Month: November 2012

Top 5 Exercises to Dominate the Game

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Training for Power: The Top 5 Exercises to Dominate the Game
All dominate athletes must have explosive power, from middle school soccer players to lacrosse players preparing for the college level, they must learn of to generate quick bursts of power. Recently Wil Fleming put together a presentation outlining his favorite exercises to do just that. I have shared a brief outline of the topics covered in that seminar in the list below.

1. Hang Clean and Snatch

You will notice that I did not say the Power Clean or Power Snatch. Power cleans are the staple of most training programs, but the key is by doing this movement from the hang position i.e. with the bar just above your knees. This position is much closer to ones athletes actually use in athetics and athletes have a much greater potential for technically sound lifts.

The snatch must be included because it is such a powerful movement as well and can lend diversity to the program.

2. CHAOS agility drills

Much of the need for power in sports comes in the reaction to a movement of the ball or of the defensive player, because of this athletes must also have the mental awareness to make explosive movements as a reaction. Credit Coach Robert Dos Remedios for this one, but my favorite training tool for this are CHAOS agility drills (it stands for Conscious to unconscious, Have unpredictability, Active to Reactive, Open drills, Slow to Fast). The idea behind it is to have athletes mirror one another in specific patterns first and then to open ended drills with many different movement patterns, more closely replicating the actions of actual game play.

3. Kettlebell Swings

This is a foundation movement for any athlete looking to develop more power. The action in the kettlebell swing is founded on the idea of a hip hinge, this is important because most athletes need to gain better control of the ability to hinge at the hips. Most athletes are very much Quad dominant and are losing out on the potential of their backside. The Kettlebell Swing does a great job of teaching these motions effectively.

4. MB Throws

Using medicine balls in throwing motions (chest pass, Side throws, Throws for distance) is a great way to develop power in the upperbody while incorporating the important parts of hang cleans, hang snatches, and Kettlebell swings (hip hinging). Delivering a Medicine ball with force is a great way to engage the core in explosive activities as well, generating force with the lower body must require active core control to deliver the ball with the arms, This transfer of power is important to all sports.

5. Plyometrics

Athletes need to be adept at accelerating and decelerating their own body at maximum speeds. Plyometrics are the first way that athletes can learn to do so. Maximal jumps with a stuck landing will help athletes develop resistance to injury and will simulate many movements in sport.

There is a lot more than just power that goes into becoming athlete. It takes general strength, resistance to injury, proper conditioning and a well prepared mind. Focusing on power will take athletes a long way towards getting to where they want to be.

Wil Fleming is Co-Author of the Best Selling IYCA High School Strength & Conditioning Specialist Certification.

10 Pre-Workout Snacks

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Pre-Workout Snacks

The body works to build muscle and recove 24 hours a day, not just during that one-hour session at the gym. Luckily, smartly timed snacks can give the body the fuel it needs to gain muscle, burn fat, and recover as best it can. Pre-workout, that usually means grabbing a snack about 30-60 minutes in advance, depending on its size and contents, and how much that stomach’s actually grumbling. All ready to go? Check out these 10 options to start things right:

  1. Protein Creamcicle: Put a twist on the classic kids’ treat by blending 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, 1 cup orange juice, and 1 cup ice.
  2. Fruit shake: Blend 1 scoop of your favorite whey protein flavor with ½ cup ice, and 1 cup frozen berries for a sweet energy boost.
  3. Kevin’sshake: Need a pre-workout pick-me-up? Blend 1 cup iced coffee (keep the ice) with 1 scoop whey protein. I use vanilla, but you can also use chocolate.
  4. Oatmeal Lovers: Load up on carbohydrates for a longer workout with ½ cup cooked steel-cut oats topped with 1 tablespoon dried fruit and 1 tablespoon shaved almonds.
  5. Perfect yogurt parfait: Feeling fancy, huh? Top ¼ cup nonfat yogurt with ½ cup whole grain cereal and ½ cup fresh strawberries
  6. Greek Yogurt Plus: For the perfect blend of carbs and protein, try 1 cup non-fat vanilla bean Greek yogurt — which often packs more protein and probiotics than regular plain yogurt — with ½ cup fresh blueberries.
  7. Eggs n’ toast: Have a heartier appetite? Try 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs with 1 slice of whole-wheat toast. Double or triple the portions if you are looking to build muscle.
  8. Fruit and Cottage: Top ½ cup cottage cheese — a low calorie and higher protein option — with ½ cup fresh pineapple, berries, or melon. And voila!
  9. PB Apple: For a quick carb fuel-up, slice 1 medium apple and serve with 2 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter.
  10. Classic fruit cup: Prefer to keep it sweet but simple? Combine 1 cup berries, melon, banana, and oranges — oh my!