Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Article Review: Teach Them to Land First

Jason Nunn, CSCS just had an article published over on EliteFTS, called Teach Them to Land First.

It concerns plyometrics - specifically, explosive jumping and landing drills meant to improve your ability to generate power. These don't come up often in basic gym workout templates, but athletes use them frequently to improve their performance on the field. Jumping is a very simple way to incorporate speed and power into your workouts. The article addresses a less-frequently examined part of plyometrics: how to land!

The article covers aspects of poor landings, and what to do to address the weaknesses in an athlete that cause bad landings. Little will chew up your body more than plyometrics coupled with bad landings - the repetitive stress of coming down hard on weak or tight muscles can add up to injury quickly.

It's well worth the read.

The article covers a few subjects dear to this blog:

Plank Variations - the article refers to these as bridges*. There is variation that's new to me, the Side Bridge With Glute Activation. They feel quite different from the basic side bridge. They certainly force you to activate your glutes to drive the knee into the ground.

Proper Warmups - how to use foam rolling, band drills, and activation drills (also called dynamic warmups) to address tight muscles and weak muscles alike.

Simple explanatins - This is "Strength Basics" after all. The article draws on some very technical sources but keeps it simple. You don't need to be an expert to draw valuable lessons here about how to fix a bad landing.

If you're doing, coaching, or even considering any kind of jumping, read this article first.

* there is another "bridge" exercise out there, familiar to wrestlers, known as the wrestler's bridge or back bridge. I use "plank" for the non-neck exercise, but it's common to see the terms used interchangeably.

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