Posts

Rethinking body armor for contact

When it comes to contact sport, body armor is a hot topic. This makes sense: armor protects you. But there is a problem as well: in the world of physical preparation armor is shorthand for size. In the real world that is hardly the case. The best combat armor is not the biggest. There is a reason modern soldiers don’t go onto the battlefield dressed as a medieval knight. To be effective armor has to be strong. It needs to allow movement. It needs to protect the most vulnerable parts. It needs to connect to the body. Size is the least concern in most cases.

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Developing mobility for tackling and grappling sports

Tackling sports are dynamic and chaotic. Athletes end up bent and folded in seemingly unpredictable ways. Fortunately, the situations occur in recognizable patterns, and these repeating patterns can give us clues on how to best warm-up and prepare. The collisions and grappling requires a wide range of flexibility and mobility. If an athlete can not move into and out of these tight and jumbled postures, they will avoid them, they will not have the necessary awareness to see them, or they will be injured when they are forced into them. A well designed training program can prepare athletes for these collision positions. 

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Sports Science Monthly – November 2021

Every month we take a deep dive into the latest research in sports science. In this month’s edition we look at how elite sprinters warm up, the data on whether periodization works in the real world, tactical behaviors in middle distance running, performance intelligence, and more.

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HMMR Podcast Episode 251: Relearning the lifts (with Wil Fleming)

Many athletes pick up weightlifting as a hobby after retiring from their primary sport. After years of training without proper technique, transitioning to a new sport often requires a step back to relearn technique. That’s exactly what we’ve been struggling with lately. On this week’s episode Wil Fleming joins us to break down our own technique, and shares some ideas on submaximal lifting, variations, complexes, warming up, meet preparation, and much more.

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Medicine ball training for tennis

Tennis is the sport I have been involved in my whole life as an athlete, a teacher, a coach and now on the athletic development and performance side of the sport. Throughout the journey, the medicine ball has played a crucial role and has evolved into an almost daily part of our program both on court and in the gym.

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Medicine ball myths and truths

The term medicine ball was coined by Robert J. Roberts in 1876. He had been inspired by one of the stories in Arabian Nights where an Eastern Potentate was advised by his physician to toss a large, soft ball of herbs a certain number of times a day until ‘he did sweat.’ Movement was being recommended as medicine back in ancient times. Roberts made a ball weighing 7-8lbs and sewn like a baseball. He then recommended a series of exercises in his work with the Y.M.C.A. that included lifting, circling and throwing the medicine ball. 

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Improving mobility for weightlifting

The sport of weightlifting requires speed, strength, coordination, and mobility all packed together with skill. Anyone can pick something off the floor, but picking something heavy up and lifting it above the head is much more difficult. Even the strongest individuals can only lift heavy weights so far off the floor. Therefore, in order to lift, you have to get under the bar. And do it quickly under time constraints. This is the essence of weightlifting and distinguishes it from the other ‘strength’ sports such as powerlifting and strongman.

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The warmup: where PE and athletic development meet

The typical warm-up lasts around 10 minutes and starts most training sessions or classes. It is either a garden blooming with possibility or a wasteland of lost potential. Unfortunately, it usually the latter, a perfunctory prelude rather than training with specific long term adaptive and educational goals. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 227: Warming up better (with Johnny Parkes)

When it comes to player development, it can be surprisingly hard for a large federation to make an impact at the individual player level. At the USTA, Johnny Parkes has been trying to identify where they can make most impact with young players. Their conclusion: the warm up. As physical literacy declines in young athletes, a good warm up can help ensure players are prepared for the ever-increasing physical demands of the international game. On this week’s episode he joins us to discuss some of the strategies they are using to develop players. Read more

Daily observation

I got this from Jimmy Radcliffe at University of Oregon. Every session during warmup it is imperative to observe and evaluate the following:

  • Posture
  • Balance
  • Stability
  • Mobility

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