The world of athlete training can be, well, downright confusing.
There are so many training methods, exercises, pieces of equipment, etc. out there that it leaves one to wonder which is the optimal path for them.
Perhaps you have experienced similar thoughts.
For me, I am a simple man.
I like to break things down to the bare bone qualities and decipher what about each training implement and style is the core to it’s objectives.
When you approach training with this mindset, you are able to streamline the thought process and restore clarity to the muddy water.
There really are 3 areas that go into the development of an athlete.
- Practicing the skills and techniques involved in the sport, to a point that their action is second nature and can be executed with speed when called upon during competition.
- Preventing injury in training that isn’t the competition itself, and correcting adaptations that have arisen from frequent sport play. For example, a baseball pitcher will often develop imbalances in their throwing shoulder, presenting itself in adjusted posture and potentially pain. While, the body has adapted for a reason, to perform the action the most efficiently, if allowed to get too far to the extreme, injury could, and most likely will happen.
- Strengthening and increasing the power capabilities of the muscles involved in the sport.
3. The Pull Up- If I were to name the one exercise that I believe all athletes should master, it would be hard to argue with the pull up as it requires a different kind of strength than the squat and deadlift. Rather than just hoisting an external load around, with the pull up, you must be strong at moving your entire body, much like you must do in sports.
If you are able to perform 15 or more pull ups you are far more advanced than most athletes you will ever come across. You also will be a pretty fast individual as well as there being a strong correlation to pull up strength and sprinting speed.
The pull up strengthens the grip, lats, arms, abs, and shoulders in varying degrees, is when conquered, will allow an athlete to powerfully transfer the force from the lower body though the hands to execute a sport task.
4. The Push Up- Most would assume that the bench press is the master exercise for strengthen the body in pushing movements, but I disagree, especially for an athlete. In the bench your arms and shoulder are locked into a dangerous position, preventing them from rotating naturally as they should. It should go without saying that this is not a recipe for success in avoiding injuring the athlete.
The push up reigns supreme for its ability to allow the shoulder to move naturally, strengthen the muscles of the shoulder girdle, chest, and arms, as well as the abs through an isometric contraction.
Every athlete should be able to at least perform 25 full range of motion pull-ups in under 30 seconds. Sadly most can’t. Though fortunately, this mean an opportunity for you to rise above them.
5. Triple Broad Jump- For developing explosive power, many like to use the olympic lifts, the ‘clean and jerk’ and the ‘snatch, along with their variations. I however feel that the time to learn those lifts is too long for a non olympic athlete.
I also feel that there is a better way that transfers over more to the demands of field/court sports. That way is the triple broad jump.
The reasons for its awesomeness are three-fold. First, it has a very low learning curve. Second, every sport requires the ability to jump, so why would you not train it. Finally, the consecutive jumps require the athlete to display great reactive, or ‘ploymetric’, strength as well as balance and cooridnation, just as seen in competition.
A good number for the average athlete to aspire for is over 20 feet.
However, we are not after average, we are after excellence. 25+ feet should be the objective for all, with an elite eye towards 30 feet.
So there you have it. The 5 Key Exercises of the Dominate Athlete. If you improve in each of those areas. I guarantee that your performance will DRAMATICALLY improve.
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