As we enter the Fall season, many of you are already gearing up for your Fall sports, which is excellent training. However, it’s helpful to add in some extra training to boost your strength and power. A strong and powerful athlete will be able to achieve SO MUCH MORE!
Body weight training is a great way to do that. It’s a fun, safe and easy way to introduce resistance training into your existing program, especially for young athletes who are still growing. It will give you an opportunity to learn proper technique before advancing to heavier weights in the gym. Plus, it will help improve your cardiovascular fitness, reduce injuries and build mental grit. BOOM!
You should do body weight workouts two or three times per week. A focus on quality over quantity is key. For example, if you’re not able to do a perfect push-up (as in your back sags or your butt is too high) start with knee push-ups instead. Once you master those, progress to a few regular push-ups, and from there add more reps and sets for an additional challenge. Proper technique is CRITICAL, so be sure to follow the details instructions below.
This classic body weight exercise strengthens your pectorals, deltoids and triceps. (Do you know where to find those muscles?!) To perform a pushup, lie face down on the floor with your body straight and feet slightly spread apart. Place your palms on the floor so they are slightly more than shoulder-width apart. While keeping your body straight, press yourself up until your arms are fully extended and only your hands and toes are touching the floor. Keep your body stiff and straight as a board, and lift your chin slightly, looking a few inches above your fingertips. Slowly lower your body by bending your elbows until your chest touches the floor. Then push yourself up again. ELITEAM Challenge: Once you can do 15 push-ups in a row, try “hand release” push-ups where you lift your hands off the floor leaving only your chest and toes touching before pushing back up. We introduced this variation at ELITEAM this Summer. It’s a fun way to mix it up!
Holding a Tuck
Holding a tuck position is a great way to strengthen your lower body. This exercise targets the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. Begin by standing with your hands on your hips and feet about hip-width apart with feet pointed straight ahead. Then slowly bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Now drop your upper body down over your quads and try to put your knees into your armpits. Bend your elbows so your hands are in front of your face. Your rear end and head should be parallel. Keep your head up, with eyes focused forward, and elbows in front of your shins. Hold this for 30 seconds and work up to 60 seconds or more. ELITEAM Challenge: Throw in 5 tuck jumps every 30 seconds until you can work up to 2 minutes. Total leg burner!
Core-strengthening exercises improve your posture and balance. Crunches target the core, more specifically the abs. To perform a crunch, lie down with your knees bent and the bottoms of your feet on the floor. Place your hands across your chest in an “X” position with your hands on your shoulders. Slowly lift your shoulders and upper back off the floor. Your lower back should remain on the floor throughout this exercise. When you can touch your elbows to your thighs, pause and then return to the starting position. ELITEAM Challenge: Do these facing a partner and throw a 4-8 lbs med-ball to your partner each time you crunch!
The Superman, is a fun body weight exercise that targets your back muscles. Lie face down on the floor. Extend your arms straight out in front of your head. Next, simultaneously raise your legs and arms a few inches off the floor. Pause and then lower your arms and legs back to the floor. ELITEAM Challenge: Try holding your arms/legs up for 60 seconds and work up to 3 minutes!