Why do you use an exercise? Where does it fit into the bigger picture? What was the origin of the exercise? Does the exercise do what you think it does? Is the exercise adaptable to the athlete or the sport environment or do you have fit the athlete to the exercise? Is there an alternative exercise that is better? How do you progress from this exercise? Is it nice to do or need to do? Beware of "Sheep Walking" - are you just following the flock,or is the exercise really all it is cracked up to be?


At 4/27/07, 12:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Gambetta,
I posed this question about "questionable exercises to some of my co-workers and to no one's suprise the powerlifters disagreed with exercises like, hamstring curls and leg extensions being questionable. I guess that for a pwerlifter these exercises would be sport specific, correct?

Jonathan Hewitt ATC

At 4/27/07, 4:15 PM, Blogger Joe P. said...

JH- Leg extensions & curls don't make too much sense to me. For starts, in gait, they don't extend the knee at all- the calf does. Rather, they decelerate knee flexion. Now lets add to the confusion. According to B-K, the VI, VMO, and VL are "dumb" muscles, and should be trained in isolation. I just don't agree with that.

Leg curls are training the hams for a function other than upright. If you read some of the work by Vleeming & Schniiders on the SI joint, potentially the exercise can cause neural confusion which contributes to force closure problems. The SI joint is important in transfering force back & forth from the upper & lower extremities. In powerlifting, this transformation is not necessary. It is a single plane, single speed sport, which explains their fondness for these exercises.

At 4/27/07, 6:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe P.
I agree with you. It's kinda funny now because I use to train everyone like a powerlifter or bodybuilder early out of college only lifting weights in a traditional manner and now I think I would have a hard time training someone who wanted to be a powerlifter or bodybuilder. Thanks for taking the time out to explain things a bit more for me. I wonder how far I could have gone in baseball if I would have trained the right way instead of bench press, bench press, bench press.

Jonathan Hewitt ATC

At 4/27/07, 11:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You just happen to drink the wrong Kool-Aid when you were younger. Hopefully when you are working with the younger athletes, you don't get them to drink that bench press bench press bench press. It isn't totally your fault, just look at the NFL combine on the ESPN...joe schmoe BENCH PRESS 225 pounds 30 times. So we follow the flock to the Bigger Faster Stronger...Bench bench bench.

Tee Cee

At 4/28/07, 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JH I also wonder and my question always leads to yes I would have been better and today I am. Now focusing on how to give back to the younger athlete.
joe P. neural confusion is very interesting.

At 4/30/07, 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe P-
Got any links to the sources explaining neural confusion and force closure?


At 4/30/07, 12:08 PM, Blogger Joe P. said...

JH- It depends how deep you want to dig in. Vern & Mike's "A formula for function" in Training & Conditioning mag from '98 does a great synopsis. Look around on the web, you may still be able to find it. If you go to the resource section of Vern's website, to my baseball presentation, you will see many references to Vleeming's work, but, it is high intensity biomechanics stuff.

At 4/30/07, 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Joe P. I am very very interested in learning. I'm applying what I've learned thus far to a D3 basketball team and those who were consistent have already commented of the difference they can see. Oh yeah and they didn't lift a single weight but we did use med balls. We re-test this week.



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