May Small Group Class Focus: Benefits of Athleticism
Whether you’re training to improve your overall health or working towards a more specific goal, athleticism will help take your game to the next level. All athletes, regardless of their ongoing goal, can benefit from moving more freely and effectively. Developing athleticism insinuates a focus on speed, agility, quickness, reaction time, coordination, and anaerobic conditioning helps you gain skills that will seep into all aspects of life. Think about it - the more agile, energetic, and sharp you are mentally and physically, the smoother your day-to-day tasks will be!
Speed, Quickness, and Reaction Time
Typically, speed refers to how fast you can move your body in a straight line and how efficiently you use your arms and legs to do so. Although speed and quickness may seem interchangeable, speed primarily relies on a combination of core and lower body strength whereas quickness refers to your body’s reflexes. By measuring your body’s instant and rapid response (quickness), reaction time will also find it’s way into the mix. The quicker you are to get your body into position, the more explosive you are, and therefore your reaction time will decrease. Explosiveness, speed, and quickness are all a part of the formula that helps you to improve your performance, leading to stronger results.
When you use agility training, your balance, control, and flexibility will automatically improve also, allowing the body to maintain proper posture and alignment while moving freely. Teaching correct body placement will simultaneously create a pattern of muscle memory while allowing for more effortless moving. This is especially true with the shoulders, lower back, and knees, because it’s important to make sure they are protected during more explosive movements. With agility comes coordination - or the ability for your entire body to move smoothly and meticulously. Everything you do requires coordination, although some movements require more advanced levels of coordination, such as playing a sport.
Anaerobic training involves short-lasting, a high-intensity activity where your body uses the oxygen already stored in your muscles for energy, therefore, running out of steam quicker than using unlimited energy from breathing the air outside. This type of training can come in many forms that you may be familiar with, including High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), heavy weight lifting, jumping rope, etc. Anaerobic conditioning is primarily for improving overall strength and muscle mass as opposed to cardiovascular fitness. But building muscle also requires a lot of energy, so it can also help with weight loss if it is alongside the right diet. Whatever your ambition, anaerobic training is a good choice of exercise.
All in all, training in athleticism gives you a wide range of options to maintain an appropriately challenging and engaging fitness regime, all the while being fun by allowing you to mix and match various workout styles to keep it interesting. We all know how running or cycling in place on a machine can get relatively boring, so finding exercises that require little to no equipment and are easy to do at any time is really quite important. And as with any training, repetition, and consistency are key.