August marks the end of our Summer Training Series, but there are still several weeks left to do a solid block of training. This is good news for all the motivated athletes out there, because this month, Martin Guyer of Momentum Movement gives athletes the secret to summer training success… Master your ABC’S!
Martin is not only our friend, but also a renowned and highly-respected sports and fitness coach with 25 years of industry leading coaching and training experience. To put it simply… HE KNOWS HOW TO TRAIN ATHLETES!!!! In 2019 he stepped away from full time alpine ski coaching to launch his new business- Momentum Movement Training, Sports and Fitness in Burlington Vermont. Below are Martin’s Summer training tips.
Summer School for Athletes – Learn and Master your ABC’S
By Martin Guyer:
If you’re looking to improve your athleticism, reduce the risk of injury and see accelerated strength gains as you develop and grow, then focusing on the athletic ABC’S is the way to go.
What are the ABC’S exactly?
AGILITY – BALANCE – COORDINATION – SPEED
Training the ABC’S helps to develop our neuromuscular system. The idea is you are improving the speed and quality of signals sent from your brain through your nervous system to your muscles. You could think of it as “athletic high speed internet”. The results of neuromuscular training? Quicker, faster, coordinated and more balanced movements.
Here is a basic definition of the neuromuscular system-
“The neuromuscular system includes all the muscles in the body and the nerves serving them. Every movement your body makes requires communication between the brain and the muscles. The nervous system provides the link between thoughts and actions by relaying messages that travel so fast you don’t even notice.
Nerves and muscles, working together as the neuromuscular system, make your body move as you want it to.” source: healthdirect.gov.au April 2019
An effective training program will focus on improving movement patterns and develop foundational movement competencies in younger athletes. Think squats, lunges, hip hinges, pulling, pushing, stability, rotational power, jumping and running. Getting strong is key but- getting strong and being athletic is even better! It’s not just about how much weight you can ultimately lift – it’s about how well you can transfer that strength and power into movement. That’s why developing and mastering the ABC’S is key to long term athletic development and optimal performance as an athlete.
Summer is the perfect time to super charge your progress with exposure to new activities and movements that help develop superior athleticism and body control. If you are following an awesome multi-day strength and conditioning program (like ELITEAM Dig Deep 2020) you are definitely working on your ABC’S as part of that program.
For each training session, I like to incorporate the ABC’S into the dynamic warm-up and movement preparation phase before the main workout. I usually start with balance exercises, then coordination exercises, followed by agility exercises, and finish with speed training. I keep the duration of each effort short. Under 10 seconds usually. This will help build reactive power and explosive speed. Active recovery between bouts as needed to keep intensity and focus at peak.
Here are a few introductory ABC’S ideas you can incorporate into your training. Remember, work in a progression from basic towards complex. Training the ABC’S should be focused fun!
Goals: Alignment, foot placement, lowering center of gravity, accelerating and de-accelerating, redirection of force, change of direction
- 10yd sprint 10yd backpedal
- 5yd Lateral shuffles
- Multi directional circuit – forward, backwards, lateral, rotational
Goals: Maintain balance, recovering balance, bare feet training
- Walk on tip toes
- Walk on heels
- Balance on one leg
- Knee hugs
- SL toe touch and reach
- Leg swings
- Lateral hop and stick
- Try all with eyes open then eyes closed
Goals: Fast feet, rapid response, upper lower body coordination
- Jump rope
- Skipping variations- quick, for height, for distance, forwards, backwards
- Coordination ladders
- Snap downs
Goals: Coordinated arm swing, knee drive, all out effort
- Sprints – 5yd, 10yd, 20yd distances
- Falling starts
- Flying 10’s
- Run the arc
Final thoughts – One of the most effective (and creative) ways to develop proficiency of the ABC’S is free play and movement exploration. So, get outside and use the outdoors as your gym and endless playground! Hike, climb, run, play! Water, sand, woods, rivers, stairs, walls- the options are endless for some super effective ABC’S training.
Try different activities that challenge you and get your body into unique shapes and positions helping develop the ABC’s and athleticism. The goal here is to create exposure to different skills, challenges and movements that don’t look like your chosen and favorite sports. And remember- The athletic skier has options. So train and master your ABC’S this summer and then push your limits when it’s time to train and race again on snow.
More on MARTIN GUYER
Prior to the 2019 launch of Momentum Movement, Martin worked for the Green Mountain Valley School (2002-2013) & (2017-2019). From 2009- 2013 he was Head Coach and Conditioning Coordinator for the mens program. He returned to GMVS in 2017 to work with the U14 program. Martin also worked for U.S Ski and Snowboard in the Eastern Region as Regional Development Coach (2013-2015) and Regional Development Director (2015-2017).
Please visit www.momentumpt.net and click on Momentum Movement tab for more information and services provided.
Thank you Martin! And to any athletes in the Burlington, VT area… we encourage you to take advantage of Martin’s training expertise. You’ll be so glad you did!