Elite Training

I’ve always been amazed at the physical capabilities of elite athletes. As the name suggests, Olympic caliber stars possess the necessary tools to practice their respective disciplines as careers. The athletic prowess of top tier athletes are sufficiently demonstrated in cross-training. From the top of my head, I can name a few examples.

My interest in athletics goes beyond the sprint hurdles, which in my biased opinion is best discipline in track & field! Even if my throwing background is practically nil (I once set an unofficial javelin personal best of 10m in training), the throwing events – particularly the javelin – have caught my fancy.

A few weeks ago, whilst looking for hurdle drills in Youtube, I stumbled upon a clip of Ivan Tikhon Іван Ціхан three-stepping. The sight of the three-time World Hammer Throw Champion clearing hurdles drew forth a muffled gasp. Hammer throwers are not supposed to sprint full speed over hurdles.

But then again, the three-step stride pattern of sprint hurdling practices one’s coordination. Hence, pole vaulters do the hurdles from time-to-time, just to polish their timing. Since the hammer throw involves multiple rotations, one has have a certain level of coordination to resist the superhuman centripetal force.

Tero Pitkämäki, in the following clip, demonstrates high level proficiency in plyometrics. Watching the 2007 World Champion doing dynamic standing long jumps piqued my interest in the exercise. Since then, the standing long jump has been a fixture in my plyometric routines.

The Finn’s archrival and good friend Andreas Thorkildsen also has his fair share of awesome Youtube clips. I was particularly impressed  by his gymnastics routine. The iron cross exercise looks as difficult as hell!

The reigning Olympic, World, World Indoor and European champion packs quite a mean plyometric punch too. If his name isn’t written all over the following clip, Thorkildsen might pass for a sprinter or a jumper.

One response to “Elite Training

  1. Pingback: Tiina Lillak: Finnish Javelin Legend « Hurdler49: Hurdling the Real World

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