Controlled body movement is important for athletes. You need to know how to handle your body so you can make and take critical moves on the court. Once you've developed control, then you can develop strength to ensure you're a formidable opponent.
Below, I break down a few simple rules that you can use in your weight room program for enhanced body control and strength.
Body Control Rules
- At the beginning of every session, remind yourself to focus on body movement, bodyweight power and speed.
- While Olympic lifts develop power, functional exercises work body control.
- Add more negatives (lowering the weight) and holds to your lifting program and progression.
- Performing stability exercises after a core-strengthening exercise will benefit your on-court game.
See the examples below for a core-strengthening exercise followed by a stability exercise.
Example: Barbell Squat to Single-Leg Squat Reach or Med Ball Lunge Matrix
Example: Bench Press to Push-Up
Example: Dumbbell Squat to Glute Bridge
You need to learn how to move your body with control before you perform Olympic lifts, which are more advanced and have a higher possibility of injury. First learn the basics, such as how to land softly and move in several directions, before you perform more advanced moves.
Dynamic Warm-Up — 15 Minutes
Perform High Knees, Lunge Matrix, Jogs and Acceleration Runs.
Bodyweight-Focused Movements — 30 Minutes
- Develop great movement and power by focusing on bodyweight exercises. Cone drills are particularly beneficial. Try five to 10 seconds of work at a 100 percent effort.
- Be sure your weight room focus is on lower-body strength. Use machines and other available equipment that will allow you to concentrate on the negative movement (lowering the weight) and then holding at the bottom before the concentric (lifting) action.
- Stay organized. Have five or six main lifts and superset them with a bodyweight stability exercise. Set up a timer using one-minute work rates: 30 seconds on the lift, 30 seconds on the bodyweight exercise and a 30-second transition period.
You will be amazed at the work you can accomplish by following a structured program. The results will speak for themselves.
Bryan Meyer, owner of B Meyer Training Center, is Dwight Howard's performance coach.
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