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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

How to Develop Long-Term Training Success for High School Athletes

The most dedicated high school athletes aren't just looking forward to their next game; they're looking ahead to long-term athletic development. Although many factors can halt such progress in the weight room and on the field/court, there are plenty of training factors that are within your control.

To get set up on the right path, here's a list of the most important factors that lead to training success. It may not always be easy, but following these guidelines will ensure that your progress won't stop.

Resisted Sprinting: The Research

Resisted sprinting involves the use of equipment to provide external resistance during sprinting. The equipment used includes weight sleds, parachutes, and resistance bands, with weight sleds being the most popular. The idea behind resisted sprinting is to enhance muscular force output during movement patterns that are specific to sprinting (Cronin & Hansen, 2006). Numerous studies have been conducted to determine the effects of resisted sprinting methods on sprint speed. This article will sort through the findings in an effort to provide strength and conditioning professionals practical guidelines for implementing resisted sprinting exercises.