Contrary to popular belief, sports training combined with a sound CrossFit program can actually improve athletic performance in more ways than one. Today, professional athletes are starting to incorporate CrossFit in their training regimen. To name a few: Christie Rampone, captain of gold medalist 2012 Olympic women’s soccer team; NBA star Jason “The Jet” Terry and Jameer Nelson; Minnesota Vikings Wide Receiver Greg Jennings; and pitcher, Brady Aiken of Cleveland Indians.
Not convinced? How does CrossFit specifically improve sports performance, you say? There are many answers but I’ll give one particular answer which can be related to almost all sports.
Take a look at the pictures below:
Football Head Block
Ultimate Frisbee Catch
What do these movements have in common? It’s one of the most important skills an athlete should have. This skill set can be highly developed through crossfit training and it’s called the Vertical Jump.
To increase one’s vertical jump, two factors are needed to be considered:
- Force Output – how much strength or energy is needed to be applied
- Power – how quickly a force can be applied
CrossFit programming, although different from sport specific training, aids in meeting these 2 factors. It works on your sagittal plane very well and develops explosiveness of movement required in most sports. Movements included in the usual wod – such as box jumps, deadlifts with snatch grip, wall balls, pistols, GHD extensions, etc. – helps increase vertical jump.
The two most noteworthy CrossFit exercises to increasing vertical jump are the king of all exercises, back squat; and the derivative of a clean, mid-thigh pull. The former, especially deep squats, develops lower body strength resulting to greater force output. While, the latter trains your nervous system to recruit more muscle units for carrying a heavy load as quickly as possible.
This does not mean exchanging CrossFit training to your sports conditioning program. No, it only means CrossFit is a fairly well-rounded program that can be a beneficial adjunct to your sports regimen. Not only does it increase strength and power but it also enhances metabolic conditioning, agility and speed required for optimal athletic performance. Most importantly, CrossFit builds up the heart and mind of the athlete – mental toughness.
Test out your CrossFit training! See how it has helped you get better at your sport. What better occasion than this coming Sunday’s CFMNL Sportsfest?! See you there, athletes!
Just a little pep talk from Michael Jordan. Learn how to jump higher and be like Mike!
Make that leap!
By: Trixia Mae C. Bacani | RockTape Certified Professional. Mulligan Concept Practitioner. Certified Trigger Point Performance Practitioner. Certified Dorn Method Practitioner. Licensed Physiotherapist. Movement Specialist. http://trixiamaebacani.wix.com/portfolio#!resume/c46c