Please Sir, May I Have Another? Train Like an Athlete.

You all know how I mildly freak out when I walk into Total Body Conditioning and Slayton has gone rogue. Though I hate him every week for 55 minutes, I love him every week for 55 minutes because his class is so good it’s silly.   My muscles and lungs are screaming for mercy by the time class is over.  And for about 3 days afterwards.  Our relationship is a lot like Kevin Bacon and the dude with the paddle from Animal House.  Can you guess which on I am?

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Since Slayton is so good at what he does, I asked him to put something together for you guys. And again, he knocked it out of the park.  So grab some floor space and set aside a few minutes to learn how by training like an athlete, you can reduce risk of injury, develop strength and ease the pressure on your joints.  Sound like a plan, Stan?  Let’s get started!

Sidebar: I said “Sound like a plan, Stan” to my friend Canadian Carrie once and she looked at me like I was bananas.  “My name is CARRIE. We’ve been friends for like 6 years.  Why did you just call me Stan?”  After a slightly awkward silence, I replied that it was just a phrase that people say and had she seriously never heard it before?  She looked even more confused and started looking for the exit, so I dropped it.  Those Canadians….with their free healthcare, non-violent tendencies and delicious maple syrup. Who do they think they are?

Movement is Key – Slayton Rous, CSCS, ACSM-HFS

(Yes, this is the baby face that serves the hurt sandwich.)

Whether your goal is to get FIT, lose FAT or have FUN, the answer is movement. We all want to get to our goal as fast possible, and need to remember the basic fundamentals to prevent injuring ourselves. Movement fundamentals begin with mobility, stabilization, core strength and agility.

Although we are not all athletes, we should train like them. This might scare you at first, but if you think about it: athletes train their bodies to be efficient at movement and train for injury reduction. This is something everyone should aspire to do. Athletes do this by working on dynamic mobility exercises that teach the joints and muscles to work as one under stress.  Mobility exercises work on moving the joint in all planes of motion. If we can strengthen certain key areas, we can reduce injuries below and above the joints.

Mobility works hand in hand with stability to handle resistance and endurance training. By working on stabilization of the knees, lumbar and shoulder blade region our joints can work with our muscles to handle the stress put on our bodies from exercises. For example, don’t think about doing thousands of crunches to strengthen the core (me: Halleluiah!). Instead, work on strengthening the muscles and stabilizing the joints around the core by doing exercises that require balance and engage your midsection.

We can use what we have developed through mobility, stabilization and core strength and put it in motion. Agility is defined as “the power of moving quickly and easily; nimbleness”. This is something that we need, at every age, to avoid injury and soreness.  Applying exercises that work on these principles is the key to efficient fitness and movement. Exercises in this category include ladder drills (me: flashback to high school basketball – I sweat just thinking about them) to body weight exercises like skaters. Do not be intimidated by agility exercises, every one of them can be modified to fit your needs and abilities. Below are a few mobility and agility exercises that are an excellent starting point or addition to your current exercise plan.

One.  Mobility.

Ankle Tilt


Ankle Tilt with Toe Pull


Toe Pull


Knee Stability Exercise- Lateral & Linear Stability


Knee to Elbow – Hip Mobility


Two. Agility.



(I’m smiling because the photographer, who also takes Slayton’s class, is getting her payback.  Slayton’s smiling because he likes it. Sicko.)

Isometric Leg Raise to Deep Squat


Mobility and Strength Exercise – Transverse Lunge


(can you tell I’m saying, “JUST TAKE THE PICTURE” through my teeth while Slayton enjoys every second of my pain?)

Outer Leg/Hip Strength and Endurance Exercise – Quick Feet Drill


And that, as they say in the biz, is a wrap!  Thanks to Slayton for visiting with us and putting together this incredible workout.  And thanks to my friend Tara for being the beautiful eye behind the camera.  You guys rule the school.

(He doesn’t look evil, but my muscles tell me otherwise.)

(I like her because she drinks wine.)

Do you know any favorite weird phrases? What exercises do you like to stay injury free and agile?

If you have questions or comments for Slayton, or just want to say hello, please leave them below!  I’ll put you in touch!

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