The back squat is one of the most important exercises you can perform in the gym. However, most people won't be able to perform it properly on their first day, due to mobility restrictions caused by a sedentary lifestyle.
Therefore, this article will provide a path of progression, starting with squat variations that reinforce proper technique and require minimal joint mobility, and eventually progressing you the full back squat. Each exercise builds on the next, so that by
It is my opinion that kettlebells are one of the most over-utilised pieces of equipment I see in a coach’s arsenal. Kettlebell can certainly be used effectively to increase strength in a novice, but so can almost any weighted object. What is more concerning is the amount of strength and conditioning programmes now utilising the kettlebell as a means for overload in advanced athletes. Combat sports in particular seem to have a strong affinity for the cannon-ball shaped impleme
Have you ever heard the saying: ‘20% of the effort yields 80% of the results’. Interestingly, this relates to an actual phenomenon known as ‘The Pareto Principle’. The Pareto Principle’s name comes from an Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, who in the late 19th century made the observation that 80% of Italy’s land belonged to just 20% of the population. Surprisingly, this observation is not only present in economics, but in many fields. In fact in science and mathematics, t
Introduction Sprinting is a movement that is a key skill in the sport of track and field, although it also occurs frequently in almost every team/field sport. Research shows that elite status and/or team success in these sports has high correlation with sprint ability (Baker & Newton, 2008; Fry and Kraemer, 1991; Gravina et al., 2008; Seitzet al., 2014). Therefore it is of major interest to the strength and conditioning coach to understand the effect of maximal strength on sp
I was never naturally talented at anything sport or fitness-related. In school, I was the person who was always picked last on sports teams. As far as I was concerned, physical activity just wasn't for me. It wasn't until I was 15 years old that I realised that there was a whole other side to the world of strength and fitness than kicking a ball around a field. I began doing bodyweight strength exercises and circuits. As a teenager, I found this immensely therapeutic for all
What is hypertrophy? Hypertrophy is an increase in the cross-sectional area of the muscle, mainly due to an increase in saromeres and filaments in parallel (Schoenfeld, 2010). There are many highly detailed molecular underpinnings to how this occurs, but in essence they are up-regulating protein synthesis and down-regulating protein catabolism (Sandri, 2008). Why increase it? An increase in muscle mass is associated with a host of positive benefits for performance, whether it