"Did you take sterioids? Yeah, 'bout a cup. Cup and a half."- Will Ferrel
"Absorb what is useful; reject what is useless"- Bruce Lee
Yup, I jumped on the Blog-bandwagon too.
This blog will be filled mostly with ultimate-specific workouts as well as post-tourney recaps and other nonsensical nonsense that I feel like writing about.
The past few months have been really exciting in terms of gaining further advanced knowledge in sports-movement. I've been voraciously consuming any piece of info I can come across in order to become bigger, faster, stronger for the upcoming season. Well, not bigger, but you know what I mean. Fortunately my great friend Chris (who's the best workout partner ever and 'bout damn near my twin) and I have been constructing an ultimate-specific workout program using the techniques and knowledge from Athlete's Performance, the training center based out of the Home Depot Center in Carson. These is the company that trains Beckham, gets the Phoenix Sun's in shape for the Run n' Gun, and gets the NFL rooks ready for the combines. If you don't know about the combines, it is the purest test of a football players athletic ability. They test you on everything from 40-yrd dash, vertical leap, shuttle run, bench-press...etc. Even your gait is analyzed. That part always reminds me of a horse on show, they make the player simply walk across the room and back. Apparently biomechanic experts can predict how fast a player could be just by their walk. Performing well there single-handedly determines their draft status and size of their signing bonus.
Simply put, Athlete's Performance is the foremost authority in the world of athletic movement, and the stuff they come up with is jaw-droppingly brilliant, functional, and makes so much sense when applied onto the field. Chris is a baseball coach and teacher at a local HS and was able to attend a week-long training session and learned exactly what they teach the pros from the leaders of the industry. We have since then been training twice a week together and I get to absorb all this information from a top-notch teacher. I couldn't have asked for a better situation (other than attending the course myself, obviously).
Saturday I'll be teaching this program for the first hour of the Condor practice. It's my goal that we will be able to apply this directly onto the field from Day 1, not only becoming faster and quicker, but have increased high-end endurance, better body positioning, and faster recovery to an athletic position (example: while marking being able to go from off-balance with your weight all on the right side of your body to stop the backhand back over to the left to prevent the IO forehand faster than the thrower can pivot). I am really excited to show this to the guys and have them realize what kind of athlete they can become.
The two basic concepts to efficient athletic-movement is:
1. An active but stable core.
2. all four extremeties working independently and explosively, with power and fluidity.
By core I don't just means your abs, but the entire core from the obliques (side abs), back (including the erector spinae, the muscle that's involved in pretty much every type of movement) and the transverse abdominis (your body's weight belt) through the internal hip muscles that connect the legs to the core. Google those words if they are foreign to you.
The Transverse Abdominis. When you contract your core and lock it, this is the muscle that does a bunch of the work. Your body's "natural weight belt"
The Erector Spinae. The name is pretty self-descriptive. It holds your spine erect and helps with any type of movement.
Best visual example of the two concepts working together I can give is Reggie Bush running. When he's running his Core is LOCKED....and I mean locked. He's in a dead-sprint to the endzone and his numbers barely move at all...while his legs and arms are flying explosively and independently. He honestly looks like he's swiming.
Here's a typical speed-movement workout we'll do. Some of the stuff we've just named ourselves so it might look mighty confusing to the layman.
Important: Do NOT stretch before beginning this. Static stretching temporarily disables your muscles elasticity and should be done post-workout. Ya hear me? POST-workout. Static stretching is great, but it doesn't have anything to do with getting ready athletic movement. So forget everything your Jr. High Basketball coach told you and save that time before for a proper warm-up, and do your stretching AFTER.
Phase 1- Movement Prep 2 sets of each exercise to 20 yards
Butt Kickers/Backward BK with extended reach
Straight-leg kicks Short/Long
Forward Lunge w/twist + knee extension/Backward lunge w/over shoulder
Falling Leaf Hip Circles/Backwards over-extension
Karoake-short n’ quick to over-hip progression
Sideways high-knee crossover’s
Inch-worms to spiderman
Shuffle Switches forward/backward
Double-double point block w/shuffles
Warriors to hip swivel
Phase 2- Rapid Response- Rapid response is short-burst movement in rapid succession. Each exercise is 2 sets to failure.
2-inch runs in place
2-inch runs in place with arm switches
2-inch runs w/forward movement
2-inch runs with single leg sideways disassociation
2-inch runs to sprint
2-inch runs to sprint-ladder
2-inch runs to sprint-ladder w/star jumps
2-inch runs to sprint-sideways ladder
Phase 3- Long Response- Long response is the converse of rapid response. It's generating maximum force in a single full-body action. 2 sets to 40-60 yards
Bounds- bounds are a combination of rapid & long response. It's maximum full-body movement in rapid succession. Focus is on form and pace.
2 inch run progression: in place to arms switches to moving forward to skip to bound
Phase 4- Plyometrics/Sprints 2 sets to 20 yards
Skips for height
Skips for distance
1 foot’d diagonal jumps
1-foot’d backwards diagonal jumps
15-yard sprints with 4 progression starting stance: on ground, 4-point stance, sprinter stance, receiver stance
Back-pedal to sprint
Lunge Jumps switches
You're probably asking yourself exactly what the 2-inch runs are. Unfortunately there is no good way to explain them other than actually being on the field and doing them, but here goes: Assume an athletic stance (knees bent, chest out, head up, ready to explode in any direction) and while maintaining that stance (literally sitting in it) you plyometrically (explosively and fast-twitch) pop your legs up n' down at a height of about 2 inches as fast as you can for as long as you can. Like doing high knees in place, except only 2 inches off the ground. The focus is on repeated ground contact with consisten pace and form activated by the glute muscles. It is the supreme example of atheticism, the ability to move the feet explosively and fast-twitch while sitting in an athletic stance, with a low center of gravity, and able to move lickety-split in any direction. You start just doing them in place, then progress to involving the arms at about a 1/3 of the rate the feet are moving. This works on dissasociating the arms from the legs. After that you progress to moving forward while in the 2-inch run, and then doing a 2-inch run for 8ish seconds to a 10-yard sprint...etc.
The 2-inch runs are done to failure. This goes along with the threshold concept of working out. You should be pushing a new threshold every time you workout. Otherwise you're never going to improve. Your body HAS to be pushed a little harder each time if you want it to respond effectively. Approach every workout with that mentality and you'll be starting with your head in the right spot.
The long response phase is to improve stride efficiency and stride power. A 180lb person can generate around 370lbs of force with their stride. Being able to generate that much force with every foot strike is one huge element to becoming a faster sprinter. Combine that with proper body positioning (keeping your legs under you and a low center of gravity) and you're on the way to sprinting much more efficiently.
Note: your feet should be in dorsal flexion (toes raised up) the entire time, landing on the ball of your foot for all the activities.
So there ya go. Hopefully I can convey this workout better out on the field than I've done in this blog. Will post back with how it went, but I'm stoked that I've been given this opportunity to teach it to the 'Dors. If nothing else, I'm going to have some sore-ass teammates at the Sunday practice.