Get some workout tips from an expert! Scott Umberger is the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at Robert Morris University and works specifically with the Men’s and Woman’s Lacrosse Teams. He has all the tips you need to take your game to the next level.
THIS WEEK- Scott talks about turning on the afterburners and pumping those arms. Do you have the need for SPEED?
Getting up to speed with Plyometrics
by Scott Umberger
Quote of the Week:
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
I’m going to talk about what is probably the most abused aspect of youth training. First and foremost an athlete needs to learn how to land properly from a jump or decelerate from a run. There is a specific technique to landing or decelerating. If you don’t do it correctly, you will have problems accelerating. No need to do thousands of reps of other crap if you can’t do the basics of proper body alignment.
Plyometrics and Speed Drills
Most coaches are too enamored with jumping. Why? Because it’s sexy and it’s easy to have several athletes perform jumps at one time. There shouldn’t be more than 40-50 foot touches in a workout. Most programs call for 50 foot touches in one exercise which is one of 4-5 for the workout. Plyometrics need to be intense and done at almost 100% intensity.
- In every lower body workout, I will have my athletes perform a variation of a jumps. More experienced athletes with use some form of resistance (DB’s, weight vest, Kettlebell, bands).
- Other jump variation that I use are Broad Jumps, One Legged bound, split squat jumps, lateral bounding, stadium step work, Medicine Ball Throws, and cone kayos.
- Athletes have a hard time understanding how to rotate their hips and perform “A skip” type leg drive. It is imperative that they understand these mechanics.
- Arm pump is the biggest program I have with all of my athletes at all ages. The legs will only move as fast as the arms. The arms need to pump as efficiently as the lower body.
- Over speed treadmills suck!!! Why? Unless you have running form that is almost perfect, it is my opinion that you are further engraining bad form that will be even hard to fix down the road. Great strong and work on mechanics and conditioning first. Once you have taken 2-4 tenths off your 40 yard dash time and you have impeccable technique then maybe the over speed treadmill fills a void here. So run a legit sub 4.3 electric 40 and then worry about sexy $100k treadmills.
- Speed ladders suck too. When is the last time that you repeated the footwork on the field that you do 10 times on a ladder? You don’t and you never will. There isn’t much difference between a ladder and dancing. Why have Jerry Rice, Emit Smith, and other athletes done very well on Dancing With the Stars? Because they learn the steps and execute them while wearing a questionable outfit and a smile! (The smokin’ hot lady on their arm doesn’t hurt.) My point is that it’s all a skill. That specific skill doesn’t make you a better athlete. Invest your time elsewhere. Now if you love the ladder and want to warm up with it, go ahead. Put it back in the bag once you’re warm.
Scott Umberger is the owner of Umberger Performance and can be reached through his website or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott has worked with high school, college (athletes from 20 different NCAA schools), and professional athletes(MLL, NHL-ECL, MLB, CHL, NFL, NBA, World Championship Games, and Arena Football I & II), 3 All-Americans (track, swimming, hockey), a Biletnikoff Trophy Winner (top DI Football Receiver), 2 Hobe Baker Trophy Finalist-top 3 and top 10 (Heisman Trophy of College Hockey), a top 10 NCAA scorer in Men’s Hockey, a member of the USA U-22 Woman’s Team, FINA Master World Championship Qualifying Swimmer, current Olympic Hopeful Javelin Thrower, ECAC/IC4A qualifying track hurdler.