Specificity is one of the main principles of exercise. It describes the fact that training of muscles and types of muscular actions improves strength, power, endurance, and skill specific to those training variables. These improvements come with diminishing gains the further one gets away from those specific actions.
If you are strength training to improve your performance for a particular activity or sport, there are two factors to consider:
- The physical qualities required of that activity or sport.
- An individual assessment of your physical qualities looking at any weaknesses, mobility issues, and any past injuries.
There is a lot more to training than merely mimicking the particular movements of your chosen sport or activity. Due to the physical movement speeds of many activities and sports, the time in which your muscles can apply force is significant. Typical strength training alone won’t produce optimal force-time results.
To improve your sporting performance, most often you would require to do the following training with specificity:
- Ballistics/plyometrics to enhance power and speed.
- Heavy strength training to improve the application of force.
- Lower intensity strength training to improve endurance.
- Aerobic conditioning to improve endurance and recovery.
- Skills training to improve motor performance.
- Unilateral strength training to improve the link between force application and motor performance.