Using Basic Movement Patterns To Improve Aerobic Capacity In Athlete
Last week, Dr. Anthony Falco discussed the basics of heart rate training and how to properly calculate your resting heart rate and maximum heart rate. Once you determine these numbers you can properly utilize heart rate monitors to enhance your training. In athletes, this can be tremendously useful, as it will allow them to better determine if their aerobic training is focused on recovery, maintenance, or aerobic improvement. For the sake of this article, we will be focusing on aerobic improvement. To improve an athlete’s aerobic capacity you must understand the percentage of maximum heart rate needed to reach the improvement threshold and also how to use exercises which best work towards achieving that same goal.
Proper Heart Rate Percentage For Aerobic Improvement
In the past I discussed using the aerobic capacity system to help aid in recovery for athletes. For recovery, it is best to work in a 60-75% range of the athlete’s max heart rate. However, the range for aerobic improvement goes as high as 85-90% of the max heart rate. Basically, apply Dr. Falco’s formula for your maximum heart to these percentages and you can find the best threshold for an athlete to work in to improve aerobic capacity. For example:
- 18 year old athlete
o Max Heart Rate (220-age)= 202
o For 85-90% Threshold:
- 171-181 beats per minute
How To Construct A Proper Movement Pattern Aerobic Program
As I previously mentioned, the movement patterns are great to use for aerobic improvement for a number of reasons. In addition to helping improve an athlete’s working capacity, you can also use this as extra time to drill home proper form with the main movements. However, it is extremely important to note that an athlete must show proficiency in these movements prior to using them, as it is never ideal to learn a new skill or movement in a fatigued state. For example, an athlete who cannot perform a proper bodyweight squat should not be allowed to use this movement in an aerobic circuit as they will be susceptible to not only injury, but can further program their nervous system to perform the movement incorrectly.
- Guidelines For a Movement Pattern Aerobic Program
o I like to use intervals of 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest as a basic starting point for my athletes. You can adjust intensity of the working sets by gauging the heart rate of the first few sets and determining if it falls in the necessary range you calculated
o Basic Movement Patterns
- Push: Push-up
- Pull: Pull-up
- Squat: Bodyweight Squat
- Hinge: Kettle Bell Swing
- Lunge: Bodyweight Reverse Lunges
o NOTE: You can use the above template for your aerobic conditioning, but it is essential that you perform these movements with either bodyweight or with extremely light loads. The goal is not to build strength or power during the aerobic conditioning.
The most important thing to remember here is that you can find success with a multitude of different methods. Once you have determined your proper heart rate the main goal is simply stay in that zone and maximize your aerobic capacity. Movement pattern circuits are simply a great alternative to use because they can further solidify the proper form and technique of the most important qualities and movements for an athlete.