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3 Movements Every Athlete Should Do

The offseason is the time to get bigger, faster, and stronger. It is also the time to increase your skills at your particular sport. An adequate amount of time needs to be spent on BOTH!! Too many times, athletes harp on only one of these two aspects of training. Increasing your sport specific skills, without working on your strength, speed, and agility will leave you at a deficit compared to a more athletic opponent. The same goes if you spend your entire summer building up speed, strength, and agility and not working on your sport specific skills. You will be left behind by those who hone their craft.
That leaves you with a lot of time and work to put in during the offseason, but if you love your sport and want to be great, you won’t mind. If you are not signed up for a strength camp this offseason, and are left to train on your own, here are three movements that EVERY athlete needs to be doing!
1. Push Press
The push press is an explosive movement that moves weight from the front rack position to the overhead position, using a dip and drive with the hips. It not only builds upper body strength, it also teaches the body to recruit the core to move weight with the arms. Knowing how to use your core effectively and efficiently is essential for any sport and position. Here is a video of a Push Press

2. Front Squat
The front squat will help you build a nice strong foundation! The reason the front squat is on the list, and not the back, is because the front squat requires a little more muscle recruitment and mobility from other areas. To perform a front squat correctly, you will need to have proper shoulder and wrist mobility as well as proper hip and thoracic spine mobility to keep your torso upright. The front squat will give you the same leg building benefits of the back squat while at the same time strengthening your core.

3 Power Clean
If I was to make a list of only one movement athletes should do on their offseason, it would be the Power Clean! The power clean is the epitome of a weighted exercise translating to athletic performance. The power clean builds strength, explosiveness, agility, and coordination in athletes. Performed properly, this is the most powerful movement in the weightlifting. Every sport requires an athlete to transfer power from their big movers, legs and hips, onto an external object, in this case the bar. Football players can use this explosive power to run faster, to tackle better, to get past an o-lineman or hold off a d-lineman. Basketball players us it to jump higher, cut harder, defend longer, and bang in the post. Baseball players, to make a play on hard shot down the line, or for bat speed to hit that 90 mph fastball. Golfers to generate more power off the tee or to hit the ball out of a 3 inch rough. Soccer players to pass the ball across the field or make an unstoppable strike to the upper 90. I could go on and on about the importance of explosive power in sports! And the power clean is the way to build that explosive power! Here’s a video of a properly executed power clean.

As with any weighted movements, you never want to do them alone. Always have a spotter and/or coach to help you. They can make sure not only you are getting an effective workout, but also make sure you are always moving safely! Seek out someone with experience with these lifts. If you perform these workouts during your offseason, you will see significant gains when it comes to your overall athletic abilities now, and when the season starts!

About the author:
Troy Folse is the head coach and manager at Crossfit 28 in Pineville, La. He played 4 years of college basketball, as well as one season of collegiate tennis and cross country. He has trained multiple high school and collegiate athletes and teams from various sports.

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