TRAINING TIME: TIM RUDD
Here is one very simple thing trainers can have athletes implement to instantly increase the player’s athleticism.
Get the athletes butt in gear!
What do I mean? Simple. Get their glutes (butt) contributing more in all activities. One simple thing they can do is become more “Glute (butt)-conscious.” Get up and walk around with their hands on their hips and voluntarily engage their butt muscles. As they walk around throughout the day they should take a few moments to periodically and consciously engage their glutes each time their foot contacts the ground. The more they do this, the more they will strengthen the mind to muscle connections and the better their glutes will function.
Athletes should also be encouraged to do Glute bridges from the ground by holding each rep for 10 seconds for three total reps. This is a great way for them to feel the contraction from the glutes. The athlete should visualize each vertebrae of the spine coming off the ground like a train leaving the station and the same thing on the way down, visualize the train coming back one vertebrae at a time. This ensures that the extension of the hips comes from the powerful butt muscles, not the compressive forces in the lower spine.
It’s also important that athletes are taught to brace their abs by asking them to create intra-abdominal pressure by tying an elastic band around their stomach, or trainers can put their hands around their waist and cue them to expand the band with their abdominals throughout the Glute Bridge. The key is to have the athlete create this stability around the whole corset of the core anterior, posterior and sides.
Tim Rudd is an IYCA specialist in youth conditioning and owner of Fit2TheCore.
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