Even though I only play sport socially now, I still want to be athletic!
Playing basketball has always been a way to blow off some steam and let out that competitive nature that gets bottled up inside.
But what sucks is not being able play anymore because we’re injured. Or not being able to perform like we once could.
This for me is a massive frustration and a huge motivator. Being able to stay injury free and play with that pep in my step! like I did when I was younger is really important to me.
Although, I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way trying to stay athletic, I see a lot of guys making these same mistakes!
Mistake #1 – Isolation Movements
Probably the most common is guys doing too many isolation movements. They spend a lot of there energy on machines, like the knee extension and hamstring curl. Or there doing a lot of dumbbell work, like bicep curls and tricep extensions.
The problem with this is that this teaches their body to contract these muscles in isolation. Without integrating them into the surrounding musculature.
This creates a situation where all those little muscles surrounding our prime movers, do not get strengthened.These little stabiliser muscles are the key to getting stronger and improving our athletic ability.
Focusing more on compound movements, will teach the body to move as a whole. Giving the body the stability it needs to perform at its potential. More focus should be put on integrated movements like chin-ups, push-ups, squat and deadlift variations. You’ll be surprised to see what happens to your body when you do this!
Mistake #2 – No Structure
This is the mistake I have personally made the most, just going into the gym and not having a plan! Just training on a whim and doing what I feel like on the day.
However, anytime that I’ve had a structured program and stuck to it, that’s when I’ve seen the most gains. I’ve gotten stronger, faster and built more muscle.
Having a plan will allow you to monitor your progress and ensure that you don’t over train, which will be covered more in mistake #4!
Mistake #3 – No Mobility
I’m not going to lie, mobility is hard work! and its not the most exciting thing to do in the gym. Although it’s probably the biggest thing holding most guys back from playing and doing the things they enjoy the most.
Mobility will prevent injuries and improve movement efficiency, this alone will improve your quickness and change of direction, no matter what sport you play.
Mistake #4 – Too Much Volume
The older I get, the more I realise that less is more. Especially when it comes to getting stronger relative to your body weight, which is the key to becoming more athletic.
The lifestyles we lead are generally quite stressful. Exercise as important as it is, still acts as a stress on the body. Due to this fact we have to become very careful not to over train and push our body past the point of no return.
Doing too much volume in the gym will tax your nervous system and will drastically limit the strength and muscle you’ll build. Focusing more on quality then quantity and not spending hours in the gym will pay dividends in the long run.
If you have any questions, just reach out.