Off Season Program

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All Saints Catholic Academy Off-Season Football Conditioning Program and Guidelines Developing Strength, Speed, and Agility

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Introduction As we all know, football is a sport that requires the athlete to possess many qualities. Among the more important physical qualities that football demands are strength, explosive strength, speed, speed endurance, quickness, and agility. The program outlined on the following pages addresses these demands through a combination of exercises that, when combined, help the athlete improve along all these dimensions. The program is organized around the following training components: Flexibility –Dynamic Warm-Ups and Post-Workout Static stretching exercises. Improved flexibility is core to all athletic development. Speed and Speed Endurance – Sprinting and sprint form development exercises. Agility – through the use of cone drills that simulate directional changes encountered in the game. Explosive Strength –Upper and lower body plyometric exercises. Strength – Body weight and light resistance exercises focused on individual body parts.

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Introduction Here is what you need to execute all of the drills and exercises outlined: 6 cones Lightweight barbell or other straight bar-like object Medicine ball or other soft weighted object DEDICATION As Vince Lombardi famously said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all”. Let’s be ready to play football in August. Investing 3-4 hours per week will make a huge difference! ALL SAINTS 2007 FOOTBALL TEAM COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE

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Off-Season Program Continued On Next Page Week 1 (3 days; rest alternate days)

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Off-Season Program The above workout is for Week 1(1) of the off-season program. From week-to-week you will need to add intensity to the workout in order to continue to develop. Here are some suggestions for progressions for each exercise group: Speed/Sprinting –Increase yardage by 60-100 yards each week for both the Speed Ladder and Sprint Interval drills. Agilities – add 1 additional rep of each drill every 4 weeks – Weeks 5 and 9 Plyometrics – add 1 additional rep to each set each week. Strength – add 1 additional rep to each set each week; once you get to 10 reps in a set start a new set at 2 reps and continue working up). If using weights already work within your own program. (1) It is important to note that different athletes are at different levels of base conditioning. If the above program is too fatiguing for an athlete it is recommended that the work load be reduced for each activity to accommodate the athlete’s base fitness level. That level can be brought up through the consistent and dedicated effort of working out and using the overall design of this program. Continued From Previous Page

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Flexibility Capable of being bent or flexed Pliable Capable of being bent repeatedly without injury or damage.

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Flexibility - Dynamic Warm-Ups Objective: To get players’ muscles warm and loose in preparation for exercise.

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Flexibility - Post Work-Out Static Stretching Objective: To increase overall flexibility through a post-workout static stretching program. Do not coach players to “overstretch”. Hold each stretch for a count of 10-15 seconds; then repeat and hold for a count of 10-15 seconds. Butterfly Standing Groin – Left and Right Hurdler – Left and Right Quad Pull – Left and Right Lunge – Left & Right Calf Stretch – Left & Right Knee Pull – Left & Right Lying Abdominal Back Twist – Left & Right Side Bends – Left & Right Torso Twist – Left & Right Arm Circles – Forward & Back Hugs

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Speed The rate of motion The magnitude of a velocity Swiftness of action The act of moving rapidly The state of being in rapid motion

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Speed Exercises The exercises found elsewhere in this guide will all help the athlete improve their speed. Strength, explosiveness, flexibility, and agility are all foundations of speed development. But like all things speed also improves through practice and repetitions. Speed also improves with form. The following pages outline some of the keys to improving speed and speed endurance. What is the Correct Sprinting Form? Head and neck should be aligned with body, not forward. Arms should be relaxed and flexed to 90° at the elbow. Arm swing should come from the shoulder and should be linear, not crossing the body. Let the body lean, but do not bend. The body should have a slight forward tilt from the ground, not a bend at the hips. Run on the balls of the feet, not the toes. The foot should land directly underneath the sprinter - over-stride causes braking; under-striding causes a lot of fast movement and energy expenditure without covering enough ground. Keep the head and trunk still and the entire body relaxed.

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Speed/Sprint Exercises 60 Yard Speed/Sprint Ladder Drill Prior to engaging in speed/sprint exercises do the following technique sequence (each activity for 30 seconds): Arm pumping action – with knees on ground simulate the correct motion of the arms during a sprint Fast Feet in place – knees raised and landings on balls of feet. Fast feet in place with arm pumping action - combine the 2 above. Sprint Interval Drill 10 yard sprints (rest 20 seconds between each sprint) 20 yard sprints (rest 20 seconds between each sprint) 40 yard sprints (rest 20 seconds between each sprint)

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Agility The ability to stop, start, and change the direction of the body or body parts explosively and in a controlled manner

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Cone Drills – cone drills are an excellent way to work on speed and agility. The following pages include a collection of excellent cone drills, but cone drill options are only limited by the imagination. Use cone drills to simulate all of the movements football demands. Agility – Cone Drills Start by straddling Cone A Sprint from Cone A to Cone B touching Cone B with right hand Sprint from Cone B to Cone C touching Cone C with left hand Sprint back to and through Cone A Pro Agility Drill (20 Yards) Big T Drill (40 Yards) Sprint from Cone A to Cone B Sprint around Cone B to Cone C Sprint around cone C to Cone D Sprint around Cone D to Cone B Sprint around Cone B and Backpedal to Cone A

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Agility – Cone Drills Start at Cone A Sprint to Cone B and Back to Cone A Sprint from Cone A around Cone B Sprint from Cone B around the inside of Cone C Sprint from Cone C around the outside of Cone B Sprint from Cone B to Cone A Big L Drill (30 Yards) Box Drill (20 Yards) Start at Cone A Sprint to Cone B Shuffle left to Cone C Backpedal to Cone D Shuffle right to Cone A Variations can be made (replace shuffle with carioca) A D B C

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Agility – Cone Drills Start at X Sprint to and around Cone A Sprint from Cone A to and around Cone B Sprint back to and through the starting point Figure 8 Drill (10 Yards) Zig Zag Drill (60 Yards) Start at Cone A Sprint to inside of Cone B and touch with right hand Sprint to inside of Cone C and touch with left hand Continue through remaining cones End with sprint back to Cone A Vary by running around outside of cones A D B C A B E F

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Agility – Cone Drills Starburst Tennis Ball Drill (40 Yards) Set up a 10 yard square box with cones that can have a tennis ball placed on top Place a Frisbee or other bowl in middle of box that can hold tennis balls Start the drill with all tennis balls in bowl in middle Player starts at any external cone Sprint to middle, pick up tennis ball, sprint to any external cone and place tennis ball Continue until each cone has a ball on top Reverse drill by starting in middle and sprinting out to each cone, getting tennis ball, and putting it back in the bowl Continue until all balls are back in bowl

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Agility – Cone Drills Backpedal-to-Sprint Circuit The drill is conducted in 6 phases (3 reps in each direction) as follows: Back and forth: On the coach’s command, the defenders drive from their stances and backpedal for 5 yards and then push forward for 5 yards. Straight back to front: On the coach’s command, the defenders drive their stances and backpedal for 10 yards and then push off the back foot and sprint back to their original positions. Alternate pushing off the left and right foot. Push right or left: On coach’s command, the defenders drive from their stances and backpedal for 10 yards and then cut and sprint 10 yards at a 90-degree angle. Sprint both left and right. Push up and in at a 45-degree angle: On the coach’s command, the defenders drive from their stances and backpedal for 10 yards and then cut and sprint 10 yards at 45-degree angles toward the LOS. Sprint at 45-degree angles both left and right. Turn and break deep at a 45-degree angle: On the coach’s command, the defenders drive from their stances and backpedal for 10 yards and then cut and sprint 10 yards at 45-degree angles away from the LOS. Sprint at 45-degree angles both left and right. Turn deep at a 45-degree angle; roll around on deep throw back: On the coach’s command, the defenders drive from their stances and backpedal for 10 yards and then cut and sprint 10 yards at 45-degree angles away from the LOS, the defenders turn completely around with their backs away from the LOS and sprint back at 45-degree angles. Sprint both left and right.

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Explosive Strength The ability to apply a maximal force against an external object or ones own body, as in sprinting or jumping, in minimum time

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Plyometric Exercises Plyometrics is a popular training technique used by many coaches today. It has been touted as a way to bridge the gap between sheer strength and power. Some important facts and guidelines regarding the use of plyometrics include: The stretch-shortening cycle, characterized by rapid deceleration of a mass followed almost immediately by rapid acceleration of the mass in the opposite direction is essential in the performance of most competitive sports, particularly those involving running, jumping, and rapid changes in direction. A plyometric exercise program-which trains the muscles, connective tissue, and nervous system to effectively carry out the stretch-shortening cycle-can improve performance in the most competitive sports. Plyometric drills affecting a particular muscle/joint complex should not be performed on consecutive days. Plyometric drills should not be performed when an athlete is fatigued. Time for complete recovery should be allowed between plyometric exercise sets. A thorough set of warm-up exercises should be performed before beginning a plyometric training session. Less demanding drills should be mastered prior to attempting more complex and intense drills.

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Plyometrics – Lower Body Squat jumps (can be done in-place, forward, or side-to-side to add variety and intensity) Assume a relaxed standing position, feet shoulder-width. Place hands behind the head (elbows back and pointed to the sides) to aid with correct upright posture. Flex hips, knees, and ankles to assume a parallel squat position. The head should be held in a neutral position with the back flat. Explosively extend the hips, knees, and ankles while jumping to maximal height (vertical). Pogo jumps (can be done in-place, forward, or side-to-side to add variety and intensity) Begin with feet approximately hip-width apart, upright position (chest out, head neutral, back flat), with knees slightly flexed. Extend the knees and forcefully extend the ankles. Project the hips upward using only the ankles, slight knee extension, and arm blocking movement to attain height. Upon take-off, the foot should regain the toe up position for landing. Tuck jumps (in place only) Assume an upright position, with the feet shoulder-width apart and an upright, slightly forward torso position. Begin the jump with a rapid double arm swing and lower body counter-movement. Immediately follow with the explosive extension of the hips, knees and ankles upward). The knees should be re-flexed and pulled high to the chest. The sequence is repeated, concentrating on flexing and pulling the knees upward while attaining good vertical displacement of the hips.

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Plyometrics – Lower Body Split squat jumps (in place only) Assume a stance with one leg extended forward and the other oriented behind the midline of the body as in a lunge position. The forward leg’s knee and hip should be flexed at 90 degrees with the knee of the back touching the ground and the thigh of the back leg perpendicular to the ground surface. Explosively jump off the front leg by extending the hip, knees, and ankle while using the arms to “block” the body off the ground. Torso should remain in an upright, chest out, back flat position. When landing, maintain the same foot forward stride position. Keep the knee of the front leg in-line with the foot and repeat the jump. Double leg butt kicks (in place only) Assume an upright position, feet hip-width to shoulder-width apart, arms relaxed and at the side of the body. Begin jump movement with a short (1/4 squat) counter-movement using arms to swing and initiate the double-arm blocking movement. Explode into the air achieving maximal hip height by extending the hips, knees, and ankles and blocking with a double-arm action. Pull heels under butt with knees approximately parallel to the ground surface. Alternate leg bounds (in place or forward) Assume a position with one foot slightly ahead of the other as in initiating a step with arms relaxed at the sides of the body. A walking or running start may be used when technique is acquired. Alternate or double arm swings may be used. A rocker step initiates the movement, pushing off the back leg while driving the opposite knee up and out. The drive knee should block at approximately 90 degrees as the arms simultaneously block. The non-support ankle should be locked with the heel under the hips. Before making contact with the ground, prepare the opposite leg for contact with the surface. Once ground contact is established immediately repeat the bound to the opposite side.

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Plyometrics – Upper Body Bear crawls A modified crawl where the player crawls on his hands and feet. Players should be on the balls of their feet so that their butt is slightly up in the air. Plyometric Pushup Start in a traditional pushup position. (Beginners should assume a push-up on knees position. Proceed to do push-ups except that at top of motion the player should clap his hands before returning to the ground. Once proficient conduct these exercises out of the standard push-up position.) Explode upward until the hands come off the ground Drop until the chest almost touches the ground and reset and repeat. Plyometric Pushup With Clap – Same as above but clap hands as you come off the ground. Medicine ball exercises There are numerous medicine ball exercises that are excellent for upper body plyometric training. Below is a sample. Start with a light ball (even a basketball will do) and increase weight resistance as it becomes comfortable. Overhead Toss Chest Pass Wind-Up Side Toss Jump Shot Vertical Scoop

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Strength Physically powerful Capable of exerting great physical force Capable of withstanding force or wear

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Strength Training Exercises The following pages provide instruction for each of the strength exercises outline in the program. Some important things to note about these exercises. All of the suggested exercises rely primarily on the use of body weight and natural resistance. Boys in the 10-14 year old range are at various stages of development and some might be ready for more weight-resisted exercises but many are not. Regardless, this program does provide a full range of exercises that will help our athletes increase their strength. There are numerous exercises that can be used for each area of the body. This collection is a starting point. Several good databases exist that have excellent information on other exercises and general information on strength training. Two websites I have used are: www.bodybuilding.com/fun/exercises.htm www.exrx.net/index.html As boys become stronger and more proficient at these exercises you may consider adding light weight. If your child is already involved in a weight training program revisit it to make sure it is safe and balanced. This set of exercises is provided as a general program to increase strength in the average athlete at our level.

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Isometric Neck Exercise Main Muscle Worked: Neck Other Muscles Worked: None You can perform this exercise seated or standing. Place your head and neck in a neutral position. Place both of your hands on your head and gently push for 2-3 seconds. Resist any movement of your head by "isometrically" contracting your neck muscles. Repeat in each direction of neck movement. Strength - Neck

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Strength - Shoulders Standing Military Press Main Muscle Worked: Shoulders Other Muscles Worked: Triceps Raise barbell to your chest with your hands shoulder width apart. Lock your legs and hips. Keep your elbows in, slightly under your bar. Press bar to arm's length overhead. Lower to your upper chest or chin (depending on what is comfortable). Don't arch your back excessively. NOTE: For beginners it is suggested that a light barbell or other light straight rod (PVC pipe, broomstick, etc.) be used without weights. Weight can be added as the athlete becomes more proficient with the exercise.

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Pushups Main Muscle Worked: Chest Other Muscles Worked: Triceps, Shoulders Kneel down on the floor and place your hands flat on the floor and slightly wider than shoulder width apart. With your shoulders directly over your hands, straighten your arms. Move your feet back, placing your toes on the floor, so that your knees are off the floor and your legs are straight. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles and should remain straight throughout this exercise. Keep your head and neck in line with your body so that your are looking down toward the floor. In a controlled fashion, lower your body down toward the floor, bending your elbows, until your body is nearly touching the floor. Now, push your body up away from the floor, straightening your arms, and return to the starting position. Strength - Chest Variations: Perform exercise from knees if needed at first. Widen or narrow the hand position to place emphasis on outer or inner chest Elevate feet to increase intensity of exercise Place light weight or resistance on back to increase intensity of exercise

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Upright Barbell Row Main Muscle Worked: Traps Other Muscles Worked: Biceps, Shoulders Standing upright, grasp a barbell with your hands about shoulder width apart. Let the bar hang straight down in front of you. Keep your body and wrists straight. Pull the bar straight up towards your chin, keeping it close to your body. Lower slowly to the starting position. Don't cheat by leaning forward or backward. Don't swing! Keep your back straight - don't arch it. Keep your navel pulled in. Keep movements slow and controlled. Strength – Upper Back NOTE: For beginners it is suggested that a light barbell or other light straight rod (PVC pipe, broomstick, etc.) be used without weights. Weight can be added as the athlete becomes more proficient with the exercise.

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Bent Over Barbell Row Main Muscle Worked: Middle Back Other Muscles Worked: Biceps, Lats Position your feet at about shoulder width. Bend over so your back is as close to parallel to the floor as you can and hold bar with an overhand grip and with hands a little wider than shoulder width. Keep legs slightly bent. Hold bar at arm's length straight down. Pull bar straight up to the lower part of your chest. Slowly lower bar back to starting position. Keep your head up and back straight at all times, and do NOT swing or use momentum to lift the weight! Don't arch back excessively during movement. Don't let bar touch the floor during exercise. Strength – Middle Back NOTE: For beginners it is suggested that a light barbell or other light straight rod (PVC pipe, broomstick, etc.) be used without weights. Weight can be added as the athlete becomes more proficient with the exercise.

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Superman Main Muscle Worked: Lower Back Other Muscles Worked: None Lie face down on the floor with your arm stretched out directly overhead (like Superman flying, hence the name). Raise your arms, chest and legs off the floor and hold it there for 2 seconds and squeeze. Lower back to the ground and repeat. You can also do these one arm and leg at a time as follows: Raise your left arm and right leg into the air at the same time, also raising your chest slightly off the floor. Hold there for a second and squeeze the muscles of your lower back. Lower your limbs back to the ground then raise your right arm and left leg and hold for a second. Strength – Lower Back

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Chin-Ups with a reverse grip (palms facing you) and your hands about 6 to 8 inches apart are also an excellent bicep exercise. Barbell Curl Main Muscle Worked: Biceps Other Muscles Worked: None With your hands shoulder-width apart, grip a barbell with an underhand grip. Stand straight up with your shoulders squared and with your feet shoulder-width apart. Let the bar hang down at arm's length in front of you, with your arms, shoulders and hands in a straight line. WITHOUT leaning back or swinging the weight, curl the bar up toward your chest in an arc. Keep your elbows in the same place and close to your sides. Bring the weight up as high as you can and squeeze the biceps at the top. Lower the weight slowly, resisting all the way down until your arms are nearly straight. Strength – Biceps NOTE: For beginners it is suggested that a light barbell or other light straight rod (PVC pipe, broomstick, etc.) be used without weights. Weight can be added as the athlete becomes more proficient with the exercise.

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Bench Dips Main Muscle Worked: Triceps Other Muscles Worked: Chest Place two flat benches parallel to each other, about three to four feet apart. Sit on one bench facing the other, with your hands grasping the side of the bench. Using your hands to support your weight, lift your feet to the top of the other bench so that the rest of your body is suspended between the two benches. Slowly lower your body toward the floor by bending your elbows until your upper arms and forearms form a right angle. Do not go below a 90-degree angle, as this can stress your shoulders. Slowly raise back up to the start position by straightening your arms. You can also place a weight plate on your upper legs for added resistance! Strength – Triceps OR

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Seated Barbell Wrist Curls Main Muscle Worked: Forearms Other Muscles Worked: None Hold a barbell with both hands and your palms facing up. Your hands should be about 16 inches apart. Sit at the end of a bench with your feet flat on the floor and about 20 inches apart. Lean forward and place your forearms on your upper arms and the back of your wrists over your knees. Lower bar as far as possible, keeping a tight grip. Curl bar up as high as possible. Do not let your forearms move! Can also be done with two dumbbells. Reverse grip (palms facing down) to work top side of the forearms. Strength – Forearms NOTE: For beginners it is suggested that a light barbell or other light straight rod (PVC pipe, broomstick, etc.) be used without weights. Weight can be added as the athlete becomes more proficient with the exercise.

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Crunches Main Muscle Worked: Abdominals Other Muscles Worked: None Lie flat on your back with your feet flat on the ground. Place your hands lightly on either side of your head keeping your elbows in. Don't lock your fingers behind your head! Push the small of your back down in the floor to isolate your abdominal muscles. Begin to roll your shoulders off the floor. Continue to push down as hard as you can with your lower back. Your shoulders should come up off the floor only about four inches, and your lower back should remain on the floor. Focus on slow, controlled movement - don't cheat yourself by using momentum! Strength – Abdominals

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Leg Pull-In Main Muscle Worked: Abdominals Other Muscles Worked: None Lie on the floor with your hands under your butt, your palms down, and your legs extended. Bend your knees and pull your upper thighs into your midsection. Raise your shoulders slightly off the ground. Return to the starting position. Concentrate on your lower abs. You can hold a dumbbell between your feet to make it harder. Strength – Abdominals

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Oblique Crunches Main Muscle Worked: Abdominals Other Muscles Worked: None Lie flat on your back with your knees bent (placing your knees on the floor or resting on a bench). Place your left hand over your left ear. Roll your upper body up to the right until your left elbow touches your right knee. Concentrate on tensing the sides of your waist and holding contraction throughout the movement. Slowly lower to the starting position. After completing a full set of reps on the left side, switch to your right side and do the same thing. Strength – Abdominals

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Plank Main Muscle Worked: Abdominals Other Muscles Worked: None Kneel down resting upon your forearms and knees. Draw your stomach in and up while keeping your back flat, then hold this position for thirty to sixty seconds. Ensure you don't flex or extend your spine, but rather hold a neutral spine position throughout. You should feel a burning sensation deep in your stomach, this indicates you are doing the exercise correctly and working the correct muscle. Strength – Abdominals

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Barbell Squat Main Muscle Worked: Quadriceps Other Muscles Worked: Hamstrings, Calves, Glutes Rest a barbell on the upper portion of your back, not your neck. Firmly grip the bar with your hands almost twice your shoulder width apart. Position your feet about shoulder width apart and your toes should be pointing just a little outward with your knees in the same direction. Keep your back as straight as possible and your chin up, bend your knees and slowly lower your hips straight down until your THIGHS ARE PARALLEL TO THE FLOOR. Once you reach the bottom position, press the weight up back to the starting position. Don't lean over or curve your back forward! You can also use a wider stance to work the inner quads even more. Strength – Quadriceps NOTE: For beginners it is suggested that a light barbell or other light straight rod (PVC pipe, broomstick, etc.) be used without weights. Weight can be added as the athlete becomes more proficient with the exercise.

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Barbell Lunge Main Muscle Worked: Hamstrings Other Muscles Worked: Quads, Calves, Glutes Place a barbell on your upper back. Lift your chest up and look straight ahead. Position your right leg forward in a long stride. Your foot should be far enough in front of you so that when you bend your right knee, your thigh and lower leg form a right angle. Slowly bend your knees, lowering your hips so your rear knee just clears the floor. Pause briefly in this position, then slowly straighten your legs and raise your body back up to a standing position. Complete a full set, then switch legs and repeat, or alternate legs for each rep. Make sure your knee does NOT travel past your toes in the down position! Strength – Hamstrings NOTE: For beginners it is suggested that a light barbell or other light straight rod (PVC pipe, broomstick, etc.) be used without weights. Weight can be added as the athlete becomes more proficient with the exercise.

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Standing Calf Raise Main Muscle Worked: Calves Other Muscles Worked: None Place a wooden block or something similar on the ground that is at least 2 - 3 inches tall. Position your toes and balls of feet on the block with arches and heels extending off and resting on the floor. Raise your heels by extending ankles as high as possible. Lower heels by bending your ankles until your calves are stretched. Keep your knees straight throughout exercise or bend knees slightly only during stretch. Can also be done one leg at a time to increase intensity. Strength – Calves

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