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Improving For Sports?
I am training to perform in track and field. I read your article and thought it was great. I have just a few questions to ask if you don't mind.
So to improve flexibilty in my hips in order to increase in speed and to increase my vertical jump I must increase my Static and Dynamic Flexibility, correct? What are some exercises/movements I can do to improve my Dynamic Flexibility? Is it Plyometrics that increases my Dynamic Flexibility? Is yoga a good source to increase Static Flebxibility? If not, what is? And how often should these exercises be performed in order to get the best results? I swim twice a week, is that a good source to increase the strength in my hips? And what exactly is Olympic Lifts and hybrids?
Let me make a subtle adjustment to your statement. One must at least maintain a high level of flexibility in the hips, if not prioritizing time to improve this aspect.
Some examples of exercises to improve your dynamic flexibility would be walking over/under hurdles, using full range of motion, Olympic lifts and their variations, and tumbling.
No, plyometrics usually involve a shorter range of motion because too much of the kinetic energy would be lost if a large range of motion was used.
Yes, yoga can be a good way of increasing both static and dynamic flexibility depending on the type of yoga implemented. The only thing I want to say in regards to this point is some yoga instructors believe yoga is the only thing people need. Obviously this is an absurd belief as every form of exercise has its pros and cons.
Static flexibility can be done every day. Either post-workout or later in the day as you are winding down for the day. Dynamic flexibility drills should be used prior to the workout.
I am not going to say swimming is a bad thing, however, for a track and field athlete it will definitely not build the hips to the point where it will help your performance. I would see swimming as a good method of recovery.
Very good question about the Olympic lifts and hybrids. I don't think anyone has asked me this yet. Olympic lifts involve the clean, snatch, and jerk as the primary movements. However, athletes can use many of their variations such as cleans and snatches from the hang, knee, below knee, and floor, as well as high pull variations of both styles. Even more difficult and fun is using the split versions of cleans, snatches, and jerks. This sounds like a great set up for a future article for those that have never seen these movements before.
Hybrids are simply the combination of several movements. The easiest example I can provide is when one is learning how to perform a full clean it is often complex to teach all the components at one time. So, we split the teaching into segments. As the athlete is able to perform at least a power clean we can then start using a hybrid to get them use to going into a full clean. Once the weight is cleaned the athlete then takes a moment and performs a front squat. What we have is a hybrid, a power clean plus front squat. Hybrids can be used for any bodypart though. In bodybuilding terms one can do one repetition of a biceps curl then one repetition of a lateral raise. You can also combine them in sets. For example, reps 1-4 biceps curl, reps 5-8 shoulder press, reps 9-12 dumbbell bench press. So, hybrids can be a very useful training tool.