Saturday, July 30, 2011

Strength train slow, Skill train fast.

Injuries can can have a profound impact on your success whether you're goal is working out for football, building muscle, or losing weight.  You can go a long way to prevent injuries by eliminating fast or explosive weight training before an athletes body is fully developed.  Even today I saw a group of high school football players doing explosive power cleans.  More young athletes get hurt in the gym than on the field due to exercises like these.  When an athlete performs a fast lift such a power clean, tremendous stress and force is placed upon the muscles, joints, and connective tissue.  It is force that causes most injuries and explosive lifts like power cleans greatly increase the force.  During these types of exercises the athlete is literally throwing the weight.  There is almost no involvement from the muscles that you are actually trying to develop during an explosive lift.

Moving the weights fast does not make an athlete fast and doing the exercises slow does not make an athlete slow.  If you insist on performing explosive lifts, make sure that all muscle imbalances and postural deviations are corrected prior to training this way.  This will lessen the stress placed on the joints.  A good rule for coaches:  Strength train slow, skill train fast.

If you develop one area more than another area, this will lead to an imbalanced situation that will result in injury therefore a balanced physique is essential.  You want to eliminate all muscle imbalances as a part of your workout program.  This can be accomplished through flexibility, corrective exercise to improve posture, and strength training.

How much "explosive" power an athlete has is determined mostly by genetics and bodily proportions.  Some people are born with the ability to recruit more muscles faster than other people and have perfect bodily proportions for their sport, like Dick Butkus was for Football. 

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