EOOC's Top Strength Moves for 2021

After reviewing Experiment of One Coaching's 2021 posts on strength training, the top strength movements for this year are:

Lower Leg Stretching & Strengthening

You’ll need a belt for this exercise. Place the belt around the ball of your foot, move the top of your foot toward you, then provide some light pressure for a couple of seconds to stretch the ankle joint. Then move the top of the foot in the opposite direction to a pointing position while providing light resistance with the belt and hold for a couple of seconds. Do both feet and try for 10 each.

Why a top movement? For preventative maintenance: When we run our bones, tendons, muscles, cartilage, and ligaments have to support 150% of our body weight with every step we take. Then the lower leg has to act like a spring to propel us forward when we come off the ground. Daily maintenance to keep the lower leg limber and strong is a must!

Mountain Climber

In the straight-arm plank position, place two hand towels under your feet to help with sliding on the floor. move your right knee up to your right arm and switch to the left knee/arm. Try for 5 on each side to start.

Why a top movement? For establishing a functional movement pattern: The goal of functional training is to improve how the body moves. The mountain climber is an example of hurdle stepping which is a movement considered fundamental to running. But don’t be fooled by the mountain climber, as it’s a great full-body exercise involving arms, core, and legs.

Sumo Walk

With an exercise band looped around both ankles, both knees bent slightly, keep the left foot planted on the ground while stepping in a semi-circle forward direction. Then, keep your right foot planted and step with the left foot in a semi-circle forward direction.

Why a top movement? Works the hips with pinpoint accuracy: Working the hips helps keep the runner strong and stable.

Planks (Front, Side, Supine, Other Side)

To start, use your elbows and feet to balance the rest of your body in the front plank position, then shift directly to a side plank, then to a supine plank, and finally to the other side plank. Start by holding each position for 10 seconds. Planks can be adapted by using your elbow and knee to balance your body. Or for an extra challenge seeing how many times you can lift your leg(s) while holding each position.

Why a top movement? Build strength and balance quickly: Using this isometric exercise in these body positions, I think you’ll be surprised at how quickly planks make you stronger and more stable; I know I was surprised after starting to do them again. Now, this doesn’t mean that planks are without controversy. Some athletic trainers and coaches dismiss planks because they don’t develop movement patterns that make you a better athlete (in fact, you’re not moving, you’re holding a position for a certain length of time). For me, the speed at which you get stronger and more stable makes doing planks worth it.

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Strength training posts used in making this list:



Experiment of One Coaching covers topics ranging from running, strength training, health & wellness, sports nutrition to travel.