Home > Strength Training for Wakeboarding, Wakeboarding Exercises, Wakeboarding Fitness, Wakeboarding Workout > Wakeboarding General Training Principles – Specificity

Wakeboarding General Training Principles – Specificity

This is the first installment in a 3 part series.  This series will cover the 3 general training principles that apply to any type of training program – specificity, overload, progression.

Specificity – method of training an athlete in a specific manner to produce a specific adaptation or training outcome. 

An example of this would be, if you would like to strengthen your chest muscles, you would need to perform exercises that target the pectoralis major (push-ups, bench press, DB bench press, etc.)

Another term that can be used interchangeably with specificity is SAID, Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands.  In other words, they type of stress and demand that you place on your body will determine the type of adaptation that will occur.

For example, a baseball pitcher would need to perform movements that place an emphasis on power in high-speed movements.  This will help to activate and recruit the same motor units that are needed in order to perform their sport at the highest level.  By performing strength training exercises that mimic the movement patterns of an athlete’s sport, this will increase the likelihood that these muscles will be recruited.

Specificity also relates to an athlete’s sport season.  As you go through pre-season, in-season, and postseason every form of training should progress in an organized manner from general to sport specific.  While participation in a sport itself is the optimal way to improve performance, the proper application of a well designed strength training program will also positively contribute to performance.

In order to have a wakeboard specific strength training program you should include exercises that involve: squatting, pulling, rotating, and jumping (plyometrics) just to name a few.  The exercises in your strength training program should also be multi-joint, compound movements (squats, rows, lunges, pull-ups, chin-ups, etc.)

Think about it for a minute, wakeboarding is a FULL body activity all of the time, even if you are just standing on the board.  Therefore, I’m sorry I have to break this to you, exercises that target specific muscles aren’t going to do you much good.  This means bicep curls, tricep extensions, calf raises, etc. aren’t going to help you improve your on the water performance as much as full body, multi-joint, compound movements.

Stick to the chin-ups instead of the DB curls and you will see your wakeboarding improve that much more.  (Plus your biceps will probably get better “results” than if you stick with doing curls.)

Roger Ernst II, CSCS

PS – Be sure to post any comments and questions that you might have.

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