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Episode 251: New Strength Options: Strength Dual Tasking

Video Highlights

- Dual task reasoning
- Easy to follow drill demo
- Variations to explore

Today we’re going to be discussing what we call strength dual tasking.

One of our favorite things to use with athletes is what we call Strength Dual Tasking. And what we mean by this is when you look at what we do in the real world, we often have to be doing some kind of, what we call isometric work with one side of the body, while the other side is busy doing something else.

Think about a running back in football. He gets the ball, he actually has to secure the ball in one arm, kind of isometrically hold it as all these guys are tearing at it, while he’s running and sprinting and holding people off with his other arm.

So like I said, very frequently in the real world we’re doing isometric work on one side, while the other side is engaged in some kind of other activity. So this is something we try to emulate with some regularity and training.

So in our previous blogs we’ve talked about what we call our compass lunges. So what I’ve done in this particular case, is I’ve taken a slightly heavier band, and I’m going to be moving into my variety of compass lunge positions.

Now, as I do that, I’m just going to go ahead for the demonstration purposes and step forward. As I do that, now what I’m going to do is I’m going to press out here. Alright? And I’m going to hold this press, and a hold, is an isometric drill.

Now, in the beginning stages if you’re not used to playing catch while doing this, you may want to focus on creating this isometric hold and then doing other mobility drills on the opposite side.

Woman in grass holding a pushup isometric with one hand while pulling a handled band with the other

So let’s say you’ve been through some of our basic drills, like elbow circles, wrist circles, hand figure eights, camshafts, etc. You can actually do 30 to 90 seconds of an isometric hold on one side, while you’re trying to maintain mobility, coordination and relaxation on the other side. Alright?

So that’s step one. Go into your different lunge positions, press and hold, and then do mobility work on the non-isometric side. If you didn’t want to challenge yourself, you can start to add additional work into the mix.

So for instance, I can start off, step into my lunge position, a little bit of an isometric hold, find an area where it’s a little bit difficult, and then I could just simply start to play catch. If you have letter balls, you can actually do some letter ball calling, or letter ball tracking. If you know how to juggle, too, you can actually sit here as you’re doing your isometric hold, and work on your juggling skills.

Doesn’t really matter, there’s nothing super complicated in this particular task. It’s just about begin creating a brain drive that says, “Hey, hold over here, stay coordinated and active over here.”

So there’s lots of different ways that you can play with this drill. You can divide it up between upper body and lower body. You can hold some kind of lower body isometric, while keeping the upper body fluid. And we also obviously are also able to do cross-body patterns, which is what we’re working on.

So rather than telling you something super specific in this particular blog, I’m trying to give you some ideas of things that you can play with.

The basic starting point, like I said, is one kind of press or pull on one side, hold it for 30 to 90 seconds, while the other side is doing some more complicated motor control skill, mobility drill, etc.

As you do that, you feel your brain go, “Whoo! There’s a lot of work being done.” But it really often wakes people up.

I like to use this as part of a warmup very often, throughout training sessions.

So give this a shot, if you have any questions about it, let us know. Otherwise, good luck.

I really think you’re going to enjoy it.

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