Translating Exercise Into Athletics

I managed to pin down Ty for a few minutes on his vacation to talk with me about how traditional gym exercises — lunges, squats, bench press, etc. — transfer into athletics. It was good to hang out and, as always, good to talk shop.

Part 1 – Discussion

Walk with us through a few common movement patterns, what we see, and how these things translate into our clients’ goal-seeking language.

Part 2 – Exercise Examples

In part two, it’s time to start thinking, What are these exercises achieving?

Here’s all that Ty dissects:

  • Bending over too much in the squat — how to fix it, what it’s doing to the body DURING the squat, and what it means in multidirectional, athletic movement. What kinds of activities do you expect this person to be bad at?
  • Forward center of gravity in the squat — why it’s not an ankle dorsiflexion issue, what really IS the issue, and what this sounds like when they run. What kind of posture do you expect them to be in? What joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles do you expect them to stress? What will benefit them?
  • Gliding forward during a split squat — how this looks JUST like a common squatting error we’ve already discussed, what they need, what’s happening with their hip, and what this looks like when they cut. What do you expect their cut to look like? What kinds of modifications might you make for them in the gym? What are the two basic things that need to be addressed?
  • Rowing — what you need, how you can challenge mobility, and a target to look for. What might they struggle with in cutting? What do their arms do when they cut? How does arm movement assist in cutting?
  • Single arm cable press — what exercise this is JUST like, how it’s a little different, and what it means for rotary sports.
  • Lunge with active hip flexion — what you want at the pelvis, what these positions mean for the hip, and how it relates to cutting. How do you know if you need to get someone “out” of their hip? What types of activities will these people have trouble with?
  • Side crunch in side medicine ball throw — dropping the contralateral shoulder, dropping the ipsilateral shoulder, and what it does to their low backs. Who would you expect to have more QL issues? How might you unlock these people?

When you understand these things, you can start getting REALLY creative. Hopefully we planted some seeds in your brain. Take these concepts, think about where you see them in each exercise, and leave a comment below to start a discussion.


  • What does the weightroom mean to you?
  • How do you use traditional “strength training” exercises?

Videos mentioned above

Rowing is a lower body exercise

Teaching Clients How to Row: Build a big back without breaking your body

Using skipping and lunging for diagnostics

Mobility for Agility

Constructing and Deconstructing Lunge Patterns

Squatting is both anti-extension and anti-flexion

Comprehensive Squatting: More squatting biomechanics than you could ever want to know (until you see the results)

Related Posts

Published by Lance Goyke

Let's have a discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.