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Exercise For Confidence: Step Up Lunge

Exercise For Confidence: Step Up Lunge

Where the hell did July go?

With summer training wrapping up, I’m feeling bittersweet.

For one, no athletes died.

Second, the blood, sweat, and tears from conditioning runs is coming to an end.

Third, no more motivational speeches.

Off-season training is one of my favorite times of the year, no doubt. Not only do I have a passion for seeing the progress my athletes make in 2-3 months time, but I also enjoy the commitment of athletes looking to get better.

And certainly, it’s been refreshing to work with athletes who understand you can’t squeeze pre-season training into just one week.

It takes a length of time in the off-season to truly build strength, power, and speed. You need to give yourself at least 2-3 months to adapt to a strength training program and make major physiological improvements.

On the other end, I’ve come across athletes and parents who think a “quick fix” exists.

So what is my reaction when parents ask if I can get their child ready for tryouts in one week? It goes something like this:

Me: “You have a church nearby?”

Parent: “Yes, why?

Me: “Time to start praying.”

Keeping it real, always. ;-O

Now that in-season is upon us, this doesn’t mean stop hitting the gym.

This is the most critical time period to maintain everything built up and strengthened in the off-season. So don’t wither away. Keep those gains.

But don’t go balls-to-the-wall either. While athletes may pull some heavy loads in-season, it’s best to stay in the 80-85% of 1RM range for bigger lifts, and a good sweet spot of 2-3 sets 6-12 reps for accessory lifts.

Here is this week’s Exercise For Confidence:

Why It’s Badass:

1) Single leg strength – this movement is great for both anterior and posterior strength. Predominantly, this will work the quadriceps, but there is some degree of load on the hamstrings and glutes. It’s also a bang-for-you-buck movement if you’re crunched for time.

One of my favorite resources on glute training that includes a myriad of lunge and step up variations is Bret Contreras’ Strong Curves book.

I highly recommend this anyone looking to build a butt that can make the world rumble. Oh, and improve sports performance.

2) Core stability – the single leg component forces the core to remain stable so the body can maintain a proper split stance (in the reverse lunge portion).

If you want to up the ante on the core aspect, rack the dumbbells on the shoulders, or hold a dumbbell “goblet” style against the chest.

Here is an example of goblet style:

3) Balance – the step up is excellent for balance and stability in the ankle and hip. Please make sure to squeeze the working leg glute in this position, and hold the step up for 2-3 seconds.

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