Though this was a brief study, those who train athletes may find it interesting.
Functional training is a form of resistance training that involves multijoint, multiplanar exercises that simulate the movement of actions common in sports. This type of training specifically targets posture, technique, neuromuscular coordination and core activation.PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in adaptations made by division three men’s baseball players on a functional resistance training program vs. a traditional resistance training programs during a 3 week pre-season.METHODS: Twenty-three healthy division three men’s baseball players were assigned to begin either three weeks of functional training (n=12) or three weeks of traditional weight training (n=11). Exercises utilized in the functional training program were matched to those used in the traditional training program so that similar muscle groups were being stressed. Both groups completed their programs with similar volume and intensity. Athletic performance was measured using a battery of tests before and after the pre-season period, which included: vertical jump, medicine ball rotational toss, triple hop, t-test, postural sway assessment, 60 yd dash, 1 repetition maximum (1RM) squat, and 1RM bench press. Data was analyzed using a 2 (training) × 2 (time) ANOVA with repeated measures.RESULTS: There were no significant main effects (training or time) or interaction effects for any of the following measures of athletic performance: strength, as measured by the 1RM bench press and 1RM squat; speed as measured by the 60yd dash; or agility as determined by the T-test. Our analysis revealed that there was a significant main effect (p≤.05) for time in the medicine ball rotational toss (pre= 10.38 + 1.33; 11.71 + 0.85) and in the triple hop (pre= 6.37 + 0.49; post= 6.69 + 0.53). There was a significant main effect (p≤.05) for condition in the vertical jump. The traditional group’s mean improvement was 2.08cm while the functional group’s mean improvement was 0.42cm.CONCLUSION: Both training groups showed gains in athletic performance which were specific to the type of training performed. The results indicate that both functional resistance training and traditional weight training elicit gains in markers of athletic performance in division three collegiate baseball players after a preseason lasting just 3 weeks in duration.