Plyometrics, speed work, resistance training, Olympic lifting: ways to reach the next level are as unlimited as your athletic potential. Athletes must train to get better, but they do not need to use high-impact methods. With a few variations in their training routine, they can achieve peak levels of performance without placing undue stress on their bodies or running the risk of overtraining.
The Pricey Option
Some of the world's best athletes and sports teams are using a new training tool called the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, which generates a powerful lifting force using Advanced Differential Air Pressure Technology [ADAPT]. When running on the AlterG, an athlete wearing anti-gravity neoprene shorts is zipped into a pressurized, airtight enclosure that calibrates to his or her exact body weight. With an easy-to-use control panel, the athlete can change his/her weight, reducing it by as much as 80 percent. Running with less weight and impact, he/she is able to realize the benefits of moving without harmful stress on the joints.
The AlterG helps to strengthen and improve coordination of muscles and to promote full range of motion. It also minimizes stress during athletic conditioning. If an athlete has an injury, he or she can maximize fitness during rehab.
However, its five-figure price tag puts the AlterG out of reach for most schools and gyms. So, what's an athlete to do?
The Low-Cost Option
Hitting the pool [or swimming in the ocean or a lake] might be just the ticket! New research reveals that exercising in deep water decreases impact on joints, improves circulation, stabilizes the core and improves flexibility. Water exercise training also enhances performance on land. No wonder so many top athletes are heading to the deep end of the pool—for cross-training as well as injury rehab.
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh hits the pool for an in-water training session—watch the video below for inspiration.
You can perform many ground-based exercises in the pool, using the water's natural resistance. To begin, try the Explosive Jump, Bodyweight Squat, Chest Fly and Rear Delt Fly.
Altering your training protocol [changing the normal way you train] offers your body a way to recover, rebuild and gain new levels of strength, power and conditioning for improved performance. When you need to switch up your training, find the nearest AlterG—or hop in the water and swim your way to the top.
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