Get Strong

Manual Labor

It is well understood that muscular strength and functional abilities can be enhanced significantly without the use of barbells or machines by utilizing manual or partner training techniques. The inclusion and coaching of Manual Resistance training should be an integral part of all athletic programs. 

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The benefits of Manual Training are far reaching:

Manual training teaches an athlete how to get the most out of each repetition and how to reach and what it feels like to accomplish momentary muscular failure. 

Manual training affords for a hands on evaluation, by a coach, of an athletes effort in performing each movement.  

Manual resistance does not require equipment allowing athletes to perform resistive exercises that a facility may have limited equipment or tools for.

Athletes are able to strength train under varied circumstances; i.e., when there is no weight room available or a the satellite facility has inadequate resources. 

Large numbers of athletes can be trained at one time.

Important Manual Resistance Considerations:

  • When training manually all athletes must understand the rules of performing each repetition properly.
  • The athlete should not only be capable of performing an exercise but have the ability to teach, as well as administer the exercise to others. 
  • Once an athlete understands how to execute manual resistance it demands the same effort and motivation as if trying to improve on a bench, squat, clean or any other strength training exercise.
  • When training manually to progressively overload it requires a strength measurement to track progress.  Taking a circumference, body composition and other physiological variables allows the coach and athlete to monitor results.
  • Remember when training the head and neck manually athletes should have clean hands especially during flu season.
  • The rules of Manual Resistance must be reviewed regularly!                                 IMG 9694edited

Manual Resistance Rules

1). Each athlete must know and understand the rules.

2). The Lifter begins each exercise with the goal of 6-8 reps. This requires pacing, in other words, the first repetition is not an all out effort. The effort must be increasing for every subsequent repetition.

2a). The Spotter should allow the lifter to perform each repetition at the same pace or speed of movement. This will require different amounts of pressure by the spotter during the rep (because of leverage). The lifter will feel as though the resistance is similar at all joint angles (the resistance will feel smooth).

3). The lowering phase of every repetition should be slower than the raising phase. A guide in learning manual resistance is raise the involved limbs up in 1-2 seconds or at a 1-2 count and lower them in 4-5 seconds or at a 4 or 5 count.

3a). The Spotter must make sure that they feel more force by the lifter during the lowering phase of each repetition.

4). The Lifter should continually contract their target musculature during the raising phase and the lowering phase of every repetition.

4a). The Spotter must give feedback to the lifter to ensure there is always a constant contraction on every repetition performed. The spotter should identify any relaxation or loss of force by the lifter during the movement.

5). The Lifter should pause with pressure against the spotter's resistance at the top of every movement. Pausing with pressure and no relaxation is extremely difficult.

5a). The Spotter should insure the lifter is applying force at the top of the movement. The spotter must feel if the lifter is relaxing. The spotter must ease slowly into the lowering phase of the exercise. Slowly easing into the lowering phase or decent is extremely important.

6). The exercise is completed when the athlete reaches momentary muscular failure. 

Training the Neck Manually

The absolute best tools for strength training the muscular that lowers subconcussive forces are the Pendulum 4-Way and 5-Way Head and Neck Machines.  Manual resistance can be used to augment these exercises or when an athlete is away from the facility. The 4 and 5-Way Head and Neck Machines should be priorities in all athletic strength training rooms. 

After a concussion or a head and neck injury you need strength values for return-to-play. The athletic trainer and physician use strength levels of the shoulder and knees for return-to-play but without a neck machine and previously recorded results one can only guess about the levels needed to resume activity safely. 

Neck Stength Women

 Training on the Pendulum Head and Neck Machine.

Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Success, Manual Resistance

Manual Training

Manual Resistance is an important consideration in designing a structured exercise program. Manual training affords for hands on evaluation by a coach of an athletes effort in performing each movement.  Include manual resistance in your program so athletes are able to strength train under varied circumstances; i.e., when there is no facility available or the facility they may be using has limited tools. 

 The Rules of Manual Resistance

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1). Each athlete must know and understand the rules.

2). The Lifter begins each exercise with the goal of 6-8 reps. This requires pacing, in other words, the first repetition is not an all out effort. The effort must be increasing for every subsequent repetition.

2a). The Spotter should allow the lifter to perform each repetition at the same pace or speed of movement. This will require different amounts of pressure by the spotter during the rep (because of leverage). The lifter will feel as though the resistance is similar at all joint angles (the resistance will feel smooth).

3). The lowering phase of every repetition should be slower than the raising phase. A guide in learning manual resistance is raise the involved limbs up in 1-2 seconds or at a 1-2 count and lower them in 4-5 seconds or at a 4 or 5 count.

3a). The Spotter must make sure that they feel more force by the lifter during the lowering phase of each repetition.

4). The Lifter should continually contract their target musculature during the raising phase and the lowering phase of every repetition.

4a). The Spotter must give feedback to the lifter to ensure there is always a constant contraction on every repetition performed. The spotter should identify any relaxation or loss of force by the lifter during the movement.

5). The Lifter should pause with pressure against the spotter's resistance at the top of every movement. Pausing with pressure and no relaxation is extremely difficult.

5a). The Spotter should insure the lifter is applying force at the top of the movement. The spotter must feel if the lifter is relaxing. The spotter must ease slowly into the lowering phase of the exercise. Slowly easing into the lowering phase or decent is extremely important.

6). The exercise is completed when the athlete reaches momentary muscular failure.

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Topics: Muscular Growth, Manual Resistance

Miami University Synchronized Skating

MacKenzie Cutter is a Strength and Conditioning Coach at Miami of Ohio University, she runs a comprehensive strength and conditioning program for each of the University's teams that she is responsible for. The Miami University Synchronized Skating team has been our Nations best, they have won National Collegiate Championships in 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. Neck training is a part of their program.

In the 1970s, colleges began introducing strength training into their athletic programs to enhance performance, as well as reduce injuries. Women, in general had a strong fear of becoming too muscular. Educators worked to dispel those fears and strength and conditioning programs are now commonplace throughout athletics. Yet wrongly conceived beliefs still linger today when it comes to training the muscles associated with the cervical spine. Neck training for the female, which increases the stiffness of the musculature rather than the size, is important not only to protect each athlete by reducing sub-concusive forces but perfect their balance and skill.

As great as these Miami synchronized skaters are, falls and collisions occur, protecting each athlete is paramount. 

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Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, concussions, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Neck training, Manual Resistance

The Manual Lateral Raise

The following are the rules for Manual Resistance.  Rules 5 and 5a seem to require the most coaching.  Pausing at the top of movements with pressure necessitates excellent effort from the lifter and the appropriate application of force by the spotter.  Easing into the lowering phase of the movement is critical for maximum recruitment and growth of the musculature. 

Manual Resistance Rules

1). Each athlete must know and understand the rules.

2). The Lifter begins each exercise with the goal of 6-8 reps. This requires pacing, in other words, the first repetition is not an all out effort. The effort must be increasing for every subsequent repetition.

2a). The Spotter should allow the lifter to perform each repetition at the same pace or speed of movement. This will require different amounts of pressure by the spotter during the rep (because of leverage). The lifter will feel as though the resistance is similar at all joint angles (the resistance will feel smooth).

3). The lowering phase of every repetition should be slower than the raising phase. A guide in learning manual resistance is raise the involved limbs up in 1-2 seconds or at a 1-2 count and lower them in 4-5 seconds or at a 4 or 5 count.

3a). The Spotter must make sure that they feel more force by the lifter during the lowering phase of each repetition.

4). The Lifter should continually contract their target musculature during the raising phase and the lowering phase of every repetition.

4a). The Spotter must give feedback to the lifter to ensure there is always a constant contraction on every repetition performed. The spotter should identify any relaxation or loss of force by the lifter during the movement.

5). The Lifter should pause with pressure against the spotter's resistance at the top of every movement. Pausing with pressure and no relaxation is extremely difficult.

5a). The Spotter should insure the lifter is applying force at the top of the movement. The spotter must feel if the lifter is relaxing. The spotter must ease slowly into the lowering phase of the exercise. Slowly easing into the lowering phase or descent is extremely important.

6). The exercise is completed when the athlete reaches momentary muscular failure.

 

Manual Resistance Lateral Raise 1

Figure 1

The lifter begins the lateral raise with his arms slightly above parallel and no higher or lower.  The lifter is pushing upwards against the spotters hands.  The spotter makes sure there is a constant force and at no time any relaxation by the lifter.

Manual lateral raise

Figure 2

The transition from slightly above parallel to almost parallel is an extremely important part of the exercise. Though it is only several inches the spotter must feel the lifters constant upward drive as he gathers his strength and recruits more muscle fiber.  The spotter must not push down quickly to overcome the lifters strength, but slowly ease into the movement with the appropriate force.

Manual lateral raise2

Figure 3

The lifter and spotter must work together, especially from figure 1- figure 3, once they master this part of the exercise, that is, the lifter always maintaining upward tension in the paused position and during the descent, manual resistance becomes a tremendous exercise.

Momentary Muscular Failure

Figure 4

When a manual lateral raise is properly performed, after 6-8 repetitions the lifter will not be able to raise his arms with the greatest of effort and zero resistance from the spotter.

A great way to Get Strong.

Topics: Muscular Growth, Manual Resistance

Manual Resistance

In 1978, 76 strength coaches attended the first National Strength Coaches Association convention in Lincoln, Nebraska, many of these coaches were part time employees.  Manual Resistance was introduced to the college and professional strength and conditioning coaches in 1979.  Dan Riley was the head strength coach of Penn State University and a speaker at the NSCA, during his presentation he showed film of his players training, selected exercises were done with partners and without the use of weights which he deemed manual resistance. 

With colleges and universities previously uninvested in strength training and tremendously limited facilities manual resistance was a great way to augment training for the newly founded position of strength and conditioning coach.  It gave coaches an avenue to accomplish work with limited strength training tools.  In 1982 Dan published Maximum Muscular Fitness which discussed the art of manual partner training.

Since the 70's and the advent of diverse weight training technologies many have stepped away from manual training and built great weight rooms with different types of exercise devices that make manual training no longer necessary.

West Virginia Neck Program

Manual resistance still has value as it allows a coach to teach athletes movements that the athlete may not be able to do away from the facility or if their facility is lacking.

The issues you must keep in mind if Manual Resistance is part of your program:

  • We have a concussion crisis in athletics. The absolute best tools for strength training the muscular that lowers subconcussive forces are the 4- Way and 5- Way Head and Neck Machines.  Manual resistance can be used to augment these exercises or used when these devices are not available but the 4 and 5 -Way Head and Neck Machines should be priorities in your facilities.
  • When training manually all athletes must understand the rules and not only perform the exercise themselves but be able to teach, as well as administer the exercise to others. 
  • Once an athlete understands how to perform manual resistance it requires the same effort and motivation as if trying to improve on a bench, squat, clean or any other strength training exercise.
  • When training manually to progressively overload it requires some strength measurement to track progress.  A circumference will give you information but fluctuates in regards to time of day, body composition and other physiological variables.
  • Remember when training manually around the head and neck athletes should have clean hands especially during flu season.
  • After a head or neck injury you need strength values for return-to-play.  The athletic trainer and physician use strength levels of the shoulder and knees for return-to-play but without a neck machine and previously obtained strength results one can only guess about the levels needed to resume activity safely.

 

Manual Resistance Rules

1). Each athlete must know and understand the rules.

2). The Lifter begins each exercise with the goal of 6-8 reps. This requires pacing, in other words, the first repetition is not an all out effort. The effort must be increasing for every subsequent repetition.

2a). The Spotter should allow the lifter to perform each repetition at the same pace or speed of movement. This will require different amounts of pressure by the spotter during the rep (because of leverage). The lifter will feel as though the resistance is similar at all joint angles (the resistance will feel smooth).

3). The lowering phase of every repetition should be slower than the raising phase. A guide in learning manual resistance is raise the involved limbs up in 1-2 seconds or at a 1-2 count and lower them in 4-5 seconds or at a 4 or 5 count.

3a). The Spotter must make sure that they feel more force by the lifter during the lowering phase of each repetition.

4). The Lifter should continually contract their target musculature during the raising phase and the lowering phase of every repetition.

4a). The Spotter must give feedback to the lifter to ensure there is always a constant contraction on every repetition performed. The spotter should identify any relaxation or loss of force by the lifter during the movement.

5). The Lifter should pause with pressure against the spotter's resistance at the top of every movement. Pausing with pressure and no relaxation is extremely difficult.

5a). The Spotter should insure the lifter is applying force at the top of the movement. The spotter must feel if the lifter is relaxing. The spotter must ease slowly into the lowering phase of the exercise. Slowly easing into the lowering phase or decent is extremely important.

6). The exercise is completed when the athlete reaches momentary muscular failure.

Pendulum 5-Way Neck Machines


Topics: Head/Neck/Trap/Shop, concussions, Manual Resistance

Learning, Practice, And Repetition

Learning, practicing, and repetition are key to skill development as well as the development of strength. Executing a repetition better than you did before is important in progressive overload. If you are using manual resistance in your program, make sure each athlete learns the rules, practices the rules and performs each repetition optimally.  

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Manual Resistance Rules

1). Each athlete must know and understand the rules.

2). The Lifter begins each exercise with the goal of 6-8 reps. This requires pacing. In other words, the first repetition is not an all out effort. The effort must be increasing for every subsequent repetition.

2a). The Spotter should allow the lifter to perform each repetition at the same pace or speed of movement. This will require different amounts of pressure by the spotter during the rep (because of leverage). The lifter will feel as though the resistance is similar at all joint angles (the resistance will feel smooth).

3). The lowering phase of every repetition should be slower than the raising phase. A guide in learning manual resistance is raise the involved limbs up in 1-2 seconds or at a 1-2 count and lower them in 4-5 seconds or at a 4 or 5 count.

3a). The Spotter must make sure that they feel more force by the lifter during the lowering phase of each repetition.

4). The Lifter should continually contract their target musculature during the raising phase and the lowering phase of every repetition.

4a). The Spotter must give feedback to the lifter to ensure there is always a constant contraction on every repetition performed. The spotter should identify any relaxation or loss of force by the lifter during the movement.

5). The Lifter should pause with pressure against the spotter's resistance at the top of every movement. Pausing with pressure and no relaxation is extremely difficult.

5a). The Spotter should insure the lifter is applying force at the top of the movement. The spotter must feel if the lifter is relaxing. The spotter must ease slowly into the lowering phase of the exercise. Slowly easing into the lowering phase or decent is extremely important.

6). The exercise is completed when the athlete reaches momentary muscular failure.

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Topics: Strength Training, Success, Manual Resistance

Activity And Success

Never Confuse Activity With Success

Never confuse activity with success.  If you are using manual resistance, a periodic review of the rules, as well as, a coach physically checking each athlete to make sure they are performing repetitions properly is a necessity. 

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Train each athlete to introduce manual resistance and make sure they are exercising correctly. Review the rules throughout the year.

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Manual Resistance Rules

1). Each athlete must know and understand the rules.

2). The Lifter begins each exercise with the goal of 6-8 reps. This requires pacing, in other words, the first repetition is not an all out effort. The effort must be increasing for every subsequent repetition.

2a). The Spotter should allow the lifter to perform each repetition at the same pace or speed of movement. This will require different amounts of pressure by the spotter during the rep (because of leverage). The lifter will feel as though the resistance is similar at all joint angles (the resistance will feel smooth).

3). The lowering phase of every repetition should be slower than the raising phase. A guide in learning manual resistance is raise the involved limbs up in 1-2 seconds or at a 1-2 count and lower them in 4-5 seconds or at a 4 or 5 count.

3a). The Spotter must make sure that they feel more force by the lifter during the lowering phase of each repetition.

4). The Lifter should continually contract their target musculature during the raising phase and the lowering phase of every repetition.

4a). The Spotter must give feedback to the lifter to ensure there is always a constant contraction on every repetition performed. The spotter should identify any relaxation or loss of force by the lifter during the movement.

5). The Lifter should pause with pressure against the spotter's resistance at the top of every movement. Pausing with pressure and no relaxation is extremely difficult.

5a). The Spotter should insure the lifter is applying force at the top of the movement. The spotter must feel if the lifter is relaxing. The spotter must ease slowly into the lowering phase of the exercise. Slowly easing into the lowering phase or decent is extremely important.

6). The exercise is completed when the athlete reaches momentary muscular failure.

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Topics: Muscular Growth, Neck training, Manual Resistance

The Rules Of Manual Resistance

The Rules Of Manual Resistance                                              

rileyIn 1979 Dan Riley introduced Manual Resistance to America at the National Strength Coaches Convention.  More importantly Dan demonstrated to exercise physiology researchers that muscular strength and functional abilities could be enhanced significantly without the use of barbells or machines utilizing manual techniques.

Dan coached at West Point, Penn State, with the Washington Redskins and also with the Houston Texans. He is still an important force in the strength training community and if you ever get a chance to hear him speak take advantage of it.

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When you train manually never neglect to pause at the top of each repetition with pressure. After pausing the key is a very slowly application of force by the spotter during the lowering of the movement.

 

The most important rule is rule number one...Know the Rules!

describe the image1). If you use Manual Resistance make sure you and your spotter know and understand the rules.


2). The Lifter begins each exercise with the goal of 6-8 reps. This requires pacing, in other words, the first repetition is not an all out effort. The effort must be increasing for every subsequent repetition.

2a). The Spotter should allow the lifter to perform each repetition at the same pace or speed of movement. This will require different amounts of pressure by the spotter during the rep (because of leverage). The lifter will feel as though the resistance is similar at all joint angles (the resistance will feel smooth).

3). The lowering phase of every repetition should be slower than the raising phase. A guide in learning manual resistance is raise the involved limbs up in 1-2 seconds or at a 1-2 count and lower them in 4-5 seconds or at a 4 or 5 count.

3a). The Spotter must make sure that they feel more force by the lifter during the lowering phase of each repetition.

4). The Lifter should continually contract their target musculature during the raising phase and the lowering phase of every repetition.

manual24a). The Spotter must give feedback to the lifter to ensure there is always a constant contraction on every repetition performed. The spotter should identify any relaxation or loss of force by the lifter during the movement.

5). The Lifter should pause with pressure against the spotter's resistance at the top of every movement. Pausing with pressure and no relaxation is extremely difficult.

5a). The Spotter should insure the lifter is applying force at the top of the movement. The spotter must feel if the lifter is relaxing. The spotter must ease slowly into the lowering phase of the exercise. Slowly easing into the lowering phase or decent is extremely important.

6). The exercise is completed when the athlete reaches momentary muscular failure.

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Get Strong

kansas

Central City High School Nebraska



 

Topics: Manual Resistance

Another Way To Do A Manual Squat

There are many ways to do a Manual Squat

manual5When an athlete completes a very difficult set of leg presses have them quickly get into a rock bottom squatting position with their head down, arms crossed and held forward, back rounded and as low as possible.

Place one hand on the athletes head, neck or the top of the shoulder. Place the other hand on the lower back at the top of the iliac crest (top of pelvis bone).

manual6Have the athlete raise up 8-12 inches and pause with pressure. The key is keeping the head down and back rounded while rotating around the knee.

The athlete will want to stand up to take the muscular tension off their legs, but they musn't. If you have an athlete who is surprised about how much muscular pain is involved...control their heads...so they do not extend it trying to release tension by changing leverage.

The manual squat is a great exercise to .......GET STRONG.

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Topics: The Squat, Manual Resistance

Using The Floor As The Trapezius

There are many ways to do manual front of the neck. Laying on a bench or sitting on the floor seems to be the most popular.

describe the imageMike Gittleson was the Director of Strength & Conditioning at the University of Michigan for 30 years and was a part of 15 Football Championships in that time. He explains, that laying on the floor is an effective way to manually train the front of the neck.

Before you begin manual resistance make sure the athletes know and understand the rules and are proficient in safely administering exercise to one another.

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Training the neck while laying on the floor is an effective way to teach and carry out the exercise.

The athlete lays supine with their arms bent as if they are making a goal post. This position negates the athlete from using the trapezius to throw or initiate  the forward shortening contraction of the neck muscles when the exercise begins.

The floor acts as the traps do in protecting the athletes cervical spine during the lengthening phase of the contraction.

dorsiWhat is interesting is, that even with the floor an athlete can achieve almost a full range of motion by dorsiflexing their chin and extending their head.

The spotter places a hand on the lifters forehead. During the first few repetitions the lifter must pace himself. The lifter cannot begin the movement as if they were doing a one repetition max. They must ease into the movement and progressively work harder each repetition.

The spotter not only coaches the lifter through the movement following the rules of manual resistance, but must also coach the lifters hands. By coaching the hands you are making sure the lifter is not moving their head with their traps and the lifter is not trying to use their torso for additional leverage.

describe the imageIn the left photo,the lifter's hands are starting to rise off the floor. This means he is  trying to use something other than his neck muscles to raise his head and ultimately tuck his chin to complete the rep.

Also, notice the lifter is slightly turning his head towards the right as he elevates it from the floor. Very often young lifters are stronger on one side of the neck than the other. No different than one leg or arm being stronger than the other. Over time with good technique this will be corrected.

Sometimes the head may be canted to one side or the other as the athlete raises it, because they wiggle their head from side to side while lifting. This reduces their muscular tension so the lift is easier. It is important for the spotter to check for and the lifter to use good form. 

I am a strong believer that all programs should be using neck machines, but if you presently use manual resistance try the above method.

Coach the hands and use the following rules.....to GET STRONG

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The Rules Of Manual Resistance

1). If you use Manual Resistance make sure you and your spotter know and understand the rules.

2). The Lifter begins each exercise with the goal of 6-8 reps. This requires pacing, in other words, the first repetition is not an all out effort. The effort must be increasing for every subsequent repetition.

2a). The Spotter should allow the lifter to perform each repetition at the same pace or speed of movement. This will require different amounts of pressure by the spotter during the rep ( because of leverage). The lifter will feel as though the resistance is similar at all joint angles (the resistance will feel smooth).

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3). The lowering phase of every repetition should be slower than the raising phase. A guide in learning manual resistance is raise the involved limbs up in 1-2 seconds or at a 1-2 count and lower them in 4-5 seconds or at a 4 or 5 count.

3a). The Spotter must make sure that they feel more force by the lifter during the lowering phase of each repetition.

4). The Lifter should continually contract their target musculature during the raising phase and the lowering phase of every repetition.

4a). The Spotter must give feedback to the lifter to ensure there is always a constant contraction on every repetition performed. The spotter should identify any relaxation or loss of force by the lifter during the movement.



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5). The Lifter should pause with pressure against the spotter's resistance at the top of every movement. Pausing with pressure and no relaxation is extremely difficult.

5a). The Spotter should insure the lifter is applying force at the top of the movement. The spotter must feel if the lifter is relaxing. The spotter must ease slowly into the lowering phase of the exercise. Slowly easing into the lowering phase or decent is extremely important.

6). The exercise is completed when the athlete reaches momentary muscular failure.

neckmachine

Neck Machines

Topics: Strength Training, Manual Resistance