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The 5 Laws of Strength Training

Today I wanted to talk about the 5 Laws of Strength Training that were created by Tudor Bompa who is considered to be the Father of periodization and is a well renowned sport scientist. I wanted to briefly discuss these laws because I think these principles are not only important to consider when training or programming clients, but they are also ideals that I focus on while treating patients in the office.

Law Number 1: Develop Joint Flexibility. This is important because full range of motion at any given joint is crucial in staying injury free, and preventing sprains and strains. A lot of injuries we experience in the gym, including chronic, nagging overuse or repetitive stress issues, are directly related to compensations that are formed from a lack of joint range of motion. For example, ankle mobility is one area that gets commonly overlooked, and is known to create problems down the road (ie knee pain and back pain).

Law Number 2: Develop Tendon Strength. Muscle tissue develops tensile strength more rapidly than tendons and ligaments. This is why non linear progression (training at various intensities) is important. One way to target tendon strength is to incorporate isometric and eccentric workout into your program. Also, the soft tissue techniques that I incorporate into patient treatment plans also encourages tendon healing and recovery.

Law Number 3: Develop Core Strength. Your arms and legs will only be as strong as your core. You can’t build a big house on a weak foundation. If you don’t develop a strong core you are setting yourself up for failure. This is a crucial element to most of the rehab exercises performed in treatment.

Law Number 4: Develop the Stabilizing muscles. Stabilization is critical in force production, and also staying injury free. For example, a baseball pitcher who has a well-developed rotator cuff is going to throw faster than one who does not. Not to mention, they will probably also have a healthier career as well. We can train these stabilizing muscles by incorporating isometric exercises into programs.

Law Number 5: Train MOVEMENTS, not specific muscles. Athletes should not be performing isolation exercises unless for accessory work at the end of training. While this is a different story for someone who is a bodybuilder or physique competitor, compound movements will always trump single joint exercises in regards to performance and function.

As always, make sure you are training smart so you can continue to push the limit and make steady progression while also staying injury free. Stay rowdy my friends.

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