He was the first European to become Head Strength and Conditioning Coach in the NBA, with the Toronto Raptors. He worked for 15 years with two of the most successful teams in the European basketball scene, Benetton Treviso and Virtus Bologna, where many NBA players started their careers. For three seasons, he was the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Russian National Team, and for six years of the Italian national team and head of physical training for the Italian Basketball Federation. As a consultant, he has collaborated with the Latvian national team, CSKA Moscow and Fenerbahce Istanbul. He is currently the Director of Performance for Olimpia Armani Milano. He has a Ph.D. in physical exercise applied to industrial engineering, and he was until 2019 the Director of the Scientific Department of Technogym and is now a consultant. He has lectured on training and the various applications of physical exercise in more than twenty countries. Francesco teaches the master’s degree in High Performance at UCAM, the Catholic University of Murcia (Spain). He is part of the Performance Advisory Board of the Euro League Players' Association (ELPA).
Strength training is a fundamental component in the rehabilitation process for many clinical conditions. One key element for the effectiveness of this type of exercise is the choice of the appropriate type and amount of resistance. Indeed, various resistance profiles can be chosen to elicit specific effects on the muscle.
Nowadays, innovative equipment in which the resistance is provided by an electric motor controlled by software allows each machine to easily recreate different resistance profiles and quickly switch between each other in accordance with the rehabilitation goals. In addition to the conventional isotonic resistance, where constant muscle tension is ensured throughout the range of movement, those machines allow exercising under isokinetic or viscous conditions. Both depend on the movement velocity of the patient, with the former guaranteeing constant movement speed, and the latter returning resistance proportionally to the movement speed. Both profiles are beneficial in rehabilitation because they can handle any pain or discomfort experienced by the patient by automatically adjusting the amount of resistance in accordance with the effective capability of exerting force by the patient.
Moreover, it is possible to have an easy way to vary the resistance between the concentric and eccentric phases of the movement. Overloaded eccentric, offers numerous benefits in strength gains because it gives the possibility to have the same neural activation on both the concentric and eccentric phases of the movement. Reduced eccentric, on the other hand, can be utilized to reduce the effects associated with the eccentric component of exercise such as DOMS. Furthermore, this novel product line provides easy access to elastic resistance, where the effect of elastics with different stiffness can be easily replicated. Finally, the no inertia profile allows recreating an isotonic resistance where the effect of the movement velocity is negligible.
Different examples of how these technologies can be implemented in training and rehabilitation will be presented during the speech.