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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Why Strength Enables Flexibility

What if I told you...

"Getting flexible will not make you slower and weaker"

"Getting Strong as hell does not have to mean you lose flexibility"

"Strength Enables Flexibility"





Most information out there suggests that strength and flexibility are inversely related. This means that as strength increases, flexibility decreases and vice versa.

This is false, plain and simple.

In this article you will learn:
  • Strength and Flexibility are NOT inversely related
  • How does it benefit to Strengthen and Lengthen?
  • How to increase Strength and Mobility simultaneously

Strength and Flexibility are NOT inversely related

Most people associate increasing strength by strengthening their strongest ranges of motion.

This makes sense right? Why would we squat "ass to grass" when we never use those positions in our sport or daily life.

Wrong

When we only strengthen our "strongest" or "functional" ranges of motion our body will not allow us more flexibility. Our joints become tight to protect the weaker less used ranges of motion. This might improve power output in our strongest ranges but will also increase the chance of injury.



Most people associate increasing flexibility with stretching. When we static stretch we simply pull the muscle into new positions. This loosens and relaxes the muscle. While this can increase flexibility temporarily, it can increase the chance of catastrophic injury due to lacking muscular strength.

In these cases, under traditional training principles, strength and flexibility are inversely related.

Think about it this way...

Imagine we have a super strong and thick elastic band. It holds huge potential power yet lacks the mobility to truly stretch far enough to use all of its potential power.  If you tried to stretch this band and shoot it, it would not travel far. This represents a very strong yet stiff athlete.




Imagine we have a super-thin elastic band that can be stretched super far, but it's weak and cannot produce very much power when stretched so it does not fly far when released. This elastic band can also easily snap if stretched past its range. This represents a very flexible but weak athlete.



Now imagine an elastic band that has an ideal balance of flexibility and strength. This elastic band can stretch far and still produce large amounts of power. This band can be coiled and shot very far. This represents an athlete who trains to Strengthen and Lengthen.



Here is a great example of this in human form


How does it Benefit me to Strengthen and Lengthen?

To gain access to new positions, we not only need to increase flexibility but also strengthen those ranges of motion. This will both increase performance as well as reduce the chance of injury.

Our bodies are extremely smart and will protect themselves from injury by:
- Restricting our movement into weak/unused ranges of motion
- Inhibiting force from antagonist or contributing muscles along the chain of movement

By strengthening our new ranges of motion, our body "unlocks" these positions for us to use.

When we can produce power through a greater range of motion, we can produce a higher amount of total force leading to higher jumps, and faster sprints.

See How to Create Lasting Mobility for more information!

How to Create Strength through Length





Here are a few examples of exercises we use to simultaneously strengthen and lengthen. These are loaded stretches. The load (weight or just bodyweight) pulls the muscle into its end ranges before contracting the targeted muscle. This strengthens the ENTIRE range of motion, increasing both mobility and strength simultaneously.

Focus on these three guidelines:

  1. Use lightweight or simply your bodyweight
  2. Allow the load to pull your joints into their end ranges of motion
  3. Contract the targeted muscle and repeat
  4. NEVER TRAIN THROUGH PAIN, avoid at all costs.

Thank you for reading!
-Matt

Email: koenig.matthew546@gmail.com
WhatsApp: +1 204 891 6851










Note:
The information above is not a substitute for medical advice. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, it is always better to see your doctor before starting any type of rehabilitation to ensure you are properly diagnosed.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Bulletproof Your Hips!

"I've been an athlete for almost 20 years now and the only action, coaches, trainers or other athletes recommended for my hip-flexors was to simply static stretch them."

Your hips are prime movers for your lower body, meaning the produce the most force and are involved in many movements.
This article will focus on:
  • Outlining some Common Hip Issues
  • Treating/Preventing Hip Problems
  • How to Implement into your Training

Common Hip Issues

Our sedentary lifestyle nowadays has us sitting down in chairs for large portions of the day. This places our hips into flexion (bent forward) shortening the hip-flexor muscles. To make matters worse, the hip-flexors are very seldom trained adequately.
I've been an athlete for almost 20 years now and the only attention, coaches, trainers or other athletes have paid towards my hip-flexors was to simply static stretch them. Read more about how to properly create lasting mobility here.





  • Bursitis - An uncomfortable and sometimes painful condition where bursa (fluid-filled sacs within your joints) become inflamed. This can be due to overuse, trauma or muscle imbalances causing friction and inflammation.
  • Sciatica - Nerves which pass through the hip can become compressed due to tightness or imbalances. This can cause a sharp pain shooting down the leg, as well as other uncomfortable sensations.
  • Tendonitis - Tendons (connect bone to muscle) become inflamed and painful. This is due to overuse, imbalances or repeated trauma.
  • Muscle Imbalance or Tightness - Imbalances in the sizes and ability to oppose (opposite actions) muscles cause one area to be much weaker than others. This can lead to improper posture and biomechanics, which can lead to major injury(breaks or tears of tissue and bone), overuse injury (see above) or lower back pain. The hip flexor muscles attach into the spine and can cause pain or injury to the lower back.

Treatment/Prevention 

The best way to avoid issues with your hips is to prevent the problem from happening. Proper strengthening and mobility routines can also be used to train out the pain. It is important to remember to Never Train Through Pain as it is entirely counterproductive!

This will take the pressure off of the Hip Joint and improve Health and Functionality!

Implement this Routine into your Training (Click on exercise for demo)

  1. Pain Management - Allow the affected area to settle down, and the pain to subside enough that you are able to perform the warmup routine without pain.
    1. Rest 
    2. Ice
    3. Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
  2. Warm-Up/Pre Activity - Perform this routine 2 to 3 times through as a warmup for an activity or for rehabilitation routine once you are able to perform without pain.
    1. Fire Hydrants x12-15/leg
    2. Mountain Climbers x20
    3. Elevated Heel Squat x12-15
  3. Rehabilitation - Perform 4 to 6 times each week 
    1. (Single Leg) Glute Bridge 3x30 seconds
    2. Cable Hip Curl 3x12-15/leg
    3. ATG Split Squat 3x12-15/leg
    4. Piriformis Pulses 3x20/leg


Thank you for reading!
-Matt

Email: koenig.matthew546@gmail.com
WhatsApp: +1 204 891 6851










Note:
The information above is not a substitute for medical advice. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, it is always better to see your doctor before starting any type of rehabilitation to ensure you are properly diagnosed.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Train According to Gravity and Jump Higher!



Traditional Squats and Deadlifts are Overrated when it comes to Vertical Jump Training and Speed Development 

This article might completely change the way you think about high-performance training and power development. This article will teach you about a fundamental approach to our training philosophy at Bounce Evolution. (2 minute read)

You will learn:
  1. The relationship between your ankles, knees and hips in regards to force production
  2. Misconceptions regarding the squat and deadlift for vertical jump growth
  3. How to maximize your bodies total body strength
  4. How to apply these concepts to your training

Force Production from the Hips, through the Knees and Ankles


What does it mean to train according to gravity?
When we jump or run we use our muscles to produce force. The prime producers of this force are our hips through a hinging motion. Although this involves the largest, most powerful muscles, this is only a part of the equation. In order for us to use this force to its full capacity, we must transfer this force downwards through the knees, ankles and into the ground. If we neglect to train our body proportionately,  our knees and ankles will not be able to transfer the force and we will leak part of our power on its way to the ground. This can lead to inferior athletic performance as well as injury.

A study conducted by Cleather, Goodwin & Bull in 2013 (linked below) found that during maximal jumps the ankle was subjected to the most force at a mean of 8.9 X bodyweight, with the knee sustaining a mean of 6.9 X bodyweight and the hips only being subjected to 5.5 X bodyweight.

In short, the hips produce the most force, but the knees and ankles are often the limiting factors.

I like to use the analogy of a car. If you have a car with a huge powerful engine that can propel it forward but our tires are flat, the car will not be able to use its potential power of the engine.


Take a look at this video of one of the highest jumpers in the world. Observe his mechanics closely and you can see he plants, then extends his hips first, then knees and finally plantarflexes his ankles. This allows for the highest power output.

When we train we want to mimic the biomechanics of our sport as closely as possible. For optimal performance, train your body to extend in this order:
Hips ↠ Knees ↠ Ankles

Misconceptions with Squats, Deadlifts and Vertical Jump Training


Most information out there focuses on the hips as they are the largest muscle group through squats and/or deadlifts. Performing these exercises will increase your strength effectively, however, when not balanced properly could lead to developing incorrect movement mechanics when it comes to athletic movements in sports.

Traditional Squats and Deadlifts are Overrated when it comes to Vertical Jump Training and Speed Development 


Take a look at this slow-motion video of a heavy squat. Take note of the following:
  • The minimal motion of the ankle
  • Ankles and knees are extending fully BEFORE the hips extend



Take a look at this slow-motion video of a deadlift. Take note of the following:

  • Minimal range of motion in the ankle and knees
  • Ankles and knees are fully extending BEFORE the hips extend

How to Maximize your Total Body Power Output


In order to maximizer your potential you need to "train from the ground up". This means you need to pay proportionately more attention to the ankles and feet than the knees, and more attention to the knees compared to the hips.
Follow the following 3 guidelines in order to proportionately increase power. 
  • Train the ankles and feet to be bulletproof and handle everything the knees and hips subject them to
  • Train the knees to be bulletproof and handle the force produced by the hips
  • Train the hips through triple extension exercises with the hips extending first followed by the knees and finally the ankles.
This way it will be impossible to become imbalanced, and you will jump higher, run faster as well as greatly reduce the chance of injury.

The Work Out - How to Apply this to your Training


Now that you understand the fundamentals and background information, I will take you through a few exercises to add to your routine! These will start from the feet and finish with the hips. Each exercise will target the specified muscle group as well as the joints/muscles below it!

Warm-Up 
- Bear Crawl x30 meters (shoes off)


  • A great full-body warm-up that emphasises plantar flexion of the feet
Feet/Ankles
- Knees over Toes Calf Raise 3x10/leg


- Tibialis Raise 3x10 (Single leg)



Knees
- Reverse Step Up 3x15/leg


- Sissy Squat 3x10-12




Hips
- (Full range) Pistol Squat 3x6-8/leg


- Rhythm Squat 3x25


Thank you for reading!
-Matt

Email: koenig.matthew546@gmail.com
WhatsApp: +1 204 891 6851








Note:
The information above is not a substitute for medical advice. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, it is always better to see your doctor before starting any type of rehabilitation to ensure you are properly diagnosed.


References

Cleather, D. J., Goodwin, J. E., & Bull, A. M. (2013). Hip and knee joint loading during vertical jumping and push jerking. Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon), 28(1), 98–103. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3966561/#R50

Just Fly Performance Podcast 

PJF Performance Podcast






Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Workouts...Without the Gym!

This will be an ongoing post that will be updated.

The purpose is to provide alternatives to all of our workouts for those who do not have access to a full gym.

SledWork... Without the gym

Each exercise will have a few key coaching points. Reps and sets are determined by what you are trying to do by reverse sledding. See 5 Benefits of Sled Training for more info.

Reverse Hill



  • This is the most basic progression
  • Small slow steps (heel to toe)
  • Push through the big toe



  • Once the small slow steps become easy you can speed up the steps for more intensity
  • Progress forward by taking larger steps until you are essentially bounding back up the hill

Car Pushes



  • Very simple, find an empty road or parking lot
  • Make sure the area is flat
  • Use the parking brake to increase resistance
  • Always have someone in the car at all times

Deadmill



  • Leave the treadmill off
  • Focus on increasing speed to add intensity.
  • Sets of 30 to 45 seconds for maximum speed is a good starting point
  • Try different treadmills, they all have different levels of resistance

Creative Examples


Here are a few creative examples of how our athletes used what was available to them, in the gym, or outside of it.







If you have any questions, feel free to reach out! Also, if you have other ideas of how we can sled without the gym please send them to me!

Add reverse sled into your routine today!

Related


Thank you for reading, 
Matt

Email: koenig.matthew546@gmail.com
WhatsApp: +1 204 891 6851








Note:
The information above is not a substitute for medical advice. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, it is always better to see your doctor before starting any type of rehabilitation to ensure you are properly diagnosed.