A key component of speed and change-of-direction ability is hip flexibility, which allows an athlete to achieve effective power angles and explode through the ground when cutting. It’s no wonder that one of the fastest athletes in the NBA focuses on this athletic attribute. During the off-season, Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade performs dynamic movements to increase the range of motion through his hips and groin. “One of the issues [Dwyane] had last year was tightness in the hips, IT band and glute area,” says Tim Grover, Dwyane’s off-season strength coach. “So, between his simulated jumps, we need to make sure all of those areas are staying loose.”
Many athletes have come across resistance bands without knowing how to actually use them. To the untrained eye, they look like simple rubber tubes, which don’t seem as challenging as a set of dumbbells or a barbell. However, resistance bands can be used for strength training just as effectively as traditional dumbbells—with arguably more versatility. Below are three exercises with their resistance band counterparts, along with tips on how to increase intensity. Dumbbell Bench Press = Resistance Band Chest Press The Dumbbell Bench Press is a gym favorite with many young athletes—and for good reason. It develops strength in the chest, one of the largest, most powerful muscle groups in the body. When you alternate arms or work one side at a time, you also promote core stabilization. All of these benefits can also be achieved with the Resistance Band Chest Press. The Resistance Band Chest Press hits the same…
Athletes require at least eight hours of quality sleep each night to allow for maximum recovery. Proper sleep induces the body to release Human Growth Hormone [HGH], which in turn stimulates muscle growth and strength development. In addition, a good night of sleep improves alertness, mood, energy and overall performance. However, evidence shows that even if you are out cold for a solid eight hours, you might not experience the uninterrupted, quality sleep you need as an athlete. Any source of light or electromagnetic fields in your bedroom can disrupt your circadian rhythm, the 24-hour cycle your body operates on in terms of biochemical, physiological or behavioral processes. This disruption, which can come from any electrically-powered device, can prevent your body from releasing melatonin and other hormones that are crucial to your sleep cycle. Once the cycle is disrupted, the performance-enhancing benefits of sleep are cut drastically.
A typical workout includes a dynamic warm-up, speed training, agility and quickness drills, plyometrics, weight and resistance training, core development, recovery and cool down. But the workout is not complete without a component that works balance and stability. In general, you need to train balance in an unstable environment and in a fatigued state, so your muscles and neuromuscular system have to work harder. So how do you find time to complete a traditional workout and add this important component? The simple answer is to integrate balance work in your existing regimen. For example, in your dynamic warm-up, add single-leg drills and exercises and use a narrow base—or work to stabilize one area while another part of your body is moving.