The Problem With Specific Exercises

**This article was taken from a re-post we did on Instagram. Please go ahead and give the PT Collective a follow on Instagram.**


All too often in the gym we see people trying to mimic the exact movement patterns that you see in sports. They throw heavier balls than what they use on game day. They throw punches with heavy weights in hand and they even run with a weight vest on. ⁣ ⁣ While these things may have there place in a program occasionally, it’s important to focus on the adaptation you’re trying to stimulate from the exercise. ⁣ ⁣ Sometimes doing too much of this can actually change the mechanics of the exercises you’re trying to improve, therefore your technique actually suffers.⁣ ⁣ Viewing exercises as ‘functional’ when they seem like movements performed in the sport and ‘not-functional’ if the transfer is not so obvious is a misinterpretation of the specificity principle. ⁣ ⁣ Joel Jamieson puts it this way when talking about S&C for MMA fighters - “the biggest problem with this line of thought is that specificity is about much more than just the exercise or activity you are doing, it’s about the adaptation you are stimulating... what really matters most is not the exercise you choose or the method you use, but rather the adaptations that result from using and applying them.”⁣ ⁣ For example, going for a run at a low heart rate of 130bpm might not seem specific to footy because footy is intermittent in nature. But if running at a low heart rate develops your aerobic base then it is specific to footy as your endurance and ability to recover between efforts will be improved. ⁣ ⁣ Alternatively, a trap bar deadlift may not be an obvious exercise to choose for footballers as you’re not lifting a bar on game day. But the full body strength and power you develop carries over into moving explosively, sprinting, jumping, tackling etc. #one22


Posted @withrepost@ptcollective A lot of people try and train athletes by taking movements that the athlete performs in their sport - such as throws, punches, swings, jumps, and sprints - and simply adding load. This isn't always appropriate - a lot of the time, sport requires very good accuracy that you may well degrade by loading a particular movement in a way that would never happen on the sports field. #JoinTheCollective

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