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infantrycak
03-27-2010, 12:53 PM
Smith cleared out half of the weight room and filled it with eight "combo racks," dual-sided racks on power clean platforms. Both sides of the racks can be used at the same time, allowing more players to train at once. The racks can be used for a variety of exercises, including power cleans, squats, bench press, incline bench, flat bench and pull-ups.

"I believe these exercises most translate the weight room to the football field," Smith said. "These are football exercises in the weight room that, what I believe and what we believe as a strength staff, are what's going to enable our guys to get better on the field."

The combo racks aren't the only difference. Smith also brought in plyometric jump pads, and a new set of dumbbells that will enable a wider range of motion during exercises.

There's little emphasis on machines in Smith's training philosophy, which he shared with HoustonTexans.com on Thursday.

"We want to work a little bit differently than they did in the past," Smith said. "We basically believe more so in training on your feet. Stabilization, more explosiveness, power and strength; those are some of the things that, if you want to look at a broad view of what we do, would be involved in it. Posterior chain movements, back movements, core movements, corrective exercises (are involved) as well."

Link (http://www.houstontexans.com/news/Story.asp?story_id=6089)

steelbtexan
03-27-2010, 01:04 PM
Finally a S&C coach that is up to date on the new things that are being done in the NFL and how the S&C program relate to on field production.

I'm willing to bet USC had a better S&C program than the Texans have had.

I would love to hear Cushing thoughts on this.

The Pencil Neck
03-27-2010, 01:06 PM
Yeah, woo hoo!

Finally.

CloakNNNdagger
03-27-2010, 02:09 PM
Finally, common sense trumps athletic computer mapping.

TheRealJoker
03-27-2010, 02:31 PM
Maybe we'll finally see a less "finesse" team now that they've added a tougher S&C regimen. :)

Hardcore Texan
03-27-2010, 02:41 PM
Finally a S&C coach that is up to date on the new things that are being done in the NFL and how the S&C program relate to on field production.

I'm willing to bet USC had a better S&C program than the Texans have had.

I would love to hear Cushing thoughts on this.

Yeah, woo hoo!

Finally.

Finally, common sense trumps athletic computer mapping.

Agreed all around.

Brisco_County
03-27-2010, 05:41 PM
What gets me is how this approach isn't already the common consensus among all S&C coaches.

I blame liberals (Haha, just kidding... kinda).

wagonhed
03-27-2010, 05:54 PM
eight "combo racks," dual-sided racks on power clean platforms. Both sides of the racks can be used at the same time, allowing more players to train at once. The racks can be used for a variety of exercises, including power cleans, squats, bench press, incline bench, flat bench and pull-ups.

There's little emphasis on machines

Posterior chain movements, back movements, core movements, corrective exercises (are involved) as well."
Outstanding. This is what real athletes do in the weight room.

Brisco_County
03-27-2010, 06:09 PM
Outstanding. This is what real athletes do in the weight room.

My grandfather was an Olympic weight lifting coach for most of his life, and trained football players at Sterling and Barbers Hill high schools in Baytown. If he ever found a machine in one of his gyms, he'd probably rip the cable out and strangle whoever put it there.

awtysst
03-27-2010, 06:12 PM
I have to ask, what is wrong with training with machines? Is it ok for us non athletes or should we also use only free weights?

Hardcore Texan
03-27-2010, 06:29 PM
My grandfather was an Olympic weight lifting coach for most of his life, and trained football players at Sterling and Barbers Hill high schools in Baytown. If he ever found a machine in one of his gyms, he'd probably rip the cable out and strangle whoever put it there.

Barbers Hill huh? That's crazy, I grew up in Chambers County, went to Anahuac High School not too far away.

I have to ask, what is wrong with training with machines? Is it ok for us non athletes or should we also use only free weights?

Machine weights have their place and depending on your goal can be very useful. But to get the very most out of weight training there is no subistute for free weights.

barrett
03-27-2010, 06:36 PM
Why? Please explain. How is it that training "standing up" and free versus machines is better for a football player?

I don't know anything about this stuff.

Best I can assume is that in football, everything you do is centered around your balance. You have to be strong while standing and pushing or back peddling as opposed to while laying on your back. (unless you're Flannigan, then that's probably a more sensible way to train.)

Is it an issue that you continually are stressing joints etc. instead of on a machine where I assume it's more of an isolated stress on a specific muscle group?

Hardcore Texan
03-27-2010, 06:45 PM
Why? Please explain. How is it that training "standing up" and free versus machines is better for a football player?

I don't know anything about this stuff.

Best I can assume is that in football, everything you do is centered around your balance. You have to be strong while standing and pushing or back peddling as opposed to while laying on your back. (unless you're Flannigan, then that's probably a more sensible way to train.)

Is it an issue that you continually are stressing joints etc. instead of on a machine where I assume it's more of an isolated stress on a specific muscle group?

Alot of it is what you are thinking. But instead of benching on a machine, lay on a bench and use dumbells instead to do benchpress. Or use a bar with free weights. It takes more strength to do it, and more of the smaller stabilizing muscles have to work more to assist with the load. It challenges the muscle more, makes you stronger. With machines you can lift 60% of the load with the right arm (dominant arm for me) and 40% with the left, with free weights every muscle has to pull it's weight so to speak. And one could argue that it can feel like the machines give you an assist, it's just harder to lift the free weights and more realistic as it applies on a football field.

barrett
03-27-2010, 06:55 PM
hmmmmm, makes too much sense. Thanks for clarifying.

The Pencil Neck
03-27-2010, 06:56 PM
I have to ask, what is wrong with training with machines? Is it ok for us non athletes or should we also use only free weights?

OK.

Here's my rant.

Machines force the body into unnatural movements and remove the need to work a lot of your stabilization muscles.

Many trainers think that if they perform a motion on a machine, that the machine is "forcing" them into correct form. Nothing could be further to the truth. Every one has different biomechanics and different lengths of different levers. Machines are constructed to work with an "average". And that's unnatural.

Some machines are just wrong from the get-go. An example is the Leg Extension machine. Years ago, this was THE machine used to rehab knees. Until some studies came out showing that doing a complete range of motion on one of those machines can actually damage your knee. Also, your leg is constructed to have force applied from the bottom and the top. Your feet are made to have force applied to them... your shins AREN'T. Placing a lot of force against your shin can be bad for your knee.

Also, let's say you're working out on a bench press machine. This movement is going to help you isolate your pecs and triceps (and your front delts to a degree). But it forces you into a pure, straight movement. Lots of people don't naturally have that pure straight movement. And since it's only going to move in that straight line, you don't have to stabilize the weight to keep it from drifting over your face or toward your stomach. There are muscles that keep the weight from drifting like that but if you're not training them, they're not going to build up strength proportional to the rest of the muscles that they normally work with. Then when you get into a "real" situation those stabilizers will be overpowered by the other muscles in the chain, and you can easily get injured. It's like slapping a rocket engine in a go-cart. It sounds like fun, but someone's going to get hurt.

The whole machine thing really got going with bodybuilders who like to isolate muscles to train them up. For athletic training, it's generally not a good idea. Even for bodybuilding, it's generally better to work with free weights.

With all that said, there are times and places where isolation and machine training is OK. Especially when there are specific muscle imbalances and medical issues that need to be addressed.

Ever since I started training (and I started late in life), I've trained powerlifting. I've had a couple of good Oly coaches that I worked with (including one that was S&C for Air Force back in the 90's when they had that great rushing attack.) All I need is a bar, some plates, and a power cage and I'm set. I am anti-machine and it hurt me to read some of the things that our S&C staff have said. The last guys weren't as bad as the ones before that.

Kaiser Toro
03-27-2010, 07:02 PM
I still boggles my mind that we continually see this on the job training by our coaches.

Glad to see we are making a move that makes athletic/football sense, rather than trying to be the smartest guy in the room.

Carr Bombed
03-27-2010, 07:04 PM
There's pretty much only two machines that I like when I work out and that's the butterfly machine (because it's a great chest workout) and the elliptical runner, because it's so easy on my feet and knees. Everything else I do in the gym is with free weights.

kiwitexansfan
03-27-2010, 07:09 PM
There's pretty much only two machines that I like when I work out and that's the butterfly machine (because it's a great chest workout) and the elliptical runner, because it's so easy on my feet and knees. Everything else I do in the gym is with free weights.

I think machines for Cardio make sense, but for strength free weights are the business.

dalemurphy
03-27-2010, 07:10 PM
Why? Please explain. How is it that training "standing up" and free versus machines is better for a football player?

I don't know anything about this stuff.

Best I can assume is that in football, everything you do is centered around your balance. You have to be strong while standing and pushing or back peddling as opposed to while laying on your back. (unless you're Flannigan, then that's probably a more sensible way to train.)

Is it an issue that you continually are stressing joints etc. instead of on a machine where I assume it's more of an isolated stress on a specific muscle group?

Barrett, Almost any athletic move, whether hitting a baseball, throwing a ball, making a out-cut and then jumping for a ball, etc... all of those things require a series of muscle engagements and explosions. Many of those are centered in the core of the body, not to mention all the smaller stabilizing muscles that become engaged only in certain operations. So, simply laying on a bench and pushing a bar with weight on it into the air does almost nothing to improve ones ability to do any of those things required by an athletic sport.

Furthermore, simulating those things you will be doing in a game are much better forms of practice and growth in the area in which one wishes to improve. Someone like Dan Riley, in order to improve the explosiveness of a WR, would have the WR sit on a machine and press weights out with his feet, thereby isolating the quad and glut muscles and forcing them to grow.

However, a football trainer that understands what he is doing, will have the WR weighted down somehow and have them go from a squat to an exloding jump into the air. In this instance, it simulates an action that the WR does on the field (first, simply by standing up and then by jumping and exploding on his two feet) but it also engages every single muscle that he uses to perform that task. So, his body becomes better able to do those things he needs to do on the field in order to be effective and the body doesn't become lopsided and inefficient because certain muscles have been isolated and worked and therefore larger while other ones have remained dormant... when that happens, injuries are much more likely. Ask a body-builder to do something athletic. It's pretty funny, actually!

CloakNNNdagger
03-27-2010, 07:47 PM
Barrett, Almost any athletic move, whether hitting a baseball, throwing a ball, making a out-cut and then jumping for a ball, etc... all of those things require a series of muscle engagements and explosions. Many of those are centered in the core of the body, not to mention all the smaller stabilizing muscles that become engaged only in certain operations. So, simply laying on a bench and pushing a bar with weight on it into the air does almost nothing to improve ones ability to do any of those things required by an athletic sport.

Furthermore, simulating those things you will be doing in a game are much better forms of practice and growth in the area in which one wishes to improve. Someone like Dan Riley, in order to improve the explosiveness of a WR, would have the WR sit on a machine and press weights out with his feet, thereby isolating the quad and glut muscles and forcing them to grow.

However, a football trainer that understands what he is doing, will have the WR weighted down somehow and have them go from a squat to an exloding jump into the air. In this instance, it simulates an action that the WR does on the field (first, simply by standing up and then by jumping and exploding on his two feet) but it also engages every single muscle that he uses to perform that task. So, his body becomes better able to do those things he needs to do on the field in order to be effective and the body doesn't become lopsided and inefficient because certain muscles have been isolated and worked and therefore larger while other ones have remained dormant... when that happens, injuries are much more likely. Ask a body-builder to do something athletic. It's pretty funny, actually!

Like walk.

NitroGSXR
03-27-2010, 08:15 PM
Www.buyshakeweightformen.com.

240 reps a minute! 7 times more effective than a regular dumb-bell! Best of all... 5 whole fricking pounds!

Brisco_County
03-27-2010, 09:55 PM
Barbers Hill huh? That's crazy, I grew up in Chambers County, went to Anahuac High School not too far away.

I'm not familiar with the school district since I grew up in Clear Lake, but my grandfather always had a small gym in Baytown. His name's Otto Ziegler if that sounds familiar. He trained boxers in Baytown too.

I have to ask, what is wrong with training with machines? Is it ok for us non athletes or should we also use only free weights?

Building muscle needs to also include the building of coordination. Without coordination, the muscle mass is kind of worthless and will atrophy anyway. Machines don't force the muscle to build coordination because the lifting motion is on a mechanical path or track. The weight resistance can also vary throughout the motion because of the physics of the pulley.

Not to say that machines are useless. I use them on rare occasions to safely max out without a spotter, and I'm sure they have other benefits that I'm not aware of. But as someone said above, free weights are the business.

phantom17
03-27-2010, 11:16 PM
Free weights #1 in strenght & explosive building! Thank goodness they minimize the machines!:doot:

Malloy
03-28-2010, 05:04 AM
Www.buyshakeweightformen.com.

240 reps a minute! 7 times more effective than a regular dumb-bell! Best of all... 5 whole fricking pounds!

hehe, it looks like a freakin' toy!

I wonder if it works :)

CloakNNNdagger
03-28-2010, 07:38 AM
Www.buyshakeweightformen.com.

240 reps a minute! 7 times more effective than a regular dumb-bell! Best of all... 5 whole fricking pounds!

Video could be interpretted as somewhat pornographic........guess that's why at the bottom, it states "! Must be 18 years old or older to order.":foottap:

Brisco_County
03-28-2010, 12:26 PM
Video could be interpretted as somewhat pornographic........guess that's why at the bottom, it states "! Must be 18 years old or older to order.":foottap:

We should anonymously send a bunch of those to Titans players so they'll substitute that thing for a real work out.

NitroGSXR
03-28-2010, 02:17 PM
Video could be interpretted as somewhat pornographic........guess that's why at the bottom, it states "! Must be 18 years old or older to order.":foottap:

When I posted that, I was watching the informercial for it on local TV although it was the one for women. I could not stop rolling when I saw the one for men via the link.

I posted because it's mechanical yet a free weight.

GP
03-28-2010, 06:39 PM
When I posted that, I was watching the informercial for it on local TV although it was the one for women. I could not stop rolling when I saw the one for men via the link.

I posted because it's mechanical yet a free weight.

Wow.

That was...disturbing.

I can only think of one thing that little gadget would make me better at. And I'm almost a Pro-Bowler at it already.

Texans_Chick
03-28-2010, 08:13 PM
This is going to be an interesting transition.

In the past, when players started with the Texans, some were surprised by Riley's (and then Wright's) use of so many machines. And that they weren't doing some of the lifting that they used to doing on the high school/college level.

Many of Riley's players, especially those who had rehabbed injuries, very much bought into his approach, thinking that his techniques helped keep their strength while they were rehabbing.

Wright went a little bit away from that, but it must have been weird working a disciple of Riley who wasn't doing Riley things.

This is like 180 from what Riley's approach is, but the older players were already sold on the other approach.

I'm guessing the approach now will be more like what Kubiak was used to in Denver. I think there were a number of hold overs from the old coaching staff to help in the transition, and who were well liked by the powers that be and knew the players well (and didn't have an obvious replacement). Once the ex-Denver people got to know the players better, the need to keep holdover coaches/staff diminished.

drs23
03-30-2010, 09:58 AM
I was going to start a thread about this a few weeks ago but this seems like the place to address/ask...

Last season Gary, during many interviews, sang such high praises upon SC coach Wright like he was the best and really liked the way he pushed the players to get the most from them, yada, yada. Then all of a sudden, poof, he's gone/replaced. What happened? Players didn't like the approach? Did he leave of his own accored?

Curious...

HuttoKarl
03-30-2010, 10:54 AM
Barbers Hill huh? That's crazy, I grew up in Chambers County, went to Anahuac High School not too far away.



Machine weights have their place and depending on your goal can be very useful. But to get the very most out of weight training there is no subistute for free weights.

Do you know Keller Brandon?

HuttoKarl
03-30-2010, 10:55 AM
Plyometrics and weights...the way it should be.

phantom17
03-30-2010, 11:11 AM
When I posted that, I was watching the informercial for it on local TV although it was the one for women. I could not stop rolling when I saw the one for men via the link.

I posted because it's mechanical yet a free weight.



Is this device endorsed by Ricky Martin?:roast:

The Pencil Neck
03-30-2010, 11:58 AM
Plyometrics and weights...the way it should be.

Damn straight.

Yankee_In_TX
03-30-2010, 11:59 AM
OK.

Many trainers think that if they perform a motion on a machine, that the machine is "forcing" them into correct form. Nothing could be further to the truth. Every one has different biomechanics and different lengths of different levers. Machines are constructed to work with an "average". And that's unnatural.


My wife keeps saying time and time again about the machines we do use 'wth, this was built for a man!"

In other words, I agree. Machines would have to be custom built for each person. And when you're at the level of an NFL player, you better not be on a machine.

You have a PM.

Texans_Chick
03-30-2010, 12:42 PM
I have a new entry up on my Chronic blog:
Texans strength and conditioning program changes (http://blogs.chron.com/texanschick/2010/03/texans_strength_and_conditioni_1.html)

I talk about the changes, frame the discussion about the changes some, and maybe have a little additional information that you might not have already know.

Apologies for my blog looking a little messed up. I think they are transitioning me to the new blog format. Just scroll down.

For those who very much are interested in S&C, please leave a comment because I think the readers would like it, and I'm very interested in this topic. I know that they are read by Texans peoples. Actually, the real Dan Riley left a comment when I talked about Darrell Green a while back.

NitroGSXR
03-30-2010, 12:55 PM
Truth be told... I want whatever Brian Cushing wants back there.

:fans:

Serious question... do teams ever take in consideration on what players like or want?

Hardcore Texan
03-30-2010, 01:03 PM
Do you know Keller Brandon?

Wow, there's a name from the past. Yes I knew him, but not well. Anahuac is the kind of town that even if you don't know everyone personally, everybody knows everybody at least when your in school age years. I believe his sister graduated a year before me, and I think he graduated a couple of years after me IIRC. I graduated in '92, so I think maybe he was in the class of '93 or '94

It's a small world I guess. You must know him somehow?

TEXANS84
03-30-2010, 01:25 PM
From some of the players reactions on twitter, seems as if they like the new conditioning program...

HOU-TEX
03-30-2010, 01:41 PM
From some of the players reactions on twitter, seems as if they like the new conditioning program...

Is there a new list of players on twitter? Half of the very few on Chron don't even work.

Hardcore Texan
03-30-2010, 01:43 PM
Is there a new list of players on twitter? Half of the very few on Chron don't even work.

Are you on twitter HT? If so I can point you to a list somebody keeps up with that are all Texans players.

HuttoKarl
03-30-2010, 01:43 PM
Wow, there's a name from the past. Yes I knew him, but not well. Anahuac is the kind of town that even if you don't know everyone personally, everybody knows everybody at least when your in school age years. I believe his sister graduated a year before me, and I think he graduated a couple of years after me IIRC. I graduated in '92, so I think maybe he was in the class of '93 or '94

It's a small world I guess. You must know him somehow?

He lived in the apartment next door when we were in college. Solid dude...played some good baseball back in the day. I'm better for having met him. Probably a class of 94 grad.

HOU-TEX
03-30-2010, 01:44 PM
Are you on twitter HT? If so I can point you to a list somebody keeps up with that are all Texans players.

No, I'm not. I just like to go to their pages and read.

Hardcore Texan
03-30-2010, 01:52 PM
No, I'm not. I just like to go to their pages and read.

I am trying to find the list for you, but I am 'twit' i guess.:chickendance:

Hardcore Texan
03-30-2010, 02:05 PM
No, I'm not. I just like to go to their pages and read.

I saw this from Duane Brown from yesterday:

76ondalef Ok, Ok enough about 40s. Me and @ericwinston are more focused on Freeney and Mathis lol that's how we get paid

I like it!

Texans_Chick
03-30-2010, 06:53 PM
Is there a new list of players on twitter? Half of the very few on Chron don't even work.

Here's a Twitter list (http://twitter.com/StephStradley/texansplayers) I put together. I need to add some new ones on it but it has the main guys.

Oh, and if you care, here's how you follow mine (http://twitter.com/StephStradley).

Brisco_County
03-30-2010, 09:55 PM
I read somewhere that Cushing is going to be weight training with his guy in New Jersey this offseason.

My wife keeps saying time and time again about the machines we do use 'wth, this was built for a man!"

In other words, I agree. Machines would have to be custom built for each person. And when you're at the level of an NFL player, you better not be on a machine.

I really don't understand why so many machines are present in NFL or college facilities.

There's always the possibility that S&C coaches utilize machines because they don't have to spend as much time monitoring and coaching players on their form like they would with free weights.

jppaul
03-30-2010, 10:49 PM
I read somewhere that Cushing is going to be weight training with his guy in New Jersey this offseason.



I really don't understand why so many machines are present in NFL or college facilities.

There's always the possibility that S&C coaches utilize machines because they don't have to spend as much time monitoring and coaching players on their form like they would with free weights.

Cushing training with his New Jersey guy is fine with me too, it has worked out well for him so far.

As far as Machines v. Free Weights go, I have always found free weights more effective, but no doubt there will be a study later this year that says Machines are better suited for Football and heres why, and then after that it is going to be vice versa.

Some things are good for you until you find out they are bad, and then you find out they are in fact good for you again (in moderation). Some examples offhand:

Coffee Drinkers are less likely to get cirrhosis of the liver because the coffee bean has a restorative effect on your liver.

Smokers are less likely to get alzhiemers or senior dementia:

http://journals.lww.com/neurotodayonline/Fulltext/2005/11000/Alzheimer_Disease_May_Be_Less_Frequent_in_Heavy.20 .aspx

http://www.smokersassociation.org/stories/smoking-and-parkinsons-and-alzheimers-disease-review-of-the-epidemiological-studies

Then compare:

Smokers twice as likely to get alzheimers.

http://www.naturalnews.com/025642_disease_Alzheimers_Alzheimers_disease.html

Or:

Coffee consumption of four or more cups a day cuts the risks of cirrhosis by 80%.

http://men.webmd.com/features/coffee-new-health-food

Bottomline,

Who the ******* knows what does what at this point?

Brisco_County
03-30-2010, 11:18 PM
Cushing training with his New Jersey guy is fine with me too, it has worked out well for him so far.

As far as Machines v. Free Weights go, I have always found free weights more effective, but no doubt there will be a study later this year that says Machines are better suited for Football and heres why, and then after that it is going to be vice versa.

Some things are good for you until you find out they are bad, and then you find out they are in fact good for you again (in moderation). Some examples offhand:

Coffee Drinkers are less likely to get cirrhosis of the liver because the coffee bean has a restorative effect on your liver.

Smokers are less likely to get alzhiemers or senior dementia:

http://journals.lww.com/neurotodayonline/Fulltext/2005/11000/Alzheimer_Disease_May_Be_Less_Frequent_in_Heavy.20 .aspx

http://www.smokersassociation.org/stories/smoking-and-parkinsons-and-alzheimers-disease-review-of-the-epidemiological-studies

Then compare:

Smokers twice as likely to get alzheimers.

http://www.naturalnews.com/025642_disease_Alzheimers_Alzheimers_disease.html

Or:

Coffee consumption of four or more cups a day cuts the risks of cirrhosis by 80%.

http://men.webmd.com/features/coffee-new-health-food

Bottomline,

Who the ******* knows what does what at this point?

Good post.

Free weights are still the way to go in the NFL. Anyone can intellectualize a way around believing it, but in the end we know it's common sense.

There are exceptions, like leg extensions and hamstring curls, but these athletes need to be focusing on power cleans, bench, and squats.

otisbean
03-31-2010, 07:50 AM
Good post.

Free weights are still the way to go in the NFL. Anyone can intellectualize a way around believing it, but in the end we know it's common sense.

There are exceptions, like leg extensions and hamstring curls, but these athletes need to be focusing on power cleans, bench, and squats.

I have a theory that coaches use machines over free weights for the simple reason that they don't want guys getting hurt in the gym. Getting a teams stud player injured off the field is an easy way to get fired. I have been a strength coach for 15 years and it's not how I would train them but Im pretty sure that's why they are used. Free weights are actually safer then machines if the exercises are performed properly, but there are a lot of misconceptions out there.

It's also important to understand that professional athletes are absolute freaks of nature that can make performance gains doing basically anything. Their systems function on a whole different level from the average Joe.

Also, you mentioned the leg ext and leg curl: 2 of the worst machines in the gym. A ton of shear force placed on the knee with these machines. Avoid at all costs if you care about knee health. Additionally, just FYI avoid the leg press as well. Another TERRIBLE machine that is an injury waiting to happen!

Peace

Hardcore Texan
03-31-2010, 08:06 AM
Good post.

Free weights are still the way to go in the NFL. Anyone can intellectualize a way around believing it, but in the end we know it's common sense.

There are exceptions, like leg extensions and hamstring curls, but these athletes need to be focusing on power cleans, bench, and squats.

The problems is people try to outsmart their common sense.

CloakNNNdagger
03-31-2010, 08:34 AM
I have a theory that coaches use machines over free weights for the simple reason that they don't want guys getting hurt in the gym. Getting a teams stud player injured off the field is an easy way to get fired. I have been a strength coach for 15 years and it's not how I would train them but Im pretty sure that's why they are used. Free weights are actually safer then machines if the exercises are performed properly, but there are a lot of misconceptions out there.

It's also important to understand that professional athletes are absolute freaks of nature that can make performance gains doing basically anything. Their systems function on a whole different level from the average Joe.

Also, you mentioned the leg ext and leg curl: 2 of the worst machines in the gym. A ton of shear force placed on the knee with these machines. Avoid at all costs if you care about knee health. Additionally, just FYI avoid the leg press as well. Another TERRIBLE machine that is an injury waiting to happen!

Peace

When a trainer is watching a player performing on free weights, he can better assess when the player is reaching his "limit," e.g., wobbling, shifting, instability of motion and asymmetric lifting. Machines do not give the same element of feedback/warning to trainers or players, especially when the player is pushing himself unrealisticly to the danger/injury level.

BTW, you might want to add "military press" machines to your "TERRIBLE machine that is an injury waiting to happen!"

The Pencil Neck
03-31-2010, 09:44 AM
I have a theory that coaches use machines over free weights for the simple reason that they don't want guys getting hurt in the gym. Getting a teams stud player injured off the field is an easy way to get fired. I have been a strength coach for 15 years and it's not how I would train them but Im pretty sure that's why they are used. Free weights are actually safer then machines if the exercises are performed properly, but there are a lot of misconceptions out there.

It's also important to understand that professional athletes are absolute freaks of nature that can make performance gains doing basically anything. Their systems function on a whole different level from the average Joe.

Also, you mentioned the leg ext and leg curl: 2 of the worst machines in the gym. A ton of shear force placed on the knee with these machines. Avoid at all costs if you care about knee health. Additionally, just FYI avoid the leg press as well. Another TERRIBLE machine that is an injury waiting to happen!

Peace

I was about to tell you that machines are definitely not safer than free weights but I luckily read your entire post.

I agree wholeheartedly with the whole thing. Leg extensions are vile machines.

The Pencil Neck
03-31-2010, 09:45 AM
BTW, you might want to add "military press" machines to your "TERRIBLE machine that is an injury waiting to happen!"

I blame that one for ruining my shoulder for a few years when I first started lifting.

Brisco_County
04-01-2010, 02:26 AM
I have a theory that coaches use machines over free weights for the simple reason that they don't want guys getting hurt in the gym. Getting a teams stud player injured off the field is an easy way to get fired. I have been a strength coach for 15 years and it's not how I would train them but Im pretty sure that's why they are used. Free weights are actually safer then machines if the exercises are performed properly, but there are a lot of misconceptions out there.

It's also important to understand that professional athletes are absolute freaks of nature that can make performance gains doing basically anything. Their systems function on a whole different level from the average Joe.

Also, you mentioned the leg ext and leg curl: 2 of the worst machines in the gym. A ton of shear force placed on the knee with these machines. Avoid at all costs if you care about knee health. Additionally, just FYI avoid the leg press as well. Another TERRIBLE machine that is an injury waiting to happen!

Peace

I believe the same theory. With free weights, a coach may feel that he has to be present every time an athlete is exerting himself. Putting machines in there requires less work from the trainer and less liability.

What you said about the leg extensions stressing the knee makes sense, but I'm curious about hamstring curls. What's the safest way to work hamstrings?

When a trainer is watching a player performing on free weights, he can better assess when the player is reaching his "limit," e.g., wobbling, shifting, instability of motion and asymmetric lifting. Machines do not give the same element of feedback/warning to trainers or players, especially when the player is pushing himself unrealisticly to the danger/injury level.

BTW, you might want to add "military press" machines to your "TERRIBLE machine that is an injury waiting to happen!"

Asymmetric exertion is one of my biggest complaints about machines. You could train for a very long time and not know that your dominant side is doing most of the work.

otisbean
04-01-2010, 07:57 AM
I believe the same theory. With free weights, a coach may feel that he has to be present every time an athlete is exerting himself. Putting machines in there requires less work from the trainer and less liability.

What you said about the leg extensions stressing the knee makes sense, but I'm curious about hamstring curls. What's the safest way to work hamstrings?



Asymmetric exertion is one of my biggest complaints about machines. You could train for a very long time and not know that your dominant side is doing most of the work.

The Leg Curl puts the same shear force on the knee that the leg extention does. It's not that I would never do them but there are superior exercises.

The hamstring muscle group crosses 2 joints (hip and knee) so it aids in 2 muscle actions: knee flexion and hip extension. Of these two, hip extension is the more important so training should focus on this action. The top exercises are the deadlift and all its variations and sprinting. Both these exercises are fantastic for hamstring development. For training knee flexion you can certainly do leg curls but I like the swiss ball leg curl better. See video for a demo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czf-1snzG2c&feature=related

You can also do this as a single leg variation: which is pretty tough even for stronger guys. Another great one is the glute-ham raise but this requires a special apparatus that most gyms don't have. Here is a video example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne_pPfxb-_8

Here is a way to perform the same movement with out a special piece of equipment, HOWEVER, this version is WAYYYY harder and should be performed with caution. If you aren't strong enough you can easily get hurt:

Using a Lat Pull machine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vDLLj-TMWE&feature=related

On the ground: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wfu_cqHZBGs&feature=related

The Pencil Neck
04-01-2010, 10:15 AM
What you said about the leg extensions stressing the knee makes sense, but I'm curious about hamstring curls. What's the safest way to work hamstrings?



Asymmetric exertion is one of my biggest complaints about machines. You could train for a very long time and not know that your dominant side is doing most of the work.

Personally, I'm a big fan of the glute/ham raise:
Glute Ham Raise (http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Hamstrings/BBHamstringRaise.html)

Deadlift variations like the SLDL:
Straight Back SLDL (http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Hamstrings/BBStrBackStrLegDeadlift.html)

And the ever present Good Morning:
Good Morning (http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Hamstrings/BBGoodMorning.html)

There are lots of variations of the SLDL and GM. The GM (with bent knees) can be used as a disaster recovery exercise for when you get too forward on a squat. That's why it's a popular exercise with the PL crowd.

drewmar74
04-01-2010, 10:21 AM
Personally, I'm a big fan of the glute/ham raise:
Glute Ham Raise (http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Hamstrings/BBHamstringRaise.html)

That GHM looks awesome.... but it looks like it would require a special bench. One that I don't have in the old garage....

The Pencil Neck
04-01-2010, 10:45 AM
That GHM looks awesome.... but it looks like it would require a special bench. One that I don't have in the old garage....

You can always buy one:
http://www.elitefts.com/documents/glute_ham_raise.htm

(Love the Westside boys.)

I used to do it on a simple back extension bench:
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/ErectorSpinae/WtHyperextension.html

But without the big pad, it was easy to slide down AND with only one bar against the back of the ankle, it didn't always feel comfy. I had a back extension bench at home for a long time but sold it when we moved back to Texas. I'm seriously thinking about getting a glute/ham bench.

Brisco_County
04-01-2010, 04:13 PM
The Leg Curl puts the same shear force on the knee that the leg extention does. It's not that I would never do them but there are superior exercises.

The hamstring muscle group crosses 2 joints (hip and knee) so it aids in 2 muscle actions: knee flexion and hip extension. Of these two, hip extension is the more important so training should focus on this action. The top exercises are the deadlift and all its variations and sprinting. Both these exercises are fantastic for hamstring development. For training knee flexion you can certainly do leg curls but I like the swiss ball leg curl better. See video for a demo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czf-1snzG2c&feature=related

You can also do this as a single leg variation: which is pretty tough even for stronger guys. Another great one is the glute-ham raise but this requires a special apparatus that most gyms don't have. Here is a video example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne_pPfxb-_8

Here is a way to perform the same movement with out a special piece of equipment, HOWEVER, this version is WAYYYY harder and should be performed with caution. If you aren't strong enough you can easily get hurt:

Using a Lat Pull machine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vDLLj-TMWE&feature=related

On the ground: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wfu_cqHZBGs&feature=related

Excellent post, thank you.

drewmar74
04-01-2010, 04:29 PM
You can always buy one:
http://www.elitefts.com/documents/glute_ham_raise.htm

(Love the Westside boys.)

I used to do it on a simple back extension bench:
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/ErectorSpinae/WtHyperextension.html

But without the big pad, it was easy to slide down AND with only one bar against the back of the ankle, it didn't always feel comfy. I had a back extension bench at home for a long time but sold it when we moved back to Texas. I'm seriously thinking about getting a glute/ham bench.


Yeah, I've got the back extension in the garage but its one of the ones where you start off at a 45 degree angle to the floor. In short, your feet are on the floor and not at pad level so I don't think I could make this work.

Dangit, might have to make room for a new toy.

otisbean
04-02-2010, 07:57 AM
To Drewmar and PN, try the swiss ball leg curl I posted earlier. I have owned multiple GH benches and this exercises is pretty close is done properly. The single leg version is pretty tough. You can also perform natural glute ham raises with out a bench but they are tough. Start by performing negatives, the progress to holds for time, then you should be able to crank out reps.

drewmar74
04-02-2010, 10:07 AM
To Drewmar and PN, try the swiss ball leg curl I posted earlier. I have owned multiple GH benches and this exercises is pretty close is done properly. The single leg version is pretty tough. You can also perform natural glute ham raises with out a bench but they are tough. Start by performing negatives, the progress to holds for time, then you should be able to crank out reps.

I did legs last night and I wish I had watched that vid first. I may work those in next week as a complement to SLDL's.

Danke!

And sorry for the thread hijack but strength training has been a passion of mine for about 20 years.

The Pencil Neck
04-02-2010, 10:59 AM
To Drewmar and PN, try the swiss ball leg curl I posted earlier. I have owned multiple GH benches and this exercises is pretty close is done properly. The single leg version is pretty tough. You can also perform natural glute ham raises with out a bench but they are tough. Start by performing negatives, the progress to holds for time, then you should be able to crank out reps.

The Swiss Ball Leg Curl was a big part of my routine a few years ago. But now that you've brought it up, I may resurrect it. I prefer exercises I can do weighted.

I also tried doing a GH raise using a bar and the floor but it was painful on the ankles.

drewmar74
04-02-2010, 11:02 AM
The Swiss Ball Leg Curl was a big part of my routine a few years ago. But now that you've brought it up, I may resurrect it. I prefer exercises I can do weighted.

That was my only thinking on it. Looks like its a lot of core work and you're limited on the resistance, the only variable you can tweak is the rep / set count. Good exercise, methinks, when used to complement other core exercises.

I also tried doing a GH raise using a bar and the floor but it was painful on the ankles.

I can see how you would try that and it sounds like it would hurt like a mofo.

otisbean
04-02-2010, 08:24 PM
The Swiss Ball Leg Curl was a big part of my routine a few years ago. But now that you've brought it up, I may resurrect it. I prefer exercises I can do weighted.

I also tried doing a GH raise using a bar and the floor but it was painful on the ankles.

You could try holding a DB on your hips ifyour balance is good. Also make sure your hips don't sag at all when rolling the ball towards your butt.

DocBar
04-02-2010, 09:12 PM
Going thru 2 knee surgeries, hip surgery and shoulder surgery in the last 1.5 yrs, I have to say that I really like the "holistic" training that emphasis strengthening the core along with everything else. Want a workout? Try this.
http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/p90x.do?gclid=CJjD0-W56aACFSVI5wodI0sxGg&code=GOOGLE_SEMB_P90X&ef_id=1908:3:s_34a1a687927e7a424f51fbb36de1a715_42 07427203:S7ajydBbriUAAFy4izQAAACA:20100403021121

drewmar74
04-02-2010, 10:47 PM
Going thru 2 knee surgeries, hip surgery and shoulder surgery in the last 1.5 yrs,

Wow.... you've been almost completely refurbished! :fingergun:

DocBar
04-03-2010, 06:05 PM
Wow.... you've been almost completely refurbished! :fingergun:Almost. I still have another shoulder and need the right knee scoped again.

HuttoKarl
04-05-2010, 02:08 PM
Going thru 2 knee surgeries, hip surgery and shoulder surgery in the last 1.5 yrs, I have to say that I really like the "holistic" training that emphasis strengthening the core along with everything else. Want a workout? Try this.
http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/p90x.do?gclid=CJjD0-W56aACFSVI5wodI0sxGg&code=GOOGLE_SEMB_P90X&ef_id=1908:3:s_34a1a687927e7a424f51fbb36de1a715_42 07427203:S7ajydBbriUAAFy4izQAAACA:20100403021121

I start week 3 tonite.

painekiller
04-05-2010, 02:29 PM
Going thru 2 knee surgeries, hip surgery and shoulder surgery in the last 1.5 yrs, I have to say that I really like the "holistic" training that emphasis strengthening the core along with everything else. Want a workout? Try this.
http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/p90x.do?gclid=CJjD0-W56aACFSVI5wodI0sxGg&code=GOOGLE_SEMB_P90X&ef_id=1908:3:s_34a1a687927e7a424f51fbb36de1a715_42 07427203:S7ajydBbriUAAFy4izQAAACA:20100403021121

I did the regular P90 a few years ago, I am going to resurrect this when my cardiologist clears me. Hope to work my way into the P90X.

They are great programs