Archive

Archive for the ‘Injury Prevention’ Category

Turning Weakness into Strengths in the Off-Season

Guest blog by Kyle Brown, CSCS

Turning Weakness into Strengths in the Off-Season

Some athletes feel that the off-season is a time to let their bodies rest, fall completely off their diets, and spend this time partying the night away with little sleep or regard for their health and fitness. Typically, they use the pre-season as a time to rebound and acclimate to the demands of their sport. Yet, even as a weekend warrior, intramural or club athlete, having a year-round game plan will keep you a cut above the competition and ready to hit the ground running in the pre-season. Moreover, focusing on your weaknesses in the off-season will bring a new and improved you to the field next season.

Off-season training is not only the best time to recover from your sport physically and mentally, but it is also the perfect time to train to counteract all of the muscle imbalances inherent in playing nearly any sport. The off-season varies depending on the particular sport, but in general terms, off-season refers to the weeks after the in-season and before the pre-season (1).

There is a fine line between resting too much and too little in the off-season. Ideally, an athlete should take the time off their sport to mentally rest as well as not put their primary focus on training the main muscles utilized for their sport. Instead, after a short period of rest (referred to as an unloading week), an athlete should focus on cross training or working on their muscular weaknesses and imbalances to get refreshed without lowering their current fitness level. For example, some sports require one arm or leg to be utilized more or their opposing muscle groups are neglected (i.e., the quadriceps are working but the hamstrings are not utilized).

Some of the benefits of working on muscular imbalances during the off-season include: preventing chronic injuries, creating symmetry in strength and coordination, recovery of primary movers, strengthening of stabilizer muscles, and prevention of detraining or overtraining. During the off-season phase, a combination of resistance training and flexibility work will create stronger, less inhibited muscles.

References

1. Bompa TO, Periodization training for sports. 1999. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics

Kyle Brown, CSCS

Be sure to post any questions that you might have about off-season workouts as well as what you do in the off-season to stay in wakeboarding shape.

Roger Ernst II, CSCS

PS – Become a fan of Wake 2 Wake Fitness on Facebook

Touch Your Core With Light Load/High Velocity Resistance Training

I just received the latest edition of the Performance Training Journal from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA.) In it they have a bunch of great articles about “Core Training.” The articles are very well written and state a lot of the same methods and beliefs that I have about “Core Training.”

In wakeboarding, it doesn’t matter what skill level you are, you are always using your “Core.” Because of this, it is vital that you maintain a strong and stable core so that you can ride harder, longer, throw that new invert, and add an extra 180 to all of your spins.

With that in mind, read the article below and let me know what you think about it. Also, be sure to leave a comment and let me know if you want to see some more articles and info about “Core Training.”

Roger Ernst II, CSCS

Touch Your Core With Light Load/High Velocity Resistance Training
Kyle Brown, CSCS

One of the hottest fitness trends in the last decade has been core stability training. Unfortunately, this trend has led many athletes, as well as personal trainers, to move away from training major muscle groups and instead design entire workout programs around core training. Yet, as new research suggests, core strength does not significantly contribute to overall strength and power and shouldn’t be the main focus of a workout program (1). Many bodybuilders do not even do isolation movements for their core as they are aware of the fact that in nearly every standing resistance training exercise, the core must stabilize. Yet, while developing a strong core is important for increasing athletic performance, reducing likelihood of injury, and reducing existing pain levels, a strong core can be developed by stabilizing while simultaneously training your major muscle groups. A unique way to torch your core is with light load/high velocity resistance training, as you are able to train with high intensity at a sprinter’s pace.

A core stability exercise can be defined as “any exercise that channels motor patterns to ensure a stable spine through repetition” (2). Therefore, for example, squats, pull-ups, and standing overhead presses are all core stability exercises as they all require the core to stabilize. If your goal is to develop core strength and power while training major muscle groups, training at a high velocity can challenge your core. These explosive movements are very fast-paced, intense, high-energy, anaerobic movements that require a lot of muscle groups to fire simultaneously. This type of training allows the athlete to rapidly accelerate and achieve maximum velocity on every repetition. Moreover, the power output in a short amount of time is astounding. For example, if an athlete is able to do 25 repetitions with 40lbs cable presses in each hand (80 pounds total) in 20 seconds, that is 2,000lbs of power output in 20 seconds.

Rather than focus on how many repetitions to perform, instead focus on completing the maximum number of repetitions within a given time frame with high intensity and proper form. I cannot stress enough the importance of maintaining proper biomechanics while training at high velocity, as it will not only prevent injury, it will also effectively engage the proper muscles and lead to a more challenging workout. Too many times athletes, as well as trainers, sacrifice proper form for speed. To increase core activation, perform these exercises in a less stable environment. Marshall and Murphy compared muscle activity in the rectus abdominis, transversus/internal oblique abdominis, external oblique abdominis, and erector spinae when push-ups were performed on a Swiss ball versus a stable floor. The results demonstrated that at the top portion of the push-up, with the hands positioned on a Swiss ball, there was significantly greater activity in the rectus abdominis (35% vs. 9% of maximal activity) and transversus/internal oblique abdominis (33% vs. 13% of maximal activity) (3).

References

1. Nesser TW, Lee WL. The relationship between core strength and performance in Division I female soccer players. JEPonline 2009; 12(2):21 – 28.

2. Verstegen, M, and Williams, P. Physioball routine. In: Core Performance. New York, NY: Rodale, Inc., 2004. pp. 73 – 88.

3. Marshall, PW, and Murphy, BA. Core stability exercises on and off a Swiss ball. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 86: 242 – 249. 2005

Rope Workouts

September 28, 2009 3 comments

One of the most popular forms of exercise right now is using ropes in workouts. Ropes can be used in order to improve strength and endurance as well as working your entire core while giving you a cardiovascular workout all at the same time.  Ropes can be a great total body workout, plus they will also dramatically help you to you improve your wakeboarding by working all areas of fitness.  Check out the video below and let me know what you think.

If you want to check out their website visit: www.ropeworkout.com.

Roger Ernst II, CSCS