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Programs that seek to integrate functional training need to consider several factors.
- The majority of sport takes place on the feet, therefore, the majority of athletic training should take place from a standing position.
- Athletes need to be able to stabilize and control their bodies in all three planes of motion simultaneously. Training with free weights simulates this more than machines do.
- Multijoint strength is more useful than single-joint strength.
- Training explosively more closely mirrors what happens in sport and/or life. Some controversy exists in explosive movements in regards to safety, however, danger typically only exists in instances of improper progression/technique.
- Train movements not muscle groups. Athletes should focus on strengthening specific movements that have a direct impact on performance.
- The majority of sport takes place in all 3 planes simultaneously with primarily unilateral movements. 85% of the gait cycle (walking, running) is spent on one leg and over 70% of the muscles of the core run in a rotational plane.
- There are other types of strength than maximal strength. Many programs neglect using relatively lighter weights and moving them at max speed (for rate of force development).
- Loading a technique tends to affect the mechanics of the technique negatively. For example, throwing a weighted baseball can potentially mess up a pitcher's technique.
- Keep everything balanced. Pushing and pulling strength should be about equal.
- If the body cannot safely and effectively brake the motion, then it will not allow for full acceleration. This means to train antagonists in addition to agonists.