How to Train For My Sport
Training for sport can cover a lot of different variables, this is especially the case when looking to enhance our sporting performance. Sport and resistance training can go hand in with one another, it is mostly about finding a good balance between the two, this will ultimately determine how efficient we become. When the end goal is to better perform at a sport, we have to be smart with our approach whilst in the gym, in order to reap the rewards in our arena. We will discuss this in more detail below.
First of all I would like to say I am not going to aim this blog at any particular sport, I am simply going to give an oversight into how resistance training can help sport in general and also some of the techniques you can use to enhance a broad range of sports. We will discuss some of the key benefits training with weights can bring and some practices you may wish to implement in order to improve your sporting performance.
Training with weights builds strength! Now not only does it build muscular strength but also in the surrounding areas. This can include ligaments & tendons, stabilising muscles and within the core. When we train with weights it is very easy for us to forget these things and solely focus on the bodybuilding element but as is the case with a lot of things, lifting weights can provide you with so much more.
Resistance training not only builds strength, but it can also make us quicker and more powerful, track athletes for years have been some of the biggest and strongest guys at the Olympics. Speed x strength equals power! Athletes have known this for years. Their individual training programs will include resistance training, they will as part of their workout regimes use a wide array of weighted exercises. They will use predominately compound movements, movements that focus on strengthening multiple muscle groups, movements such as squats, cleans, deadlifts will all be involved. Not only will they focus on strength but also speed, this speed adding to the strength element will create the explosive power. The type of power you see an Olympic sprinter using from the start line.
When we use resistance training and compound movements specifically, we not only develop our strength but we will also improve things like our joint mobility/flexibility and our ability to move efficiently (economy of movement). Now for such people that compete in endurance sports I.E long distance running this can be hugely beneficial. Long distance and endurance athletes have been known to pick up injuries, it’s hard not to when they put in so many miles. These injuries can however be made less often, with the help of resistance training you can not only strengthen the muscles but also the joints and surrounding areas relating to these injuries. Compound exercises such as squats & deadlifts should be included in all these athletes programmes, as their ability to not only strengthen the muscles but the joints, ligaments and tendons as well, can lead to not just less time spent injured but also better performance.
So we have spoken about such strength benefits, we have spoken about the benefits to our joints, tendons, ligaments etc, but there is one we haven’t yet discussed. The core is a very important element in all sports, it should be of no surprise to anyone that a strong core will benefit a whole array of sportsmen and woman. A strong core and trunk will provide a stable platform for all athletes to build their capabilities around and could sometimes be the difference between some of the very best. Next we will talk about the core and we will link it to a sport.
I play a lot of golf and believe it or not, gone are the days when golfers used to be out of shape and unfit. Today we see golfers hitting monstrous 350 yard + drives and in my mind there is no doubt fitness and training with weights has played a huge part. In golf you need a good, strong core, it really is the piston that turns on an axis to give you the power to hit long shots. So how do we get that strong core? Simply by training it, golfers these days will squat, they will deadlift and they will bench but not only that, they will give their core a specific individual focus. Exercises such as landmine twists, wood chopping on a machine and russian twists could all be included. Bodyweight exercises like the plank, leg raises and the dead bug are also great ways to strength the core. Without this ability coming from the mid-section, a golfer would not be able to generate the power required to play some of these shots, hence why a strong core is paramount in not just golf but if not all sport.
So in summary resistance training can help your sporting performance. It can make you stronger, faster and more efficient. There are a lot of sports and a lot of sporting personnel that could benefit from training using weight. Not only your sport but your body can benefit in the long run, don’t be the one to be left behind because you didn’t start when the rest did. Lift weights to be better at sport, to have a more capable, efficient and able body. Not only for muscle and size but for strength, power, speed, mobility, efficiency and health. Using weights could really be the difference your sport needs in order to take you to that next level.