Building a sprinter from scratching

Building a sprinter from scratch is a very unique kind of pleasure, we’re only a couple months in but Ruth is making good progress, she has a long distance running background, but is improving her technique on these sprint biomechanics drills weekly! i can’t wait to see her smash her 100m PB in a few weeks!

▫️

▫️

🔳Stay Perpetually Alpha🔳©️

▫️

▫️

🔳The Sweat Of Effort Makes Victory Shine🔳

.

.

.

#strengthandconditioning #trackandfield #sprinter #sprintcoach #gymlife #easygym #performancetraining #perpetualprogression #girlswholift #girlswhosprint #sprintdrills #functionaltraining

Advertisements

Latest Hip Dominant Workout

My latest leg workout with @collettemichelle – focusing primarily on hip dominant movement patterns & GAINZ. Apparently dancing at the end of a workout is great for recovery 😅🤓😎

▫️

▫️

🔳Stay Perpetually Alpha 🔳

Power, Speed, Agility

Sze & Sophie’s first session training to achieve their #alphalevel The focus was improving, power, speed, agility, & visual information processing. Although i can see many ways in which their coordination & running mechanics can be improved, their effort levels were faultless 💪🏾 One thing I’ve learned over the years is the importance of not trying to correct every technical fault you see in that moment. Instead i focus on making one or two small but meaningful changes on a session by session basis. They have so much athletic talent & i can’t wait to help them achieve greatness.

.

.

Tag your gym bae 🏃‍♂️🏃🏻‍♀️

▫️

▫️

🔳Stay Perpetually Alpha🔳 ©️

▫️

▫️

🔳Be better than you were yesterday 🔳

.

The difference between Jump Squatting & Plyometrics

Quick tips for understanding the difference between Squat Jumping exercises and Plyometric exercises. I see a lot of people getting them mixed up. They’re both good for your body, but each produces differing results – and which one you should do, depends on your goals.

▫️

▫️

1. Normal Squat Jumps – typically mean, a DEEPER (fuller) range of movement on the ascent & decent phases. This is good, because it works more muscles, raises the heart rate higher, and burns ‘more’ calories. So it’s great for HIIT and Body sculpting workouts.

▫️

▫️

2. Plyometric Squat Jumping – requires as short a ground contact time as possible, thus a shallower range of movement – less time between decent and ascent phase. This is how you appropriately utilities the muscle/tendon stretch shortening cycle aka a plyometric movement. This type if exercise is perfect for increasing running speed & jump height (but not exclusively so). In fact, studies have shown that true plyometric movement is one with a ground contact time of less that 0.2sec. Anything longer than that, actually shouldn’t be called plyometrics 😱

▫️

▫️

So why do one or the other? – I recommend, if your goal is to lose weight or burn fat then normal squat jumping is probably the better choice. However, If you play any sport like tennis, football, rugby or track & field and want to improve your running speed, Jumping ability & or agility then plyometric squat jumping is better.

▫️

▫️

**Note to user**

I’m not saying that one type of squat jumping can’t produce the physical adaptations of the other, just that one is more efficient at it than the other. Furthermore, jumping based exercises are not for beginners, if you have poor technique you can do yourself SERIOUS short term and long term damage.

▫️

▫️

🔳Fall in love with the process and the results will come🔳

▫️

▫️

🔳Stay Perpetually Alpha🔳 ©️

Improving High Bar Back Squat Performance

Quick tips for improving high bar back squat performance. Force production is a key underpinning factor in squat performance. In this case performance = how heavy you can lift.

▫️

▫️

1. Stretching the soleus – This mobilises your ankle joint and the surrounding musculature. Preparing it to move more deeply and efficiently during the descent phase of the squat.

▫️

▫️

2. Hip Flexor Dips – Relaxed and lengthened hip flexors will allow more mobility in the surrounding musculature of the hip joint. Specifically, it will allow fuller hip extension (butt squeeze) at the top of your squat. Which is useful for re-aligning your hips before restarting the next rep. And a good habit to into for future progression into jumping based exercises.

▫️

▫️

3. Adductor stretch – This type of groin stretch will open up your hips, and allow you to sit more comfortably in the wider the shoulders feet stance of the back squat. Helping you shift your body weight backwards into your heels, which helps activate your glutes more.

▫️

▫️

4. Squatting with a weight held in your out stretched hands. This drill and it’s gradual progressions of less weight/no weight/hands behind head, is to slowly teach you how to properly distribute your body weight back into hip muscles and heels when at the optimal & safest point of force production in your squat (90 degrees).

▫️

▫️

5. Position feet slighter wider than your shoulders – this can be key for lifting heavier. Squat width is variable, depending on what muscles in your legs you want to focus on. But if you want to lift as much as possible, within whatever rep range you’re working at then you want to activate as many muscles as possible. And this wider squat stance will recruit your adductors more increasing the potential for force production and a heavier lift. Furthermore, a wider stance helps move the hips more freely, facilitating the parallel squat.

▫️

▫️

Thank you @megan for being my demo girl! Who knew your dab was so POWERFUL

▫️

▫️

🔳Fall in love with the process and the results will come🔳

▫️

▫️

🔳Stay Perpetually Alpha🔳 ©️

▫️

▫️

**Note to user**

This is not an exhaustive list, and there are other ways to improve high bar back squat performance & technique.

Improving posture during dead lifting

Quick tips for improving deadlifting in individuals who cannot hip flex while maintaining a ‘straight’ back. In my experience this is due to tight hamstrings inhibiting the movement. However, i found it can also be simply due to lack of familiarity with this movement pattern. In both cases, this progression scale can help.

▫️

▫️

1. PNF (contract and relax) stretching of the hamstrings to increase their length over time. This increased length should allow for a greater degree uninhibited hip flexion. This is best done with the assistance of a partner, but using a towel for resistance works too.

▫️

▫️

2. Dead lifting on your knees from an elevated platform (I feel like i invented this regression 🤓 but I probably didn’t). This removes the inhibiting hamstrings out of the equation, helping you effortlessly hip flex with a ‘straight’ back. Add an olympic bar to increase difficulty.

▫️

▫️

3. Dead Lift standing upright, with the bar on an elevated platform. This progression will help use the newly learned correct hip flexing and posture technique in a practical sense. While still staying within the limits of hamstring flexibility. As the hamstring length increases over time, keep reducing the hight of the platform pushing your ability to maintain the correct posture deeper and deeper into dead lift.

▫️

▫️

4. Perform the conventional dead lift like a BOSS.

▫️

▫️

🔳Fall in love with the process and the results will come🔳

▫️

▫️

🔳Stay Perpetually Alpha🔳 ©️

▫️

▫️

**Note to user**

This is not an exhaustive list, and there are other ways to improve dead lifting technique. Furthermore their effectiveness will be determined by what the underlying causes for the biomechanical deficiencies.

High Bar Back Squat Technical Model Overview

High Bar Back Squat Technical Model Overview:

Untitled

The high bar back squat is more commonly known as the Back Squat. ‘High Bar’ refers, as one can see in the image above [16] to the position of the bar on ones back – Slightly above the level of acromion and below C7 [6,17, 19], aka on the musculature at the bottom of the neck/top of the back. Furthermore to differentiate it from the ‘Low Bar’ variation which is to be discussed in a future piece. The reasons for this will be discussed later on, for now lets have a look at the UKSCA technical model presented in table 1 [19] combined with an overview of the skill as laid out by the same UKSCA author [19]. For the sake of clarity I will explain that although this is an explanation of the skill by a single author, as he is associated with UKSCA he will be following a standardised technical model from within that association – the leading body for UK based Strength and Conditioning (S&C) coaches.

High Bar Back Squat Overview [20]

The back squat is a knee and hip extensor exercise. The list below highlights the key muscles that are used in the correct execution of the back squat and the muscle action:

  • Quadriceps-knee extension
  • Gluteus maximus-hip extension
  • Gluteus medius (posterior fibres) – hip extension and lateral    hip rotation
  • Hamstrings-hip extension
  • Erector spinae-spinal and pelvic stabilization
  • Latissimus dorsi-spinal and pelvic stabilization
  • Adductors (magnus, longus, brevis, minimus)-assist with hip extension and stabilisation
  • Abdominals- spinal and pelvic stabilisation

 

Table 1

Position Description Problems Variation/Solutions
Start Position Hands evenly spaced shoulder width apart on bar Unable to have shoulder width grip due to poor shoulder external rotation Widen grip until comfortable
Bar positioned just below C7 across upper trapezius and rear deltoids-high bar Pain across neck where bar is positioned Ensure bar is below 7th cervical vertebrae Low bar-positioned below rear deltoids and upper trapezius
Athlete stands extended through spine, hips and knees-bracing spinal musculature Unable to hold extended position Ensure athlete has no spinal pathology that limits ability to extend thoracic and lumbar spine. Has ability to hold correct posture without bar or load
Feet are positioned just outside shoulder width with toes pointing slightly outwards Potential depth problems Allow athlete to experiment with stance width to find a comfortable position that allows a full range of motion
Decent Athlete takes a breath in at start
Unlocks hips and begins to flex at knees with a slight anterior lean with trunk
Hips go behind heels and knees and hips flexed until femur is parallel with floor Unable to reach parallel Widen stance, point toes out slightly
Feet remain flat throughout Heels come off floor Check ankle range of motion. Widen stance, turn feet out slightly. Raise heel of shoe (weightlifting shoe)
Knees go beyond toes in the sagittal plane and maintain alignment over toes in the coronal plane
Athlete maintains anterior trunk lean throughout motion maintaining lumbar lordosis and thoracic rigidity 1. Athlete leans too far forward

2. Athlete allows lumbar spine to flex

3. Allows thoracic spine to flex

1. Widen stance, adjust load, encourage athlete to drive and extend hip

2. Ensure that athlete can posteriorly and anteriorly tilt pelvis in an unloaded situation. Adjust load and practice correct movement patterns

3. Encourage athlete to keep chest up and to keep their elbows under bar and not extend behind their body

Ascent Feet forcefully driven into floor
Knees and hips extend
Knees maintain position over toes in coronal plane Knees deviate inwards and hips internally rotate Possible weakness in hip abductors.

Increased foot pronation.

Load too heavy?

Single leg exercises may need to be considered in conjunction with reinforcement of squatting movement pattern

Hips raised at the same tempo as bar Hips raised at a higher tempo than bar Athlete has relative weakness in hip extensors.

Load is too heavy?

Encourage athlete to extend at hip forcefully through sticking point

Spinal curvature is maintained (rigid extended thoracic and lumbar lordosis) Lumbar and thoracic flexion Load too heavy?

Weakness in spinal extensors

Encourage athlete to drive chest up

Breath out through mid range of movement (sticking point)

Following on from this technical model I would like to explain the evidence based rational behind the key technical aspects of the skill, as presented within this model.

Gaze

This is different from head position, as it refers specifically to where the individual is looking. Their head alignment should remain neutral and their gaze straight ahead and not downwards as this can lead to increased hip and trunk flexion. A position that can cause increased torque on the vertebral column [1, 6, 15, 17].

Trunk Position

Maintaining a stiff torso and neutral lordotic lumbar position is a safe and optimal way to squat. Failure to do so combined with poor lifting mechanic increases the potential to overload the spine and back tissues to the point of causing injury [13,14,15].

Knee position in relation to toes;

The individual should prevent knee valgus (knees falling inwards), as this is structurally a weaker position for the knee when attempting to lift a load through the sagittal (up and down) plane and can damage the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) [17]. They should also prevent excessive forward translation of the tibia past the toes, as this will increase the shear forces at the knee and increasing the chance of Anterior Cruciate Ligament injuries [17, 11]. However some translation over the knee is acceptable as preventing this completely can increase anterior lean of the trunk, hip and lumbar shear forces [16, 10].

 Muscle Activation in relation to; Squat Depth & Feet Width Position

 Squat Depth

During Electromyographic (EMG) studies have shown that squatting at 45 degrees (half Squat), 90 degrees (parallel Squat) and 125 degrees (full squat) resulted in a larger and larger contribution from the gluteus maximus [2, 16]. However the full squat produces pelvic tilt that compromises the lumber spine, in that natural lordotic curve is lost, thus reducing the activation of the lumbar erector muscles, and placing the spinal column in a weaker and less safe position for coping with heavier loads [5, 16].

Feet Width

Studies have shown that there is no significant effect on muscle activity of lower limb muscles between 75-140% shoulder width [7, 8, 3, 16, 18]. However it is worth considering that a wider stance helps externally rotate the hip during the decent phase, facilitating parallel and full squat depth [19]. Furthermore its been shown that there is an increased activation of the adductor muscle when feet stance is greater than shoulder width [3, 16]. Therefore this increased activation of muscles used will increase the potential for force production during the lift.

In summary I hope that this overview has provided you with a clearer understanding of the exercise’s technical model and the rationales behind its structure. However as a cautionary point, I would suggest that the limitations of such a well established and seemingly robust model is that it can perhaps limit an S&C coaches creativity and impede his or hers instinct for growth and further learning. After all as long as one follows an evidence-based philosophy to exercise prescription, there is no reason that deviations to this model, which provide equal or superior adaptations to training won’t be found in the future. Stagnation is the enemy of all progression.

 

References:

  1. BRanTa, C. F. (2010). Sport specialization: Developmental and learning issues. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance81(8), 19-28.
  2. Caterisano, A., MOSS, R. E., PELLINGER, T. K., WOODRUFF, K., LEWIS, V. C., BOOTH, W., & KHADRA, T. (2002). The effect of back squat depth on the EMG activity of 4 superficial hip and thigh muscles. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research16(3), 428-432.
  3. CAW, S. T. M., & Melrose, D. R. (1999). Stance width and bar load effects on leg muscle activity during the parallel squat.
  4. Comfort, P., & Kasim, P. (2007). Optimizing Squat Technique. Strength & Conditioning Journal29(6), 10-13.
  5. Delitto, R. S., & Rose, S. J. (1992). An electromyographic analysis of two techniques for squat lifting and lowering. Physical therapy72(6), 438-448.
  6. Donnelly, D. V., Berg, W. P., & Fiske, D. M. (2006). The effect of the direction of gaze on the kinematics of the squat exercise. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research20(1), 145-150.
  7. Escamilla, R. F., Fleisig, G. S., Zheng, N., Barrentine, S. W., Wilk, K. E., & Andrews, J. R. (1998). Biomechanics of the knee during closed kinetic chain and open kinetic chain exercises. Medicine and science in sports and exercise30(4), 556-569.
  8. Escamilla, R. F., Fleisig, G. S., Zheng, N. A. I. Q. U. A. N., Lander, J. E., Barrentine, S. W., Andrews, J. R., … & Moorman, C. T. (2001). Effects of technique variations on knee biomechanics during the squat and leg press.Medicine and science in sports and exercise33(9), 1552-1566.
  9. Escamilla, R. F. (2001). Knee biomechanics of the dynamic squat exercise.Medicine and science in sports and exercise33(1), 127-141.
  10. Fry, A. C., Smith, J. C., & Schilling, B. K. (2003). Effect of knee position on hip and knee torques during the barbell squat. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research17(4), 629-633.
  11. Klein, K. K. (1961). The deep squat exercise as utilized in weight training for athletes and its effects on the ligaments of the knee. JAPMR15(1), 6-11.
  12. McLaughlin, T. M., Lardner, T. J., & Dillman, C. J. (1978). Kinetics of the parallel squat. Research Quarterly. American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Recreation49(2), 175-189.
  13. McGill, S. M., Marshall, L., & Andersen, J. (2013). Low back loads while walking and carrying: comparing the load carried in one hand or in both hands. Ergonomics56(2), 293-302.
  14. McKean, M. R., Dunn, P. K., & Burkett, B. J. (2010). The lumbar and sacrum movement pattern during the back squat exercise. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research24(10), 2731-2741.
  15. Myer, G. D., Kushner, A. M., Brent, J. L., Schoenfeld, B. J., Hugentobler, J., Lloyd, R. S., … & McGill, S. M. (2014). The back squat: A proposed assessment of functional deficits and technical factors that limit performance.Strength and conditioning journal36(6), 4-27.
  16. Ninos, J. C., Irrgang, J. J., Burdett, R., & Weiss, J. R. (1997). Electromyographic analysis of the squat performed in self-selected lower extremity neutral rotation and 30 of lower extremity turn-out from the self-selected neutral position. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy,25(5), 307-315.
  17. Schoenfeld, B. J. (2010). Squatting kinematics and kinetics and their application to exercise performance. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research24(12), 3497-3506.
  18. Signorile, J. F., Kwiatkowski, K., Caruso, J. F., & Robertson, B. (1995). Effect of Foot Position on the Electromyographical Activity of the Superficial Quadriceps Muscles During the Parallel Squat and Knee Extension. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research9(3), 182-187.
  19. Yule, S. (2005). The back squat. The UK Strength and Conditioning Association Newsletter2, 11-15.

 

By Alpha Maurice Cidade Cauwenbergh


© Alpha Maurice Cidade Cauwenbergh – Alphaleveltraining.com 2016. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alpha Maurice Cidade Cauwenbergh –Alphaleveltraining.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.