“If it’s worth DOING it’s worth doing PERFECT” this applies to everything we do in life including training. Here are 3 very popular exercises that we see done incorrectly for beginner athletes at our center.
The misconception of a push up is that it is only a chest exercise. A proper push up should incorporate the entire body. The body is a chain and if one link is weak the whole body can break. Arms should be perpendicular to the chest and the shoulders should be pulled down. Hands should be placed shoulder width apart on the ground. This will allow the upper back to be locked in and be incorporated in the lift. The rest of the body should be straight as a board including the head which should be in the neutral position (head down). Do this by keeping your abs tight. This will lock in the spine to ensure no dips in the back. Legs should be tight as well. Make sure that the glute, hamstring, and calfs are squeezed together. On the descending portion elbows should be tucked. This allows for tricep activation and less shoulder rotation ensuring safety and injury prevention to the shoulder joints. At the bottom of the push up the palm of the hands should run in a straight line through the bottom of the chest. In the push up portion it is important that we stay tight and the body comes up together as one.
OTHER VARIATIONS: incline pushup, decline pushup, clap pushups, stager push-up, pushup hold
There are many variations to the lunge that we do here at Acceleration Naperville. This is a great exercise to increase speed because it can place resistance or weight that enhances the athlete’s hips and legs that directly carry over to a run. The lunge hold is generally the first variation of the lunge we teach at Acceleration. Feet should be shoulder width apart, both knee joints, hip, and arms should be 90 degrees. Arms should replicate running form (eye socket hip pocket). Lunge distance should be as far as the athlete can go with keeping the 90 degree in the knee and hip. Chest should remain tall, and body should be tight at all times. Once technique is reached hold position for a given time trying to maintain technique all the way through.
OTHER VARIATIONS: walking lunge, side lunge, reverse lunge, lunge switch, lunge jump, negative lunge.
This is one of the most important areas Acceleration Naperville focuses on. One of the biggest deficiencies we see is the calf to hamstring to glute to lower back chain not firing correctly with a beginning athlete. The goal is to have the whole chain fire together. This will not only increase speed and strength but it will decrease injury. The most basic exercise is the leg curl, weather on a machine, exercise ball, or manually.These are key movements to be successful: Everything should be tight and squeezed together in both the descending and ascending motion of any leg curl. The abdominals are there to stabilize the back and spine to allow for the hamstrings and glutes to fire correctly. The hips should always be forward and never be pushed back. Athletes will tend to only use their hamstring when performing this exercise. It is very important that the glute fires as well. So squeezing EVERYTHING together will help ensure everything is firing correctly. Use your hands to feel your abs hamstrings and glute to make sure they are flexed to ensure proper technique.
OTHER VARIATIONS: glute ham raise, exercise ball curls, hamstring fall outs, manual resistance curls. Explosive ball curls