Archive for August, 2016

Static Stretching

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 31, 2016 by mboyle1959

I love when I get questions from readers of New Functional Training for Sports.


It’s exciting to know that the book is making people think. I received a few questions about static stretching and, thought I’d answer them here.

Q- New studies are coming out about static stretching. Some say 30 sec and less is beneficial however over 60 sec is detrimental, please elaborate if you agree or disagree?

A- We rarely hold a stretch longer then 30 seconds so I’m not sure it matters in our case. One thing I know is that the research will keep changing. The other thing I know is that stretching helps to prevent injury.

Q- As a staff we are wondering how you incorporate static stretching and foam rolling prior to exercise into your program?

A- On pages 46 and 47 I outline it. Everybody rolls as a group first, then stretches, then performs a dynamic warm-up sequence.

Q- How long do you hold the static stretch?

A- Probably about 10-15 sec in each position. We try to think breathes these days so two to three breathes.

Q- Do you go after numerous muscle groups (static stretching, foam rolling) before each session? or just pick one major muscle group to go after that day?

A- We try to roll and stretch all the major muscles groups. Rolling tends to focus on the backside ( think about the creep concept discussed on page 41). Stretching focuses on lower body making sure we hit adductors, hip flexors, hip rotators, and lateral hamstrings. ( pg 47)

Q- Do you still static stretch and foam roll post exercise?

We don’t discourage it but, it’s not formal. Pre-workout is formal and mandatory.

Hope this helps. If you want to ask questions every day think about a membership. I answer questions every day there.


Foam Rolling vs PVC?

Posted in Uncategorized on August 28, 2016 by mboyle1959

I got a great series of questions from a former player who is now a strength and conditioning coach.

Q- Would you recommend a harder rolling surface over a normal foam roller? Especially for those who have been rolling for long periods of time? Think regular black foam roller vs. a pvc pipe.
A- The idea of “no pain no gain” is loosely based on the fact that we know that rolling will initially be uncomfortable. However, we can’t jump forward from “no pain, no gain” to the idea of “more pain, more gain”. PVC pipe etc. may be OK in certain areas for really large, muscular clients. In general, foam rolling is not a “harder is better” pursuit.

Q- Would you agree that if I were to use a normal foam roller that physiological change over time would take longer? Would the denser surface and increased compression equal faster change than a softer surface?
A- This goes back to point 1 above. Harder may lead to injury, bruising etc. The key is appropriate pressure for the client or athlete. My guideline is to match the density of the tool to the density of the client.

Q- Are you concerned at all that the aggressive rolling with a harder surface could actually cause more damage and risk acutely impairing performance?
A- Yes, see above

Q- Lastly, do you have any credible research that support any of your answers, or is it more subjective based on your experience with training and your practice?

A- I think it is a combination of subjective experience and, the subjective experience and research around massage therapy, ART, etc. If you think of rolling as “poor mans massage”, than you are on the right track.  There is significant research in the physical therapy field about tissue change via manual techniques. That is why we have ART, MAT, Graston etc. I think we are then expanding this thought process to rollers and other self massage tools.

The bottom line is that it is always about appropriate pressure, not more pressure. Think about the strength training process. The weight that helps you get strong is one you can lift. If we doubled it, that would not help and probably hurt.

Step Ups, Step Downs and One Leg Squats

Posted in Uncategorized on August 23, 2016 by mboyle1959

One of our coaches asked about why we don’t do step ups.

I realized that I had actually written an article for about it.

Step Ups, Step Downs and 1 Leg Squats

A lot of confusion exists in the fields of strength and conditioning and physical therapy about single leg exercises. In fact we just had a well timed forum question on the forums about using step-ups. I’ve written extensively in my all three of my books about single leg exercises and single leg progressions but, sometimes things are worth repeating. I often see the terms step-up, step down and 1 leg squat used almost interchangeably in the literature. I also think many coaches think these three exercises are similar. The truth is that all three share similar movement patterns yet the three are distinctly different. Lets look at all three:


Sport Specific Training?

Posted in Uncategorized on August 15, 2016 by mboyle1959

Here’s a good one from the Free Articles section of

This is the question that comes up all the time. Sounds like a great set up for a joke . “A parent walks into a strength and conditioning facility and says….” Well in many ways, it is a joke. On us. Parents consistently walk into a facility and say “my son ( or daughter) plays ___________ can you design a program for ______________?” You fill in the blank based on your area.

Sport Specific Training

Confused About Deadlifts and Squats

Posted in Uncategorized on August 2, 2016 by mboyle1959

This piece was originally written for T-Nation and then was added to the Free Articles section Of Later it became the basis for the lower body chapter of my new book The New Functional Training for Sports.

Deadlift or Squat/ What’s the Difference?