Earlier this year I got a paper published in the SCJ titled, Are All Hip Extension Exercises Created Equal (click to download). I’m very proud of this paper and feel that it’s some of my best work to date (I had the help of a few amazing co-authors on the article as well).
The article showcases the hip-extension torque-angle curves during the good morning, 45 degree hyper, and horizontal back extension exercises and then discusses the practical applications.
Make sure you watch Brofessor Bret speak all the way up until the end of the video!
Every once in a while a study comes along and alters my understanding of biomechanics and sports science. Effects of weighted sled towing with heavy versus light load on sprint acceleration ability by Kawamori et al. was published ahead of print earlier this year in March. It’s an excellent study that supports what many strength coaches have been saying for quite some time (and refutes what many track & field coaches have been saying) – that heavier sled towing is effective in improving acceleration ability. In the past, many T&F coaches believed that using sled loads of greater than 10% of bodymass (or loads that reduced speed by greater than 10%) would alter sprint mechanics too much and negatively impact speed.
I thought up this exercise several years ago and included it in my glute eBook, but I never showed a video of them. I feel that biomechanically, this is one of the most similar ways to load the sprint pattern for horizontal power. Sure there are a whole-lotta muscles that are highly activated in a sprint, but the hip extensors appear to be the “rate limiting step” in terms of maximal speed production.
Moreover, the more forward the orientation of forces, meaning the greater the ratio of horizontal forces to vertical forces, the faster the sprinter. Finally, the better developed the velocity-side of the horizontal power equation, the faster the sprinter.