Last week, Kevin Neeld posted great content on pairing exercises together that will complement one another to not only maximize the training effect but also to fit more into your program on any specific day. It allows you to do more things within the given amount of time that you have with athletes and other clients. For those of you who have experimented with supersets, this same concept is similar but usually when talking about supersets you are performing back to back exercises emphasizing the same musculature (i.e. Bench Press –> Cable Flys). Pairing exercises are different in that you can have the main lift paired with another exercise to compliment or a main lift paired with a core or opposing muscle group.
Example: You would perform A1, A2, A3, and then go back to A1 for the desired number of sets to complete, in this case go through everything 3 times in a row.
A1) DB Chest Press 3 x 8
A2) Stability Ball Front Plank 3 x 20s
A3) DB Reverse Lunges 3 x 8/side
From what I have learned at Endeavor, these are some pairings that can maximize sprint speed and power capabilities with our athletes.
We always begin with speed or power work, whether it be a 10-15 sprint, or a box jump. Also, pairing activation exercises are quick effective ways to pair with primary movements. One of the often overlooked aspects to speed is a lack of end range use of your psoas (hip flexor) which lifts your knee up above 90 degrees of hip flexion. Most sports are often not getting this degree of hip flexion and as a result other hip flexors have to pick up the slack. This can be a reason for quad “pulls” or hip flexor pain. This is a template of pairing exercises for speed…
A1) 10 yard Sprint (2-point start) 3x/side
A2) Seated Psoas Lifts 2 x 15s/side
For power exercises, such as a box jump or drop jump (as well as many others), pairing these sort of exercises with glute activation drills can ensure the proper recruitment for the often forgotten glutes. Most people’s are usually not strong so incorporating more glute exercises and activation drills goes along with for most people. A sample template for this might be…
B1) Box Jumps 3 x5
B2) Glute Bridge IsoHolds 3 x (3 x 10s)
Simple and effective ways to get more out of your speed and power work. These activations are also ways to prevent injuries because they are usually under active muscles which forces other muscles to work overtime resulting in those typical yet preventable nagging injuries.