Should Female Athletes Not NOT Bench Press? 4 Reasons Why You Should

Should Female Athletes Not NOT Bench Press? 4 Reasons Why You Should

When it comes to female athletes, there seems to be a lot of myths surrounding the exercises they should and shouldn’t do. One of the most common misconceptions is that bench pressing is not healthy for women, and can be detrimental to shoulder health. However, the truth is that bench pressing can be incredibly beneficial for female athletes, especially those who participate in sports that involve throwing, or sports like tennis and or volleyball where rapid overhead shoulder extension and flexion occur. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of bench pressing for female athletes and debunk the myths surrounding this powerful exercise.

1) Builds Upper Body Pressing Strength

Bench pressing is a fantastic way to build upper body pressing strength, and elbow extensor strength, both crucial for female athletes. It works the chest, shoulders, and shoulder stabilizing muscles and joints, triceps, and even engages the core muscles. Many sports require upper body strength, including throwing a ball, hitting a volleyball, and serving in tennis. If you are playing in sports where physical contact occurs, such as lacrosse, basketball, or even soccer, then bench pressing can help female athletes develop this strength and improve their performance on the field or court.

A common objection to doing the bench press is it “is not functional for female athletes because they will never be in the position during their sport!” The problem with this train of thought is that it overlooks the concept of developing muscle and nervous system quality. It’s not totally about the exercise as much as it is about the properties being trained that have carry-over. Whether lying down, sideways, or standing, the internal structure does not care, it only generates the necessary force to overcome the resistance.

2) Helps to Reduce Injury Risk

Contrary to popular belief, bench pressing can actually help female athletes avoid injuries. Just like any other exercise, the dosage amount is important so as not to overly tax the shoulders by doing too much too frequently. Strengthening the upper body muscles can help to stabilize the joints and prevent shoulder and elbow injuries. This is especially important for female athletes who participate in sports that require repetitive throwing, such as softball or baseball. Strength at and around these joints will help provide the conditions to generate more force during activity.

However, always keep in mind that it is not possible to prevent all injuries.

3.) Increases Throwing/ Hitting Strength

As we mentioned earlier, bench pressing can increase throwing or hitting strength for female athletes in sports involving throwing. It helps to develop the chest and shoulder muscles, and improve elbow extension, which are crucial for a powerful throw. Similarly, in sports such as volleyball or tennis, a strong upper body is essential for hitting the ball with force and accuracy. When implemented and executed correctly, bench pressing will help to develop better stabilization at the shoulder joints throughout specific ranges of motion. This is key, as muscle contractions at the right time help create fluid movement around the joints.

4.) Boosts Confidence:

While this can not necessarily be measured physically, bench pressing can help to boost confidence in female athletes. A good number of female athletes are hesitant to train upper body. The ones who do have a one-up over the ones who don’t, as they can be outperformed and “out-physicaled” on the field or court, or water. As they see their upper body strength grow, and strength numbers go up, they will feel more confident and powerful on the field or court. This confidence can translate into improved performance and help female athletes reach their goals.

As you can see, developing upper pressing strength provides numerous benefits for the female athlete, contrary to the myths surrounding it. Increasing upper body pressing strength is a surefire way to not only develop true strength and power but also contribute to injury reduction when done correctly. In addition, the added confidence will give the female athlete an edge as she will become physically stronger than her competition by developing an area that other female athletes often bypass.

4 Reasons Why Women in Their 30's and up NEED to Strength Train

4 Reasons Why Women in Their 30’s and up NEED to Strength Train

As a woman in your 30’s, you might have started to notice that keeping a toned, healthy, and fit physique requires more effort compared to your early 20’s. Age-related muscle loss, busy schedules, and the responsibilities of family life, even stress can make it tough to prioritize exercise and muscle building. However, making strength training a part of your fitness regimen carries numerous benefits that go beyond just building muscular strength. Here are the top 4 reasons why women in their 30’s should engage in strength training.

Greater Metabolic Efficiency

One of the most significant reasons why women in their 30’s should strength train is that it boosts metabolic efficiency. As we age, the body’s metabolic rate tends to plummet, resulting in weight gain, poor insulin sensitivity, and diminished energy levels. Strength training counteracts this by increasing lean muscle mass, which raises the metabolic rate, thus improving how your body utilizes energy. This translates to weight management, improved insulin sensitivity, and lower risks of conditions like type 2 diabetes.

Reduced Risk of Injury

Strength training also has a beneficial impact on your overall physical health. As you age, joint pains, aches, and injury risks become common. Strength training can reduce the risk of bone and joint problems, improve joint stability, and reduce vulnerability to painful conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis. Additionally, strength training enhances your balance, posture, and agility, making you less susceptible to injuries and falls.

Enhanced Mental and Emotional Well-being

Strength training enhances your mental and emotional well-being, making it one of the best forms of self-care. When you lift weights or engage in resistance exercise, the body releases feel-good hormones known as endorphins, which help you feel calm and happy. Moreover, resistance training can reduce stress levels, decrease depression and anxiety symptoms, improve sleep patterns, and boost overall brain function.

Improved Physical Performance

Finally, strength training can boost your physical performance, from lifting groceries to performing more extended workouts. It develops overall strength, improves endurance, increases your capacity to perform daily tasks, and builds muscular stability. This makes you more resilient and able to tackle everyday physical activities with more comfort and less effort.

Make strength training a vital component of your fitness routine, especially if you’re a woman in your 30’s. Not only does it boost your metabolism and lower the risk of injury, but it also improves your mental well-being and physical performance. Don’t hesitate to start lifting weights, trying resistance exercises, or adding bodyweight workouts to your regular schedule. The rewards of strength training are well worth the investment in your health and well-being.

Debunking the Myths of Social Media Training Landscape and the Impact On Young Athletes

Debunking the Myths of Social Media Training Landscape and the Impact On Young Athletes

Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. Whether it’s about connecting with friends and family, following our favorite celebrities, or staying in touch with the latest trends and news, social media has made it possible. However, social media has brought about a new era of information and knowledge sharing that has led to an increase in myths and misconceptions, especially when it comes to the fitness industry. Personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts now find themselves dealing with a new challenge – combating the misinformation shared on social media. In this blog post, we will be debunking some of the myths in the social media training landscape and their impact on young athletes.


Myth 1: More is Better

The idea that doing more exercises or repetitions is better is a pervasive myth in the fitness industry. Many young athletes believe in this myth and push themselves to the limit, causing injuries that can be detrimental to their careers. Social media has contributed significantly to the spread of this myth. Fitness enthusiasts on social media often make it seem like they are doing more than what is necessary to achieve results. Often, this ends up discouraging young athletes, making them believe that they are not good enough. The truth is that more does not necessarily equal better. Quality over quantity is always the way to go. A few well-executed exercises with proper form and technique are better than a hundred poorly executed reps.

Myth 2: One-Size-Fits-All Approach

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to training young athletes. Every athlete is different, with unique abilities, preferences, and goals. Social media has created an illusion that there is a one-size-fits-all method of training young athletes. Personal trainers must address the individual needs of each athlete, tailor their training programs to their specific needs, and adjust as needed. A cookie-cutter approach to training athletes can be detrimental to their performance. It not only inhibits them from achieving their goals but can also cause injury.

Myth 3: Shortcuts to Success

Achieving success in anything requires dedication and hard work, and this is true when it comes to sports. Social media often highlights the success stories of young athletes, making it seem like they achieved their success overnight. This can be discouraging for young athletes who are putting in the effort but not seeing results. Personal trainers must emphasize that there are no shortcuts to success. It takes time, dedication, and hard work to achieve greatness. There is no secret formula or magic pill that can get you there.

Myth 4: No Pain, No Gain
This myth has been around for decades and is still prevalent today. Young athletes on social media often promote this idea by pushing themselves to their limits, causing injuries and long-lasting damage. Personal trainers must make young athletes realize that pain is not a sign of progress but an indication that something is wrong. Overexertion can do more harm than good, and an injury can derail an athlete’s career.

Myth 5: Social Media is the Gospel
Social media has become a platform for information dissemination, and many young athletes believe that everything they read or see on social media is true. Personal trainers must emphasize to their athletes that social media is not the gospel. They must do their research and use reliable sources of information to make informed decisions.

In conclusion, social media can be a blessing and a curse in the fitness industry. While it has made information readily accessible, it has also contributed significantly to the spread of myths and misconceptions. Personal trainers must educate young athletes on the myths of social media and their impact on performance. The focus should always be on quality over quantity, individual approach, hard work, and research. By debunking these myths and providing accurate information, personal trainers can help young athletes achieve their true potential.

Breaking the Barrier: Unleashing the Potential of Athletes through Speed Training

Breaking the Barrier: Unleashing the Potential of Athletes through Speed Training

The importance of speed training for every athlete cannot be overemphasized. Speed is a critical factor in almost every sporting activity, from sprinting races to basketball games and football matches. But, beyond the need to improve your speed, speed training has a more fundamental importance that goes beyond the physical. It may come as a surprise to many, but speed training creates a profound effect on your nervous system. This effect can have a significant impact on the body’s muscle contractile properties, leading to improved strength, power, and endurance properties. This post will explore how speed training can benefit your nervous system and ultimately improve your athletic performance.

The body’s muscle function depends on the ability of the nervous system to send signals to the muscle fibers to contract. As such, your nervous system has a direct impact on your body’s strength, speed, and power. How does speed training come into the picture?

Speed training exercises focus on developing your body’s fast-twitch muscles. Fast-twitch muscles contract at a faster rate than slow-twitch muscles, making them ideal for high-intensity exercises such as sprinting. During speed training, your body’s overreliance on slow-twitch muscles is reduced, and fast-twitch muscle fibers are activated. This change in muscle fiber activation enhances the nervous system’s communication with these muscle fibers to contract, leading to improved strength and power output.

Motor Unit Recruitment

Additionally, speed training can help improve motor unit recruitment. Motor unit recruitment refers to the recruitment of motor neurons and muscle fibers during a muscle contraction.

The more motor neurons recruited during a contraction, the more muscle fibers are activated, resulting in increased strength and power.

Speed training requires high levels of motor unit recruitment, leading to better synchronization between the nervous system and the muscles. This synchronization improves the muscle’s contractile properties, enabling quick, explosive movements required in high-intensity activities like sprinting, jumping, and throwing.

Neuromuscular Efficiency

Speed training enhances the body’s neuromuscular efficiency. Neuromuscular efficiency is the ability of the nervous system to produce a muscle contraction with minimal energy expended, leading to improved performance. Efficient muscle activation helps improve movement patterns, reducing the risk of injury and improving overall athletic performance. Speed training exercises require coordinated movement between the upper and lower body, developing the body’s proprioceptive abilities. This development of the proprioceptive system, responsible for sensing joint position and movement, leads to better movement and coordination during athletic activities, improving your performance.

Metabolic Efficiency

Speed training also impacts the body’s metabolic efficiency. Metabolic efficiency refers to the ability of the body to use substrates efficiently to produce energy for muscle function. A well-developed metabolic system allows athletes to perform better in high-intensity activities over prolonged periods. When you engage in speed training, the body undergoes metabolic adaptations, leading to improvements in the body’s oxidative capacity—a critical factor in endurance activities.


As you can see, speed training should be an integral part of any athlete’s training program. The benefits of speed training go beyond just improving an athlete’s speed and power. Speed training improves motor unit recruitment, neuromuscular efficiency, and metabolic efficiency, resulting in better overall athletic performance.

A well-developed nervous system enhances the muscle’s contractile properties, improves movement patterns, and increases the body’s metabolic efficiency. Athletes at all levels and sport can reap the benefits from speed development. Even athletes in sports that have low volumes of sprinting itself (volleyball, baseball, golf), sprint training will have major carryover because of the internal adaptations. The same holds true even for the adult seeking better fitness.

Observations and Thoughts on the Fitness-Scape in Hungary

Observations and Thoughts on the Fitness-Scape in Hungary

Having lived just over a year in here in Budapest, there are a few consistencies here that I have noticed I strongly believe that not only keep training professionals from reaching their fullest potential, but also their clients the results they deserve.

Now, not EVERY trainer that I have seen falls into the forthcoming categories, but the majority of them do.

It is worth noting objectively, that the behaviors and standards of the local training professional are in part reflective of the culture and standards they may have lived with.

I truly believe that regardless of the country, there are tenets as a training pro that are a constant in creating an IMPACTFUL service that will alter customers well beyond the superficial, and keep them for life.

Here we go:

1.) Be a good human, and be authentic. If you are an asshole, fine. Just be one all of the time so it’s consistent with who you really are[

2.) Be present when you are training your client. When you are on your phone religiously, and not even watching them while they Train, you aren’t worth their time.

3.) It is about (or should be) your client. Not you. Your consistent posts  that highlight your own body, and not the results you get for people could be turning away potential great clients for you.

4.) Training to look like a body builder or “fitness model” is not fitness. Sometimes not even healthy. The majority of people around you want to be fit, but not look like a Scitec advertisement.

5.) The term “functional training” is overused. Stop using it.

6.) Invest time in creating customer service. This is a void that you have a huge opportunity to separate yourself from most other trainers. Don’t view your customers as transactions but as relationships. Make their life better, and make their life easier.

7.) Last but not least, take pride in what you do. Constantly improve and find ways to separate yourself as just a “trainer”. If you are serious, then don’t be a hobbyist, be a training professional. This alone will help you to have a thriving, and self fulfilling business more than any other thing.

The power in these reach beyond these borders and will have a significant impact on any trainer’s business.

Use it Or Lose It: In Season Training

Use it Or Lose It: In Season Training

As an athlete, ensuring you maintain your speed during your sport season is crucial. Doing so will ensure that you maintain peak performance, build endurance and prevent injuries. However, failing to train during your sport season could lead to a decrease in speed, performance, and overall endurance. In this post, we will discuss why it is important to maintain training during your sport season, and what you can do to do so.

Understanding the Importance of Training

Training is the foundation for any athlete, and it is essential to maintain it even during your sport season. When training takes a back seat during your sport season, you are depriving your body of the crucial functions it needs to stay in peak condition. This means that even if you are not actively competing during the season, you must still train to stay on top of your game.

The Consequences of Not Training

If you fail to maintain your training during your sport season, your speed will decrease, and your overall performance will suffer. As a consequence, you will be less effective at your sport, which could lead to a loss in your team’s overall standing and individual accolades. It’s also important to note that not training during your sport season could lead to your body being ill-prepared for the next season, leading to delayed progress.

Maintaining Training During Your Sport Season

To maintain training during your sport season, it is important to work with your coach to design a training program that takes into account your sport season. This will ensure that your training regimen complements your sport season’s practices and games and helps promote overall peak performance.

Additionally, it would be best if you took care not to over-train during your sport season. While maintaining your performance is crucial, over-training could lead to the opposite result, leading to injuries and setbacks.

The Role of Rest and Nutrition

Another vital aspect of maintaining peak performance during your sport season is to take care of your body, which means promoting proper rest and nutrition. Ensure that you get enough sleep each night and maintain a good level of hydration during practices and games. Also, incorporate healthy meals and snacks into your diet to help maintain your overall health as well as recovery.

In conclusion, training throughout the season is an important part of any athlete’s journey. This continuous training is necessary to help you keep the speed, power, and strengths that were acquired during the offseason. Therefore, make sure to stay consistent in your workouts throughout the entire season in order to maintain your edge over opponents. Think about how you felt during your last season; Did you feel you were running slower during your season? Keep solid training principles throughout your season, in order to really maximizes the speed gains made before the season.

Don't Say I Didn't Toe'd You About It: Big Toe Strength for More Power

Don’t Say I Didn’t Toe’d You About It: Big Toe Strength for More Power

Yes I went there for this title. But lets get into it really quickly.

Competitive athletes are always looking for new ways to improve their performance on the field or court. One area that is often overlooked when it comes to improving athletic performance is the strength of the big toe. This small digit can play a crucial role in an athlete’s ability to sprint faster and jump higher. In this blog post, we will dive into the science behind why the big toe matters and discuss some simple exercises that athletes can perform to strengthen this important muscle.

When we run or jump, the big toe plays a critical role in helping to propel our body forward. It acts as a hinge between the foot and the ground and is responsible for generating a significant amount of force. If the big toe is weak, it can limit an athlete’s ability to push off the ground with enough force to accelerate quickly or jump high.

Additionally, studies have shown that athletes with stronger big toes have faster sprint times and higher vertical jump heights than those with weaker toes.

This is because the big toe helps to stabilize the foot and ankle, which can improve an athlete’s ability to transfer force from the lower body to the ground.

So, how can athletes strengthen their big toes? One simple exercise is toe curls. This involves placing a towel on the ground and using the toes to scrunch it up toward the ball of the foot. Another exercise is seated toe raises, where the athlete sits in a chair and lifts their toes off the ground, holding for a few seconds before lowering back down.

Wearing shoes with a wide toe box can also help to improve big toe strength as it allows the toes to splay out and engage the muscles more effectively. Additionally, performing barefoot exercises, such as walking on sand or grass, can help to strengthen the toes and foot muscles.

If you want to be even more intentional, there are plenty of manual exercises that you can do to strengthen your big toe, like placing variable resistance against big toe range of motion using your fingers.

Let’s note that  it’s not just athletes who  benefit from improving big toe strength. ANYONE who engages in regular physical activity, such as gym going, recreational running, walking, BABY boomers, can see improvements in their overall athletic and simple daily performance by focusing on the strength of their big toe.

So, having strong toes can greatly enhance your athletic performance and grant you a competitive edge. From improved running and sprinting form to more powerful push-offs with jumps, even for pitchers, the physical benefits are pretty clear. But how intentional are you about actually training your toes?

If you answered “not really.” Then you can go ahead and join the majority of athletes and coaches who don’t. The positive thing is, is that now you know. Take a few minutes during your next training cycle to begin working out that big toe. Have metrics in place on your speed or jumping beforehand to see how it improves after 8 weeks!

Accelerate Your Sprint Performance: How Focusing on Lower Back Strength Can Make the Difference

Accelerate Your Sprint Performance: How Focusing on Lower Back Strength Can Make the Difference

Speed can be everything for competitive athletes, particularly those in year-round sports. Sprinting is an essential, yet trainable skill for athletes that compete in a variety of sports, such as track, football, soccer, lacrosse, and basketball to name a few. An athlete’s sprint speed can be the difference between scoring the winning goal or getting beat to the goal. One often overlooked component of increasing speed is lower back strength and its vital role in helping to produce high speeds. Since a weak lower back can compromise an athlete’s ability to sprint at their fullest potential, it’s essential that athletes allocate the time necessary to strengthen it. In this blog post, we will explore why having a strong low back is crucial for improving sprinting speed, and one of our favorite exercises to use to help build that strength.


Importance of the Low Back in Sprinting

The low back is responsible for essential functions in the sprinting movement. When an athlete sprints, the back muscles contract isometrically, helping to not only maintain posture, but provide stability as the extremities go through the necessary motions. A low back that can not maintain the strength necessary to withstand the sprint forces can compromise posture, causing inefficient mechanics, and expend unnecessary energy. Not only this, a weaker lower back can increase the risk of injury because it does not have a high enough threshold to accommodate those same sprint forces, putting the muscles and joints around it at risk as they would now have to bear the loads.

Core Stability

The lower back is a key contributor to core stability. Stability in this sense refers to the core’s ability to resist movement despite the forces being placed upon it throughout dynamic movement. The more stable the core is, then the better able it will be to generate and transfer forces deposited by the lower body during extreme movements. It is also worth noting the heavy rotational aspect the occurs at the trunk during sprinting.

The arm action (rapid extension and flexion originating at the shoulder joint), causes the torso to rotate along the spine. During a sprint, the core is literally violently twisting, stopping, and twisting in the opposite direction over and over again. And just as important as it is for the core to be able to generate rotation during a sprint, it is just as important for it to be able to stop and redirect that twisting, over and over again.

The lower back play a crucial role not only in facilitating this pattern but doing so while keeping the torso upright during this movement.

Reduction of the Risk of Injury

Sprinting is one of the most taxing activities that the body can undergo. The forces place an extreme demand on the joints and muscles. As mentioned before, a stronger low back will reduce the loads placed on other muscles involved in sprinting, such as the hamstrings and hip flexors; two commonly injured muscles caused by sprinting.

A low back unable to sustain the demand placed on it can cause the hamstrings to work harder than necessary, and fatigue more quickly. This creates the conditions for them to get strained and or “feel tight”.

Training Strategies

While there are a plethora of exercises available to increase low back strength, generalizing them to every single athlete may not be the best way to do so.

Yes. Low back strengthening in principle should be apart of every athletes’ training regimen, as the benefits are across the board for any sport. However, exercise prescription should always be based on each individual athlete’s condition, biomechanics, and what they have available.

Key concepts to understand are the movements the low back contributes to (extension, flexion, and side bending to a degree, and rotation), and the three phases of movement; eccentric, isometric, and concentric.

So rather than just assigning “deadlifts”, and back extensions for the sake of it, make sure to include tempos to target the specific phases of movement of the low back. For example, eccentric strengthening of the low back will help it’s ability to tolerate more loading, while isometric strengthening will help it to maintain its strength integrity against resistance.

Absolutely, exercises like deadlifts, and back extensions, squats, etc have their place and can be of extreme benefit, but it’s deeper than just the exercise, and more about the intent. Simple resistant bands, sleds, dumbbells, and other implements can be just as effective as the aforementioned exercises.

Sled variations like the resisted back walk we utilize heavily for strengthening and prepping for linear speed days.


A strong lower back is essential for improving an athlete’s sprinting speed. It helps maintain posture, improves core stability, reduces the risk of injury, and improves sprint posture integrity. For high school athletes and their coaches, a comprehensive strength training program that includes lower back exercises, should always be included. Parents of athletes should be vigilant that their child’s training program includes lower back exercises to minimize any potential risks for developing problems with their lower back later on, and truly maximizing their speed potential. When it comes to developing speed, a strong lower back is a key component of any athlete’s training program. No it is not the flashiest and most talked about strategy when it comes to speed training, however the results are undeniable, yet unfortunately overlooked.

Core Crusaders: How Focusing on Core Training Revolutionizes Overhead Athletic Performance

Core Crusaders: How Focusing on Core Training Revolutionizes Overhead Athletic Performance

When it comes to sports, especially those that involve a lot of overhead movement, a strong core is essential. It may not be the first muscle group that comes to mind when you hear the term “overhead athlete,” but weak core can have something like a butterfly effect throughout the rest of the kinetic chain, specifically the shoulders for overhead athletes. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the basic functions of the core during movements, and how core integrity, or lack thereof, manifests proximally.


Overhead athletes, such as volleyball players, baseball pitchers, and tennis players, rely heavily on their shoulder muscles for their respective sports. However, if the core muscles are weak and not coupling properly, then the shoulders actually have to work harder to compensate for the lack of strength For example, during rotation, if the trunk rotators are not strong enough past a certain range, then to make up for that reduced range, the shoulder would have to overextend to articulate the desired velocity the athlete is trying to achieve while throwing a ball, or serving a volleyball.


Understanding Core Function


In order to better understand the interaction between the core and the rest of the body, it’s important grasp how the “core” actually functions.


Firstly, the trunk can flex forward, flex laterally, rotate, and extend. Every single muscle in the core is involved in each of these movements to a degree.


It is also important to note the different types of core muscles, and what functions they have:


You have the local stabilizer muscles, which are smaller in size and attach directly to the spine, and you have the global movers, like the transverse abdominals, obliques etc. that create the actual movement.


The role of the stabilizers is to isometrically contract and create rigidness around the spine as movement occurs. If the stabilizers are weak, then this makes it more difficult for the larger muscles to generate the necessary forces for efficient movement, including rotation.


In these instances, this is where overcompensation begins to occur in more proximal areas such as the shoulder.


Not only do the core muscles have to be strong and maintain that strength during rotational movement, but they also have to contract at the correct times during that movement. Weak stabilizers or global movers of the core that can’t contract appropriately will cause disfunction throughout the kinetic chain.


What Does this Mean For Overhead Athletes


For athletes such as volleyball players, softball/baseball, quarterbacks, even swimmers, the implications of a weak core lay the foundation for setbacks in performance. While there definitely needs to be solid strength integrity at and around the shoulder joints, many athletes fail to truly strengthen the core musculature that will ultimately enhance performance, via alleviation of the shoulder joints.


For athletes in sports that involve a good amount of throwing, whether that be throwing a ball, or using a specialized tool to throw a ball such as lacrosse, the trunk becomes crucial in not only generating the power for faster throwing, but also “winding” for the throw, as well as the ability to do it repetitively with quality season after season.


Consider a volleyball athlete gearing up for a serve. The move itself requires jumping, trunk extension, trunk rotation in both directions, extreme shoulder extension, and rapid flexion, all while making sure to time those movements accordingly to hit the ball with maximal power and accuracy.


If the core is not able to withstand the strong forces that occur throughout the motion, then this could potentially overload the shoulder, leading to an overuse, sometimes acute injury.


The body’s answer to weak musculature? Recruiting other muscles to make up for what is needed to deliver the desired goal. A core with strong stabilizers and global movers alleviates the shoulder, as it is now more geared to generate, absorb, and redirect the rotational forces.


Reversal Strength at the Core


A concept that is also overlooked is the demand on the trunk rotators to STOP rotation.


Referencing the volleyball serve once again, the “winding” up portion of that serve represents a rapid rotation in one direction that must be quickly decelerated into the opposite direction. That ability to stop, and absorb a high force, in this case rotational, we can term reversal strength. This is also termed eccentric strength.


Training the core to be strong isometrically at different positions is another crucial component to not just the concentric part (the serve) of the motion, but also the redirection (the wind up). Thus if the core can not sustain the eccentric forces, then output is lower and other areas get recruited.


Training the Core Appropriately for Overhead Athletes


Now that you have a better understanding of the core functions, then training concepts can be more clear. Here are a few things to remember when training the core:


Increase strength through isometric work via each of the core’s movement directions; extension, flexion, rotation. This sets the base for not only strengthening the stabilizers, but also the ability to absorb, redirection, and maintain posture throughout movement. One tool we utilize heavily with our athletes and clients to do this is the Kiro Core Harness.


Just like any other muscle in the body, the core goes through 3 phases of movement ; eccentric, amortization, and concentric. Try working EACH of these into your training routine to maximize throwing potential.


Explore outside of the norm. While sit ups, planks, a bicycles have there place, there are more optimal exercises for “core strength”.


Overall, it’s clear that overhead athletes need a strong core to reduce shoulder injuries and increase rotational ability, leading to better performance. We know that having a strong trunk will lead to not only better shoulder performance, but also overall strength and power increases, which are also important components of any sport.  If you’d like to get started on improving your core strength right away, consider signing up for a free trial session with us! Our team can provide individualized coaching based on your specific needs and abilities so that you can perform at your peak level. Ultimately, having strong core muscles is essential for keeping you healthy and injury-free as an overhead athlete – let us help you reach your fullest athletic potential.

Why Strength Training is Crucial for Athletes During Their Season

Why Strength Training is Crucial for Athletes During Their Season

Being an athlete requires not only physical strength but also mental toughness, and to achieve that, athletes need to undergo physical training. Strength training is a vital aspect of the preparation an athlete needs to undergo before a competition. However, for some athletes, especially high school students, they find it challenging to balance strength training with their regular season schedule. In this post, we will highlight why strength training is crucial for athletes during their season, and how it can improve their performance.

Reduced Injury Risk

Injuries are part of sports, and they can happen to anyone at any time. Athletics require one to be at peak physical condition, and if an athlete is not strong enough, they will be at a higher risk of getting hurt. Strength training helps in building up muscle strength, along with improving flexibility and balance. When an athlete engages in strength training, they can build up their endurance and increase their neuromuscular connections.

Increased Athletic Performance

Strength training is an essential component of athletic training because it helps athletes improve their power, speed, agility, and stamina. Athletes need to be able to move quickly and swiftly on the court or field, and that’s where strength training comes in. When an athlete engages in strength training, their muscles get stronger, and they can perform at a higher level. They can jump higher, run faster, and tackle harder, which is especially important in contact sports like football or rugby.

Mental Toughness

Physical training is just as crucial as mental preparation, and strength training can help with both. Athletes need to be mentally tough to push beyond their limits, and that toughness can be developed through training. The discipline required in strength training teaches athletes how to push through mental and physical barriers and overcome obstacles. Furthermore, strength training helps develop confidence, which is vital in any competitive endeavor.

Better Muscle Recovery

Athletes are typically engaged in year-round sports and competitions leaving little time for rest and recovery. But, if an athlete engages in strength training, their muscles can recover more efficiently after strenuous activity. Additionally, strength training can also help prevent fatigue by building endurance, so athletes can last longer in games.

Future Success

Athletes who strengthen their bodies during their season are not only developing themselves for the present but also creating a foundation for future success. Strength training builds the foundation for continued strength gains and helps prevent injury in the future. By incorporating strength training into their routine, athletes can build the foundation they need for successful college and even professional athletic careers.


Strength training during the season is an essential part of an athlete’s development and should never be sidelined. Not only can it boost performance, but also help to prevent injuries and improve overall physical health. Although there may be obstacles that make strength training difficult, such as a hectic schedule, finding an approachable and understanding athletic trainer who can design a program to fit your schedule will make all the difference in helping you stay healthy and achieve peak performance. And remember: if you are ever uncertain about how to go about strength training for your sport, don’t hesitate to reach out for expert advice–we offer free trail sessions here at Willis Performance Training so you can try the program before committing! With dedication and a well-structured strength training program, athletes can expect amazing results that will strengthen both their bodies and minds.

if you are that athlete who really wants to gain a competitive edge during your season and would like to experience how we help athletes improve their performance year round, fill the form below for your complimentary session: