We all have a little athlete inside of us. Some more than others. But the fact is the more athletic you are at any age, the better muscle control, rhythm, dynamic balance, agility, coordination and quicker reaction or response time to unexpected occurrences, you will be able to demonstrate.
The key to getting more athletic comes down to following a 3-part training approach. When implemented, it will guarantee anyone can train like an athlete no matter their athletic history, age, gender or fitness level.
How to Train Like an Athlete
Step #1: Get Movement Control
I know that when most of my adult fitness clients first hear me say that I am going to work on getting them more athletic, they instantly get nervous. However, what they don’t realize about training athletically, is that it should happen in a safe, progressive manner. The first step in that progression is to get movement CONTROL.
Any movement that does not have control is out of control. Athletes that are out of control get injured. Therefore, training to become more athletic must begin with slow, controlled shorter amplitude movements using a low to moderate resistance to master the movement pattern.
Sports require you to move in many different ways and so should your exercises. Once you get control of a movement in one direction feel free to tweak direction, base of support or resistance. Fortunately resistance bands are not gravity dependent. Therefore, they allow you to perform exercises in any pattern the body can go.
Plus, with the ascending resistance that a band has, you can conveniently and efficiently increase resistance without changing bands. Lastly, most exercises are on your feet, so you can quickly move your feet around to change up your base of support. The good news is, there really isn’t a movement resistance bands can’t be apply to.
Step #2: With Control, Next Comes Rhythm
Any movement can be done with great CONTROL as long as you manage the speed of the movement. However, what typically happens is as that movement becomes more controlled, people love the feeling and want to repeat the movement over and over again.
This creates the next phase of being athletic which is RHYTHM. Having rhythm means you have “burnt in the movement pattern.” This means muscles are starting to become programmed to work together to help you move with greater strength and power.
Rhythm is definitely the next step to getting athletic once control of an exercise is mastered. When you have rhythm it means you now have mastered a particular movement to the point where you become somewhat automatic.
In the athletic world that’s called REACTION. It’s what allows athletes to perform movements effortlessly and without much conscious thought, if any.
Step #3: Rhythm Opens Up the Door To Add Speed
For most fitness enthusiasts, reactive training is a level of progression few ever think about. However, when you start to train with resistance bands it becomes an automatic effect because you can change speeds during a rep. This is not possible strength training with free weights. It’s what eventually leads to greater dynamic balance and stability as band training continues.
As mentioned, band reactive training allows you to challenge the body to move faster. When it comes to training athletically, speed is where most fitness enthusiasts start to get nervous. However, speed is relative to you. As we age we get slower, but that doesn’t mean we can’t attempt to exercise faster.
What’s cool is that with resistance bands, you can do that without even trying because of the ascending progressive resistance of a band.
Bands allow speed to be instantly changed during every rep.
For the average fitness enthusiast who wants to simply move better and get stronger, creating greater exercise rhythm will probably be more than what they need to do to feel more athletic. However, for those that want to change up speeds, resistance bands offer that option with every exercise.
The awesome thing is that for most people that train with bands regularly, changing rep speed happens naturally as movement control and rhythm improve.
Here is how you can use bands to get more athletic by following this 3 Stage Approach
Training athletically should not scare those who want to try it. Training with resistance bands and understanding the progressive concepts of Control, Rhythm and Relative Speed, allows anyone to start bringing out the athlete inside of them.
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