In part one of this series, I went through and planned out one day of bodyweight training that can be done at a local park or playground that used only an athlete’s bodyweight and a shot put. If you missed that post, I would suggest reading that first to get the full idea of who this workout is created for and what a typical training session would be like. Here is the link:
Part 1 dealt almost exclusively with lower body strength, lower body explosion, increased foot speed, and increased core strength.
Today in Part 2, we will use the same template to improve upper body pushing and pulling strength, upper body explosive pushing, increased foot speed, and increased core strength. Like part 1, the best spot to do this training is at a local park, a nearby elementary school with a playground, or an outdoor athletic facility in your town that has basic playground equipment like a swing set and monkey bars.
Day Two – Upper Body Force Development
Exercise 1 – Push Ups – 4 sets of 15 reps
Exercise 2 – Recline Row (aka Inverted Push Up) – 4 sets of 15 reps
Perform both exercises above as a superset. Push Ups are the exercise that pops into everyone’s head when they hear “bodyweight training.” For a lot of newer athletes, especially larger throwers, push ups can be difficult to perform for 15 reps with good form. If this is you or your athlete, find a low bar at the playground where the athlete’s hands will be a few feet off the ground. Have them hold the bar and perform push ups this way. Having the hands elevated will make the movement easier. Recline rows are also very basic bodyweight movements. Hanging under that same low bar, or holding on to the chains of a swing set (or if you bring a rope to the playground, throw it over the monkey bars and hold that) simply hold your body at an angle with a tight stomach and butt, and pull your chest to the bar (or to your hands if you are holding a rope of the swing chains).
Exercise 3 – Hand Walking with Feet in the Swings – 3 sets of :45 seconds
Exercise 4 – Low Planks – 3 sets of :45 seconds
Like exercise 1 and 2, these will be done as a superset. Nothing builds strength and stability to the shoulders and core like hand walking with your feet in a swing set. This is an easy exercise to describe, but difficult to perform. Start in a push up position with both feet (ankles) in a swing (where your butt would normally go). From this position, start walking your hands backwards so your feet start moving higher in the air. Eventually, you will approach a handstand position. Once you get to a height that is difficult to hold, start walking your hands slowly back to the starting position. Walk backwards and forewords for 45 seconds. As soon as the 45 second time is up, remove your feet from the swing and set up in a low plank position with your toes on the ground and your weight supported on your forearms. Hold this low plank for another 45 seconds. You will then wait 60-90 seconds until you catch your breath and repeat this superset 2 more times, giving you a total of 3 times through.
Exercise 5 – Hill Sprints
Like the short 40 yard sprints you did on day one, you will be performing short sprints up a hill. Depending on where you live, finding a hill might be a little tricky. If for some reason you can not find a hill, sprinting a short distance up the bleachers will suffice. The idea behind hill sprints is pretty simple. Find a hill with a decent incline. Sprint up that hill about 30-40 yards. Walk back down the hill, wait 30-45 seconds to catch your breath, and repeat. Your goal is to do 8 sprints moving as quickly as possible.
Exercise 6 – Shot Put Chest Passes
Just like it sounds, you will hold a shot put with both hands at the top of your chest/under your chin. Similar to a basketball player doing a chest pass, you will slightly bend your legs (a quarter squat position is fine, no need to go all the way to the ground), explode with the legs, and push the shot with both hands as far as it will go. Walk out to get the shot, walk back to your starting position, and repeat. Complete 15 throws and your training for the day is complete.
After releasing day one’s workout on Monday, many emails came in from athletes and coaches expressing concerns about the order of the exercises, why the exercises are so basic, if they can make the exercises harder, if they can complete this in a weight room, and if advanced athletes should be doing this. Please keep in mind this workout is designed, as the title states, to be a bodyweight workout for beginner throwers who may not have access to a school weight room or a commercial gym. You can certainly substitute exercises based on your amenities and what you have available in your area and substitute a favorite shot put or medicine ball toss if you have one. In Friday’s blog, I will go into further detail on ways to make these exercises a little more difficult so athletes can continue this training for the next 3 weeks until school weight rooms open up and the hectic first few weeks of school calm down.