I’m a firm believer in strength training in the off-season. As triathletes, we tend to neglect strength training during the competitive season in favor of more sport specific training. To a certain extent this allows us to ge the most bang for our training buck. However, the only way this can be an effective approach is if you have built up enough injury preventing strength during the off-season and stay with at least a maintenance program throughout your competitive season.
Some of the areas of weakness that I see most often in triathletes are the hip flexors, adductors, abductors and gluteus medius muscles. One exercise that I recently learned at my local crossfit gym, Crossfit Vantage, is the Jane Fonda Hip Complex. The complex is a series of 5 exercises all rolled up into one circuit. It goes like this:
- Lie on your side with your hips stacked vertically.
- Do 15 leg raises with your top leg…
- Do 15 clockwise circles with your top leg. The heel of your top leg should go to the toe of your bottom leg, then make a circle so that the toe of your top leg gets to the heel of your bottom leg.
- Do 15 heel to butt with the top leg.
- Do 15 counter-clockwise circles with your top leg. Same principle as the clockwise in regards to your heel/toe alignment.
- Do 15 knee raises with your top leg. Flip over and repeat with your other leg. This exercise does wonders for your entire hip area and will serve you well as an injury prevention tool.