Athletic conditioning is a form of specialized training with specific sports performance goals in mind. Whether you’re looking to get faster, more agile, stronger or to improve your endurance, athletic conditioning can help.
With such a wide variety of sports and activities to choose from, how can athletic conditioning work for you? Well, like most fitness programs, the workouts are centered around your goals. However, unlike other fitness programs, athletic conditioning focuses on specific movements rather than on training certain muscle groups. This specific training translates directly to sports performance as outlined here.
Athletic Conditioning For Football
Here’s a sport that requires drastically different attributes for different positions. And in this case, your typical “hit the gym” mentality doesn’t work very well. Each position makes use of very specific skills. You’d never expect a defensive lineman to cover a receiver so it doesn’t make sense for them to train the same way. If you’re a lineman, strength and lateral movement are highly valued so specific training drills to improve these skills are what’s needed. The receiver, on the other hand, values speed, agility and jumping height over raw strength. A program for a receiver must include speed drills and jumping drills specific to that position.
Basketball Players and Their Requirements
Basketball players, in general, value endurance and agility. The required skill set is complicated by the fact that they have to not only control their body movement, but do so while dribbling a ball. A program for this kind of athlete may include rotation drills, agility drills, speed drills, jumping drills and endurance training.
Baseball… There’s More To It Than Just Standing Around
If you play baseball, you’ll often require quick, explosive, and dare I say acrobatic movements, much like football players. The difference between you and your pigskin brethren would be seen in differing approaches to strength training. For example, a training program for baseball could focus on speed, agility, and explosiveness.
Athletic Conditioning is Essential in MMA
Besides specific martial arts training, athletic conditioning is a core training block for MMA athletes. Core strength, speed, strength, agility and endurance (not to mention how to take a punch) are valuable assets for the modern day gladiator in MMA. If this is your sport, your training should center on each of these areas to eliminate any weaknesses and provide an edge over your opponents. As an MMA fighter, your athletic conditioning program will vary depending on your individual assessments and goals.
Soccer’s Unique Needs
If you’re a field warrior, perhaps more than any other non-contact athlete, your strength and endurance are linked. Not only do you need to be fast and agile to cover such a large playing surface, but because the game is played with very little in the way of breaks, you’ll need a high level of endurance. An athletic conditioning program for you would focus on foot speed and agility, plus endurance and leg strength.
Athletic Conditioning for Hockey
Aside from the playing surface, a hockey player’s training is similar to soccer. Speed, agility, strength, and stamina are needed but where you’ll differ from soccer players is in your need for upper body strength. Like most contact sports, core strength is important as bodies are flying around faster than any other sport and collisions are expected (and encouraged).
Athletic Conditioning is Ideally Suited to Enhance Performance
As you can see, many athletes share common training themes but it’s the specific differences required that make athletic conditioning ideally suited to enhance performance through custom drills.