Why CrossFit and Strength Training Athletes Desperately Need Balance, Agility and Recovery

By PowerPlay Guest Blogger Karen Simpson

Three key concerns during an athlete’s training include strength, speed and power. However, poor balance will keep an athlete from competing at peak levels. A rigorous training program can become more effective if an athlete has great balance. Your body needs time to recover after an energetic workout, which means using the best possible methods to help the body absorb the benefits of a workout while keeping potential physical damage under control.

Unique Training Methods To Increase Agility

Several unique methods can help you up your training game:

  • Cross-training: Cross-training exposes an athlete to different exercises that can not only improve agility but can also enhance balance.
  • Gymnastics or ballet: A big part of improved agility and balance includes maintaining control of the body. Athletes might consider studying gymnastics or even ballet to learn ways to control their body and better condition certain muscle sets that will improve balance.
  • Yoga: Advanced yoga can also help an athlete learn how to maintain better control over their body and understand which sets of muscles are critical to speed and agility.
  • Swimming: Resistance offers benefits for improved balance and agility, which is what makes swimming an important part of any complete workout. Athletes might consider aquatic exercise programs that use the water’s ability to challenge the body to enhance agility and improve speed.
  • Agility exercises: An agility ladder forces an athlete to focus on strengthening their stride while emphasizing the importance of precision with every step. The correct agility exercises push the athlete’s body to respond quickly and create the proper habits when it comes to mechanics. These can reduce the potential for injury in the future.

Balance

Balance includes maintaining control of your body under various circumstances. The half-mood drill helps improve balance while enhancing speed. The drill consists of an athlete standing in the middle of a circle created by five orange exercise cones. While standing on their right foot, the athlete must leap towards one of the cones and land on their left foot.

Many athletes perform strength training with the use of free weights. Free weight exercises not only strengthen your muscles by lifting heavy objects, they require more balance and muscle isolation which activates multiple muscle groups at once.

Recovery

cold compression knee wrapThe body needs to recover after a rigorous workout. One of the most effective ways to reduce inflammation and promote healing for joints after intense physical activity is cold-compression therapy, which has been proven to reduce swelling throughout the body. Recovery can help an athlete’s muscles more refreshed and ready to perform. 

The human body is a machine that requires proper maintenance to operate effectively. Full body workouts, strength training, diet, agility, balance, and flexibility all play a part in creating a well balanced and excellent athlete.

 
 

Karen Simpson is a dental hygienist, writer and mom blogger who is passionate about staying active, healthy and her golden retriever. Her writing passions include: overall health and fitness, and love of researching topics surrounding health & wellness, life long nutrition, and helping parents live their busy lives.

Follow Karen on: Twitter | Linkedin

 

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