Do you train horizontal vector strength?

If we objectively analyze high performance movement in real life, we would see the forces one needs to battle typically are not of the vertical variety. Whether it is accelerating on a sprint, stopping momentum, or changing directions, it is absolutely clear that the directional force output the body needs to adapt to is horziontal. This is where just about all training systems fail in regards to human performance. Learning to perform horizontal explosiveness through effective kinetic linking is almost completely absent in the field of strength training. So many functional training systems preach that lifting weights in the longitudinal plane (up) will somehow translate to more explosiveness in real life. If we however think about the forces applied on vertical lifting and compare them to a change of direction during a sprint, it is quite clear that there is almost no application from a vertical lift that applies here. Lifting weight up does not maker you better at moving horizontally.

Here’s a snippet of some material we covered at 2015’s Functional Patterns Master course. In it we address this not so discussed topic and show you a clear progression in horizontal explosiveness and strength (before and afters in the video). With that said, it is not enough for FP practitioners to simply do a movement well, they have to understand it to get the most out of it. Big thanks to FP Master Practitioner John Nielson for hanging in there through these very pivotal moments in learning the FP craft. After going through lumbar spine surgery and trying many forms of established therapy that did not work, ingesting this info has proven to be valuable for him not only to move better and pain free, but to make these biomechanical changes permanent so that pain never comes back.