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.
Prehab exercises should be done as part of a warm-up before strength training sessions. Masters athletes may want to incorporate them into their daily routine as well. Transcript: "How often do you recommend athletes perform prehab exercises and should they be done before or after the training session? We always make them as part of our beginning of our training session, as part of our warm-up as we're building up. We incorporate those or we're incorporating them in the program themselves. We may pair it with a key exercise like a chest press or some sort of squat variation. We'll put that as an exercise in between to give them some active recovery while they're recovering for that key exercise. I think most athletes should definitely do this as part of their strength training program. So anytime you're going to do a strength workout, if you're doing prehab exercises, I recommend for masters athletes creating a prehab or mobility routine that you can do every single day has proved really effective in that regard. I have a playlist for mobility exercises and mobility routines."
Swimmers should use lighter (4-8 lb) medicine balls for ab exercises, focusing on transferring force and maintaining maximum velocity. Transcript: "As far as ab exercises go, we love a great med ball series. Med balls have been used for a long time. But a common misconception is you want a heavy med ball. And realistically, most swimmers want a 4 to 8-pound med ball. And those are max velocity movements. We're working on transferring force through the abs, through the core, and really to those upper extremities, specifically. So I think grab a lighter med ball. Have tension with transferring force and maintaining maximum velocity through a set, and you'll gain a ton out of it, as opposed to just lumping around a big heavy med ball."
I use targeted vibration products, or massage guns, for both preparation and recovery. For preparation, I move in and out of different ranges of motion for key areas such as the hips, chest, and calves. For recovery, I focus on static positions with a big muscle belly, breathing, and a vibration level that feels good. If there are any bony areas to massage, I turn the tool sideways to still get the benefits of vibration and recovery without the reverb. Transcript: "Hi, Melanie. I actually use targeted vibration products, or massage guns, for both preparation and recovery. Here are some examples of how I use them for either one. When using it for prepare, I like to move in and out of a dynamic range of motion. So there's different length tension relationships to the targeted muscle that I'm massaging. So here are some examples of my anterior hip, or hip flexor, posterior hip, and hamstring. As you can see, I'm moving in and out of different ranges of motion and I'm going the length of the muscle. Another example would be the chest and adding rotation. Now when I use it for recovery, I like to be in a more static position and pick a muscle with a big muscle belly. Focus on breathing, pick a vibration level or intensity level that feels good for you. You can hold it in one particular spot for as long as you'd like. Here, I'm doing the calves. I'm going to transition to my perenials, or the outer part of my lower leg. If there are any areas that you want to massage that are a little more bony and not a big muscle belly like the forearm, the wrist, or hand, because you've been doing a lot of, for example, racquet sports or grip work, turn the tool sideways so you still get the benefit of vibration and the benefits of recovery, but without the reverb."
For beginners, plyometric exercises should include neuromuscular control and short-response drills such as line hops, short hurdle hops, and jumping rope. Transcript: "Hi, Ian. The plyometric exercises, I tend to favor for beginners, either a youth athlete or even an older athlete with a younger training age could probably fall under two categories. The first would probably be titled neuromuscular control and just taking your conventional jumping exercises, stationary counter movement jump, standing long jump, a lateral hop, and focusing more on a soft, cushioned, controlled, stable landing. And the second category would be your short-response plyometric to work on ground reaction time. Similar to some of the other answers, those would be line hops in multiple directions, short hurdle hops, or jumping rope, something to work on a quick response of the ground. I think if you build in those two categories you're addressing a strong plyometric program for beginners."
It depends on how much you are drinking and how it is affecting your performance. If it is not impacting your performance or health negatively, then it may not be considered unhealthy. Transcript: "Hi, I guess from a perspective standpoint, if a habit is unhealthy, it's affecting your performance. But if you truly enjoy that habit, is it really that unhealthy? This is mine, Belgian beer."
This is a good exercise for swimmers with instability in the scapulas. Start on your knees and reach out, drag back in with one arm. You can also do this exercise with both arms and circles to add complexity. To add stability and more load, you can also do this on a Bosu with someone sitting on you. Transcript: "Hello, Brett. This is my favorite exercise I have found for swimmers. It might not be one with super load, but particularly swimmers who are experiencing instability in the scapulas or have some winging in the scapulas, I find that this exercise helps them connect core to scapulas to arm strength and keeping everything somewhat organized. You can start on the floor in a neat position, kind of like the knee position because it just doesn't allow you to over stabilize with the legs, that's just my opinion. And I'm coming off of a shoulder surgery from a random pickleball injury overzealous while I'm learning, but I think I can do this. So we're on our knees here. I like the fingertips turned out slightly so that we can drop down into the shoulder blades. You have a chin tuck for optimal head position. We're going to reach out here. The opposite elbow bends and drag back in, and this is my shoulder that I'm working on. Reach out, drag back in. So that's one version. And you want to really allow them-- I tend to palpate here at the lats and the low traps to get them to keep that organized and recruited as they reach. Another one is for both arms to come out. I'm going to go only a little ways here, draw the belly in, drag it back. You can also do some circles. And we want to-- I don't know if I was planking. I really don't want to be planking, we want to be in a neutral spying posture. The other thing you can do to add complexity and stability, more load is to do that same exercise on the Bosu, reaching out. Knees are up, heels are up towards the buttock to help neutralize the spine here, we tend to see a little arching going on. So you reach and drag in. You can also have someone sit on you if you'd like, added load. Enjoy."