Free Sports Downloads

  • 400mThe 400m is a common sprint distance event, which can take place on both an indoor and outdoor running track.  The course requires runners to complete one full lap around the running track and competitors must remain in their lane at all times.

  • heart rateYou may be asking yourself ‘What is this high-heart-rate strength training all about?’. The short answer is combination cardio at 70-80% of your maximum heart rate (MHR) and strength training at 70-80% 1repetition max (1RM).

  • RowingThis training programme was created by three times Olympic rowing coach Terry O’Neill. It covers an eight-month period and is subdivided into three eight-week training blocks. Each block has a specific training aim.

  • This sprinting training plan is particularly useful for a 200m sprinter of club standard and above. Both a 100 and 400 metre specialist will also find some, if not all, parts of the programme useful. These are tough, high-intensity workouts and should not be performed by the unconditioned or after a long lay-off from training.

  • Heart rate monitorYou would not try to use a pair of shears to cut your fingernails, or wash last night’s dinner plates at the local jet wash would you?

  • This download looks at how to improve abdominal strength among sportsmen and women who have done a reasonable level of stability training. In track and field the core needs to be developed so that the effect of the rotational Abdominal strengthforces that it is exposed are minimised when running.

  • Just because this is one of the most commonly-performed trunk exercises don’t be fooled into thinking it’s easy. Poor technique compromises the effectiveness of the exercise, so it is worth checking that you are able to do it perfectly.

     

  • RacingThe focus of this download is to develop acceleration from a stationary position.

    It is suitable for anyone who uses acceleration in their sport.

  • Most people will refer to this phase of your recovery as the active rehabilitation phase, because during this phase you will be responsible for the rehabilitation process. You will be doing the exercises and activities required to speed up your full recovery.

  • SwimmingAerobic water exercise can include running, jogging and walking underwater in a pool. It is an effective training method used for developing stronger leg and hip muscles as well as your cardio-respiratory fitness level.

  • RunnerShin splints are a term commonly used to describe lower leg pain. However, shin splints are only one of several conditions that affect the lower leg. The most common causes of lower leg pain are general shin soreness, shin splints and stress fractures.

  • The human body is composed of many different substances all of which are necessary for us to function. These include water, muscle, bone, organs and fat.

  • bmiThe body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on the height and weight of the subject. Due to the fact body frames vary it's difficult for any simple measurement to work out a person's frame. As a result a weight range is preferred in order to provide an average.

  • Boxing glovesBoxing has a very heavy reliance on the anaerobic system and although you tend to get a good feel for the aerobic capacity of the boxers through the 20-metre beep test, you need a test that better simulates the rigours of boxing.

  • Calm"Just relax" That is what coaches say to do, right? But how is this possible with the game on the line or the game tied in overtime with you going in to play?

  • You do not require any expensive equipment to make leaps and bounds in your physique, power output (vertical jump and sprint speed) and strength levels. It seems most training equipment that comes on the market is aimed at fleecing your wallet rather that producing desired results. Many young athletes do not have access to weights but strength training is a must.

  • Bench pressDo you know where real punching power is generated and released? It is in the final inch or two of motion. Legendary martial artist Bruce Lee was known for demonstrating this fact with his famous ‘one inch punch’.

  • Contrast and complex training are workouts that combine paired exercises – one plyometric and one weights (or medicine ball) that work the same muscle group. Examples include the squat and the squat jump, the lunge and the split jump, the heel raise and the straight leg jump and the bench press and the plyometric (jump) press-up.

  • CoreThe ‘core’ refers to the lower back and abdominal muscles, which form the connection between your upper and lower body. If it is springy and weak, so will be your transference of power from lower body to upper body and vice versa.

  • Core trainingStrengthening the back extensor muscles is a useful preventive approach for low-back pain.

  • When the weather is too nasty for you to train outside, take heart because you can accomplish amazing things indoors with one trusty piece of equipment - an exercise bicycle.

  • Sometimes we forget to use our environment. It's not uncommon to hear "I cannot get to a gym", "we do not have enough time" or "we just do not have the facilities". Sometimes we get caught up in thinking we need the latest high tech whatever to achieve fitness, athletic or any goals related to exercise.

  • HurdlerMost athletes will give their best effort for 95% of practice. But when it comes to stretching out after a workout or competition, they are nowhere to be found.

  • Conditioning for football has travelled light years in the last decade. Clubs are determined to get as much out of their multi-million pound investments as they can. Sports science therefore plays a big part and players are subject to rigorous physiological assessment and testing.

  • footballMany of the exercises in this skill/endurance circuit involve the use of a ball – this will create very specific physiological responses that should maximise transference into improved match performance.

     

     

  • RunningWhether you are a ball player, a cricketer, an endurance runner, a triathlete or a serious practitioner of some other sport, it is important for you to improve your fitness steadily over the course of your training year or competitive season, because fitness upgrades should improve your ability to perform w

  • runningEffective hamstring injury treatment and hamstring stretching exercises are vital to the overall health and condition of the hamstring muscles. These muscles are very susceptible to tears, strains and other common sporting injuries.

  • As an injured athlete wanting to return to full participation as quickly and as safely as possible, the instrumental question you will ask yourself is: ‘How can I speed up the healing process?’

  • lungeThis exercise stretches and strengthens the hamstring muscles on the back of the thigh in all three planes of motion (sagittal, frontal, and transverse).

  • Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made but in the analysis we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.

    The objective of this test is to monitor the development of the athlete's cardiovascular system.

  • heart rateThe combination of frequency, intensity and duration is the art every athlete carefully balances in the quest for success.

  • Athletes and games players need quick feet to dodge tacklers, change direction, and move quickly in the traffic of a playing field. This is a test of the ability to move quickly while maintaining balance.

  • Bigger chest and armsIt is very rare to find an athlete in a gym who is not interested in putting another inch or two of size on their chest and arms.

  • RunnerMany people dismiss the cool down as a waste of time, or simply unimportant. In reality the cool down is just as important as the warm-up, and if you want to stay injury free, it is vital.

  • body fatYour body fat percentage makes a difference to your body shape and your health. Measuring changes in body fat percentage, rather than just measuring changes in weight, can be very motivational when you're dieting - especially if you are exercising as part of your Weight Loss regime.

  • Training causes micro-trauma to the body’s tissues, which must heal. This is the first step in increasing the ability of muscle to meet new challenges. The ‘healing’ process not only restores the muscle to its previous strength and endurance, but it increases the strength and endurance of the muscle.

  • upper bodyUpper body strength is vital to ensure our arms, shoulders, and back are fully functional during exercise and not put at risk of injury. When your muscles are weak, you are more prone to aches and pains as well as potential injuries.

  • Like all of your workouts, you want to be as efficient as possible and get the most from the session. General strength circuits do just that. Most young athletes lack the general strength it takes to produce the proper force, and lack basic work capacity, so we get both of these great benefits from general strength work.

  • upper bodyMost people will find this very hard to believe, but losing body fat is easy. However, there is one precondition that absolutely must sink in if you are to make losing body fat easy. You either accept this precondition, or you do not. If you do you will achieve your fat loss goals with great ease.

  • enduranceEndurance is the ability for an athlete to exert themselves for a long period of time through aerobic or anaerobic exercise.

    In this free download, available to registered members of PP Online, we show you how to monitor your endurance levels in order to ensure they are not in decline.

  • sprintingSpeed is the quickness of movement of a limb, whether this is the legs of a runner or the arm of the shot putter. Speed is an integral part of every sport and can be expressed as any one of, or combination of, the following: maximum speed, elastic strength (power) and speed endurance.

  • The leg press is a great multiple joint exercise for those looking for increased lower body strength. As no weight is supported through the back, the exercise is suitable for those who have not developed sufficient core strength to handle heavy squats and/or have lower back problems that could make squatting problematic.

  • throwingThe phases involved in the analysis of gross motor skill movements may include the preparatory, the force phase or execution of the skill, and the follow through.

  • Elbow painTennis has been described as a sport in which players have to respond skilfully to a continuous series of emergencies; this involves sprinting to the ball, reaching, jumping, lunging, changing directions, stopping and starting.

  • HamstringDeveloping the full range of strength in this exercise will give an athlete a very good level of hamstring strength in both eccentric and concentric movements.

    It can also increase the tendon strength in the whole muscle tendon unit.

  • There’s more to reducing the risk of sustaining a running injury than incorporating a couple of stretches and the odd weights session into your training routine. To avoid a season of unnecessary injuries athletes require a structured approach in order to build ‘running robustness’.

  • treadmillInterval training is an effective training mechanism allowing athletes to target and improve specific energy systems appropriate to their sport. It is based on the principle that more work can be performed at higher exercise intensities with the same or less fatigue than continuous running.

  • Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made but in the analysis we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.

    In this free download, available to registered members of PP Online, we show you how to monitor the development of your elastic leg strength.

  • footballerIncreasing lower body power is crucial for all sports that require the use of the lower limbs when competing. 

  • There are a multitude of exercises that can be used to strengthen the lower limbs. The rate of acute knee and ankle injuries to young athletes is reduced by half when players follow a structured programme designed to improve knee and ankle control during exercise.

  • sprintGerard Mach was the national sprint and hurdle coach of Canada. His drills specifically strengthen the muscles in postures and actions that are similar to those that occur during the sprint action. It is through strengthening in the specific positions that technique is improved.

  • MarathonThe marathon is a long-distance race totalling a distance of 26 miles and 385 yards. This training programme was used by former New York Marathon winner Tegla Loroupe, a distance runner from Kenya.

  • Medicine ball exercises represent a form of strength training and are typically performed with other strength exercises, when you are relatively fresh and non-fatigued.

  • Mobility is the ability to perform a joint action through a range of movement. In any movement there are two groups of muscles at work:

    •    protagonistic muscles, which cause the movement to take place
    •    antagonistic muscles, which oppose the movement and determine the amount of mobility. 

  • treadmillTesting and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made but in the analysis we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.

  • This download explains how you can monitor the development of your maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max).

  • weightsStrength training and power training are critical components to the success of any athlete competing in sports that rely on speed and power for success. More specifically, the proper use of the Olympic lifts (the snatch, clean and their variations) facilitates improvements across a variety of modalities.

  • To build a successful sprinting plan you need to start at the end. Firstly athlete and coach must decide on the target competition, at which time the athlete should be performing at his/her best – the process of ‘peaking’. Once the major competition goal is known then the route to obtaining that goal can be plotted.

  • stairsTo improve lower body power, plyometrics can be used in stair workouts. To do this you can use single, double, and triple hops with either both or one leg at a time. You can use side hops, side-to-side hops, transverse hops and so on. You can even use eccentric hops.

  • Plyometric drills work on improving the natural recoil of muscles and tendons. As indicated in part 1 this is the result of an eccentric (muscle lengthening) contraction priming an immediate subsequent concentric  (muscle shortening) one.

  • recovery mealsExercising burns up amino acids, glucose, and glycogen stored in the muscles. Upon completion, your muscles are more receptive to accepting nutrients that would restore and repair levels found in the muscles.

  • Reaction time is the interval between the presentation of a stimulus and the initiation of the muscular response to that stimulus. A primary factor affecting a response is the number of possible stimuli, each requiring their own response to those that are presented.

  • RunningLike any sport, running places specific demands on the body, which lead to structural and functional adaptations. A key difference between running and many other sports is the magnitude of recycled elastic energy and the demand for eccentric muscle work.

  • Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made but in the analysis we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.

    The objective of this download is to monitor the development of the athlete's VO2 max.

  • twistAll athletic movements involve a rotational component, creating twisting movements through concentric muscular contractions (baseball swing, shot put) or resisting rotational movements/stabilising the torso through isometric contractions.

  • Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made but in the analysis we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.

    The objective of this download is to monitor the development of an athlete's anaerobic threshold.

  • rugby2This download explains how you can monitor the general fitness of a rugby player using Wilf Paish’s rugby football tests.

    This test is suitable for players of team sports (rugby, football, etc) but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.

  • rugby2Scrums and mauls are the two great dominance contests within the game of rugby. Marked superiority in either of these forms of engagement can affect the morale of both teams in a way that a corresponding supremacy at say the lineout does not.

  • runningIn many sports, speed is an important attribute and ways to improve speed are sought after. In a simplistic view, to improve speed you need to increase stride length and/or strike rate.

  • runningRunning technique is very important for improving performance and remaining injury free. The right technique can also result in gains in speed without having to improve fitness levels.

  • shinsplints‘Shin splints’ is the general name given to pain at the front of the lower leg. It is not a diagnosis in itself but a description of symptoms of which there could be a number of causes. The most common cause is inflammation of the periostium of the tibia (sheath surrounding the bone).

  • The purpose of this workout is to stabilise the shoulder to counteract the pushing of the chair.

  • Rugby scrumIn the modern game of rugby the one crucial factor distinguishing a good player from a great player is speed. Quickness off the mark, beating your opponent with a sidestep, change of direction, quickness of thought or hand, all have become an integral part of any player in any position.

  • warm upThe objective of this download is to prepare and develop the athlete for multi-directional speed and agility training and/or competition. It is suitable for all field and court players and can also be used by runners of all speeds as a specific pre-conditioner.

  • warm upWhen we talk to coaches of various sports and work with athletes from various programmes, we see that many athletes are trying to ‘get in shape’ by going out and running mileage on the roads. But the level of intensity (and therefore productivity) of these fun runs can be pretty low.

  • winnerSpeed is the capacity to perform successive movements at a fast rate. As well as thinking about speed as ‘running speed’ it is really the development of the ability to move the limbs quickly, which is needed in a variety of sports and events, eg javelin, discus, tennis, squash etc.

  • Warming upIn order for you to be ready to perform speed work or compete at high intensities, you must get warmed up properly.

  • Speed is a product of stride length (the distance your feet travel in a stride) and stride frequency (the number of steps you take in a given time period). However, you will not reach top speed by focusing on increasingly larger steps to increase stride length or taking short, quick steps to increase stride frequency.

  • marksWhen done correctly, plyometrics are an excellent supplement to your speed, strength and power training programme. They can greatly improve your power levels and help increase body control, as they deal with moving your own body weight.

  • spineThe spine consists of 33 individual bones or vertebrae and 23 intervertebral discs. The spine is comprised of neck (cervical), thorax (thoracic) and lower (lumbar) bones (vertebrae). Each has a slightly different shape, which, when fitted together, form a lazy ‘S’ shaped curve.

  • basketballCircuit training is a combination of high-intensity exercises designed to train various aspects of an athlete's performance. These may include, muscle building, heart-lung fitness or specific skills.

  • SprintingAlthough performing flat out sprints will improve sprint speed when coupled to a relevant sprint training plan, there are various combinations of distances that can take this to a higher level.

  • Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made but in the analysis we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.

    The objective of this download is to monitor the development of the athlete's hip and trunk flexibility.

  • Toning up n the gymMany people in the pursuit of abdominal perfection spend too much time focusing on the rectus abdominus (located on the front of the torso, running from sternum to pubis) and completely neglect the other components of the midsection.

  • Recently athletes from all sports have begun to realise the importance of weight training. Athletes in all sports have the potential to enhance performance by supplementing their programmes with weight training. So, why have boxers been reluctant to realise the importance of resistance training?

  • cricketCricket has a great and long tradition. It is a game with a proud history, but also a game without a training culture. It has often been said that to get fit for cricket you should play cricket.

  • Rugby is an incredibly tough game and players are becoming more and more powerful. This makes for some shuddering collisions. Weight training is a crucial weapon in the players’ training armoury. It’s done to build protective bulk and to increase power - all things being equal, a larger muscle will be a stronger and more powerful one.

  • winSudden changes in direction while running and jumping can cause injury to the ACL by placing increased stress on the knee. Lateral hopping movements help prepare the ACL and muscles around the knee for these sudden (and often unpredictable) movements in the frontal (side-toside) plane.

  • The single leg squat makes a useful alternative to the barbell squat. Indeed, it could be argued that the emphasis between the two exercises should be the other way round, with the barbell squat being a great alternative to the single leg squat. Even without added weight, the exercise develops real strength.

  • This is a great exercise for the lower leg muscles. Because a straight leg position is maintained throughout the exercise, the prime mover is the gastrocnemius, which is best suited to developing force from this stretched position.

  • exerciseThis upper body workout exercise is not in the standard repertoire but is nevertheless highly beneficial for upper body strength.

    It is a simple movement, but correct performance requires good coordination and core strength.

  • exerciseCore strength refers to your ab and back muscles and their ability to support your spine, keeping your body stable and balanced. When the core muscles are weak or there's an imbalance a common side effect is back pain. This is something that everyone is keen to avoid, not just athletes.

  • It is essential your lower body is suitably strengthened due to the fact it carries the brunt of all your weight. When doing exercises for the lower body, you have to remember to work all muscle groups. By doing more than just one type of exercise, it will improve the quality of your workout as well as your muscle tone.

  • Super sets will increase your enthusiasm for training while simultaneously heightening specific aspects of your fitness. At first, you'll look forward to carrying out the super sets because they are so challenging - and so different from what you usually do.

  • swimmingOne of the most common questions about the mysteries of swimming efficiently usually involves something to do with breathing. In freestyle, the first step is to get your body position right. Then, for many, you throw in breathing and everything goes haywire!

  • swimmingDo you feel out of shape and need to get it back quickly?

    This download contains some simple tips to help you get back to feeling the best you can in the water.

  • There is some debate going on in the triathlon world about whether it is important to have a long stroke in freestyle, and if so, how this can be developed.
    Being long means extending your arm and gliding with each arm stroke. It also means getting more out of your stroke while saving energy (ideal for triathletes).

  • Brian Mackenzie explains how, with a treadmill, you can monitor the development of your general endurance (VO2max). This test is suitable for endurance athletes and players of endurance sports (eg football, rugby) but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.

  • curl upThe objective of the Curl-Up Test is to assess the endurance of an athlete's abdominal muscles.

    Abdominal exercises play an integral role in any strength and conditioning program. A strong core is essential for athletic performance and to prevent the occurrence of injuries and back pain.

  • testThe depth jump is a plyometric exercise. Plyometric exercises work on the principle that a concentric muscular contraction is much stronger if it immediately follows an eccentric contraction of the same muscle.

  • rulerReaction time is the interval of time between the presentation of a stimulus and the initiation of the muscular response to that stimulus eg the sprinter’s reaction to the starter’s gun or the reaction of the tennis player receiving a 100mph serve.

  • This download explains how you can predict an athlete’s 800m or 1,500m time by using the Kosmin test.

  • nutritionalAs with any athletic performance, the health and nutrition of an athlete is all about decision making and making the right choice. Some choices are better than others but, overall, we want to make consistent good decisions more than bad ones.

  • golfThere are a number of conditions that affect the elbow area. The three most common conditions are lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow), and medial collateral ligament sprain (thrower’s elbow).

  • groinThe groin, described as the junction between the lower limbs and torso, is vulnerable to a lot of different injuries.

  • How you can monitor the development of your cardiovascular system with the Queen's College step test.

  • squatThe split squat is basically a single-leg squat. It can be performed by athletes with varying degrees of strength, although it becomes a more advanced exercise when heavy weights are used and should be performed only by the well- conditioned.

  • ankleThe ankle joint is made up of four bones (tibia, fibula, talus, and calcaneus) and ligament structures (anterior talofibular ligament, posterior talofibular ligament and the calcaneofibular ligament) that support the ankle stability.

  • squatThe front squat is a great exercise for the major knee and hip extensor muscles. With good technique, athletes can gain strength in the quads and glutes. The movement relies on good flexibility and posture, so learning to perform it well will improve you in these respects.

  • Speed is the quickness of movement of a limb, whether this is the legs of a runner or the arm of the shot putter. Speed is an integral part of every sport and can be expressed as any one of, or combination of, the following: maximum speed, elastic strength (power) and speed endurance.

  • injurySoft-tissue injuries are very common in most, if not all, sports. Examples of common soft-tissue injuries would include things like hamstring tears, sprained ankles, pulled calf muscles, strained shoulder ligaments, corked thigh, etc.

  • swimThe start of a triathlon can be nerve-wracking, tiring, intimidating, frustrating and even discouraging. The start for everyone is a crazy cluster of splashing, starts and stops, physical contact, and swimmers trying to separate from each other.

  • swimSwimming is undoubtedly one the greatest all-round sports, providing truly superb conditioning. But while the indoor pool provides a consistent, safe and controlled environment, there’s another dimension to this sport that remains unexplored by many swimmers.

  • triathlonTriathlon, the sport of swimming, cycling and running, is one of the fastest growing in the UK. Last year, more than 100,000 people took part in ‘Tris’ and the numbers look set to keep on rising.

  • warming upWarming up prior to any physical activity does a number of beneficial things, but its main purpose is to prepare the body and mind for more strenuous activity.

  • The squat is an exercise used in weightlifting, which trains the thighs, hips and buttocks. It is also an important exercise for strengthening the bones, ligaments and tendons throughout the lower body. Squats are a vital exercise for increasing the strength and size of the legs and buttocks.

  • liftSetting and keeping the arch, practising the right head tilt, creating tension in the arms, and making certain that the angles of the shins, knees, and hips are correct are all important basic elements of the start that will contribute to a bigger lift.