Types of Strength For Athletic Performance

I’ve been thinking about this. Near as I can tell there are 7 types of strength that athletes should/could train. Feedback and opinions are welcomed! C’mon people, no need to be your usual shy, retiring selves when it comes to your opinions. :o)

  • Max strength = ability to lift as heavy a load as possible. (Mostly what people train in standard lifts, like deads or presses).

  • Agility/reactive strength = ability to go from one movement/plane of motion to another quickly (e.g. snatch).

  • Isometric = ability to hold a position either with or without an external load (e.g. your back during a squat is in isometric tension).

  • Endurance = ability to work at a given load for a (relatively) long period of time. Important since poor endurance leads to bad form which leads to higher risk of injury. Also includes cardio work as a footnote.

  • Explosive power = ability to set either the athlete or an external weight into motion quickly. Most sports require explosive movements, although not all. Includes plyometrics.

  • Flexibility = ability to work through a range of motion with a load. (E.g. squat with correct depth).

  • Starting strength = ability to set a full load in motion from a start.

Have I missed anything obvious? Am I barking up the wrong tree? Are these sufficiently distinct or do some categories overlap?

Thanks in Advance!!!

– jj

It’s more of a continuum ranging from Isometricc - > Reactive

You obviously want a balance, but it’s also going to depend on every individual.

From JackM at the inno-sport/db hammer forum:

Good thoughts, jj-dude, but in my opinion you’re confusing types of strength with types of muscle action. Types of strength would include:

limit strength: the most force a muscle can produce irrespective of time.

starting strength: the amount of tension a muscle can generate instantly (before any movement occurs).

reactive/ballistic strength: ability to rapidly switch from eccentric to concentric muscle actions.

strength-speed: the ability to move a moderately heavy external load relatively quickly (e.g., sprint acceleration, dyanamic squat).

speed-strength: the ability to rapidly accelerate a small external resistance.

These can be manifested in the different muscle actions (eccentric, isometric, concentric), though all cannot necessarily be displayed in any of the three. For example, you can’t display reactive strength in an isometric contraction (true isometrics, not oscillatory isometrics).

Also, these depend on frictional (muscle) components and tendinous (reactive) components in varying proportions.

[quote]rmccart1 wrote:
Good thoughts, jj-dude, but in my opinion you’re confusing types of strength with types of muscle action. Types of strength would include:

limit strength: the most force a muscle can produce irrespective of time.

starting strength: the amount of tension a muscle can generate instantly (before any movement occurs).

reactive/ballistic strength: ability to rapidly switch from eccentric to concentric muscle actions.

strength-speed: the ability to move a moderately heavy external load relatively quickly (e.g., sprint acceleration, dyanamic squat).

speed-strength: the ability to rapidly accelerate a small external resistance.

These can be manifested in the different muscle actions (eccentric, isometric, concentric), though all cannot necessarily be displayed in any of the three. For example, you can’t display reactive strength in an isometric contraction (true isometrics, not oscillatory isometrics).

Also, these depend on frictional (muscle) components and tendinous (reactive) components in varying proportions.[/quote]
I agree with the above. I feel training for just one would not be benificail. In program developement you should train all the above…