In Season Training Tips To Prevent Injury

In season training is so important to on field performance, we all know that. One of the most overlooked aspects of training hard during the season is it recoups the muscle fibers you break down during competition. Athletes who do not take in season training seriously are subject to an increase of one thing, injury!

There is a direct correlation between athletes who don’t train hard during the season and their increase risk of injury! Football being a collision sport, injuries are very common. Below are three ideas to keep you off the training table and on the field.

Split Squats ;The most important lift in the book. At SST this is a day one deal, we’ve been doing this with our athletes for over 20 years and for good reason. One of the most common injuries in football is a knee injury, most commonly an ACL tear. Doing split squats all year will improve your range of motion and will allow you to be strong in the knee over toe position. Performing the split squat is also a very effective way to train the VMO, which is a very important muscle to have a strong health knee.

Pulling Lifts; I’ve been around football so long and later in the season  athletes start to get banged up backs and shoulders, because of all the collisions that happen on a daily basis. This happens very easily because, young athletes that don’t have proper training knowledge think that they need to be benching and pressing to stay strong in the upper body. There is some merit to this being that football is a sport where a lot of “press action” happens but, to stay strong and healthy the posterior chain in the upper body needs to be taken care of. My favorite one would be a simple as a chin up or any type of row. This will keep your back strong and your spine protected!

Conditioning;  Football is a multi direction sport! Way to often we condition just going straight! IT IS MADNESS!!!! When conditioning athletes make sure that you are doing different things, such as shuffles, cross overs and change of direction. For example, a running back (RB) in football spend most of his time going forward in a game, rarely does he go back wards. During the season condition him going backwards so when it happens during a game, his body is used to it! BIGGEST CONDITIONING TIP! Make your guys back pedal, it’s way harder to pull something going backwards in a back pedal than it is going forwards!

Hopefully these three tips help you stay strong during the season, but more importantly help you stay on the field!

Email us at SST@SSTCANADA.COM to schedule your free demo today!

Squat Depth: How low should I go?

The squat is one of the most well known, if not the most well-known exercise for developing lower body strength. One of the age-old questions in the athletic community and strength and conditioning world is how low should I go? This post aims to delve into this topic and provide insight into how low one should go when squatting.

            Early research into the squat suggested that with increased knee bend there was increased stress on the knee joint and while this is partially true (as tibiofemoral and patellofemoral compression increases with increasing knee angle), the maximal mean peak shear forces reported are much lower than the patellar and quadriceps tendons can withstand, and therefore while these forces increase with squat depth, they are within ranges that would tend not to significantly damage these tissues in an healthy individual. Furthermore, peak anterior shear forces occur from 0 – 60 degrees of knee flexion, making the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) most susceptible at this range, and these forces decrease with increased squat depth. Posterior shear force begins at 30 degrees flexion, with peak forces reported at 90 degrees of knee flexion and decreasing below 90 degrees of flexion. Therefore, while it is true higher forces exist at greater knee flexion, deep squats decrease stress on the ACL and PCL compared to partial squats of 90 degrees knee flexion or less.

            While the knee joint is the most commonly addressed joint when talking about squat depth, the loading mechanics of the spine also come into question. It has been shown that with increased forward lean, forces on the lumbar spine are increased. Furthermore, in lumbar flexion or excessive lumbar extension we also see these forces increase with the squat. In terms of the effect of squat depth on the spine, if a neutral lumbar spine and forward gaze can be maintained this is more important than squat depth itself. Furthermore, it appears front squats and low bar back squats provide less stress on the spine than high bar back squats.

            When we look at muscle activation, deep squats tend to activate hip musculature more than partial squats, so if we are trying to maximize the strength of our hip musculature (including our most powerful hip extensor gluteus maximus) deep squats with a wider stance and feet slightly turned out (anatomical position) are preferred, as partial squats up to 90 degrees maximize quadricep activation.

Overall there are many benefits to deep squats, but this is only if we can perform deep squats with proper form and technique. Likewise, there may be some scenarios where deep squats are contraindicated such as those with previous PCL injuries or patellofemoral disorders. Furthermore, squat depth should be consistent with individual goals and proper technique and execution needs to be maintained. Individuals should seek advice of an exercise professional on squat technique and should have an assessment done to find what is right for them in their exercise program. However, if you can squat to depth below 90 degrees it seems to be beneficial to athletic development and may even be less stressful on supporting structures.

Note – Information in this article is based off the brief review titled “Squat Kinematics and Kinetics and Their Application to Exercise Performance” Brad J. Schoenfeld published in 2013 the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Access this article here: https://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Fulltext/2010/12000/Squatting_Kinematics_and_Kinetics_and_Their.40.asp

Maxfit 44 program

If you’re a man over the age of 40, your body is issuing you an ultimatum:

Get lean and fit or face accelerated aging, weight gain, diminished sex drive, declining energy, chronic diseases like osteoarthritis, chronic low back pain, diabetes, and other problems.

Ever notice that most elite athletes retire from competitive sports in their late 30s? There’s a reason for this, the male body starts to age more quickly. But you can reverse the aging process with nutrition and strength training.

Part of the reason for this accelerated process is the diminished production of our hormones Testosterone and Growth hormone. Testosterone is the hormone that makes us men. It gives us our strength, our drive, and our character.

However testosterone production declines with age in men. This results in decreased serum levels of total and bioavailable testosterone, leading to a decrease in energy, muscle mass, and bone mass. This also leads to an increase in body fat levels, depression, and a variety of disease. Growth Hormone is the hormone that stimulates growth and cell division. The average bodily decline in growth hormone production is 1.25% per year, or 14% per decade for a man of normal body weight. If we add in the elevated body fat levels the growth hormone production is further compounded because body fat itself tends to decrease HGH secretion.

However it does not have to be this way, with a properly designed strength and nutrition program we can halt or even reverse this process, to become the strong virile man we used to be.

MaxFit 44 offers you an opportunity to answer the ultimatum your body is issuing.

We provide a customized nutrition plan and strength training program that will allow you to meet your fitness goals. Based on cutting edge scientific research and accurate assessment of your body composition we will design a program for weight loss, improved vitality, and enhanced sports performance (other goals?).

This is not your normal group exercise program. There are no dance moves to learn, no irritating music and no endless boring cardio exercises.

We offer low instructor, client ratios and select only exercises that will make you stronger and more powerful.

Why would you choose a group exercise program vs. individualized training or working out in isolation? Cost and results. Working out in a group setting is less expensive than working out with a trainer in a one on one basis but with the shared benefits of group accountability. Studies indicate that people work harder when they believe that others are watching them. This increase of intensity when paired with proper exercise selection and movement form will yield results that are up to 80% better in half the time.

When you factor in the nutritional program, you have an unbeatable approach that is going to make you look and feel better than you ever have in your life. Better yet is that by learning WHAT and HOW to eat, you will be able to stay lean and keep your muscular appearance while the rest of your friends continue their age related decline. Discover the benefits of MY BLUEPRINT NUTRITION

You can’t stop your body from aging but you can control how it looks as it ages. Get back in the drivers seat and recapture the vitality of your youth.

MaxFit 44 will change the way you look, feel and think about your health for the rest of your life. You deserve to be the best you can be.

ACT NOW!

JOIN OUR NEXT 12 WEEK PROGRAM!

Come in for a free demo class.

Do you want to look like an athlete?

Everyone wants a body like an athlete, and yet don’t eat or train like an athlete!? Training like an athlete is important because athletes can move their bodies like no one else can. Your body is meant to be mobile, versatile, and freely moving – so why not train it to be like that, isn’t that why we exercise? To look feel good and look good?

Eating like an athlete is just as if not more important as training like an athlete. Our 1hr a day we spend working out is only 4% of your day. What you choose to do and eat the rest of it is what can make or break the training goals you have set for yourself. Here are 3 reasons why training and eating like an athlete is important;

1. Better Mobility Athletes need to have more mobility in order to achieve the best performance in their respective sports. Can you imagine a hockey player who can’t do a skate cross-over? Transitioning to your reality…with better mobility comes a better quality of life. Mobility allows you to move more freely while easily doing the simple things in life which a lot of people take for granted. climbing up an uneven step, lift a laundry basket or reach into the backseat for a bag…mobility helps with all of that, not to mention all the fun things we like to do like playing with our kids, going swimming on vacation or taking the dog on a hike etc. We all should be mobile and yes even into “old age”.

2. Better Looking Body; For the most part, athletes generally look really fit and athletic. They have put in the hard work and it seems as though their efforts have paid off. We all know that most people would like a better looking body, but are you willing to put the work in for it? I am not saying you have to put in 10 years or 10,000 hours like an athlete, but a 1 hour workout about 3-5 days a week will do the trick. As a trainer that struggles with their weight, I know the feeling of the extra wobble you want to just go away and I can promise you that if you are willing to put in the time for yourself, you will feel 100 times better the next time you put on a pair of shorts in the summer!

3. Better Nutrition; Athletes keep their nutrition in check a lot more than the general population. This is because their sport demands it. Empty calories and processed foods do not help fuel performance in their respective sports. I’m not saying you can’t enjoy a treat occasionally, (careful), but athletes keep their macro-nutrients in check. This means getting an adequate amount of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Athletes also make sure to consume their micro-nutrients as well like; iron, zinc, selenium while getting their essential vitamins too. Eat like an athlete, not only will you be healthier, your digestion, skin and mood will better!

So why do we look at athletes and want what they have so badly but instead of doing a scaled down version of what they do, we drink laxative teas, eat fake food, do mostly cardio or lesser work outs. Stop taking advise from your friends, they are not qualified and please watch out for companies that promise fast results with little change to eating or exercise habits.

CLICK HERE to find out more about how we train our clients to be more mobile, stronger and healthier!

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic

You should eat your vegetables – especially if they’re grilled, covered in bacon, and drizzled with a balsamic vinegar reduction.
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup good quality aged balsamic vinegar
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon cooked and crumbled

Instructions

  1. 1.Preheat oven to 400°F. If using a grill, preheat it to medium-high. Discard the outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts and trim the bottom of the stems. Slice them in half and lay them in a single layer on a non-stick or lined baking sheet. Drizzle a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over the sprouts, sprinkle with some salt and freshly ground black pepper, and toss to evenly coat.

  2. 2.Place the baking sheet on the top oven rack and roast for 16-20 minutes or until nicely browned. If using a grill, place the Brussels sprouts on a grill rack and grill for 8-10 minutes on each side.

  3. 3.While the Brussels sprouts are roasting, place the balsamic vinegar in a very small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes or until it is thickened and lightly coats a spoon.

  4. 4.Arrange the Brussels sprouts on a serving platter, drizzle with the balsamic vinegar reduction and sprinkle with the crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.

Flipping the switch.

An athlete’s life is different from most people;

There is a lot of pressure to preform from a young age. You may get a few injuries and your time is so carefully planned so that you can fit in school, homework, practice, friends and competition. Yet outside of these seemingly negative things, you can gain so much more than what you would expect. You create lifelong friendships with the girls you have spent every day with for months at a time. Teammates who see you susceptible after a bad game and on cloud nine after one of your best. You develop a routine and learn how hard you can push your body. Some athletes get to see more of the world when they travel to games and for some, an extra opportunity in colligate levels!

Then one day, it’s all over.

It is a feeling that nobody can prepare you for. They say enjoy it while it lasts but you never really understand what you’ll be walking away from when you play your last game and hang it up for good. You lose a part of yourself when you’re no longer an athlete. you forget what it feels like to be competitive and be a part of something bigger than yourself. It may hit harder in part because by playing you realized that competing was an escape and helped you become who you are.

You begin to forget what it felt like to hit the sweet spot on a bat, what it sounded like to have an audience cheer for you and see your family in the stands. It’s simple things about the game you love that brought you pure joy and an escape from the world and the thoughts in your head.

So make as many memories as you can and enjoy every moment of play because when you leave sports behind, you have to find your inner athlete in other things. Create a workout routine, joining a club sport or intramurals, or even becoming a coach. As much as you will miss the game, be thankful for everything it brought you. It teaches you how to be a good friend, respect others around you, and to push yourself to discover what you are capable of.

Enjoy it while it lasts and make the best of the skills you learned while you were an athlete!

EmailBskinner@sstcanada.com for more information on our facility or to book a complimentary demo session!

Becoming A Better & Well Rounded Athlete!

I’m going to go off on a little bit of a rant here… so bear with me. I’ve been in the sports training world for a few years now and there is one thing that really bugs me. Too many times I talk with young kids (6-12) and they tell me what sport they play either hockey, basketball or soccer are the common ones. I always have the same question for them, “Is that the only sport you play?” 75% of the kids say yes! This is a huge problem for young kids, we are specializing them way to early, and I will explain why!

Sports Are Fun!

When kids are young, sports is about having fun and getting them involved, meeting friends, most of them could really care less about who wins and who losses it’s just a fact. The parents in the stands care way more about that stuff. Young boys and girls should be playing all kinds of sports for two reasons;

  1. It will keep them interested in physical activity and it wont become boring
  2. They will be able to make more friends and interact with more people

Becoming A Better Well Rounded Athlete

I coach football so I see this all the time. When our OL and DL are un-athletic when they are young, one of them best ways to help with their coordination is to make them play Basketball. They are running, jumping sprinting all the while trying not to bump into people. It is literally the complete opposite of what they normally do! In the summer when the pro hockey guys come back to train when they first start doing speed work, it looks like they are running with skates on, at the end of the summer they look more smooth and natural because they have been doing other things than just SKATING! Playing more sports will allow you to become a more well rounded athlete!

Keeping the Competitive Fire Burning

During off season training it is very easy to fall into a rut, doing the same things over and over again. At SST we put such a big emphasis on competition and struggle but sometimes it gets hard to mimic that in the weight room. Every summer during the High Performance Camp when are athletes look like they are starting to get mentally drained we pull out the basketballs and head to the court. Right away you can see the competitiveness come right out of them while they are having fun! This is so important when training high level athletes, there needs to be hard work obviously but you need to keep them engaged!

At the end of the day, here is my point! Less than 1% of high school athletes will get a FULL Division 1 Scholarship for their respective sport! And 1% of the will go pro and make a living playing the sport that they love. Sure, sports can be the avenue that we scratch our competitive itch, but at the end of the day, young kids need to be having fun. Kids don’t care about all the stuff when they are in grade 3 they just want to have fun! SO, LET THEM!

If you’re looking for more information on preventing overuse injuries and making the weight room something they don’t dread, please Email Bskinner@sstcanada.com to schedule a complimentary demo session today!

Resistance Training & Bone Health; What You Need T Know!!

One of the lesser known benefits of resistance training is the huge benefits it has for bone health. While the best way to set yourself or your child up for success is physical activity throughout the lifespan (especially in the bone growing years), resistance training can also play a tremendous role in strengthening our bones.

Our bones, much like the rest of our body respond to the stresses we place upon it. This is why when we lift heavy loads or resistance train our neuromuscular system responds to this stressor (resistance training) by building stronger musculature and supporting structures. This is the basis of all training, the body adapts to the demands we place upon it, and if we stop progressing the training stimulus, our body does not adapt and we plateau, or don’t further increase our strength.

Bone responds very similarly to resistance training and progressive overload (while the cycle is much longer), studies have shown improvements in bone mineral density (BMD) (a key marker in bone health) in as little as 16 weeks of a resistance training program in elderly adults.

As we know osteoporosis and osteopenia are huge issues that aging individuals experience (especially in post-menopausal women), where the risk of fractures can significantly impact an individual’s activities of daily living. While the best way to combat this is to build strong bones in our youth, a recent meta-analysis has also shown that resistance training in post-menopausal women is effective in increasing BMD in the femoral neck and lumbar spine (Zhao & Xu 2015), two common areas of fracture in elderly women.

While nutrition also plays a key role in setting us up for great bone health, resistance training in youth, but also as we age is extremely important to live a long, healthy and functional life!

Email Bskinner@sstcanada.com to get more information to work with one of our coaches to help you progress your training, maximize your functional abilities, and get SST strong!

Reference:

 Zhao, R., Zhao, M. & Xu, Z. Osteoporos Int (2015) 26: 1605. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00198-015-3034-0

Are You Falling Behind in Your Sport While The Rest Of The Team Advances?

It could be your off-season training. The off-season is the time to check in with yourself. It’s time to identify your weaknesses, inefficient movements and bad habits; to then clean them up. The importance of the right type of training during our season can not be understated. Proper sport-specific training in any sport is the key to an athlete’s performance.

​Off season training tends to be under-appreciated, we see a tendency for most athletes to just stop doing what they are doing when the season is over. I understand the relief of a couple of days or weeks off however, It’s really important after a break to then get back to work! Off season is almost more important for the success for the next season than the season itself. We can clean up bad habits, we can learn new ways to move and become more mobile for the next season. And we can lift some weights to get stronger so we aren’t trying to build strength during the season and can rather focus on technique!

We have to understand that the “in” season is only for maintaining our physical abilities and keeping the strength we achieved during the off-season. So, if you aren’t involved in a strength and conditioning program, you may not be keeping up with the rest of your team or competitors. Change your mindset and lifestyle and not just train for an event or next season but train for life… So, when you are 70+ years old you can do the sport you love without limitations and nagging pain.  When we do proper off- season training supervised by somebody who understands the movements and demands, you will enjoy the next season and not feel like you are falling behind every year.

And the off-season training can be fun too! Email Bskinner@sstcanada.com to schedule your free demo session and learn about how SST can help you prepare for your next season!

Using Physical Activity To Help Your Mental Health!

Playing a sport can be something a person does for fun or for a competitive reason. Playing sports is so good for the mind and body; It helps keep you emotionally and physically healthy! Here are a couple tips to help your mental health via sports!

Our lives are so busy nowadays that there is not much time to get a workout in anymore, but you need to find the time! When we sleep for 8 hours a day then work for another 8 hours (or more for some of us), that doesn’t leave much time to get a workout in and do everything that a person wants or needs to do on a daily basis! Having to work for a living makes most people very tired and effects their mental health. Using sports or working out is an amazing way to keep yourself not only physically healthy but mentally healthy!

Most research into this has shown a direct correlation between stress levels and activity levels. Not only do we produce natural pain killers and stress combating hormones; we also develop a sense of confidence and self worth ( this is especially true for women and children). Its been long studies the many benefits of physical activity on mental health, everything from hiking in a forest to intense gym sessions. Most studies conclude that our minds need physical activity to stay healthy.

A lot of people work very stressful jobs where they don’t do anything physical, they are just using their minds all day long and that can actually weaken the mind and immune system. For example; It is very easy to get stressed sitting at an office job 8 hours per day, going home feeding the kids, walking the dog and grocery shopping. Its easy to get burnt out and sick. To combat this, during the day mix in a couple of pushups every hour or go for a walk around the block (or office if you cant leave) to keep the blood flowing! I have also had clients go for a jog during their lunch break to really get the body going!

Some people work very physical jobs, such as fire fighters or even pro athletes. Sometimes the last thing these people want to do is workout, which is understandable! I suggest doing some type of Yoga to not only get a light workout but to get into the zone and just relax. For those of you working in isolation all day, without any person to person contact, I suggest signing up for an intramural sport or group training! This is awesome as it will give you the person to person contact that your brain needs, also you will get a great workout in and have some fun!

Having a job and going to work is something that we all have to do to live! But we cannot let our mental health be affected! The best way to stay mentally strong is make sure you are staying physically active!

Email Bskinner@sstcanada.com to schedule a free demo session of one of our group training classes to keep you mind and body strong!

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Bars

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Bars

These pumpkin pie bars are the perfect healthy dessert for any fall occasion! The crust is made from almond flour, warm fall spices, and maple syrup. These dairy-free pumpkin pie bars are healthy dessert bars are perfect for a healthy Thanksgiving dessert or if you’re just looking for a little something sweet.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword bars, healthy pumpkin pie, Pumpkin pie, sweet treat
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 9

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups almond flour superfine
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil melted
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • FILLING
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • WHIPPED CREAM TOPPING
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and lay parchment paper in the bottom of an 8×8-inch cake pan. Spray parchment paper with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the crust by mixing together all crust ingredients, forming a ball. Transfer dough into the greased pan and use your hands and/or a spatula to spread dough to the edges of the pan. The key is to make sure the crust is relatively the same thickness all around, so the spatula comes in handy especially for the edges.
  3. Place crust in the oven at 350ºF and bake for 10 minutes.
  4. While crust is baking, make the filling. Add coconut sugar and pumpkin puree to a large bowl. Mix until combined. Slowly add eggs to the pumpkin mixture. Then add the rest of the filling ingredients and mix well.
  5. Remove crust from the oven and carefully pour pumpkin mixture over the crust. Place pan back into the oven and bake at 350ºF for 24-28 minutes*.
  6. Let pumpkin bars cool for at least an hour. When you are ready to remove bars from the cake pan, simply lift the parchment paper up out of the pan. The bars should easily come out of the pan. Place bars on a cutting board and cut into 9 squares.
  7. For the whipped topping, add whipped cream ingredients to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, whisk ingredients on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  8. Add a healthy dollop of whipped cream onto each bar when ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

Time varies by oven.
Nutrition information does not include whipped topping
NUTRITION
Serving Size: 1/9 Calories: 144 Sugar: 15 Sodium: 58 Fat: 7 Carbohydrates: 17 Fiber: 1 Protein: 3

Female Athletes; No you wont look “Bulky”

We seem to always talk about how women need to look instead of how well they performed; its why I think a lot of women are still scared to lift weights because they don’t want to bulk up. The ideal feminine body is thin and while ‘flab’ is not desired anywhere; toned muscles are desirable in legs as opposed to a ‘bulky’ upper body.  This pressure is unfortunately put into the minds of young female athletes that are already under pressure for many reasons (such as doing well academically, peer pressure to “fit in” and many pressures they put on themselves).

This is a problem because they need to do a specific training program that is designed to train them to be effective in their sport. A lot of people walking into our doors ask for programs for training speed and explosiveness. Often we find that the athlete first needs to work on muscular strength before we can ask their bodies to perform better in those explosive movements required in their sport. The reaction most women give is the looking bulky excuse.

We want our athlete’s attention on what their bodies are capable of doing, what they can accomplish rather than what their bodies look like. Aim to improve the function of overused muscles and joints by stretching and releasing them and strengthening the underused muscles this allows us to balance the different demands placed on an athlete’s body given their particular lifestyle. Not to mention, women (without the assistance of drugs) don’t have the hormone profile to look bulky.

Resistance training is not designed to change the looks of their bodies but to alleviate pain and improve mobility in whatever activity/sport they are interested in. This does not mean that we all will look the same—that is already predetermined by our genetic make-up. A young athlete that sits at a school desk during the day, might also be a competitive soccer player and thus, the bodily requirements for balancing both school life and training need to be considered. Many athletes also need considerable muscle strength and thus, should embrace visible musculature. We all need muscles to have enough strength to support our bones, but the amount of strength in specific muscles can vary greatly depending on each individual’s needs.

Instead of worrying about ‘bulking up,’ we could celebrate the muscles that enable us to do what we want to do. Be proud of the muscles that allow us to perform well in our sports and allow you to function in everyday life without pain and to move smoothly in a variety of situations. Muscles are necessary for poised movement, not for ‘the looks of body.’ They should, thus, be appreciated as important parts of anyone’s beautifully moving body!

Email Bskinner@sstcanada.com to schedule a free demo session to find out how we make our athletes stronger!

Are You Explosive Enough In Your Sport?

One of the most important aspects of training an athlete is plyometrics. It is crucial in making an athlete more explosive. Here is the key piece with Plyo’s with young kids. They are great but an athlete needs to be assessed before to correct all of their deficiencies. If an athlete is not strong it is very hard to make them explosive. It’s a very simple equation, you must be strong before you can be explosives. Here are my three favorite plyometric exercises!

Box Jump:

Everyone does this! It’s a great way to train jumping! Here is my biggest tips with regards to box jumps. The landing is the most important part. The landing needs to be soft and you shouldn’t hear it. If you can hear the landing make the box smaller and land soft. One way to spice up box jumps is too jump out of a seated position! My personal favorite way to take this drill to the nest level is to make the athlete jump on que, that’s the way sport is played; very rarely do you get to pick and choose when you want to react!

Depth Jump:

This is an awesome one for young athletes but also older athletes. This is so important on training not only plyometric strength and isometric strength. This exercise allows you not only to learn how to land which is so important, but it teaches your body how to take a load through the ground which is important. One cool way to do a depth jump is to add a box jump too it. Have a player jump off a box take the load thru the ground, then jump up into the air!

4 Dot Drill:

My personal favorite! This drill is basically 4 dots on a mat, and the athletes will jump in different directions from dot to dot. The best way to do this drill is in short bursts, 5-10 seconds. You can make this drill harder by changing the way the athletes faces during the drill, flipping his hips during the drill. My biggest tip for this drill is to make sure the athletes keeps his or her eyes up. You can make them focus on some sort of visual cue!

Plyo’s are so important to creating an all around great athlete. But like I previously stated, young athletes need to be “strong” before we worry about Plyo’s!

Email Bskinner@sstcanada.com to schedule a free demo session or to ask about out vertical jump program or our strength and conditioning programs.