To be successful in your sport, you must be able to move quickly and powerfully while maintaining balance and control of your body. Traditional training focuses on improving overall strength. It rarely combines speed, quickness, agility and power in a manner specific to sports performance. But if you train your body to be fast, powerful and agile with movement-based training, you'll be a better athlete.
At TrueFitness in San Diego, we strive to improve athleticism through movement training. Rarely stationary and never slow, movement training is designed to get athletes moving better while improving their speed and power. This type of training improves performance, because it considers the requirements of specific sports and focuses on what most enhances the skills of each—e.g., jumping, change of direction, deceleration, etc.
Movement training exercises train you to move with speed and power, but never at the expense of body control. Once athletes lose control of their bodies, they lose all athleticism.
"Train quick to be quick" and "training to move better so we are better." These statements reflect the core values of movement training. TrueFitness Performance Conditioning believes this is how future athletes will train and dominate their sports.
Below are three basic exercises I recommend to improve your athleticism. View the video at the end of the post to see them in action.
O.B.U. [Out, Back, Up]
- Assume athletic position
- Broad jump forward as far as possible
- Backpedal to start position
- Jump straight up for height
- Repeat pattern for specified reps
We vary the reps based on the athlete, the current situation and the goal. I like performing four sets on most exercises. The first set functions as a memory jogger. In each of the three remaining sets, we increase the speed and intensity.
Set up three plyo boxes in a row, four feet apart
- Assume athletic position with center box five yards in front
- Sprint to center box
- Shuffle to left box and jump onto box; land softly
- Hop down from box and shuffle to center box
- Backpedal to start position; repeat drill to right
- Repeat for specified reps in alternating fashion
Sets/Reps: 4x3-5 each way
Performing three reps focuses more on pure power and speed development. Five reps improves conditioning and the anaerobic threshold, so your muscles can continue performing powerful movements without succumbing to fatigue.
Sprint Pyramid Box Jump
- Assume athletic position with plyo box 10 yards in front and one yard to right
- Sprint 10 yards and turn towards box
- Jump onto box; land softly
- Hop down from box and sprint to start position
- Turn and repeat for specified reps adding one Box Jump each time until five jumps are reached
- Perform set in opposite direction
Sets/Reps: 4x pyramid: 1x1; 1x2; 1x3; 1x4; 1x5
We typically perform this in a pyramid fashion, starting at one jump and adding another with each set until we reach five jumps. This trains agility and power while fatigued, increases conditioning and helps maintain body control when you are worn down physically and mentally.
Spencer Aiken is the president and CEO of TrueFitness [San Diego], a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a Twist Master Coach. He has used his educational and fitness background to create a revolutionary training style that focuses on training athletes like athletes. He invented the Catalyst Performance System, a sports performance training apparatus for resistance, plyometric and strength training. He can be reached via email or at his website, truefitnessusa.com.
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