Sports Performance

How To Train When You're Short On Time

How To Train When You're Short On Time

“I don’t have time,” has to be one of the most common excuses I hear from people that say they can’t workout. I’m sure these people actually do live a very busy life, but everyone can find at least a few hours to exercise each week. When you’re crunched for time, it comes down to planning ahead and increasing the efficiency of your workouts.

Vertical Jump Warm Up

Vertical Jump Warm Up

Anyone who has ever trained before knows the importance of warming up before they begin their activity. A proper warm up helps to increase performance, decrease injuries, and perfect movement patterns. Training to improve your vertical jump is no different. By incorporating a jumping specific warm up, into a traditional warm up routine, an athlete can expect improve their jump height, while also limiting the likelihood of an injury.

What is Functional Training?

What is Functional Training?

When most people think of functional training, images of people over head squatting on top of stability balls come to mind. The idea is that training on an unstable surface while holding miscellaneous objects for resistance, prepare the body for anything life can throw at it. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

In the simplest sense, functional training is anything that improves the performance of the individual, in whatever task they are training for. This could be an increased vertical jump for a volleyball player or a pain-free lower back for a carpenter. Often times, the training itself only loosely resembles the speed or joint actions required to be successful for the particular task. The only prerequisite for anything to be considered functional is whether or not it actually improves the parameters that are valued for that given person. If they do – functional. If they do not – not functional.

Training Considerations for Female Athletes

Training Considerations for Female Athletes

Contrary to what some believe, female athletes do not need to train all that much different than male athletes. Just like males, females need to be strong, jump high, and run fast. With this said, there are some unique differences of female athletes – some of these are blatantly obvious, others are not. Even with these differences, only subtle modifications are necessary, while leaving the bulk of the training program intact.

How to Gain 10lb of Muscle This Summer

How to Gain 10lb of Muscle This Summer

Summer off-season training is a great opportunity for athletes to pack on a large amount of muscle in a very short period of time. These three months are ideal for training because most athletes have fewer commitments during the summer, allowing them to really focus on improving their strength and size.

However, this will not happen by chance. For athletes to make serious gains in only 12 weeks, they must be spot on with their nutrition and training. This means, eating enough calories and protein to support muscles growth, while also following a proper strength and conditioning program in the weight room.

Advanced Core Training for Athletes

Advanced Core Training for Athletes

Core training is one of the most popular terms you will hear thrown around by coaches and athletes, yet many do not fully understand the actual function of the core. Often only thought of as the abdominal muscles, the core actually includes all the muscles from the shoulder to the hip. The function of these muscles are to transfer energy between the legs and the arms. The stronger the core, the more power an athlete can display – whether it be jumping up for a rebound in basketball or swinging a bat in softball.

The Importance of Back Training for Baseball Players

The Importance of Back Training for Baseball Players

There are two very important reasons for baseball players to include back training into their strength and conditioning program – injury prevention and improved performance. By strengthening the muscles on the backside of their shoulders, baseball players are able to better decelerate their arm when throwing, reducing the stress placed on the shoulder. The back also plays a large role in creating power in both batting and throwing. With the help of a well-designed training program, that incorporates a healthy amount of back training, a baseball player can expect to hit the ball further, throw the ball harder, and stay healthier in the process.

3 Explosive Exercises to Increase Acceleration

3 Explosive Exercises to Increase Acceleration

In the world of sports, they say speed kills. The truth is, acceleration is what really separates elite athletes from the rest of us. In most sports, top speed is rarely reached during competition. So, while speed is definitely important, what matters most for athletes is their ability to explosively accelerate for short distances. Here are three exercises to help you gain a step on your competition.

The Importance of Ankle Training for Athletes

The Importance of Ankle Training for Athletes

If you have ever spent a winter driving in Minnesota, you can appreciate the need for traction. When you’re on ice, you can have all the horsepower in the world, but if your tires don’t have traction with the road, you’re going nowhere. The human body is no different. You can have a ton of strength in your hips, but without a strong and stable ankle, much of that power will never reach the ground. And, like a Honda Civic in 12 inches of snow, you’ll be going nowhere quick.

In-Season Strength and Conditioning Training

In-Season Strength and Conditioning Training

Everyone knows the importance of strength and speed training in the off-season, but when the season finally rolls around, many athletes stop training completely. This is a mistake. Not only do these athletes stop progressing, they actually regress and go backwards with their strength and speed. Within only a few short weeks, noticeable strength and speed drops will occur (1). As the season goes on, performance markers continue on their downward spiral, resulting in an athlete that is weakest and slowest at the most crucial time of the season – playoffs.

All is not lost, though. By simply implementing a well thought-out in-season training program, athletes can maintain and potentially even improve their strength and speed, without sacrificing any practice time.

How to Maximize an Athlete's Training ROI

How to Maximize an Athlete's Training ROI

When you hear the words “return on investment,” or ROI for short, images of the stock market and retirement funds come to mind. People put money in to these investments expecting something in return – more money! The more money that comes out, compared to money put in, the greater the ROI.

With sports performance training, you want to increase your ROI just as you would with your investment funds. Instead of looking solely at money, an athlete also has to consider time – the most valuable resource of them all. For every hour an athlete trains, they should expect to receive things in return – greater strength, power, speed, etc. With the limited time most youth athletes have, it is important that they maximize their ROI for every hour they put in at the gym.

How to Instantly Improve your Vertical Jump

How to Instantly Improve your Vertical Jump

For many, the vertical jump is the single best test of power and overall athleticism. Coaches often use this test as a quick indicator for athletic ability and on-field performance. For any athlete that is looking to stand out from the rest, a high jump is a guaranteed way to get any coach's attention. By applying these three strategies, you will quickly add inches to your vertical jump within minutes.

What is Lactic Acid?

What is Lactic Acid?

The production of lactate, commonly mistaken as lactic acid, is one of the most misunderstood processes of the human body. The formation of this lactate molecule results from the metabolic process known as glycolysis. During activity, the body begins to break down glycogen (sugar) to be used as fuel. This process creates ATP to be used as fuel for the body, but also the byproduct pyruvic acid and eventually lactate. Because large amounts of lactate can be found in fatigued athletes, many people assume it is the cause of the fatigue, but this may not be true.

How to Improve Limb Separation

How to Improve Limb Separation

When we look for indicators of athleticism, we generally turn to tests such as a vertical jump or 40-yard dash time. These are definitely good standards to compare athletes against each other with, but another good indicator of overall athleticism is an athlete’s ability to move their limbs independently of one another, without excessive trunk movement. These are what many people call “smooth” or sneaky fast” runners – the athletes that pull away from their defenders even though they look effortless in their movement.

Get Shredded Training Like an Athlete

Get Shredded Training Like an Athlete

When asked to imagine your ideal body, what do you see? If you are like many people, you envision a lean toned-looking version of yourself with the strength, endurance, and mobility to take on whatever you desire at that given moment – whether it is repping out pull-ups at the gym, spending an afternoon hiking around a lake, or just trying to keep up with your kids. If you imagine something similar when picturing your ideal body, what you really want is the body of an athlete.

How do you get the body of an athlete? You train like an athlete.

3 Keys to Dominate Off-Season Training

3 Keys to Dominate Off-Season Training

The end of the school year marks the start of a short, but very important, 12-week training period for area athletes. During this short training block, athletes will either gain or lose ground on their competition. By utilizing the following three keys, athletes will give themselves the best opportunity for a successful summer training cycle.

3 Squat Coaching Cues to Avoid

3 Squat Coaching Cues to Avoid

Disclaimer: What I am about to tell you probably goes against everything you have ever learned about the squat. I will discuss three commonly used cues, explain why I feel they are usually incorrect, and offer three alternatives that I feel are more effective. I ask that you keep an open mind and try these cues out before you knock ‘em.

The squat, a movement learned and mastered in infancy, often becomes a great challenge for many as they enter adulthood. As these adults hope to relearn this pattern, for function or vanity, they are often bombarded with cues from magazines, friends, and professionals on the “perfect squat technique.” In this article I will address three of the most common cues that I deem incorrect and overused, as well as offer three cues that improve the function and safety of these movement.

3 Tips to Maximize Off-Season Baseball/Softball Training

3 Tips to Maximize Off-Season Baseball/Softball Training

As summer ends, so does the season for many baseball and softball players. This changing of the seasons also marks the beginning of off-season training for many athletes. With only six short months available to train – minus a handful of holidays – it is important that each and every workout is optimized to get the most out of this short window of time. Following the three tips in this article will ensure that maximal performance and injury prevention gains are made this off-season.

Strength Training for Endurance Athletes

Strength Training for Endurance Athletes

If you are an endurance athlete – specifically a runner – chances are you are either currently training for your next event, or rehabilitating a recent injury. If we were to play the odds, you are more likely to be in the latter category. Research shows that up to 56% of runners will experience an injury in any given year that will keep them out of training for a period of time. Of these injuries, up to 75% are due to overuse[2] – in other word, no contact. This is an alarming number, as non-traumatic injuries are almost entirely preventable.