The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 2 million people are injured every year during participation in sports and athletics. Research suggests that many of these sports-specific injuries could be prevented with proper athletic performance training.
Athletic performance training focuses on optimizing the human body for speed, agility, power and strength in preparation for performing a specific sport or activity. When done properly, athletic performance training can increase short and long term performance and prevent overuse or misuse injuries associated with a particular sport.
Traditional fitness training techniques largely focus on training muscles along a single plane of movement in a repetitive fashion to sculpt a desirable physique. Athletic performance training aims to develop key physical skills and health outcomes, rather than the simple appearance of fitness. Exercisers are taught how to jump, run, land and slide safely. They participate in workouts that target the small stabilizer muscles that support the specific joints and bones they will use in athletic competition.
Considering the increased popularity of competitive racing, adventure runs and adult sports leagues, some fitness facilities are realizing the benefits of offering athletic performance training to everyone from elite athletes to weekend warriors. New technology and versatile functional training equipment have made it easier than ever for health clubs to incorporate athletic performance training programs.
Functional fitness programs that utilize kettlebells and body weight training are particularly popular among athletes. Circuit training and small group fitness classes are ideal for training small groups for specific sports or competitive events.
The increased need for athletic performance training tools has led fitness manufacturer, Technogym, to create the SKILLMILL™. A self-powered machine with virtually endless exercise applications, the SKILLMILL™ trains the body to carry out complex movements that require neuromuscular coordination in a safe and controlled manner. Its unique curved deck allows exercisers to go from a resistance-free walk to an all out sled push with a simple adjustment of the MULTIDRIVE resistance lever. Multiple handrail positions provide safety and versatility in training stance, while the addition of belt resistance maximizes oxygen consumption and increases metabolic cost when compared to walking or running on a traditional treadmill.
Additionally, the SKILLMILL™ is uniquely suited for group exercise or small circuit training applications because its self-powered design reacts to the user’s body movements by slowing or speeding up on-the-fly.
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