Monday, September 1, 2014

Iron Cross Stretch Lowers Hip and Low Back Injury Risks

Use the "iron cross" stretch to improve your hip and low back flexiblity and reduce injury risks.

With flexible hips and low back, you will be able to move more fluidly as an athlete and your speed will improve.

How to Do the Iron Cross Stretch

1. Make sure to keep your shoulders pressed to the ground at all times. This will give you maximum stretch in your hip.

2. Lie on your back then take one leg straight overhead and bring across your body down to ground. Don't "log roll" your body as you lower your leg! If you can't touch the ground, do the best you can until your flexibility improves. Hold stretch 20-30 seconds.

Many of you will not be able to touch your toe on the ground.....that's okay, you can do this stretch every day to improve your flexibility.

Be sure and download your Free Bodyweight 500 Metabolic Fat Burner Workouts and start shaping your body faster!  There are 3 levels:  beginner, intermediate and advanced.  Start at your level and progress.

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Sports Fitness Hut

Monday, August 4, 2014

10 Exercises to Improve Running Speed

If you want to improve your speed and power, you need to work at getting faster. It doesn't just happen. It doesn't have to be complicated workouts, just simple things like these tips and 10 exercises:

1. Starting and acceleration speed is critical during games because you rarely reach maximum speed. Work on quick start drills and plyometric power exercises like squat jumps, long jumps and box jumps (pictured below).

When you do box jumps, the platform needs to high enough to challenge you, but not too high. From an athletic stance, bend your hips and knees and swing your arms back to gather momentum.

Explosively jump onto the box and hold for a second. Step off the box. That's one repetition. Repeat for 6-8 repetitions.

2. Work on your running mechanics every day. Wasted motion and bad running technique will stop you from improving.

3. Strengthen and condition your hips, glutes, thighs and hamstrings. These groups make up your athletic "power center."  Clock or 3-D Lunges work well here.

4. Keep your hips loose and flexible by doing exercises like leg swings (pictured below). Tight hip flexors will cause problems to other areas such as the glutes.

5. "Powerize" your running with exercises like power step ups and squat jumps. Other single leg exercises like lunges are great because single leg exercises use the same pathways that it takes to run.

6. Run fast! You get faster by training fast.  If you play a sport, do your practice drills at full speed.

7. Make squatsdeadliftsgood morningsglute/ham drops and hang cleans regular exercises in your routine.

8. Strengthen your core every day. Exercises like planks, side planks and bridges can be done every day. A strong core is important for speed endurance.

If you will do these simple things on a regular basis, your running speed will improve. You will probably need the help of a professional trainer to make sure you are doing things right. 

Train hard and smart!

Download your FREE 10-Minute Strength and Power Workouts now!

Other things being equal, a muscular, powerful athlete will outperform a fat, slower or skinny, weaker athlete. Sports Fitness Hut's Fat Blaster Athletic Power Training System will give you your "lean and mean" athletic machine!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Sports Fitness Hut