Firstly huge congrats to Luke Barnatt who picked up an impressive win over tough texan Andrew Craig. After flooring Craig twice, Luke managed to pull out a tight rear naked choke for the win. Luke surprised critics and viewers with a display of power a 6’6 guy at middleweight would normally struggle to do. We here at Migym.com and Powering-through are immensely proud and look to help Luke keep improving. For an insight into our training see the video Matt posted last month when BTSport came to visit.
Tall athletes get short shrift, they can dunk, triangle us with ease and look at our balding spots and laugh. But when it comes to power and strength they pulled the short straw. Longer limbed lifters have greater distance over which to apply force, for the uncoordinated this a real struggle, most tall guys give up on lifting before they have even started. To paraphase Lee Boyce (a tall strength coach himself) “Long muscle bellies and gigantic lever arms means there’s the potential for a LOT of force to be created”. For taller athletes there a few simple things we do to try and improve weight room ability.
Squat Wide Squatting wide and or on to something is incredible useful for taller athletes. This shortens the range of motion and allows you to open your hips up. There is also no shame having to squat on to a box, get the pattern down first then drop the box out in the future.
Use Eccentrics and Isometrics Isometrics and eccentrics help tall athletes build stability in those deep positions where they really struggle. This also helps with force absorption and technical practice, if your focusing on doing something slowly, form has to be very tight. So drop the weight and slow everything down. Being explosive can come later!
Use Oscillatory training One method I employing in peaking these days is the oscillatory method. It helps improve force production through anatgonistic inhibition and improved intramuscular coordination. For more on this take a look at the work of Cal Dietz at the university of Minnesota
So for those of you 6’2 and above (im calling anything over that tall) hopefully this will help you be longer and stronger.
This is an ongoing series of articles from guest blogger and Strength & Conditioning coach William Wayland of Powering Through.