Friday, May 4, 2007

Sport-Specific Training

Alright I have to get this off my chest. If a coach, athlete, anybody for that matter tells you they are following a sport-specific program, it's bullshit.

Do you wanna know what sport-specific training is? Pick-up a baseball bat and practice your swing if you are a baseball player. Shoot free-throws if you are a basketball player. Practice your golf swing.

I don't train athletes with sport-specific programs. There is no such thing. The only thing sport-specific is playing the sport itself. If you really need to have a sport-specific program you can go kick a weighted soccer ball; that should get that leg power up to drive the ball through the net;...shit. Man... I cannot tell you how old it gets hearing "so-called" trainers and coaches say they use sport-specific programs.

I train athletes to be better athletes. We need to stop thinking every athlete, from each different sport, needs a specific programs. We need to develop the qualities that help athletes excel at their sports; strength, speed, power, agility, and mobility to name a few. Most of the athletes I train follow very similar plans geared towards developing athleticism with the exception of specific needs or issues that need to be address such as excessive anterior or posterior pelvic tilt, kyphotic posture, mobility issues at the ankles, hips or thoracic spine/shoulder complex, or lack of stability in the torso. All my athletes are going to do some form of squatting, deadlifting, pushing, pulling, and lunging with minor changes based on any injuries or imbalances that need to be corrected. They need to strengthen and develop their bodies to prepare them to for the demands of their sport. My main goal is to develop an injury resistant body with a secondary goal of improving performance. A healthy athlete will always out perform an injured athlete. And it all comes back to making an athlete stable yet mobile, while getting them crazy strong.

There are no sport-specific programs... at least there shouldn't be.

Have a great weekend.


Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Muscle actions

Here are a few "different" actions of some muscles that aren't taught in anatomy class.

Latissimus Dorsi: lateral flexion of the torso, extension of the back. Sprint speed. More on this later.

Hamstrings: extension of the knee when the foot is fixed or planted.

Gastrocnemius: knee flexion, knee extension when the foot is fixed or planted.

Pectoralis major: inspiration

External obliques: posterior tilt of the pelvis.

Biceps brachii: shoulder flexion.

Rectus abdominus: resist rotation of the torso.

Adductor magnus: hip extension (3rd most powerful hip extensor), posterior fibers laterally rotate the femur.

TFL and Gluteus maximus: knee stability through the pull of the illiotibial band. Flexion pull when the knee is flexed and extension pull when the knee is extended.

Gluteus medius: anterior fibers flex hip and medially rotate the femur; posterior fibers extend the hip and laterally rotate the femur; both abduct the hip.

Gluteus maximus: hip extension, hip abduction (superior fibers), hip adduction (inferior fibers), lateral rotation of the femur, stability of the knee through the IT band, posterior tilt of the pelvis (bilaterally), rotation of the pelvis (unilaterally), stability of the low back.
Geez, what an amazing muscle! Learn to train it. Train your ass off. (pun intended)