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Honing Strength: The Importance Of Reaction And Coordinated Movement

Honing Strength: The Importance Of Reaction And Coordinated Movement

True strength is about honing your physical skills by being able to control and coordinate your body through certain actions. This ability to coordinate your strength is something that is necessary for everyday function, particularly if your everyday activity involves significant use of your body. In life or death the ability to hone and coordinate your physical strength can make all the difference in the world.

Balance In Your Training

People are creatures of habit and when looking at much of the fitness population this is certainly the case. The thing is that people tend to get hung up in routine. A certain amount of routine is fine, but the trap with getting hung up in routines generally means people continue to use the same training modalities with little to no variation.

Having variety in training styles is great, but the issue can often be that people tend to neglect training for more dynamic and skillful types of strength movements. An example of this would be to neglect performing more athletically demanding reaction based movements.

Plyometric and dynamic power drills are great for training a different type of neuromuscular drive to advance the development of more coordinated skillful strength. It’s great to be able to squat heavy weight, but it’s also great to work on squatting more sub-maximal weight for greater speed to create more athletic force production.

Even if you don’t do this with a barbell you can incorporate drills that require little to no equipment such as bodyweight power squats.

As you can see the speed at which the squat is performed involves more ballistic action which brings on more demand for the purpose of body control. There are several variations to acquire this same type of neuromuscular drive, but for the sake of simplicity this is a great drill to adopt.

In order to intensify this drill and to work on further stimulating an element of reaction we can add in soft jam medicine ball slams. By doing this we’re now producing that element of speed for the purpose of greater force production.  In addition to this we’re also adding a load and an additional element of coordination and reaction time.

One of the things I like to cue my students to do is to try and catch the sand filled ball on the first small bounce. Being a medicine ball with filler the point of this is that the ball will not bounce far off the ground no matter how hard you slam it.

The Honing Of Your Strength Skills

Because of the design of the sand filled ball it forces the trainee to rapidly lower their hips in this movement in order to get low enough to catch the ball on the first small bounce. In addition to having to rapidly drop the hips the other benefit to this is that the trainee must also be reactive enough in controlling and catching the ball during this movement.

The soft jam (sand filled) medicine ball slam is a great tool for honing strength and improving the reaction time and coordination of a given trainee. This is paramount because it is a great variation from the given routine of a trainee and it allows us to steer the development to being more about the focus of more dynamic movement.

Werewolf Legend Bell

This reaction based drill can also be varied even further to intensify its qualities. For instance, if we’re working to continue to hone coordination and reaction we can switch to a bounce medicine ball and perform the drill with one arm. Case in point.

As you can see here the demand for me to exhibit a greater level of control and speed is even a bit more challenging. This simple adjustment allows for a completely different challenge and can quickly break open the introduction for the creativity of new and exciting skillful power drills.

Are you honing your strength? What are you doing to enhance your strength training and coordination skills? Stay strong. Be better. Don’t be a victim.

Related Articles:

The Athletic Conditioning Goal: Why Simple Structured Conditioning Is Best

Dynamic Motion: The Keys To Moving Before Moving

Skillful Conditioning: Quality Work To Rest Intervals & Intuitive Recovery

Resourceful Strength: How To Make Gains With Minimal Equipment

Single Limb Training: Moving With Fluidity And Symmetry

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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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