Mobility is a constant discussion in the strength field. How mobile do athletes need to be? Does too much mobility lead to joint instability? Will strength training help, or hurt mobility? Does stretching improve mobility? How many minutes should I spend stretching? How many minutes should we set aside for SMR or massage work? The questions can be endless, and often times the research doesn’t provide clear cut answers, or the studies contradict one another. Based on our experience, if an athlete isn’t strong enough to control their movements throughout a full range of motion, either their performance will suffer, or they are more likely to get injured. Much of this can be accomplished by strength training through a full range of motion, while maintaining complete control of the weight.
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We use many protocols to emphasize the end ranges of motion in a movement pattern, one being the 1 ¼ squat protocol on either the Pit Shark Belt Squat or Rogers Athletic Power Squat Pro. The athlete begins by squatting all the way down, squats a quarter of the way up, pauses, goes back all the way down, then drives up through the entire squat, returning to a normal starting position. The pause at the quarter mark of the rep is crucial, at no point should this protocol look like someone bouncing out of the bottom of a squat. Although this adds increased time under tension in a rep, the main emphasis of this protocol is control and movement quality at the bottom part of a deep squat.
Another protocol we enjoy are super slow reps, or quasi-isometrics as some call them. These can be done for basically any exercise but they are quite a challenge so we begin with bodyweight movements such as a push-up, squat, split squat or on a piece of equipment like the Reverse Glute Ham. The tempo can be adjusted based on the fitness and strength of the individual, but we prefer a 30 second eccentric and 30 second concentric tempo for 1 to 3 reps, which would take 1 to 3 minutes. If someone can perform two full reps we will begin to add a light load to the movement, or in the case of the Reverse Glute Ham, increase the load. The tempo is so slow that an individual must be in complete control of the movement pattern at all times, and any deficiencies in the pattern should appear. There may also be a balance discrepancy that might not be noticed at higher velocities.
Muscular control through complete range of motion is a necessity for peak performance. We should never ignore the fundamentals of a proper rep: controlling the weight through a large, pain free, range of motion. At our conference this past July Jim Kielbaso talked about the power position in the 40 yard dash, note how he discusses the ideal joint positions, reinforcing the need for great mobility.
Check out what coaches from around the country, and world, are saying about their experience at our annual conference on when you CLICK HERE. The recap video from the #11thSCADConf, plus sneak peeks in to what makes this experience unique, have been added for you too. Be sure to visit STTEvents.com to see when we will be in your area.
Wrestling is one-on-one. No hiding. No timeouts. Ultimately the more you invest in your craft, the more likely you are to come out victorious. Read about the #PinPT program when you CLICK HERE.
Take advantage of the opportunity on PersonalTrainingWithSTT.com. From weight loss to strength gain, to improved confidence and stamina, you need to look into adding one session with a STT’s Performance Coach to your weekly training schedule.
Leg day is serious business at STT. It is not uncommon to be pushed for extra reps on the Hip Press and afterwards here an athlete say “let’s do that again.” It takes a special person to chase their own greatness. Learn some of the protocols we use when you CLICK HERE.
From reloading the spine to finding a better way to improve your bench, Janie and Rick from LoadTheBar.com have got your covered. Find out more about the Pit Shark line of strength training equipment when you CLICK HERE.