Athletic Performance

How to perform at your best!

This page will contain information about effectively enhancing your athletic performance in safe and healthy ways. It will also provide links to websites containing more information on effectively enhancing your performance.

Topics of Interest:

Prevent the Five Most Common Sports Injuries

  • Ankle Sprains and Strains
    • One of the biggest factors leading to ankle sprains is poor technique and uneven terrain. The most important prevention technique is to always have proper footwear for your sport. In addition an ankle brace can add extra stability to prevent re-injury.
  • Knee Pain
    • Knee injuries are often caused by improper technique, lack of conditioning and poor flexibility. Your foot structure and alignment may be a cause of knee pain. A couple of ways to prevent knee pain is proper footwear and orthotics.
  • Lower Back Pain
    • Regular exercise helps to maintain strength in your core muscles (abs and lower back). This will help prevent lower back pain.
  • Elbow Pain
    • Using proper technique and strength training will help reduce the likelihood of an elbow injury. Remember that when strength training do not lock your elbows.
  • Shoulder Injuries
    • The best way to prevent shoulder injuries is to slowly ease into the activity and gradually increase the amount of time you are engaging your shoulder in strenuous activity.

For more information about the Five Most Common Sports Injuries, click here.

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Five Exercises All Athletes Must Do

  • Squat
    • Most trainers agree that squats are one of the best exercises you can do. Squats work your gluts, quads, hamstrings and calves all at once.
  • Push Ups
    • Like squats, push ups are compound movements using almost all the muscle of the body. You will work your chest, shoulders, triceps, back and abs.
  • Lunges
    • Like squats, lunges work most of the muscles in your legs. Including your quads, hamstrings, gluts and calves.
  • Plank
    • The plank is an isolation move that works the abs, back, arms and legs. The plank also targets your internal abdominal muscles.
  • Lat Pulldown
    • The lat pulldown works the major muscles of your back, which helps you burn calories and, of course, strengthen your back.

For more information about how to perform these exercise and Five Exercises All Athletes Must Do, click here.

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How to Improve Your Vertical Jump

Your vertical jump can be greatly improved with proper training. Since the vertical jump is an explosive movement, both strength and power need to be developed. The best exercise to develop this strength and power are:

  • Squats
  • Step Ups
  • Lunges
  • Power Cleans
  • Plyometrics
  • Weighted Box Jumps

For more information about each of these specific exercises, click here.

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The Best and Worst Abdominal Exercises

The top three abdominal exercises that are most effective.

  1. The Bicycle Maneuver
  2. Captains Chair
  3. Crunch on an Exercise Ball (the overall best piece of equipment for abdominal exercises is the exercise ball)

The top three abdominal exercises that are least effective.

  1. Ab Rocker
  2. Exercise Tubing Pull
  3. Traditional Crunch

To learn how to do these exercises or to learn more details about The Best and Worst Abdominal Exercises, click here.

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Overtraining

Overtraining occurs when athletes try too hard to improve performance and train beyond the body's ability to recover.

Signs of Overtraining

  • Mild leg soreness, general achiness
  • Pain in muscles & joints
  • Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy
  • Sudden drop in ability to run normal distance or times
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Inability to relax, twitchy, fidgety
  • Insatiable thirst, dehydration
  • Lowered resistance to common illnesses; colds, sore throat, etc.

Treating Overtraining

  • Consult an Athletic Trainer to rule out serious problems
  • Stop & Rest
  • Take a few days off.
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Alternate your workouts so that you are not constantly working the same muscle group.
  • If you have an injury, RICE: (Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate).
  • Get a massage in order to release metabolic waste.

For more information about Overtraining, click here.

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