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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 11:22 pm 
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Hello ExRx Forum,

I've been using ExRx for about five years, and recommend the "common muscular weaknesses/common postural deficiencies" to everyone. I'm 50, work out once a week, trying to maintain bodyweight and increase squat, and have been lifting off and on since I was fourteen. I have a son, and this is about him

My son has turned thirteen, so we did a short "intro to weightlifting". We concluded that, and I'm now doing an "intro to running" with him. Mostly it is about teaching that exercise is fun and a healthy habit, and it is also about me trying to gauge what is easy and difficult for him. He is big for his age -- 5'9" and about 150 (I am 5'11" and 160). One of his issues that he complains about is being a slow runner.

On the weightlifting we did only 5 lifts (leg press, bench, calf raise, pulldown, back extension, and he did some cardio rowing for warmup/down) -- I noticed immediately that he had real difficulty with the calf raise, whereas leg press (squats being too technical for a 13 year old novice) seemed fine and plenty strong considering his youth. Dorsiflexion is difficult for him. In running, he has poor acceleration from a standstill, no "bounce", leads with his upper body.

I am looking for technical info about calves -- I think this is a big problem for him. First question: Am I right, or full of it? Do strong calves help running, and in particular, quickness and foot speed? If so, (second question) how should they be worked?


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 11:52 pm 
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this started off more promising.

All I can add, is...
What is your take on goblet squats?


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 4:36 am 
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i'm not sure about your questions. if he can walk, with practice his running will improve. your goal here being "intro to running", you should just start running. preferrably up things, at a comfortable pace that increases each session for 6 weeks. and fartlek/intervals. start and stop. look at c25k, and just run.


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 5:33 am 
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At that age I think it's best to try a variety of approaches. In school, most kids get into middle distance running, 3-5K, usually cross country, etc. At least my kids all went through that. They all tried team sports, that was more successful for my girls. My son did well with strength training but was always back of the pack in running. He started showing aptitude in grade 11 in jumping and throwing and was always a quick sprinter. We adjusted his training towards power type events and dropped the distance running. Once his coach started seeing results, he went along with it. He won the track MVP in his senior year.

My point is that everyone has strengths and they're not always evident at first. People get good at things by doing them. Give him exposure to different things and explore areas that seem to come natural to him, but don't try to force a round peg into a square hole.

By the way, another thing we did was put up a chin up bar and a poster of a bodyweight circuit in his room. That way he could workout unsupervised when he wanted.

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Stu Ward
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Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about - Charles Staley
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 7:10 am 
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senorpancho wrote:
Hello ExRx Forum,

I've been using ExRx for about five years, and recommend the "common muscular weaknesses/common postural deficiencies" to everyone. I'm 50, work out once a week, trying to maintain bodyweight and increase squat, and have been lifting off and on since I was fourteen. I have a son, and this is about him

My son has turned thirteen, so we did a short "intro to weightlifting". We concluded that, and I'm now doing an "intro to running" with him. Mostly it is about teaching that exercise is fun and a healthy habit, and it is also about me trying to gauge what is easy and difficult for him. He is big for his age -- 5'9" and about 150 (I am 5'11" and 160). One of his issues that he complains about is being a slow runner.

On the weightlifting we did only 5 lifts (leg press, bench, calf raise, pulldown, back extension, and he did some cardio rowing for warmup/down) -- I noticed immediately that he had real difficulty with the calf raise, whereas leg press (squats being too technical for a 13 year old novice) seemed fine and plenty strong considering his youth. Dorsiflexion is difficult for him. In running, he has poor acceleration from a standstill, no "bounce", leads with his upper body.

I am looking for technical info about calves -- I think this is a big problem for him. First question: Am I right, or full of it? Do strong calves help running, and in particular, quickness and foot speed? If so, (second question) how should they be worked?


Strong Calves

Strengthening the calves isn't going to increase his speed.

Strength is the Foundation of Power and Speed

That means initially with someone who's you son's age (novice and intermediates) increasing strength will increase power and speed.

Deadlift

One of the best movements for developing strength out of the blocks for a sprinter is the deadlift. It increases the muscles involved.

However, to effectively increase power and speed some explosive movements need to be employed.

Olympic Pulls

Some of the highest power outputs measured in sports are Olympic movement. Power outputs of over 52 watts per kilo of body weight. (52 watts per kilo is a huge number)

Research shows that Power Cleans are one of the most effective movement in developing explosive power.

Olympic Lifters

Olympic lifter have demonstrated more explosive power out of the blocks and speed in the first 25 meters than track sprinters.

Increasing Acceleration From A Stand Still

To increasing your son's "Starting-Strength" and "Acceleration-Strength" you need to employ explosive movements.

The most effective exercises for doing that are Olympic pulls.

"Athletes and the Olympic Lifts"
http://drsquat.com/content/knowledge-ba ... mpic-lifts

Dr Fred Hatfield's article above goes more into the use of Olympic movements as a means of increasing power and speed.

Kettlebell Swing

A good introductory exercise to power is the kettlebell swing. Kettlebell swings have been shown to be an effective method of increasing power and speed.

They are a simple movement with virtually no learning curve compared to Olympic pulls. With that said, you son should at least start learning Olympic pulls.

The downside to performing kettlebell swings is you usually need a varity of sized kettlebells.

Another altranate is...

The Home Made Hungarian Core Blaster
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9JKyWhVGl4

The Hungarian Core Blaster is a cheap, effective method of performing "kettlebell swings".

You can make it for about $20 by going to Lowes or Home Depot.

It allows you to increase the load (weight) as you like.

Kenny Croxdale

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Thanks TimD.


Last edited by Kenny Croxdale on Sat May 26, 2012 5:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 4:59 pm 
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senorpancho wrote:
... (squats being too technical for a 13 year old novice) ...

This jumped out at me. Makes no sense. Squatting is just relearning a natural movement that most of us gave up when we were 2. Not too technical at all for a 13 year old novice, and way better for him than leg presses. And way more fun, which is important for a 13 year old.

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Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan


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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 9:31 pm 
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Thanks for the ideas. I won't sweat the calf issues. I also like the idea of bodyweight training. And yes, Jungeldoc, I hear what you are saying. He will learn to squat (& power clean).


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 12:19 am 
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Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
I wish I'd learned to squat properly before age induced inflexibility set in! If you don't feel comfortable teaching your son how to squat, maybe have a few sessions with a coach/personal trainer to teach him the correct movement?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:17 pm 
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A trainer is a good idea. Jungledoc, what city you in?

JK.

Jeffrer -- recommend Rippetoe, "Starting Strength", covers squat flexibility preparation, and other essential aspects of squatting. Unless you've got major problems (back surgery, say) give that book a look. Squatting has a lot of benefits.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:11 pm 
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senorpancho wrote:
Jungledoc, what city you in?

Kudjip, not a city at all, just a hospital compound near a village of that name, in Jiwaka Province in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea.

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Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:01 am 
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Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
I'm on to it these days, been on SS for a while now! But as a youth my squat technique was terrible, mostly from the arrogance of youth! Probably why I hated them so much back then!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:22 pm 
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Jeffrerr -- Agreed. I didn't hate squats, just used to do "hi-rep squatting", which I won't dignify with an explanation. Had I done squats as described in SS when young, I would have been ahead of the game.

Jungledoc, much as I like the idea of the isolation of New Guinea, I'll have to pass on asking you to be my son's personal trainer, despite your manifest qualifications. But that is a pretty cool situation.


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