Friday, November 30, 2012

3 Tips to do Functional Athletic Strength Training

Functional athletic strength training should be a huge part of your strength and conditioning program. Or, stated another way, you should be trained for the sport you will play (train movements, not just muscles). Some traditional strength training techniques have not focused on functional training. Bench pressing 500 pounds may not prepare you to play a sport.

One of the best physical predictors of success in sports is your "rate-of-force production" or how fast your muscles can produce force (power).

The number one reason that athlete's don't reach their power potential is a weak core area.

The saying "you are only as strong as your weakest link" is true in the case of the human body. The majority of powerful athletic movements are either initiated or transfer through the body's core area. Many sports injuries can also be linked to a weak core area.

Here are 3 tips to follow during functional athletic strength training:

1. Your body needs to be stabilized and strengthened before progressing to high-speed power exercise programs. If this is not done, you are headed for certain injury when more intense exercises are introduced.

Many young athletes are progressed too fast by coaches/trainers to "more glamourous" plyometric exercises! Along the same lines, you should perform an exercise correctly before progressing to power exercises.

2. Most athletic core exercises should be performed in a standing position since most athletic movements are on your feet. These exercises will also involve the important hip stabilizer muscles and not just the abdominals. A great full-body core exercise is the medicine ball chop.

3. The core exercises should be multi-planar, multi-dimensional and progressive. Many athletic movements involve twisting, rotating, turning, etc. The exercises should also constantly challenge and improve (progressive) your athletic ability. Finally, the athletic training should target endurance, strength and power.

Train hard and smart!

Be sure and download your Free Dumbbell and Medicine Ball Metabolic Fat Burner Workouts and start shaping your body faster!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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