Showing posts with label TRAINING. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TRAINING. Show all posts

Post Activation Potentiation for Vertical Jump Performance

>> December 07, 2018

Many sports require explosive power as a foundational element of movements. As power is highly related to sports performance, it is important to carefully look into factors that can optimize muscular force and power (training performance) in order to maximize training effectiveness.

At present, coaches use post-activation potentiation (PAP) to achieve this intent.

The theory behind PAP sounds like "contractile history of a muscle influences the performance of subsequent muscle contractions" as described by Robbins (2005). In other words, PAP is a phenomenon where a more powerful contraction of muscle can be produced as a result of its previous muscular (i.e. conditioning) activity.

However, muscle performance can also be impaired by a fatiguing conditioning activity - too much "conditioning" and insufficient rest are not good for PAP.  This warns practitioners that PAP protocol requires a sufficient rest period before performing a subsequent explosive movement.

So what is the best way to perform PAP protocol? Of note, Ben Johnson did not do "3 reps bench press @ 190kg" right before the 100m finals of the 1988 Olympics, as claimed so by some people.

But I had personal communication with German scientist Dietmar Schmidtbleicher who told me, high-caliber athletes, Valeri Borzov and German Bobsleigh team used heavy squat as pre-stimulus to improve their sprint performances.

An example of PAP protocol that can be used to maximize jump height and power production during a vertical jump performance is as follow:

PAP protocol (sequence: a, b, c) for optimizing power production

This protocol is based on a recent study (systematic review and meta-analysis) by Dobbs et al. (2018) that have examined the magnitude of the effect of PAP on explosive vertical power.
A new PAP study by Dobbs et al 2018

The main findings of this study are described, briefly.

If one wishes to apply PAP to improve vertical jump performance, fatigue-potentiation relationship (rest duration between conditioning and actual activities) is critical. This study suggests that when implementing the PAP protocol:

a) length of the rest interval is the most important factor contributing to performance
b) should be done using intensities of at least 80% 1RM, and rest duration of 3-7 minutes
c) done only by trained individuals using dynamic strength movements (e.g. normal squatting exercise), and not isometric.

Enhanced performance is possible when implementing PAP protocol using these strategies. Other PAP protocols include conditioning activity by using the power clean, plyometrics, sleds etc. It is important to know that, according to Robin and Thomas (2017), some athletes are "positive responder" (i.e. performance enhanced after a pre-conditioning activity) to PAP protocol, and others being "negative responder" (performance impaired), "non-responder" (neither enhanced or impaired), and "inconsistent responder" (some days positive the others not).


What is Reactive Strength Performance?

>> July 26, 2015

The ability to change quickly from eccentric to concentric is one quality that can distinguish between the better and the best athletes. This is called reactive strength. Because eccentric is basically "lengthening" action and concentric is "shortening," reactive strength, therefore, represents the ability to utilize the stretch-shortening cycle or plyometrics.

Dietmar Schmidtbleicher once told me that definition of strength qualities are not invariably consistent, despite "a consensus has been reached" during several conference meetings with his American and European colleagues such as William Kraemer, Steven Fleck, and Keijo Hakkinen. Despite the different terms being used to describe muscle actions, they are intended for the same matter, and fundamentally similar when it comes to actual "practical".

Broadly, reactive strength performance considers two components;
  1. Time (duration)
  2. Force (effort)
It is crucial to ask how much forces one can produce in a restricted time, in which movements are likely to occur. For examples, top sprinters' contact time is ~0.08s during the maximal speed, and the take-off in long jump event is ~0.15s. The total force one can generate within these short periods can determine the outcome of ensuing actions, including reactivity performance and forward (or upward) displacement.

It also clarifies why the  take-off phase during the long jump is vital for attaining the long jump distance (displacement) due to the time to be spent for generation of a large sum of take-off forces (combined with speed from the run-up).

Logically, a high force generation during a contact phase is concomitant with increased ground contact time, and vice versa. This can be good, or bad, its depend... For example, in long jump, the penultimate (take-off) contact leads to braking action, but in turn, creates a larger impulse that promotes higher forward force propulsion that assist the launch the body forward.

This force generation ability will contribute to maximal sprinting performance as well, but not to the extent of the take-off phase during long jump that appears to be counterproductive for sprinting due to braking action. Braking action as low as 0.02 seconds (e.g. 0.10s to 0.12s during each ground contact, 20%) will largely affect sprinting performance, by reducing sprinting velocity.

Hence, optimal contact time during a specific context (~0.08s for maximal-velocity phase, or ~0.15s long jump take-off) is the key. Keep in mind that a higher force generation combined with optimal contacts can promote a better performance. In short, these context-specific actions are related to reactive strength and explosive strength qualities.

Reactive strength is different from explosive strength

It can be confusing if one wishes to distinguish between the two as both have similar characteristics, and even occurs almost concurrently. Take a look at different definitions and examples.

Definition 1 (point 1: similar)
  • Reactive strength - ability to produce a high amount of force in a minimal time.
  • Explosive strength - ability to produce a high amount of force in a minimal time.
Definition 2 (point 2: the difference between reactive- vs explosive-strength)
  • Reactive strength - ability to effectively utilize the stretch-shortening cycle in a minimal time upon impact on the ground.
  • Explosive strength - ability to generate a higher rise in force production in a minimal time, once a movement has started.

Example 1 - different exercise
  • Drop jump exercise (reactive strength)
    Reactive strength - multiple hurdle jumps 
  • Explosive strength - box jump (onto a box)

Example 2 - same exercise 
  • Reactive strength - landing phase of the drop countermovement jump 
  • Explosive strength - extension phase of the drop countermovement jump
Example 3 - during long jump
  • Reactive strength - the take-off action, a fast stretch shortening cycle 
  • Explosive strength - the rapid flexions and extensions of muscles involved
Regardless of definitions, both strength qualities are crucial and they can be the major part (performance determinants) of any high-speed, repetitive, and powerful movements such as sprinting, change of direction, and quickness.

Reactive strength is also linked to Rate of Force Development (RFD), which has been explained earlier.


Latest Strength and Conditioning Conference - Research Results and Summary (Download)

>> November 02, 2012

8th International Conference on Strength Training
October 24th - 28th, 2012
Organized by Norwegian School of Sport Sciences

Selected Topics

by H.-C. Holmberg

Maximal (peak) oxygen uptake, the lactate threshold and efficiency during exercise are often regarded as major determinants of endurance performance. What about ... Capacity for anaerobic energy production? Strength/power/speed? Technique and equipment? Training? ... For successful athletic outcomes it is vital to be aware of the multiple factors that affect endurance performance and to understand the training practices that are effective in improving endurance capacity ...

by Iñigo Mujika

The effects of strength training on endurance athletic performance have been the subject of a long and ongoing debate among athletes, coaches and sport scientists... recent research on highly trained athletes suggests that strength training can be successfully prescribed to enhance endurance performance ...

by Robert U. Newton, Jacob Earp and Prue Cormie

High velocity of takeoff, release or impact is the primary outcome dictating performance in a wide range of sports requiring sprinting, jumping, throwing, kicking or striking... Performance of highly spectacular human movement as exhibited in sports requiring very high force, velocity and power involves highly complex interactions of physiological, neural and mechanical phenomena... Developing strength and power through physical training requires solid understanding of these mechanisms ...

by Sedliak, Buzgó, Cvečka, Hamar, Laczo, Zelko, Zeman, Okuliarová, Ahtiainen, Häkkinen, Hulmi, Nilsen, Raastad

Morning neuromuscular deficit, meaning that an individual is on average 5 to 10 percent weaker compared to the rest of the day ... similar levels of muscle fibre hypertrophy could be achieved regardless of which time of the day the training sessions were executed ... but y larger variability in hypertrophic adaptation in the morning ...

by Saeterbakken, Navarset, Kroken, Fimland, Van den Tillaar

Core training has been used in rehabilitation, injury prevention, enhance general health and performance among athletes ... Core training can be divided into
1) core stability training, 2) core strengthening training and 3) core endurance training ... when designing a training program for the core muscles, one must use training approaches that are specific to the aim of the training ...

by Taipale, Schumann, Mikkola, Sorvisto, Kyröläinen, Nummela, Häkkinen

Running economy was clearly affected by performing Strength prior to Endurnce in both men and women ... Fatigue induced by a strength training session immediately prior to endurance running exercise affects neuromuscular characteristics of maximal strength, muscle activation and explosive strength in men and maximal strength in women ...

by Lawrence W. Judge, and David Bellar

The competitive performance of a shot putter in track and field can be characterized as a very aggressive display of strength, power, and technique ... Most sources of training information for coaches suggest that all three lifts need to be covered within a training plan for a shot put athlete ... both significant linear and quadratic trends exist that relate 1RM measures of the power clean, back squat and bench press to the personal best of shot put athletes ...

by Stasinaki, Gloumis, Zaras, Methenitis, Karampatsos, Georgiadis, Terzis

Throwing performance is based upon muscular strength and power ... throwing performance can improve more after 6 weeks of strength and power training with compound than with complex training in moderately-trained individuals ... novice throwers can increase their throwing performance by implementing strength and power training stimuli in alternative training days, at least during short training periods up to 6 weeks ... It seems that performing strength and power training exercises one after the other in the same training day is not favorable for throwing performance ...

by Hasegawa, Ijichi, Morishima, Sasaki, Kageta, Mori, Goto

Adaptation to sprint training is dependent on the duration of exercise, recovery between repetitions, total volume and frequency of training bouts ... power output of supramaximal pedaling test improved by 12 sessions of daily training followed by a week of detraining period. It is possible that supercompensation is involved in improvement of sprint performance following short-term detraining period ...

by de Souza Bezerra, de Oliveira Andrade, Rossato, Ceselles, da Silva, Miranda, Simão

The Strength Training is more efficient in gaining strength in the lower limb in adult women and this gain can be enhanced when the nonlinear periodization is used... Although there is also increasing muscle strength when the Concurrent Training is applied, it happens on a lower scale ...

by Karampatsos, Polychroniou, Georgiadis, Terzis

Recently, it was reported that 3 consecutive counter movement jumps or a bout of 20 m sprinting, induce an acute increase in shot put performance in experienced shot putters ... results suggest that performing 3 Counter Movement Jumps (i.e squat jump) or one bout of 20m sprint with maximum effort just before hammer throwing, may be a useful method for acute increases in performance in experienced hammer throwers ... might be attributed to the phenomenon of post activation potentiation ...

Download all Research Results and Summary

These articles shared by the organizer for public view. Special thanks to ...
Norwegian School of Sport Sciences


A Hybrid Model of Periodization

>> March 29, 2012

Periodization is a training strategy that has been utilized by coaches to improve athletes' performance on the field. This concept of training organization allows no stagnation of stimulus as it effectively structures or "periodize" the training objectives in order to optimize an overall training effect.

Specifically, the distribution of workload is organized in a careful manner within a specific model of programming that allows peak performance to be attained during a major competition while minimizing the likelihood of injury.

There are several models that have been adopted; traditional (linear or step-wise), block (linear), and undulating (non-linear).

Furthermore, a relatively new model, Hybrid Periodization is based upon the latest scientific findings in training methodology, is being utilized in elite training to further maximize gains in speed and power.

Using any of these models, training for specific qualities, e.g. hypertrophy, strength, and power are arranged in a specific sequence to enhance adaptations and maximize the expected gains (e.g. power, speed, etc.)

a) Traditional periodization
- Proposed by Lev Matveyev, a Russian professor and coach, in the 1950s
- Emphasizes the relationship between volume and intensity; high volume low intensity at the beginning and progressed to high intensity and low volume
- Examples:
   - First 4 weeks  = 5 sets x 12 reps x 70%
   - Next 4 weeks = 5 sets x 6 reps x 85%
   - Next 4 weeks = 5 sets x 2 reps x 95%

b) Block periodization
- Proposed by Yuri Verkhoshansky, a Russian scientist and coach, in the 1970s
- Popularised by Vladimir Issurin
- Because of the need to provide a sufficient stimulus to high-performance athletes (elite), the Traditional approaches had to be modified; this approach, therefore based upon the idea of a concentrated training stimulus
- Follows a logical order in a sequential mesocycle or blocks: (I) accumulation (high volume and low intensity; (II) Transformation (e.g. strength emphasis); (III) Realization (e.g. power emphasis).
Examples: Accumulation (70-75%); week 1: 3 sets x 12 reps, week 2: 3 sets x 12 reps, week 3: 3 sets x 10 reps, week 4: 3 sets x 10 reps. Transformation (85-93%); week 1: 3 sets 6 reps, week 2: 3 sets x 5 reps, week 3: 3 sets x 4 reps, week 4: 3 sets x 3 reps. Realization (30-40%); week 1: 3 sets x 8 reps, week 2: 3 sets x 8 reps.

c) Undulating periodization
- Lev Matveyev modified his previous works and proposed a "wave-like" approach of volume and intensity (i.e. undulating).
- Popularized by Charles Poliquin in the late the 1980s
- Dan Baker, a coach, and scientist studied the effects of undulating periodization in the early 1990s
- It can be done on a daily basis (Daily Undulating periodization) or weekly basis (Weekly Periodization).
- Daily Undulating periodization: Monday (Hypertrophy), Wednesday (Strength),  and Friday (Power) ... and repeat the same setting in the following week.
- Weekly Undulating periodization: Week I (Hypertrophy), Week II (Strength), and Week III (Power) ... and repeat the cycle. Example; week 1: 3 sets x 10 reps @ 75%, week 2: 3 sets x 8 reps @ 80%, week 3: 3 sets x 5 reps @ 87%, week 4: 3 sets x 3 reps @ 93% or 3 sets x 8 reps @ 40% (fast)..

d) Hybrid periodization
- A hybrid model of periodization considers the utilization of mixed qualities within a unit of program, using a proven or logical training setting (e.g. complex sets).
- This model takes advantage of advancement in training methodology with regards to the combined or mixed training approach to further optimize the potential training gains.
- Setting: foundation aspect of training (e.g. hypertrophy or sprinters; endurance for runners; or a mix of both) and followed by a "mixed method" (i.e. hybrid) in the subsequent phases for optimal gains.
- Example 1:
   Phase I - Foundation (e.g. Hypertrophy)
   Phase II - Strength; contrast design, emphasizing maximal strength (main), and power (secondary)
   Phase III - Power; complex design, emphasizing speed and power (main), and strength as "stimulus". Phase III takes advantage of the effect of post-activation potentiation.

- Example 2:
   Phase I - Hypertrophy and Endurance; 5 sets x 15-15-12-10-10 @ 65-75%
   Phase II - Max strength + power; 3 sets x 5 reps @ 85%  plus  5 reps @ 30% (speed),
                    or 5 sets x 5@85%, 4@88%, 5@70% (fast), 3@90%, 5@70% (fast)
   Phase III - Power; 3 sets x 3 reps @ 90% plus 10 speed-bounding, or
                                 3 sets x 5@85% plus 6 box jump

A comparison among Traditional, Block and Hybrid Periodization (Three phases programming)


Tom Tellez' 100m Sprint Phases

>> November 22, 2011

The best sprinters in the world are not only the first to the finish lines but they also the best in terms of utilizing the best way of executing the sprint races. This is called racing strategy. The racing strategy relies on the specific requirement, that is the physiological parameters that governed the different sprint distances.

No one would ever sprint at maximum speed from the start to the finish line in the 100m dash. The top speed would be reached at 50 - 70m and from here the sprinters would attempt to maintain the velocity with the aim of reducing the degree of deceleration.

Several coaches have advocated different way or strategy of executing the century dash. In 1984, Tom Tellez and Doolittle detailed a breakdown of 100m race based on specific contributions of different physiological requirements, as follows:
  • Reaction Time - 1%
  • Block Clearance - 5%
  • Acceleration - 64%
  • Maintenance of Maximum Velocity - 22%
  • Lessened Degree of Deceleration - 18%

In sprint races, results are always decided by a small margin. Regardless of ability, if one wishes to maximise sprinting potential the training should focus on the phases (above) that entail specific phases or strategy. This will be discussed briefly, in a practical point of view.

Block Setup
  • Tellez and Doolittle suggest 90 degrees of front knee angle and 135 degrees of rear knee angle.
  • This can provide an effective clearance or the first step out of the block (due to a greater horizontal velocity).
  • Rearfoot placement using the pedal that provides lower degrees of rear knee angle (e.g. 90) may also provide a good clearance - but this requires a greater "timeframes", therefore the time to produce the horizontal velocity.
  • The later recommendations advocate 100-110 degrees and 120-140 degree of the front and rear knee angles, respectively.
Phase 1 - REACTION 
  • Quick reaction to the "gun"
  • To achieve this, "set position" should be in the best position that can yield an effective action during the next phase (clearance) - see above.
  • Ideal reaction times can range from 0.100 - 0.150s (100m), 0.130 - 0.180s (200m), and 0.160 - 0.230s (400m). A reaction time of less than 0.100 is considered false start.
  • Block setup, set position, and clearance are the integral keys to an efficient block clearance.
  • This phase requires an extremely fast and powerful first step out of the blocks, which demands quick arms "forward" and  "backward".
  • The contact time (first step) is around ~0.17s.
  • Horizontal velocity during the first step is around ~4.5 m/s.
  • The total force exerted on the front pedal is higher than the rear one (~1100 N vs ~900 N for ~10.6 sprinters).
  • Increase the rate of speed, increase over time. The first three steps can bring the average velocity up to 7m/s.
  • Body positioning that can allow an efficient force application is crucial.
  • The body is positioned in a forward lean, to enable force exertion "down" and "back".
  • Sprinters must aggressively attack and leave the ground.
  • The orientation of force application (technical aspect) that influences the horizontal velocity is crucial.
  • Fast and aggressive arm swings.
  • In top athletes, the average velocity will gradually increase to 12.5 m/s (or 12.3 m/s fo 10m segment), 11.7 - 11.8 m/s for most of world-class athletes. The maximum velocity phase is reached once the athlete achieves these velocities.
  • The point of maximum velocity depends on athlete's ability to accelerate.
  • The transition from acceleration to maximal velocity can be dictated by the velocity of speed; velocity increases (accelerate) and velocity stagnant (maximum speed).
  • The posture is upright and tall.
  • Leg movements in front of the body, little bit looks like the "piston" fashion.
  • The contact of the ground is slightly in front of the centre of mass, but not excessively as it can create braking force.
  • Effective changes of muscle actions, from eccentric (downwards) and concentric (upwards)  are crucial, to provide high force on the ground, in a minimal time (fast contact time), typically around 0.08-0.09 in top sprinters and 0.09-0.10 in lower level athletes, and followed by an immediate propulsion.
  • Once the maximum velocity is reached, it is important to maintain the velocity.
  • Carl Lewis said he was able to maintain the top speed for 1 second only (personal communication, Dec 2010).
  • Usain Bolt may be able to maintain it for 1-2 seconds.
  • Therefore, the speed endurance work, as well as technical skills, are important n order to lessen the degree of deceleration. 
What are the conclusions from here?
Giving a complete conclusion from a "short" article is not objective. However, there are things that must be taken into consideration. 

High level of strength (e.g. squat 1.8 - 2.5 bodyweight) can help the high force generation. Not only strength and how much force, but how much force you can produce during the minimal time of ground contact and use it for propulsion is important (rate of force development or reactive strength). Hence, maximal strength, reactive strength, explosive strength type workouts such as 4 sets x 3-5 reps x half squat, depth jump, bounding and so on is crucial. The upright body position (mid-race to finish) demands a very fast muscle actions (stretch-shortening cycle), where your maximum strength in deadlift may provide limited contribution but the specific work predominantly vertical force direction such as the power clean, snatch, backward throws, and reactive tasks such as drop jump are preferable. 


What is Turbulence Training ? Sample Workout?

>> May 09, 2011

Workouts in Turbulence Training
A quick fact about Turbulence Training is that it can be done by anyone anywhere and anytime with or without equipments since there are hundredths exercise in Turbulence Training.

If you're busy all day long then Turbulence Training will be the right choice. All you need is to spend a minimal time (3 Minutes to up to 30 minutes) in which enough for a complete session workout for a maximal benefit.

In fact, Turbulence Training is also one of the best ways to burn fat and lose weight instead of doing 30 minutes boring aerobic workout.

So what the heck is Turbulence Training? Turbulence Training is a form of exercise that can be performed using bodyweight, weights or dumbells and interval training. Normally, this workout is done by order or in a consecutive sequence in which involves "supersetting", where one exercise followed immediately (no rest) by the next exercise (A1 & A2). Below is a sample of Turbulence Training strength workout for beginner:

               1A) Lying Hip Extension (8 reps)
               no rest – go directly to:
               1B) Plank (15 seconds)
               Rest 30 seconds.
               Repeat this cycle 2 more times for a total of 3 supersets.
               2A) Prisoner Squat (12 reps)
               no rest – go directly to:
               2B) Bird Dog (5 reps)
               Rest 30 seconds.
               Repeat this cycle 2 more times for a total of 3 supersets.
               3A) Kneeling Pushup (8 reps)
               no rest – go directly to:
               3B) Side Plank (5 seconds)
               Rest 30 seconds.
               Repeat this cycle 2 more times for a total of 3 supersets.
               4A) Band Pull (15 reps)
               no rest – go directly to:
               4B) Ab Curl-up (15 reps)
               Rest 30 seconds.
               Repeat this cycle 2 more times for a total of 3 supersets.

Remember, design of Turbulence Training is dependent on the session objective or goal. Craig Ballantyne, the founder of Turbulence Training has introduced unique and versatile exercises for various purposes. There are exercise for burn fat faster, improve cardio fitness, build muscles, abs workout, quick workouts, women workouts, workout for busy guys etc.
    Scientific researches have shown that Turbulence Training has several strength benefits including increased muscle strength, lean body mass,improved posture, enhanced muscle balance, increased bone density etc.

    Watch the following videos for better understand on Turbulence Training (do not rush to see the exercises, listen to the guy who created Turbulence Training):

    Video tutorial of Turbulence Training: "Beginner Workout Bodyweight Exercises"

    Video tutorial of Turbulence Training: "Advanced 15 mins Express Workout - A"
    Workout B here, Workout C here

    Sample workout in Turbulene Training: "Bodyweight Cardio"

    Sample workout in Turbulence Training: "Abs Workout"

    Sample workout in Turbulence Training: "The 300 Workout"

    Sample workout in Turbulence Training: "Hotel Room Workout"

    Complete guide in Turbulence Training:

    Recommended reading:  
    The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess
    The Interval Training Workout: Build Muscle and Burn Fat with Anaerobic Exercise 
    The Body Fat Solution: Five Principles for Burning Fat, Building Lean Muscles, Ending Emotional Eating, and Maintaining Your Perfect Weight


    Harry Aikines Gym Workouts - Incredible Strength

    >> February 02, 2011

    Harry Aikines-Aryeetey reminds me about Ben Johnson's exceptional strength. He has the great qualities of strength, power and endurance that are uncommon in ordinary top sprinters.

    Harry is the 2006 World Junior champion at the 100 metres, and the 2005 World Youth champion at 100m and 200m. He is part of Great Britain's 4x100 m relay team which won the bronze medal at the 2009 World Championship in Athletics.

    To date, the Englishman has a personal best of 10.10s at the century dash. Alright, check out his videos, performing a maximum front squat, power clean at 170kg, 40 chin ups in 46 seconds and "extreme" muscle ups:


    Harry performs a 1 rep max (190kg) front squat:


    Fast and nice technique at 170kg Power Clean!

    So you want to maintain a fast arm swing for 10-11 seconds?!  
    40 times chin ups in 46 seconds 

    And this is a great example of incredible upper bodystrength: 
    it's require a proper technique and strength
    (of course), or you can't even do one rep, try it!


    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 &


    Maurice Greene 100m Race Strategy, the John Smith Seven Phases

    >> October 19, 2010

    In order to execute the 100m race more efficient and effectively, coaches and athletes have devised a systematic race strategy that is suited to athlete ability. It’s why we’ve seen the 100m race approach are different from one coach or athlete to another.

    John Smith, a renowned athletics coach introduced a unique race strategy to the three-time world champion in the 100m, Maurice Greene and the HSI members approximately 15 years ago.

    John Smith's 100m race approach was created to allow a sprinter to  delay the acceleration in order to reach the top speed not before the 60 metres but at 65 to 70 metres.

    To apply the strategy, John Smith breaks the 100m into seven phases:

    How fast the sprinter response to the gun.
    Goal is to react as quickly as possible; a good reaction time is below 0.130, the perfect reaction is held by Jon Drummond in 0.100. Range of 0.130 to 0.160 are acceptable in the 100m. Reaction time of 0.170 is too late!

    2) CLEARANCE (First step)
    First step must be correct and explosive. First step is crucial to make sure a clean
    execution in the drive phase.

    3) DRIVE (up to 30m)
    In the drive phase, Greene said "use the power as much as possible but less energy".  One of the techniques is to control the breathing. Body position in here is lower to the ground, head down to build speed more efficiently.

    Maurice Greene at 99 World Championship
    4) TRANSITION (30-35m)
    Transition involves only to lifting the head.

    5) ACCELERATION (35-70m)
    A high gear phase. Pump the arms and legs to reach the top speed at 65-70m. Reach a perfect running mechanics.

    6) MAINTENANCE (70-95m)
    Maintain the velocity for as long as possible. Body and muscles must relax and also control the breathing.

    7) DECELERATION (95m-100m)
    Head a little bit down. Goal is to eliminate or lessens the degree of deceleration.


    Credit: Discovery Channel (World's Fastest Man - documentary)



    To be updated




    To be updated



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