Get Strong

Don't Drop Drop-sets From Your Program

In April of this year the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness published - Effects of drop set resistance training on acute stress indicators and long-term muscle hypertrophy and strength. The findings were..."Superior muscle gains might be achieved with a single set of DS (drop set) compared to 3 sets of conventional RT (resistance training), probably due to higher stress experienced in the DS protocol."

Drop-sets are done in numerous ways, in general it is a simple technique whereby you perform a set of an exercise and then reduce or 'drop' the weight and continue for more repetitions with less poundage or greater leverage. 

There are many many methods how drop-sets are accomplished; stripping of weight from a barbell, quickly grabbing lighter and lighter dumbbells, changing pin settings on selectorized machines, continually changing grip or stance during an exercise, changing the range of motion and more.

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The Pendulum 'Set Extension Technology" is an ideal training method especially for in-season reduced training time and obtaining the desired results in a shorter interval. With an athletes normal weight, the spotter simply changes range of motion once the athlete cannot finish a repetition. All Pendulum strength machines with their 'S.E.T. Extension System' are made to simply and quickly change the length of movement. A Drop-set on the Pendulum strength equipment is an easy and efficient way to Get Strong.

Call or 'drop-in' at the Pendulum showroom in Clare, Michigan to find out about or try out the Rogers Athlete strength equipment.

 Pendulum S.E.T. Technology

Topics: Strength Training, Pendulum 3 Way Row, Muscular Strength

Lowering Weight To Lower Injuries

When a muscle lengthens under load during training it is called the eccentric phase of the movement. The controlled lowering phase of training is not only important for muscular growth, but has other training benefits.

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Following years of systematic reviews of the scientific literature, it has been determined that the act of stretching has "limited effectiveness in preventing injury or reducing the risk of injury."  What is becoming apparent is that eccentric training is an effective way of changing range of motion, as well as, reducing injury. This is accomplished through strengthening the tissue and changing the compliant end of the tendon. Injuries are reduced when you have a healthy myotendinous junction, that is, the connection between the muscle and the tendon. Maintaining the health of this region requires adding movements of low velocity to your athletic program. Get Strong and stay injury free by emphasizing the lowering phase of training.

Topics: Pendulum Seated Squat, Strength Training, Pendulum Hip Press, Pendulum Squat Pro

Using The Pendulum Reverse Glute/Ham

The Pendulum Reverse Glute/Ham is an exceptional strength training device that targets the oft-neglected proximal end of the hamstring muscle, as well as, the glutes and hips. The Reverse Glute/Ham is an exceptional rehabilitative tool giving the athlete the ability to train when he or she has a knee, ankle sprain, casted foot or other lower leg injury. Continuation of training at a high level allows for the retention and development of tissue which enhances return-to-play from injury.

The Reverse Glute/Ham has another use beyond normal strengthening that few may be aware of.  The unique exercise device can be used to safely identify a muscular weakness in the quadriceps that is rarely picked up on any other exercise, test or exercise tool.

Begin the identification process by choosing a weight that he or she can perform 25 reps, pausing at the bottom of each repetition, with their knees bent during the entire movement. Keeping the knees bent targets and fatigues the glutes.

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25 reps with the knee bent during each repetition

Upon completion of the 25th rep (which should be difficult) the subject then, without rest, extends their legs straight out as if standing up. The additional weight of the lower limb adds weight to the movement allowing the lifter to continue performing repetitions. The athlete brings his knees back in the bent position then extending his legs pausing for as many reps as possible. If the first weight was chosen properly the number of repetitions that can be achieved will be some number less than 10.

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Each rep is from bent to an exactly straight paused leg

Once the athlete can complete the last rep in full extension as seen above, he or she is to slowly return at a 5 second count, with the legs kept perfectly straight, to a vertical position if possible.  In the vertical position (if flexible enough) the athlete pauses each rep for 15 seconds. The subject continues repetitions until failure.  If there is a disparity in leg strength the weaker quadricep will begin fibrillating often shaking dramatically.  This will be very visible and will require direct exercise such as leg extensions and straight leg lifts to correct and return to normal in the future.  

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Topics: Pendulum Reverse Glute/Ham, Strength Training, Strength

The Problem Is Not The Problem. It Is The Symptom.

The knee cap (patella) and the thigh bone (femur) form the patellofemoral joint. Seldom do individuals make it through life without experiencing patellofemoral pain making it one of the most common lower extremity issues seen by clinicians. 
 
When there is patellofemoral pain there is usually a loss of muscular strength of the vastus medialis oblique (VMO) a quadricep muscle above the knee on the front of the thigh. If muscle strength is lost exercises like straight-leg raises, quad sets and short-arc leg extensions are often recommended.
 
Current research in the 2016 Manual Therapy Journal, "The outcome of hip exercise in patellofemoral pain: A systematic review." , indicates that the addition of hip strengthening exercises and in some cases hip exercise alone can have a positive effect on reducing knee pain.
 
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The Pendulum Hip Press was designed to specifically target the hip region, as well as, improve flexibility in the low position.
 
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If you top load the Pendulum Squat Pro the athlete strengthens their hips in the low position. If you do this movement with the knees always over the heel, keeping the shin perpendicular to the floor, their is less stress on the patellofemoral joint. 
 
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The Pendulum Reverse Glute/Ham can be used to directly target the hips.
 
Three great machines to Get the hips Strong.
 

Topics: Pendulum Reverse Glute/Ham, Strength Training, Pendulum Hip Press, Pendulum Squat Pro, Muscular Strength

Training The Upper Trap On The 5-Way Neck

The cervical spine consisits of seven vertebra numbered C1-C7. The back of the head or skull is called the 'occiput' and is numbered C0.  The occiput sits on the first vertebra of the cervical spine (C1), which is called the 'atlas'. The juncture between these two bones is called the 'occipito-atlanto joint'.

The second cervical vetebra (C2), is called the 'axis'.  The junction between atlas (C1) and the axis (C2) form the 'atlanto axial joint'. The axis is unlike the other cervical vertebrae, as it has a fingerlike projection called the 'dens' that protrudes through C1, so the atlas can rotate around it somewhat like an axle of a wheel (though the movement is far from a complete rotation).

The bones C0-C2 include the aforementioned joints and ligaments, but unlike the other cervical vertbrae have no discs. The lower cervical have intervertebral discs that do not allow for lateral flexion.

As a coach you can use this imformation to help identify when an athlete is maximally contracting during an upper trap movement. Since the occipito-atlanto and atlanto axial joints do not have discs they have the ability to move to opposite sides of lower segments.

The best movement for the upper trap is a one arm shrug. When the athlete reaches peak contraction the upper cervical vertebra can and will pivot on the dens and the athletes head will turn away from the elevating shoulder shrug action. The muscles of the upper cervical region at C2  have an individual specialized arrangement and when fatigue occurs and the upper trap is truly targeted the head will turn without any coaching. If the head does not turn the athletes form is incorrect or there is not enough effort. You only need to observe, asking the athlete to tilt their head would be a poor coaching cue, as the head tilt occurs naturally. 

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One arm shrug

Training the Upper Trap on the Pendulum 5 Way Neck

Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Neck training, Strength Training

Increasing Chin-up Repetitions

Kinematic analysis is used to find the range of motion and muscle activity of a given mechanical movement. When comparing a chin-up with a lat-pull down exercise you find there is variability to the response of the latissimus dorsi, bicep brachii, tricep brachii, pectoralis major, rectus abdominus and erector spinae muscles during the concentric and eccentric phases of the action. Because of this variability inclusion of an exercise such as the Pendulum Lat Combo Pull as part of a chin-up program will be complementary and you will quickly find the number of chin-ups that can be done will increase rapidly. A great way to Get Strong.

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Pendulum Lat Combo Pull

Topics: Strength Training, Muscular Strength, Pendulum Combo Lat Pull

Rope Pulling

Using the rope pull on the Pendulum Lat Combo Pull strengthens the upper back, as well as the arms and hands.

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Adding the Pendulum Rope Pull immediately afterwards strengthens the athlete's will.

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Use rope pulling to Get Strong.

Topics: Pendulum Rope Pull, Strength Training, Pendulum Pulldown

Contralateral And Ipsilateral

Contralateral is defined as 'pertaining to the other side'. Ipsilateral is considered the opposite of contralateral and occurs on the same side. When you train one limb at a time there is always an effect, because of neural flow to the contralateral limb even if the limb is unenvolved in direct exercise. Coaches understanding this use specific exercise protocols to keep the contalateral limb always under muscular tension.

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Training keeping both arms extended, then lowering one limb and raising it up, then lowering the other limb causes the lifter to keep both arms under muscular tension during the entire exercise. This method of training insures an athlete does not favor an appendage when training bilaterally. This style of exercise may also be used for rehabilitative purposes or simply to augment a normal training regime.

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The Pendulum Shoulder/Iincline

Try this:

On the Pendulum Shoulder/Incline with a determined weight press up with two arms, then lower and press 4 reps with one-arm, while the contralateral limb continually holds the weight extended overhead. Upon completion of the 4th rep keep the limb extended and do 4 reps with the other arm. Once the 2nd arm has completed it's 4th rep leave it extended and begin the process over with a target of 3 reps with each arm. When both limbs have done 3 reps, then do 2 and then 1 rep with each arm.

The goal is 10 reps with each arm (4 reps, 3, 2, 1) adding 5 pounds when a total of 10 reps with the contralateral and ipsilateral arms can be achieved during the exercise. 

A great way to Get Strong.

Topics: Strength Training, Pendulum Shoulder/Incline, Pendulum Squat Pro

The Contracted Position

The storied Pingry School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey has been in operation since 1861. Doug Scott has been a member of the Pingry faculty since 1999 and has served as a Physical Education teacher and Strength and Conditioning coach since that time. Coach Scott runs a comprehensive program designed to get the most out of each participant. Doug describes a successful technique that he uses to strengthen and protect his student athletes.

describe the imageTeaching strength training to athletes is important for many reasons. The most important being developing a high level of muscular fitness is the best form of preventive medicine from athletic injuries. In the case of developing the muscles of the head, neck, and upper back it is important that every measure be taken to insure maximum stimulation of the musculature. Holding an exercise in the muscles contracted position does just that. A technique that has proven to be very successful is to have the athlete hold each exercise in the contracted position for a designated amount of time before returning back to the starting position. Here is a progressive system where the athlete tracks not only the weight and repetitions performed but also the hold in the contracted position. Every two weeks adjust all three variables to ensure overload.

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Holding a neck extension in the contracted position on the Pendulum 4 - Way

Week 1 – 2

Neck 4 ways (8 second hold in contracted position) 5-7 reps

Week 2-4 * increase weight 5-10 lbs

Neck 4 ways (6 second hold in contracted position) 7-9 reps

Week 4-6 * increase weight 5-10 lbs

Neck 4 ways (4 second hold in contracted position) 8-10 reps

Week 6-8 * increase weight 5-10 lbs

Neck 4 ways (2 second hold in contracted position) 10-12 reps

Week 8-10 * reduce weight to 10 lbs over starting weight and start system over

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Pendulum neck flexion hold to Get Strong

Topics: Pendulum 5 Way Neck, concussions, Pendulum 4 Way Neck, Neck training, Strength Training

Upper Back Routine

Start by doing a set of 10-15 repetitions with a neutral grip on the Pendulum 3-Way Row machine.

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Once the rowing exercise is completed go to the Pendulum Rope Pull positioned on the Pendulum Power Rack and pull the rope upwards at approximately an 80 degree angle. You must completely pull the rope from beginning to end. The tension on the Rope Pull should be set at the same tension it would take you to pull the rope completely through in 30 seconds when the rope pull is your first exercise of the workout.

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Once completed start at the top of the chin up bar and try to lower yourself to a straight arm position in 90 seconds. If this can be accomplished add weight the next workout. Record your time.

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When the negative chin is completed set the Pendulum Rope Pull so you are pulling the rope end to end at a 45 degree angle. The resistance remains the same as the previous rope pull. RLC6742

Upon completion set your Pendulum Adjustable Chin/Dip Bar so your body is at a 45 degree angle. With your feet always remaining on the floor and your body straight do as many pulls to the bar as possible.

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1). Pendulum 3-Way Row... 10-15 Repetitions

2). 80 degree Pendulum Rope Pull from the floor

3). 90 second Negative Chin

4). 45 degree Pendulum Rope Pull

5). 45 degree Pendulum Chin/Dip bar pull... maximum repetitions 

A great way to Get your upper back Strong.

Topics: Pendulum Chin-Up Bar, Pendulum Rope Pull, Pendulum Chin/Dip Station, Strength Training, Pendulum 3 Way Row