Get Ready to twist, lunge, and chop yourself into a STRONGER ATHLETE!
Runners Run. Cyclists Bike. Swimmers swim. Triathletes throw it all into the mix. And while we’d all benefit from strength training, it’s often difficult to squeeze in extra workouts when you passion lies outside the weight room.
I get it. Im an endorphin junkie 110%. And I’d much rather get outside for a run than hit the weight room. But I’ve learned that a small investment in strength training goes a LONG way in improving performance and preventing injury.
Functional strength training can be life changing for endorphin junkies like me. This type of training aims to replicate motions found in an athlete’s primary sport – like swinging a tennis racquet or kicking a soccer ball – but with a more holistic approach to how the body ACCOMPLISHES the action. Exercise physiologist, Pete McCall, describes the body as one muscle – with 600 pockets. “The muscles work in a coordinated effort” he says.
Endurance athletes often develop weaknesses in the core muscles that stabilize the spinal cord and promote balance and coordination between the sides of the body. Functional strength training improves those weaknesses with exercises that emphasize unrestrained motion.
Unlike traditional weight training, the most functional strength training for an endurance athlete takes place in the vertical position – the same way you run. The exercises usually involve some kind of twisting to engage the core and medicine balls or exercise bands to provide resistance.
The GREAT news is you dont need a lot of time to see results. Just 20 to 30 minutes twice a week is usually enough – remember anything COUNTS. A little bit goes a long way towards reducing injury and maintaining your athletic longevity.
Want to get started building a stronger core to support the sports you adore? Check out my latest YouTube video for functional strength, “Minutes to a Stronger Core with the Medicine Ball”. This 8 minute series will take you through several core strengthening exercises with a medicine ball. Get ready to twist, lunge, and chop your body into tip top shape for your favorite sports! Click HERE to view the video.
What are YOUR favorite functional strength training exercises? Have you tried my YouTube series? Any requests or thoughts?