Every so often I get an email from a coach or an athlete looking for some bodyweight exercises they can do out at the circle because they do not have access to a weight room at their school or because the school is closed for the summer.
Many times the coach or athlete will include a big list of bodyweight exercises in their email to me, and what they really want is how they should tell their athletes to split up the exercises and a set plan of when to do the exercises and on what days.
If a lack of a facility is a constant problem and you rarely have a chance to get inside a weight room, I would suggest checking out the Homemade Training Equipment DVD that I made especially for programs like yours: http://www.CompleteTrackAndField.com/homestrength
If you are looking for a simple and easy to follow bodyweight training plan that your athletes can do leading up to the start of the school year until they can get in the weight room, continue reading below.
The best bodyweight training can be done in a park or in a playground. This is where I suggest these workouts get done. Your high school might be close to an elementary school that might have an outdoor playground area or a recreational area that might have some basic stuff like a swing set and monkey bars. That’s really all you need. Here are the exercises and some strategies that you can apply over a 3 week period to increase strength using only your bodyweight and some household things every thrower should have.
Day One – Lower Body Force Development:
Exercise 1 – Bodyweight Squats 4 sets of 15 reps
Exercise 2 – Hanging Knee Raises 4 sets of 10 reps
Do these as a superset meaning as soon as you finish your first set of Squats, immediately move on to your first set of Knee Raises. Wait 1 minute and do your second set of squats followed immediately by your second set of knee raises. You can do the knee raises holding on to the crossbar of the swing set or the monkey bars.
Exercise 3 – Jumping Lunges 6 sets of 4 reps per leg
Exercise 4 – Lying Leg Raises 6 sets of 10 reps.
Like exercises 1 and 2, exercises 3 and 4 will also be done as a superset. A jumping lunge is a plyometric movement. Start in a lunge position with one knee on the ground. Jump as high as possible, switch your feet in mid air, and then land in a lunge position. Continue to do this until you get 4 jumps per leg, or 8 jumps total. Follow up each set of jumping lunges with 10 lying leg raises. Lie on your back, lift both legs together keeping them straight, and press your feet to the sky at the top. Lower the legs slowly until your feet almost touch the ground, and lift and repeat.
Exercise 5 – Short Sprints. Walk out or measure a distance that is about 40 yards long. Sprint as hard as you can for 40 yards. Slowly come to a stop, turn around, and walk back to the starting line. Wait one minute, and repeat. Your goal is 6-8 sprints.
Exercise 6 – Explosive Shot Put Behind the Head Toss. Just like it sounds, you will cradle the shot put in both hands and hold it at your waist. Bend your legs in a quarter squat position, violently explode with your legs, and toss the shot put overhead and behind you. Your goal is to go as high and as far behind you as possible for maximum distance. Walk to get the shot put, repeat the movement again, and do this for 15 throws.
This completes your first day of bodyweight training for week 1. Week 2 and week 3 the exercises, sets, and reps are exactly the same. Your goal is to try and increase the intensity by making the squats, jumping lunges, and behind the head shot put tosses heavier. Wearing a weighted vest, a backpack stuffed tight with clothing, and using a bigger shot put (or a heavier rock or metal weight plate) can really add an additional challenge to these very simple movements.
Stay tuned for the next part where we cover upper body pushing and pulling routines on Wednesday. Make sure to subscribe to the newsletter above and get the proper warm up video that everyone should be doing before a day of throwing or a day of training!