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Isolation to Integration: A macroscopic approach. | Boddicker Performance

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Isolation to Integration: A macroscopic approach.

by on Jan 14th, 2009

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Everyone who has spent time reading physical therapy, corrective exercise, or motor learning techniques is likely familiar with the idea of progressing movement patterns from very isolated (the follow through in a basketball shot) to a more complex task (a follow through with some lower body action—the set shot), all the way to completely integrated tasks (a full scale game where an athlete runs, cuts, moves in unpredictable, chaotic patterns).   From there, a coach can create training based off of stresses of the sport by implementing integrated movements in isolation.  For example, a coach can help an athlete develop a sound running technique, the ability to perform complex dynamic mobility tasks, and the ability to stabilize the spine and hips while moving at separate times.  An example of this type of integrated movements in isolation would look like this:

1.    Pre-Run Mobility:
1A.    Dynamic Mobility: Lunge Series
1B.    Dynamic Mobility:  Hurdle Series
2.    Run Training
2A.    20 Minute Warm-up
2B.    6x600m @3k pace w/2 minutes jog recovery
2C.    10 Minutes Easy
2D.    3x150m SFS
2E.    10 Minute Cool Down
3.    Post-Run Pre-Hab
3A.    Core Stability
3B.    Ankle Series
Pretty good training day right?  Absolutely.  But is this the point where we’d like our athletes to end up?  Not quite.  There comes a point where it is beneficial to take the isolated training modes (hurdles, prone bridging, running, etc) can and integrate them further.  Now this type of integration is going to occur on a more macroscopic level than movement.  This is to say that we will not do dynamic mobility while running a 600m repetition, but instead, a coach can integrate the gross modes like this:

1.    Pre-Workout
1A.    Dynamic Mobility
1B.    Multi-Jumps
2.    Run
2A.    20 Minute Warm up
2B.    6x600m @ 3k w/2 minutes recovery that includes:
2Ba.    A core stabilization exercise
2Bb.    Some mobility work
2Bc.    Hurdle walking
2Bd.    Med-Ball Throws
2Be.    Anything else a coach deems necessary or proper.
3.    10 Minutes Easy
4.    3×150 SFS w/another form of exercise as recovery.
5.    Post run cooldown  activities.
Such training is certainly more challenging, but it allows the athlete to still recovery from the exertion of the previous repetition while still addressing mobility or stability deficits.  In the strength and conditioning world these type of recoveries are called “fillers.”  Pretty simple idea, but it can provide another variation for the coach to increase training load without the athlete really noticing.  It is important to consider, though, that an athlete will be tired so form may break if he is stressed in the same way he would outside of a running workout, so it is prudent to lower the volume initially.  Also, when first introducing these types of sessions, the running portions may be slightly slower, but with adaptation they become higher and higher quality.  If, however, the reps are considerably slower the workload between repetitions is probably too high, and the coach must decide if that is an acceptable compromise.

Train hard, train smart,

Carson Boddicker

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