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    Hey Everyone,

    As a strength and conditioning coach I am beggining to train larger groups of athletes than I have previously, and I have decided that I may be benificial for me to create some kind of testing protocol for my new athletes focusing on possible weaknesses that may be corrected through corrective exercise.

    As I am only relitively new to the area of training I feel that I hold barely any knowledge in the areas of testing for weaknesses and performing the required exercises, and am wondering two things.

    Firstly is it worth my time focusing the corrective side of conditioning?

    And secondly where would be a good place to start gathering a knowledge base on testing protocols and exercises? (Internet sites, books etc??)

    Thanks, Ben Ryan


    In my view this only wastes precious time with your athletes. As an example when i see player for the first time doing some light squats and their knees go in I can work out that their glute medius and VMO’s probably arent that strong or firing correctly. I can therefore add exercises to strengthen them, however, if you go through quite a formal movement screen then this can waste time. Of course this is only my opinion and there are different ways to reach the same goal.

    For help on corrective exercise eric cressey’s work is worth a read as is any work on t-nation or elitefts and of course this site!


    How can you develop a proper training program without an analysis of what the athlete is capable of??? I think it is certainly worth your time to spend at least some time with an athlete before you give them a training program. The sooner imbalances are corrected the better and will hopefully lead to a better athlete who is more injury resililent.

    It doesnt have to take a lot of time or resources. A quick video (using their mobile phone) of their squat technique and also their single leg squat control can sometimes tell you all you need to know about their lower body.

    Looking at their posture will also let you know a lot about their upper body – is their thoracic spine kyphotic or are their scapula protracted???

    I believe it is time well spent!


    I’d maybe pick up “building the efficient athlete” by Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson. Lots of good info but quite pricey.



    My programming and exercise prescription comes from knowing my athletes exceedingly well, having coached many of them from the age of 15. This is also balanced with the the typical areas that are weak in rugby athletes, essentially rotator cuff, posterior chain strength and single leg strength. Athletes that come to me whom i do not know have undergone a basic physiotherapy screening, therefore i do not see the point of wasting more time putting them through something similar if the only aim is to tick a box.

    The main aim I have with every athlete is to be able to perform an excellent back squat, an adequate power clean, ability to handle their own body-weight through chin/pull-up variations and healthy shoulder functions. Naturally there will be players who do not meet all of the criteria or whom require something more individual but that is the aim.

    There is nothing wrong with having a professional athlete who you do not know perform squats with 40-60kgs or attempt a pull-up, having spoken to them first you will also have knowledge of their strengths/weakness.

    Once again this is my opinion and has worked thus far for me.

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