Swiss Ball Exercises?

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daniel4738
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Post by daniel4738 » Fri May 25, 2007 3:45 am

Kenny Croxdale wrote:
daniel4738 wrote:I don't know about weighted squatts, but unweighted they are great. But I mainly train for performance not for muscle gain. They are great for developing foot strength
Instability devices such as the swiss ball are very poor at developing strength. I provide one research artcle, see above, the explains that.
Cheers for the reply. A few comments, which are just the way I understand training, im not a sports scientist so it is probably flawed.

I agree, 50 squatts unweighted isn't developing strength. I used the term strength in an ambiguous sense. When I was younger I did a lot of kickboxing. Every strike in kickboxing comes from the core of the body, thus developing just muscular strength for a roundhouse style kick (eg leg ext) will not develop strength for kicking, it WILL help, but also developing the core muscles which help transfer the body weight from the 'guard' position, through the standing leg then hips and then into the kicking leg. The 'kick' isn't the only part of the motion.

When you consider running, you are trying to do the same thing, the transfer of weight which requires not only strength of the legs, but also the transfer of body weight from one foot to another through the core, thus in my understanding, the core muscles are as important as the exercise muscles.
Kenny Croxdale wrote:
and balance for XC running.


As I mentiond in a post above, there is little conversion between being able to balance yourself on a ball and balance yourself while running.
All so true. However, Balance is not just a muscular phenomenon, as I understand it balance is also has a neurological aspect. Thus, kneeling or standing on a swiss ball will help the body develop overall balance and be able to 'learn' running balance faster. Just the same way doing DB chest presses will probably enhance your ability to doing DB flys. Once you 'break preconceptions' and use a blindfold, then you are developing confidence in your other sense's ability to balance and thus you don't worry about it. It helps me for example when I am XC riding on my bike, I am more confident at handling some of the more extreme parts of the ride, because i have confidence in my body.
Kenny Croxdale wrote: Specificity: The best method to improve performance is to duplicate the movement as much as possible. Thus, going out running would work the best.

Resistance exercise such as "Step Up" Squat are better than traditional squats. "Step Up" Squats providing the need for stabilization on one leg, like running.
There is also the ego factor involved. I guess it was a challenge thing at first.
Science and empirical data should dictate how a program is written, not ego.

Kenny Croxdale
I couldn't agree more about the science, but I would also like to say that while science and empirical data play an important part. Motivation is probably as important, I can think of no real reason why pressing 100kg is going to help me in any way shape or form in the type of sport I enjoy. BUT it motivates me, when I add an extra 2kg to my 1RM i feel good, and this keeps me motivated. It was the same thing with squatting on the Gymball, something to guage as an improvement.


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Post by Kenny Croxdale » Fri May 25, 2007 8:38 am

When I was younger I did a lot of kickboxing. Every strike in kickboxing comes from the core of the body, thus developing just muscular strength for a roundhouse style kick (eg leg ext) will not develop strength for kicking,
Karate is a power based movement. Research shows the greater the strength of an athlete, the more power they can geneerate. Thus, strength is a huge key to developing strength for kicking.
it WILL help, but also developing the core muscles which help transfer the body weight from the 'guard' position, through the standing leg then hips and then into the kicking leg. The 'kick' isn't the only part of the motion.
The core is involved. So, core strength needs to be developed. Again, the best method of increasing strength is when exercises are performed ona solid service. I provided a research article on that in one of my post. For a more indepth understanding, please read it.

Exercises such as weighted situps, side benchs, back raises, good mornings, etc are will develop more strength than any type of training on a unstable surface such as a ball.
When you consider running, you are trying to do the same thing, the transfer of weight which requires not only strength of the legs, but also the transfer of body weight from one foot to another through the core, thus in my understanding, the core muscles are as important as the exercise muscles.
See the explaination above. The same applies.
Balance is not just a muscular phenomenon, as I understand it balance is also has a neurological aspect. Thus, kneeling or standing on a swiss ball will help the body develop overall balance and be able to 'learn' running balance faster.
It does not work that way. Instability devices work in rehab. They reporgram the CNS.

However, that does not transfer over to daily activities or sports. Tudor Bompa even noted that. Bompa stating that balance devices did little if anything to improve an athletes ability...even with gymnaastics in which balance is a huge issue.
Once you 'break preconceptions' and use a blindfold, then you are developing confidence in your other sense's ability to balance and thus you don't worry about it. It helps me for example when I am XC riding on my bike, I am more confident at handling some of the more extreme parts of the ride, because i have confidence in my body.
Blindfoled or movements with you eyes closes does help you get a feel for the movement. Supertraining/Siff goes into that.
Motivation is probably as important, I can think of no real reason why pressing 100kg is going to help me in any way shape or form in the type of sport I enjoy. BUT it motivates me, when I add an extra 2kg to my 1RM i feel good, and this keeps me motivated. It was the same thing with squatting on the Gymball, something to guage as an improvement.
Motivation will determing how high up the ladder you go. However, what you just indicated is that you like squatting on a gym ball and you are justifying it's use.

In sports power rules. First let's define what power is. Power is equal to force multiplied by distance divided by time.

Power = Force x Distance/Time

Since the terms force and strength are often used interchangeably and distance divided by time is the same thing as speed, power can more simply be defined as strength multiplied by speed. Therefore,

Strength x Speed = POWER.

The greater you strength, the greater you power (to a degree).

The athlete who can press 100 kg will out punch the athlete who can only press 50 kg. That is a fact.

The TRUELY motivated athlete does what take to move ahead. They are willing to do thing other won't. Thus, a large part of one's success is dependent on your "motiavation".

What are you willing to do to improve?

Kenny Croxdale

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Post by Matt Z » Fri May 25, 2007 12:10 pm

"The athlete who can press 100 kg will out punch the athlete who can only press 50 kg. That is a fact." - Kenny Croxdale

That's not neccissarily true. For example, at 5'10" and 150 lbs, I doubt Bruce Lee would have impressed anyone with his bench press, but he could hit VERY hard because he had blinding speed. Meanwhile, I've seen a lot of big, stong guys who don't hit very hard at all because they don't know how to throw a punch properly.

Of course, this isn't to say that boxers and martial artist can't benefit from strength training. They absolutely can, and the only reason many of them don't is that they don't want to move up to a heavier weight class. If fighters had height classes instead of weight classes, things would be a lot different.

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Post by Hoister » Fri May 25, 2007 1:19 pm

Kenny Croxdale wrote:
The athlete who can press 100 kg will out punch the athlete who can only press 50 kg. That is a fact.
Not entirely true, unless both competitors are strapped to aboard save for thier punching arm and are having a jabbing contest.

True effective punching power comes from the legs, hips, through the torso and finally through the shoulders. A good, effective puncher throws punches as if i is swinging a rock tied to a rope. The arm is the rope and fist is the rock. You swing your arm up/down, left/right by a turn of the hips, twist of the torso and turn of the shoulder girdle.

Jabs might be the only punching technique where punching is noticeably affected by pressing power, and that would really only be effective at precisely the right position within the punchers extension of the arm - before or after that sweet spot and the punch is useless. And, no one has ever really been significantly hurt by a jab.

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Post by Kenny Croxdale » Fri May 25, 2007 2:45 pm

Matt Z wrote:"The athlete who can press 100 kg will out punch the athlete who can only press 50 kg. That is a fact." - Kenny Croxdale

That's not neccissarily true. For example, at 5'10" and 150 lbs, I doubt Bruce Lee would have impressed anyone with his bench press, but he could hit VERY hard because he had blinding speed. Meanwhile, I've seen a lot of big, stong guys who don't hit very hard at all because they don't know how to throw a punch properly.
My mistake for not elaborating. Someone with Lee's speed who can press 100 kg vs 50 kg will delivery a more powerful punch. Power = Strength X Speed.
Of course, this isn't to say that boxers and martial artist can't benefit from strength training. They absolutely can, and the only reason many of them don't is that they don't want to move up to a heavier weight class. If fighters had height classes instead of weight classes, things would be a lot different.
Strength training is not a hypertrophic exercise. Strength training can increase strength without pushing an athlete into a different weight class.

In fact, any boxer who does not implement strength training into his program is not maximizing his potential.

Dr Fred Hatfield worked with Evaner Holyfield on his strength training program.

Kenny Croxdale


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Post by Kenny Croxdale » Fri May 25, 2007 3:23 pm

Hoister wrote:
Kenny Croxdale wrote: Not entirely true, unless both competitors are strapped to aboard save for thier punching arm and are having a jabbing contest.

True effective punching power comes from the legs, hips, through the torso and finally through the shoulders. A good, effective puncher throws punches as if i is swinging a rock tied to a rope. The arm is the rope and fist is the rock. You swing your arm up/down, left/right by a turn of the hips, twist of the torso and turn of the shoulder girdle.

Jabs might be the only punching technique where punching is noticeably affected by pressing power, and that would really only be effective at precisely the right position within the punchers extension of the arm - before or after that sweet spot and the punch is useless. And, no one has ever really been significantly hurt by a jab.
Point taken.

However, the foundation of power as well as speed is built on strength. The first step in the chain is to increase strength. Initially increasing strength increases power and speed.

Once a certain level of strength is achieved, power and speed work are incorporated into one's training program. Small increases in strength and speed mangify power.

As an examle, is to assign arbtriary numbers to strenth and speed. Power = Strength X Speed

If Strength is 2 and Speed is 2:

Power = 4 (2 x 2 = 4)

If we increase Strength to 3 and Speed to 3, then:

Power = 9 (3 X 3 =9). This more that doubles power ouput in this theoritical example but illustrates how strength and speed influence power.

Kenny Croxdale

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Post by Hoister » Fri May 25, 2007 4:50 pm

Point taken as well - now that you elaborated on the 100kg press vs 50kg press.

Agreed.

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Post by quadfrog » Fri May 25, 2007 10:55 pm

I need to add here, that the Swiss ball has served as a clever marketing tool for gyms, especially those where "personal trainers" need to attract new clients. Because they're a trendy fitness phenomena, many people expect thier gym or personal trainers to employ them. For me, it's pure entertainment, watching people fall off them when they do squats, dumbbell benches, or crunches. While they may have a place in rehabilitation of some sort, I think they are ill-suited for general exercise use. I feel the same way about kettle bells, the newest fitness fashion craze. What the heck can you do with these expensive, awkward, devices that you couldn't achieve with a standard barbell/dumbbell set? Kettle bells, which did not originate in Russia, do make great boat anchors, door stops, and demolition tools, making them at least more versatile than the Swiss ball.

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Fri May 25, 2007 11:36 pm

quadfrog wrote: I feel the same way about kettle bells, the newest fitness fashion craze. What the heck can you do with these expensive, awkward, devices that you couldn't achieve with a standard barbell/dumbbell set? Kettle bells, which did not originate in Russia, do make great boat anchors, door stops, and demolition tools, making them at least more versatile than the Swiss ball.
I don't know about Swiss balls, but kettlebells are hardly new. Many a strongman in the late 19th/early 20th century used kettlebells, including Eugene Sandow. Who can argue with him?

More here:
Kettlebells are used mostly to train the Olympic lifts and their variations. These movements performed with kettlebells possess much greater ranges of motion, increasing your dynamic flexibility and extreme range strength. Due to their displaced center of gravity, kettlebells are much harder to control, placing increased demands on agility, proprioception and core stabilization.

Finally, during the lifts, the kettlebell will actually rotate around the wrist forcing the athlete to contend with the ballistic shock, a boon for athletes involved in combat or contact sports
I'm sure TimD will weigh in on this soon

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Post by Ironman » Sat May 26, 2007 4:11 am

How about the new swiss kettleball? It's a swiss ball made of solid iron. Perfect for rolling at pesky "personal trainers" who like to watch clients fall down and get hurt. Nothing crushes them quite like a 3 foot diameter solid iron sphere.

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Post by daniel4738 » Sat May 26, 2007 8:02 am

Kenny, I do truly understand what you are trying to say, I own Bompa's Periodization book (A good friend of mine, we both worked weekends in the local gym was studying a sports science degree while I was doing my Physics degree). It's certainly a great book, but it was written 10 years ago, as was most of Bompa's scientific books. A quick search on scholar.google.com will bring up a research paper on just about every subject with convincing research which contradict each other too. What was the exact 'article' you suggested, all I can see is about one seminar thing.

I'm not disagreeing that sports specific movements, particularly with regards to resistance training are a very important part. But physical skill MUST be paired with technical skill. I'm sure there are many people who cannot bench 100kg but can outpunch me, just because they have the skill to utilize their entire body and put it into the punch. A quick look on the exrx website illustrates what I am trying to point out I think

http://www.exrx.net/ExInfo/FitnessComponents.html

Power is only one of the key physical components. Speed, Agility, Balance and motor skill are also key. I am also going to add motivation to that list too :) Of course, this is just the opinion I have.

I also like Ironman's comment on the PTs. There is nothing worse than seeing a PT getting a 60 year old obese woman doing 'wrist curls'. Or spine twisting stomach crunches ...

Cheers.

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Post by TimD » Sat May 26, 2007 8:48 am

I'm half in-half out on the kettlebell thing. Two handed swings just "feel" much better and more in the groove, and its much easier to switch hands. You can do figure 8's with them that would be next to impossible with DBs. That said, they're expensive, most are fixed in weight, and just about everything else can be done with DB's and from what I see, all of the OL moves fit in quite nicely with DB's. If you like KB's, fine, they are a good tool, but like Stepehn said, the oldtimer used them, and then gruaduated up to DB's. Coach Ruttman has a couple of good books out entitled DB moves-bringing back the lost art of DB training. Basically, it's bringing back the full body stuff the old timers used to do with DB's AND KB's.
Tim

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Post by Hoister » Sat May 26, 2007 9:59 am

Yeah - i am half in/half out as well on the KB's. I've used them with swings, renegade rows and farmers walks/waiters walks. Other than than they only really seem to be effective for ripping and tearing away at my palms when i've used them for conventional KB work ! ! !

I wouldn't call them useless, though - but a specific tool for a specific job. Other than those who compete in KB sport, i don't see a need for anyone to use them as dedicated equipment. Just my opinion, perhaps my ignorance....

I do like the swiss KB idea - not for the PT crushin', but for the strongman training...hmm

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Post by quadfrog » Sat May 26, 2007 10:23 am

Stephen Johnson wrote: I don't know about Swiss balls, but kettlebells are hardly new. Many a strongman in the late 19th/early 20th century used kettlebells, including Eugene Sandow. Who can argue with him?
Iv'e seen them at the York Barbell museum and have read that they were primarily used by physique artists for posing and strongman exhibitions. Dumbbells, which also existed at that time, were used more often for actual training. My point was that kettel bells have suddenly become in voque, and they will be disatsterous in the hands of personal trainers' clients. I saw some small ones the other day at GNC, made by Everlast. Remember when GNC used to sell barbell equipment?

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Post by TimD » Sat May 26, 2007 6:55 pm

One more thing about the KB/DB thing., Brooks Kubick (Dinosaur Training) had a newsletter circulating a few years back, I have a full collection (it wasn't expensive considering the volume-much barely pennies in proportion to anything you can get from Dragondoor) and in it he has a collection of old DB routines, all full body and all based on the old olympic moves and compound exercises.. I'll put them up if anyones interested.
Tim


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