Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Warm-up Right for Bigger Improvements

Time to catch up on some research.

This study from the latest Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (23(6)/1811-1819) concerns a comparison between three warm-up methods: Static stretching, light aerobics (15 minutes on a stationary bike), and a dynamic warm-up consisting of various leg swings, lunges, lateral steps, and kick backs.

Three groups of untrained college age females were put through 3 test session over 2 weeks, plus one familiarization session. Each group would perform the assigned warm-up then would be measured for max vertical jump, peak force production (time to maximum contraction of the right quadriceps), and joint range of motion. Subjects were measured pre-warmup, 5 minutes post, and 30 minutes post.


For the peak force measurement the aerobic warm-up group improved an average of 10% from pre-test to 5 minutes post-test, while the static stretching group showed no improvement. The dynamic warm-up group however showed a 27% improvement.

For the vertical jump test the dynamic warm-up group again showed the biggest improvement, with the static stretching group coming in last again.

Concerning the joint range of motion there were no significant statistical changes between the three groups. All three showed equal improved range of motion.

One can conclude from this that dynamic warm-ups will give you the biggest bang for your buck. If you want to get the most out of your training I highly suggest some sort of warm-up similar to that demonstrated below by Todd Durkin.

Monday, September 14, 2009

True Unstable Surface Training

It's been awhile since I've hollered at you amigos (reference anyone?) but life has been busy. This past weekend I celebrated my birthday by trying a new sport, and discovered a truly usable method of unstable surface training (get off the damn bosu balls! haha)

Stand up paddle surfing (SUP) is a blast. Standing up and paddling wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, but I was shocked at how exhausted my lower body was afterwards, especially my adductors. Guess that's what happens when you have to keep your balance going over waves while digging in to paddle at the same time!

Go out and try this.

Over the Labor Day weekend I also had the opportunity to hang with my friends from the IKFF. Steve Cotter, Ken Blackburn, Jason Dolby, and John Wild Buckley were all there introducing a new group of people to the pleasure and pain, but mostly pain ;) of serious KB work. It was a great time as usual.

John even broke out some fun feats of strength, one arm snatching and doing various other things while holding people over his head. Here he is doing a windmill with my friend and fellow trainer Alice Nguyen.

Yep, that's pretty good shoulder stability and strength, wouldn't you say?