Showing posts with label STRENGTH & CONDITIONING. Show all posts
Showing posts with label STRENGTH & CONDITIONING. Show all posts

Dynamic Stretching Improves Sprint Performance

>> December 30, 2010

Utilization of dynamic stretching as part of preparation for training and competitions may improve the athlete's sprint performance by 2-3%. 

This is based on the recent reviews or findings of scientific studies.

So what does it tell you? if you are a 10-flat sprinter, will you automatically run 9.90? (not that simple!)

Dynamic stretching has been increasingly studied since the 1998 study by Kokkonen and his colleagues that reported detrimental effects of static stretching (negative effect on athletic performance).

Before we discuss the details lets define "stretching". Broadly, stretching is a physical activity, whereby the limbs or muscles will experience "lengthening" until at the point that some tension is felt. There are different types of stretching.

Dynamic stretching
This type of stretching involves the active (or dynamic)  movements that are performed in a progressive manner within the range of motion (ROM). It can be done by performing movements to increase the ROM gradually. It has to have "deceleration" at the end of each (stretch) repetition. 

In other words, no jerking or bouncing actions in dynamic stretching (that will eliminate this "deceleration" action). This is the part that distinguish between dynamic stretching and the ballistic stretching. 

Athletes may consider utilizing specific movements that will be performed in sports (activities) during dynamic stretching in order to (better) prepare the muscles for the subsequent sports or activities.

Static stretching
In contrast, static stretching is a constant stretch held at an end point of ROM. This means that the stretching involves "hold" at the end of ROM (for each repetition) for a given time. Typically, athletes performs static stretching for 20 to 60 seconds per muscle group.

The popularity of static stretching started when a book entitled "stretching" by Bob Anderson was released in 1980. Of note, this book has an excellent record in the number of sales.

Traditionally, static stretching is performed by athletes in order to reduce the risk of injury. This argument however has not been fully supported by scientific literature. 

Our studies
In one of our stretching studies “the effects of dynamic and static stretching on sprint performance in junior sprinters” (2009), we found similar results to those of published findings. Specifically, there were 2.1% (30m) and 2.3% (40m) improvements (faster times) when the athletes performed the dynamic stretching, relative to static stretching. 

Despite such important findings, "heavy" static stretching are still very commonly practiced by athletes. I’ve seen Commonwealth champions and even World class athletes who are still considering static stretching, or even passive-static stretching (with partner), or a combination of static and dynamic stretching before training and competitions.

Dynamic Stretching called 'Scorpion' to stretch lower back and hip flexor muscles area

For athletes, why considers dynamic stretching instead of static stretching? There are physiological reasons behind it, but in this short article we try to discuss a few. 
  • Static stretching promotes compliance or gap in the tendon and muscles. This is especially when the duration of stretching is too long (e.g. sets of >30 secs). 
  • This phenomenon is also called musculotendinous slackness, which reduces muscle stiffness. For a sprinter, stiffness is needed to optimize power production. 
  • Reduced muscle stiffness may actually affects muscular contraction because of delayed electromechanical process or transmission of forces. 
  • Hence, static stretching may compromise your muscles to perform maximally.
Meanwhile, improvement seen in sprint performance following the dynamic stretching is linked to specificity and readiness. 
  • Dynamic stretching mimics most of actions seen in many athletic activities, including the qualities seen in sprinting. This simply includes the stretch-shortening cycle actions, like squat jumps, "pogo jumps" (toe taps), high knees (flexing and extension actions), and so on. 
  • Other examples, like hamstring kicks (if done correctly) are also specific to leg swing movements during sprinting.
  • These movements can promote readiness of the neuromuscular system that important for maximal performance.
  • Furthermore, dynamic stretching can help increase core temperature to a greater extent than the static stretching.
Simply said, static stretching will shut down your nervous system and help to put you to sleep. So if you love static stretching do it during your cool down, not during the warm up. 

If you feel not comfortable with dynamic stretching, do not do the specific drills at all because these are the examples of dynamic movements (better called as "ballistic") that will maximize your performance, which proceeds the more "relaxed" dynamic stretching done earlier in your warm up.   

(1) Mark Kovacs (2010). Dynamic Stretching (the Revolutionary New Warm-up Method to Improve Power, Performance and Range of Motion).
(2) Fletcher and B. Jones (2004). The effect of different warm-up stretch protocols on 20 meter sprint performance in trained rugby union players.
(3) Arnold G. Nelson, Nicole M. Driscoll, Dennis K. Landin, Michael A. Young, & Irving C. Schexnayder (2005). Acute effects of passive muscle stretching on sprints performances.

Photos: copied from &


Soviet Scientist Yuri Verkhoshansky Passed Away

>> July 15, 2010

Yuri Verkhoshansky (supertraining)
It is with great sadness to learn one of the greatest sports scientists Yuri Vekhoshansky had passed away. He was 82 when he died on 26th June 2010 at Rome, Italy.

Verkhoshansky involved in sports since 1950's where he became a track and field coach, mainly in sprints and high jump. He was one of the first to use barbell weight training (systematically) in coaching. As a young coach he was a great fan of the Soviet scientist Dr Vladimir Dyachkov (1904-1981) who was the most successful high jump coach in the World at the time.

He trained many high-level track and field athletes who were successful at the European level and also competed at the Olympic games. His sprinter Boriz Yuboz ran 10.3 and 20.9 at 100m and 200m, respectively in 1964.

The first of his scientific achievements was the discovery of a Special Strength Training method called "Conjugate Sequence System" in 1960's, an advanced training method that was different from Dyachko's Conjugated System from early 1960's. Vladimir Issurin would popularizes the CSS later with a name of Block Periodization. Verkhoshansky also widely regarded as the father of "Shock Method", later called plyometrics by Fred Wilt (1920-1994) who introduced the method to the West.

He continued his career with his research and consultancy jobs in 1970's. He would later discover the Long Term Delayed Training Effects and Concentrated Loading System in late 1970's. The discoveries would keep coaches to remain competitive with the rest of the World, but unfortunately they (coaches) would also use his training concepts with doping practices due to an extreme increased of training volume.

Verkhoshansky had been helped by an American biomechanist and training expert, Dr Michael Yessis who speaks Russians, and regarded by Verkhoshansky as most trusted person outside of Soviet Union in terms of Soviet Training System. From here, he managed to publish many articles and books in English, including the "Supertraining" (with Mel Siff), the greatest training book ever produced!

He had been a scientific consultant for the National Olympic Committee for Italy, where he contributed significantly to the development of Italian sport. He authored more than 500 scientific publications, and his works had been translated into 22 foreign languages and published in 29 countries. He was recognized as one of the greatest experts in the Theory and Methodology of Sports Training.


Weight Training Tips

>> March 03, 2010

Strength qualities in weight training
1) Maximum strength
* Aim: Maximum load lifted
* Set/Repetition/Percentage/Recovery :
Low repetition 1-3 / High load 95-100% of 1RM / Full recovery.

2. Strength
Aim: Maximal strength
*Set/Repetition/Percentage/Recovery :
3-5sets / Low – Medium repetition 3-8  / 80-95% of 1RM / 2-5 mins

3. Hypertrophy
* Aim : Muscles size
* Set/Repetition/Percent/Recovery :
3-5 sets / Moderate and high repetition 8-12, 70-80% of 1RM / 60-90 sec

4. Endurance
* Aims : To produce repeated contraction under conditions of fatigue
* Set/Repetition/Percent/Recovery : 
4-8 sets / high repetitions  15-100 / low intensity 30-40% of 1RM / 30sec

5. Power
* Aim: To develop fast and powerful movement
* Set/Repetition/Percent/Recovery:
2-4 sets / Medium repetition 4-8 / 30-60% of 1 RM / 2-5 mins

How to estimate your 1 repetition maximum (RM)

1 RM =  [ (r  ÷ 30 ) + 1 ]  x  w
r – Repetition
w – weight

Situation: to estimate your bench press 1RM
Choose your preferably loads  = 70kg
Maximum repetition you can do = 13 times

1 RM =  [ (r  ÷ 30 ) + 1 ]  x  w
r – repetitions, w – weight
1 RM = [ ( 13 ÷ 30 ) + 1 ]  x 70
1 RM = [ 0.4333 + 1 ]  x 70
1 RM = 1.4333 x 70
1 RM = 100kg (an estimate Bench Press 1 RM)

General Training Guidelines 

1. Off-Season : Hypertrophy, Muscular Endurance
2. Pre-Season : Strength, Endurance, Power
3. In-Season  : Strength, Endurance, Power
4. Transition : Strength



To be updated




To be updated



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