Don’t be a Mini Arnie GAA Players

We touched on this before in a previous article, I believe one of the worst things a GAA player can do is get too bulked up so that he can’t move properly for the demands of the game.

It happens all the time in our experience, when FTI works with a club there is always two or three “mini arnies” on every panel. Coaches may love the look of these guys but always scratch their head at way these guys don’t hit guys hard, run quicker and jump higher.

The problem is compounded also by the fact these guys nearly always pull hamstrings and other muscles more frequently than the other players, a lot of the time due to extra bulk they can be found wanting in the runs or conditioning drills too.

Below I will outline some strategies to implement so you don’t become one of these guys.

1. Don’t build up more benching strength than squatting strength;

This is a statement I wish I didn’t have to make but is all too common, if GAA is played on your hands certainly bench away but it’s not, you use your legs. Some people can con you and say they can squat huge weight but when you look into it they barely come near to parallel in squatting depth. Guys its common sense if you are too top heavy you can’t move too well, we always say you can’t shoot a cannon from a canoe, balance your strength.

2. Don’t do too many curls, sit ups, triceps, chest workouts;

Okay I know you need a little arm strength and a few ab exercises won’t kill you but again if you have two massive sets of arms you will kill your mobility unless it’s in proportion, things like chest flys or any old school body building routines have no place in the vast majority of situations. Sit ups are just plain useless for the GAA player also as you exist in constant flexion all day, it will tighten you up and put undue pressure on your lower back and groin over time. Avoid.

3. Do some stretching/mobility;

We have touched on this before but the point remains, too much beach weights with no mobility work is a bad idea if you want to move free and easy on the GAA pitch. Get on YouTube and look up some good dynamic mobility drills for a start.

4. Get a good S&C coach;

One of the world’s greatest strength and conditioning coaches says it best “if you coach yourself, you have an idiot for a client”. I have countless niggles and issues from my days benching my brains in whilst I was a competitive rugby player, I thought I knew best. We see this attitude all the time amongst some of the squads we work with. You see the problem when you train yourself is you do the stuff you want to do not what you need to do and you can get side-tracked by the latest new cool exercise very easily. Every successful athlete in the world has a coach, GAA players are no different. Get a coach, listen and reap the rewards.

5. Do some power work;

Power training or speed training is crucial, power training has many definitions but really it is moving quicker than you are used to. Power and speed are expressions of your strength, working on one without the other is not good, consider also a body builder doesn’t care if he gets slower but its disastrous for the GAA to become slower. We have a motto at FTI “train slow become slow” meaning if you are slack on the pitch or dossing around in the gym you can actually make yourself slower.

6. Don’t chase numbers in the gym for the sake of it;

What do we mean by this statement? Lifting heavier for the sake of it never ends well in the long run. The true reality of S&C should be slow and steady progress, but no one ever wants to hear that. If you do add plates make them small ones, your technique should look the same for the light weights as the big weights. Not for a moment am I saying not too lift heavy but sloppy technique can kill your mobility on the pitch and no one wants that.

Feel free to leave us some comments;

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