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Prof. Carlo Varalda PhD, recognized as an international expert in strength training and functional assessment. Certified Professional who collaborates with National Sports Federations.

Strength Exercises in Athletic Training

02-04-2023 10:50

Carlo Varalda

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Strength Exercises in Athletic Training

When we talk about Athletic Training we often think that the exercises must "imitate" the specific technical gestures. I do not agree with this choice.

When we talk about Athletic Training we often think that the exercises must "imitate" the specific technical gestures.

I do not agree with this choice. My work philosophy involves the search for an increase in strength and its ability to apply it through gestures that do not imitate the technical gesture in an overlapping way as I see it as a repetition of what they already do during training aimed at improving specific qualities of the sporting discipline.

My idea is to create training stimuli that have similar characteristics, in terms of application of force, but in a broader way in order to increase this quality but, above all, the ability to modulate it according to the needs in competition.

In order to be clearer, I will say that there are more general exercises that I need to raise the strength rate but also to increase other characteristics such as joint mobility and tendon muscle elasticity and exercises that train strength more intensely and close to the application mode during a competition.

A classic example of a general exercise is the front squat. I have often explained why I believe this exercise should be taught from an early age, naturally without unsuitable overloads because, in addition to training the muscular system of the lower limbs, it adequately involves the extensor muscle kinetic chains useful for an adequate postural and balance structure muscle, improves joint mobility of the hip and ankle, develops the person's proprioception.

When you have to move on to the transformation or expression of power phase, I consider it useful to switch to a half back squat box in which it is possible to raise the loads, given the better biomechanical position of the lower limbs, in order to get used to expressing much higher power rates insecurity. Also in this case I vary the height of the box from the transformation phase to the power phase.

Exercises such as the pistol squat and the Bulgarian one leg lunge are equally useful in both building and power phases. In the case of the Bulgarian one leg lunge I also insert, in the general "construction" phase, moments of maintaining the position in an isometric form, this in order to increase the recruitment rate and the search for balance, postural structure and proprioception.

In the next articles I will explain in more detail some of the exercises that are "mandatory" part of my work programs and I will support them with videos and images useful for better understanding correct execution and errors.

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