How To Train Like A Pan Am Athlete
How To Train Like A Pan Am Athlete
With the Pan Am games underway and Canadian athletes raking in the medals, we’re inspired to get our own fitness games on point.
The athletes’ village in downtown Toronto features a fully decked out training facility, outfitted by Technogym. The fitness equipment supplier not only provided all the equipment the athletes need to keep on top of their training during their time at the games, but is also staffing the facility with on-site kinesiologists to support them at the fitness centre.
Looking for a few pointers for our next trip to the gym, we asked Dr. Tyrrell Ashcroft and Dr. Megan McDonald to share three of their favorite exercises that would benefit every athlete, no matter what their discipline. Ashcroft is the owner of Omega Health + Fitness, a chiropractor, and is certified in several disciplines of sports therapy. McDonald, also a chiropractor and multi-certified sports therapist, is a former varsity volleyball player and works at Omega as well.
Here’s what they recommend adding to your routine.
ALL ATHLETES NEED: Hip Extension And Pelvic Stability
“The glutes are the powerhouse of the body, primary hip extensors and pelvic stabilizers. Each stride an athlete takes is powered by the glutes to propel him/her forward. The adductors are also a very key muscle group in pelvic stability—some even consider the adductors to be part of the core. Neglect of these muscle groups is a common cause of hamstring strain or hamstring injury.”
Exercise to try: Hip work on the Technogym Multi Hip
This machine requires you to use your hip strength to push the cushioned arms up and down or from side to side, and lets you work from multiple angles.
“If this machine is not available at your gym, try functional exercises that also address these key areas, like Deadlifts or squats. Use a kettlebell or barbell for added weight. Glute bridges are also another great option.”
ALL ATHLETES NEED: Multidirectional Core Stability
“The core muscles should be the first muscles to fire during any movement. Athletes need to keep the core engaged to ensure that the spine is protected when moving in any direction.”
• Exercise To Try: Pallof Press on the Technogym Kinesis One
For this move, you work to resist the sideways tension of the cable and focus on bringing it straight out in front of you a back without twisting to the side.
“What make this exercise so beneficial is that it trains the core for what it’s actually designed for, which is not doing crunches and sit-ups. We refer to this exercise as an "anti-rotation" drill. The core's main functions are resisting trunk extension and posterior pelvic tilt, and providing stability around the entire midsection of the body, not just your "abs." Having a strong and versatile core can help prevent injury to many areas of the body—most commonly: the low back. ”
ALL ATHLETES NEED: Cardiovascular Conditioning
Strengthening you muscles is all well and good, but strengthening your heart and lungs are the key to advancing in any athletic activity. Cardiovascular, or aerobic, exercise can strengthen and enlarge the heart muscle, making it pump more efficiently and reducing your heart rate, as well as strengthening the muscles around the lungs, facilitating respiration.
• Exercise To Try: Interval training using the Technogym Treadmill, Stationary Bike, or “Top”
Studies have shown that interval training—varying the intensity of your aerobic workout, working at your maximum speed, then slowing for a period of recovery before picking the pace back up—is a highly effective way not only to boost you cardiovascular system, but also to burn more calories and fat.
Treadmills and stationary Bikes are standard is every gym. For something a bit different, the Technogym “Top” upper body ergometer machine is like a stationary bike for you arms: While standing seated upright in front of the machine, you grasp the hand-held “pedals” and rotate them with your arms, just as you would with your legs and feet pushing into the pedals or a regular bike.