A great pole vault practice today, with just myself and two teenage studs working out under the watchful eye of a terrific coach and friend, Jack Chapman.
I must have hit it pretty hard, from around noon to 1:30, because not long after I got home, cleaned up, and had some lunch, I was getting sore and tired. Nevertheless, I dragged my low-bar apparatus out of the garage into the driveway and knocked out six reps of my core strengthening move -- or tried to, anyway.
By then, I didn't have much left in the tank, and the reps weren't real good ones, but like everything else, consistency is the key. Gotta get in those reps.
Later, sitting on the couch watching Wisconsin play Ohio State in basketball, I ordered a new yoga DVD designed for athletes, to increase strength and flexibility. Those are the two things I need to improve my runway speed in vaulting, which along with lack of core strength, is one of the things holding me back some in the pole vault.
But I'm getting there ...
Stretching and flexibility are two things that always seem to take a back-burner, but both are so important -- for athletes, and for everybody else, too.
Here's a few stretching exercises you can do at home. Before you get started, take about five minutes to warm up, get the ol' blood pumping with some push-ups, leg swings, walking lunges -- any kind of bodyweight exercise to loosen up a little.
- Standing quadriceps stretch: this one is good for flexibility and balance; stand straight and tall, bend one knee, reach behind you with the opposite hand and grab hole of your foot (hold onto a chair or wall or something for balance, if you need to); pull your foot up to your rear end, chest out, and hold for 30-40 seconds; repeat with the other side.
- Calf stretch: stand facing a wall, reach out and places your hands flat against the wall, step back with both feet, keeping them flat on the ground and legs straight, until you feel a stretch in your calves; hold for 30 seconds; step forward with one leg, leaving the other leg back, and stretch that side individually; repeat with the opposite leg.
- Back stretch: lay on the floor, both legs out straight; bend one knee up toward your chest, grab it with both hands and pull further toward your chest; feel the stretch in your hamstrings and lower back; switch legs and do the same.
Those are just a few basic stretching and flexibility exercises pretty much anyone can perform in the comfort of your own home, or at the gym.
You can do it ...