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10 Ways to Build Strength Without the Size

Want to get stronger without having to bulk up and pack on the pounds? Follow these 10 easy programming tips.

5. Use Sprints and Drills

Nothing builds running speed and quickness on the field than sprinting itself. Performing sprint intervals or hill sprints (linear) or agility drills (multi-directional) will help develop strength and power specific to running and cutting. Being able to accelerate, and more importantly, decelerate on the field will make you stand out among the slower, less-coordinated players.

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6. Try Contrast Training

Contrast training incorporates heavy strength training with plyometric training in the same workout. The physiological mechanism behind this training method is known as post-activation potentiation, or PAP for short. Basically, the heavy strength training exercise (~<5RM) is performed first, followed by a long break, usually 3-10 minutes. A similar movement pattern plyometric exercise is then performed (5-10 reps). Research has shown an improvement or potentiation of the plyometric exercise, in that more force and power can be developed. An example is back squats followed by tuck jumps.

If the break between the strength and plyometric exercise is too short, you’ll experience fatigue and a decrease in jump performance. It’s not a superset, so don’t perform these exercises like a circuit.

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