Improving your athleticism is more than just building strength or adding more muscle. A lot of times, it involves performing movements your body isn’t used to–like a snatch, split squat, or any bosu ball exercise.
When training for sports, you need to approach it like an athlete, not a bodybuilder. Don’t make the meathead mistake of focusing solely on weight. That is, piling up plates on exercises like the bench press, leg press, or seated row. Instead, focus on your agility, explosiveness, and real life movements.
Athleticism isn’t determined by how much weight you can lift or how many reps you can crank out; rather, it’s about how your strength translates to the field or the court. Furthermore, working on your athleticism requires more than just weight training. In fact, it involves multiple factors including nutrition, gear, cross-training, and other things put together.
Lots of athletes don’t realize that they can improve a lot by making little changes. Something as simple as switching up your core routine or wearing custom socks, made specifically for athletes, can actually improve your speed and agility. And not to mention comfort.
Looking for ways to gain an advantage over your opponents? Here are 3 ways to boost your athleticism.
- Ditch The Machines
A lot of the machines in the gym–the leg press, curl station, pec-deck, seated row, etc.–were made for muscle building, not athletic training.
Consider this: almost none of the machine-assisted movements mimic what you’ll be doing in a sport. Now, if you’re a bodybuilder or fitness model, then, by all means, use those machines. However, if you’re an athlete, you’re better off working out with free-weights, bands, exercise balls, suspension trainers, or even your own body weight.
Find exercises that mimic your sport’s movements. If your sports involves a lot of jumping, consider plyometrics; if it involves dodging defenders, train on an agility ladder.
Not sure where to start? Ask your trainer or browse the Internet for sports-specific exercises.
- Gear Up
Your gear should help you perform, not weigh you down. Having the right gear can boost your confidence and reduce injury risk, which keeps you comfortable throughout the game.
Look for athletic clothing that wicks away moisture and facilitates movement. You want to be able to move across the field or court without your gear or sweat getting in the way. Check out Strideline for some stylish custom socks that also protect your feet and cushion your steps.
- Eat For Success
Think of your body as an engine and food as fuel. What you put in your body will ultimately translate on the court.
Every time you workout, your muscle fibers break down and your energy stores get depleted. Eating the right food ensures that those muscle fibers are repaired and those energy stores, replenished.
Fuel your body with lean proteins, vegetables, and fruits. And lay off the sauce. You want to ensure that whatever your body loses during a workout is replaced with something even better. Eat right and you’ll be jumping out the gym in no time.
Not all of us are natural athletes, but all of us have the opportunity to improve. Want to be a better athlete? Work on it. Stay dedicated.