The world’s best experts answer your strength training questions. Whether you want to learn about competitive weight lifting, sport specific strength training, or injury recovery and prevention, browse advice from experts like Wendy McLure and Matthew Pendola.
When using a dumbbell versus a barbell for an overhead press, the difference is that it is easier to focus on one arm line at a time, allowing for more attention and effort to be given to the weaker side. Transcript: "A big difference when using a dumbbell versus a barbell for an overhead press really can be if there is an asymmetry from one arm line to the other. So just like two kids in a classroom, if one kid is getting an A and the other kid is getting a C, we of course, would pay more attention and give more time and effort, to the child getting a C, so that he or she can raise their performance in the classroom. The same thing with shoulders and overhead presses. If one shoulder arm line is more proficient at the movement, then we can pay more attention, give more attention to the deficient side by using a dumbbell versus a barbell."
Push and pull exercises for the upper body such as pushups and pull-ups, squats for the lower body, deadlifts or hamstring curls to target the back, lateral movements to work the inner and outer muscles, crunches and twists/side bends for the midsection. Transcript: "In general terms, these are basic strength training exercises. It's pretty easy to think of the body, as upper and lower body. For the upper body, a push gets the muscles in the front and a pole. Get the muscles in the back. Up is a push and I'll get the muscles on top down as a polo. Get the muscles on the bottom. And I'm thinking about the lower body squat is, our fundamental movement pattern that will get most of the muscles in the leg with an emphasis on the front and the hips to get the muscles in the back of forward hip hinge like a deadlift or any kind of hamstring curl, And then I also want to add in some sort of maybe lateral movement to get the muscles on the inner and outer. Don't wanna forget about the midsection, in the Torso, the standard crunch will Flex us, but I wouldn't want to forget about a Twist or a side Bend."
It depends on your goals, schedule and availability when deciding whether to schedule your weekly lifts by body part or movement push/pull. Transcript: "Hi, Sam, I'm just reading your question here. It says should I schedule my weekly lifts by body part or by movement push/pull? I think that's a tricky question. The way I like to set things up is depending on your goals and your time, and what your schedule allows you and dictates. So, for instance, if you has a very specific goal where you're saying to yourself, hey I've got two weeks to do as much as I can, then I might say, hey, let's go by body parts. You can really break each body part down. But if you're saying, hey, I'm in season and I really have three days to lift a week, then I'm looking at a movement, push/pull, upper and lower together, some core work. So I really think that the way you dictate the workout depends on your schedule, your availability, and how much time you really have to dedicate to working out. I hope that helps, Sam."
Optimizing your breathing is the most overlooked aspect of improving your mobility. Restoring expansion throughout the rib cage and learning how to fully exhale will do wonders for your body. Additionally, getting daily movement and maintaining your joints with a CARs routine can help you maintain your gains. Transcript: "Optimizing your breathing is the most overlooked aspect of improving your mobility. Restoring expansion throughout the rib cage and learning how to fully exhale will do so much for your mobility, working from the middle out. Continuing working from the middle out, you want to get your spine moving, getting your rib cage moving. Rotation is really key at all the major joints. And you can see here, from working from the middle out, we can really make a lot of gains. When the ribs move, the shoulders tend to move better and same with the hips and the pelvis. Starting from the middle out is no secret. It's a great idea. And then the other thing to really consider is actually just getting daily movement and maintaining your joints, which can be done with like a Cars routine here. You find this on YouTube, Ian Marco Cars and we're just taking our joints through this safe range of motion every single day, maintaining them, exactly as you would think."
Speed and agility work can help improve balance and proprioception in aging clients. It works by improving the nervous system response, allowing them to make dynamic adjustments on the fly without falling. Transcript: "All right, good morning, everybody. Hey, we're looking at how speed works to benefit aging clients besides just improving a nervous system response. I mean, the reality is that everything's a nervous system response, but what we're looking at specifically when we try to incorporate some sport, some sort of speed and agility work with aging populations is restoring some dynamic proprioceptive function. So the ability to make an adjustment on the fly, or if you were to trip and be able to make that quick forward adjustment without falling has a lot to do with how well you control yourself in space. So with proprioception in say a single leg stance, you have a lot of benefit, but your ability to adjust in a dynamic position is less unless you actually train yourself there. So speed and dynamic agility play a huge role in being able to improve this general proprioceptive motion. And it is through the nervous system that we are actually creating this benefit, but the overall idea is that we want to improve balance and proprioception."
Strength training for a triathlete should be done 2-3 times a week, for 30-40 minutes maximum. If possible, it should be done in the same place as the swim training to minimize travel time and wear and tear. Transcript: "How do you determine the appropriate amount of strength training for a triathlete in their overall training plan? This really comes from over 30 years of experience in coaching endurance athletes from very beginners to age groupers to masters to elite professionals. What I've found is every athlete only has a certain amount of time and energy, both physical and mental, to dedicate towards strength training since they're spending so much time swimming, cycling, and running. I've also found that one of the first things to drop off the plate is the strength training. We need to have the biggest buck for the minimal amount of time. Really whether that's in season or out, we're really looking at two to three times a week in season, probably only two, 30 to 40 minutes maximum because that seems to be the sweet spot of what we can get. Taking any more time than that is probably going to take too much energy and take away from their training. They may already be doing one or two sessions that day in addition to their strength work. If we can dovetail that at the end of an easier type workout, that just makes it a little bit easier logistically and really addressing logistical piece. If they're lifting in the same place they swim, I think that has an advantage. It minimizes the amount of travel and the amount of wear and tear of just going from place to place, which adds up more time into their total day."