Ten Ways To Be More Athletic


Training to look good is a worthy pursuit. But it’s also cool to have some “go” with all that “show.”

Here’s how to be better at all that moving around, running and jumping stuff.

1 – Train Explosively

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Slow, grinding reps have their place. But make sure you include some plyometric exercise into your training. To begin with, medicine ball slams or throws, jumps onto a low box are a great start.

2 – Learn To Throw A Punch

A punch looks simple, but it’s a perfect expression of synchronised movement through the whole body, involving hip and leg extension, torso twisting and extension through the arm and shoulder. A decent boxing class will give you the basics in one session.

3 – Maintain Your Range of Motion

The sixty year old you would trade their best ever bench press numbers or lowest ever body fat for the ability to move pain free through a full range of motion. Simply sitting in a deep squat, for even 30 seconds, and moving around in the position, will do a lot to help you achieve that.

4 – Break Out of The Box

Most weight training is in the sagittal plane (forward to backward movement like squats) whereas anything athletic tends to happen through multiple planes. Your training should include rotation, lateral movements and single limb exercises.

5 – Vary Your Reps

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Quick exercise science lesson: When we discuss planning training over the long term, we’re talking about periodisation. There are two main kinds of periodisation: Linear and conjugate. In linear, you stay in one rep range, let’s say 8-10 reps, for a period of 4-6 weeks, before moving to a different rep range, usually lower with heavier weights. This is useful for athletes peaking for an event.

For most people, the conjugate method is better. This is where you vary your reps within the workout, rather than over time. So you might start with one or two exercises in the heavy range (3-6 reps), then move on to two more exercise in the 8-12 range, and finish with some high rep work (15+)

6 – Stretch Your Hip Flexors Day

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They hate you and want to ruin your life.

7 – Learn A New Skill

It doesn’t matter what. You could try rock climbing, a martial art, yoga. Think of Apollo Creed training Rocky for the Clubber Lang fight: “You’ve gotta move and stretch your body in ways it never has before” CUT TO Stallone doing really ugly butterfly strokes and dancing like a knob.

8 – Utilise Deload Weeks

You don’t have to get complicated with this. Advanced athletes will schedule a lower-volume training week every 4-6 weeks. That’s probably not you, but if you’ve been training hard four days a week and start to feel tired and beaten up, scale it back for a week. You should still move, but replace a couple of days with something restorative like swimming or yoga.

9 – Sprint

Even better: Hill sprint. This is not “running”, it’a closer to weight training. Find a distance of about 30 metres, sprint it. Walk back, take a rest, go again. Start with 5 sets once or twice a week and build up to 10.

10 – Test Yourself

Nothing will ever push you like a deadline and a competition. There’s something out there for everyone, be it a 5k run, a weightlifting competition, a white collar boxing match or even a photo shoot with your shirt off. Put it in the diary and get training.

 

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