Athletic development in todays climate can be difficult.
Constant lockdowns, lack of access to training facilities, cancelation of sporting seasons and competitions because of COVID-19.
So how can you continue to develop during such temperamental times?
1. DEVELOP YOUR POWER
In order to maximise your explosive potential, incorporating power and landing exercises will help you unlock a greater power threshold.
- Drop step landings
- Vertical jump into landings
- Vertical jump into single leg landing
Exercises like these will help you deal with eccentric loads and improve your deceleration ability, jump height and reduce your risk of injury when returning to play.
- Lateral shuffle and catch
- Lateral bound and catch
- Rapid lateral bounds
Lateral power movements like these will help you cope with eccentric loads laterally and improve your speed when changing directions.
Single Leg Power
The glutes are a prime driver of hip extension. In order to get a more rapid forceful extension, you need to know how to properly use them.
Single leg power exercises such as:
- Step up and drive
- Reverse lunge to knee drive
- Walking lunge to knee drive or skip
are great tools to break down movements in a slower format in order to pattern correct loading mechanics. This will encourage the hip extensors to do their job and maximise explosive potential.
Learning how to absorb movements through the joints is just as important as taking off when it comes to the generation of power.
2. IMROVE YOUR MIDLINE STABILITY
The stronger the connection between the spine and pelvis, the greater the force and power an athlete can produce.
You can learn more about programming and application to performance by visiting blog “Midline Strength and performance”.
3. INJURY PREVENTION
Loading mechanics vertically and laterally
If you lack the awareness on how to land properly after a jump, you can overload the quadriceps. An inability to use the hips and absorb the catch phase of an explosive movement such as a jump, can cause the tibia to slide forward which can stress the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
By making loading mechanics a top priority, you can improve your ability to absorb movements which takes pressure off joint structures when engaging in explosive movements and rapid change of direction.
The benefits of isometric training:
- They are not technical and have a low skill component making them a safe option
- They are easy to measure and progress using time as a guide
- They build strength
- They are a great tool to develop midline strength in all planes of movement
Copenhagens are an isometric exercise that are an excellent tool to improve hip and knee stability. By strengthening up joint structures around the knees and hips, you can improve your ability to cope with loads and reduce potential for injury upon return to play.
The hamstrings pull the tibia (thigh bone) back and stop it from sliding over the fibula (the knee joint). The ACL is the ligament holding those two bones together.
The stronger your hamstrings are, the better job they can do at protecting the ACL from straining.
Nordic curls are a great tool to build eccentric strength in the hamstrings, serving to act as a dynamic protector of the ligament and joint.
Even when times are uncertain, it doesn’t mean your training has to be.
Power movements, midline stability and injury prevention exercises are great tools you can use in your training programs to develop and improve overall athletic performance.