Archive for basketball training

Articles and Videos that Caught my Eye.

Posted in Z.S. Training with tags , , , , , on November 11, 2011 by zenithstrength

It’s been a while since my last post. I just got back from the Soin family reunion in Philadelphia. Congrats to  my cousin who got married and it was great to see the family.

Things are getting busier at Zenith Strength. We just ordered a Pit Shark Belt Squat machine that should be in sometime in December.  We now have another tool to work with our athletes in season to blast the lower body and also work through some upper body injuries for those who can’t front or back squat. I’ll write an article on hip belt squat and post videos once that arrives.

There is so much info on the web with so many coaches blogging and writing articles I thought I would pick a few I liked. As a strength coach, I have a huge list of coaches I follow for training related info, sports performance and rehab/injury prevention stuff. Unfortunately, the majority of people and athletes never get their hands on this information and continue to do some pretty ridiculous stuff because they read it in a magazine or the buddy told them to try a certain exercise.

Here are a couple of  articles and videos that I wanted to share.

Practical Guide to GPP

This is a nice article that will appeal to a lot of athletes and lifters alike. Plus when you start referencing Dan John you have to check it out.

Tips for Time Management Part 1 and part 2.

Lots of good advice from Brian St Pierre for general lifestyle and time management tips for a healthy lifestyle.

And a couple of videos on ankle mobility byMatt Siniscalchi

We see quite a few athletes who have some sort of ankle restriction which can result in knee, back and even shoulder issues.

I like these variations.

Enjoy!

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Speed Training for Young Athletes

Posted in Guest posts, Z.S. Training with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2010 by zenithstrength

Today’s post is a guest post from Eric Cressey of Cressey performance located in Boston. His take on speed and quickness training for young athletes was dead on and I had to share it.

Check it out here.

Cressey brings up some great points in his post about preparing athletes i.e. improving mobility, stability and strength before performing tons of agility and deceleration drills. Due to the high amount of forces on the joints during sprinting which can be up to 4 -6 times body weight, the body must have adequate strength to be able to decelerate and absorb the forces without injury to the knee-joint.

Check out his video as he discusses the absolute speed to absolute strength continuum and explains that you must build a solid strength foundation and build upon that to create a faster/quicker athlete.

Building stronger, faster, quicker athletes takes time and involves a progression of building stability and strength. Some kids may be more ready than others to begin different movement drills, but adding these drills to a young athlete who isn’t prepared for it is an injury waiting to happen.

In Strength,

Shyam

 

5 Tips to improve your Vertical Jump

Posted in Z.S. Tennis with tags , , , , , , , on July 25, 2010 by zenithstrength

Every athlete I have ever worked with wants to get faster, quicker, improve their speed. Before I discuss the 5 things you must do to improve your vertical jump I want to briefly explain how we test power output at Zenith Strength and the rationale behind the tests.

We test the vertical jump using the JUST JUMP mat to see how much force the athlete can produce. Based on the results we determine if the athlete needs to improve relative strength, upper body strength or the stretch shortening reflex.

We have the athlete perform 3 different types of jumps.

  1. A squat jump with the hands behind the head
  2. A counter movement jump using the arms to swing up as the athlete jumps.
  3. The counter movement jump with a step.

If that athlete has a low squat jump we will focus on improving the athlete’s relative strength with dead-lifting or squatting variations, which will improve ground force production.

If the athlete has a low counter movement jump we will add heavy chin up and pull-ups to improve upper body strength and help with the counter swing movement, in addition to lower body work.

And finally a low counter movement jump with a step means we have to focus on improving the stretch reflex through repeated jumps, broad jumps or depth jumps to a box.

Here are five tips that help improve your vertical jump in no particular order. Keep in mind that these are general recommendations. You should be implementing the strength training, plyometric work and mobility work, in your program.

  1. Increase your relative lower body strength.
  2. Improve your hip/posterior chain strength.
  3. Perform body weight jump variations
  4. Improve your hip flexion mobility
  5. Increase your relative upper body pulling strength.

In order to enhance your vertical jump you need to increase the amount of force you produce. The best way to do this is to improve your relative lower body strength.
We use the trap bar deadlift since it is easy to teach and feels natural for the athletes.

We also use squatting variations such as box squats which improves starting strength, since you are pausing on the box and then driving up using your hips.

Training to increase hip/posterior chain strength is essential as hip strength is necessary for a powerful jump. We use glute/ham raises to strengthen the hamstrings and glutes.  We also use hip thrusts and weighted bridges which I learned about from Bret Contreras. The common misconception is that you need to strengthen the quads and calves to jump higher. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. You will see much greater gains in vertical jump and sprint performance by strengthening the hip complex.

Here’s what a barbell hip thrust looks like.

The video below is an example of some of the plyometric training we perform. We use box jumps and resisted jump training with the vertimax.

In order to integrate your hips and sit back during the loading phase of the jump you must have adequate hip flexor mobility. In fact Joe Defranco, one of the most respected strength coaches in the field insists that stretching out the hip flexors prior to testing your vertical can add some height. He teaches this technique to football players to use at the NFL combine for the jump testing portion.

Here’s a good hip flexor stretch:

And finally improving relative upper body pulling strength using chin ups and pull-ups will help with the counter movement arm swing portion of the jump. In addition there is also a high correlation between sprinting speed and relative upper body strength with pull-ups.

Add these training ideas into your program and watch your vertical jump improve dramatically.

Train Hard!

Shyam