Jim Kielbaso acceleration Training program for young athletes

 

Jim Kielbaso

 

Goal Setting for Young Athletes

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by Dave Gleason

 

Setting short, medium and long term goals is the foundation for any action plan.  Creating and attaining any goal is a process.

 

In the context of Goal Setting for young athletes, often a trainer or coach will direct the question of desired goal(s) by giving away the answers.  A typical pre-exercise questionnaire will ask the young athlete (and/or parent) to choose from a list of goals ranging from speed, agility, strength and flexibility to injury resistance and more confidence.

 

This is a terrific start but we need to reach beyond this for our young athletes.

 

Developing a specific culture in your facility or programs is instrumental in differentiating what you do from your competition.  Everything you do should point back toward the same ethos that your culture is built upon.  Goal setting is no exception.

 

For a long term athletic development program this is critical.  Can we honestly expect kids to stay in our programs for 2,3,5 or 10 years?

 

Setting up reward systems for young athletes will help them set and attain goals.  All too often children are pressured to succeed merely for the sake of success.

 

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Young Athletes and the Guarantee


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When it comes to young athletes I’m confident for a lot of reasons…

 

I’ve field-tested the ‘Complete Athlete Development’ system with about 20,000 young athletes worldwide over the past 12 years.

 

The system itself contains more than 100 photographs of exercises I use every day in developing the best and most dominant young athletes in their respective sports.

 

You also get a complete ‘done-for-you’ sample program chapter and template that allows you to create (literally) thousands of training programs through my unique ‘mix-n-match’ structure.

 

Access to Videos of what training sessions must contain with young athletes (more…)

IYCA: Thank You and A Gift From Me

IYCA Provides…

by Wil Fleming – www.beforcefit.com

 

It is the week of Thanksgiving and I wanted to share with you why I am thankful for the IYCA.

 

Certainly I am thankful for the knowledge I gain from attending live events and the continuing education certification courses but that only touches the surface.  The IYCA gives away, literally gives away, so much valuable information. All of it for free.   The IYCA treats its members like family.  I am thankful for being a part of an organization that wants me to be able to do what I love better than any other professional around.

 

As members of the IYCA we are all passionate about the training of our youth.  Some are passionate about reducing the prevalence of obesity in our youth, others want to help athletes succeed to their highest levels.  Wherever you fall on this spectrum there is one thing that will determine your success.

 

Your ability to reach as many young people as possible. 

 

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