Unbalanced Load Training for Athletic Performance

by Joseph Marsit, MS, CSCS and Richard Timothy Mulder, PT, CSCS
NSCA Coach April 2015
Vol 3, Issue 2

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Integrating unbalanced load training into a strength or hypertrophy phase, or any workout program, can add a tremendous amount of demand on the lateral aspects of the core to help the athlete develop a strong core. Using unbalanced load training may help produce increases in athleticism, balance, and motor coordination without sacrificing strength or explosiveness.

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This article originally appeared in NSCA Coach, a quarterly publication for NSCA Members that provides valuable takeaways for every level of strength and conditioning coach. You can find scientifically based articles specific to a wide variety of your athletes’ needs with Nutrition, Programming, and Youth columns. Read more articles from NSCA Coach »

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References 

1. Behm, DG. Neuromuscular implications and applications of resistance training. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 9(4): 264-274, 1995.
2. Escamilla, R, Fleisig, GS, , N, Barrentine, SW, Wilk, KE, and Andrews, JR. Biomechanics of the knee during closed kinetic chain and open kinetic chain exercises. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 30(4): 556-569, 1998.
3. Hedrick, A. Applying dumbbell exercises to football players’ training programs. NSCA Coach 2(2): 4-7, 2015.
4. Myer, GD, Paterno, MV, Ford, KR, and Hewett, TE. Neuromuscular training techniques to target deficits before return to sport after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 22(3): 987-1014, 2008.
5. Piper, TJ, Radlo, SJ, Smith, TJ, and Woodward, RW. Dynamic balance abilities of collegiate men for the bench press. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 26(12): 3225-3229, 2012.
6. Sato, K, and Heise, G. Influence of weight distribution asymmetry on the biomechanics of a barbell back squat. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 26(2): 342-349, 2012.
7. Snarr, R, Casey, J, Hallmark, A, and Eckert, R. Instability training—Help or hype. Personal Training Quarterly2(1): 4-8, 2015.

About the author

Joseph Marsit, MS, CSCS

Velocity Sports Performance, Newport Beach, CA, United States

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Joe Marsit is a lecturer at Arizona State University and serves as the undergraduate degree coordinator for the Exercise and Wellness program. Marsit’...

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Photo of MR Richard Timothy Mulder, PT, CSCS
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MR Richard Timothy Mulder, PT, CSCS

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Prior to attending Arizona State University for his Master’s degree, Rich Mulder graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and s...

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