Athletic bodyweight workouts help you develop the strength and power needed to compete at a high level. Athletic bodyweight workouts allow you to develop strength that allows your body to stabilize itself. This way, you are less likely to injure yourself with heavy weights because your body is not ready for the loads.
You can also burn body fat with bodyweight workouts. Bodyweight workouts use natural body motions that don't limit your natural range of motion (like machine lifting does). Since no two people have the same exact motions, bodyweight exercises are ideal for beginners and veterans alike.
What you need before sport specific exercises is the foundation of strength, flexibility and sports nutrition....if you don't have this foundation, you won't be very good in your sport!
Plyometrics and sport specific exercises are important but only if you have enough strength and joint stability to make these more risky exercises work effectively for you.
I'm seeing more and more young athletes with weak bodies trying to start a program of intense plyometrics. Many of them come to me with injuries they have gotten from group training classes in plyometrics.
A proper sports training system would go something like this:
1. Overall strength training (including core training) to stabilize joints, build muscle, correct postural problems, improve flexibility and implementation of a nutrition program.
Some bodyweight strength exercises would include:
--pushups of all variations
--lunges of all types
--step ups of all types
--squats (two-legged, one-legged, split, lateral, Bulgarian)
2. Progress to power exercises, speed exercises, plyometric exercises and sport specific exercises when your body is ready.
Don't skip to step #2 without adequately doing step #1 or injuries will surely follow!
Train hard and smart!
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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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