Strength is one of the most important attributes (the other being speed) when it comes to building a dominant athlete.
There is a common misconception that strength training isn't really necessary for athletes outside of contact sports, but in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
Strength training offers athletes a number of benefits including:
Increased Speed – A weak athlete is a slow athlete. Top speed, acceleration, and agility all depends on an athlete's ability to generate and absorb force rapidly. Increasing your baseline strength will increase the amount of force you are able to generate.
Increased Power – Power (the ability to generate force rapidly) has a very close relationship with strength. Strength training will increase the amount of power your body is able to generate, and when combined with intelligent power training (such as Olympic lifting), will create an athlete who can jump higher, run faster, and hit harder.
Increased Mass – For many contact sports, it is beneficial to carry additional muscle mass. Increasing muscle mass not only enables an athlete to hit harder, it also acts as a suit of armour, defending against injuries. Strength training is the most effective way to develop functional mass.
Decreased Injuries – Muscle tears in athletes occur when a muscle undergoes a force that is too great for it to handle. Strengthening the muscle will allow it to undergo heavier loads without injury.
Increased Confidence – There is no doubt that strength training has a serious impact on athlete confidence. It comes from knowing that you are bigger, stronger, faster, tougher and better prepared than anyone else on the field. Margins in sport are small, and mental toughness can be all that it takes to separate the winner from the loser.
Strength Training for Downers Grove Athletes
While strength training is crucial to athletic success, you need to make sure that you are doing the right kind of training to reach your goals.
For a complete novice, any form of strength training is going to have a positive impact on athletic performance.
If you are reading this, you probably aren't a complete novice, but are looking for a complete strength training program that will directly impact how you perform on the field.
Just ripping a bodybuilding routine out of a magazine or off the internet isn't going to cut it.
You can't just look strong, you have to BE strong!
A complete strength training program for athletic performance should include the following types of lifting:
Heavy Lifting – The fastest way to get stronger is to lift heavy weights. Athletes should focus on big compound movements using their 3-5 rep max. Squats and deadlifts have the greatest carryover to athletic performance, but movements like the push press and bench press are also important to develop mass and upper body power.
Olympic Lifting – After establish a solid strength base, athletes will need to focus more intensely on power development. Olympic lifting is somewhat advanced, but trains athletes to explode like a sprinter out of the blocks. A clean or snatch requires the athletes entire body to work together, and if the bar isn't moved with speed, it's not going anywhere. Olympic lifts should be placed before other weight training to ensure you recruit the highest amount of fast twitch muscle fibers. Olympic lifting will make you run faster, jump higher, and hit harder.
Accessory Movements – While the main focus should be on the big compound and Olympic lift, athletes also need to include some accessory work. These should be done in the 8-12 rep range, and can help address any individual area's that require attention (adding size, rehabbing and injury, a weak body part etc.)
Core Training – Forget tossing in a few sets of crunches at the end of your workout. Think about all the midsection twisting, bending and extending that happens during a game. Visualize what happens when you take a hit… you brace your stomach. Core training should include exercise that work the abs and obliques, as well as stabilization exercises like planks, dragon flags, and roll outs.
Athletes in all sports are realizing the huge benefits they can get through strength training.
It is becoming the norm for competitive athletes as young as in middle school.
There is nothing worse than playing against an opponent who is able to physically dominate you.
Make sure that doesn't happen!
If your serious about getting stronger, quicker and faster and you live in or near Downers Grove submit your name and email and get your FREE session.
Let's see if you have what it takes to become a better athlete!
To your best season yet
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