Training: Improving the Standard Lunge”
-“Evaluating Current Training Practices:
Shoulder & Vertical
- Jump Training”
– BETTER LUNGING EQUALS BETTER LEGS
is the technique.
is the reverse lunge better?
– SOME THOUGHTS ON WEIGHT TRAINING
is time to dispel some workout myths, and to shed light
on some of the more popular, yet ineffective training techniques.
If you can think of any other exercises you see performed
in the gym and curious as to it’s benefits, or if you want
to know why some exercises maintain their popularity despite
their ineffectiveness, send an email.
training with dumbbells. It could be better!
understand that dumbbell (DB) shoulder lateral raises can
be effective, but probably any form of lateral raise OR
rotator cuff exercise performed with a DB is simply not
the best method of stressing the muscles.
the basic principle of resistance training: Muscle must
work to overcome a resistance. Traditionally, the resistance
is applied in the form of a weight, whether it is a barbell,
DB, or cable stack. However, the weight must be moved against
gravity, and as we all know, gravity operates downward,
not laterally. So apply this to our bodybuilder in the gym
performing a DB lateral raise and we can quickly see the
glaring weakness of this exercise. That’s right, the initial
portion of the lateral raise is almost completely horizontal,
therefore the resistance is not properly directed to the
scenario becomes even worse when people attempt to do external
rotation exercises with a DB when the arm is tight against
the body. The resulting movement is 100% lateral (referring
to the external shoulder rotation exercise where the elbow
is kept tight against the body and the arm is externally
rotated). The rotator cuff muscles are not being used to
move the DB out to the side, but rather just to hold it
a person could use a 200lb DB for this exercise and still
not work the rotator cuff muscles in external rotation.
Obviously, a 200lb DB would be too great for most to even
hold, but it illustrates how the exercise is just completely
ineffective when the wrong form of resistance is chosen.
Think about it, no one does standing chest flyes with DB’s
because it is not effective, so why try to train shoulders
what’s the answer to getting better shoulders? Cables. Cable
stacks always move upwards, therefore always moving against
gravity, and therefore always offer a resistance. They are
not perfect, but for the lateral raise, they are the best
raises for vertical jumps. How much difference will they
has shown both plyometrics and regular weight training to
be effective at increasing vertical jump & the best
results occur with a combined weights and plyometric program.
Athletes that want to improve their jump have to learn to
squat and deadlift. If the athlete tries to use the excuse
that they “can’t” do these, then chances are they can not
jump (or walk for that matter). EVERYONE can squat but most
people just need proper instruction and a little “motivation”.
for jumping, don’t waste time on calf raises. Why not? Jump.
How much effort did your calves really put in here? Granted,
they add a little force to the end of the movement, but
now jump again, without bending your knees. How high did
you get? Did you even get off the floor? Obviously calf
strength is not the biggest determinant of your vertical
jump, so don’t train with that belief.
forget those jump-shoes, they might help, but may increase
the risk of injury (the program included with shoes is way
too much training volume for most young athletes!). Athletes
must train the hamstrings and low back (together in the
deadlift and back extensions) because this (hip extension)
is the basis for jump performance. Don’t expect exercises
like the leg extension to add height to your jump either!
if you improve their jump, chances are an increase in speed
won’t be far behind. Check out the CB ATHLETIC speed and
plyometric workouts (ISSUES #22 & #35) to attack both
speed and vertical jump performance. The key to a good jump
program is a good understanding of proper technique and
program progression, otherwise, athletes could end up hurt,
training with plyometrics, use extra caution and common
sense and never train on concrete or other hard surfaces!
Train smart, think about what you are really doing. Many
guys and girls playing ball at the university level have
chronic knee problems, and improper training (such as jumping
on concrete) could easily lead to the development of one
knee condition or another.
conservatively with basic plyometric drills & emphasize
the landing phase rather than explosiveness (i.e. land,
pause, and balance between each jump). Then after 2 weeks,
introduce the “plyometric” aspect of the drill (i.e. land
and explode into next jump). Now begin to introduce more
exercises or multiple sets…
training should only be initiated after you have had a certified
instructor provide you with hands-on technique training.
Even the solid, scientifically based, biomechanically correct
and prudent CB ATHLETIC programs require visual instruction,
otherwise improper training can occur. Prescribing plyometric
and jump training without actually having personal contact
with athletes is risky, so be conservative and track down
a local expert for instruction.
sum up the best way to improve your vertical jump over the
train legs 2 times per week (1 day heavy,
the other day for balance – ISSUE #29)
perform plyometric and speed work 1-3 times
from 1 to 3 weekly sessions)
train the abs and low back 2-3 times per
week for strength (NOT for high reps)
whatever time is left can be put into upper
eat consistently and rest!