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  • Writer's picturePatrick Dossor

Training Strategies for Integrated Neuromuscular Training - Unlocking Athletic Potential


Athlete demonstrating Integrated Neuromuscular Training by completing a long jump

Training Strategies for Integrated Neuromuscular Training - Unlocking Athletic Potential

Welcome back to the second part of our series on Integrated Neuromuscular Training (INT). In this instalment, we will explore effective techniques tailored to three distinct stages of development: pre-puberty, mid-puberty, and post-puberty.


Pre-Puberty: During the pre-puberty stage, INT focuses on developing fundamental movement skills and establishing proper movement patterns (1). By incorporating exercises that challenge balance, proprioception, and body awareness, young athletes lay the groundwork for optimal neuromuscular control and coordination (1). The emphasis on age-appropriate plyometric exercises, bodyweight strength training, and agility drills builds a solid foundation for future athletic success (1).


Mid-Puberty: As athletes experience growth spurts, hormonal changes, and increased muscle mass during mid-puberty, INT becomes pivotal in optimising neuromuscular coordination, strength, and power (2,3). Complex plyometric exercises, resistance training with appropriate loads, and speed and agility drills refine movement patterns and enhance motor skills (2,3). This stage plays a critical role in shaping athleticism and preparing athletes for higher levels of competition (2,3).


Post-Puberty: The final stage of physical maturation, post-puberty, demands a focus on advanced strength and power development, sport-specific skills, and reaction-based training in INT (4,5). Simulating game scenarios through reaction-based training drills enhances cognitive processing, anticipation, and motor response speed (4,5). Concurrently, prioritising flexibility and mobility exercises maintains joint range of motion, reducing the risk of injuries and ensuring athletes are primed for peak performance (4,5).


As we conclude our journey through Integrated Neuromuscular Training, it becomes evident that the careful consideration of each developmental stage plays a crucial role in unlocking an athlete's true potential.


By focusing on fundamental movement skills during pre-puberty, refining coordination and strength in mid-puberty, and emphasising advanced training and sport-specific skills post-puberty, INT becomes an invaluable tool in improving an individual’s movement quality and options, reduce their risk of injury and improve their physical strength and fitness.



 

References:

  1. Lloyd RS, Oliver JL, Faigenbaum AD, et al. Long-term athletic development, part 1: A pathway for all youth. J Strength Cond Res. 2015;29(5):1439-1450.

  2. Gamble P. Periodization of training for team sports athletes. Strength Cond J. 2010;32(2):12-25.

  3. Lloyd RS, Cronin JB, Faigenbaum AD, et al. National Strength and Conditioning Association Position Statement on Long-Term Athletic Development. J Strength Cond Res. 2016;30(6):1491-1509.

  4. Lloyd RS, Read PJ, Oliver JL, et al. The child and adolescent athlete: A review of three potentially serious injuries. J Sports Sci. 2014;32(9):965-973.

  5. Myer GD, Lloyd RS, Brent JL, Faigenbaum AD. How young is too young to start training? ACSMs Health Fit J. 2013;17(5):14-23.

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