Training in the Off-Season
Wantto get faster while getting more out of your gym sessions this winter? Functional strength training ( fst) is a dynamic resistance program. Incorporating stability, balance, co- ordination and agility, fst can mimic the neurological and muscular demands of swimming, biking and running. Athletes need to be strong from the ground up as each muscle has a role in the kinetic chain from your feet to the top of your head. fst works that entire chain. The exercises below combine movement and resistance for a full body workout. All of the following exercises should be performed with a neutral spine and an engaged core.
This is a great glute exercise. With a resistance band around your ankles keep knees hip-width apart and locked, walk sideways for 10 steps in each direction maintaining resistance in the band. Your posture should be upright with shoulders down and back. Repeat three times.
One legged squat in four directions.
One leg squats challenge balance, proprioception, hip and glute strength. These exercises are a cornerstone for injury prevention in runners and cyclists. Balance on one leg with your arms at shoulder height pointed directly in front of you with hands together. Bend your standing leg as far as you can while maintaining balance and your knee directly over mid-foot (avoid dropping your knee towards your mid-line). While doing this, stretch your other leg behind you as though you are rolling it on a tennis ball three inches off the ground. Return to upright position as one repetition. Complete 10 on each side. For the lateral component, stretch your left leg out to the side, imagining the outstretched leg rolling on a tennis ball three inches from the ground. Be sure your bent right knee is over your foot. Do 10 repetitions on each side. Burpees Burpees are a complex exercise. While they might conjure your high school gym class more than triathlon, when broken into component movements, burpees are very specific to our sport.
Start with a vertical jump from the ground. As you land, quadriceps and glute propulsion mimics force on the pedals. As you drop to plank position, you develop specific strength for holding an aero position on the bike. The push up builds core and shoulder strength useful in all sports. While jumping knees back to standing, you engage the hip flexor – essential to powering your run stride and pedal stroke.
Bonus benefit: Many athletes take a break from higher intensity run and cycling training during the off- season. With this one exercise, you keep in touch with that part of your fitness without requiring hours on the trainer or the roads. Kettlebells add variety and encourage stability in more dynamic ways than the standard dumbbell.
Hold the kettle bell with a straight arm directly overhead. Keep your core tight and engaged, walk for one minute with the kettlebell overhead. Then switch arms.
Hold the kettlebell with a straight arm about six inches away from the hips. Walk for one minute each side.
Hold the kettlebell with both hands and rotate the weight around your head as you walk for one minute. Keep your back straight and core engaged.
Hold the kettlebell with both hands and walk while pushing the kettlebell away from your sternum and then pulling it back towards the body. Walk for one minute while performing the exercise.