The former USSR was a formidable entity when it came to sporting prowess, and for the longest time it seemed as though the Russians would brook no resistance when it came to medals and awards. Even today, the Russians are a sporting nation with an enviable record of producing winning athletes.
The stress placed on developing the nation’s sporting prowess was an indicator of the national pride and in the event the Russian fitness method evolved to condition athletes in a way that would outshine the best in the world.
In modern times it is not just the sporting quest that drives the Russians but also the quest for fitness as an end in itself; a means to achieve good health a good look as well, helped in no small measure by the well known judo regime of national leader Vladimir Putin.
In its article about Russian Fitness, the magazine, Men’s Health speaks about some unusual warming up methods that are a throwback to the old school Russian training methods.
One exercise consisted of fisting up the feet and walking across the floor barefooted. Another exercise helped promote upper body flexibility using broom sticks to swing them over the head, around the lower back and so on.
Throwing sticks into the air and catching them is just another way to make one’s body more proficient – being strong and flexible at the same time. The three main reasons why the Russians made and still make such good athletes is –
These resemble cannon balls with handles and have been a secret weapon of Russian sportsmen for the past three centuries. Kettlebells have caught on in the US in a big way in the past decade or so. They offer all the benefits of dumbbells and then some. They activate more muscles, and improve overall strength and conditioning. This can help a person perform better at sports such as spiriting, running, standing broad jump, pull ups and so on.
The Russians perfected the art of making gains without overtraining – this is called periodization and involves variations in intensity and volume of training programs over a prolonged period. This results in peak performance at predetermined times. This can help to prevent burning out and stimulates different muscles optimally.
3. Practice Makes Perfect
If you want to be good at something, keep at it each day, through the day and whenever possible. Repetition increases skill and endurance.