At Athletic Thinking we have a performance team of staff that can deliver support across all areas of your training programme, mental health, nutrition and body composition, education or professional life.
Our staff team has over 60 years of experience preparing and supporting junior and senior athletes to maximise their potential and to reach their goals. A significant area of strength is the physical training programmes we have implemented with athletes helping them to prepare for competition, return from injury and compete at the highest levels. You will no doubt have heard of many terms for training however we focus on Athletic Development. These programmes will certainly get you prepared, fit and strong for your sport but we will also look at many other areas of training to make sure you are fully prepared.
In this article we will discuss the building blocks of Athletic Development and what you should be doing right now to help you move forwards with your training.
Mobility and Flexibility
Once you have booked your first block of training with Athletic Thinking you will see that we prioritise the benefits that can be made from having full range of motion. With sports being played at high velocities and intensities through multiple planes of movement and at varying body heights, you need to be adaptable to dynamic situations without compromising movement quality. To achieve this, you need well-conditioned muscles and connective tissues that have good range and flexibility. We allot time in all sessions to restore muscle quality, gain range of movement and increase flexibility. We utilise a variety of methods to achieve this including active and dynamic stretching, PNF stretching and longer developmental static stretches.
Strength Training and Strength Training Technique
When loading well prepared muscle tissue, we must do so as effectively and as safely as possible. We aim to maximise the benefit you get from the time you put in. Regardless of your sport or life in general, being able to apply force with good technique and through a full range of motion will improve your performance. This is not purely about building muscle size and mass. Our primary aim is coaching you how to move well. This will be achieved by following classic progressions of slow to fast, unloaded to loaded, linear to lateral. We will build strengthand use movements, lifts and methods that are appropriate to you, ensuring you recover and adapt between sessions. We utilise integrated strength training techniques that can fit in as part of your sports training programme or as part of a busy schedule.
Once you have developed appropriate strength our performance coaches will make sure you can express it effectively. We give time in our sessions to reduce and produce force through appropriate jumping and plyometric progressions that will work you through liner and lateral planes and full body movements. We will challenge you to speed up and slow down as effectively as you can in a way that is applicable to your sport.
Movement, Running Mechanics and High-Speed Running
No doubt on your bus to school or daily commute to work you will see many people out walking and running. We all assume we can run, simply moving arms and legs quicker but how are we achieving this movement? Are these people moving efficiently through their range without wasting effort or is their body ‘finding a way’ despite current limitations that will only lead to injury or joint pain in the future. Our Performance programmes and packages at Athletic Thinking give the opportunity for individual assessment and analysis. Our programmes build strength in relevant postures that apply and transfer to your environment, you will not simply be stuck in the gym. We build developing athletes from the ground up with fundamental movements, such as crawling and tumbling, where we apply the coordination learnt to running mechanics and the concepts of stiffness and movement efficiency across sports.
To make sure you can be ahead of the competition, work harder for longer and recover quicker, we utilise mixed methods of aerobic and anaerobic conditioning. We can help you assess your current levels of fitness, prescribe blocks of training, and assess your progress to make sure you keep working towards your goals. Practical experience has given our coaches a strong understanding of many conditioning methods including; cardiac output training, maximum aerobic speed conditioning (MAS), and repeated high intensity efforts (RHIEs). We apply our methods to your sport whether it is on the track, field or court, bike or in the water and can utilise various modalities of session monitoring to make sure you reach your desired training levels.
At Athletic Thinking we will progress all building blocks of athletic development appropriately based on your current training status, injury history and stage of maturation. Book your next training block at athleticthinking.com to get started.
In the meantime, you can start to find your limitations right now using the following initial Physical Competency Assessment:
- Seated Glute Flexibility –
- Sit up nice and tall on a chair with hands by your side.
- Cross one leg over the other, resting your ankle just above the knee on your opposite leg.
- If your leg naturally sits well above 90 degrees, start working on hip flexibility.
- Ankle Knee to Wall
- Place a ruler on the floor in front of a flat wall. Avoid skirting boards, using a door can work well.
- Lightly place your foot on the ruler with toes against the wall, touch your knee to the wall.
- Gradually slide your foot back and see if you can touch your knee to the wall with your hips staying square and heel staying down.
- If you are below 7-8cm or uneven bilaterally start working on ankle mobility.
- Double Leg Squat
- Video yourself performing 5 double leg squats, lowering to 90 degrees at the knee each time.
- Have a look at the video and check your knees stay out over your toes, that your heels stay down and your chest up
- If any of the above points is compromised start working on your mobility and strength.
- In Line Lunge
- Again, using the video, step forward on one leg, bend your front knee and lower your back to knee to just above the floor. Drive back in one step and perform 5 reps in a row before switching legs.
- Reviewing the video, have a look at your hip knee and ankle alignment, make sure your hips do not kick out to the side and can you push back in one step.
- Jump and Stick
- Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, film yourself jumping forwards 60cm and landing on two feet. Step back and perform 3 jumps in total.
- Like your squat, we are aiming for good hip, knee and ankle alignment at take-off and landing and the ability to absorb and then brace upon landing.
- If you are struggling to land in a controlled way, you may need to work on your strength however if this was easy move to a single leg jump.
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