Jack Be Nimble and Jane Be Quick!

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 Hey Fusers!

Throughout March, we have been focusing on power in our workouts. Check out this quick video from our excursion to Sky High, where we generated lots of power jumping on indoor trampolines. I hope you all have been enjoying the plyometric movements we have worked on this month–wall balls, ball slams, heavy rope etc. and are feeling stronger and more powerful 🙂 Personally, I have been pretty sore this month from all of the jump squats and have thoroughly enjoyed all of the wall balls! But I can’t seem to shake those horrible thrusters :/

This month, we will be shifting from power onto agility! I’m so excited because we get to work on moving quickly, while pivoting and being light on your feet. This takes a lot of coordination and focus. We bought an extra agility ladder to take you all through some fun drills, so get ready!

Agility is an important modality of fitness, as it requires a person to be able to move quickly, and change directions with control and without reducing speed. There is also an element of dynamic balance, which is the ability to maintain your balance while remaining coordinated, utilizing your body’s sensory organs to achieve this. For example, if Jack is performing drills on the agility ladder, he has to be able to change foot positions quickly while stepping, jumping, running or hopping in a specific spot. The object is to refrain from stepping on the ladder rung and maintain balance, thus efficiency is key.

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In addition to agility being good for speed, balance and coordination, performing agility drills correctly can also reduce injuries. Because you are training your body to control eccentric forces (movements that provide a braking mechanism for muscle and tendon groups, that are experiencing concentric movement, to protect joints from damage as the contraction is released- Wikipedia) in all directions, you develop better movement patterns and performance with a faster and more efficient response.

For example, if Jane is playing tennis and her opponent hits a poor return, Jane has to anticipate the opponent’s stroke. She has to  respond quickly and put herself in an optimal position to retrieve the shot in enough time to execute the play. This takes proper speed and balance and the ability to stop herself quickly and start again quickly with efficient hand/eye coordination.  These movements also require Jane to pivot and cut with control in different movement patterns. If not done correctly, Jane can easily injure herself, whether it be her ankle, knee, wrists, rotator cuff, calves, etc. Matches are often won by players who move better and whose game is more stable even while fatigued.

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Most sports, including soccer, tennis, baseball, football, track and field just to name of few, do a great deal of agility training. At Fuse, we think of our members as athletes as well and recognize that agility is important to work on regardless of being a competitive athlete. So, we hope you are looking forward to some cone drills, agility ladder drills, single-leg drills, high knee drills and more this month. Be nimble and be quick. Be like Jack and Jane 🙂

With love,

Pascha

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Power Month!!


Hi Fusers!

Last month we focused on speed, and you all did a great job! Lots of shuttle sprints, staggered sprints, fast feet, agility ladder work and a couple of track workouts thrown in for good measure–whew, you guys are getting fast!! Congrats, and keep up the great work!

This month we will be shifting our focus to power. The definition of power, simply put, is power=force and velocity. What this translates to is that power is the maximal amount of force in the shortest amount of time. Think explosive movements, such as wall ball, box jumps, and tuck jumps. Here’s a quick power video we made.

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In most sports, power is extremely important. Think of a sprinter jumping off his/her block as soon as the gun shoots to go. Without power (aka extreme force in a very short time frame), it would be impossible to get moving fast and get a good start on the race. Another example is a baseball/softball player swinging his/her bat. The pitch is coming hard and fast, and the player needs to react extremely quickly and generate a lot of power in order to make contact with the ball to get a solid hit. Without explosive power, the player would never come close to hitting the ball.

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How does this relate to us, you might be wondering. Some of us may still be competing or playing sports, but many of us just have enough time to workout a few times a week. The main benefit of power training for the general population is that it teaches our nervous systems to recruit muscles quickly–think reaction speed. In the real world, reaction time and strength can be what makes or breaks you. Think about it this way, imagine you were standing, and someone comes running by and knocks into you. Your ability to generate strength quickly could be the difference between getting bumped or getting knocked down and out.

POWER TRAINING EXERCISE

If power movements are a part of your fitness program, as they should (however, power should only be trained as the client has progressed to do this safely; there needs to be a baseline of sufficient strength and balance before progressing to power moves), you are training your nervous system to be able to react quickly. Thus if you were to lose your balance for any reason, your body has a much greater chance of being able to recruit the correct muscles quickly, leading to regaining balance quickly and reducing your chance of injury.

Some fun ways to train power involve jumping, which we’re going to celebrate with a Fuse field trip this month! If you haven’t already signed up, we’re heading to Sky High (an indoor trampoline place) Saturday, March 19 from 1:30-2:30pm–kiddos are welcome too!

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Hope to see you at Sky High for a fun afternoon of jumping!

Yours in Health,

Kristin at Fuse Fitness

“Power and Speed Be Hands and Feet”


Good Morning Fusers and Happy Presidents Week!

Last month we focused on interval training and you all did an amazing job! By the end of the month I’m sure you have noticed improvements in your strength and cardiovascular endurance.  We loved watching the progress all of you have made, so Bravo to putting in the work.

This month we have been putting you through the ringer with speed drills and sprints during classes. You have been sprinting the hill, doing staggered sprints, high skips, backwards run, lateral side shuffles, shuttle sprints, traveling high knees, fast feet, jump rope, ladder drills, boxing drills for speed and various conditioning intervals. Whoo! sounds exhausting just writing it all out.

So, why do we feel “the need for speed”?  Working on speed drills are beneficial for everyone not just runners and athletes. Depending on what your goal is speed training is great for metabolic training and increasing your ability to run or move faster and more efficiently.

Metabolic training as you learned from our last blog is a fantastic calorie burner, creating a shock to our bodies making us more fit and strong because of the lack of oxygen and rest periods. For example, when doing stagger sprints, you have to be able to run quickly, but stop with ease to touch the line, pivot and then sprint again to the next line and back. At that moment your heart rate has increased without a rest period before sprinting to the next line, while still trying to keep up your speed and efficiency.

Moving or running quickly with efficiency is very challenging. You have to pay close attention to how your arms, legs and feet are moving, how you are breathing- and how your body’s imbalances.  There is just so much to think about. But in order to create a powerful and efficient stride that builds strength and endurance, you have to focus on these things.

Sometimes I get so tired that I feel my arms and legs flailing about like a fish out of water. In a recent running workshop I attended, we worked with an awesome speed and testing coach Nick Winkelman.  He explained to us that you should be able to run faster with less energy and feel light when you run. The trick is to zip up your core and stand in an upright position, and pretend your are sliding the heels of your feet against a wall behind you, while striking the balls of your feet downward and driving your knees forward. That’s a lot to take in and coordinate. He also said “running should look like you are taking off like a jet plane running through hot coals from a cheetah”. Get the picture?

 

So for this month, I challenge you to set a specific goal for yourself, are you working on metabolic training, efficiency or both? Decide now and work on it during class or in your training sessions.  And if you are traveling, you have no excuses because I have put together a quick speed workout for you below. Don’t forget to join us for our next outdoor track workout on Saturday, February 27th at 10:45am. I expect to see many of you getting chased through hot coals by cheetahs!

Speed workout-Interval 40/10 seconds – 4 rounds

  1. Fast feet
  2. Traveling high skips
  3. Shuttle sprints
  4. Speed skaters

 

Best of luck!

Yours in Health,

Pascha at The Fuse Fitness