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5 Simple Exercises that Increase Athletic Performance
As as fitness professionals, we all know that being an athlete requires many elements that include speed, body control, power, strength, core, mental toughness, conditioning, endurance, awareness, focus, determination, commitment and a strong desire to win. And that’s just a very partial list of what it takes!
Imagine what it takes to be an elite and/or pro athlete. Those athletes take all of the above and multiply it by a million. However, the one common denominator in every athlete (no matter what level they are) is that they need and want to be better EVERY DAY!
Every athlete has different strengths and weaknesses, every athlete has a set of exercises that they love and certain ones that they hate, and every athlete is always looking for an edge. Every athlete wants to win and every athlete wants to be better mentally, emotionally, and of course physically. Coaching athletes requires us to preach the gospels of “loving the daily grind” and the “love of exercise,” and we need to constantly be on the lookout for ways to push our athletes outside of their comfort zone so that they can excel to the next level.
Here are 5 basic exercises that are staples in each of my sessions for all my athletes at MZR Fitness that help maximize results and improve athletic performance.
Dumbbell Step Ups: Stand up straight while holding a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing the side of your legs). Place the right foot on the elevated platform. Step on the platform by extending the hip and the knee of your right leg. Use the heel mainly to lift the rest of your body up and place the foot of the left leg on the platform as well. Breathe out as you come up. Step down by flexing the hip and knee of the other leg as you inhale. Return to the original standing position to complete the repetition. (2 Sets of 12 Reps on each leg.)
Calf Raises (in place): Rest your hands against a wall or a sturdy object for balance. Raise your heels a few inches above the edge of the step so that you’re on your tiptoes. Hold the position for a moment, and then lower your heels below the platform, feeling a stretch in your calf muscles. (2 Sets of 25 Reps.)
Lateral Jumps: Start standing with your feet hip-width apart and sit back into a shallow squat position. Dip your knees, then hop off both feet and move to your right and then quickly hop back to the other side. Continue jumping back and forth to complete the set. (2 Sets of 8 Reps in each direction.)
Pull-Ups: Grab a bar shoulder width with your palms facing down. Hang and then raise your feet off the floor by bending your knees. Hang with straight arms. Pull yourself up by pulling your elbows down to the floor. Keep your elbows close. Pull yourself all the way up until your chin passes the bar. Lower yourself all the way down until your arms are straight. Breathe and repeat the sequence. (2 Sets of 5 Reps.)
Backpedal, Turn and Sprint (Using Cones): Place three cones, five to 10 yards apart in a straight line. Facing away from cone one. Backpedal to cone two. Pivot 180 degrees on left foot to face cone three. Sprint to cone three. Perform set in opposite direction. (3 Sets of 5.)
About the Author
Mike Z. Robinson is the owner of the highly successful personal training facility, MZR Fitness as well as Mike Z. Robinson Enterprises which features & highlights a myriad of options to help fitness professionals grow their businesses and careers. Mike was the 2015 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, is the author of the E-Book: “Fitness Up, Everything Up”, and he is also a Media Spokesperson for both the American Council on Exercise & IDEA Health & Fitness Association.