Today’s world of professional sports is producing athletes that are faster, stronger, and better than they were a century ago. While the human body hasn’t changed much, the improved performance of modern athletes can be attributed to advances in science and technology. The development of sports medicine in the past century has enhanced our understanding of how the human body works.
Rigorous training programs and physical fitness trends such as sports conditioning push the human mind and body to its limits, boosting athletic performance. Gruelling and high-pressure training techniques help athletes build strength, and boost speed and stamina. Sports conditioning is one of the most popular strategies used to enhance physical performance, produce stronger and faster athletes, and reduce sports injuries.
What is Sports Conditioning?
Sports conditioning is a performance-enhancement fitness program that helps athletes gain an edge over their competition. It consists of exercises and training techniques that aim to boost the athlete’s strength, endurance, flexibility, and speed. The fitness program implements the Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands (SAID) principle, exerting a gradual increase of stress upon the athlete’s body to build up their resistance and help them acclimate to challenging circumstances.
In addition to building strength, resistance, and speed, sports conditioning programs help athletes minimize sports trauma. The training exercises strengthen the athlete’s muscles and promote more flexibility in their tendons and ligaments to protect their body from injuries. Strengthening muscles and developing more flexibility in the joints will reduce sprains, strains, and fractures during sports and exercise.
Below, we will walk you through the most popular sports conditioning and physical fitness trends to teach you how to enhance your athletic performance and reduce sports-related injuries.
Sprinting is an activity in which you run as fast as you can over a short distance in a limited time. Sprinting is traditionally performed at distances ranging from 60 meters to 400 meters. As well as enhancing your power and agility, sprinting is also a weight-bearing exercise, which helps strengthen your bones, and improve your balance and coordination.
The incorporation of sprinting into a sports conditioning training program strengthens the fast-twitch muscle fibers of your legs, which enable you to move with force. Power is an asset to every athlete, and sprinting can help you build power by strengthening your musculoskeletal system. Sprinting is a great activity to build power and speed.
Athletes that move with explosive power will always beat their competition. One of the most effective ways to boost athletic performance and enhance physical strength is through the body weight resistance exercise of plyometrics. Plyometrics is a shock training exercise that requires athletes to jump, hop, or skip, using the stretch-shortening cycle of their ankle muscles.
The rapid expansion and contraction of muscle fibers will promote stronger muscles, resulting in more explosive and powerful movements. Studies have shown that plyometrics can enhance power, strength, and speed in athletes. Plyometrics is one of the most effective sports conditioning methods to improve athletic performance.
Medicine balls are exercise balls that can weigh anywhere from four to twenty pounds. These weighted balls are used in training programs to improve strength and speed. Training with medicine balls is not a new physical fitness trend. The incorporation of medicine balls into training programs has been practiced for decades by strength and sports conditioning coaches to boost overall body explosiveness.
Medicine balls are an important tool to help athletes develop sports-specific power. The low-load and versatile object can be used to mimic the body movements of an athlete in an actual sports activity. Athletes can use the medicine ball to simulate baseball swings, basketball passes, and soccer throw-ins. Medicine balls can be incorporated into most resistance and power training programs to enhance strength, coordination, and agility.
Strength training is the foundation of every sports conditioning program and is necessary to produce great athletes. The push/pull/carry physical fitness trend is a strength-training activity that can help athletes boost power, endurance, and muscle mass during the off-season. The method involves picking up heavy objects, and pushing, pulling, or carrying the object around with you for as long as you can bear.
The football and wrestling sports communities commonly employ the push/pull/carry method to grow bigger and stronger athletes. The method exerts tremendous stress on your body and shocks your central nervous system, triggering your body to produce more muscle. The push/pull/carry strategy is a great way to build endurance, extra muscle, and explosive power.
Sports Conditioning Boosts Athletic Performance
Sports conditioning fitness programs build power, boost strength, increase agility, and enhance your overall performance. While delivering plenty of physical benefits, an ill-designed performance enhancement program exerts too much stress on your body and causes musculoskeletal injuries.
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