athletic conditioning For Team Sports

The question:

How does training for explosive athletic strength and working on movement skills in the gym improve:

running, jumping, skating, throwing

mobility, agility, power, speed-endurance

and the technical aspects of your sport?

the answer:

Improvements in physical literacy


Building physical literacy is the first step towards gaining strength and learning to move powerfully for your sport.  Becoming fluent with fundamental movement patterns, which transcend all sport is truly a journey, and progressing through the stages of training when, and only when, you are both physically- and mentally-prepared is an integral part of the process.

 A well-versed coach can provide a global perspective of where an athlete is at on their journey, and build a comprehensive plan to safely move the athlete toward their goals, and dominance in their sport. Only with deliberate practice of proper movement will physical mastery become a reality

Skill acquisition and the development of precise movement patterns should be the first stage on the road of any athlete’s conditioning program. Using the gym setting to build physical literacy and learning to move efficiently (and eventually powerfully) is an integral component of becoming an overall well-rounded athlete.

All sport movement, which is comprised of dynamic, multi-directional, muliti-planar movements implemented across sports are all comprised of the same basic building blocks.  That is, we all use the same muscles and sequence of firing to triple-extend at the hips, knees, and ankles to explosively leave the floor when jumping.  Although performed at variable paces or in vastly differing combinatorial sequences in respect to the movements employed, all complex, multi-directional movement can be broken down into its basic movement skills

As an example, the skill-set involved in change-of-direction skills are of paramount importance for all multi-directional sports.  The ability to change direction on the ice compared to a field or court sport, such as soccer or basketball, differs in how they are executed within the sport itself; however, the mechanisms by which your muscle groups and muscle fibres function to accelerate and decelerate your body are the same.    

Activating a particular muscle group - at the proper time, at the proper intensity, and for the proper duration - can be taught through a structured learning process.  Building the muscular strength and endurance in your core and the 'small' muscles that act as helpers (synergists) to your larger muscles (prime movers) will allow you to move more fluidly with a better economy of movement.  That is, you will learn to move more efficiently and waste less energy though imprecise technique, and, as a result, better harness your energies to perform at your optimal output and maintain peak performance for longer periods.

Are you preparing for an obstacle course race?

The upcoming season for your team sport?

Your next trail-running, road or group adventure race?

Or merely looking to push your fitness to new heights?

Which energy systems are required for your sport; what are the common injuries sustained or accrued over time in your sport; what types of movement patterns are utilized for your sport, which muscle groups are responsible for power generation, stability, and endurance, what is the frequency and duration of contraction of these muscle groups

Train for the stresses of your sport as opposed to training with the stresses of your sport

Analyze the energy systems, movement patterns and common injuries of your sport

Assess the athlete - Build a solid physiological base through anatomical adaptation

Create a basic program with regressions and progressions for each exercise to allow athletes at differing skill, strength, or intensity levels to 1) exercise in a team or small group environment, 2) see their own progress over time as compared to their teammates or peer group in respect to skill development, movement efficiency, strength and endurance gains, and overall athleticism. and 3) work toward skill mastery through development of physical literacy and learning the language of sound biomechanical movement

individualized program based on the strength and movement skills assessment for each particular athlete with areas-of-focus in:

what types of movement patterns are utilized for your sport

which muscle groups are responsible for power generation, stability, and endurance

what is the frequency and duration of contraction of these muscle groups

Sport Conditioning (or Functional Fitness) classes at Breathe Fitness on Whyte Ave are geared toward athletes participating in any endeavour.  Although each unique sport, race, or event has its own strength, skill, and energy system requirements, the basic movement patterns and mechanics governing how we propel our bodies through space and time are conserved across disciplines, and the manner in which these movement skills are taught is universal among athletes.

The factors in a fitness training program that do, and should, always change are the exercise variations each particular athlete should be performing based on their current skill level, the intensities and durations of the 'active' and 'rest' phases both within and between workout sessions, and the ability of your coach to 'see' where your strengths lie, showing you how to expose and how to conquer your areas-in-need-of-improvement, and to keep you motivated to strive for change over time.

Remember: Rome wasn't built in a day - so working hard over time is a necessity. The Titanic was also (supposedly) unsinkable - so acting and reacting to unforeseen circumstances means there will be 'homework' you will need to do on your own if you want to truly excel.  The good news: our coaches at Breathe Fitness will show you how to move properly so you have the know-how and confidence to steer your own ship!


"The ViPR is a phenomenal tool for training movement with strength." - Nicole Lark, ViPR Master Trainer & Breathe Fitness Coach

The length of time or number of bounds will be dependant on what you are trying to achieve. Focus on absorbing the landing by flexing the hip, knee, and ankle, landing low, keeping the spine neutral and chest up.

All sessions are held at Breathe Fitness on Whyte

Current classes: 

Wednesdays from 8-9 PM

[Starts Wednesday, August 17th, 2016]

$149 for 5 classes

Join anytime :: All skill levels welcome

Want to come in with a group of friends or teammates?

Train for Fun :: Train to Excel :: Train for Living