Having a toned back is crucial for maintaining balance, strong posture, and performing your best on the field or court. There are a ton of exercises you can do to tone your back, but personal trainer Ashley Guarassi has sent us some of her favorites that are perfect to add into your workout. Check them out below.
Alternate between sets of push-ups with wide hand placement and narrow hand placement.
Grab a resistance band and start doing some fly workouts. These will help work on your delts, traps, and other back muscles.
Bent Over Rows
Take a dumbbell in each hand, slightly bend your knees, and lean your chest forward. Lift the dumbbell so that your elbow rises above your back.
Head to eastbay.com now to find all the best training apparel and gear, and make sure to give Ashley a follow on Instagram @ashleyguarassi
Speed training is a whole lot more than just getting faster. There are a ton of benefits that come from pushing your body in specific workouts for speed. It’s a great way to gain muscle mass, strengthen your bones and connective tissue, improve balance and flexibility, and even reduce your risk for injury. When done properly, speed training will take your game to the next level.
Below are three quick movements you can add to your daily workouts to increase your leg strength, explosiveness, and speed.
1. Sprinting in place
This workout will help you with form and sprinting technique, plus it’s great cardio.
Find a sturdy surface with enough space to run in place. Stand with your back straight, feet shoulder width apart, and your arms relaxed at your sides. Begin by bringing one of your knees up to waist height and then bringing it down to ground, aiming to land on the ball of your foot. As one foot comes down, lift the other knee. Do this as fast as possible for 30 seconds while you swing your arms as if you’re running straight forward.
2. Resistance Training
Adding resistance to workouts causes your muscles to work harder on movements that you’re already used to making, increasing leg strength and speed.
One resistance band workout that helps with speed is the lateral band walk. Place a resistance band around both ankles and stand with your feet hip distance apart with a slight bend in your knees. Keeping the band tight, step your left foot to the side so your feet are shoulder width apart. Then step your right foot to the left, returning your feet to hip distance apart. Take five to eight steps to the left. Take five to eight steps to the right. Repeat three times.
3. Hip Flexor Stretch
Staying flexible is one of the most important things to do when training to improve your speed. Regularly stretching your hip flexors will improve your range of motion, which is important for getting faster.
Kneel on your left knee while you place your right foot flat on the floor in front of you so that both knees are at 90-degree angles. While keeping your upper body straight and chest lifted, shift your hips forward to feel a stretch. Switch legs to stretch the other side. Repeat three times and hold each stretch for one minute.
Canceled practices and workouts suck, but it happens, and you’re not alone. Even pro athletes experience it sometimes. When circumstances are out of your control, it’s important to remember that you can always control your response. So even if you can’t get to the gym or the facilities are under construction, don’t give in to the excuses. The best athletes find a way to get their workout in no matter what, even if it means working out from home.
Take pro soccer player Jamia Fields, for example. Even on days when she can’t get to the gym for training, Jamia finds a way to get out and get moving.
“It’s important to stay active as much as possible, whether that’s playing sports, doing yoga, hiking, or walking your dog,” Jamia said. “My favorite go-to home workout is always a HIIT workout!”
These high-intensity workouts allow you to get your heart rate up and blood pumping without a lot of extra equipment or special machines. Try out Jamia’s favorite HIIT workout below!
Jamia’s Favorite HIIT Home Workout:
50 jumping jacks
20 jump squats
20 split squats (alternating legs)
30 mountain climbers
25 reverse crunches
60 sec. plank hold
30 sec. right side plank hold
30 sec. left side plank hold REPEAT 3x
Pro Tip: To make your workout more challenging, hold a pair of dumbbells during all the squats. Start with 10 lbs and increase as you continue getting stronger.
Don’t forget to finish your workout with a cool down session to stretch out your muscles. It’s essential for a successful recovery.
Yoga, a prominent exercise in the United States since the early 20th century, has continued to pick up popularity as a training workout for athletes. One reason it’s enjoyed by so many is its simplicity. All you need is a mat and an open area, so whether you’re out and about or cooped up in doors, you can reap the benefits.
Many athletes and athletic programs have ditched static stretching in favor of yoga or dynamic stretching exercises. I encourage all athletes I work with to do yoga. When done correctly, it promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and helps the everyday athlete recover from tough workouts.
It’s also a great way to break up your workouts. Many athletes tend to do the same (or very similar) workouts every day, and it can get boring, but yoga can help switch it up. So, try breaking up the week with yoga, and you’ll soon notice these differences.
Flexibility: Yoga not only stretches your muscles and loosens them up, but it also works the joints to loosen them up as well. Keeping your joints and muscles warm and loose allows for maximum flexibility. In sports, this maximum flexibility allows for better movement, range of motion, strength, and even power.
Blood Flow: In order for your body to function as best as possible, good blood flow and circulation is needed. The dynamic stretching and breathing techniques used in your yoga sessions facilitate good blood flow to the body parts you are working.
Agility/Balance: Many dynamic stretches in yoga help work on your balance, which in turn can increase your speed and agility. These poses and stretches during your routines will work on balance directly, and in the long run make you much more limber.
I highly recommend every athlete do yoga at least once a week — and if they can, do hot yoga which is yoga done in humid conditions to increase flexibility. The humidity makes you sweat more, but also loosens up your muscles to increase your flexibility in all of the poses, or stretches during the workout. This relaxing exercise can do wonders for your health and wellness and take you to a whole new level as an athlete.
Looking for a more dynamic way to excercise from home? Check out this blog post to find some simple and effective workout ideas.
We’ve all experienced a canceled practice or workout session whether it’s because of nasty weather outside, staff being out of town, construction at the facilities…. Whatever, it happens, but it doesn’t mean it’s an excuse for you to give in and skip training. The best athletes know that what sets them apart from the rest is their dedication to remaining fit and prepared regardless of their circumstances.
For this ‘Ask An IMG Trainer’ blog post, we decided to chat with Victoria Druehl, a Physical Conditioning Coach at IMG Academy in order to help you find ways to workout at home.
Circuit Style: Pick five to six of your favorite exercises listed below and do a set of each with minimal rest between. After you make it through the circuit, take a rest before doing the exercises again three or four more times.
Interval Style: Pick an exercise, for example: goblet squats, and do as many as you can for 20 seconds. After your set you then rest for 10 seconds and repeat eight times. Then, rest for two minutes, pick a new exercise and repeat.
Superset Style: Pick lower body and upper body exercises or lower body and core exercises and do sets of them directly after each other without rest. After you finish the superset, rest for one to two minutes.
Below are some workouts you can do in circuit, interval, or superset styles with little or no equipment.
Pushups: multiple variations and grips
Arm circles/arm pulls
Planks: multiple variations
Dead bug: on your back alternate moving side to side and raising your leg to your hand
Body weight squats
So mix and match away! Staying inside and working out in the privacy of your own home can truly be fun, and when practice starts up again, you’ll be glad you didn’t slack off on your training.