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Body Weight Circuits

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Body Weight Circuits

Bodyweight circuits are an excellent training method to use with your entire team. This type of training provides a number of positive benefits. They are valuable when conditioning large groups of athletes, the strength benefits are valuable when you can't get in the weightroom, they provide a low impact alternative to long tempo runs (great for saving your athletes legs), serve as an excellent recovery workout following an intense neuromuscular day and provide a test of mental strength for athletes who must learn to focus on proper technique when in a state of fatigue.

When using bodyweight circuits, they can be done for a specific amount of time (generally 30-50 seconds, depending on level of conditioning) or for a prescribed number of reps. I often change back and forth to keep the workouts fresh. If doing this circuit for reps, I have prescribed the number of reps to be completed next to the name of the exercise.

Since I primarily use circuits as a recovery and aerobic capacity workout, I have my athletes jog at about 50-60% intensity for 40 meters between each exercise. They should never stop and rest during the workout.

I will usually go through a 10 exercise circuit twice at the beginning of the season and sometimes go 2.5 or 3 times through. Rest between sets is almost always held to 3-4 minutes.

This is great for all athletes, but especially your speed/power athletes such as sprinters, jumpers and even throwers. Short sprinters (50-200m)and jumpers may see circuits 3 times every two weeks. This is primarily because these athletes do not need to run the level of volume that longer sprinters do.

We will often do these circuits with our endurance athletes because they are usually resistant to working in the weightroom.

Circuits should utilize exercises that work on the entire body. Be sure to structure the exercises so that you are not overloading one body part with too many exercises close together.

Though we use these exercises year round (in cold weather, going outside is avoided when possible), they are best suited for General Prep training when athletes of various events are doing the same generalized training.

As a rule, I always put Burpees last. Why? Because kids hate them. By putting them last, when athletes are tired, I can force them to focus on technique, focus on being explosive and focus on being mentally strong. As we know, events, meets and championships are often won and lost on the last jump, throw or at the finish line.

A = all
B = boys
G = girls

bodyweight squat

Bodyweight Squats (A-25)

  1. Start by placing feet shoulder width apart and holding your arms out in front of you.
  2. Proceed to squat down like you are going to sit in a chair. Your upper body will lean forward slightly and your hips will shift backwards while going down.
  3. Remember to keep your knees from going out in front of your toes while squatting.
  4. Repeat according to your required repetitions. If you want to make the exercise more challenging hold your arms at your sides or behind your head.

09WidePushup

Wide Pushups (B-25, G-8) – make sure girls are bending the arms not just faking it!

  1. Lie face down on the floor with hands palm down, fingers pointing straight ahead, and aligned at the nipple line.
  2. Place hands than shoulder width, and feet should be at hip width with toes on floor.
  3. Start position: Extend the elbows and raise the body off the floor.
  4. Lower your entire body (legs, hips, trunk, and head) 4-8 inches from the floor.
  5. Return to the start position by extending at the elbows and pushing the body up.
  6. Remember to keep the head and trunk stabilized in a neutral position by isometrically contracting the abdominal and back muscles. Never fully lock out the elbows at the start position and avoid hyperextension of the low back.

superman

Superman (A-20)

  1. Start position: Lie face down on floor with hands down at sides. You may place a rolled towel under forehead to clear face from floor.
  2. Raise chest and head off floor keeping feet in contact with floor.
  3. Return to start position.
  4. To increase resistance, extend arms and place hands overhead.
  5. Do not raise head past 8-12 inches – excessive hyperextension may cause injury. To vary exercise raise feet while raising trunk

LateralLunge

Lateral Lunge (Do This Without the Box) (A-10 each leg)


Start position: Stand with feet hip width apart. Place hands on waist or out to sides for stability. Step laterally 2-3 feet. Bend knee into a lunge.Pushing off foot, return to start position. Continue with same leg or alternate as prescribed. Remember to keep head and back upright in a neutral position. Shoulders and hips should remain squared at all times.
13EightCounterBodybuilders

8 Count Body Builders (B-15, G-8)


Start in a standing position and bend your knees and place your hands on the ground. Extend your legs back into a push up position. Bring your knees back in towards chest and stand back up. This should be a continuous motion and be fluid.

 

squatjump

Squat Jump (A-10)

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, trunk flexed forward slightly with back straight in a neutral position.
  2. Arms should be in the ready position with elbows flexed at approximately 90°.
  3. Lower body where thighs are parallel to ground.
  4. Explode vertically and drive arms up.
  5. Land on both feet and repeat.
  6. Prior to takeoff extend the ankles to their maximum range (full plantar flexion) to ensure proper mechanics.

hip thrust

Hip Thrusts (A-20)

  1. Lie on your back with your legs bent 90 degrees at the hip.
  2. Slowly lift your hips off the floor and towards the ceiling.
  3. Lower your hips to the floor and repeat for the prescribed time or number of repetitions.

11DiamondPushup

Diamond Pushups (B-15, G-5)

  1. Lie face down on the floor with hands palm down, fingers pointing straight ahead, and aligned at the nipple line.
  2. Place hands in the center of your chest and form a diamond shape with your index fingers and thumbs. Feet should be at hip width with toes on floor.
  3. Start position: Extend the elbows and raise the body off the floor.
  4. Lower your entire body (legs, hips, trunk, and head) 4-8 inches from the floor.
  5. Return to the start position by extending at the elbows and pushing the body up.
  6. Remember to keep the head and trunk stabilized in a neutral position by isometrically contracting the abdominal and back muscles. Never fully lock out the elbows at the start position and avoid hyperextension of the low back.

big_cats

 

Straight Leg Obliques (A-10)

Starting Position: Lie on your back and raise your legs straight into the air. Rotate your legs keeping them straight to the side and the then return to the starting position. Repeat to the other side.

Burpees

Burpees (A-12)

  1. From a standing position, jump as high as possible and land down on your feet with your hands on the ground.
  2. Kick your feet back. For a moment you will be in a push up position and jump back up again as fast as possible.
  3. Repeat for the required time or number of repetitions repetitions.

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