When you train at an Athletic Republic center, you’re going to be doing exercises that may be unfamiliar, on equipment that is totally new to you. Here are some of the most common questions we get about equipment and protocols that set us apart from most training facilities and programs out there.
Why do you test athletes?
Every athlete is different, and it’s useful to know where they’re at before setting up a training program for them. For example, we utilize our Plyo Press with a force plate platform to perform what we call a 3PQ test so we can learn about power imbalances—between right and left legs, and between the quad and hamstring muscles. These imbalances can lead not only to poor performance (you can only run as fast as your weakest leg) but can set you up for injuries. Once we know where the areas for improvement lie, we can set up a training program that corrects these imbalances. We also test at the end of a training program (e.g. one month, 12 sessions, etc.) to measure progress, so you can see exactly how much you improved.
Why do you have people run backwards?
Our Super Running Treadmills are unique in many ways, but something you won’t find anywhere else is the harness to enable running backwards. Forward incline running is great for conditioning, improving speed, and teaching proper running mechanics, but we always balance it with backpedaling on an incline to develop hamstring strength, which is necessary to offset the quadriceps work from forward running. Backpedaling improves motor control, particularly for sports where defensive work often involves ‘fronting’ an opponent and shadowing them while moving backwards. It’s also an important part of our Return2Play ACL bridge protocol, because it promotes benefits without stressing the surgically repaired area.
Why do you focus so much on the hips?
It’s amazing how many athletes, even high-level ones, work on the large “extensor” muscle groups with little focused training of the hip flexors, internal/external rotators in the hips, lower abdominals, and back extensors. The failure to develop this “hip girdle” limits the performance potential of these athletes and increases the likelihood of injuries. This is why we focus a lot of our training on the general hip area in many of our protocols and much of our equipment. In particular, our Multi-Hip machine is developed especially to safely work the hips in all directions and through the full range of motion while maintaining proper positioning.
What can the Plyofloor do for me?
The Plyofloor is a really great tool for developing athleticism for just about any sport. Because it’s a cushioned surface, it’s a low-impact way to build foot speed, lateral and diagonal power, and stability. We put a premium on proper form, helping the athlete to develop greater precision of movement. Plus, it helps us identify hip strength and flexibility issues that inhibit performance in competition.