Sports Training & Conditioning Zone!

Strength and Conditioning Articles

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

Performance Breathing: A Primer by EXOS
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 by EXOS
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 by EXOS
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 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 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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

Athleticism 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.

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.

Building Better Legs, One at a Time

I Think I'll Just Do Upper Body or Run Today

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

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

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.

Paradigm Shift in Training Endurance Athletes by Kevin Elsey, Performance Specialist - Athlete's Performance
Kevin Elsey provides expert advice on how to approach the training of endurance athletes.

By Brian Grasso, YCS, CMT
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.

Overtraining Young Athletes - Part I
Overtraining Young Athletes - Part II
Coordination & Movement Skill Development - The Key to Long-Term Athletic Success (Training Young Athletes)
Sport Learning - Coaching Styles & Methods
Teaching Technique - Laying the Foundation of Coaching Excellence
The System of Training Young Athletes
Coordination Training & Young Athletes

Sports Prep: Pre-season Recreation and Exercises for Preteens 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, t'hrowing 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.

Indian Club Swinging – Mindful Motion from the Timeless Past by Ed Thomas

Sets and Reps, Simplified by EXOS

What Is Core? Just Take a Deep Breath and Read On by Michael Silva

Why Everyone Needs Core Training by Stuart McGill

10-Step Guide : How to Use the Weight Loss Preset Treadmill Workouts by Anna Ursu