Ultimate Strength and ConditioningAccess Membership

Roundtable: New Methods

Roundtable Discussion: New Methods

Roundtable Question: What new information/exercises/method have you learned about in the past five years that has changed the way you train your athletes? How did you make that change happen?

Tony Rolinski: Within the last few years training athletes at the collegiate level, I’ve tried to research ways to improve mobility / flexibility in the hip / pelvic region. I started with looking at the muscular anatomy of the hip and how it works together to provide these eight athletic articulations:

Hip Flexion – Bending at the hip joint; moving the thigh or top of the pelvis forward.
Hip Extension – Straightening of the hip joint; moving the thigh or top of the pelvis backward.
Hip Adduction – Moving the thigh toward the midline of the body with the hip straight, (extended).
Hip Abduction – Moving the thigh away from the midline of the body with the hip straight, (extended).
Transverse Adduction – Moving the thigh toward the midline of the body with the hip bent, (flexed).
Transverse Abduction – Moving the thigh away from the midline of the body with the hip bent, (flexed).
Internal Rotation – Rotary movement toward the center of the body; turning the thigh or pelvis inward.
External Rotation – Rotary movement away from the center of the body; turning the thigh or pelvis outward.

When designing the strength and conditioning program, each one of those articulations is taken into account so they can be utilized. Since the hip and pelvis are directly tied into the posterior chain, (low back, glutes, and hamstrings), making sure all strength / conditioning and agility movements are performed through a full range of motion will definitely help clear up any flexibility issues within this region. With that increased flexibility, the athlete becomes more mobile and powerful which allows for a fluid and explosive athletic movement. This area of an athlete is also very susceptible to certain soft tissue injuries, (i.e. groin strains / pulls, lower ab strains / sports hernia), so focusing on dynamic and static strength movements are part of a “pre-hab” program for athletes. I understand that all injuries to this area cannot be prevented, but one of our goals is that if an injury does occur, the athlete should be able to get back to practice / competition faster and have less down time from that injury.

I’ve included the changes for improvement within the workout. Whether certain exercises are included in the dynamic warm-up, the strength and conditioning session, or specific individual extra work, it becomes part of the athlete’s training plan. By paying extra attention to the hip / pelvic region can definitely help create a better athlete.

Tony Rolinski

Associate Director

Strength & Conditioning

University of Notre Dame

Ron McKeefery: It would take me too long and I wouldn’t do it justice to explain what I have learned in the last five years regarding strength and conditioning. I challenge myself and my staff to get better every day. I have been very fortunate to create a network that promotes learning and sharing. I would say the greatest thing I have learned is that by going back and rereading a lot of the material I have collected over the years I have picked up things that I missed the first time around. I feel that the more practical experience you get the research, etc makes more sense.

Additionally, I have learned throughout my career that there a several ways of doing things. I have discovered that everyone can offer something. I really get upset with both young and old coaches that are closed minded and live and die by one way of doing things. If you have heard me speak then you know I always say that I am principle based and not philosophy based. For example the overload principle applies to pretty much every philosophy that exists in strength and conditioning. Therefore I take a piece from everyone.

Ron McKeefery, M.A., CSCS, SCCC, Coach Practitioner

Assistant Athletic Director – Strength and Conditioning

University of South Florida

Robert Taylor: From the “coach” in me, I’ve tried to become more of a “teacher”. I have tried to teach each of my athletes, so they can then teach someone else, and so on. Each of our team’s now have
an off-season strength and conditioning meeting which includes research, charts, graphs, video, etc. I also provide educational handouts, manuals, and DVD’s throughout the year to coincide with our website to help provide information to our athletes.

As far as professionally, the biggest change is how we monitor and provide feedback to our athletes using heart rate monitoring. We use a Polar Team System and wrist units to monitor as many aspects of an athlete’s “fitness” as we can. Our athletes wear the straps during fitness/conditioning, agilities, treadmills, pool workout, rehab, practices, and certain games throughout the year. The feedback that the Polar Precision Performance software helps provide has helped reduce the amount of misinterpretations of someone’s effort level, game fitness, or game readiness.

Head Strength and Conditioning Coach
Loyola College of Maryland

Tom Palumbo: I moved to Columbus, OH six years ago. I wanted to take advantage of all it had to offer since I didn’t know how long I would be here. In the past I had read articles written by Louie Simmons. Now I had the opportunity to visit Westside Barbell and be able to learn first hand. Even though the concepts were not new, the importance they put on them made me change the way I thought about the emphasis I should place on the speed of movement. Mr. Simmons has written and spoke on Rate of Force Development or Rate of Force Production. I now am very vocal with my athletes about not only finishing each repetition, but accelerating through the concentric portion of the movement. Also, I have incorporated the use of bands based off the idea of Accommodative Resistance. Once we purchased the Jump-Stretch bands we have found numerous uses for them beyond the set up for accommodative resistance. We get a lot of bang for the buck with the bands. The two concepts and the use of bands have made the biggest changes to the way I train athletes.

Tom Palumbo MS, CSCS, USAW

Associate Head Strength & Conditioning Coach

Ohio State University

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