There are hundreds of different exercises, but which ones are right for your limitations and weaknesses. With so many exercises to choose from, completing all of them in a single training session is not the way to go.
A comprehensive strength training program consists of Phases:
- Mobility + Stability
- Balance + Coordination
- Strength → Endurance = Ability to do work
- Power → Power Endurance = Ability to do work over time.
- Speed → Speed Endurance (aka getting faster in a RACE) = Ability to do work over time while in motion
- Start with Functional Movement Screen to Evaluate your personal strengths and weaknesses will lead you to the best exercises to improve your performance.
- Think about where you feel weak in your sport.
- Focus on phases of training, stabilization first, core stability and hip mobility, the ability to move well.
- The benefit is movement execution, not just getting it done. Seek out someone local who can show you in person and watch your form to help you adjust.
- A word of caution: Any exercise that may cause a previous injury to flare up again should be avoided. For instance, if you have had an ACL injury, the leg extension exercise will place too much stress on your knee, so you should leave it out of your program.
- Within each phase, focusing on your weaknesses and building them up to your strengths. If you are not able to identify a particular weakness or training need, create a program with the basics, squat, hinge, push, pull, core. Upper- and lower-body exercises and you might find your weaknesses.
- Let your body adapt before altering the program. A good rule of thumb is to give yourself six to eight weeks before rearranging your exercises so that you can really tell whether your body is responding.
- Reevaluate. Movements will change as you make improvements. Varying routine, making adjustments with RANGE OF MOTION (ROM), VOLUME, LOAD, TEMPO, REST, ORDER or COMPLEXITY. Changes in strength is going to take place on the inside; Listen to and feel your body as you train.
- Find the exercises that stimulate your body to change positively and keep them in your program. Keep in mind what works for me may not work for you. If you can’t do pulls up then do lat pull down machine. If you can’t do barbell squats, there are plenty of squat variations.
- Embrace strength training and enjoy the process and experience.
Triathlete magazine article has The tables that present a strength training needs analysis to help you discover what areas your strength program should concentrate on. Use those answers to guide you to specific exercises for each muscle group and event.
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