This article was provided by Coaches Network
No matter what sport you coach, you are responsible for develop an offseason and in-season strength and conditioning for your team athletes. An article on the Ohio University Online Master of Coaching Education website lists five exercises that are essential for every coach’s strength and conditioning program regardless of the sport they coach.
Squats are a critical lower-body strength training experience because they focus on improving the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes, as well as the core/trunk. The article provides the following tips to ensure that your athletes squat properly:
• Stand straight with feet hip width apart and a neutral spine
• Keep your core tight and engaged throughout the movement
• Lower down as though you’re sitting into a chair
• Make sure your knees stay in line with your feet; they should never go in front of your toes
• Focus on lowering until your thighs are parallel to the ground
• Once you reach the bottom of your squat, drive your body back upwards in a fluid motion until you reach the neutral standing position again
This is tremendous exercise to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Follow these steps to perform the perfect plank:
• Start in either straight arm plank position or the forearm plank position. For the straight arm position, your hands should be in line with your shoulders; For the forearm position, you will be on your forearms with your elbows in line with your shoulders and forearms out in front
• Keep your spine straight and neutral, so that your body forms a perfect line from head to toe
• Make sure your neck is also neutral and that you’re looking straight down, not up or side to side
• Keep your core tight and engaged, pulling your ab muscles back towards your spine instead of letting them push out and toward the ground
You can start by doing 30 second planks and then gradually increase the amount of time you hold the position. Once you’re comfortable with the standard plank, try adding in different variations, such as side planks to target your obliques or alternating from being on your hands to your forearms throughout the duration of your hold.
This is an explosive full-body exercise. Here are the instructions for proper execution:
• Start in a standing position with feet hip width apart, spine neutral and your arms at your sides
• Crouch down with your hands touching the ground, then jump back into a plank position
• Once in plank, perform a full push-up with your chest touching the ground, then immediately push back up into plank
• Jump your feet back up to your hands so you’re back in the crouching position
• Explode upward into a straight body jump
The burpee does a lot for the body—It targets both your upper and lower body while keeping the core fully engaged, and gets your heart rate up through its powerful explosiveness. It’s cardio and strength all rolled into one tight movement. Try adding in three sets of 15 to your next workout.
The major benefit of this exercise is that it teaches your muscle fibers to fire from start to finish, and your working both your upper and lower body. You can perform Thrusters with a barbell or two dumbbells. Here are the steps to follow:
• Begin by standing straight and tall with a neutral spine
• Keep the barbell or dumbbells at shoulder height, as though you were going to perform a shoulder press
• Drop into a squat, then immediately stand back up
• As soon as you’re back in standing position, take the barbell or dumbbells into a shoulder press
• Bring the barbell or dumbbells back down to starting position to complete the exercise
This is a great move for anyone wanting maximum results in minimal time.
The article says that a recent study found that people who do sprints were able to burn fat for two hours longer after exercise completion than those who didn’t. Think that running isn’t for you? Don’t worry. The article suggests that athletes jump on the treadmill at the end of their workout and tack on an extra 10 minutes of sprinting, alternating 30 seconds of all out sprinting with 30 seconds of rest.