By John Annillo, C.S.C.S. Men's Fitness
There is an old proverb that reads, ďA chain is only as strong as its weakest link.Ē A fighter needs to be strong all around, if there is one link in his chain thatís weak: defeat, a lack-luster performance, and even injury will be inevitable. By working these often-neglected muscles you will get stronger, prevent injury, and this may be exactly what you need to elevate your game to the next level.
Competition is lost and won by fractions of a second or inch. What will get you ahead of your competition is focusing on your missing links and making your biggest weakness your biggest strength.
At Training for Warriors we bring clients through an assessment, which helps us determine not only where they are proficient but also where they are weak. Our ďprehabĒ exercises can help alleviate problems from previous injuries, prevent new ones from occurring, and even help you break through plateaus with some of your lifts.
Target Muscles: Neck, Hands, Ankles, and Knees
Workout Level: Easy/Intermediate
Frequency: Perform the circuit up to 3xís a week
Time Needed: 10-15 minutes
How To Do It: Finish your workout with these exercises or try implementing some of them into your current routines. Perform the routine in a circuit fashion completing one exercise after another before moving onto the next set.
1. Physioball Isometric Lateral Hold 3x10 (Left and Right)
2. Shrugs 3x15
3. Farmer Walks 3x60 sec.
4. Lateral Band Walk 3x10 steps (Left and Right)
5. Physioball Bridge 3x10
6. Ankle Touches 3x10 (Each Leg)
Implement these exercises into your workouts:
Towel Barbell Curl
Barefoot Medicine-Ball Lunge w/ Rotation
Physioball Lateral Hold
Stand near a wall holding a Physio Ball between the side of your head and the wall. Press the ball into the wall with the side of your head and hold for 3 seconds before returning to the original position. Repeat 10 times then switch sides.
Stand holding dumbbells at your side with your arms straight. Bring your shoulders up to your ears, pause for a second, and then return to the starting position.
Pick up the heaviest dumbbells you can handle and walk with them hanging at your sides. If you don't have the space, walk in a figure-eight pattern. Do not use wrist straps or other grip-enhancing equipment.
Lateral Band Walk
Stand with an ankle/resistance band tied around both ankles. Lower down into a quarter squat and take a step to the right keeping your feet at a minimum shoulder-width apart with each step. Perform 10 steps to the right then 10 steps back to the starting position.
Lie back on a Swiss ball with your arms straight out to your sides and knees bent 90 degrees. Keeping your hips elevated (in line with your body), step to your left and roll your torso to the left until your left shoulder is in line with your left knee. Hold for three seconds, and then return to the starting position. Now lower your hips to just an inch above the floor, and then extend them to return to the starting position again. Repeat on the opposite side. That's one rep.
Stand balancing on your right foot with your left hand in the air. Squat down touching your right ankle, then return to the original position. Complete 10 good repetitions then switch sides.
Begin in the pushup position with both hands up on the 5 fingertips. Lower the torso under control while keeping the back straight. Extend at the elbows to return to the original position.
Towel Barbell Curl
Grab a barbell with a towel wrapped around it with an underhand grip (Palms up). Stand tall, keeping your elbows locked against your sides. Lift the weight until your elbows are fully bent. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. Thatís one rep.
Medicine-Ball Lunge w/Rotation
With your sneakers off, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a medicine ball straight out in front of you at shoulder height. Keeping your torso upright, step forward with your right leg and lower yourself until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Rotate your torso as far as you can to the right . Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep. Complete all your reps on that leg, and then switch legs and repeat, rotating to the left side.