BIOMECHANICAL BASIS OF STRENGTH TRAINING

  • Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky

Abstract

The selection of strength exercises for qualified athletes is based on the idea of specificity. This means that training drills must be relevant to the demands of the event for which an athlete is being trained. Strength training drills must mimic the movement pattern used during the actual execution of the pertinent sport skill. However, the practical realization of this general idea is not easy Many efforts have been put forth by coaches, athletes, and scientists to find the most effective strength training drills for various sports. The main requirements of such a task are described as follows: (a) Working Muscles. The same muscle groups must be involved in the main sport event and in the training drill. (b) Type of Resistance. Tf the type of training drill resistance is changed in comparison to the resistance in the sport event itself, for which the athlete is being trained, both force production and the pattern of muscle activity are altered. (c) Time (and Rate) of Force Development. If the objective of the training is to increase maximal force production, Fm, there is no reason to use exercises in the time deficit zone, where Fm can not be developed. Tn turn, heavy resistance exercises are not a very useful training tool for enhancing the rate of force development in qualified athletes. (d) Velocity of Movement. Tf exercises are performed in the 'high force, low velocity' range of the force-velocity curve, maximal force Fm increases mainly in the trained range. On the other hand, if the 'low force, high velocity' range is used in training, the performance is improved primarily in this area. (e) Direction of Movement. Both the yielding strength and strength in reversible muscle action should be considered and trained as separate motor abilities. (f) Force - Posture Relationship. The following three approaches are used in practice and described in the presentation: Peak- Contraction Principle, Accommodating Resistance, and Accentuation. In addition several types of strength exercises are analyzed: (a) yielding exercises, (b) exercises with reversible muscle action, and (c) main sport exercises with additional resistance.