By Brandon Richey
So with today’s guest post on SGPT I decided to steer off the usual path of conversation concerning all things strength, pounding a bunch of iron, and pushing the nervous system to the limit. Today I’m talking about all of the things that people aren’t doing enough of to boost their performance outside of just strength training. I mean I’m hoping this top 5 could rival Letterman’s top 10! Anyways just keep reading to find out.
5 Non Lifting Habits To Strengthen You And Better Your Performance!
Dynamic Flexibility: Dynamic flexibility is a big piece of the puzzle when it comes to moving better. Essentially dynamic flexibility can involve a series of movements that mimic athletic specific movements in order to wake up your nervous system prior to more intense athletic movements such as lifting, sprinting, and jumping.
Dynamic flexibility not only wakes up the nervous system, but also helps to heat up the muscles allowing for a better and more complete ROM. Dynamic flexibility can involve anything from skips, to small hops, to leg kicks, the scorpion stretch, etc. They’re easy and well worth being a part of your program. They can also involve a few simple drills with a free weight or kettlebell to loosen up the joints as I’m demonstrating here.
Static Stretching: For whatever reason there have been many trainers online these days that talk about avoiding static stretching as if it is some sort of strength training Kryptonite. Well that’s just a crock of you know what! The point is that muscles get tight and when they get tight they tend to be stiff and in turn your ROM is restricted.
By including some static stretching into your program you are constantly training the muscle to lengthen as much as you want to train it to contract during the strength portion of your program. Remember that a muscle has the ability to lengthen as well. Most folks forget that little detail when it comes to training which is why they tend to leave stretching out of the equation. The result usually ends up being a blown hamstring, pulled groin, etc. NOT stretching is more like the true strength training Kryptonite my friend!
Myofascial Release: Myofascial release essentially involves the act of soft tissue therapy for the purpose of restoring mobility and relieving pain. This therapy relaxes muscles, improves circulation, and helps to increase muscular ROM.
Myofascial release can be achieved by just going to get a massage, massaging the sore area by applying constant pressure yourself, or by utilizing a tool to apply the resistance such as with a foam roller or lacrosse ball. I know it sounds like some sort of complex sport, but trust me; it works. See I told you that Letterman has nothing on this top 5 so far!
As you can see I’m using the foam roller to apply the needed pressure from my hip to my knee in this particular demonstration to alleviate pressure on and around my hips and IT band. The same techniques can be applied to the calves, shoulders, neck, and back. With the finer areas of the neck, back, and shoulders a smaller object such as a lacrosse ball would work a lot better.
In performing myofascial release you can experience one of 2 different sensations. You’ll either feel a relieving sort of “immediate release” in the area of treatment, or you may feel some flat out pain when applying pressure to the tight area of muscle. Either way you’ll want to hold the pressure and oscillate back and forth on it until the sensation almost completely goes away. Keep in mind that if you experience the latter of the 2 sensations you’ll probably also create a new line of expletives to deposit into that particular bank of your terminology.
Include A Deload Week: A deload week is essentially a planned short period of recovery to include within the scope of your strength training program. Now keep in mind that a deload period can be varied and may also be different from one athlete to another, or one trainee to another.
I mean if you look at how professional sports teams do this none of them really train and play all year long. They have off-seasons built into the model of their sport as to allow the athletes time to rest and heal their bodies. Now having said this a deload week can be a few days, a few weeks, or just a lighter training day altogether.
The point of this is that you allow your mind and body time to recover, period. The key is to gauge it based upon the level of stress you are placing on your body throughout a consistent training period. I mean even though some of us would like to think so, the fact is that nobody can just go balls to the wall everyday all year long. Take time to reset the ‘ole batteries.
Sleep: Speaking of resetting the batteries make sure that you’re getting in enough Z’s. That’s right sleep is the rest period when the body and the mind actually have time to reset. We know that getting in at least one extra hour of sleep in an athlete prior to a game or event enhances performance and speeds up recovery following the event.
Sleep is a vital part of getting the body into balance and is something that younger athletes tend to want to ignore. Look I know none of this seems like over the top groundbreaking news, but think about how many folks neglect some of the things on this list. Just think about executing everything on the list as consistently as possible and PRESTO you’ll notice a significant boost in your strength and athletic performance in a relatively short period of time; I promise.
You see I told you it was a pretty good top 5. If you enjoyed today’s article then please make sure you take the time to come on over and check out my blog here.
In addition to this I want to take a minute to once again thank SGPT for allowing me to contribute. I always like to end the conversation by saying that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart.
For greater detail on some of my training programs and more make sure you check out my digital ebooks here at: