10 Things Athletes Need to Do!

1. Sprint. Full speed sprints from the get go! Don’t worry about jogging for miles and miles to get “in shape.” For some reason every athlete jogs but not every athlete sprints. Sports require you to be fast and explosive so why spend the majority of your time doing something that is slow like jogging? Get out there and sprint full speed 2-3 times per week. When I say full speed that is full speed with complete rest periods. If you want to get faster you have to run fast and you won’t run fast when your legs are heavy and you are huffing and puffing. Keep the large majority of your runs within the 10-40 yard range. If you are a lineman or an athlete who doesn’t sprint in their sport the large majority of the sprints should be in the 10-20 yard range. It is best for athletes to start with short sprints and gradually increase the distances they run week to week. If you are just starting a sprint program or in the beginning of the off-season the hill should be your best friend. Running on the hill helps to instill proper running mechanics and is less stressful to the hamstrings, which is critical early in the off-season.

sprint

Notice the straight line from head to toe. She is maximizing her ability to generate force by her sprint mechanics.

2. Find a sprint coach. “Oh it is so expensive!” Well then be slow. The best way to run fast is to learn how to sprint. Just because you can sprint doesn’t mean you are doing it correctly at all. Everyone can drive a car but how many people know how to drive a race car going over 200 MPH? FInd a sprint coach and go to them on a regular basis and you won’t be sorry.

sprint blocks

Everyone needs a sprint coach.

3. Squat. For some reason squats aren’t very popular. Probably because they hurt, make you sore, cry and turn you into a man. Athletes need to squat way more. 2 or 3 times per week. No athlete should be following a program that just does “legs” one day per week. Lower body days need to be happening frequently. Nothing will add size to your frame like squatting. Athletes want to gain 10 pounds in 3 months and do biceps three times per week. If you are one of those athletes, take a look at 3 things; first look at your biceps…go ahead i’m sure you do anyways. Ok now look at your butt, quads and hamstring. Now look at a 16 ounce steak and try and imagine putting 10 of them inside your biceps. Ya not going to happen. Hopefully you understand where I’m going with this. Your biceps are small (no matter how big they are) compared to your legs. And last time I checked your biceps don’t sprint.

squat low

Squat Low. Squat Often.

4. Learn about anatomy. Having an understanding of your body is invaluable to your development as a complete athlete. Every great athlete you will meet knows their anatomy.

basic muscles

Athletes should at least know these basic muscle groups.

5. Learn about nutrition. You should know what carbs, proteins and fats are if you plan on being a great athlete. It is surprising that most athletes don’t understand that fruit is a carbohydrate.

6. Drink water.

water benefits

7. Focus on your back. “How much you bench?” No one asks “How much you bent over row?” Well the truth is that if you want to have a great bench you need to have a strong back. Being strong, fast and explosive on the field is all about being balanced. So when you go to build yourself up you need to make sure you stay balanced and not overdevelop one area while neglecting another. Every great bencher you will see will also have a strong big back. Your back is your platform to press from so don’t neglect it.

stan 600+ pound bench

Stan “The Rhino” Efferding has a 600+ pound bench press and a massive back.

8. Focus on your backside. Everyone forgets about the muscles on the back of their body because they can’t see them in a mirror but they are pivotal for success in athletics. You need a strong backside to generate power. If you don’t have a strong backside you will crumble when you try to generate power and will be missing out on tons of performance because of it. Deadlifts, RDL’s, rows, pull-ups, back extensions, glute bridges and reverse hyperextensions are great exercises to strengthen your backside to improve performance.

sprint

The muscles on the backside (hamstrings, glutes, erectors) allow for the proper extension for sprint mechanics.

9. Train your abs for performance. The strongest men in the world (Strongman) don’t have six packs, yet they have the strongest abs in the world. Strongman competitors are able to produce that much force is because they have extremely strong abs. They carry heavy objects and constantly challenge their core in a functional manner. Athletes need to train their abs to resist movement and not create it. Planks, abs wheel roll outs, farmer walks, uneven carries and anti-rotation exercises are great ways to train your abs for performance.

KK abs

Konstantin Konstantinov has a 939 deadlift under his belt…oh wait he didn’t wear a belt when he did his 939 deadlift. Talk about some strong abs.

10. Jog. Oh wait athletes already do this. STOP JOGGING! STARTING SPRINTING!

runner vs. sprinter

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