Athletics Weekly - - Performance -

1) Hold two dumb­bells at arm’s length and per­form a squat. Fo­cus on low­er­ing slowly, per­haps to a five to six-sec­ond count.

Push up to a one count and re­peat. You can also vary the ex­er­cises by push­ing up with both legs and low­er­ing on one (when you start, this ex­er­cise is a tough enough test to not re­quire ad­di­tional load­ing, so do it ini­tially with just your body­weight).

Lower as far as you can with­out los­ing form and no lower than hav­ing your thighs par­al­lel to the ground. Keep your knee over your an­kle and don’t let it push past your toes when squat­ting.

Like the iso­met­ric leg press and wall squats these ex­er­cises will also de­velop hip strength and re­silience.

2) Your Achilles ten­dons can also be strength­ened in a sim­i­lar man­ner. Stand tall and with dumb­bells held at arm’s length lift up onto your toes. Then, to per­form the ec­cen­tric part, lower to that slow five to six-sec­ond count. Try not to let your heels touch the ground. Push back up to a one count and then re­peat.

3) The Nordic ham­string ex­er­cise is a fur­ther great ec­cen­tric ex­er­cise that will re­duce your chances of sus­tain­ing a ham­string in­jury.

You’ll need a part­ner or a spe­cific piece of kit to hold your heels and lower legs in place in a kneel­ing po­si­tion. From this kneel­ing po­si­tion, in­cline your body for­ward, piv­ot­ing around your knees.

Use your ham­strings to con­trol your de­scent. You’ll reach a point where you can ei­ther pull back to the start po­si­tion us­ing your ham­strings con­cen­tri­cally or you can sim­ply let your­self fall to the ground whilst us­ing your arms to cush­ion the con­tact.

Im­por­tant: Ec­cen­tric train­ing, al­though great for in­jury re­duc­tion is also tough, so in­tro­duce these and other ex­er­cises care­fully.

Be­gin per­form­ing ec­cen­tric squats with­out us­ing any ad­di­tional weight

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