Posts in Strength and Conditioning
Build Athletic Power with Snatch and Clean Pulls

Performing snatches, cleans, and jerks requires dedicated equipment (weightlifting bars, bumper plates, platforms, etc.) that may not be available for some coaches/athletes. If this is the case for you, or you're just looking for some new exercises to develop athletic power, perform snatch and clean pulls.

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1, 2, 3 Clean

The clean is a popular exercise in many strength and conditioning programs, and for good reason. When performed properly, the clean and its variations can have a tremendous effect on athletic power development. Unfortunately, cleans have a propensity for getting butchered due to poor coaching.

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Improve Athleticism with Reactive Agility Drills

While cones, hurdles, and the like can serve a purpose, the majority of the exercises programmed with them are huge time-wasters. As an athlete, having finely tuned agility is necessary to competing at the highest level — regardless of your sport or position. Unfortunately, most agility training uses gimmicky equipment to fool athletes into thinking they are doing something productive.

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Implementing the Olympic Lifts at the High School Level

Many high school strength and conditioning coaches don’t program the Olympic lifts into their training because “they are too difficult to teach,” which is a lame excuse. While there definitely is a learning curve and difficulty involved with teaching the Olympic lifts, especially to an entire team at the same time,  the effects that the lifts have on athletic performance enhancement are simply too good to pass up. There can be difficulty involved with teaching any of the main lifts (squats, dead lifts, presses, etc.), so the argument that the Olympic lifts are “too hard” is weak.

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Spinal Decompression Techniques

One of my favorite recovery methods for the lower back is spinal decompression. Traditionally, spinal decompression refers to neural impingement therapy for conditions such as herniated discs. However, in the context of the strength and conditioning field, spinal decompression simply refers to stretching or spacing the vertebrae.

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Contrast Training for Football

Contrast training is a form of resistance training that pairs a heavy strength exercise with a lighter power exercise to take advantage of a phenomenon called post-activation potentiation.

Post-activation potentiation refers to the acute enhancement of muscular contractions due to the contractile history of the muscles and central nervous system. In simpler terms, the heavy loading of the strength exercise generates a high degree of central nervous system activation, which results in greater power output during the following power exercise. As a result, contrast training is a great workout for developing power and speed for football.

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The Best Abdominal Exercises for the Strength Athlete

Take a look through the training program for any athlete in a strength sport (weightlifting, powerlifting, strongman, etc.) and you’ll typically see the following exercises programmed for the abdominals: some form of hanging leg raises, weighted crunch or sit up variations, and maybe some light planks. While there isn’t anything automatically wrong with some of these exercises, especially the planks, there are better and more useful options available.

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Speed Training Considerations

True speed training must occur with very high intensities (i.e. 95-100% of best sprint time) and full recovery. The simplest rule of thumb in relation to recovery time between sprinting efforts is that 30-60 seconds should be taken for every 10 meters or yards being covered in the sprint

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Wave Loading for Strength

Wave loading is a form of resistance training where the intensity (percentage of your 1-rep maximum) and repetitions of an exercise are adjusted each set in ascending or descending order then repeated for a desired number of waves.

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