For an intro video on the topic below, please click here.

Most athletes are aware of the importance of building strength to best prepare their bodies for their sport.  Others are forced to “hit the weight room” in High School or College, but – even today – very few are actually taught how to perform the movements in the weight room safely and effectively.  Few coaches – much less athletes –  understand how to select exercises that are tailored for improving the kinds of performance they care about.

We don’t “lift weights” at Thunderbolts Speed School, but we do fill a necessary void: teaching athletes how to perform foundational movements safely and effectively.  Good movement is the basis for everything in sport, and adding load to faulty movement patterns – before the athlete is ready – because coaches or athletes are “chasing numbers” in the weight room – is the type of thing that leads to a sideline full of athletes in their street clothes on game day.

Most movements – either in the weight room, or on the track or field – are performed with muscles at the hips first.  The key positions in sporting movements fall mostly into three categories:

  1. Squat shapes: jumping, cutting, and exploding off the line in American football all require the lower body to get into a squat position in some fashion
  2. Lunge Shapes:  One leg up in-front, and one leg behind is the basic shape athletes make when running or bounding
  3. Hip-hinge / Deadlift Shapes: Athletes don’t usually directly hinge from the hips, but deadlift variations are common in the weight room, and in activities of daily living

At Thunderbolts Speed School, we first focus on getting athletes aware of getting and keeping a flat back.  We do this in every single activity we do, as it is absolutely foundational for any kind of high intensity movement. We cover lunges in various ways from box step-ups to the lunges we do every day in our warmups.

Squatting variations involve all of the major joints of the body in way way or another, and are one of the main ways athletes will train the muscles and joints of the lower body as they get older.  We teach squat specifics primarily in our Juggernaut LV I achievement category to help augment the movement teaching we do in the other shapes elsewhere in the program.

We don’t focus on hip-hinging at the first level of strength development for our athletes because it is the least sport-specific movement, and the tissues and movement patterns in squatting and lunging overlap with hip-hinging patterns somewhat.

There are few movement achievements in this category primarily because successful completion is difficult for most athletes, and because each movement checks a lot of boxes of effective body movement at-once.  Here are the achievements athletes can get in the Juggernaut LV I category: