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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 02-26-2005, 01:45 PM   #1
Graham Hayes
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In the article posted today the author writes:

Research into improving the speed of joint motion has shown that the relative strength of the antagonist muscle in an antagonistic pair can affect the speed of movement (1). The hamstrings are the antagonist muscles to the quads. These muscles act as a "brake" for the quadriceps during the extension of the leg. This is to keep the joint from being straightened faster than it can be prudently stopped.

Does the same hold true for the bicep in punching and shot putting? I know relaxing is the key to speed in punching, but somethings got to stop the elbow from hyper extending. According to this a stronger bicep means we can use more of our tricep in extending the elbow.
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Old 02-26-2005, 07:24 PM   #2
Robert Wolf
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Graham-

I bet Dan John will have some insight on this for throwers but I am pretty sure power curls are popular among this crowd.

For boxers/kickboxers I'd say back development is key in power production and injuy prevention. The injury prevention is particularly an issue for hooks and uppercuts as the humerus is being forced out of the shoulder joint with these movements.

When one misses with a punch it is doubly important to have adequate antagonist strength to prevent severe shoulder injury.

I think this makes a pretty strong case to get "as strong as possible" with EVERTHING.

That was great article BTW.
Robb
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Old 02-27-2005, 06:52 AM   #3
Barry Cooper
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For what it's worth, in my particular martial art, Budo Taijutsu, we don't straighten the arm all the way, which eliminates the problem of hyperextension. The reasoning is that it is very easy to lock a fully extended arm and break it. So a potential solution would be to stop slightly short.

Also, I feel like anyone doing CrossFit should be fine as far as muscle balance. I think that's really all that article was saying. Don't go 100 miles an hour in a car with bad brakes.

Since I am poor both at punching and shotput, one drill I am going to try this year is punching with bands. Punching is a good example of the need for a high rate of force development. You can't deliver your maximum bench force, for example, as you don't have enough time. That's why you use your body in both shot and punching, or at least should for maximal power in the time allotted.

Zatsiorsky talks about what he calls the "Explosive Strength Deficit" (I think that's right), which helps you figure out if absolute or dynamic strength is what you need to work on. In shotputting, which is what he examines, there's a point where increasing your bench won't help anymore. You have to throw heavy implements, or light implements, or something specific to throwing FAST.
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Old 02-27-2005, 02:05 PM   #4
Justin Jacobsen
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Aside: Punching is very often mistaken as an arm-centric motion. It is not. It is a full body rotational movement. You would be far better served by a throwers workout and med ball twisting workouts than you will a big bench.

The arm is used as a kind of battering ram that is extended at the last moment to make contact then quickly retracted to avoid the broken arm Barry mentioned or the possible counter.

The force travels from the tip of the big toe, up the leg, rotating the hips and shoulders, and snapping the arm out to make contact.

End Aside
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Old 02-27-2005, 04:07 PM   #5
Scott Kustes
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T'is true Justin. Great point. If you feel the muscles throughout the movement, the chest is nearly useless in a punch. One would be better served by having a big squat than a big bench.
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Old 02-27-2005, 04:16 PM   #6
Richard Belloff
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Justin is right on. In my experience, the power of the punch comes from the ground through the legs and waist. It is delivered by the arms so arms strength is useful but not the key issue.

Some of the really tremendous punchers in boxing did not have particulary big arms nor would they have tested out as strong in the arms(Ray Leonard comes to mind, Bob Foster in the LHW division.)

They did (do) have tremendous acceleration capability in torso rotation however.

Interesting post!

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Old 02-27-2005, 11:34 PM   #7
Barry Cooper
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I think the key is exactly that, accelleration. Power=force times velocity, I think. I may be using terms imprecisely, but basically there is an inverse relationship between force and speed. The faster you go, the less force, but the resultant power vector can still be very large. In the movie Eraser, they had guns that would accellerate a couple grams of aluminum to close to the speed of light. The resulting energy was like a bomb going off, because of the speed.

As far as Shotput, I always hear it's in the hips, etc. Try this experiment: throw the shot with no arm extension. If it's all in the legs, it should go almost as far. In point of fact, it doesn't. Likewise, if you throw it just with your arm, it will go farther, but nowhere near as far as a full shot. The whole thing goes together, but your Bench does matter. Zatsiorsky goes into detail on that. It matters up until the point where you can no longer apply added force in the time allotted.

I think of the whole thing as like snapping a towel. The legs and back are like the towel going forward, and the actual put is like pulling the towel back to snap it. If you miss either component, you lose power. Both are needed. It's like the legs and hips make the shot momentarily weightless, and what you do with that is up to your arm and chest.

The problem I have, I think, is my snap is slow. My leg and hip strength is fine, but I'm not accellerating my arm. That's what Mohammad Ali and the rest of them did. They were FAST, so they hit hard. They had terrific rate of force development. A punch is much faster than a shot, so you have less time to develop power, so your bench matters less. Bench can also make you inflexible, so split second movements don't happen as fast. I think there are some types of speed you are just born with. You can always improve what you got, but there's a limit.
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Old 02-28-2005, 07:59 AM   #8
Richard Belloff
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You can develop accelerative speed. Thom Kurz has a interesting section devoted to this in his book on Sports Training. Of couse, with all things, genetics plays a role. Having said that, I understand Bruce Lee and Ali both felt they got quicker through their training efforts.

I think the issue in my experience is that the speeds is generated by fast and powerful contractions in the legs, hips, waist and TRANSMITTED through the chest, shoulders and arms. Hence it is not really an issue of arm speed as the arm is largely being propelled and "going along for the ride."



Hence, these transmission muscles need to learn not to inhibit this movement but to carry it through. This implies relaxation UNTIL THE MOMENT OF CONTACT, where all muscles contract quicly and pretty much all out, at the end of the movement.

That is why I think developing large muscle mass in the these regions is actually counterproductive. Mass that does not add to the overall product can actually slow one down.

I used to work these "booster muscles" of the punch with bands, practicing the beginning acceleration with focus on the contact areas of the feet, legs and waist. I do think it is possible to develop this accelerating speed.

Good stuff.
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Old 02-28-2005, 03:06 PM   #9
Garry Berryhill
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Have to agree that the arm plays a role in the punch. As I increased my tricep and shoulder strength, my jab got faster and harder. It's not the deciding factor, but it plays a part.

Do you find that adding resistance to a punch (bands, weights, whatever) changes the movement pattern of the punch? One of the heavies at the gym I train in does some bag work with weighted gloves, shadowboxes with dumbbells, bands, etc. With the weights, his form changes, he punches with his arms, loses his rotational strength, head movement and so on. It seems counterproductive to build strength in movements that you don't use without the resistance in place.

The late Mel Siff had a lot of bad things to say about adding resistance to skill practice. His yahoo group (Supertraining) should still have his posts archived.
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Old 02-28-2005, 03:43 PM   #10
Richard Belloff
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"The late Mel Siff had a lot of bad things to say about adding resistance to skill practice. His yahoo group (Supertraining) should still have his posts archived."

I totally agree with Dr. Siff on this one. The added weight/resistence totally throws off the propreoceptors (IHMO) and is counterproductive.
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