5 exercises to help improve your transition speed
The BridgeAthletic Building Block Series is a set of 5 exercises that can be performed by water polo players of all levels on the pool deck.
This building block requires a resistance band, a medball and a wooden dowel/PVC pipe/towel and is designed to work on transitional speed. These exercises are designed to help you get over your hips to get the most out of your first 5 to 6 strokes in transition.
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- Lying Thoracic Mobility - Dowel
Equipment: Wooden dowel, PVC pipe or rolled-up towel
Movement: Lie face down on the ground. Keep your neck relaxed as you pick up the wooden dowel, PVC pipe or towel. With knuckles facing up and arms at full extension, raise your arms as far off the ground as possible. Pause. Return slowly to the start position. Repeat for prescribed reps.
Bridge Tip – Keep a slight bend in your elbow throughout the movement and keep your forehead and feet in contact with the ground throughout the movement. This exercise stretches your shoulders to get the most reach out of your first few strokes.
- Band Bent-Over Neck Pull
Equipment: Resistance Band
Movement: Start standing facing the band with a handle in each hand. Hinge at the hips, keeping your back flat and a slight bend in your knees. Extend your arms out in front of you creating a little tension in bands for the starting position. Pull the bands and your elbows back toward your rib cage. Pause. Extend your arms slowly to return to the start position. Pause. Repeat for the prescribed number of reps keeping your back flat throughout.
Bridge Tip - Focus on depressing your shoulder blades (pulling them down) to keep your arms stable overhead and move your arms slowly, resisting the tension in the bands. This exercise will boost your pull for each stroke, increasing acceleration down the pool in transition.
- 1-Arm MB Pushup
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Movement: Start kneeling with one hand on the medball (MB) and the other hand on the ground in line with your shoulder. Press up off your knees into a pushup position. Perform a pushup working on stabilizing the MB from moving around. Perform the prescribed reps on this side before moving the MB to the other hand.
Bridge Tip – For all athletes – if you are unable to perform these pushups in a regular pushup position, then use your knees. This single-arm exercise balances out your arm and chest muscles, making sure you get the most power with every stroke.
- Lateral Squat
Movement: Start standing with feet double the width of a regular squat stance and rotated out slightly. Keeping your chest up, squat down to the right. Keep your left leg straight as you perform the squat to the right. Press up from your right leg to the start position. Perform the same movement, this time to the left. Repeat for the prescribed number of reps, alternating each side.
Bridge Tip – Work on range of motion, but keep your chest up throughout the squat each side and avoid hinging at the hip to achieve range of motion. This exercise increases stability throughout your body by focusing on balance and coordination.
- Side V-Ups
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Movement: Start lying on your right side, right arm on the ground at 90 degrees to your body to support your weight, and left hand behind your left ear. Keeping your legs straight and your feet on top of each other, hinge at the hip raising your legs off the ground, taking your left elbow toward your left knee. Control your legs back toward to the ground. Without letting your feet touch the ground perform another rep. Repeat for prescribed reps on your right side, then switch to the left side.
Bridge Tip – Keep your legs straight throughout the movement. If you are unable to, hamstring flexibility could be affecting your range of motion and ability to perform this exercise. This challenging exercise builds core strength to allow for quick turns and stability as you change directions.
We hope you enjoy this full-body Water Polo Building Block. #BBA #BridgeBuilt #BridgeStrong