Apr 10, 2017Flywheel Training: Producing Power in the Hips
by Jacques DeVore, CSCS
I tell my athletes that all roads in sports eventually lead to power. The difference between winning and losing in sport usually comes down to the athlete’s ability to produce power over different periods of time and in different movement patterns.
Power is produced through the stretch-shortening cycle. The body loads eccentrically, then explodes in the subsequent movement. The VersaPulley allows me to create this plyometric loading in any plane of motion. The IPU output then gives me a measurement tool to effectively determine how much power is being produced in different planes of motion and for how long. I can see total power output and how the athlete sustains power over longer time
periods. Having these tools available to a strength and conditioning coach is what makes the VersaPulley an unbelievable piece of equipment for training an athlete for power. With the VersaPulley, you are not blindly training power. I can measure absolute maximum outputs and also sustainable power outputs. Strength is easy to measure because it is weight on the bar. But power is much more difficult to measure, and the VersaPulley allows me to accomplish this measurement in almost any plane of motion. I am no longer guessing. One of my favorite exercises typically involves producing power in the hips. The engine for sport and movements as humans is primarily in the hips. So being able to effectively produce power in your hips is of great importance in any sport.
Here are two movements performed on VersaPulley as demonstrated by Jacques DeVore.
The first exercise I use a lot is for anyone who needs to improve hip extension explosive power. It is a hip hinge. I typically utilize a longer rep count of 12 total reps. However, the first six reps are more for establishing the movement pattern. I then have the athlete accelerate the movement so that the last six reps are at full output. The athlete will extend through the hips and drive into the floor to get triple extension in the legs. I establish the force/velocity setting by starting with high velocity and then making changes in force to produce the maximum power output. In sport, our movement is always a percentage of our maximum power output in a movement. So if maximum power output can be improved, then all other levels of output are improved. The VersaPulley allows me to measure and improve this maximum power output.
The next leg exercise I like is what I call the short row. It really isolates both the hips and quads. The rope length has to be set so that the athlete can get the hip extension at the end of the movement. The athlete can really load the hips and quads in this exercise because the arms are straight and not involved in the pulling. I utilize this for most sports but extensively with cyclists, runners, tennis players, and basketball players. I will program a long duration timed set with a short number of maximum power reps followed by a short rest and then continue. All the reps are at close to max output. The read out is so important and beneficial in this type of training.
Jacques DeVore, CSCS, is the founder of Sirens and Titans Fitness, Los Angeles. His book Bicycling Maximum Overload for Cyclists: A Radical Strength-Based Program for Improved Speed and Endurance in Half the Time will be released in June of 2017 by Rodale Press.