Developing Horizontal Power

It’s fairly simple to develop vertical power in the weight room with traditional Olympic lifts and traditional vertical based plyometric movements, but developing horizontal power becomes a little trickier, especially if you are like me and don’t love traditional broad jumps because of the shear forces of the landing, which scare me a little.

One of my favorite ways to train the movement pattern is with the band broad jump, which is a safe and effective way to develop horizontal power, allowing for a high concentric horizontal force but also decreasing the eccentric stresses and shear forces cause by the landing.

The other no brainer is just sprinting.

Or sprinting with a sled.

Or pushing a heavy sled.

And swinging heavy Kettlebells. Maybe even band resisted swings sometimes.

Decreasing Hamstring Stress

Our goal as Strength coaches should be to find the exercise that yields the highest possible result with the lowest possible cost. Because of the demands of the sport, the exercises we choose will change at different times of the year.

Perfect example; both men’s and women’s basketball have returned for their summer session. With that, their time on the court has gone from virtually nothing to very high, meaning they have gone from small amounts of eccentric hamstring stress on a daily basis to a much higher amount through running, cutting, decelerating, landing etc. during this timeframe we’ve made some small changes to our lower body strength training with the goal of eliminating as much eccentric hamstring stress as we can to keep them healthy and not overworked.

💥 Band Resisted Broad Jump for less eccentric stress when landing

💥 Glute Bridge Walkout which is very isometric in nature

💥 Concentric only trap bar Deadlift

💥 Sled March which is essentially a concentric only movement

💥 Isometric Hip Bridge

Alternating KB Dead Bug with Hip Flexion

One of the biggest dysfunctions we see when we bring athletes through the FMS is a poor score on the active straight leg raise, meaning someone is having trouble engaging their core while their legs are moving – something that is kind of important in sports. Here we have added a band around the bottom of the feet to add a hip flexor component to really get the core firing.

It’s also obvious that most athletes (anyone really) are living in an anterior pelvic tilt, which is why dead bug and their variations always seem to make their way into the program.

Monday Musings

Happy Monday! Here are a few thoughts bouncing around in my head after a week of reading, podcasts and other continuing ed. Enjoy!

  1. For sustainable success, athlete health is without a doubt the number one factor, whether we are talking about individual performance or team performance. Not sure how anyone can argue this, but they do. Keep athletes healthy so they can do what they do, and that’s play their sport. No team became better because they were missing players, just like no players became better by watching from the stands injured.
  2. People, most people, tend to be very complacent. They want to fit in. They don’t dare challenge the status quo. They don’t push themselves on a daily basis to get better and better. Coaches need to be different. Coaches can never stop growing. Coaches can never stop learning, never stop challenging the status quo and pushing to be better and better. Coaches are leaders, and that’s what being a leader is all about.
  3. Environment and culture is everything. An average strength and conditioning program implemented in an environment where people are always pushing to get better and grow will develop athletes that are better both emotionally and physically then a great strength program in a subpar environment. A great strength program combined with a great culture and environment is a game changer. Culture/environment > everything else.

Weekend Week in Review

Another week, another group of podcasts and articles to read and listen to that I have dived into this past week. There was some really good stuff put out there, especially podcasts.

For podcasts, there were a couple that were very good. One, the Physical Prep Podcast with Joe Kenn was great – Coach Kenn has been in the game for a long, long time and has a ton to offer. Secondly, the Culture Chats Podcast with Mike Boyle was also great – it was much more focused on being a quality/successful life then it was strength and conditioning.

For articles, Todd Hamer’s article on being fired as a strength coach was excellent. Highly recommended for anyone working at the college level.

Enjoy!

Podcasts

Culture Chat Podcast with Michael Boyle

Physical Prep with Joe Kenn

CVASP #139 with Loren Landow

School of Greatness with Jordan Peterson

Articles

6 Lessons of a Fired Strength Coach by Todd Hamer

12 Must Read Book Recommendations from Millionaire Entrepeneurs

 

The Difference Between Amateurs and Professionals

But Are You Doing Your Work? by Seth Godin

Tactile Feedback

Tip of the day – Add Some when and where you can for better results.

A lot of times we as coaches try to verbally cue and/or physically show athletes how to properly perform a movement, but sometimes you are better off shutting your mouth and letting an outside source like a disc and a tennis ball provide some feedback allowing the athlete learn by doing. The disc and tennis ball keep people honest – you either perform the movement correctly or you drop the tennis ball.

Well do this with various exercises; DB Plank Rows, Push Up Taps, Lateral and Bear Crawls, KB Drags, etc.

Random Thoughts – July Edition

Another month, another post with all the random thoughts that have been going through my head as I make my way through more books, listen to more podcasts, and spend time on the training floor training both athletes and general pop clients.

Enjoy!

  1. Other coaches preach about this all the time, but athletes and general population clients need more work, both power and strength, out of the sagittal plane. I still think we as a profession do way to much in the sagittal plane. There aren’t any field sports, court sports or anything other sports that won’t benefit from moving stronger and more powerful outside the sagittal plane.
  2. Piggybacking off the previous thought, athletes should not be card carrying members of team sagittal or team bilateral. Get in various planes of movement. Do it on one leg or use one arm. This is injury prevention 101. This is how to improve movement quality. This is how athletes should train. This stuff should be common sense but unfortunately I think its far from it.
  3. I think we need to add slightly more plane specific power work as the season approaches. For example, I hang clean and hang snatch our women’s hockey program for power work close to year round and perform various plyo’s to improve power – but I don’t think either of these activities improve sport specific power, the ability to shoot a puck or produce greater force during the hockey stride. Eric Cressey always talks about power being plane specific – that hang clean won’t do much when it comes to throwing a baseball harder. Movements like med ball side tosses, lateral bounds, band resisted lateral bound and other frontal plane power work is probably need to fully develop the athlete.
  4. Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens. – Jimi Hendrix
  5. If every athlete on a team is doing the same exact program, you are either doing them a disservice by giving everyone the same cookie-cutter program or you have the perfect program/are smarter then everyone else. And I highly doubt it’s the latter of the two. Progress some athletes. Regress some athletes. Lateralize some athletes. At the end of the day, just do what’s right for each athlete.
  6. It takes courage to admit you don’t have all the answers. It’s also what the best of the best do and why they continue to grow.
  7. I’ve been thinking a lot about Charlie Weingroff’s Lowest System Load thought process lately. I think it’s where strength training has gone with some of the best programs and coaches in the world and where more strength programs need to go in the future. I tend to think it is the way athletes should train year round, but if nothing else, it seems like an obvious way to train athletes in-season while keeping them fresh and not sore.
  8. Do less better. Intensity and quality always trump volume and quantity.
  9. The idea of micro-dosing really intrigues me. Having athlete come in more often but doing less seems like a no-brainer. Small but consistent doses probably lead to less fatigue, better training, and a more focused athlete during the shorter time period.
  10. Every single strength coach will do the same things or think the same way as you or the coaches you associate with in the field – and that’s okay. Respect the differences. Learn from everyone. Constantly adapt. It’s not a bad thing that other coaches may challenge your thought process or challenge the status quo.

Need More Shoulder Stability?

Working with overhead athletes (volleyball, swim, baseball etc.) or just looking for more shoulder and core stability movements? Hard pressed to find a movement that requires more then this one – tons of benefits here. And thanks to Eric Cressey and Cressey Sports Performance for showing the world this one a while back.

Monday Musings

Happy Monday! Here are a few thoughts bouncing around in my head after a week of reading, podcasts and other continuing ed. Enjoy!

  1. “Maintain the squat, train the deadlift.” Direct quote from Grey Cook. I buy into this thought process more and more every day. To stay healthy you need to maintain the ability to perform a bilateral squat correctly whether you are a weekend warrior or an athlete. If you have lost the ability to do so then something isn’t right and needs to be fixed, ASAP. But I don’t know if it is hugely important to chase huge squat numbers. Dan John has gone as far as saying that for both health and athletic performance, the Goblet Squat (lowest system load?) will do wonders. I tend to agree and have recently really started to enjoy 2KB Front Squat for myself, something I would implement with athletes more regularly if I had more kettlebells to work with. On the other hand, for real strength development, I think training the deadlift for strength is the answer as the hinge pattern seems to be more important for athletic development. At least that’s how I feel right now.
  2. Develop athleticism. Develop better movers. Develop strength. Develop well conditioned athletes. Do all that and its hard to believe that good things aren’t going to happen.
  3. Developing opinion training basketball athletes; not many freshman come in with much weight room training experience. That’s fine, as a coach I realize that I’ll have to adapt to them. First adaptation – KISS. Really simple things with really simple progressive overload. Working well thus far.

Weekend Week in Review

Another week, another group of podcasts and articles to read and listen to that I have dived into this past week. There was some really good stuff put out there, especially podcasts.

For podcasts, the roundtable with Amanda Kimball (UConn), Katie Fowler (South Carolina) and Jeremy Heffner (Baylor) on women’s basketball was great. Lots of little tidbits for other coaches that work with that population.

For articles, two really stood out. One, the ACL Reduction article by Kevin Carr is gold. So much great info that way too many coaches are overlooking. Second, it is an older article, but the Lowest System Load article by Charlie Weingroff is a classic in my eyes. Another article more coaches should read or re-read.

Enjoy!

Podcasts

Physical Prep Podcast with BJ Gaddour

CVASP #140 with Matthew Van Dyke

Women’s Basketball Roundtable with Amanda Kimball, Katie Fowler and Jeremy Heffner

South Carolina Women’s Baskebtall with Katie Fowler

Articles

Three Essentials to Any ACL Reduction Program by Kevin Carr

Is the Coppenhagen Adductor Exercise Smart for Groin Injuries? by Carl Valle

The Concept of Lowest System Load by Charlie Weingroff

7 Ways to Increase Training Density by Eric Cressey