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Old 06-16-2008, 12:11 AM   #15
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
Posts: 10,695

Originally Posted by jon44 View Post

But the whole idea of just working an isolated muscle (or even worrying about doing exercises to balance out specific muscles) is really out-dated when it comes to strength training for sports. Recommend you look at "Functional Training for Sports" by Mike Boyle...
Functional training or multi-joint (& multi-directional) movement training does appear to have considerable merit. Isolated muscle development vs functional training is much akin to the difference between bodybuilding and true (functional) strength development. As per your recommendation, I "google browsed" thru Mike Boyle's book -- he makes excellent points about training for the specific demands of a given sport and does a very decent job of covering many facets of functional training.

However, I remain unconvinced that muscle imbalance is an issue that can ignored. There appears to be on-going debate in the exercise community about this particular aspect. Some advocate a training program that focuses on both movement and muscles in order to correct muscle imbalances.

In browsing thru Boyle's book, I noticed that he does recommend some "isolated muscle" training. It is also interesting to note that so-called isolated muscle group training, especially with free weights, is not really isolated. For instance, in performing a biceps curl, the forearm & hand muscles hold the load, the triceps muscles passively stretch, the shoulders inhibit unwanted motion and the core stabilizes the entire body.

Nonetheless, I applaud you for bringing up the subject of functional training so that we can all be further enlightened on proper training for tennis.
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