Bands & Tubing Training Zone!

What's Your Vector, Victor?

by Norm Meltzer

Juan Carlos Santana wrote a very good article on nonvertical resistance training. In his article on nonvertical resistance training, Juan Carlos Santana discussed resultant force vectors and the advantages of improving one's ability to "overcome" them. I would like to take this concept one step further and offer an additional training method for stimulating the multiple forces associated with athletic situations.

The traditional way of training to better deal with these complex forces is to predetermine an activity's resultant vector and then prescribe an exercise whose motion directly opposes it. Utilizing these kinds of exercises is both smart and effective, however, there are certain limitations.

In athletics, the direction of our motion isn't necessarily the direction of the force we are applying. Examples:

• Throwing a football while being pulled down
• Skating forward when an opposing player is pushing you sideways

Instead of using only exercises whose motion is in direct opposition of the resultant force vector, one should also do some exercises that introduce additional forces that try to push or pull us off a straight path.

Throw Another Vector into Some Regular Traditional Weightroom Exercises

To achieve this training effect, we use a combination of band/cords with free weight exercises. Use any method you can think of.

As long as an additional force is trying to disrupt the normal movement pattern of the exercise, you're on the right track.