The Ultimate Home Workout for Athletes
With gyms across the country closing their doors, athletes everywhere are scrambling to find a way to train. “What exercises can I do at home?,” has become a common question amongst the most dedicated athletes nationwide. An important thing to note is that this is not the time to relax and put training on the backburner. In fact, I’d argue that it’s the exact opposite. This is a major opportunity for growth and progress that your competitors may or may not take advantage of. One thing is certain, the athletes who choose not to take action during these difficult times, will be exposed when the dust settles.
Make no mistake you’re going to have to have to work extremely hard to progress from the confines of your living room. This workout that I’m about to share with you includes methods I use on a daily basis that have helped me produce some of the fastest, most explosive, and more importantly, most resilient athletes around. It requires minimal equipment, but maximal effort and covers all areas on the performance spectrum.
The Workout is split up into 4 sections:
- Dynamic Warmup
- Speed and Power
The purpose of a dynamic warmup is to increase internal temperature, improve general movement quality, and promote blood flow to working tissues. It is a kick starter for any well planned workout and is an essential way to prevent injury on the field and during exercise. Skipping the dynamic warmup is equivalent to saying “I am okay with getting subpar results.”
Perform 2 rounds:
- Jumping Jacks – 20 repetitions
- Bodyweight Squat – 20 repetitions
- Knee Hug to Reverse Lunge – 5 repetitions each
- Inchworms – 8 repetitions
- Hamstring Walkout – 8 repetitions
Speed And Power
The main focus of our speed and power section is to train acceleration and force absorption. In most field sports there is constant sprinting, cutting, and changing direction. These fast, explosive movements put forces on the tendons that cause them to get stiff. Tendon stiffness is a great thing and it is a common trait in high performing athletes, however, too much stiffness can put an athlete at risk for some nasty soft tissue injuries. Now, consider the current model for youth athletics, which is to play your sport at game intensity, year round. This amplifies the issue and is a major contributor to the high number tears and overuse injuries we see today. It is important to reduce forces on the body at certain points throughout the year by sprinting at slower speeds (acceleration) and by loading the body in a slow and controlled manner (we will talk more about this in the lifting section). Now is a perfect time to make that happen.
Squat Jumps – 3 sets of 5 repetitions
When performing squat jumps reset between reps and focus on landing with your hips above your knees. Try to be quiet on your landings, but also firm. Do not let your body sink too low to the floor. These are not meant to be fast and reactive, but rather to practice good landing mechanics and prime your body for the acceleration drills to come.
Hill Sprints or Wall Drills – 8-10 sprints or 5 sets of 10 second wall drills
Of course not everyone has a hill, but I included hill sprints because sprinting up hill is going to promote good acceleration mechanics, slow you down significantly (take stress off the tendons), and give you a reason to get out of your house and get some fresh air. Parks and fields being closed down further adds to the challenge, so if you have an open yard you can sprint in a straight line (no more than 20 yards) or perform wall drills which are a great tool for teaching joint angles during acceleration.
As mentioned in the speed and power section loading the body in a slow and controlled manner is going to cause relaxation of the tendons and a decrease in tendon stiffness. Having this balance of tendon health and performance is going to be key in the longevity of your career. There are two full body circuits listed (A and B), with core exercises at the end of each to help you reset before the next round.
A1. Reverse Lunge w/ Rotation – 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions per side
It’s highly likely that most athletes do not have access to a ton of weight at their house. This is a perfect time to challenge yourself with single leg exercises. The rotation at the end of the lunge is essential to strengthening the hips and knees.
A2. Yoga Pushup to Toe Touch – 3 sets of 6-10 repetitions
The yoga pushup to toe touch is quite possibly my favorite bodyweight exercise. It addresses relative upper body strength, shoulder health and stability, ankle mobility, and core strength. You can’t go wrong when you have this exercise in your program.
A3. Dead Bug – 3 sets of 5 repetitions each side
Having a 6 pack is great, but if you can’t keep your core engaged while moving your limbs in space it’s not doing much for you. The dead bug is my go to exercise for anyone looking to improve their low back health.
B1. Elevated Single Leg Glute Bridge –3 sets of 8-12 repetitions each side
Training your glutes and hamstrings to extend the hip is key for jumping and sprinting. The elevated single leg glute bridge is one of the best bodyweight options for improving lower body posterior chain strength.
B2. Single Arm Row or Bent Over T,Y,W – 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions each side or 12 total for Bent Over T,Y,W
The single arm row is a staple in most of my programs, but if you don’t have any weights, the bent over T,Y,W is a great alternative to build some upper back strength and protect the shoulders.
B3. T-Plank – 3 sets of 10 repetitions each side
The T-Plank is a great unilateral core exercise. It allows you to really focus on one side of the abdominal wall, while the added rotation helps to mobilize the ribcage.
Last but not least we have our cooldown and mobility routine. Make this a priority in your program. It is important to gradually bring your heart rate down, explore new ranges of motion, and control your breathing. If you can accomplish that while targeting hamstrings and adductors to keep the hips and low back healthy, you have an ideal post workout cooldown.
Perform 1 set each
- 90-90 Hip Stretch – Hold the position shown below for 45 seconds each side
- Deep Squat with Reach – Hold the position shown below for 45 seconds while inhaling calmly through your nose and exhaling through your mouth
- 90-90 Hip Lift – Hold the position shown below for 60 seconds while inhaling calmly through your nose and exhaling through your mouth
This is an extremely important moment in your athletic career. You have an opportunity to slingshot past anyone who decides not to take action during these crazy times. I promise you that those individuals will be exposed when this is all over. Which side will you be on?