Unilateral vs. Bilateral Training: Impact on Speed and Agility

The squat is a bilateral movement that stresses a variety of muscles from head to toe. When performed correctly and too sufficient depth, the squat is a great exercise for building strength and power. However, over recent years the squat has faced some heavy criticism from strength and conditioning coaches. Some have gone as far …

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Combine vertical and horizontal plyo’s for optimal performance

There are two major components to power: force and velocity. It’s been suggested that prior to a young athlete hitting his or her growth spurt, velocity of muscle contraction is primarily responsible for the expression of power. However, subsequent to an athlete’s growth spurt, increases in force production end up being the major factor in …

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Evaluating optimal rest intervals for power

One of the biggest challenges that strength and conditioning coaches face is how to best manage the limited time that they are given with their athletes. Therefore, coaches need to get the most bang for their buck in terms of exercise selection and programming. One way to be more economical with training time is to …

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Increased speed in QB with low back pain: Case Study review

One of the challenges with training athletes is working around injuries. Programming is relatively easy when athletes are healthy and able to perform most exercises. However, often athletes get injured, and this may prevent them from being able to perform important basic movements like squatting, deadlifting, and derivatives of each (e.g., jump squats, trap bar …

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Speed Analysis in Soccer Players

In previous posts, we discussed the importance of expressing strength rapidly for performance. Essentially, when two athletes are equal in size, stature and strength, the one who can express force faster for a given movement will generally be more successful on the playing field. This demonstrates the importance of specific analyses of movements (i.e., bar …

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Velocity-based training and performance markers

Some will argue that there is no substitute for heavy iron when it comes to packing on strength and size. Traditionally I’d agree with that sentiment. However, the body of literature regarding lower load, high velocity training for increasing athletic performance is quite convincing. Some of the drawbacks of maximal strength training pertain to the …

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Trap bar jumps for power development

The formula for power is: Power = Work/Time. The key element in this formula as it pertains to sport performance is the “time” component. How fast you are able to complete a given task is generally the determining factor in successful performance outcomes. Therefore, developing power in the weight room that transfers over to athletic …

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Cluster sets for speed and power

All else being equal between two athletes, the one who can express their strength faster will dominate in most sport settings. This is because there is a time component in nearly all situations where half a second too late can have serious consequences; an interception, a blocked pass, etc. Training should therefore be structured to …

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Warm-up with Depth Jumps to Increase Sprint Speed

Some practical applications of post-activation potentiation for improving strength and power were discussed in last week’s post. Today’s post will piggy-back off of last week to discuss some interesting new research pertaining to post-activation potentiation and sprinting speed. There is ample research that demonstrates the effectiveness of heavy resistance training prior to a sprint to …

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Predictors of Athletic Performance

Performance testing our athletes serves multiple purposes: 1. Informs us of current fitness/performance level (i.e., baseline) 2. Informs us of progress made from training which also enables evaluation of program effectiveness. 3. Provides bench marks for goal setting, progress and thresholds for player selection. 4. Allows coaches to create player profiles to drive program design …

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