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.
The resistance band doesn’t look anywhere as intimidating as heavy plates or large dumbbells as it sits in the corner of your local gym, but if used correctly this simple stretchy tool is a great addition to any workout.
The great part about resistance bands is they’re something you can use anywhere. You can tie them to a door, you can have your partner or your teammate hold it for you, you can tie it to a chair in you room.
Simply said, no matter how you use resistance bands, they can be a great addition to your training. They are a variation that creates fast twitch muscles, and make you more explosive. People traditionally look at doing a lot of bench press. When you are benching heavy that’s fine, but go ahead and make that muscle elongated or faster by doing resistance band training.
Resistance Band Row
Anchor resistance bands around a pole, pillar, or tree out in front of you.
Sit back in an athletic squat position.
Point your toes straight, keep your butt back, and push your chest out.
Engage your core while rowing the bands back as hard as you can.
Workouts with this tool are a total body workout and work your muscles hard by creating resistance in a number of different directions. You must keep yourself stabilized against the resistance, and in return your stabilizer and support muscles, which are usually neglected during lifting, also can be strengthened.
No matter where you are or what equipment you have you can find a way to get a workout in with resistance bands. Although it is a great addition to your normal weight training, solely using resistance bands for workouts in your own space isn’t a bad option either.
Bored with the same old dumbbell curls? Sick of running on the treadmill? Then combining strength and cardio training into one unique workout might be for you.
Battle ropes, a workout that tests your cardiovascular and muscular endurance, is a simple way to get a good workout in with just a regular rope wrapped around a pole.
Battle ropes is a great cardio exercise. Unlike traditional cardio, like running or walking, it is something you can do in bursts. So in short 20 to 30 second increments, you can work on your heart rate, cardio burn, and strength. Mixing in battle ropes with strength training makes for a great cardiovascular workout.
Another benefit of battle rope workouts is the number of variations you can do with them. This variety is important because, as an athlete, you never know exactly what physical tests are coming in the heat of battle. By changing things up, these workouts will also help you from a mental and discipline standpoint.
When it comes to form during your battle rope workouts, you want to make sure you have a proper stance and are using the correct muscles. Make sure your feet are shoulder width apart, your toes are pointed straight, you’re seated back in a squatting position like you are sitting in a chair, your chest is up, your eyes are straight ahead, and you are moving the rope as violently and quickly as you can.
Below are some simple variations of battle rope exercises shown in the video:
1. Battle rope waves.
2. Battle rope slams.
3. Battle rope side to side slams.
4. Battle rope outside circles.
5. Battle rope inside circles.
As an athlete there is always something you can get better at. Whether it is getting stronger, faster, or even smarter, it’s all valuable to your game on the field.
However, many forget the importance of one key skill: lateral quickness, otherwise known as side-to-side movement speed or change-of-direction speed.
Whether you’re an infielder for baseball, a linebacker in football, or a defensive player in soccer, you’ve got to have some sort of lateral quickness — so it’s always great to work on lateral quickness, change of direction, and multi-directional sport specific change of direction at least twice a week. Adding these lateral quickness drills makes you a better athlete — it puts you in the game and in a position to win.
Along with making you a better athlete overall, having good lateral quickness also can help you when it comes to injury prevention.
Along with making you a better athlete overall, having good lateral quickness can also help you when it comes to injury prevention. The biggest issue is so many people associate speed with the 40 yard dash — there are very few times you’re actually running that long of a distance. Normally, if you find yourself running that far, you made a bad play and are chasing someone down. To put yourself in positions that you will see on the playing surface — whether it’s the court, the diamond, or the grass — is a way to greatly reduce the chances of injury.
Lateral Quickness Drills:
Mini Hurdle Follow Through
Set up two small hurdles side by side.
Start on the right side of the hurdles and shuffle back and forth through the hurdles quickly.
Set a timer so you can do each set for a certain amount of time.
Mini Hurdle Stop
Set up two small hurdles side by side.
At a slower pace, shuffle through the hurdles.
When you get to each side hold and plant your outside leg and dorsal flex your inside knee up.
The Eastbay Shuffle
Set up a few small hurdles side by side with a cone on either side of the hurdles.
In an athletic stance move sideways over the hurdles, lifting one foot at a time over each hurdle.
Get low and touch the cone on either side of the hurdles before going back to the other side.
As the snow melts and days gradually get warmer with the arrival of spring, athletes are finally able to get themselves out of the dark gym and into the sunshine.
No matter if you are training for a specific sport, running, or generally working out, having the best gear to help push you through your toughest workouts is essential. To help you gear up for your spring workouts we put together a guide of top spring training outfits so you can conquer your regimen in style.
Nike Fly 9” Shorts: Flexibility and comfort are at the forefront in these Dri-FIT shorts perfect for running or lifting.
Nike Pro Hypercool Tights: These light and breathable tights feature mesh fabric , sweat-wicking technology, a compressed locked-down fit, and targeted ventilation for enhanced cooling power.
Nike Romaleos 3: Get the durability and stable platform you need out of your training shoes with these dedicated lifting shoes. The Romaleos is sure to put you in the best and most comfortable positions during your lifts.
In this Under Armour lightweight outfit you will be sure to close in on all of your speed and agility training goals.
Conquer a number of different workouts in the gym with this versatile combination of adidas apparel.
Adidas Durability Top: A light t-shirt made with sweat wicking fabric to help make your workouts that much easier.
Adidas Tough Shorts: Durable shorts made with sweat-wicking and abrasion-resistant fabric. These shorts also offer pockets for you to store items during workouts.
Adidas Techfit Tough Tights: These compression fit tights with technology engineered to support movement and maximize performance remove irritation with their flatlock seams, and fight off odor and sweat to keep you comfortable.
Adidas Powerlift 3: With locked-in support to keep you stable and a midsole wedge to allow you to explode in your lifts, these trainers are a lifter’s dream.
Become a legend in the gym and attack your workouts in this selection of Jordan training gear.