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Postby xiaoming520 » 09 January 2018, 02:51

Triathletes are some of the best athletes out there today. They are well balanced , powerful, have great endurance, and possess high levels of extreme mental toughness. As a personal trainer, I have worked with numerous triathletes at all levels. One common theme that I see is that they do not perform enough strength training. There are several different reasons for this issue.

1. They do not think there is benefit to their sport
2. They want to focus on the skills of their three sports
3. They cannot make time in the training schedule
4. They think they will get bulky and slow
5. They do not know how to properly train, so they avoid it

Strength training is a valuable tool in any athlete s tool box. A properly designed program will promote strength, power, mobility, endurance , joint health, and ultimately improve performance and reduce the risk of injury. Those are the two major goals of any strength and conditioning program.

With the amount of work and repetitive training that triathletes do, it is important to develop a training program that will incorporate movements that will improve their running, swimming, and biking as well as counteract any repetitive movements that can lead to injury.

A good example of this is that swimming and biking both promote a high level of internal shoulder rotation so external shoulder and scapular work is important for the health of these athletes.

Running is a high impact, repetitive exercise so many athletes develop nagging injuries such as knee pain, Illiotibial band (IT band) tightness, and lower back pain. A strength training program designed for triathletes will ultimately develop muscular strength and joint mobility. This will help to reduce the stress on the joints and reduce tightness if all muscles around that joint are balanced (abdominal and lower back strength are equal , quadriceps and hamstring strength are relatively equal).

Here are some quick and easy to incorporate tips for strength training as a triathlete:

1. Focus on multi joint lower body movements (squats, dead lifts)
2. Incorporate single leg lower body movements (lunges, step ups, single leg squats)
3. Develop upper back strength and improve posture with rows, pull ups, and body rows
4. Maintain shoulder health with overhead pressing and rotator cuff work (internal and external)
5. Build core strength with standing abdominal training, medicine ball rotations, and hamstringglute development such as bridging
6. Avoid machines and seated movements
7. Avoid isolation exercises as those can promote muscular imbalances around a joint , lead to decreased performance and wasted time
8. Strength train 2 3 days per week depending on your training cycle
9. Train for 45 60 minutes with superset and circuit formatted workouts
10. Rest 60 to 90 seconds between most major strength movements
11. Develop overall power with box jumps, cleans, kettle bell work, and medicine ball throws
12. Be sure to perform dynamic warm ups prior to training to promote tissue quality, joint health, and overall mobility. This can be done with foam rolling and dynamic stretching
13. Spend 5 7 minutes stretching problem areas after your training session. Areas to focus on are hip flexors, hip rotators, shoulders and chest , and hamstrings.

Incorporate these techniques into your training program and you will see marked improvement in overall speed, power, endurance, and health. Seek the assistance of a qualified personal trainer or strength coach with experience in triathlete training. Programming needs to be specific and well planned to avoid overuse or burn out.

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