Category Archives: Sport Specific Training

The Nordic Ham Curl: A Staple Exercise for Athletes

NHC

In strength coaching circles, there’s a highly effective hamstring exercise that is well known to coaches, athletes, and sports medicine personnel.

The exercise has many names, including the Russian leg curl, Russian lean, Russian ham curl, kneeling Russian hamstring curl, Nordic ham curl, Nordic hamstrings, Nordic hamstrings lower, Nordic leg curl, Nordic reverse curl, glute-ham curl, bodyweight leg curl, natural hamstring curl, and bodyweight hamstring curl. The most common name used in the literature is the Nordic ham curl (NHC).

The Nordic Ham Curl (NHC)

These exercise variations typically involve kneeling on a pad and lowering under control while the ankles are held in place by a partner, a lat pulldown apparatus, a sit-up apparatus, a loaded barbell, a poor man’s glute-ham apparatus, or any other immovable object you can think of using. Here’s a video of my sister from several years ago busting out 3 reps.

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Should Strength and Conditioning Professionals Attempt to Incorporate “Everything” into Their Training Program Design?

Robert A. Panariello MS, PT, ATC, CSCS
Professional Physical Therapy
Professional Athletic Performance Center
New York, New York

In a recent conversation with my good friend Hall of Fame Strength and Conditioning (S&C) Coach Johnny Parker, he commented on his recent visit to a D1 University where in discussions with this University Head S&C Coach regarding the review of the football team’s weight room program design, it was stated that approximately 80% of the program design placed emphasized toward athletic performance and approximately 20% placed emphasis on “prehab” and injury prevention. A breakdown of this football training program design revealed a 50%/50% split of the program exercise volume for both athletic performance and prehab/injury prevention and not the assumed 80% to 20% originally stated.

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Addicted to Fatigue

puking in bucket

Addicted to Fatigue
Jim Kielbaso

The more programs like CrossFit and Insanity gain mainstream traction, the more people seem to use their level of fatigue as a barometer for the quality of a workout. Once you get accustomed to grueling workouts, it’s as though you crave the feeling of fatigue. If you’re not crushed at the end of a workout, you feel like it was a weak session. But, if we’re puking in a bucket or can barely walk, it MUST have been fantastic.

Throw in all the positive reinforcement we get about this –non-stop social media posts about how hard someone’s workout was today, YouTube videos of people trashing themselves, etc. – and it’s hard to avoid this trend.

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Sprinting and Glutes

In sports and in the weightroom, all muscles need to be strong and powerful. The body works in a series of kinetic chains to produce forceful, powerful, and coordinated movement. Nevertheless, some muscles are more important than others. And in the weightroom, prioritization is needed to make sure the lifter puts the majority of his or her efforts into the methods that deliver the biggest return.

What’s the Most Important Muscle for Total Athleticism?

If I had to choose one muscle, I’d say that the glutes are the most important muscle for total athleticism. After all, they’re heavily responsible for hip extension, hip external rotation, hip abduction, and posterior pelvic tilt, which means that they’re highly utilized in sprinting, jumping, landing, climbing, throwing, striking, swinging, turning, cutting from side to side, squatting, bending, lunging, cleaning, and snatching (basically all things athletic).

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