There’s an old saying in strength and conditioning circles… ‘you can’t fire a rocket from a canoe’. What it means is if you want to perform powerful movements then you can only do it from a strong and stable base. Whether that’s a full-speed burst in a rugby match, an explosive break on a bike or a sprint finish in a running race, you’ll generate more power and speed if you have a strong core and legs.

With the new year being a time for new starts, it’s the idea time to overhaul your gym work. Break your training down and look at the fundamentals of strength training again.

Time to read: 5 minutes

Level: Intermediate

Key Points:

  • Base Building
  • Why Is My Movement So Poor?
  • Address The Core
  • Single Limb Strength
  • New Year Training Approach
  • Workout 1: Single Limb Work
  • Workout 2: Posterior Chain and Core
  • KYMIRA Training Wear

With the new year being a time for new starts, it’s the idea time to overhaul your gym work. Break your training down and look at the fundamentals of strength training again.

Base Building

The first question to ask is - are my movements fundamentally good? There’s no point adding more weight, more volume or more intensity if your technique isn’t effective. These are the basic movement tests…

Can you reach or break parallel to the floor with your thighs when you squat?

Do your knees collapse inwards when you squat or lunge?

Can you maintain a straight back when deadlifting?

Does your torso tilt forward when you squat or front squat?

Are you capable of pull ups?

If you look at the movements and find that you’re not squatting deep enough, your knees collapse inward under load, your back is bent like a question mark when you deadlift, your torso collapses when you’re squatting and you can’t do pull ups, it’s time to address these issues!

Why Is My Movement So Poor?

The answer to these questions is usually because you lack strength and flexibility in particular areas. 

The most neglected areas tend to be in the posterior chain – the muscles that cover the back of the body, so the gastrocnemius, hamstrings, gluteals, back extensors, lats, and traps. By strengthening these muscles and ensuring they stay flexible, you reduce injury risk and improve physical performance.

Effective strengthening and recruitment of the hamstrings has shown to improve sprint speed and mechanics [1]. This will also translate into sports requiring explosive movements such as jumping.

Effective solutions to these problems are performing exercises that strengthen the posterior chain. Kettlebell swings, deadlifts, stiff-legged deadlifts and various pulling movements will work for this. Additionally, a dedicated flexibility or yoga practice will compound the effectiveness of this training approach.

Address The Core

We’ve written about this at length before, but most core training approaches are completely ineffective. They focus on training the superficial muscles which look good on the beach, but do very little towards improving physical performance. What we need to do is focus on exercises and movements that challenge the core in various planes of movement.

A strong core allows for larger force production, protects against injury, helps to rehabilitate from existing injury [2] and helps to inform better exercise technique. A stronger core will help to maintain proper posture during squatting, deadlifting, weightlifting movements and plyometrics. By performing these exercises correctly in training, there’s a knock-on benefit in competition.

Single Limb Strength

There’s a growing popularity in strength and conditioning circles to perform unilateral training (single limb at a time) in order to iron out any strength imbalances. It has been shown to be an effective approach [3] and leads to a direct improvement in performance, so it’s worth breaking down your resistance training and making it a part of your gym work.

By adopting a single-limb approach you can also affect injured sites contralaterally [4], which can help with injury rehab and technical recovery of skills and strength post injury. 

New Year Training Approach

Within the millions of ‘New Year, New You’ workouts that will flood the media, at KYMIRA we’re making evidence-based suggestions on how to improve your performance and injury resilience, not just your waistline. By following this programme, you’ll benefit your strength, power and overall health and fitness.

This workout is designed to help you build a strong platform to enhance your force production, injury resilience and movement mechanics. It’ll also improve strength and overall physical condition.

Workout 1: Single Limb Workout

Workout 2: Posterior Chain and Core

All exercises 4 sets of 6-8 reps

Stiff-Legged Deadlift

Glute Bridge

Pull Ups

Kettlebell Swings

Front Squat

Clean High Pull

Pallof Press

Barbell Roll Out

These workouts are designed to be done with a weight that will force you to reach failure at the end of the set. Perform a warm up set with very light weights (not counted as one of your total sets) before going on to do the work.

With short rest periods, the whole workout should be done within 45 minutes. Alternate the workouts twice within the week and you’ll develop real-world, functional strength. This is what a training week could look like…

Monday – Workout 1

Tuesday – Workout 2

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday – Workout 1

Friday – Workout 2

Saturday - Rest

KYMIRA Training Wear

For the ideal workout wear, visit our shop. The KYMIRA clothing range is embedded with infrared technology which is scientifically proven to improve strength, flexibility, injury resilience and recovery. [5]

KYMIRA Training Range

January 04, 2021 — Stephen Hoyles

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