Sports Training and Fitness Tips
Whether you’ve been an athlete your entire life, or you are just beginning to work out, these exercise and sports training tips provided by JumpUSA are great for any workout and every individual.
Many people believe jumping is all in the legs. But take a look at all the great leapers such as Michael Jordan, Darius Miles, and Kenyon Martin. They all have one thing in common: low percentage of body fat, abs of steel, and strong backs. Even with strong calves, jumping high is not possible if not supported by strong abs and back muscles, otherwise known as your core muscles.
Medicine Ball training is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your abs and lower back. Here are three of the most killer exercises you can do with a Medicine Ball which strengthen your abs and back:
1. Crunches – Medicine Ball near or on your forehead, knees bent, back on the floor. Come up halfway to your knees and go back down without touching your back on the ground.
2. Russian Trunk Twist – Back on the ground, arms spread out, medicine ball between knees. Rotate knees from left to center to right.
3. Forward throw – Hold the Medicine ball behind your head and throw over your head forwards.
Static stretching, in which you move into an exaggerated position and hold it, temporarily weakens your muscles. But there is evidence to suggest that stretching can also increase strength, if you add weight to it. Try this trick, and you’ll instantly increase your pullup power.
Here’s what to do: After your first set of pullups, rest, and then grab onto the bar again as if you were going to begin another set. Just hang there for 15 seconds, concentrating on the stretch in your lats. Now let go of the bar and rest 30 seconds. Afterward, begin your next set of pullups. We bet you’ll be able to get a few more reps, or, if you’re doing weighted pullups, you’ll be able to add a little more weight. Stretching a muscle with resistance (in this case, your body weight in a dead hang) creates elastic energy in the muscles and tendons that’s stored until your next set. When you begin your next pullup, the energy will be released and propel you upward, like a boost from an invisible hand.
Sprint training is becoming a new way to train. Recent studies are finding great results in very little time. In fact, one study found that just 6 sessions of 4-7 all-out 30 second sprints (with 4 minutes of recovery) could be as effective in improving cardiovascular fitness as an hour of daily moderate activity.
The subjects in one study showed and amazing 100% increase in endurance capacity (from 26 minutes to 51 minutes) whereas the control group showed no change. In another study by the same researchers, subjects improved their time trail performance by nearly 10% in the two weeks.
These short bouts of intense exercise improved muscle health and performance comparable to several weeks of traditional endurance training. The muscles of the trained group also showed a significant increase in citrate synthase (a marker of the tissue’s ability to utilize oxygen).
The following sprint workout can be done running, swimming, cycling or just about any other way you can think of. Due to the intensity, make sure to check with your doctor before beginning. It’s also easier to begin this workout if you have some base fitness already. Launching into a sprint program will be difficult and cause muscle soreness if you haven’t done much before.
Allow at least one day between workouts (for recovery).
Three times per week perform the following routine:
- Warm up with easy exercise of about 5-10 minutes. Perform the same exercise you will be using for your sprints.
- Perform an all-out 30 second sprint effort. You should be pushing yourself to the max for each one.
- Recover for 2 to 4 minutes by slowing to a comfortable pace, but keep moving. This can be an easy jog or a walk, depending upon your fitness.
- Perform another 30 second all-out sprint.
- Repeat the recovery/sprint routine 4-8 times depending upon your level and ability. For your first workout, you will want to stop at 4 sprints. That’s fine. Try to build up to 8.
The goal is to do this work out six times (two weeks).
If you like your results, you can continue longer. But it’s a good idea to vary your routine every few months, and throughout the year. This type of workout is intense, and you may need to take a break and perform some longer slow workouts for a while. Feel free to modify the routine as you like; see for yourself what works best for you.
Sprint training offers an option for those who don’t have much time for exercise, but still want to improve their cardiovascular system. While this type of training is demanding and requires a high level of motivation, it can lead to dramatic improvements in a short period of time. *Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning this sort of program.