I am sure by now if you have been reading my posts that you know how big I am on training the posterior chain. This means for both getting bigger and more explosive for athletics. Here are a few more reasons why:
- Athletes participating in sports requiring sprinting movements (such as basketball and baseball) will improve their stride length dramatically with the regular use of the reverse hyper.
- The hamstrings are fast twitch muscle group, meaning they should be trained with no more than 8 reps and they require plenty of rest.
- In the vertical jump the posterior chain contributes up to 80 percent of the power output.
- Sprinters achieve excellent hamstring development because the hamstrings are one of the primary muscle groups used in running. Sprinting also requires extreme force production and because the athlete leans forward during the start of a sprint, the fast-twitch fibers of the hamstring must contract with maximum intensity to propel the body forward.
These are just a few things that I picked up from reading some of Charles Poliquins book.
Today’s post is simple, I know that many of my students don’t know Michael Jordan except for what I tell them of him. I also know that many of my basketball players know Jordan, but weren’t old enough to watch him in his prime. His work ethic was second to none, he was cold blooded in the clutch, he pushed himself beyond where any normal man could push himself, the greatest:
My intern is getting ready to join the national guard and he will have to pass his physical training test to continue on. He was telling me that one of his tests is 2 miles or so in 13 minutes. I will be designing a program for him and when that program succeeds, I will have it available for all other military and law enforcement personnel. Anyway, he was saying that he is trying to work on his running form in hopes that this will improve his time. Wrong! Form is one of the last things that I will look at. Firs and foremost he has to get stronger in the posterior chain as I have said a thousand times, lol. He also said that his foot is striking the ground with too much force (refer back to last week when I spoke of force and running). To fix this, I told him to do what I have my elementary grade students do, run with your shoes off. It is instantly self-correcting. Your body learns how to contact the ground. There have actually been studies on this. This also works for landing when performing a vertical jump. Sounds simple and it is, but it is golden if applied on the right person. Give it a try.
I have been getting a ton of emails lately about leg training. I know I have posted on here about different leg training strategies so I figured I would make it more of a regular thread. No matter your exact goal, I would perform 2 days a week of lower body. One day would start off with a dynamic exercise such as box jumps, broad jumps, light box squats or lightened deadlifts for speed. I would focus more on the posterior chain and low back as these two areas are going to give you the most bang for your buck when it comes to physique development and performance. I would also make sure to include a single legged movement, as this transfers over much more the real world than double legged movements. So in summary: speed movement/explosive movement, posterior chain movement, low back-posterior chain movement and make sure one of the last two are single leg. I would not do more than 4 exercises per workout, especially if you are doing twice per week. On the second day, the first exercise would be a max effort exercise. Squat or deadlift variation. To be continued….
I will be writing an article about this topic in the near future, but I wanted to give you an overview of what exactly I mean when I am talking about the ‘walk away muscles’. Simply put, it means all the muscles on me that you can see when I walk away from you. Those muscles of the posterior are the key muscles for athletic performance and I would say they are key to your health. Often these muscles suffer because we can’t see them in the mirror, if you can’t see them, don’t train them, right? Wrong! If the calves, hamstrings, glutes, spinal erectors, lats/mid back and traps are trained properly, you will maximize your potential. These muscles are responsible for speed, jumping, change of direction and the majority of the power your body can produce. As I said, I will detail this much more in an upcoming article, but for now, keep it in mind when you are training.
I just wanted to give a quick update of how some of my basketball players have improved over the past few months. Yesterday, I re-tested the players at Rutgers Prep before the season begins. I recorded baseline numbers back in August. Two of my main players, that trained with me privately, improved the most. One of the players, gained 20 pounds of lean weight, increased his vertical 4.5″, yes 4.5″! That might not sound like a lot, but when a kid has been playing his whole life and puts 20 pounds on, 4.5″ is unheard of. I know that even though he put weight on, he is quicker, faster and more explosive. How? Because the vertical jump is a great indicator of all the above and if it increases, you can be sure that everything else increased as well too. Another player that I did not get to test prior, but has been training with me, now has the 3rd highest vertical on the team. He has gotten continually stronger, pulling 330lbs. for 5 five reps in the deadlift! Strong posterior chain=explosive jumping=improved performance. One of my other players, great 1/2″ all the way up to 6’8″. He managed to gain 1.5″ on his vertical. Doesn’t sound phenomenal, but listen to this, he gained 5 pounds, and according to biomechanics, would require more power just to maintain his old vertical and he ran cross country! Something that goes against everything I tried to accomplish in training with him, yet he still improved! Just thought I would give some updates of what real sports performance training can do. Peace!