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Sports Training with Weights

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Sports training programs can boost your fitness level to prepare you for the demands of competition. A well-designed program can also enhance how quickly you learn foundational sport skills.

Weight training will not help you fine tune precise skilled movements in sports, give you “game sense”, or help you make the correct strategical choices–you have to practice the sport skills and tactics to improve those.

But training with weights can improve most of the components of fitness inherent in sports. It is particularly effective for improving strength and power, elements of agility fitness that are required for success in many sports.

Narrow Grip Snatch Fulll Extension Training with weights also prevents injuries that can occur in sports. It improves joint stability and flexibility, and can correct muscle imbalances, if properly planned.

Free weights and other resistances can help you learn gross motor movements used in sports. For example, a common movement sequence in many sport skills is the use of the legs before the arms. The sequence is the same for Olympic Lifting.

Another commonly used pattern is the transfer of body weight from the back to the front foot. Batting and throwing are good examples of both.

Lower body actions that precede upper body actions generate power in sport skills. Both stepping into the skill (weight transfer) and letting the hips lead the shoulders promote greater mechanical efficiency. In these examples, medicine balls, weighted bats, and other forms of resistance can speed up how quickly you can learn these coordinations.

Remember, though, that these training tools do not pattern the precise timing nor do they teach finer motor movements used in sports competition, so they should not be practiced excessively at the neglect of perfecting the sport skills themselves.

Practice has to be structured to build toward, and ultimately match, every aspect of competition–the emotional and mental apects, too. Being aggressive in the weight room and mentally rehearsing sport skills when training with resistances also prepare you for competition.
Tips on Weight Training for Sports

1. Make sure that lifts are executed correctly. These include full body extensions, quick foot movements in the Olympic lifts, and good technique on the bench press (see arm exercises) and squat,

2. Attack the weights with the same level of aggressiveness that you would use in sport competition.

3. As you execute weight lifting exercises, imagine that you are executing similar movements large muscle group movements in your sport.

4. For sport skills involving throwing, batting, and related movements, integrate a variety of core strength exercises in rotation (twisting), lateral flexion (side bending), and the more common flexion/extension (situp) exercises. Occasionally integrate light weighted objects.

You can have confidence that you will do your best if you have prepared well for competition. Your sports training program can and will prepare you to perform at new levels.

A well designed weight training program can make the difference between winning and losing. Believe in your program and in yourself, and keep your goals in at the forefront.