By: Evan Harvey, CSCS & Luke Williams, CSCS
The purpose of a quality strength-training program is to become stronger and more powerful. If you have a solid strength foundation that will allow you to develop your speed, power, endurance, and agility. If you try and develop or maintain those aspects without having a foundation of strength, it will only get you so far. For example, you can work on improving your speed by correcting your running form, which will certainly help (and needs to be done), but if you aren’t able to increase your force production into the ground, you won’t be able to reach your full speed potential.
Over the course of a season, lots of long and high intensity cardio (hard practices and games) will wear on your body and cause you to become more vulnerable to injury. This is partially why muscular injuries often happen toward the end of the season. In a recent study that investigated the effects of strength training on previously untrained endurance athletes, found that strength training twice per week had no negative effects on endurance, but INCREASED strength and power over the course of 11 weeks by an average of 6%-9% (as compared to no significant improvements in the endurance training only group).
In another study focusing on elite cyclists, stopping strength training during the competitive period (the season) caused both aerobic fitness (cardio) and strength/power to DECREASE. Keeping strength training 1-2 times per week prevented a loss of strength, power and endurance. This also applies to any sport that requires a large aerobic fitness component. Adding a strength training component to your in-season fitness regimen will contribute to having a good and consistent season, all the way to the end...which is often the most important part!
What does this mean for your athletes?
Stay strong, healthy, and competitive by continuing strength training during the season. Don't lose the strength and power you worked hard to gain by stopping when season starts!
Try these 4 body weight exercises at home while in-season
Eccentric Push-Ups - Regular Push-ups, but count to 5 on the way down! (Chest, Shoulders, Core)
Wide Grip Pull-Ups - Regular Pull-up with your palms facing away, with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. (upper back, Lats, shoulders)
Single Leg Squat to chair - Stand on one leg, with your other leg off of the ground and behind you. Then squat down, like sitting in a chair, and don't let your heel lift off of the ground. Touch your butt to the chair or bench and stand up. (Quads and hips)
Single Leg Hip Bridge – Lay on your back, one knee is bent with the foot on the ground, the other leg is in the air. Push through your heel and bridge your hips to the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes on the way up. (hamstrings and glutes)
If you need help with any of these exercises or would like to see more, just let us know! Email Luke@architechsports.com to get more information on our strength and speed programs.
Good luck this season!
The Architech Sports Performance Team