Leg weights

A study by Russian scientists, to determine which plyometric exercises correlate to sprinting, revealed:

That only horizontal single leg hops for distance, had a significant correlation to sprint times. The other plyometric exercises did not correlate significantly to sprint times.

Also in sprinting, the power of the forward swing leg is bigger factor on speed of support leg. Not just the strength of the support leg muscles and tendons.

And so horizontal hops train most of the elements. The ground contact force is higher in horizontal hops than sprinting. Therefor, why would you need jumping for hieght? (Box jumps, depth jumps, drop jumps.)

Also, the psoas above swing leg is doing its job of whipping swing thigh forwards, during the horizontal hops. It’s surely a better drill/exercise, for running than depth jumps.

Forward med ball swing hops. On 1 leg. Great for strength.

“Weight swing switches”. Great indoor exercise for sprinting fitness. Partial backwards med ball throw action without letting go of ball, imediately switching to forwards and down throwing action, to return to start position. That is, ball held in two hands between knees/shins. Quater squat position. But doing it very quickly for 25 to 45 reps continously. With no pauses between movements. Only count the upward movement as a rep.
This trains cardio system and even allows you to move in to anterior pelvic tilt at top position. A plyometric effect, because your feet come off the floor a few inches, as your feet slide backwards, when med ball travels backwards overhead. Feet land behind your center of mass. So you have too imediately return to down swing. As you swing ball forwards and down, feet pick up and slide forwards. knees bend and hips drop, and you land in to quater squat. You imediately explode back up in to reverse med ball swing action.

The entire posterior chain and much of the anterior chain, is getting a plyometric effect from the above exercise.

When not enough time to get in a track / outdoor session, the above exercise is excallent.

Related to biking:
I did 35 reps of kettlebell jerks. Right hand. Repeated on left hand. I then did another 30 reps, as side press pushes with ketllebell.
So; Two high rep sets on each arm. Segment within a training session. Those two exercises are all about the knee extensors and plantar flexors. )2 days later, I was on my bike…
… And THAT hill, felt like nothing. It was so easy getting to the top of that hill. (it had never been difficult, but now it was piss easy. I was laughing three quaters of the way up.)

I tell you, if I coached a national level B-M-X, mountain bike or sprint racer team…

High rep single arm kettlebell jerks, and single arm side press jerk, would be in the program.
But not more than twice a week, and possibly not more than once every 5 days. (Muscles may recover in a day, but neural pattern for that exercise can take longer to recover, especially if volume was performed.)

Still, you are mixing slow twitch volume, with track sprinting. I’ve done much of the same, but tried to keep some of the bike work as speed reps and hills. When I squatted, the squats allways went up during a biking phase.

Your running work, probably helped your biking?

Some Tri-athlon participants have said that running helps cycling but cycling doesn’t help running.

I really would love to see a “Tri-athlon” Sprint test…

100m running sprint.
200m free-style swim (half hour later.)
500m bike sprint (lap chaser).
And they get to rest and change before each event.

I wonder what athletes would win it, but it would be great for those who’ve had experiance with track sprints, bike and sprint swim.
Would that person be more special than Usain Bolt?

This is where cycling has excelled for me. The hip flexors/psoas major take a whipping, in fact, there is probably not a more effective exercise, if any, than cycling that utilizes them muscles.

I very rarely run long distances outside of the distance work I do playing a soccer game. Although I can vouch that doing repeated hill sprints (considerable length) did more for my VO2 than cycling did. Way back when, I would say my legs gave out (strength endurance) before my lungs but neither are issues now. I have lowered the volume (miles) somewhat. Its about time & effort, not so much distance.

To an extent, I think they go hand in hand. If you take a non runner who has been biking a fair while, they will certainly see the benefit from biking taking up running for the first time. Tri-athletes I think will find it hard to translate as there already so well conditioned.

Someone that comes to my mind would be Gregory Bauge. Fastest cyclist on the planet, sub 11sec 100m (No sprint training) & swims in training.

Gregory Bauge said today in an interview with L’Equipe that he will retire after the 2012 Olympics to take up the 100 metre sprint in Athletics. He has the genes, but can he stay between the white lines?

Goose, have you ever heard or anyone tell you that strength training (reps) not (holds) has a degenerative effect on the tendons???.

Goose, have you ever heard or anyone tell you that strength training (reps) not (holds) has a degenerative effect on the tendons???. I had a good source on this one but that remains with me.

would full squats be more quad or posterior chain dominant than parallel squats?

full squats = posterior chain dominant

The idea of plyometric training is to develop elastic strength and provide a good training stimulus. Same idea goes for strength training on the whole.

High vertical jumps, long broad jumps, and generally good performance in jump tests ARE correletated to sprinting.

You can find fast guys out there who cant put up that much in the squat rack, but how many fast guys can you find that have shitty verts?
Practically every fast sprinter will have a pretty good vert at the very least, and approaching the top level, you’ll see some pretty exceptional verts as well.

Please show me this study btw?

Good source. www.apec-s.com/Deep%20Squats.pdf

what do you guys think about stance? wide?

it be pretty difficult to get below parallel with a close stance… lol… but regardless wider is better.

charlie said lots of times. No reason to do front squats or ATG squats.

It can be done though. I squat with feet about shoulder width and because my hips are flexible I have no problem doing full squats ATG. Close stance makes it more quad dominant but I balance it out by stressing my hamstring auxiliary exercises more. Not saying this is the best way, but it’s what I do.

This is the first time I have heard that strength training reps has a degenerative effect on the tendons. That is very interesting. If you could elaborate a little more on this…, that would be great.

And I’ve got to check out this Gregory guy. I’m going to google him.

One area where I least expected to see sprinting ablity, was the distance race walker, who was also internationally ranked at indoor 60meters sprint. He also competed in 10km and 25km walking races.

It goes like this;

  1. Deep squats involve more posterior chain than conventional parralel squats.


  1. Parralel box squats, with wide stance, and powerlifting competition style squats, probably strengthen the glutes and hamstrings atleast as much as deep squats. In these ‘power’ style squats, there is a pronounced forwards lean from the hip, which indeed involves more length tension in hamstrings than slightly more erect parralel squat. Remember that the powerlifters have a vertical shin - even at parralel position (plus forwad lean), plus heavy weight = tremendous hamstring length/tension relationship etc… Olympic deep squat has a very positive shin angle (more relevent to sprinting - some would say.)

  2. The shittiest technique you ever saw some one doing a squat, they was probably doing a quater squat / good morning. And yet, that is a geniuine powerlifting training exercise, and greatly strengthens the hamstrings, but not enough gluteal stimulus compared to box squatting.

  3. Powerlifting style squats and box squats, greatly recruit the posterior chain, but are more taxing to the c.n.s than deep squats.

And that, number 4, is why deep squats probably come up top trumps in the squat debate.

I’m not overly interested in studies comparing ‘deep’ squats to ‘half squats’. There was a debate years ago on this forum about ‘half’ squats. We ended up concluding that one persons ‘half squat’ is another persons ‘quater squat’. And that the ‘half squats’ generally used in studies are more like 'third squats, probably with the strange cue of trying to keep the torso as near to vertical as possible. A novices way of interpreting ‘straight back’. They are rarely true parralel, and so ofcourse their half squats are not going to have a lot of posterior chain recruitment.


Any type of squat can significantly enhance the conditioning and strength of the quadriceps. Even high rep with very light weight, can strengthen quadriceps - which are a very versatile muscle.

But in order for weight training to truly enhance posterior chain strength, you have to add a lot of weight, or go for max acceleration with a medium weight, for say 10 explosive reps. And pause between reps (in standing position) and then lower, and explode back up. The pause allows you to do more for the fast twitch fibers.

If your not moving fast, the only way to add strength and power to posterior chain, is to add a lot of weight. Sounds a trifle obvious, but the same is not allways true for some of the anterior chain muscles such as quadriceps.

Going ‘heavy’ is probably why Loiuse Simmons (West side barbell) is convinced that the squat is hamstring dominant over quads. For his athletes, that might be the case. (Think of the weights they are lifitng, the wide stance, the forwards lean etc… - but they are going parralel.) And as a side note: I have NEVER seen a championship Olympic lifter with greater hamstring developement than a powerlifting champion of similar weight. The powerlifters tend to have bigger hammies, but it is from a large pool of posterior chain exercises. But the need is there, to support the big two powerlifts.

If you cant handle a lot of weight in a deep squat position (some can’t), then try explosive reps with roughly around 60-65% of 1 rep max. Go for the ‘feel’ rather than pedantic about the numbers though. You’ll know when you get the feeling. And then some high pulls with similar %'s. It will feel like “intensive tempo” weight training, if there is such a term.

I did weights for a long time, and I’m not going back to barbell work, but I have to admit, I had some nice results when I occasionally switched to explosive weight training, instead of my usuall ‘grind them out’ reps. If you can’t escape the gym, I seriously recomend cycling with explosive squats, and later; back to general squats at standard bar speed.

My soccer club sent me to a top orthopedic specialist in the UK. He said the biggest problem an athlete encounters when punching/striking/throwing/running etc, at the end of the movement they have no power. This is because their own tendons throughout the whole arm/leg ROM are pulling back with far more force then they can generate with the muscles. Hes noted in some people that putting emphasis on strength training a muscle had negative impacts on the tendons & anyone putting emphasis on muscles than tendons are going the wrong way.

If where led to believe Bolt, Powell & Gay don’t do lower body weights for reps, where is there tendon strength at. If there tendon strength is greater than other competitors surely they have got a massive advantage. This Dr also gave me the “roundabout” %'s in everybody of tendon use vs muscle use to propel a runner forwards. Quite startling.

Also sprint performance is related to muscle fascicle length in male 100-m sprinters.

Isometric training hence (tendon strength) can be used to increase fascicle length in muscles.

Goose, How long do you hold that pause?. I have been “pause” training instead of reps for over a year now.

Your talking about explosive isometrics right?.

You could also add a super-slow set which will take the maximum contraction point at every angle to new extremes.

sorry… but what is an ATG squat?

Ass to grass squats or Ass to ground.

how is this different from a full squat?