Monday, February 25, 2013

Basic principle of strength conditioning. By Omar Patel, Strength and conditioning coach

Basic Principles of Strength and Conditioning
Researched and composed by Omar Patel

What a good strength and conditioning program can do for you?
  • Increased Strength
  • Improved Speed (linear and lateral)
  • Improved Power
  • Improved Flexibility
  • Improved Anaerobic Capacity
  • Improved Body Composition
  • Improved Confidence


Basic principle of strength conditioning

Principle One: Develop Joint Flexibility
Most strength training exercises use the entire range of motion of major joints, especially the knees, ankles, and hips. Good joint flexibility prevents strain and pain around the knees, elbows, and other joints. Ankle flexibility (plantar flexion, or bringing the toes toward the calf) should be a major concern for all athletes, especially beginners. Good flexibility prevents stress injuries. Athletes must start developing ankle flexibility during prepubescence and pubescence so that in the latter stages of athletic development it need only be maintained.                                    
Best exercise :overhead squat.

Principle Two: Develop Tendon Strength 
Muscle strength improves faster than tendon and ligament strength. Misuse and faulty utilization of the principle of specificity, or lack of a long-term vision, causes many training specialists and coaches to overlook overall strengthening of ligaments. Tendons and ligaments grow strong through anatomical adaptation. Without proper anatomical adaptation, vigorous strength training can injure the tendons and ligaments. Training tendons and ligaments causes them to enlarge in diameter, increasing their ability to withstand tension and tearing.      
Best method: slow eccentrics

Principle  Three: Develop Core Strength
The arms and legs are only as strong as the trunk. A poorly developed trunk is a weak support for hard-working limbs. Strength training programs should first strengthen the core muscles before focusing on the arms and legs. The core muscles act as shock absorbers for jumps, rebounds, or plyometric exercises; stabilize the body; and represent a link, or transmitter, between the legs and arms. Weak core muscles fail in these essential roles, limiting the athlete's ability to perform. Most of these muscles seem to be dominated by ST fibers because of their supporting role to the arms and legs. They contract constantly, but not necessarily dynamically, to create a solid base of support for the actions of other muscle groups of the body.

Many people complain of low back problems yet do little to correct them. The best protection against low back problems is well-developed back and abdominal muscles. Coaches and athletes must pay more attention to this area of the body.

Abdominal Muscles.

The abdominal and back muscles surround the core area of the body with a tight and powerful support structure of muscle bundles running in different directions. Since many athletes have weak abdominal muscles in relation to their backs, general and specific abdominal muscle training is recommended. The rectus abdominis runs vertically and pulls the trunk forward when the legs are fixed, as in sit-ups, maintaining good posture. If the abdominal muscles are poorly developed, the hips tilt forward and lordosis or a swayback develops at the lumbar area of the spine because the low back muscles are much stronger.

The internal and external obliques help the rectus abdominis bend the trunk forward and perform all twisting, lateral bending, and trunk-rotating motions. They help an athlete recover from a fall in many sports and perform many actions in boxing, wrestling, and the martial arts. The anterior and lateral abdominal muscles perform delicate, precise trunk movements. These large muscles run vertically, diagonally, and horizontally.

Isolating the abdominal muscles requires an exercise that bends the spine but not the hips. Exercises that flex the hips are performed by the iliopsoas (a powerful hip flexor) and to a lesser extent by the abdominals. Sit-ups are the most popular abdominal exercise. The best sit-up position is lying on the back with the calves resting on a chair or bench. This position isolates the abdominals since the hips are already bent.

Back Muscles

The back muscles, including the deep back muscles of the vertebral column, are responsible for many movements such as back extension and extending and rotating the trunk. The trunk acts as the transmitter and supporter of most arm and leg actions. The vertebral column also plays an essential role as a shock absorber for landing and takeoff actions.

Excessive, uneven stress on the spine or sudden movement while in an unfavorable position may lead to back problems. For athletes, back complaints may be due to wear and tear caused by improper positioning or forward tilting of the body. Disc pressure varies according to body position relative to external stress. Stress on the spine increases during lifting in standing or seated positions or when the upper body swings, such as in upright rowing or elbow flexion. Sitting produces greater disc pressure than standing; the least stress occurs when the body is prone (such as in bench presses or pulls). In many exercises that use the back muscles, abdominal muscles contract isometrically, stabilizing the body.

The Iliopsoas. 
The iliopsoas is an essential muscle for hip flexion and running. Though not large, it is the most powerful hip flexor, responsible for swinging the legs forward during running and jumping. Sports performed on the ground require a well-developed iliopsoas. Exercises such as leg and knee lifts against resistance are key to training this important muscle.

Best exercise :unilateral dumbbell overhead squat
Law Number Four: Develop the Stabilizers

Prime movers work more efficiently with strong stabilizer or fixator muscles. Stabilizers contract, primarily isometrically, to immobilize a limb so that another part of the body can act. For example, the shoulders are immobilized during elbow flexion, and the abdominals serve as fixators when the arms throw a ball. In rowing, when the trunk muscles act as stabilizers, the trunk transmits leg power to the arms, which then drive the blade through the water. A weak stabilizer inhibits the contracting capacity of the prime movers.

Improperly developed stabilizers may hamper the activity of major muscles. When under chronic stress, the stabilizers spasm, restraining the prime movers and lessening athletic effectiveness. At the shoulders, supra- and infraspinatus muscles rotate the arm. The simplest, most effective exercise to strengthen these two muscles is to rotate the arm with a partner tightly holding the fist. The resistance provided by the partner stimulates the two muscles stabilizing the shoulder. At the hips, the piriformis muscle performs outward rotation. To strengthen this muscle, the athlete should stand with knees locked. While a partner provides resistance by holding one foot in place with both hands, the athlete performs inward-outward leg rotations. At the knees, the popliteus muscle rotates the calf. A simple exercise is for the athlete to sit on a table or desk with the knees flexed. A partner provides resistance by holding the foot as the athlete performs inward-outward rotations of the calf.

Stabilizers also contract isometrically, immobilizing one part of the limb and allowing the other to move. Stabilizers can also monitor the state of the long bones' interactions in joints and sense potential injury resulting from improper technique, inappropriate strength, or spasms produced by poor stress management. If one of these three conditions occurs, the stabilizers restrain the activity of the prime movers, avoiding strain and injuries.

Principle  Five: Train Movements, Not Individual Muscles
Athletes should resist training muscles in isolation as in bodybuilding. The purpose of strength training in sports is to simulate sport skills. Athletic skills are multijoint movements occurring in a certain order, called a kinetic chain (movement chain). For instance, a takeoff to catch a ball has the following kinetic chain: hip extensions, then knee extensions, and finally ankle extensions, in which the feet apply force against the ground to lift the body.

According to the principle of specificity, body position and limb angles should resemble those for the specific skills. When athletes train a movement, the muscles are integrated and strengthened to perform the action with more power. Therefore, athletes should not resort to weight training alone, but should broaden their training routines, incorporating medicine balls, rubber cords, shots, and plyometric equipment. Exercises performed with these instruments allow athletes to initiate skills more easily.

Best exercises : snatch ,clean and jerk ,jerk etc


1:supertraining by mel siff , Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky

2: Science and practice of strength training By Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky, William J. Kraemer

3: Fitness Professional's Guide to Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Human Movement by Larry Golding, Ph.D., Scott Golding, M.S

4: Resistance Training for Health and Rehabilitation by James Graves, Barry Franklin


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