Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Athletes Need Bodyweight and Free Weight Training

Athletic bodyweight training helps you develop the strength and power needed to compete at a high level. Athletic bodyweight exercises allow you to develop strength that allows your body to stabilize itself. This way, you are less likely to injure yourself with heavy free weights because your body is not ready for the loads.


Stabilization strength and power are critical for your athletic success on the field or court. As an athlete, you should be involved in a comprehensive training program to prevent injuries and burnout. The three building blocks of integrated training for the athlete are:

STABILIZATION (2 Phases) – Primary goals are to correct muscle imbalances, joint dysfunctions, postural distortion patterns, improve kinetic chain integrity and reconditioning/rehabilitation.

STRENGTH (3 Phases) – Primary goals are to improve stabilization strength/endurance and increase muscle hypertrophy (growth) and strength.

POWER (2 Phases) – Primary goals are to enhance neuromuscular efficiency, increase power production, increase speed strength and create neuromuscular adaptations throughout the entire range of motion.

All seven phases of training may not be necessary for all athletes. For example, some sports do not require optimum levels of muscle hypertrophy.

The training program is Multi-Planar (sagittal, frontal, transverse), Multi-Joint (exercises such as bench press, squats, lunges), Multi-Dimensional (stabilization, strength, power), Proprioceptively Enriched (high neural demand) and Sport-Specific.

You should follow a systematic approach with the following goals in mind: injury prevention, body fat reduction and increased lean muscle mass, strength, endurance, flexibility and performance. Rate-of-Force Production (muscles producing force in the shortest period of time) is one of the best physical indicators of the level of an athlete’s performance and future success.

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:

--pullups
--pushups of all variations
--inverted rows
--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 smarter, not harder.

Download your Free Bodyweight 500 Metabolic Fat Burner Workouts and start shaping your body faster!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Your Fitness University
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  3. I agree, athletes should have body weight workouts. For them, physically ready during the games. Thanks for sharing, this gives us more ideas and looking forward for more updates.

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