Coaches often search for “advanced” techniques and new concepts to enhance their training programs. But before we introduce new ideas and variation, it is good to remember that, to be effective, exercise does not need to be overly complex.
To the contrary: Often, the best programs are those that rely in basic concepts, those that rely on basic movements (and simple ideas), are consistently applied and thoroughly coached.
For example, when trying to improve an athlete’s acceleration technique, it’s often better to do simple skips and starts, but focusing on perfect execution of every detail, than to progress in resistance running or more complex drills.
In the weight room, perfecting one’s technique will pay more dividends down the road, than rushing into variations and heavy training too soon. By building a solid foundation in basic exercises (e.g. the squat), athletes can later progress faster and safer into more advanced levels of training.
Simplicity is grounded in the deeper understanding of the “basics”. These are things we learned in the first couple of years as undergrads and form the foundation of our “craft”: Anatomy, Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics, Psychology, Statistics.
Forces and Biomechanics
In strength training, exercise selection should be based on understanding the adaptations from the imposed forces. Remember, that force is a vector quality and therefore has not only magnitude, but also direction, velocity and of course, a point of application.
We most often think only about the magnitude of the force (e.g. weight lifted) and tend to ignore direction and velocity. However, the direction of the force, will determine which muscles or muscles fibers of a muscle will be activated from a specific exercise.
Also, as the joint(s) move through their range of motion, the muscle’s length-tension relationship shifts, as does the moment arm. Therefore, in different angles of a movement the capability of a muscle to produce force changes. As we shall see, both these facts have important implications in exercise design and execution.
Understanding how to perform a basic biomechanical analysis of an exercise and most importantly, learning to think about exercise in terms of forces (and not if the are popular or look right) is fundamental to understanding training.
“Sport without Injury” Presentation
In the following short presentation, I talk about some of these fundamental issues and attempt to analyze:
- Basic concepts of biomechanics with real life examples.
- A way to think about exercise in terms of forces (and not on how they look!)
- What is real full range of motion training?
- The importance of joint angles and limb-body positioning in the outcome of an exercise
- Simple rules for proper exercise selection and execution
All feedback is welcome and please share if you like!
If you would like to have access to more presentations like this for the 3rd International Medicine and Sports Rehabilitation seminar please contact us a firstname.lastname@example.org (available in English).
To access all talk (Russian and English) please visit www.igrabeztravm.ru