Archive for “Warm Ups” Tag

Using Complexes In Warm Ups to Improve The Skills Of Young Athletes

 

Young Athletes weightlifting specific warm-ups

Young athletes olympic lifts warm up tips

 

By Wil Fleming

 

When your program is full of barbell strength training , in particular the Olympic lifts, it is important to sharpen the skills of your young athletes with a weightlifting specific warm-up.

 

A general warm-up is necessary for young athletes to increase mobility and activation, prior to training. Once the athlete is warmed up in general however, a specific warm-up for the days activities should be used to prepare.

 

In all sports the general warm-up is followed by a specific warm-up, baseball players should touch a ball before actually throwing out the first pitch, basketball players should take a couple shots before the buzzer sounds, just as in those scenarios, in strength training it is important to use some external loading before the training of the day.

 

A complex is the perfect way to do that.

 

Complexes are multiple movements done sequentially without rest in between movements. In order to complete a complex it is important to complete all the prescribed reps of one particular movement before moving on to the next drill.

 

Complexes can be a tremendous tool for conditioning as well, but in this case I would like to think of them for warm-up only.

 

The great thing about complexes is that they can really include whatever it is that you want for a given day. For my athletes I think that they are a great source of variation in the program, and a great way to challenge them on a given day.

 

I typically design complexes around what the movements of the day will be, if our athletes are to be cleaning in the session ahead, I will design a complex that includes clean movements. If we are snatching, then the complex will include the snatch.

 

Designing a complex

 

Limiting factors:

 

Athletes should be able to complete the complex without a severe break in proper technique. Complexes will have one movement typically that will be the limiting factor in the amount of weight that is on the bar.

 

For example: A complex of 5 exercises- Hang Clean, Front Squat, Push Press, RDL and Bent over row. In this complex , for nearly all athletes the bent over row will be the movement on which they will struggle the most with a given weight. In this instance the weight that an athlete can use for the prescribed reps on a bent over row

 

Selecting Exercises

 

Selection of exercises should mimic what the athletes will be asked to do in the training session later in the day. It is also important to use the LIGHTER weight of a complex to work on areas in which many athletes struggle. In the clean or snatch that is the pull around the knee area, and with extension of the hips. Including a movement that will specifically work on that area of the lifts is important.

 

Exercises should be selected in an order that moves logically for the athletes. This means that the starting points of each movement should be similar to the previous one.

 

For example: A complex that includes Front squats, to RDL’s, to Push Press becomes much more difficult due to the fact that the bar has go from resting on the shoulders, to the hands and back to resting on the shoulders. Changing the order from Front Squat, to Push Press, to RDL keeps the bar in the same position as long as needed.

 

Importance of Exercises

 

Explosive movement should be prioritized in complexes. This does not however mean that all complexes have to start out with a full clean or snatch, it does mean that a clean pull, or full clean should precede front squats.

 

Explosive movement requires a greater level of technical proficiency young athletes need to be fresher to complete these movements.

 

Examples of Complexes

 

Clean Complex:
2 to 3 sets of 5 -7 reps of each of the following:
Clean pull from above knee, Clean High Pull from Mid Thigh, Hang clean from Mid thigh, Power Jerk, Front Squat, RDL, Bent Row

 

Snatch Complex:
2 to 3 sets of 5-7 reps of each of the following:
Snatch Pull from below knee, Snatch High Pull from Above Knee, Hang Snatch from Mid Thigh, , Snatch Jerk behind neck, Overhead Squat, Snatch Grip RDL.

 

These same complexes could be used with Dumbbells or even Kettlebells. Try implementing them before your young athletes next session.

 

Change Lives Today

 

Wil

 

olymic lifts young athletes

 

The Olympic lifts are the most explosive and dynamic demonstration of force in which an athlete can participate. It is important to have established, an effective, efficient, and safe way to teach athletes to Olympic lift. Athletes can be taught at any stage to lift well, with proper technique using the methods outlined in this course. Learn more on Olympic Lifting with young athletes here…

 

 

Training for Power: The Top 5 Exercises for Athletes to Dominate the Game

 

Training for Power with Young Athletes

 

Young Athletes hang position

 

By Wil Fleming

 

My young athletes are known for explosive power, from middle school volleyball players to football players preparing for the combine all of them out class the competition when it comes to quick bursts of power.  Recently I put together a presentation outlining my favorite exercises to do just that.  I have shared a brief outline of the topics covered in that seminar in the list below.

 

1. Hang Clean and Snatch-

 

You will notice that I did not say the Power Clean or Power Snatch.  Power cleans are the staple of most training programs, but the key is by doing this movement from the hang position i.e. with the bar just above your knees.  This position is much closer to ones athletes actually use in athetics and athletes have a much greater potential for technically sound lifts.

The snatch must be included because it is such a powerful movement as well and can lend diversity to the program.

 

2. CHAOS agility drills

Much of the need for power in football comes in the reaction to a movement of the ball or of the defensive player, because of this football players must also have the mental awareness to make explosive movements as a reaction. Credit Coach Robert Dos Remedios for this one, but my favorite training tool for this are CHAOS agility drills (it stands for Conscious to unconscious Have unpredictability Active to Reactive Open drills Slow to Fast). The idea behind it is to have athletes mirror one another in specific patterns first and then to open ended drills with many different movement patterns, more closely replicating the actions of actual game play.

 

3. Kettlebell Swings

This is a foundation movement for any athlete looking to develop more power. The action in the kettlebell swing is founded on the idea of a hip hinge, this is important because most athletes need to gain better control of the ability to hinge at the hips.  Most athletes are very much Quad dominant and are losing out on the potential of their backside. The Kettlebell Swing does a great job of teaching these motions effectively.

 

4. MB Throws

Using medicine balls in throwing motions (chest pass, Side throws, Throws for distance) is a great way to develop power in the upperbody for young athletes while incorporating the important parts of hang cleans, hang snatches, and Kettlebell swings (hip hinging).  Delivering a Medicine ball with force is a great way to engage the core in explosive activities as well, generating force with the lower body must require active core control to deliver the ball with the arms, This transfer of power is important to all sports.

 

5. Plyometrics

Athletes need to be adept at accelerating and decelerating their own body at maximum speeds. Plyometrics are the first way that athletes can learn to do so.  Maximal jumps with a stuck landing will help athletes develop resistance to injury and will simulate many movements in sport.

 

 

There is a lot more than just power that goes into becoming athlete. It takes general strength, resistance to injury, proper conditioning and a well prepared mind.

 

Focusing on power will take athletes a long way towards getting to where they want to be.

 

 

 

Multi-Planar Warm-ups with Young Athletes: PNF in Your Movement

 

PNF Warm-ups With Young Athletes

Young athletes PNF movement

 

By Wil Fleming

 

Ask coaches what their program should include and invariably the answer sounds like this “Strength, speed, agility, power and oh yeah warm-up“. The warm-up is always tossed in there, but not with much enthusiasm.

 

All too often our warm-ups occur in singular planes of motion, typically sagittal or frontal, and for certain joints this will not do. The hip and shoulder, in particular require motion that does not only go through these single planes, and in truth requires more than just the addition of motion through the transverse plane.

 

A great solution to this is to use PNF patterns of movement to truly warm-up the athlete. In using PNF patterns we are able to use patterns that efficiently recruit the most relevant muscle.

 

PNF or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, is commonly thought of as only a type of stretching pattern done by athletic trainers but is actually an entire system of movement.

 

In the great book Supertraining, Mel Siff described PNF movement patterns in this way “The importance of these patterns cannot be overestimated, since they can enhance the effectiveness of any training session.”

 

While the unloaded movement of a “warm-up” cannot satisfy all the necessary pieces to be considered PNF the important foundations of PNF which must be considered are as follows.

 

-The motion must use spiral and diagonal movement patterns

 

-The motion must cross the sagittal midline of the body.

 

-The motion must recruit all movement patterns including, flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, and internal/external rotation.

 

To use the techniques of PNF in our warm-up we use a lunge matrix and corresponding “reaches”.

 

Lateral Hip Rotator Lunge w/ Contralateral Reach

 

Have the athlete stand perpendicular to a start line, flex at the hip and knee with the lead leg. First internally rotate at the hip, move towards external rotation with the lead hip as they step outward as far as possible. Once the lead foot reaches the ground they will raise their opposite arm overhead and come across the midline of the body to reach the instep of their lead leg, the young athletes should follow this movement with their eyes until completion.

 

 

 

Reverse Lunge w/ X Reach

 

Have the athlete make a reverse lunge movement (that part is simple). While in this split stance they should reach with one hand to their opposite front pocket, move this arm across the midline of the body to an overhead position and rotate the torso. Again the athlete should follow the movement of their arms with their eyes. Do the same movement with the opposite arm and then reverse lunge with the other leg.

 

 

These modifications on traditional lunges will add multi direction skill and a more complete neuromuscular warm-up to your young athletes programs.

 

 

Making Your High School Athletes Better

 

High School Athletes Programming

 

High School Athletes

By Wil Fleming

 

Recently I gave some thought to how many questions arise when putting
together programming for high school athletes. Questions about general strength
training practices, how to prioritize training goals, and what to do for speed and
agility are all important, but the most basic of questions that need to be asked by
any coach is:

 

 

What should be included in the program for your high school athletes?

 

As coaches we are all probably very familiar with the elements of a successful high school program in their entirety, but what are the finer points that can take your program for high school over the top?

 

Allow me to share with you the best ways to differentiate your program from all the others by looking at each phase of a high school training session:

 

SMR:A place to impact the health of athletes

 

A pre-workout program should do the job of preparing the athlete for the coming training and to some extent helping them recover from their prior training or practices. Foam rolling or other form of self-myofascial release should be included and should be mandatory prior to beginning that day’s session. High school programs and other coaches are doing SMR as an afterthought, by clearly laying out expectations for your athletes they will get more out of this part of the workout and be healthier.

 

Warm-Up:Continuity creates a great environment

 

Continuity in warm-ups creates the atmosphere at AR Bloomington, so
we stick with one for 2 months or so before altering it. In this way athletes
have very clear expectations of them and nearly all are able to achieve
some level of mastery within the warm-up period. I have also found that
a consistent warm-up is one of the single best times to create a fun and
exciting environment for the athletes through lively and interactive conversation.

 

Specific Mobility:Individualization

 

Specific mobility and activation should be differentiated by sport, position,
or athlete. We should take into account common movement patterns within
the sport, assessment results and injury history when designing this for each
athlete or group. No matter the size of the group, it is important that this time
be differentiated to keep athletes healthy, this touch of individualization even
in a large group goes a long way to insuring your athletes know that you took
into account their needs

 

Dynamic and Explosive Training:A difference maker

 

Dynamic and explosive training should consist of plyometrics and medicine
ball throws. This is a time for athletes to train their nervous system and train
fast twitch muscle fiber. In a lot of settings dynamic training gets thrown together
as an afterthought and sometimes looks like no more than “box jumps”. Smart
programming with progressions moving from: single response, to multiple
response, to shock, and unilateral work can greatly improve results for your
champions.

 

Speed and Agility:Basics first

 

Training for speed and agility can be the biggest opportunity for your AR to
be successful but so many programs go about it in the wrong way. Remember
that as with any other form of training, a foundation of technique should form
the basis of your training. Running mindless drills with no foundation will not
lead to success for your AR. Start with static drills, move to dynamic, and
finally move to randomization. Equip your athletes with the knowledge of
how to sprint, and how to change direction and they will be far better off than
any dot drill can make them.

 

Strength training:Choose to be different

 

Typically our high school athletes will be training with us concurrently with
a program run by their high school so we must take this into account. At most
high schools, athletes are trained predominantly through pushing movements
(squats, bench press etc), like the bench press and squat leaving their entire
posterior chain at a deficit to their front-side musculature. Balance your athletes
out by programming more “pulling” than “pushing”.

 

Energy Systems Training: So much more than just running

 

Athletes are very familiar with running mile after mile or “gasser” after “gasser”.
Exposing athletes to innovative energy systems training by using different
implements e.g. kettlebells or medicine balls, and by using exact intervals to
elicit particular responses, shows creativity on your part, allows you to use
your space more efficiently, and will make you a savior to your champions.

 

Flexibility:A final time to teach

 

Whether from the coach or the athlete flexibility gets a bad rap. Although
not as buzzworthy as mobility, training athletes for flexibility will undoubtedly
be to their benefit, if only for its use as a cool down. As a coach the time for
flexibility is a time for a wrap up of the days events and reminders for
upcoming events. It is your final time to connect with athletes in that given
day. Use it well.

 

Using this framework for how you approach the programming of your
high
school athletes will help you get them more invested and excited to be a
part of your High School Athletes, and make them better.
Remember that we are here to Change Lives!

 

 

 

 

 

Coaching Young Athletes Back in The Trenches: Part 1

Coaching Young Athletes – Teaching Again

The funniest thing happened 3 weeks ago…

 

I decided to go back to the grassroots of where I started

Insert/edit linkCoaching Young Athletes

.

 

Now make no mistake, although my ‘full time’ coaching days are about 7 years in the rearview mirror, I’ve maintained a coaching schedule through the entire thick and thin of both developing and running the IYCA.

 

I’ve worked with volleyball clubs, high school football, soccer, track and baseball teams and even moonlighted occasionally as a guest speed and agility instructor for local youth sporting associations.

 

But this summer, I’m heading back to the trenches.

 

 

I met a very young (23), ambitious and capable Coach who owns his own facility not more than 15 minutes from my house – we started chatting and 3 weeks ago, I agreed to take a position as a ‘Coach’ at his up and coming training center.

 

No pay.

 

This time, ‘In the Trenches’ is because I love it, feel obligated (in a good way) to give back and don’t need the money in order to pay my bills.

 

So the summer of 2011 for me, will be back doing what I love most every day:

 

Making young athletes better people.

 

Job #1 has been to review this facility’s current training system and attend live sessions as an observer.

 

To see if there are holes.

 

To understand what is expected of the athletes and staff in this facility.

 

To appreciate what will be expected of me.

 

My first inspected conclusion was simple… For a 23 year old Coach, this guy has got his stuff together very well!

 

In fact, the experience of ‘watching to determine’ got me thinking that I should chronicle to you what this 23 year old does so well… Because most of it is inherent to his personality and not something he’s learned from a textbook, conference or DVD.

 

So consider these heartily as potential inclusions for yourself and your own coaching young athletes habits…

 

(1) Specific Instruction Time

 

Although not IYCA certified when we met, this particular 23 year already understood, embraced and implemented perhaps the most critical of all IYCA Tenants:

 

Don’t Train… Teach.

 

By simply feelings his way through the coaching process, this young man knew instinctively that young athletes are ‘works in progress’ and that the urge to ‘make tired through hard work’ must be tempered by the undeniable need to teach proper execution.

 

His facility is not ‘numbers’ oriented.

 

He does not appease the symptomotolgy requirements for what most consider the hallmarks of quality training with respect to young people (breathless, sweaty, can’t walk the next day).

 

Every one of his training sessions is methodical in the way he teaches complexity through simplicity, prior to implementing an exercise into a given routine.

 

I’ve been very heartened watching this and believe fully that more Coaches need to take an honest look at there programming methods with respect to proper instruction.

 

Come back tomorrow for ‘Part 2’…

 

Everything I Learned in 15 Years In the Trenches… Working With More Than 20,000 Young Athletes:

 

Click Here: https://completeathletedevelopment.com/

 

– Brian

 

Coaching Young Athletes

 

Sport Specific Youth Training: Part 1

Insert/edit linkYouth Training

For Sports

As a given sport evolves and the participants within that sport begin to break records and perform what was once considered impossible, you can be sure that advancements in training and conditioning regimes have occurred within that sport. Very few athletes ever become great sport technicians without the inclusion of a comprehensive athletic development and conditioning program as part of their training package. Over the past decade, the type of training and conditioning performed by young, developing and elite athletes has gone from basic fitness to more functionally- based and developmental activities. Figure skating and all of the disciplines under that umbrella are such examples.

 

Youth Training

 

For example, many training coaches prescribe that their skaters practice landing jumps and performing balance based skills (such as spirals) off the ice. On the other side of the spectrum, there are the ‘athletic developers’ who tend not to concern themselves with producing specified strength gains but instead work more directly at improving the complete athletic profile of the skater. The general conception among these professionals is that the greater degree of athleticism the skater has, the more likely he or she will be able to carry out athletic skills. While traditionalists often incorporate basic and conventional exercises into their training programs, the athletic developers come from a more movement based perspective. This style of conditioning is often referred to as ‘functional’ training, which is in fact a misnomer. Let’s examine that.

 

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Young Athletes & Motor Skill – Audio

Motor Skill Development & Young Athletes

 

The cornerstone of progressive training programs.

 

Enjoy this information on young athletes and please be sure to leave a comment below:

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Cross Fit Kids vs. IYCA

Kids Fitness Programming

by Dr. Kwame M. Brown

 

I had the pleasure today of observing an hour of a kids fitness’ program that, with a little work, could develop into a great program. 

 

The Kids Fitness Program

 

There were about 8 kids, aged about 6 – 11.  The program was written on a board ahead of time, and the instructors discussed it and made changes ahead of time.  They started out with some of the standard fare warm ups (jumping jacks, high knees, butt kicks).  The kids then moved to an “animal” based relay around cones.  They moved like bears, crabs, bunnies, and frogs.  From here, there was a 10 minute section of skill development, with instruction on bodyweight squats and shoulder presses (using light plastic sticks).  This was followed by a game called Cross Fit baseball, which amounted to themed stations:  burpees, box jumps, squats, shoulder presses (the two instructed exercises).  The kids went through several rounds of reps according to age (to make it fun).  Then there was a game called Four Corners where one child was blindfolded, picked a number, and pointed to a corner.  In each corner there were stations denoting a particular exercise, and the kids basically did a musical chairs type thing to get to random stations.  They stopped when the one who was choosing pointed to a corner.   The exercise was performed for the number of reps chosen, and it would start over. 

 

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