Today, everyone wants to know “what are the best exercises to be doing?” and while this is a broad question, it does need to be asked: what are the best exercises to be doing? This is obviously a trick question, as the answer is there is no perfect exercise, program, or anything for that matter that will work for everybody. Individualization is the key to success, and while many good strength coaches have a variety of exercises and workouts that they prescribe to their athletes, great strength coaches assess each individual athlete and decide which exercises will put them in the best position to be successful.
Again, while many coaches ask “Do you prefer high bar or low bar back squat?” this is the wrong question to be asking. The answer is simply “whatever form of the squat allows each athltete to be comfortable, uninjured, and gain strength is the preferred form of a squat. Does the athlete have limited shoulder mobility and struggle to bend at the knee? Then the low bar backsquat is probably a good option for them to be using. Can they bend at the knee well, but are quadricep dominant and weak in the gluteus group? Low bar back squat it is. Are they extremely mobile and needing to build strength on the anterior side of their legs? The front squat is an excellent choice for this athlete. Obviously, these are extreme cases created for the purpose of demonstaration, however, it is not far off to assume that there will be many different athletes with different needs and skillsets, and thus, individualizing their workouts will become necessary.
Having a powerlifting background and being a big fan of the squat, Coach Rose has many ways to help his football players find the best version of the squat, and when they do, he coaches them to do that version the very best that they can. He tells us that one crucial key to a good squat is the stregnth of the latissimus dorsi – powerful back muscles that extend the arm at the shoulder joint, which originate on the spine and insert on the superior end of the humerus. They also play a key roll in trunk stabilization when descending and ascending in a squat pattern. Since many athletes do not the proprioceptive understanding to contract their lats, and traps, and “stay tight,” a great coaching cue is to tell the lifter to pull the bar down onto the back of their shoulders, as well as drive their elbows backward. Pullign the elbows back causes the lats to contract full and will stabilize the trunk. Pulling the bar down will help the lifter keep their chest upright, and secure the bar across the shelf formed by the upper trapezius and deltoids.
These are only a few simple examples of how to select the correct exercise, or the correct version of an exercise, for each athlete on a team. There are countless ways to help athletes, and a team as a whole, be successful – sometimes it take creativity and imagination to do so.
In the video below, Luke Rose of Rutgers Football discusses choosing the best type of squat for different athletes, based on their biomechanics, as well as where they are the weakest.
STT will be in Virginia in March 10, 2018 for the 5th Annual Strength and Conditioning/Athletic Development . Incredible environment to learn in. Hands-on and classroom demonstrations. Amazing food. Plus, CEUs available. Be sure to visit STTEvents.com to see when we will be in your area.
Have you watched an ice hockey game? Ever been to a practice? To play this game you have to be in amazing shape. It takes strength, speed, stamina, and mobility/flexibility to compete at any level. Be sure to learn more about our #IcePT program by CLICKING HERE now.
Be sure to take advantage of the professional development courses we host each year. The public clinics and conference schedule are posted on STTEvents.com. Register early. They sell out quick! Read what attendees have said about their experience with STT here too.
For years we have been using VersaClimbers with all of our programs. Adding the VersaPulley and VersaRower has been seamless. Consider taking the stress off of your players joints, and putting the stress into the muscle. No rest. No time to relax. Bring your competitive mindset and let’s get after it. Check out how we use the VersaClimber product line at STT when you CLICK HERE.
When we are asked about flooring for performance training facilities serious about providing a competitive edge for their clients and athletes, we do not hesitate. You need to check out the many surfaces that Thor Performance Products can provide. From turf, to rubber, to permanent and even portable solutions too. Email Joe Lopez at Joe@ThorPP.com and let him know that Coach Taylor told you to reach out to him.