Sports Training & Conditioning Zone!

Strength and Conditioning Articles

Check out these cutting-edge strength and conditioning articles by leading experts!

Performance Breathing: A Primer

If there were a movement pattern you did twenty-three thousand times a day, you no doubt would take measures to improve it. But how often do you consider your breathing? Most athletes have such dysfunctional breathing patterns that it limits their performance, increases potential for injury, and often has them all worked up psychologically.

How Well Do You Know Your Supplements?
by Pete Williams

The nutritional supplement industry is crowded with companies that sell products that are unsafe and ineffective. What is in the product is not guaranteed to be on the label, and what is on the label is not guaranteed to be in the product, unless the supplement has gone through third-party testing.

Coach the Athletes of Tomorrow and Expand Your Career in Sports Performance Training
by Bill Parisi

Sports Performance Training (SPT) opens up a whole new market that helps to generate additional leads, which results in more individualized sessions and small group classes. Clubs need to hire more trainers with SPT experience. It is imperative to hire and attract the right type of candidates to make a SPT business successful

Five Keys to Staying Hydrated
by Joel Totoro

Drinking sufficient water increases energy, improves the quality of skin and fascia, keeps muscles and joints lubricated, improves overall health, and helps prevent overeating. Hydration impacts your brain and your mental ability and overall performance.

How to Help Athletes Develop Intrinsic Motivation
by Nick Winkelman

While it's true that coaches play key roles in an athlete's development, effective motivation is more often intrinsic than extrinsic. That's especially true during the summer months when there are fewer games and we tend to deal more with off-season and pre-season conditioning.

FMS Uplugged – Episode 8: Overhead Split Squat
by Gray Cook

Want to work the overhead split squat safely into your exercise program? Gray Cook of shows you how.

An Inside Look at EXOS' Tactical Training Techniques
by Nick Winkelman

EXOS has spent years supporting tactical athletes across all branches of the military, developing and fine-tuning their approach to human performance.

Mental Games to Prepare for Game-Day Pressure

Brett Bartholomew, a performance specialist at EXOS who works with NFL veterans, integrates mental training into the already rigorous physical routines to prepare athletes for what they'll encounter in game situations.

NFL Combine Nutrition Tips
by Danielle LaFata, Nutrition Director for Pro/Elite Sports at EXOS

When it comes to training for the NFL scouting combine, much of the attention focuses on the 40-yard dash and 225-pound bench press. While the physical training is a key component, the nutrition side is equally important and often overshadowed.

10 Important Questions About Training Kids
by Bill Parisi, Parisi Speed School

Bill Parisi provides answers to 10 questions about youth training including how to pick a coach, types of training and the parent's role.

The Flamingo Mini-Golf Principle – Making a Real Connection with Your Community & Clients
by Bill Parisi, Parisi Speed School

Flamingo Mini-Golf is always a big part of Bill Parisi's family vacation. There are parallels and lessons to be applied to businesses in the fitness industry.

Hydration Tips to Help Your Athletes Beat the Heat
by Michelle Ricardi, Director of Nutrition Education, EXOS

At EXOS, hydration is one of the key components of our overall nutrition philosophy, which also includes eating clean, eating often, developing a healthy mindset, and fueling for recovery.

Three Pillars of Sports Performance Success
by Bill Parisi, CEO, Parisi Speed School

It is common for me to be asked, "Bill, what is the secret of The Parisi Speed School's success?" Although I could answer that question in a variety of ways, I always mention what I call the three pillars of success that has made us a well-known brand in youth sports performance.

Building Strength and Power with Dan Baker
by Dan Baker, EXOS

With 20 years of extensive research as his foundation, strength and conditioning coach Dan Baker, Ph.D., has created a revolutionary approach to training athletes to be stronger and more powerful. The difference: His approach ensures that they're also able to sustain that career and side-step career-ending injuries.

Hiring the Right Sports Performance Coach
by Bill Parisi, BBA, CSCS

One nagging problem that dogs every owner and program director across our network is the ability to locate, recruit, train and keep great performance coaches. It seems to be our industry's Achilles heel.

The Real Purpose of Sports Performance Training
by Bill Parisi, BBA, CSCS

Bill Parisi discovered that many inside and outside the fitness industry believe that the essence of sports performance training is concerned only, or primarily with training the elite high school, college and professional athlete. But as a veteran now in the sports performance industry, he's come to a different conclusion.

Training Teenage & Youth Athletes
by Bill Parisi, BBA, CSCS

If we had all the answers and the ultimate solution for dealing with youth and teenagers we wouldn't always be working to improve our programming. The most important thing we've learned: you can't train kids the way you train adults.

Building a Better Foundation for Youth Athletes

It's during the childhood fun of recreational sports where naturally-gifted athletes are discovered and their talents are cultivated. Unfortunately, left in the wrong hands, that talent can be squandered, and ability can be impeded by burnout or injury.

Are Your Athletes Burning Out?
by Brett Bartholomew

We live in a society where we seem to always be on the edge of extremes in training, eating, working, and everything else. It's all too much. Pushing day after day with no break seems normal because it's all around us. I's not normal. Finding a middle ground gives the mind and body time to refresh, rejuvenate, and rebuild. In the end, this makes for a better athlete.

Inside EXOS' NFL Combine Prep Program
by Nick Winkelman, Director of Movement at EXOS

As the foundation of their NFL Combine preparation, EXOS has designed an eight-week program to prepare athletes for the physical demands of the Combine and the mental and professional requirements of life in the NFL.

Breathe Well and Breathe Often – Defining and Correcting Dysfunctional Breathing Patterns for Athletic and Personal Trainers
by Robert "Skip" George

One of our most primal movement patterns is breathing and can be considered as one of our most dysfunctional movement patterns. Most of our clients or patients are unaware that it just happens automatically unless exertion, a stressful event, injury including physical/emotional pain, or an unforeseen interruption of respiration occurs.

Olympic Lifting Teaching Progressions
by Wil Fleming

When teaching the Olympic lifts, you need a progression of movements that helps athletes build on their skills, helps them improve as an athlete, and lets them see success in being a part of your program. You need a better order to teach the Olympic lifts. Start here.

Battling Ropes Partner Ropes Training

Battling Ropes Partner Ropes Training
by John Brookfield

Partner Ropes offer an extremely engaging way to train with a partner in which you can simply encourage your partner to keep going and not quit or you can actually compete against the other person.

The Bott Perspective

The Bott Perspective
with Brian Bott and Lee Burton

In this video, Brian Bott (strength coach for the University of Wisconsin) joins Lee Burton to discuss the implementation of Functional Movement Screen (FMS) into an elite college football program.

Half Racks Revisited

Half Racks Revisited
by Mike Boyle

One thing I have become well know for is changing my mind and admitting when I am wrong. I called this article Half Racks Revisited because for years I have told people not to buy Half Racks...

Indian Club Chain Marching Article

Indian Club Chain Marching
by Tim Anderson

In this exercise, you put on a harness, attach a ninety-six pound chain to the harness and march while holding Indian Clubs in your hands. The act of marching requires deliberate cross-lateral coordination. It can be a very restorative, or resetting, movement for the body...

Article - Chain Running and Crawling

Chain Running and Crawling
by John Brookfield

In this article and video, John Brookfield exposes you to a couple of methods in his Chain Reaction Program you may not be aware of. These methods will greatly increase your strength, power generation, work capacity levels and your mental fortitude.

Article - Chain Running and Crawling

Chain Reaction Power Thrust
by John Brookfield

In this article and video, John Brookfield shares and explains a very special exercise within the Chain Reaction power generation phase called the Power Thrust.

Article - Core Conversion: 3D-Matrix Performance System

Core Conversion: 3D-Matrix Performance System
by Doug Gray

There is nothing new under the sun... certainly core training is one of those "nothings." Core training has been a point of emphasis – a central focus – in the world of movement for quite some time. There is a reason for this: the core has everything to do with everything we do...

Battling Ropes® Training System
by John Brookfield

The Battling Ropes® Training System is a unique, one of a kind training system that is different from any other type of training for the simple fact that the athlete must train using velocity and non momentum principles.

 The Battling Ropes® Power Slam. King of the Swing?
by Tim Anderson

John Brookfield's Battling Ropes® Power Slam is a tremendous exercise that yields to its victim a host of benefits like no other exercise can.

by Vern Gambetta, Gambetta Sports Training Systems

Today we have better performances than we have ever had, but there are more injuries and fewer athletes able to sustain high performance levels for an extended career. What is missing? It is athleticism. Read more...

Static Stretching
by Gray Cook (Balanced Body Series)

Gray Cook definitely thinks that static stretching has its place. Scientifically, there may be better, quicker and faster ways to develop muscle length or change and maintain muscle length; however, they require a higher level of expertise, are more technique intensive, and usually have a more significant learning curve for the user than static stretching. Gray covers the benefits of static stretching for the user.

Functional Training for the Torso
by Gray Cook, MS, PT, OCS, CSCS

Almost all sports involve activity in three planes of motion. Isolation and nonspecific exercises usually involve one or two planes of motion. Gray Cook describes multi-planar exercises which require diagonal and spiral motions of the arms, shoulders, trunk, hips and legs.

The Chop and Lift Article Series
by Gray Cook

Part 1 - Introduction to the Chop and Lift

Part 2 - Introduction Continued

Part 3 - The Chop and Lift...Anywhere (Using Resistance Tubing)

Part 4 - The Chop...for Power (Using Medicine Balls)

Part 5 - The Chop and Lift for Golf Conditioning

Functional Flexibility
by Mary Repking, PT, CSCS

Past attempts at stretching devices have typically offered single plane stretching in a non-weight bearing position. Devices that are weight bearing typically stretch only in the sagittal plane (front to back motion). Mary Repking describes how the Tri-Stretch correctly stretches lower extremities in all three planes of motion.

Cross-Specificity Training for Golf Fitness
by Sean Cochran, Golf Fitness Trainer on the PGA Tour

Sean Cochran is one of the most recognized golf fitness trainers in the world. He travels the PGA Tour regularly with PGA Professionals, most notably Phil Mickelson.

Golf: Improving Performance with the "X" Factor
by Mary C. Repking, PT, CSCS

Optimizing the "X" Factor has been shown to increase club head velocity, increase ball velocity, increase driving distance, and reduce low back pain and elbow pain in golfers.

Pre-Season Conditioning for College Basketball
By Glenn Harris, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Boston University

The main objective of pre-season conditioning is to get the basketball players ready for the middle of October and to help them maintain that level of conditioning throughout the season.

By Mike Boyle, MA, ATC

Are You Doing Your Abdominal Training Wrong?
How to teach athletes to "draw-in" their abs using the transverse abdominus, previously regarded as a little used, deep abdominal muscle. New research indicates that the transverse abdominus and the multifidus (another ignored muscle) are the keys to unlocking the cure for back pain.

My Ah-ha Moments
Mike provides a "smorgasbord" of nutrition, rehab and training pearls of wisdom.

Build Bigger Legs, One at a Time
In this articke, Mike advocates single-leg training - it results in less back stress due to reduced loads.

Are We Always Concurrent in Performance Training?
Concurrent training means training multiple qualities simultaneously.

Facility Design Concepts
Adapted from the Designing Strength Training Programs and Facilities book by Mike Boyle.

  • By Scott Higgins, US Ski and Snowboard Assoc. Team Physiologist

    In conditioning US Olympic & World Cup mogul skiers the philosophy is not to produce a better freestyle skier, but a better freestyle skiing athlete by developing all components of the conditioning process in an environment of athleticism.

    Periodization Breakdown?
    By Mel C. Siff, Phd

    Western coaches have been fixated for years on only one periodization (PD) model, that of Dr. Leonid Matveyev. The model becomes too limited, however, when rigidly applied by coaches unfamiliar with Matveyev’s work.

    By Steven Scott Plisk, MS, CSCS

    Strength Development: It's So Simple: Part I
    Strength Development: It's So Simple: Part II
    The 5 Most Dangerous Words in the Profession
    Science & Professional Pracitice: Unfinished Business

    Steven Plisk was the Director of Sports Conditioning at Yale University from 1997-2002 and is currently the director at Excelsior Sports.

    Three Ways to Train for Strength
    by Robb Rogers MEd, CSCS, Director of Strength and Conditioning, Middle Tennessee State University

    There are only three ways to train for strength - add load (resistance), add reps (volume), or add speed. Robb Rogers explains how to do all three within one training session using one exercise.

    Kevin Elsey provides expert advice on how to approach the training of endurance athletes.

    By Brian Grasso YCS, CMT

  • Coordination Training & Young Athletes

    Brian Grasso currently serves as Executive Director for the International Youth Conditioning Association and is a sought after expert in the realm of young athlete development and youth fitness worldwide. 

  • By Avery Faigenbaum, EdD

    Dr. Avery Faigenbaum is a leading researcher and practitioner in the field of youth fitness and has written two books and over 100 articles on fitness and conditioning. Here, he provides valuable insight on preteen sports preparation.

    The 3 Best Interval Training Applications Ever
    by BJ Gaddour, CSCS, YFS2

    BJ Gaddour is the co-creator and Fitness Director for Workout Muse, a fitness music and media production company specializing in custom interval workout music.

    Timing is Everything
    by Joe Heiler, MSPT, CSCS

    Achieving stability versus strength requires two things - muscle timing and disassociation - meaning the ability to move the hips and shoulder girdle independently of the trunk.

    Glute Activation: Optimizing the Function of the Posterior Power Center
    by Fraser Quelch, NCSA, CSCS

    One of the hottest topics of discussion in the fitness industry recently has been centered on how to optimize glute function. The glutes are heavily involved in movements like the golf swing, throwing and striking actions along with running, jumping and direction changes. This huge posterior power center is in many ways the key to producing smooth and powerful movement.

    Top Fitness Mistakes and How to Correct Them
    by Ryan Krane, CPT, PES, CES

    Many people that go to the gym are either doing exercises improperly or not performing the right exercises for their goals. Using gym equipment improperly has a number of drawbacks.