In the continutation of our earlier article, When Training the Gas Pedal, Don’t Forget the Brakes! Part 1 we go over some exercises and general best practices. Before writing a program, we screen ALL our clients. The screens vary by ability level and injury history. We commonly use a mix of TPI, SFMA, FMS, and manual muscle testing. By screening everyone it allows us to start the players in a more appropriate space by what their body is telling us not what we would guess based on ability level. We have high handicaps that move very well, low handicaps that move very poorly, and any and every mix in between. Therefore, we screen.
What Exercises to Start with
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Some of our favorite introductory drills are:
- Chop variations without rotation
- Lift variations without rotation
- Pelvic Tilt variations
- Bird Dog variations
One of the great things about performing the drills in K-Vest is different clients struggle with different parts of movements and through a click of a button I can change the feedback from forward/backward bend, to side bend, and/or rotation. We may use 1 drill and use as many as 6 different types of biofeedback metrics with our clients.
The Real Training Begins
Once the players demonstrate a knowledge of pelvic and thoracic stability, we start training the full variations of acceleration and deceleration training. From here we will add drills such as:
- Non-Rotating Rows and Press variations
- Horizontal Chop variation
- Chop and Lift with Rotation variations
- Seated Med Ball turns (Add speed with improvement)
We will also add bounding with sticks where the player must prove balance before going to the next location and other landing drills. With all these drills we are watching the player land and make sure they can hold the position when they land. If they hop or don’t stick the landing, we initially reduce the height or distance covered.
The Finishing Touches to Complete the Training
Finally, we will try to increase the reps per second of the drills such as lunges, body weight squats, etc. Some K-Vest drills that we may use are:
- Tornados (Bent then Straight Arm)
- Side Steps Ups
- Rows and Presses with Rotation (we will add speed and even have the player hold the end or create a quick stop in the movement)
This will force the player to accelerate and decelerate as fast as possible. We also tend to use lighter weights in our medicine balls, free weights, and kettlebells for the other acceleration and deceleration training. This is because we want our clients to train at greater speeds, so they become comfortable slowing down these greater speeds.
In my opinion, one of the reasons deceleration training is overlooked is because it is easier to train acceleration and measure the improvements. The players also, feel like they can progress to a greater workload faster than when they work on deceleration training.
I have found through my experience that when we are working harder on deceleration that the players have more muscle soreness but in parts of the body that they have never felt. This applies from our junior program to our oldest clients. Because of this soreness through a “lighter” workload the players do not always like the deceleration workouts, until they see the results in club head speed and distance. Make no mistake, deceleration training is hard to do. When we train, our rule of thumb is whatever you think a person should be able to do, back it up 2-3 levels and start there.
Work at your Bodies Pace
Sometimes as a trainer we must take a step or two back in order to make the march forward with our player’s more successful. The end result of all the training is better performance but we also want to keep the player healthy, if we do all acceleration training without giving them to ability to slow down and control these greater speeds sooner or later the brakes will give out and they will crash. Don’t forget the BRAKES are important!