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Author Topic: At-home strength training- does it have limits?  (Read 892 times)

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Offline Sierra

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At-home strength training- does it have limits?
« on: February 06, 2011, 09:50:53 PM »
I was curious to hear some opinions about whether you can achieve truly high levels of strength with only home training (no heavy weights, no machines). I'm thinking strength like what you need for double axels, strength for an L-seat (core), strength to stand up from a butt-on-heel pistol squat. I have an exercise ball, a 'heavy' resistance band and 2.5 lb ankle weights. Other home trainers probably have dumbbells, kettleballs, or a gallon jug filled with water. You have to either spend a lot of money or get a gym membership to have 30lb+ weight and big resistance machines. I cannot afford big weights (nor would I touch them without professional instruction) and do not have access to gyms. Other people, specifically adult skaters, can't or won't spend money on equipment/personal trainers/gyms or don't have a gym readily available.

So is it possible to have a high level of strength without ever using large weights/machines that simulate large weights? Could Mao Asada convert to home training right now and maintain strength?

Offline rsk8d

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Re: At-home strength training- does it have limits?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2011, 10:51:15 AM »
Yes, it is very do-able, with the right home equipment.  Training has advanced in the last ten or so years to stay away from weight machines, as they only isolate one muscle group at a time.  Rarely do we function with straight plane motions that use one muscle at a time.  Take Mike Boyle for example, a strength and conditioning coach who is famous for working with pro NFL and hockey players, and olympic athletes.  In his facility, there is not one machine that you sit on and isolate one muscle group.  It is all functional related: bands, theraballs, foam rolls, medicine balls, balance discs, hurdles, etc.  Yes, he does have heavy free weights, but if you're talking figure skaters, you don't need them.

Yes we do need free weights, but nothing above fifteen pounds or so (men a bit more).  In most exercises, like a lunge or one-legged squat, you progress by standing on various balance challenges, then add free weights or kettlebells.  1/2 foam rolls or balance discs or key to progressing exercises, because as figure skaters, we are using our muscles to check our balance all the time.  Plyometrics are also key, as the height you can jump is a huge measure of strength.

You can complete an at-home program with the following equipment: a theraball, balance disc or foam roll, sport cord/resistance band, hand weights, medicine ball, sliding discs, hurdles or step.  I have not touched a weight machine in over 10 years, and at 34 can do all double-double combos consistently.  (I'd try to get my double axel back, but I don't keep like to be able to get out of bed in the morning.. :) ).

To the Mao Asada question: an elite athlete needs to work with a strength and conditioning coach, to monitor exactly what she is doing.  But she can use all of the equipment above to accomplish her goals.
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Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: At-home strength training- does it have limits?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2011, 08:54:03 PM »
My personal trainer retired and I've had to switch to home training.
I like Cathe Freidrich's "Slow and Heavy" although she has more equipment than you're probably interested in investing in (50lb barbell, 10,15,20, and a 40lb dumbell, plus a step) But nothing says you have to have all that equipment. My trainer never took me above 15 lbs, and you can get weights for reduced prices at Play it Again Sports. And instead of a barbell you could use a body bar.

I also have this this video with a body bar. It's the only training I've ever seen that involves rotation with weights while standing on one foot.

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