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SPN Members - What are you recommending to your athletes with these unsure times upon us?

 

We wanted to begin a blog post that all members can comment on (below) with their thoughts and suggestions regarding anything that you are telling your athletes at this time.  This can include advice on coming into your athletic facility to workout or recommending they stay home.  If you recommend they stay home, do you plan to communicate workouts that they can perform at home?  What else are you recommending to them?  What questions do you have for our other strength coach members?  etc. etc.

 

It makes sense to leverage our Network and open this up for discussion and allow you to add comments, ask questions, etc.

 

Please respond with comments below.

 

Thank you for your contribution.

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You can read the full article here: ©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2019) 18, 301-315 http://www.jssm.org

Abstract

Post-activation potentiation (PAP) conditioning has been re- ported to increase performance. Most research has examined PAP effects on strength/power activities, whereas the effects on endur- ance sports are understudied. The aim of this study was to char- acterize PAP conditioning stimulus effects on a subsequent 5x1 km running trial. A randomized, within subjects, repeated measures study utilized 12 male, endurance-trained athletes, who performed a full warm-up, conditioning exercise intervention (4x5 repetition maximum band-resisted squat jumps) or a control condition prior to a 5x1 km time trial run. Tests were conducted immediately prior to the intervention, after each kilometer, imme- diately following the 5x1 km run, and at seven and ten minutes post 5 km run. Measures included the interpolated twitch tech- nique (ITT), evoked contractile properties, maximum voluntary isometric contractions (MVIC) plantar flexor force, drop jump, rating of perceived exertion, and heart rate. The PAP stimulus re- duced the time to complete the run (3.6%; p = 0.07, d = 0.51), and decreased the time to complete kilometer one (8%; d = 1.08, p = 0.014). Jump height (p = 0.02; 9.2%) and reactive strength index (p = 0.035; 16%) increased with PAP. F100 (force produced in the first 100ms of the MVIC) and MVIC force with PAP in- creased at kilometers 3 (p = 0.04, d=0.84), 4 (p = 0.034, d = 0.29), and 7min post-run (p = 0.03, d = 0.60). Voluntary activation (ITT) increased at 7min post-run (p = 0.04, d = 0.59) with PAP, yet de- creased at 7min post-run in the control condition (p = 0.03, d = 0.36). A prior band-resisted squat protocol decreased running time and improved neuromuscular properties in endurance ath- letes running 5x1 km.

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If you want to look really attractive in any outfit or be able to once again wear that skirt or jeans you wore before you gained some weight, you most certainly need to find the right balance of fat and muscles in your thighs. They don’t need to be skinny, since only toned thighs are sexy thighs. The exercises for your thighs will also benefit your calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, tensors, adductors, while other thigh muscles will build lower body strength, improve posture, burn calories and build lean muscle. So, what are the best exercises that can get you back in shape or help you remain fit and slim?

Warm up

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No matter how eager you are to start working on your thighs, you should always remember to warm up and stretch before doing toning exercises (or any other exercises, for that matter). Your body needs to be prepared for what’s to come and by increasing blood flow to your muscles and improving the flexibility of your muscles and bones, activating the central nervous system and reducing the risk of sore muscles and injury, you’ll not only minimise the risk of injuries, but also be able to make the most of your exercises.

Squats

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Probably the most popular and one of the best toning exercises are squats, which also sculpt the butt, hips and abs. They owe their popularity, among other things, to the fact that they don’t strain your back, since they’re done while standing up and without extra weight. If you need balance or extra support, you can do your squats standing alongside a wall or next to a chair or the edge of a table with one hand on the object. Try not to pull on it or push off from it.

Lunges

Another great exercise are lunges, which also work your butt and abs. Both legs need to be used at the same time, which means they’ll get much stronger soon. A lunge is basically any position of your body where one leg is positioned forward with knee bent and foot flat on the ground, while the other leg is behind. It is a great cross-training and fitness exercise.

Assault air bike

There are many good reasons while modern assault air bikes are so popular. The assault air bike is a low-impact, high-output cardio machine that combines the arm action of a cross-country ski machines and the workout you get on stationary bike. The faster you go, the higher the resistance. It’s very effective when it comes to fat burning and toning your thighs.

Plank leg lifts

Everyone knows that the traditional elbow plank pose works your arms, core and back, but when we add leg lifts, we specifically target the glutes while improving our overall posture and stability. Begin in the traditional plank pose, lower your body onto your forearms, letting your elbows touch the mat. Lift your right leg behind you and lower your foot to your mat. Repeat this lift-and-lower motion with each leg ten times. Don’t forget to keep your shoulders drawn back and your hips in line with your shoulders. Only with your core tight and glutes engaged can you ensure the best results.

Step-ups

These resemble one-legged squats and the repetitive movement will work your thighs, hips and butt. What you need is a knee-height plyometric box or raised platform. To limit stress on the knee, make sure you step onto the centre of the box.

Box jumps

Once you get your plyometric box out, you can also try box jumps. This explosive workout is a fantastic way to tone your legs, core and butt. When you land on the box, drop your hips to absorb the force and don’t lock your knees and quads, because this can hurt your knees.

Walking

Yes, walking, as an aerobic activity is very good for toning your legs. So, try to walk whenever you can and if possible try jogging or running. If that’s not an option, start walking up hills to make the most of your time outdoors.

If you follow these tips and make sure you eat a healthy and balanced diet, you’ll definitely notice how your thighs get more toned and attractive. That means you’ll look great in whatever you choose to wear and that your body will be much stronger and healthier.



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If you are looking into starting any kind of fitness routine, but you still want it to be super fun and interesting, dance classes are maybe the perfect thing for you. However, practising technique, movements, expression, and being in touch with your body while dancing is hard work, and you will lose calories, so here are some tips on how to rock your cardio dance class.

Start with the right attitude

Many of us don't actually know how dance classes work, and you may feel intimidated and uncertain about your abilities. Well, if you are not thinking about becoming a professional, then you should not worry about it. The goal is to have fun and get fit in the process, so have that in mind when you start.

Get the right gear

Like any other sport, dance requires certain equipment. First of all, getting the right shoes is crucial, and you want them to be comfortable and durable. It is always a good idea to invest in quality dancewear like leggings, tops, shorts, and skirts, but also make sure they are the right size, and they show the movement of your body. You can even get all the additional stylish and useful pieces like leg warmers, hats, and gloves.

Learn from your classmates

Surely there will be more and less experienced dancers in your group. Instead of being embarrassed, or intimidated by them, the best idea is to learn from them. Copy their moves, follow them when you get lost, or even ask them to show you a movie you didn't quite get. Getting in the first lines will also help you try harder, which means more calories lost. 

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Make the most of it

Dancing includes complex motions and they are rarely the same motions over and over again, like with many other sports. This means that your muscles work hard to keep up, and they get stronger from those moves as well. So, making the most of every class is important if you want to see the results.

Get into it

If you want the classes to show some effect and lead you to a fit and lean body, you better get into it as much as you can. Don't just mark the moves, rather include your whole body, your arms, legs, and even face. You will burn lots of calories, and your body will get comfortable with the movement. 

Learn to follow the rhythm

One of the most important things in dancing is to learn to follow the rhythm. Even if you lose it at one point, it will be easier to go back to the combo and make it look smooth. In the beginning, your dance teacher will probably mark the rhythm by clapping their hands, or feet, so try to remember that and practice at home when listening to music.

Practice whenever you can

To get the right technique, you have to practice a lot. This is a good thing because practice leads to perfection, and you will have many benefits in the process. Your balance and posture will improve. You will have more strength, and you will able to endure more because dancing does make you work up a sweat. Your motor function and coordination will improve as well.

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Don't be afraid to ask

Like in school, the dance teacher is there to show you the moves and help you learn. Whenever you are not sure about certain steps, it is better to ask them and go over it slowly, so you can catch up, rather than doing it on your own, and being confused. This can help reduce any injury because doing the move correctly hits the right muscles. 

Accept the criticism

Dance teachers may criticize you from time to time. If it is constructive criticism and they are not being rude, don't take it personally. Try to incorporate those tips while dancing, and just give your best, which will be enough for them to notice how hard you're trying.

Don’t miss classes

Your dance teacher may incorporate cardio training every once in a while, which is very important if you want to get enough strength to finish the whole combo. Don't miss out on these classes, and try your best because it is what will help you become fit.

Dancing is, first of all, a great way to get in shape, lose weight, and get fit. However, it is also so much more than just that. It is learning to connect with your body, it teaches you discipline, hard work, and dedication. So, the next dance class you have, try to apply these tips and have fun doing it.

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"I couldn’t believe the results that were produced simply by pressing on two small points near my belly button."

In the sport of Track and Field, as a coach, one of your biggest fears is the dreaded hamstring injury that mainly affects sprinters and jumpers. This type of injury can be the season ending type. At Corcoran High, we had the season opener curse, where we would lose a top sprinter to a blown out hamstring. This occurred consecutively for four years without fail. Regardless of modifications to the warm-up routine, different workout drills, and even more recovery time, someone would always go down for the count. This was until I learned and implemented the art of Reflexive Performance Reset.

Read more: https://blog.teambuildr.com/from-skeptic-to-believer-the-rpr-story-at-the-high-school-level

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College strength & conditioning is often considered the upper echelon of our field. World class athletes, multi-million dollar facilities, and massive salaries to match. It makes sense then that high school coaches try to mimic college strength programs with their own teams. Sometimes this is a great idea, but often times it leads to major problems.

Read more here: https://blog.teambuildr.com/what-high-school-strength-coaches-should-and-should-not-take-from-college-sc

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Exercise programming and periodization for off-season and in-season training play a huge role in the desired outcomes that a strength and conditioning coach wants to see in their athletes.

Strength coaches should be well aware of Newton’s third law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” In athletics, force production is crucial because an athlete who produces more force is often at a better advantage than his or her opponent who produces less force. Think of running economy, if a greater force is put into the ground there will be longer stride length as well.

Read the whole story: https://blog.teambuildr.com/posts/apre-and-high-school-athletes-what-you-need-to-know

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You did it! You wrote a killer cover letter, wowed them in the interview, and landed the job. Now the real work begins, but besides coaching your teams, here are a few other things you should do now that you’re hired.

What to Focus on First?

Once you land the position there are three areas you should get to know well, your resources, your coaches, and your team(s). Knowing your resources can help you make the most of your athletic complex and develop programs that not only flow well, but logistically make sense. This includes understanding how to use all of the equipment in your weight room(s) and knowing what training areas available to use like outdoor fields, hills, stairs, tracks, and pools. This is also a good time to learn what access you have to areas besides the weight room and what kind of scheduling might be involved with using different facilities for your teams. You should also spend time getting to know the coaches of the teams you’ll be working with.

Read the whole story here: https://blog.teambuildr.com/so-you-just-got-your-first-fitness-job-blog

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When I was a strength and conditioning intern at California University of Pennsylvania, I read a long article about the dangers of the different types of shoes that people wear. Obvious shoes made the list including high heels or tight dress shoes, but the article also discussed how most modern shoes are causing problems with feet, back and even hips. The article went on to detail the benefits of not wearing any shoes at all or at the very least switching over to "minimalist" shoes. After reading it, I immediately switched the type of shoe that I wore the majority of the day and swore that when I became a coach that I would implement a "no shoes" policy.

I’ve been the strength and conditioning coach at Canon McMillan School District for over four years now and the "no shoes" policy has been in place successfully since day one.

Read the whole blog here: https://blog.teambuildr.com/why-this-high-school-banned-shoes-from-the-weight-room

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Quite common in the world of sports, injuries are an inevitable reality for most sports players. Whether they don’t put effort into getting a proper warm-up, lack conditioning, or simply have poor training methods, the injuries they suffer are usually serious, often sidelining them for games or seasons, and unfortunately, sometimes even ending their careers. In order to cope with different injuries they endure while playing sports, many of them turn to physical rehabilitation. Aiding to a wide range of sports injuries, physiotherapy primarily focuses on the treatment of the strains, muscular pain, and fractures, as well as severe ligament tears. In order to further explain the paramount importance of physiotherapy treatments, we’ve gathered a list of ways which showcase the immense impact of physiotherapy on injuries related to sports. Here are some of them.

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It relieves the body from pain and injuries

The important members of sports medicine, physiotherapists are professionals involved in the treatment of athletes that get injured. They are involved in the process from the moment the acute injury appears, until the final stage of rehabilitation, when the patient is able to get back to their previous state of physical health. Whether the injuries are major or minor, physiotherapy treatment is an effective way to reduce the pain that the patient is feeling. By employing dynamic activities into the process of treating the patient, the physiotherapy projects are highly efficient in treating the damaged area and making sure it returns to a useful state. 

It prevents you from being susceptible to other injuries

With the help of manual treatment including acupuncture, exercises, and ultrasounds, the patient is sure to get relief from the issues they’re experiencing. What’s more, the regime employed by physiotherapists is also beneficial in case any other problems may arise. By identifying the problem areas that may cause pain in the future, the physiotherapist is able to provide treatments that may help prevent injuries that are likely to happen in the future, as well as prevent them from developing into long-term issues. The result is increased susceptibility of the patient since the treatments they’re getting are effective in protecting the body from any future damage in case the patient suffers other injuries as a result of strenuous physical activities.

It helps you get your physical health in a normal state

Being able to perform your best is one of the most important things for many, whether they’re professional sportspeople or not. With the fitness industry on the rise, more and more people around the world are becoming increasingly interested in playing sports. For example, Hong Kong is one of the cities where there has been significant growth in residents who exercise frequently. However, the number of injuries increased proportionally, causing many to seek physiotherapy treatments in Hong Kong to get relief from the pain. With the help of well-regarded physiotherapy treatment providers, patients are able to solve the issues causing dysfunction, thus helping restore your physical health to its normal state. 

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It is also a fitness therapy

There are different recuperative methodologies that can help you recover and get back into your normal state. A physiotherapist will examine your injuries and diagnose the problem, which will help them tailor the treatment to suit your particular needs. Specific exercises, pain-relief treatments, as well as general advice regarding the increase of your activity levels are the things you can expect to be incorporated into your treatment. Apart from its obvious therapeutic effect, physiotherapy is often seen as fitness therapy due to its immense impact on keeping your body fit and active. Low-impact aerobics such as walking and swimming are usually recommended to help activate the body. In addition, they also release endorphins that act as natural painkillers, which are helpful in creating a sense of general well-being while you’re working on getting a healthy physique. 

A healing process and a preventative measure, physiotherapy and its impact on sport-related injuries can not be emphasized enough. Due to its numerous benefits to the patients, it remains the most frequently used treatment modality, helping patients regain optimal performance and return to the activities they love as safely as possible. 

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2019 Fall Internship Positions Available

TEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIVERISITY – INTERNSHIP PROGRAM TCU currently has internship position available for the 2019 Fall Semester

Internships through the TCU Strength & Conditioning department are currently available for the 2019 Fall semester for those who would like to pursue a career in Strength & Conditioning. The TCU Strength & Conditioning Department is a teaching department that offers our interns hands-on experience as well as prepares them to become qualified Strength & Conditioning professionals. Interns will have the opportunity to work with all sixteen (16) of TCU’s Men’s and Women’s sports totaling more than 500 student-athletes. 

This is a non-paid position but offers the opportunity of advancement in the field of strength and conditioning as well as the fulfillment of credit hours towards a degree program. Applicants should be: Working towards a certification through NSCA, or CSCCa. Desire to make strength and conditioning your desired profession. One year of previous experience in a strength and conditioning program or have previous collegiate athletic experience. Pursuit of Bachelor’s degree or already possess a Bachelor’s degree.

To apply please send resume and 3 professional references to: Zach Dechant - z.dechant@tcu.edu

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American International College in Springfield Massachusetts is now accepting students for the Masters of Science program in Strength and Conditioning. This is an accelerated Masters degree that can be successfully completed in 16 months with the final four months of the program being entirely dedicated to the completion of an off campus internship at a location of the student’s choice. Additionally, the Master’s program has no research requirement allowing students to focus all of their time and effort on their course work, internships, and applied learning.

 

The program is designed to provide students with as many opportunities as possible to develop the skills they will need to be a successful strength & conditioning coach at any level of athletics. To help students reach this goal the courses they would be taking heavily emphasize the practical and applied aspects of the profession. Over 50% of the courses in the curriculum directly address topics like designing training programs, instructing exercise technique, and psychological techniques that coaches can use to better communicate with athletes and sports coaches. The scientific foundation courses such as Neuromuscular and Hormonal Aspects of Exercise, Sports Nutrition, and Bioenergetics in Athletic Performance specifically address the most recent theories that that underlie the training programs students will one day be implementing with athletes.

 

In addition to the courses that students would be taking the program includes two internship opportunities. The first of these internships is completed at AIC where students will get the opportunity to coach NCAA DI and DII athletes. The second internship would be completed during the fall of the second year in the program and the student gets to choose an internship site that best fits their career goals.

 

The primary goal of the Master’s program is to prepare and educate students so that they leave the program with a great understanding of how to coach athletes of all ability levels and backgrounds, and that they have the ability to effectively communicate the science behind their programs to the people they will one day be working with.

 

Anyone Interested in learning more about the program may contact the Coordinator of Strength & Conditioning Graduate Studies, Zane Pfefferle at zane.pfefferle@aic.edu or visit https://www.aic.edu/school-of-health-sciences/program/exercise-science/ for more information.

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With obesity being one of the biggest health concerns around the world, it comes as no surprise that so many people are trying to lose weight. Most people who have succeeded in doing so will tell you that it’s not that easy at all. Success is largely dependent on mental power and the right changes in the daily routine and some people, unfortunately, are unable to see the whole process through.

Even those who have managed to lose weight are sometimes left dissatisfied. Primarily because they feel much weaker and fatigue is preventing them from performing their normal tasks at work, school or home. The secret of successful weight loss is actually in losing excess fat, but retaining strength. So, how can we achieve that?

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Focus on strength work

The most common thing probably, but it has to be mentioned. The only way to keep your strength is to keep lifting heavy, for example. Instead of repeating exercises with small weights for thousands of times, focus on making regular pauses, but remain loyal to heavy lifting, since your energy will be seriously limited by your calorie deficit caused by your new diet. So, your job is to work with big, full body lifts with low repetition ranges. Also, make sure you don’t overdo it with the number of sets.

High-intensity conditioning

If you have not been doing cardio exercises or doing them in the traditional way, now is the time to stop that practice. In order to be able to lose fat, but at the same time keep as much muscle as possible, your cardio workouts should be shorter, but more intensive. So, say goodbye to moderate pace walks or jogs on the treadmill. The thing is that you should be more concerned with the total calories burned from fat, rather than the percentage of calories burned from fat. That’s why high-intensity workouts, such as sprint intervals are recommended. You have to be careful, though, especially if you are a novice to exercising or prone to knee or hamstring injuries. Experts recommend that you start by picking a distance based on your experience (20-100 yards) and do a set of 10 sprints with a half a minute rest in between, twice a week. Add two sprints to each session each week and when you reach the goal of 16 sprints with 30 seconds rest, increase the distance by 10 yards and start over at 10 sprints.

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Nutrition

One of the important elements of weight loss is definitely nutrition. Fat is best burned by introducing a low-carb diet at least four days a week, but in order to remain strong enough for your high-intensity workouts, you should periodically consume high amounts of carbs. A diet of green vegetables and meat alone will definitely burn fat, but you also need starchy carbs at least twice a week if you want to hold onto your muscles. Adding effective weight loss drops is also a good option, but do consult your doctor or nutritionist beforehand. Carbs are best consumed after your workout, so pick those days when you indulge in high-intensity training to treat yourself to a generous portion of carbs after a workout.

Keep yourself hydrated

Although this tip should be applied regardless of your shape and weight, it’s vital that you follow it while trying to burn fat, while staying strong. Each gram of carbohydrates in your body means there are also around three grams of water stored. This means that if you start consuming fewer carbs, your body will hold on to less water. Also, those who are dieting have most likely reduced the amount of food they consume and we know that we often drink when we eat, which means the less we eat, the less we drink. The way to go is to have water available throughout the day and sip it occasionally, not only when eating. When it comes to the amount of water you should drink, it depends on your weight. A rule of the thumb is to drink half an ounce for every pound of body weight.

As you can see, losing weight without losing strength is possible, but only if you follow these rules. It’s always a good idea to consult your doctor and fitness expert before changing your routines, to avoid creating some problems that haven’t existed before. So, stay focused and follow the instructions you receive from experts and you’ll get on the right track for sure.

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Read this great article about Rutgers research into avoiding concussions. https://news.rutgers.edu/research-news/athletes-should-build-neck-strength-avoid-concussions-rutgers-researchers-recommend/20190114#.XE4z-vZFw2w

Another reason why strengthening the neck is critical to athletes. #concussions #athletics #research #neck #neckpain #athleticperformance #athletictraining #exercises #neckx

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You can learn a lot from athletes’ biographies, especially from someone who innovated like Fosbury did. There are many lessons to be learned from this book both about sport and life through the chronicles of his rise to Olympic Champion and beyond. It is well framed in the context of growing up in the fifties and coming of age in the turbulent sixties. Fosbury developed his technique without coaching and in many ways in spite of coaching. This is a little pearl I go from the book regarding Fosbury’s in competition mental approach in preparation for a jump:

“First, the corrective. Fosbury would think: What if anything needs fixing from my previous jump? Often, for example, it was a reminder not to drift into the bar and instead, to jump vertically, not horizontally.” (P. 123)

“Second, the connective. Once he’d determined what needed to be fixed on this coming jump, he would connect the action to the particular part of the body responsible for making that happen, to feel it. To think that thought – more pronounced arch, for example – would help the body rehearse, or memorize, what it needed to do.” (P. 123)

“And, finally, the disconnective. In the final few seconds before the jump, he wanted nothing more on his mind regarding the past. All of his energy needed to feed his now. “I never started forward on my approach,” he said, until was absolutely convinced I was going over the bar.” (P. 124)

Enjoy the book it is an entertaining and informative read that brought back many memories from a bygone era in track and field.

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