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Teaching the Turkish Get-up

Yes, I'm a bit on the strange side with this one. I teach the TGU from the top down. But, it has worked well for all of the athletes I've taught. So, I'll be sticking with it!

 

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HEART-RATE SPRINTING

HEART-RATE SPRINTING

Taking sprint time, recovery time, heart rate and total completion time.

Taking sprint time, recovery time, heart rate and total completion time.

There are numerous ways to train athletes from a cardiovascular standpoint. Steady-state cardiovascular endurance – jogging, walking, cycling on level surfaces or distance swimming are popular methods. So are various types of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

I’m putting this sprinting method out there because it seems that in every team sport coaches make athletes do “wind sprints,” “gassers,” or “suicides” at the end of practice. Typically, these athletes are told to start each run simultaneously and must reach a certain distance in a certain time or they’re forced to run again and again until the coach gets what he or she wants.

From a team-building, all-for-one-one-for-all standpoint, this is one of many ways to get a modicum of cardiovascular conditioning work and simultaneously work on camaraderie. But from a fitness standpoint, the coach is not doing the athletes justice.

No matter the interval times, that protocol will not be good for all of the athletes. The recovery time will be too much for some athletes and will not be enough for others. In other words, if the athletes are supposed to sprint 100 yards in 16 seconds then rest for 45 seconds, each athlete might make the 16 seconds. But, during recovery, a third of the athletes will be ready to sprint again in 20 seconds. A third will be ready in 45 seconds and a third will not be ready until well after the 45-second mark.

So, from a fitness standpoint, the coach’s protocol only benefits a third of the athletes, leaving two-thirds of them with improper training. Now, this isn't something scientific. I'm totally guesstimating the percentages. From experience, I know only a few benefit physically from the end-of-practice sprints.

Monitoring the heart rate is a much better way to achieve the fitness goal of those sprints. This is because the only reason the heart beats fast to pump oxygenated blood to needy organs and muscles. The heart slows once the body doesn’t need as much oxygen. The regular heartbeat is a signal that the body is refreshed and ready to go at a maximal effort again.

I’ve successfully used this method for many years.


 

Cost is definitely a factor because each athlete would need a heart-rate monitor. The monitors can run from $35 up to more than $100. They are, however, an amazing tool to have. The protocols outlined in this post will talk about how to do this with and without a monitor.

WITH A HEART RATE MONITOR

TOOLS NEEDED

Track or grass or beach (do not do on concrete or cement), heart-rate monitor, stopwatch, pen, paper.

Start this with a dynamic warm-up that includes sprint mechanics.

WARM-UP

Measure off 10 yards, and do each of these drills for 20 yards. Skip forward. Skip backward. Shuffling. High knees. Butt kicks. A-skips. Stiff-leg bounds (SLB). SLB alternate leg fast leg. Walking Hamstrings. Walking Leg Kicks. Lunges Reaching Up. Lunges w/Twist. Walking Quads. Walking Glutes. Int/Ext Hip Rotations. Carioca. Frankies.

Rest for two minutes after the warm-up. Then check the heart rate, and write it down, this is the athlete’s active heart rate for this exercise session.

WORKOUT

1. Measure off 35 yards. 2. Tell the athlete/s to prepare to sprint. 3. Start the stopwatch as soon as the athlete/s begins sprinting. 4. “Lap” the stopwatch when the athlete/s passes the 35-yard marker. Log the post-sprint stopwatch time AND the highest post-sprint heart rate.5. Wait until the heart rate returns to the active heart-rate level. When the athlete reaches the active heart-rate level, log the stopwatch time and have the athlete immediately sprint again. 6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until 10 sprints AND final recovery has been completed. 7. Log total time to complete workout.

WITHOUT A HEART RATE MONITOR

Checking the heart rate using the carotid artery.

Checking the heart rate using the carotid artery.

Go through the same warmup as mentioned above. Or, if it’s after practice, instruct the athlete to use the index and middle fingers to prepare to check the heart rate using the carotid artery in the neck immediately after practice ends and remember that number. Tell the athlete to start counting and simultaneously start the stopwatch. Tell the athlete to stop counting at that 15-second mark. Multiply the heart rate count by four.

1.     Measure 35 yards or the desired distance. 2. Tell the athlete to prepare to sprint. 3. Start the stopwatch as soon as the athlete starts. 4. “Lap” the stopwatch when the athlete passes the 35-yard marker. Log the post-sprint stopwatch time and instruct the athlete to use the index and middle fingers to measure the heart rate as described above.5. Wait until the athlete feels ready, and test the heart rate again. Instruct the athlete to sprint again when heart rate returns to the active heart-rate level. When the athlete reaches the active heart-rate level, log the stopwatch time and have the athlete immediately sprint again. 6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until 10 sprints AND final recovery has been completed. 7. Log total time to complete workout.

Multiple ways to use the information:

First off, the heart-rate sprinting is a good workout that could last 10 minutes or 50 minutes or more depending on the athlete’s fitness level.

 The workout measures:

·      Total time to do complete the 10 sprints.

·      Time to complete each individual sprint.

·      Time to recover between each sprint and after the final sprint.

Used as an assessment tool, we can see:

·      If the athlete runs as fast during the final few sprints as was run during the first few sprints.

·      If the recovery time stays the same, increases or decreases.

·      If the total time stays the same, increases or decreases.

We can use that information to adjust the athlete’s programming. I use heart-rate sprinting with a few athletes once per week.

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A bear of a core workout.

We did a core workout at today's practice. Actually we're doing a lot of specific core exercises this month because I wasn't happy with where our core body strength after the testing at the beginning of the month.

Anyway, this video shows the athletes doing lateral bear crawls (at least that's what we call them) for 50 yards. They also did: hollow body rocks, two types of dynamic core, pushup-to-planks, and lumbar-flat crunches.

Except for the crunches, each exercise was aimed at forcing the athlete to move the extremities without moving the body's trunk. Within many sports, athletes need to maintain stability within the trunk while the extremities move all over the place.

Some of the the athletes here have a lot of work ahead to get where we want! But, we're getting there!

The hollow body rocks were no joke. I, however, am a bit devious when having the athletes do them though. I'll have to post a video of my progressions. Until then: Start off in the lumbar-flat position. Extend one arm for 10 seconds. Then the other. Rest. Repeat. Then do the same with legs coming off the ground. Repeat. Then both arms and legs off ground (should be up to 40 seconds by now). Repeat. Then do the complete rocking.

During the lumbar-flat crunches, we had the athletes on their backs with hips flexed 90-degrees. They had to maintain a flat back while doing 100 toe touches. 

We did push-up to planks to Moby's song "Flower."

The dynamic planks came with assistance. One athlete would lie on the ground, on the stomach, while the other tried to flip him or her to the back. In the other, one athlete assumed a plank position while the other athlete tried to push over the first.

Some hard work. Some tedious work. Some fun work.

Made for a sweet session!

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JUMP! JUMP!

We’re not born knowing how to jump. We don’t know how to walk or crawl either. Our bodies have to learn how to do everything.

Let’s go back. Some of you old heads, like me, will remember when computers came with that “C” prompt. Then we had to put in a Windows 95 or Windows 2000 disc to actually put all the programming on the computer, the operating system.

The human body operates similarly. We’re born with that “C” prompt – our primitive reflexes. The movements we learn while growing are our operating system. Our young athletes don’t have a choice as to the OS they get.

Showing a group of 4- to 7-year-olds how a few things about jumping.

Showing a group of 4- to 7-year-olds how a few things about jumping.

That’s up to us as coaches. We know fundamental movement. We know the progressions. We know that it starts with slight cervical rotation and flexion and can development into complex plyometric movements.

We can urge in earlier steps. We teach later periods.

Mirroring works well for the youngest folks, the 3- and 4-year-old athletes. Coaches simply need to make sure we’re doing it right, because they are analyzing and learning from our every movement.

For some of those 4-, 5- and 6-year-old athletes, it’s all the visual and auditory cues. Remember, we only have about four or five seconds coaching cues before they start tuning attention to the ladybug and the airplane.

“OK, now. Watch me! Sit back. Like a chair.”

Show them a proper hip hinge which tells the brain to activate the powerful posterior-chain muscles.

“Watch me! Watch me! Right here. Sit back like this. Sit back.”

Show the hip hinge again. Encourage them to do the movement with you.

“Sit back!”

Show again.

“Now push up! Rock and push!”

Shift your weight from the heels to the balls of the feet, and begin extending the ankle, knees and hips while simultaneously swinging the arms forward.

“Like this! Push the legs. Throw up the arms.”

Continue the same movement.

“Throw the arms! Throw the arms! Arms up! Knees up! Arms up! Knees up!”

Exaggerate it.

“Ok. Ok. Again.”

Show them all of it again, and simplify it.

“Sit back! Push! Arms up! Knees up!”

Show again. Then coach with cues as simple as those.

At this age: 3-7ish, the only real cue I have for landing (deceleration) is encouraging the athletes to land as softly as possible. Landing softly, more importantly, SHOWING them how land softly, forces them the proper way to use the muscles. We want them to land on the ball of their feet and allow the weight to roll to the heel. Knees and hips are both flexed, with the knees slightly in front of the hips, and the trunk is centered over the feet.

That’s what we want. To get it, “Soft landing.” “Land softly.” “Don’t hurt my ears.” “Ohhh, that was loud. Softer. Softer.” They all help.

JUMPING PROGRESSIONS BOYS

  • ·       Forward with one foot leading: 1-1.5 years
  • ·       Stationary with both feet: 1.5-2 years
  • ·       Off of a small step landing on both feet: 2-2.5 years
  • ·       Over or around objects: 2.5-3 years
  • ·       Forward with both feet taking off and landing: 3 years
  • ·       Single-leg hop: 4 years
  • ·       Single-leg hop with proper momentum leg swing: 5 years

JUMPING PROGRESSIONS GIRLS

  • ·       Forward with one foot leading: 1-1.5 years
  • ·       Stationary with both feet: 1-1.5 years
  • ·       Off of a small step landing on both feet: 1.5-2 years
  • ·       Over or around objects: 2-3 years
  • ·       Forward with both feet taking off and landing: 2.5-3 years
  • ·       Single-leg hop: 3-3.5 years
  • ·       Single-leg hop with proper momentum leg swing: 3.5-4 years

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