Monday Strength Part 1: Hinge and Squat


When athletes play sports, the central nervous system (CNS) is the part of the body that is constantly activated. Certain activities that demand coordination, balance, motor control, and explosiveness activate the CNS — which in turn leads to a full body performance.

Various different joints are involved when the whole body is at work. For example, when the upper and the lower portions of the body work together, a kinetic chain is created. This kinetic chain works efficiently when undisturbed: this means that both the upper and lower regions have to simultaneously work together and connect to move and perform effectively (imagine a chain starting from your neck and ending in your feet; if one part of that chain is broken your body will not be able to move adequately).

Although there are various ways for athletes to improve their performance, it is important to note that following a solid Strength and Conditioning (S&C) programme is one of the most effective there is. It involves weight training and has a specific approach of triggering the parts of the body that are most in use. Ultimately, it is very necessary to select the best and most fitting form of exercises when it comes to sports performance and development.

Having mentioned the role of weight training in S&C, there are two types that you can choose from: Isolation or Compound movement training

Isolation movement training generally involves one joint at a time and might possibly not work well if improving sport performance is what you are looking for.

Compound movement training, on the other hand, involves the whole body, which means that several different joints work at the same time thus activating the CNS the same way as when you actively play sports.

For non-intermediate athletes, one great way to train the lower body is to execute hinge and squats exercises. Once these two exercises can be performed correctly and are done well under control, single-leg movements, sprinting, and jumping can be introduced into the mix of exercises.

The most striking difference between hinge and squats are follows:

A big part of the squats exercise focuses mainly on the anterior chain. Squats are often considered as a knee-dominant exercise and thus affects sports performance in a certain way. Hinge movements, on the other hand, focus mainly on the activation of the posterior chain. These movements are considered to be hip-dominant and affect sports performance differently than squats do.

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