Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Athletic Skill Development--Make Improvements This Summer

During the summer, you have more time to improve your athletic skills. You must continually improve your athletic skills or you will get passed by your teammates and opponents.

Everyone wants more strength, power and speed. Some of you are doing too much strength training and not enough power training. And, some of you are not training nearly hard enough to improve.

To continually get stronger without an increase in speed, power and athleticism will not help you reach your athletic potential.

Make yourself a better athlete by doing the following:

1. Train your body in all 3 planes of motion. Many athletic movements happen in the transverse plane (rotations, turning, twisting, etc.) and frontal plane (side-to-side, lateral).

Machine-based training concentrates on the sagittal plane (up- down, forward-backward movements). Do miminal athletic training on machines because they limit your natural movement patterns.

2. Train on your feet because most athletic movements in games are done standing and running. Here are some examples:

--Jump rope every day to improve your balance and coordination.

--Do one-legged and one-armed exercises like step ups, lunges and alternating one-armed rows and presses.

--Do agility and power drills like shuttles, hops, shuffles, squat jumps, pogo sticks, bounding, speed ladders, medicine ball exercises and depth jumps.

--Do sprints on grass or other natural surface. You must do sprint drills full speed in order to get faster. Also, practice correct running mechanics.

3. Stabilize and strengthen the core first and limbs (arms and legs) later. If your core is weak, you can't effectively transfer power from your lower body to your upper body.

This can be done using exercises like bridges, planks, bird dogs, cobras, supermans and back extensions. You would later progress to full speed core exercises on your feet like medicine ball chops, medicine ball slams, 2-arm and 1-arm medicine ball throws and medicine ball rotational throws.

Train harder, smarter and safely!

Download your FREE 10-Minute Strength and Power Workouts now!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Your Fitness University
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